Murder madness causes concern for campus safety

Elizabeth Ortiz

Talk of fear around campus has students questioning their safety, and in the state of California, One family who have been victims of crime fight back.

In 1986, Saddleback College student, Robbin Brandley had walked to her car after volunteering at a jazz concert in the McKinney Theatre. Before reaching her car, she was stabbed 41 times and found just minutes after, in a dimly lit parking lot, at 10:45 p.m.

Brandley was a KSBR air talent at the time and was getting ready to transfer to San Diego State University. Her parents have not stopped being pro active.

Genelle and I solicited Sen. Bergeson to sponsor legislation to improve campus lighting on all higher education campuses that receive any form of state assistance,” said Brandley’s father Jack Reilley. “We traveled the state and took light readings on many campuses—state universities and community—documented our findings and presented them to the state architect’s office.”

State Sen. Marian Bergeson (R) sponsored the bill and it was signed into law in 1990 by Gov. George Deukmejian.

“We had strong opposition from all three higher education systems, citing cost, but the architect found their complaints baseless,” Reilley said.

In 1997, 11 years after Robbin’s murder, Andrew Urdiales confessed to her murder and seven others. Urdiales said Robbin was his first.

In 2011 he was finally extradited to Orange County where he will be tried for five California murders, including Robbin’s. His trial is scheduled to start in 2014, 28 years after Robbin’s murder and 17 years after his confession.

Urdiales is lodged in the Orange County jail. The prosecutor is Howard Gundy.

Reilley and his wife Genelle suggest students, faculty and staff be proactive in their own safety.

“We recommend that student government review the law and its protection of students and insist that campus authorities follow this federal law completely,” Jack Reilley said. “Don’t be a slug and expect somebody else to ‘do something’ if you see a danger. Talk to your campus security.”

Reilly said Saddleback College has taken the law seriously and lighting specifications have been met.

“There are police patrolling the Saddleback campus rather then security 24/7,” said campus police officer, Santos Garcia. “But the OC Sheriff’s Department handles the bigger crimes here on campus and I know that the incident happened in lot 12 by the Fine Arts building.”

Also Garcia mentioned that the lighting situation has changed quite a bit. There is also a California Victim Compensation Program that is put into play.

“I am enforced by the Crime victim state legislation law to hand out a pamplet after a crime, even if only reported, and the law enforcement just started doing this in the last year,” Garcia said.

This is a program that offers financial support in medical needs, mental health counseling, crime scene cleanup and funeral expenses. Lost, damaged or stolen  property is not included ( except wheelchairs hearing aids, or eyeglasses).

If you have been a victim of a crime in the state of California or know someone in need, Contact the Orange County Witness Assistance Center at (949) 975-0244.

Brandleys’ father suggest to google, ( Security On Campus) for additional safety measures.

“Fortunately murder is not a common crime on campus but rape, assault, robbery and burglary, mostly of young women, are. That said, some of the most horrible mass killings happened on college campuses, recall the shootings at CSU-Fullerton and the one back east, I think in Virginia, a few years ago,” Reilly said.