By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
In custody, Noordman told the police that what happened on September 13 was a terrible accident, a practical joke gone awry. The plot was hatched two weeks earlier. Bullwinkle was to pick up Noordman after her shift at Baker’s Burgers. The two would drive to San Timoteo Canyon, hike a little bit, smoke pot and wait for Guerrero’s arrival. When Guerrero arrived, the two would lure the terrified Bullwinkle over to a shallow grave they dug the day before. They would point a gun at her head and tell her that this was the way she was going to die. However, Guerrero was two hours late and almost missed the two as they were driving out of the canyon at 7 p.m. Guerrero was able to persuade the two to stay and go for yet another walk, this time in the direction of the 1-foot-deep grave. While Bullwinkle was standing near the shallow grave with her back to her two friends, the gun went off. Noordman said she was shocked because she didn’t think Guerrero would bring a gun. Guerrero said the gun went off accidentally.
“Kinzie stated it was supposed to be a joke. Kelly was supposed to turn around, and they were going to tell her that this was how they were going to kill her. Kelly was supposed to freak out, and that was supposed to be it,” according to police reports.
While Bullwinkle was on the ground moaning, Guerrero — one week shy of his 19th birthday — handed Noordman the gun, saying he didn’t have the stomach to shoot her again. Noordman took the gun and fired the second and fatal shot. Noordman’s mother, Deborah, who was present during Noordman’s confession, asked her why she didn’t use a cell phone to call for help. Noordman replied that there was poor reception in the canyon.
“So you shot her and put her out of her misery?” asked Deborah.
“Yeah,” she replied.
“What were your plans?” Deborah asked.
Noordman replied that Guerrero thought that they would be able to get away with it, but she wasn’t so sure. She said she didn’t question why Damien shot her.
“I was shocked and on autopilot,” said Noordman.
“I must be missing something,” replied Deborah.
“It is a generation gap,” said Noordman. “People do this all the time as a practical joke.” She then told police that she had not told her shrink about the murder.
Guerrero placed Bullwinkle into the shallow grave while Noordman scooped dirt on her with her hands and feet. They smoothed the top of the grave with Noordman’s father’s shovel the two had left at the scene the day earlier. A nearby tattered orange couch was dragged over her body, excluding her right leg, which was still exposed when the paintballers found her three weeks later. Noordman drove her dead best friend’s car to the Ontario Mills Mall and abandoned it in the parking lot. Guerrero, in his 2001 Honda Civic, followed behind. They both changed clothes, threw Bullwinkle’s car keys in a dumpster and went to dinner at Denny’s, where Noordman had a hickory cheeseburger with a salad and Guerrero ate the French Slam. They went Dutch. They even had time to take in a 9:20 p.m. movie, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, at the Krikorian Theatres.
That evening, Guerrero went back to Romero’s house and stayed until 2 a.m., her curfew. The next day, the couple dined at McDonald’s and drove to Six Flags Magic Mountain, where they had season passes. They decided not to go in because the park would be open for only two more hours and they didn’t want to waste money on parking. Instead they drove around Hollywood and returned home before Romero’s curfew. She told police that Guerrero was acting “normal, and that means goofy, joking around” and was making funny voices “from movies.”
Police didn’t buy Noordman’s tale of a joke gone awry. At a press conference on November 6, they stopped short of providing a motive and would only say that the murder was over a “personal dispute” between the three. Guerrero and Noordman were charged with murder and with personal and intentional use of a firearm causing death. The District Attorney’s office is also considering “lying in wait,” a special-circumstances charge that could make them eligible for the death penalty.
Friends and family members have not been able to make sense of what happened. All three had so much to look forward to.
In addition to her classes at Crafton Hills College, Noordman was working as a receptionist with Realty Executives in Moreno Valley. “I don’t regret knowing her,” said Hill. “She was really unique and interesting.”
Guerrero was a psychology major at UC Riverside and a part-time receptionist with Realty Executives in Redlands. “I liked Damien,” added Hill. “He is kinda like a smart ass but I liked him. He was very sarcastic. If you made yourself look weaker he would make fun of you, but he was probably one of the smartest guys I know.”