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FBI Revisits Unsolved Gypsy Hill Murders from 1976
NBC Bay Area ^ | Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 | Riya Bhattacharjee, Kim Tere

Posted on 03/07/2014 4:25:32 PM PST by nickcarraway

An FBI operation dubbed Gypsy Hill will be canvassing neighborhoods to try and jog memories about a string of unsolved homicides from 1976. Kimberly Tere reports.

An FBI operation dubbed “Gypsy Hill” will be canvassing neighborhoods to try and jog memories about a string of unsolved homicides from 1976.

At a press conference Thursday outside the Redwood City Courthouse, FBI special agent Gerald Bessette announced that the FBI will join forces with San Mateo County law enforcement agencies to knock on people’s doors to see if they can pursue any leads that surface.

Joss Stone On Her Alleged Murder Plot: "It's Very, Very Weird" The task force is comprised of FBI agents, officers from the Daly City, Pacifica, South San Francisco and Reno police departments, and deputies with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

The joint task force was formed to focus on the cases, which saw six women in their late teens or 20s mysteriously disappear and then were later found murdered.

Within the last few months, the FBI connected the killing of 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell, who disappeared in February 1976, to the five Peninsula crimes and formed the task force hoping to uncover new leads in the case.

Similarities between the murders include the time frame in which they were committed and the “modus operandi,” or pattern of behavior, authorities said. They were all young women waiting next to a car or waiting for the bus, Bessette said.

Based on the forensic links between a number of the cases, the time frame of the murders, and the methods used by the offender to commit these crimes, investigators are confident all of the crimes were committed by the same offender.

"We have reason to believe the deaths are linked," Bessette said, describing the murders as “crimes of opportunity."

The first Peninsula victim was Veronica "Ronnie" Cascio, who disappeared from a bus stop in Pacifica in January 1976.

Tatiana "Tanya" Blackwell also disappeared that month; Paula Baxter went missing in February; Carol Lee Booth disappeared in March; and Denise Lampe was reporting missing in April that year.

The canvassing will start in the next couple of weeks. It will include neighborhoods where the victims were last seen and where their bodies were discovered.

Bessette described the joint-task force as an effort to bring the killer to justice and provide closure for the victims' families. "No tips or observations are too small for us," he said.

Nun-in-Training Pleads Guilty in Baby's Death Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the FBI's tip line at (415) 553-7400.

More information on the specific cases:

On Jan. 7, 1976, 18-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Cascio was last seen in the Fairway neighborhood of Pacifica walking from her home to the bus stop located at the corner of Bradford Way and Fairway Drive in Pacifica. Her body was found the next day at the Sharp Park Golf Course. This is currently being investigated by the Pacifica Police Department.

On Jan. 24, 1976, 14-year-old Tanya Blackwell left her home on Heathcliff Drive, Pacifica, reportedly walking to a 7-Eleven store located at King Drive in South San Francisco. Her body was located months later off Gypsy Hill Road in Pacifica, California. This is currently being investigated by the Pacifica Police Department.

On Feb. 4, 1976, 17-year-old Paula Baxter was last seen leaving the parking lot of Capuchino High School in Millbrae, California. Early the next morning her car, a bronze 1972 Chevy Vega station wagon, was located parked on a nearby residential street. Her body was found 2 days later hidden in the brush behind the Latter Day Saints Church on Ludeman Lane. This is currently being investigated by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

On Feb. 24,1976, at approximately 8:10 p.m., 19-year-old University of Nevada-Reno student Michelle Mitchell’s vehicle broke down at the intersection of 9th Street and Evans Avenue in Reno, Nevada. Someone assisted her in pushing the vehicle, a yellow, early 1970s Volkswagen Bug, into the parking lot located across from the UNR agricultural building on Evans Street. Her body was found that evening in the garage of a nearby home. This is currently being investigated by the Reno Police Department and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. On March 15, 1976, 26-year-old Carol Lee Booth was seen walking from the bus stop on El Camino Real at Arroyo Street in South San Francisco towards her home. She was known to use a common shortcut across an open area between Kaiser Hospital and Mission Road near the former El Camino Driving Range. Her body was located months later hidden in the brush in the same area. This is currently being investigated by the South San Francisco Police Department.

On April 1, 1976, 19-year-old Denise Lampe left the Serramonte Mall in Daly City, California and returned to her vehicle, a 1964-1/2 Mustang, parked between Macy’s and Denny’s Restaurant. Her body was found that evening inside her vehicle at the same location in the mall parking lot. This is currently being investigated by the Daly City Police Department. Laura Dudnick of Bay City News contributed to this report.

Clockwise from left, Denise Lampe, Michelle Mitchell, Paula Baxter, Veronica “Ronnie” Cascio, Tanya Marie Blackwell and Carol Lee Booth “Beedy”

Clockwise from left, Denise Lampe, Michelle Mitchell, Paula Baxter, Veronica “Ronnie” Cascio, Tanya Marie Blackwell and Carol Lee Booth “Beedy”. All six women disappeared mysteriously in 1976.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; US: California; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: carolleebooth; deniselampe; geraldbessette; gypsyhill; michellemitchell; paulabaxter; tanyamarieblackwell; veronicacascio

1 posted on 03/07/2014 4:25:32 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Clockwise from left, Denise Lampe, Michelle Mitchell, Paula Baxter, Veronica “Ronnie” Cascio, Tanya Marie Blackwell and Carol Lee Booth “Beedy”. All six women disappeared mysteriously in 1976.

2 posted on 03/07/2014 4:37:04 PM PST by null and void ( Obama is Law-Less because Republican "leaders" are BALL-LESS!!)
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To: nickcarraway; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ...

I’m glad someone’s finally spending some time on this, but alas, this was 38 years ago, and it’s not unlikely that the killer is dead.


3 posted on 03/07/2014 4:44:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: null and void

Dat hairstyle.


4 posted on 03/07/2014 4:45:02 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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from 1977:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillside_Strangler


5 posted on 03/07/2014 4:45:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: null and void

They look exactly like Ted Bundy’s type.


6 posted on 03/07/2014 4:51:55 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: SunkenCiv

Unless they have some DNA and other evidence, their chances are probably pretty low.


7 posted on 03/07/2014 4:58:32 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (WWP and Paralyed Veterans Assoc. doing the work the U.S. Veterans Administration won't do!)
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To: nickcarraway

After 38 years I would think that most of the neighbors from that time period would have moved, etc.


8 posted on 03/07/2014 5:07:24 PM PST by 2111USMC (Aim Small Miss Small)
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To: SunkenCiv

You think Bianchi and Buono did these? I really doubt it. They were both living in LA in 76. Bianchi totally ratted out Buono for leniency and after confessing to participating in a nine murders already, he would have had no reason to hold back on these.


9 posted on 03/07/2014 5:43:58 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: nickcarraway; SunkenCiv; martin_fierro; Bubba Ho-Tep; ElkGroveDan; ml/nj; Yaelle; 2ndDivisionVet; ..

As long as law enforcement is revisiting California serial murder cases from yesteryear, how about looking into “The Zodiac” murders again and find the real perp? Those cases have never been solved, although several names have been mentioned as possible suspects.


10 posted on 03/07/2014 6:15:50 PM PST by justiceseeker93
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep
Bubba Ho-Tep said: "They look exactly like Ted Bundy’s type."

That was my immediate reaction as well. They are all young women and most have long, straight, dark hair parted in the middle.

Apparently Bundy was incarcerated at the time of these murders. It would have been quite eerie had he been on one of his escapades after an escape. I wonder if there is any chance that it was a Bundy copy-cat?

11 posted on 03/07/2014 6:33:29 PM PST by William Tell
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

That was my first thought. I grew up in FL and am fairly familiar with the Bundy. They should dig him up and crap on his bones every year.


12 posted on 03/07/2014 6:33:43 PM PST by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: 2111USMC
After 38 years I would think that most of the neighbors from that time period would have moved, etc.

Yeah, I suspect they would have to conduct seances to speak to a few of them.

13 posted on 03/07/2014 6:41:38 PM PST by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: ExpatGator

There certainly is a resemblence in all those girls,
even facial type.

Pretty cold trail but maybe they have something
that ties them together...


14 posted on 03/07/2014 6:43:24 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: justiceseeker93

The Zodiac murders were nearly 50 years ago — the likelihood is that the perp was a known nutjob who spent his twilight years in the nuthouse; the murders stopped after he was locked up.


15 posted on 03/07/2014 7:25:53 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: justiceseeker93; SunkenCiv
This news from last week is very compelling re: the Zodiac killer.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/man-now-dead-buddy-confessed-zodiac-killer-article-1.1703245

16 posted on 03/07/2014 7:45:47 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: tet68

Looks like he was doing his first stint in jail at that time...prior to his escape in ‘77.


17 posted on 03/07/2014 7:47:07 PM PST by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: justiceseeker93

Ah, this is almost who I was thinking of. :’)

http://www.zodiackiller.com/AllenFile.html


18 posted on 03/07/2014 7:54:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: nickcarraway

More detailed article here:

Authorities began re-examining the death case of Michelle Mitchell — a woman found tied with her throat slashed in a garage near the university’s campus in 1976 — last year when Cathy Woods, who was convicted in the murder, requested review of evidence, Reno police Deputy Chief Mac Venzon said.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20140306/NEWS01/303060048/


19 posted on 03/07/2014 7:58:47 PM PST by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with violence, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
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To: nickcarraway
Remember Richard Jewell

He was a Good Samaritan, and the FBI tried very hard to frame him up for the bombing.

The FBI never cleared this up.

20 posted on 03/07/2014 7:58:52 PM PST by gaijin
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If they weren’t suspects, he would. Buono (and maybe Bianchi) is also a (deceased) suspect in a string of similar murders in their hometown of Rochester NY.


21 posted on 03/07/2014 8:05:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: RetiredTexasVet; ElkGroveDan

DNA evidence is what got this started up.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/crime-law/feds-link-reno-murder-unsolved-1976-gypsy-hill-kil/nd678/

Archival stuff:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/true-crime/474413-gypsy-hill-killer-2.html


22 posted on 03/07/2014 8:06:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ElkGroveDan; All

Yes, I know about that recent story. But there have been other similar reported confessions to the Zodiac crimes down through the years. Furthermore, there are some wackos, oftentimes with their own criminal histories, who confess to famous crimes they didn’t do because it gives them a perverse sense of “accomplishment.”


23 posted on 03/07/2014 8:24:15 PM PST by justiceseeker93
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To: ElkGroveDan

The alleged confessed killer didn’t look like the drawn likeness based on the couple of surviving eyewitnesses.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3128387/posts


24 posted on 03/07/2014 9:06:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: justiceseeker93
Furthermore, there are some wackos, oftentimes with their own criminal histories, who confess to famous crimes they didn’t do because it gives them a perverse sense of “accomplishment.”

Yes I know all about false confessions as does everyone else who reads the news.

This guy lived in Vallejo during the crimes, went to high school with two victims, worked at a restaurant with one of the other victims and also worked at a military surplus store that sold the kind of boots that were identified at one of the crime scenes. Too many close contacts to dismiss out of hand.

25 posted on 03/07/2014 9:44:04 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: null and void

They all have similar hair styles and facial shapes.


26 posted on 03/08/2014 5:08:30 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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