Janina Hardoy was 24 years old when last seen around the Oceanside Pier, quoting the Bible to homeless people; a couple of months later, in early 2005, she was reported missing from her rented Oceanside home.
On February 5, police went to make a welfare check at about 10:00 p.m. They found disturbing trace evidence in Janina’s bedroom and that night arrested her ex-boyfriend and roommate, Joaquin Martinez, then 27. Joaquin has a prominent, exaggerated lower jaw, which is probably how he got his nickname “Jaws.”
Now 32, he testified on his own behalf during his murder trial earlier this year.
Both prosecution and defense attorneys referred to “tweaker logic” in an effort to explain the behavior of the witnesses.
A woman named Maria, who had befriended Janina, remained in the witness box for more than four hours. She said she met Janina while working at a 7-Eleven in Oceanside: “[Janina] came in, and she had, like, a Rasta hat on, and I kind of figured that she smoked marijuana. And I smoked marijuana as well. So she seemed pretty cool, and I decided to hang out with her.”
They met several times a week at the home Janina rented on East Parker Street in Oceanside. According to Maria, “We’d usually just smoke pot and drink Mad Dog 20/20. It’s, like, cheap wine, but that’s what got us drunk. And we laughed and smoked weed and chilled like normal kids. Janina had a nice female roommate. It was cool.”
But around Christmas of 2004 the atmosphere at the house, and the people who stayed at the house, started to change. Good-hearted Janina invited homeless people to take shelter in her rented home.
“Yeah, anybody off the street, she would help anybody. The con type, kind of gang-member type. The tough-asses, you know. Younger guys… It went downhill. Some of her stuff was stolen, sold off for drugs. Every time I’d come back over after my job, I noticed more stuff disappearing. It [ended up being] really like a flophouse, pretty much.”
The nice female roommate moved out, and a man named Joaquin — called Jaws — moved in. Janina and Jaws became intimate. They were together for perhaps a month.
Jaws took a leadership role in the house. As far as anybody did, he was the one who gave orders regarding who was going to do what and when. Maria described him as “most calm and cool and collective [sic]. Unless provoked.”
Then a woman named Alice moved in. Janina’s new boyfriend Jaws swiftly switched affections to this new woman. How long did it take? “I would say seconds,” said Maria. “Once Alice moved in, there was crap. In terms of living arrangements, [Jaws] still stayed in [Janina’s] room. But Janina, she was obviously against it. I mean, living under your roof, and you’ve got the guy that you were banging, you know, with some other chick in another room.”
Another drug addict who moved in was named Mohammed, or Moe. Maria knew Moe from Oceanside High School. He wasn’t the first addict to move into the house on East Parker Street.
“Once crystal meth came into the house, everything went downhill,” Maria testified. “And a few of them did heroin, so, you know.” Janina started doing the harder drugs after her home filled with street addicts. She became a smoker of crystal meth. “And when that wasn’t enough, she wanted to do what everybody else was doing and decided to start slamming.” Slamming means injecting, Maria told the court. “As Janina smoked crystal meth and weed and we drank, she got more curious and wanted to be…with the people that were doing that, and that’s when things started to disappear. And people were selling her stuff off. I don’t know if she was aware of it.”
Janina did not abandon her group of rescued druggies. “She had such a big heart to help people,” Maria said, “but at the same time, not the brains to stop doing the drugs.”
Toward the end of 2004 and into the beginning of 2005, the addicts at the house began robbing banks. And how was Maria aware of this? “For one reason, criminals aren’t the smartest. We like to brag. So there was bragging going on. There was counting of stacks of bills inside the back bedroom and Moe’s room. Bank bags. They had painted the garage white, whited out the windows, and the truck sat there.” This was Alice’s white truck, which had been used in at least one of the bank jobs. “And then I had overheard…they trusted every one of us in there, so…it was not a secret.” The drug addicts told Janina the money would go toward her rent.
Janina became a nag in her own home. “She had to know everything that was going on…She was kind of like the Barney of the group, the one that got left out, you know? I’d try to include her, try to take her away, but she was just so stubborn. Wanted to stay there. Wanted to be with the group. Wanted to help. She always threatened, when she wouldn’t get her way, that she was going to call the police and she didn’t care what happened.”
The street people in the house began to talk about how annoying Janina was. “We all did,” Maria admitted. They joked about how somebody should overdose her. And in her depressed moments, Janina made comments about how she’d like to take a couple of grams of heroin and overdose.
“I knew she had to get out of there,” Maria said, “especially with her running her mouth about telling the cops stuff. I took her aside. All those guys were smoking crystal meth in Alice’s room. I sat her outside. I said, ‘It’s time for you to go. Something is not right.’” But Janina wouldn’t listen.
At some point the people staying at the house took a room at a nearby motel. “I was told it was to avoid the conflict,” Maria said. And who was with Janina? “No one but her dog.” Janina had a puppy she’d adopted from an animal shelter.