It was 1969. Charles Manson and members of his family were in jail for the grisly Tate/LaBianca slayings in August of that year. He claimed there were other murders. In November, a young woman’s mutilated body was found in the brush off of Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. She was named Jane Doe #59 and that remained her ID for 46 years. But now, according to People magazine on April 27, she has a name.
According to True Crime Diary, Jane Doe #59 had been “dead for a day or so when found. She was Caucasian, in her early twenties, 5’9 ½”, 112 pounds, tinted brown hair, green eyes, with a one and one-quarter inch scar horizontally under her right breast and a light brown birth mark on her right buttock, the size of a quarter. She had 16 silver amalgam dental fillings.”
She had been stabbed over 150 times. In police parlance, this was a “rage” killing. LAPD Cold Case Detective Luis Rivera stated, “It was personal. It was a maniac. . . or love gone wrong.” The timing and manner of the murder made a lot of people think of the Manson family, the core members now jailed and awaiting trial. There were more Manson followers still roaming the streets.
The police had what seemed to be a good clue. A caretaker at the notorious Spahn Ranch, home of the Manson family, told them that the composite sketch of Jane Doe #59 looked like a girl named Sherry, who had hung out at the ranch. The caretaker believed she was from Simi Valley. But despite this and other intense efforts to solve the case, Jane Doe #59 she remained until a strange turn of fate occurred in June of 2015.
A friend of the long-ago victim was perusing crime sites and happened across of a post-mortem photo of Jane Doe #59. She called the victim’s sister and asked her to take a look. DNA from the victim’s bloody bra matched that of the sister. Jane Doe #59 was Reet Jurvetson.
Reet Jurvetson, 19 at the time of her murder, was born in Sweden and raised in Montreal. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles to visit a man named John, someone she actually met in Toronto, Canada. She sent a postcard to her family telling them all was well. That was the last anyone heard from Reet, until now.
The MO of the murder looks suspiciously like the Manson family. Detective Rivera interviewed Charles Manson with regard to the murder of Reet Jurvetson. Nothing new came out of that interview. Detective Rivera, however, is determined to solve this case once and for all. And although the Manson family’s involvement cannot be ruled out, it can’t be proven at this time.
At least for now, Jane Doe #59 has a name. That and a renewed investigation provides another chance for Reet Jurvetson’s murderer to finally be brought to justice.