|Birth: ||Mar. 31, 1954|
|Death: ||Jul. 26, 1997|
East Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
Murder victim. Bruce met Rebecca Salcedo while she sold spices at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet. Their marriage was brief but fatal for the South Pasadena man. He was shot several times and killed while returning from a reconciliation dinner in Boyle Heights with his estranged wife. He ran from his attacker, but to no avail. He was found lying facedown on a driveway. Rebecca said she had been knocked unconscious outside the couple's Toyota 4Runner and woke up to find her husband dead. She claimed there had been an attempted carjacking, but she wasn't injured and the SUV and her purse were still there. Authorities said she masterminded a plot to kill her wealthy husband to get her hands on nearly $1 million in life insurance policies, salary and a retirement account. Her accomplices were her cousins, Alvaro and Jose Quezada. Alvaro drove the getaway car, Jose was the gunman. The tale of greed run amok has played out in the courts far longer than the Cleland's six-month marriage did. There was a trial, a retrial and an appeal. There was a final decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal to uphold Rebecca's murder conviction. Bruce Cleland worked as a software designer for TRW's aerospace section and liked to go to swap meets with his father. He fell hard for the woman he met while at a spice stand. "He thought he found the love of his life, but she had no interest in him at all." a friend said. But she wanted what he could buy. A diamond ring, cosmetic surgery, a car, a boat, a Jacuzzi and a house on Colima Road in Whittier. He didn't know she used his credit cards to pay for breast augmentation surgery and furniture, according to court documents. She persuaded him to marry her secretly in a civil ceremony in October 1996. She figured if she killed her husband, she would get everything. She stood to gain nearly $1 million with his death. On July 25, 1997, the couple ate dinner at La Parrilla in Boyle Heights and had a couple of drinks. They dropped by her uncle's house and had cocktails. The uncle is the father of Jose and Alvaro Quezada. She told her husband she would drive him home. In the early morning hours of July 26, 1997, Rebecca Cleland pulled over at Beswick and Concord streets at a freeway onramp in Los Angeles that was closed for construction. She later told police she saw a warning light on the dashboard indicating the rear hatch was open, according to court documents. A man, later identified as Jose Quezada, walked up to the passenger side of the SUV and shot Bruce in the face, hitting him in the lip. The wounded man got out and ran. Jose Quezada shot him at least once in the back. When Bruce fell, he was shot twice in the back of the head. Rebecca and her cousins were convicted of her husband's killing in 2000. But three years later, the 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned her and Jose Quezada's convictions, saying their Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination was violated. At her 2006 retrial, a jury found Cleland guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the special allegation of murder for profit and lying in wait. She again received a life sentence without parole. Jose Quezada was convicted in his separate retrial of conspiracy to commit murder and murder with special circumstances. Both appealed. The same appeals court upheld Cleland's conviction July 21 and didn't buy her claim that she received ineffectual counsel at her retrial.
The book, Honeymoon With A Killer, was written about Bruce's murder and that awful woman's trial.
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
Plot: Carnation Lawn, sec. 13, lot 2454, grave 2
Created by: Louis Mata
Record added: Jul 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92951831
Added: Mar. 19, 2014
Added: Jan. 9, 2014
As sad as this story, and how much evil is out there with sadistic sick people like her, we need angels. He is in peace and now God's helper. I am truly sorry to his family, who raised a great and giving son.|
Added: Jan. 3, 2014
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