Transcribe your podcast

Due to the graphic nature of these killers crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder, sexual assault and child abuse that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.


It was a balmy summer's night on the West Bank of the Sacramento River after a long night of tending bar, 34 year old Virginia Mogel was looking forward to getting home to bed.


Though it was a Wednesday night, some of the tavern's patrons were drinking like it was the weekend, one young couple in particular caught Virginia's attention. They'd arrived tipsy and seemed determined to drink each other under the bar.


The man, Stephen, his truck, Virginia, as outgoing and a little arrogant, he kept telling her that it was his birthday, demanding free drinks in a tone that was not quite playful.


It was also openly flirting with her in front of his girlfriend.


Virginia laughed it off, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. She was used to guys like him, so convinced that they were God's gift to women. Still, when the couple finally staggered out of the bar, she couldn't help feeling relieved.


Just before two a.m., Virginia waved goodbye to the last few patrons to leave the bar and started closing up for the night.


The parking lot was quiet as Virginia emerged into the night air after her long, loud shift behind the bar. It was a welcome moment of peace.


She took her time locking up, savoring the silence, then her eyes adjusting to the darkness. She headed towards her car.


Virginia didn't even see the figure looming out of the shadows, racing toward her until it was too late.


Hi, I'm Greg Olsen. This is Serial Killers, a Spotify original fun podcast. This is the third episode of a four part look at couples who kill. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.


You can find episodes of Serial Killers and all other Spotify originals from past cast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts here on serial killers, we're usually looking at just one monster exploring what moved them to kill and kill again. But this month, we're looking at love in some of its more twisted incarnations, whether from money, sex or a shared madness. These couples work together to kill and conceal, while from the outside they look just like two people in blissful, innocent love.


Last time we looked at the murder spree of Alton Coleman and Debra Brown, who murdered eight people over one bloody summer, the couple's relationship was abusive. And at trial, Deborah's lawyers claimed that she only went along with her boyfriend's violent spree because she was in his thrall.


Today, we're delving into the similar saga of Gerald Gilgo and Charlene Williams, a.k.a. the sex slave killers working in tandem at shopping malls and county fairs. The couple of kidnapped and murdered 10 victims. We will explore the roots of their unlikely romance. Charlene enabled her violent husband and how a change of heart saved her life. We've got all that and more coming up.


Stay with us.


This episode is brought to you by Ford F 150, the all new F one fifty is available with seven point two kilowatts of best in class on board power. That's enough to power a big screen TV loudspeakers, refrigerator, massage chair, electric heater and even your beloved nacho cheese wormer all at once introducing the all new twenty twenty one for an F one fifty two off this mark can only be called F 150. Explore the all new twenty twenty one f 150 at four dotcoms, 150 glasses full size pickups under eighty five hundred pounds.


GBW are the owner's manual for important operating instructions. Greece is the personal untold story of FBI agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of the Silence of the Lambs, she tracks down monsters and madmen while working in a man's world. Now it's her time to speak. The silence is over. New episodes of the CBS original Clarice Thursday, certain nights in a row or stream any time on CBS.


This episode is brought to you by Uber Eats tonight I'll be eating local specifically pizza with tomato, spinach, broccoli, green peppers, no black olives, extra mushrooms from my favorite neighborhood spot. No matter what you're craving, Uber Eats has a great selection of your favorite local restaurants. Eat local with Uber eats tonight.


Gerald Gallego embodies the old saying the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Born in July of 1946 in Sacramento, California, Gerald never met his father. But Gerald Gallegos, senior, cast a shadow over his son's life. Nonetheless, Gallegos senior was a career criminal and he was in prison for most of his son's childhood. Then, in 1955, he became the first man ever to be executed in a Mississippi gas chamber charged with two counts of murder.


Gerald was nine when his father was executed, but his childhood was difficult long before this point. His mother was a sex worker and was reportedly physically abusive to her son.


Vanessa is going to take over and the psychology here and throughout the episode.


Please note, Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show.


Thanks, Greg. According to psychologist William Reid, Gerald inherited antisocial personality traits from his father and suffered from a severe personality disturbance which left him with an infantile mindset well into adulthood.


Reid said Gerald was angry with both his parents, with his father for abandoning him and with his mother for hurting him. It was this rage that defined Gerald's life.


Perhaps as a result, Gerald had a criminal record for offenses that included sexual crimes and burglary. In 1958, at the age of 12, he was put on probation for burglary.


But it was his next crime later that year that set the stage for things to come. Gerald was charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts with a six year old girl, which landed him in a youth correctional facility when he was paroled in 1961.


Fourteen year old Gerald went right back to his old ways. Within a year, he and his half brother David were arrested for armed robbery and sent to a reform school in Iron, California, in 1963.


Gerald was released on parole and began attending Sacramento High School at just 16. He married a woman five years. His senior details about the relationship are scarce, but it was the first of several short lived marriages for Gerald.


Early in 1964, Gerald's first daughter, Crystal, was born. But far from settling down, he was already sliding back into his old habits. He was suspended from high school for chronic truancy, tardiness and profanity. His probation officer wrote a report calling Gerald, quote, a hard shelled young man who evidenced little motivation for improvement, resourcefulness or insight.


That grim prognosis proved prescient. Gerald's violent nature was beginning to emerge, and he was physically abusive to his wife. Yet when the marriage ended, he was awarded custody of Christa, whom he sent to live with his mother.


Gerald went on to marry four more times throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and in every case, his wife reported that he was physically violent. His second wife described him as, quote, a perverted psychosexual maniac. Gerald's rap sheet was also getting longer and longer. Throughout the 1960s, Gerald and David brag to their friends about getting away with all manner of felonies, including stealing cars and holding up stores. Finally, the pair were arrested in October of 1969 during an armed robbery in Vacaville, California.


Gerald was sentenced to five years to life and served part of that term at the California Medical Facility, which has housed notorious killers like Charles Manson and Ed Kemper. Not that Gerald was a killer just yet.


Gerald was treated for depression during his time at the facility.


We don't know whether the treatment was effective or indeed if Gerald lived with depression at all, but he made a good impression on the prison authorities.


In December of 1975, the 29 year old was released on parole. A parole officer wrote at the time that he believed Gerald wouldn't pose a significant risk to the community if he were released. It was a fatal mistake. In September of 1977, 31 year old Gerald crossed paths with 20 year old Charlene Williams, accounts of their meeting vary. Some reports say that they met at a Sacramento poker club, others that they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.


Either way, they weren't an obvious match. Charlene's upbringing couldn't have been more different from Jerrold's. Born in October of 1956, in the quiet town of Stockton, some 50 miles from Sacramento, Charline led a charmed early life.


Her father was a successful entrepreneur, and growing up she wanted for nothing. As the only child, she was the apple of her parent's eye, and her future seemed bright.


Charlene was a shy, gifted child with an unusually high IQ and a talent for the violin. Her parents had aspirations for her to attend the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. But as Charlene grew up, a reckless and rebellious streak emerged soon after Charlene began high school.


Her grades began to slide as she spent more of her time drinking, using drugs and having sex.


Though this may sound like ordinary teenage rebellion, there were other indications that something was amiss.


Like Gerald, Charline developed a pattern of intense, short lived relationships. She got married for the first time on her 18th birthday and again shortly before she turned 20. Both marriages lasted less than a year. Charlene's second husband, Elliot, described their relationship as tempestuous, marred by drug use and instability.


According to him, Charlene once attempted suicide by drinking disinfectant, perhaps because of her personal troubles.


Charlene's father, Charles, became more devoted than ever to his daughter, catering to her every whim, he bought her a new Oldsmobile and paid for her to rent her own duplex. Charlene's parents doubtless had the best intentions. They hoped that if they supported their daughter, she would find her way. Unfortunately, their faith was misplaced.


Though they might seem like an unlikely match, the juvenile delinquent and the pampered daddy's girl, their connection was instant. Both are on the rebound from troubled marriages. Gerald was newly separated from his fifth wife, and Charlene had recently divorced Elliot. Now they were desperate to fall in love again.


We're all familiar with serial monogamists, those people who hop from one serious relationship to another. But both Gerald and Charlene seem to exemplify something even more extreme. Their history of multiple, intense, short lived relationships might suggest something closer to addiction, though it's not a medically recognized disorder.


The concept of love addiction has been around since the 1970s, when the 12 step group, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous first launched. The group, which models itself on Alcoholics Anonymous, lists several characteristics of sex and love addiction, including a lack of healthy boundaries, getting quickly attached to romantic partners without knowing them, compulsively pursuing one relationship after another and using sex or emotional involvement to manipulate and control others. As we'll see, both Gerald and Charlene appear to fit the mold in different ways.


Gerald struck Sharleen as gentlemanly. He didn't try to kiss her on their first date, and he sent her flowers the following morning. She had no idea about his criminal history as far as she was concerned, he was an accomplished older man who could take care of her. Unsurprisingly, the relationship moved fast.


Within a week, Gerald moved into Sharleen's duplex with her, but the honeymoon phase soon turned into something more sinister as Gerald's controlling nature emerged.


According to Charlene, her new boyfriend systematically isolated her from her family and friends. She recalled, You can't see your way out because he eliminated things in my life piece by piece, person by person, until all I had around me were members of his family. And they're all like him, every one of them. Just like his five previous wives, Charlene soon discovered that Gerald had a vicious temper.


One night, soon after they moved in together, Gerald brought home a teenage girl to join them for a threesome.


But when Charlene and the young girl began having sex, Gerald flew into a rage and physically lashed out at Charlene. The red flags were glaring, but whatever misgivings she had, Sharleen was already in too deep to get out. By the spring of 1978, there were more signs of trouble in paradise. Gerald moved out of Sharleen's duplex and into his own apartment, where his now 14 year old daughter Christa, came to stay with him. During this time, Gerald reportedly molested Christa, sometimes in front of Charlene, who did nothing to stop him around the same time Charlie discovered she was pregnant.


It's hard to imagine that she could possibly want to have a child with Gerald, having seen him sexually abused Christa, but perhaps she did. Still, it was Gerald who pushed her to have an abortion.


Soon after, Christa went back to live with Gerald's mother, now robbed of his daughter, who was an easy target for his abuse, Jerrold's perverse and violent impulses only grew stronger.


He confessed to Charlene that he was having fantasies about taking young girls as sexual slaves, whether out of fear, a desire to please her volatile boyfriend or perhaps her own twisted compulsion, Charlene agreed to help Gerald fulfill his fantasy.


On September 11th, 1978, the couple went out for a drive in Sharleen's new van, they pulled into the parking lot of a Sacramento mall and Charline went inside to begin the hunt.


Seventeen year old Rhonda Sheffler and 16 year old Kipe Bart had no reason to be alarmed when Charleen approached them. She was petite, friendly, only a few years older than them and offering them free pot. What could be the harm in joining her for a smoke, Charlene led the girls out to the van where Jerrold was waiting with his gun drawn. He forced them into the back of the van, bound their hands and feet with tape and left Charlene to watch over the hostages while he drove.


After driving around in, our Gerrold pulled over and forced the girls out into a forest path near the town of Baxter, where he sexually assaulted them both. He then pushed them back into the car and told Charleen to drive them to slow house a remote rural community there.


Forced Rhonda and Kipe out of the car at gunpoint again and led them into a meadow. He bludgeoned them with a tire iron, shot each girl in the back of the head and left their bodies where they lay on their way home.


Geraldine Charleen took time to cover their tracks, disposing of the victim's purses and the murder weapon in the Sacramento River. So when Rhonda and CPI's bodies were found by migrant workers just two days later, there were few clues that stood out. The authorities had no leads, at least for now. Coming up, Geraldton, Charleen spree gathers steam.


Hi, it's Vanessa from Pakistan, they say there's someone for everyone, a soul to share your secrets with, a companion to grow old with, a conspirator to commit crimes with starting this February on Spotify, learn about the lethal and legendary lovers who fought the law in the past.


Limited series, criminal couples. If you've ever referred to your best friend or beloved as your partner in crime.


This exclusive series is for you beginning February 1st. Join me for a collection of unlawful love stories from shows across the podcast network. Discover the extreme beliefs of cult leaders Tony and Susan Alamo.


Enter Fred and Rose West's real life house of horrors and experienced the madness and motives of the San Francisco witch killers fall for the most famous and feared pears in history.


In the Spotify original from podcast, criminal couples enjoyed two part episodes every Monday, starting February 1st, followed criminal couples free and exclusively on Spotify.


Erupts the lotion on his skin or else he gets those again. In nineteen ninety three, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, FBI agent Clarice Starling returns to the field to pursue serial killers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.. Her complex psychological makeup empowers her to begin to find her voice and track the darkest psychological forces that prey upon the innocent. Now it's her time to speak. The silence is over.


New episodes of the CBS original Clarice Thursdays at 10:00, 9:00 Central or Stream any time on CBS. Now back to the story. In the fall of 1978, 32 year old Gerald Gallego and 21 year old Charlene Williams had just committed their first double murder, together with Charlene acting as Jerrold's honey trap. The couple lured two teenage girls to their deaths. The couple's relationship had been rocky for some time, not least because of Gerald's violent temper.


But it's possible that their first slaying actually brought them closer together, according to Dr. Judy Ho, clinical and forensic psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University. This kind of twisted intimacy is common in killer couples, she said. After being entrenched together in something so serious that it escalates to the point of killing. It binds a couple closer together and creates this weird intimacy between them.


That weird intimacy was soon put to the test when another scene from Jerrold's past came back to haunt him.


In September of 1978, Gerald's 14 year old daughter, Christa, reported to police in Butte County, California, that he sexually abused her. When word reached Gerald that he was wanted for questioning, he skipped town. Charlene went with him. There was seemingly nothing that could break his hold over her.


A warrant was soon issued for Jerrold's arrest, and it was under these less than romantic circumstances that the couple wed. On September 30th, they exchanged vows in Reno, Nevada, marking Jerrold's six marriage and Sharleen's third. It's likely that this shotgun wedding was purely practical to prevent Charlene from ever testifying against Gerald. After the wedding, the couple laid low for a few months. Given the charge against Gerald in Butte County, they were wary of drawing any attention to themselves, but they didn't stay low for too long.


Within a year, they were ready for their next kill.


On June 24th, 1979, the couple arrived at their new hunting ground, the county fair. 14 year old Brenda Judd and 13 year old Sandra Colly had enjoyed their day at the fair and were waiting for a ride home when Charlene approached them.


She asked the girls if they wanted to make a little extra cash by handing out leaflets figuring their ride was still a few minutes away.


They agreed. But as Charlene led the girls away from the fare Gerald was watching. He'd been trailing them the whole time. And as soon as the trio were out of sight of the crowds, he pounced. Pistol in hand, he forced the girls into the back of the van, tied them up and told Charlene to watch them while he drove somewhere along Interstate 80.


Gerald pulled over and switched places with Charlene as she drove, he raped and beat Brenda and Sandra in the back of the van. Finally, somewhere in the Nevada desert, Gerald ordered Charlene to stop leaving his wife in the van.


He escorted his victims one by one out into the wilderness at gunpoint and beat them to death, as with their first victims.


Charlene didn't take part in any of the physical violence. But without her acting as bait, getaway driver and enabler, Gerald would never have been able to get the girls alone or kidnap them. This horrific act became a blueprint for the killer couple. Charlene was the lure reeling unsuspecting teenage girls in, often by playing the role of a cool older sister, offering them a joint. And Gerald was the monster waiting in the shadows.


The depth of cruelty here is hard to fathom. Charlene lulled innocent teenagers into a false sense of security, knowing full well but nightmarish fate that awaited them.


It's even harder to understand from someone who has no prior criminal record. Why would Charlene do this? In a 2013 overview of mixed sex partner Homicide, University of Norwich criminologist Elizabeth A. Gorian discusses some common characteristics of women who end up as part of a killer couple. She notes that female offenders in these relationships commonly exhibit some combination of the following traits insecurity, low self-esteem, social isolation, poor education and having been abused as children. Gurian also identifies economic dependence as a major factor that can make a woman vulnerable to a male partner's influence.


What's interesting about Charlene is that she doesn't fit this mold at all. She was well-educated, had a high IQ and grew up in a wealthy family who doted on her. There's no evidence of any abuse or neglect at all, and she was certainly not economically dependent on Gerald. Remember, he moved into her condo, which was paid for by her father based on what we know about her parents. It's hard to imagine Charlene didn't have other options, and yet she made her choice.


Brenda and Sandra's disappearance, Nevada authorities searched in vain, neither the girls had any history of running away with no witnesses and no evidence of what might have happened. The trail went cold.


Over the next few months, Gerald and Sharleen's confidence grew. They were pretty sure the authorities weren't on to them. So sure, in fact, that by September of 1979, they moved back to California, given the molestation charge against Gerald and Butte County, and they couldn't risk using their real names. So when they rented an apartment in Sacramento, it was under the aliases Mr. and Mrs. Steven File. Gerald found work as a bartender, and for the next several months, the couple laid low.


But by April of 1980, Gerald's dark urges returned.


One evening, he turned to Charlene and announced that he was, quote, getting that feeling. She knew exactly what he meant.


On April 24th, the couple drove out to a mall in Citrus Heights, a suburb of Sacramento. By now, Charlene knew her role well. As Gerald waited in the van, she strolled into the mall looking for all the world like an ordinary young woman out for a shopping trip.


Seventeen year old Karen Chipman Twiggs and Staceyann Redken were in high spirits. They both recently started new jobs at a fast food restaurant in the mall and had just received their first paychecks as they tried to decide which store to visit first. Charlene approached them and asked if they wanted to smoke pot. As ever, the cool older sister routine worked like a charm. Karen and Stacey were in the mood to celebrate and happily followed Charlene out into the parking lot. But as they approached the van, the mood shifted before the girls could register what was happening.


Gerald confronted them with a handgun. He climbed into the back of the van with the two frightened teenagers and told Charlene to head east on the interstate.


As Charlene drove, Gerald raped Karen and Stacey. At some point on the journey, he told Charlie to stop off at a supermarket where he purchased a brand new hammer.


Finally, after several hours of driving, Charlene pulled the van over on the side of a dirt road near Limerick Canyon in Pershing County, Nevada. Gerald took his victims out of the van one at a time and walked them deeper into the desert where he bludgeoned them to death.


Charlene waited in the van throughout all of this, and when Gerald returned without the girls, she obediently drove him all the way back home to Sacramento, leaving the girls bodies in their dust.


Karen's mother reported her daughter missing right away. But as with the other victims, the authorities had no leads and no witnesses to the disappearance. Charlene was the perfect bait because she seemed so unthreatening to the victims. But she also never drew attention from passers by.


The sight of a young 20 something woman walking with two teenage girls didn't register as remotely suspicious. And so the Gallegos trail went cold yet again. It's not clear whether the couple were worried about being caught, but Charlene had other things on her mind. Just a few days after they claimed their fifth and sixth victims, Charlene discovered that she was pregnant again. And this time she was determined to keep the baby. Gerald agreed on the condition that he and Charlene marry again under their new aliases.


And so on June 1st, 1980, Mr. and Mrs. Steven File tied the knot at the heart of Reno Wedding Chapel, solidifying their false identities. They wasted no time embarking on a twisted honeymoon. Just six days later, the newlyweds drove north up the coastline, enjoying views over the Pacific Ocean while they plotted their next kill as they approached the town of Gold Beach, Oregon. The couple spotted a young woman on the side of the road. 21 year old Linda Aguilar was four months pregnant and in no mood to walk home.


She hitched a ride with the couple, who seemed friendly. But as soon as Linda was in the back of the van, Gerrold locked the doors and accelerated away. After driving for a while, he switched places with Charlene and went into the back of the van where he raped Linda. Charlene drove the van back towards California, finally stopping at an isolated spot in the Mojave Desert there. Gerald led Linda away from the van at gunpoint, bludgeoned to death and buried her in the sand.


Linda's boyfriend reported her missing two days after she failed to come home. She had a history of wandering off on her own, sometimes for days at a time. So the authorities weren't certain that her disappearance was suspicious. But three weeks later, her. Body was found in the sand by German tourists, and the truth was horrifyingly clear as ever, there was little to lead investigators to the killers. And by now, the twisted intimacy between Gerald and Charleen was stronger than ever, including Linda's unborn child.


The couple had now taken eight lives together, forging a violent bond that seemed unbreakable. Up next, Gerald and Charlene get sloppy and pay the price. This episode is brought to you by Ford F 150, the all new F1 50 is available with seven point two kilowatts of best in class on board power. That's enough to power a big screen TV loudspeakers, refrigerator, massage chair, electric heater and even your beloved nacho cheese wormer all at once introducing the all new twenty twenty one for an app.


One fifty tough. This smart can only be called F one fifty. Explore the all new twenty twenty one f one fifty at forty one fifty glasses full size pickups under eighty five hundred pounds. GBW are the owner's manual for important operating instructions. When you have a migraine, you can become extra sensitive to light or sound, which can mean having to press pause when you're halfway through your favorite podcast or TV show, The Worst with neurotic Audette remeasurement, 75 milligrams.


You can get migraine relief in as little as 60 Minutes. So you don't have to wait until tomorrow. Near the end of that cliffhanger, NorTech Oddity, a prescription medication for the acute, not preventive treatment of migraines in adults, is the only quick dissolve treatment for migraine attack. They can get many people back to normal activities and last up to 48 hours in just one dose. Don't take. If allergic to NorTech oddity, the most common side effect was nausea.


For more information, including important safety information, patient information and prescribing information, visit NorTech Dotcom. That's and you are TSG Dotcom. Talk to your doctor about NorTech today.


Now back to the story.


In July of 1980, Gerald Gallego was getting ready to celebrate his 30th birthday with his 23 year old wife, Charlene. For the past two years, his partner in life and in crime had been aiding and abetting his rape and murder spree across California and Nevada. The couple's body count now stood at eight, including an unborn baby, and they were only just gathering steam.


On the evening of July 16th, Gerald and Charlene spent a leisurely few hours in a boat on the Sacramento River, drinking beers and fishing. Later, they ended up at the sale in a bar where they got chatting with the bartender.


34 year old Virginia McCall was amiable and well-liked by the bar's regulars. She probably thought nothing of making friendly chit chat with this tipsy young couple. And when she closed up just after 2:00 a.m., she didn't see Gerald coming.


Just as Virginia got into her car, she heard a knock on the window turning. She saw the barrel of a revolver pointing directly at her. Gerald ordered her to get out of the car and into the back of his van. He tied Virginia up and left Charlene to watch her while he got into the front of the van and drove them back to the couple's apartment.


So far, the abduction was playing out like clockwork. But tonight something was different for reasons that aren't clear. When they arrived back at the apartment, Charlene went inside while Gerald raped Virginia in the back of the van. Afterward, Gerald went inside to get Charlene and ordered her to drive.


Charlene had already witnessed Gerald sexually assaulting multiple women, many of them minors. Yet for some reason this time, she removed herself from the situation. It's unclear exactly why Charlene made this choice, it could have been a twisted kind of jealousy in her mind. Gerald was choosing to spend his birthday evening with another woman, not with her, or perhaps Charlene's conscience was finally getting the better of her. After all, they'd spent time chatting with Virginia back at the bar.


Perhaps she couldn't face the fact that she knew this woman her husband was about to kill.


Still, Charlene obeyed Gerald when he ordered her back into the driver's seat and when he told her to turn the music up loud. After she did so, he murdered Virginia.


In the back of the van, Charlene drove for about 20 minutes, stopping on a levee road outside Clarksburg, where Gerald dumped Virginia's body. As always, the couple returned home believing they'd pulled off another perfect crime. However, the bartender's disappearance didn't go unnoticed. Virginia was popular and widely known in her community, and search parties were quickly organized to comb the area surrounding the sale in. They found nothing. Meanwhile, the authorities interviewed regular patrons at the inn and soon turned up a lead.


Several people reported that Virginia was talking with a man called Stephen File and his companion Charlene, on the night she disappeared. But when police contacted the couple, they denied any knowledge of what happened to Virginia Shanley and explained that they'd been out on a fishing trip that day to celebrate her husband's birthday and that they'd had a little too much to drink. By the time they got to the bar, their memories of the night weren't great, she said apologetically.


This seemed plausible enough until Virginia's body was discovered. Three months later, her remains were so deteriorated that it was hard to determine a cause of death. But one thing was clear. Whoever murdered her had bound her hands and feet with fishing line.


Detective Trujillo, who questioned the couple back in July, remembered that Charlene mentioned a fishing trip. His suspicions aroused. He paid a visit to Charlene only to discover that she no longer lived with her boyfriend, Stephen. The Gallegos relationship soured in the weeks after killing Virginia, perhaps in part due to the anxiety of being questioned by police. They sold their van, which suggests that they were increasingly worried about finally being caught. And in August, the cracks in the marriage were clear.


During a visit from Charlene's mom, Mercedes, Gerald flew into a rage one day and started choking Charlene with his bare hands. He only stopped when Mercedes intervened, hitting him over the head with one of his guns shortly after this explosion. Charlene moved back home to live with her parents.


Gerald took off to Oregon with a new girlfriend soon afterward. So Detective Trujillo interviewed Charlene alone to the detective. She seemed genuine when she said, I'm really sorry to hear about the lady bartender. She was nice to me. And Steven, I hope you find whoever did this to her.


The fact that Charlene was able to lie so smoothly to the police indicates that she was not quite ready to let go of Jarold. Sure enough, within a month, a couple were back together. It didn't take long for them to fall back into old habits.


On November 1st, Gerald told Charlene that he was getting that feeling and implied she should find him their next victim. However, they'd sold their van, which made things a little more difficult.


Fortunately, Charlene still had the Oldsmobile that her father bought her as a graduation gift. As ever, she was more than happy to share her wealth with her boyfriend.


And so with their new wheels, they went back out behind Charlene, pulled into the parking lot of a shopping center where Gerald laid eyes on his next victims, 22 year old Craig Miller and his fiancee, 21 year old Mary Elizabeth Souers, were on their way out of a fraternity party heading towards their car before they could make it.


Gerald accosted them at gunpoint and forced them into the back of the Oldsmobile. But he was less careful than usual, less diligent about making sure there were no witnesses. Andy Beal, a fraternity brother of Craggs, was leaving the party around the same time and noticed Craig and Mary Beth in the back of a stranger's car. He tried to intervene, but Charlene slapped him and told him to leave.


That only inflamed and his suspicions. So as Charlene sped out of the parking lot with Gerald and his captives in the back of the car, he wrote down the license plate number with no idea of the danger. They were now in the couple headed east on Highway 50. Eventually, Gerald ordered Charlene to stop the car on a deserted road in Eldorado. County, California, he forced Craig out of the car, told him to start walking, then shot him in the back of the head, Charlene then drove back to the couple's apartment where Gerald raped and beat Mary Beth.


Finally, he forced her back into the car at gunpoint and had Charlene drive them back out toward Nevada when they pulled into an isolated field. Gerald took Mary Beth out of the car and shot her three times, leaving her body in the pasture.


Perversely, the couple seemed more bonded than ever by their latest slaying after disposing of the murder weapon and some of Mary Beth's jewelry. Gerald told Charlene that he loved her and didn't ever want to let her go. Later that night, they went out for doughnuts together, blissfully in love. But unbeknownst to them, the walls were closing in the following morning, Andy Beal and a group of Craig and Mary Beth's friends went to the Sacramento police to report what Andy saw.


It took no time for the police to trace the Oldsmobile back to Charline. When the police arrived at the apartment, Charlene spoke with them while Gerald slipped out of the back door. She told the detectives she didn't know anything about the missing couple and explained she wasn't feeling well because of morning sickness before they left.


Charlene did admit one thing. Asked by the detectives if her boyfriend had a car, she pointed out Gerald's red triumph, which was parked across the street.


Gerald was cautious and never drove his own car on any of his murderous expeditions. Still, when the police ran the car's license plate, they pulled up Gerald's photo to go with it. And when they showed the photograph to Andy Beal, he confirmed that it was the same man who kidnapped his friends.


Later that afternoon, Craig's body was found confirming investigators worst fears. But by the time the police got to Gerald's apartment to arrest him, he was gone. Back at Charlene's parents house. The detectives also came up empty.


The couple, knowing the police were closing in, skipped town after abandoning Sharleen's Oldsmobile in a casino parking lot. The couple hopped on a Greyhound bus to Salt Lake City, Utah. Their Charlene called her parents to ask them for money, as she'd done so many times before. Even now, they couldn't say no to their little girl.


Charles and Mercedes wired five hundred dollars to Charline using that money. The couple traveled first to Denver, Colorado, and then Omaha, Nebraska, searching for a place they could hide in Nebraska.


Their money ran out and Charlene's parents stepped in once again. But this time the FBI was on to them. The Williams's had been under surveillance for days by both the bureau and the Sacramento police. And agents watched the couple going into a Western Union when the agents confronted them there. Williams has admitted that they just wired 500 dollars to their daughter in Nebraska. On November 17th, Charlene showed up to a Western Union office in Nebraska to retrieve the 500 dollars.


That was when FBI agents swooped in to arrest her at last. Shortly afterward, they arrested Gerrold two and the couple was returned to California to face trial.


By now, Mary Elizabeth's body had also been found and the couple was charged with double homicide. Geraldine Charleen both pled not guilty, but Sharleen's priorities were about to shift. In January of 1981, she gave birth to a son while in prison. She named him Gerald Gallagher Jr., which might indicate that her devotion to her husband was as strong as ever.


But at some point during the next few weeks, Charlene had a change of heart. In February, she offered to reveal information about the full extent of her murder spree with Gerald and said she would testify against him in exchange for a reduced sentence.


As part of her plea bargain, Charlene pled guilty not only to the murders of Craig and Mary Beth, but also to the Nevada murders of Stacy Redican and Karen Chipman Twiggs. In exchange, she was offered a guaranteed sentence of 16 years.


At trial, Charlene's defense team depicted her as a compliant victim who went along with Gerald's murderous spree out of fear. Joseph Murphy, her lawyer, said Under the control of a madman like Hitler, the German people did things they would never have dreamed of doing on their own. She was in that kind of situation.


This may seem like a stretch, but it's not the only time such a comparison has been drawn. In a 2013 overview of mixed sex partner Homicide, criminologist Elizabeth Aguri in explored killer couples through the lens of Stanley Milgram infamous 1961 social experiment, participants were instructed to administer electric shocks of increasing strength to a subject who was visibly in pain. The experiment was designed to create a moral conflict, obey orders at the cost of harming someone or disobey and risk ruining the experiment.


The results showed that a vast majority of people continued obeying orders throughout. In other words, people were surprisingly willing to obey orders even when they believed they were harming someone. This finding that ordinary people can treat others with extraordinary cruelty in the name of obeying authority has been likened to genocide committed during the Holocaust. And Gurian suggests that it also applies to the dynamics of partnered homicide because men in killer couples tend to be older and.


More criminally experienced, they become the de facto authority figure in the relationship, we can see this not only in Gerald and Sharleen's relationship, but in all three of the killer couples we've explored in this series so far.


Despite his obviously diminished authority, Gerald still tried to exert his influence over Charlene as his trial began in November of 1982. He tried to block Charlene from testifying against him, claiming spousal privilege. But he'd made a fatal miscalculation.


Gerald's divorce from his second wife was never legally finalized. As a result, none of his subsequent marriages were legal. And thus Charlene didn't have spousal privilege. She was free to testify against him and she didn't waste the chance. Charlene told the jury about how Gerald ordered her to find victims for him, telling her that he was getting that feeling. When she was asked if she ever refused, Charlene responded, No. You don't say no to Jerry.


Gerald opted to represent himself at trial.


This made for an extraordinary spectacle as he cross-examined Charlene on the stand. Charlene was defiant, telling Gerald, I've been under your control. Even after being arrested.


Unsurprisingly, 36 year old Gerald did himself no favors on the stand. And on June 21st, after less than two hours of jury deliberation, he was found guilty of murdering Craig and Mary Beth. He was sentenced to death. The following spring, he was tried in Nevada for the murders of Stacy and Karen, and Charlene was once again the star witness for the prosecution.


She went into detail about Gerald's sex slave fantasies and how he longed to find, quote, girls who were ripe for picking.


Once again, the jury took barely any time to sentence him to death for his crimes. Gerald was furious and unrepentant to the end, accusing Charlene of making up the story to save herself.


But Gerald's rage did nothing to change his fate. He spent almost two decades on death row going through multiple appeals before ultimately dying from cancer in 2002, at the age of 56. In 1997, Charlene was released from prison after serving nearly 17 years.


Charlene is now in her 60s and has lived more than two decades under a new name. She says that she changed her name to protect herself from Gerald and his family. Today, she counts herself as one of Jerrold's victims, saying there were victims who died and there were victims who lived. It's taken me a hell of a long time to realize that I'm one of the ones who lived. Thanks again for tuning into serial killers. We'll be back soon with the final chapter of our Killer Couple series, where we'll explore the bloody saga of the lonely hearts killers, Ray Fernandez and Martha.


Back for more information on Gerald and Charlene Gallego. Amongst the many sources we used, we found are Barry Flowers book the Sex Slave Murders extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of Serial Killers and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify. We'll see you next time. Have a killer week.


Serial Killers is a Spotify original from podcast.


Executive producers include Max and Ron Cuddler Sound Design by Anthony Vasek with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Bruce Kaktovik. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Emma Daybed in with writing assistance by Joel Carlin, fact checking by Hayley Millican and research by Brian Petrus and Chelsea Wood. Serial Killers stars Greg Polson and Vanessa Richardson. Hi, it's Vanessa again. Before you go, don't forget to check out the new Parkhurst Limited series. Criminal couples from apocalyptic cult leaders to bank robbing bandits to married mafiosos.


These couples give new meaning to till death do us part. Enjoy two part episodes every Monday starting February 1st. Follow criminal couples free and exclusively on Spotify.