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California IN BRIEF : VENTURA : ‘Alphabet Caller’ Gets 6-Year Term

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The so-called “Alphabet Caller,” who admitted terrorizing hundreds of Southern California women with threatening phone calls, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison. Steven Imler, 38, of Lakewood had no criminal record, cooperated with investigators and is unlikely to commit new crimes, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Frederick A. Jones said. But the judge concluded that a prison term was warranted because of the sheer volume of calls and the “lasting and recurring pain” they caused. “The need for punishment is paramount,” Jones said, imposing the six-year term, two years less than the maximum. Imler, a former telemarketing manager at a Compton filter company, admitted making hundreds of threatening calls from his office to women in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Investigators dubbed him the Alphabet Caller because of the systematic way he used phone directories to select his victims, calling only homes where both the husband and wife were listed. He told women he would harm their husbands if they did not perform sex acts.


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