In the Bakersfield, California area in the spring of 2018, there were two men who were murdered: Micah Holsonbake, who disappeared in late March and whose arm was found in the river in December, and James Kulstad, who was shot in his mother’s car in early April. A Bakersfield woman, Baylee Despot, disappeared in late April that year.
They all knew each other and ran in the same circles, and there was talk that the cases must be connected somehow. The media, and the mothers of the missing/murdered individuals, called them “the Bakersfield Three.”
Well, there’s been a break in the case: it turns out the Bakersfield Three is actually the Bakersfield Two, as the police have decided Kulstad’s murder isn’t related to the other cases, and it turns out Despot and her boyfriend killed Holsonbake. She and the boyfriend, Matthew Queen, have been charged with murder, torture and conspiracy, and another man, Matthew Vandecasteele, has been charged with kidnapping and conspiracy in that case.
The police are still not sure what happened to Despot, though, whether she’s on the run or whether she herself met with foul play. With that in mind I’ve decided to keep her up on the Charley Project, murder charges or no. Despot’s mom seems to think Queen killed her, which seems likely to me.
What an awful mess. I feel so bad for the mothers of all involved.
- One of the Bakersfield 3 is accused of murdering the other in first major break in the case
- Woman missing for two years faces murder charges in Bakersfield 3 case
- ‘Bakersfield 3’ case takes shocking turn with announcement of murder charges
- The Bakersfield 3: How tragedy brought 3 grieving mothers together
- ‘Bakersfield 3’: Matthew Queen and Baylee Despot charged with murder in death of Micah Holsonbake