The board determined at the inmate’s 6th subsequent parole consideration hearing today at Corcoran State Prison, that Corona’s parole could reasonably pose a threat to public safety. He is not eligible for another hearing for five years.
Corona moved to Yuba City in Sutter County in the early 1950s as a migrant farm worker and established himself as a labor contractor. On May 19, 1971, a farmer who had hired Corona to arrange labor for his farm found a grave-shaped hole between two trees. When he checked the next day, the hole was filled. The farmer then called police.
Authorities dug the body of first victim, Kenneth Whitacre, from the earth. His throat and head had been hacked viciously, and his upper body had been stabbed repeatedly.
A search by authorities turned up more graves in peach orchards along the Feather River near Marysville. By early June 1971, the number totaled 25. All the victims were men who had been seen with Corona or gotten their jobs through Corona’s labor contracting business. They were either migrant farm workers or transients who were not missed by anyone. The number of murders set a record in the United States at the time.
Corona was tried in Colusa County and was found guilty of first-degree murder in January 1973 and received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Feb. 17, 1973. His conviction was overturned on appeal in 1978, and he won a new trial.
In 1982, Corona was again convicted of all 25 murders and sentenced to 25 life sentences. He was received on this commitment from Alameda County on Dec. 23, 1982.
The board hearing transcript will serve as the official record. The transcript is expected to be transcribed and ready in approximately 30 days.
For more information, please refer to the Board of Parole Hearings website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/index.html
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 5, 2011
CONTACT: TERRY THORNTON