Serial killer already convicted of 14 murders has just been charged in connection to a cold-case killing

Prosecutors allege Itisha Camp was strangled to death in 1998 by Chester Turner

Michelle Del Rey
Friday 14 June 2024 21:22 BST
Chester Dewayne Turner listens as a jury hands down a death sentence to Turner on murder charges in Superior Court May 15, 2007 in Los Angeles, California
Chester Dewayne Turner listens as a jury hands down a death sentence to Turner on murder charges in Superior Court May 15, 2007 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Salt Lake City officials say a serial killer who murdered 14 people in California is to blame for the slaying of a Utah woman more than 20 years ago.

Prosecutors filed a felony aggravated murder charge against Chester Turner, 57, in connection with the death of Itisha Camp in 1998. Turner has twice been sentenced to the death penalty for a string of killings and remains on death row at San Quentin Prison.

A jury in Los Angeles convicted him of the first 10 murders in 2007 and four additional murders in 2014. All of the deaths took place in Los Angeles County.

The victims were mainly sex workers and homeless women, including one woman who was six months pregnant. Turner used manual strangulation and ligature strangulation to kill his victims.

Three kids found Camp’s body in the back of a business in September 1998 and flagged down police officer J Emery. The woman’s body was found at the bottom of the stairs. Her pants had partially been pulled down below her buttocks, her shirt was pulled up and a scarf had been tied around her neck.

The base of her hands and lower portion of her neck had minor scrapes with cement dust, Turner’s warrant reads. Dirt and saliva were mixed along the side of her face and mouth.

Chester Dewayne Turner and attorney John Tyre listen as a jury hands down a death sentence to Turner on murder charges in Superior Court May 15, 2007 in Los Angeles, California
Chester Dewayne Turner and attorney John Tyre listen as a jury hands down a death sentence to Turner on murder charges in Superior Court May 15, 2007 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

She was deceased by the time the officer arrived. Camp had been working as a sex worker and was using drugs at the time of her death. She had last been home the night before her body was discovered.

The medical examiner later determined that Camp died from strangulation. Investigators took DNA from a sperm fraction on the woman’s pants, back, and scarf.

The DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System and was linked to Turner. The killer was on parole in California in 1998 for auto theft and drug sales and had escaped to Utah, the district attorney’s office said.

Separately, police located a report showing that the defendant was the victim of a crime in Salt Lake City in 1998.

“It must have been profoundly difficult for Ms Camp’s family and loved ones over the last 25 years, not knowing if the suspect in her murder was still out in the public,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in a statement.

“We appreciate the dedicated work of Salt Lake City police detectives who pursued this cold case until the necessary investigative work had been done that could lead to this charge being filed.”

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