Real Name: Angelo Desideri
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: June 5, 1988
Date of Birth: 1931 (approx.)
Weight: 165 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian male, Brown eyes.
Details: Fifty-seven-year-old Angelo Desideri was a Phoenix businessman who was a devout Catholic; he had once studied for the priesthood, but decided not to join. He had several close friends, but he never married; he lived with his parents in an affluent Phoenix suburb. He enjoyed the finer things in life; he had a small fortune from owning a shopping center and an import store.
On the morning of June 6, 1988, a neighboring shop owner noticed that Angelo had not opened the import store. One of his friends, Stan Eggleston, drove to his house to see if anything was wrong. He noticed that the burglar alarm was off, along with other things that were out of place. Believing that something was wrong, he went to the neighbor's house and called the police. He and a police officer entered the house a few minutes later.
Inside, Angelo was nowhere to be found. The house was undisturbed and it appeared that he was interrupted while preparing lunch, as food was found on the stove and in the microwave. Several bills were laid out on the kitchen table; it appeared that he was about to pay them. In the living room, two new pairs of pants were found next to a shopping bag. A receipt in it showed that he had bought them at 12:47pm the previous day. No other trace of him was found.
It appeared as though Angelo had left in a hurry. His sister, Dolores, noted that he had not taken anything from the house except his attache case, some jewelry, and some money. In the garage, investigators discovered his car cover piled up on the floor; this was unusual as he always neatly folded it when he took it off the car. A neighbor told investigators that he had seen the car speed away from the house the previous evening; he did not believe that Angelo was driving, because the driver appeared taller than im and he did not acknowledge the neighbor as he drove off.
At 6:32pm on June 6, the car was found ablaze in a vacant lot in San Diego, California. An accelerant was used to set the fire. Angelo's personal items were not found in it. Investigators found nothing in the trunk other than the jack; everything appeared to have been taken out of it. It appeared that it had been meticulously washed and cleaned. They also found no evidence of forced entry on it.
Investigators tried to retrace the route from Phoenix to San Diego, but nobody at gas stations along the way remembered seeing Angelo. His credit cards had also not been used. Car washers had also not seen him. Two witnesses were located that claimed to have seen the car just minutes before it was set on fire. One witness saw a man resembling Angelo in front of it. Another witness passing by also saw him. However, neither witness could conclusively identify him as Angelo or anyone else.
Angelo's family and friends believe that he had met with foul play, while police believe that he may have staged his disappearance. One investigator suspects that there is a "secret side" to him that may have been the reason behind his disappearance.
Suspects: An unidentified man was seen next to Angelo's car in the vacant lot before it was set on fire the day he vanished. Police believe that he may know what happened to him.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 1, 1989 episode.
According to Calo, Majors went to Angelo's house on the afternoon of his disappearance. He rang the doorbell and asked for a glass of water. He then took him at gunpoint, robbed the house, forced him into his car, and drove him into the desert. Somewhere between Phoenix and San Diego, Majors allegedly shot him to death and placed him in the trunk of the car. The following morning, Majors went to a hardware store and purchased a shovel and pick. He then drove down a desert back road to an area adjacent to a run down house. After that, he dug a hole in the ground next to a large tree and placed Angelo's body in it.
For unknown reasons, Majors then gave the shovel and pick to the poor people who lived in a nearby home. After that, he left the area and drove to San Diego, where he abandoned the car. All of this information is based on statements he allegedly made to Calo. A diary written by his wife, however, seemed to confirm some of Calo's statements.
Calo also told investigators that Majors had owned a storage locker. Police searched it and recovered property belonging to Angelo. These items were apparently stolen from his house. This discovery also corroborated Calo's story. Angelo's body was finally found by campers on April 29, 1989; it was buried beneath a tree in the desert near Kitchen Creek, California, forty-five miles east of San Diego.
According to Calo, he and Majors had been hired to murder Angelo on the orders of Romano Sbrocca, a known drug trafficker. According to him, Angelo sold drugs and kept records for a drug-trafficking operation run by Sborcca and another man. He was apparently killed because he wanted to get out of the crime ring.
Calo was convicted of Angelo's murder and six other contract killings. Those were also related to the crime ring. He received life in prison and died in 2010. Majors, who was never charged with Angelo's murder, received the death penalty for a triple murder in California; he died on January 26, 2017. It is not known if Sbrocca was ever charged in this case.
Interestingly, Majors has allegedly been connected to the death of Jeanne Tovrea, a Phoenix socialite whose murder was profiled on the show. However, he was never charged in that case either.
- 2 men held in probe of 9 killings in California, Arizona
- Gun links "unrelated" slayings
- Body found is that of business owner
- Evidence links restaurateur to 2 of 7 slayings
- Businessman Receives Life Term for One of Seven Contract Murders
- Businessman meted life term for contract killing
- Contract murder sentence decided
- Diary of a Scared Housewife (1993 Article about James Majors)
- Unsealed papers explain killings
- California Killer Awaiting Execution Dies of Unknown Causes