Connect with us


Police ID Prime Suspect in 1996 Dorian Cold Case Murder



Share with friends

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says his department has identified the prime suspect in the 1996 rape and murder of Debbie Dorian.

“Nickey Stane is every woman’s nightmare. He appears to be a regular person. He is a sexual predator who has terrorized women throughout this Valley.”Fresno County DA Lisa Smittcamp
It is the same suspect that Visalia police arrested Wednesday in four cold-case sexual assaults: 52-year old Nickey Duane Stane.
“Nickey Stane is every woman’s nightmare,” Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said. “He appears to be a regular person. He is a sexual predator who has terrorized women throughout this Valley.”
Dyer did not reveal more details at a Friday news conference, other than that DNA taken in the Dorian case matches Stane’s DNA.

Stane Held Without Bail in Tulare County

Stane has not been arrested by Fresno police, but he appeared in Tulare County court Friday for arraignment.
Dyer and Smittcamp say they anticipate an arrest soon for the Fresno homicide. There was no urgency because there is no statute of limitations for homicide, Smittcamp said.
Additionally, Dyer said, Stane is being held without bail.
Smittcamp added that her office would coordinate with Tulare County prosecutors to bring formal charges against Stane.

Dorian Case

Doran, a 22-year old Fresno State student, was supposed to take a trip to San Francisco wither her father on Aug. 22, 1996. When she did not stop by her dad’s home, he went searching for her. He found her at her apartment near Cedar and Teague avenues, bound, gagged, raped and killed, according to Dyer.
Two homicide detectives, Robert Schiotis and Vince Zavala, have continued to work the case after their retirements, on a volunteer basis.
At the time of Dorian’s rape and killing, police had no suspects. But DNA was retrieved and stored in the state’s databases.
The Doran case made headlines when she was killed and has continued to do so. In 2016, the Crime Stoppers reward for tips leading to an arrest in the case was $57,000.

Visalia Case

Three years ago, at a news conference, Dyer said the same DNA from Dorian’s killing had been linked to a series of several sexual assault cases in Visalia between 1999 and 2002.
Then, in 2009, the state Dept. of Justice issued a “John Doe” warrant because a name hadn’t been matched to the DNA. Doing so allowed for filing potential charges before any applicable statutes of limitations expired.
Visalia authorities charged Stane with four counts following his arrest this week. DNA hits also appear to link him to at least three more assaults, they said.
Dyer said his department worked with Visalia police for the last six months based on “new developments” but he did not elaborate.

Same Technology Used in Golden State Killer Arrest

Smittcamp and Dyer said the DNA technology — “genetic genealogy” — used to identify Stane was the same that Sacramento authorities used to arrest Joseph DeAngelo, the alleged “Golden State Killer,” in April 2018.
Stane had misdemeanor sexual offenses in the 1980s, Smittcamp said. Her office is researching those cases.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email