Q: In 1987, I had a carpenter helping me build new house. After he was finished with the job he started working for my neighbor on his house. Shortly after that, I learned he was arrested on suspicion of murder. Seems he was burying folks in the backyards of job sites he was working on. His name, I believe, was Solomon. Any idea what happened in this case?
Mike, Grass Valley
A: Morris Solomon Jr., one of the Sacramento area’s most notorious serial killers, was sentenced to death in September 1992.
Now 71 years old, he remains on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison.
According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, the Solomon case began in June 1986, when Solomon reported to police that he had found the body of a woman in a closet of a home he was renovating on 4th Avenue. A few months later, a second body was found by a repair crew in a vacant home about half a mile away. Then, in March 1987, two other victims were found, one behind a house on 19th Avenue and Franklin Boulevard and the other in the 3200 block of 44th Street.
Police arrested Solomon in April 1987 after they unearthed two more bodies buried near the porch of a home in the 4300 block of Broadway. Heat-sensing helicopters were used to locate the seventh victim in the yard of a vacant home where the second victim was found. All the victims were women, some of them prostitutes.
Solomon was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and five sexual assaults, all committed during the span of about 12 months in 1986 and 1987. The Bee reported that he had prior convictions involving other acts of violence dating back to 1971.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Peter Mering condemned Solomon to death and then added sentences totaling 95 years to life for other offenses. The judge said the additional prison terms were necessary to ensure that Solomon was never released, even if his death sentence were reversed.