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Confessions of the “Speed Freak” killer

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Speed Freak Killers (courtesy of AP and San Quentin)

In the 1980s and 1990s, the San Joaquin Valley of California was terrorized by the “Speed Freakserial killers, as methamphetamine freaks Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog came to be known. Together, their body count stands at 22, mostly young women and girls, but could rise to 70 or more once all is said and done.

The killers were finally caught in 2001 and convicted of multiple murders. Shermantine remains in prison, while Herzog served 11 years and then hung himself this past January. Unfortunately, anything Herzog knew about his victims’ burial places went with him to the grave. And until recently, Shermantine wasn’t talking.

Now it appears things have changed. A bounty hunter offered Shermantine some cash for information of his victims’ whereabouts and he took the deal. The scribbled maps he drew led authorities to the remains of five victims, finally bringing some closure for their grieving families.

Shermantine continues to map locations for authorities and has even visited some of the sites under armed guard. The results of these “probes” have yet to be released, but the families of still-undiscovered victims are hopeful.

“I want to get her out of wherever she is,” said Sue Kizer, the mother of 18-year-old victim Gayle Marks. “We’re tired of waiting.”

The wait may soon be over thanks to the very man responsible for these heinous crimes. Life is nothing if not ironic.

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