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Spirits of Surf Bistro & Bakery

Posted by Maryanne Porter on October 17, 2013 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (2)



Today most would agree that Seabright is nothing more than a sleepy little town near the beach with some quaint restaurants, a few dive bars, and some modest tourist attractions. The same can be said historically as far back as the early 1800s. It was then, too, nothing more than a barren lot of property, home to a few of its founding fathers, adjacent to the beautiful Santa Cruz coast, and adjoined to a lagoon or two.


What many may not know is back in the late 1800s, Seabright, named for Seabright, New Jersey, became home to a major train station servicing ferried passengers between Santa Cruz and the Pajaro Valley. Now known as Seabright Avenue, this street was formerly known as Railroad Street. It was a sleepy little haven, home to a few dozen locals and many a sailor. The small little town harbored a small post office, grocery store, resort, and local bar still known as Brady’s Yacht Club, as its existing main features. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the small town grew in its modest popularity and a nearby safehouse was even said to have been frequented by the infamous Al Capone.

Imagine the large iron train chugging down the tracks, its chimney expelling dense smoke as the whistle fiercely blows into the morning air. The station agent steps out upon the open port doorway and begins to wave his hand-held bell to alert passengers of the upcoming stop. The massive behemoth slows to dock at the railway station and steam begins to bellow from beneath the train as it parks at its boarding destination.



Men, women and children begin to disembark the massive iron giant while others wait at the station dock, their tickets in hand preparing to board.

Meanwhile, as passengers begin to get on and off the train amidst the hustle and bustle, hidden by the train’s smoke and the morning fog, a few drifters flee from the rear freight cars undetected by the wandering station agent.


The handful of hobos scatters before being seen by railroad officials, only to meet up later at the “hobo jungle” by Schwan Lagoon. It was a haven for tramps and drifters alike in the Santa Cruz area. Amongst the vagabonds, one in particular was well known. They called him “Whitey.” A freight train hopper from the depths of Canada, Whitey made many travels throughout the years before making his final camp in the Santa Cruz area; a formidable shack near the water’s edge of the small lagoon.

It is believed that Whitey often jumped off and on the train at Railroad Street in Seabright, during the early 1930s. There, he would frequent for a sandwich and an alcoholic beverage at what is now known as Brady’s Yacht Club. In his disheveled attire – hair black as night, eyes blue as the sea and red rosy features that were the result of a life that was worn rather than lived – the aged hobo was well remembered for the songs he would sing describing his great adventures: “There is a lake of stew and of whiskey too, where you can paddle all around in a big canoe in the Big Rock Candy Mountains.”


Although Whitey’s name certainly did not fit his physical description, one could only guess that his ghostly train hopping from destination to destination earned him the name Whitey.

According to Phil Reader, in his work, Whitey, the hobo’s real name was John James McLaughlin and he was described by the old-timers as having a chronic case of wanderlust.

In March 2013, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters was called to investigate a small restaurant called the Surf Bistro, directly next door to Brady’s Yacht Club on Seabright Avenue,


formerly known as Railroad Street. Employees and patrons alike claim to hear, see, and experience ghostly apparitions of what they believe to be of the paranormal kind. At the time of this investigation S.C.G.H was neither aware of the exact details of the nearby railroad station nor of the local hobo known as Whitey.

This is what we discovered:

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Is "Whitey" the old man seen by Surf Bistro employees-revisiting his old stomping grounds-are the station agents still wandering through this section of their once forgotton past. Is it a ghost or a ghost story?


Written By: Maryanne Porter

Edited By: Susie Dryden Fowkes / SJ Crime Journalis

Video Enhanced: Jay Pierre Alvarez / S.C.G.H

Additional Resources: Phil Reader - Whitey

S.C Photographs Provided by: Wenna Yechone / Additional Examples by Public Web Resource




Posted by Maryanne Porter on September 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)



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The legend of the Rispin Mansion is one that many Santa Cruzian’s do not take lightly. From tales of a dreaded curse which prevents anyone from successfully owning its historic motif to rumors of the dead who still haunt its empty shell and wander its cavernous halls. The 92 year old mansion, which stands 4 stories tall and once housed 22 bedrooms has remained vacant for 57 years-well over half of its existence.

The legendary curse begins with Henry Allen Rispin himself, a well-off San Franciscan who acquired the mansion with the intention to turn it into a resort known as “Capitola by the Sea” only to endure a series of misfortune that resulted in the death of his only son, the divorce of his wife and the final blow of complete financial ruin.

But Henry’s plight did not end there. He wandered the city streets a vagabond homeless and penniless. Even upon his death he endured the ultimate indignity when neither the love of a relative, a friend or even an empathetic former wife would claim his deceased remains. Instead, Henry Rispin was left to decay in a pauper’s grave with not even as much as a marker to say “Here lies Henry A. Rispin-Poor Bastard”. Henry’s calamity left him to decompose amongst Alcatraz's finest, nothing more than heinous serial murders and death row inmates in the empty fields of the Olivet Cemetery in Colma, California.



The story doesn’t end there. Before Henry’s string of bad luck ended so tragically, another lucky soul tempted faith. Lured by the majestic manor, millionaire Robert Smith Hays acquired the estate and all of its tempting riches. Perhaps he was not so lucky. Even before Hays could enjoy the mansion's lavishly furnished halls that he purchased at a banker's foreclosure price, his lovely wife soured at it’s grand décor if for no other reason than because she herself was not able to take credit for its copious interior design to indulge her ego amongst her high society friends.

If Hays had not taken his wife’s disapproval as a sign of bad fortune to come, perhaps he should have. Not long after Hays acquired the mansion, he too felt the Rispin curse when he lost his vast millions during the stock market crash and was forced to surrender the mansion in an undignified manor for one so affluent.

Between 1939 and 1941 the monstrosity of a manor remained vacant until the Catholic Church acquired it, turning it into a convent for the Sisters of the Poor Clare’s. Its walls echoed with the harmonious songs to the heavens above before God himself. The sisters rejoiced in praise for their newly acquired haven. Surely the good sisters with their meager possessions, their hearts filled with love and free from greed devoted to the lord up above had lifted the mansion of its dark foreboding curse....or perhaps with no greed filled souls to feed from, something else awoke within the depths of the mansions cavernous walls.


It is common knowledge that the sisters remained at the convent for a little over a decade. They did endure being constantly gawked at by a local passerby through the vast mansion windows, or curious teenagers who would sneak a stare. It was also common knowledge that the sisters were required to darn a specific dress code, which included open toed sandals. During the winter months the cold cement floors and poorly heated manor was said to be intolerable for many of the mansions sisterly occupants, which is believed to have been the reason why the poor sisters left the mansion. Or is it?


Santa Cruz Ghost Hunter, Maryanne Porter was fortunate to exclusively attain the detailed research diary of Sarah M. Harvey, in this diary she keeps an accounting of her research and investigation of the alleged haunting of the infamous Rispin Mansion. During her investigation Harvey visits with the sister's of the Poor Clare’s and she was able to interview a few of the them, who once resided at the Rispin Mansion.


Sarah Harvey/ Paranormal Researcher

Here is a portion of that written interview:

“May 6, 1999”

“Talked to Sister Antoinette today. She insisted on the haunting. Her ghost experiences were as follows:”

-an eerie chilling feeling in the library. She thought there had possibly been a murder there.

-in the upstairs bathroom she heard knocks on the door after her shower, but no one was around. Another sister also reported this happening a few times as well.

-While she was in the chapel, her rounds was 4-5 am, she would hear footsteps up and down the steps outside but would find no one out there.

She also told of the hidden doors.

-behind the library shelf

-in the master bath

-a hallway with a false end.”

End Quote.

A nun who experienced paranormal activity in the mansion  (the sisters swore an oath to speak the truth) Perhaps, something unexplainable haunt's the mansion after all?

In another excerpt from Sarah Harvey’s diary she states the following:

“Last week, Elizabis and I interviewed the Mother Superior of the Poor Clare’s order. They inhabited the Rispin Mansion from 1940-1956. Mother Clare was a sister there for most of this time. She was able to extensively describe the buildings, outbuildings, and environs. She did not report any apparitions or strange encounters during her stay. She joked that if there had been, they would have left the house sooner. But, when I first broached the subject, Mother Clare was noticeably shaken and a little nervous about the subject. I prodded a little more, but she seemed to be getting upset so I let the matter lie.”

End Quote

In a third excerpt from Sarah Harvey’s diary she states:

May -1999

“Exciting news! I just got off the phone with Elizabes and she gave me the rundown of what happened at the Poor Claire’s this evening. According to the sister she talked to the house is indeed haunted. The sister figured something awful must have happened in the house because it was still fairly new.”

End Quote.

The nuns ultimately vacated the Rispin property in approximately 1956, after adding many additional out buildings and a chapel. The Catholic Church abandoned the property and relocated the sisters to a new monastery closer to the ocean and away from the prying eyes of the local inhabitants. So did the sisters move out because they got cold feet? Seems it would have been more cost-effective to purchase closed toed shoes, or perhaps was it still something else.


The mansion became vacant after the Catholic Church left the property in 1956 and remained vacant for over 40 years, owned by the city of Capitola. Then, the dreams of another wealthy potential owner arose from the depths to rescue the mansion from its foreboding neglected state.

In 1998, builder Barry Swenson and Ron Beardslee united with hopes to invest in a multi-million dollar venture to transform the Rispin Mansion into a Bed & Breakfast. The developers invested millions fighting for the rights and plans with the city for approval to resurrect the dilapidating mansion, which they nearly won.


After battling for nearly a decade, and only days before plans were to commence for rehabilitation of the manor, a devastating and unexplainable fire broke out and gutted the mansion in 2009. Once again, the mansion's curse thwarted habitation of the living, and developers were forced to cut their losses. The mansion was ultimately mothballed by the city and boarded up. It continues to remain vacant.


(Click on Link for Rispin Fire 2009)

In 2012, S.C.G.H paranormal investigator, Maryanne Porter, interviewed Capitola City Councilman Sam Story, who expressed his belief that the mansion is in fact cursed and cannot be owned by anyone. He later mentioned after the interview that further legal issues had compromised even the city's legal ownership of the mansion and at that time, they were uncertain if the city itself even had legal title of the mansion.


(Click on Link for S.C.G.H HAUNTED HISTORY RISPIN- video)


The investigation:

August 2012, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters, investigated inside the Rispin Mansion. Accompanied by city mayor Michael Termini, the S.C.G.H team and local psychic Monnica Selpulveda, they arrived for a late night investigation to try and determine if in fact the mansion is haunted.

S.C.G.H Founder reports:

“We arrived at the mansion before midnight, and immediately psychic / medium Monnica Selpuveda,

Monnica Sepulveda / Psychic Medium

began picking up on the energies in the mansion, she hit key points of females residing at the mansion, and she was right. I had not told her about it being a convent, nor the stories of witnesses seeing the apparition of a nun on more than one occasion."

Porter continues, “ She felt there were both good and bad energies and the mansion was more of a vortex for the other side. The spirit of the nun she felt protected the mansion, however she had stated that the nun was saddened by the current state of the mansion. She also mentioned a negative energy dwelling in the floors below. She described him as not so much an evil man, but one who is very angry; a bully and one who should not be messed with.

“During our investigation we noticed multiple cold and warm spots flowing with air that were unexplainable. Even if I were to conclude it is a back draft of some sort, the entire mansion is boarded up and I cannot account for the drastic and sudden temperature changes that were even registering on our equipment.”


“ The psychic also mentioned we may feel someone touching us or pulling our hair. I and another party did recall that happening, as if someone was walking behind us, touching our hair and tapping our shoulder.” Porter claims.

“The most disturbing part was when we tried to continue with communication. The medium told us the female entity she was seeing said  we all would be safe if we remained on the top floor.

However, as it approached towards the witching hour, one of our new investigators, Nina Kiar, who had been taunting the negative spirit’ that was believed to be down below on the bottom floor, had asked to speak with me privately. As she and I walked down the stairs forgetting of the earlier warning, I turned and witnessed the investigator falling on the staircase with such force as if someone had pushed her. She tried to catch herself on the railing and was able to do so, however she immediately asked “Who Pushed Me?” and was noticeably disoriented and shaken afterwards, as if she was spirituality attacked.


“We were able to conclude at that time, that there were at least 15 spirits coming in and out of the mansion like a black hole. As the clock began approaching 3:00 a.m., we thought it best to not tempt fate and aggravate the energies any further and began to pack up to leave the mansion. As we prepared to leave, the lights inside the mansion kept going on and off sporadically, which was odd. Although they were set as motion detectors, they kept flickering without motion and very quickly. I would prefer to think that maybe a breaker needed to be reset, but I cannot say for sure. I can only say that it had not happened all night until after investigator Nina Kiar, had been pushed down the stairs and we prepared to leave. When we departed, another team member noticed the pant leg of the investigator who had been pushed, and you could see a distinct shoe print on the bottom of her pant leg as if someone had attempted to kick her.”

Would S.C.G.H go back into the mansion?

“YES! I would definitely want to go back into the mansion for a 2nd investigation. Now that I have an idea of what potentially is there first hand, I would strictly go in from an investigative point of view without the need of a medium. I would love to go in, this time earlier in the evening, with a smaller team, along with our newer equipment and also have an experienced shaman with us to conduct a cleansing afterwards. The mansion needs to be cleansed and we were not prepared to do so at the last visit. As the energy was already unhappy, it would have just made it angrier, it was better to leave when we did before it got potentially stronger"



(CLICK ON LINK FOR S.C.G.H Investigative Evidence)

Edited by:

Susie Dryden Fowkes / Crime Reporter S.J


Maryanne Porter / S.C.G.H Founder


Capitola City

Sarah Harvey - Paranormal Researcher-Journal 1999

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Capitola Museum / Library

Public Internet  

Photos: Both Public domain & notes from Sarah Harvey

S.C.G.H book is in the works reg. Rispin which will entail additional excerpts from Sarah Harvey's investigation + more-    Stay tuned!




Legends of the Mt. Madonna Inn

Posted by Maryanne Porter on June 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (3)


The Mt. Madonna Inn, a former hot spot for dining, dancing and drinking, is located off Hecker Pass Rd. on Highway 152 in the winding mountain hills of Mt. Madonna between the cities of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County and Gilroy in Santa Clara County. The inn spreads out over 14,000 square feet, but its doors have remained chained and locked for more than eight years.

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The Mt. Madonna Hills, with their flourishing hunting grounds and clean, clear waters, have a lengthy history dating back to the Ohlone Indians who called them home. These hills were resident to hundreds, if not thousands, of thriving Native American families and tribes for more than three thousand years.

The Spaniards arrived in the late 1800’s and ultimately converted the native tribes to their Spanish Catholic beliefs and ideals, changing the identity of this proud culture forever. As a result, the once thriving and healthy population of the Native American came to a standstill as hundreds of natives became enslaved and died of abuse from their captors. Sickness ultimately riddled the land with disease, killing most of the population of the Native American culture and leaving tribal women no longer able to bear children. Within a few years, the Ohlone Indians were all but extinct as hundreds of the tribe’s men were left to die or their bodies buried or burned on the hills of Mt. Madonna.

To this day, the remaining Ohlone descendants gather in the nearby Mt. Madonna County Park each summer solstice to celebrate the memory of their Ohlone ancestors and pay homage to their spirits that once lived on these sacred lands.

                          2010 Ohlone Festival / Santa Cruz Sentinel

In the early 19th century, Henry Miller, “the cattle king” and one of Gilroy’s founding fathers, bought up hundreds of acres in the hills of Mt. Madonna and began plans to build his mountain estate located at what is now Mt. Madonna County Park. Despite his great wealth, Miller succumbed to much tragedy throughout his life. One of the most memorable tragedies was the death of his youngest child, 8-year-old Sarah, who, while riding her stallion through the mountain area, was thrown from her horse and then crushed by its enormous weight as the horse stumbled and fell upon her frail little body, killing her. Some say young Sarah actually died on the land where the Mt. Madonna Inn now stands. Throughout the years many people claim to have seen the apparition of young Sarah in a white dress wandering from the county park and walking the road towards the Inn.


Provided by Gilroy History Museum

It was because of young Sarah’s death that Mt. Madonna got its name. According to Gene Beadnell, whose family originally owned the Mt. Madonna Inn until he sold the property in 2004, who states a large statue had been fashioned “by two Italian designers” on Henry Miller’s Mt. Madonna estate. After Sarah’s death, the statue was erected in her memory beneath where her body was said to have been laid to rest. The statue portrayed a life size depiction of the Virgin Mary or “The Madonna,” hence the name Mt. Madonna.

After further research S.C.G.H was not able to confirm or deny that Sarah Miller’s body was ever in fact buried on the Mt. Madonna estate. We were able to confirm that her body was moved to San Francisco and we were able to obtain evidence to confirm that a statue of the Virgin Mary was in fact erected on the Henry Miller estate and later removed in 1916 after Henry Miller’s death (Santa Cruz County Place Names, by Donald Thomas Clark). Beadnell says that after Henry Miller died, not only was the statue removed, but Sarah’s remains were exhumed from Mt. Madonna and moved to San Francisco where the rest of the Miller family resided. The Miller family estate on Mt. Madonna was sold and eventually burned down. Mt. Madonna County Park now stands on what was once the Miller ranchland.

Photo provided by Gene Beadnell

In 1929, Amilla Rienero opened up a small mom and pop grocery store which also served as her home. The small convenience store later burned to the ground and the property was sold in the 1930’s to a well known Italian Santa Cruz restaurant family by the name of Garbini. The Garbinis built the “Mt. Madonna Inn – Italian Dinners,” a restaurant complete with its own gas station.

Photo Provided by Gene Beadnell 1934 owned by Garbini family

This building, too, ended up burning to the ground and once again the property was sold and a new structure erected, this time to James and Theresa Beadnell in 1943. The Beadnells resurrected the “Mt. Madonna Inn” and continued family ownership throughout the years until it was sold in 2004. The sprawling restaurant and banquet hall has remained vacant ever since.

Beadnell told S.C.G.H that during the 1940’s the Inn was leased out to Red and Bessy Barker, who renamed it the “El Corral Café.”

Photo Provided by Gene Beadnell 1941

El Corral was not only a café, but also a horse ranch complete with two stables and a roping arena. The Barkers rented horses out by the hour for patrons to take a tour of the county park via horseback. A horse stable remains on the Mt. Madonna Inn property to this day and through the years, people have claimed to have heard the phantom charging of horse hooves on the land. The horse is believed to be that of little Sarah Miller or even Native American tribes men.

In the 1950s, shortly after the lease of “El Corral Café” had expired, the Beadnell family took over the inn once again, adding features such as slot machines, a bar, and dance floor and increasing the square-footage for more seating. In the 1960s, the Beadnells’ Mt. Madonna Inn dance floor was packed to the walls with patrons and even played host to afternoon tea dances for the elderly on Sundays. Rumor has it that a Gilroy man and police officer / former E.M.T unexpectedly died on the dance floor from a faulty heart valve at the young age of 36.

Photo Provided by Gene Beadnell 1968

Ultimately, Theresa and James Beadnell retired and left the Inn to their sons, Gene and James Beadnell. James resided in the caretaker’s house below the Inn for many years while together the brothers worked feverishly throughout the years expanding the Inn to its current size while they ran a profitable and lucrative business for all to enjoy. During the Inn’s peak in the 1970s, tragedy struck near the Inn as three young boys, aged 12 to 16, were found brutally murdered, their bodies found nude and scattered in various areas surrounding the property of the Inn. One young boy was said to have been stabbed up to 70 times.

In 1983, tragedy struck yet again when James Beadnell, who had lived in the caretaker’s unit, unexpectedly passed away.

Gene continued to run the Inn until his retirement in 2004 and sold the business to an unknown party. In 2005, another tragedy unfolded when a 19-year-old woman was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds slumped over in her truck parked near the Inn.

The Inn has remained closed with its doors locked and chained shut for several years after the last purchase.

On Nov. 18, 2011, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters was invited to do a paranormal investigation of the Mt. Madonna Inn. Founder and paranormal investigator Maryanne Porter, S.C.G.H.’s own Sarinah and Arrianna, and this seasons new S.C.G.H paranormal investigators researcher Rhiannon Mai, retired sheriff Tim Loe, videographer Bryan Coleman, crime journalist/editor Susie Dryden Fowkes, and published author and musician Jonathan Dryden.

As the rain poured heavily, S.C.G.H members gathered outside and awaited for our host, Joshua Fisher from Sterling Financial to arrive. As we anticipate our investigation for the evening, standing before the chained doors of the dark and lonely Inn, one can only be reminded that these doors have remained locked to the general public for nearly a decade. As traffic drives slowly through the mountain curves, with an occasional passerby pulling alongside the large parking lot to let the rain subside a bit, discussions arise of the many car accidents that have taken place on a night just like this.

Upon entering the Inn, our host Joshua Fisher, gives us a tour of the grand establishment, although his skepticism of the paranormal is apparent, the known history of the mountain itself and legends passed down through the decades, persuades us to differ.

Using a ghost radar, which can detect fluxuations and changes in  the environment and relay to us in words in real time we are able to establish a simple dialog in hopes to promote communication. Incorporating a ghost box, also known as a "Franks Box" we can use radio frequencies which allows an entity to manipulate the frequencies projecting phrases they are trying to communicate, along with mini mag flashlights. It is beleived an entity can maniuplate a mini-mag light through its own energy or heat allowing it to turn the light on and off, using yes and no questions we can also establish a dialog with a willing entity.

This is what we found:

The Haunting of a Cattle King, the Sarah Miller story of Mt. Madonna Park

Posted by Maryanne Porter on June 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (4)




The legend of Gilroy’s Mt. Madonna begins in 1850, when Henry Miller, a

European immigrant who was known best as “the cattle king” and founding father of the Los Banos area, made his way to California during an era when the Gold Rush was taking over the west. Henry Miller had monopolized the cattle industry and began his land purchases in the Gilroy area in 1863. Miller ultimately acquired more than 1.5 million acres between California, Oregon, and the Nevadas. He ranched more than one million heads of cattle and 100,000 sheep. At the time of his death, Miller had a net worth of over $40 million, which would be an astronomical fortune today. Miller’s two most famed properties were the Bloomfield Farm and his summer estate on Mt. Madonna.

Bloomfield Farm 

Although Mr. Miller was incredibly successful with his wealth and fame, mysteriously he was not so fortunate with his loved ones. Henry Miller married Nancy Sheldon, who, according to the Gilroy Historical Museum, is said to have died immediately after the birth of their first son in 1859. The child, who also passed at birth was named for his “cattle king” father.

Henry Miller later married Nancy Sheldon Miller’s sister, Sarah Elizabeth Sheldon, who is said to have given him four more children. Mysteriously, only two of those children actually lived long enough to reach adulthood and only one gave the Millers grandchildren.

Sarah Miller provided by Gilroy Historical Museum.

Sarah Alice Miller, a.k.a “Gussie,” was the youngest child born to the Millers. She was born on December 21, 1871 and died on August 12, 1879 at the age of 8 while riding her horse along a Mt. Madonna trail during a time when the family had been living in tents in the wilderness to monitor the cattle and begin making plans to build their summer estate. The ruins of the estate exist to this day at the Mt. Madonna campgrounds. Little Sarah’s body is said to have been buried at the Bloomfield Farm, however, conflicting stories claim her remains were buried on top of Mt. Madonna. After the death of her father in 1916,  little Sarah's remains were exhumed and although the Gilroy Museum was unable to confirm where her remains were taken, S.C.G.H was able to confirm that her remains were buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in a family plot.


According to the Gilroy Historical Museum, little Sarah was thrown from her horse when the animal stumbled. The animal fell on top of her, crushing her little body with its enormous weight. Legend has it that little Sarah’s ghost continues to wander the hills of Mt. Madonna. According to an article in the Morgan Hill Times dated October 28, 2005, a Santa Clara County park ranger by the name of Goodrich was stationed at Mount Madonna. According to Goodrich, on multiple occasions while working the night shift, he was called to check on the old Mt. Madonna Inn, a restaurant on top of the hill, where lights were reported to be on, despite the fact that the building was locked and closed for the business day.

"We would go up there and turn the lights off, and then a few hours later they would go back on," Goodrich told the Morgan Hill Times.

Goodrich also claimed that one night, "It was really foggy, and I heard this young woman yelling 'help.’ I was alone and I searched the entire area by foot and vehicle." Again he found nothing, reaffirming his belief that Sarah Miller was haunting the inn.

Additional stories about sightings of a young girl in a white dress walking the empty roads of the campgrounds continue to surface, as well as the reports of sounds of a running horse echoing into the night. Even this Santa Cruz Ghost Hunter can swear she heard the pounding of horse hooves rushing at her one evening while taking photographs behind the Mt. Madonna Inn, only to turn towards the sound to find nothing there.  

Was Henry Miller cursed with both a vast fortune and a tragic chain of events leading to the loss of his loved ones? Did he and his daughter remain earthbound after death searching for something, or is this just an old urban legend to scare children before bedtime?

Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters took to the Mt. Madonna campgrounds for a late-night investigation to try and attain proof that the legends may be true.

Rookie investigators, Aubrey and Melissa,  accompanied seasoned team members, Arrianna, and myself (S.C.G.H. Founder Maryanne Porter), and a guest ventured out to Mt. Madonna for an overnight camping trip at the campgrounds, where we spent a few hours at the ruins of the Henry Miller estate with equipment in tow -- a K-2 meter, ghost radar

 (which presents words in real time what is believed the entity is trying to communicate), digital recorders, and a ghost box. We also had a standard mini-mag flash light, believed to be a good device for entities to communicate through by simply conducting their energy through heat to illuminate the light.

During our investigation, we believe we may have been in direct contact with Henry Miller, Sarah Miller’s father, who was attempting to express that the ranch was difficult to run and maintain, but provided an income. Throughout our investigation we also attained an EVP (Electronic Voice Phemomenon) saying, “both stuck” in response to our question of whether or not both Henry and his daughter are both stuck in their alternate world.

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In addition to the above video footage, S.C.G.H investigators Sarinah and myself, (founder Maryanne) visited the Mt. Madonna ruins during the day this is what we discovered when going through the footage.

Other than the red arrow, this photo is not photoshopped in any way  to create the effect visible. This photo was taken in the early A.M. with a full spectrum digital camera.

Is this ghostly apparition the disembodied spirit of Henry Miller "the cattle king"? Does he still roam the ruins of his once enchanting estate...if you look closely it appears this entity is walking in front of the tree holding perhaps a rifle....photo psychics believe that this is in fact the spirit of Henry Miller protecting his land...what do you believe?



Please visit our video section / photos for more information
Editor: Susie D. Fowkes http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-san-francisco/susie-fowkes 

The Powder Mill Investigation

Posted by Maryanne Porter on May 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)


APRIL 26, 1898

The Great Explosion

It was a warm sunny afternoon and the workday was winding down as powder mill employees worked diligently to complete their 11-hour shift as they routinely did so many times before. The young men, some a mere 16 to 19 years of age, their hands stained black in color, were jovial and cracking jokes amongst their older peers. The men were eager to get off work, some looking forward to going home to a cool bath on a warm day, a full meal in their bellies, and the comfort of their wives and children, while others were eager to meet at the local saloon for a well-deserved pint of beer and to hang out with friends .


But this day would be much different than those prior. These men would not be going home to their wives and children, to eat a hot meal , or tuck their little ones in bed after a long-awaited bedtime story from daddy, nor would they be going to the local saloon to drink beer with their friends and flirt with the local ladies. This day would end much differently for the gun powder mill workers.

At 5:15 pm, on April 26, 1898, the first of a series of four explosions echoed through the small town of Santa Cruz as the gun powder mill and its employees succumbed to the worst tragedy in its history. The sonic boom of the explosions shook the ground from the plant of the gun powder mill – all the way to town – breaking windows in its path. Men, women, and children from the clock tower of Santa Cruz square looked on, only to scamper for cover as the continuous sonic booms echoed through the valley littering debris from the skies. Onlookers from town screamed in fright, as they knew what the explosions had meant -- death. Just moments earlier, women who were shopping in town with their children and chatting with their neighbors found themselves covering their children’s ears from the deafening booms, hiding their little eyes from the site before them as the sky filled with smoke, flames licked the tree tops, and splinters of wood, glass, and rock shot through the air like high powered bullets.


When the explosions ceased, the air was filled with the screams of frightened children crying in their mothers’ arms as the stench of gun powder and clouds of black smoke reached the heavens. Suddenly, the townspeople began to react as the terrible reality set in. Men stopped what they were doing and began running to the mill to check on their sons, fathers, or friends. Women handed off their children to neighbors to race up the hilltop to search for their husbands, their sons, or fathers. Chaos filled the hearts of the people of Santa Cruz as none of them knew if their loved one who worked at the mill was living, dead, or injured.

Meanwhile, at the gun powder mill the destruction of the explosion was evident everywhere the eye could see. People lay in shock, some holding their ears wailing in pain, dazed and disoriented. Many were bloody from head to toe due to shooting debris. The fire began traveling from treetop to treetop, engulfing the small powder mill village where local workers and their families resided. Nearby townspeople and those living at the Powder Mill Village pulled together with buckets and hoses – anything they could find to gather water in from the local creek to put the flames out and carry the injured to a nearby area they could use as a triage station.


By morning, the fires were put out but the devastation had not ended. As daylight approached, the smoky embers from the debris of lumber continued to smolder. The once green and plush tall redwood trees that stood proud and strong the night before were now empty smoldering black sticks. The ground was charred in black soot as ash continued to swirl through the air. The scar of the devastation went as far as the eye could see. But the townspeople’s plight did not end with daybreak as the morning light brought the daunting and horrific task of recovering the remains of loved ones whose lives were lost and an official count of those who were still missing.

Throughout the debris, men searched for the remains of their coworkers. Body parts were strewn throughout the powder mill and many of the missing were burned beyond recognition. The lucky ones died instantly and those not-so-lucky suffered agonizing pain before succumbing to their injuries.

A total of 13 victims died on April 26, 1898 as a result of the gun powder mill explosion. Two were brothers and two others’ bodies were found completely intact. According to an article in the San Francisco Call newspaper dated April 27, 1898 “Only one body was actually recognizable with his head still on its trunk. The rest of the remains could fit in a hat.”

A memorial for nine of the victims who were buried in a mass grave can be visited at the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery. The three remaining victims were buried elsewhere and one was never found. Below is a list of some of those victims, in all it is believed at least 35 men, maybe more, had died as a result of explosions while employed at the powder mill during its time of operation.

Guy Seward Fagen: 16 years old

Charles Miller: 16 years old

Luther W. Marshall: 18 years old

Ernest Marshall: 19 years old

Benjamin E. Joseph 19 years old

Ernest Jennings 21 years old

James E. Miller 27 years old

Henry C. Butler 45 years old

Charles A. Cole 51 years old





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On July 6, 1898 A news paper called the San Francisco Call posted this article:


Thrilling Description of Hardships at the Powder Mills

Captain-Doctor Supervisor Rottanzi, handsome and debonair, marched into the office of the Board of Supervisors yesterday afternoon, garbed in the natty fatigue suit of a captain of the army, brown as a San Joaquin farmer and delighted to be absent from his dangerous post.

"I tell you my friends" said he, "it is a great relief to get away from that confounded Santa Cruz powder mill. Why, I am just beginning to take long breaths again. It is a fact that I don't dare sneeze down there without putting my head in a blanket."

"If the military authorities want to keep Captain "Billy" Barnes from outgrowing himself, they should send him to my post for about six weeks. He would, if he survived the mental strain, come back a mere phantom and could have his clothes made over and get two suits out of one.

"Talk about mental anguish. Why, my tent is only forty paces from a silent horror in the shape of fifteen tons of powder; a short distance away is another sleeping volcano, and up the hill a little further is a nightmare that haunts my sleeping and waking hours worse than a guilty conscience. It is only a little matter of 200,000 pounds of concentrated death. Woo! It is horrible to think what would happen to me if that stuff should conclude to expand without giving due notice."

"The Coroner might find only an assorted lot of fingers as a result, and my friends might mourn over and bury the digits of Corporal Casey or Mr. Shultze, thinking it was my beloved remains." The other day I got some left-hand encouragement from an old employee at the works.

"How long have you been here? I asked. "Twenty-one years" he replied. " So long and not killed yet?" "Sure, there no danger.  Of course we had a little explosion a few weeks ago. It was only six tons of powder, blew the whole place clean as paper, though, there were 3 hearses over there a short ways and it was very funny, sure. The powder blowed them inside out and we never found a hair of them left."

"How did you escape?" "Oh! that was easy, I hid in the water trough and only got wet. Now be easy, captain; ate and slept well, for I've been here, as I told you, twenty-one years and never was killed. There's no danger."

"You say six tons blew the whole place clean as paper and there is no danger with fifteen tons of powder under my nose and a train -load a few rods away?"

"To be sure sir; because that explosion was just an accident!"

The investigation, on April 26, 2013, 115 years to the day Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters investigates the site of the Powder Mill explosion. This is what we found.


S.C.G.H concludes our investigation that evening at the Powder Keg house, currently a private residence, it is believed this Powder Keg House may have been used as a triage center for the dead and injured at the time of the explosion. The activity was noticeable throughout the investigation.




written by Maryanne Porter S.C.G.H

edited by Susie Dryden Fowkes



The Carriage House

Posted by Maryanne Porter on April 8, 2013 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)


January 19, 2013. Eight months after S.C.G.H first investigation of the Tuttle Mansion we are once again invited by co-owners sister duo Jenifer Oliver-Wess and Kathy Oliver-Shultz to return for a second paranormal investigation, this time with extended efforts focusing on the carriage house. Upon our previous investigation the carriage house was being utilized as an apartment house, eight months later Jenifer Oliver-Wess transformed it into a lifelong dream of interesting oddities and collectibles now known as Dusty Treasures Antiques & Collectibles.

The night of the 19th S.C.G.H paranormal investigators, Rhiannon Bond, Bryan Coleman, Beth Gemeny, Timothy Lowe, Arrianna Mercado, Maryanne Porter and a new addition to the team Jay Pierre Alvarez join together with the Olivers to try and determine what ghostly entity is haunting the Tuttle Mansion.

We divided up into 2 different teams starting in the main mansion, one team on the upper floor and one down below in the bottom level. Jay Pierre Alvarez our newest team member who specializes in sound enhancement, is left alone in the carriage house while the other teams conduct the investigation in the main mansion.

Jay - Pierre utilizes a special microphone system which captures sound throughout the entire room the equipment is so sensitive he is able to hear anomalies even outside the building as if it happened right next to him. The sound is fed through a high performance microphone, which filters through an electrical enhancer and reproduced on a special soft ware program which he is visually able to monitor on his lap top for changes in noise frequencies.


While conducting the investigation inside the main mansion with each team in their specified different locations, we were able to pick up minimal activity, an occasional flashlight would illuminate after a question was asked, a word here and there on the ghost radar would appear, an occasional orb would be caught in a photograph, a k-2 meter would spike intermittently, nothing so out of the ordinary that we were able to definitively classify as actual communication or flat out declassify for that matter.

With the mansions ho-hum amount of activity on this night, we reflected on the multiple personal experiences that credible witnesses and business owners who dwell in the suits of the mansion had claimed to have experienced during different times of the day.

The testimonies of seeing a visual apparition of both an elderly man and a woman on different occasions in old period dress, hearing doors opening and slamming simultaneously only to discover no one was in the building and all the windows were shut. The Oliver’s themselves attest to sharing these experiences including the noise of a typewriter clamoring in the adjacent office’ only to investigate and find no one in the room where the antique typewriter would resume idle 'at its quiet station.

As paranormal investigators we had to reflect upon the questions we asked when we did attain a response, as well as the history of the Tuttle Family as we knew it dating back into its early occupied years of the late 1800’s. Who were the Tuttle’s, what were their routines, what was their life like, who actually died while occupying the house and how. Armed with the answers to these questions, it was safe to theorize that the mansion itself may in fact have a residual haunting as opposed to an intelligent one.

A residual haunting in the paranormal field is described as an entity or energy from a disembodied spirit, which has left its imprint upon a place or of its person, it is a spiritual entity that is not aware of the living world around it, it does not consciously interact with the living or respond to it. It is like a video recording that is replaying itself over and over again, often referred to as an echo, and can be attributed by either a life altering, traumatizing, or routine event from one’s life or upon ones death.

A residual haunting can also produce a sensory phenomenon in the living affecting the senses including, auditory, visual, and smell, making an individual aware of its presence.

It is plausible to theorize that the entities wandering the 3 stories of the Tuttle Mansion itself are residual in nature. Is Mary and Owen Tuttle’s energy imprinted within the walls of the Tuttle Mansion wandering in a reoccurring loop, opening and shutting doors, clamoring on the typewriter, walking through the halls, appearing to the selected few as a visual apparition, forlornly staring out the windows completely unaware of the living world that surrounds them, Or is there something else?

The Carriage House

After finishing sections of the investigation in the main mansion the team switched places team 2, with Rhiannon, Beth and Arrianna and members from the mansion moved their investigation to the upstairs section, while team 1 with Bryan Coleman, Timothy Lowe, Maryanne Porter and Jenifer Oliver, moved to the out building of what used to be the carriage house, now known as Dusty Treasures Antiques & Collectibles. We met with our new paranormal investigator / sound tech Jay-Pierre, who continued to remain while we conducted the next segment of our investigation.

We set up 2 k-2 meters, flashlights, ghost radars, mel meters, evp recorders and a new favorite piece of equipment called a R.E.M Pod , the R.E.M Pod unlike a K-2 meter which detects electric magnetic field , radiates a small pulse of electromagnetic field, equipped with sound preceptors and 4 light probes, this device is very sensitive to touch, anything getting within close proximity to this device will activate it in such a way that it sounds off and lights up. The R.E.M Pod is such a unique device that unless you are obviously touching it, it will not go off without something breaking its immediate field.

While in the carriage house we immediately began attaining reactions to questions via the k-2 meter and flashlights. The entity on this part of the property is believed to be that of a child, a very friendly child and one who likes to make its presence known. On our previous investigation we encountered what we believed to be a female child and have since theorized the presence of perhaps more than one child which occupies the carriage house.

On our earlier investigation the ghost radar picked up the name Johnnie, Jenifer Oliver convinced that there is an entity by the name of Johnnie conducted some additional field research on her own and in fact discovered that a 2 year 11 month old boy by the name of Johnnie Tuttle did pass away. Armed with this information S.C.G.H assisted in further research and in fact not only was able to confirm the death of little Johnnie, who is buried at the Pioneer Cemetery in Watsonville, but also the deaths of additional Tuttle children who are also buried there.

22 year old Flora Tuttle

13 year old Kilburn Tuttle

9 year old Margaret Tuttle

7 year old Irma Tuttle

        Grave of;  2 year 11 month old Johnnie Tuttle Resources: Cemetery Records @ Watsonville Historical Society, Watsonville Library microfilm.


During our investigation we believe we made contact with more than one Tuttle child, one who in particular light up our R.E.M Pod device while seemingly running towards a carousel horse located across the room in response to the question, "Do you have a favorite toy?" 

Also, during this investigation first timer, Jay-Pierre had a personal encounter of his own. While in the carriage house by himself he admitted to witnessing a small shadowy figure, he concluded was a child. Ironically he had no idea that during our prior investigation we had already deduced a child entity was in the carriage house. “Imagine his surprise” when we validated his belief.

After team 2 arrived in the carriage house with investigators Rhiannon, Beth and Arrianna all of the k-2 meters and Beth’s trifield meter began spiking off the charts, including a flash ligh simutaniously coming on across the room.

Investigator Bryan Coleman attempted to see if there was an interference or outside cause to refute the equipments erratic behavior. With the cameras no longer rolling, he sweeped the area from top to bottom however, despite having additional equipment within the vicinity, was unable to attribute this as the cause of interference to either device.

The investigation:

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We have concluded that the activity in the “Carriage House” of the Tuttle Mansion is in fact that of an intelligent haunting of a non-negative entity. Meaning the entity which resides in the carriage house is aware of itself, its surroundings and the living individuals around it. It is non-threatening in nature. This entity wants to make its presence known and will interact with the living to do so many intelligent haunting’s will let you know right away that they are present. They have the ability to play with lights, move objects, throw things across a room and have the ability to interact with the living upon request. Because their is likely more than one child in the carriage house S.C.G.H continues to research and investigate in order to unravel the true history behind the haunted Tuttle Mansion.

 Written by Maryanne Porter, S.C.G.H

The Tuttle Mansion

Posted by Maryanne Porter on April 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

S.C.G.H Investigates

The Tuttle Mansion

May 18, 2012

S.C.G.H investigated The Tuttle Mansion! Owned and operated by Oliver Realty, since 1974, the Tuttle Mansion is one of oldest Victorians still in existence today in the county of Santa Cruz and it remains in its former glory.

Over 112 years old, the Tuttle Mansion was originally designed by famous architect William Weeks, an icon of Santa Cruz historic builders in the 1800’s. Built in 1899 for Morris B. Tuttle, a well to do rancher in South County Santa Cruz, the grand Victorian has withstood the test of time, enduring the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. The latter nearly toppled this majestic behemoth and took the Olivers nearly 2 years to restore. However, the Olivers’ love for this fabulous piece of Santa Cruz history does not go unnoticed. The full restoration of this magnificent self-standing piece of art speaks for itself. It rises 3 stories and contains well over a dozen and a half rooms. One can only imagine the grandiose parties and lavish lifestyle the Tuttles enjoyed during their occupancy. While being one of the richest and most admired families during their heyday, their lives did not come without skeletons.


 Tuttle Decendants

According to Jeniffer Oliver and her niece Shannon, along with additional business occupants, the mansion is not without its unusual quirks. The home currently houses various business suites, the Oliver’s told us. “When all appears to be quiet, the mansion seems to take on a life of its own.” There have been reports of hearing old-fashioned-style typewriters typing by themselves, multiple second-story doors slamming open and shut continuously when no one is occupying the upstairs, sightings of the apparition of an elderly lady ringing a dinner bell who seems to vanish, and sounds of laughter and footsteps of perhaps children on the third story dance floor when it is completely unoccupied.

Although the Olivers and the mansion’s occupants do not appear to be fearful of these events, they made it clear they wanted to confirm that these oddities are more than just their active imaginations.

The Tuttles were a large multi-generational family, with each child having 6-9 offspring apiece. Those children had children, and so on. There is evidence of great wealth, education, power, and drive among the Tuttle descendents, but they were not without their share of drama. The Tuttle family history goes back to the early 1500 to 1600s and includes both homicidal criminals and masterfully educated geniuses.

The Watsonville Tuttle family included Mrs. Mary E. Tuttle, wife of Owen Tuttle. Mary loved her home very much and was considered to be a member of high society. Though she threw lavish parties, she had a kind heart and never thumbed her nose at the less fortunate. Sadly, Mary was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 56 and while she and her husband were returning via horse and buggy from a treatment session in San Francisco, her grim prognosis took a turn for the worse. While her dying wish was to return to her beloved home to live out her last days, she passed away during the return trip before making it back to the mansion.

Could the apparition of the elderly woman ringing a dinner bell be that of Mary Tuttle? Could she have achieved her dying wish to return to the home she loved after death?

S.C.G.H learned that the third floor, currently a dance studio, was once a favorite recreation area for a Mr. R. Tuttle. He used the third floor for a billiard room for himself and his gentlemen friends. R. Tuttle was a well-known mason in this secret society of men. The billiard room was also used as a playroom on rainy winter days for the many children who roamed the halls of the grand home. Could the footsteps and giggles heard on the third floor be those of those children, or something else?

As with all historical legends, there is a downside to every upside. Psychics aiding S.C.G.H kept getting the name “Alice,” resulting in a deeper dig into the Tuttle Mansion history. S.C.G.H learned of an old carriage house that was once used to keep horses, as well as an old apartment house located beside the mansion. Now currently converted into a modern apartment, the carriage house is believed to have been once occupied by the estranged wife of William Tuttle. She was believed to be named Helena and the couple’s 9-month-old daughter was named Alice.

Historical documents provided by the Pajaro Valley Historical Soceity and California digital news articles confirmed the existance of William Tuttle married later in life to the young Helena. It is believed he suffered from emotional problems and, despite his vast wealth and new family, was unable to make the marriage work.

On December 12, 1912, William went to the local hardware store where he purchased a toy ball as a Christmas gift for "Alice". He also bought a revolver and ammunition. William reportedly rode his bicycle to the Tuttle Mansion carriage house where he presented the gift to Alice, who was in her crib. Shortly after his arrival at the carriage house, neighbors heard two shots ring out. When they arrived at the apartment to investigate, they discovered the bodies of William and Helena Tuttle lying deceased from an apparent murder-suicide. Each was shot in the right temple. Baby Alice was located unharmed and safely playing in her crib in the adjoining room.

Baby Alice’s fate did not end that day, according to California digital news articles. She stood to inherit $35,000 from the Tuttle estate, a grand fortune in those days. This resulted in a feud between relatives on both sides of the decedents, ending with a two-day court battle in Sacramento. As the family fought for custody of little Alice, the judge superseded both parties and in a twist of fate decided that as a friend of Iowa and Helena, he would take custody of their child. S.C.G.H was unable to find out what happened to the young girl throughout her growing years.

UPDATE 2013: Upon further investigation into the murder / suicide we discovered that Alice Tuttle was officially adopted out and her name changed to Shirly Wiseman, it was learned that she did inherit stocks, bonds and a substantial amount of her inheritance  which she recieved  when she married at the age of 24. At the age of 26 she was out shooting with her husband and according to geneology references her husband stated his wife was riding in the back of the buck board while he was at the reigns, she yelled for him to "Stop, I see something to shoot" , suddenly their dog who was following behind the buck board jumped up on his wifes lap, resulting in her accidently shooting her self with the loaded shot gun. Her husband inherited her fortune. Both her and her mother died at the hand of a gun.

NOTE: Recently we have discovered conflicting news articles dating back to the early 1900's surrounding the location of the murder / suicide, we are further researching articles to determine if in fact the location is accurate. S.C.G.H has also uncovered that Iowa Tuttle did infact commit suicide at the Tuttle Mansion, he is buried at the Pioneer Cemetery, he died of a single gun shot to the temple and his body was discovered by one of his 3 daughters after hearing the gun shot. We are continuing our efforts to uncover the exact circumstances of both suicides and the accuracy of the records at hand.


First Investigation

May 18, 2012, S.C.G.H, takes its first investigation directly into the carriage house, where we attempt to make contact with what we think maybe Helena, the murdered wife of Iowa Tuttle, or perhaps that of someone else...through historical documents, S.C.G.H was able to confirm incest and the marriage of 1st cousins was common during this era and in the Tuttle family history. Many generations of children in fact roamed the halls of the mansion and not all of the males present within the home had a friendly disposition. This is what our investigation revealed.

This video has audio, for best results headphones are advisable.


During our investigation of the carriage house, we also took evp's.  

In segment 1, of the video, myself and Jeniffer are speaking and trying to get an entity to talk to us. While Jeniffer is speaking you hear what sounds like a breathe or a "haaaa" that is not from any of us.

 In segment 2, the raw footage is very quiet, we are speaking amoungst ourselves, we have requested an entity to turn the light on, and suddenly the light in fact turns on, at the exact same moment the light turns on, when replaying the digital recorder, we get the word "HELLO" very loudly, an intelligent response and in sync with turning on the flashlight.

In segment 3,  the team had been discussing if an entity was fearful, an uncle was mentioned on the ghost radar, we had asked if the entity was afraid of males, in this evp, we hear an echoing whisper which sounds like it is saying "Their's a man" and soon after the ghost radar picks up the word "HIM", we infact had one male investigator present at this time.

The following video depicts evp's we captured that night, we advise using amplified speakers or headphones for best results.


S.C.G.HEditor:[email protected] Crime Reporter - CrimeVoice.com

The Haunting on Rose Acres Ln.

Posted by Maryanne Porter on February 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The Haunting on Rose Acres Ln.

An actual account of events of an argument turned deadly and a woman's spirit wanting to be heard... 


Original crime scene photo

In February 2010, a 37-year-old woman was savagely bludgeoned to death with a flashlight by her boyfriend in their Felton home during an alcohol-fueled argument.

She died from her injuries at the hospital and the boyfriend, Richard Chavez, is currently in Santa Cruz County Jail awaiting trial for murder.   


Richard Chavez, Santa Cruz County Jail    


Fast-forward to five months after the homicide when the small one-bedroom home was re-rented to an unsuspecting couple and their small child. It wasn’t long before the couple began experiencing unusual activity in the home.

An outline of the bloody headboard is permanently stained on the exteiror of the house. SCGHPhoto

The tenants reported to S.C.G.H’s Maryanne Porter that lights turned on and off by themselves, strange tapping noises were heard, cabinets opened on their own, and the stove would turn on with no one around. They also reported a very heavy feeling of being watched as they slept. Months after the mysterious activity began, the couple claimed they unwittingly discovered the truth of what occurred in their new home. A family member Googled their home address, only to discover the newspaper articles of the grisly murder which took place in their residence.

After six months of living under mysterious circumstances, the tenants sought the help of Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters in the hopes that S.C.G.H could determine who and what is in the home. All along, the family is convinced that they are being haunted by this murdered woman.


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First investigative footage from the Rose Acres property using a "ghost box" (VIDEO DOES CONTAIN AUDIO, FOR BEST RESULTS BE SURE TO HAVE THE VOLUME UP!)

June 10, 2011

On June 10, 2011, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters’ seasoned paranormal investigators Maryanne Porter, Sarinah Porter and first-time rookie investigator and videographer Aubrey Graves were invited back to the Felton location to conduct a second investigation in an attempt to document more paranormal activity within the home.

The team was not disappointed.

This time, Deanna Dudley made her presence known by communicating with us through the use of a flashlight, answering yes-or-no questions and illuminating the light. According to the tenant, Melissa, this is Deanna’s favorite way to correspond with her.

"During the investigation we listen to the ghost box interpreting any possible signs of communication"

Ironically, Richard Chavez is said to have used a large, heavy flashlight to strike Deanna repeatedly in the head which resulted in her death.

S.C.G.H later discovered that Chavez claimed in the media that Deanna had started the fight. He alleged that she initially grabbed the flashlight and attempted to swing it at him before he wrenched the flashlight from her grasp and ultimately fatally struck her with it during the alcohol-fueled argument.

In a unique twist, when this information was discovered, S.C.G.H asked the entity of Deanna if she did, in fact, start the fight with Richard. Each time the question was asked, there was a strong positive response. It appeared to the S.C.G.H team that apparent guilt and the desire to share what happened is likely what manifested and led to her current state of being in turmoil.

Here is what we found:

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2nd investigation (For best results turn up the volume)

It is known that both Deanna Dudley and Richard Chavez were trying to recover from alcoholism and had been in and out of recovery. That apparently did not seem to last and the couple resumed an alcoholic relationship which ultimately fueled the argument that turned deadly.

S.C.G.H is fully aware that paranormal activity can have trigger points. Interestingly enough, the tenant Melissa made an unusual discovery in her basement, which consisted of personal possessions belonging to Deanna and Richard that had been left behind. They included the barbeque pit that is seen in the crime scene photo in the first segment of this story.

                              Basement of house where some personal belongings of Deanna's still remain


There is a nearby river bed within walking distance from the residence that makes a perfect conduit for paranormal activity. There is also limestone, which is believed to be an additional instrument for such activity.

S.C.G.H also discovered that at the end of the street was a halfway house that houses individuals who suffer from various mental illnesses. One resident was murdered by his roommate, while another died from exposure after wandering away. These events happened within the past few years and both within the vicinity of the Dudley/Chavez residence.


Melissa informed S.C.G.H that the activity in the home peaked in the bedroom at approximately 8:32 p.m., which is the time law enforcement believes the fight between Deanna and Richard began. S.C.G.H began its investigation approximately after 7:00 p.m. outside the residence and resumed inside the residence. The activity in the bedroom picked up significantly after 8:00 p.m. and the K-2 meter finally went off the charts – presumably at the time the battle peaked and Deanna was mortally wounded.

Melissa informed the S.C.G.H team that Richard was most likely in the back of a police car by 9:00 p.m. and that is when the activity in her home calms down in the bedroom and moves to the living room. Melissa added that the activity would repeat in this fashion each night.


June 11th 2011

3rd Investigation

S.C.G.H teamed up with Para Rock TV’s well-known psychic and medium Nancy Bowman (Ghost Adventures, U.S.S. Hornet) and the Global Paranormal Society team (G.P.S.) to help the young tenants set the trapped spirit of Deanna Dudley free from her confinement to find the peace she so desperately deserved.


                                      Nancy Bowman, Zak Bagans, Nick Gr off, Aaron Goodwin (U.S.S Hornet) Ghost Adventures

Our third investigaton with the G.P.S. team was a successful one. With a live web broadcast and the help of Melissa, we were able to successfully communicate with Deanna Dudley and convince her to move on.

S.C.G.H would like to thank the G.P.S. team and Nancy Bowman for assisting this lost soul and the family who continues to reside in the Felton house. Melissa has reported no further disturbances from Deanna and the family is healthy and happy.

Nancy Bowman G.P.S  & Maryanne Porter S.C.G.H

To view the live broadcast go www.ustream.com  and look for the G.P.S. live and archived footage.

UPDATE:    An emotional Richard Chavez

Richard Chavez went to trial in January 2013 – three years after the brutal slaying of Deanna Dudley. The jury was given three verdict options: first-degree (premeditated) murder, second-degree murder (a killing caused by dangerous conduct), or manslaughter (a killing committed in the heat of passion). After a brief deliberation, Chavez was found guilty of second-degree murder and will serve a sentence of 15 years to life behind bars.


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written by : M. Porter SCGH

This story, its investigative content, videos & photos is the sole property of Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters a not for profit entity. S.C.G.H©2011.Thehauntingonroseacreslane.©map

edited by: Susie Dryden Fowkes / Crime J.

Murder Capital of The World!! - Historical Facts...

Posted by Maryanne Porter on January 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (6)


Murder Capital of the World!

During the early 70’s Santa Cruz County was described as The Murder Capital of the World!

The Story of Deborah Lee Shelton 1969


The date was January 3rd, the year 1969; Christmas and New Year’s had come and gone.

The local schoolchildren were still enjoying their winter break and playing with their long-anticipated new holiday gifts they had received only 10 days prior.

It was a chilly Friday morning on January 3rd, when 12 year old Deborah Lee Shelton of Aptos went bicycle riding

with friends around 9:30 a.m. and was expected to return home to her mother around 11:30 that morning. It’s easy to imagine the young 7th grader, who stood a mere 5 feet tall and weighed about 90 pounds, standing in her bedroom, looking into the mirror of her desk vanity, with her bright blue eyes reflecting back at her as she brushes her long shiny blond hair. She dresses for the day, putting on her warm purple hooded jacket over her blue turtleneck and sits on her bed to tie her little white saddle shoes, before having a bowl of cereal for breakfast.


This is not just any cereal, but the kind with a colorful logo on the front and a prize in the box. She quickly brushes her teeth and rushes out the front door with a heartfelt “bye” to her mom and two younger sisters, Melissa, age 5, and Vicki, age 11, as she gets on her bike to meet her friends to go play.

It was like any other day and Debbie’s mom, Marcia Shelton, went on with her daily routine – doing household chores and caring for the two younger children. Times hadn’t been easy for Mrs. Shelton. Just a year before, she had moved to the small town of Aptos from Los Gatos with her three daughters in tow. It had been only three years since her husband was killed in a tragic car accident. Being a single mother of three children isn’t an easy task, and in the early 70’s, it was even harder.

That particular morning, 11:30 a.m. came and went and Deborah’s mom was not overly concerned, perhaps thinking young Debbie may have just lost track of time and continued on with her day.

As 2:00 p.m. rolls around, Marcia Shelton receives an alarming phone call: “We have your daughter. Bring $500.00 up Trout Gulch Road. Don’t call the police or we will kill her!” Mrs. Shelton, distressed and worried about the phone call, immediately gets into her car and begins looking for Debbie. She plays those words over and over in her mind trying to make sense of what she just heard, remembering the sound of the faceless voice that she believed sounded like a teenager’s.

She drives around the small town of Aptos, heading towards Trout Gulch Rd. urgently hoping to spot Debbie or one of her friends; someone out of place or someone who may recognize her daughter to no avail. Fear begins to set in as she drives towards Rio Del Mar beach,

where she sees some of Debbie’s friends and learns that Debbie was last seen around 11:00 a.m. But right now there is still no sign of the pre-teen.

Ms. Shelton heads toward home as the onset of panic starts to overwhelm her. She begins to stare at each passing bicyclist; to glance down each street as she drives by; to look twice at each young girl with long blonde hair, each group of friends hanging out together, urgently hoping to see another one of Debbie’s friends, desperately hoping to see her Debbie. But there is still no Debbie.

As Mrs. Shelton gets closer to home, she tries to convince herself Debbie’s bike will be in the driveway, carelessly thrown down on the ground right in the path of the walk way as usual. She tells herself the phone call was just a horrible prank by one of Debbie’s friends and Debbie will be safe and sound having a snack with her sisters. She begins to imagine what a scolding she will give her daughter for making her worry so much, but how relieved she will feel to see her bike in the driveway and her child safe at home.

Mrs. Shelton pulls into the circular driveway, overwhelmed with anticipation to see Debbie’s bike in the yard, but there is no bike. She hastily parks her car and runs into the house yelling first for Debbie, then to her other daughters, Vicki and Melissa, asking if Debbie had returned or if the phone rang. The answer is no – still no Debbie. Filled with fear and dread, Ms. Shelton calls the police and reports her daughter missing.

Detectives arrive at Marcia Shelton’s Palmer Street home in Aptos. They obtain an accounting of the events that transpired that Friday. They interview Marcia Shelton, Debbie’s younger sisters Vicki and Melissa, and anyone else in the home that may be able to provide information. The police learn that Debbie had made plans to ride bikes that morning with a boy by the name of Sherman and his two sisters, who they attempt to locate for an interview. They interview friends from Debbie’s school, Aptos Jr. High,

  as well as neighbors and anyone else that may be of interest in the case. They follow up on the mysterious ransom call, hoping it will provide a lead and all the while wondering if it was just a horrific coincidental prank. The police go over every possible scenario, retracing Debbie’s steps and piecing together what may have happened to lead to her disappearance.

Finally, the media is contacted and asked to publicize the missing persons case and request information from the public that could lead to Debbie’s whereabouts. Reality sets in for Mrs. Shelton, as she expresses deep regret to a local reporter. She pleads to other parents, reminding them of the importance of knowing their children’s whereabouts at all times.

Hours, days and weeks go by without a word from Debbie and the police are not any closer to finding her. Rumors spread: maybe Debbie ran away, maybe she was hitchhiking, or maybe she fell victim to a serial killer that was known to be on the loose in the area.

Mrs. Shelton stays close to her two younger children, keeping a close eye on Vicki and little Melissa. Five-year-old Melissa constantly asks her mother, “When is Debbie coming home? Did they find Debbie?” while 11-year-old Vicki keeps her comments to herself. Each time the phone rings, Mrs. Shelton gasps a breath of hope – is it Debbie calling? Did the police find her? Is she okay? Each time a car pulls up or the doorbell rings, her heart fills with dread.

Nearly two months go by without a trace of Debbie Shelton – until Saturday, March 8, 1969, when a young boy playing with his B.B. gun near the railroad bridge        

and the old riding stable in Aptos Village comes upon a grisly discovery. Up on a hillside, covered in vines, he discovers the decomposing body of a young girl. Police are immediately called to the scene and began working on the assumption that they have, in fact, found the body of Debbie Shelton.

The Santa Cruz County Coroner’s office positively identifies the body as being that of 12-year- old Deborah Lee Shelton, daughter of Mrs. Marcia Shelton and elder sister to 11-year-old Vicki Shelton and 5-year-old Melissa Shelton.

Imagine if you will, hearing the grisly news of the discovery of Debbie’s body, as it is made public that fateful Saturday. Imagine the feelings that Mrs. Shelton had to endure: the hope that it was not true, that it was not the child she gave birth to lying there dead on that hillside; that it was not the child she loved and cared for the last 12 years, the first born of three; the constant hope that her daughter was still out there somewhere, alive and well and would eventually be found; would eventually come home.

Then the realization sets in. It was Debbie. It was her child and no one else’s, and the only solace she could bear was accepting that the mystery was over, her child was found. Her child was with her father and with God. Her child was in heaven.

The year is 2011, 42 years later. The murder of 12-year-old Deborah Lee Shelton has never been solved and her killer never brought to justice. Her family continues to live without closure and without any answers as to what happened to their daughter, sister, and young Debbie's life that fateful January day.

Debbie Lee Shelton was a 7th grader at Aptos Jr. High School. Her body was found dumped in a wooded area in Aptos,   

her hands taped behind her and more tape covering her mouth. It is believed her body had been laying where it was found for at least a month before being discovered. Debbie’s panties had been wrapped around her neck in a strangulation fashion. Her body was found still dressed in her jeans and sweater. It was undetermined whether or not there had been a sexual assault. According to FBI reports, no evidence was found indicating that Debbie had been poisoned, nor were any sedatives, drugs or alcohol found in her system. Famed local serial killers Edmund Kemper


and Herbert Mullin were ruled out as being Deborah’s assailant. What happened to Debbie? What could this young 7th grader possibly have done that would justify someone taking her life before she’d even had a chance to live it?


After discovering this case on the Santa Cruz County homicide website, S.C.G.H wanted to know more. Although homicide detectives were limited in providing information due to the status of this 40+ year old case. Lead investigator Maryanne Porter chose to attain opinions from a few random psychics all over the nation in hopes to find any missing clues. Here’s what we found.

In April of 2011, S.C.G.H heard from retired deputy sheriff and psychic / sensitive Mike Burton who resides in Florida this is what he said about the Shelton case.

“I am getting an older vehicle maybe a hippie van, a white male, collar length hair, unshaven, a hippie. He would park near her home and watch her; he followed her around, from home and school, he planned his actions. He is still alive, maybe in prison on a different crime. He strangled her and dumped her in a ravine or ditch, in a remote area.”

S.C.G.H also heard from a psychic / intuitive from Canada by the name of Rhonda, this is what she felt.

“I see a park, a small one in a wooded area. I feel Debbie met someone and she did not get far afterwards, she may have died somewhere else. I see her killer to be in his late teens, maybe 18-19 and he hates adults, he communicates better with kids or teens and shy’s away from adults. I feel Debbie may have lied about meeting Sherman and his sisters. She met someone else, someone she trusted, and he wanted sex. She used Sherman as an excuse to see this guy, she had some problems with her mom, and she regrets lying to her.”

S.C.G.H also spoke to well known Chicago radio psychic Ursula Kalin, this is what was said.   


“I see prickly bushes, not exactly grassy.

I feel she knew this person, a young guy, he used to watch her. The name Jo or Johnson? She did not die where she was found. I see her as being a girl that may occasionally sneak out of her house, or could go out a lot. I feel it was made to look sexual; he may be in jail for another crime. “

Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters also had a private phone conversation with local and well known psychic intuitive Monnica Sepulveda, Monnica hosts Intuitive Tuesday’s on 104.3 The Hippo Radio station and has also been seen on television shows such as Maury Povich, Leeza Gibbons and Talk Soup.

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Ironically each psychic who was spoken to, told similar scenarios, they each felt that Debbie knew her killer or was familiar with him, that he was young at the time, and that he may likely be in prison now for another crime.

What happened to Debbie Lee Shelton? Who got away with her murder? Someone, somewhere knows something.

If you know what happened to Debbie Lee Shelton contact your local police station or Santa Cruz County investigators unit or email:



Between 1959 and 1999, there still remains a total of 60 missing persons in Santa Cruz County whos disappearance currently remains unsolved. Below are the few remaining cases that are still open and unsolved homicides active in Santa Cruz County.


             Santa Cruz County Unsolved Homicides


Angel Valtierra, 2004

Juanita Jean Nelson, 2000

Gloria Hassemer, 1995

David Bellucci, 1993

Charles "Dude" Williams, 1993

Arlene Kazuko Tsuji, 1991

Murray O. Goodman, 1991

Kenneth Allison Cermak, 1988

Tony Baca Lopez, 1986

Eric Alday Pineda, 1986

Cristopher Baca, 1986

Deborah Lee Shelton, 1969 


Editor: Susie D. Fowkes   http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-san-francisco/susie-fowkes




Ed Kemper

The Co-Ed Killer

At the age of 15, while residing with his grandparents in North Fork, California, Edmund Kemper already stood over 6’ 4". Estranged from his father, and having a back-and forth-relationship with his mother, Clarnell Strandberg Kemper, Edmund already demonstrated early signs of mental and emotional instability. He began fantasizing about death and murder at an early age and ultimately acted upon these fantasies.

In the early morning hours of August 27, 1965, Edmund Kemper shot and killed his grandmother in a psychotic rage


while she sat at the kitchen table working on her children’s novel. He hated his grandmother. She was domineering like his mother and she could easily infuriate him. The teenaged Kemper, fascinated with what he had done, simply watched as his grandmother lay dying, the blood pooling from her body, as he sat idly doing nothing to assist her. He simply stared as the life left her eyes.

After realizing what he had done, he feared how furious his grandfather would be and decided he had only one solution: his grandfather must also die. It was only a matter of time before his grandfather would arrive home from the grocery store and discover what he had done. When Kemper’s grandfather arrived home from the store with a bag of groceries, the teenager charged from the house with a .22 caliber handgun and shot the elderly man before he had a chance to shut the car door, killing him instantly.


Edmund Kemper then called his mother informing her of what he had done and she convinced him to call the police. Disturbingly, Edmund’s mother was not shocked by what he had done. As a child, often abused animals and played with their rotting corpses, posing them as trophies in his bedroom closet of his mother’s Aptos home. 



Edmund’s mother, Clarnell Strandberg Kemper, was well aware of her son’s strange behavior, which only strengthened her abusive behavior towards him. She constantly belittled him, humiliated him, and blamed him for his father leaving her.

Clarnell was a very controlling and domineering woman, even forcing Edmund to sleep in the basement of their home when Edmund was an 8-year-old child. One can only imagine the fear of any youngster being forced to sleep in a cold basement, and one can only envision the fearful cries he made that fruitlessly lay upon a cruel mother’s deaf ears.

Edmund’s mother was said to have a padlock on the trap door to the basement leading to young Edmund's dark dungeon below the kitchen

floor. Edmund's mother feared her young son had intentions of raping his sister and it was believed his mother had the onset of a borderline personality disorder.

After Edmund murdered his grandparents, he was sent to Atascadero State Mental Facility where he served fewer than five years. During his stay at the facility, Kemper’s I.Q. level registered off the charts. With his exceptional intelligence, he was able to manipulate his doctors and facility staff, gaining their trust and even gaining access to test results, allowing him to memorize answers and manipulate the outcome of psychological tests.

Eventually Kemper was able to convince his physicians, attorneys, and state officials that he was stable enough to re-enter society. Kemper was released in 1969 and relinquished back into his mother’s custody in her Aptos home. Kemper's juvenile record was sealed.

 Former Kemper residence

Now standing at 6’ 9”, Kemper, known as "Big Ed," was a free man. However, between 1972 and 1973, Kemper’s mental state began to deteriorate once again. The demands of Kemper’s controlling and abusive mother had taken their toll and once again, Kemper snapped. His inability to have relationships with the opposite sex became frustrating as well, and his failure to be able to pursue his dreams of becoming a police officer added to his aggravation.

Kemper’s mother worked at the University California at Santa Cruz as an administrative assistant, and her son grew increasingly upset with his mother for not helping him find a girlfriend at the university and for constantly belittling him and criticizing his manhood. Kemper resented his mother and as a result, began to hate all women.

Kemper showing detectives areas where he buried remains. 

In May of 1972, Kemper picked up two college students hitchhiking from the College campus – Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa. Kemper brought his victims to a secluded area and brutally choked and stabbed them to death. He then dissected their bodies and had sex with one of the victims’ corpse.

September 1972, Kemper picked up 15-year-old Aiko Koo, who was hitchhiking. He ultimately choked her to death and brought her body back to his mother’s Aptos home, where he dissected her body, had sex with the remains, decapitated her and buried her head in his mother’s garden. The rest of her remains were buried elsewhere on the property.

In January 1973, Kemper picked up 19-year-old Cindy Schall, a Cabrillo College student in Aptos. He took her to a secluded area, shot her, and brought her body back to his mother’s house where he dismembered her body in the bathtub, decapitated and buried her head in his mother’s garden, then disposed of the rest of the remains in a nearby ravine.

In February 1973, Kemper entered the UCSC campus and picked up 24-year-old Rosalind Thorpe 22-year-old Allison Liu. He shot them both in the head and drove their lifeless bodies back to his mother’s house where he decapitated them and sexually abused their bodies. He dumped their remains the following day.

On Good Friday 1973, Kemper saved his mother for last. Finally fed up with his mother’s endless taunting and complaining, he beat her in the head with a claw hammer while she slept. He then cut off her head, had oral sex with it, then placed it on the mantel above the fireplace, where he tauntingly threw darts at her face.

Kemper also removed his mother’s vocal cords and placed them in the kitchen garbage disposal claiming that this was a fitting end to her “constant bitching.” But Kemper did not stop there. He later called his mother’s best friend Sally Hallett, inviting her to dine with hi and his mother.

Upon her arrival, he violently punched Sally in the stomach as she entered the home, knocking the wind out of her, and then proceeded to choke her to death. He then left the Aptos home and began driving to flee the state. He later called authorities and finally turned himself in.

During Kemper’s horrific reign of murders, serial killer Herbert Mullin had also been arrested for his serial killing spree of 13 victims. And prior to both these killers, John Linley Frazier had mass murdered a family of 5.

Still to this day, the 1969 murder of 12 year old Deborah Lee Shelton, whose body was found in the Aptos area, remains unsolved. Both Herbert Mullin and Edmund Kemper had been ruled out in her murder.

At a press meeting with district attorney Peter Chang, Santa Cruz had been dubbed

At a press meeting with district attorney Peter Chang, Santa Cruz had been dubbed

“The Murder Capital of the World!”

Interview w/ local resident who witnessed Kemper trial

(This video has audio)

Edmund Kemper will be eligible for parole in the year 2012. Santa Cruz Ghost Hunter Maryanne Porter spoke with Vacaville authorities regarding Kemper’s status and was informed he is in general population and is a model prisoner with many jobs within the prison.

It had also been stated that Kemper tends to do well in a controlled environment and he no longer brags about the murders as much as he used to, except on the occasional tours provided to graduating criminal justice students visiting the prison. Kemper is now in his 60s.

S.C.G.H has attempted to contact Kemper for comment and to see if he expresses any remorse for his actions. To date, Kemper has not responded to any of our requests.

Santa Cruz residents can only hope that this disturbed individual can no longer fool his physicians and law enforcement authorities, and pray that his up coming request for parole will be denied and the county of Santa Cruz can once again sleep peacefully.  



Herbert Mullin, Picture from Wikipidia

From October 13, 1972 to January 13, 1973, serial killer Herbert Mullin, who resided in the Felton area, reined forth his terror on the county of Santa Cruz, killing 13 people. According to trutv.com, Mullin used a baseball bat to brutally bash the skull of an alcoholic drifter, disemboweled a female hitchhiker, stabbed a priest to death in his confessional, shot and stabbed a drug dealer’s wife and children, and a young married couple. He murdered four teenage campers execution-style and was said to have shot a retired boxer with a rifle in his front yard.

Mullin’s 13 Victims.

• Lawrence White, 55. October 13, 1972.

• Mary Guilfoyle, 24. October 24, 1972.

• Fr Henri Tomei, 65. November 2, 1972.

• Jim Ralph Gianera, 25. January 25, 1973.

• Joan Gianera, 21. January 25, 1973.

• Kathy Francis, 29. January 25, 1973.

• Daemon Francis, 4. January 25, 1973.

• David Hughes, 9. January 25, 1973.

• David Allan Oliker, 18. February 6, 1973.

• Robert Michael Spector, 18. February 6, 1973.

• Brian Scott Card, 19. February 6, 1973.

• Mark John Dreibelbis, 15. February 6, 1973.

• Fred Perez, 72. February 13, 1973

Mullin believed his victims were communicating telepathically to him that they wanted to be killed. He also believed the death of these chosen victims would prevent earthquakes and natural disasters yet to come. Described as a paranoid schizophrenic, Mullin was sentenced to life in prison at the Mule Creek State Prison in Ihone, California.

Santa Cruz Ghost Hunter Maryanne Porter had the rare opportunity of receiving a letter from inmate Herbert William Mullin in which he politely mentioned his favorite books, one of which is “The Mountains of California” by John Muir. He mentioned the last flight mission of the space shuttle Endeavor, and inquired about our thoughts on ghosts in outer space. He described his religious beliefs as agnosticism and natural science and suggested a phone interview with S.C.G.H via a collect call, which S.C.G.H has politely declined.


Herbert Mullin, now in his 60s, was denied parole in February 2011. He told the parole board he would like to return to the Felton area if released and relive his remaining years in the county of Santa Cruz. Fortunately for the residents of Santa Cruz County, Mullin will continue his life sentence at the Mule Creek state prison facility. 


                            Herbert Mullin Mule Creek Parole Board 


October 19th 1970, the bodies of 5 people were discovered at the home of local eye surgeon Victor Ohta, age 46, at 999 Rodeo Gulch Rd. in Soquel. Police discovered the body of doctor Ohta...

Dr. Victor Ohta, victim    Virginia Ohta, victim    Derrick Ohta, victim    Taggart Ohta, victim


Mrs. Dorothy Cadwallader, victim              

his wife Virginia, 43;his two sons, Derrick 12 and Taggert, age 11,along with Dr. Ohta’s secretary Dorothy Cadwallader age 38 , Each one had been shot from behind and their bodies floating in the Ohta pool blind folded and hands bound behind their backs with colorful silk scarves.


        In protest Frazier shaved his head to make a statement

Mass murderer John Linley Frazier a local and nearby neighbor whom lived in a make shift shack near the Ohta's residence , was described as a drug using hippie, during an era when Manson had reigned, he suffered from schizophrenia but yet was found sane and convicted of the killings. Frazier claimed to be sending a message and wanted to stop the spread of progress that was runining the natural environment and believed the Ohta’s were a direct example of the spread of progression, and the evil he thought they represented. Destroying the lives of 5 innocent people and shattering those loved ones which were left behind, this was one of the first of what was yet to come for the small county of Santa Cruz.

John L. Frazier was sentenced to life in prison on January 8, 1974, 35 years later he committed suicide by hanging in his single occupant cell on August 13, 2009 he was 62 years old.

John Linley Frazier age 62            

private resident
sc sheriff dept
Editor: [email protected] / crime reporter