March 1996. Detective Rick Carlson received a report of a missing female, Beatrice Toronczak. With Toronczak’s mother in Poland and unable to speak English, a family friend filed the report on her behalf. The friend told Carlson at the time of her disappearance Toronczak had been dating Ramon Rogers and the couple had a ten-year-old son together. The friend also mentioned Toronczak had told several people Rogers was abusive and at times even threatened to lock her in a storage unit he owned. 

Knowing there was a possibility Rogers may somehow be linked to the disappearance, Carlson began looking into his background. It didn’t take long for him to make a chilling discovery. Rogers last girlfriend Rose Albano, had been murdered and one of her legs was later found in a plastic bag in Valley Center. Carlson would later discover the parts were found on the way to the Rogers’ sisters house.  

Carlson knew Rogers needed to be talked to so he drove to the apartment complex at 7000 Saranac Street where he worked as the manager. After knocking on the apartment door and getting no response, Carlson asked a neighbor if she had seen either Rogers or Toronczak lately. The neighbor replied she had not. Remembering the threat of locking her in the storage room, Carlson asked the neighbor if there were any storage rooms under the complex. The neighbor replied yes and said Rogers controlled three of them but was very guarded about letting others in there. 

Thinking Toronczak might be alive and locked in the storage unit, Carlson called for several uniformed officers to meet him at the apartments. Carlson later recalled, “I wasn’t really sure of what I would find in there.”

With the uniformed officers, Carlson walked to the carport area of the complex where they saw a man working on a red BMW Carlson asked, “Are you Ramon Rogers?” The man told Carlson he wasn’t, but the car he was working on belonged to Rogers. It was then a gold Isuzu Trooper pulled into the carport and a man stepped out and approached Carlson. “I am Ramon Rogers, can I help you?” the man asked. 

Carlson identified himself as a police officer and asked Rogers about his missing girlfriend. Carlson later said, “At first Rogers seemed very calm. He told me Beatrice had gone to Mexico with a male friend.” While Rogers’ demeanor was convincing enough, Carlson didn’t believe him. Not with one ex-girlfriend murdered and the other now missing. After hearing Rogers response, Carlson asked to look in his storage unit. All of a sudden the muscles in Rogers neck tensed up and he said, “I can’t let you do that.” Fearing Toronczak may be in immediate danger and Rogers was about to make a run for it, Carlson had the patrol officers handcuff him and place him in a police car. Carlson then told Rogers “several people you know are either missing or dead. I need to look in your storage shed and you wont let me. What would you think about all of this if you were the police officer and I were you?” Rogers looked up and replied, “I would think it was pretty suspicious.” 

With Rogers safely under control, Carlson and another uniformed officer walked down to the storage units where they broke down the doors. Inside they found illegal narcotics and Toronczak’s suitcase fully packed. They struck pay dirt when they entered the third unit and found a large pool of dried blood. Scattered throughout the room was a variety of tools some with what looked to be dried blood and flesh on them. Carlson also noticed blood spatter on the walls and rubber gloves on the floor. Right then Carlson knew Toronczak was dead and told the patrol officer to back out so as not to contaminate the crime scene. 

Homicide detectives responded to the scene with a search warrant. When they went back in, Detective James Boyd found several body parts and teeth which were later positively identified through dental records as belonging to Toronczak.

Detectives would spend the next several days pouring over the crime scene and related evidence. A check into Rogers’ background found not only had his ex girlfriend from years back had been murdered, his best friend, Ron Stant, was missing. In Rogers’ hometown in Idaho, a female friend of his parents was also a missing person from the time he was a teenager. After obtaining a search warrant, Idaho detectives searched under a cement slab outside of Rogers’ boyhood house but located nothing. 

Back in San Diego, Rogers was tried for the murders of Toronczak, his ex girlfriend Rose Albano and, even though no body had been found, his missing best friend Ron Stant. 

After a one-month trial, the jury deliberated only one day before returning with a guilty verdict with special circumstances, in this case multiple murders, against Rogers. 

Ramon Rogers now sits on California’s death row awaiting execution. One chilling afterthought in the case is when forensic tests were done on his Isuzu Trooper, blood was found under the carpets and upholstery. That blood matched neither Rogers not any of the people he was convicted of killing.

For his dedication in bringing a serial killer to justice, Richard Carlson is awarded the Frank W. Northern Award for Dedication.