SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The fate of Richard Hirschfield is in the hands of a jury asked to decide whether the “Sweetheart Murders” convicted killer should spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed.

“I’m mad that he gets to watch us,” Andrea Rosenstein said. “And I’m mad that he gets to sit there and see us hurt.”

Her sister was one of the victims killed by Hirschfield more than 30 years ago.

Sabrina Gonsalves and her boyfriend John Riggins, both 18, were kidnapped from Davis in December 1980. Their bodies would be found days later. They were tortured, their throats slashed.

Nearly three decades later, Hirshfield would be linked to the crime through DNA evidence. He was convicted earlier this month.

Monday, without cameras allowed inside the Sacramento County courtroom, members of both of the victims’ families, including Sabrina’s sister Andrea, took the stand recounting the short lives and the loss they’ve lived with since.

“She loved all of us. She loved our family, she loved being a part of our family,” Andrea said.

John Riggins’ brother also lamented the loss.

“He certainly would have been a big influence on my life, and I really would have enjoyed being together,” Robert Riggins said.

Sabrina’s mother told the jury she’s had quite a lot of anger and anguish and “I’ve lived with it for 32 years.”
I wish it’d been me.”

“This crime, these murders and this defendant deserve death,” prosecutor Dawn Bladet told the jury.


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