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Roy Lewis Norris Dies of Natural Causes

VACAVILLE – Inmate Roy Lewis Norris, 72, died of natural causes at 8:40 p.m. on Monday, February 24, 2020, at California Medical Facility.

Norris had been serving a 45-year-to-life sentence from Los Angeles County for four counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, two counts of forcible rape, and robbery.

Between June 24 and Nov. 20, 1979, Norris and his crime partner Lawrence Sigmond Bittaker, kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered five teenage girls. Norris was on parole at the time after serving time for a conviction from San Diego County for assault with a deadly weapon and rape.

The two were responsible for the June 14, 1979, death of Lucinda Lynn Schaefer, 16; the July 8, 1979, death of Andrea Joy Hall, 18; the Sept. 2, 1979, deaths of Jacqueline Doris Gilliam, 15, and Jacqueline Leah Lamp, 13; and the Oct. 31, 1979, death of Shirley Lynette Ledford, 16. The bodies of Schaefer and Hall were never recovered.

Norris pleaded guilty to all counts in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty and because he cooperated and testified against Bittaker. Norris was sentenced on April 28, 1981. He had been in state prison since May 8, 1981.

Norris had his initial parole consideration hearing on March 24, 2009. He stipulated to being unsuitable and was denied 10 years. His second parole suitability hearing was held on March 26, 2019. He was denied parole for 10 years and would not have had a parole hearing scheduled until 2029.

Bittaker was found guilty by a Los Angeles County jury on all 26 counts against him including five counts of murder, five counts of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, rape, oral copulation, sodomy and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to death on March 22, 1981. He was admitted to California’s death row on March 30, 1981, and passed away at San Quentin State Prison on Dec. 13, 2019.

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