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Thread: CA - The "Trash Bag Murders" - UID Victims of Patrick W Kearney -1965-1977

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    Question CA - The "Trash Bag Murders" - UID Victims of Patrick W Kearney -1965-1977

    I had started a thread for the Trash Bag Murderer in the Serial Killers forum.

    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=156248"]CA CA - Patrick Kearney - The "Trash Bag Murders" - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]


    Patrick Wayne Kearney (It's amazing how many serial killers have the first or middle name Wayne) was convicted of 21 murders of young men and boys from 1965 to 1977, but he confessed to as many as 35 murders.



    His next-to-last victim was John Lamay, 17, of El Segundo CA.



    John was murdered on 13-Mar-1977. His body was dismembered and disposed of in a highway rest-stop in Corona CA. To my knowledge, his head was never found. I knew John, and played Pop-Warner football with his brother Joe. My mother and his mother are friends and see each other at church every Sunday.

    According to this TruTV article, seven of Kearney's victims are still unidentified.

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/s...y/1_index.html

    Since there are forums for the UID victims of John W Gacy and Randy Kraft, I am starting a thread for Kearney's victims. I'm not sure which cases are Kearney victims, but the TruTV article mentions a UID victim who Kearney knew only as "George" whom he killed and buried in Culver City CA. This case appears to be the same case, although there isn't enough info to be entirely sure.

    https://identifyus.org/cases/4440

    If anyone can figure out which cases are the other six, you can keep track of them on this thread.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-08-2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Revised "Final victim" to "next to last victim" - Merle "Hondo" Chance was his final victim.

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    This article from the Deseret News of July 6, 1977 http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...,1007076&hl=en says that Patrick Kearney showed LE six possible locations where he dumped bodies and goes on to say that bodies were found at two of the locations (one in 1973 and one in 1976). Maybe it is too much of an assumption, but I would assume that if authorities knew who the decedent was, the article would say something more along the lines of "the body of Mr. Y was found in 1973 at the location."

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    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...y+guilty&hl=en

    According to this there were 21 cases in Los Angeles County and possibly more in San Diego County and Orange County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...y+guilty&hl=en

    According to this there were 21 cases in Los Angeles County and possibly more in San Diego County and Orange County.
    Kearney was operating at the same time as Randy Kraft, and Kraft had not been arrested at the time that the newspaper article had been written. So it may be that many of the Orange County and San Diego County murders might have been committed by Kraft.

    BTW, I was reading up on William Bonin, another serial killer who targeted young male hitchhikers around the same time as Kearney and Kraft. Bonin's Wikipedia page mentions a John Doe, age 19-25, found in a Kern County CA reservoir on 28-Nov-1979. I wonder if that John Doe was ever identified, as there is no listing in NamUs or DoeNet for a male UID on that date in Kern County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    Kearney was operating at the same time as Randy Kraft, and Kraft had not been arrested at the time that the newspaper article had been written. So it may be that many of the Orange County and San Diego County murders might have been committed by Kraft.

    BTW, I was reading up on William Bonin, another serial killer who targeted young male hitchhikers around the same time as Kearney and Kraft. Bonin's Wikipedia page mentions a John Doe, age 19-25, found in a Kern County CA reservoir on 28-Nov-1979. I wonder if that John Doe was ever identified, as there is no listing in NamUs or DoeNet for a male UID on that date in Kern County.
    It occurred to me, too, that some of Kraft's victims may be mistaken for Kearney's and vice versa (I had especially wondered if the 1973 victim mentioned in an article could have been either UID "Wilmington" or "Hawth off Head"). When Patrick Kearney was questioned about the murders committed by Randy Kraft, he was offended that LE had thought he had done that (according to Crime Library http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/s...earney/10.html, I think William Bonin was also offended about this when questioned (Angel of Darkness)).

    I couldn't find any unidentified persons listed from Kern County on NamUs. On the Kern County website, the only unidentified deceased person I found that they were seeking information about was a Native American or Hispanic who was found murdered on 07/15/1980 http://www.kernsheriff.com/Investiga...s/default.aspx I'll keep looking, though.

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    This is the only reference that I could find to Bonin's unidentified victim was this webpage
    http://missingme.2007.angelfire.com/...unty_john.html
    There isn't that much information, and [IMO] it seems if he was found one day after being murdered, there would be a more exact height and an eye color, etc.

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    I haven't been able to find a listing on either NamUs, Doe Network, or Charley Project for Michael McGhee, a 13 year old from Redondo Beach who Patrick Kearney admitted to murdering in 1976 (he went missing on June 11, 1976). In interviews, Patrick Kearney said that he "disposed of" his body and no one would find it.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=2404,3787749
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/14089511..._Torrance_-CA_
    I also haven't been able to find a NamUs, Doe Network, or Charley Project page for Robert William Benniefiel, 17, of Redondo Beach (or information that LE recovered him). Patrick Kearney claimed to have killed him between September 16 and October 6 of 1976 and he was charged with his murder, but his body had not been found at the time of Kearney's guilty plea.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6775,2918577
    Last edited by Ambercat; 12-12-2011 at 07:04 PM. Reason: information about Robert William Benniefiel added

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    Here's a sophomore year photo of Robert Benniefiel from the 1977 Aviation High School (Redondo Beach CA) Yearbook.



    This photo must have been taken right before his death.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-07-2012 at 11:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    (respectfully snipped)
    Patrick Wayne Kearney was convicted of 21 murders of young men and boys from 1965 to 1977, but he confessed to as many as 35 murders.

    His final victim was John Lamay, 17, of El Segundo CA.

    John was murdered on 13-Mar-1977. His body was dismembered and disposed of in a highway rest-stop in Corona CA. To my knowledge, his head was never found. I knew John, and played Pop-Warner football with his brother Joe. My mother and his mother are friends and see each other at church every Sunday.

    According to this TruTV article, seven of Kearney's victims are still unidentified.
    While I am fairly new at sleuthing this kind of information, but I am going to see what I can do help with narrowing down those last six.

    I graduated high school in 1977 and was really good friends with one of the few openly gay males in my high school. I remember very strongly what it was like for him to come to terms with his sexuality. Unfortunately, my dear sweet friend was one of the early AIDs victims, he died in 1983. John Lamay's picture reminds me of him. So I want to take this on in John's memory and in the memory of my friend to see what I can do.
    Please be aware that what I type is my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireNC View Post
    While I am fairly new at sleuthing this kind of information, but I am going to see what I can do help with narrowing down those last six.

    I graduated high school in 1977 and was really good friends with one of the few openly gay males in my high school. I remember very strongly what it was like for him to come to terms with his sexuality. Unfortunately, my dear sweet friend was one of the early AIDs victims, he died in 1983. John Lamay's picture reminds me of him. So I want to take this on in John's memory and in the memory of my friend to see what I can do.
    One of the suicides that occurred when I was in high school was a guy who was grade older than I was. He is thought to have committed suicide (IIRC at the age of about 18 or 19) as a result of his inability to come to terms with his homosexuality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    BTW, I was reading up on William Bonin, another serial killer who targeted young male hitchhikers around the same time as Kearney and Kraft. Bonin's Wikipedia page mentions a John Doe, age 19-25, found in a Kern County CA reservoir on 28-Nov-1979. I wonder if that John Doe was ever identified, as there is no listing in NamUs or DoeNet for a male UID on that date in Kern County.
    I am still trying to find out more about Bonin's unidentified victim who was found in Kern County. According to this article in The Press-Courier on April 1, 1981, it says that the murder charges relating to an unidentified man found in a Kern County Reservoir on November 30, 1979. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+county&hl=en/

    This article from July 31, 1980 states that there are two UIDs attributed to William Bonin, but I suspect that they may (one or both) be victims of Randy Kraft instead because [IMO] at the time William Bonin was arrested the media, and possibly LE, did not realize there was third Freeway Killer. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...d+victim&hl=en

    This article was published after Patrick Kearney's arrest and before the arrests of William Bonin and Randy Kraft. It makes reference to an unidentified young man found on March 25, 1980 found by the freeway in Downtown Los Angeles. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...367,535795&dq/
    Last edited by Ambercat; 12-14-2011 at 09:06 PM.

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  22. #12
    Hello, I was also nearly a victim of Patrick Kearney. My brother and I survived. I wrote the book on the killer called, The Trash Bag Murderer. I lived only a block away from him on Robinson Street in Redondo Beach and mowed his yard each week.

    http://tony-stewart-crime-books.webs...s/show/2340145

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    Here's a sophomore year photo of Robert Benniefiel from the 1977 Aviation High School (Redondo Beach CA) Yearbook.



    This photo must have been taken right before his death.
    I just realized that my brother's wife was in the same class as Robert Benniefiel (Aviation HS Class of 79).
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-07-2012 at 11:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I haven't been able to find a listing on either NamUs, Doe Network, or Charley Project for Michael McGhee, a 13 year old from Redondo Beach who Patrick Kearney admitted to murdering in 1976 (he went missing on June 11, 1976). In interviews, Patrick Kearney said that he "disposed of" his body and no one would find it.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=2404,3787749
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/14089511..._Torrance_-CA_
    I also haven't been able to find a NamUs, Doe Network, or Charley Project page for Robert William Benniefiel, 17, of Redondo Beach (or information that LE recovered him). Patrick Kearney claimed to have killed him between September 16 and October 6 of 1976 and he was charged with his murder, but his body had not been found at the time of Kearney's guilty plea.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6775,2918577

    Here are two photos of Micheal Craig McGhee. I scanned the photos from Dillinger72234's book, The Trash Bag Murderer.




    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger72234 View Post
    Hello, I was also nearly a victim of Patrick Kearney. My brother and I survived. I wrote the book on the killer called, The Trash Bag Murderer. I lived only a block away from him on Robinson Street in Redondo Beach and mowed his yard each week.

    http://tony-stewart-crime-books.webs...s/show/2340145

    I read and enjoyed the book. Although there are numerous grammatical and spelling errors, it contains a very excellent detailed narrative of the Trash Bag Murders. He provides details of the victims in a way that enables the reader to see them not just as members of a body count, but as real people with real families.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-07-2012 at 11:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    Kearney was operating at the same time as Randy Kraft, and Kraft had not been arrested at the time that the newspaper article had been written. So it may be that many of the Orange County and San Diego County murders might have been committed by Kraft.

    BTW, I was reading up on William Bonin, another serial killer who targeted young male hitchhikers around the same time as Kearney and Kraft. Bonin's Wikipedia page mentions a John Doe, age 19-25, found in a Kern County CA reservoir on 28-Nov-1979. I wonder if that John Doe was ever identified, as there is no listing in NamUs or DoeNet for a male UID on that date in Kern County.
    A while ago, I asked the Kern County Sheriff/Coroner's Office about this UID. I received an e-mail stating that his case had been transferred to the LAPD and LASO (I would guess after William Bonin's arrest) and they didn't know if he had been identified.

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    Recently, I received a message from Dawn Ratliff, the Kern County Coroner Manager about the UID found near Taft on November 30, 1979 stating --

    We checked our files and he is still unidentified. Sorry we did not have any new information to report about his identity.
    It is my understanding that both William Bonin (the presumed murderer of the Taft UID) and his co-defendants and Patrick Kearney provided confessions to LE about crimes that they had committed. I wonder if there is more information about the Taft UID in the confessions from William Bonin et al. and more information about Patrick Kearney's victims in general (especially missing people who may have been his victims (some of the news reports said that he did/could not remember all of their names)). Are these public record? If so, how can they be accessed?

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    I noticed this listing on NamUs of an unidentified skull of a young person (between 14 to 18) found in a Los Angeles County trash can on May 13, 1971 and thought that they could be an early victim of Patrick Kearney. Unfortunately, NamUs doesn't have very much information (not even location in LA County where it was found).

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/3001

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I noticed this listing on NamUs of an unidentified skull of a young person (between 14 to 18) found in a Los Angeles County trash can on May 13, 1971 and thought that they could be an early victim of Patrick Kearney. Unfortunately, NamUs doesn't have very much information (not even location in LA County where it was found).

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/3001
    All of these LA County NamUs UP cases are frustratingly low in details.

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    George the Hitchhiker

    Recently, more information has been added to the NamUs page for https://identifyus.org/en/cases/4440
    including the circumstances of how he was found --

    Skeletal remains found in a grave behind a residence
    Unfortunately, it seems that the DNA collected was insufficient for profiling.

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    This evening, I was looking for something in Angel of Darkness by Dennis McDougal and I came across some information that I must have overlooked before (on page 118). When Patrick Kearney turned himself in, he told Riverside County LE that that he killed his first victim in 1964 or 1965; he had been a young man who he picked up at the Pike in Long Beach. Does anyone know if he was ever identified or, if not, any UIDs believed to be this person?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    This evening, I was looking for something in Angel of Darkness by Dennis McDougal and I came across some information that I must have overlooked before (on page 118). When Patrick Kearney turned himself in, he told Riverside County LE that that he killed his first victim in 1964 or 1965; he had been a young man who he picked up at the Pike in Long Beach. Does anyone know if he was ever identified or, if not, any UIDs believed to be this person?
    The bodies of those two victims were never found, and police were never able to determine who they were.

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    Merle Hondo Chance was Kearneys last Victim NOT John LaMay

    While LaMay's murder led police to the home of David Hill and Patrick, and they were pretty sure they had their culprits, taking fibers and dog hair- they did not put Kearney or Hill under police watch and AFTER police had been to the home in the LaMay case, eight year old Hondo was taken right in front of where Kearney worked and he was Keaney's last victim. He was not shot in the head and neither was any other child victim- clearly Kearney being small shot victims to avoid being over powered. He did not shoot either of the children. And all over the net the info is wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    This article from the Deseret News of July 6, 1977 http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...,1007076&hl=en says that Patrick Kearney showed LE six possible locations where he dumped bodies and goes on to say that bodies were found at two of the locations (one in 1973 and one in 1976). Maybe it is too much of an assumption, but I would assume that if authorities knew who the decedent was, the article would say something more along the lines of "the body of Mr. Y was found in 1973 at the location."
    information on children is not public- that being said much of what Kearney did never came to the light of day, because he did not want it to. He simply said yes I did it, I killed them and made a deal. To avoid trial and facts. Maybe also to protect Hill. One body was actually found, a coroner came out and they buried him where he was found, when Kearney took them to this body it took awhile to figure out this one was found, assumed to be an illegal and they dug him up.

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    Hondo Chance age eight was Kearney's last vicitm. Not LaMay. He took Hondo right outside hughes aircraft his workplace and after police had been to his home re John Lamay.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 12-01-2013 at 11:51 PM. Reason: added comment to wrong post. Comment removed.

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