Produced By Paul LaRosa
There was a time when a house on Dorset Street, not far from downtown Napa, felt like the perfect place to live.
As correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports, Arlene Allen's daughter Adriane lived in the house and loved it. "She was looking forward to living in that home a long time," Arlene remembers. "She just felt really at home there."
At first, there were only two roommates, both locals. There was 27-year-old Lauren Meanza, who coached volleyball at a community college, and 26-year-old Adriane Insogna, an engineer for the Napa sanitation district.
Lily Prudhomme knew both women, but was especially close to Adriane. "It was sort of a fast friendship. We worked together. We saw each other after work. We worked out at the gym together," Lily explains.
Lily remembers Adriane as being outgoing, funny, strong and tough.
Adriane had proved just how tough she could be: in 1994, while still in high school, she had been in a near fatal car crash. "There were a lot of physical obstacles to overcome and also emotional obstacles: feeling un-pretty," Lily explains. "Like she didn't fit in with her regular life anymore."
But those problems were long behind her by June 2004, when Adriane and Lauren invited a third young woman to share their home – Leslie Mazzara, a transplanted Southern beauty queen.
"When she was a little girl she used to say she wanted to be a mother, a teacher, and a nurse and Miss America before she was 21," remembers Leslie's mother Cathy Harrington.
In 2004, after breaking up with a boyfriend, Leslie moved to Napa. She got a job as a greeter at the Niebaum-Coppola winery, run by "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola.
On Halloween night, the three roommates handed out candy and were asleep by 11 p.m.; Leslie and Adriane were upstairs in separate bedrooms, Lauren was downstairs.
Then, just after 1 a.m., Lauren was startled by loud noises coming from the upstairs bedrooms. "I was in my bed and just opened up my eyes and realized something is not quite right. And then I heard a scream," she remembers.
"I jumped out of bed and stood there for a second trying to figure out what was going on and … opened up my door and went outside and listened," she told the real crime TV program "America's Most Wanted."
Suddenly she heard him. Whoever was in the house was running down the stairs, right at Lauren. "My gut told me to go out the back and I remember thinking, 'I'm opening up the door for this guy to follow me out,'" she remembers.
Terrified, Lauren stood defenseless in the backyard. But, for whatever reason, the intruder fled the way he came in, through a ground floor window. Lauren said she never laid eyes on him.
Lauren climbed the stairs, unaware what she was going to find.
Adriane and Leslie lay in Adriane's bedroom, bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Adriane was still alive, but barely. Lauren slipped on something and realized it was the blood of her roommates. She fled the house and called 911.
When police arrived soon after, both women were dead.