THE SUZY MELLEN STORY
SURVIVING THE SYSTEM
Suzy has been in prison for nine years now and if it wasn’t for her
belief in God her surroundings would have swallowed her up and engulfed her in a sea of despair.
THIS IS HER STORY
On July 21, 1997, a homeless man named Rick Daly was murdered in Lawndale, CA., His body then transported to San Pedro,
dumped in al alley and set on fire. Mr. Daly has at one time been Suzy’s boyfriend and the abandoned house where he
was killed was Suzy’s mother’s home. These facts, plus the testimony of one “make or break” witness,
are all that tie Suzy to the crime. There was no motive, no evidence and no witnesses.
Mr. Daly was beaten and kicked to death and a rag was shoved down his throat to suffocate him. There were tow other people
arrested - Chad Landrum (‘Ghost”) and Lester Molliner (‘Wicked”). Only Ghost and Suzy were convicted,
while wicked walked free after being acquitted by a jury.
July 21st 1997 marks the beginning of a timeline of events. This was the day Mr Daly was murdered. Earlier that
same day, Suzy was moving with her boyfriend Tom into a duplex in Gardena from their apartment in Redondo Beach. It was a
busy day spent packing and cleaning. Suzy had her daughter Jessica (then 9) with her and her son Donny (8) was spending the
day with his father, she was expecting Tom’s dad, Jim Schenkelberg, to
come and help her move after work. At 3.00 she went to check on her mother’s
house. The windows were still boarded up and she got out of the car to check the mail when she saw Rick Daly going into the
house through an opening in the back where people had been breaking in.
He told Suzy he was coming to see Wende and that he had dope to sell her and he was sitting on the bed
at this time going through his backpack. He looked very thin, they hadn’t
been together in nine months and it was obvious to Suzy he was using quite heavily. She said to Rick’ ‘You need to get out and stay out of this house’? They both left at approximately the same time, Rick on his bike riding towards cory’s house on 164th street, his backpack on his back and the last thing he
said to Suzy was he would come back around 6.00pm to see Wende. Suzy headed towards Redondo Beach to continue her packing.
At 5.00pm Jim showed up and Suzy and Jessica went with him to take a load of furniture to the Gardena, they made at least
two trips, with Tom joining them between 6.00pm and 7.00pm and finished at 11.00pm. When Jim left and Suzy and Tom went to
bed. Jessica had been asleep since 9.00pm and Donny was spending the night with his dad Douglas Besch
The next day July 22nd Suzy went back to check the house in Lawndale and she saw Wicked’s mother inside the house doing a load of laundry and clearing the floor and her most pressing concern was what
was this woman doing in her mothers house.. Suzy asked her what she was doing to which she replied ‘ Cleaning up and doing a load of laundry to which Suzy said’
Your not even supposed to be here’, and left, Thought it odd that Wicked’s mother would be in the house at all and was in a hurry so did not stay to find out
Thursday 31st July Suzy went to Cory Vasquez’s house in Lawndale
to visit her and her new baby, fathered by Suzy’s nephew David.
Suzy went straight to Wende’s house and there was Cindy Chavez a good
friend of Ricks and also of Ghost and Wicked. “Cindy” said Suzy, “please tell me, is it really true about
Rick.” Cindy confirmed it and that night Suzy called her mom, aunt and uncle telling them rick Daly had been murdered
in Firmona Street.
The next day, Friday August 1st a fire was started at the abandoned Firmona Street home and shortly thereafter
when Suzy drove by once again to check on the status of the house she saw her aunt and uncle who were meeting with a large
built African-American insurance agent (George) who was there to assess the damage. Suzy joined the meetings and when she
started to say something was prodded by her uncle not to talk to the agent. Suzy believes the aunt and uncle wanted to leave
the impression the house had been occupied so that a valid insurance claim could be made, indeed a check was issued to Suzy’s uncle in payment of a claim made on her mothers behalf
At this point in time there still was no correlation made between the John Doe the police had found burned in that San
Pedro alleyway and the house on Firmona by the police department.
On August 13th June Patti telephoned Suzy in the middle of the night in their apartment in Gardena. Suzy remembers
asking June how she got her phone number as she had not spoken to her in a long time and in fact did not like June Patti She
was known as a rat and had a bad reputation. She called to see if she could buy meth from Suzy and Suzy told her no that she
didn’t have any and told her not to call again. This was the essence of
the conversation and Suzy never spoke to her again.
The following Monday Suzy had gone to visit her mother and found her to be alone, with five minutes her aunt and uncle
joined them having just come home from the police department. Roger said, ‘What
the hell are you doing here’ Why didn’t you call first’, They told Suzy they had just spoken with
the police and that they were looking for Suzy with regard to the murder of Rick Daly. They also said someone had seen her
coming from the Firmona property on the day of the murder. There continues to be bad taste in Suzy’s mouth about her aunt and uncles involvement with the police, almost feeling as if they were the informant and
that they were anxious to get her out of the way.
Three days later August 21st Douglas Besch visited Suzy and told her the police really were looking for her.
On August 25th Suzy called investigator Winn and agreed to meet her at McDonalds to tell her what she knew about
the murder, but once there she was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Throughout Suzy’s questioning, preliminary hearing and jury trial Suzy’s story never changed. It is essentially what is briefly written about here and she
was convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances (torture) and sentenced to life without.
It seems Miss June Patti a known informant fabricated a story for the police that Suzy had gone to her for legal advice
because she was a paralegal. Suzy was supposedly nervous as Miss Pattie would tell it, as she was either there or knew what
happened when Rick Daly
was murdered. Miss Patti’s story changed several times throughout this
ordeal, but that didn’t seem to matter to the jury.
No attempt was made by her attorney Lou Notrica to discredit Miss Patti, there exists a letter which June Patti wrote to
the District Attorney wherein she asks for clemency for two pending criminal cases in exchanged for her testimony about Suzy
involvement. This was never event mentioned during the trial and the three defendants’ trials were separated and Ghost was also given a life without sentence while Wicked walked. The first time Suzy
ever saw Ghost was in the courtroom, then in a jail transportation van, when he spoke briefly with her and he told her how
he knew she was innocent.
Suzy’s trial took 10 days and on June 5th 1998 Suzy was sentenced
after spending ten months in country jail.
Suzy’s lawyer was incredible incompetent. He even fell asleep during
certain phases of the trial, there were very little cross examination and Suzy didn’t stand a chance. She never even had an investigator and Mr Notrica paid little attention to her few concerns.
It was truly a slam dunk as far as the DA was concerned. There was no fight left in Suzy.
Suzy lives in a small cell with seven other women originally built to hold four, there is constant stress, crowding and
noise and regimentation. She struggles with periods of depression, usually based on how long it’s been since she had heard from her children. These periods are becoming lengthier as they are young adults now,
caught up in their own world after nine years without their mother. Suzy works as a porter and lives in the honours dorm.
She watches only spiritual television and spends all her time ministering to others, praying, writing letters and encouraging
other women who are in pain.
Suzy is defined now by her spirituality, not by her surroundings, but it’s
a time she starts to fight. We know it will be a uphill battle, but we also know in our hearts she will eventually get out
of here. The truth has got to come out and it will set her free. The statistics are discouraging, but God knows the truth.
Please visit Suzy's Link below...