Craig Coley - Updated Apr 2024

Updated On February 28, 2024
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Craig Coley


Craig Coley is an American man who served 39 years in prison. Craig Coley was imprisoned after being falsely found guilty of a double murder in Los Angeles, California.

Early Life and Education

Craig Coley was born on June 7, 1947, in the United States Navy at the time of the Vietnam War. His age is currently 76 years old. However, there is no information about his parents and other family members. He holds American nationality but his ethnicity is unknown. According to his birthdate, he was born under the sun sign Gemini. Other than this there is no information about his early days.

Similarly, his educational background is also not available. He might be a well-educated person.

Wicht Murder Case

On November 11, 1978, Rhonda Wicht, aged 24 years old, and Donald Wicht, aged 4 years old, were discovered dead in their apartment in Simi Valley, a Los Angeles neighborhood. Rhonda Wicht had been raped, abused, and murdered, while Donald Wicht had been suffocated. Because Coley had dated Rhonda Wicht for two years and the two had recently broken up.

Craig Coley

Caption: Craig Coley’s posters during his imprisonment
Source: The Arab-American News

On the same day as the murders, Coley was taken into custody and charged with two murders. A hung jury was the outcome of the first trial. He was found guilty in the second trial, which took place in 1980, and received a life sentence without the possibility of release.  Coley served his time in prisons in California, Los Angeles County, and Folsom.

New Investigation

In 1989, Michael Bender, a Simi Valley Police Department officer at the time, began to reexamine Coley’s case and found flaws in it. Coley’s parents, a retired police officer, and a teacher had been working to release their son up until the time of their deaths. Detective Dan Swanson from the cold case unit at the Simi Valley Police Department was asked to conduct a fresh investigation. Det. Swanson found the missing evidence and had it analyzed forensically.

Three former and present officers of the law stated in court that the detective who handled the case at the time of Coley’s trial “mishandled the investigation or framed Mr. Coley.” The local lawyer believed that the initial investigators’ determination that Coley was guilty was made too quickly and that they were the victims of “tunnel vision.”


After the prosecution’s case against Coley was found to be untrue, Coley was given a pardon by California Governor Jerry Brown on November 22, 2017.

Coley secured a $21 million settlement from the city of Simi Valley on February 23, 2019. It would be foolish of us to proceed in that manner since going to trial would be extremely expensive. Simi Valley City stated that they would provide around $4.9 million of the $21 million that Coley would receive. And with the remaining funds coming from other sources, such as insurance.

Craig Coley

Caption: Craig Coley received his compensation
Source: BBC News

Moreover, Coley’s imprisonment period ranks as the 14th-longest in the country for a case of clearly incorrect conviction. DNA evidence later cleared Coley and DeAngelo, and the killer’s identity remains a mystery.

Personal Life

Craig Coley’s sexual orientation is straight. As for his relationship status, there is no information about his love life. However, according to sources, he dated Rhonda Wicht before her murder. He was also charged with his ex-girlfriend’s murder. However, the story behind this murder is still a mystery.

Craig Coley – Net Worth 2024

His service included many missions on board the USS Enterprise and USS Bainbridge to Vietnam. However, there is no information about his career, earnings, and net worth. However, Coley secured a $21 million settlement from the city of Simi Valley on February 23, 2019, as compensation for his unjustified murder.

Social Media

Reflecting on his social media presence, Craig Coley is not active on any social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. But the news of the suspect’s murder went viral on social media.

Craig Coley – Body Measurements

Coming to his physical appearance, Craig Coley has an attractive personality. But there is no information about his height, weight, body size, and so on. Looking at his pictures we can assume that he has a pair of black eyes with white colored hair.