The 2004 Napa Halloween Murders

Lori Johnston
11 min readAug 27, 2020
Adriane (left) and Leslie (right) (photo source: Criminal Misconduct)

Before November 1, 2004, Napa, California was known for its temperate weather, gorgeous scenery, plethora of local vineyards and quality of life for its residents, which included being a very safe community. Despite the many tourists who flocked from other parts of California, as well as throughout the United States and Europe, crime was not a common occurrence. In fact, Napa had not seen a homicide in over two years as Halloween of 2004 rolled around.

On that last day of October, roommates Adriane Insogna, Leslie Mazzara and Lauren Meanza spent the evening handing out candy to trick-or-treaters that rang the bell at their Dorset Street home. By 11 p.m., the lights were out and all three had turned in; Adriane and Leslie to their upstairs bedrooms and Lauren to her downstairs bedroom. All would be quiet until around 2 a.m.

At that time, Lauren was awakened by the sound of breaking glass and what she would describe as “a blood curdling, terrified scream.” She cautiously crept from her bed, to head upstairs to investigate. She was stopped when she heard the sound of heavy footsteps coming down the stairs toward her. Terrified, she ran out the back door and into the yard where she hid, perfectly still. She would hear the sounds of someone climbing out of the basement window and running off into the night before she would regain her courage and reenter the house. She climbed the stairs and, hearing crying coming from Adriane’s room, headed that way. She never could have been prepared for what sight met her.

Leslie was face down, in a pool of blood. Adriane was crouched down behind the bed, still alive, but bleeding heavily. There was so much blood in the room that Lauren slipped.

She tried to call 911 on the house phone but the line was dead. She retrieved her mobile phone and called for help, while running out to her own car and driving away. She was petrified that the person who attacked her roommates was still in the house or the area.

Paramedics arrived on Dorset Street quickly. Leslie was dead. Adriane would die very soon after the paramedics’ arrival. Both of them had been stabbed many, many times. Lauren had not seen anyone, although she had heard the attacks.

The local authorities began their investigation. They combed the crime scene and…

Lori Johnston

Writer, reader, margarita drinker. Currently looking for a “dare to be great” situation.