July 31, 2021

The Alphabet Killer Serial Killer


The identity of the Alphabet Killer (also known as the Double Initial Killer) of Rochester, New York, may have been revealed thanks to 21st-century science. On August 20, 2013, 79-year-old New York native Joseph Naso was convicted in a California court for the murders of Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons, Roxene Roggasch, Tracy Tofoya, and two other women. The Marin County court sentenced Naso to death. Naso did not take too kindly to this ruling, stating that, “This [the verdict] was kind of like a hate crime against me,” before flipping his middle finger to the jury.

Besides Naso’s New York connection and his job as a professional photographer (an occupation which saw Naso travel extensively back and forth between New York and California), the other circumstantial evidence against Naso includes the similarities between his California victims and the Rochester victims of 1971 and 1973. Like the later victims in the Golden State, all three victims in New York were raped and strangled, plus they had double initials.

Ten-year-old Carmen Colon (not to be confused with the California victim) disappeared from her Bull’s Head neighborhood on November 16, 1971. Her body was found two days later, lying against a rock near the town of Riga. She had been strangled to death and sexually assaulted. Seventeen months later, 11-year-old Wanda Walkowicz went missing from Avenue D in Rochester, and a day later, she was found dead in a rest stop in Webster, New York. The last victim, 11-year-old Michelle Maenza, was abducted near her Webster Crescent home and then found two days later in the small town of Macedon, New York.

Besides Naso, another man suspected of being the Alphabet Killer, Kenneth Bianchi, lived and worked in Rochester during the time of the murders. Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono would later murder several women in Los Angeles as the Hillside Stranglers. The one fact that provides doubt concerning the responsibility of either Naso or Bianchi is the fact that both men were convicted of murdering adult females, not little girls.