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Thread: CA - Johnnie Joe Herrera, 20, Oxnard, 27 Aug 1971

  1. #51
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    Just realized that I forgot the link to the yearbook. Joe and Johnnie are one page 156. After all the time I've spent on this case and looking at Johnnie's full size picture, I recognized him immediately even in such a small picture.

    http://www.classmates.com/yearbooks/...h-School/79529

  2. #52
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    In searching for the John Herrera whose wedding was held a few weeks after Johnnie disappeared (I'd be willing to be that this is indeed the same person the bachelor party was held for on 8/27/71.), I found out that this John Herrera graduated from Oxnard High School in 1965 and has since died.

    Something bothers me about how Johnnie was reported missing. Not only was it five days after he vanished (I know there's usually a 48 hour waiting period before you can report an adult missing), but it was his brother who reported him missing. Wouldn't you think it would be Johnnie's wife who would have made the report?

    Ms. Fenton told me that there were "indications" (her word, not mine) that Johnnie and his wife were having both financial and relationship problems and that people have suggested that Johnnie only married her because he got her pregnant. If things were that bad, could they have been separated and therefore not living under the same roof at the time? Perhaps he was living with his brother at the time? I just can't imagine a young woman (I'm assuming she was about Johnnie's age) with a baby whose husband didn't come home after a night out waiting five days without going to the authorities, even if they weren't getting along.

    Does that strike anyone else as a little odd, or is it just me? I'm not making accusations, just observations.

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  4. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    In searching for the John Herrera whose wedding was held a few weeks after Johnnie disappeared (I'd be willing to be that this is indeed the same person the bachelor party was held for on 8/27/71.), I found out that this John Herrera graduated from Oxnard High School in 1965 and has since died.

    Something bothers me about how Johnnie was reported missing. Not only was it five days after he vanished (I know there's usually a 48 hour waiting period before you can report an adult missing), but it was his brother who reported him missing. Wouldn't you think it would be Johnnie's wife who would have made the report?

    Ms. Fenton told me that there were "indications" (her word, not mine) that Johnnie and his wife were having both financial and relationship problems and that people have suggested that Johnnie only married her because he got her pregnant. If things were that bad, could they have been separated and therefore not living under the same roof at the time? Perhaps he was living with his brother at the time? I just can't imagine a young woman (I'm assuming she was about Johnnie's age) with a baby whose husband didn't come home after a night out waiting five days without going to the authorities, even if they weren't getting along.

    Does that strike anyone else as a little odd, or is it just me? I'm not making accusations, just observations.
    That strikes me as strange as well. Does anyone know what happened to her after her husband went missing? Did she file for divorce on grounds of abandonment? Did she remarry? If so, how long after Johnnie disappeared was this? There's something that doesn't sound right there.

  5. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    That strikes me as strange as well. Does anyone know what happened to her after her husband went missing? Did she file for divorce on grounds of abandonment? Did she remarry? If so, how long after Johnnie disappeared was this? There's something that doesn't sound right there.
    According to Ms. Fenton, the wife (I wish I could find her name instead of just calling her "the wife" or "Johnnie's wife") has since died, although she said she didn't say when. She also claims that his wife was the one who had him declared legally dead. I looked online and found that there is in fact a death record of Johnnie Joe Herrera, D.O.B. 2/17/51 in Oxnard. On a few different sites, his death date is listed as 8/27/78, seven years to the day after he vanished. I know most state have a waiting period of seven years after a missing person disappears before they can be declared legally dead. If that's the case, it seems as though his wife didn't waste any time at the seven year anniversary at having his death certificate made out.

    I also can't help but wonder what happened to their son after the disappearance.
    Last edited by Bobby88; 04-30-2011 at 08:47 PM. Reason: missing information

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  7. #55
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    I've established a timeline (albeit a small one) of what is known about Johnnie's disappearance.

    Friday, August 27th, 1971: Johnnie attends a friend's bachelor party. He apparently leaves the party headed for home, but he and his light blue VW are never seen or heard from again.

    Wednesday, September 1, 1971: Johnnie has now been missing for five days. His twin brother goes to the Oxnard PD to report him as a missing person. He explains that he and Johnnie are very close and that it is totally out of character for him not to hear from his brother for five days.

    Approx. 1978: Johnnie's wife has him declared legally dead.


    My question is: wouldn't SOMEONE, besides Johnnie's brother, have noticed he was missing for five days and said something? If Johnnie had a job at the time, wouldn't a boss or co-worker have noticed when he stopped showing up for his shift, presumably without any calls from him or his family explaining his absence? If he was attending school, wouldn't teachers or classmates have been alarmed when he began missing several classes at a time? Didn't any neighbors or friends who passed by his house notice that his car hadn't been there for days?

    But it just seems incredible to me that a married man with a child to support could be missing (with his car) for nearly a week before someone said "Okay, let's report it.". Something about the whole thing just seems fishy to me.

    Maybe I should request some more info from Ms. Fenton before I continue speculating.

    Any thoughts?

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  9. #56
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    Thanks to CarlK90245, I got the yearbook pics of Johnnie and Joe blown up.

    http://inlinethumb18.webshots.com/46...600x600Q85.jpg

    Note that Johnnie's name is spelled with a "y" here. Was that a typo, or has the "ie" version of his name been a typo all along?

    I'm positive that Johnnie's brother Joe was the same Joe who was an usher at that wedding I mentioned earlier that took place in September 1971. I wonder if Johnnie was to be an usher alongside his brother at this wedding also. Perhaps even the best man.

  10. #57
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    Good news. I just got a response from one of the mods and she said she'd put in a request for Johnnie's case to be made the "spotlight case".

    I'm interested to see other people's thought on this case.

  11. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    Johnnie Joe Herrera
    Missing since August 27, 1971 from Oxnard, Ventura County, California
    Classification: Missing


    Vital Statistics
    • Date Of Birth: February 17, 1951
    • Age at Time of Disappearance: 20 years old
    • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6"; 137 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic male. Black hair; brown eyes. A window's peak.
    • Marks, Scars: Scar on the bridge of his nose. Burn mark on the elbow area (unknown which elbow) caused by the grill of a floor heater.
    • Clothing: Purple shirt, white pants.
    • Dentals: Chipped right front tooth.
    • AKA: John

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Herrera was last seen at a bachelor party in Oxnard, California, on August 27, 1971. He never returned home.
    His light. blue VW Volkswagon, license ZWM775, was never recovered. There is no DMV history on the license plate.


    There's so little info on this case. It brings many questions to mind. Did Johnnie have issues at home? Did he ever have tendency to just pick up and leave on a whim? Did things at the bachelor party take an ugly turn and his "friends" had to cover it up? My Google news archives searches turned up nothing whatsoever. Based on other research I did, I'm wondering if he could have fallen victim to serial killer Randy Kraft, who was active in southern California in the early 1970's.

    I just realized something -- Do you have the VIN number for Johnnie's VW? Do you think that there is a possibility that it showed up somewhere without the original plates (burned, submerged in water, etc)?

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  13. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I just realized something -- Do you have the VIN number for Johnnie's VW? Do you think that there is a possibility that it showed up somewhere without the original plates (burned, submerged in water, etc)?
    I hadn't thought of the VIN number. It's a good question for Detective Fenton.

  14. #60
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    I also kind of wondered if Johnnie could have picked up a violent hitchhiker who then killed him and either got rid of the car or changed the license plates and possibly repainted it so no one would ever recognize it again. I recently sent another e-mail to Ms. Fenton for more info. I asked her if she knew anything about Johnnie's personality other than being close with his brother Joe. I was wondering if Johnnie may have been a very kind yet naive person; the type whose first instinct may have been to stop and pick up someone on the side of the road. Hitchhiking was also much more common at that time as well. It would also explain why there was (presumably) no evidence of skidding or crashing on the roadway.

    I also posted a Craiglist listing asking anyone who might have any info (i.e., Johnnie's old friends or classmates) to contact me.

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  16. #61
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    Just noticed something. In Johnnie's younger picture (where he's listed as 14-15 years old), he appears to have a small scar or birthmark on the center of his forehead directly between his eyebrows. I haven't seen it listed anywhere as a distinguishing mark, so I wonder if it may have simply gone away as he got older (he doesn't seem to have it in his graduation photo) or it was just a temporary blemish he had at that time.

  17. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    https://www.findthemissing.org/photos/full/10299

    If you look closely at the maximized version of Johnnie's graduation photo, you can see that he'd written something to someone. You can only make out a few words though. I wonder who it was written to and if that person knows anything about his disappearance.
    It looks like it is to someone who's name ends in a "y" and "all my" [blank] "always" "John." That is what I can get out of it.

    I was reading the listing on the Charley Project and Doe Network for Vicki Lynn Hollar from Eugene, Oregon and it looks like her VW Beetle went missing when she did and has never been found, like Johnnie.

    Vicki Lynn Hollar was last seen on August 20, 1973 entering her car, a black 1965 Volkswagen Beetle with Illinois license plate GR 7738, with the running boards removed, at a parking lot at 8th Avenue and Washington Street at about 17.00.
    Her car and purse have never been recovered.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2623dfor.html
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/h/hollar_vicki.html

    She is believed to be a victim of Ted Bundy. If so, what did he do with the Volkswagen? If Johnnie was a victim of Randy Kraft or Patrick Kearney, did he do the same thing with Johnnie's Volkswagen?

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  19. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    It looks like it is to someone who's name ends in a "y" and "all my" [blank] "always" "John." That is what I can get out of it.

    I was reading the listing on the Charley Project and Doe Network for Vicki Lynn Hollar from Eugene, Oregon and it looks like her VW Beetle went missing when she did and has never been found, like Johnnie.




    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2623dfor.html
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/h/hollar_vicki.html

    She is believed to be a victim of Ted Bundy. If so, what did he do with the Volkswagen? If Johnnie was a victim of Randy Kraft or Patrick Kearney, did he do the same thing with Johnnie's Volkswagen?
    Perhaps the writing on the graduation picture was to his wife when they were dating?

    I supposed Kraft or Kearney could have dumped Johnnie's VW. Does anyone know for sure specifically what part of So. Cal. Kraft or Kearney were in at the time of Johnnie's disappearance? Were they in or near the Oxnard area at the time?

    I wish I knew what specific route Johnnie took to go home and exactly how far along that route did he get when he and his car vanished and essentially ceased to exist for 40 years; I know the latter is impossible to determine, but it's a good question.

    Could it be that Johnnie actually did arrive home that night and that his wife had something to do with his disappearance? Could that be why Johnnie's brother Joe made the missing persons report five days after the fact? I find it hard to believe that his wife would have simply not gone to the police in five days to report her husband missing. Perhaps she asked Joe to make the report for her, but again, why would she have waited five days to do so? And did no one (friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.) notice that Johnnie and his car weren't there all that time? If so, did they ask the wife and what did she tell them? If he was employed, surely his boss, or at the very least a co-worker would have noticed his sudden absence. Something about the whole thing seems odd to me.

    I personally believe that Johnnie met with foul play. If it had been a car accident, I think he and his car would have been found early on and he wouldn't be listed as a missing person.

    I wonder whatever happened to Johnnie's son. He'd probably be in his late 30s to early 40s by now.

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  21. #64
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    I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but forgot.

    When I was checking Ancestry.com to find a record of Johnnie's marriage, I found a listing under "California Marriages, 1960-1985" of a man named "Johnnie J Herrera" married in Ventura County. The bride's name is listed as "Annette L Evans". I wasn't actually able to view any such document since a payment is required, but I have a feeling this is Johnnie and his wife.

    My searches for Annette Evans or Annette Herrera have turned up nothing.

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  23. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but forgot.

    When I was checking Ancestry.com to find a record of Johnnie's marriage, I found a listing under "California Marriages, 1960-1985" of a man named "Johnnie J Herrera" married in Ventura County. The bride's name is listed as "Annette L Evans". I wasn't actually able to view any such document since a payment is required, but I have a feeling this is Johnnie and his wife.

    My searches for Annette Evans or Annette Herrera have turned up nothing.
    I noticed on the site linked below for Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Texas there is an Annette Lee Herrera who died on 29th January 1995 which ties in with Johnnie's wife having already passed. Her headstone is on the site and says "Beloved Daughter, Sister and Mom", so she was a mother. Her date of birth is 22nd August 1953 though which would make her only 17 years and 6 months old in February 1971 when Johnnie disappeared. I know it was perhaps more common to be married younger than people maybe do today, but perhaps this is just a shade too young to be her?

    http://www.txgenes.com/txupshur/ceme...orialCemH.html

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  25. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctaylor View Post
    I noticed on the site linked below for Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Texas there is an Annette Lee Herrera who died on 29th January 1995 which ties in with Johnnie's wife having already passed. Her headstone is on the site and says "Beloved Daughter, Sister and Mom", so she was a mother. Her date of birth is 22nd August 1953 though which would make her only 17 years and 6 months old in February 1971 when Johnnie disappeared. I know it was perhaps more common to be married younger than people maybe do today, but perhaps this is just a shade too young to be her?

    http://www.txgenes.com/txupshur/ceme...orialCemH.html
    BTW, Johnnie went missing on 8/27/71. His D.O.B. is 2/17/51. No big deal, I think you just may have gotten the dates mixed up. So if this is the right Annette, she would have just turned 18 five days before Johnnie disappeared.

    Anyway, that could be her. I also found an Annette L. Evans who died in 2002 in Jackson, MS with a D.O.B. of 9/1/51 (which funnily enough, would have meant that her birthday in 1971 would have fallen on the exact same day Johnnie's brother made the missing persons report). I haven't been able to find any more info on her, but the age, IMO, made it worth a shot.

    Good find!

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  27. #67
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    I've been trying to look for public records of Johnnie and Joe to see if I can find out if they had any other relatives, but have had no luck. If anyone else wants to try, be my guest.

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    40 years ago...

    Next month will mark the 40 year anniversary of this case.

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  30. #69
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    I doubt it based on the time, but could this be Johnnie?

    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase462.html

    Even though this man died the same day he was found (3/21/75), he was the only UID I could find that matched Johnnie's description. It's really a long shot, but then again it's still possible. After all, no one ever expected Jaycee Dugard to still be alive after 18 years as a missing person, but she is. Perhaps Johnnie, for reasons unknown, was held captive for almostfour years prior to being killed.

    It would help if there was a post-mortem photo and/or sketch of the victim. He's not on Namus. Perhaps I should contact the Doe Network to see if I can get more info, possibly the name of the investigator. An actual investigator would likely have much better access to a photo or sketch than the Doe Network staff.

  31. #70
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    Here's a craigslist ad I posted requesting info about Johnnie.

    http://ventura.craigslist.org/laf/2504181927.html

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  33. #71
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    I noticed that this unidentified man found on July 07, 1977 (estimated date of death is between 1968 and 1977) in Los Angeles County is consistent with Johnnie Joe Herrera. Unfortunately, there isn't that much information provided.

    https://identifyus.org/cases/4440

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  35. #72
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    The 40th anniversary of Johnnie's disappearance is coming up. I'm sure he's dead (I don't think he lived very long after 8/27/71, if at all), but it's important to find his remains and put him to rest. I'm convinced that foul play was involved and that someone out there is responsible and has gotten away scot-free for four decades.

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  37. #73
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    A few things on ancestry.com:
    J and A were married 22 April, 1970. A son was born 13 October, 1970, named after his father.

    There are 2 different death certs, CA lists day he was missing, SS lists 7 years to day of missing.

    Annette may be Annette Lee Evans, born 22 March, 1954 in Los Angeles. Mother's maiden name was Dellenbach. There are some marriages and divorces I haven't had time to look at yet. So far, cannot find death cert for her.

    J's mother's maiden name was Rodriguez.

    Gotta run, will see if I can find more later.

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  39. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by branwynbreeze View Post
    A few things on ancestry.com:
    J and A were married 22 April, 1970. A son was born 13 October, 1970, named after his father.

    There are 2 different death certs, CA lists day he was missing, SS lists 7 years to day of missing.

    Annette may be Annette Lee Evans, born 22 March, 1954 in Los Angeles. Mother's maiden name was Dellenbach. There are some marriages and divorces I haven't had time to look at yet. So far, cannot find death cert for her.

    J's mother's maiden name was Rodriguez.

    Gotta run, will see if I can find more later.
    Thank you so much! This is the kind of info I was really hoping to find. Would you mind if we discussed this more in PM? I have some more things to discuss with you about this.

  40. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    Thank you so much! This is the kind of info I was really hoping to find. Would you mind if we discussed this more in PM? I have some more things to discuss with you about this.
    Sure. I live not too far from where he went missing, may take a ride up there.

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