- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Los Angeles police recently determined that the body of a woman found stabbed to death 47 years ago was that of a teenager who had arrived in L.A. several months earlier and may have been murdered by Charles Manson’s notorious group of followers, People magazine reported on Wednesday.

Reet Jurvetson, a Swedish-born woman who grew up in Montreal and left for L.A. at the age of 19, has been identified as the individual previously known for decades only as Jane Doe No. 59, the magazine reported.

Jurvetson’s body was discovered by a birdwatcher on the afternoon of Nov. 16, 1969, in dense brush off of Mulholland Drive, a scenic 21-mile road the cuts through the Hollywood Hills. She carried no identification at the time she was found, and investigators believed she had been stabbed in the neck about 150 times.

“It was personal,” Los Angeles Police Department cold case Detective Luis Rivera told People. “It was a maniac … or love gone wrong.”

Ultimately, no one was convicted in the woman’s murder, but investigators have pondered the possibility of a Manson family connection since the hippie guru’s followers had fatally stabbed actress Sharon Tate and several others three months earlier at a home located just a few miles away.

Authorities had been unable to identify the body for nearly 50 years, but they got a break last June when a friend of Jurvetson’s saw a post-mortem photograph of the stabbing victim on the Internet and reached out to the woman’s sister.

Jurvetson’s family subsequently contacted investigators and were able to identify the victim by matching DNA samples taken from the two sisters.

Mr. Rivera and another LAPD colleague visited Manson in prison last October and unsuccessfully asked if he could identify the dead woman.

“No new leads were learned,” he told People, adding: “We can’t rule out that the Manson Family was involved.”

Next, detectives hope they can locate another potential suspect — known only as “John” — who a love-struck Jurvetson traveled to L.A. for several months before her murder.

“As incredible as it seems, my parents never thought to report Reet missing to the police,” her sister wrote in a statement published by People this week. “They thought that she was just living her life somewhere and that eventually news from her would turn up.”

“Although our family continuously hoped that one day Reet would return home, I eventually came to the conclusion that she had probably passed away,” she added. “It is such a sad, helpless kind of feeling to always question, to never know. … After all these years, we are faced with hard facts. My little sister was savagely killed. It was not what I wanted to hear.”

Manson is currently serving a life sentence for his role in nine murders committed across southern California during the summer of 1969. Last week, a California parole board recommended that one of his former followers, Leslie Van Houten, receive parole after spending several decades behind bars for participating in the Tate slaying. 

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