A possible Charles Manson murder victim from 1969 has been identified by investigators. “Jane Doe #59” was a young woman who was found brutally murdered in dense brush in Los Angeles off Mulholland Drive on November 16, 1969.
People published an exclusive report on the case that’s been a mystery for 46 years.
No identification was found on the slain woman, who was found by a birdwatcher a mere three months after movie star Sharon Tate and several of her friends were murdered by Charles Manson followers on August 9, 1969, at her Los Angeles home.
Jane Doe #59 was stabbed in the neck 150 times in what police believe was a “rage killing.”
“It was personal,” says Los Angeles Police Department cold case detective Luis Rivera. “It was a maniac… or love gone wrong.”
— People Magazine (@people) April 27, 2016
Since Jane Doe #59 was killed in a similar fashion as the other famous victims, it ignited speculation that she was linked to Charles Manson and his followers.
Authorities spoke with a caretaker at Spahn Ranch, the infamous Manson Family hangout, who informed police that the young victim resembled a hippie named Sherry from Simi Valley who spent a lot of time at the ranch.
Police were never able to identify the woman and filed her as “Jane Doe #59.”
It’s been determined that the nameless victim is Reet Jurvetson, a Montreal native who was 19 when she died.
Police interviewed the convicted killer in prison, but Manson gave them no leads or anything to work with. Retired LAPD detective Cliff Shepard said Manson told police that there are other victims. He thinks Jurvetson could have been someone who once went to Spahn Ranch.
A major break in the cold case emerged last June when a friend of Reet was searching crime websites and saw her post-mortem photograph. She called Reet’s sister, Anne, who contacted police. DNA taken from Jane Doe #59’s bloody bra matched her sister’s.
Upon further investigation, police learned that Reet flew to L.A. in the summer of 1969 to visit a man named John. The two met in a Toronto coffee shop. Los Angeles Police Department cold case detective Luis Rivera said Reet “was smitten” by John. She even sent her family a postcard to let them know she was happy and had a nice apartment in L.A.
That postcard may have been the one thing that kept Reet Jurvetson’s identify a mystery all these years because her family never reported her missing. Anne said as strange as it sounds, her parents didn’t report her missing because they “thought that she was just living her life somewhere and that eventually news from her would turn up.”
As Rivera says, L.A. was home to “a lot of peace, love, and flower children.” Reet was a “free spirit,” and she fit the proverbial description of someone thriving in the counterculture at the time.
Anne said she eventually came to the conclusion that Reet passed away since she was never heard from again. She said the fact that her sister was killed in cold blood is a hard reality to come to grips with.
It’s unknown if Reet Jurvetson is a Charles Manson murder victim, but police want to know more about “John.” Is this the man who murdered Reet?
“He is the best lead we have,” says Rivera. “No one deserves what happened to her. Someone might be out there who is responsible and it is our job to find out who it is and bring them to justice if we can.”
In other Charles Manson news, one of his notorious followers, Leslie Van Houten, was approved for parole.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 16, 2016
According to Talking Points Memo, Van Houten helped kill a wealthy grocer and his wife when she was just a teen and a follower of the Manson Family cult. The murder happened one day after Tate’s gruesome murder. Van Houten’s parole was approved for good behavior.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons/California Dept. of Corrections/CC-BY/Resized]