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  • Serial Killers In Our Backyard



    In 1984 I was a detective investigating crimes against persons. By 1987, I was A Police Patrol Sergeant in in A San Joaquin County California city named Manteca. I can remember a number of missing person reports in between those years. While we receive missing person reports often, these suspicious ones were all from the San Joaquin County Valley, California and north county detectives had leads that pointed to murder of a few of them. Our area had a low crime rate and serial killers in our backyard were not the first thought that came to mind.

    Detectives focused on two suspects;  Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog. These two suspects were local boyhood friends and as they grew older became involved with drugs. As the investigation continued into 1999, evidenced showed they were into methamphetamine and when their murder arrests occurred, these two suspects were named by the media as the "Speed Freak killers". It is believed that the two friends went on a 20 year killing spree, with most of the victims coming from our backyard area (San Joaquin County California). These killers were able to talk victims (friends and strangers) into going with them willingly, never to be seen alive again.

    After some diligent detective work, these two killers were arrested and brought to trial. Both were convicted and received what was thought to be justice for once. Shermantine was sentenced to death and currently is in prison death row. Herzog received a 78 year sentence that was overturned by the court of appeals after he served fourteen years. In 2010 Herzog was released on parole and was living in a trailer outside of the prison gates in Lassen County, California.

    That didn't sit well with Shermantine who was now 45 years old. Shermantine blamed the killings on Herzog, with Shermantine admitting to help dispose of the bodies. He began to hint that he would rat out his friend by showing where some of the bodies were. A Sacramento, California bounty hunter offered Shermintine money reported to be between $15,000 and $30,000 to disclose body locations. The bounty hunter also contacted Herzog with that information. A few days later Herzog committed suicide, at the age of 46.

    February 2012, after some law enforcement bickering from the San Joaquin County Sherriff about jurisdiction issues, Shermantine drew maps that led to at least four different areas that he said bodies are located. So far remains have been found on former Shermintine family property, and a capped well in San Joaquin County. It is reported that these two serial killers could be responsible for more than 30 murders. As of February 15, 2012 the San Joaquin county sheriff has received more than 65 phone calls hoping they can find closure with the location of missing loved ones.

    This was shocking to all living in the area. No one wants to believe that a crime like this happen where they live. The fact is that these types of crimes have and do happen in the area you live in too. You just don't know about it. It has to be something special before the media picks it up for sure. My adult kids were in grammar school when these crimes above were happening. They only knew about it because of the current news about the bodies being located.

    We live in what I believe is the greatest country in the world. But don't be fooled that you or your family can't be a victim.

    Teach your kids about safety. Tell them about this case and they just might think that it can happen to them.

    Google Search Speed Freak Killers for more information.

    Show them this video from our local news station covering the search for bodies. http://youtu.be/F4M3i_Ds6dc

    You can't go through life in fear, but you can be prepared just in case. Learn how to defend yourself and carry a self defense product such as a personal alarm, or as adults, pepper spray, or if legal in your area, a stun gun . If you do have a situation, you have a better chance to survive if you can get away.

    We have a number of choices here on our site. Feel free to browse   and join our free Newsletter for more information. Our mission is to help you to be safer and more secure in your daily lives.



  • Date Rape UOP Stockton California

    * Updated 05-23-2016

    Crime Clock ForSecuritySake 72dpiIn 2011, the FBI crime statistics reported that a rape happens in this country every 6.0 minutes, update that to 2014 and the crime happens every 4.6 minutes. That doesn't include non-reported rapes or most date rapes.

    Date Rape: Over 50% of rape suspects are someone you know or date. It could be someone you meet at a party; a classmate;  an acquaintance you have known over the years; a family member, or any other person. No force has to be involved; if your impaired to the point where you can't consent (example: date rape drugs), or you say no to sex and without voluntary consent sexual contact occurs, you have been sexually assaulted.

    It can happen anywhere: At home; at a party; while walking on a college campus; in a car; at a friends apartment; in a park; on a trail. And these were just some of the local case locations reported to me during my career.

    One media covered case that you can read about here happened at University of the Pacific (UOP) in Stockton, California. This campus  is just 12 miles from here and was reported to be between the victim and Basketball players. The reported incident was part of a segment on 60 minutes. The CBS 60 Minutes report . One report was on Campus sexual assaults and  included interviews with representatives from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and the Women's Center of San Joaquin County. The report aired on CBS, in the Stockton area, on Sunday 04-17-11 at 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time. 

    Protect yourself:

    Pepper Spray is one good way to protect yourself. It is inexpensive, and will work for up to 45 minutes. You can learn more about and purchase pepper spray here.

    Rape myths:

    It can't happen to me:

    Rapes happen to anyone, including infants to adults in their nineties

    She asked for it:

    Rape is not love; it is an assault. No one asks to be sexually assaulted, and it is not an excuse if the victim displays sugestive behaviour or wears tight fitting clothing. The suspect is responsible, not the victim.

    Most offenders are men of a different race or ethnicity:

    90% of rapes occur between people of the same race or ethnic group.

    Most rapes are by strangers at night and in out of the way places:

    About half of all rapes happen in the day time and by someone you know. I remember a case of girls that had been friends where the victim was stripped, hair shaved, raped, and had magic marker written on her entire body.

    Rapes only happen to women:

    Estimations by the FBI show that about 1 in 10 men are victims of rape.

    You can find some party tips to help protect you from sexual assault by reading our post:  Happy New Year Party Safety Tips

    Zeb Hammonds started his law enforcement career, because he wanted to help people be more safe and secure in their daily lives. Now in retirement after over 40 years of experience, he continues to help people with ZebPet Enterprises' ForSecuritySake.com. You can join our friends and neighbors by signing up for our FREE newsletter list. You will receive product stories, scam alerts, dumb crook stories, safety reports, and discounts for subscribers.

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