EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — A woman and her two children shared a home with a murderer and didn’t realize it until later. Now that killer is accused of striking again.
She describes him as odd, but charming and charismatic. The worst she thought was he could have been a good con man.
When cops knocked on Theresa Robertson’s door years later, she thought it was because he passed a few bad checks.
She had no idea, all those years ago, that she spent six weeks with a killer.
“I was short on rent and I needed a roommate.”
She had no way of knowing that just days before Joseph Nissensohn became her roommate in South Lake Tahoe that he murdered a 46-year-old woman in Washington.
The woman’s body was found in May of 1989—the same month Nissensohn, his girlfriend and their child moved in with Theresa.
“He was just Mr. Charisma. I didn’t have any problem with him other than he didn’t pay the rent.”
They worked opposite schedules, rarely seeing each other.
At that time, Theresa had a teenage daughter and a younger son in the home.
“Every night when I say the Lord’s Prayer, when I get to the ‘deliverance from evil,’ I say, ‘Thank you for delivering us from that evil.’”
She kicked them out after a month and a half for not paying the rent. Theresa says he called the cops on her because she wanted her key back.
Just a few months later, El Dorado County prosecutors say Nissensohn would kill a teenage girl. He’s charged in the August 1989 death of 15-year-old Kathy Graves in South Lake Tahoe.
He’s also accused in the 1981 murders of two teenage girls in Monterey County.
These days, Theresa leads a quiet life in the foothills. Nissensohn eventually served time for the Washington murder. After years of delays, his trial for the other three killings is finally beginning.
He’s been behind bars in El Dorado County since 2008.
Theresa says it’s time for the accused serial killer to pay for what he’s done.
“I want him to die if he has no remorse. But if he has remorse, let him live with his guilt. Let him live forever in prison.”