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'Speed Freak Killers': Mom says family 'complete' after teen ID'ed

April 4, 2012 |  8:51 am


The mother of a 16-year-old girl identified last week as a victim of the so-called "Speed Freak Killers" said her family is finally finding peace after 26 years of wondering what happened to her daughter.

JoAnn Hobson disappeared from her East Stockton home on Aug. 29, 1985. And after more than two decades, San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore confirmed last week dental records and DNA testing determined Hobson was one of the victims whose remains were unearthed last month at an abandoned well near Stockton.

Investigators excavated bones and other evidence from the well outside Linden last month after condemned killer Wesley Shermantine provided hand-drawn maps from his cell at San Quentin to where he and late childhood friend Loren Herzog dumped their victims during 15 years of thrill killing.

The pair may have killed as many as 72 people during a drug-fueled crime spree in the 1980s and '90s.

"My family needed peace with this. Because she was part of our family, now she's complete. We're complete," Hobson's mother Joan Shelley said. "We never, ever thought that we would ever find her."

Shelley suspected Shermantine may have been to blame. More than once, she traveled to prison, to face him eye-to-eye.

When he started drawing maps that led authorities to an old, abandoned well outside of Linden, Shelley said she knew her daughter's remains would finally be found.

The family now plans to hold a memorial, and cremate her remains. And, perhaps more important, move on from wondering where she is to remembering who she was.

"I'm concentrating on JoAnn, I'm not concentrating on forgiveness," she said."


2 teenage girls' remains linked to California serial killers

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

'Speed Freak Killers': Another search site may hold human remains

-- Ben Deci, Fox 40 News