California Convicted Triple-Murderer Freed From Life Sentence Under ‘Compassionate Release’

A former Westminster attorney and co-founder of an Orange County motorcycle club who has been incarcerated for nearly 40 years for three murders in 1980 has been ordered to be released within 48 hours due to California’s compassionate release laws after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, authorities announced Feb. 16.

Thomas F. Maniscalco, 78, was serving a 46-year to life sentence after he was convicted in 1994 for the fatal shootings of fellow motorcyclist Richard Rizzone, 36, Thomas Monahan, 28, who served as Rizzone’s bodyguard, and Rena Miley—a 19-year-old daughter of a Los Alamitos Police Department officer, who was raped and tortured by Maniscalco prior to her death.

Epoch Times Photo
Thomas F. Maniscalco (Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office)

“Where is the compassion for the victims?” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer in a statement. “He has taken no responsibility for the lives he destroyed and soon he will be a free man with nothing to lose.

Referring to Maniscalco as a “violent sociopath,” Spitzer said the California state Legislature and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have “continued to show sympathy and concern for the murderer, but turned a blind eye to the murdered and their loved ones.”

Under California’s compassionate release law, terminally ill inmates can be released regardless of the inhumanness of the crime, according to the DA’s Office.

Epoch Times Photo
District Attorney Todd Spitzer speaks at a press conference in Orange, Calif., on April 1, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

In connection with the killings, fellow biker Daniel Duffy, of Long Beach, was convicted of what’s called special circumstances murders in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Another biker Phil Warren would have also been charged with the three murders, but he was killed by Oklahoma police in 1982 while the case was still under investigation, according to the DA’s Office.

Prosecutors said Maniscalco and Duffy carried out the killings because Maniscalco believed Rizzone was stealing from him in a counterfeiting and methamphetamines distribution ring. Miley and Monahan’s murders occurred because Maniscalco did not want to leave any witnesses to Rizzone’s murder.

Maniscalco will be released to his daughter who lives in San Jose, according to the DA’s Office.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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