ABDUCTION: The Minivan Murders: Killer Couple Michelle Michaud and James Daveggio, страница 1
The Minivan Murders
by RJ Parker
Copyright and Published (9.2017)
by RJ Parker Publishing
Published in Canada
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written authorization from RJ Parker Publishing. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment.
“This is a work of nonfiction. No names have been changed, no characters invented, no events fabricated.”
– RJ Parker
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In the world of crime, while each case is heinous and a blow to humanity, there are some cases which leave a mark on not just the victims but everybody who comes across them. The United States alone have been responsible for a few of the most notorious and horrific killers of all time. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and many other serial killers have been caught and convicted for committing gruesome murders and subjecting their innocent victims to torture. A number of the killers who have made headlines across the world have been male, as noted by many psychologists analyzing their behavior. When it comes to female serial killers, there have been several but nowhere near as many as their counterparts. These females have many times worked with a partner, usually male, joining forces to carry out violent acts and torture.
The deadly serial killer couples that shook the world by their grisly and heinous crimes include Michael and Suzan Carson, Doug Clark and Carol M. Bundy, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, and Fred and Rosemary West, just to name a few.
As evident from the above-mentioned twosomes, female serial killers have worked with their male equivalent and gone on to kill several innocent men, women and children. During the 1940s, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, termed as the ‘Lonely Hearts Killers', took the lives of three women and a child. The killers’ involvement was also suspected in more than twenty murder cases across Michigan and New York.
It surprised psychological analysts and human behavior researchers everywhere that women were partaking in evil acts of violence and pain. After numerous studies between the relationships of serial killer couples, it was implied that the relationship between two partners was somewhat similar to a submissive and a dominant one. Either the male or female was responsible for the execution and torture of the victim, whilst the other scouted possible targets. Despite years of research and studies, analysts were mostly lost for an explanation as to what prompted the serial killer couples to torture and murder innocent people.
While serial killers have been in existence since before the time of “Jack the Ripper”, there has been a decline in their numbers over the years. Throughout the early to mid-twentieth-century, America experienced one of its worst criminal periods as far as serial crimes are concerned. The wave continued on to the late 1990s and even into the Twenty-first century. One of the most notorious killing pairs that surfaced during this time was Michelle Michaud and James Daveggio.
James Anthony Daveggio, also known as ‘Froggie,’ and Michelle Lyn Michaud were 42 and 43 years of age, respectively, at the time of their conviction in 2002. When news of their crimes made global headlines, researchers and psychologists began to dig deeper into their history and background. It was determined that Daveggio was born on July 27, 1960, in San Francisco, California, while Michaud, also referred to as ‘Mickie’ by her partner, was a year older than him.
Since an early age, both Daveggio and Michaud encountered difficulties with their family lives, especially during their adolescent years. In 1974, when he was 14 years old, Daveggio was questioned during the investigation of Cassie Riley’s murder. The 13-year-old girl was found near an embankment by a creek in Union City, California. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the girl had died due to drowning, and there was evidence of severe assault, with injuries to the head and neck. While rape could not be determined, the investigators found her clothes disheveled. As the case progressed, investigating officials found evidence of James Daveggio being present on the scene when Cassie Riley disappeared. Later on, he even claimed that she had been his girlfriend.
The investigators did not pay close attention to his claims as a few other boys had also gone on record to state something similar. A number of analysts deem this incident the beginning of Daveggio’s long violent history. At the scene of Riley’s murder, the police found sneaker prints of a size 10 shoe, which helped them come up with possible suspects. Eyewitnesses also stated that, before her disappearance, Riley had been seen talking to a young boy with a green shirt with a sleeve patch. However, this did not lead to any conclusive results. In May 1975, almost six months after the atrocious killing, the police convicted Marvin Mutch of Cassie’s murder. Much later it was revealed that Mutch had been falsely convicted as his prints did not match the evidence found at the scene of the crime nor were any links to Riley determined. Mutch spent 41 years in prison and was only recently released.
Many believe that the reason Daveggio managed to get away unscathed was his sister’s false alibi, wherein she stated that her brother had been present at home during the time of the murder. Since that time, his violent behavior began to slowly progress. He would get into fights in his high school and gravely injure his fellow students. He stole a car belonging to a girlfriend’s mother and often got physically violent with young girls. Soon enough, Daveggio was sent to live with his birth father in Pasadena, California.
Even that did not make much of a difference, and he was back with his mother after a short stay. He was sent to a juvenile detention center in Alameda County for robbing a gas station. During the detention period, he acquired his nickname, ‘Froggie', and also met a friend, Michael Ihde, who shared the same twisted perversions as he did. Most likely, Ihde was the person responsible for triggering his violent sexual fantasies that soon eclipsed his entire thought process. Michael Ihde also went on to become a killer and a serial rapist.
Once out of the juvenile center, Daveggio worsened in his ways. He was known to be involved in several robberies, abductions and rape cases. While initially, the rape charges were dropped due to the victim’s statement which could not prove him guilty, Daveggio eventually was arrested and put through a psychiatric evaluation. He was officially considered as a sex offender and flagged by the Sex Offender Registry. However, whenever he moved, he kept his whereabouts hidden from the authorities.
Soon enough, James Daveggio was caught again for picking up a female police officer posing as a prostitute and offering her money. He was sent to the California Medical Facility, situated within Vacaville, and fined heavily for drinking and disorderly conduct. Despite that, Daveggio managed to secure his release shortly and moved to Sacramento. He dropped out of high school and then married his pregnant girlfriend, Becky. The relationship did not last long due to Daveggio’s habitual gambling and heavy drinking. In Sacramento, he joined a motorcycle gang called The Devil’s Horsemen. It is commonly understood that during his time in Sacramento, James Daveggio, met Michelle Michaud. These future serial killers bonded over their mutual appreciation of violent sexual acts.<
Michaud, at the time, was already a prostitute and frequently experimented with various drugs. After a string of failed relationships, Michelle Michaud was his first steady partner. As experts determined, Michaud also came from a similar background as Daveggio and might have been assaulted by her father. At the age of 16, she had run away from home and moved in with a physically abusive drug dealer. Michaud entered prostitution and took multiple partners before meeting Daveggio. She was apparently impressed with his position as a gang member, believing herself to be protected in his presence. Prior to their meeting in 1996 or 1997, Michaud had worked in a massage parlor and had been arrested several times.
Michaud and Daveggio established a relationship with the latter moving into her house after a short period of dating. She tried her best to impress him but, after a while, nothing was good enough. However, Michaud stayed with Daveggio and even tried to build a family with him.
The bar where he worked was robbed just before Christmas and, while his involvement in the crime was not proven until later, he was fired for getting violent with the customers. After that, he took a job in security, working as a guard during the day. His interest in Michaud began to decline, and he would often bring other girlfriends to the house.
Daveggio’s partner allowed the presence of various women in his life, believing that it would keep him happy and content. Despite that, his behavior began to worsen, and he became increasingly violent and abusive towards Michaud. He would often lock her up and leave her for days, all the while subjecting her to physical violence and savage sex. Both Michaud and Daveggio were into drugs, and their expensive habit soon created a mountain of debt for them. In order to lessen the financial burden, they let their friend deal drugs from the premises. Soon enough, their luck ran out. The authorities discovered that their home was a place of illegal drug activity. During the law enforcement investigation, Daveggio’s status as a sex offender was discovered and, as there were children in the house, he was ordered to move out.
At this same time, Daveggio was also kicked out of The Devil's Horsemen due to his involvement in a burglary. Accordingly, this was when he began to exhibit curiosity in serial killers, reading books about them and being particularly fascinated with Gerald Gallego. Drawing inspiration from Gallego, Daveggio managed to persuade Michaud to kidnap her daughter’s friend and lure her to an isolated place. He assaulted and raped her, while his partner was also involved in the act. This was the beginning of the crime spree the deadly killers were about to commence.
Soon after this incident, 20-year-old Alicia Paredes had been walking home one night when a green minivan stopped. Froggie hopped out while Mickie was at the wheel. He grabbed Alicia and tossed her in the van. Daveggio raped her while Mickie looked on. They then tossed her out like a sack of trash. Alicia went directly to the police. Paredes had heard him refer to Michaud as ‘Mickie,’ and she worked with a sketch artist to identify the criminals. While it was determined that the driver was female and the abductor male, the investigating officials still came up short of arresting the perpetrators.
The green minivan belonged to Michaud and soon became a torture chamber for her partner. He installed hooks and ropes in the vehicle, removing the seats to accommodate his gruesome criminal plans. Both Michaud and Daveggio began to play out their perverse fantasies, kidnapping more women and forcing them to participate in sexual acts. The duo’s further victims included Michaud’s daughter and five other girls across the state of Nevada. Psychologists and analysts across the globe failed to identify the root cause of this increasingly violent behavior which terrorized the victims.
Daveggio did not even spare his own 16-year-old daughter, who told a grand jury that on Thanksgiving Day 1997, her father asked if she would like to help kidnap a victim off the street and kill her. He called it "hunting”, she said.
During their spree, Michaud was apprehended by police on charges of falsifying checks and booked into the Douglas County Jail in November 1997. She was released shortly; however, after which the two went on to resume their activities. While her stint in jail had brought her onto the radar of the authorities, both she and Daveggio escaped arrest until the rape and murder of Vanessa Samson on December 2, 1997.
The police began to investigate the two more thoroughly, taking statements from Michaud’s daughter and her friend, both of whom were rape and assault victims. While the officers managed to get a location on the couple, they failed to make an arrest. One by one, victims were discovered, yet at the time, Vanessa Samson had not been killed.
As an arrest warrant was issued for both Michaud and Daveggio, the couple made their way into Pleasanton, California. Daveggio’s desire to kill kept becoming stronger until he finally asked Michaud to bring him a victim. Unfortunately, 22-year-old Vanessa Samson caught the eye of the deadly twosome and was subjected to physical assault, rape and torture. Her body was dumped over an embankment. Soon afterward, the authorities tracked down the killers to a motel and managed to arrest them on charges of assault and kidnapping for starters.
At this time, Vanessa Samson’s body had not been discovered. It wasn’t until ropes and other evidence of the crime surfaced that the investigation took a turn.
The serial killers were linked to a possible murder and then Samson’s body was discovered. They were both charged with rape, torture and murder. After a trial, Michaud and Daveggio were sentenced to death while analysts grappled with the acts of ‘pure evil’ that they had perpetrated. The relationship between the two became a subject of many studies with psychologists trying to figure out which was the dominant and which was the submissive. Numerous accounts were taken and pieced together, eventually leading to the conclusion that both were equally involved in the assault and torture of innocent victims, including their own family members.
Later on, when they were finally apprehended by the police and details of their case began to make rounds, more information regarding the background of the killers surfaced. Daveggio had always tried to emulate his father, and according to one of his wives, idolized him in every sense. His father had multiple failed relationships and married quite a few times. While this way of life worked out for him, Daveggio could not keep himself from spiraling out of control. He displayed sociopathic tendencies from an early age and was unable to keep away from trouble. It was evident to the people around him that James Daveggio did not care about anyone and lacked self-control when it came to interacting with the opposite gender.
Perhaps the lack of a father figure in his life was a huge factor in his behavioral problems. It was also the reason why, despite his frequent run-ins with the law, he was always protected by his mother, Darlene. As a teenager, Daveggio would get into trouble in his neighborhood for displaying violent behavior or getting caught up in a burglary, yet Darlene always came up with an excuse to prove him innocent. For her, James Daveggio was a harmless child who had minor problems while growing up.
Further on, when the rumors began to circulate that he may be involved in several abductions and physical assaults, Darlene still managed to convince herself that her son could not be at fault.
One of Daveggio’s classmates remembered him as a boy who did not stand out amongst the crowd at first glance. She recalled that he was a ‘shy and quiet boy’ who had bright blue eyes and blond hair.
While in high school, Daveggio managed to keep his twisted sexual fantasies hidden and even attracted a few girls. However, this was a short-term phase that quickly ended when he made the move to Pleasanton. He constantly rebelled in his new school and failed to make any new friends due to his increasing aggressiveness. It was in a juvenile detention center that he met Michael Ihde who truly connected with Daveggio like no one ever had before. Ihde shared the same dark fantasies and penchant for violence as him, prompting a strong bond between the two.
Both Ihde and Daveggio began to spend their time together and, soon enough, their influence rubbed off on each other. With the progress of time, Daveggio moved a
After going on a spree in Bay Area, California, Michael Ihde was finally caught and charged with several murders of young women. It was during his conviction that Daveggio’s name surfaced and their connection became known to the authorities. However, at the time, Daveggio was still active as a gang member and only involved in petty crimes. The police kept him on their radar as a sex offender but did not pursue him due to lack of evidence.
Daveggio’s life changed when he met Michelle Michaud, but it is unclear as to who was the driving force behind their murder and rape spree. A few psychological experts have shed light on the possibility of Daveggio suffering from a personality disorder. They say that there were two personalities that Daveggio was caught in between: the shy and quiet one, and the other loud mouthed and aggressive side. It could have been Michelle’s entry into his life which prompted his aggressive personality to become prominent and eclipse his rational thought. However, at the end, the argument can be made that Daveggio was a sociopath from the very beginning. Michaud might have helped him execute his twisted plans later on, but it was only a matter of time before his violent side got the better of him.
The backseat of the minivan was removed and ropes were attached inside to restrain their victims
There are varying accounts of how Michelle Michaud and James Daveggio actually met. One popular version of their meeting describes Michaud running into Daveggio at a bar in 1996 and becoming instantly attracted to his biker gang status as well as muscular looks. It has been stated that when Daveggio joined the gang, he got heavily tattooed, dyed his hair and stole a Harley Davidson to become initiated. Michaud was working as a high level prostitute when she walked into a bar, Bobby Joe’s, with a friend and took one look at Daveggio, who was a bartender there, and announced that she ‘wanted him’.