Herb Mullin was born on April 18, 1947. Mullin seemed totally normal throughout his childhood. The son of a World War 2 veteran, Mullin was an extremely bright and sensitive boy who was involved in sports and voted “most likely to succeed” in High School. By the age of thirty-six, he was a raging schizophrenic and a prolific Serial Killer.
The summer after his High School graduation, Mullin’s close friend Dean Richardson was killed in an auto accident. This seemed to trigger the start of his odd behavior and he soon had built a shrine to his dead friend in his bedroom and began to obsess about reincarnation, religion, and impending natural disasters. Drugs became a big part of Mullin’s life and his deteriorating mental state was coaxed along by huge doses of acid. His behavior frightened his family and friends and he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and was institutionalized on and off throughout the remainder of his time as a free man.
Nothing seemed to help however. Mullin complained of hearing voices and adopted many different persona’s, re-inventing himself alternately as a yoga disciple, amateur boxer, hippie, and a sombrero-wearing Mexican. The fads never lasted long before he began his odd search for the newest road to peace of mind. He eventually settled on murderer and began his killings on October 13, 1972, near his hometown of Felton, California.
Mullin spotted a homeless man along a quiet stretch of road, pulled over and lifted the hood of his car, feigning car trouble. When the old man offered assistance Mullin bludeoned him to death with a baseball bat. Nobody paid much attention when the man’s body was found a few days later.
Next Mullin picked up a young hitchhiker in Santa Cruz named Mary Guilfoyle and stabbed her to death, taking time to slice her body open and pull out her organs. Her body was not discovered until Febrary the next year. Switching gears on November 2 the killer strolled into a Los Gatos Catholic Church and stabbed Father Henri Tomsi dead in the confessional booth.
Mullin shot drug-dealing acquaintance Jim Gianera and his wife dead on January 25, 1973, in the couple’s Santa Cruz home. He applied a finishing touch by stabbing their corpses repeatedly before leaving to kill another acquaintance, Kathy Francis, and her two young sons, shooting them dead and again knifing their bodies after death in another case of overkill.
February 10 proved to be an unlucky day for four teenaged boys that Mullin stumbled upon in a wooded state park. The youngsters had set up a campsite and invited Mullin into their large tent after he happened upon them while wandering the woods. He repayed their kindness by slaughtering them with gunfire as they sat trapped inside.
The bodies were discovered inside their blood-soaked tent a week later. By that time Mullin had already killed yet again. On February 13 Fred Perez was working on the driveway of his home when he was shot and killed by the lunatic slayer. A neighbor witnessed Perez’ murder and Mullin was arrested a short distance away. His killings were finally over.
The rest of the story was a dizzying display of bizarre behavior by Mullin throughout his time in jail and during his subsequent trial. It was evident during the police interrogation immediately after his arrest when he responded to investigators questions by screaming out “Silence!” and got worse from there. The clean-cut killer claimed he had stopped a disasterous earthquake from striking California when he killed his victims, thus saving countless lives.
He also stated that voices, including his father’s, had ordered him to kill and that he had telpathically gained permission from the boys in the tent before dispatching of them. Mullin constantly ranted and spent considerable time jotting his twisted theories down on paper. Some of the highlights occured during his entertaining trial, at the beginning of which he predictably pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.
His lawyer told the court of Mullin’s strange ideas, such as his theory that his family had conspired to hide bisexuality from him as a child and that he should have had the privilege of having orgasms, courtesy of his own family members, by the age of six.
Mullin eventually took the stand in his own defense and preached to the courtroom that there was a grand conspiracy to deep him from becoming “too powerful in his next life”, one of his popular reincarnation theories. Also, because Einstein died on his birthday, Mullin claimed he was therefore the “designated leader of my generation”. As for the killings themselves, they were consented to by his victims of course. “Every homosapien communicates telepathically, it’s just not accepted socially”, he told the weary court.
Somehow, the jury muddled throught this circus and madness and found Mullin sane and guilty of ten murders in August of 1973. He was sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2025.