Skip to Content

Part 25: McGowan Family: D.A. Lied To Us

As the FBI investigation into the Riverside County District Attorney’s office continues, the family of the victims in a 2005 murder-suicide is now speaking out.

They say the District Attorney’s office lied to them about the causes behind the tragedy that claimed six lives.

District Attorney’s investigator David McGowan shot his three children, his wife, and his mother before shooting himself.

The McGowan relatives are frustrated and cooperating with the FBI in their search for answers.

They’ve just received parts of the sheriff’s department crime scene report to explain how it all happened.

But they believe the District Attorney’s office has lied about what they know into the question that’s haunted this family for more than two years.

Why did this tragedy happen?

A row of gravestones marks where the McGowan family is laid to rest. The question remains: what caused D.A. investigator David McGowan to shoot them before shooting himself?

Karen McGowan and children, Paige, Chase, and Rayne, lived in the Garner Valley house with their grandmother Angie.

David McGowan was seen by friends as an easy going professional working at the D.A’s office in Indio.

Karen’s sister Kelly recalls conversations she had with Karen months before the murder-suicide.

“I have information that my sister shared with me prior to their deaths that when I had questioned the District Attorney’s office, the response I received were inconsistent with the gravity of this information that Karen had shared with me,” says Kelly Terracciano.

“Karen had told me three to six months prior to their deaths, their murders, that David was working on a case that when the ‘(expletive) hit the fan,’ it was going to blow me away.”

McGowan’s last case started with investigating four Desert Hot Springs Police officers for allegedly filing a false traffic report.

But his investigation uncovered more potential crimes.

Officer Jacques Million was accused of molesting a teenage girl.

Another officer was investigated for stealing drugs and guns from the evidence locker.

And an animal control officer was accused of working with a Mexican drug cartel dog fighting ring.

Luis Bolanos was McGowan’s former partner.

“He confided in me that he was being pressured by Chief Clay Hodson of the D.A’s and Assistant Chief Rick Nelson to change his findings in an investigation he was conducting involving numerous police officers from Desert Hot Springs,” says Bolanos.

Kelly Terracciano adds, “Karen told me that David was under a lot of stress and that he had told his superiors to ‘F’ off. At that time, I was concerned.”

Days before the murder-suicide, McGowan went to the FBI then cleared his work desk. To this day, the D.A’s office said McGowan was not facing unusual stress at work.

Terracciano states, “Jim Baines said to me that David was recycling photographs and paintings that his children had given him.

“That was what I was told specifically. So when I saw the photographs that you included in your investigative reporting, I was floored.

“It was quite evident to me, David had vacated. We were misled to believe he was simply changing out photographs.”

The District Attorney’s office has withheld comment stating it is fully cooperating with the FBI’s investigation.

KESQ News Team


Leave a Reply

Skip to content