LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today that his office has charged a 76-year-old man living in Texas with four murders, including the slaying of a teenage girl, dating back to 1980.
Billy Ray Richardson was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas Thursday after being charged with murdering Beverly Cruse, Debra Cruse and Kari Lenander in Los Angeles in 1980 and Trina Wilson in Inglewood in 1995, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“I want to commend the tenacious and dedicated work of those who helped solve these horrific crimes,” District Attorney Gascón said. “I cannot imagine the pain that these families have endured. Their loss is immeasurable. We hope that together we can bring justice to the families who have endured so much and have waited years for this moment.”
Richardson (dob 12/4/46) was charged in case BA507180 with four counts of murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of a rape and murder during the commission of a burglary.
On March 6, 1980, Richardson is accused of killing 25-year-old Beverly Cruse and 22-year-old Debra Cruse in an apartment in the 3200 block of Overland Avenue in Palms. Each had been shot in the head three times.
On July 26, 1980, the defendant allegedly murdered 15-year-old Kari Leander in the 3700 block of Victoria Avenue. She had been strangled.
On December 31, 1995, the defendant allegedly murdered 28-year-old Trina Wilson in North Park in Inglewood. Her throat had been slashed.
All four victims had been raped.
DNA evidence linked Richardson to all of these crimes.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Investigative and forensic work over decades connected these murders through DNA and linked them to suspect Billy Ray Richardson,” police said.
Richardson’s identification as the suspect in the killings and his subsequent arrest was the result of a collaborative investigation involving the LAPD, Inglewood Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Worth Police Department and investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to the LAPD.
Richardson is awaiting extradition from Fort Worth to Los Angeles.