Prosecutors petition to keep suspect in cold-case killings locked up

EVERETT — The suspect in two 1995 cold-case homicides isn’t expected to be freed on Friday now that King County prosecutors have petitioned to keep him locked up under the state’s sexually violent predator laws.

Danny Giles was scheduled to be released at the end of the week from the Washin

gton State Reformatory after serving every day possible for a 2005 sex crime out of Seattle. He exposed himself to two college-age women near the University of Washington.

Giles, 43, had previous convictions for rape and two other sexually motivated crimes. He repeatedly has refused to participate in sex offender treatment.

Unsolved

The Patti Berry story (1999)
Part 1: Four years of grief and pain
Part 2: Family’s fears grow when car found in field
Part 3: Detective uses field skills to track a killer
Part 4: Investigator narrows in on a key suspect
Part 5: Investigators hope the devil is in the details
Part 6: Slain mother’s love manages to find daughter

The petition filed Wednesday by King County prosecutors comes just two days before Giles was scheduled to be set free without any oversight by the state Department of Corrections. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Snohomish County sheriff’s cold-case detectives say Giles is the prime suspect in the July 31, 1995, slaying of Patti Berry and the May 1995 disappearance and presumed homicide of Tracey Brazzel. Detectives say genetic tests link Giles to evidence collected at both crime scenes.

Investigators have spoken with Giles more than once since receiving the results of the forensic tests. In recent weeks, they also have been interviewing the man’s friends and other associates. No charges have been filed in the cold cases.

Following the 2005 conviction King County prosecutors flagged Giles as a potential sexually violent predator, King County senior deputy prosecutor David Hackett said Friday.

A psychologist recently concluded that Giles meets the criteria for being civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. Giles declined to participate in the doctor’s evaluation, according to the petition. Instead, the doctor relied on police reports, court records and corrections documents. He also looked at information gathered by Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives as part of their investigation into the cold cases, Hackett said.

The doctor noted that witnesses told detectives that Giles has talked about his fantasies of cutting people and watching them bleed to death, according to court records. One witness reported that Giles held a knife to her throat and forced her to have sex with him. He was never charged with a crime for that incident. Another witness told police that Giles once said that Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway’s victims “did not deserve to be found.”

The doctor diagnosed Giles with mental disorders, including sexual sadism and sexual urges and behaviors based on coercion. Those make him more likely than not to commit a new sexually violent offense, the doctor concluded.

King County prosecutors will have to prove at trial that Giles meets the criteria to be held indefinitely as a sexually violent predator. In the meantime, Giles likely will be locked up at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

“Based on everything I have read it would appear that the community is probably safer with him in (prison) than out,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said.

Matheson continues to review information to determine whether or not to file charges against Giles in connection with the 1995 cases.

Brazzel, 22, was last seen May 26, 1995 leaving a south county pub. Her car was found days later near her Lynnwood-area apartment. Brazzel has never been located.

Berry, 26, was reported missing July 31, 1995 after she failed to return from work at Honey’s, a former nude nightclub in south Everett. Her body was found about a week later in a wooded area behind the Everett Mall. She had died of multiple stab wounds to the neck.

Court records indicate that Giles was wanted on an arrest warrant during the time Brazzel went missing and Berry was killed.

Everett police caught up with him on Nov. 11, 1995, near the mall, about a half-mile from where Berry’s body had been found. He was living with his mother in an apartment off 204th Street SW, less than five miles from Brazzel’s apartment and about six miles from where Berry’s car was found.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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