Are you familiar with the story of the “Happy Face Killer,” the Canadian truck driver who committed multiple murders of women? Over thirty years after one of these tragic acts, the Riverside, California police and prosecutors are still striving to identify his last unrecognized victim.
In 1992, a woman was murdered by Keith Jesperson, nicknamed the “Happy Face Killer.” Today, the Riverside County authorities are making a national call to uncover her identity. Mike Hestrin, the county prosecutor, is committed to identifying this victim to bring some peace to her family.
The victim, nicknamed “Claudia” by Jesperson, who confessed to her murder 14 years ago, remains a mystery. According to Jesperson, he met her while working as a truck driver near Victorville, California. Following a dispute over money, he killed her in his truck and dumped her body in Blythe. She was estimated to be between 20 and 30 years old in 1992, with tousled, wild blonde hair and tight-fitting clothes. Investigators believe she lived in or frequented Southern California and Nevada.
Recent advances in DNA technology and public tips could be crucial in uncovering her identity. Investigators have traced her origins to a now-deceased father from Cameron County, Texas, and identified half-siblings. However, they did not know the woman, as none were biologically related to her mother, who might have had connections to Louisiana or Texas.
Jesperson terrorized the country in the 90s. A long-haul trucker born in Canada and a divorced father of three, he confessed to killing women in five states: Washington, California, Florida, Wyoming, and Oregon. His murderous spree lasted from 1990 to 1995, until he surrendered to the police.
The body of the unidentified woman was found on August 30, 1992, along Highway 95 near Blythe, California. Jesperson pleaded guilty to her murder in 2010 and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He earned the nickname “Happy Face Killer” due to the smiling faces he drew on letters sent to a newspaper, boasting about his crimes.