Reporting Laura Cole
STOCKTON (CBS13) — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department has serious concerns about the safety and security in transporting a serial killer to help with a search for victims’ remains, but the parole agent who met with him says it can all be done safely.
Susan Kane is a parole agent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Tuesday night, CBS13 caught up with her at her home to ask her about the meeting she had with convicted killer Wesley Shermantine, who is on death row at San Quentin for killings he and longtime friend Loren Herzog were convicted of in 2001.
Herzog committed suicide Jan. 16 outside High Desert State Prison, where he was living while on parole. Herzog and Shermantine were dubbed the “Speed Freak Killers” during their trial because they committed their killings fueled by drugs.
Asked if she believed Shermantine was telling the truth about a “boneyard” where the victims are buried, Kane said she did.
“My perception of him during the interview and my perception of the information that he gave us was it was very articulate, as much as it could be articulate,” she said. “I think so, I think that he is (telling the truth).”
Kane says they planned to transport Shermantine to help locate the burial sites two weeks ago. But San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore put a halt to the arrangements, concerned over a potential escape or suicide-by-cop scenario.
Kane says Moore doesn’t have anything to worry about and insists Shermantine can be transported safely.
“They do it every day, people just don’t know that,” she said.
Asked if she thought Shermantine could escape, Kane said “absolutely not.”
Asked if there could be a suicide-by-cop situation, she again said “absolutely not.”
Sheriff’s deputies attempted to locate remains Friday in Calaveras County without Shermantine, but the search turned up empty. Kane expressed doubts that investigators can find the remains without his assistance
“I don’t think so. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack,” she said. “You’re in rural country territory. I don’t think so.”
Kane says after the transport was canceled, she was pulled from the case. But even though she’s not currently an active part of the search effort, she’s hoping law enforcement continues down the right path to once and for all give the victims’ families some small sense of peace.
“All it’s about is getting these victims home to their families,” Kane said. “That’s all it’s about.”
Sheriff Moore still isn’t saying much about his next steps in the search effort. He did say that after they’ve exhausted all options, they would consider transporting Shermantine to assist.