A Bellevue man was charged last week for raping, murdering and setting fire to a 63-year-old Seattle woman.
Michael Ross Giordano, 23, is being held on $10 million bail at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle under homicide and arson charges.
Prosecutors initially asked for no bail, stating the likelihood Giordano was a danger to the community was high, according to charging documents.
The murder of Jennifer Ayers, a 63-year-old Lake City resident, came to light the morning of Jan. 15 after two witnesses saw the suspect bleeding from his hands in front of their residence.
Giordano told the witnesses he had been mugged and that he was lost.
Seattle Fire Department medics responded and tried to treat the suspect for hand injuries but he was not in need of much aid. He was released.
According to charging documents, one of the previous witnesses called police about an hour later to report he or she had seen the suspect throwing cards into nearby bushes prior to the medics’ response.
After the Seattle police arrived, officers found two cards belonging to the victim, who lived in the 2500 block of NE 107th St. in Seattle.
Officers went to Ayers’ home and heard smoke alarms blaring. They knocked on her door, but with no response, they went to the back of the house and entered through an unlocked door. They saw the smoke-filled house was “ransacked” and a “significant amount of blood,” the charging documents continue.
They eventually came across Ayers, who was face down on the floor and partially on fire. Court documents state officers pulled her out of the house, into the backyard and saw that Ayers’ hands were bound behind her back and she was partially clothed with a knife sticking out of her. Her genitals had been “severely burned” and she was deceased.
Hours later that day, Seattle police and firefighters responded to a possible assault call in which Giordano was involved.
“Assuming that he was on drugs or mentally ill, the officers conversed with Giordano in the street for roughly 30 minutes to determine whether or not he needed crisis intervention,” the charging documents state.
Initially unaware of his connection to the homicide, officers reported Giordano told them he was homicidal and had committed a homicide. He told them the blood on his hands wasn’t his, that he killed a man in self-defense, he was drugged at a bar and it was a conspiracy to set him up by the Hells Angels.
Post-Miranda, Giordano changed his story.
Charging documents state he told officers he killed a woman by stabbing her multiple times with the intent to get her to tell him where her valuables were. He then allegedly slit her throat after he bound her with X-box controller cords and raped her. In order to destroy evidence of the rape, the suspect told the officers he set fire to her crotch and wrote on the walls in her blood to intentionally mislead “police into believing that the killer was someone with satanic beliefs.”
Giordano’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 31.