The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Crime & Justice

'I knew that I had the killer gene,' accused Ocampo reveals in OC homeless killings case

Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo (Photo courtesy of Anaheim Police Department)
Anaheim Police/AP

Scarier than fiction, the grand jury transcript of accused killer Itzcoatl "Izzy'" Ocampo, published Wednesday night by the Orange County Register, reveals hideous details about the murders of four homeless men and two others during a three-month killing rampage.

Ocampo, an Iraq war veteran, was disappointed not to see combat during his six-month tour of duty, and told a detective that killing "had to be done." Detective Daron Wyatt, a lead detective on the serial killer task force who took Ocampo's confession, said that Ocampo felt he needed to kill in order to become a real Marine.

The detective testified that Ocampo "seemed to get excited when he was talking about the actual kill," and he asked him if he was "aroused by the act of killing." According to the transcript, Ocampo questioned what he meant by arousal, but then commented, "my balls felt like they were going to explode, and I knew that I had the killer gene."

At home, Ocampo felt the "homeless population had become a blight to the community," according to the transcript, and police believe that in a perverse way, the  23-year-old felt he was providing some sort of community service.

The accused killer revealed that he selected his victims based on availability and vulnerability, and intended to build a "kill list" of 16 names like Charles Whitman (the Texas Tower killer), who killed 16 people and had been a Marine, according to the transcript.

After his January arrest, he reportedly told authorities that he "needed to keep killing," and in a taped confession said he would "look at Penthouse magazine to pump himself up" beforehand.

He did not necessarily feel bad about the killings, the transcript revealed, but said "he wished that they would rest in peace," according to the detective.

He remarked that he "could feel the life come out of the victims," and the "breath leaving their bodies." He studied anatomy and aimed to "sever the esophagus," of his victims. He also said he targeted the head because he saw in the movie Terminator that it was "a quick kill."

Ocampo claimed that his family did not know about the killings, but that his mother had actually joked with him "that maybe he was the murderer," Wyatt testified.

The Orange County man faces the possibility of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The District Attorney's Office could decide to seek the death penalty. The grand jury transcript reveals that Ocampo confessed to all six killings, however Ocampo has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

His trial is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 10.