What do Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya all have in common? Four women, alliterative initials, and all prostitutes. Low risk, sure, but not low enough for the alleged alphabet murderer, Joseph Naso. And if it weren’t for Naso’s little habit of shoplifting women’s lingerie, so he could turn around and sell it at a flea market, these cold cases may have stayed cold forever.
Naso’s crime spree landed him a parole officer, who on a random home check, spotted a gun with ammunition laying nearby. A clear violation of parole and all the grounds they needed for a search of his home. And what should turn up? Thousands of photographs of women in bondage gear appearing either dead or unconscious. A “rape” diary. And best of all a handwritten list referencing women and their locations including the four women above.
After Naso’s arrest, investigators dug further, unearthing even more damning evidence. In a safe deposit box they found photos of victim Pamela Parsons and newspaper clippings of her death. But wait, there’s more. From victim Carmen Colon’s fingernail, investigators were able to obtain a partial DNA profile and DNA was found on nylons used to strangle another victim, both matching to, can you guess? Yup, Joseph Naso who’s looking more and more like the alphabet murderer. Although, there’s always an explanation, right?
During Court, Naso has chosen to act as his own attorney, even though he may face the death penalty. Interesting strategy in itself, but we’ll get to that in a minute. So how does Naso explain all this? Oh, easy. One diary entry describes him picking up a girl and raping her in his car. What does Naso say to that? “That’s the way I talk. It’s just loose talk that I used. ‘I pick up a nice broad and I raped her.’ It’s got nothing to do with forcible rape in the way we usually think.” Apparently, back in the sixties that just how they used to talk. I’m not old enough to know otherwise, so, if you are, you’ll have to let me know if that’s true or not. I have a sneaking suspicion it isn’t. What about the DNA? Oh, that’s right… according to Naso, “They don’t even have circumstantial evidence.” I don’t know, I’d call even a partial DNA profile pretty solid evidence. But I could be wrong. For now, we have to wait and see what the jury thinks as this case unfolds.
Okay, let’s get into a little psychology behind this. Remember when I said it’s interesting he’s chosen to represent himself (especially since this could be a death penalty trial)? Well, if that doesn’t scream narcissism I don’t know what does. I believe he thinks he can manipulate the judge and jury, that he’s better than any attorney ever could be, and that he possesses this talent, attractiveness and power to sway anyone to his side (even though he’s a 79 year old man)., among other things. Not to mention, serial killers in the past have represented themselves like Ted Bundy and Rodney Alcala. Probably not a pattern, but just saying. What else? Well, he’s a sexual sadist who gets off on hurting his partners through being the dominate, torturing them, raping, and eventually murdering. So why do some people go from the Fifty Shades of Grey bondage to becoming an all out sexual sadist? Well, it’s not clear, but some possible explanations are past sexual abuse and repressed anger, some kind of childhood or adolescent experience that imprinted onto them, and/or a dangerous combination of things bolstered with personality disorders such as narcissism and antisocial pd. Unfortunately, like with most sexual sadists who kill there’s probably many more victims that will never be found.