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Brothers Arrested, Mother Sought in Killing of Sisters

November 8, 1993 GMT

AUBURN, Calif. (AP) _ A woman acquitted of killing her husband in 1964 is wanted in the torture slayings of her two daughters. Her two sons are in custody.

An arrest warrant for Theresa Jimmie Knorr, 47, was circulated Sunday to the National Crime Information Center, said Johnnie Smith, Placer County sheriff’s inspector. Authorities were searching for her nationwide.

Knorr allegedly enlisted the aid of the two sons in the incineration slaying of one daughter in 1984 and the beating and starvation slaying of the other daughter in 1985.

A complaint filed Thursday in Placer County Municipal Court charged Knorr and her sons with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Suesan Knorr and Shelia Gay Sanders.

William Robert Knorr, 26, was arrested Friday in Woodland. He was being held without bail in Placer County Jail about 125 miles east of San Francisco.

Robert Wallace Knorr, 24, recently began serving a 15-year sentence at the Nevada state prison in Ely on a second-degree murder conviction.

The bodies of the two daughters were found in the Sierra Nevada almost a decade ago, but they were unidentified until last week.

Authorities say Suesan Knorr, 17, was doused with gasoline and burned alive near Squaw Valley. Sanders, her 20-year-old half-sister, was starved to death while imprisoned in a closet in an apartment. Her body was found in a cardboard box.

Nunes said the case was broken after Placer County Detective John Fitzgerald received a call Oct. 28 from an unidentified female informant. Fitzgerald and Inspector Johnnie Smith traveled out of state to interview the woman.

Meanwhile, police have also reopened the investigation into the unsolved slaying of Theresa Knorr’s sister, Rosemary Norris, 39, who was strangled in 1983.

Those accused of the 1984 and 1985 deaths are not accused of killing Norris, Smith said. But he added that detectives want to take a closer look because of the recent developments.

In 1964, Theresa Knorr, then 18 years old and pregnant, was charged with shooting her husband 23-year-old husband, Clifford Sanders, at their home in Galt. She told authorities it was self-defense.