Riverside, California, is a city with a rich history, but unfortunately, some of its past events are shrouded in tragedy. One of the most infamous incidents that have left a lasting impact on the city is a murder that shocked the community and garnered national attention.
Here is a look at the circumstances surrounding the crime, the investigation that followed, and the lasting impact it had on the city and its residents.
A Triple-Murder in Riverside, CA
This murder happened quite recently — late November 2022, and three people were killed in this tragic incident. The murderer was 28-year-old Austin Edwards, who had been recently hired as a sheriff’s deputy in Virginia.
Edwards was known for catfishing. He had been messaging underaged girls online for at least seven years before this incident happened. He started messaging the daughter of the victim’s family two years before the killings when she was only 13 years old. They met on the Omegle chat app, and he would solicit nude pictures from her and suggest that she should kill her family.
In November 2022, Edwards drove across the country to Riverside, California to murder the grandparents and mother of the girl he was catfishing, light their home on fire, and abduct the girl in a car. However, the car was followed by the police, and Edwards committed suicide in a shootout. The girl was ultimately the only member of the family unharmed.
The case of Austin Lee Edwards has raised serious concerns about the screening process of law enforcement officials. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement officials were aware of Edwards’ mental health history, yet they still hired him.
The report suggests that if officials had investigated Edwards more thoroughly, they may have uncovered his psychiatric detention orders and previous exploitation of a minor. This information could have prevented him from ever being hired as a police officer.
What Is Catfishing and Why Is It Unsafe?
Catfishing is the practice of creating a fake identity on social media or online dating platforms to deceive or manipulate someone into a relationship. Catfishers use a variety of techniques to build trust and emotional connections with their victims, such as stealing photos and personal information from other people’s social media accounts and creating elaborate backstories. They often pretend to be someone they are not, using fake names, ages, and occupations.
Catfishing can be very unsafe because it often involves deception and manipulation, which can lead to emotional and even physical harm. Victims of catfishing may become emotionally attached to the catfisher’s online persona and develop deep feelings for them, only to find out later that the person they thought they were talking to does not exist or is someone entirely different from whom they claimed to be. This can result in feelings of betrayal, hurt, and confusion.
Additionally, catfishers may use their victims’ personal information for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or cyberstalking, or, as in the Riverside case, abduction and murder. Overall, it is important to be cautious when interacting with people online and to take steps to protect yourself from potential harm.
Overall, if you or someone you know is facing charges for murder in Riverside, California, it is critical to seek the guidance of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. The consequences of a murder conviction can be severe, including lengthy prison sentences or even the death penalty. Exum Law Offices can help.
Q: Is There a Serial Killer in Riverside, CA?
A: There is no known active serial killer in Riverside, California, at this time. However, there have been cases of serial killers in the past who have operated in the area, such as the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and the “Hillside Stranglers” Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi. However, while these individuals operated in Riverside at some point, they are not currently active.
Q: What Serial Killer in California Was Never Caught?
A: The most well-known serial killer in California who was never caught is the “Zodiac Killer.” This serial killer is believed to have murdered at least five people in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Despite many attempts by law enforcement to identify and apprehend the killer, he has never been caught, and his identity remains unknown.
Q: Who Was the Last Known Serial Killer in California?
A: The last known serial killer in California is believed to be Joseph Naso, also known as the “Double Initial Killer,” who was convicted in 2013 of murdering four women in the 1970s and 1990s. It is important to note, though, that there may be other serial killers who have not yet been identified or caught.
Q: Who Is the Most Well-Known Serial Killer?
A: The most well-known serial killer is likely Ted Bundy. He committed a series of gruesome murders in the 1970s and was known for his charm and charisma, which he used to lure his victims. Bundy’s story has been the subject of numerous books, movies, and documentaries, and his case has continued to fascinate and horrify people for decades. Other notorious serial killers who are widely known include Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Charles Manson.
Get Proactive and Put Forward Your Top Defense
At Exum Law Offices, we are dedicated to upholding the principles of justice and protecting the rights of our clients. We take pride in our extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system, our familiarity with the courts and judges in Riverside, and our ability to navigate complex legal proceedings. Our goal is to secure a better outcome for our clients, whether that means reducing charges, negotiating a plea bargain, or obtaining a not-guilty verdict at trial.
If you or someone you know is facing murder charges in Riverside, CA, do not hesitate to contact Exum Law Offices today. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. Our Riverside murder defense attorneys are available to provide the legal guidance and representation you need during this difficult time.