One half of an alleged “cold, calculated, serial killing machine” faced a California jury Wednesday when he went on trial in the murders of four women, PEOPLE confirms.
“Jaws is about a predator,” prosecutors said in opening statements. “This case is about two. You are about to see the hunt.”
Registered sex offender Steven Dean Gordon is charged with special-circumstances murder and rape in connection with the slayings of Kianna Jackson, 20, Josephine Vargas, 34, Martha Anaya, 28, and 21-year-old Jarrae Estepp.
Gordon, 47, is representing himself during the capital murder trial. He declined to give an opening statement Wednesday, and it is not clear if he will testify, according to the Orange County Register.
Gordon was wearing a GPS tracking device when he and registered sex offender Frank Cano allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered the four women and dumped their bodies in trash bins. Authorities allege their GPS and cell phone data link them to the killings, which took place in 2013 and 2014.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The duo, who authorities say lived in a transient camp and in Gordon’s Toyota 4Runner, allegedly picked up the women at known prostitution haunts in Santa Ana and Anaheim, California.
The men were finally caught after police discovered the nude body of Estepp on a conveyor belt at a recycling plant in Anaheim. The bodies of the other victims have not been found, but police suspect they were dumped in trash bins and are now in landfills.
Police said Gordon confessed to the gruesome slayings and described how he and Cano picked up each woman and killed her.
However, prosecutors said Gordon’s confession won’t be used during the trial: A judge had previously excluded it because Gordon told police he wanted an attorney before he opened up about the crimes, the Associated Press reports.
In one of the cases, Gordon allegedly told police that Cano was hiding in the backseat of Gordon’s Toyota 4Runner when they picked up Jackson, sexually assaulted her and killed her. Gordon allegedly said they killed her because their GPS bracelets put them at the crime scene, according to the O.C. Register.
According to court documents obtained by the paper, Cano and Gordon allegedly debated killing Estepp — whose death later revealed their alleged crimes — before going through with it.
Cano, who also faces the death penalty, has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Nov. 18. His trial date has not been set.