Where are the bodies? I-Team asks Joseph Naso

Investigators believe Naso is responsible for more than the six murders for which he was convicted.
November 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Where did 79-year-old Joseph Naso dump the bodies? Investigators believe he is responsible for more than the six murders for which he was convicted this past Friday in Marin County Superior Court. In Naso's first interview, the ABC7 News I-Team pressed him for answers.

Several people close to the case warned us that Naso would admit nothing, even after a sentence that surely means he will die in prison. So, over the course of an hour and a half, I threw as much evidence as he could at him.

Naso is headed from Marin County Jail to San Quentin's death row at some point in the next week, and he's taking his secrets with him.

Dan Noyes: "Here, right now, are you ready to admit anything?"
Joseph Naso: "No, no, I'm not going to admit to any killing or any crime..."
Dan Noyes: "Did you do it?"
Joseph Naso: "No."
Dan Noyes: "You didn't kill anyone?"
Joseph Naso: "No."
Dan Noyes: "Have you ever killed anyone?"
Joseph Naso: "No."

A judge found that Naso is responsible for the murders of six women from the late 1970s to the mid 90s, dumping them in remote locations including a Tiburon beach, a Marysville orchard, and off a highway in Nevada County.

In a raid of his Reno home, police found a list of 10 victims -- not identified by name, but by where Naso placed the bodies. For this case, investigators identified six victims, but four remain.

Dan Noyes: "Where are the bodies?"
Joseph Naso: "What bodies? I don't know anything about it."

In Naso's own words from the list,

  • "girl near heldsburg mendocino co."
  • "girl on mt. tam"
  • "girl from miami near down peninsula"
  • "girl from berkeley"

Dan Noyes: "Who are those women?"
Joseph Naso: "You tell me."
Dan Noyes: "I don't know, you know. You're still playing games."
Joseph Naso: "Ask the prosecution, ask the judge, I don't know."

Naso says he's saving the true meaning of the list of 10 for his appeal. He won't explain why he didn't use the information in the trial, if it would have helped his case.

"That's my family picture," Naso joked about a bizarre photo from the court file that he took of mannequins, to which he applied makeup and dressed in lingerie.

Dan Noyes: "You've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Does this correspond to your list of 10?"
Joseph Naso: "No, no, no. It doesn't correspond to anything."
Dan Noyes: "Was this a symbol for the women that you killed?"
Joseph Naso: "No, no, no, no."

But, Naso kept pictures and other mementos of his victims in his safe deposit box. Prosecutors presented one photo of Tracey Tafoya, apparently dead at the time, from her waist down. Her husband identified her by the underwear she wore.

Joseph Naso: "He's wrong, I don't know who it is, but it's not her."
Dan Noyes: "Whose photograph was that?"
Joseph Naso: "I don't know."
Dan Noyes: "It was a lady from the waist down that you kept in your safe deposit box, and you have no idea who that lady was?"
Joseph Naso: "No."
Dan Noyes: "Where'd you get the photograph, did you take it?"
Joseph Naso: "I don't remember, I don't remember that."

I pressed him on another victim, Pam Parsons. He kept her obituary laminated with a picture in which she appears to be dead.

Joseph Naso: "Looks are deceiving, that comes with direction, when I ask somebody, I say, 'Hey, I'd like to take a picture of you looking deceased or unconscious, this is what you do, you lay back...'"
Dan Noyes: "Why do that, though, I want to understand, why is that appealing?"
Joseph Naso: "I don't do that every day, I do that very little and that's a sensual thing, I've seen that, that's been going on..."
Dan Noyes: "A dead woman is sensual?"
Joseph Naso: "No, no, no."

Naso couldn't explain the hard evidence in the case -- his DNA found in pantyhose worn by 18-year-old Roxene Roggasch when her body was found near Fairfax.

Naso argues, "That could prove possibly that I had sex with her, but not that I killed her. That's what that means."

And his wife's DNA appeared on pantyhose wrapped around Roggasch's neck.

Dan Noyes: "How'd your wife's DNA wind up around her neck?"
Joseph Naso: "That I don't know. You have to ask my wife. I don't know anything about her pantyhose." Dan Noyes: "Well, did your wife kill her?"
Joseph Naso: "You'll have to ask her. What she does with her pantyhose I don't know."

Despite all the evidence -- and after almost 90 minutes of that give and take -- Naso stuck to the story that he's been wrongly convicted.

Joseph Naso: "A corrupt prosecution and a biased judge. The judge had a lot to do with this conviction."
Dan Noyes: "You will spend your life in prison making these arguments to people who don't care."
Joseph Naso: "That's fine, that's fine."
Dan Noyes: "You're convicted."
Joseph Naso: "I will spend my life in prison, I'm going to be writing stories and I'm going to be making appeals and so on. And that's fine with me."

To be clear, there is no indication Naso's wife played any role in the crimes.

After the interview, Naso thanked us and said he enjoyed it. He passed up this chance to help the families of other young women he may have killed -- the final four on his list. One investigator close to the case tells the I-Team he believes Naso could have killed dozens.


Load Comments