EXCLUSIVE: Itzcoatl Ocampo's Dad on His Son's Final Day: "They Killed Him"

Itzcoatl Ocampo Marine OC.jpg
Itzcoatl in his Marines days
Part one of a two-part interview...

"There's something strange in this," says Refugio Ocampo, father of accused serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo, as he dragged on a cigarette in Anaheim's industrial corridor. "[The Orange County District Attorney's office] had a winning case [against Itzcoatl]. So the first question--if he took something...he was under watch. How was it possible he could take something?"

Refugio was understandably furious. The previous day, his son had passed away after ingesting Ajax in his single-man cell at Central Jail. Itzcoatl, of course, was awaiting trial for the murders of six people in late 2011 and early 2012--next to the Kelly Thomas killing, perhaps the OC DA's most high-profile case on the dockets. And now, it was all gone, with both DA Tony Rackauckas and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens accused of incompetence in yet the latest OC jail death.

It was more than mere negligence to Refugio, though. In an exclusive interview with the Weekly (he denied all other media requests this past weekend) he recounted the last day of Itzcoatl's life, a picture emerged of a family desperately trying to reach their son, and an OC legal establishment angrily unsympathetic to their pleas to spend one final moment with a dying Itzcoatl.

According to Refugio, he and his wife were called by doctors at Western Medical Center Wednesday afternoon in SanTana that Itzcoatl had been declared brain dead. Upon reaching the hospital, the stall game began. "The doctor told us that my son had either drank a lot of water or chemicals, but that he was brain dead," Refugio said. "When my wife pointed out that it takes a lot of water to get to that point, he said he was just repeating what the paramedics told him. When I asked whether he had received a report from the paramedics, he said no. What kind of incompetence is that."

Itzcoatl's parents asked if they could see their son. Three sheriff's deputies in the emergency room then accompanied them, commanding the two they could not talk to him, touch him, and had to stand 20 feet away--and only a glimpse. At the hospital, Refugio described a chaotic scene, with deputies, doctors, nurses and orderlies arguing among themselves for reasons the father couldn't discern.

The following morning, at 6 a.m., Refugio and his wife returned wanting to see their son again. No go: deputies on the scene wouldn't allow it without a sign-off from a judge. "They treated us like animals," he claimed. "It was an order from above to deny us the chance to see our son."

The two went to Men's Central Jail to ask for help, where the presiding officer said "we couldn't see him until he returned to jail." In frustration, Refugio called on Itzcoatl's two lawyers, Michael Molfetta and Randy Longwith, for help. They called the DA; Refugio said Rackauckas wouldn't sign off letting Refugio and his wife see their son (OC DA spokesperson Susan Kang Schroeder denied the allegation, saying it was "wrong information").

They never saw Itzcoatl alive again; he was pronounced dead Thanksgiving at 1:38 p.m. Even then, the Ocampos were not allowed to see Itzcoatl until after investigators came and "did their show," Refugio said. And deputies wouldn't allow Longwith in, leading to a confrontation between Refugio and investigators until Longwith interceded and said he'd wait outside. Once inside the morgue, deputies "stared at us," and nurses asked if they'd consider allowing the harvesting of Itzcoatl's organs, which his parents denied.

"They killed my son," Refugio said, tears welling up in his eyes. "Did no one oversee him in jail? How? Why? If they had a case to win, why did they let this happen?"

He plans to have Ocampo cremated per his wishes, but doesn't know when that'll happen. "We don't know what's next," he said. "No one's telling us."

Tomorrow: Refugio on his son's military service, and his preferred final resting place.

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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66 comments
oc_democrat
oc_democrat

Gus what did you have to promise pops for the interview? Holiday tamales? 

ethose
ethose

Refugio you are a selfish pig. Think of all the evil your son did. He was a real monster and if you don't wake up and acknowledge this fact you may end up in hell with him. You need to apologize to the families of the victims and stop making up lies and excuses.

kbob
kbob

Maybe if you spent time with him earlier and got him help, f*ck, why am I wasting my breath on this POS and his POS family.

khaosho
khaosho

Go to hell Refugio, your son is in hell for sure. Why don't you and your family go join him there.

El_Rapido
El_Rapido

Refugio Ocampo - Querias que te dieran tiempo de ver a tu hijo cuando el no le dio tiempo a las familias sus victimas???  Deja de hacerte pendejo.  A nadie le importa que la mierda de tu hijo se halla muerto, al contrario, todos estamos agradecidos que se halla muerto porque de esta manera nos ahorraremos millones en costos de corte y mantenerlov vivo en la carcel a este excremento de humano. Si quieres que la gente simpatize contigo, empieza pidiendo disculpas a las familias de las victimas. 


In English:

Refugio Ocampo - You wanted  to see your son when he didn't afford the families of his victims time (before dying)?  Quit being an idiot.  Nobody cares that the POS son of yours has died, quite the contrary, everyone is thankful that he died because it will save millions in court and in keeping this human excrement alive in jail. If you want people to sympathize with you, begin asking the victims families for forgiveness.

khaosho
khaosho

You have got to be kidding. Just read part 2 and did not think it could get any worse than that! This family is beyond disgusting. Good job to the deputies for not allowing this filth to visit their dying serial killer son. They even have the nerve to criticize the doctor at the hospital.

Let me get this craziness straight. First it is the marines fault your son became a serial killer, and the countries fault for "abandoning" your son when he needed them, then your crazy son OD's on something and its the fault of the jailers, DA and sheriff for not watching him, and the doctors incompetent for not having a report from the paramedics which he just gave to you verbally, lol. But you do feel at fault for what happened to your son because you signed the papers allowing him to join the Marines when he was 17.

 There are no doubt a lot of military folks who come home and don't receive all the help they need. It sounds like your son was never in any combat and had issues long before he joined. I don't see a large number of vets out stalking and killing innocent people. These poor victims did nothing to your deranged son.

 Hate to break this to you but chances are pretty good that you and your wife contributed more than anything or anyone to creating this killer monster. In your attempt to gain sympathy for yourselves and your son you are making yourselves look like deranged jackasses. I don't remember ever hearing an apology or condolences from you or your family for the victims brutally murdered by this monster. Unless you are going to open your mouth to offer some condolences or an apology you really need to shut up and ride off into the sunset somewhere. I ,along with anyone else who reads the news your son offed himself, think it's a great thing and don't feel an ounce of sympathy for him or you. Any sympathy I would have felt for you is completely washed away by your ridiculous lies and statements from the beginning. Your son was also a very big coward for killing himself before he had to face trial. If none of this sinks in for you I think the best thing would be for you to put his ashes in your pockets, tie yourself to an anchor and jump overboard. You are a real POS.

csense
csense

Hey Refugio, unless you are going to apologize for your evil son you need to just keep your mouth shut. No one feels sorry for you or appreciates your lies and bs about how the Marines caused your son to become a serial killer. You did a terrible job raising your kids so why don't you concentrate on being a better father to the ones you still have. No one is ever going to feel sorry for you so knock it off. The country and the system didn't let your son down, you did.

ccmama
ccmama

"There's something strange in this," says Refugio Ocampo....well thank you captain obvious. Hopefully one day he will wake up and stop blaming the marines, the VA, the government, the DA, and the jailers, the doctors, the nurses, the paramedics. Did I miss anyone? What blame does their precious little serial killer get?

csense
csense

This man Refugio Ocampo should be locked up in a mental institution, the mother too if she shares his views. No wonder they raised a serial killer, these people are completely out of touch with reality. Someone really should evaluate these people, they sound like a danger to society.

chimothy
chimothy

These poor, humble people just lost their decorated War Hero son, and all people can focus on is the half-dozen people he murdered.

Y'all are racists.

Michael Mastagni
Michael Mastagni

What about his victims, OC Weekly? Yeah, he needed better oversight but this is just plain old yellow journalism trying to exclaim its voice over moderation and a more composed approach to the situation. Sheesh.

Mimi Arcala
Mimi Arcala

Did you not read the news when they caught him, that he did admit to stalking and killing his victims AND included a mother and son that initially were not "tied to" the homeless killings. And the fact he had a dead man's blood all over him when they caught him, after a witness saw him stabbing the victim behind the Carl's Jr??? I guess he's not guilty...it was all self defense, right? K...gotcha. /sarcasm

halo1234
halo1234

This really is one of the most disturbing interviews I have ever seen. The "incompetence" is certainly not on the part of the jail, DA or sheriff for crying out loud. The incompetence is in the parents who raised such an evil monster then failed to get him any mental health help when they saw he was becoming mentally unstable. Looks to me like the entire family may be mentally unstable and that is of even more concern as they roam the streets freely. Their son murders 6 people brutally and they try to blame his time in the Marines for that, then he overdoses (thankfully) on something and it is the jail, DA, sheriff responsible. Something is very seriously wrong with this bunch and someone needs to look into it. The parents seem to be completely out of touch with reality, like there son was incarcerated for a minor traffic violation. It would almost be comical if it did not involve the very sad fact 6 innocent people lost their lives because of this evil POS. Someone needs to give this family a reality check. Makes you really wonder what goes on behind closed doors in that household.

Brian Murdock
Brian Murdock

Nobody cares he was a POS!!! He deserved to die..

ProfSmith
ProfSmith

That poor family.  Their son murdered six people and then they couldn't spend a last moment with him before he died by his own hand.  What a sad, touching story...not!

ccmama
ccmama

so his family is "understandably furious"? Really???? Their son stalked and brutally murdered 6 people, including my uncle. I am relieved this psycho is dead.  The family of IO has never apologized for their son's actions. Always looking to put the blame on anyone but him. They never got to see him before he died? Welcome to this horrible club we never asked to belong to. The only one they should be mad at is their psycho son they raised. He was a psycho before he went into the marines. In one interview he did when he first got arrested, he said he joined the marines so he could GET to kill people. He was just disappointed when he was assigned to drive a truck on base. He stole our peace of mind for a long time, we got it back on Thanksgiving day.

halo1234
halo1234

"they killed my son" says the father. Seriously? Looks like the dude killed himself and the father still wants to blame everyone but his despicable son. What a loser.

halo1234
halo1234

None of the victims family got to have a last moment with their loved ones. Why on earth should his father think he deserves a last moment with his son? This is the weirdest family ever. I have to say I don't remember ever hearing a serial killer's family come out and defend them or seek sympathy. Normally they just lay low and keep quiet. These people are extremely narcissistic and self centered. They still offer no condolences to the victims families, screw them.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Any sympathy I would have for this scumbag's family is always eclipsed by my anger at his heinous acts. Good riddance to bad rubbish. :-(

halo1234
halo1234

Great insight CplofMarines. I never thought it had anything to do with his being a Marine. Pretty obvious he probably had very unrealistic expectations of what being a Marine is all about. His own parents, judging from the statements they have made, have zero sense of personal responsibility and obviously passed that to their children in a big way. Everyone I know who is in the military or who once served are very good people, some of the best people I know. It is shameful and disgusting this family tried to blame the Marines for their sons deplorable actions and now they are trying to do the same thing to the OC jail regarding his death. I only feel bad for the victims and their families, I feel no sympathy for the monster or his family.


Lyanne Fitzpatrick
Lyanne Fitzpatrick

Well he killed my childhood friends dad at the Nixon library on my Bday so FUCK YOU!

Joey Rodriguez
Joey Rodriguez

Don't care about this shitstain, let's Go Ducks!!

CplofMarines
CplofMarines

I personally supervised then LCpl. and subsequently demoted PFC. Ocampo during his first deployment in 2008 to Iraq. I was personally on my second deployment. Ocampo never saw combat nor did he "pick up dead bodies" as was stated in other reports.

 Ocampo was assigned to a supply battalion's Motor Transport Platoon during the 2008 deployment.  In which his duties included; resupply via MK23(supply truck) of units on base with; water, fuel, and various supplies. He also picked up unit mail on base. Ocampo never traveled outside the base during his deployment.  Upon completion of his deployment to Iraq he was returned to his home unit which was a medical battalion.

From the time he joined my unit in CONUS (Continental United States),  he suffered from a slight hand tremor. He also had a twitch in his eyes, and would often raise his eyebrows and crease his forehead when trying to grasp a task or assignment. None of which was a result of his deployment and was clearly present beforehand. 

Ocampo's personality and actions incited his supervisors to take extra care with him, often reaching out to him on a personal level after the work day was complete. He had talked multiple times about his families ongoing problems, and how he felt he had to support them. 

Ocampo had a skewed view of what a Marine was, and would talk and share stories of a neighbor he had who served in the Marine Corps. Ocampo was far from the top Marine and the medals he had were not for anything but participation. He was even disqualified from achieving a standard Good Conduct Medal, for his disciplinary record within the Marine Corps. 

I truly wish Ocampo would have sought treatment at his local VA office but knowing him, he would have thought that that's not what a Marine does. He clearly never understood that Marines fight for those who cannot. That you do not only earn the title but you carry it with you throughout your entire life. The values of honor, courage, and commitment are to have resignation in all that you do. I feel sad for all families involved for this mans actions but this is not a result of his deployment. He was clearly a mentally unstable individual.

FFO1939
FFO1939

Good Bye Beaner rot in hell!!! You never had the balls to stand up to face your crimes rather than doing the Hitler way.  Adios Pendejo!!

David M. Smith
David M. Smith

Any loss of life is unfortunate for anyone. We all have different life stories that cause us humans to do the things that we do. Its not fun to see anyone die

Steven Myers
Steven Myers

I thought he was waiting trial? Meaning he's not guilty yet correct?

Michael Staubly
Michael Staubly

He took the cowards way out. Face the crimes you committed.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

If you want to kill yourself you'll make it happen.  I doubt there was any funny business going on.  Especially since I'm sure the DA wanted this to go to trial.  I think that it is very common for inmates to clean their cells on a daily basis.  That's what I've heard, that some wash their whole cell down each day from top to bottom, it gives them something to do and because jail is so dirty.  Perhaps he hoarded his cleaner. 

DaniGirl949
DaniGirl949

Maybe the guy just killed himself-

His father is the last person who should have something to say..... Why didn't his father speak out about the ones his son murdered ?

I understand this was his son, and as parents we love out children regardless- but come on now -

halo1234
halo1234

@ccmama Wow I am so sorry for your loss, I agree with everything you said. It seems almost criminal to me the way this family has been so insensitive and full of all kinds of excuses and blame. I am glad you, and hopefully all the other families have some peace of mind back. I am glad this family is having to experience some of the pain you all have gone through, even though I am sure it's not as horrible as having a family member brutally murdered for no reason at all. I also hope that poor guy who lost his mother and brother then had to sit in jail accused of murder feels better now. This Ocampo was such a monster, I am very glad he is dead now.

n2bigmuscle
n2bigmuscle topcommenter

To give back, they should have donated his organs.

info3740
info3740

@CplofMarines Thank you first for your service, second for helping everyone else understand this monster. Third, for pointing out a very clear and present danger in youth today...the ENTITLEMENT AGE...the quick fix, instant results, just add water types.  NOTHING WORTH ANYTHING is easy or free...or worth anything for that matter!  As you stated so beautifully of what a Marine is...I wish youth today would understand what being HUMAN is...  it seems this could simply be stated with the learning the word "RESPECT" ....  


halo1234
halo1234

@David M. Smith yes everybody goes through stuff in life but do you actually mean to excuse a mass murderer who killed for the fun of it? No one and nothing but pure evil causes a person to go out and kill innocent people. I would have enjoyed watching this POS die. Nothing sad at all about him dying. His family is almost as pathetic as he is.

halo1234
halo1234

@Steven Myers He confessed and was caught in the act by several eyewitnesses the last murder. He was guilty as hell.

gm0622
gm0622

@949girl  You normally get spray cleaner, cleaning rags, and a mop.

ccmama
ccmama

@halo1234 thank you. I am so relieved that we don't have to go thru a trial, hearing every horrible detail and being forced to re-live that nightmare. His parents really need to get a clue. I really hope Eder Herrera is ok. I have thought about that poor boy a lot. I know it sounds bad, but I am really glad Ocampo had to suffer alone for such a long time.

halo1234
halo1234

@ccmama @halo1234 what you said does not sound bad at all, Ocampo is one of the worst people I ever heard of. His family is very warped also. I am glad they are suffering because they don't seem to care at all about all the people suffering because of their coward son. He is in hell now for sure so he did not escape justice like he thought he would. 

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