SAN RAFAEL -- A Marin County jury found accused serial killer Joseph Naso guilty on four counts of murder Tuesday afternoon.

The verdict was read around 2:15 p.m. before Judge Andrew Sweet in Marin Superior Court.

Naso, a 79-year-old former photographer who represented himself, was charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, 18, who was dumped west of Fairfax in 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, who was found near Port Costa in 1978; Pamela Parsons, 38, who was found in Yuba County in 1993; and Tracy Tafoya, 31, who was found in Yuba County in 1994.

The homicide investigations stalled until 2010, when a routine probation check at the former freelance photographer's home in Reno revealed an extensive collection of photographs of dead or unconscious women in various states of undress, incriminating writings and sadistic magazines, investigators said.

The prosecution presented 70 witnesses and Naso, who represented himself, called seven witnesses to the stand.

Deputy District Attorney Rosemary Slote told the jury in her closing argument Naso picked up the women in his car, took them home, strangled them and dumped their bodies.

During his five-hour closing argument on Friday and Monday, Naso asked the jury to ignore the prosecution's attempt to "mislead" them with illegal circumstantial evidence and "inflame" them with photographs of the women's bodies.

"I'm not on trial for sexual assault," he told the jury several times during his closing statement.

He told the jury Friday that the evidence against him is weak and the prosecution dredged through his past "to find as much garbage as they can and fling it at you."


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"It's only intended to confuse and mislead the jury," Naso said during his closing arguments.

On the question of how his DNA apparently ended up on the body of Roggasch, an Oakland prostitute dumped near Fairfax in 1977, Naso said he and any number of men might have had sex with her in the days before her "demise."

Either that, or evidence technicians might have accidentally intermingled his DNA sample with the victim's at the crime lab, he said.

"It would have become contaminated," Naso, a former East Bay resident, said.

He did not have an explanation for why his ex-wife's DNA was on the pantyhose that was used to strangle Roggasch.

Naso was occasionally testy and combative as the judge reminded him to restrict his comments to the evidence presented during the trial. At one point, Sweet threatened to revoke his right to represent himself and turn the closing argument over to his "advisory counsel," Deputy Public Defender Pedro Oliveros.

"I think I'm doing quite well," Naso retorted. "I haven't done anything flagrant."

Naso took up the entire court day on his closing argument, much of which was repetitive or involved showing the jury his photographs of weddings, families, children and models.

In the 2010 discovery of the photos in his home, investigators also found diaries written by Naso in which he allegedly chronicles stalking and raping women back to the 1950s in various parts of the country. Prosecutors used them to establish a pattern that led to the crimes for which he is charged.

Detectives also found what authorities describe as a "list of 10" -- a roster, in Naso's handwriting, of 10 unnamed "girls" with geographic locations. Prosecutors allege the list refers to 10 women Naso killed and the areas where he dumped their bodies.

Authorities are still investigating whether Naso can be charged with more murders. Prosecutors allege that he is also responsible for the murder of a traveling Bob Dylan groupie whose skull was found in Nevada County, but they did not file a murder charge because the evidence did not come together until his trial was almost ready to begin.

"The prosecution has constructed its case against me with conjecture, opinion and stipulation," Naso told the jury. "It's guesswork."

The prosecution plans to seek the death penalty.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.