California Cases

Unfortunately some cases may never be solved. Hiring detectives or a Los Angeles attorney may help with some cases. An experienced law firm will have access to information or public records that you may not to assist in a personal case.

Family Still Mourns Brother Killed by Unknown Driver

tonyvaleraOctober 27, 1996, thirty-nine year old Tony Valera was riding his bicycle at night when his life was taken from him by a hit and run driver. The popular kick-boxing instructor had been riding on darkened portion of Alessandro Boulevard in Moreno Valley. He had been riding east on Alessandro Boulevard close to the dirt extension of Morrison Street which is a half a mile from his home. At 7:30pm a large, white four-door sedan impacted him from behind. The driver to this date has never been identified. Following his death, roadblocks were set up in hopes of getting information. However, nothing has really panned out. His siblings are still very dedicated to getting justice for their brother. The family including his parents were devastated.
If you have any information about the death of Tony Valera, please contact Captain Joel Ontiveros at the Moreno Valley Police Department at 951-486-6700. You can remain anonymous.

Have you Seen Her Murderer?

amdahlCalifornia murder victim Kara Leigh Amdahl It was a shocking scene when law enforcement came across two murdered people near a freeway overpass in Glen Avon on June 7th 2005. One of the deceased was 42 year old Julio Rios Becerra Jr. who was shot to death by his Ford Mustang on the corner of Ben Nevis and Campbell Street near the Pomona Freeway. About 150 yards away from the car, lay the body of 22 year old Kara Leigh Amdahl in a field littered with tires, broken concrete/asphalt and other debris. Police believe that whoever killed her, chased her into the field.
While Amdahl had a minor criminal record, Becerra Jr. was a violent ex-convict who served time for attempted murder on a police officer. It is not know if he was the initial target of the killer or Amdahl. But it was an execution. It occurred around between 12:15 and 12:19 a.m. Residents near where the double killing took place recalled hearing several shots fired and then three to five minutes later more gunshots. Kara had also suffered from blunt trauma to the head and was found barely alive. She died in the hospital from her wounds.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Riverside County sheriff’s homicide unit at (951) 955-2777.

Man Abducted While Depositing Money, Killer Never Found

chase1Matthew Marshall Chase was 22 year-old living near the area of Pico-Union, in Downtown Los Angeles. At 11:30 p.m., he left his house in his roommate’s car to deposit a check at the Bank (friends think it was the Bank of America) and supposedly hit up a grocery store/market. He never returned home. Throughout the night, he was driven around to various ATMs and robbed for cash in increments of 200 dollars. He ended up being murdered and dumped in a Pasadena ravine. Chase’s body wasn’t found until September and from there lay in a morgue unidentified until March of the following year.

bandanachaseThere are some clues in this murder case. A blue bandana (blue Eastside Playboys, Chicos Locos (ES PBS CLS)) was found in the back seat of Chase’s car which was found three weeks after his disappearance.

There is also ATM footage of what may be his kidnapper/killer. At chasesuspect2the time of his disappearance Chase was six foot two inches tall and chasesuspect1150 pounds.

These are sketches as to what the abductor and possible killer(s) look like.  The case is currently held with LAPD Robbery/Homicide and detectives are investigating the case. They can be reached at 1-877-ASK-LAPD. (1-877-275-5273).

The Mystery of John Doe Number 80

miguelortizThe 1992 LA Riots was caught on national television for the world to see. It started after the acquittal of three white and one hispanic police officer in a criminal trial. A videotape had captured the brutal beating of Rodney King, a black motorist who led police on a high speed chase and resisted arrest in March of 1991. King’s two passengers in his car were not abused in any way. What followed after the verdict was nearly a billion dollars in damage. Over two thousand injuries and 53 homicides, 23 of which are still unsolved today.  For almost 25 years the identity of a man whose body was found charred due to the fire in a building that was torched by rioters.  Police believe he was punched and knocked unconscious.   On June 8, 2017, he was identified as 18 year old Miguel Armando Quiroz Ortiz. The deceased was a Mexican national who worked at a bakery near the center of the riots. The search for his killer still continues. Contact the Los Angeles Police Department at their anonymous tip line at 1-877-LAPD 24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

If you have any information about who this victim might be please contact the Los Angeles County Coroners Office at 323-343-0512.

Who is the man known as Blue Tarp John?

1208UMCAOn December 27, 1998, a white male with the estimated age between 16 to 20 years old was found murdered in a remote area off Bear Creek Road in the San Lorenzo Valley of California. The murder was committed by a woman and two other males were all eventually convicted of the homicide. After his murder, his wallet was stolen and his identification were discarded. His identity is still unknown. It is possible that he may be from Florida. Police think his name might be Eric and he had a girlfriend who drove a Toyota automobile that had white license plates.
bluetarpHe was 150 pounds and five foot seven. He had brown hair but it was near shaven on both sides of his face. He also had a five inch pony tail on the back of his head. His pony tail had beads and other assorted material woven into it. His eye color may have also been blue. Upon his death he wore a maroon, turtleneck shirt; as well as blue denim, oversized pants and white socks.

If you have any information as to this homicide victim may be, please call the Santa Cruz Sheriff-Coroner at 831-454-3001.

An Evil Killer Reveals More Possible Murder Victims

xianafairchildXiana Fairchild was only a seven year old child, when she was abducted and eventually killed by Curtis Dean Anderson in Vallejo, California. The poor girl was held for weeks and tortured. Anderson had also been convicted other times of abducting and sexually abusing other children. After his conviction of Xiana Fairchild, he has confessed to killing several more victims. This also includes the unsolved kidnapping of Amber Swartz Garcia on June 3, 1988 in Pinole, California. She too, was seven years old.

swartzgarciaAnderson died in prison and had been in failing health. While he has recanted his confessions before, there is no doubt they need to be taken seriously. In addition to Fairchild and Garcia, there may be six more young women/girls victims in California.

For additional information about other potential victims of Anderson visit http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/curtis-dean-anderson/cdandersonmap.pdf It is believed that many of his victims were runaways and may not be even had a missing person report filed.

50 Years later, Murder of Young Girl Still Unsolved

Few murders are as horrible as that of a young child. Johnella Wilkerson had gone missing from her home in Berkeley after she was supposed to run a grocery store errand in early January of 1965. Her body was discovered under a pile of lumber in a lumberyard four blocks away from where she lived. It is believed that she was sexually molested before she was killed. Known Sex offenders from the area were interviewed but no arrests were ever made. If you have any information about this case, please contact the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5900.

Infamous Concert and it’s Unsolved Mysteries

The Altamont Speedway concert in 1969 in California pretty much embodied the chaos that was 1960s. The Woodstock Music festival which occurred earlier that year in New York State is best remembered for it’s peace and love atmosphere (The Concert did have three deaths). The legacy of Altamont will always be about violence.

The California based concert was filmed as part of a documentary called “Gimmie Shelter.” It had such major artists as the Rolling Stones, “The Grateful Dead”, the Jefferson Airplane as its headlining acts. However, from the beginning the concert was plagued by poor planning and a security arrangement literally from Hell.

meredithhunterIn an atmosphere filled with alcohol and drugs, it didn’t take long for concertgoers to be doing battle with each other as well as members of the notorious Hell’s Angels Motorcycle club who had been hired to provide security. Numerous fights between the concert attendees and the Angels were captured on film, with the Angels always getting the better of their foes. But perhaps defining moment of the concert was captured on film and involved the infamous stabbing and bludgeoning death of 18 year old Meredith Hunter. The teenager was had been attached by several members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club after he pointed a gun at Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones on stage. Alan Passaro is seen on film attacking Hunter and eventually several Angels take him to the ground where he eventually dies from bleeding out.

Passaro was arrested but in a criminal trial followed he was found not guilty. No other Angels were ever charged in Hunter’s death and the incident has remained a lightning rod of controversy ever since. In 1985, Passaro was found dead in the Anderson Reservoir which is about 75 miles south of San Francisco. His death was viewed as suspicious but was never ruled a homicide.

There were however, several other deaths that occurred at the concert that remain unsolved yet never got the attention of the Meredith Hunter homicide. There is the mystery of an unidentified man who drowned in an irrigation canal shortly after the concert festival started. There is also the tragic deaths of two men who were hanging out by a campfire only1 to be crushed by a car leaving the concert at around midnight.

Who Killed Mark Feiger and Richard Savlov? Unlike the Hunter incident. There were few witnesses as to who ran them over. Both men were 22 years old and had just moved to Berkeley, California. Savlov, was from Elizabeth, New Jersey.and Feiger, being from the town of Union in the same state. The car involved was a Plymouth Sedan. Besides the two deaths, there were others that were seriously injured from the Hit and Run Driver. To date, the driver has never been identified and the Alameda Sherriff’s Department has never announced that they had any leads in the case.

Not much has been released about the John Doe who drowned in the irrigation canal. He was allegedly high on LSD at the time of his death. He was a white male, with sideburns, a mustache and long hair. He also had a metal cross that went through his right pierced ear. It is likely that the individual went to the concert by himself and could have been doing a lone roadtrip from anywhere in the country. His information is not in Government’s National Missing and Unidentified Person System.

Forty plus years later, Altamont still resonates with negativity and tragedy. In truth what really doomed the concert was not only the poor planning, but the mass consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Triple Execution Still Haunts Family Members

paylessmurdersIt was February 4th, 1979 and it was “Sunday Dollar Payday” at the Payless store, located at 19th Avenue and Concar Drive in the large town of San Mateo. However, at around 7:40 pm it would be more like Sunday, Bloody Sunday when three employees of the store: 24 year old Michael Olson, 17 year old Billy Baumgartner, and 16-year-old Tracy Anderson were all shot execution-style by an unknown individual(s). $20,000 and the weekend’s receipts were taken and robbery was concluded to be the motive. Law Enforcement has had a person of interest in the case and believed that the person had worked at one time at the location. However, they need more information to make an arrest.

Olson left behind a one year old daughter. They all left behind siblings and parents looking for justice.

If you have any information about this case, please call the San Mateo Police Department tip line at 650-522-7675.

Unsolved Murders At University Part of Dark Past

arlisperryStanford University located in Palo Alto, is one of the most prestigious Institutions of Higher Learning in the World. Many of the best and brightest attend the University in the hopes of a top quality education. However, in the early 70s, there may have been other people visiting Stanford that sinister and deadly motives. On Sept. 11, 1973, a college physics student named David Levine was stabbed to death between 1am to 3am while he walked near the Meyer Library on campus. The murder has never been solved and one popular rumor is that he was killed by a satanic cult. The nineteen year old sophomore from New York had been stabbed several times by what Police believe was a long knife. Every year the Physics Department gives out an award to one student in honor of Levine.

On October 13, 1974 an even more bizarre and savage murder took place inside the Memorial Church near the altar. 19 year old Arlis Perry (pictured on right) was the wife of student Bruce Perry. The North Dakota transplant has only been living in California for two months. She was beaten and died from a wound to the back of the head from an ice pick. She was also found partially nude and sexually violated with a large candlestick. Her husband is not considered a suspect in the brutal crime. DNA and other evidence was collected from the crime scene and rules out her husband as well as the security guard that found her. It is possible that this killing a ritualistic murder. For more information about this case visit http://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/10/10/murder-at-memorial-church-remains-unsolved-40-years-later/

Several other murders took place at Stanford or off campus involving individual either attending or teaching at the University. Some have been solved. Others remain cold. Those include the strangulation murders of Leslie Marie Perlov who was strangled on February 16th 1973 near campus. As well as the strangulation death of Janet Ann Taylor who was last seen hitchhiking and and killed March 25. 1974. Taylor was the daughter of the former athletic director and Football Coach of the University. To see these cases, visit http://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/10/10/a-history-of-murder-at-stanford/

UPDATE: 6-28-2018, a warrant was issued for a suspect and when police arrived at the man’s residence.  The Suspect named Steve Crawford shot himself to death.  He was a security guard at Stanford at the time and was the person who first found Perry’s body.   No telling yet,  if Crawford was responsible for the other murders on campus.  

Is Dangerous Prison Escapee Still Alive?

ederThomas Pendergast was driving on the San Diego Freeway in the fall of 1958 when he gave a homeless 16 year old hitchhiker a lift in his vehicle. He eventually allowed the teenager, named Carl Alfred Eder to move into to his home in El Cajon to help him get back on his feet financially. It would prove to be fatal as Eder — would be arrested for murdering Thomas’ wife and his four young children six weeks later. The murders were brutal as he fatally shot Mrs. Pendergast and stabbed and bludgeoned the children to death. and though Eder confessed, he would be sentenced to life in prison.

Prison would not be in the card for Eder as he escaped in 1974. Two years later, another mystery would appear when the body of a murdered man was found at Pendergast’s property. It wasn’t Eder and it is unknown if the victim was killed by Eder or someone else. The victim remains unidentified to this day. If alive today, he would be over 70 years old and six foot two inches and weigh around 165 pounds.

If you know where he is, please contact the El Cajon Police Department at 619-441-5530 or leave a tip at the email address of coldhomicideunit@ci.elcajon.ca.us.

There is a $20,000 reward for his arrest.

Silence Surrounds Murder of Legendary Film Director

taylorIrish born William Desmond Taylor was one of Hollywood’s earliest successful directors. On the morning of February 2nd, 1922,[16] the body of the silent film director was found in his residence at the Alvarado Court Apartments, in Los Angeles. He had died from being shot in the back with a small caliber firearm, which was never recovered. For decades rumors surfaced as to a motive. Was it an actress with a romantic crush. Cocaine dealers upset with him for trying to ruin their business relationship with a client of theirs. Two people that worked for the 49 year old were also questioned. The only break in the case came in 1964 when a former actress named Margaret Gibson gave a deathbed confession that she was responsible. Her name though was never mentioned as one of the dozen or so suspects. No one else could corroborate the confession as well. The case Is still reviewed by various media outlet and television shows. Many believe that Taylor’s murder was planned and a well organized hit. It proves that in Hollywood sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Elderly Couple Victims Of Brutal Killer

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department still are hot on the trail to find the savage killer(s) of an elderly couple in Rancho Palos Verdes. It was October 3rd, 2000, when a caretaker found George and Pauline Chapin dead in their home. Pauline was 77 years old and bedridden, her husband was ten years older and needed a walker to help him move. The couple was severely beaten and suffered horrible trauma. George Chapin was also a former lieutenant commander in the Navy and served during World War Two. The Detective that worked this case retired only to come back and focus on this case. If you have any information about this case, please contact the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department a(323) 890-5500.

Three Decades Later, Schoolboy’s Murder Still Unsolved

OAK-COLDCASE-10XX-40It was January 25th, 1987 when 9 year old Eric Coy was found murdered near the Martinez Junior High School in the town of Martinez. He had been riding his bike when he was stabbed eleven times to death. He had been slain only a few blocks from where his family lived. Police think the suspect may be a light skinned Latino or Italian man with scars on his cheeks. His hair was black and was combed back and of medium length. He also had dark colored eyes. His age was estimated to be around 18 to 21 years old. He was around 5-foot-8 and weighed 165 pounds. If you have any information about this case, please call the Martinez Police Department at (925) 372-3400.

Man Shot And Left for Dead on Street

zackleeIt was October 6th, 2013 when Zachary Lee was walking at 7:45 pm in Ventura when he was confronted by three hispanic males at the 100 block of West Harrison Avenue. One of the men shot Lee in the head who was declared dead a day later. The forty-three yer old was the manager of Khepera House. It is a recovery home for those with alcohol and drug addiction. He was a former addict who had made strong progress in turning his life around. The suspects is this case are described as possible gang members. They were in their late teens to early twenties. One of them may have had a skateboard and the other a bicycle. If you have any information please call the Ventura Police Department at (805) 339-4400. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-(800) 222-8477

Senseless Killing After Robbery

Being a bank teller has it risks. Many banks have been robbed. Most never come to violence but on Monday, April 28, 1997; two gunmen struck a Western Financial Bank in Thousand Oaks. Within five minutes the robbers stole 9,000 dollars and fatally shot 39 year old married mother of two, Monica Lynne Leech in the back of the head for no reason. She and several other employees had been handcuffed by the robbers. The men wore thigh-length jackets,jeans, yellow hard hats and had their faces covered with nylon masks. One of the suspects was described as a black male with a mustache around 5 feet, 11 inches and 170 pounds. The other was a white male, also around 5 feet 11, with brown or blond hair. He was the one who fired the fatal shot. They are both believed to be around their mid twenties, maybe older or younger by a few years. They fled the bank in a white colored sport utility vehicle which could have been a Ford Explorer or a Jeep.
If you have any information about this murder please call the Thousand Oaks Police Department at (805) 494-8200.

Hate Crime Still Unsolved

Thanh Lam was twenty five years old. The native of Vietnam had survived a war, a stay in a refugee camp and a trip by sea journey to America to escape cruelty and achieve freedom. His parents had opened up a market in the rough city of Compton. When the first Rodney King Verdict came down in 1992, there were riots all over the Los Angeles area. The family would lose their market to the rioting, looting and arson. A day after that at 3:15pm on April 30th 1992 Lam was at a red light at Alondra Boulevard which is east of Willowbrook Avenue in Compton. A 1970s or early-1980s blue cadillac pulled up next to Lam’s vehicle. A black male (possibly two) in his early twenties shouted a racial slur and shot at Lam. He was hit three times in the chest and once in the back. Lam came to America for freedom and opportunity. That was all stolen from him. It is likely that Lam was targeted because he was “Asian” However, the majority of victims in the LA Riots were people of African-American ancestry. If you have any information about this case please call the Sheriff’s Homicide Division: (323) 890-5500.

Three Murders, Are They Linked to One Killer?

Public Parks are places to have fun. However, they can be at times very dangerous. Balboa Park in downtown San Diego is no exception. On November 19th, 1988, 31-year-old David Siino, was found murdered. He was shot numerous times in an area known as Redwood Circle just off of Balboa Drive, north of Laurel Street. Six days later Edward Hope, 60 year old, would be found dead in a similar method on the western edge of the park, near California 163, near the on-ramp for Interstate 5 northbound. The third victim would be Brian Russell Poole, 36 years old, would be found dead on December 5th, 1988. He was found in a restroom near Marston’s Point, in the 2300 block of 8th Avenue. The Torrington, Connecticut native was also found shot to death. Back when the murders occurred, it was believed that the three could have been connected due the lifestyles of some of the victims and the manner of homicide. The cases are considered cold and if you have any information about these slayings please call the San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (619) 531-2000.

Man Murdered while Sleeping, Case is still Cold

stanhowardIt’s been three decades, since Stan Howard was murdered at his home in Merced, California on June 22, 1986. Howard was asleep at the time when the killer took a knife from the kitchen and fatally stabbed him in the throat at his residence at East Gerard Avenue in Merced. Howard’s then ten year old daughter was asleep in the room next to where he died. At one time, suspicion was pointed towards someone (not his daughter) close to Howard. However, no one has been arrested in the case and it has gone cold. If you have any information please call the Merced County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 209-725-3880. You can remain anonymous. There may also be a reward for information in this case.

An Evening Walk and a Senseless Killing

It was about 11:10 p.m. on the evening of May 9, 2009, when 17 year old Jerrill Dulaney was shot five times. It happened while he walked on a sidewalk less than a mile away from home at the 100 block of East Altadena Drive in Altadena. He was coming from a friend’s house and would die hours later in a hospital. Police believe that he was shot from a moving vehicle as no shell casings were found. Years later there are no leads yet plenty of questions why the teenager was gunned down.
If you have any information about this homicide, please contact the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau, at 323-890-5556.

Fatal Beating of Man Remains Unsolved

humphreysIt was in the city of Sacramento when 28 year old Josiah Humphreys was 28 was brutally attacked at the corner of P and 18th in the early morning of March 17, 2013. Humphreys was walking alone and is believed to have gotten into an argument with the three men. It is not clear as to who started the verbal sparring but it turned violent. There were three attackers. They were described as being either light-skinned Black, Hispanic or Asian. One of the killers wore a dark-colored New York Yankees jacket and weighed about 180 to 195 pounds. The second suspect was described as being thin, with short, dark, spiky hair and had worn a white t-shirt. The third was also wearing a white t-shirt. Police believe all three are between the ages of 25 and 30 years old.
There is a $15,000 reward for information that will lead to an arrest(s) in Josiah Humphreys’ death. Please contact Sacramento Police Department at (916)264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916)443-4357. You can also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES)

Slaying of Model A Mystery Decades Later

It was March 25th, 1998, when 27 year old Jill Ann weatherwax

Weatherwax, was found dead behind an animal shelter in the city of Fresno, California. The Michigan native had been a beauty pageant winner had associated with actors in the hollywood Movie scene. She was last seen Weatherwax was last seen going into a green or greyish colored Ford Tempo with three unidentified men described as being Hispanic.

All four were seen near the Villa Hotel on Parkway Drive the night of her murder. Rumors have persisted that Weatherwax could have been a stripper or even involved in prostitution. She at one time has an aspiring career as a singer and associated with many actors (Patrick Swayze) in Hollywood.

However, she ended up being stabbed to death in an empty lot. A year later, E Entertainment TV did an episode about her murder called “The Murder of Miss Hollywood”
If you have any information about this murder please call the Fresno Police Department at 559-621-2400. You can remain anonymous.

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