Juan Vallejo Corona (born in 1934) is an American serial killer that was convicted of murdering 25 men in 1971.
Corona was born in Mexico, and moved to Yuba City, California in the 1950s, to work on a farm. He soon became married and raised four daughters. Corona had reportedly suffered from schizophrenic episodes , but he was otherwise regarded as a hard worker. Corona eventually became a labor contractor in Yuba City,and he was in charge of hiring migrant workers to staff local farms. Most of the workers hired by Corona were from Mexico.
On May 19, 1971, the corpse of an adult male was found in a shallow grave on a Yuba City farm.This prompted the property owner to call the Sutter County Sheriff's Department. Homicide detectives ordered the area surrounding the grave be excavated, which unearthed a total of 24 additional male corpses, all of whom had been farm laborers. The coroner established that each of the victims had been hacked to death with a machete-like weapon .
Corona came under suspicion for the murders because he was supplying workers to the farm where the victims were found. Several bodies had documents on them showing that Corona's firm had retained their services, providing a concrete link between Corona and the victims .
Arrest and sentence
Corona was arrested by authorities and indicted for the murders. The victims had all been killed in a period of six weeks, Corona had been killing an average of one victim every 40 hours.
Corona denied culpability for the crimes, but was found guilty and sentenced to 25 life sentences . Corona eventually won a retrial following his exhaustive appeal processes. In his second trial, the defense posited that Corona's brother, who was deceased by then, was the real killer. Corona was convicted again and returned to prison after the strategy failed to persuade the court that he was innocent . Juan Corona is currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison.
It is theorized that Corona's murders were sexually motivated . Corona was known to have a very effeminate affect, and was believed to be a closet homosexual. Homosexuality was a major taboo in the Mexican-American community at the time of the murders, and many people believe that he had committed the murders to prevent his victims from revealing alleged homosexual trysts with Corona.