On Rose Acres Lane, 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, remained in Santa Cruz County Jail, awaiting trial for murder. This is her ghost story...
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. The tenants reported to S.C.G.H’s team founder Maryanne Porter; that lights turned on and off by themselves, strange tapping noises were heard, cabinets doors opened on their own, and the stove would mysteriously turn on with no one around. The tenants 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.
On June 10, 2011, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters’ historical researcher and paranormal investigators Maryanne, Sarah Porter and a fill investigator 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 K2 meters, a spirit box and the use of a flashlight, answering yes-or-no questions and illuminating the light. According to the tenant, this is Deanna’s favorite way to correspond with her.
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 members that apparent guilt and the desire to share what happened is likely what manifested and led to her current state of being in turmoil.
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 of the home 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.
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.
The resident of the home, 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. The resident of the home 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. She also 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.
Our third investigation with the G.P.S. team was a successful one. With a live web broadcast and the help of the tenant, 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. The tenant has reported no further disturbances from Deanna and the family is healthy and happy.
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.
In 2014 S.C.G.H founder, Maryanne Porter, reached out to Richard Chavez while in prison, to ascertain his thoughts, Chavez expressed deep regrets for his actions which resulted in the loss of his girlfriends life, Chavez insisted that he deeply loved Deanna and there was not a day that went by that he didn't wish he could take back that horrific day.
In 2016, the S.C.G.H team learned that the tenant in fact moved from the home, approximately a year after our visit. Currently no further activity has been reported in the home.