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2017-07-19 | 🔗
On July 8, 1979, two skeletons were found off a remote highway in Mendocino County, California. The skeletons belonged to a pair of murdered teenagers. For thirty-six years, the teens’ identities remained a mystery. The teens’ killer was never brought to justice. In the fall of 2015, the Mendocino teens were identified through DNA testing. The identifications raised a number of questions in the community. Who murdered the Mendocino teens? Why did the teens go unidentified for so long? Were their murders linked to a series of unsolved homicides in a neighboring county? Filled with gripping interviews and previously unreleased details about the Mendocino murders, Lost Coast Highway is the inside story of a shocking, multi-generational tragedy. It’s the story the media wouldn’t tell you—and the bureaucrats didn’t want you to know. LOST COAST HIGHWAY-Gray George
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them: Gacy Bundy, Dahmer, the night stalker Dgk. Every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers in true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan Zupansky good evening, on July. Eighth, one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine two skeletons were found, offer remote highway in Mendicino, County California. The Skelton's belong to a pair of murdered teenagers for thirty six years. The teens identities remained a mister
the teen's killer was never brought to justice in the fall of two thousand and fifteen. The Mendocino teens were identified through dna testing. The identifications raised a number of questions in the community who murdered the menacing teens. Why did the team's going to die in a fight for so long were there murders linked to a series of unsolved homicides in a neighboring county filled with gripping interviews and previously unreleased details about the mendicino murders lost coast highway is the inside story of a shocking multi generational tragedy. It is the story that the media won't tell you and the bureaucrats didn't want you to know. The book cover featuring this evening is lost coast highway with my special guest journalist and author Gray George welcome to the program, and thank you very much for agreeing to this.
View great George Hi Dan. Thank you so much for having me on tonight. Thank you very much. We had a great time last time with the black Knight Gold Coast, so welcome back. Let's talk right away, because this is such an involved story and such an incredible tale. Let's start with how you came to write this book, You talk about writing black Knight gold Coast, and then you were doing some research and the DOE network tell us how you came to this story and lost coast highway. Absolutely so Last time we talked about my my first book, which is black Knight gold Coast and that one of the central features of that book was familial. A testing anyway
as part of researching black black Knight gold Coast. I interviewed a law professor up at Uc Davis named Elizabeth Show and during the course of our interviews, she started talking about A new forensic procedure that had really come into vogue in the past few years called familial dna screening, which allows law enforcement agencies to look word genetic similarities between dna recovered crime, scenes and dna profiles they're stored in the National DNA Data Bank anyway. I didn't know that much about from you'll you'll, be in a screening before speaking with her. So after our interview, I decided to look into the matter a little bit more and I found out this new legal dna screening really has two applications in the arena of law enforcement. One Those applications is suspect, identification and the other is identifying unknown bodies. And before I started researching the subject of familial dna.
Screening. I really had no idea just how pervasive the problem of unidentified decedents is. Every year from coast to coast and around world law enforcement agencies find the remains of human beings whose identities they don't know and because I had no idea the scale of the problem. I decided to start researching it a little bit anyway to make a long story short. My research led me to this website called the DOE network in the DOE network, features chest 10s of thousands of profiles of unidentified decedents. Some of these decedents were small children, somewhere elderly people somewhere. Village people. Some of these people were found in big cities. Others were found out in the middle of the desert or out in the middle of forests. So as I was as I was, writing black Knight gold Coast, I spent a considerable amount of downtime just reading through the various profiles on the DOE network. They were they
were horrific in their detail, but at the same time they were really fascinating. They really opened my eyes to sort an esoteric side of the of the American criminal justice system. So as I was reading these profiles on the doe network. Some of them just really stood out to me and one of the profiles that hit me the hardest. Was this profile that concerned teenage boy in a team? age girl who were found up in Mendicino County back in the number of nineteen. Seventy nine. These were two white kids. One was estimated. The boy was estimated to be about twelve or thirteen years old. The girl was about thirteen or fourteen years old, and I spent a lot of time myself when I was young up in Mendicino County and as when. I read that profile. It just immediately hit me that how strange that case was
How unusual it was two children that aid would just disappear without a trace and then over the course of three thousand five hundred and thirty six years. No one would have no one would have uncovered their identities. So that's how I originally got involved in researching lost coast highway. It was actually an extension of the research I was doing for black Knight gold coast. Now you say you developed a list of questions about the case just naturally and do comb the countryside proud small towns even even, inspected the site where the bodies were found and eventually began cultivating sources within the local law enforcement community. So tell us how you went about your research and your investigation sure so when I First read about the two teens who had been murdered up in Mendicino County in the summer of nineteen. Seventy nine. I really wasn't at liberty at that time to investigate the case and all that much detail I mean I knew the case was tragic and I had
some questions about it, but I was obviously I was in the middle of writing black Knight gold coast at the time I had to finish that project. So when I finish black Knight gold Coast, I ended up taking a week off an during that week. Thoughts about the mendicino case came flooding back into my mind. And I decided to take some time that we can just explore the case in a little more depth and, as I was exploring the case in reading old newspaper clippings about it and so forth, I just again to wonder more than ever WHI. These teams had not been identified. I mean wasn't someone out there. Wasn't a parent or sibling or someone in their community aware that they gone missing I I just I couldn't fathom the circumstances under which two children that age would go missing and no one would notice. I couldn't figure out why there were no missing persons reports. I couldn't figure out why they had never been identified, so any the way the upshot was after I did as much research as I could on the case from here at home in LOS Angelus. I wanted to know more, and I had these
questions they had to be answered in so I got in my car. I drove up to mendicino County and I just started beating the bush- is for any information I could find on the case and literally in some cases, that meant just you know, driving down a street resident community and looking for a guy who's out mowing his lawn an Only my car over the curb and getting out and talking to him other times it was striking up conversations with people in local coffee shops, but at the today after going up there and after really beating the bushes as hard as I could. I did start to develop contacts with people in that area and one contact leads to another. Eventually I did start to meet people in the local law enforcement community. A couple of who and we're willing to go on record with me in the book and not just give me in asian background, so that was-
that was really the genesis of my research for lost coast highway now tell us the first information that you garner from this investigation. That contradicts the information that did you had researched Well, I I should point out that the kids in Mendicino Keoni There were a number of problems which she investigation itself, but I should probably start by getting a couple of background details on the on the ministry no case. So these two kids were found about halfway down this almost vertical ravine on this very be very remote highway west of the small town of Willits. So for
for your listeners, who aren't really familiar with the geography of Northern California, we're talking about an area that's about one hundred and four thousand and forty five miles north of San Francisco North of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a very sparsely populated area of our state. It's a it's. It's a part of the state, that's covered by really dense heavy coastal forest, So the victims in the Mendocino case were discovered almost by chance out on this very, very remote highway called twenty when their remains were found about. Halfway down this, this vertical thousand foot cliff only one item was found with their bodies and that item was a single earring. It was shaped like a little bird. It was made out of a tortoise shell material, for years and years and years. That was the only clue to the identities of the two missing of victims. What, when I was up there, beating the bushes yeah and up in Mendocino County.
You Kaya in Fort Bragg and Willis, and these various towns up there. I started talking to some of the locals and one of the cases they remembered was this case of number of female hitchhikers who had been murdered in Sonoma County back in the 1970s, as well just a few years before the mendicino murders happen and so I started researching the Sonoma County case. I should point out that Sonoma County is the county directly s of Mendicino County along the one hundred and one corridor. So as I was as I was researching that case, I discovered that in several of those cases in Sonoma County the own only item found with the victim's remains was a single ear and as soon as I saw that in this in this report that had been generated by the Sonoma County Sheriff's office back in the early 70s. That's when that's when the light bulbs sort of went off over my
TED, and I I realized that some pretty critical information probably been missed. In the mendicino investigation and as I was talking to various law enforcement people up there I was more or less able to substantiate that. In other words, I think that Mendicino County law enforcement probably had the clue They needed at least connect those unidentified victims on Hwy, twenty, two Sonoma County, and of course, when the mendicino, when the mendicino teens were finally identified, it did come to light that they were from Sonoma County. Now you talk early how this investigation went sideways and you talk about Identifica, identifying adolescent bodies and the difficulty there in so tell us what happens with the me or the person responsible for doing that autopsy and the conclusions at that time.
Over these two victims and their identity sure. So when the mendicino teens were found in July of nineteen, seventy nine- they were just skeletons. They were just skeletal remains that were found down this. This huge cliff so the Mendicino Sheriff's department hold the remains of the cliff too. The remains back to the morgue in you, Kaya in an autopsy was performed. The problem was the medical examiner, couldn't really glean too many details about the t, these identities, but cause they were so young and Becaus. They were just skeletons by the time they were found and because no clothing or anything was found with the remains. So the Mendicino Sheriff's department decided to bring in an anthropologist of forensic anthropologists to examine the remains and try and ascertain additional details about the identities of these two unidentified teens, and so the anthropology goes to you Kaya, and he examines the remains, and
says: ok, one of the parties in this case belongs to a boy. He was about twelve or thirteen years old. At the time he died. He was white. The other skeleton in this case belongs to a girl who was about thirteen or fourteen years old at the time of her death and those were the initial conclusions reached by the anthropologist, so, of course, for for years and years after that, the detectives in the Mendicino County Sheriff's department, through no fault of their own, we're looking or a boy and a girl who had gone missing from some other jurisdiction in the late 1970s, of course, by two one thousand and fifteen. When the bodies were finally discovered, it came to light that one of the victims, the one. Been identified as a boy. He was actually a girl. So all the time- and it is you know- detectives have been looking for a boy and a girl who had gone missing. They should
been looking for two girls, and I wanted to know why that mistake was made. Obviously that was a pretty pretty egregious error, so I researched how forensic identifications are made on adolescent skeletons. My research ended up leading me to one of the one of the top people in the field. Right now he's a professor at Western Carolina University, and he told me in no uncertain terms that anthropologists should never attempt to estimate the sexes of skeletal victims. He said, the reason is because and so about the age of sixteen or seventeen, possibly even eight nineteen male and female skeletons are virtually identical in terms the contours, their pelvic girdles, the structures of their rib cages and so forth and during our during our exchange. I asked this anthropology, professor and researcher back at Western Carolina University, whether or not the
sort of the standard operating procedure back in one thousand nine hundred and eighty, when the anthem the logical assessment was done on the mendicino teens and he said yeah. He said you know, we've done this, for a long time, we've known for a long time that adolescent skeletons are hard to distinguish by gender and that that should not be attempted. So he was really pretty flabbergasted anthropologist back then it even attempted to make do sentative gender assessments of the mendicino teens. Now what is the police response to this in terms of reach? go to media Ann. Is there any leads as a result of the concerted police effort to reach out and seek information from the community? Do you mean, this pointer back in in in the 1970s in the 70s in the 70s. Well in the 70s,
the sheriff of Mendocino County was a guy named Tom John Dole. And uh. I have every confidence that he was a very conscientious professional in the field of law enforcement, but the thing is when they could identify the mendicino teens. Initially He ended up going to the media and he ended up making some guesses about who the who the victims were in the case an so he does this interview just a few days after the mendicino teens were found before they had even been assessed by the anthropologist yet and the show Of Mendocino County this reporter, for I think it was the? U K a daily journal, the the best quote. Unquote, I'm quoting here the best guess let his detectives is that the remains of those two
teens belonged to a boy and a girl. Now I'm not, I. I doubt that that is a problem with that. I doubt that the same mistake would be made today, but obviously making public on the record gases to reporter about The genders of two unidentified homicide victims posed enormous problems for the info. The gate of trajectory of this case, and it also, I believe, might have posed problems with that anthropological investigation. Maybe the anthropologist was eager to confirm the the gases of the sheriff. Maybe he wanted to create very favor with the sheriff I'm just guessing there. I don't know that for a fact, but it seems sort of suspect in need at the sheriff makes this off the cuff guess about the genders of the of the Mendocino murder victims. Being a boy and a girl and then Suddenly a you know a couple months later and answer well. It just reaches the conclusion that the remains do belong to a boy and
It seems suspect to me at least- and I try and go through that in a pretty significant amount of detail in the book there another issue that further complicates that, and that is the conclusion wrongful conclusion that there was a familiar connection between the two victims Another related right, that's exactly right! I guess I do not mention that earlier. But when the anthropologist assessed the remains of the highway twenty victims, the mendicino victims. In early one thousand eight hundred and eighty. He concluded that the remains, belong to two children who were biologically related, so the detectives in the case were were for more than thirty years, looking for two children who shared some sort of biological relationship, they weren't sure if they were brother and sister or if they were maybe two first cousins or something like that. But it
We came to light in two thousand that the children were not biologically related. A forensic dentist re examine the remains in two thousand and he determined that, the children were not biologically related, so that completely changed again. The trajectory of the investigations and now no longer were men, see no detectives looking for two kids who are related to one another, they were looking for two kids who are not related to each other, and I should also point out that the forensic dentist to examine the remains in two thousand was right on the and he is now a legislator up in Sacramento. His name is Jim Wood and he really helped break this case open in a very significant way by making that that discovery that the two victims were not related to one another. A big part of this is the attitude of law enforcement at that time and looking at run aways at it have I'm not
always pardon me missing people as runaways stereotyping, as as they did that most people that went missing ended up coming back home, but you talk about July, eighth one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine. There was a ten year anniversary or we're going a little bit forward in terms of this case goes cold five years pass. The case is handed to the FBI. They examined the case. They examine the case and the facts are very odd. But again, no Progress and then you talk about July, eight, one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine is ten year anniversary of the discoveries in the local news station. Does a story and the Viewers were shown this. What we mentioned, the bird shaped earring now and the broadcast was across the north coast, and one of these viewers was a seventeen year old girl name. Kelly Graham tell us about Kelly, Graham what she recognizes and what is her response. What does she do.
Absolutely so you're exactly right. So just to make sure everyone understands the chronology here. The Mendis no teens were found in July of one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine, the Anthropologie inspection of the remains was done in early one thousand nine hundred and eighty and then the case was handed off to the FBI in nineteen. Eighty five, the FBI couldn't do anything with it, so they handed it back. After short, time to the Mendicino County Sheriff's department. Well by now one thousand, eight hundred and eighty nine ten years after the discovery of the teens bodies, or skeletons. Minneci know: County Sheriff's department is still made no progress with their investigation of this homicide, so there's a show news segment that runs on the case. It's one of these periodic updates news stations do just to remind the public with their two unsolved teenage homicide victims out there and they would like anyone within to come forward so So this this broadcast of the case goes across the North coast and when I say that
ghost. I'm talking about the area of part of California that sort of north of San Francisco all the way up to Oregon a broadcast is disseminated across the north coast. That discuss is the general facts of the mendicino homicides and one of the people who's watching the newscast at night is a young woman from the town of Forestville CA, her name is Kelly, Graham is soon as Kelly, sees that bird shaped hearing on the this report, she knows immediately who the two mendicino murder victims are she her own sister, Kerry, Graham and her best friend, Francine symbol had gone missing in nineteen. Seventy eight, just a few months before the mendicino teens, were discovered. So as soon as broadcast is over Kelly grannies. She explained to me during our interviews immediately picked up the phone called the sheriff's department and said: look, I think. Those
kids are those two kids you have up in Mendicino County are mice sister and her best friend, Francine Tremble, the person on the during the line asks for a few general questions about it, and Kelly explains that it was her. Sister in her bed and her sisters desk girlfriend who had gone missing in December of nineteen. Seventy eight and the the sheriff's department on the other line says. Oh sorry, we really appreciate your call, but you know what we know that the two mendicino teens are actually a boy and a girl so appreciate you calling thanks, but we can't help you this, isn't your sister and her friend. So that's the way that whole thing played out, and so she is, you say: crestfallen She knows I deering she had given to her sister. She know the timeline matched an police.
But given their theory again, hitchhiking runaways from the Midwest fall in with the wrong people. What happens with this case? We we know what happens with this case, but tell us how cool this case goes. Well after Kelly Graham makes her call the law enforcement in one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine there's absolutely no progress. That's made on the case again the detectives casino county for those for the next twenty plus years are looking for a boy and a girl who have gone missing from some unknown jurisdiction in the United States? They have no idea where, at some point, the detectives decide that the kids probably came From the midwestern, United States and End up disseminating an online bulletin to that effect, you know, I think it's worth no Bing because we're covering so much ground here that technology was changing pretty dramatically over the course of this case. There was no internet back when the case happened in nineteen
Twenty nine, an there was no and it all the way up until the early 2000s, but by the time the internet was starting to go mainstream around two thousand lawn for an agency started uploading profiles to the national center for missing and exploited children website and various other websites, and in these online postings the Mendis no teens who were still on identified were disk drive is hitchhiking runaways from the Midwest. Nothing, absolutely nothing happened on their case. The detectives in Mendicino County could find absolutely no cases of any teenagers who gone missing, who matched the descriptions of the mendicino teens and finally, the case just went absolutely ice cold. And it was ice cold all the way up until two thousand and twelve, when The BBC Foreign Television station no less
cited to do an updated story about the case of the mendicino teams. Yes, you talk about that. They partnered with the national center for missing and exploited children and they've start profiling. These cases and pick the highway twenty homicide to feature, and with that you also talk about a technology. This was working with Joe Mullins. You talk about a three dimensional facial. Compass it's were created through software. Tell us about this incredible technology that was used sure so in two thousand and twelve, the national for missing and exploited children decided to partner with the British Broadcasting Corporation to do special on unidentified homicide victims in the US and one of the cases that was flagged was this
very old and very cold case for Mendicino County that involve these two unidentified teenagers. Now, of course, by that point more than thirty years, at three thousand two hundred and thirty three years had passed since the teens were discovered. An and what they did is part of this special. Is they exhumed? The skeletal remains of the mendicino teams. They pack them up in boxes. They flew them to Inova, Alexandria, hospital near Washington DC, and the national center for missing and exploited children was able to coordinate a cat scans of the skulls. These two unidentified victims and the cat scan tech allergy obviously was very sophisticated. It was able to reveal contours and dimensions of victims faces that would not be observable to the naked eye Well, as soon as those cat scans were complete, they were forwarded to a forensic imaging specialist at the national center for missing and exploited children. He's a man.
Name Joe Mullins, and he this computer software to be able to sketch in these very lifelike composites of the two mendicino victims and one of the sketches that was of a boy with very pointy chin and kind of almond shaped eyes. The other composite was of a girl who was in her young teens, just like that boy. She had kind of a round face and very open ics. Press of eyes and kind of thin lips. It was really sophisticated technology, but You know, I think in my mind, one of the most significant aspects of the BBC slash National Center broadcast on this case was what happened at Inova Alexandria Hospital as the technicians in this cat. Scan Suite were unpacking the skulls of the mendicino victims. They ended.
Finding this extraneous tooth packed into the pact under the boxes, and they couldn't tell exactly where the tooth came from. They knew the tooth wasn't as old as the is the Mendocino teen skulls. So they examined really closely, and they tried to get a sense of where it came from. Nobody had any idea. So where this tooth came from an. I should point out that the courses My research, I actually spoke with a captain in the mendicino looking service Department. I asked him about this tooth where he thought it came from and he just sort of shrug to show. Versions as well. You know we think it probably got mixed into the remains somehow when they were packed up here in storage in you, Kaya and I appreciated his candor, and I thought he was a good guy, but you know at the same time it just kind of gave me a sense of how can valier. The Mendicino County Sheriff's department was about this case. You know he seemed totally. This captain seemed node totally non plussed by the idea that
the remains of two teenage homicide. Victims known homicide. Victims had some now been mixed in with the remains of some unknown person and to the best of my knowledge, the person to whom this extraneous tooth belongs has never has never been identified so anyway, to make a short story long. I I think that the the BBC's involvement with the national center for missing exploited children in terms of developing. This special reveals a lot about the key, not just the composites but it also, I think, unintentionally, sort of reveals some information about the handling of this case. That doesn't really say great things. Now you talk about Kerry and watching the BBC program and, after she had her very negative experience with the police in trying to report about her sister, she was reluctant, so tell us what she say.
He's on this BBC Special and who did she contact sure? So the way Kerry explained a Kelly explained it to me Kelly is the is the sister who is right still alive. Shelly explained it to me that in two thousand twelve she was still just beside herself about her sister being missing. Her sister Kerry had gone missing with her friend Francine back in December nineteen, so they have no idea. The police had no idea where the girls had gone the families at all, we've been told that the girls were runaways, even though they were both in their very young teens and had absolutely no money at the time so Jerry had always had never been able to stop thinking about her missing sister, so so in one thousand, nine hundred and eighty nine Carey sees this news broadcast. She tries to call the sheriff's department, she's told. No sorry, we You know we're looking for a boy and a girl. We appreciate your call, but we know it's not your sister and her friend. So by two thousand
Well, if Kerry Kelly is even more curious than ever about the fate of her sister Carey and Carey's friend Francine. So one day Kelly is watching TV and she sees this BBC broadcast and loan behold. The broadcast involves the same case for Mendocino County that They had seen back in nineteen, eighty nine and Kelly sees the online the composites that Joe Mullen had developed. She sees the bird shaped bring again Kelly knows that the earring is, and that she had given her sister back in the MID 70s Kelly described every detail about that about that hearing. She even pointed out she bought it from a Cherokee indian jeweler so anyway, after Kelly sees this News broadcast, which, by the way, also showed images of the skulls, the
just you know, teen skulls Kelly is just beside herself she's, completely shocked, She told me that when she saw that skull on television, she immediately knew it was your sister. She said that Kerry, her sisters, front teeth, looked exactly the same back in the 70s as the teeth on that's called it, and she knew immediately. That was your cyst Mature Kelly didn't know exactly what to do after she saw that broadcast. She didn't know if she should call the sheriff's department again, she didn't know if she should keep her mouth shut. She didn't know if she tried to call somebody, you know she would be laughed. Been dismissed like she had been in one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine well. Finally, He starts researching the details of this, be she broadcast and she learns that the broadcast was done in coordination with the national center for missing and exploited children. So, finally, in a last ditch effort to get some kind of closure on her sisters very odd case in disappearance, Kelly picks up the phone. She calls the national center for missing and exploited
and the reception she's she received at the national center for missing exploited children was diametrically different from when she received when she tried to call the sheriff's the the national center immediately recognized the importance of Kelly's information and, over the course of several months they put Kelly in contact with multiple people in the law enforcement community out of state law enforcement officials, so that I can explain their circum circumstance is to them and finally, through this long convoluted series of events, the out of state law enforcement officials, end up prevailing upon the Mendocino County Sheriff's department to submit the submit for DNA. Testing the mendicino teens remains an to collect DNA. From the family members of Kerry, Graham who
Who is Kelly Sister and Francine Trimble who was curious best friend. The dna samples are sent down to the University of North Texas and within a couple of years the positive identifications or made the mendicino teens were Kelly Work area and Francine Trumbull two girls who had gone missing from Cinema County in December nineteen. Seventy eight, whose families never knew what happened to them, whose families had been raped with worry, if you can imagine for thirty, six years and finally, in late, two thousand and fifteen the identities. Of those mentis enough to notice. You know, teens are finally discovered there for me, we'll be in a testing. What you had is incredible background to Francine
trimble her very, very troubled and tragic life and and Kyrie, Graham, just briefly tell us a little bit about Francine and how she came to be a victim, sure. So you know when I started this project yeah. I had no idea what kinds of backgrounds victims like this would come from. I didn't know if they were throwaway children. I didn't know if they were runaways, like one enforcement had expected for so long, but after the mendicino teens were identified is Francine Trimble and Kerry Gram in twenty fifteen. I decided to start digging into their backgrounds an eye contact both of their family I conducted very, very extensive interviews with multiple members of both families and what I ended up learning about francine- is that you In some ways she was an unlikely victim
in other ways it was like her entire life was somehow destined for this type of oblivion. Francine. It comes from a an extremely nice. Well spoken. Well educated, family. Up in Marin County I've gotten to know them very, very well over the course of my research for this book, And- and I should point out that getting to know them in a lot of ways was really the high point of my my The experience writing this book. Francine's grand Father was a decorated, combat veteran in world war. To who worked for many years as investigative reporter for San Francisco newspapers later He went on to a successful careers. An executive with Pacific Telephone Francies grandmother was a. Although I I don't know if I would be exaggerating to say that she was a musical prodigy, she was an extremely accomplished pianist, who taught lessons for many many years in the San Raphel area, the only
work and Francine's life is that her mother ended up getting pregnant when she was when she was a student at San Raphel, high school back in the 1950s and obviously back. Then there was a huge stigma attached to single motherhood, Francine's, mother and father were married, but the marriage dissolved pretty soon thereafter. Francine, never knew father. She, her mother's life, ended uh, spiraling out of control in the 1960s and Francine was placed in foster care anyway by the 1970s, the mid 70s when Francine was about twelve years old Her mother was finally able to regain custody of her and, by that time, Francine's mother, who again had grown up in very, very comfortable affluent circumstances in Marin. County Francine's mother is now living in this shack. This dilapidated little shack
out in the rural countryside of Sonoma. County Francine goes to live with their mother and not long thereafter. Francine meets a girl in her neighborhood name, Carey, Grant and concealing Kerry start spending a lot of time together as they make that transition from childhood and adolescent Francine in Curie. Of course, like most kids do
I did certainly they start pushing their boundaries a little bit more and they start taking greater risks with their safety and not too long after they met Francine and Kerry started hitchhiking and one day in December, one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight Francine and Kerry, decided to hitchhike into Santa Rosa, which was about twelve miles from this small town where they lived and the girls were never seen again. Now you talk about a false prison confession leading to doctor woods, examination of the highway twenty skulls, which were exhumed in two thousand and this New Jersey inmates confessing, but they realize he must have been twelve at the time. So that's dismissed. And then you talk about very imp. Portent story in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and it speaks of it spoke of a possible connection with the Gray Grameen Trimble, murders and a series of coed murders from the same area
the Santa Rosa. Seven girls and young young women were found in rural areas near Santa Rosa one thousand nine hundred and seventy two to mid one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine tell us about what you consider really solid press coverage, local press coverage. What was the national media response and tell us more about this Santa Rosa Press, Democrat story, sure so after Francine Trimble and Kerry Graham were identified as the mendicino murder victims, the sheriff miss you know, County Tom Allman. He decided to hold a press conference about the case. The press conference was held on February. Second, two thousand sixteen and the press conference was really great a lot of ways. It omitted some of the the less favorable information about this case, but
after the press conference was over local media decided to go out and and file stories on the case, and I think the best story that was written Post press conference was this one by and a woman going to enter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and story mentioned the fact that a few years before Kurian Francine went missing from their hometown, while hitchhiking. There have been a number of other murders in the Santa Rosa area in Sonoma County and in each case A young female had disappeared without a trace, and then, and later her body was found off in the rural countryside. Well that story kind of came and went in the press democrat again. I think it probably resonated with certain certain segment of the North Coast population that had been around for years and years and years and remember the case, but
Darien Francine's case got relatively little exposure in the national media. I know Fox NEWS ran a story on it. I know that the story was featured in and uh trillion broadcast, but really there at the press conference. There were no national newspapers. There were no media organizations from the Bay area or from LOS Angeles that have gone up there to cover sheriff Allman's press conference. It was no in many ways that press conference was much like carrion Francine's life was. It was a fairly spartan affair that was attended heavily by their family. Members really was just only attended by a
view local reporters from up there in you, Kaya in Santa Rosa. You really detail the life of Chrissy and this poverty that she she eventually gets her Francine back from foster care. She gets away from this abusive man and starts trying to give them whatever she can possibly. But you chronicle the attitude at the time from police when she reported and when the walshes reported their child and what the police really stressed and said to. Those parents regarding their missing children. As you do in the book, tell us really what was said by police sure. So again, Francine Trimble, Larry, Graham go missing
in MID December, one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight? It was either an no one. I have to point out to is exactly sure of the day they went missing. If you talk to different people, even different people within the law enforcement community, you'll get different dates, but it was either December 15th or December 16th. One thousand nine hundred and seventy eight Well Curie had been a runaway in the past. Kerry had run away from home in the past and so her parents, who would also raise two other children. Of whom had run away during their teenage years. Carey's parents were not too worried when she ended up banishing they figured that Kerry was off. Staying with friends Francine, on the other hand, was is a very, very quiet girl. She was very polite girl. She came from very adverse economic conditions. Like you pointed out her mother cry. Chrissy Walshe Tremble,
I had no money in the 1970s, despite the fact that Chris had grown up in relative affluence. She she was on welfare by the time Francine came to live. Author in the mid 70s anyway, when France Francine was always very diligent about going home, the end of the night, regardless of whatever she was doing. She would always go home because her mother did not have a telephone. An Francine didn't want her mother to worry about her. So after December, 15th or December 16th, one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight when Francine didn't return home. Her mother Chrissy automatically knew something was missing. It was something was wrong. She knew that something had gone wrong with her daughter and so Christy drives down to a local market. It's a local market that still there today in the small town of Forestville, where they live. It's place called spears. Market Ann Christy goes to the payphone spears market. She starts making phone calls the first person she calls is Carey's family and she asks if they've seen Francine Francine is staying with.
Carry that night and curries mother explains to Chrissy. No sorry Francine is not here. In fact she and Kerry left last night, and neither of them had I have been around here since well, of course, I'm hearing that that neither girl is around Christie stomach automatically drops. She. Goes home she looks around Francine's room, she know this is that Francine had not taken any clothes with her and she so notice something else that was even more troubling to Chrissy Christy notices that Francine left her favorite ring on her bedside table. Increasing knows that, if Francine with Sprint planning to leave for any prolonged period of time. She would have taken this ring with her. So Christy is pretty frantic after she sees that ring. So she goes back down to the payphone at spheres market, get on the horn with the Sonoma County Sheriff's department.
Sonoma County Sheriff's department. At the time like law enforcement agencies all across the country and all around you know North America, I think they were of the opinion. That when children go missing, they were most likely run. It's no secret that especially in California, there was an enormous runaway epidemic back in the teen 70s, especially the late 70s. So Chrissy goes down to the pay phone. She calls the Sonoma County Sheriff's department. She just looked. My daughter went out last night. She didn't come home, she's, a good kid she's never been in trouble, can you help me find her? What can you do? I'm in frantic and they say, look, don't worry ma'am. Your daughter has just problem going to stay with a friend for a couple of days. We need calm down. We need you to go home and just wait for it to come back. So you know Christy, He has really no choice but to take their advice. Chrissy's car was an old clunker. It would barely get down to the end of the street. We had no money. She couldn't go out amount of search on her own, so she goes home and she waits for Francine, and this is,
December against the sun is setting early and just as it's getting dark in this. This very cold dark patch of forest workers. He lives in the small shack with Francine and her son Chrissy gets increasingly concerned, she's very worried, so she goes back multiple times names to call Kerry's mother to find out if Kerry's mother is seen anything. She goes back to pay phone to continue, calling the Sonoma County Sheriff's department to ask if they have gotten any word on carrion friend or Francine, or if they'll come out and file a missing persons. They continue to tell Chrissy, no sorry ma'am. We can't do anything. We our hands are tied. We. You know we can't go out and look for every every kid who doesn't come home, and so that's where Christy was left. Christie was love more or less without options. She was absolutely frantic when Francine disappeared. She knew something was dreadfully wrong. Sheep sheep suspected the works she
waited a little while to call her parents. She didn't. Obviously she Chrissy did not want to burden her parents back in Marin, county with information that Francine had gone missing. Finally, she had no choice. Chrissy. It literally worried herself sick. She had caused two ulcers to open up in her stomach and her father went up there and Father took Chrissy in the emergency room and, while Christie was in the emergency room being treated for these bleeding ulcers, Christie's mother picked up the phone and started calling every law enforcement agency she could think of, and those law enforcement agencies told her the exact meeting. They told Christie that Kerry and Francine were probably run aways that day had just taken off from home. She didn't need to worry. The kids were running away all over the place and that she didn't need to be concerned. She should just sit back and wait for the girls to I'm home and not bother law enforcement, because law enforcement was too consumed with more pressing investigations.
That's where things sat for years and years and years but you're absolutely right down. I mean the attitude Tord runaways and Tord missing, people and Tord missing. Children was just totally different in the 1970s than it is now. I think there were really three cases that had a major impact on the public's attitude toward missing persons, an law, enforcement's attitude toward missing persons, and they all happened immediately after carrion Francine witnessing one case was eight on pots is disappearance in New York City in nineteen. Seventy, nine and other one was The very high profile, kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh in Hollywood FL in the summer, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one and the third is the disappearance of the paper boy from West DES Moines Iowa. That happened, one thousand nine hundred and eighty two his name was Johnny Gosch, and
a ton and Johnny have never been found. Adam Walsh was obviously his. His severed head was found in a drainage canal, but those three cases really elevated the issue of public shoulder to the level of public discourse. And before that one enforcement was the standard praying procedure for most agencies unfortunately, was too right. Off, missing children as runaways, and that was or the path of least resistance for law enforcement, and you know uh, I think that is in a lot of cases. Law enforcement was right. I think that kids were runaways but In this case. Obviously the outcome was much different and no action was really taken immediately when the girls went missing, let's go backwards, but forward in the story to February
fourth, one thousand nine hundred and seventy two and you have it in the evening. A mother, her daughter and the daughters friend went to the Redwood Empire ice arena. And this is Maureen Sterling. She was twelve years old and new VON Weber. Thirteen and her mother was pick him up at one thousand one hundred o'clock. So in her name- is Arlene tell us about what happens at one thousand one hundred o'clock. Sure. So, as I was researching Kerry, Graham and Francine disappearance, I decided to look Cary Grant. Detail into these homicides that happened in the early 70s in Noma County to see if there might have been some kind of link. As this reporter for the Santa Rosa Democrat had suggests so ok. I start investigating these murders in Santa Rosa. That came to be known as the Santa Rosa hitchhiker burgers and the first case involved these two. Rolls Marines Sterling Yvonne Webber mother,
drop them off at seven hundred and thirty at night. At the ice arena she comes back at one thousand one hundred o'clock, an marine And Ivan are nowhere to be found. The mother gets out of her car. She goes into the ice arena. She looks all over the place. She can't find the girl she goes into the snack shop. She goes into the bathroom she walks around the ice arena. She looks out on the sidewalk. She looks out in the parking lot. The girls are absolutely nowhere to be found, so the mother is worry, I mean Marine and Yvonne from everything I could gather. They were very nice girls there. Not the kinds of girls who would just run off, especially considering they had no clothes, no money, nothing. The mother is terribly worried So she contacts the other girl's mother. They go down Is the police station in Santa Rosa, which is the seat of Sonoma County? Is the largest city in Sonoma County and they file missing persons. Reports on their daughters- and they are told
The same thing that Chrissy Trimble and Margaret Graham, who was who is Francine, who is excuse me Carey's mother, were told in the late 70s. This mother is told that her her that her daughter is a runaway yvonne's. Mother is told this marine's mother is told this and they're told to go home and sit and wait for the girls to come home again at the time I I think it might be a little bit hard for some contemporary listeners to appreciate just what it was like back in the early 70s, but in the early 70s you know there weren't shows on network television every single night about serial killers. There or there had been no milk carton. Kids, there wasn't this pervasive feeling in the in the western. Psyche that the kids could go missing and be murdered by strangers at any moment. So more mean and Yvonne's parents were very, very worried when their daughters disappeared, but at the same time, because they hadn't really had
the exposure to the same kind of media coverage contemporary audience, as I think they were They were a little bit inclined to just kind of go along with what law enforcement wanted and one four Santa Rosa Police Department, one of those parents to just go home and be cool, wait and wait for their daughters to return and that's what the parents did. I mean I can only imagine the worry themselves sick after marine a bond disappeared, but nothing it okay having. I should point out too that this is not a condemnation of of contemporary law enforcement. I spoke with the a sergeant in the in Santa Rosa police department in the course of researching this book- and he told me he said- look Ray. He said you know every time a missing persons case gets called into my unit and by the way he's he's the gentleman who handles all the missing persons cases in Santa Rosa or his unit, does he told me that we take cases very seriously, and he said there are laws on the books. Now
Andy how we respond to these cases. He told me you know if, if a case like Marie, Sterling happen today, patrol off teachers would immediately roll out there to the ice arena and take a statement from the mother and because of the girls age, a detective would immediately be assigned the case. Marina bond would be known as what's that would be known as what we call today high risk victims because of their their very young ages, and so this this type case would be handled today, but get that's essentially the upshot of marine and your bonds case. Now you say just one month later March, fourth, one thousand nine hundred and seventy two, a Santa Rosa coed left work. Her name is Kim Wendy Allen. She was nineteen years old. She worked part time at a health food store and, as you found out she's, she was a seasoned hitchhiker.
She Azure in the investigation you find out that she was picked up by a couple. Men dropped off, but she was still a long way from Santa Rosa when those two men dropped. Her off Then you talk about the following day March: Fifth, one thousand nine hundred and seventy two three teens designed to drive to Santa Rosa and what do they find there. So these three teens, one of whom I have interviewed his gentleman named John Blizan Engineer up in Santa Rosa John Bly and his two friends decided to go. Take a motorcycle ride in very rural part. Of Sonoma County on March Fifth, nineteen seventy two and- as they are riding around it's a beautiful day. Just before the start of spring, they decided to turn down this very remote Kirby RD called enterprise road and as their traversing enterprise RD, they find this
active shade nearer nearer small creek bed and they pull over to the side to side to their bikes cool down. So, as their motorcycles cooling down John Blind, his friends just start wandering, I don't know twenty or thirty feet up the road. Ann they're wondering up the side of the road John. Why happens to look off the east side of the road and he sees what he thinks is a mannequin down near the bottom of this creek bed. That's about twenty feet below the road. And the way he explained it to me is he said he turned to his friends and he said: hey guys, look at that mannequin down there in the creek bed and he said and I quote, you know as soon as those words were out of his mouth. He knew immediately that it must be a homicide victim, so John Bly decides to walk down and he he examines the body heat firms that it is the nude body of this, this young woman, who appears to be a female in her late teens. He
yeah, he sees deep dark black bruises circling the circumference of her neck, and at that point he knows he's dead. Looking at the bottom. You have a homicide victim, so he runs up. Jumps on his motorcycle leaves his two friends there to wait with the body and he roars away a couple miles to a farmhouse and calls the Sonoma County Sheriff's department who immediately respond to the scene out there on enterprise RD. Now you say: there's some interesting situation and evidence found and you talk about uh. The victim had a single earring in the right ear and they searched for that other matching, earring and didn't find it so tell us what the age of this woman is Ann, what they find in terms of bruising or wounds or cause of death tell us what they do find
in examining this woman what other conclusion sure so Kim Allen was a nineteen year old, Co Ed at the time for murder. She was a nineteen year old coed at Santa Rosa Junior College. She had gone to a to a private school in Santa Rosa. And when her body was hauled up, the embankment and taken to the morgue. The corners findings are absolutely one of the most horrific things I have ever read in my life, and I know You know you and I and your listeners are seasoned veterans of the true crime. Genre of these real life murder cases. I have to say that the details of Kim Allen's murder are probably the worst thing I have ever read Kimmel It had been murdered by ligature strangulation and the corner was able to determine that Kim. Is not strangled all at once. Instead, she had been she'd been raped at some point,
and then the person or persons who murdered her head wrapped Isoft ligature around her neck and pulled the thing tight, so it would cut off your air supply. Kim by the way I should point out, he had been bound at the wrists and ankles during the strangulation. They were able to treat detached to determine that by the very, very, very deep, severe bruising on her wrists and ankles. So as this person strangling Kim Allen with a ligature, he waited until she she lost about blacks out in any releases the tension on the literature so she's able to suck more oxygen into our lawns and then After just a couple of minutes or after a certain period of time after she's been able to catch her breath, he pulls the ligature tight again strangles or again and the coroner determined in really horrific detail that this strangulation torture process had gone on for at least thirty minutes before this young woman, this young college student Haddix Pie
tired, and you know I think we can only imagine what it must have been like for the victim. In that case, then again, you know. Maybe we aren't able to fully appreciate how just how horrible that type of a murder would be now you, after this, this report of this murder. In this discovery there is some change in the behavior of people in this community in terms of organizing carpools, while We're doing that in a panic is increasing. Another hitchhiker Loreley Cursor thirteen years old in the eighth grade, and He apparently is a chronic runaway and from a troubled life. You find that she stayed with friends for a couple of weeks and then vanished around November 20th or 21st, one thousand nine hundred, and seventy two tell us when she was discovered and what were the condition.
It's of that body when they found her sure so Lori Cursor disappears in late November. One thousand nine hundred and seventy two about two or three three weeks later. Young couple is walking up up a very, very steep road, called Calistoga Road, just North east of downtown center and the young man happens to look over the guardrail and there is this and it's almost a vertical cliff. Is very similar to the one where Francine Trimble and Kerry Graham skeletons were found up in casino county. There's this almost vertical cliff that leads the valley floor. He looks over the guardrail and he sees a chalky white body about, forty or fifty feet below the guardrail, and so he runs, he contacts the sheriff's department, the sheriff's department, responds to to Calistoga road. They get out of the cars they go down the embankment look at the body and
when the body is finally taken back to the morgue it's identified. Is this thirteen year old girl, Loreley, cursor and detectives are mystified by her murder. They can't fit you're out even how she died. Two of Loreley curses, cervical vertebrae, had been really badly dislocated and that broken that could have contributed to her death. That was the finding of the corner, but the most the most compelling finding of autopsy in the ensuing. Investigation is just how similar Loreley curses murder was to Kim Allen's murder out on enterprise RD, I mean here, you had two young females, both dumped in the nude, both dumped down almost vertical embankments, boat dumped out in the middle of nowhere on these little known roads that no one but a local.
Would even know how to access. So it was at that point and that sheriff's officials started looking at potential connection between the cases I mean and again. This is a time when the the term serial killer did not even exist. The the the sheriff's department at the time did everything we These two cases might be linked to one another and when they found out that both Kimmel Amber Recursor Head were seasoned hitchhikers who had disappeared while hitchhiking. That was when the alarm bells went off, especially within the broader community. Now the bodies continue to pile up and along France Valley RD. You talk about some people again going for a hike and disc bring. This horror tell us what they find and tell us the significance of the again jewelry in this case death
so two weeks after Lori curses found in late. One thousand nine hundred and seventy two, these two young High school students go for a hike out on another, very very rural rd northeast of downtown Rosa and while there hiking through the forest, they decide to climb this very steep embankment and as their climbing this embankment. They end up finding a a small graveyard of bones out there sheriff's these two young men getting their car. They drive back to one of their homes. They alert law enforcement law enforcement response to the scene. They end combing this embankment, this very steep embankment. This very rural RD and they end up finding that there are two skeletons out here- both skeletons belong to children. Of course they couldn't determine the genders of the children because of their ages, but they could tell that these were the three
young kids. They find big clumps of long hair with the victims, so they determine that there probably girls and as the sheriff's officials are searching the steep embankment off Friends Valley RD. They make two really crucial discoveries. One of the discoveries is a necklace of gold crucifix neck it's found sort of along the shoulder of the road directly above the embankment where the bodies are found where the skeletons were found and the other is a single earring that was found with the remains and ob. Mostly it's unusual for someone that just wear a single earring, especially back then so Sheriff's officials ended up clearing all the brush off the side of that hill. They sifted they sifted earth, they picked through sticks, they picked threw down trees. They looked everywhere, they could find for that. Second earring couldn't find it anywhere so again. They have now they have a total
four homicides in Sonoma County, all of them young females, and the first one and anyway, when they take the two skeletons from France Valley, RD back to the morgue. They end up, discovering that it's Maureen Sterling and Ivan Webber, who had been missing since the previous February right now. You also talk about that. There is Some point there's a connection made between the MO the method of operandi and the coed murders here and, and the initial murders of the two girls are Francine and Kerry. So too most, how they make that connection and who makes that connection and when tell us more about how that connection is made and how the investigation moves ahead. Finally, well, I am
I'm not sure that they ever identified. Carrion Francine is potentially being part of the series. I don't know if that, as I put it in the book, I'm not sure that's something law enforcement ever ends up exploring. I, in fact, I think that one enforcement didn't do it. Good job of identifying that potential link. The MO similarities between these cases that I mentioned in the book were all byproducts of my own research, and there are many many many imo similarities between these cases but yeah. I don't think law enforcement ever fully explored those because if had I don't think it would have taken thirty six years to identify Kerri Anne Francine as being a resident of Cinema County. Now, how do they progress with these investigations? As you as you just mentioned, you talk about your investigation gathering similarities because, as you can tell
plus now, there were differences and there were similarities between all of these murders. Maybe can tell tell us some of the things that were so. In terms of mo and signature and also just as you talk about the geographical links or geographic link, so tell us about that. Sure so the cases in Sonoma County all sort of involved similar features- and I should also point out that there was another young woman who is found in the summer of nineteen. Seventy three Her name is Caroline Davis. She was found out their own friends Valley, RD at exactly the same spot where marine Sterling, Yvonne Webber had been found there. There are several different geographic Onemo similarities between all the cases. So you know, obviously, all the cases involved, young females who had been
in murder, Dan, who had been dumped down very steep embankments out in the middle of nowhere. The geography of all of these areas is virtually identical were about very remote roads out in the middle of nowhere, and All of them were all of these. Roads were situated beside very steep embankment, so those are obviously the some of the Primary in similarities between cases in terms of similarities- yeah, I mean they're all kind of North EAST of Santa Rosa there, all in Sonoma County there all within just a few minutes of each other, so yeah. Those are a few of the similarities and I go into much greater detail in the book. So
He was interested in and getting a really comprehensive understanding of the Imola signature and geographic similarities between these cases definitely check out the book because they go into it and excruciating detail. You talk about this killer having this five year hiatus in terms of being no This anybody had these two bodies in seventy eight, so you say that he did something different to throw officials off the trail of him as a killer. What did he do? right so in, and I should point out you know I I don't know for certain whether or not the murders of Kerry, Graham and Francine trouble were committed by exactly the same person who murdered all of those those poor young women down in Cinema County. I do point out in the book, though, that I think there is extremely compelling evidence that all of these homicides, including France,
Meaning carries homicides were committed by the same person but yeah. So the last victim in Sonoma County is found in July of nineteen. Seventy nine and they end up establishing that she was probably murdered in nineteen seventy three or one thousand nine hundred and seventy four then there's this gap of five years, and there is no record of any young women going missing in Sonoma County. No more bodies are found in Sonoma County. It appears that this horrific series of murders that was taking place in the early 1970s comes to a screw being hauled an law enforcement is continuing to investigate it, of course, but they're never able to identify the person responsible for these murders So then, in December, one thousand, nine hundred and seventy eight Carey, Gram and Francine tremble disappear from Sonoma County and the following summer. Their skeletons are discovered up in Mendicino County, and you know it just occurred to me
That's that's a major difference in the early 70s. All of these victims. All of these young females were being dumped. North EAST of Santa Rosa or E of Santa Rosa. In the case of Kim Allen, and then you have Kerry and Francine, whose murders are virtually identical right down to that single earring being left with the remains of eighty miles to the north in Mendicino County and as I was thinking through the logistics of the case I said jeez, you know I mean if it's the same guy, who is responsible for all these cases. Why? Wouldn't he just take carrion Francine out, dump 'em out there somewhere e of Santa Rosa? like all of the other victims whose whose murders they were identical, and then it hit me that you know could be a case of someone some guy from somewhere, I'm going to pray and for five years, let's say around one thousand: nine hundred and seventy three or one thousand nine hundred and seventy four. Even prison for five years, not on a murder beef. It could be anything he could have been in there on a rape charge. You could have been
there robbery or burglary charge something anyway he's in prison for five years. He gets out when he gets out. He he ends up facing certain stresses in his life. If he sees carrion Francine out hitchhiking on the side of the road, so he picks him up. He He he murders them, but he doesn't want to dump them out east of Santa Rosa where he dumped all the other victims back in the early 70s. He knows that if he dumps them out there, law enforcement is going to know that, murders have resumed, and maybe they were able to put together the timeline of his release from prison. Or you know, there's some series of events. They are able to identify him as a suspect. In the case. Where does he go? Well, the only free way that runs through Santa Rosa's, the one on one. So it occurred to me that if you go south out of Santa Rosa on the one on one you get out of Marin County, which is very suburban and it's out of that. A San Francisco, obviously, which is very urban your on the other hand, if you go north out of Santa Rosa on highway, one
when you go into Mendicino Mendocino County, like I said before, it's a very rural county lot of isolated forest out there perfect to go, dump a body, and so it occurs to me that if someone wanted to throw off law enforcement, if he, if there, five year, hiatus between murders and he doesn't want the murders of Francine and Kerry to be connected up. It would be very clever of him to go. Dump these bodies in a neighboring county, particularly a county. That's not known for having a Ultra Law enforcement presence. Minuscule county is probably best known to pop culture. Is the center of a lot of marijuana growing activity? It's not a place. You know we're we're law enforcement is ultra aggressive, so it would be a pretty good place to dump a body back in the nineteen seventies and anyway. That is that is complete conjecture
on my part. I'm not saying that a definitive and now a definitive explanation for why carried Francine ended up there, but I think it's something worth considering in the context of the case as a whole, you write about your experience with sergeant gorley and going out to the dump site where sterling, Webber and Davis were dumped. Tell us just a little bit about that and his response so what you had to say in your theories in your deductions. Sure Roy Gourley is a terrific guy. In nineteen seventy nine when Kerry, Graham and Francine Trimble's remains were first found up and you county. They were actually found by a civilian who just pull over to the side of the road and walked into the woods. The deputy, the Mendocino County Deputy, who responded to the scene that day
was gentleman named Roy Gourley, and he had only been on the job for about four five years. At that time he was still very young. He went out, there, and he told me he had a heck of a time trying to find the exact spot where the skeletons were out in the woods. But finally,. He was able to figure out where the bodies were and he was able to summon help to the site out there and get the get the skeletons collected from up images seeking accounting well as part of my research for this case, I I reached out to him, of course, most of the detectives who worked the case at the time it had been dead for decades by the time I even learned about this case, so I ended up reaching out to to regularly and anyway we we decided to meet up up in us. Noma County this past summer. In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago that he and I met up up there, and while I was there, he told me more about his career and by sheer coincidence, in the
early 1990s about halfway through his career. He decided to transfer from the Mendicino County Sheriff's department to the Sonoma County Sheriff's department and go to work down there, and when he's working in the Sonoma County Sheriff's department, he ends up working in the violent crime unit which investigates homicides in Sonoma County so one day- and she said it was sometime in the mid 90s. He didn't know exactly when he was going in reviewing some cold cases in the homicide unit of his department, and he came across the hitchhikers and at the time he didn't read, he didn't make the connection the possible connection between the the huge I for murders in the Santa Rosa area and the two skeletons found that he found up on Hwy twenty back in nineteen. Seventy nine, of course, about one thousand six hundred and seventeen eighteen years had passed between the two events at that point, so it's probably not surprising. He did not make that connect,
anyway, like I say I decided to go up and meet sergeant gourley for lunch, one day this past summer summer, two thousand and sixteen and while we were having lunch, I decided just kind of layout my thesis about the possible connection between the gram Trimble, homicide up there in Mendicino County and the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker murders. You know my thinking at the time was look, I'm not a detective. I I'm not a member of law enforcement community. I don't know if it would be wise for me to go out write an entire book about. A potential link between these cases when I might not know what I'm talking about so at lunch. I laid out all the connections between these cases that I saw all the connections. Terms of Modis operandi, all the geographic similarities between the cases. All the Signature similarities as far as the earring and other factors were concerned to see
early and I'll. Never forget you know as we're sitting there and we're talking about the similarities between these cases. You know his face took on this very serious, look and I could. I could tell you know when he started nodding. Along with me, I could tell the potential connections I saw between these cases were probably more than my own overactive imagination running away with itself. So after I got done laying out all my information for him, he said yeah he's, like you know, I I think you're making some excellent points. He's like it's too bad that that wasn't looked at back at the time, because it's possible these girls could have been identified. It's possible, but that's an angle. We could have worked in terms of looking the connection between the Mendicino County skeletons and the murders down in the Santa Rosa area, uh and after lunch, when I decided to go out and inspect one of the sites, he had never been out to Franz Valley RD the site where Carolyn Davis Marie,
sterling. If on whatever had been found back in the early 1970s, so he and I drove up there and it was just it was a sweltering Lee hot day that day standing in the shade? It was well over one hundred degrees. He and I get out, car though, and we're standing back up in this remote wooded area side of this isolated road. There know how is around there no buildings around. I'm sure it probably looks more or less the same today as it did back in the early 70s, when the girls
jumped up there, but as we're standing there, we were both just kind of quiet. I was just sort of lost in my own thoughts and I could tell I suspect that he probably was to it after a few minutes. I said you know what do you think, and he said you know, I'm just sitting here looking at the way the embankment falls away from the edge of the road, and he said you know now that I'm looking at it. He said this looks almost identical to the place where I found those two skeletons up in Mendocino County back in nineteen. Seventy nine. I said what what does that tell you NEC worked at me with this, this this expression of untrammeled security on his face, and he says to me you know great. This is said to be the same. Guy he's like it must have been just the way. This works, the hearings, the similarities between cases the victimology used like you know this. It must have been the same guy. Who did all of this so yeah. It was really an extraordinary statement and he provide
me with a lot of really invaluable help in putting this book together, making sure that it was accurate. What we didn't talk about- and I apologize if it's so I'm asking you for graphic detail, but I think one of the the signatures for a couple of these murders was the similarity in the way that they were tied, legs two arms and neck. Can you describe this? What can only be described as a sort of a torture device? Our contraption definitely sure so to the VIC Sims, who were found in Sonoma County, one of whom was identified. The other has never been identified. She's still listed as a Jane DOE, they were both on trust up in exactly the same way, there wrists and ankles were bound together,
and then the angles were connected to a noose that was then slipped over their heads and you know, I remember seeing let's see bondage mad, not bunch magazines, but there were those detective magazines from the nineteen seventies. There are really popular in the nineteen seventies. They warning. At least they were explicitly pornographic. Remember you know seeing covers of those online and that sort of thing, and they often involve need to torture, and it was a fairly common trope. Among those detective magazine that that type of bondage configuration was used, so anyway yeah both of these young women had been bound hand and foot Aneus had been connected to their ankles. The new sub input around their necks and then the whole idea of that bondage configuration is that as the victims legs tire, they can't keep their knees flexed anymore, so they have to try and straighten their legs. Blood clots form around their knees and then, of course, as the bound v
TIM tries to extend our legs. The new skins up strangling around the neck and there were two victims were found bound, and almost exactly the same way using that bondage configuration in the county. One of the young woman was found not too far from France Valley Road in December of nineteen. Seventy three, the other one, was found it took years and years and years to find her, but she was found just a few feet from where Lorie Curse that was done up off, Calistoga Road and by the time they found that young woman, the of course the ropes were still looped around her body in her neck, but you know she was just a skeleton. She'd been dead for almost a decade by the time he found her body. In one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine, so yeah you're right, it's, it was a torture device. I think it speaks to the psych opathy of the offender who committed these crimes, and it just speaks to the overall depravity.
Of what happened in Cinema County back in the nineteen seventies, there was at least two witnesses that reported seeing this perpetrator in some of these cases. What was the description and what did the police end up with that? They talk about a brown Chevy truck. Did they make any headway with that How did they pursue that? What was the visual well again yeah? These were very, very tenuous leads and, other young woman, whose body has never been found. She still listed as a missing person, Sonoma County. Her name is Jeanette Cami Healy. She disappeared in nineteen. Seventy two around the time that Kim Allen disappeared about a month after Kim Allen disappeared She was last seen hitchhiking along the one hundred and one not far from Santa Rosa and she
ever been seen again, she still listed as missing person, but the last time she was seen she was seeing getting into this pickup truck driven by a guy who is described as a white male. Maybe in his 20s between twenty and thirty years old, I used even Brown Chevy pickup an didn't county he was never seen again. We don't know, if that's the offender. Obviously, that could have just been some good Samaritan who was giving her a ride and that's one of the confounding. Things about this case is every lead sort of makes, you wonder. Well, you know, is this this is truly door. Is it just just red Herring but yeah, so she was seen getting into that brown pick up. Also around the time. Lori cursor disappeared, A witness reported seeing a young blonde girl and, of course, Murray Cursor was a young blonde girl city in a pickup truck with a guy with bushy hair up near the summit,
Calistoga Road, your world workers body, was found, so it it makes you wonder yes, maybe and who picked up Genet can Huey had picked up for a curse and murdered her. I I don't think that I I checked in at that we did not go anywhere, but it was just. It was just one more fascinating detail in this case that could potentially point potentially- and I use the word potentially there very strongly it could actually point the identity of the offender. In this case, you include in your book the case of Gary Ridgway, the Green River killer. Just tell us briefly why you included this, and what did you want to demonstrate or illustrate with the inclusion of the Green River killer story right right. I like I said before I mean I think it was. I think it was a real failure of public policy that the potential link between the gram
triple homicide up in Mendicino County and the checker murders in Sonoma County was not explored more aggressively by lawn force, even today, you know there are people, I've spoken to in law enforcement, who don't think these cases are connected or I don't think they should have been. They don't think that they should have been investigated as part of the same potential murder series, but I end up scribing the Green River case. I end up alluding to the Green River case in LOS Coast Highway, because I think it's a real blueprint for how to solve this type of murder, investigation's most your listeners are aware. I'm sure the Green River case was the case started back in one thousand nine hundred and eighty two, a Thor. He's up in the Seattle area, we're finding corpses, young women, young men women. All for the Seattle area and the authorities up in Washington state at no idea if all the murders were connected and fact there were people in the FBI and various psychological experts around the country who said that no, these are the work of Muh
apple killers. You need to be looking for multiple guys, but what the King County Sheriff's office finally decided in the Green River case is that they it was in hum, but upon them to investigate, all these homicides as the work of the same offender, so they could cross reference. The suspects in the leads that were developed in one k, with potential leads in another case, in other words, by cross referencing. All of those suspects in each individual Green river homicide they could potentially find links that they might not identify if they were investigating each each each Green River homicide in a vacuum, and I think It was an absolutely brilliant move on the part of the King County Sheriff's office up in Washington if they had investigated each of those prostitute murders in the Seattle area in the early 80s as the work of SEP defenders it's very possible that Gary Ridgway, the suspect in that case, who was ultimately proven to be
her killer through DNA. I think there's a good likelihood that he never would have been identified, the only reason he was identified is because the King County sheriff's office in Washington worked so diligently to cross reference leads between these cases and I think that's what has not been done- in the case of the Graham Turnbull Homicide in Mendicino, and he murders in in Sonoma County. I think that the Green River homicide investigation provides almost perfect blueprint for how to initially investigate these cases up in Sonoma County If the cases are investigated separately, it's possible that these law enforcement agencies may not share critical information. That would point to one suspect- or there may be some piece of evidence- that's missed, but yeah. I definitely make a coordinated investigation along the lines of the one in
Washington State for the Green River investigation would might pay off big dividends in this case, and in fact it might be the only way to reach any to achieve any real justice, Kurian Francine's case, and the case is down in Sonoma Downey. We only have a few minutes left, so I would just like to ask what you are. Of course, we talk about through this whole interview, what you took away from this investigation in this book. The investigation for this book in this entire case. What's the most profound thing that you take away from this in conclusion. Well, I think I learned three really big lessons as a result of this case. Like I say my my interest in this case originally started when I was doing my research for black Knight gold coast when I was looking at all those profiles on the network and I. I had a question about eve
before the minute you know, teams have been identified as Francine Kerry. I just wanted to know how, in in the twentieth and twenty first centuries and the United States, two children could go missing for decades. And not be identified, and by the time I finish, researching this project and writing about this project. I think I have my answers. I think one reason is because there was not a lot of community engagement back at the time I Francine in Curie from their small town, this very, very small town of less than three thousand people out in the middle of nowhere, and therefore he's never even knew they were missing. Their school officials never raised a stink about it. Law enforcement didn't fill out missing persons. Reports on the case is an exhaustive investigation was never done. You had two girls who disappeared from this tiny, small town out in the middle of nowhere.
And it barely raised an eyebrow among the people of that community. So there was no real outpouring of support for looking for these girls, so I think that's one. Thing that contributed to them going on identified for thirty six years. I think another thing that obviously contributed to. It was the technological limitations of that time period. The internet was nonexistent when they disappeared. There were no dna databases, there were no national organizations that could help cord get the collection of dna and biological materials to help identify on and if I decedents- and I think, one of the other big reasons here- and I know I'll catch flak for this, but I think another big reason is: I think law enforcement really dropped the ball. On this case, I think I think, a potential link between the
between the Dennis you know, county murders back in the late seventies and those murders were virtually identical down in cinema. County should have been investigated in depth. Even if these cases are completely not related, if one Forsman and identify the similarities between the cases and then they had searched for missing children from Cinema County, I think there's a good chance. They might have identified Kerry and Francine much sooner than they did. I don't think it would. Taken thirty six years. It should not have taken thirty six years, but the failure to investigate a link between those cases is a tremendous failure of public policy. The failure to solve these cases is a tremendous failure of public policy, and I think all of us should call on lawmakers in this state. The power brokers in the state to investigate resources in this, We had a number of young women right here in this state slaughtered back in the 1970s. The person who did it is never been held accountable,
families were shattered. As a result of this, the heartache of Francine's family was just overwhelming. Carey's family was overwhelming the families of the victims in Sonoma County overwhelming they deserve justice, and I think it's time to invest significant resources in this and investigate a connection between these cases. That might just lead to a suspect, absolutely agree with You- and I commend you for this book and your effort with that. I also wanted to say that you include some astounding murder stats in your analysis as well. So that's just a bonus for people that that will read this book, that the incredible back story of murder statistics that to shock you, so I want to thank you very much for coming on and talking about lost coast highway. Thank you very much
for coming on and talking about this incredible case hope to speak to you again real soon. Thanks for having me on Dan. Thank you, gray, goodnight goodnight,. The housing industry is changing a lot quickly. That's why we've made the Freddie MAC, Multi, family, podcast, we're bringing together industry leaders to talk about market trends and the financing behind them subscribe and download. Where ever you get your podcast, if you
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.