CA CA - Lori Kursa, 13, Santa Rosa, 1 Dec 1972

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by burblestein, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Ran away on 11 November 1972
    DOB: 26 February 1959

    Light blond shag haircut, blue eyes, 5 feet 3 inches tall, approximately 103 pounds. Irregular front teeth, chipped red polish on toenails.

    Fourth victim of Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Killer: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...ls-young-women-1972-1973&highlight=Hitchhiker

    On the evening of 11 November 1972, Lori and her single mother were shopping at U-Save Market, Santa Rosa CA. When mom turned her head, Lori bolted. She ran out the door and through the parking lot. She had run away. Again.

    Lori was a wild child, prone to running off and staying with friends when she grew bored with school. Scorning bus or bicycle, she either walked or hitchhiked while gone from home. When she was tired of street life, she would return home and again tend Cook Junior High School until next runaway.

    Her mother knew what to do; they had run through this routine several times already. A missing persons report was filed with the police as usual. She was wearing bellbottom jeans, a brown leather jacket, and brown suede cowboy boots.

    Lori was seen by friends on 20 or 21November. There was a report of her hitchhiking on 30 November.

    On 14 December 1972, her nude body was discovered down an embankment at the peak of Calistoga Road, north of downtown Santa Rosa. As her body was frozen by the unseasonably chilly weather, she had lain among the discarded roadside garbage for several days.

    Pathologists later estimated date of death as anywhere from 1 to 8 December. Cause of death was complications following from a broken neck. She had not died instantly. She had landed, paralyzed, down against a tree trunk and eventually expired there. No clothing was found on site. Lori had a wire loop in each of her pierced ears, but no earrings or attachments. She had not been bound, nor had she been raped.

    The fact she had not been tied up or raped led to the theory that she had bailed out of her kidnapper's moving vehicle and died of her injuries. However, regardless of details, her death is still a homicide by California law.

    There was a report that a girl who might have been Lori was seen being shoved into a battered white van with an off-color door. The given location, Parkhurst Drive, was just a couple of miles downhill from where her remains would be found. The reporting eyewitness said he saw two men with a teen seized girl between them on Calistoga Road. They purportedly shoved her into the van. A third man was driving; he was reportedly Caucasian, with an Afro.

    It is unknown if this was the 30 November report of Lori seen hitchhiking.

    Sources:

    “Lost Coast Highway” by Gray George

    Death certificate: http://www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com/docs/dcs/kursa_dc.pdf

    Newspaper clips. Best guess of origin is Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

    http://www.santarosahitchhikermurde...ody_of_young_woman_found_off_calistoga_rd.pdf

    http://www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com/articles/kursa/13_year_old_dead_girl_identified.pdf

    http://www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com/articles/kursa/kursa_obituary.pdf

    http://www.santarosahitchhikermurde...secret_witness-can_you_help_solve_a_crime.pdf
     
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  3. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Rereading this post plants one niggling doubt in my mind.

    Lori Lee was reportedly snatched along the Calistoga Road in the fringes of Santa Rosa. If this is true, then the kidnap van would have been in the southerly lane of Calistoga Road when it passed the drop site where Lori was found. However, this drop site is off the NORTH lane of Calistoga Road. So did Lori leap from the van, all the way across the north lane and the shoulder and over the edge? That feat is probably beyond the powers of a trained athlete, much less a 13 year old girl.

    The alternative is that the van passed the drop site and turned around. However, this presents its own difficulties. The narrow two lanes of Calistoga Road wouldn't allow a U-turn, and possible turnarounds are scarce.
     

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