- Wesley Shermantine apologised for not revealing locations sooner of female remains
- Denied he had killed women but ‘only helped bury the bodies’
One of the ‘Speed Freak Killers’ claimed to know where more bodies were buried as he said sorry for waiting years to reveal the locations of two victims.
Convicted killer Wesley Shermantine apologised for not telling authorities where to find the remains of Cyndi Vanderheiden, 25, and 16-year-old Chevelle Wheeler.
During the interview at San Quentin State Prison’s Death Row, he continued to deny that he killed them, saying he had only helped their killer bury the bodies.
Speed Freak Killers: Loren Herzog (pictured left) and Wesley Shermantine
are believed to have embarked on a killing spree lasting for several years t
hroughout the 1980s and 1990s
In an interview with the Stockton Record on Saturday, he said: ‘I’m sorry I buried their loved ones. In no way, shape or form did I kill them.’
Shermantine, 46, also said that additional victims were killed and buried in Modesto, Stockton, Ripon and Milton, California.
Shermantine and boyhood friend and accomplice Loren Herzog were dubbed the Speed Freak Killers for a methamphetamine-fueled killing spree across the Central Valley in the 1980s and 1990s, possibly murdering dozens of people before their 1999 arrests.
Victims: Cyndi Vanderheiden, left, and Chevelle Wheeler, right,
were two of the women killed by the pair
Both were convicted of multiple murders, but Herzog’s conviction was overturned on appeal and he was later paroled.
The case gained renewed national attention after Shermantine, who is on death row, recently began disclosing where victims were buried when bounty hunter Leonard Padilla offered him money for the information.
I’m sorry I buried their loved ones. In no way, shape or form did I kill them.
Convicted killer Wesley Shermantine
Herzog committed suicide last month shortly after learning that Shermantine had decided to help locate the missing victims’ graves.
Last week a videotaped police interview from 1999 emerged in which Herzog described how Shermantine raped and killed 25-year-old Miss Vanderheiden.
A segment of the videotape, aired on KTVU-TV, showed Herzog being questioned by investigators in a police interrogation room shortly after his arrest.
‘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.’
Herzog also claimed to be scared of Shermantine, saying: ‘He ain’t the same person no more’ and suggesting that his partner had tried to kill him.
‘He told me one time, he killed 24 people or somethin’,” Herzog continued. ‘I thought he was just being full of s***.’
He concluded: ‘I wish I could turn the clock backwards, turn the time back.’
Investigators digging in the areas specified by Shermantine turned up two bodies and hundreds of bone fragments.
Shermantine was convicted of four murders, including that of Ms Vanderheiden and 16-year-old Chevelle Wheeler, 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.
Accusation: Herzog told police how Shermantine killed 25-year-old Cyndi Vanderheiden
Herzog died in an apparent suicide last month, hours after receiving a call from Mr Padilla warning him that Shermantine planned to reveal the burial locations.
The station didn’t disclose how it obtained the tapes, which it said were played during the killers’ trial.