Friday, September 9, 2016

L.A. Cops Search for Two in 1969 Unsolved Murder of Reet Jurvetson, Say No Charles Manson Connection

Police are searching for two men named Jean in connection with the murder of Reet Jurvetson
Los Angeles Police Department
By Christine Pelisek @chrispelisek

09/08/2016 AT 02:45 PM EDT

In the fall of 1969, 19-year-old Montreal native Reet Jurvetson flew to L.A. to visit a man named Jean she had met before in a coffee shop in Canada.

"She was enamored," retired LAPD cold case detective Cliff Shepard tells PEOPLE. "She thought he looked like Jim Morrison of the Doors."

The brunette beauty sent her family a postcard.

It read:"Dear Mother and Father, the weather is nice and the people are kind. I have a nice little apartment. I go frequently to the beach. Please write to me, Hugs, Reet"

The postcard was dated October 31. Sixteen days later, Jurvetson's body was found tangled in dense brush off of Los Angeles' scenic Mulholland Drive. She had been stabbed in the neck 150 times in what detectives believe was a "rage" killing.

But, because detectives found no identification on her, the identity of Jurvetson, she became known as Jane Doe #59, remained a mystery for 46 years until last April, when DNA from her bloody bra matched her sister.

Since then, Los Angeles Police Department detectives have been trying to solve her murder.

In July, LAPD detectives Lou Rivera and Veronica Conrado flew to Montreal to interview a witness who met Jean and Jurvetson at the CafĂ© Image all those years ago. The man was able to provide detectives with a sketch of Jean. Detectives also learned that Jean was known to hang around with another male – also named Jean – who was shorter than his friend and wore a bowl haircut in the style of the Beatles.

"They might have been sharing an apartment in Los Angeles," says Shepard. "They or he might have been the last ones to see her."

Reet Jurvetson LAPD

Recently, a friend of Jervetson’s told CBC News' investigative program, The Fifth Estate that she came across Jean's friend in Montreal in the spring of 1970.

"And I went right up to him and started talking to him, and I was asking him about Reet," the friend, Gilda Green, said. "And he said, 'Oh yeah, she was with us for a couple of weeks and then she left on her own and everything's fine, she was happy.'"

Green told The Fifth Estate that Jean's friend had no idea what happened to Jurvetson after her Los Angeles trip.

Green said Jean's friend was around five-foot-six-inches, with black hair, blue eyes and a French accent.

Jean, the man Jurvetson met in the coffee shop and flew to Los Angeles to visit, was described as more than five-feet-nine inches in height, with brown eyes and long feathered hair.

On August 20, Jurvetson's sister Anne gave detectives a possible clue. The postcard from Jurvetson to her parents, dated October 31, 1969, had a return address. But detectives soon discovered that the apartment complex, once called the Paramount Hotel, on Melrose Avenue was demolished in 1989.

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LAPD Says No Connection to Manson Family

Jane Doe 59's murder – just three months after actress Sharon Tate and several others had been viciously stabbed to death by the Manson Family a few miles away – fueled speculation that she could be connected to Charles Manson and his followers.

At the time, Ruby Pearl, a caretaker at Spahn Ranch, the notorious Manson Family hangout, told police that Jurvetson resembled a hippie named Sherry from Simi Valley who hung out at the ranch.

Later, in his 1974 book Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi suggested that Jane Doe #59 may have been present at the death of suspected Manson family victim John "Zero" Haught and "killed so she wouldn't talk." (Haught, whose death was reportedly declared a suicide, died of a gunshot wound to the head on November 5, 1969. Manson family members were reportedly present when the shooting occurred.)

However, the CBC reports that the LAPD said there is no evidence supporting a possible link to the Manson Family.

Back then, police also investigated if Jane Doe 59's murder was linked to the November 23, 1969 killings of James Sharp, 15, and 19-year-old Doreen Gaul. The young Scientologists were found brutally stabbed and beaten in a downtown Los Angeles alley, one week after Jurvetson was discovered.

The wounds on Gaul, Sharpe and Jurvetson, looked like the work of a "fanatic," LAPD Det. Lt. Earl A. Deemer told the Los Angeles Times at the time.

Detectives also looked into whether Jurvetson's murder was linked to the slaying of 17-year-old Marina Habe, who was abducted outside her West Hollywood home January 1, 1969.

Habe's body was found at the bottom of a ravine off Mulholland Drive, less than a half mile from where Jurvetson was discovered. Habe, like Jurvetson, reportedly had multiple stab wounds to the neck.

Today, detectives believe their best lead is Jean.

"He is the best lead we have," LAPD lead investigator Lou Rivera told PEOPLE in an earlier interview. "No one deserves what happened to her. Someone might be out there who is responsible and it is our job to find out who it is and bring them to justice if we can."

Anyone with information about the murder of Jurvetson is urged to contact LAPD's cold case unit at 213-486-6810.


Trilby said...

There is a vast difference between the paper's headline: "There is NO...", & the statement that appears later: "There is no EVIDENCE...". But I would agree that Manson played no role in her death. But do I suspect a "6 Degrees of Separation" scenario? You betcha. Did 4Pi mule Davis ever meet this girl? How about the West Coast 4Pi "leader" designated as such by his parent group's co-founder? (A coronation of sorts by the Grand Poobah, so to speak.) What sort of sordid shitbags like the ones mentioned above did this beautiful and unlucky (& probably trusting) soul have the misfortune to meet while she was "California Dreamin'"? She was really beautiful, certainly must have turned heads. At the beach. I wonder which beach she favored? Did she hitch rides, by car OR bike? What circles did Jean & friend travel in,I wonder? Even given the presence of Rodney Alcala, it's pretty amazing how many vicious stab wounds/"overkills" littered the Los Angeles landscape in the summer and fall of 1969. I wonder if the killer(s) were all cribbing notes after studying from the same "parent" playbook, so to speak.

At least this poor kid finally has a name and better picture than the forensic drawing. Like so many before her, she chased a dream only to have fate intervene and turn the California moon blood-red. RIP, pretty lady.

Matt said...

If Jean is still living he probably isn't sleeping too well right about now. She goes to CA to see him, she disappears and he doesn't report it?

Trilby said...

I wonder if she was seduced by someone else, both figuratively or literally. I'd be curious about how Jean & friend spent their time in California, and about their friends (if any). The problem is too many cops are of a one-dimensional, close-the-case mentality and aren't interested in thinking outside the box or untangling threads. Everything's a numbers game in our world, much more so now than then, even.

Suze said...

How wonderful it would be if this poor girl's murder were solved and solved soon. Her family deserves it and needs it.

rshep said...

If I was the Detective on the case, I would be looking into where Davis was at the time. They said the Manson Family wasn't involved. But, remember how far apart the 2 Police Departments were in the Tate/Labianca Murders. They didn't think there was a link there ether.

Robert C said...

Although I've never been a huge fan of the 'po-leese', these detectives (as opposed to beat cops) have an extremely difficult job not only trying to find the culprits but getting enough legal evidence to make a conviction. And in a metropolitan area the size of greater LA they have a lot of crap to deal with daily so are stretched thin. They (detective) are pretty well trained to think outside the box. But *at this time* it seems there's no evidence at all to connect to the Family. Even establishing a motive *for now* is stretching it. There were hundreds who visited Charlie's place (Spahn) during that time, maybe more, that didn't get snuffed.

Attorney Hughes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Attorney Hughes said...

Longtime reader, first-time poster here. Thought someone here might get a kick out of this besides me:

Attorney Hughes said...

Longtime reader, first-time poster here. Thought someone here might get a kick out of this besides me:

Attorney Hughes said...

Longtime reader, first-time poster here. Thought someone here might get a kick out of this besides me:

David said...

Suze said: How wonderful it would be if this poor girl's murder were solved and solved soon. Her family deserves it and needs it.

Yes, it would.

We spend a lot of time discussing many aspects of the crimes of 1969 and now and again I think we forget the personal impact, perhaps because it makes the rest easier. I don't know but it seems highly likely her parents passed away knowing only that their daughter in November 1969 suddenly just disappeared. As a parent I cannot imagine that. I can't imagine the wondering, the speculation, the hope. Like Col. Tate I would like to think I would have been in LA combing the streets, searching for answers.

Buona Fortuna said...

With all those brutal stabbings in such a short time frame there may have been a serial killer operating in the area, but since everyone wanted to pin every death on the 'hippy cult', no matter how tenuous the evidence, they could have been overlooked. And we all know the homicide dept wasn't the best...

AustinAnn74 said...

Isn't it ridiculously creepy that the composite sketch of the guy with the chili bowl looks just like Watson did when he was later photographed going back/forth to court?

Unknown said...

Interesting Ann ...

Robert Hendrickson said...

GEE whiz, the Cops say "NO connection to the Manson Family" and this guy's "hairdo" looks just like the Sebring Special (for famous musicians and psycho KILLERS).

And "NO Evidence" - of course NOT, the cops have NOT even been able to FIND the prime suspect.

That's like saying: "Oswald acted alone, BECAUSE we can't find ANY evidence that someone else was involved."

DebS said...

I'm not sure why the cops interviewed Manson about this. He was in the Inyo County jail at the time Jurvetson was murdered. He has a record of not talking specifics and even if he did talk, it would be hearsay.

Vague references have been made that perhaps she was present at the Haught death. Does this mean that all the people who were on the Haught police report have been contacted? Was Mark Ross contacted? Haught was killed at the place he was renting.

Sometimes I wish reporters would ask informed questions instead of trying to sex up a story by inserting Manson's name.

grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

Sometimes I wish reporters would ask informed questions instead of trying to sex up a story by inserting Manson's name

A grand "Amen" to that DebS !

dawnn said...

On Oct 28th CBC TV Fifth Estate will do a documentary titled Jane Doe number 59.Should be interesting.The Fifth Estate at one time interviewed Danny Decarlo and Sherry.This was when Danny Decarlo was in Canada.

StillGrooving said...


When I saw the pic of the guy with the Beatles haircut, I thought it very much resembled Tex in the arrest photo when he was tripping on Belladonna, but it was probably just the haircut.