Murdered for Millions: 30 years after Ewell murders, a new look

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thirty years ago, Fresno County sheriff's deputies found three murder victims in a case that would take years to solve even though the killer was right there in the home.

RELATED: Click here for the Murdered for Millions immersive experience website

"I guess you could say evil," said Chris Curtice, a retired former Fresno County Sheriff's Department homicide detective, who worked the case. "Absolutely. Who would do this? About as evil as you could get."

Dale, Glee, and Tiffany Ewell were shot and killed 30 years ago Tuesday when they came home from the coast on Easter Sunday - April 19, 1992.

The first call came as a shock to Sheriff Steve Magarian.

"We had a homicide," said the now-retired sheriff. "Three people found in their home in the Sunnyside area deceased."

Tiffany Ewell and her parents, Glee and Dale, had been murdered.

The investigation leading to the arrests of Dana Ewell and Joel Radovcich required some new investigative techniques and years of evidence collection.

"The vice guys stopped their investigations," Curtice said. "They'd come and work on the case. Burglary detectives. Anybody we could get to start doing surveillance in southern California and the Bay Area at the same time."

Dana Ewell was convicted of having Radovcich kill his father, mother, and sister so he could collect an inheritance in the millions.

Investigators and friends remember that Dale Ewell owned an aviation business and his wife was a sweetheart.

One childhood friend told me their kids were polar opposites: Tiffany was an angel. Dana was a demon.

"Tiffany and I would be in her bedroom playing Barbies and he'd come in and rip the heads off the Barbies," said Shaley Erickson. "And he was very arrogant as he grew older. He would lie about everything."

Dana Ewell is serving a life sentence with no hope for parole.

An Action News reporter has communicated with the now-51-year-old for ten years through prison mail and he frequently writes about his conversion to Christianity.

He sent a statement about the anniversary saying, in part, "I am grateful, grateful, grateful I came to prison where I began to realize how lost and totally depraved I had become in my prideful rebellion."

"He's a master manipulator," Curtice said as he looked through years of letters between Ewell and a reporter. "Or at least he was. But then when you start looking at these, maybe he still is and he's not ready to say anything to anyone."

We're exploring all facets of the case for an upcoming documentary about the murders here 30 years ago.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.