1970s serial killer Herbert W. Mullin, who admitted to 13 murders in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara Counties, dies in prison


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California inmate who confessed to killing 13 people in a few months in the early 1970s has died of natural causes at the age of 75, state prison officials said Friday.

Herbert W. Mullin’s victims ranged in age from 4 to 73 and included a priest he killed in a confessional booth, according to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office.

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Mullin died Thursday night at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, corrections officials said, and the San Joaquin County Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of his death.

Mullin was serving two concurrent life sentences with the possibility of parole for first degree murder in Santa Cruz County and nine five-year life sentences for second degree murder in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

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All related to murders he committed during a four-month period in late 1972 and early 1973.

Prosecutors said Mullin committed two other murders for which he was never charged.

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Mullin was denied parole last year.

At the time, District Attorney Jeff Rosell said Mullin admitted to all 13 murders again during his parole hearing. But he blamed his poor upbringing and said his parents and sister should be held accountable.

Mullin showed “no real remorse for these brutal murders,” Rosell argued.

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