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‘Speed Freak’ letter points bounty hunter to another body

February 24, 2012 |  8:53 am

Convicted "Speed Freak" killer Wesley Shermantine has sent a new letter from death row to a bounty hunter giving him directions to another body in Central California.

The letter, dated Feb. 13, arrived this week to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla in Sacramento.

"The new letter says 'Hang in there, keep going, we've got their attention and by golly we're making some progress, and I'm going to send you some more details shortly,' " Padilla told FOX 40 Sacramento. Padilla spent Wednesday surveying the land near Linden for physical clues to link Shermantine's handwritten maps.

"We're getting a better feel for the wells. Where the old wells are, where the filled in wells are and who owns what property," Padilla said.

The letter from Shermantine was brief and part of the ongoing communication between the bounty hunter and serial killer.

The so-called Speed Freak Killers, Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, were arrested in 1999 for a series of slayings that may have spanned more than 15 years.

Shermantine was sentenced to death for killing four women. Herzog was to receive 77 years to life for three murders, but his sentence was overturned by an appeals court that found his confession to some of the crimes had been coerced.

Herzog served 14 years on a plea deal and was paroled in 2010. He committed suicide two months ago, shortly after Shermantine started drawing maps to where he buried the bodies in exchange for $33,000 offered to him by Padilla. The maps pointed to two abandoned wells on a cattle farm in Linden, a small town about 13 miles east of Stockton.

So far, authorities have recovered more than 1,000 bones from the site.


'Speed Freak Killers': Bones from mass grave sent to DOJ lab

'Speed Freak' serial killer allegedly reveals third body dump site

'Speed Freak Killer' was paid $33,000 to guide search for victims

-- Andria Borba, Fox 40 News