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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    When I saw that Johnnie was from Oxnard, I remembered the "Oxnard" entry on the list found in Randy Kraft's car when he was arrested. Not all of the young men killed by Randy Kraft were homosexuals.

    Patrick Kearney was another serial killer who murdered young men from about 1965 to 1977 in southern California. It is possible that he could be responsible for Mr. Herrera's disappearance.
    Thanks. I looked up Kearney and I believe it's quite possible, given the span of Kearney's killing spree and the location of his crimes in southern CA, that Johnnie may have crossed paths with him. A frightening thought.

    As far as I could gather from the detective, there were/are no possible suspects or persons of interest in Johnnie's case; he simply vanished.


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  3. #47
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    This is interesting. I just happened to be looking through the Google news archives for John Herrera instead of Johnnie, since his nickname was John. I found this wedding announcement with a groom named John Herrera from Oxnard. The article is about three weeks after Johnnie vanished.

    http://http://news.google.com/newspa...+herrera&hl=en

    The weird part is that I hadn't even typed in anything about Oxnard. I just typed in John Herrera and a date range of 1971 to 1972 and this was the first thing that popped up. Given the time frame among everything else, I can't help but wonder if this was the person for whom the bachelor party was held the night Johnnie went missing.

    Even though their names are basically the same, John is a fairly common man's name.
    Herrera is a relatively common Spanish surname and Oxnard has a rather large Hispanic population. So it's possible that Johnnie Herrera and John Herrera could have been friends with almost the same name without actually being blood relatives.

    I know, it's not really a clue and probably means nothing, but the timing and location of the wedding just jumped out at me.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Bobby88; 04-25-2011 at 12:23 AM. Reason: forgot something


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  5. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby88 View Post
    It doesn't have a year, and it may not even be the same Johnnie, but I happened to find this while searching possible high schools he could've graduated from:

    http://www.classfinders.com/people/c...hnnie/herrera/

    I have a feeling that this could be him. If it is, it still doesn't tell us where he (or more than likely, his remains) could be today.
    Hi Bobby, I don't know if you ever tracked down the school Johnnie was at as the link in your old post didn't work but looks like it was Hueneme High in Oxnard from this list of people who graduated in June 1969. The Joe Herrera mentioned was likely his twin brother? http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...6791%2C3392868

    Also a Joe Herrera was an usher at the wedding that you linked to. As you said Herrera is a common name, but maybe it was Johnnie's brother, you never know...


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  7. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctaylor View Post
    Hi Bobby, I don't know if you ever tracked down the school Johnnie was at as the link in your old post didn't work but looks like it was Hueneme High in Oxnard from this list of people who graduated in June 1969. The Joe Herrera mentioned was likely his twin brother? http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...6791%2C3392868

    Also a Joe Herrera was an usher at the wedding that you linked to. As you said Herrera is a common name, but maybe it was Johnnie's brother, you never know...
    That's definitely him. I happened to find this when I was looking for Hueneme High School yearbooks. You have to pay to see the entire book full-size, but when you get to the part where it asks you about subscribing, just click the blue box in the lower right corner that says "Continue free preview" and you'll still be able to view the rest of the book in a smaller size. On the page finder, type in "156/157 ". Johnnie's pic is the top center on the left page and his brother Joe's pic is to the left of it. Even from such a small view, it's obvious that they're identical twins.


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  9. #50
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    If anyone has a subscription to classfinders.com and could get a full size pic of the yearbook page with Johnnie and Joe's pictures on it, it'd be greatly appreciated.


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  11. #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


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  13. #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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  15. #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.


  16. #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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  18. #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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  20. #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.


  21. #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.


  22. #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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  24. #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.


  25. #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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