"He was remorseful," says Levine. "But I think he was more sad and more sorry for having been caught."
Mason will now spend what's left of the rest of his life in prison. But one question still remains: Why did he do it?
Why did Mason, after just getting out of prison for burglary, end up in California with a gun?
"I didn't have a family life. I didn't have any place to go, and things were not going well for me, so I took off to California," says Mason. "I bought a gun at Shreveport with the intention of using it simply as a deterrent in so far as I was hitchhiking."
When asked why he attacked the teenagers and raped a 15-year-old girl, Mason said he really didn't remember. But as for as why he killed two cops in cold blood, Mason's answer was shockingly simple: "I thought, 'If I don't get them, they're gonna get me.' So when the officer turned away from me, I shot both officers, got back in the car and drove away."
It was a simple answer for an incredibly senseless crime, but there was great comfort in knowing that after 46 years, these victims were never forgotten. The investigators were presented with pocket watches from the families of the slain officers. The message on the watch says, "Thank you seems so small."
"We carry these with us everywhere we go," says Lowe. "It's just a reminder of this great case and how it came together, and these great families that we feel such a part of now."
In the end, what it took to solve the case wasn't one clue or one break, but generations of police officers who were determined to protect their own.
"I didn't think I'd ever live to see it," says Speaks. "It'll live with me the rest of my days," says Porter.
Adds Levine: "I hope we brought them some measure of comfort, knowing that we got the guy."
The town of El Segundo hasn't changed much since that fateful night in 1957, but one thing has changed. The wounds that were suffered almost 50 years ago have finally begun to heal.
"I'm not his victim anymore. My son is not his victim anymore," says Curtis' wife, Jean. "I'm so grateful, and I had to wait this long. It's worth the wait."
Gerald Mason will be eligible for parole in 2010. He will be 76.
The state of California has vowed that he will never be released.