In 1990, a little girl opened the door for a friend of her sister’s, not knowing it would be the worst and final mistake of her very short life. That friend, Rosie Alfaro, sits on death row in the state of California for one of the most brutal crimes the sunny city of Anaheim had ever seen.

Rosie Alfaro, like many future killers, did not have a great life. By 13, she was addicted to drugs and by 14, she was turning tricks. By the time she turned 18, she was the single mother for four children. In 1990, Alfaro was 18, and jonesing for a fix, already high on a combination of cocaine and heroin.

Alfaro was a friend of Amber Wallace, and knew the Wallace family relatively well. She figured she could break into their home, steal some of their shit, sell it, and buy more drugs. When she arrived at the house, she knocked, like she would have any other time. Amber’s little sister, only 9 years old, opened the door. She was home alone cutting out paper dolls as she waited for her mother and older sisters to return. Autumn’s father had died after of cancer three years earlier. 

Alfaro asked Autumn to use the family’s restroom. She would later state that her drug-addled brain told her she had to kill Autumn as Autumn was a witness, even though at that moment, she had yet to do anything out of the ordinary. She could have used the bathroom and left. Instead, Alfaro took a knife from the kitchen and lured Autumn into the family bathroom. There, she stabbed Autumn 57 times and left her body on the floor.

With Autumn dead, Alfaro gathered up several items, including a portable TV, VCR, telephone and Nintendo set. Altogether, Alfaro received a mere $300 for all of it.

Though Alfaro would later claim an unidentified man accompanied her to the Wallace home and forced her to stab Autumn, no DNA evidence of anyone but Autumn, her family and Alfaro was found in the house. Prosecutors have always alleged that Alfaro was a liar who got high and acted alone in the senseless crime.

Alfaro was sentenced to death, and she remains on Death Row to this day. Autumn’s sister, Amber Wallace Zabo, told the OC Register in 2007 that she desired to watch Alfaro die. “I would do it myself, if they’d let me,” she said.