Reporting Koula Gianulias
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — The twisted tale of two serial killers has taken yet another turn.
Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, the so-called “Speed Freak Killers,” were convicted in 2001 of four murders but are suspected in many more.
CBS13 has now learned police want to know if a little girl kidnapped back in 1988 could also be a victim.
Michaela Garechet, 9, was kidnapped on a bike ride near her home in Hayward. CBS13 has now confirmed a possible connection to the convicted murderers.
Michaela’s case started making headlines again a couple years ago when investigators checked out Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, as a suspect. Now they’re following a new lead.
Hayward police confirmed to CBS13 that they’ve been in touch with detectives in San Joaquin County, where Shermantine claims he buried multiple bodies.
Hayward police will evaluate the potential connection to Michaela’s case after the San Joaquin sheriff’s office completes its search efforts.
CBS13 also uncovered another connection. We obtained a letter that Shermantine wrote on death row at San Quentin. He makes a reference to Michaela’s case, blaming his partner in crime, Herzog.
He also writes: “Herzog had family that lived in Castro Valley. That’s right by Hayward.”
He goes on to say how much Herzog looks like the suspect sketch of the man who kidnapped Michaela 24 years ago.
“It’s definitely not an impossibility,” Michaela’s mother, Sharon Murch, told CBS13 on Tuesday. “Younger photos of Herzog look like the suspect sketch.”
Michaela rode her scooter to the grocery store near her Hayward home back in 1988 and never returned.
As for her mother, she says there are five strong suspects in Michaela’s case, including Shermantine and Herzog.
But unlike other families waiting for information from the San Joaquin County sheriff about their missing loved ones, she dreads the day her daughter’s remains are uncovered.
“There’s a little part of me that doesn’t want to face the fact of knowing my daughter is not alive,” she said.