Local News

Family, friends reflect on verdict

By From page A5 | November 06, 2012

“There is never any closure, but this is pretty darn close.”
— Ginger Swigart, Sabrina Gonsalves’ aunt

“I was with him the night he was murdered because I would follow him anywhere — any chance I had to be with John, I would be with him. My memories of him are so happy and positive and fun — I think of him and it makes me smile. I miss him, and I hate to see what his family has gone through, what we’ve all gone through.”
— Beth Gabor, John Riggins’ cousin, who was 14 at the time of the killings

“I’m extremely happy for the families and anyone else affected by these horrific murders.”
— Joel Davis, former Davis Enterprise reporter, whose book, “Justice Waits: The UC Davis Sweetheart Murders,” is credited with getting the case reopened in 2002

“It’s good to have this part over. In my career I never tried to predict juries, but when this jury came back after … three hours of deliberations, it kind of spelled it for me.”
— Jerry Adler, former Davis mayor and Riggins family friend, who helped the Riggins and Gonsalves families in their search for John and Sabrina following their abductions

“It certainly closes a chapter. …You almost remember kind of a sense of innocence being lost, and you can never get that back, but finally there may be some certainty in terms of where we stand regarding this. …It’s just amazing to think that they’d be 50 years old this year.”
— Bob Bowen, who worked with John and Sabrina in the Davis parks department and was one of the last to see them alive as they ushered a Dec. 20, 1980, performance of the “Davis Children’s Nutcracker.”

“I couldn’t be happier for their family, their friends, the community of Davis. Everyone who had the pleasure of crossing paths with this family should be pleased. It puts me at the point of tears.”
— Joyce Wisner, Riggins family friend

“It’s overwhelming — totally, totally overwhelming. It was so rewarding to have so many people here to hear that verdict. It just showed the support of this amazing number of friends and family. It’s the way we should be.”
— Jane Wierman, Riggins family friend

Lauren Keene

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