Speed Freak Killer Sends New Letter

Serial killer says there are even more bodies to uncover.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Convicted serial killer Wesley Shermantine says he knows where more victims are buried. He also apologized for keeping burial sites secret for so long.

    Shermantine spoke with a reporter for the Stockton Record over the weekend and said he was sorry — not for killing anyone, something he denies despite a 2001 death sentence for four murders.

    Shermantine also wrote a letter to Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla recently. Padilla said he received the letter on Monday. It talks about a possible book deal.

    Shermantine also expressed interest in the DNA results from the mass grave, which was uncovered earlier this month outside the town of Linden. More than 1,000 bone fragments were discovered in an abandoned well. Read the letter for yourself at this link.

    NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez just interviewed reporter Scott Smith with the Stockton Record on Monday. He says he visited Shermantine for two hours at San Quentin on Saturday and that Shermantine apologized to the familes of victims Cindy Vanderheiden and Chevy Wheeler.
     
    "He says, 'I want to tell the Vanderheiden family and the Wheeler family that I'm sorry for holding onto this information for so long that I buried their daughters and I didn't tell them. I kept it a secret,'" Smith said.
     
    Shermantine also vaguely described more locations where bodies are buried. He mentioned Modesto, Stockton, Ripon and Milton.
     
    "In short, he gave me a lot of vague descriptions of roads and areas where maybe there'd be some well or mines," said Smith. When Smith pressed him for more details, Shermantine replied, "I'll write you another letter."

    He claims his boyhood friend and accomplice Loren Herzog was responsible for both murders.

    Following Shermantine's tips, officials found both Vanderheiden and Wheeler in Calaveras County earlier this month.

    He also led investigators to 1,000 bones and skull fragments deep in an abandoned ranch well near Linden in San Joaquin County.

    Those remains have yet to be identified.

    A third set of yet-unidentified human remains have been found in Calaveras.

    Shermantine and Herzog were dubbed the Speed Freak Killers for a killing spree across the Central Valley in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Both were convicted of multiple murders, but Herzog's conviction was overturned on appeal. He was later paroled.

    Meanwhile, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department confirms their investigators met with officials from the California Department of Justice, the FBI and the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office on Friday. They discussed how best to proceed with future searches. They are not sharing details of the meeting and said dialogue is continuing.

    "The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office is committed to doing everything humanly possible and utilizing all resources available to recover the victims who may have fallen prey to Leonard Herzog or Wesley Shemantine," the department said in a statement.