SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Hoping to tap into the emotions of the jury, prosecutor Dawn Bladet gave a passionate and compelling closing argument Wednesday as to why she believes Richard Hirschfield is a cold-blooded rapist and killer.

“I struggled because these crimes are so incomprehensible,” she said. “The fact that she had a boyfriend didn’t bother him; it just increased the thrill.”

The case is known as the “Sweetheart Murders.” Hirschfield is accused of killing John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves more than three decades ago.

riggins gonsalves Prosecutor Gives Emotional Closing Argument In Sweetheart Murders Case

John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves (credit:

Both 18, they were kidnapped in Davis on Dec. 20, 1980.

Their bodies were found dumped near Lake Natoma two days later. Sabrina had been brutally tortured and raped.

“And that’s what terrifies people, to think that there are human beings that walk among us like Richard Hirschfield who could do what he did and the way that he did it to these two young people.”

Hirschfeld is facing a jury trial after a DNA hit came back in 2004. He was already serving time for rape in Washington state.

Sabrina’s sister said that the murders happened 32 years ago doesn’t make it less painful.

“It’s incredible real to us,” Andrea Gonsalves Rosenstein said.

She said the families are impressed with how the prosecution has handled the case so far.

“She’s amazing,” she said of Bladet. “We’re so grateful for what she’s done. I really hope the jury does a good job. I hope they see what she does and appreciates the evidence.”


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