When a convict is sitting on death row, isolated from all other humans for almost every minute of the day, and waiting for his moment to die, he might as well be helpful to the authorities that are holding him. That, at least, is the belief of California State Assembly member Cathleen Galgiani, who has advocated for one of the state’s confined serial killers to be allowed out of prison walls to assist detectives in finding more of his victims.
Wesley Shermantine and his buddy Loren Herzog were known as the Speed Freak Killers. The men earned this horrible nickname due to their drug-fueled murders in the 1980s and 1990s. They finally were arrested in 1999 and two years later Shermantine was convicted of four murders and Herzog of three, the latter being released on parole in 2010 after it was determined that his confession was coerced.
Herzog did not enjoy his freedom for long, though. When he learned at the beginning of this year that his partner in crime was offering to lead authorities to more bodies, he hung himself in his trailer.
Just a few days ago, in the darkness of night, Shermantine directed law enforcement to wells in which he said several victims had been dumped. He also eluded to another bone yard in which other dozen bodies could be found.
I wonder what Shermantine’s motives are in revealing the location of his victims. Does he want attention? Reports are that he received more than $30,000 to provide a bounty hunter with maps of the makeshift graves, which he used to pay owed restitution and headstones for his parents. So is money the motivator? Or, perhaps there is a genuine sense of remorse and desire to provide some closure for families.
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