A state lawmaker called on California's prisons chief to authorize the brief release of a death row inmate known as the "Speed Freak Killer" so he can lead searchers to missing people presumed to be victims.
Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani sent a letter Thursday to prison department Secretary Matt Cate urging him to act on an emergency law she wrote authorizing the release under guard of convicted killer Wesley Shermantine from San Quentin Prison, The Record of Stockton reported.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed her bill into law on July 17, and it expires at the end of the year.
The Stockton Democrat also visited Shermantine this week. She told the newspaper he says he will cooperate.
Shermantine and his boyhood friend Loren Herzog were arrested in 1999 in connection with a string of methamphetamine-fueled murders. Herzog hanged himself in January after Shermantine began directing authorities to grave sites.
Shermantine's hand-drawn maps led authorities to five bodies, four of which have been identified as Central Valley women reported missing decades ago. The fifth victim remains unidentified.
Shermantine began cooperating with authorities after Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla promised to pay him about $30,000. Shermantine complained in letters to the Record that Padilla has paid him only about $2,000 so far.
Padilla told the newspaper it appears Shermantine is fixating on the reward and counseled patience.
""He's only got one thing in life right now -- me," Padilla told the Record. "Me? I've got a dozen things going on every day."
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.
The rare Cloud Forest is at peak bloom for this year at San Francisco Botanical Garden. The San Francisco Botanical Garden is one of the only outdoor botanical gardens in the world where the alluring beauties of the world’s misty cloud forests thrive and right now its prized Cloud Forest Garden is at its peak bloom for this year.