Jilted Girlfriend to Go on Trial in ‘Fatal Attraction’ Killing

Times Staff Writer

The so-called “fatal attraction” murder trial of Linda Ricchio, accused of shooting to death her former lover Dec. 14, 1987, after he spurned her, will begin Monday before Vista Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Miller.

Prosecutors allege that Ricchio, now 28, was lying in wait outside an apartment she had rented in Carlsbad when she shot a .38-caliber revolver five times at Ronald Lewis Ruse Jr. as he returned to his apartment next door. He died of two gunshot wounds to his chest.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Tom Manning said he will ask that Ricchio be convicted with special circumstances and be sentenced to life.

Ricchio and Ruse had a 7-year relationship, including five years of living together, before Ruse dropped Ricchio.


According to testimony during Ricchio’s preliminary hearing a year ago this month, Ruse was warned by friends that Ricchio was angry at him for leaving her and was going to kill him.

Prosecutors say Ricchio, who had stalked Ruse after their break-up, rented the apartment next door to Ruse without his knowledge and shot him in the chest when he returned home from work. Ricchio turned herself in to Oceanside police a few minutes later after telling a 911 operator, “Um, I shot a person,” and bursting into tears.

Ricchio’s defense is expected to focus on her intent the night of the shooting and whether Ruse was killed in the heat of passion or as the result of a sudden quarrel.

Manning said he will probably call 30 to 35 prosecution witnesses during the trial, which is expected to last about six weeks after jury selection and pretrial motions.

Ricchio remains in custody at the Las Colinas jail for women in Santee.