Date Published 08.27.09
The Ventura Murders

I wrote about the murders of Brock and Davina Husted here.  An intruder dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet stabbed the Husteds to death in their Ventura County beach home while their two young children hid.

Exactly two weeks later, Wendy DiRodio, 61, was found stabbed death in her Ventura Keys home.  The cases had some superficial similarities, and I speculated they might be the work of EAR-ONS, the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker, an unidentified serial rapist and murderer who preyed on women and couples in Southern California in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

I’ve since found out that investigators don’t believe the two cases are connected.  A source says it appears something in Brock Husted’s life (or past) may have led him to be targeted.  The same source says investigators are on more certain ground in DiRodio’s murder, hinting that a clear suspect has emerged and it’s only a matter of time before an arrest is made. 

Double Life

Christopher Revak was the suspect in a 2007 abduction and murder who comm
itted suicide in a Missouri jail last month and is now suspected of being a serial killer, a development I wrote about here.

The lead investigator in the Missouri case, Sheriff Chris Degase, has said that Revak may be connected to at least four more murders and that other jurisdictions are looking at him as a possible suspect.  Degase wouldn’t release much information about the other cases, except to say they were in states north of Missouri, went back as far as 14 years, and in some instances Revak would have been just passing through the area.

I speculated the other missing or murdered women were Deidre Harm (Wisconsin Rapids, Wi), Jodi Huisentruit (Mason City, Ia) and Crystal Arensdorf (Dubuque, Ia).

It’s now been confirmed that Revak is a suspect in the murder of Deidre Harm.  Mason City, Iowa police are taking a look at him in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, though Degase says Huisentruit wasn’t one of the cases he originally listed.  So who was?

Digging deeper into Revak’s background, I noticed he had a close family member who didn’t live far from Madison, Wisconsin.  I remembered the case of Kelly Nolan, which I wrote about here

Nolan, 22, disappeared in the early morning hours of June 23, 2007 after bar hopping with friends on State Street in downtown Madison.  A few weeks later her body was found in a wooded area outside of town.

Revak abducted his Missouri victim from outside a bar in the early morning hours.  I called Sheriff Degase.

He told me he didn’t want to talk about the other cases for fear of jeopardizing the investigation.  Still, I had him on the phone.

“Is one of them Kelly Nolan?” I asked.

Degase paused.

“You’ll have to call Madison and ask them about that," he said.

I haven't heard back from Madison yet.

The Sweetheart Killer

Edward Edwards, 76, is the former drifter accused of killing two high school sweethearts in rural Wisconsin nearly 30 years ago.   The couple disappeared from a wedding reception at hall where Edwards worked as a handyman. 

It’s a long shot, but I thought Edwards shared some characteristics of the Zodiac killer, the infamous serial killer who terrorized northern California in the late ‘60s.  I wrote about it here.

There’s nothing to report on the Zodiac angle, but Edwards is a person of interest in another murder, this time in Ohio.  His foster son, Danny Edwards, disappeared in May 1996 and was found nearly a year later in a cemetery about a mile from where he lived with Edwards and his wife.  Danny Edwards died from a shotgun blast to the head.


The Feed

RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary:
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.