On the morning of January 17, 2012, Lauren Kornberg and her mother were walking dogs on the Bronson Canyon trail under the famous “Hollywood” sign when they came across a severed head. The women immediately informed authorities of what they’d found, and soon after Los Angeles Police arrived at the scene, they located feet and hands in a shallow grave about 50 yards away.
The owner of the body parts was later identified as Hervey Medellin, 66, a retired Mexicana Airlines clerk and art collector. For months, police investigated a number of suspects in Medellin’s death, including Canadian porn actor Luka Magnotta. The suspects did not pan out, however, and in November 2015, Medellin’s boyfriend, Gabriel Campos-Martinez, was charged with his murder.
Read on to learn more about Gabriel Campos-Martinez.
1. Campos-Martinez Dated Medellin for Three Years
Gabriel Campos-Martinez was Medellin’s live-in boyfriend, and according to People, the couple had been together for three years. Campos-Martinez was found guilty of Medellin’s murder more than two years after killing, dismembering, and burying the 66-year-old.
According to the LA Times, jurors deliberated for a day and a half before convicting Campos-Martinez. Prosecutor Bobby Grace presented evidence that suggested Medellin was killed on or around December 27, 2011, and died as a result of asphyxiation. During the trial, Grace argued the couple may have been experiencing problems in their relationship after Campos-Martinez discovered that Medellin was going to end the romance.
Campos-Martinez reported Medellin missing on January 9, 2012. At the time, he said that Medellin had not been home since December 26, 2011, and that he had been traveling to Mexico. Detectives, however, found no evidence that Medellin had ever left the country.
2. He Was Found Guilty of First Degree Murder and Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison
On October 1, 2015, Gabriel Campos-Martinez was found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Prosecutors in the case said that Medellin was likely dismembered with a chain saw before his body parts were buried near the Bronson Canyon Trail in Griffith Park.
At one point during the investigation, authorities investigated Campos-Martinez’s ex-boyfriend, William Ladewig, who he left so he could be with Medellin. People writes, “Authorities said Ladewig hadn’t handled the breakup well, and began intimidating the new couple. His behavior became so threatening that Campos-Martinez sought a restraining order against Ladewig.” Eventually, police concluded that Ladewig was not involved in Medellin’s death.
3. A Computer In Their Apartment Had Been Used to Research Human Body Dismemberment
According to The Los Angeles Times, a computer in the apartment shared by Medellin and Campos-Martinez had been used to search articles about human body dismemberment. One article in particular was titled “Butchering of the Human Carcass for Human Consumption”, and was searched the day after Medellin was last seen alive.
4. He Moved to San Antonio Shortly After Medellin’s Head Was Discovered
Shortly after his boyfriend’s severed head was discovered, Campos-Martinez moved to San Antonio, where he married a woman and began working concessions at the San Antonio Convention Center.
Years after Medellin’s hands, feet, and severed head were found, chunks of his flesh were located inside the bat cave in the Hollywood Hills. People reports that “the quarry in which the cave was found had once appeared as the entrance of the Batcave in the 60’s ‘Batman’ TV series.”
5. The Judge Says She ‘Never Really Learned Why’ the Murder Was Committed
According to the Daily Mail, Judge Katherine Mader described the murder as “so inexplicable, so depraved” that it “defies description”. Mader said the court never really learned why the act was committed, and the Daily Mail reports her as saying, “It has always been a question in my mind.”
It is still unclear where, specifically, Medellin was killed, and to this day, his torso has not been located. Coroner’s officials have suggested it’s possible his body was frozen before being scattered in Griffith Park, but forensic experts have said it is impossible to determine the validity of that statement given the limited photographic evidence.