Snohomish County prosecutors have charged a 44-year-old rapist with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of two women who disappeared in Everett in 1995.
For eight months in 1995, Danny Giles — a rapist who committed his first sex offense at 17 — was on the run from the law, wanted on a warrant for second-degree theft.
It was during those months on the lam that he is now accused of killing two Snohomish County women, a Lynnwood hairstylist who was known to sell meth, and a single mom from Arlington who worked as a topless dancer, according to court records. Evidence from both homicides was preserved for more than a decade before Giles was connected to the killings through DNA, the records show.
Giles, now 44, was charged this week with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Tracey Brazzel, a 22-year-old whose body has never been found, and Patti Berry, 26, who apparently encountered Giles while looking for a gas station so she could pump air into a flat tire, charging papers say.
Until he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Friday afternoon on a $4 million arrest warrant, Giles had been in custody at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. He was awaiting a civil trial over an effort to commit him to the sex-offender-treatment facility as a sexually violent predator, court records show.
Most Read Local Stories
- Coronavirus daily news updates, April 1: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
- Inslee updates list of essential businesses, workers for stay-home order to stem spread of coronavirus
- End of the republic? We're No. 1 in voter turnout — for a reason the president thinks is 'crazy.'
- Hospitalizations for novel coronavirus-like illness declined last week in Washington, offering a glimmer of hope
- Coronavirus daily news updates, April 2: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
According to the state’s petition for civil confinement, Giles has refused to participate in sexual-deviancy treatment during his various prison stints, and refused to be interviewed by a psychologist contracted to evaluate him as part of the civil-commitment proceedings.
Using court records and interviews with people who knew him, the psychologist found Giles suffers from a severe form of anti-social personality disorder and is highly psychopathic and particularly dangerous to teenage girls and women, court records show. Giles was first sent to prison after he was convicted of second-degree rape for sexually attacking a young woman in a tanning bed in the cabana of a Lynnwood apartment complex in 1987, according to the records.
In 2005, Giles exposed himself to a sorority girl during rush week on the University of Washington’s Greek Row and was later sentenced to five years in prison, according to court records. That conviction led to his DNA being entered into a state database, which later helped investigators connect him to the homicides in Everett, according to prosecutors.
Brazzel’s father, Bill Brazzel, said Friday by phone from New Jersey that he was informed several months ago of Giles’ alleged responsibility for his daughter’s death.
“Till I find her, there is no closure, none at all. All the anger is coming back now,” Brazzel said.
A cold-case detective sent the steering wheel from Berry’s car to the Washington State Crime Lab for testing in 2004, charging papers say. An unknown male DNA profile, mixed with Berry’s DNA, was found on the steering wheel but wasn’t matched to Giles until 2008, the papers say. Almost 18 months later, Giles’ DNA was matched to blood found on Brazzel’s car, according to charging papers.
Charging papers note that “the two women were of similar ages, lifestyles, both blondes and disappeared within blocks of one another.”
Giles “is intimately familiar with the area in which both young women went missing, where Patti Berry worked, where Tracey Brazzel lived,” and where Berry’s car and body were found, charging papers say.
Brazzel was last seen alive in the early-morning hours of May 27, 1995, charging papers say. She spent the evening before her disappearance with friends at a bar called Kodiak Ron’s in Everett — which detectives later learned was regularly frequented by Giles, the papers say. It appears Brazzel may have taken Giles back to her apartment to sell him meth, charging papers say.
On July 31, 1995, Berry finished her shift at Honey’s, a now-closed Everett strip club, around 1:30 a.m., charging papers say. A club patron helped inflate a flat tire on Berry’s car so that she could drive, but told her to get air for the tire as soon as possible, charging papers say.
The nearest gas station — located in the same strip mall as Kodiak Ron’s — had an air pump that wasn’t working, the papers say. The following evening, Berry’s car was found by her family east of a carwash that “would have been the next available location” for her to get air, charging papers say.
“Copious amounts of blood” were found in the vehicle and Berry’s body was found a few days later by children playing in a wooded area nearby, they say.
News researcher Gene Balk contributed to this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org