Isn’t It Big?
About 9:30 p.m. on December 15, Julia Solis and Edward Gonzalez returned to their Whittier home from the house of Edward’s parents. Edward pulled the car onto the driveway, exited the car, and manually opened the garage door because the automatic garage door opener was not working.
After opening the door, Edward returned to the car, drove into the garage, and turned off the ignition and car lights. Edward got out of the car while Julia collected her belongings. Edward turned around and saw a masked man standing next to the driver’s side of the car.
The mask had one large opening for the eyes and one for the mouth. The man pointed a gun directly at Edward The man was a little taller than Edward, who was five-feet, eight-inches tall.
The man told Edward, “Give me your money.”
Edward reached into his fanny pack and removed his wallet. Edward’s keys to the house and two cars were also in the pack.
Edward noticed three or four other men emerge from around the garage. Two or three ofthe men wore masks, similar to ski masks. Two wore beanies pulled down and a bandana over their mouths. At least two of the men had guns. Most of the men wore dark cloth gloves.
Julia was still seated in the front passenger seat when she heard Edward, yell. Julia looked toward her husband, who was still inside the garage, and saw two men facing him. One had his hand outstretched at shoulder height and appeared to hold something.
Julia believed her husband was being robbed, took out her wallet, and removed $100. Before she was able to get out of the car, one of the men walked around to her door, held a gun inside the passenger door, and pointed it at her chest. The man did not say anything to her. She gave him the $100. The man motioned with his gun for Julia to get out of the car.
Julia was frightened and complied. When she got out of the car, Julia saw her husband standing on the driveway in front of a brick wall. The man who had confronted Edward told him not to look at his face and to follow him out to the driveway. The man asked Edward if he had any money in the house. Edward said he had some money inside. He led the way.
Everyone entered the kitchen. The group then walked down a hallway to the master bedroom. As they exited the kitchen, Julia looked up and made eye contact with the man following her husband. The man appeared to be Latino and had distinctive eyes. This man said, “Stop looking at me, or I’m gonna kill you.”
The man held a gun. He had a dark bandana covering his mouth and wore a dark beanie on his head pulled down to his eyebrows. She could see part of his nose and his eyes. Julia noticed that the man was very tall, around six feet tall.
They entered the master bedroom. The tall man told Julia and Edward to sit on the bed, and they complied. Julia saw two additional men in her house who were close to six feet tall. One of these men had an olive complexion, very deep set “sad” eyes, and a large hooked nose.
He wore a bandana over his mouth and a beanie on his head. He had a “regular build.” The other man in the doorway had a very light complexion and wore a bandana over his mouth and a beanie on his head: he was very thin and tall and could have been either Caucasian or Hispanic.
Both the thin, light-skinned man and the "regular build" one held guns which they pointed toward Julia and Edward. The men rummaged through the dresser and the closet. They told Julia and Edward to lie down on the bed. The men used Edward’s belts and ties to bind Julia’s and Edward’s hands behind their backs and to tie their legs together at the knees and ankles.
Julia was lying face down on the bed next to her husband. The men searched the house. One of the men sat next to Julia on the bed and asked her if they had children, if they were expecting anyone, if they had firearms, and questions about their neighbors.
He also asked if they were going to call the police after they were gone. Julia said, “No.”
The man said that, if she did, they would send their “homeboys” to kill their family.
At least two of the men put guns to the heads of Julia and Edward and repeatedly asked,
“Where is the money? Is it worth your life?”
While being threatened, Julia heard doors and ‘boxes being opened in the house.
At some point, one of the men began “flipping out” and repeatedly said,
“You saw my insignia.”
The man asked Edward if he knew the gang to which the sign belonged. Edward denied seeing the mark. The man removed a bullet from his gun, put it on the bed between Julia and Edward, and asked,
“Isn’t it big?”
At another point, one of the men put the gun against the lens of Edward’s eyeglasses. Several of the men taunted Julia and Edward and inquired whether they would “suck dick” to save their lives.
After initially failing to locate them himself, the robber who appeared to be the leader of the group took Julia from the room to locate some hypodermic needles. This man was oversix-feet tall, had a “good build,” and wore a mask over his face that had holes for his eyes and mouth.
Julia walked down the hall into the other bedroom and showed him the bag containing the needles. The man said,
“Never mind, we’re gonna go into the bathroom.”
Julia began to cry. Once inside the bathroom, and while Julia’s hands remained tied behind her back, the man lifted her sweater and fondled her breasts. He pulled down her pants and made comments about her pelvic area and vagina. The man removed his penis from his pants and said,
“Bite it, and I’ll kill you.”
He forced Julia to orally copulate him for a few minutes, raped her, again forced her to orally copulate him, and raped her a second time. He ejaculated inside her vagina. He had Julia stand, then pulled up her pants and buttoned them. The man walked Julia into the second bedroom, laid her face down on the bed and left. The tall man immediately entered the bedroom. He told her to kneel on the floor and said,
“Bite it and I'll kill you.”
He forced Julia to orally copulate him, and he ejaculated into her mouth. He laid her down on the bed face down. She was crying loudly. The tall man asked her why she was crying. When she told him she was crying because the other man had raped her, he became very angry. He told her not to make so much noise or he would kill her. The man left.
Another man entered and stood guard. He repeatedly cocked and uncorked his gun and talked to Julia. This man asked Julia what she did for a living and how much money she made. Julia answered because she was trying to save her life. The man who raped her entered and left the bedroom three times during this conversation. Once when he entered the room, he lay on top of her, made thrusting movements with his pelvis, and taunted her, saying
“Oh, it was good, wasn’t it? It was big, wasn’t it?”
The robbers tied Julia with additional belts and ties. The man who raped her pulled down her pants and fondled her buttocks. Several of the other men also fondled her buttocks. The man who raped Julia also made sexual comments about Edward. Someone put a handkerchief in Julia’s mouth and tied another handkerchief around her neck to secureit, but Julia could still speak. She told the man who raped her that she could not breathe, and he removed the gag.
Julia was still face down on the bed. The man who raped Julia asked her about her background. When she replied that she was Mexican, he said,
He asked her if she could speak Spanish and then asked her, in Spanish, how old she was. After she replied in Spanish she was 43, the man asked her why she married a “white guy.” She told him that her husband was Puerto Rican. The man immediately left the room. He returned later and said he would not kill her because she was Mexican.
While Julia was gone from the room, Edward remained tied up on the bed. One of the robbers engaged him in conversation about his job, whether Edward was going to have a family, and why he did not keep weapons in the house. Edward heard Julia crying.
One of the robbers asked Edward, in Spanish, his age. Edward answered in English he was 40. The man left. Another man entered the room and said, “You don’t look like a Puerto Rican.” Edward was gagged with a handkerchief held in place with a t-shirt tied around his head. One of the robbers instructed him not to call the police for 20 minutes.
Eventually the men left and the victims were able to free themselves and call 911.
The victims' home was ransacked. The robbers took stereo equipment, a VCR, two telephone answering machines, jewelry, small appliances and a laptop computer, among other items. They also took the victims' Honda.