A former girlfriend who lived with accused serial killer Roberto Arguelles doubts he confessed to ease the pain of his victims' families.
Arguelles loved to watch people bleed and said so several times before his first victim was reported missing, the girlfriend said Tuesday in a Deseret News interview."He is a very scary person. He used to talk about how he liked to watch people bleed, how he liked to cut them open and then watch them bleed," the woman said. "He definitely confessed because there was something in it for him."
Arguelles admitted to investigators two weeks ago that he killed Margo Bond, 42; Stephanie Blundell, 13; Tuesday Roberts, 15; and Lisa Martinez, 16, after he was paroled from the Utah State Prison in June 1991.
He strangled three of his victims and repeatedly stabbed and slashed his fourth, he said. "I felt like (confessing) was the right thing to do. They say I ain't got a conscience . . . but I know right and wrong," he later told the Deseret News.
Prosecutors subsequently charged Arguelles with four counts of capital murder, which carries the death penalty.
The former girlfriend, who asked not to be identified because she fears Arguelles, first met him in 1978, when he was 16 and she was 18. Two years later, Arguelles was imprisoned and the woman moved on with her life, she said.
They rekindled their relationship just after Arguelles' release from prison four years ago. He had just served 11 years for the attempted murder and rapes of two teenage girls in Salt Lake County.
"We got together again when his mom saw me at the grocery store. She said he wanted to see me and that (the police) had pinned something on him that he didn't do," the woman said. "I believed her."
Soon after their renewed romance started, Arguelles moved into the woman's four-bedroom home in west Salt Lake County.
They seemed to get along well. And Arguelles doted on her two children, buying them gifts and taking them out to eat, she said.
But the woman got suspicious during the fall of 1991 when Arguelles began talking about cutting people. The violent talk took on new meaning one evening when Arguelles forced her to "go for a ride" in his car.
"We were going to the pig farm (where Arguelles later allegedly buried two of his victims). I just had the feeling he was going to kill me because of the way he was talking."
She said she faked sickness as they drove along 5400 West and Arguelles stopped at a restaurant, where she called his probation officer. Arguelles "cooled off" after the call and they returned to her home without talking much.
Probation officers took him away that evening and the woman never saw him again, she said.
Later the next year, when the girlfriend moved from the house she shared with Arguelles, she found two razor-blade knifes wrapped in white towels tucked behind her waterbed. Her father found seven more unsheathed blades hidden in the home's heating vents, she said.
Police suspect Arguelles killed after he was removed from the woman's house, but before he was arrested for trying to sexually abuse a brother and sister at a school playground in August 1992 - an offense which put him behind bars again.
His former girlfriend now believes Arguelles killed more than just the four victims he has talked about, although he never admitted that during their relationship, she said.
If police find any other bodies, they probably will be unearthed near Mount Timpanogos in Utah County - the spot where Arguelles buried Blundell, she said.
"He loved that place and went there all the time. It was like sacred ground to him."
Arguelles began sharing details of the four killings last July from his prison cell. He first told investigators he merely witnessed the burial of Martinez and Roberts at the pig farm in West Salt Lake in 1992.
Detectives solidly linked him to their deaths a month later while talking to another former girlfriend - the second woman he lived with during his parole, according to search warrant affidavits filed Monday in 3rd Circuit Court.
The woman, Pamela Kay Milstein, 44, told detectives in August 1995 that Arguelles had boasted about abusing, killing and burying the bodies of Bond and the girls, the records state.
Milstein also said Arguelles took her to Blundell's grave near Timpanogos Peak and showed her some of Bond's jewelry as proof that he killed the woman. The gold rings and bracelets were supposedly buried in the back yard of the trailer Arguelles lived in at the time.
But police didn't find the rings and bracelets when they dug up the yard on Aug. 4, 1995. Last week, however, they recovered bits of jewelry they believe were Bond's inside the wall of a Murray bank after Arguelles showed them where he hid the pieces.
Arguelles was arraigned Tuesday on the four capital charges. He is scheduled to next appear in court May 15.
His former attorney, Bob Steele, suggested last week his client would simply plead guilty to one or more of the counts and forego a trial. But prosecutors have not yet decided to waive a preliminary hearing, which determines whether probable cause exists for a trial.
They may conduct such a hearing to establish a foundation for the penalty phase of the cases, if Arguelles pleads guilty. A jury in that phase decides whether a guilty defendant should be executed or imprisoned for life.