California prisoner admits to murdering serial killer known as the I-5 Strangler, calls it ‘a mission for avenging’ his victims

California prisoner admits to murdering serial killer known as the I-5 Strangler, calls it ‘a mission for avenging’ his victims

Jason Budrow, the California prisoner accused of strangling to death the serial killer known as the “I-5 Strangler” in the prison cell they shared, confessed in a five-page letter to this news organization, writing that he spent months “grooming” his intended victim for murder.

Budrow strangled 81-year-old Roger Kibbe to death “with a triangle chokehold” the same day they became cellmates at Mule Creek State Prison, he wrote. The late February homicide had two motives, according to Budrow: he originally wanted to be placed in a single-man cell, but as he learned more about Kibbe’s case, it became “a mission for avenging” Kibbe’s victims.



“My actions were drafted out with specific intent, cognitive complexity, and were generally more nefarious than a haphazard murder-spat,” Budrow wrote. He later added, “What had started out as my original bare-bones plan of doing a straightforward homicide of a cellmate to obtain my single-cell status evolved into a mission for avenging that youngest girl and all of Roger Kibbe’s other victims.”

The letter was entitled “Ascension …may their souls go to heaven…”

Budrow — who is serving life without parole for a Southern California woman’s murder — wrote that he wasn’t concerned about legal consequences. Thus far, no criminal charges have been filed in Kibbe’s death, court records show.

“Should Amador County and/or the new Attorney General for the State of California elect to seek death penalty prosecution against me for murder-one with special circumstances (lying in wait, execution-style, desecrating a corpse, whatever) they can go ahead and ‘run that,'” Budrow wrote. “I am down to test my theory that no jury during a penalty phase of my potential death penalty trial will ever vote to see me executed for murdering Roger Kibbe, the ‘I-5 Stranger.'”

He added that he wanted to apologize to “doctors, professors, and instructors” he’d been working with for the past eight years in various prison educational programs, writing that he “lied to, and deceived, people who considered themselves my friends and advocates.” He added, “I did not do this to get attention, nor do I believe that I should be complimented.”

Kibbe was serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole and is believed to have raped and killed at least seven women and girls. His modus operandi was to offer a potential victim a ride and murder them in a secluded area. He was known to cut pieces of his victims’ hair or clothing as a trophy. Originally convicted of murdering a 17-year-old girl, in 2009, he confessed to six additional murders from 1977-86 in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. His victims all either lived or were traveling through Northern California, including two women he allegedly abducted from spots in the Bay Area.

Prison officials discovered Kibbe’s body on Feb. 28, though Budrow says he killed his cellmate the night before. Budrow was placed in administrative segregation after the discovery, according to a news release by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

This is not the first public confession for the 40-year-old Budrow, who in 2010 told a Press-Enterprise reporter he fatally strangled 48-year-old Margret Dalton in the Riverside County area known as Good Hope (he was eventually convicted and sentenced to life). In a jailhouse interview, Budrow reportedly explained that his victim “had to die” because she was a police informant. When asked about the “666” tattooed above his right eye, he replied that he was a “Satanist,” and lifted his orange jumpsuit to show a scar he said was the result of ritual bloodletting, the newspaper reported.

The convicted 'I-5 Strangler' Roger Kibbe was strangled to death inside Mule Street State Prison, according to an autopsy performed by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

At the time of that murder, Budrow was a registered sex offender for a 2006 conviction of entering the home of a 14-year-old neighbor and sexually assaulting her two years earlier. In that case, he told police he was intoxicated and he believed the girl was 17, and that he confessed because “could not live with himself, or run from the truth,” according to the Press-Enterprise.

After killing Kibbe, Budrow wrote that he carved “a crude inverted pentagram (without a circle around it)” into Kibbe’s body. He decided on killing Kibbe as early as November 2020 and spent months “grooming” him before they were allowed to cell up together, Budrow said.

The night of the killing, Budrow said Kibbe confessed to him that he murdered his victims “for sport.” During the time before the killing, Budrow was working out one day when a TV special about Kibbe was broadcast. Budrow said he watched in “horrifying disgust and heart-wrenching empathy” and “it was the report of his youngest victim that impacted me the deepest.” He took the “coincidental” airing as “a dark omen and spiritual calling for me” that was later backed up by two “dream visions.”

“As my design for orchestrating my way into becoming Roger Kibbe’s cellmate reached fruition to culminate in the outcome that occurred, I consecrated the inception of the waning lunar cycle with his ‘death throws’ during a human sacrificial offering in a ceremonial rite of homage to the ‘God Most High,'” Budrow said, adding that he believes the souls of Kibbe’s victims “have been released from the possession of their killer and I pray that they now rest in peace.”

“As for me, I now have my single-cell status,” Budrow wrote.
California prisoner admits to murdering serial killer known as the I-5 Strangler, calls it ‘a mission for avenging’ his victims
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