Calgary police help identify victim of ‘Happy Face Killer’ – Calgary
The Calgary Police Department has been credited with helping the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office identify a victim of a cold-blooded homicide.
Patricia Skiple of Colton, Oregon was known as “Blue Pacheco” for the color of her clothing when her body was found on the side of a California highway.
Skiple, a mother known to friends and family as “Patsy”, would have been around 45 when she was murdered, the sheriff’s office said.
California investigators teamed up with the Doe DNA Projecta US-based non-profit organization that helps identify “Jane Does” and “John Does” using genetic genealogy services.
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“We have been tasked with assisting Santa Clara in locating Canadian ‘relatives’ who have been identified through their genealogical research,” a CPS spokesperson said.
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“There have been several successes in Alberta and Saskatchewan, across the country. Our detective and his team helped track them down to rule them out as potential family.
Skiple’s body was found on June 3, 1993, on the side of California State Route 152 in the Gilroy area of San Francisco Bay. The cause of his death was listed as undetermined at the time.
A year later, an Oregon newspaper published a five-part series in which an anonymous letter writer claimed to have committed five murders on the West Coast. Investigators later identified the author of the anonymous letter as Keith Hunter Jesperson, otherwise known as the “Happy Face Killer” for signing letters to police and the media with a happy face symbol.
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He was arrested in 1995 on suspicion of murder in Washington state, according to prison records. He ends up confessed to killing eight women between 1990 and 1995 in California, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Nebraska and Wyoming.
In 2006, Jesperson wrote to the county attorney’s office and said he sexually assaulted and killed a woman near the 152 freeway.
He is currently serving four life sentences without the possibility of parole at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, according to prison records.
–with files from the Associated Press.
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