Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Murder of Reet Jurvetson

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Cause of death  Homicide by stabbing
Nationality  Canadian
Murder of Reet Jurvetson reetjurvetsoncomwpcontentuploads201604Reet
Born  September 23, 1950 (agd 19) Sweden
Disappeared  October 1969Toronto, Canada
Died  c. November 14, 1969 (1969-11-13UTC22) (aged 19)Los Angeles, California, United States
Body discovered  November 16, 1969Los Angeles, California
Other names  "Jane Doe 59," "Sherry Doe"
Also called  "Jane Doe 59," "Sherry Doe"

Reet Silvia Jurvetson, formerly known as "Sherry Doe" and officially as "Jane Doe 59" was a Canadian-American woman murdered in California in November 1969. Her body remained unidentified for forty-six years until a mortuary photograph was recognized by family friends. Members of the Manson family are suspected in her murder, along with an unidentified man she had traveled to meet.

Contents

Discovery

On November 16, 1969, the body of a white female was located in Los Angeles, California by a 15-year-old boy who had been birdwatching. Approximately two days before, she had been stabbed multiple times resulting in her death and left in a ravine at the side of a road. A tree branch had prevented the body from rolling fully down the hill and into a 213-metre-deep canyon, and as such, her body was discovered within approximately 48 hours of her murder..

The young woman was believed to be between twenty and twenty-three years old and was five feet nine inches tall, weighing 112 pounds. The woman had green eyes, brown hair with vaccination scars on her left arm and left thigh. A scar was also found under her left breast, and a birthmark was located upon her right buttock. Besides these traits, the victim had no other distinctive features.

Jurvetson had been stabbed over 150 times in the neck, chest and torso with a common knife. It is also believed she had been transported to the location where her body was discarded in an upright position, and that her murderer was a right-handed individual. She had not been the victim of a sexual assault prior to her murder, and had no drugs or alcohol in her system when she died.

Investigation

A woman matching her description had been seen days before with the inhabitants of Spahn Ranch. She believed the woman used the name "Sherry." The Manson family was also suspected to be involved in the case due to the location of her body was near one of their murder sites, where actress Sharon Tate was killed along with three others.

Because of her clothing being manufactured outside of the country, she was believed to have been native to countries such as Spain and Canada, as her boots and jacket were made in the respective areas. Other articles of clothing included cutoff shorts from Massachusetts, a leather belt and a sweater. A buckle on the belt was made of brass and the victim wore two rings, white and yellow in color and were both made of metal. The yellow ring contained a red stone and the white one had Native American designs and was created in Mexico.

The victim's face was forensically reconstructed to provide an estimation of her appearance in life. One drawing was created shortly after she was found and the next series were created by Project EDAN member Barbara Martin-Bailey. The victim's sister later criticized these works, citing them as "inaccurate" representations of the deceased.

The location of her body and the probability that she was seen alive in company of the Manson family prompted police to suspect their involvement in her murder. Charles Manson was interviewed after Jurvetson's identification but denied any involvement.

Identification

In June 2015, Jurvetson's older sister, Anni, was contacted by friends that were searching through the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System after they noticed a similarity between a morgue photograph of the then-unidentified woman and Anni Jurvetson's estranged sister. Anni submitted a DNA sample for comparison to the sample belonging to the body.

It was announced in April 2016 that the body had been conclusively identified to belong to Jurvetson, a native to Toronto, Canada. She had departed from her home country to live in California. After she arrived, she wrote a postcard to her family that described her satisfaction with life in Los Angeles, which was the final contact they ever shared. The letter had been mailed two weeks prior to her murder. The family did not report her missing, as they presumed she was "living her life" and that she was a "free spirit."

After her identification, a person of interest was named in the case, besides the Manson family. Police theorized that a man with the name "John" or "Jean" whom Jurvetson had earlier known when she resided in Canada may have been involved in her murder. Sketches of the individual were created by the Los Angeles Police Department from descriptions from a witness from Montreal, who knew Jurvetson prior to her departure to America. The victim had allegedly met him while in Canada and had traveled to California to meet with him after his previous departure from Montreal.

References

Murder of Reet Jurvetson Wikipedia


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