'Diabolical Women' to feature CL serial killer

By Sharon Rice, Editor, The Friday Flyer


Canyon Lakers who would like to watch a drama about Dana Sue Gray, the serial murderer who killed two Canyon Lake women in February 1994, can tune in to a true-crime series called "Diabolical Women." The Dana Sue Gray episode is scheduled to air Wednesday, April 1, at 10/9C (7 p.m.) on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN), a division of A&E Network. To learn more, visit http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/diabolical-women.

According to Mari Sheibani of LMNO Productions, who recently obtained photographs of articles about the murders from The Friday Flyer, the series features one-hour episodes that focus on the real stories of convicted female killers.  

Ms. Sheibani says, "Through an investigative journey, we learn the story through on-camera interviews with the determined detectives, prosecutors and family members. Additional visuals will include photographs, news and archival footage."

On February 24, 1994, the front page article of The Friday Flyer, entitled "Stabbing death under investigation," reported on the investigation into the death of 86-year-old Norma Davis, who had been found stabbed and choked to death in her Continental Cove condominium on February 16. It later was determined the murder took place on February 14.

Two weeks later, on February 28, June Roberts, 66, was found strangled by a telephone cord in her Big Tee Dr. home.

The entire front page of the March 4, 1994 issue was devoted to the murders, with the headline, "City mobilizes after second murder." POA President Lori Ziegler was quoted as saying, "We're shutting down the community to outsiders unless they're called in."

It was a very frightening time for Canyon Lake residents as investigators from the Riverside Sheriff's Perris Station, Joseph Greco and Chris Antoniadas searched for leads. Some older women living alone took to sleeping at each other's houses, and security at the gates was very tight. Many residents bought personal security devices, and involvement in Canyon Lake's Neighborhood Watch grew.

Dana Sue Gray was apprehended at her residence on Mission Trail Dr. in Lake Elsinore on March 16. Unbeknownst to investigators at the time, earlier that day she had murdered her third victim, Dora Beebe, of Sun City. It also was learned that a fourth victim, Dorinda Hawkins, had been attacked and left for dead in a Lake Elsinore antique store. She survived and later was able to identify Gray as her assailant.

Gray was a Canyon Lake homeowner and unemployed nurse (labor and delivery at Inland Valley Regional Medical Center) who knew both of her Canyon Lake victims. The clues that led to her apprehension were her use of June Roberts' and Dora Beebe's stolen credit cards for shopping sprees following their murders. On October 16, 1998, Gray was sentenced to life without parole and was incarcerated in the California Women's Prison in Chowchilla.

Several documentaries have been made about her case. There is also a book, "To Die For: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Dana Sue Gray," written by Kathy Braidhill and available at amazon.com.