Where is Julio Heredia now? The killer from Netflix documentary Why Did You Kill Me

The 33-year-old has been described as a ‘violent, not good person’


In 2006, Crystal Theobald was killed by gang member Julio Heredia. It wasn’t until 10 years later that all the suspects involved would finally be brought to justice for their parts in the crime. New Netflix documentary, Why Did You Kill Me, looks at the case, and how Crystal’s mother, Belinda Lane, used MySpace to track down those responsible.

The Netflix documentary film looks at the case from the very beginning, when 24-year-old Crystal was killed by gang members who mistook the car she was in for one being driven by a rival gang. It’s described that the 5150 gang, which Heredia was a member of, had many in the neighbourhood scared and were known locally as being capable of murder.

So where is Julio Heredia now? Here’s what we know.

Julio Heredia, Why Did You Kill Me, Netflix

via Netflix

Who is Julio Heredia?

According to Julio Heredia’s sister, Amalia, he and his siblings had a difficult childhood growing up in Riverside, California. Their mother looked after them alone, and was into drugs and alcohol. Amalia describes how Julio was the only father figure she really knew, and he looked after the family and tried to provide for them.

Julio Heredia was 14 when he joined local Riverside gang the 5150. The 5150 started out as a “family” unit, but soon got involved in crime and were known in the area as killers and criminals. In the gang he was known as “Lil Huero”.

Julio Heredia, Why Did You Kill Me, Netflix, 5150 gang

via Netflix

Julio Heredia was 18 on the night he killed Crystal Theobald. She was killed on February 24th 2006, when she was 24. She was in the car with her boyfriend and her brother, Justin Theobald. Crystal’s boyfriend was driving, and her mother, Belinda Lane, was in another car just ahead of them.

Members of the 5150 say they had heard a rival gang had attempted to kill some 5150 members earlier in that day, so they were out seeking revenge. A fellow 5150 member said Heredia was determined to “take out” whoever was responsible for the incident earlier.

At around 8:40pm that night, the car which Crystal was in was shot at multiple times by someone who got out of a white SUV. This person was Julio “Lil Huero” Heredia. Crystal had been shot in the head and was rushed to hospital. She died two days later.

Julio Heredia, prison, interview, arrest, Why Did You Kill Me, killer, Netflix

via Netflix

Where is Julio Heredia now?

In 2011, five years after Crystal’s murder, Julio Heredia was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, for first degree murder and a number of other offences. In addition, the judge sentenced him to a total of 138 years to life in prison for the other crimes. At first it looked as though Julio Heredia was facing the death penalty, but the family of Crystal Theobald decided they didn’t want this, with Belinda saying: “For once, I did the right thing.”

According to prison records, Julio Ceasar Heredia is currently being held at California State Prison, Sacramento, after being admitted there on the 20th May 2011. He is aged 33 now, and will never be released.

Julio Heredia, prison, court, sentencing, now, Why Did You Kill Me, killer, Netflix

via Netflix

The prison currently houses over 2,300 prisoners and is running at 129.3 per cent capacity, so it’s likely to be anything but a peaceful lifestyle for Heredia there.

On sentencing, the judge said they were not convinced that Heredia had a loving a supporting family behind him. They said: “Why didn’t that family support system keep him from joining one of the most notorious, violent criminal street gangs in Riverside County? Mr Heredia is not a good person, he is a violent, cold-blooded murderer, and he is going to pay a price for what he has done.”

Why Did You Kill Me? is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The mother in Why Did You Kill Me went in on ‘monster’ killer in 15-minute court speech

Why Did You Kill Me: What is the 5150 gang and what does the name mean?

Where is William ‘Jokes’ Sotelo from Netflix’s Why Did You Kill Me documentary now?

• Why Did You Kill Me: Who was Crystal Theobald and what happened in her case?