Wesley Shermantine signed painting

Wesley Shermantine signed painting

175.00 225.00

The Speed Freak Killers is the name given to serial killer duo Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, together initially convicted of four murders — three jointly — and suspected in the deaths of as many as 72 people in and around San Joaquin County, California. They received the "speed freak" moniker due to their methamphetamine abuse.

Herzog committed suicide in 2012. As of 2016 Shermantine remains on death row in San Quentin State Prison, in San Quentin, California.

In 2001, a jury found Shermantine guilty of four murders: those of Vanderheiden, Howard King and Paul Cavanaugh – each shot dead in his car in 1984, and 16-year-old Chevelle "Chevy" Wheeler, who disappeared in 1985 from Franklin High School in Stockton after telling friends she was leaving school to go with Shermantine to his family's cabin in San Andreas. Shermantine was sentenced to death and is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Herzog was charged with five counts of murder in 1999: that of Cyndi Vanderheiden, Henry Howell, Paul Raymond Cavanaugh, Howard Michael King III, and Roberta “Robin” Ray Armtrout. In his 2001 trial, a jury found him guilty on three murder counts (Vanderheiden, Cavanaugh, and King), the lesser charge of accessory to murder in the Howell count, and acquitted him on the Armtrout count. Herzog was given a 78-year sentence.

An appeals court overturned all of Herzog's convictions in August 2004, after ruling that three of four of Herzog's confessions were coerced. In the case of the fourth, that of Cyndi Vanderheiden, a retrial was ordered. This retrial never took place. Rather, a plea bargain was reached, where Herzog pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and furnishing amphetamine in the Vanderheiden case, and to being an accessory to murder in the Cavanaugh, King, and Howell cases. Accordingly, Herzog's sentence was reduced to 14 years, with credit for six years served. With credit off his sentence for good behavior, Herzog served 11 years in prison and was in a position where he was to be paroled by 2010.

Opposition to the inevitability of Herzog's parole was extremely vocal, especially from victims' families. That no California county wanted to take him for parole led the California Department of Corrections to parole him to a trailer stationed outside the front gate of the High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California in Lassen County in September 2010.

Herzog committed suicide in January 2012, hanging himself inside his trailer. He did so shortly after bounty hunter Leonard Padilla informed Herzog that Shermantine was planning to disclose the location of a well and two other locations where the duo buried their victims. Previously, none of their victims' bodies had been found. Both men maintained that the other did the killing in all cases.

The painting measures 12x16 inches. Included is a signed photograph on the back.

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