In January 2018, a man convicted of murder, a crime committed in 1973, was denied parole; he was 86 years old. That in of itself is not unusual, however the nature of the relationship that developed between him and one of his victims engendered a book and movie during the 1980s. The story also details how a deeply disturbed and dangerous individual can masquerade and manipulate members of society that have no idea they are staring evil in the face.
On February 27, 1973 deputies with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office received a call about a crime that turned out to be the murder of William Ashlock, an executive from Los Angeles. Gerald Walker would eventually be tried and convicted for the crime. The Salinas Valley State Prison denied his last request for parole until 2023. This was not his first attempt to gain some semblance of freedom, but in this instance those with the power to keep him where he's at recognize what a dangerous individual he is despite his advanced age. In truth Walker will spend the rest of his life behind bars since if he's paroled for the murder charge he still has a fifty-year sentence in federal prison pending.
This is the strange story that started that day in February 1973 in a ranch house at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas..
At 10 minutes before noon on Friday, Feb. 23, 1973, a handsome, well dressed man carrying a carved pipe stepped into the reception room at Dailey & Associates, an advertising agency on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. He said he was a reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He said he had a lunch date with Bill Ashlock, an executive with the firm, to interview him for an article on the city's 10 most eligible bachelors. He said his name was Taylor Wright.
In 1991, FBI investigator, Robert Ressler interviewed Walker in prison. During the interview he talked about his crimes including many that he had not been charged with, and made a comparison between criminals and police as being similar. According to Ressler he demonstrated many of the thought processes attributed to a "diabolical mind", a theory that postulates that there are certain persons that are unable to differentiate between right and wrong.
After the interview, Walker's psychopathic mind became evident when he tried to get a shipment of poison sent to him in prison in order to murder a deputy district attorney that had prosecuted him. The plan was discovered and it added years to his sentence.
Source - NYT
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer