By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
What would you do if your 8-year-old daughter was inspired by the movie The Omen, and waited with bated breath for the sequel titled Damien?
The girl's name was Kim Goytia, and she lived in Sacramento, California. When The Omen premiered in 1976, viewing the film kicked off a fascination with the devil. She went on to collect several copies of the novel, based on the screenplay. Two years later the sequel Damien was released, and she was still enthralled with the dark side. According to her mother Carol Sommers, her daughter went goth before it became a thing; dressing in black, growling like an animal, and performing satanic rituals in her room.
Kimberly also started using male aliases including Damien Thorne.
Considering her behavior was quite disturbing especially for a child, it's unknown if her family could have anticipated what Kimberly did on February 3, 1981.
Kimberly who was 13 years old, shot her 11-year-old sister Stephanee at the Greenhaven apartment complex located at 6330 Havenside Drive, which they had called home for four months. The girls lived there with their mother Carole Sommers, and her husband Jim Sommers. The couple married a week before on January 24.
The 13-year-old's explanation to the police, was quite simple: it was that satan had told her to shoot her sister.
Stephanee had attended Gloria Dei Lutheran School from September to January, from there she was transferred to Hollywood Park Elementary School, and the day she died she had been enrolled at Bear Flag Elementary School.
For some reason between early January and February 3 she had not attended school. Dr. William Geisreiter the principal of Bear Flag Elementary School where Stephanee had just enrolled said, "She seemed to be a nice little girl, sweet and quiet. She was frightened. I touched her shoulder and said we'd take care of her."
Kimberly was enrolled at Sam Brannan Junior High School from the beginning of the week, but she had not attended school. Before that she went to Joaquin Miller Middle School.
Neither the girls' mother or stepfather were home. After the shooting Kimberly called her maternal uncle Vic Corbella, who then called police once he arrived at the complex. The neighbors had called as well.
Kimberly lied to her uncle, and also the police during her first interview saying that four men in a brown Camaro drove into the parking lot while she was standing outside with her sister. Then she saw a flash and Stephanee fell. Once it was found that Stephanee was shot at close range and the casings were found near the body, she admitted to the shooting. She had taken her stepfather's .32 caliber automatic pistol, and returned it to the drawer after using it. When he checked the gun, he found two of the bullets had been used.
A detective who interviewed Kimberly shortly after the murder, described her as being "unemotional and not frightened".
Copies of The Omen and The Anti-Christ were taken from Kimberly at Juvenile Hall after her arrest.
During her initial court appearance it came out that Kimberly had truancy problems and was emotionally upset that her parents divorced, even though this happened in 1972 when she was four years old. Despite the public defender's claim it was an accidental shooting, several witnesses said they heard arguing, a gunshot, some cries and then another gunshot. They were 10 seconds apart, which went contrary to the accidental discharge theory.
During the trial it seemed that Kimberly's anger was fueled by her mother's marriage to James Sommers, however in 1976, when she became entranced by The Omen movie he was not in the picture. Her mother, Carol Norman married her father Steve Goytia in June, 1967, and they divorced in January, 1972. The short marriage produced Kimberly, born in June, 1967, and her sister in November, 1969.
The Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney interviewed family, friends and teachers and established Kimberly's obsession with the occult. She had been wearing black clothing for the prior six months, and even retrieved them from the trash after her mother threw them out. Kimberly had told her mother that she "prayed to satan because she tried praying to God, but nothing happened."
In the books, Damien Thorne took photographs of his victims before their death. Kimberly took a picture of her sister before killing her. She had two more pictures of herself taken after the shooting dressed in black of course.
During the trial, it was recounted that Carol Sommers had told co-workers that her daughter thought satan was more powerful than God, and that she believed she was a boy and the son of satan. Kimberly had written letters to satan, describing how "soft his skin was and how beautiful he was."
Friends of Carol Sommers testified that Kimberly once told her mother: "If I do away with you and Stephanee, all my problems will then be over. And I could get away with it because I am a juvenile."
One of the documents submitted to the courts, was that evidence would be offered that Kimberly's mother and stepfather were told of her plans to kill them while they slept after Stephanee's death. Supposedly she had told her maternal grandmother Helen Norman about her plans.
Victor Corbella, Kimberly's uncle testified that when he visited his niece in the juvenile hall, she told him she had intended to kill herself when she went outside with her stepfather's pistol. "She said she was going to take her own life... on account of the marriage." Kimberly told him she couldn't stand her stepfather.
She also told her mother that if she married James Sommers, "an accident would happen and they would never be happy."
Strangely during the trial there was no mention made of Kimberly and Stephanee's father, Steve Goytia having attended the proceedings at all.
Carol Sommers worked at the state Department of Justice, and her co-workers testified that she "continually had problem with Kimberly", and she confided to many of them on a daily basis about her worries. Later, she called the four co-workers brought in to testify liars, claiming she had never said those things.
According to one co-worker, Carol Sommers told her that once she and her husband disciplined Kimberly, who "started to growl", and another time they had forcibly taken a steak knife away from her when she became angry. Kimberly had told her mother that satan was sitting above them "watching us."
During the trial the prosecution asked Carol Sommers if she believed Kimberly was possessed by the devil, and if she had asked a priest to speak to her daughter. Betty Rocker the public defender strongly objected to the questions which were disallowed.
Two months later in April, 1982, Judge Sakuma dismissed the murder charge declaring the prosecutors failed to provide the necessary elements of malice or premeditation, and instead she was charged with voluntary manslaughter. He excluded the press and public from the highly publicized trial, and issued a gag order about the sentencing and sealed her records. A family member anonymously told a newspaper reporter that she was sentenced to four years, and that she would be sent to a special school where she could be watched day and night, and she could get some help.
Under California law, even if she would have been found guilty of murder she would have been out by the age of 21.
Kimberly Goytia was released back into society without a word to the press. The public was unaware that a teenage murderess walked in their midst.
Carol Sommers died in 2018, her husband also passed away. All those involved in the legal proceedings are deceased.
One has to wonder what became of Kimberly. No doubt she changed her name, but present day she would be in her late fifties. But most importantly, after so many years does she still consider herself a servant of satan?
Sources - Sacramento Bee, Weekly World News, Times Advocate
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