Killers Tip Yields Grim Results

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Monday, February 13, 2012 - 12:26pm

More than 300 bone fragments and other items found in well where serial killer allegedly dumped victims.

Investigators in San Joaquin County, California have uncovered up to 300 bone fragments of various sizes at an abandoned well east of Linden.

Convicted murder Wesley Shermantine pointed crews to the site where he claims his friend Loren Herzog dumped at least 10 bodies.

Investigators using heavy equipment found bones about 35 feet below the surface.

"We're finding all sizes, large and small," said San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Les Garcia.

After discovering human remains, investigators began using screens to sift through the piles of dirt and tagging the evidence, much like an archeologist would survey a dig site.

Investigators were led there in part due to letters Shermantine had sent from death row to Scott Smith, a reporter with the Stockton Record.

Smith toured the site during the weekend excavation and said sheriff's investigators had also discovered a sandal and a pair of tennis shoes.

"It looks like a young woman's sneakers, and with socks and bones coming out of it," said Smith.

According to Garcia, investigators also found a coat, a purse and a woman's ring with what appear to be initials.

"It's been buried for several years. We're gonna see how well it cleans up," said Garcia.

It has been believed that Shermantine and his friend Loren Herzog might be responsible for up to 20 murders in a drug fueled killing spree beginning in the mid 1980s.

Herzog committed suicide last month.

The Sheriff's Department has established a hotline for people to call who believe they have a missing person that may have fallen victim to Herzog or Shermantine. It is (209) 468-5087.

Although his letters might bring closure to families whose loved ones are missing, Smith said he is upset after what he saw at the site.

"It's gruesome. It's a horrible scene. It just makes you want to cry," said Smith.
 

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