Sacramento Thrill Killer: Eric Royce Reynolds Story

Have you heard of the Sacramento Thrill Killer? He killed 6 people in a two-week period. Here’s how he did it and how he got caught.
Eric Royce Reynolds, Sacramento “Thrill Killer”

Kyle Slade Reynolds was a 20-year-old who made a big change in his life. Reynolds would move from his small town where he grew up to a big city to further his education.

Kyle Slade Reynolds was often referred to as a hard-working young man.

Julie and Al Reynolds, Kyle’s parents would be told by their district attorney that neither of them would be alive to see Eric Royce Leonard executed for the death of their beloved son, Kyle.

Eric Royce Leonard would get the name “Thrill Killer” as he killed 6 individuals during a two-week period during 1996. Currently, you can find Eric Royce Leonard sitting on death row.

Case

Authorities in Sacramento, California is searching for an unidentified individual who shot and murdered a minimum of six people in the last two weeks.

An assailant fatally shot and murdered Thor Johnson Sr., 42 Stephen Anderson, 35 and Zeid Ahmad Obeid, 22 at a local Quick Stop convenience store.

The local police had no eyewitnesses or suspects to this senseless crime. Police could not figure out why anyone would want to murder the victims. None of the victims were involved in gangs and none of the victims or the convenience store had much money to be taken by the suspect as well.

From the Quik Stop convenience store receipts, the local authorities would soon find out that a female customer left the shop around 10:39 pm after purchasing a magazine. From what it appears the next customer behind the female customer was the gunman who purchased two small ninety-nine cent items. The clerk would ring up his purchases, but the clerk would never have the chance to ring up the final total.

The local authorities believe that this is when the gunman would shoot and kill the two employees and take what little money that the cash register had. When the gunman would be fleeing the store, this is when he would shoot and kill Thor Johnson Sr. out in the parking lot.

The murders of these individuals would soon become the main case that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department would obsess over.

Based on all the evidence from this crime scene alone, the local authorities believed that this unidentified person would soon kill again in a short amount of time.

Just one-week later February 19, this unidentified individual would be responsible for killing three employees who worked at the Round Table Pizza. These employees were during closing the restaurant for the evening.

The victims in this senseless murder were Kyle Reynolds, 20, Andrea Coladangelo, 30, and Sarah Crook, 18. The Round Table Pizza establishment was under a mile from the Quik Stop crime scene.

Unfortunately, with this crime scene as well, the local authorities found out that there were no eyewitnesses as well. Local authorities would state that there was an eerie feeling that this crime scene was oddly familiar to the crime scene that was under a mile away at the Quik Stop store.

The unidentified suspect would end up stealing Andrea’s purse along with some of the money from the cash register. The local authorities would believe that the theft part of this crime was to throw them off the killer trail because the authorities really believed that the theft was just a quick afterthought that the theft was not planned.

It would not be until the local authorities would be able to do ballistics testing to confirm that all six victims were shot and killed with the same exact weapon. The weapon used to murder all six individuals was a .25 caliber Beretta pistol.

The local authorities started to believe that all six murders were done for no reason whatsoever. The local authorities believed the murders were done just because the person wanted and/or needed to kill someone to fill that void inside their head. This is when the unidentified suspect would be named as the “Sacramento Thrill Killer”.

One of the local investigators on the base believed that this unidentified suspect had little to no knowledge about weapons. The investigator even went on to theorize that the unidentified suspect was more than likely a younger individual who ended up stealing his or her weapon from their parent’s weapon stash.

However, there were some local investigators that believed that the unidentified suspect was a transient. The local investigators wanted to check in with surrounding police departments along with other law enforcement agencies across the United States to see if they had similar reports of multiple killings with a comparable pattern.

Trial

A few weeks after the hit television show, Unsolved Mysteries aired the case, the unidentified suspect was finally captured. The once unidentified suspect was identified as Eric Royce Leonard, 22. Leonard lived just half a city block away from the Quik Stop store.

Leonard was questioned once prior when a witness saw him near both crime scenes. However, Leonard was also not able to give the local authorities any alibi for the times of both murders took place.

The local authorities were able to locate the .25 caliber Beretta at Leonard’s father’s house. When the authorities did some ballistic testing on the .25 caliber Beretta pistol, they were able to conclude that this was the pistol that was used in not one, but both murder incidents.

Leonard’s father would also tell the local authorities that his son, Eric confessed to him about being the one that murdered those six people.

Leonard would plead guilty during a preliminary hearing, but during Leonard’s official trial, Leonard would state in the courtroom that he was indeed NOT guilty by the reason of insanity.

However, only Leonard would really believe that since the jury did not buy this plea. Leonard would ultimately be convicted of all six murders and given the death sentence in 1996.

His death sentence was upheld again in 2007, even though Leonard’s defense team were trying to claim Leonard had a personality disorder.