SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The case of the Speed Freak Killers gripped Northern California in the 1980s.
The killers were convicted of four murders in the 80s and 90s in San Joaquin County and were suspected in the deaths of many others.
On Thursday night, the sheriff’s office asked for the public’s help in helping identify some items they recovered from a well during their investigation back in 2012.
During the well search in 2012, many people wondered what exactly were some of the personal belongings that were discovered. The sheriff’s office released some photos with the hopes of jogging people’s memories to help solve some cold cases.
“Trying to get closure for some of the families,” said Nick Goucher, with the sheriff’s office.
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Goucher said they really want to know to who the items belong.
The pictures of the items released show a sandal, which is estimated to be a size 4 or 4.5 in women. There is also a horse pin with the word “star” written on the back; it also appears to have a stone setting.
“The stone in the setting, we are not sure what that stone is. Not sure what is that setting is a part of a necklace or ring. But it was just something that was found along with the rest of those items,” Goucher said.
The sheriff’s office believes the items are related to the Speed Freak Killers.
“This was a big case, spanning many locations, many years, many decades in some cases. There is a lot to do. There is a lot of work to do,” Goucher said.
Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine were dubbed the Speed Freak Killers because police said they were high on methamphetamine during their killing spree.
“I know there were more than 200 personal effects that were found in the well back in 2012,” said former state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani.
Galgiani has taken a prominent role in helping investigate the case and said a lot of families have been waiting to see those personal belongings for decades.
“We have seen a lot of cold cases be solved in the last several few years, especially with advancements with DNA, and now with these photos being released, if there is any doubt or any questions, the family members and friends should reach out to the sheriff’s office and ask to see a closer look at the photos,” Galgiani said.
Galgiani hopes other law enforcement agencies around the area take notice.
“Wesley Shermantine was very clear that the time frame started in 1983 or 1984 and the killings didn’t stop until 1998,” Galgiani said. “If there is information that is possibly missing, now is the time for family members to come forward to share what they know to make sure law enforcement has that information.”
The sheriff’s office said their cold case detectives are at a point now where they can unpack things and hope to release more items that solve more cold cases and give families closure.