Points to Lucas in Court : Throat-Slash Victim Identifies Assailant


A woman believed to be the lone survivor in a string of seven throat-slashing murders identified David Lucas as her assailant during court testimony Monday.

Jodie Santiago Robertson, 34, of Seattle, took the stand late Monday afternoon as the key prosecution witness against the 33-year-old Lucas, who is charged with killing six people--including four in East County--from 1979 to 1984.

Every victim, including Robertson, had their throat slashed, but only the Seattle woman lived to tell about it. Testimony will resume today.


Robertson told the San Diego Superior Court jury she was kidnaped from an El Cajon restaurant on June 8, 1984, at knifepoint. The man told her not to yell while he forced her into the car.

Wanted to Know Why

“I asked him why he was doing this,” said Robertson. “He said something, that he was sent by my boyfriend to scare me. I told him I didn’t have a boyfriend down here and he had the wrong person. He said he’d check it out.”

“Did he ever try to hide his face?” asked Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Williams.

“Never,” Robertson replied.

Robertson said that Lucas took her to his house, where he tied her hands behind her back with a rope or a cord in a bedroom. She described his demeanor as “matter of fact--like he had a job to do.”

Then, she said, Lucas took some cigarettes from her purse.

“He put me face down on the bed and told me not to move. I was scared,” she testified. “The last thing I remember was his hands on my throat.”

The woman said she passed out and the next thing she recalled was waking up in the hospital.

Pointing a Finger

Robertson was not asked to identify Lucas until a few minutes before the jury was excused for the day. When Williams asked her if she saw her attacker in court, she said yes. She then described the blue suit the blond-haired defendant was wearing.

“He’s sitting at that table right there,” Robertson said, while pointing at Lucas.

Robertson momentarily lost her composure during the first 15 minutes of her testimony, prompting Judge Laura Hammes to call a brief recess.

Watching the testimony Monday was the husband and sister of one murder victim, Suzanne Jacobs, 31, who was slain along with her 3-year-old son Colin, on May 4, 1979, in their Normal Heights house.

Other slayings charged against Lucas include the Nov. 22, 1984, killing of USD college student Anne Swanke, 22, of San Carlos; the Oct. 23, 1984, slayings of Rhonda Strang, 24, and 3-year-old Amber Fisher, who she was baby-sitting at her Lakeside house; and the Dec. 8, 1981, murder of real estate agent Gayle Garcia, 29, whose body was found in a vacant Spring Valley house she was showing to prospective renters.

Testimony began Jan. 3 and the prosecution might finish its case this week.

Lucas could receive the death penalty if convicted.