Reporting Koula Gianulias
The weekend brought more disturbing findings in the case of the Speed Freak Killers. Last week two bodies were recovered near the former home of Wesley Shermantine in Calaveras County. This weekend, more than 300 hundred bone fragments were dug up in Linden.
“This is probably the worst kind of situation to try and get DNA results out of,” said Robert D. Blasier, a DNA expert.
Three hundred bone fragments have been uncovered so far, giving grieving families new hope that they’ll finally have closure after their loved ones were murdered by the Speed Freak Killers. But according to Blasier, identifying the remains will be extremely difficult.
As a member of O.J. Simpson’s dream team, the defense attorney is known around the world for his knowledge of DNA, and continues to testify in criminal trials as an expert on the science.
While the technology has advanced in the last few years, Blasier says there are still limitations.
“The longer something stays in the ground or in a well, the harder it is to get any quantity of DNA out of it,” said Blasier.
Blasier says the bone fragments found by authorities in what’s now known as the “bone yard” of the serial killers, won’t necessarily lead to answers for victims’ families because they were buried decades ago in the 80s and 90s and were uncovered in rural San Joaquin County in an old well.
“There’s a lot of moisture. If they were thrown in the well, there’s going to be a lot of bacteria that tends to eat the DNA,” said Blasier.
Bacteria and water chop up the DNA making it useless, Blasier says. But there is still hope that detectives will solve some of the cases, according to blasier.
Convicted killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog may have murdered up to 30 people, according to investigators.
“If they can find skulls then they can do the dental history. And that would be more likely to produce something useful,” said Blasier.