riverside ranch

Assisted by his mother Sarah and a teenage nephew named Stanford Clark, Gordon Stewart Northcott made a business and pleasure from abducting children and holding them at his isolated ranch in Riverside County, California, for his own depraved purposes and those of unidentified clients from Los Angeles. The children were subsequently killed and their bodies buried in the surrounding desert. In February 1928, the headless body of a Mexican boy was found in a ditch near Puent. Less than two months later two brothers aged eight and ten went missing after being seen in the company of Northcott at a boys’ club. Enquiries made at the Northcott ranch revealed that he had already fled to Canada. Searching the grounds the police officers found the missing head of the Mexican child. Under close questioning the nephew Clark described how Northcott had sexually abused the two young brothers before beating them to death. Sarah Northcott had little option now but to confess her part in her son’s crimes, including actively participating in one of the murders. When police intelligence had tracked Gordon Northcott down and extradited him back to California he was charged with just three murders. Although it was  confidently believed that Northcott’s total body count was as many as twenty, no further remains were found. Sarah Northcott , for her part, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the nine-year-old Mexican, and Stanford Clark agreed to turn state’s evidence against his uncle. Gordon Northcott was sentenced to hang. While he was awaiting sentence on San Quentin’s Death Row, Northcott was taken ill, and firmly believing that he was about to die made a full confession to Assistant Warden Clinton Duffy. This statement, which Duffy described as a catalogue of mass murder, torture and sodomy was retained on his file when Northcott got over his far from fatal sickness. Gordon Northcott was executed on 2 October 1930.

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Assisted by his mother, Sarah, and a teenage nephew by the name of Stanford Clark, Gordon Northcott abducted children and kept them prisoner at his isolated ranch in Riverside County, California, where he, and his clients, molested them. Once he was done with the children, he would kill them and then bury their bodies in the surrounding desert. In February 1928, the decapitated body of a young boy was discovered in a ditch near Puent. Two months prior to this discovery, two brothers aged eight and ten went missing. They were last seen with Northcott at a boys’ club. Authorities went to Northcott’s home and discovered that he had fled to Canada. The home was searched and authorities found the missing head of the young boy who had been found earlier. Stanford Clark was taken in for questioning and confessed that Northcott had sexually assaulted the two brothers before brutally beating them to death. Sarah Northcott confessed that she had participated in one of the murders. Gordon was tracked down and extradited to California where he was charged with just three murders although it is believed that he may have killed as many as twenty children. Sarah Northcott was sentenced to life imprisonment. Stanford Clark agreed to turn state’s evidence against his uncle, Gordon Northcott, and Gordon was sentenced to hang. The sentence was carried out on 2 October, 1930, when Gordon was 23-years-old.