Forensic Files Wiki

Ronald Elliot Porter was a serial killer from California.


Porter is believed to have committed his spree of murders between 1985 and 1988. In most cases, he abducted unsuspecting female hitchhikers, drove them to a secluded area where he choked and sexually assaulted them.

At least fourteen of Porter's victims died, including Sandra Cwik. Witnesses such as Betty Bass survived.

Porter has been denied parole in 2008, 2013 and 2017, each time for 5 years. Next hearing is in December 2022. He'll be 75 then.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Inmate Locater: inmate E14643


Porter is described by most of his surviving victims as having been friendly and charming upon first glance.

He would use a very mild and composed demeanor when luring victims into his car with the pretense of offering them a ride.

His favorite hot spot for picking up victims was San Diego's El Cajon Boulevard, which has been a hotbed of hitchhikers, transients, and prostitutes in the city for years.

Hitchhikers especially favor the spot because of it's easy access to an interstate ramp.

Porter would scan the boulevard, looking for the perfect victim.

Investigators believe that Porter looked for what he considered ideal victims, meeting a certain criteria in his mind. The victim was always female, and usually had a petite body type.

Investigators also noticed other behavioral ticks in Porter's method. He would often tell his victim that he could only take them as far as El Centro, California.

He also chose similar sites for the attacks. The area was always secluded. Always at an intersection with a V in the road, and usually about the same distance from a main highway.

Porter would choose these sites before the attack. Investigators say that he would then make a game out of getting his victims to these sites.

He would use his friendly act to lure victims into his car, and would act pleasant throughout the drive. Then when nearing the selected site for the crime, he would tell the victim he needed to pull off the road for a bathroom break.

He would always do something to get the victim into a vulnerable position.

Survivor Betty Bass told Forensic Files that he asked her to grab him something from the back seat. That as soon as she did, he got behind her quickly and grabbed her.

The usual crime routine after that was Porter choking and sexually molesting the victim. He would then drive away, leaving the female victim with her shirt up and naked from the waist down.

Due to the pattern in the crimes- choke and dump came to be the description of each attack.

Investigators believe that Porter might not have intended to kill Sandra Cwik, because most of his victims survived their attacks.

Sandra Cwik died from blood loss through a laceration in her vagina after Porter presumably used his arm to violate her.


Porter remains a suspect in the unsolved 1985 murder case of Donna Gentile. Gentile was found in a secluded area, similar to the ones that Porter chose for his crime.

As of 2019, Sandra Cwik's 1988 death is the only murder Porter has been convicted of, although he is suspected of at least 14 murders.