California Valley victim burned, stabbed and beaten

December 16, 2011

Daniel Zeller

Gruesome details about the bizarre torture of a California Valley man in November were revealed in a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department warrant obtained by KSBY.

In November, Travis Dames escaped from two men who had held him hostage for three days while they assaulted him at a home on the 13000 block of Camarillo Road in California Valley, officials said.

Daniel Zeller, 42, and Philip Williams, 44, allegedly asked Dames to help dig a small fish pond at William’s house. Dames told detectives the men turned on him and  said “We are going to fucking kill you and bury you in a box where no one will find you,” and ordered him into a cupboard.

In the warrant, detectives describe Williams using a blow torch to burn Dames arms, Zeller hitting Dames with the claw end of a hammer gauging his right pinky finger and bashing his head. Zeller also stabbed Dames in the back and spine with a dinner fork.

After three days, Dames escaped through a panel in the cupboard that led outdoors. Zeller found Dames and beat him before fleeing to Kern County, the warrant says.

Zeller and Williams pleaded not guilty to felony charges of torture, false imprisonment by violence, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats. A pre-preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday was continued until later next month.

Philip Williams


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6 Comments

  1. slowtime says:

    All I have to say is; Play with fire (meth) , you’re gonna get burned! No Victims here. All tweekers.

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

    Wanna see a bitchen movie? Catch the The Getaway with Steve McQueen (1972), totally fun movie. One of the arch villains in it is a spittin’ image of Zeller, check it out.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. Cindy says:

    I think this is so bizarre as to be not entirely believable. I think there is more to this story that the three of them aren’t talking about. I think there were drugs involved and this guy knows exactly why they kept him in the cupboard and periodically tortured him for 3 days. It’s rather apparent that none of his injuries were life threatening and this is more in line with attempting to extract some sort of information from him, in my opinion. Did they think he ripped them off for some drugs?

    All in all, I certainly could be wrong but I think there is more to the story that the victim is withholding. Either way, the assailants are scary and dangerous.

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

    This is like a Lifetime movie. If this is true then it’s just bizarre and that poor guy must have been terrified. I wonder if they all, including the victim were methed out. In another article it seemed like they were all friends. But I hate to blame the victim, if this really went down then I do feel bad for the guy it must have terrible.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  5. easymoney says:

    IMHO, an eye for an eye might be an appropriate punishment for heinous crimes of this scale…

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • eradicate ignorance says:

      Cue Ted Slanders for some eye for eye vengeance proselytizing.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.