|Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine|
Two prominent scientists have added to the chorus of criticism of the embattled San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office over its 2012 excavation of a Central Valley well that held victims of the "Speed Freak Killers," according to court documents, saying the recovery effort was flawed and failed to follow established standards. The revelations raise further questions about whether possible evidence pointing to unidentified victims of the infamous serial killer duo was lost during the recovery of remains.
Critics have lambasted the Sheriff's Office for using a backhoe to search a Linden well linked to the serial killers, alleging that the remains found were fractured, commingled and dishonored -- including mixing human remains with animal bones. The sheriff's handling of the investigation has come under fire by current and former law enforcement officials, a state senator and others.
Now, forensic anthropologist Eric Bartelink, director of the Chico State University Human Identification Laboratory and president of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and Dr. Bennet Omalu, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's own chief forensic pathologist, have both found fault with the manner in which remains were recovered, according to the filings in the lawsuit by a family of one of the victims.Found on Monica's (SIL) Facebook.
The Sheriff's Office continues to defend its handling of the remains.
Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog -- dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers" for their methamphetamine-fueled killing spree that began in the 1980s and ended with the friends' 1999 arrests -- were convicted of four murders. The pair's names have surfaced as suspects in several unsolved missing persons cases, including Hayward's Michaela Garecht.
In a report produced on behalf of the family seeking damages from the Sheriff's Office for allegedly mishandling the victim's remains, Bartelink concluded that the dig did not follow industry best practices and the remains of most of the victims were fractured or commingled through the use of heavy equipment. . .