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Transient Found Guilty of Two Santa Monica Murders
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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jorge Casuso

June 10, 2016 -- A 50-year-old transient man was found guilty Wednesday of strangling to death two homeless women in Santa Monica more than a decade ago, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney.

Edric Dashell Gross, whose murder trial last year ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders.

Gross faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gross’ first victim, identified as Jacqueline Ovsak Langford, 41, was found strangled to death in an abandoned home in Downtown Santa Monica on April 5, 2001. ("April Death was a Homicide," July 6, 2001).

Photo credit: Santa Monica Police Department.

A construction worker found the victim's body naked from the waist down inside a decrepit house at 1537 7th Street that was slated for demolition, police said. She had allegedly squatted there for several months.

A thick brown cord was wound tightly around her neck and tied to the clothes bar in the closet above her, police said. An autopsy found Ovask died of asphyxia.

On October 29, 2002, Gross' second victim, Dana Caper, 42, was found strangled to death below the bluffs in Palisades Park.

Her body was found in what appeared to be an encampment near the intersection of Montana Avenue after a visitor to the park looked over the railing, police said. Police found shoes, toiletries and miscellaneous clothing at the site ("Body Found in Bluff Encampment," October 30, 2002).

Both cases were turned over to the Santa Monica Police Department’s cold case unit, which found new leads using DNA processing, prosecutors said.

Police identified Gross in September 2007 as the suspect in both slayings, prosecutors said. He was arrested in August 2012.

Sentencing is scheduled on June 24 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

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