Accused 'Gypsy Hill Killer' gets life for 1976 murders

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REDWOOD CITY — A career criminal thought to be the "Gypsy Hill Killer" has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and murdering two teenage girls in Northern California more than 40 years ago.

The San Jose Mercury News says 70-year-old Rodney Halbower demanded a mistrial and was shouted at by the victims' family and friends after he was sentenced Wednesday in Redwood City.

Halbower was convicted last month of the 1976 killings of 17-year-old Paula Baxter and 18-year-old Veronica Cascio.

Authorities believe he raped and killed six women and girls — including a 14-year-old and a nursing student in Nevada — in 1976 but he was only charged with two murders.

The killer's nickname was based on the area of Pacifica, south of San Francisco, where one body was found.

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