Crime - Sacto 911

What happened to man convicted of restaurant hostess’s drug overdose death in 1980s?

Q: What happened to Paul Steven Mack? He was sent to prison back in the late 1980s for killing two young girls. He went on the lam and got married, and they found him in Utah working on a cooking show. He was convicted, but I don’t know how long his sentence was, whether he’d be out now.

Susie, Carmichael

A: Paul Steven Mack was convicted of first-degree murder and rape in the 1987 death of 21-year-old Karen Grace Winslett, a beauty pageant contestant and hostess at the Peppermill restaurant.

He was sentenced in 1991 to 25 years to life in prison. Now 68 years old, Mack is at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, according to an online roster of California State Prison inmates.

Mack was found guilty of luring Winslett to his North Highlands home, where he drugged her with Percodan, raped her and left her to die of a drug overdose. Her body was discovered March 3, 1987, almost two weeks after she had disappeared, in the parking lot of a Madison Avenue motel, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

The investigation focused on Mack, who had left Ohio in 1981 after being identified there as the primary suspect in the murder of an 18-year-old girl who was last seen alive in Mack’s presence.

When Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives arranged for Mack to surrender on the Winslett murder charge, he fled the state and established a new identity in Murray, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

A spot on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” produced a tip as to his whereabouts and led to his arrest on March 23, 1988.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy