Farm Worker Serial Killer Juan Vallejo Corona Dies

“Machete Murderer” Juan Vallejo Corona Dies of Natural Causes

News Release Edited by Laurie Greene

California State Prison Corcoran inmate Juan Vallejo Corona, 85, died of natural causes Monday at an outside hospital, according to an online public statement by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. Corona was serving 25 concurrent life sentences for 25 counts of first-degree murder. His victims were all migrant farm workers.

In 1971 ,25 bodes buried in orchards along the Feather River in Sutter County were found—a record-setting number of murders in the United States at the time. All of his victims were men who had been seen with Corona or had been hired through Corona’s Sutter County labor contracting business.

Corona, referred to as “machete murderer” by the press, was tried in Colusa County, found guilty in January 1973, and sent to state prison one month later. He barely survived a stabbing attack in 1973 while at California Medical Facility in Vacaville that cost him the sight in his left eye.

In 1978, an appellate court overturned Corona’s conviction, and he was granted a new trial. In 1981, he was admitted to a Correctional Training Facility in Soledad as a safe-keeper commitment until the proceedings were moved to Alameda County. In 1982, Corona was again convicted of all 25 murders, sentenced to 25 concurrent life sentences, and began serving time for the Sutter County commitment.

One decade later, Corona was transferred from Correctional Training Facility to the Protective Housing Unit at California State Prison Corcoran, a unit that houses inmates whose safety would be endangered by general population housing. Corona was denied parole eight times, most recently in 2016.

Featured Photo: Juan Vallejo Corona. Source: California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation, March 23, 2018.