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  1. #1
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    CA - Linda Cummings, 27, Santa Ana, 24 January 1974

    I found this story today and can't believe I hadn't heard more about it sooner. Having been here for a little while at websleuths, I know most of you will find this case interesting. A reporter dug deep and didn't stop to pretty much help solve this cold case; however, it has not yet gone to trial.

    One of the interesting points about this, too, is that the man who was arrested for her murder has been arrested for murder before ... but WAS RELEASED! How do murderers get released? Perhaps it was because laws were different then...

    I will post many links and hope you follow this story so we can ban together to bring justice to Linda, a woman who was so sadly tossed aside and written off as a suicide.
    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  2. #2
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    A Reporter's Cold Case File: Justice for Linda
    A Q-and-A with Orange County (Calif.) Register legal affairs writer Larry Welborn

    Last month, The Orange County (Calif.) Register published "Murder by Suicide?" an eight-part serial narrative that departed from the form in a significant fashion: one of the key players is a journalist.

    In it, Larry Welborn, a legal affairs reporter who also specializes in newsroom training, describes his passion for solving the mysterious 1974 death of a young woman named Linda Cummings, which happened shortly after Welborn joined the paper three decades ago.

    ...

    What surprised you the most about the experience?

    It surprised me how easy it was for nearly everyone in 1974 to feel in their hearts that Linda did not commit suicide, and then just do nothing about it.

    What has the reaction been like?

    I have been amazed at the response. More than 175 e-mails. More than 100 phone calls. One woman is going to name her baby girl Linda. Several people wanted to donate to a headstone fund. I was able to put Linda's cousins back in contact with her stepsister and half-brother. People who knew I wrote for The Register suddenly wanted to subscribe, because of the series. Sources stopped me and wanted to talk about Linda.

    Why didn't you ever give up?

    Her photograph. I saw it in 1974 and never forgot it. Her image would pop into my mind at the darndest moments. It wasn't that I thought about this case all the time. Not at all. It was more like when something came up that might have an impact -- like a DNA story, an old case arrest, or someone committed suicide -- her image would pop into my mind. I couldn't let it go.


    Much more... http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=52&aid=95072




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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  3. #3
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    MURDER BY SUICIDE?

    The photograph has haunted me for more than 30 years.




    "It’s a tiny driver’s license portrait of a young woman who is staring straight into the Department of Motor Vehicles camera, straight into my soul...."

    More:
    http://www.ocregister.com/news/2005/linda/


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  4. #4
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    Part One: She Had Plans for Happiness ...

    High hopes after a hard-knock youth

    "She showed up unannounced on the front porch of her father's house in the early 1960s carrying two battered suitcases and an umbrella.

    She wore a sleeveless yellow dress gathered at the waist by a plastic belt, with white sneakers and a white sweater draped over her shoulders.

    And all that hair. She had this huge shock of nearly uncontrollable auburn hair reaching midway down her back.... "

    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_884257.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  5. #5
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    Part Two: Louie and Sandy ...

    Murder by Suicide? A checkered past

    "Turn right out of the Santa Ana courthouse parking lot on Flower Street and then left on 17th Street, and there it is: the Aladdin apartment complex, a rectangular monolith with 26 units on two floors surrounding a courtyard.
    I have driven past the Aladdin on the way home from work nearly every day for more than 30 years now.

    And every time I do, I think about Apartment 8.

    Something bad happened there..."


    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_885500.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  6. #6
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    Part Three: A Hanging ...

    Stories of depression spread

    Part 3: Report would hang over case for decades.

    "Linda Cummings was not despondent, depressed or mentally disturbed in January 1974, according to her best friend.

    She certainly wasn't suicidal, Harriet Neves told me in 1997. In fact, Linda seemed quite happy.

    For the first time in her life, Linda was on top of things. She had a plan..."


    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_887093.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  7. #7
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    Part Four: A Neighbor's Death ...

    The body in the blanket

    A second death revives interest in Linda's case.

    "
    The call came in to the FBI office in the early afternoon of March 1, 1974.

    Someone had been kidnapped, the caller said, someone important, at the Aladdin Apartments on West 17th Street.

    Someone with money.

    FBI Special Agent Bill Carroll, whose Orange County office was just a few blocks away on North Main Street, was the first officer on the scene.

    He met with apartment manager Louis Wiechecki and got a quick summary.

    Marion Camilla Morgan, a 78-year-old resident of the apartments, had been abducted, said Wiechecki, who also was known as Louie. A ransom note was left in a hollow pipe near the circuit-breaker box..."

    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_889084.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  8. #8
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    Part Five: A Phone Call...

    Years ago, it began with a phone call

    Part Five: A stepmother's plea and a reporter's doubts prompt questions.

    "
    In the summer of 1974, a woman called the newsroom after seeing my byline on a story about the trial of Louis Wiechecki, the handyman accused of murdering the mother-in-law of the biggest political contributor in California.

    It was the trial of the year, and Sylvia Broadway wanted to talk about it.

    She was crying.

    She said her stepdaughter was Linda Cummings.

    And Linda, she believed, also had been killed by Wiechecki.

    She told me the Orange County Coroner's Office first ruled Linda's death a suicide, and then changed it to "undetermined" after Marion Morgan's death.

    And no matter how much she complained, no matter how much Sylvia insisted that Linda had been murdered, no matter how much she demanded somebody be charged, no one would listen.

    Wiechecki, who was also known as Louie, was the last person to see her stepdaughter alive, Sylvia said. He was the one to find her body. And he was the one, she said, who suggested that Linda had been depressed, suicidal and was receiving mental treatment.

    It wasn't true, Sylvia said, and it wasn't fair.

    Could I help?"

    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_892579.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  9. #9
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    Part Six: Back on the Case ...

    Murder by Suicide? Part 6: She was a fighter, not a quitter

    But Linda Cummings can't speak for herself now.

    I never met Linda Cummings.

    But over the years of investigating the circumstances of her death, I discovered a lot about her.

    That she had lost her mother to cancer and suffered through a series of foster homes.

    That she was spunky enough to get on a bus alone at 13 and cross the country in search of her family.

    That she loved her half-brothers and stepsister so much she suggested being their guardian in case anything happened to their mother, who had diabetes.

    And that she kept seeing them even after her furious stepmom asked her to leave.

    I knew that she kept working even after debilitating surgery on both knees left her with a painful, stiff-legged gait.

    And I heard from those who loved her that by the time she entered her 27th year, Linda was getting things straightened out. She had her plan.

    She was a fighter, not a quitter. Despite everything that had happened to her, Linda had a plan for her life.

    If she wasn't a quitter, then I couldn't be one either..."


    More: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...cle_892982.php


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    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  10. #10
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    From 2013:

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/w...-cummings.html

    A judge threw out murder charges against an ex-manager of a Santa Ana apartment complex in the death of a nurse's aide 35 years ago, ruling that the loss of evidence and witnesses impedes the defendant's right to a fair trial.

    Louis Wiechecki, 65, of Henderson, Nev., was indicted in September 2006 on a murder charge for the Jan. 24, 1974 death of Linda Cummings. Her death was initially deemed a suicide, after her nude body was found dangling by a rope in her apartment at the West 17th Street apartment complex.

    But five weeks later, another woman at the complex was strangled -- and Wiechecki was implicated. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Marion Camilla Morgan, and served about four years in prison.




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