And? The question is why the FBI linked those specific murders. You don't need to be Mindhunter to recognize a pattern.I just found that those first interviews of serial killers used to start the FBI profiling began in 1978, some two years after the FBI report above. My source? "Night
Stalker", by Philip Carlo, page 133.
Lisa Smith's case is an interesting and puzzling one. She has a thread here on Websleuths.
Lisa Smith, age 17
CA - CA - Lisa Smith, 17, Santa Rose, March 16th 1972
Lisa Michelle Smith was a 17-year-old that ran away from her foster parents' home on March 16th, 1971. Lisa was last seen hitchhiking in Santa Rosa, California - the county seat of Sonoma County - about 55 miles north of San Francisco and approximately 100 miles west of California's capital, Sacramento. While Santa Rosa is now known as an affluent city in Wine Country, just an hour or two outside of the tech-based Silicon Valley, the city had a much smaller population back in the early 1970s... which is when this young woman decided to run away from home.
Lisa's foster parents would report her missing a short time after her disappearance, and would later learn that she was spotted hitchhiking a short distance away from their home, along Hearn Avenue, at around 7:00 PM on March 16th. At the time, she was wearing a white blouse with ruffles, a dark pea coat, green bell-bottom jeans, and cowboy boots. This would be the last known sighting of the young woman, with neither of her foster parents - nor her boyfriend - coming up with many theories about why she remained missing. Despite there being no reason for her to have done so, police labeled her a runaway.
On March 26th, 1971 - nearly two weeks later - a woman matching Lisa's description leaped from a moving vehicle traveling approximately 55 miles per hour along Highway 37, just past the Petaluma River, en route to Napa. A passing motorist would describe the incident to authorities as the young woman was rushed to a hospital in Novato - a small city about 30 miles south of Santa Rosa - where she was treated for a skull fracture and multiple severe abrasions.
While speaking to police at the hospital, as well as nurses, the woman identified herself as "Lisa Smith," and claimed to have been hitchhiking from San Francisco to Sausalito. She said that she had gotten a ride from a man driving a red-and-white late-model Ford truck, which had a horse-like hood decoration, who had started to assault her, demanding sex in exchange for a ride. Since the man wasn't planning on stopping to let her out, this young woman decided to take matters into her own hands, leaping from the vehicle amidst high-speed traffic... leading to her current injuries.
Hospital staff would describe this young woman as looking 21 or so, and - as I mentioned - she used the name "Lisa Smith," which is about as common a name as possible. Despite her giving up very little specific information about herself or her travels, authorities would begin to link her case to the still-missing 17-year-old from Santa Rosa with the same name - who had disappeared about ten days before this young woman was hospitalized - and local newspapers would begin to report that they were one and the same.
On April 1st, 1971, the Press Democrat, a newspaper based out of Santa Rosa, would report that 17-year-old Lisa Michelle Smith had been reunited with her family back home in Livermore, having run away to spend a couple of weeks with her friends in San Francisco. It would appear to put a bow on this saga, proposing a happy ending for the young woman at the center of this story, who endured a horrifying situation but was able to survive... making it home to her loved ones.
However, the truth is that it's unknown what happened to these young women... not only the woman from the hospital calling herself "Lisa Smith," but the missing teenager from Santa Rosa, whose fate remains unknown to this day.
A 2011 article in the same newspaper (Santa Rosa's Press Democrat) would offer up a different perspective on the story, claiming that there had been no reunion for Lisa and her loved ones: that she had never returned home in March of 1971, and was still missing more than forty years later.
This article would detail how the original missing person report from 1971, as well as the young woman's medical records from the hospital in Novato, had gone missing over the years. The officers that had handled the missing teen's case back then - as well as the medical personnel that treated the young woman who leaped from the moving vehicle weeks later - were unable to verify the information reported in various newspapers decades beforehand. Too much time had passed, records had been lost, and those with information about these cases had either passed on or were unable to shed any light on either.
Attempts to recover any kind of record, in this case, had been exhausted, and both Lisa Michelle Smith (the missing teenager from Santa Rosa) and the young woman calling herself "Lisa Smith" (at the hospital in Novato) had proven impossible to track down. What made investigators' task even more difficult was that no one in the original newspaper reports was named (such as Lisa's foster parents or boyfriend, or the witness that had seen the young woman leap from the moving vehicle). And since "Lisa Smith" is one of the most common names on the planet, trying to track down either woman seemed like an impossibility decades later.
It's now widely believed that the article from April 1st, 1971 - detailing how this young woman had been returned to her family in Livermore - was a hoax, played out for some unknown reason. Perhaps someone had fed the reporter in-question false information, but there was no way to verify that this case was closed in any regard.
Speaking in 2011, Detective Jesse Hanshew would tell the Press Democrat about the still-missing Lisa Michelle Smith:
"We can't conclude she was ever found. She may be living well somewhere. We hope she is."
Nearly five decades after this young woman went missing, several questions remain unanswered in her case. The same goes for the possibly-related case that took place less than two weeks later, just miles away. Because none of these questions have been unanswered, investigators believe that this may have been the first victim attributed to a serial killer that hunted young women - primarily, young hitchhikers - in this region of northern California throughout the 1970s.
This is the story of the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders.
DeAngelo stole single earrings from his victims and poisoned dogs (strychnine). There's an account suspected to be DeAngelo's who made a comment about the SRHM taking single earrings on the EAR forum in a thread called "EAR's storage unit"Interesting, how do you link James DeAngelo to this case? I'm of the mind that the group of six might be the work of a single individual not tied to other murders, whose name is not known, or LE had an idea but the name never went public.
DeAngelo was an intern cop with Roseville PD starting in June 1972 then got a job in Exeter in May 1973. So only one SRHM victim was after his move to Exeter and just before Xmas 73. After DeAngelo became a cop in Exeter, Jennifer Armour was murdered and thrown in a canal in Exeter in 1974 and Donna Richmond was murdered and left in an orange grove in Exeter in 1975.Those are some interesting commonalities. The MO is a little different, JDD seemed to favor home invasion and attacking people in their residence. I'm not aware of cases where he picked up hitchhiking teens and dumped bodies down ravines.
If he could be linked to the Santa Rosa area that would be compelling evidence. I believe in 1973 during the SRHM series he moved from Citrus Heights to Exeter.