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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    CA - Bodil Rasmussen, 36, & Patricia Carpenter, 26, murdered, 1975 & 1983

    I did not find a thread to either of these 2 murders, if there is one, please delete this thread.
    I'm so happy to see this man has finally been caught, but no telling how many victims he's had through the years.


    NEWPORT BEACH - There was a time a few years ago when John Laurence Whitaker was a deep-voiced community activist in Pasadena who gave motivational speeches to students, ran for the school board and claimed to be a Vietnam War hero.

    But Tuesday, Whitaker was an inmate standing slumped over in a courtroom hold cell in Newport Beach while his attorney entered not guilty pleas to two counts of murder.

    Whitaker, also known as John Betances, was charged with killing Patricia Carpenter, a Los Angeles woman whose bruised and battered body was found in a Laguna Canyon parking lot in 1983, and Bodil Rasmussen, a school clerk who was found strangled and dumped in a Santa Monica parking lot in 1975.

    Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said that DNA specimens taken from both crime scenes link Whitaker to the slayings. Murphy hopes to try both killings in Orange County under a new state law that allows similar crimes to be tried together regardless of where all crimes took place.

    Whitaker was linked to the Dec. 16, 1983, slaying of Carpenter two years ago by Paul Litchenberg, who was a Laguna Beach cold case detective. Litchenberg submitted tissues of skin recovered from under the victim's fingernails to a DNA database.

    Carpenter, who was 26 when she died, was last seen in Los Angeles getting into a car with an unidentified man on Dec. 16, 1983. A newspaper carrier found her body shortly after dawn the next day. She was nude from the waist down and had been strangled.

    There were no suspects in her killing until Litchenberg ran the fingernail scrapings through the DNA database. The tests came up with a hit on Whitaker, who once served 10 years in prison for rape.

    He was arrested in Oregon in 2004 and fought his extradition for several months before he was returned to Orange County. Santa Monica detectives then reopened their investigation into the June 25, 1975, death of Rasmussen, a native of Sweden who was working as a school clerk when she was killed. She allegedly had been raped and strangled.

    Whitaker was an early suspect in that investigation, when police learned he had been with the victim the night before her body was found in a Santa Monica parking lot. But no charges were filed.

    Last year, however, DNA evidence found on Rasmussen's body was tested and determined that it was likely left by Whitaker, who has a lengthy arrest record and is required to register as a sex offender.

    But that history did not prevent him from becoming a well-known community activist in Pasadena, where he bragged about being a colonel in the Green Beret and serving several assignments in Vietnam, and being captured once there.

    Detectives found no evidence of such a distinguished military career, Murphy said.

    More at link.
    Old Broad
    this is just my opinion, it may be wrong, user beware!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I read about this case - even though a suspect he got away with it all these years. And too, was held in high regard by alot of people. Glad he's been caught, but sure do hate that it took so long!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    New Jersey
    DNA is an amazing thing! So glad he was finally caught.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    How many other victims were there?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    How many other victims were there?
    I cannot find more than these two (murder) and two cases of rape of 14 years olds. He also threatened to kill his own wife:


    A high-profile onetime Pasadena Unified School District volunteer and convicted sex offender currently on trial for the murders of two women allegedly threatened to kill his former wife shortly before the couple divorced in 2003, according to court documents obtained by the Weekly.

    According to an application for a restraining order filed by Eloise Crichton, John Laurence Whitaker verbally abused Crichton and threatened to harm her daughter and son-in-law if they should “interfere in his business.”
    As laid out in the restraining order sought by Crichton and eventually granted a year prior

    to his arrest, Whitaker “would often stare at me in the dark while I was trying to sleep, he blocked my path when I tried to leave the apartment, he threw a cup of soda in my face, and he said he should ‘just kill me and get it over with.”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    From May 2014:


    After a decade behind bars in Orange County, a former Pasadena activist still awaits trial on two murders, one that occurred in 1975, the other committed in 1983.

    In fact, when John Laurence Whitaker — also known as John Whitaker Betances — is brought into Superior Court on Aug. 28 for a preliminary hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, it will mark the 98th time Whitaker has been scheduled on the court docket to face a judge in relation to the murders...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    He still hasn't gone to trial.

    April 2016:

    Justice Takes a Time Out


    Since his arrest for double murder with special circumstances in 2005, John Laurence Whitaker has been to court an astounding 113 times.

    But in that 11-year stretch behind bars in the Orange County Jail, and after all those appearances before judges in Orange County Superior Court, Whitaker has not been tried for the murders for which he is accused.

    A spokeswoman for the Orange County’s District Attorney’s Office was unable to say why there have been so many delays in efforts to try Whitaker, who went by the name of John Whitaker Betances when he lived in Pasadena and even ran for a seat on the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees.

    Last week, Whitaker appeared in court once again in Orange County, and once again he received a continuance — this time until June 23.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    12 years and 117 court appearances after his arrest, why this California man could finally face trial for 2 murders


    A dozen years after getting arrested for a pair of decades-old murders, the man who once bragged to schoolchildren of being a military hero but apparently wasn’t sits in jail, waiting.

    John Laurence Whitaker is scheduled to make his 118th court appearance on Feb. 28 for his preliminary hearing.

    Or, maybe there will be another delay. A typical murder case usually takes less than two years to go from arrest to preliminary hearing. But the 69-year-old Whitaker doesn’t seem to be in any hurry.
    For a decade, Deputy District Attorney Murphy said last week, he has been prepared to go to trial.

    “This case is somewhat complex, and Mr. Whitaker has gone through several defense attorneys, each needing time to study and understand the evidence,” Murphy said.

    “In my view, each has been professional and worked hard for their client. In this particular case, I can’t criticize the attorneys for the time they have requested or the court for granting the continuances,” Murphy said.

    “We remain ready to proceed when they are.”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Hearing continued for former Pasadena activist who has spent 13 years in jail awaiting trial for 2 murders


    The recently-appointed attorney for a man who has spent more than a dozen years awaiting trial for a pair of decades-old murders was given more time on Tuesday to go over the extensive evidence collected in the long-running case.

    John Laurence Whitaker’s 118th court appearance ended on a familiar note, as Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue agreed to continue the 69-year-old defendant’s pretrial hearing until September.

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