Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to triggerman in killing of coin dealer in early 1980s?

Q: Around 1980, a prominent coin collector in the Rancho Cordova area was shot and killed by one of three burglars when he unexpectedly entered his home. The shooter escaped, and after moving to Idaho, he was recognized by an alert citizen, brought back to California and convicted. I’m wondering where he is now.

Barb, Carmichael

A: Three people were convicted of murder in the 1981 shooting death of coin dealer Edward Everett Davies, 71, at his Rosemont-area home.

Stephen DeSantis, Gary Joseph Masse and Gloria Marie Killian were charged with the murder of Davies and the attempted murder of his wife, Grace.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, DeSantis and Masse, posing as telephone repairmen, forced their way into Davieses’ home and hogtied the couple. DeSantis shot them both in the head, then the two men ransacked the house, pried open safes and loaded six suitcases with silver coins and silverware, which they hauled to the apartment of DeSantis’ brother.

Masse testified that DeSantis was the triggerman. DeSantis was found guilty and sentenced to to death. He died of natural causes in 2002 on San Quentin’s death row.

Masse was tried and sentenced to life with no possibility of parole. But when he testified at Killian’s trial that she had masterminded the robbery, he was resentenced to life with possibility of parole.

Killian was a 35-year-old, third-year student at McGeorge School of Law who had dropped out to earn money to resume her studies at the time of the killing. She was working as a bookkeeper at a downtown Sacramento auto repair shop when she was arrested.

She was freed in 2003 after 16 years in prison, after Masse admitted that he lied about Killian so that he would receive a more favorable sentence. Killian’s appellate lawyer said Killian apparently knew some of the people connected with the robbery and a was named as the mastermind to protect the the real planner of the crime.