On the night of December 24th, 2008, a large family Christmas party was winding down. It had been another successful holiday party for the Ortega family, but shortly after 11:30 pm a man approached the residence. Once the door was opened, he forced himself in and started opening fire.
During the chaos, a call was placed to 911 that identified the shooter as the ex husband of one of the family members. Shortly after that, the house went up in flames and Pardo fled. By the end of the attack, 9 people would be dead at the hands of someone they knew. Bruce Jeffery Pardo had recently divorced his wife Sylvia and the house he attacked belonged to his ex in-laws.
By the time law enforcement tracked Pardo down, he was dead. He had killed himself shortly after the attack, but evidence showed suicide wasn’t his original plan.
Despite the divorce, anyone who knew the couple was taken aback by Pardo’s actions. Nothing about Pardo’s past suggested that he would commit such an atrocious crime, but it quickly became clear that he had been planning the attack for some time.
This week, we will go through the crime, the victims, and the man responsible. Personally, I find this case so disturbing because many of the warning signs you could look for were not there.
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References and Further Reading
Profile of Victims
Profile of Bruce Pardo
Research Assistance Provided by: Hannah Eckvahl
Music by: The Blank Tapes
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