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California’s infamous ‘I-5 Strangler’ had ties to Citrus Heights

A booking photo from 2013 shows Roger Reece Kibbe. // Image courtesy, CDCR

By Mike Hazlip—
Former Citrus Heights resident Roger Reece Kibbe, known as the “I-5 Strangler,” was found dead in his cell two weeks ago, suffering the same fate as his victims: death by strangulation.

The 81-year-old Kibbe was found dead in his cell in the early morning hours of Feb. 28 according to a statement from the Mule Creek State Prison, where he was incarcerated. Officials said the incident is being investigated as a homicide, noting he was strangled to death.

The prison said a correctional officer was conducting a routine inmate count just before 1 a.m. when he found Kibble lying on the floor of the cell. Cellmate Jason Budrow, who was convicted of first-degree murder a decade ago, was standing nearby the body. A booking photo of Budrow shows him with a “666” tattoo above his right eye.

According to The Sacramento Bee, Kibbe lived in Citrus Heights and worked as a furniture maker. He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 1991 for first-degree murder of a 17-year-old woman who had been strangled to death and found near Lake Tahoe.

A 2019 feature on the TV network Oxygen said forensic evidence later tied Kibbe to six additional murders that were previously unsolved, and in 2009 he was sentenced to serve six consecutive life sentences.

Kibbe’s pattern of finding victims along the I-5 corridor between Sacramento and Stockton earned him the name I-5 Strangler.

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