On July 6, 1988, a jury found Cook guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death for both.
Here is the brutal details:
Cook and John Matzke shared an apartment together in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. At the time of the murders, one of the victims, Carlos Cruz Ramos, had recently moved into the apartment. Petitioner, Matzke, and the victims, Cruz Ramos and Kevin Swaney, worked or had worked together at a local restaurant.
On July 19, 1987, Cook and Matzke devised a plan to rob Cruz Ramos for a measly $100. Cruz Ramos noticed that his money was missing and asked Cook and Matzke about it. Pretending to help him find it, the two lured Cruz Ramos into Cooks bedroom, where he was gagged and tied to a chair.
The Arizona Supreme Court detailed the subsequent events:
Over the course of the next six or seven hours, Cruz Ramos was cut with a knife, beaten with fists, a metal pipe and a wooden stick, burned with cigarettes, sodomized, and had a staple driven through his foreskin. Matzke suggested that they kill Cruz Ramos because they could not let him go. Cook replied that Cruz Ramos should be killed at midnight, “the witching hour.” When midnight arrived, Matzke first tried to strangle Cruz Ramos with a sheet. Matzke then took Cruz Ramos out of the chair, put him on the floor, and pushed down on his throat with a metal pipe. According to Matzke, because Cruz Ramos still would not die, Cook pressed down on one end of the pipe while Matzke pressed on the other. Finally, Matzke stood on the pipe as it lay across Cruz Ramos’ throat and killed him.
Matzke and Cook later dressed Cruz Ramos and put him in the closet of Matzke’s bedroom. The autopsy revealed that Cruz Ramos had suffered severe lacerations and contusions as a result of his beating, that he had been cut on the chest, and that his stomach and genitals had been burned. The autopsy also revealed that Cruz Ramos had two puncture holes in his foreskin and that his anus was dilated, although no semen was detected.
Kevin Swaney was a sixteen-year-old runaway and sometime guest at the apartment. He was a dishwasher at the restaurant where the others worked. Shortly after 2:00 a.m., approximately two hours after Cruz Ramos’ death, Swaney stopped by the apartment. Cook initially told Swaney to leave, but subsequently invited him inside. Cook and Matzke told Swaney they had a dead body upstairs and, according to Matzke, Cook took Swaney upstairs and showed him Cruz Ramos’ body. Swaney was crying when he and Cook returned downstairs. Cook reportedly told Swaney to undress, and Swaney complied, and Cook and Matzke then gagged him and tied him to a chair in the kitchen. Matzke said he told Cook that he would not witness or participate in Swaney’s torture. Matzke then went into the living room and fell asleep in a chair.
Cook later woke Matzke, who said he saw Swaney bound and gagged, sitting on the couch, crying. Cook told Matzke he had sodomized Swaney and that they had to kill him. Matzke said they tried to strangle Swaney with a sheet, but Matzke’s end kept slipping out of his hands. Cook then reportedly stated “this one’s mine,” placed Swaney on the floor, and strangled him. He carried Swaney’s body upstairs and put him in the closet with Cruz Ramos.
The autopsy revealed that Swaney’s anus was dilated and semen was present, although the identity of the donor could not be ascertained. Matzke’s fingerprints were found on the knife used to cut Cruz Ramos’ chest, but no identifiable fingerprints were found on the metal pipe or wooden stick. Cook’s fingerprints were found on the chair to which Cruz Ramos had been tied, the closet door, and the stapler. His semen was found on the strips that had been torn from his bed sheets.
I have to be honest, they could not kill this slime fast enough. Disgusting…