It has long been suspected that Charles Manson might have claimed more victims than the seven people killed by his followers — for which he is serving a life sentence — in 1969. Now, police are investigating whether the unsolved murder of a once anonymous woman, killed 46 years ago, might be the work of the Manson Family.
Known up until very recently as “Jane Doe No. 59,” Reet Jurvetson was found dead on November 16, 1969, her body ravaged by over 150 stab wounds. Police were only able to identify her last year, when a friend recognized her photo on a post from Michelle McNamara’s blog True Crime Diary, and reached out to Jurvetson’s sister. Anne Jurvetson then provided police with a sample of her sister’s DNA, which matched blood from the victim, as well as explaining what little she knew about her sister’s life prior to her disappearance. Apparently, Jurvetson, 19, moved from Canada to Los Angeles in 1969, and planned to meet up with a man known only as “John.” According to Anne, after Reet went MIA, her parents never reported their daughter’s disappearance to police.
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Investigators have long suspected that there might be a connection between the young woman’s death and the Manson family, given the location, manner and timing of her murder. They considered her death an “overkill,” a brutal killing style used by the Manson Family to murder pregnant Sharon Tate and seven others just three months earlier, and only a few miles away.
“Manson claims there are other victims,” Craig Shepard, a detective who spent decades investigating the Jane Doe murder, told PEOPLE. “She could have been someone who was at Spahn Ranch.” Spahn Ranch is where Manson and his followers lived.
In October, investigators paid Manson a visit to ask him if he recognized a photo of Reet Jurvetson, but according to PEOPLE, no new information was revealed. Whether that’s because Manson denied knowing Jurvetson is unclear. While they’re still exploring the possibility that Manson and/or any of his followers could have been responsible for Jurvetson’s death, police are also interested in learning more about the mysterious man named “John” who inspired the young woman to move to Los Angeles in the first place.
At the very least, Anne Jurvetson and her family may now have a better idea of what happened to Reet all those years ago, as difficult as it must be to process.
“It is such a sad, helpless kind of feeling to always question, to never know,” Anne told PEOPLE. “After all these years, we are faced with hard facts. My little sister was savagely killed. It was not what I wanted to hear.”
Watch Investigation Discovery’s Manson: The Prison Tapes on ID GO now!
Photos: Jurvetson Family/LAPD/AP Images