Major pieces of machinery recently finished upending layers of earth outside of Sacramento, California that may lead to closure for some families after twenty or more years. Already convicted of four murders, Wesley Shermantine, known as one of two “Speed Freak Killers,” has drawn a map from inside his prison cell to lead authorities to the remains of an unknown number of victims. With that paper in hand, the tractors got to work.
The efforts focused on a 19th century well and thousands of pieces and fragments of bone have been discovered, along with purses, jewelry, and other personal items. The process that lies before the medical examiners now is a tedious one, as they now must study evidence that has been buried in up to 50 feet of dirt and water for decades.
The “Speed Freak Killers” are two childhood friends, the already mentioned Shermantine and his buddy Loren Herzog, who were known for their drug use and who committed their first murder together the year after they graduated from high school. Their drug of choice was methamphetamine, and as a doctor who was interviewed about the duo shared, violent acts become even more brutal on meth and, “If you look at meth murders, they didn’t just stab ’em once. You stabbed them 50 times.”
Shermantine was sentenced to death for killing four women. Herzog was supposed to serve more than 70 years for the same crimes but was let out of prison in September 2010 after only 14 years due to some legal maneuvering and good behavior. Herzog committed suicide two months ago after learning that his friend was going to share the locations of their victims’ bodies. So, while it appears that the justice system cannot do anymore to these two men in light of the new evidence that is being discovered, at least some moms and dads may finally be able to bury their children.
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