CA CA - Rashell Ward, 14, Red Bluff, 14 March 1983

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by waunakeegan, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    2BB746A0-2216-4A70-837B-CDE3C0CA96DF.jpeg
    Rashell Ward, 14, was abducted on her way to school and brutally murdered on March 3rd, 1983. It's been 36 years that the person who killed her has gotten away with this horrible crime. Rashell was raped and killed, and her killer left her on the side of the road nearby her home in Red Bluff, CA.

    This case is about as cold as I’ve ever seen one before. I can’t find any articles online about Rashell’s case, and the only reason I know about her murder at all is because her sister posted about it in a Facebook group about unsolved cases that I belong to. Possible articles related to Rashell’s murder came up on paid-for online newspaper record databases, but these articles are likely from right around the time she was murdered and nothing has been written about her since (I’m not quite ready to subscribe to the newspaper database site to see what the articles said, so I don’t know exactly what all the articles said). I did see a short snippet of only one article mentioning her as one of the 100s of victims that Henry Lee Lucas confessed to killing before he recanted, saying he only confessed to these killings to expose the gullibility of the police.

    If anyone can find any more information to add about Rashell’s rape and murder please post it! This poor girl still has family members trying to speak up about her death, but it looks like the police, media, and the public have not been listening. Please try to raise awareness for this young girl’s case by commenting and adding any further information you find on her case while sleuthing.

    Link to Facebook posts from Rashell’s sister and her sister’s niece:
    Dannielle Ward

    Jessica Criss
     
  2. cobalt sky

    cobalt sky Well-Known Member

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    What a terribly sad case, and so many years have gone by without justice for this young girl and her family. Rashell's sister posted that she was kidnapped on her way to school. But then I see that under the niece's post, there is chatter that she was babysitting for someone? It's unclear if they meant babysitting the day she was kidnapped, or if there are just suspicions about the person she was babysitting for (he was LE). Also, I wonder how they are sure she was kidnapped. Maybe the person was familiar to her and she went with him willingly, never expecting to be a rape and murder victim :mad:. I hope that the family is able to make some progress, especially with today's social media. I wonder if LE has semen samples from the rape, maybe they could use those to do a DNA search if that hasn't been done already.
     
  3. Jim_M

    Jim_M Well-Known Member

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  4. cody22

    cody22 Well-Known Member

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    Possible late Golden State Killer victim on his way home from a weekend fishing trip ?...moo
     
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  5. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    Given the absolute lack of any remotely current media attention, I highly doubt law enforcement are actively investigating this case or testing the evidence for any possible DNA samples to submit to CODIS or elsewhere. @Jim_M I would think the case is still open since Rashell's sister and niece are still trying to get it solved, but with the lack of available information on the case there's always a chance that the police have officially closed it. I truly wonder if they just wrote her off as one of Henry Lee Lucas' victims and moved on without officially closing the case. With the amount of false confessions he made I highly doubt Lucas is responsible. Rashell's death was already so tragic, but the lack of any justice and LE/public attention just compounds the tragic nature of her case 10 fold. Thanks to everyone for your added info and comments on her case!
     
  6. stardustw83

    stardustw83 New Member

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    Hello I am Rashell's niece. So, there was semen left behind but whom ever left it was a nonsecretor which basically means no DNA was in the semen. Which is terribly sad. We also do not know if she was kidnapped or not. The assumption was that she was taken, perhaps because it's easier to think that way verses her going willingly. We are still trying to get as much information from the Sheriff's dept. but as the case is cold it is still considered open so we are limited with what they can provide. I have done some investigating and A LOT of people are scared to talk. They say they know things but are seriously afraid of being harmed. Even though it's been 36 years.
     
  7. stardustw83

    stardustw83 New Member

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    It was found that at the time of my aunts murder Lucas was in prison in Texas (according to my mom). So there is no possibility it was him. The sheer fact that her story has not been told and no one knows outside of our town breaks my heart.
     
  8. annemc2

    annemc2 her name is Suzanne Marie Sevakis

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    DNA can be taken from the semen of a nonsecretor (as in the case of GSK). However blood type cannot be determined. Now that we are able to retrieve DNA, finding out a perpetrator's blood type isn't as useful as it was in the past. Hopefully they have *something*!
     
  9. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    @stardustw83 Thank you for joining the conversation here and adding some important background information and details. I think it is awesome that you are working to write a book about your Aunt’s murder. I am so sorry that your family has had to go 36 years without justice for Rashell.

    I found an article written in August of 1987 referencing a crime ring and corruption scandal involving pornography of minors and unsolved murders in Red Bluff that specifically mentions Sherrif RK, who it sounds as though Rashell babysat for.
    “Red Bluff Abuzz Over Grand Jury Report on Crime, Murder, Drugs” - Red Bluff Abuzz Over Grand Jury Report on Crime, Murder, Drugs

    If nothing was ever done about these corrupt people in power then, as you probably have figured out already, it’s very likely that is why you’re being met with so much fear and reluctance when trying to talk to some of them about your Aunt’s murder. If this is the case, one can argue that if you look to see who was in power back in Red Bluff in ‘83 and whom of that group is still alive and has some influence now, you will likely find your killer(s) within that pool of suspects. If Sherrif RK is still living, it would be very interesting to see whether he is a non-secretor or not.

    On another note, @annemc2’s comment about the non-secretor aspect of the semen having to do with blood type and not DNA is 100% spot on. “Secretors are individuals that secrete blood group antigens in their body fluids while non-secretors are the individuals that do not secrete them in their body fluids and secretions.”
    Secretor | Encyclopedia.com
    DNA can be collected from non-secreting semen samples, unless the sample hasn’t been properly maintained or they’ve lost it. Also interesting to note is that with around 80% of the population being secretors and only 20% being non-secretors, this characteristic actually helps to narrow the pool of suspects down even more. I hope the police are not the ones still saying that they can’t get DNA because the person was a non-secretor though, because that is a lie. The police absolutely need to do DNA testing on the semen sample because it sounds like they may have not examined it since the 1980s when blood-type testing was very important.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  10. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    I found some more articles searching on a newspaper archive database that go into more detail about Rashell’s cause of death and the circumstances surrounding it.

    The articles that I found say that a shot to the back of the head was her cause of death. The article clipping that I’ve attached was written for a larger article about Henry Lee Lucas’ possible victims back when they believed he had killed Rashell. I’ve had to attach the article as a picture because it’s a clipping so hopefully everyone can read it because there’s some really interesting information in there about a rancher allegedly hearing the gunshot that killed her and seeing the tan car of the killer drive past.

    I also found an article written in 1986 in which a Tehama County Sherrif Captain stated that he never believed that Lucas killed Rashell and he cast doubt on the legitimacy of that theory. As far as I can find this is the most recent article written mentioning Rashell’s murder, which is pretty sad.
    The State

    I also found some more articles talking about the courruption in Red Bluff around this time, but I’ll wait to post those in another post.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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  12. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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    I would like to share the whole story, but unfortunately, I don’t know where there would be safe to do that.
     
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  13. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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    I would like to share with Jessica or Daniel. I am not on Facebook.
     
  14. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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    as you can tell, I do not know how to navigate this website. I may have an old Facebook, but I will need some help from my daughter. I am 83 and not really up-to-date on the Internet.
    I do want so badly to tell what I know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2019
  15. stardustw83

    stardustw83 New Member

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    I emailed you :)
     
  16. stardustw83

    stardustw83 New Member

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    Thank you...I do have this news paper article already. However I did not know that about the non-secretors....we are currently trying to get an appt. with the cold case detective that might be working the case possibly.
     
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  17. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    I’ve been doing some research and working to compile some articles about Rashell’s murder, events and deaths that happened in Red Bluff right around Rashell’s death in 1983, and the various investigations into former Sherrif RK of Tehema County (County Red Bluff is in) who later became a Chairman for the California board of prison terms. There’s some things that I’ve learned that I’m not at liberty to post here right now, but I have attached some articles that I’ve found to this post. Although some of the articles may seem unrelated, many of the people who were murdered that are mentioned in the attached articles have been rumored to have been connected to Sherrif RK and the crime ring in Red Bluff.
    The bombshell article from 1985 alledging a link between Michael Britt’s murder (still unsolved, but good luck finding anything on it) and Rashell’s murder, and accusing RK of ordering both their deaths is the most interesting of all, in my opinion.
    One man’s death that is not mentioned in any of the articles I’ve attached is Charles L Cobb. Interestingly, Charlie was the Red Bluff rancher the articles mention Sherrif RK helping out and giving honorary Sherrif status and LE decals for his plane, even after Charlie was charged with running a drug operation off his ranch. Charlie died mysteriously in a boating accident in a nearby Lake Shasta in June of 1984.

    Maybe this is all nothing but a big conspiracy theory, but it’s very curious why so many people allegedly associated with Sherrif RK, and who could arguably have become witnesseses against him in the various investigations, began dropping like flies. Why so many investigations into RK, and why were the rumors of him being involved in running an underage pornography and sex trafficking ring so persistent and enduring? Was he really just an innocent man with vicious enemies, or was there truth to all those rumors?
    If you can’t tell, this case occupies a lot of space in my brain right now lol.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. waunakeegan

    waunakeegan Member

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    I’ve also been looking into the Keddie Cabin murders lately (CA - CA - Sue Sharp, 36, & 3 children, Keddie Cabin Murders, Plumas, 11 April 1981) that happened in neighboring Plumas County just a month after Rashell’s murder. The town is nearly 2hrs away from Red Bluff, the murders are very different, and the (likely) murderers are known and don’t have anything to do with Rashell’s case. So you may wonder, why bring these murders up in this thread? It seems that there were strong rumors of a network of Law Enforcement and politicians involved in underage sex trafficking and drug trafficking in Plumas County and that this may have been a factor in the Keddie Murders in 1983. A coincidence that the neighboring county to Red Bluff was also rumored to be involved in the same sort of things as Tehema County officials and politicians, or could this crime ring have been a multi county operation?

    I can’t say I’m convinced one way or the other, but it sure is an interesting scenario to probe deeper into.
     
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  19. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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  20. Light333

    Light333 New Member

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    You might be right about Plumas. That whole area was very corrupt. Almost everyone had a Marijuana garden even though it was then ,and actually still us against the law to cultivate Marijuana. Although legal in California, it is still a federal schedule one drug.
     
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