Sometime in the early morning of June 5th 1983, Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10 year old daughter Jessica, and 11 year old Christopher Hughes, a neighbor’s son who was spending the night with the Ryens, were brutally murdered in the Ryens’ bedroom at their home in Chino, California. The Ryens’ son Joshua, 8 years old, was critically wounded but survived the attack.

The Chino Hill Murders were initially described as “Manson-style”, referring to the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others by followers of Charles Manson. This characterization started with detectives describing the scene to reporters. According to the coroner’s report, the victims sustained 140 wounds, 28 fractures, and 2 severed fingers using 3 weapons: a hatchet, a knife, and an icepick. A fourth weapon may have been used.


Doug (Franklin) Ryen, age 41 – Dead with 37 knife and hatchet wounds, and severed finger. Wound Chart, Coroner Report

Peggy Ryen, age 41 – Dead with 17 hatchet wounds to the face and head, and 4 knife wounds in the chest. Wound Chart, Coroner Report

Jessica Ryen, age 10 – Dead with 46 stab wounds from a hatchet, knife, and ice pick. Wound Chart #1, Wound Chart #2, Ice Pick Pattern Diagram, Coroner Report

Christopher Hughes, age 11 – Dead with 26 stab wounds and numerous skull fractures and a severed finger. Wound Chart, Coroner Report

Joshua Ryen, age 8 – Survived with hatchet wound to head, multiple knife stabs in back, and throat slashed.

Read the clemency petition’s description of the crime scene and how the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department botched the investigation.

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