Conviction in 1976 “Gypsy Hill Killings” Case Closes Decades-Old Investigation

19-year-old Denise Lampe (left) and Leon Melvin Seymour (right)

Leon Melvin Seymour, a 77-year-old man already serving time for violent sexual crimes, was convicted on Friday, October 27, for the murder of 19-year-old Denise Lampe in 1976. The case was part of the notorious “Gypsy Hill Killings” that occurred on the Peninsula over a five-month period. Seymour, who has been housed as a sexually violent predator at Coalinga State Hospital, was found responsible for Lampe’s stabbing death, which took place in the parking lot of the Macy’s at Serramonte Mall in Daly City, where she worked.

Law enforcement officials have determined that there was no prior connection between Lampe and Seymour. Rodney Lynn Halbower, who has been incarcerated in Oregon for most of his adult life, was previously convicted of two of the “Gypsy Hill Killings.” However, recent investigations have led to the formation of new theories, suggesting that the five killings may not have been committed by the same person.

The case was reinvigorated nearly 40 years later when investigators decided to test a DNA sample found on Lampe’s jean jacket. The blood stain was traced back to Seymour, who was already serving time for previous convictions. After an 18-day trial, Seymour was officially convicted of first-degree murder.

San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe expressed satisfaction with the jury’s decision, stating that it brought a sense of peace and justice to Lampe’s family. He described Seymour as an “evil person” who deserves to spend the rest of his life locked away from society.

Author: CrimeDoor

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