As California voters decide whether to side with the ACLU and other liberal special interests to get rid of the death penalty, the No on 34 campaign continues its profiles of the “worst of the worst” convicted murderers on death row. Here is another killer who would be spared if Proposition 34 passes in November.
In June 1983, Kevin Cooper escaped from a minimum security prison in Chino, CA. After hiding in an empty house, he attacked the Ryen family next door, killing Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and 11-year-old family friend Chris Hughes. 8-year-old Joshua Ryen survived.
The victims had died from numerous chopping wounds later determined to have been inflicted by a hatchet or axe and stab wounds inflicted by both a knife and an ice pick. Cooper was arrested on a boat near Santa Barbara two days later. In 1985 he was sentenced to death for the murders.