After a whirlwind romance and marriage, a man strangles his wife in a jealous rage.
Weight: 210 lbs.
Defining Characteristics: Has a tattoo of a heart and arrow with the name, “Rachel” on his upper right arm
In 1985, Sally Garrity of San Francisco, California, wanted to settle down, but had not yet found “the man of her dreams”. Then, in February of that year, at a neighborhood tavern, Sally thought she had met the perfect mate, a young man named Sal Guardado. Sheri Ysit was happy for her sister:
“She said, ‘I think I met Mr. Right, Sheri.’ So I was very happy for her to have met someone that made her happy. I saw that in her face, that Sal had made her happy, just in the short time that she had met and known him.”
Sally was half Irish and half Shoshone Paiute Indian. She made and sold Native American handicrafts. Sal worked part-time in a local pizza parlor. Sally brought her sister Sheri and her Aunt Lydia, who had raised the two girls, there to meet Sal. Within a week of meeting, Sal proposed to Sally and took out a loan for a diamond ring. But things didn’t stay romantic for very long. Sal lost his job and his car, and the couple was forced to move in with Sally’s aunt, Lydia. It seemed that Sal was always in a foul mood. He did nothing but watch TV and go bowling with his friends. When they visited a Native American festival, Sheri got a first hand look at Sal’s dark side:
“That was the first indication to me that she wasn’t happy with him. It was a big change from the pizza parlor. She indicated to me that she wished he would move out.”
Sal attacked Sally’s aunt
Then, on May 23, 1985, three months into the relationship, Sal was at home when Sally was dropped off by a friend. When he noticed that the friend was a man, he flew into a rage. Sally’s aunt Lydia returned home in the middle of the argument:
“I just hated that he was so aggressive. He might have got jealous, yes. But there was nothing between that man and Sally. She just rode home with him. He never asked to do anything for me. But he did run me out of the house that day. When I think about it, that’s what I think he wanted.”
He assaulted Lydia with a bowling ball
A short while later, Lydia returned:
“I didn’t see anything when I came back, it was so quiet. The TV was on, so I just sat down and watched the news. I heard the bedroom door open and just kept watching the news. Then he tried to strangle me, but I wouldn’t let him. I started fighting him. Before I knew it, I was hit on the head. I heard the bones crushing and the ball roll over something, but I was out.”
Lydia eventually regained consciousness:
“When I came to, I got up and I was so weak, I just staggered around. And then I went in the bedroom. My niece was lying there. I knew right away she was dead. And after that, I just went to my neighbor, knocked on the window and told her, ‘Call the police.'”
Sally had been strangled to death. During the investigation, Sally’s family discovered that Sal Guardado was a convicted felon with a long criminal record. He had spent five years in prison for arson and the attempted murder of a former girlfriend.
Authorities immediately began searching the San Francisco area, but Sal was gone. Inspector Jeff Brosch of the San Francisco Police Department investigated the case:
“We thought we’d solve this case right away. We had the FBI involved. We had local law enforcement involved. We had all the tools, and we just couldn’t find out where he’d gone or where he was. It boggles the mind to understand how he’s avoided us all this time.”
Three months after Sal Guardado disappeared, a witness reported seeing him back in San Francisco at a fast food restaurant. However, authorities believe he may have gone to Miami, Mexico, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season four with Robert Stack and in season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.
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