Safari Inn murder just another symptom of our collective mental illness

20 Jul

I’ve had to turn off the news lately – I’m sick of hearing about the murder at the Safari Inn.

Yes, this is news – a woman brutally murdered at a local hotel. But why aren’t they giving us all the details?

For one thing, the man who was seen coming and going from her bedroom window on the night of the murder,  well known transient Marc Valcarenghi, was on a second probation for grand theft and possession of crank.  He’d been arrested in 2014 and again in 2016 for roughly the same crimes – including possession of a drug known to cause unpredictable and violent behavior. Placed on probation, you ask? Yes, not once, but twice this guy was had by law enforcement and allowed to skitter off into the bushes. 

For another thing, the Safari Inn has always had a questionable reputation despite recent efforts to clean up the outside of the place. Back in the 80’s it looked like a total dive, the city went after them to clean it up, so it looks like a “normal” motel. But see what out-of-towners have to say about it here, complete with pictures:

I have never seen so many graphic and bad reviews of a motel, and we always checked with Yelp! before we went on road trips. 

What’s creepy is, you can see, the outside of the motel looks pretty harmless.  Check those reviews before you go on the road people – imagine ending up in a place like this in a town like SF or Sa-crap-mento!

Here’s another dead giveaway – the price is so low, transients can stay there on the proceeds of tipping garbage cans. Apparently, the victim was staying there in exchange for cleaning? Did you read some of those reviews? 

I think it’s used mostly by transients and even prostitutes. And let me ask you – the motel employee that talked to both Ch 7 and Ch 12 told them the room was so “trashed” she didn’t find the body right away. The newspaper said the woman had been badly beaten and strangled. How does all that happen in a motel and nobody notices? Nobody calls the cops? Cause it’s pretty common there? 

One person who reviewed this place says the health department needs to give it a look. Ya think?  Another person reported finding syringes and a shopping cart in the parking lot. 

What does it take to get the city to investigate a place like this? For a short time we also had a very high-profile routing by the health department, restaurants all over town were shut down and others started sporting the health department clearance sign. But not motels? 

This murder has caused quite a sensation – we’ll see if it causes anything to  change in city and county policy. 



2 Responses to “Safari Inn murder just another symptom of our collective mental illness”

  1. Jim in Chico July 20, 2017 at 5:50 am #

    What was more shocking was the both the victim and the perpetrator  were local people from middle class families.  Jim Matthews

    • Juanita Sumner July 20, 2017 at 10:40 am #

      I don’t know about their families, but I did check out Valcarenghi, and he’s been in some sort of trouble eversince 1999, escalating into real criminal activities by 2014. I think Chico PD knew this guy very well, the courts knew him well, but for some reason kept giving him parole. They cite jail overcrowding – I have realized lately, “overcrowding” is judged by the prison guard union, and I don’t think it’s a matter of human decency. And then there’s the parole system – what do they mean by “formal parole”?

      I won’t condemn the victim, but will say, she was wearing a red flag on her hat, it shouldn’t have completely surprised anybody she knew that this is what it came to.

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