76-Year-Old Man Faced Charges of Murders 40 Years Ago
By: Richard Huang
On July 15th, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón
announced that officers charged a 76 years old man at Fort Worth,
Texas with 4 cold cases back in 1980.
The suspect Billy Ray Richardson allegedly killed 25-year-old
Beverly Cruse, 22-year-old Debra Cruse and 15-year-old Kari
Leander in Los Angeles during 1980. He is also charged with the
1995 murder of 28-year-old Trina Wilson at Inglewood. All of the
the victims had been raped.
On March 6, 1980, a few months before Ms. Lenander’s death, the
naked, dead bodies of the Cruse sisters were found in an apartment
in the 3200 block of Overland Avenue in Palms in Los Angeles by
their brother, The Los Angeles Times reported. Each victim had
been shot in the head three times.
15 years later in 1995, Richardson again murdered and raped 28-
year-old Trina Wilson in North Park in Inglewood. “Her throat had
been slashed,” said the Los Angeles County District Attorney's
“I cannot imagine the pain that these families have endured. Their
loss is immeasurable,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We hope that
together we can bring justice to the families who have endured so
much and have waited years for this moment.” He also commended
those who helped to solve these cold cases.
Mr. Richardson was sent to a jail in Tarrant County, Texas, and is
currently awaiting extradition to Los Angeles. The arraignment date
will be scheduled later. The officers attempted to reach the family
members of the victims, but were unsuccessful.
The suspect could not have been found without the use of DNA
tracking technology. This advanced DNA testing capability provided
a huge amount of information, but detectives still need public help in
order to find the suspect.
In 2001, the murder case of 15-year-old Ms. Lenander was reopened
for investigation in Los Angeles. Her body was found in the 3700
block of Victoria Avenue in Los Angeles. Officials said that she was
strangled and the offender had been sexually motivated.
In 2012, The Los Angeles City Council also approved a $50,000
reward “for information leading to the identification, arrest and
conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder.”
When the reward was announced at a news conference in 2012,
Detective Tim Marcia of the Los Angeles Police Department said
the investigators had made significant progress in solving the case.
“But we need a name,” he said.