The Haunting Disappearance of Eileen Hynson

Eileen Francis Hynson was a 19-year old girl who disappeared off the face of the earth on June 1, 1976. No body was ever found, and her whereabouts are still unknown.

The information on her case is scarce and very limited. She was from Napa, California, living in a time period where murder and mayhem ran rampant. 1970s Cali was filled to the brim with serial killers, rapists, and kidnappers: the list of missing and murdered people from this period is almost infinite.

Eileen was born on Feb 6, 1957 (an Aquarius) and was 5’2 and 130 lbs, with dazzling hazel eyes and dark brown hair. She lived with her father and brother, since her mother Gwendolyn had died 3 years earlier in 1973. It must have been difficult for 16-year old Eileen to have dealt with such a huge loss at a very young age.

Only 2 family photos of Eileen were ever made public, and what I always found striking about these images is how she looks slightly sad yet effortlessly beautiful. And the fact that her eyeliner was completely on point.

The summer of 1976 should have been a happy time for Eileen: on that bright June day, she took off from home to attend a bridal party dress fitting. Her father claimed she first went to a resort in Lake Berryessa, a fairly remote area that is difficult to get to without a car.

Weirdly enough, Eileen did not take any luggage with her – she had left her suitcase behind at home. This indicates that she did not plan to be gone long, and rules out the possibility that she ran away from home.

In September of 1969, almost 7 years before Eileen disappeared, Lake Berryessa became infamous. The Zodiac Killer (yet to ever be identified) went apeshit on two picnicking college students. They were a square and pleasant couple named Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, and they were just trying to enjoy some quality relaxation time in nature.

Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell before their traumatic picnic

They were intruded upon by a creepy man with an executioner’s hood and .45 pistol, like a bad B-movie come to life. The man toyed with the couple, pretending he was a runaway prisoner on the lam to Mexico. At first he claimed he only wanted to rob them. But things soon turned violent. He was the one and only Zodiac Killer, and he forced Cecelia to tie Bryan up with a plastic clothesline, and then tied her up himself.

As he pointed the gun at the couple, Bryan noticed that the Zodiac’s hands were shaking. Bryan asked if he was nervous, to which the Zodiac responded with a relaxed laugh and an “I guess so.” What happened next was without warning.

After putting away his gun, the Zodiac suddenly turned towards the bound and subdued Bryan. Brandishing a knife, he stabbed him 6 times. Later on, Bryan would note how the stabbing made a “chomp-chomp-chomp” staccato noise in his back, sending him into a world of terror and shock. Cecelia was stabbed next: 5 times in her back, and 5 times on the front of her body.

A 1969 sketch of the Zodiac Killer by Robert Graysmith, as described by Bryan Hartnell

After playing dead for a time, Bryan managed to crawl towards a main road for help, but Cecelia was too weak to even move. She was alive when authorities arrived, but went into a coma and died days later. Bryan survived the attack and went on to become a lawyer.

What can one make of this nightmare of a crime? Whether or not the Zodiac Killer was involved in Eileen’s disappearance (probably not, abducting a female quietly does not fit his M.O.), his crime proves that areas of Lake Berryessa are so isolated that somebody can attempt to commit a double murder without being interrupted.

Did Eileen Hynson fall victim to some lunatic who put her through a similarly deranged experience?

What complicates things even further is that Eileen was supposed to have left the lakeside resort to go to Benicia, California (another Zodiac killing ground), where the bridal party was happening. We have no idea why Eileen went to Lake Berryessa first, or who she met there.

Lake Berryessa in 1970

In fact, we have no clue as to where exactly Eileen disappeared – it is not even on the public record! She could have vanished anywhere between Napa, Lake Berryessa and Benicia, most likely en route between the two latter locations, as her father only grew alarmed after she left the resort.

To add to the ridiculousness, the public was never informed as to whether Eileen had a car, or if she was busing and hitchhiking between these points. Since there is no mention of an abandoned car or licence plate info, and due to the fact that she was only 19, it is plausible to assume she had no transportation of her own.

If she had her own vehicle, who managed to coax her out of it? Did a strange man pull a Ted Bundy-style manipulation on Eileen in a lone parking lot? If she was busing, did she meet a suspicious character at a stop who lured her to her doom? If she hitchhiked, which fatal car did she enter? Did she meet her end at the lake, just as Cecelia Shepard had? There are literally zero answers.

Girls walk down the street in Napa, California, 1970s

According to a Facebook post by a woman named Kathleen who claims to be her cousin, it was her wedding which Eileen was due to attend. She alleges that Eileen left her home to prepare for the bridal fitting (she was to be the Maid of Honor), and was never seen again. If Kathleen is for real, she needs to hit me up and give me an all access interview.

A user with a sharp eye on Websleuths forums uncovered a photo of a girl who strongly resembles Eileen. This image was taken by Californian serial killer William Richard Bradford; a former photographer who lured women to their deaths under the pretense of a modelling career.

This alleged photo of Eileen is #40 in a collection of 54 photographs of different women found at Bradford’s residence. Initially, they were all believed to have been Bradford’s victims. As of now, more than half have been identified, most being alive and well, though police have not released the identity of all of these women.

Girl No# 40- is this Eileen Hynson?

Some claim Girl No# 40 has been identified by police, but the info is a secret. In 2012, Napa County’s cold case unit added Eileen to a list of disappearances which “they believe have the highest possibility of being solved using modern evidence techniques.”

Is this because they identified the Bradford girl as Eileen Hynson? It is aggravating how police still continue to withhold key information, yet appear to have had no conclusive breakthrough after nearly 50 years on the case.

Another Websleuths user claims she spoke to Eileen’s family and found that they believe Girl No# 40 is Eileen, but older and possibly years after she disappeared.

There are also some theories about Eileen being a victim of the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Killer. In the early 1970s, several young women were kidnapped and murdered while hitchhiking in Sonoma County. The killer’s trademark was tying women up (like the Zodiac!), torturing and raping them, then strangling or stabbing them to death. He was never caught.

Please don’t hitchhike to your death like a 1970s girl

All of the Santa Rosa Killer’s victims have been identified, save one: Sonoma County Jane Doe, whose skeletal remains were discovered in a ravine in 1979. She was thought to be between 16- 21 years old, wore contact lenses, had auburn-brown hair, had a broken rib heal while she was alive, and stood at around 5’3.

Her cause of death is unknown. She was hogtied, and her arm was fractured around the time she died. This sicko took pleasure in torturing his victims before killing them: In 1972, Kim Wendy Allen, 19, was raped, tied up and murdered, after being strangled with a cord for over 30 minutes.

Victims of the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Killer. Kim Allen is #3.

The description of this Jane Doe fits Eileen, but it would be helpful if we know if she wore contact lenses or had a broken rib in her lifetime. To reiterate, the lack of info is a massive roadblock in Eileen’s case. Hopefully, the police still have her DNA on file and will eventually test her against this Doe (and others).

Eileen Hynson is still out there somewhere. Her remains could be lying untouched at the bottom of some Californian lake or a distant ravine off the edge of rocky forest cliffs. Or perhaps she is still lying nameless in a coroner’s morgue, her body forever awaiting identification. Her disappearance continues to be a frustrating unsolved mystery.

The Cold-Blooded Murder of Sharmini Anandavel

It was the summer of 1999, and 15-year old Sharmini Anandavel needed to earn some quick cash to buy a middle school graduation outfit. Her family had immigrated from Sri Lanka to Toronto, Canada a few years back, and had a hard time supporting themselves as her parents barely spoke any English. Sharmini took it upon herself to raise money to buy a fancy dress and shoes.

She told her parents she had found a job answering phones in an office. But to her friends, she claimed she was to be employed as an undercover drug operative. Her parents had offered to give her a ride to work that day, but Sharmini had refused. She was hiding something.

Sharmini never returned from work that day. 4 months later, her skeletonized remains were found by a hiking father and son in a ravine by a river, carelessly tossed into a shallow grave. Her body had decomposed from the summer heat, and had been ravaged by coyotes who lived in a den nearby.

Sharmini was identified from her dental records, since there was nothing but a skull and bone fragments left as evidence. Investigators also found hair and fingernails that were painted blue, just as Sharmini had done before disappearing.

Her classmates and teachers were shocked. She was described by everyone as a vivacious, outgoing and often mouthy girl, who would never hesitate to stand up for herself. The boy sitting next to Sharmini was crushing on her, and teachers were often bemused by her witty sense of humour. How could she vanish without a trace, on the way to some obtuse job offer?

In Sharmini’s apartment complex, there lived a man named Stanley Tippett, a troubled individual with severe facial deformities caused by Treacher-Collins syndrome, and a criminal rap sheet longer than a novel.

Stanley was 23 at the time, and married with children. He did however have a creepy roving eye, and pretended to be a police officer so he could lure children in the complex to go swimming and on drives with him. In reality, he was a bum who struggled to gain employment and took his rage out on the rest of the world.

He stalked several women throughout his life, once offering a fake job to a woman at a Wal-Mart fair, then proceeding to visit her house repeatedly to leave her gifts. Stanley once kidnapped a 12 year old girl, who was luckily saved when bystanders heard her scream. He had even kidnapped a woman from a bus stop with a fake gun, pressing it to her head and only relenting when she lied to him that she had HIV and was on her period.

Witnesses claim to have seen Stanley around Sharmini at the apartment before her disappearance, and police believe he had made a false job offer to her, pretending to be an officer who would pay her to go undercover. Police found a job application in her bedroom which looked scam-like, but Sharmini was naive and accepted it in good faith. Stanley had probably advised her to keep the fake police job a secret, but Sharmini had told her friends, though she didn’t mention his name.

That Saturday June 12 morning sealed Sharmini’s fate. Stanley had most likely lured her to a remote location, and assaulted and killed the innocent teenager who was merely looking for a job to buy herself a beautiful dress.

Stanley currently rots in jail for other sexual assault related offenses, but refuses to confess to Sharmini’s murder, and detectives do not have any concrete evidence to tie him to her death either. All that exists is circumstantial evidence, which is inadmissible in court.

How and why Sharmini died remains a mystery. All we know is that she was taken advantage of by a disturbed human being, and that her tragic story serves as a warning to never trust anyone.

Dead in a Desert: The Murder of Valentine Sally

In the early morning hours of Feb 3, 1982, a young girl with a toothache showed up at an old truck stop in the midst of a dusty Arizona desert. She was blonde, youthful, and beautiful; catching the eye of everyone around her. And she would soon be dead.

She was nicknamed Valentine Sally, after the day her body was discovered. But there was nothing romantic about her death.

On Feb 2, a university student claimed to have picked up a hitchhiking girl who matched her description. The girl was troubled and was escaping from a discordant family situation. She lived with friends and had the unfortunate profession of dishwasher, and was looking to hitchhike all the way to New Jersey. Sad to say, she wouldn’t make it.

That fateful morning at the truck stop was when she was last seen alive, and was most likely where she met her killer. Waitress Patty Wilkins said of her:

″She was a blonde, a pretty girl. I assumed she was about 16 or 17 years old. We’ve been in this little truck stop for 17 years and as a rule when a girl comes in off a truck and looks too young, we pull her off, the sheriff’s office comes along and they send her home.″

The old man wore a cowboy hat with a peacock feather on it

But this time, Patty would not report the teenage runaway to the sheriff. That’s because the girl was accompanied by a concerned old man in his 60s, dressed head to toe in cowboy gear. Some sources even claim she was accompanied by two men, and witnesses in the truck stop say they appeared almost familial.

The girl was in pain because her lower molar had been drilled for a root canal, and her mouth hurt too much to eat any food. She asked for aspirin instead. Whoever she was, this girl was definitely a homeless hitchhiker suffering something awful.

However, she was wearing a nice pair of designer jeans, as well as a candy-cane striped red and white sweater. She was around 5’5 and 120 lbs, a healthy weight for her size. The girl wore a 36C bra, had her ears pierced, and had a white handkerchief with her. To outsiders, she appeared well taken care of. She didn’t appear disheveled or poor, and could somehow afford dental care.

There were several scars on her feet and thighs, indicating either clumsiness or abuse.

The cozy pinstripe sweater

On Valentine’s Day, 11 days after she was seen at the truck stop, the girl was found dead near Interstate 40. There had been an accident by the highway, and authorities were looking for blown out car parts. Instead they saw a strawberry-blonde head face down in the sand.

Upon turning the body over, police discovered that most of her face had been eaten away by animals, as she had lain decomposing for almost 2 weeks in the arid and humid desert. Some animal had torn off and made away with her right ear.

She was lying under a cedar tree, about 25 ft from the main road. Her belt loops were nearly torn and her sweater pulled over her head, as her killer had dragged her corpse off of a truck by her clothes and flung her onto the ground.

The girl’s cause of death is unknown, but authorities suspect suffocation. Thankfully, she had not been sexually assaulted.

A rather creepy 1982 sketch of Valentine Sally

Police were unable to solve this perplexing case. They never found the creepy old truck driver(s) who accompanied Valentine Sally to the diner, and most assume that he was the killer and had gotten away with it. The 1970s and 1980s were an era of impunity for long-distance truck drivers who killed naive hitchhikers.

In 1984, Valentine Sally was misidentified as Melody Cutlip, a Floridian runaway, thanks to a moronic odontologist literally named Homer. Melody’s mother rejected the identification. Call it a mother’s intuition.

Homer mismatched the teeth of the two girls, and Melody returned to her parents’ home in 1986 alive and well, proving him wrong. Tragically, Melody would die in 1998 in a car accident, cutting her action-packed life short.

Valentine Sally lies in a grave wrongly marked “Melody Cutlip,” over 30 years after the world realized that was not even her. The only person that comes out of this ordeal with some humanity is the waitress Patty Wilkins, who last saw the blonde girl with the toothache alive.

Patty paid $168 in 1984 to have Valentine Sally buried in a decent grave. Adjusted for inflation, that is over $400. And that was on a truck stop waitress’ salary. Perhaps she felt haunted by the girl who left her diner, only to lose her life as well.

The Chilling Disappearance of Asha Degree

Asha Degree was a nine-year old girl who went missing from her North Carolina home on Feb 14, 2000, and was never heard from again.

The case is startling for many reasons, the most disturbing aspect of it being that she appears to have willingly left her bedroom on a rainy night around 3 AM to go outside for a yet to be explained cause.

Asha had packed her black bookbag and Tweety purse with several items before leaving home, including a few pairs of shirts, overalls, jeans, her basketball uniform, a pair of shoes, her wallet, family photos and a house key. Where was a 9-year old girl going with these items in the middle of the night? The lack of answers is puzzling.

Around 4 AM, two separate drivers saw a little girl in white shirt and pants walking down Highway 18. One of the motorists became concerned how “strange [it was that] such a small child would be out by herself at that hour,” especially due to the fact there was a heavy pouring rainstorm that night. The driver tried to pull over to help the girl, but Asha seemed to have been upset by this and ran deep into the woods to avoid him.

When her parents awoke the next morning around 6 am, it was Valentine’s day and the couple’s anniversary. They found their daughter had disappeared without a trace.

This was a shock to them as Asha was a shy, reserved girl who was afraid of dogs and never acted wildly or unpredictably. By all accounts, her family was strict and disallowed computers in the home, and always made sure their kids did their homework on time. Asha was on her 4th grade basketball team, and had cried about losing a game a few days before her disappearance.

Police performed a search all over Asha’s neighbourhood the very same morning, but could not find anything until Feb 15, during which they discovered candy wrappers, a pencil, a marker and a Mickey Mouse hair bow in a shed close to the highway Asha had been seen walking down.

Aged composite of Asha in her 20s

No other evidence was discovered until a year later in 2001, when Asha’s bookbag was dug up during construction work near Highway 18. The bag was wrapped in plastic, and had Asha’s name and phone number inside it. The FBI went on to DNA test the bag, but the results were kept secret. No evidence of Asha was ever found after this, though police did say she may have been seen getting into a green 1970s Lincoln or Ford on the night of her highway excursion.

The discovery of Asha’s buried backpack from the highway construction site was a bad sign, proof to many that someone had killed her. There are many theories about what happened to her, but few answers.

Some say Asha had left the home to prepare a Valentine’s + anniversary surprise for her parents. Some say her parents had done something to cause her to run away, or were involved in a more unnerving manner. Others believe a predator in Asha’s life lured her outside somehow, then kidnapped and killed her. Asha could have been a victim of a hit and run, with the rain washing away any evidence of her death on the highway. Or even more skin-crawling, somebody could have picked the girl up off of the road and kidnapped her that night.

There is no closure as of yet, but this is one of the most mysterious and frightening unsolved disappearance cases in recent American history. There must have been something deeply wrong in her life for a girl so young to go off alone on a stormy night without telling anyone, and then to vanish with no explanation. Wherever Asha may be, and to whomever may have abducted her, one can only say this: Her disappearance will never be forgotten.

A Captive Heart: The Distressing Life of Suzanne Sevakis

 There are so many disturbing true crime cases out there, but I think the story of Suzanne Marie Sevakis (aliases Sharon Marshall and Tonya Dawn Hughes) takes the cake. She lived a brutal life of prolonged abuse and captivity that is a nightmare to read about. And it ended in a horrendous murder.

 Her tale is almost like a combination of Lolita and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. And it serves as a warning for women to be very careful about what kind of a stepfather they bring into their children’s lives.

 Suzanne’s life was turned into a living hell at age 5, when she was kidnapped by seasoned psychopath Franklin Delano Floyd. 

Suzanne and her captor

This man named after the president was a 30 yo lifelong criminal with arrests for being a pedo, rapist, bank robber, and assault and battery. And soon, he would be a murderer. 

The Stage is Set

Floyd was able to hide his arrest records from employers and the women he dated, including Suzanne’s mom Sandi, who was smitten by the manipulative sociopath she met at a truck stop in 1974 and subsequently married.

 In 1975, Sandi was jailed for passing bad cheques at a grocery store while merely trying to buy diapers for her young children (she had 4, all younger than Suzanne). While she was jailed, Floyd made off with her children and disappeared. 

Baby Suzanne

Sandi was broken when she asked police to help her find her missing children and they told her that Floyd had a right to take them “because he was their legal stepfather.”

 Sandi managed to find her two middle daughters who were dropped off at a church charity home, but she never found her youngest son (Floyd had murdered the baby) and would never see Suzanne again.

 From then on, Floyd would drag young Suzanne around from state to state, all across America, and made up false identities for both of them. Evidence shows he started abusing her at a young age.

A Double Life

 But whatever was going on behind the scenes, Suzanne, now known as Sharon, hid well. At school people knew her as the intelligent beautiful blonde who volunteered for many programs and had stellar grades. She loved to read Shakespeare, and wanted to go into aeronautic space engineering after graduating.

 They had lied to the school she attended that her mother had either died from cancer or a hit and run accident (oddly prescient later on).

 However, she was strictly controlled by Floyd, who at this point was going by the alias Warren Marshall. At one point when a babysitter accused Floyd of molestation, he quickly fled the state with Suzanne before he could be investigated.

  When friends tried to phone Suzanne, Floyd monitored the phone conversations. He was a fugitive since the 1970s and dreaded getting caught, especially now that he had kidnapped Suzanne and murdered her brother.

 At one point when a friend came over to the “Marshall’s” home for a sleepover, Floyd took them to a sleazy bar and had the teens dress up in revealing garments and makeup. When the two returned home and began mocking the old creepy patrons who had hit on them in the bar, Floyd entered with a gun and threatened them for “making fun of men for no reason at all.”

The End of Hope

 Suzanne’s life would go downhill from here. Floyd did not let her date at first since he was abusing her, but eventually allowed her to in order to divert suspicion. Suzanne ended up pregnant in the last year of high school with a boyfriend’s baby who she named Michael. 

 Despite this, Suzanne graduated with a full scholarship for aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech but Floyd would not allow her to leave him and attain a degree. Her dreams of working for NASA were dashed. She tried to run away with a boyfriend in 1986, but Floyd found them and took her back by force.

 After this, Suzanne was pressured into becoming a stripper by the lazy unemployed Floyd, and he took 100% of her profits. He also made her get cheap breast implants. At this point his alias was Clarence Hughes, and Suzanne became Tonya Dawn. In 1989, he forced her to marry him and he went from pretending she was his daughter to his wife.

Violence

 Floyd would call and check on Suzanne several times a day when she was at the club, and he would beat her leaving visible bruises if she did not bring back enough money each night. She was deathly afraid of Floyd and told a friend that “if I try running away again, Clarence will kill me and my two year old son.“

Cheryl

 Around this time, Floyd became acquainted with Cheryl Ann Commesso, a fellow stripper who worked with Suzanne. He began beating her and pimping her out, and once beat her in a boat so brutally that she jumped into the river and swam to shore to escape. He tortured Cheryl to death in 1989 for reporting him for welfare fraud, and took photos of her murder which would later be used as evidence against him. 

 It is not known to what extent he involved Suzanne in Cheryl’s murder.

A Terrible End

 In 1990, Suzanne tried to run away again for the last time. Floyd ran her over with a car by the side of the highway while she was walking home with groceries. He had found out that she was going to leave him with a boyfriend she had found at the strip club.

 Suzanne’s skull was contused and bruised, and she died a few days after the hit and run. When Floyd was told she was dying, he was indifferent and did not even come to see her at the hospital. While in a coma, she kept mumbling the words “daddy.” She died alone. 

Aftermath

 Police were unable to convict Floyd for her murder even despite damning evidence from her friends and colleagues. A day after her death, Floyd immediately tried to collect a life insurance policy he put out on her months earlier.

 At her funeral, Floyd placed a photo of himself and Suzanne as a child inside the casket. Nobody present had any idea what a dark role Floyd had played in this woman’s life since she was a child.

 Suzanne Sevakis was dead at age 20 after a lifetime of trauma, abuse and evil. And it wouldn’t end there: Floyd kidnapped and murdered her baby son Michael in 1994. A trail of bodies followed this sick man’s killing spree, as he ruined the lives of all those around him. He rots in jail now, but it will never be enough.

 One can’t even begin to imagine the horror of living a life of fear and secrets the way Suzanne did. It’s unbelievable that nobody was able to help her escape.

 Only in death was Suzanne free from her tormentor. 

Angel Baby Doe: An 18 Year Mystery

Angel Baby Doe was the moniker given to 18 year old Angel McAllister, who was found brutally murdered via a shotgun blast to the face on October 8, 1999 in Arizona. She was a pretty and street-smart girl who fell victim to a still unidentified killer after being released from foster care just a few months prior. 

Angel’s sister Chastity Pinedo described her as “spunky, she was beautiful. She was just amazing all around. We all had our issues from the things that happened in our childhood, and we all had to make it through that. But she was the strong one that held us together.”

Angel and her sisters had been tragically separated by the foster care system. After turning 18, Angel left the California orphanage she was assigned to in order to return home and find them. Sadly, she did not make it, and for 18 years, her sisters were puzzled as to what had happened to Angel. Detectives took until 2017 to identify Angel and notify her family after using DNA analysis software.

Now here comes the ironic part: detectives initially nicknamed her “Angel Baby Doe” for a tattoo on her right ankle. The police captain on the scene had said that “the unfinished angel baby tattoo looked like it was kind of a homemade deal. It did not appear to be a professional tattoo so [her] family may not even know about that.”

Bizarrely, her identity had been on her body the whole time, but investigators had had no way of knowing. One can’t help but think of the dreamy 1960 tune Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals, and wonder if it was ever a favourite song of Angel’s or if it doubly inspired her tattoo.

Angel was also wearing two good-luck necklaces at the time of her death. One was of a half-moon and stars:

The other was a copper pendant with the image of the Madonna and Child, and contained the words “Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.”

Angel’s killer has never been captured. It’s disturbing to think that the cold blooded person who shot this poor girl in the face is still probably walking the streets somewhere, while she rests in a solitary grave in Yuma, Arizona. The only consolation is that Angel Baby now has her name back. Strangely enough, her identity had been with her all along.

Tattooed, Murdered, and Dismembered: “Peaches” and “Cherries” Doe

“Peaches” Doe is an unidentified murder victim whose torso was found in New York in June 1997.

 She died of decapitation and her head, arms, and legs below the knee were never found. Detectives released an image of the tattoo she had on her left breast of a bitten peach, but nobody has ever come forward to concretely identify her. Her child and additional skeletal remains from Peaches were found at a separate location in 2011.

“Cherries” Doe is an unidentified murder victim whose torso was also found in a suitcase in a New York park in 2007.

 She is known for having a tattoo of cherries on her right breast, but attempts to identify her have been fruitless. Her legs later washed up on a beach. Unlike Peaches, Cherries died from a stab wound to the torso.

They are both suspected to be victims of the elusive Long Island Serial Killer, who is yet to be identified or captured.

Holly Jo Glynn: Lonely Cali Girl Driven to Suicide

Sketch of Dana Point Jane Doe

Holly Jo Glynn was a 21-yo girl who committed suicide in 1987 by jumping from a cliff in Dana Point, California. She was unidentified until 2015, when her old school friends and interested websleuths teamed up to help identify her.

 Her family had tried to involuntarily institutionalize her 8 months before she killed herself, but to no avail. She was described as quiet and shy, but she liked to party, flirt and use drugs.

 Holly’s life unraveled in September of 1987, when she took a taxi at 3 am to the 150 ft remote cliffs to jump to her death. She’d asked the taxi to take her as far as her last $18 would get her, then walked alone the rest of the way. The driver  had described her as seeming silent and unhappy during the ride.

 At the scene, police found a half consumed can of Coca-Cola (her last drink), a purse (stolen) containing small change, a packet of cigarettes, matches, and two maps. She had mid length strawberry-blonde hair, and wore a tan dress, men’s underwear and turquoise-colored canvas shoes, all of which were believed to have been second-hand clothing.

 The LA times described how “standing at the ledge, she would have seen nothing–there was no moon that night–and heard only the wet smack of the Pacific against the rocks below.“

 Investigators found marks on the side of the cliff that she had struck during her fall, and she was missing several teeth postmortem due to the impact. A detective described how “she was still alive for some time at the bottom of the cliff, because she had made angel wings with her arms in the sand, you know, like children do in the snow.” 

 Police were unable to identify her since her family had never reported her missing, and the case went cold. Holly was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the ocean. She was then forgotten until her 2015 identification.

 One can only imagine what went through her head on the cold dark night of ‘87 in which she flung herself onto the jagged beach side rocks after drinking half a can of cola. It seems the loneliest death possible.