The serial killer and rapist known as the I-5 Strangler was found dead in his prison cell on February 28th. Mule Creek State Prison officials are investigating the death of Roger Kibbe, 81, as a homicide.
A correctional officer found Kibbe’s unresponsive body during an early-morning population check, his cellmate — Jason Budrow, 40 — standing nearby. A release from the California prison does not list the cause of death or if Budrow is a suspect.
Kibbe was initially sentenced to a 25-to-life term in 1991 for the 1987 strangling of 17-year old Darcie Frackenpohl, according to the Seattle Times. In 2008, DNA evidence connected him to six other crimes dating back to 1977, according to CBS. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to the six other slayings — along with rape and kidnapping — across California in the Seventies and Eighties attributed to the so-called I-5 Strangler: Lou Ellen Burleigh, Lora Heedick, Barbara Ann Scott, Stephanie Brown, Charmaine Sabrah, and Katherine Kelly Quinones. Prosecutors said Kibbe tied up his victims with parachute cord, cut their clothes into irregular patterns, then sexually assaulted and strangled them, the signature of the I-5 Strangler.
In return for his plea, Kibbe was given six consecutive life sentences in lieu of the death penalty (via The New York Times).
Budrow was sentenced to a life without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder in 2011. He’s currently being held separate from other inmates.