1138 users online (277 members and 861 guests)  


The Killing Season - Websleuths

Websleuths News


Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    58

    CA - Joan Alexandra Gery, 24, Oakland, 5 September 1972

    Does anyone know if this case was ever solved?

    On Tuesday, September 5, 1972, the bludgeoned body of Joan Alexandra Gery was found in a van parked in the basement parking area of an office building located at 3344 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland. The van was described in an article as a 1961 model. When found, her body was on the cab floor of the vehicle. Gery was nude, on her back, bands bound behind her body with a cloth belt. Her face and head showed evidence of having been repeatedly struck with a blunt object. She was covered by an Indian blanket. Cause of death was reported by the local press as "shock and hemorage [sic] due to a blunt trauma." Gery was described as a "part-time student, part-time cocktail waitress" who had recently moved to Oakland. Her residence was listed as 216 Frisbie Street, Oakland.

    Robert Graysmith lists Joan Alexandra Gery (surname misspelled as Clery in book) as the #30 victim in his first Zodiac book. (modsnip)
    Last edited by Coldpizza; 12-26-2015 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Not allowed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,266
    I lived about 2 blocks way from Frisbie St when this happened but I don't remember anything about it. That was a reasonably "safe" neighborhood but Oakland had a really high crime rate at the time and the murder of one woman, even with a "low risk" lifestyle wouldn't be the story it would be today.

    I really doubt her murder, or most of the murders on Graysmith's list had anything to do with Zodiac. I do suspect that many on that list were victims of serial killers who were operating in The Bay Area at the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    58
    What was the MacArthur Blvd. area like in 1972? I was looking at Google Maps for the building at 3344 MacArthur that Gery was found, and it looks like it is still there. Now it is Imani Community Church. You can see where the entrance is for the underground parking garage, now gated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Who Dat Nation
    Posts
    29,857
    Links??
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    58

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Steph54 View Post
    What was the MacArthur Blvd. area like in 1972? I was looking at Google Maps for the building at 3344 MacArthur that Gery was found, and it looks like it is still there. Now it is Imani Community Church. You can see where the entrance is for the underground parking garage, now gated.
    MacArthur Blvd, from Park Blvd got the San Leandro line a major commercial thoroughfare of what is known as East Oakland. It mostly low income/ minority residential area. I can think of no reason a young woman from Millbrae would be in that part of town.

    We don't have much information about the case: where was she last seen?, who were her associates?, where did she work and go to school?, did she hitchhike?

    The last question would be particularly significant. It is hard for people today to imagine how commonplace hitchhiking was a the time in the Bay Area. Lots of people gave rides and many people, particularly attractive young women relied on it to get to work or school. It made them particularly vulnerable to predators and many of the unsolved murders or missing women from that era were probably hitchhiking victims. I suspect the prevalence of hitchhiking has a lot to do with the high number of these unsolved cases from the Bay Area in the early 1970's.

    Urban areas like Oakland has less hitchhiking than Berkeley or outlying areas because of the fear of the criminal element associated with cities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    58
    Great questions, Kemo. Also, who owned the van that she was found in? It sounds like she was knew to the area so perhaps she had borrowed the van to move? It appears that this case only garnered about three days of attention by the local newspapers and was then dropped. Hopefully the Oakland PD will add this case to their cold case page soon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    58
    Here is a link to an article about Joan Gery being found in the van. Newspapers.com offers a free trial.

    http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/52135317/



Similar Threads

  1. CA CA - Rose Lena Cole, 16, Oakland, 1972 - #2
    By itsreenw in forum Rose Cole
    Replies: 579
    Last Post: 10-27-2016, 01:45 AM
  2. GUILTY NY - Joan Diver, 45, Clarence, 29 September 2006
    By ineedtoreadthenews in forum Recently Sentenced and Beyond
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 03-09-2014, 01:43 AM
  3. Rose Lena Cole, 16, Oakland, 1972 - #1
    By HeartofTexas in forum Rose Cole
    Replies: 809
    Last Post: 07-06-2006, 06:30 PM