In Santa Ana Superior Court today, a complaint was filed against Andrew Urdiales for the alleged murder of 5 Southern California women. Between the years of 1986 and 1995, Urdiales was said to have murdered Robbin Brandley, a Saddleback College student, and four prostitutes: Julie McGhee, Maryann Wells, Tammie Erwin and Denise Maney. He confessed to these killings in 1997, after being arrested for killing two Illinois women. In 2002, Urdiales was convicted of two counts of murder in Illinois and was sentenced to death, however, this punishment was reduced to life in prison by a former Illinois governor. In 2004, Urdiales was convicted of murdering another Illinois women and was sentenced to death once again. Urdiales is currently appealing his death sentence in Illinois. Orange County prosecutors are still deciding if they want to pursue the death penalty against Urdiales for the 5 alleged murders he committed in California.
A serial killer is a person who murders 3 or more people over a long period of time with a cooling off period between murders. There is often a psychological gratification behind the murders. Notable United States serial killers include Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz.