Reporting Laura Cole
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A serial killer’s latest letter from death row comes with a warning and a demand if investigators want his help unearthing the remains of murder victims.
A two-page letter sent to Sacramento-based bounty hunter Leonard Padilla spells out Wesley Shermantine’s demand. The former FBI agent and special agent from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who interviewed the San Quentin death row inmate must be included in the search for Cyndi Vanderheiden’s remains.
Shermantine writes: “If I don’t see them as part of this recovery team, I will not leave the prison on any transport.”
And the serial killer takes aim at the San Joaquin County sheriff who put a halt to search efforts last month. The original plan was for Shermantine to lead investigators to burial sites where he says his “Speed Freak Killers” partner Loren Herzog had him dispose of victims’ bodies.
“I see they are fighting over whom gets the glory,” Shermantine writes. “Look, the Stockton sheriff Moore can go (expletive) himself.”
In the letter to Padilla, Shermantine warns that the sheriff needs his help, saying “San Joaquin County loses all hope of finding Herzog’s boneyard. I memorized Herzog’s map, and flushed it in the county jail toilet. Now with Herzog dead, I know I hold all the information.”
Herzog committed suicide Jan. 16 outside the High Desert State Prison in Susanville, where he was living after being release on parole.
Padilla says Shermantine is still working with him, and even if the convicted killer is never transported, Padilla says he’ll still find Cyndi’s remains.
“Is this a huge stepback? No, no, absolutely not,” Padilla said Monday. “With or without Wesley, me and (partner) Rob (Dick) have a good understanding of where cyndi’s remains are.”
CBS13 did talk with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department Monday night, and officials there said they would gladly welcome a meeting with Padilla and the former FBI agent in order to find the remains and bring about closure for the victims’ families.