California serial killer says he murdered child rapist cellmate over bad hygiene: reports

A California serial killer, who murdered two family members and then five random strangers, told authorities he killed his pedophile cellmate because he was a slob, according to local reports and court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

Ramon Escobar, 52, was charged with killing cellmate Juan Villanueva, 53, in September, months after prison guards found the convicted child rapist dead in his cell.

When an officer arrived to check on Villanueva, Escobar allegedly, without being questioned, confessed out of the blue.

"Hey, I'm sorry Jenkins," Escobar told the officer, according to a probable cause affidavit. "I killed him."

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Villanueva was sentenced to life in prison last year for sexually assaulting a child under 14 – and arrived in February, just days before his slaying, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Juan Villanueva, 53, was sentenced to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Oct. 25, 2022 from Los Angeles County to serve a life with parole sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years old. (California Depar

A guard at North Kern State Prison found Villanueva unresponsive at 8:49 a.m. on Feb. 24, according to authorities. Escobar was in the cell at the time.

Escobar had been sentenced to multiple life prison sentences plus 124 years in May 2022 and arrived in Kern in December.

Ramon Escobar had committed at least seven prior murders in California and Texas before the incident. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Villanueva received a sentence of life with the possibility of parole in October 2022 and arrived in the Kern prison on Feb. 2, according to authorities.

The two men were being held together in the medium security facility there temporarily as California corrections officials prepared to move them into permanent placements.

The same facility has hosted Tory Lanez, the rapper who shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot at a pool party, and Phil Spector, the music producer turned killer who shot actress Lana Clarkson in the face in his mansion.


Newly unveiled court documents allege that Escobar gave a confession and a motive for the slaying. He strangled Villanueva because of his bad hygiene, the Bakersfield-based KGET-TV reported.

He was already serving two life sentences without parole plus another 124 years for seven murders in California and Texas.

Escobar killed his aunt and uncle in Texas before fleeing to Southern California, where he robbed and killed five men in a 14-day span in 2018. The remains of Dina and Rogelio Escobar have never been found. 

A plea deal spared him from the Texas death penalty, and he is serving his life sentences in California.

The other victims have been identified as 51-year-old Juan Antonio Ramirez, who died from complications of the 2018 attack in 2021, 24-year-old Branden Ridout, 59-year-old Kelvin Williams, 39-year-old youth sports coach Steven Cruze and 63-year-old Jorge Martinez.

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