The women of San Diego, California were near hysteria in 1990. Headlines in the news read “Eerie Serial Killings Have San Diego Women on the Edge.” A monster was breaking into the apartment of young women during the day and murdering them. Six women were killed within one year, and dozens of others were burglarized. In addition, a handful of women barely escaped the clutches of this serial killer. A profile was developed by the FBI who determined the assailant was a “signature killer” who was also a piquerest. Unbeknownst to the police, they had spoken with the murderer on multiple occasions, but he didn’t fit the profile, so they never pursued him as a viable suspect. Find out more in this episode!
On January 12, 1990, at 9:01 pm dispatchers received a 911 phone call. Officers were sent to the Clairmont area of San Diego, California.
Specifically, the Canyon Ridge apartments, on Cowley Way. When they walked up the 14 stairs to the apartment they heard the screaming and crying of a man. The door to the second story apartment was opened and they could see the body of a young woman. It was 21-year-old, Tiffany Schultz. She was clearly dead, laying sprawled out on the floor in one of the bedrooms.
Tiffany was naked except for her black bikini bottoms. Her legs were spread apart and her arms were bent at the elbows as if she had been posed. One leg was smeared with blood, and there was blood on her crotch, but not from a wound.
There were at least 47 stab wounds on her body, with a cluster of 20 stab wounds in the right breast and chest area. The wounds were deep, some extending through to her back. They weren’t frenzied stabbings, but methodical and intentional.
Tiffany Schultz had cuts to her hands and arms which showed she put up a fight. Her mouth was bruised, and she had been beaten about the face, but she hadn’t been raped.
Investigators noticed there was water in the bathtub and a damp towel in the bathroom as if she had just showered or been interrupted while getting ready to shower. Beside her were a tennis racquet and a pair of rollerblades. There were no signs of forced entry.
Investigators soon learned that Tiffany Schultz was a student studying English at San Diego State University. For extra money, she moonlighted as a stripper at a Gentle Men’s club called Le Girls. The young man heard crying and screaming was her fiancé, Christopher Burns. Another man in her apartment was their roommate, Daniel Ganss, It was that Daniel found Tiffany’s body in his bedroom.
Police were able to put a timeline together of Tiffany Schultz’s last few hours alive. When Christopher left for work in the morning, Tiffany was still in bed sleeping. By 10 am she was awake and sunbathing. This is known because the apartment complex manager, Dorothy Curtiss, saw Tiffany in her swimsuit on the balcony of the second-floor apartment. She briefly spoke to Tiffany and Tiffany told her that she and Christopher were fighting. They had gotten into a heated argument the night before over her stripping.
Dorothy Curtiss offered another clue to the police. She remembered that not long after talking to Tiffany, a man approached her in front of her office. The office was next to the stairs that lead to Tiffany’s apartment. The stranger told her that he needed a hanger because he had locked his keys in his car. When the manager gave him a hanger, she was surprised that the man began walking toward the apartments rather than to his car. But she let it go.
Five other women were murder in a similar fashion that year in San Diego. Dozens of other women were burglarized and a handful had nearly escaped the clutches of serial killer Cleophus Prince Jr. Listen to this episode of Crimes & Consequences to learn more about Cleophus brutal murders.