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Historical and Famous Cases I lay no claim to advancing scientific data other than advancing flying knowledge. I can only say that I do it because I want to.......Amelia Earhart

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Old 05-26-2008, 01:40 PM
texasx
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Default GERALD F MASON-MURDER 2 EL SEGUNDO OFFICERS

By M. William Phelps
Murder By Numbers

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Comparison of Sketch and Mason's Mugshot


Once the fingerprint match was made to the partial prints duplicate that had been stitched together, it was compared by three fingerprint experts to Gerald Mason's known prints. All three experts agreed the prints were Mason's. Interestingly, Gerald Mason's prints were part of the database because he had done a short stint in prison back in 1956, merely months before the robbery, rape and murders, for commercial burglary and forgery.
Technology had finally caught up with Gerald Mason.
Armed with this new information, the detectives began watching Mason, who had been living in Columbia, South Carolina, for the past forty years. Detectives found out Mason was a retired gas station owner. He'd been married for over thirty years. He had children and grandchildren. People in the community he now lived spoke highly of him. He golfed and bowled. He was a handyman around his neighborhood, often helping people free of charge. On the surface, Mason seemed like a nice guy. For the most part, save for a run-in when he was a young punk kid in 1956, he'd never been in any trouble.
It began to look as though maybe the El Segundo PD had the wrong guy—regardless what the computer said. Could it be a case of mistaken identity? It was certainly possible. Besides that one arrest in 1956, Mason has not a blemish on his record. He had been a model citizen.
In the grand scope of the case, however, Mason not having a record wasn't so out of character for a killer of his ilk.
"This was confirmed," Paul told me, "by an FBI profiler who stated that the murderer would have had only one contact with law enforcement."
With Mason still walking around a free man (having no indication that he was being watched and suspected in the murders of two police officers, a rape and robbery), the detectives began to worry about their case. After all, Mason could build an "affirmative defense," saying that, as a mechanic all his life, he worked on the victim's car, which would be a great argument as to why his prints were found on the steering wheel.

More of the set of composite sketches from 1957.






Darren Levine needed more substantial evidencebefore the case could be filed. Making matters even more complicated, the 1956 booking photo of Mason was then compared to the composite drawings made in 1957 of the suspect, and ultimately placed in a lineup and shown to the surviving victims (only one of the victims had died).
But none of the surviving victims could identify Mason from the photo lineup.

Gerald F. Mason, younger


What jury would buy any of this evidence, most of which was collected nearly fifty years ago?
Faced with this uphill court battle, Darren Levine insisted he needed more evidence and told El Segundo detectives to keep digging. With the passage of so much time, the DA said it would take more than a "thumbprint to convict" such a seemingly outstanding member of his community in a double murder five decades old.
So the detectives began to look at the case closer—and that's when they realized they had the two handwriting samples that could connect George Wilson to Gerald Fit Mason.
"Let's call Dr. Paul Edholm," Levine told his detectives.
After obtaining the documents from the purchase of the gun in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the YMCA documents, the two detectives began to amass a collection of Gerald Mason's handwriting and hand printing, both old and new.

Edholm's Comparison of 'G'


District Attorney Darren Levine (who specializes in crimes against police officers) had used Paul in the murder of a Los Angeles cop and was able to obtain a conviction in that case.
Starting in October 2002, Paul and DA Levine, working with detectives Lowe and Macelderry, spent the next few months putting together a case against Gerald Fit Mason.
Within several months, especially after he viewed the PowerPoint, Levine was satisfied. It was time to knock on Mason's door. On January 24, 2003, a complaint was officially filed, after nearly a half-century, charging Gerald Fit Mason with two counts of murder, one count of rape, five counts of kidnapping and four counts of robbery. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley issued a no bail arrest warrant for Mason.
The team headed to South Carolina to make an arrest after more than 50 years of trying to find a killer.


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Old 05-26-2008, 01:41 PM
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Surprise Confession in California In Murders From 45 Years Ago

By CALVIN SIMS
Published: March 25, 2003
In a surprise confession that brought an end to one of the region's coldest murder cases, a retired South Carolina gas station owner pleaded guilty today to killing two Los Angeles-area police officers more than 45 years ago. The man, Gerald F. Mason, 69, was immediately sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
Mr. Mason, who was extradited from his home in Columbia, S.C., admitted at a court hearing to fatally shooting two El Segundo officers, Milton G. Curtis and Richard A. Phillips, on July 22, 1957, after they stopped him for a traffic violation. Mr. Mason had been living quietly in South Carolina with his wife of 40 years until he was arrested in January.
''I don't understand why I did this,'' Mr. Mason said in court, offering a tearful apology to the families of the victims and about a dozen members of the El Segundo police department. ''I feel like I am dreaming. It makes no sense. It's contrary to everything I believe.''
Today's action resolves what area law enforcement officials called one of the most cold-blooded and baffling cases that they had ever encountered. The officials said that around midnight July 21, 1957, a man, who they now know to be Mr. Mason, accosted two teenage couples in their cars on a popular lover's lane near El Segundo. He tied up the four teenagers, robbed them, and raped a 15-year-old girl, before escaping in their 1949 Ford.
About 90 minutes later, Officers Phillips, 28, and Curtis, 25, of the El Segundo police, pulled the Ford over for running a red light and ordered the driver out of the car. The driver shot both officers with a .22-caliber revolver. They died before reaching the hospital.
The case remained unresolved until a new F.B.I. database helped match Mr. Mason's fingerprints with those on the teenagers' car.
At the hearing today, the children of the slain officers spoke of the grief they had endured growing up without their fathers.
''Your cowardly act shattered our lives,'' said Carolyn Phillips Stewart, who spoke of her mother's struggle to raise three children, The Associated Press reported.
Keith Curtis, a son of the other murdered officer, told the news agency that he was grateful that Mr. Mason had been brought to justice.

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Old 05-26-2008, 01:45 PM
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http://www.elsegundo.org/depts/polic...d_phillips.aspWhy We Wear the Stars



In Remembrance
of the Fallen
Officer Richard A. Phillips
Age: 28
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: ?
E.O.W:
July 22, 1957
Officer Milton G. Curtis
Age: 25
Tour of Duty: 2 months
Badge Number: 22


At approximately 1:24 a.m. on Monday, July 22, 1957, at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard, El Segundo Police Officers Richard Phillips and Milton Curtis observed a car run the red light. Officer Curtis and Officer Phillips pursued the vehicle until the suspect pulled over near Pacific Avenue, a semi-rural road fringed with trees, fields and a large oil refinery.
One of the two additional officers asked if everything was “okay here?” Officer Phillips was standing in front of the suspect while Officer Curtis questioned him.
“We're fine,” Curtis said as he waved a citation in the air he had obviously written. “No problem. Just a red light violation.” Unbeknownst to the officers, the car was, in fact, stolen and the suspect had just raped a teenage girl after holding two couples at gunpoint about five miles from their current location.
Satisfied that Officers Phillips and Curtis had the situation under control, the second patrol car left the scene. Within a minute and a half later the suspect produced a firearm and shot Officer Phillips several times in the back as he walked back toward his squad car. In the midst of the commotion, Officer Phillips was able to return fire. One bullet struck the suspect in the back, the second and third hit the suspect’s stolen vehicle. The suspect then walked over to Officer Curtis and shot him three times at pointblank range as he sat in the squad car alerting dispatch of the shooting.
Hundreds of police officers and citizens from El Segundo and the neighboring communities scoured the area all night. They found the stolen car, but there was no sign of the suspect. The killer had escaped capture.
Twenty-eight-year-old Officer Richard Phillips and his twenty-five-year-old partner, Officer Milton Curtis, were both happily married with a total of five children between them at the time of their brutal murders.


Over 46 years later, in September 2002, a false lead encouraged investigators to enter the prints taken at the crime scene in 1957 into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s fingerprint database. In a matter of minutes the print led investigators to Gerald F. Mason, who was arrested for burglary in 1956 in South Carolina. It was the only time he had ever been arrested, and it was the only record they had on file.
On January 29, 2003, Gerald F. Mason was arrested for the murders of El Segundo Police Officers Richard Phillips and Milton Curtis. Mason still had the scar from the wounds he sustained from Officer Phillips before he died. Mason later plead guilty in a Los Angles County court and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:48 PM
texasx
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« Literary diversions | Main | El Segundo revisited »
Death in El Segundo



July 22, 1957
Los Angeles
We're heading west on Rosecrans Avenue. It's early Monday morning, a few moments after 1:30 a.m., and the streets are dark. There's nobody out but a few drunks and some people heading home from the swing shift. It's all quiet.
Maybe that's what these two men on the graveyard shift thought.

Let's pull over here, at Palm Avenue. North of us is the tank farm for the Standard Oil refinery and south of us are new homes. Up ahead is a police car, all lit up. I make it out to be 1957 Ford 300, four-door black and white. The only sound is the police radio. You can see the front passenger door is open. It says: "El Segundo Police."
Before we get out, I need to say something: We're going to find two dead--or dying--police officers up there. At home, there's two widows who kissed their husbands goodbye and hoped they would see them in the morning. There are five kids who are going to grow up without their fathers. It's a terrible tragedy and I don't want to minimize that. But it would be another tragedy if one more police officer died because we didn't learn a lesson from what happened here. These men can't tell us, so we'll never know exactly what went on. But let's see what we can figure out about the shooting by picking it apart.
The officer in the driver's seat is Milton Gus Curtis, 27. He's fresh out of the academy in Riverside and has been on the El Segundo department for two months. Curtis has been shot in the upper right chest, right side and right forearm (or right wrist) with three .22-caliber short rounds.

His partner is Richard Allen Phillips, 28. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and has been on the Police Department about three years. He's been shot three times in the back, also with .22-caliber short rounds. His service revolver is next to him, all six shots fired. He's supposed to be quite a marksman.
(Important discrepancy note: The Mirror says that according to officers who responded to the scene, Phillips' body was in the police car. The Times says Phillips was on the ground next to his service revolver).
Notice that even though it's dark, the killer hit his target six times. That seems like fairly accurate shooting.
Phillips' citation book is lying open on the right fender. (Note: The newspapers said it was on the roof). He started to write a ticket, but he had only filled out the date.
OK, here's a map.


Crime scene photos courtesy of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Notice Phillips' citation book on the hood and the police siren on the right fender. Here's what happened:
Curtis and Phillips were parked on the north side of Rosecrans at Sepulveda about four car lengths east of the intersection. Margaret Osburn, who was heading home from work on westbound Rosecrans Avenue, said she stopped at the signal, in the right lane. A car later identified as a 1949 Ford pulled up to her left, then jumped the red light and roared through the intersection. "I said to myself what a stupid thing to do with the police car in plain sight," Osburn said.
Curtis and Phillips began their pursuit.
Alan King, 19, was heading west on Rosecrans, on his way home from a job at a service station when Curtis and Phillips came up behind him. King thought they were pulling him over, so he stopped, but they kept going. He went to his home around the corner from here on Poinsettia and watched the driver, Curtis and Phillips at Rosecrans and Palm.
Osburn passed by here and saw the two officers and the driver standing outside his car. One of the officers was shining a flashlight in the driver's face, Osburn said.
According to Osburn, the driver was taller than either officer, with husky shoulders. He was about 25 years old with curly blond or light brown hair and was wearing a red plaid shirt with the tail pulled out instead of tucked into his pants.
King, who was watching from the back porch of his home on Poinsettia, said he saw Curtis and Phillips remove the driver from the car. There appeared to be a struggle, King said. "When the man quieted down, one of the officers [presumably Curtis] went back to the prowl car and talked into the radio mike." Then King stepped out of view.
Another team of El Segundo police officers, C.D. Porter and James T. "Ted" Gilbert cruised past.
"It looked like Curtis and Phillips were writing a routine traffic citation," said Gilbert, who had been Curtis' partner until two weeks earlier. "We drove past slowly and continued west on Rosecrans. When we went past, Phillips was outside the car with his citation book starting to write a citation. Curtis was behind the wheel phoning."
El Segundo police dispatcher B.F. Bangasser said that at 1:29 a.m. (this time is reported elsewhere as 1:20 a.m.), one of the officers radioed to have him run the plates on the 1949 Ford. As he was checking, another police car came on the air. Then a voice cut in: "Ambulance." (Or "Send...ambulance.") "It was Phillips," Bangasser said.
King heard shots and ran back to the porch in time to see the driver get into the 1949 Ford and "speed down Rosecrans."
Police are going to find the killer's car about four blocks west of here with three shots through the back window and one through the trunk. Phillips was supposed to be quite a marksman and he hit the killer in the back, but maybe the killer wasn't injured too badly since the bullet went through part of the car first and lost momentum.
Two years after the killing, a homeowner digging up weeds at 555 33rd St. is going to find the murder weapon, a nine-shot Harrington and Richardson revolver, .22-caliber short. That's a small cartridge. A year later, he'll find the cylinder and some other items.
OK, let's go over what happened again and see if anything is missing.
Don't jump and look at the stories about how the case was solved in 2003 and what else the driver had done that night. For now, let's concentrate on what we have in the original news reports.
First of all: The driver ran a red light with a police car in clear view. That should be a tipoff that something is wrong with the guy.
Second: King says they got the driver out of the car. He said it looked as though they struggled with driver, but King was half a block away, so I wonder how much he could have seen. If what King saw was accurate--that they struggled with him and them calmed him down--I wonder why they didn't detain him right then. Police officers in the 1950s weren't shy about administering a little "street justice" to people who gave them a hard time. Or maybe that's how they "calmed him down."
Third: Osburn drives by and sees both officers standing next to the killer outside his car with one of them shining a flashlight in his face. My guess--and it's only a guess--is that they performed a field sobriety test. It's done like this: Hold your arm out straight and touch the tip of your nose with your index finger. Like this one with Gail Russell.
Fourth: He shoots them. Which one first? Did the killer shoot Phillips in the back outside the police car and then shoot Curtis in the right side as he was behind the wheel? How did that work?
Maybe it will help if I act out the role of of Officer Curtis: I see the driver run the red light, I activate the lights and pull up behind him at Rosecrans and Palm. I get out of the car with my partner. We talk to the driver. I go back to the police car, get in the driver's side and radio the dispatcher with the license plate number. Unless I've written it down, that means I can see the license plate from where I'm sitting and read it to the dispatcher. The killer shoots my partner in the back. While I am sitting in the driver's seat, the killer shoots me in the right chest, right side and right wrist/forearm. The shots would have to come from the passenger side of the car.
Now I'll be Officer Phillips: I see the driver run the red light. We pull up behind him at Rosecrans and Palm. I get out of the car with my partner. We talk to the driver. My partner goes back to the car while I start writing up a citation. I put the citation book on the hood of the police car. I'm shot three times in the back. The killer shoots my partner three times. I turn around and fire six shots at the killer's car, hitting it three times in the back window and once in the trunk. I get into the police car, pick up the radio mike and say: "Ambulance."
The problem is that I can't get this scenario to work if I assume that the police car pulled up directly behind the killer's car. For that to work, the killer has to do some weird doubling back to shoot Phillips and then shoot Curtis from the passenger side of the police car.
The only way I can get it to work is if the police car is to the left of the killer's car, either side by side or off to the left rear of the 1949 Ford. If I'm right, I wonder why they parked there instead of behind him.
A couple other things bother me besides that scenario:
The first is the killer's driver's license--where is it? We know the police didn't find it at the crime scene and it's hard to imagine that Curtis and Phillips didn't ask for it. If the driver said he didn't have one, that should have raised their suspicions even further after he jumped the light--especially if he struggled with them.
For that matter, where's the registration on the car? I assume they asked for that too. If they got his driver's license and the registration, they would have noticed the car belonged to someone else and that should have made them even more suspicious.
My guess--and it is a guess--is that the killer shot the two officers and retrieved his driver's license from Phillips, who was writing the citation.
And that's the other thing that bothers me, maybe the most: Gilbert's comment about "writing a routine traffic citation." Obviously, it wasn't routine. If these two men were complacent, they certainly paid a terrible, tragic price.
Because what Curtis and Phillips didn't know is that the killer had just stolen the car after holding two teenage couples at gunpoint and raping one of the girls.
The investigation and solution of the case, which was turned over to the Sheriff's Department, is another fascinating story.
In 1960, the man who found the murder weapon while digging weeds in his yard at 555 33rd St. turned the gun over to police, who learned that it had been purchased June 18, 1957, at a chain store (eventually identified as Sears) in Shreveport, La., by a man using the false name of George D. Wilson. A search of records at the nearby YMCA showed that a George D. Wilson registered there June 16, 1957. The handwriting sample will come in handy many years later.
Another equally important clue was the fingerprints found on the steering post of the stolen Ford (note the "necker's knob or "brodie knob" on the steering wheel--lrh). As we all know, two partial prints were assembled to make a complete print that was run through a computer database and revealed a suspect. In fact, he turned out to be the killer.
And here's some dazzling insight from Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Howard Hopkinson, from 1960:
"The killer was soft-spoken and gentlemanly with the kids. He had an accent but we have been unable to put it down as to whether it was Southern. We think that it was. He was apologetic to the kids and he never used profanity before them."
Sheriff's Detective Lt. Al Etzel added: We have a strong suspicion that this guy is a reputable person. He may have a good job, a family he thinks a lot of and he figures that when he got caught on the traffic citation, he would be made on robbery and criminal attack. He panicked.
"Here is a man who goes out with a gun, a small flashlight and a roll of adhesive tape to commit robbery and criminal attack and he ends up killing two policemen. He is somebody the people least suspect, not a murdering 'cop hater.' He had something he didn't want to lose."
They were right. In 2003, Gerald F. Mason, a retired gas station owner with one prior arrest many years before, was convicted of the killings. He will be eligible for parole in 2010, according to the State newspaper published in Columbia, S.C.
Here come Porter and Gilbert. We better get going.

Curtis and Phillips were buried side by side at Inglewood Park Cemetery. Let's stop by and see them on the way back.

Update: Several people have asked why there is no mention of Officer Curtis' survivors. I don't wish to minimize the loss felt by his friends and family--in fact I try to put a face on the devastation that people feel when an officer dies in the line of duty. Curtis was survived by his wife, Jean; son, Keith; daughter, Toni Lynn; his sister, Dimitra Taruny; brother, Blaine; mother, Jessie Looney; and father, Gus Curtis. Phillips was survived by his wife, Carole; daughters Carolyn and Patricia; son, Richard Jr.; parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.G. Phillips; brothers, Charles and Eugene; and sisters Eunice Tabagio and Marcella Tuttle, The Times said.

Last edited by texasx; 05-26-2008 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:51 PM
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After 45 Years, an Arrest In the Killing of 2 OffiCERS




By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: January 30, 2003
It was one of the coldest cases in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's cold case file, the unsolved murder of two young police officers here after a traffic stop early in the morning of July 22, 1957.
No major break in the investigation had occurred since 1960, when a Manhattan Beach homeowner found two watches and a gun in his backyard and gave them to the police. The watches had been stolen from two teenagers assaulted in the area on the night of the killings. The gun was traced to a Sears in Shreveport, La., but the trail went dead there.
The case remained open but inactive for four decades, until, the police said, a tipster called detectives last September to identify the killer. The tip proved false, but as a result of reopening the case, the police decided to check fingerprints they had had on file since 1957 against a nationwide computerized database set up by the F.B.I. last February.
The prints led to Columbia, S.C., where early this morning the police arrested Gerald F. Mason, a 68-year-old retired gas station owner living in a comfortable suburban tract northwest of town. He is being held without bond pending an extradition hearing.
The police have found no record of any crimes committed by Mr. Mason since 1957; there was only one burglary charge in South Carolina from 1956. It was the fingerprints from that arrest that appear to match prints taken from the stolen car the presumed killer was driving the night the two El Segundo officers were shot.
The police put Mr. Mason under surveillance weeks ago, and he apparently was unaware that he was being watched. He played golf on Tuesday and was arrested at his home at 7 a.m. today.
Chris Mills, Mr. Mason's lawyer, said California had begun extradition proceedings. He said Mr. Mason was arrested on a fugitive warrant by a contingent of United States marshalls and South Carolina and California law enforcement officers.
''The family is in shock,'' Mr. Mills said. ''We're talking about a man who has led a law-abiding life here for 42 years or more.''
Mr. Mason's neighbor of 10 years, Betty G. Wiggins, said: ''What gets me is why would it take so many years to find somebody who has been so well known here in Columbia? It's not like he was living like a fugitive, hiding or running away from something. That's why I just know they've got the wrong man.''
Ms. Wiggins said Mr. Mason and his wife, Betty, have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Relatives gathered at the home today. Mr. Mason's younger brother, Murray, said he and the family believe the arrest is ''a case of mistaken identity.''
''If he's ever even been in California, we don't know when it could have been,'' he said.
The 1957 case of the Lover's Lane Bandit has haunted and frustrated the El Segundo police, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. Law enforcement officials reserve a special contempt for police killers, particularly the ones who elude capture for years.
Around midnight on July 21, 1957, a man accosted two teenage couples necking in their cars along a well-known lover's lane on Van Ness Avenue in Hawthorne, just east of El Segundo. He tied up the four teenagers, robbed them, forced them to strip and raped a 15-year-old girl. He stole their 1949 Ford and drove off into the night, with the girls' skirts lying on the floor of the back seat.
About an hour and a half later, Officers Richard A. Phillips, 28, and Milton G. Curtis, 25, of the El Segundo police saw a car run a red light at Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard, a quiet, undeveloped area of tall eucalyptus trees near a Standard Oil tank farm. The officers ordered the driver out of the car. Just then, a second El Segundo cruiser pulled up. The arresting officers waved the car on, thinking they had the situation under control.
The driver then pulled out a .22-caliber snub-nosed revolver and shot both officers. Officer Phillips fired several shots at the fleeing car and radioed for help before losing consciousness. Both officers died before reaching the hospital. Officer Phillips had two years on the job, Officer Curtis two months.
The driver abandoned the car four blocks away and ran south into Manhattan Beach through yards and over fences, dropping the watches he had stolen from the teenagers, the police said, and his weapon.
Despite a wide manhunt involving local, state and federal police, no further trace of the killer was found. The case was featured in True Detective magazine in 1958 with a plea for public help to solve the murders.
''We followed literally thousands of leads and tips, but with no success,'' said Jack Wayt, chief of the El Segundo police. ''But we certainly never forgot this case. The officers are long gone, but they never were forgotten.''
There was a flurry of activity three years after the shootings, when the watches and the gun were recovered, but it led nowhere. The case drifted into the inactive file.
Early last year, the F.B.I. established a database that for the first time compiled fingerprints from police agencies all over the country. Law enforcement agencies began looking at old cases to see whether this new tool could help. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office reopened 3,000 unsolved homicide cases dating to 1980 with the aid of the new database.
But it did not look back 45 years, until the El Segundo police received the tip in September.
''That's the way these things go sometimes -- a fluke, a tip,'' said Capt. Frank Merriman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's homicide bureau, who oversaw the handling of the case. ''It turned out to be wrong this time, but it caused us to look in the right direction.''
The police had several good prints from the stolen car, which matched the prints from the 1956 South Carolina burglary arrest. No good prints were on the gun for comparison, because it had been in the ground for three years, Mr. Merriman said. He added that ballistics tests from the weapon were ''consistent'' with the bullets that killed the officers, but were not conclusive because of the poor condition of the gun.
The authorities said one of the reasons it took so long to find Mr. Mason, a factor that may complicate any prosecution, was that he had led a spotless life since 1957. They said it is unusual for someone to commit a brutal crime just once.
In the county's request for extradition, Mr. Mason is charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of kidnapping, robbery and rape. There is no statute of limitations on murder, and the other charges can be brought because Mr. Mason had left California within three years of the crimes, which suspends the state statute of limitations.
Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County District Attorney, said that he was barred from seeking the death penalty because the California death penalty law on the books in 1957 was later invalidated by the United States Supreme Court.
John Booterbaugh, 79, served on the El Segundo force with the two officers and said today that he was shocked that someone had been charged in their killings.
''I thought it would never, never happen,'' Mr. Booterbaugh, said outside the office of the El Segundo police department, from which he retired in 1971. ''The tragic part about the whole thing is that some of the old timers I worked with are no longer around here to see this.''

Last edited by texasx; 05-26-2008 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:54 PM
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Man, 69, pleads guilty to cop slayings in 1957

Oakland Tribune, Mar 25, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- A 69-year-old man pleaded guilty to murder charges Monday and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the 1957 shooting deaths of two California police officers.
Under a plea deal, rape, robbery and kidnapping charges were dropped against Gerald Mason, who tearfully apologized in court as he stood before the families and about a dozen members of the El Segundo police department.
"I don't understand why I did this," Mason said. "It makes no sense. It's contrary to everything I believe."
The Columbia, S.C., man had been living quietly with his wife of 40 years, giving her and their neighbors no indication before his January arrest that he had a criminal past.



El Segundo officers Milton Curtis, 25, and Richard Phillips, 28, were shot to death on July 22, 1957, by a man they had pulled over for running a red light.
About 90 minutes before the shooting, California authorities say Mason robbed two 15-year-old girls and their dates. One of the girls was sexually assaulted.
The case languished until police got a tip last September that someone had bragged about the killings.
The lead was false but it prompted a review in which the FBI's fingerprint database matched prints from the stolen car to Mason, who had spent time in jail for a 1956 burglary conviction in South Carolina.
In court Monday, the children of the slain men told Mason of the grief their families have endured in more than 45 years without their fathers.
"Your cowardly act shattered our lives," said Carolyn Phillips, who spoke of her mother's struggle to raise three children on her own.
"You stole from him the right to see us grow, to know and love his grandchildren," she said. "And you stole our right to know him. For all this we cannot and will not forgive you."
Deputy District Attorney Darren Levine said that his office is willing to have Mason serve his sentence in South Carolina, as the defendant requested.
c2003 ANG Newspapers.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:56 PM
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Man, 69, pleads guilty to cop slayings in 1957

Oakland Tribune, Mar 25, 2003 by Linda Deutsch, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- A 69-year-old man pleaded guilty to murder charges Monday and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the 1957 shooting deaths of two California police officers.
Under a plea deal, rape, robbery and kidnapping charges were dropped against Gerald Mason, who tearfully apologized in court as he stood before the families and about a dozen members of the El Segundo police department.
"I don't understand why I did this," Mason said. "It makes no sense. It's contrary to everything I believe."
The Columbia, S.C., man had been living quietly with his wife of 40 years, giving her and their neighbors no indication before his January arrest that he had a criminal past.



El Segundo officers Milton Curtis, 25, and Richard Phillips, 28, were shot to death on July 22, 1957, by a man they had pulled over for running a red light.
About 90 minutes before the shooting, California authorities say Mason robbed two 15-year-old girls and their dates. One of the girls was sexually assaulted.
The case languished until police got a tip last September that someone had bragged about the killings.
The lead was false but it prompted a review in which the FBI's fingerprint database matched prints from the stolen car to Mason, who had spent time in jail for a 1956 burglary conviction in South Carolina.
In court Monday, the children of the slain men told Mason of the grief their families have endured in more than 45 years without their fathers.
"Your cowardly act shattered our lives," said Carolyn Phillips, who spoke of her mother's struggle to raise three children on her own.
"You stole from him the right to see us grow, to know and love his grandchildren," she said. "And you stole our right to know him. For all this we cannot and will not forgive you."
Deputy District Attorney Darren Levine said that his office is willing to have Mason serve his sentence in South Carolina, as the defendant requested.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:16 PM
Texaskowgirl
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Default Re: GERALD F MASON-MURDER 2 EL SEGUNDO OFFICERS

This case has been featured on Crime TV several times... Amazing work was done, to track this guy through New Orleans and so on...
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