1083 users online (204 members and 879 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 70
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,421

    CA - Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders, 7 girls/young women, 1972-1973

    In 1972-73 there were eight young women murdered in or around Santa Rosa Ca. While the circumstances of all of their deaths are not know some were probably hitchhiking when they were abducted and later murdered and others were known to hitchhike. On was never identified. Seven were later found dumped in wooded areas outside of Santa Rosa. One has not been found.

    While it is possible that all were victims of the same serial killer, it is very possible that two or more different murderers were operating. Two of the bodies were found very close to other dump sites but the locations where bodies were found was publicized in the local paper so it is possible that one killer placed a body where it would be linked to a murder he did not commit.

    There is apparently a belief, held by some Santa Rosa area Lawmen that at least one of the murders was committed by a local Jr College teacher who died in an auto accident in 1976. None of the cases are officially cleared.

    The best overview of the case is http://www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com/. There is lots of other cites with information. There has been suggestion that the Zodiac Killer was involved. It find this unlikely but there is a lot of info on some Zodiac sites.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    21,276
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/22...en?ref=related

    A 16-year-old boy hiking through the wooded hills northeast of Santa Rosa in 1972 stumbled upon a human skull, bleached from the elements. He thought it was an artifact.

    But the skull wasn't from an ancient burial site, as the youth imagined. It was a sign of a young life brutally cut short.

    "They were just little baby girls," said Glenn Frost of the adolescents, aged 12 and 13, whose remains he discovered while with a friend...

    Herbert Slater Junior High students Maureen Sterling, 12, and Yvonne Weber, 13, were dropped off at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/T...es-2355670.php

    Larry Kursa still says a prayer every time he passes by the lonely Sonoma County road where his older sister Lori was found dumped in the weeds 39 years ago, raped, nude and murdered...

    Kursa would like nothing better than to have an answer to the question that has haunted him all these years: Who killed 13-year-old Lori, and six other girls and young women, in what came to be known as the "Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders" of 1972-73?...

    Sonoma County sheriff's Lt. Steve Brown, who has investigated the killings over the years, said the department doesn't know who killed Lori and the six others, and that any details of the department's active murder probe are confidential.

    "The feeling was that one person committed the killings, and Bundy was looked at," Brown said. "But I always thought it must have been a utility worker or a postal worker, someone familiar with the area."
    http://archives.sfweekly.com/thesnit...hhiker-murders

    John Bly and Scott Bunting, both 17, were out for a Sunday afternoon motorcycle ride through a hilly stretch of road in Santa Rosa on March 6, 1972... One of them spotted what he thought was a mannequin in the creek bed below. When the boys realized they were actually looking at the dead body of a naked young woman, they hightailed it to the sheriff.

    The murdered woman was Kim Wendy Allen, a 19-year-old Santa Rosa Junior College student. Sonoma County Coroner Andrew Johansen determined that Allen died from asphyxiation by being slowly strangled by a cord or rope around her neck... There was also evidence Allen had been raped...

    From 1972 to 1979, the bodies of eight young girls were found dumped in deep embankments and creek beds in rural areas surrounding Santa Rosa. Jeanette Kamahele, 20, another Santa Rosa Junior College student, and Lori Lee Kursa, 13, a habitual runaway, both went missing in 1972. Carolyn Davis, 15, and Terese Walsh, 13, were found in 1973. A Jane Doe was found on July 2, 1979 around 100 yards from where Lori Kursa’s remains were discovered.

    Most had been raped, and all had been found nude except in the case of Jeanette Kamahele — where a body was never found at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    633
    Possible candidate for the Jane Doe's identity? http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/p/pope_paula.html Timeline works; Paula vanished shortly before her 19th birthday in September 1972 about two-and-a-half hours from Santa Rosa and was last known to be hitchhiking towards Sacramento, which she would have had to pass through to get there. She wore hard contact lenses and had red/brown hair. No mention of a previously broken rib and height is a little below the estimate but not enough for me to discount her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    633
    Link to Paula's thread: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ght=paula+pope and Sonoma County Jane Doe (1979)'s thread: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...og-tied-Jul-79.

  5. #5
    Thanks for sharing this. "First Annual Carson City Labor Day Music & Art Festival" at T-Car Speedway has been mentioned on Paula Ann Pope's websleuths page as possibly the concert that she went to, but I'm not sure if it was confirmed. Could be interesting to see if there were any big name acts on the bill. Wouldn't the bands have been big names for Paula to be so upset that her husband couldn't attend. What kind of crowd would attend this event?
    Last edited by Mountain Mama; 01-24-2017 at 09:58 PM.
    Choose Kindness

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Emerald Triangle
    Posts
    529

    Forget the Zodiac Killer

    The Zodiac Killer preyed upon both genders. He shot his victims and left them in place without touching them. He didn't manage to kill all his victims.

    The Hitchhiker Killer preyed upon young women. He abducted them, strangled them, stripped them nude, and discarded them in obscure localities.

    Given the complete lack of similarities in modus operandi, it would be foolish to consider the Zodiac as the Hitchhiker Killer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    344
    Quote Originally Posted by burblestein View Post
    The Zodiac Killer preyed upon both genders. He shot his victims and left them in place without touching them. He didn't manage to kill all his victims.

    The Hitchhiker Killer preyed upon young women. He abducted them, strangled them, stripped them nude, and discarded them in obscure localities.

    Given the complete lack of similarities in modus operandi, it would be foolish to consider the Zodiac as the Hitchhiker Killer.
    Have to agree. Robert Graysmith's desperate linkage of his Zodiac suspect to the Sonoma murders, is the biggest smoke bomb in this case.

    Local LE at the time seemed to have a pretty good idea who was behind these crimes. They even had two good suspects: a local sex offender and ex-con who committed suicide after being interviewed, and the aforementioned junior college writing professor with links to at least one of the victims who died in a car accident. The murders stopped with the deaths of these two individuals.

    I think these murders are one of those cases that's only technically unsolved.
    "There are such devils."
    -The Pledge

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,421
    In the 1970's, the greater SF Bay Area was a hotbed of murdered or missing young women. Many of these women were believed to have been hitchhiking when they met their fate. I have compiled a list of about 50 women who appeared to have been victims of sexual predators who cruised the streets and hi-ways seeking random targets.

    At the time, hitchhiking was very common in the region and it was a reliable means of transportation. It was believed that it was easier for women and I knew a number of women who never owned a car during that period because they could hitch wherever they wanted to go and never had a problem. The sheer availability of young women out hitchhiking was a tempting target for sexual predators and had a lot to due with the number of these murders/disappearances.

    The number of murdered women who had been hitchhiking near the small town of Santa Rosa in a fairly short period of time suggests one serial killer operating in the area but, in light of the number of similar crimes throughout the region, it is very possible that some or all were unrelated.
    There were a number of "suspects" identified by Law Enforcement to one or more of these crimes. There was some particularly interesting evidence of one of these murders that was found in the wreckage of an accident when the above mentioned Jr College Professor died.

    Graysmith's book on Zodiac has been read by many true crime followers and the link to either one serial killer or Zodiac himself (if he ever really existed) has been made without a reliable assessment of the evidence.

    I think what really happened was that the availability of young women hitchhiking created the opportunity for some men to take advantage of the chance to fulfill their rape fantasies by picking up hitchhikers, taking them somewhere they would not be seen to rape and kill and then dumping the bodies where they wouldn't be found, at least not until all forensic evidence was gone. Some of these men did it once, some more often. Eventually they stopped. Some were caught and prosecuted but many have gone about their lives. There has been DNA collected in a few of these cases but if the perpetrator has not been convicted of a serious felony, his will not be on any data base.

    There is still a chance that one or more of these guys will be found out but I suspect most will die of natural causes related to old age and be mourned as good citizens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Emerald Triangle
    Posts
    529

    New material available

    "Lost Coast Highway", a recently published book by Gray George, is an excellent source for info on the Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders. Although the book is primarily about Kerry Graham and Francine Trimble disappearing in 1978, there is a lot of info about the murdered hitchhikers due to similarities in the crimes. There is also an interesting chapter on characteristics of serial killers.

    I highly recommend this book.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Emerald Triangle
    Posts
    529

    Perp's local knowledge?

    LE theorized that a utility repairman, postal worker, or someone in similar occupations would have been familiar with the Calistoga Road and Mark West dump sites.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    633
    Thread for suspected victim Jeannette Kamahele: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...-25-April-1972.
    Who is Fly Creek Jane Doe?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    633
    Threads for individual victims: Maureen Sterling and Yvonne Weber: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...-February-1972, Kim Wendy Allen: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...A-4-March-1972, Lori Lee Kursa: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...-December-1972, and Carolyn Davis: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...a-CA-July-1973. Theresa Walsh currently does not have her own thread.
    Who is Fly Creek Jane Doe?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Corona, California
    Posts
    243

  14. #14
    killer Chaser, please elaborate if possible.
    Choose Kindness

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Emerald Triangle
    Posts
    529

    Maybe, maybe not

    The Arizona connection to the Hitchhiker Murders is tenuous. While Deborah Carrick's ID was found at Hwy 101 and Mark West Road, the Hitchhike victims were found further east on Mark West Road, away from 101. Also, her remains did not show the typical signs of the Hitchhiker Killer. She was not stripped nude, for instance. There was no information given about her earrings; the victims were found still wearing a single earring.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. CA CA - Jeannette Kamahele, 20, Santa Rosa, 25 April 1972
    By SheWhoMustNotBeNamed in forum 1970's Missing
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: 11-19-2017, 02:24 PM
  2. Zodiac Seven and the Santa Rosa 7 Hitchhiker murders
    By acmeintuitiveenergy in forum The Zodiac Killer
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-15-2017, 08:21 PM
  3. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-25-2014, 04:11 PM
  4. MA MA - Ellen Rutchick, 23, & Mary McLain, 24, Boston, 1972 & 1973
    By Reader in forum Resolved Cold Cases
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-19-2012, 05:57 PM
  5. CA Jeannette Kamahele (20) - Santa Rosa CA, 1972
    By SheWhoMustNotBeNamed in forum Missing Children in America - A Profile
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-26-2011, 12:55 AM

Tags for this Thread