In 1988, nine-year-old Michaela Joy Garecht was abducted in broad daylight from a Hayward, California supermarket, by a pockmarked young man with long blond hair. Perhaps, if they had had Amber Alerts back then, the outcome would have been different. But in any cases, she was never found and her abductor was never identified, although many suspects have surfaced over the years.
Well, the cops are now looking into the possibility that Wesley Shermantine and/or Loren Herzog, the so called “Speed Freak Killers,” are responsible for Michaela’s abduction and presumed murder. Shermantine’s on death row and Herzog, who was on parole, killed himself early this year. Shermantine recently wrote a letter accusing his friend Herzog of a slew of unsolved murders, and Michaela’s was one of those mentioned. This article points out that Herzog resembles the sketch of the abductor.
Personally, I doubt he had anything to do with it. I think Shermantine’s just trying to screw around with people. As far as I know, both men victimized adult women and teens, not little girls. But presumably the police will make up their own minds about this.
The Redding Record-Searchlight has reported that Robert Neil Knechtel, father of Karen Knechtel Mero, died this past Monday. He was 67 years old and had been in poor health for some time, a fact he blamed in part on his daughter’s disappearance. Karen’s mother, Alice, is still alive.
Karen disappeared from McCloud, California in 1997, at the age of 27. Authorities think she may have been the victim of a serial killer. Wesley Howard Shermantine, who was convicted in four women’s presumed deaths (including two cases where the bodies were never found) and suspected in the disappearance of Hannah Zaccaglini (who also disappeared from McCloud in 1997), is the prime suspect in Karen’s disappearance as well.
Loren Herzog, one of two men convicted of killing Chevelle “Chevy” Wheeler in 1985, Cynthia “Cyndi” Vanderheiden in 1998 and one other person, is about to be paroled. His partner in crime, Wesley Shermantine, was sentenced to death and Herzog got 78 years, but most of that was tossed on appeal and he copped a plea to manslaughter instead. 14 years. Well, now those 14 years are up.
Initially is was announced that Herzog would be out on July 25. But the police say there was a “clerical error” in calculating his sentence and he’s not due to be released for “several weeks” more. This is very unfortunate. The man is a monster and suspected serial murderer.
The San Joaquin Record
The San Joaquin Record again
The San Joaquin Record x3
The Mercury News