What happened to the Clairemont killers

San Diego, CA

#21 Jun 14, 2008
What the heck??
Judges have expressed concern over the recent behavior of attorney G. Anthony Gilham, who is defending David Allen Lucas against three of the six murder charges Lucas faces.

Gilham has missed three court appearances in two days, all without apparent excuse, and sheriff's deputies were sent to his home Saturday after a shooting incident. He also was involved in a confrontation with a judge April 4.

Barbara T. Gamer, supervising judge of the Superior Court's criminal division, said yesterday that she has become concerned over reports of Gilham's behavior and has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday to consider possible actions and "to confirm motion dates."

Lucas was scheduled for a hearing last Tuesday before Superior Court Judge William H. Kennedy, but Gilham failed to appear. His son, Gage, his investigative assistant in the Lucas case, sat outside the courtroom.

Shortly after the hearing was to have begun, Deputy Marshal John Bauer said he answered the telephone and the caller identified himself as "attorney Tony Gilham, or used-to-be attorney."

"Where are you?" Bauer said he asked.

"I'm out of the state."

"Where are you?"

"I'm out of the state. I'm going to have to withdraw. I think I am insane."

Bauer said that he asked the man to wait while he got Kennedy, but that when he returned the line was dead. The marshal said the voice did not sound like Gilham's, but "the phraseology did."

Gilham's answering service said yesterday that it did not know where he was.

On April 4, Gilham appeared to represent a client on an 8:30 a.m. court calendar but left after 10 minutes, before his case was called. When he returned at 1:30 p.m., Presiding Municipal Judge Frederic L. Link asked where he had been.

Gilham said "his motion took longer than he thought and he was busy," Link said.

"I asked him where he was, and he said he couldn't remember," the judge said. "I asked him again, and he slammed his books down on the table and said:`Knock the BS off and let's get it on.'

"I found him in direct contempt of court but gave him the opportunity to apologize, which he did. I warned him against any further instances."

On Saturday, a shotgun was fired at a telephone at Gilham's home in the 800 block of Vista Grande Road near El Cajon. Sheriff's officers said that when they arrived Gilham had left. Deputies said on a log that the matter had been "settled by separation."

Municipal Judge Wayne L. Peterson, who heard a Lucas preliminary hearing, said of Gilham: "I'm really concerned about him. I've known him 18 years.

"I attributed the worst of his conduct at the preliminary hearing to aggressive defense style. He was gruff with some witnesses, but I can't say there were the kind of things I've been hearing about in the last couple weeks."

Peterson said Gilham was "obviously working very hard on the Lucas case; he was extremely well prepared and showed extensive knowledge of the case."

Gilham failed to appear Tuesday morning for the sentencing of a client by Municipal Judge Robert J. Cooney, failed to appear for the Lucas motions before Kennedy and failed to appear before Gamer yesterday for arraignment of another client. Gamer gave the client a new lawyer.

San Diego, CA

#22 Jun 14, 2008
Jurors deciding whether David Allen Lucas should be sent to the gas chamber or prison for life heard a psychologist testify yesterday that the convicted murderer has a personality disorder that causes him to fear men and both love and hate women.

Dr. Alvin Marks was called by attorneys for Lucas to testify during the penalty phase of Lucas' trial before Superior Court Judge Laura Palmer Hammes. The same jury that found Lucas guilty of three first-degree murders must now determine his sentence.

Lucas, 34, was convicted June 21 of the May 4, 1979, murders of Suzanne Jacobs, 31, and her 3-year-old son, Colin, in their Normal Heights home; and of the Nov. 20, 1984, murder of University of San Diego student Anne Catherine Swanke. He was also convicted of the June 1984 kidnap and attempted murder of Jodie Santiago Robertson, 34, a Seattle resident who was abducted as she was walking home from a La Mesa nightclub. All of the victims had their throats slashed.

Marks testified yesterday that he reached his diagnosis of Lucas after talking with Lucas and members of his family. Marks described factors in Lucas' life that Marks said caused the personality disorder, characterized by "lifelong maladaptive behavior."

Marks said that Lucas suffered from asthma as an infant and was a thumb-sucker and bed-wetter. Lucas' father was a "very brutal, iron- handed workaholic" who ruled the household while Lucas' mother worked nights and often beat the boy, Marks said.

He said Lucas served as a church altar boy and loved children and animals. Lucas can feel remorse, but has difficulty expressing his emotions, Marks said.

When Lucas was 16, he got his girlfriend pregnant, but she aborted the child. The abortion devastated Lucas, Marks said.

"He told me from that instant on he hated women. Of course, he didn't. He loved and hated them," Marks said.

Later, Lucas married but was concerned about the way his wife was raising her son, saying she abused the child, Marks said.

"He had all this conflict about women, searching for the perfect one," Marks said.

Marks said he believes Lucas suffers from minimal brain damage because he once fell out of his stroller when he was a baby and was in an automobile accident when he was 16.

San Diego, CA

#23 Jun 14, 2008
With a tightly clenched fist, Dr. John Swanke threw a wicked left hook into the courthouse air as he heard for the first time that the verdict was in.
David Allen Lucas had been found guilty of murdering Swanke's daughter, Anne, 22, who was killed more than four years ago.
Trying to hide mixed emotions, Swanke said he was pleased with the verdict and only sorry that he could not get to the courthouse in time to see and hear it for himself.
"I really wanted to be in that courtroom to hear it," Swanke said. "It's been a torturous, hellish time for the family."
Earlier yesterday afternoon, Swanke had been home, 12 miles from the downtown courthouse, tuning his string bass for an upcoming summer pops concert at the Balboa Park organ pavilion, when he got the call to head to Superior Court Department 14. The jury would be filing in around 4 p.m.
"I had just tuned up the F scale and was practicing `Bye Bye Birdie' when the phone rang," he told a courthouse corridor gathering. "I jumped in the car and sped down the freeway; must have been going 70.
"A highway patrolman started following me, and I thought I'd get stopped, but the officer pulled over somebody else."
Swanke still did not make it to the courthouse in time to look into the face of David Lucas as the verdict was read.
"I didn't get to see his face when they convicted him," Swanke said, wondering aloud whether there would be any expressions of remorse.
Nevertheless, he showed his approval with the flying left look. In his right hand he strummed a set of small index cards as if they were a guitar.
The cards were study aids, he later explained.
"I always take something to study," he said.
In the years he has had to think about the killing, Swanke, a philosophy professor at University of San Diego, concluded that if his daughter's killer was remorseful one life should not be traded for another in the California gas chamber.
With death-penalty deliberations next for the jury, Swanke was asked by several reporters whether he favored execution for Lucas.
"I have my opinion, but I don't want to say right now, while the jury is deliberating," Swanke said.
Of the penalty phase of the trial, he said: "I'm going to have to go through all this one more time," he said, looking over the crush of reporters wanting to talk to him. "Then perhaps I can go back and kind of remember the good things about my daughter's life instead of the tragic end. Now maybe I can finally bury her."
Miss Swanke was an honor student at USD when she disappeared Nov. 20, 1984. Her abandoned 1974 Dodge Colt, which had run out of gasoline, was found at a La Mesa intersection. Her body, throat slashed, was discovered in a remote area of Spring Valley.
Police said she had walked back to the Grossmont Center Shell Station and bought fuel in a can.
An hour later, police officers found her car where she had left it, the gas can sitting behind it, the gas cap and her keys lying on the trunk. Her purse and wallet were untouched inside the automobile. There was no sign of a struggle.
Miss Swanke had dreamed of being a professional opera singer and had learned to play the piano to accompany herself. An opera score was on her desk at home the night she was killed.

San Diego, CA

#24 Jun 14, 2008
David Allen Lucas, sentenced to death for three throat-slashing murders, will not face a second trial for two slayings in which a jury was unable to reach a verdict.

During a hearing yesterday, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Williams asked Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos to dismiss murder charges involving the Oct. 23, 1984, slayings of Rhonda Strang, 23, and Amber Fisher, a 3-year-old girl Strang was baby- sitting in her Lakeside home. Exarhos granted the request.

On June 21, a Superior Court jury convicted Lucas of first- degree murder in the May 4, 1979, slayings of Suzanne Jacobs, 31, and her son, Colin, 3, in their Normal Heights home; the Nov. 20, 1984, slaying of University of San Diego student Anne Catherine Swanke, 22; and the attempted murder of Jodie Santiago Robertson, 35, of Seattle, on June 9, 1984. The jury also recommended the death penalty.

Jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction in the murders of Strang and Fisher. They acquitted Lucas of the Dec. 8, 1981, murder of real estate agent Gayle Garcia, 29, who was slain in a Spring Valley home she was showing to prospective buyers.

Superior Court Judge Laura Palmer Hammes formally sentenced Lucas to death Sept. 19.

Prosecutors could have chosen to retry Lucas on the Strang- Fisher murders, but Williams said the district attorney's office decided against that.

"We have accomplished the goal we have set out to accomplish -- and that is justice," Williams said.

Fisher's aunt, Rebecca Fisher, who attended much of Lucas' trial, said she was satisfied by the decision.

"There's not much more that can be proven. I'm just glad it's over with," she said. "Maybe we can get our lives back together.... We know he did it."

Lucas' attorneys, Alex Landon and Steven Feldman, said the decision to dismiss the charges against Lucas was appropriate.

"At this point, the case is over," Feldman said.

An appeal of Lucas' conviction has been filed, and Landon said lawyers will have to be found to handle what is expected to be a lengthy appeal.

San Diego, CA

#25 Jun 14, 2008
There are SO many articles about David Allen Lucas in the archives, I had only read 2 before, so I posted the ones that seemed to summarize the best. But there are plenty more, I am still trying to figure out what took 4 years to finally convict him??


#26 Jun 19, 2008
Waldecker, thanks for the information but I am so confused, I have read something completely different and read that he had murdered a woman of the name Suzanne Jacobs and her 3 yr old son Colin. He also murdered a US co-ed. This is the information I have read on the internet and it stated that they could not link him to the crimes and it took 5 years for them to get the death penalty for David. I also read that they had DNA which was not permitted in court that could have cleared him? If you'd like to contact me directly, my email is [email protected] and I can tell you where I found this information. Please advise. Thanks.


#27 Jun 19, 2008
Waldecker, Where can I read this information that you found on David A Lucas? I spent hours on the internet and finding close to nothing. I honestly think something is wrong with this case....


#28 Jun 19, 2008
Also, did he kill 2 children or one child? Are there any pictures of David Allen Lucas?


#29 Jun 20, 2008
Julie, I sent you a long email only to get back a mailer-daemon wrong email address. Is there any way I can reach you?

South Paris, ME

#30 Aug 13, 2008
HeidiMD wrote:
Also, did he kill 2 children or one child? Are there any pictures of David Allen Lucas?
He MOST DEFINITELY MURDERED 2 children. Little Colin Jacobs and my Dear Friends Granddaughter Amber Fisher, age 3. She heard the news on television.
Relative of victim

Houston, TX

#31 Aug 23, 2008
The only thing wrong with this case is that he is not dead yet. Did he give his victims years before he decided to take their lives?

San Diego, CA

#32 Sep 7, 2008
Box has not been killed yet. He is still on death row at San Quentin.
I knew her

Glen Ellen, CA

#33 Sep 7, 2008
I was a friend of Anne Swanke. I also knew her father and many of her siblings very well. She was a wonderful person who deserved a wonderful life. Her death shattered her family.

Villa Park, CA

#34 Sep 13, 2008
Anne and her older sister were my friends. As were her parents John and Kathy. Anne did not deserve to have her life cut short. She never got to enjoy a wedding day, or experience the wonder of having children. Her family will have to deal with the pain of her death for the rest of their lives. David Lucas has been living and breathing for the past 24 years... years that Anne had a right to enjoy. He took that right away from her. Our legal system sentenced him to "Death" Row... yet he is still alive and breathing 24 years after taking away Anne's mortal life. What a travesty of justice.

San Diego, CA

#35 Sep 24, 2008
Chris Box is still in San Quentin. I don't know where Manny Flores is, but last I heard he "found GOD"...I guess to make him sound more credible.
other neighbor

San Diego, CA

#36 Oct 13, 2008
Does anyone know if box was ever executed?

Poway, CA

#37 Oct 22, 2008
Does anyone know where I can Find information on David Allen Lucas? Please!

San Diego, CA

#38 Oct 24, 2008
PTY wrote:
Does anyone know where I can Find information on David Allen Lucas? Please!
I only know he's on death row.


#39 Oct 29, 2008

New Haven, CT

#40 Nov 1, 2008
There is a lot of the David A Lucas case that just does not seem right, has anyone ever thought that he may be wrongly accused?

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