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JonathanVonErich

The Santa Rosa Murders

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Between 1972 and 1973 Santa Rosa, California experienced the killings of seven young women whose murders have never been solved. An eighth probable victim disappeared and her body has never been located. All of the victims were known to hitchhike, a popular mode of transportation during that time. These murders became known as the Santa Rosa Murders. The seven victims were:

Maureen L. Sterling, 12, and Yvonne Weber, 12, who vanished on their way home from the Redwood Ice Skating Rink in Santa Rosa at 4:00 pm on friday, February 4 1972. Their skeletons were discovered down a 60 foot embankment off a rural road in the Franz Valley area of east Sonoma county. They had been murdered elsewhere and dumped where they were found, on December 28 1972. The killer had kept their clothes and had also taken one gold earring from each girl.

Kim Wendy Allen, 19, a Santa Rosa junior College student, vanished while hitchhiking to her residence in Santa Rosa on March 4, 1972. She had come from her job at the Larkspur Health Food store and was seen hitchhiking north on 101 at 5:00pm. Her nude body was found in a creekbed 20 feet from Enterprise road. She had been strangled with a white clothesline and her wrists and ankles showed marks of having been bound as if she had been spread-eagled. She had cuts on her chest. Her clothes and one gold earring were taken.

Lori Lee Kursa, 13, was last seen alive in the U-Save market in Santa Rosa on November 21, 1972. Her nube body was found on December 12, 1972. She had a broken neck. Her first and second cervical vertebrae had been dislocated. She had two wire loops in her ears, no earrings attached.

Carolyn Davis, 15, a runaway from Anderson in Shasta county, was last seen leaving her grandmother's house in Garberville on July 15, 1973 hitchhiking south on 101. Her nude body was found 2.2 miles north of Porter Creek Road on Franz Valley road in the EXACT SAME SPOT as Sterling and Weber. She was found on July 31, 1973. The police discovered that Carolyn had bought a one-way ticket to fly from Redding to San Francisco. She had been poisoned by strychnine.

Therese Diane Walsh, 23, was last seen Dec. 22, 1973 hitchhiking on 101 from Malibu Beach to her home in Garberville. Her body was discovered near the spot where Kim Wendy Allen's was found. She had been hog-tied with a one-quarter-inch nylon rope, strangled and thrown into a creek. She had been sexually assaulted.

Jeannette Kamahele, 20, was last seen hitchhiking near the Cotati on-ramp of Highway 101 and was traveling north to Santa Rosa on April 25, 1972. She was a Santa Rosa junior College student, just like Kim Wendy Allen. Her body was found in a Sonoma County ravine in a shallow grave near Caligosta Road. She was found 100 yards from the spot where Lori Lee Kursa's body was discovered.

The identity of the killer(s) remains unknown. Some people believe the murders were committed by the infamous Zodiac Killer, others think Ted Bundy was probably the killer. The authorities never had a suspect in the case other than Zodiac or Bundy. The case of The Santa Rosa murders remains open.

Edited by Saru
Image removed by request

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Getting into the unsolved murders lately?

It's interesting to me that they would have considered Zodiac a suspect. The way these women were killed doesn't sound like his M.O. in my opinion.

Edited by ~TheBigK~

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Getting into the unsolved murders lately?

It's interesting to me that they would have considered Zodiac a suspect. The way these women were killed doesn't sound like his M.O. in my opinion.

I'm always into the Unsolved Murders. ^_^

I agree with you, it doesn't fit Zodiac's M.O., I don't think he was the killer, but surprisingly Zodiac was and still is one of the prime suspect in the case. Some people still believe Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac ( I don't ) and back then we know Allen made numerous trips near Santa Rosa, and we actually know he was in the area back in 1972. Since some people think Allen was Zodiac then these people think Zodiac committed the Santa Rosa murders. But I don't agree with this theory.

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2 12yo's were hitchiking? :blink: I guess it was safe in those days, but then again it wasnt :wacko:

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And he was never caught? :unsure2:

He could me my neibour! *looks nervously out the window*

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I dont think it was Bundy either according to the website provided he never left Washington during the string of murders, he was always around Seattle. And he claimed that he first killed in 1973 1 year after the 12yo girls were murdered, So that would rule out a copy cat. I would appreciate any other information that anyone may have on the Santa Rosa Murders

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Hi everyone

My first posting here on this...I read the San Fran Chron article yesterday by reporter Kevin Fagan about

these murders....I am age 56 --born 1955--and remember well the free-wheeling days of thumbing a ride back

then..I actually think I was given a ride by Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole in 1974..I'm alive, they are dead.

Anyway, this murder of Lori Lee is what got me to this site and to register.. I was living in NYC in the 70s

but my father lived here on northern US101--where I am now too, a few counties away from Sonoma.

The speculation is all about Ted Bundy or The Zodiac, and it was in the Graysmith book that I first saw the name

of Lori Lee.

The ONE NAME that nobody seems to be discussing is Leonard Lake. He most certainly was familiar with Sonoma County

and I think that he very possibly could have committed some of these murders. We of course will never hear from him

but he should be considered as well.

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I sure hope the police are able to find the killer(s). Is this still an ongoing investigation, or is it just sitting on a shelf somewhere?

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Posted (edited)

my bad, sorry

Edited by Enoonmai

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Hi everyone

My first posting here on this...I read the San Fran Chron article yesterday by reporter Kevin Fagan about

these murders....I am age 56 --born 1955--and remember well the free-wheeling days of thumbing a ride back

then..I actually think I was given a ride by Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole in 1974..I'm alive, they are dead.

Anyway, this murder of Lori Lee is what got me to this site and to register.. I was living in NYC in the 70s

but my father lived here on northern US101--where I am now too, a few counties away from Sonoma.

The speculation is all about Ted Bundy or The Zodiac, and it was in the Graysmith book that I first saw the name

of Lori Lee.

The ONE NAME that nobody seems to be discussing is Leonard Lake. He most certainly was familiar with Sonoma County

and I think that he very possibly could have committed some of these murders. We of course will never hear from him

but he should be considered as well.

Hi Mary Jane, thanks for sharing. :)

Very interesting story. Do you remember these guys who gave you a ride ?? How sure are you that it was Lucas and Toole ??

I have a documentary on DVD about Leonard Lake and his buddy Charles Ng. Very interesting case indeed. Maybe Lake was involved in these murders, very plausible. In my opinion Zodiac or Bundy were not involved in these murders. Lake ? Maybe.

I sure hope the police are able to find the killer(s). Is this still an ongoing investigation, or is it just sitting on a shelf somewhere?

It's sitting on a shelf somewhere, but if you have informations about the case you can email the Santa Rosa PD or call one of the investigators there. The case is still open. Another good way of sharing informations is by emailing Deborah Silva, a woman who is investigating the case for years now.

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Hello JVE

It was that 'lazy-eye' that creeped me out and later made me think I came into contact with

Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole. Years later after the facts. The hair raised up on my neck about these two.

I really do have a suspicion that Leonard Lake might have murdered Lori Lee and several other Sonoma

girls..Graysmith says Zodiac did all these--and perhaps SOME- but he also pinpoints Arthur Lee Allen

and I am not convinced of that.

Lake had a perverse fascination with young girls and was indeed in Sonoma County and thereabouts at the time.

Lived in Philo--Mendocino County next county over.

You are in Canada by your posting...Go to www.sfgate.com -- the San Francisco Chronicle website--

and check the front-page articles about Zodiac--[tuesday July 5th] and Lori Lee [wed July 6th] of

this week....MUST-READING.

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Hello MaryJane. Welcome to UM.

Went into sfgate but couldn't find anything from July 6. Did find this one though where it seems police are looking into Bundy as a potential suspect.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/07/MNDP1K57KC.DTL

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Hello Susie

I attended the U. of Arizona in the early 1970s and wacko-Governor 'One-Eyed' Jack Williams

was said of that back then.. The quote that you mention by Erasmus reminds me of Erasmus Hall HS in my

hometown Brooklyn---and they say Erasmus died from syphilis, btw.

Whoever fights monsters also a title of the Ressler book..

Glad to see that you looked into the SF Chron as I said and found the Bundy article.. It's posted online for

7-7 but was actually on the news-stands a day earlier. I can say that having read the paper in my hands. I like

to get my news from the papers, always have been that way. There is also another front-page Chron article this week

about retired cops re-opening the Zodiac case and that was Tuesday I believe.. But it is there, big article worth

perusing. The head investigator a retired CHP cop who went to HS with Arthur Lee

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Posted (edited)

I think that driving around looking for hitch hiking woman would be too frustrating for Ted Bundy. Thats probably why he always looked for woman in public places where he was sure to find. But then again, if it was bundy, it was probably spontanous, meaning he didn't plan them.

Edited by JohnnyBravo
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the tip Mary Jane, thanks for the link Sus.

I'm surprised that Bundy is indeed a suspect in these murders. The reason why I am skeptical about Bundy is simply because we can't put him in the Santa Rosa area when the murders happened. I agree that the murders fits his MO, but right now we have no proof that he was in California at the time of the murders. Also we know that Bundy is a liar ( remember when he was telling the authorities "clues" in the Green River murders ). But anything is possible I guess, I'm just waiting for the evidences....

Glad to see I am not the only one who cares about this case. Im maybe the only guy in Canada who cares about that case. Look at the web, there is only one or two sites where you can find informations about the murders. People needs to care about this case, its important, we cant let these victims and their families down.

And by the way Mary Jane is there a reason why you care more about the murder of Lori Lee than in the others

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the tip Mary Jane, thanks for the link Sus.

I'm surprised that Bundy is indeed a suspect in these murders. The reason why I am skeptical about Bundy is simply because we can't put him in the Santa Rosa area when the murders happened. I agree that the murders fits his MO, but right now we have no proof that he was in California at the time of the murders. Also we know that Bundy is a liar ( remember when he was telling the authorities "clues" in the Green River murders ). But anything is possible I guess, I'm just waiting for the evidences....

Has anyone ever thought to ask a medium on this case? I know that there are a number of mediums that frequently help out police, so I was just curious if this had been thought of

Edited by Blues Girl

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Posted (edited)

(delete)

Edited by Halloween78

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I can't prove anything, but I have a suspect ...

carman_sandiego.jpeg

Why not share your suspect and the reasons you feel they are a suspect?

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Has anyone ever thought to ask a medium on this case? I know that there are a number of mediums that frequently help out police, so I was just curious if this had been thought of

I dont think so, but seriously...how much can it help. When it comes to True Crimes what we need is solid evidences, not suppositions. Yes, I agree that some Psychic Detectives are sometimes very accurate ( like Gerard Croiset, who was a psychic detective in a lot of missing child cases ) but most of the time mediums and Unsolved murder cases are not a good combination. Im a very open minded guy and like I said some Psychic Detectives are really good, but Im mostly skeptical about the use of mediums in unsolved murder cases. But hey, this case have been cold for decades now, so I guess anything could help...

I can't prove anything, but I have a suspect ...

I said earlier that anything is possible... :P

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Why not share your suspect and the reasons you feel they are a suspect?

I don't have one, it was stupid comment that I made :hmm:

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I don't have one, it was stupid comment that I made :hmm:

Oh. Not very helpful to this thread, then.

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Posted (edited)

More about the murder of Lori Lee Kursa:

A retired investigator told ms. Deborah Silva ( currently investigating the case ) that he felt that Lori`s death was accidental and that her body was dumped to cover-up that accident.

I agree that the death of Lori is different than the other Santa Rosa murders: she was not bound with rope like the others were. But to say that her death was accidental is a little bit of a stretch; I wonder how credible this former investigator is, and wonder if he have real evidences to back up his theory. In my opinion poor Lori was murdered.

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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Posted (edited)

Was Lisa Smith a victim of the Santa Rosa HitchHikers killer ??

Lisa Smith, 17, disappeared on March 16, 1971. She was last seen at about 7 p.m., hitchhiking on a south Santa Rosa avenue. She went missing in the same time period as all the other victims, so it's highly possible that she was a victim of the same killer. However her body was never found, and it's possible that she is still alive.

More about Lisa: http://www.santarosa..._article_2.html

A minority of people still believe Ted Bundy was the killer. I don't think he was. Judging by the body sites the killer obviously knew the area very well. Like Deborah Silva ( investigator working on the case ) once said: " I think it was someone from here, because you really have to know where you're going to get to the body sites ". I agree with her. I think the killer was somebody from the area; from what we know Bundy spent so little time in California that he couldn't have possibly known the area that well.

The case remains unsolved. Sadly.

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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More about the murder of Lori Lee Kursa:

A retired investigator told ms. Deborah Silva ( currently investigating the case ) that he felt that Lori`s death was accidental and that her body was dumped to cover-up that accident.

I agree that the death of Lori is different than the other Santa Rosa murders: she was not bound with rope like the others were. But to say that her death was accidental is a little bit of a stretch; I wonder how credible this former investigator is, and wonder if he have real evidences to back up his theory. In my opinion poor Lori was murdered.

Yeah, I question why an investigator could possibly believe that an accident victim would be dumped.

The victim that stands out to me is the one who was poisoned. I find that very, very odd.

According to that site, Allen was discovered the following day. I wonder if DNA was collected.

The info re: Walsh is that she was sexually assaulted, so they should have collected DNA in that case, too.

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