Northern California serial killer Juan Corona, who murdered at least 25 men, is dead. Corona raped and stabbed his victims, and sometimes used a machete to hack the men’s heads. Corona died of natural causes in a hospital outside Corcoran State Prison, where he had been incarcerated since 1973. According to police, he picked single migrant worker men as his targets. The first body was found buried in a shallow grave in an orchard—25 more dead men were eventually found. All the victims were buried in and around orchards where Corona had been working.
Corona immigrated to the California valley in the 1950s, where he witnessed the deadly flooding of 1955. In reaction to the tragedy, Corona began to believe that everyone he encountered was dead. Doctors would later diagnose him with schizophrenia. “He believed that everyone in this area has drowned in the flood,” his brother Natividad wrote. Corona was committed to a mental institution in 1956 where he underwent shock therapy treatment. After his release, he returned to farm work, and committed his first murder in the early 1970s.