Men Sought In Cold Case Involving Stabbing Of Woman in 1969, Linked To Manson Killings

The Los Angeles police are in search of two men believed to be connected to the murder of a 19-year-old woman from Canada, who was stabbed to death in 1969, only a short distance from the the location of the Manson family killings.

On Friday, sketches of the men were released by the police department and have been based on new information collected from a witness in Montreal.

The sketches depict how the men would have looked in 1969 when the body of Reet Jurvetson was found by a child on Mulholland Drive, which was not far from Benedict Canyon. This location was not far from the location where actress Sharon Tate and four others had been stabbed to death a few months earlier in the same year. Jurvetson had been stabbed a total of 150 times in both her neck and upper torso.

For decades, her death has been connected to the Manson family murders. As of April of this past year, police had no evidence that was concrete enough to link the killings. The detectives on the case began investigation once more in 2003, following a DNA sample being admitted by a retired LAPD cold-case investigator. It was from the sample that an identity was finally matched to the body, and the detectives were then led to Jurvetson’s sister.

Detective Luis Rivera shared that little was known about the young woman following her travels to Los Angeles in 1969. She went to meet a friend named “John” or “Jean.” Jurvetson initially kept in touch sporadically with her family, yet as time went by, she stopped contacting, and her family did become concerned but never filed a missing person’s report.

The sister of the victim, Anne, is now the only remaining relative in the woman’s immediate family, and she recently made a website to assist in solving her sister’s murder. She posted a photo of her teenage sister celebrating her church confirmation, lounging on the sofa and smiling in a family portrait. Along with the pictures, she described her sister as adventurous and naive, a part of an Estonian refugee family who fled to Canada during World War II. The Los Angeles Times shared the words of Anne.

“Attempts were made to reach her, but they proved fruitless. Initially, we believed that Reet was probably in search of more autonomy, and therefore we waited for her to get in touch with us.”

When years passed with no contact, the family members believed that the victim had simply made a new life for herself. No one had suspected she was murdered. Anne wrote that finding out about her sister’s murder was “devastating.” In July, a witness provided new details about the friend of Reet’s, named John or Jean. The publication shares the information brought forth by the witness and additional evidence.

“The witness remembers meeting Reet Jurvetson and a man named ‘John or Jean’ at a cafe in Montreal, police said. The witness also provided information on an associate, a shorter man who sported a short Beatles haircut and also possibly named Jean. Authorities on Friday also said Anne had recently found a postcard sent by Jurvetson about two weeks before she was killed.

“Dated Oct. 31, 1969, it read:

“Dear Mother and Father, The weather is nice and the people are kind. I have a nice little apartment. I go frequently to the beach. Please write to me. Hugs, Reet.”

Initially, detectives suspected the Manson family of the murder because other victims by the notorious killer had been stabbed to death and Jurvetson’s death occurred around the same time as the killings by the infamous family.

The prosecutor for the Manson killings, Vincent Bugliosli, also stated in his book, Helter Skelter, that the then-Jane Doe No. 59 was killed because she had witnessed a Manson family slaying, involving John Phillip Haught.

Initially, Haught was believed to have died playing Russian roulette in November 1969, but information and evidence point to the Manson family members being present at the death of Haught.

Manson was later interviewed by LAPD at Corcoran State Prison last year but did not provide any additional information about Reet Jurvetson.

[Photo via Reet Jurvetson’s Family Memorial]

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