Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by enigma, Nov 22, 2005.
email@example.com diane's cousin
Hi there - I'm a little confused by your screen name. Diane Funchess is the murder victim; are you her namesake, or? : )
yes i am her cousin thanks
The DNA samples are a great idea. It is not uncommon for “adopted” kids to have an intuition they are not blood related to their family, and they start researching. Let’s hope Beth is one of them. That trail through Beth’s “adoptive” family could well lead us to Diane’s killer(s).
Btw, the Santa Clara County Sherrif office would have Ken’s DNA sample, if they took one. That was so long ago, but I would think they would have and it’s still somewhere given Diane’s case was never solved?
With the recent and astonishing advancement in DNA technology, I am confident that we will see Justice for Diane, and find "baby" Beth. It's been a long time coming. Never forgotten Diane and Beth.
‘This is just the beginning’: How a small forensics company is cracking cold cases
Diane and Beth, my post #6000 is for you.
It is so hard to believe I came here over eight and a half years ago to see if justice had been served, and Beth found. Since then, I have learned so much about crime, the victims, and the heartache a family endures. I've also learned about faith, and hope, and justice. On this forum I have learned about the worst of humanity, and the very best. I've learned that you never, ever, ever give up. I've seen hearts broken, and amazing miracles happen. Through this 6000 posts over eight and half years I hope I've contributed something, if only small. In posting this, I just realized that yesterday was exactly 41 years to the day since you disappeared. I was just a teenager, but I'll never forget and I pray that someday we will know the truth. As improbable as it seems, something tells me we are getting closer; maybe Beth is looking for her bio parents?
So God Bless you Diane and Beth. Never forgotten by that little teenie bopper who helped in your search so many years ago...
Bumping for Beth
I just joined Websleuths because I think I can clear up a few points on this thread. Rope, really. Lots of twisted ropes in all our lives, and I think that's the case here.
To start with, My name is Diane and I'm 68 years old. I'm interested in lots of things, in learning. I've lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains for 22 years, now, and before that the South Bay or on the Peninsula. I'm not particularly fond of dramatic re-tellings of crime stories, nor fictional detectives who always make cops look stupid; usually not biographies, either. But I like to have mysteries solved, so I read mostly non-fiction books and articles; history, science, lots of things.
Right now, I'm reading a book called "Confessions of the Night Ranger" by Daniel C. Friend. He spent about 10 pages near the beginning of the book talking about these murders in the Santa Cruz Mountains of the 1970s. Many were committed by serial killers, two who turned themselves in to stop themselves, one who was a mass murderer. Some of the crimes were solved. Diane Funchess was one of those that was not ever solved. I tried spending some time on-line to get more information on some of these murders, and came across this twisting rope.
I'd like to remind those who read this twisting rope blog about a few things which seem to have been confused, at least according to Dan Friend and a few newspaper articles I did find on the web, for what it's worth.
"In 1978, the body of UCSC Summer School student Jennifer McDowell was found dumped in the brush off of Jamison Creek Road...." from his book. For those not familiar with the area, (and the link to the map in one of the earlier posts from a few years ago is no longer valid) these "mountains" are mostly under 3000 feet, but it means a lot of windey roads and sometimes on steep hillsides. Highway 17 is a bendy four-lane highway from Santa Cruz north to Los Gatos, and on to San Jose. (Santa Cruz mostly faces south.)
Highway 9 is a bendy two-lane highway running parallel to 17, but windier, and more mileage. It crosses Highway 35 which is a ridge road, 2 lanes, and goes north towards San Francisco, intersecting Highways 84, 92, and many other roads down either side to the coast or bay.
Highway 35 is a pretty good bendy road south to Castle Rock, but soon after that is dumped onto small, extremely windey, pot-holed roads, particularly Summit Road, which eventually comes down onto Highway 17.
Bear Creek Road is an extremely windey road, usually kept up pretty well because it is heavily traveled. It goes from Highway 9 at Boulder Creek over some ridges to reach Highway 17 to the northeast near Los Gatos, specifically, the reservoir.
Empire Grade runs north from Santa Cruz along a ridge, way above Highway 9 and further west. It ends near the end of that long Ben Lomond Mountain ridge, where it almost falls off a cliff, Jamison Creek Road, nearer to the headwaters of the creek that the town Boulder Creek was named for.
Like I said, the link to the map in an earlier post is gone, but if my memory serves me well at all, up at the top of Jamison Creek Road, at the end of Empire Grade, is where the Locatelli Ranch is. Because it was Jennifer McDowell's body that was found near the Locatelli Ranch, I think we can assume that the Locatellis probably don't enter into the Diane Funchess equation. McDowell's murder has not been solved, either.
When Dan Friend and his wife told her aunt where they were going to be living, she panicked. It seems her best friend's son was murdered while they lived here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This was Mark Wayne Clearihue. He wanted to sell his motorcycle to buy a car to commute to Cabrillo College. 27th October 1972 he called his parents from San Jose and said he'd sold his motorcycle for $800 and would catch a ride home. That was the last that he was heard from. His body was found two weeks later, rolled in a blanket, dumped off the side of Bear Creek Road, shot six times with a small .25 automatic pistol, redressed post mortem in clothes that weren't his. His murder wasn't solved.
His parents' next door neighbor was Diane Funchess. She disappeared two years later. Her skull was found two years later still, in '76, off Bear Creek Road a mile from where Mark's had been. As Dan points out in his book, that is an interesting coincedence.
It is also a good idea to keep in mind that there are predators in these hills, not just human type. We don't have bears, but we do have mountain lions, as well as bob cats, foxes, coyotes, and turkey vultures. Baby bones don't last as long as adult bones.
Possibly the baby lived and was adopted, but possibly the baby died, too. If Diane's husband had anything at all to do with her disappearance, would he not have wanted to keep in touch with the baby? Well, maybe it wasn't his.
I never heard about this Clearihue “coincidence”. That is a bombshell.
I need to read up. Thank you for the info, and for joining the thread. Wow.
Amateur opinion and speculation
Diane, my post #8888 is for you and Beth. Soon it will be 43 (!) years since I was a young teenager hanging posters of your disappearance. I still believe we will have an answer some day, and that DNA will lead us to Beth. Somewhere she is likely wondering who all these people popping up in her Ancestry profile are. Maybe she has had a sneaking suspicion all along, and maybe she has been looking for her birth parents. Some day we will find her, and this will lead us to justice for you. That day can't come soon enough. It's been a long road.
Amateur opinion and speculation
What was the date of abduction? Some places say September 6, some say September 9.
Ken was working on a ranch nearby- did the police ever investigate the other people employed at the ranch? Both full time as well as part time, seasonal, temps, migrant workers? I mean, people working long hours on projects talk to each other, and a new father would certainly talk about his baby girl- a lot.
Maybe you're right and Beth is out there reading this, and all these pieces of information will be helpful to her.
Just hoping to pull you back onto this page rosesfromangels, as I would really like your input on my post just above. Thanks.
Hi DragonSpeaker - nice to have some activity on the thread....glad you are here, and thanks for invoking me.
This is all such a long time ago, and I was in the periphery absorbing all this with the eyes of a young and naive teenager, so calibrate my remarks with that in mind.
I don't remember the exact date she disappeared; I defer to the newspaper archives. As far as the husband working at the Locatelli ranch, my memory is that he wasn't working there at the time of Diane's disappearance. I seem to recall that is where he worked at one point, before they "moved to town". I think he was working as a warehouseman or something like that when she disappeared. I could be wrong....but that is the fuzzy memory I have.
I honestly don't know how extensive any interviews were with anyone from the Locatelli Ranch. I do recall that LE took the case very seriously, and there was a great deal of activity until such time as Diane's remains were stumbled upon. A writer served to keep Diane's case alive for the first year or so with his "psychic search" angle. I remember him well. I don't know how he ended up being so squarely in the mix, but he was.
I have a lot of vivid recollections as someone who was enlisted to help; the time spent in their home listening to LE, the reporters, the writer, the psychics, her husband, and her friend. As I mentioned upthread, my boyfriend and I drove around with her husband hanging posters, listening to him talk. Looking back on this now, it seems so strange and surreal.
The whole "psychic search" aspect did give the case visibility, but it created a circus atmosphere as well. However, one of the local psychics proved to be accurate in her prediction of the vicinity in which Diane would be found.
Anyway, sorry I can't be more specific with regard to your questions.
But yes, I think we'll eventually find Baby Beth when she starts looking in to her family tree and DNA results.
Amateur opinion and speculation
Genuinely curious- HOW? I mean, a DNA test may show that she's not related to people she thought were her parents, but that won't necessarily lead to anything.
If she has a *bunch* of Funchess or Crooke (Diane's maiden name) people showing up as first cousins in her DNA profile, I think she might be curious enough to try to find out why; I really think she would.
That said, I need to do more research on the Clerihue murder mentioned upthread. This was an 18 year old that allegedly lived next to Diane and husband when they lived in boulder creek. I think the Clerihue murder was in '72, and Diane's in 'a 77. They were both allegedly found off Bear Creek road about a mile from each other. Pretty odd "coincidence". Back in that era, while beautiful, that area was known as dangerous because of pot growers, and assorted crunchy "hill folk" types who were known not to like non-hill folk trespassing.
Amateur opinion and speculation
I received a notification due to making this post in this thread previously and re-reading the article I posted from 1978 above, I can see there was a psychic named Phoebe Getchell who said she envisioned a red Camaro with California licence plates with Diane and Beth as passengers and a man driving.
Looking through a newspaper archives though in an earlier article from the October 19, 1977 Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper, a psychic named as Phoebe Getchler (slightly different from the other article but clearly the same person), says she envisions a ring of kidnappers driving a Grey Chevrolet.
As rosesfromangels said above, the psychics did add some attention to the case but clearly Getchell or Getchler was just adding to the circus atmosphere with these different visions. I wonder if she was paid by Diane's parents who were obviously reaching for anything for a lead in the case.
I've attached the 1977 article here, hope you can click it and zoom in OK.