The LA Times had a story the other day on Mack Ray Edwards, a 51 year old man who told police that he killed six kids over a twenty-year period in and around LA County. This was in 1970. Edwards died in prison in 1972 but not before claiming that he actually killed 18 kids.
"In the last six months, police have uncovered a letter Edwards wrote seemingly confessing to the killing of a Redondo Beach boy, and have used ground-penetrating radar to check for bodies buried at his former home in Sylmar. They plan to send corpse-sniffing dogs to a half-mile stretch of a Thousand Oaks freeway looking for the remains of another possible victim."
The case involves several PDs in Los Angeles County. PDs in the area are trying to follow Edwards movements from about the 1950s to the 1970s to try to find out where he was living and connect him to missing kids.
"Police say their interest was sparked by the efforts of Pasadena author Weston DeWalt, who was researching the 1957 disappearance of 8-year-old Tommy Bowman in the Arroyo Seco.
"His work has allowed us to go back in time and open up a lot of windows," said Det. Vivian Flores of the LAPD's cold case unit. "There's a lot of families who do not know what happened to their children."
But detectives say they are far from solving Tommy's case and starting to clear up three others:
• Bruce Kremen, who disappeared in July 1960 from a YMCA camp in the Angeles National Forest and was never found.
• Two 11-year-old Torrance girls, Karen Lynn Tompkins and Dorothy Gale Brown, who vanished within a year of each other. Tompkins was never seen again, but Brown's strangled body was found by recreational divers July 4, 1962, off Marina del Rey.
Apparently Edwards, a construction worker who contracted with Caltrans and other agencies during the freeway building boom of the 1950s and '60s used his knowledge of the freeway system to dispose of bodies.
Building on DeWalt's research, police traced Edwards to at least 10 residences around Los Angeles, the South Bay and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys.
Unfortunately files kept on missing children during that era were destroyed after the children's 18th birthdays, meaning detectives had to build information about most of the cases from scratch.
Edwards confessed to killing Donald Allen Todd, another neighborhood boy who was found shot and sexually abused in May 1969.
If anybody knows anything about a missing child in the Los Angeles county area or know anyone with photographs or records of missing children from that era, who lived in and around the areas mentioned should contact the LAPD's cold case unit.
I'm going to try to get more information about exactly where Edwards lived between 1953 and 1970. Physical addresses and so forth.
If I get anything I'll post it here.