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FBI surveying another alleged 'Speed Freak' killers' burial site

September 26, 2012 | 10:12 am

FBI surveying alleged "Speed Freak" killer burial site
The FBI is surveying a site in Linden related to the so-called Speed Freak serial killers, but no digging for remains has begun.

FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie said several questions still need to be answered before any new excavation begins.

In August, convicted killer Wesley Shermantine was briefly taken from death row to help investigators find more victims. He said at the time that authorities missed the "boneyard" where as many as a dozen more bodies are buried.

Shermantine has drawn maps of where he and late accomplice Loren Herzog buried as many as 20 victims of their drug-fueled killing rampage that began in the mid-1980s and terrorized San Joaquin and Calaveras counties for more than a decade.

San Joaquin County sheriff's officials have already excavated an area near Linden and unearthed the remains of at least five female victims and an unidentified fetus.

In a letter to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla -- whom Shermantine originally gave a map in exchange for a promise of $33,000 -- Shermantine described his August outing to Linden.

"Leonard, I went out like I promised I would and showed them four wells," Shermantine wrote. "Three are close up, one is still open. At the trees I showed them where the well is."

Shermantine said they missed the "actual boneyard," where he said about a dozen more bodies are buried.

Shermantine is serving a death sentence for four murders. Herzog was originally given a 77-year prison sentence, but it was struck down on appeal and he agreed to a plea deal ahead of a second trial. He was released in 2010 and was living in a trailer near the High Desert State Prison when he got word of Shermantine's cooperation with authorities. Herzog hanged himself in January, a day after learning that any discoveries would probably bring new charges against him and more prison time.


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-- Fox 40 Sacramento

Photo: San Joaquin sheriff's deputies and Department of Justice personnel search for human remains near a well in Linden in February 2012.  Credit: Craig Sanders / The Record