June 2, 1991
Laguna Hills, Orange County, California, USA
It’s a sunday summer evening. She steps into the door frame, peeking her head around the corner, wearing a black dress with black shoes. She’s ready to go out. With her beautiful smile, she says ‘I love you’ to her parents. Unbeknownst to them, it’s the last time they see their daughter alive.
Denise Hubert, 23, picks up Rob Calvert to go to a rock concert of her favorite band at the Forum in Inglewood. After she brings him home in Huntington Beach. She hasn’t slept in her bed. Where’s Denise?
Before she disappeared, she had said repeatedly: Nothing will happen to me.
Unfortunately, she was wrong.
Tammy Scriven, her best friend, decides to drive the route Denise must have taken. She reaches Corona del Mar Freeway. There, she discovers Denise’s 1988 Honda, beside the road. Abandoned, with a flat tire. Denise is nowhere around. It’s the beginning of a very tragic case.
The police starts an investigation. A bloodhound manages to trace her scent unto 52 meters away from her car. There the dog lost it. A helicopter kept circling around in the air. They were looking for a dead person. A body, because everyone got convinced that something bad had happened to Denise.
First person of interest in sight is Rob Calvert. He’s the last one who has seen her alive. But, is he really the last one? No, and they rule him out as a suspect. Then, who was the last one? The answer to that comes three years later.
Across the state line with California. A couple tells the following story. It’s about one John Famalaro, a sales rep on the flea market. They met him there and got interested in his do-it-yourself products. Prescott paint shop owner Elaine Court arranged to buy paint from him. They visit him on another day. A rented truck in the driveway catches their attention. Something about that vehicle gives Elaine chills. Intuition? Some people are more sensitive in feeling evil than others. The couple sneakily note down the license plate number, and take it to a befriended cop. The truck happens to be registered as stolen. Another cop drives to the address to size up the situation. He notices an orange cable coming from the back of the truck, leading into the house. ‘He’, he thinks, ‘a mobile amphetamine lab.’ In those days it was fairly common in that area. He can’t confirm his suspicion immediately, because the doors are locked.
The narcotics team gets involved. They break down the lock on the truck and stumble upon a freezer. It has a lock as well and there’s tape all around the lid. Striking. When they remove that obstacle, they find a garbage bag beset with a penetrating smell. They cut open the bag and there’s a naked body. The arms of the female are bound behind her back with cuffs. Who’s she?
The police has a stiff job with the house search. Famalaro’s a hoarder, with numerous boxes and a variety of stuff piled up unto the ceiling. Then one of the searchers notices a box, with the word ‘Christmas’ written on it. In the box is nothing that has anything to do with Christmas. In it, a hammer, bloodied shoes and a black dress. Trophies? There’s also an identity card in Denise Hubert’s name. After solid police work they conclude the woman in the freezer is the three-year missing Denise. Famalaro has kept her all that time.
It’s working out where they will put this fellow to death. A matter of jurisdiction. The question therefore is where Denise was murdered. The lead is the address where the freezer, ordered specifically for Denise, got delivered. At that address, in that storage space, they find enough blood to safely assume she died there.
Nobody but Famalaro knows the exact way it happened. Presumably, he saw her that evening at the concert and followed her. Or he saw her by accident when she stranded on the road with a flat tire. He overpowered her, took her to that rented storage unit, raped her there and killed her with thirty blows on the head.
If one still wants to know from who the other found female belongings are and if those women are still alive, they haven’t got forever. John Josef Famalaro, the cold storage killer, is currently waiting his turn on dead row in California. In July 2011, his death sentence got affirmed by the Supreme Court unanimously. As of today, he’s 63.
Denise – findagrave.com
Famalaro – mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com