Reporting Laura Cole
FRENCH CAMP (CBS13) – The sister of Speed Freak Killer Wesley Shermantine says the digging delay to unearth victims has gone on longer than anyone knows, and she says she has the letters to prove it.
Barbara Shermantine says she handed over letters with clues on victims’ locations to detectives who, she says, never followed up.
She says it’s horrible to be labeled as the sister of a serial killer, but says it’s time to tell what she knows and how she’s tried to help the victims’ families for years.
“You know that I have turned letter after letter after letter over to them, and nothing is getting done, nothing at all,” said Barbara.
Barbara is not showing her face, to protect herself and her family. She’s worried she could be targeted because of her brother’s crimes, but she wants the world to know she’s tried to help investigators locate victims of the Speed Freak Killers.
“I’ve entrusted that everything I was turning over to the sheriff’s department was being handled in a timely manner, and it wasn’t,” said Barbara.
She says Wesley sent her letters about locations of victims in February 2010, and she turned over those letters over to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.
“They were at my homes numerous times, sometimes twice a day picking up letters,” said Barbara.
In a letter dated September 2010, Wesley writes, “Well I’ve been watching the news to see how many people/bodies they find out on Flood Road at the eucalyptus.”
But investigators didn’t start digging until nearly a year and a half later.
“They’ve really dropped the ball,” said Barbara.
The sheriff’s department says they did follow the lead, but the property owner told them the wells were sealed before the victims ever disappeared.
Wesley’s map and a second interview with the owner led to the dig, unearthing victims’ remains.
Barbara says it didn’t have to take that long.
“There’s these families out there without their loved ones,” she said. “At least be able for these families to help their loved ones to be able to bury, properly bury them and move on.”
Barbara is trying to move on, knowing who her brother is.
“Do you believe that your brother is a serial killer?” asked CBS13′s Laura Cole.
“Unfortunately, yes I do,” said Barbara.
Barbara hopes investigators will keep searching for the victims, but she worries that as the rain moves in, any efforts to recover other victims won’t happen until next year or perhaps never.