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.