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Quincy, California
September 22, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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September 22, 2010

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010 5B Sam Williams survived the appeal." News Editor The judge in Herzog's first swiliiams@lassennews.corn trial allowed the confession. The trial judge listened to Loren Herzog, released on about 17 hours of videotape parole last week on state and ruled Herzog's confession grounds near High Desert had not been coerced. Testa State Prison, is a cold-blooded said he suspects the appellate killer whose penchant and ap- court simply read transcripts petite for murder probably oftheinterviews. haven't been satiated by more "If you listen to the video- than a decade in state prison, tape of the interviews, which So says the prosecutor who our trial judge did and found put him behind bars. (Herzog's confession was) not In 2001, veteran San coerced, you get a totally dif- Joaquin County Deputy Dis- ferent impression than if you trict Attorney Thomas Testa just read the transcripts," Tes- put Herzog away for 78 years ta said. "My big fear and dis- after convicting him on three appointment is the appellate counts offirst-degreemurder, court only read the tran- Testa also convicted Her- scripts." zog's childhood friend, Wesley According to the prosecutor, Shermantine, on four counts Herzog willingly participated of first-degree murder. Sher- in the lengthy interviews. mantine currently awaits exe- "When you read the tran- cution on death row. script, Herzog says, 'No, I As the case drew national don't want to talk,' and 'I'd attention, the media dubbed rather not discuss that,' but the duo the "Speed Freak when you listen to the video- Killers." tape, these guys are joking In 2004, the case against Her- around," Testa said. "They're zog unraveled when a Califor- having a blast like three col- nia appeals court overturned lege frat boys, talking like, 'Oh Herzog's conviction and reject- really, I always wanted to be a ed much of the evidence used cop,' and 'How'd you get to be against him after it determined a cop?' And then a nanosecond law enforcement officers co- later he's going on a hundred erced his confession, miles an hour about what hap- "We were devastated by the pened without even giving the appellate court's decision," officers a chance to respond to Testa said. "We were flabber- his comments. gasted by it. The family was "When you listen to the devastated by it, too. I was in tape, you can quite clearly see close contact with the attor- he was quite at ease and want- ney general who handled the ed to talk. It's obvious to any- appeal. He did a good job." one who wanted to listen to it, Testa said nearly all the evi- it was not coerced." dence against Herzog came Law enforcement officers in from a horrific 17-hour confes- San Joaquin County had no sion he made over three or leads in Vanderheiden's disap- four days while being ques- pearance until Herzog started tioned about the disappearance talking. of Cyndi Vanderheiden, 25. "Cyndi Vanderheiden's body Once the appellate court was never found." Testa said. threw out Herzog's conviction "We found her car with her and his len'~thy'confession, purse in it in the area, and her there wasn't much the deputy car hadn't been broken into. district attorney could do. She'd just vanished, but she "Loren came back into was last seen at a bar with court, and we looked at the ev- Loren Herzog and Wesley Sher- idence we had left, and gee, we mantine. The case went un- didn't have a heck of a lot," solved for a long time, but then Testa said. "So we just had to we found a drop or two of her hold our noses and let this guy blood in Shermantine's car." plead guilty to voluntary Herzog told investigators he manslaughter." hid in the back seat as Sher- Ironically, the rules have mantine raped Vanderheiden changed over the years, and on the hood of his car and Testa said he believes Her: then slit her throat. After the zog' confession and convlc- killing, he said he helped tion would stand today. Shermantine throw her life- "If the case came up today, less body in the trunk. the law has changed to our ad- But the story didn't end vantage," Testa said. "Today, there. if one wants to remain silent, "When Cyndi Vanderheiden they have to be unequivocal in vanished and some of her that assertion. If it's equivo- blood turned up in Wesley cal, the officers can continue Shermantine's car and these talking to them. If the case law two guys were the last ones that exists today had existed seen with her, we started dig- then, I think we would have ging a little more," Testa said. off your entire purchase -- one night only Also: as a special treat ... LIVE 50's Music, Refreshments & Appetizers! Come check out our fall preview. Clothing arriving daily. "s 530-283.0940 515 W. Main St., Quincy Mon.-Fri.: 9:30am - 5:30pm Sat.: 9:30am - 4pm Closed Sunday "We found there was an- other girl who'd van- ,ished (16- year-old Stockton res- ident) Chev- elle Wheeler. I think she disappeared in 1984. A few drops of her blood were found in Wes- Loren Herzog ley Sherman- tine's cabin up in the woods." Investigators also tried to linl~ the duo to other murders. "Loren and Wesley hung out together back then," Testa said. "There were several oth- er murdered individuals also, but we only had that hard evi- dence on the two. When Loren was arrested, he talked and talked and talked. Wes did this and Wes did that. Wes killed these two guys (.Paul Ca- vanaugh, 31, and Howard King, 35,) out on Dagget Road, and Wes killed this Indian guy up in the foothills. So we charged these two defendants with all these different charges. They were convicted, but Loren's conviction was overturned." Herzog and Shermantine still remain suspects in a num- ber of unsolved cold cases. "These guys would go hunt- ing with other people and dis- appear for four hours high as a kite," Testa said. "Once when they came back they were cleaning up and some- thing was suspicious. Turns out when we looked back, oh gosh, someone was killed dur- ing that period of time on such and such a weekend and the crime was unsolved. "We tried to see if we could make a connection, but we couldn't. There were a hum- See Prosecuter, page 6B Sam Williams Joaquin County, his last Iwant.'" News Editor county of residence, due to Vanderheiden believes swilliarns@ concerns raised by victims, Herzog should remain in their families and witnesses custody because he could in the case, but CDCR de- killagain. Losing a clined to identify those peo- "He doesn't belong on the child can pie. streets, he belongs behind devastate a "I would do everything to bars," Vanderheiden said. family, but ke6p him in jail, and tell "I'm just afraid he might fall losing a child everybody about him," Van- through the cracks, and if to a serial derheiden said. he's not watched he's going killer like "If he's paroled up there, to kill somebody else. Loren Herzog be very careful and watch "Maybe somebody in your is a night- him because he and his part- county. Maybe somebody mare that ner (Wesley Shermantine,downhere. I don't know." never ends. who awaits execution on With time running out News broke Friday, Sept. death row) have bragged and Herzog's release immi- 10, that the California about killing 29 people." nent, Vanderheiden and Cal- Department of Corrections Many of thos'e are cold ffornia 17th District Assem- and Rehabilitation had case murders in which Her- blywoman Cathleen Gal- decided to parole Herzog, zog and Shermantine are giani continue to press the one of the infamous "Speed suspects. Law enforcement governor, the courts, the Freak Killers," in Lassen officials hope news of Her- CDCR and anyone else who County. zog's parole will cause some- will listen to keep Herzog Herzog, 44, pleaded guilty one to come forward with behind bars, revisit the ap- to voluntary manslaughter new information, peHate court decision and in the 1998 death of Cyndi "He and his partner have maybe even file new charges Vanderheiden, 25, after an been killing people since against him anything to appeals court overturned they were 16 years old," block hisrelease. three first-degree murder Vanderheiden said. "I've "He was convicted of convictions against him in heard from people over in murdering my daughter and 2004. Herzog was sentenced Linden (where the boyhood two other people -- three to 14 years in state prison, friends grew up), when they first-degree murder charges and now he has served his were 14, they were going against him," Vanderheiden time. around shooting animals -- said. John Vanderheiden, cows andhorses just robe "The appellate court over- Cyndi's father, said he still killing something." turned it. What I'm trying to fears Herzog after all these The victim's father has do is get the appellate court years, little faith in the system and (decision) overturned ... I'm "I feel sorry for you guys doubts more than a decade concerned they didn't do if he gets released up there," behind prison walls have their homework before they Vanderheiden said, "But made Herzog a better per- reviewedit." there's nothing I can do. I son. ~Despite the long, long don't want him released in "I don't' think he'll ever odds on any change in my county either. The fur- change," Vanderheiden Herzog's status and the ther away from me the bet- said. "I don't care what rapidly shortening time ter. I'll still be watching out the corrections people say frame, Vanderheiden waits for him because he's threat- about rehabilitation. That's and hopes the man who con- ened Other people, including bullshit. He can never be re- fessed to participating in the me and my family." habilitated. He's gotten murder of his daughter Vanderheiden played a away with it, sowhat doyou somehow will remain in large role in the prosecution think h~'s go,~ng to do? 'I custody: after Herzog was arrested in got away with all.this, and "I was hoPing something 1999. The CDCR decided not I'm out now. I'm just like would come up, but so far to parole Herzog in San God, and I can do whatever nothing has," he said. Superintendent PUSD Glenn Harris Plumas Unified School District Schools Continue Demonstrating High Academic Performance Scores (API) Six of Plumas Unified School District's schools continueto meet or exceed the state's target of Governing Board reaching 800 or above in their API scores. While all our small schools vary in scores from year to year depending on student ability levels upon entering a particular school, specific school focus areas, instructional practices, and available targeted interventions to assist students in various skill areas - our schools are very consistent in scoring close to or above the 800 level on our state's achievement tests. The governing board and I are very proud Of the work and participation rate our teachers and students put into the importance of improving their achievement. Recent federal targets expect schools to meet or exceed a 95% participation rate on state testing. Our district averages over 99% participation rates for state testing, illustrating the importance our families, teachers and students place on improving performance. C. Roy Carmichael School, which is now identified as a first year Program Improvement School, made significant improvement as a school by improving their already high achievement scores by 14 points to 814 overall. Although C. Roy Carmichael is turning its attention to assist its English Second Language Learners become more successful in language arts and mathematics, it is implementing various research-based instructional literacy strategies and a two-year kindergarten program to assist everyone in their student population. While we invite you to celebrate our student successes, the district is working with our schools from our highest achieving Taylorsville Elementary to our lowest achieving Plumas Charter, to identify and assist our subgroup populations at various schools that will benefit from additional instruction in mathematics and language arts. PLUMAS UNIFIED Met Growth Target 2010 2009 2009-10 School- All Both School-wide Growth, Base Growth Wide Subgroups and Subgroups .811 813 -2 Elementary Schools C. Roy Carmichael Elementary Chester Elementary 814 800 874 882 14 Yes No -8 Yes Yes No Yes- Pioneer/Quincy Elementary 872 850 22 Yes Yes Yes High Schools Chester Junior/ Senior High 810 835 -25 Yes Yes Yes Portola Junior/ Senior High Quincy Junior/ Senior High 760 776 -16 No No 802 802 0 Yes Yes No Yes Small Schools Greenville Elementary Greenville Junior/ Senior High 761" 780* -19 No Yes 753* 763* -10 No Yes No No Plumas Charter 146 641" 662* -21 No Yes No Taylorsville Elementary 928* 918" 10 Yes Yes Yes