Station airs police interview with Loren Herzog
Saturday, February 25, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A convicted serial killer described in chilling detail how his friend raped and killed a woman in 1998, a victim of the so-called "Speed Freak Killers," an Oakland television station reported Friday.
In a videotaped police interview obtained by KTVU-TV, Loren Herzog described how Wesley Shermantine killed 25-year-old Cyndi Vanderheiden.
The station aired a segment of the videotape Friday which showed Herzog being questioned by investigators in a police interrogation room shortly after his arrest in 1999.
"I heard a click I knew what it was," Herzog said. "Man I started gettin' out of the car then, it was too late, he was already slashing and hacking, man," he said.
Known as the "Speed Freak Killers," Shermantine and Herzog went on a methamphetamine-fueled killing spree in the 1980s and 90s, possibly murdering dozens of people before their 1999 arrests, authorities said.
The case gained renewed national attention after Shermantine, who is on death row, recently began disclosing where victims were buried after bounty hunter Leonard Padilla offered him money for the information.
Shermantine was convicted of four murders, including Vanderheiden, and sentenced to death. Jurors found Herzog guilty of three murders, but those convictions were later overturned after a judge determined his confession was illegally coerced. He instead struck a plea deal on one count of voluntary manslaughter for Vanderheiden's death and was paroled in 2010.
Herzog died in an apparent suicide last month, hours after receiving a call from Padilla warning him that Shermantine planned to reveal the burial locations.
The station didn't disclose how it obtained the tape, which it said were played during the trial.