SLO man murdered in Wasco Prison cell

October 11, 2011

Joseph Son

A 50-year-old San Luis Obispo man serving time in Wasco State Prison for a parole violation was found dead Tuesday, and his cellmate, former actor Joseph Son, is charged with murder.

The victim has not yet been identified, but authorities said he arrived at the prison June 23.

Son, 40, had a small but visible part in the first “Austin Powers” movie, wearing a bowler hat playing one of Dr. Evil’s henchmen, in 1997. He also appeared in a number of martial arts films during the 1990s. He currently is serving a life sentence for the 1990 gang rape of a Southern California woman, and has been at the prison for less than a month, prison officials said.

Son was linked to the two-decade-old crime by DNA after he was arrested for felony vandalism and parole violation. The 19-year-old Huntington Beach victim was raped, sodomized, and beaten with a handgun while Son and a co-defendant, Santiago Lopez Gaitlan, threatened her with death. She was released, naked and bound with her own clothing.

The San Luis Obispo man’s cause of death wasn’t immediately revealed though it has been labeled a murder. Officials also said he was a sex offender who failed to register properly.



  1. sloslo says:

    It is rather bizzare that this guy was “Random Task” from the Austin Powers movies. See:

    I guess task #1 was kill your cellmate.

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. Paso_Guy says:

    So, who is gonna miss this guy, now that he’s gone?

    Thought so

    (-1) 11 Total Votes - 5 up - 6 down
    • Kettel says:

      So, who is gonna miss this Paso_Guy, now that he’s gone?

      Callous and heartless much?.

      (-1) 11 Total Votes - 5 up - 6 down
  3. MaryMalone says:

    They put a man who is in prison for a PAROLE VIOLATION in a cell with a man serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for GANG RAPE, where the victim was repeatedly, in the back seat of a car, raped, sodomized, threatened with a gun, and beat with a gun? Son had only been in Wasco for a month, but had been reportedly repeatedly beaten by other inmates who apparently don’t much appreciate rapists. Reportedly, the SLO victim was found with injuries to the chest.

    The SLO victim was a sex offender, and failed to register as such (never a good sign), but to put any man with a two-year sentence in a cell with someone like Son, in for life for rape, torture, etc.?

    The victim had already served his time in prison for his crime and was out on parole.

    Call me a bleeding-heart liberal, but this just doesn’t seem right. The SLO victim never had a chance.

    Here’s what other sources are publishing about the attack.

    ABC describes his crimes as “rape and torture…….
    ……..”The man
    [SLO victim] was serving a two-year prison sentence for parole violation after failing to register as a sex offender….
    …Son was sentenced in September in Orange County for the 1990 gang rape of a then 19-year-old Southern California woman. The woman was walking her dog on Christmas Eve when she was approached by Son and a co-defendant, Santiago Lopez Gaitan. The two drove the woman to Huntington Beach where she was raped and sodomized, according to the Associated Press.
    Police collected DNA evidence after the crime but were unable to connect Son to the rape and torture until he pleaded guilty to felony vandalism in 2008 and violated probation.
    Gaitan was sentenced to 17 years and four months in state prison after pleading guilty to five felonies….
    ” (

    And from a site, CagePotato …

    “Here’s what the poster, SoCal PriznGard posted today:
    “I am the first to break this news! Ex UFC fighter, Joe Son has murdered his cellmate. While serving a life sentence for gang rape, Joe Son has been attacked several times by other inmates who do not tolerate rapists in prison. It has not yet been determined why he killed his cellmate or how.
    Fact: celly found dead. Joe and dead guy only ones in cell together. Guard doing count, sees celly is unresponsive, medical arrives. CPR performed. Celly has trauma to chest area. Pronounced dead. Innocent until proven guilty but looks like he did it. These are the only facts that I have right now. Investigation still in progress since it just happened on Monday around 5:00 pm.”

    (3) 15 Total Votes - 9 up - 6 down
    • Robert1 says:

      He never had a chance? How about his victims? Did they ever have a chance?
      Live by the sword, die by it, period.
      Had he followed the law he would have not been in that position.

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  4. standup says:

    One bad dude. I bet he wished he had registered as a sex offender when he had the chance. Might have stayed out of prison, but oh well.

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  5. GeminiSappho says:

    Wow….pretty callous remarks.
    Did you not read that the man that was killed was a parole violator? Although we don’t have more information to go on than just that; a parole violation does not necissarily mean a violent crime was done to send him to Wasco and then applaude his subsequent murder.
    Many people, including myself, have family that unfortuantly have surcumb to methamphetamine or other drug addictions and have never stolen, commited a violent act in their life other than to be stupid and use drugs. They have been sent to Wasco for parole violation for coming up dirty on a urine screen. What about a random person in prison because of our ridiculous marijuana laws, getting killed? Would we applaud his death too?
    Granted most earn their time to be there yet let’s act a little more humane at times and try to put someone else’s shoes on and think about what we are not getting from the whole story before we leave asinine/heartless comments like “he got what was coming to him” and “scum killing scum.”

    (-9) 19 Total Votes - 5 up - 14 down
    • backseat_driver says:

      The parole violation was for failing to register as a sex offender(see LA Times, multiple other articles), so no it was not drugs. Anyone that watches Lockdown know sex offenders, especially child molesters are detested in prisons and are often the victim of violent attacks. Not saying its right, but it is what it is. It just so happens a famous person did it this time.

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Apparently, rapists aren’t either because Son had been repeatedly beaten by other inmates in the one month he had been at Wasco.

        Son was in for life without parole. The SLO victim had already served his jail time for a sex offense, and was in for a parole violation for not registering as a sex offender.

        Son has years of training in martial arts, too.

        This just does not seem right, to put the victim in with someone like Son.

        (3) 15 Total Votes - 9 up - 6 down
        • Cindy says:

          I would be curious to know a little more than just hearing the words “sex offender”. Like everything else, the sex offender laws have been taken “over the top”. A person having consensual intercourse with his underaged girlfriend is now “dubbed” as a sex offender. There are different degrees of this offense so the title “sex offender” doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of a dangerous criminal or pervert in my book, until I hear more.

          (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
  6. SloTownMan says:

    He got what was coming (no pun intended) to him.

    (-4) 18 Total Votes - 7 up - 11 down
  7. winedude says:

    Scum killing scum…MEH!

    (6) 20 Total Votes - 13 up - 7 down

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