by Marty Carlson


Joann Hobson

A couple days ago I posted an article in regards to the federal judges summary judgment of a lawsuit that had been filed by the family of a murder victim by the name of JoAnn Hobson, see post HERE.

Getting some background information tells an interesting story about law enforcement in San Joaquin County, namely Sheriff Steve Moore.

In 2012 JoAnn Hobson’s body was recovered through an excavation process in an abandoned well in the Linden, California. She had been a victim of people that are known as the “speed freak killers.” Their names were Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog. They had been involved in several killings over a couple of decades around San Joaquin County. The most notable being Cindy Vanderheiden which is a one that eventually broke out the information to all the other homicides.

What led JoAnn family to file a federal lawsuit against San Joaquin County and namely Sheriff Steve Moore?

Information had been brought forward by Wesley Sherman time himself, in the first part of 2012, regarding the location of other victims. Wesley Sherman time was attempting to make deals to avoid a death penalty. He had initially made the same attempts during the sentencing phase after his conviction in the Vanderheiden murder.

A former FBI agent, Jeff Rynic had made contact with Sherman time and with the assistance through high profile bail bondsman Leonard Padilla, out of Sacramento, gave locations of an additional six victims. Eventually through some legal wrangling the FBI and Wesley Sherman time went to the scene, and gave the exact locations of the bodies.

Excavation proceedings were to start and as a courtesy the sheriff of San Joaquin County, Steve Moore, was notified but he had objections to the process and asked that it be stopped, and in fact had ordered a stop to the operation. Sheriff Moore did say there was problems with the media being advised and possibly needed to handle it in a different way. In February 2012 the Sheriff’s office started an excavation of the site.

JoAnn Hobson’s family had been notified of the activities going on and they claim they were told that the digging would be done by hand to preserve any evidence that may be found. After media reports were aired on local TV, JoAnn Hobson’s mother saw the monster excavator digging at the site, and was eventually taken to the site to see how it was being done. JoAnn Hobson’s mother saw the remains that were uncovered at the scene and all bone particles had been totally pulverized. Information I received said there was no bone fragment bigger than a quarter that remained to be recovered.

JoAnn Hobson’s mother was completely and totally devastated by what she saw at the scene, and felt that she had been deceived by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department. In addition, all the remains, which they believed to be four, but guess to be between three and six people in that site, had been totally intermingled with each other. This caused an extreme duress and a total mental and physical breakdown of family members at the scene.

The remains still to this day remain in Department of Justice custody. As the families are not sure who they are actually going to bury.

It appears that San Joaquin County was denying the use of the excavator at the scene, even though the whole dig could be done in no other way and definitely not by hand. San Joaquin County had also received information about the missing persons at that scene several years prior to 2012. Some of the other victims’ families had not even ever been notified and found out about the recovery on the local news.

For some reason San Joaquin County did not want to begin a search of that area when they first learned the information. But the Sheriff’s Department under the direction of Steve Moore is the contention, had removed the missing persons reports of JoAnn Hobson, and another missing person by the name of Chevy Wheeler, possibly more but nobody really knows. That records expunge was done in 2010.  In addition, with the finding of other remains at the scene other agencies outside of San Joaquin County, some from out of state wanted information and were being stalled by the sheriff department. Some of those agencies are not getting cooperation and just started an investigation on their own within San Joaquin County, and were told to cease and desist by Sheriff Moore.

So, the claim by the family is San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department had deceived them, flat out lied to them. Other employees throughout the county involved also had deceived the family. What is the motivation for the top cop in the county to not recover and investigate bodies of homicide victims? In addition, why did they remove the names of some of those missing persons from the NCIC (FBI) database?

When they first received information in 2004, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department did not act on that information of the location of those bodies. They were also given maps and detailed directions from Wesley Shermantine himself of who and where. The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department had put a stop to the excavation process in January 2012, but due to public pressure resumed that excavation in February 2012.

When Sheriff Moore was asked why that type of excavation was done, he stated there were OSHA requirements and safety issues involved so they could not dig down by hand. Even though public works had advised him that the soil was safe. Sheriff’s Department also claimed some of the remains were at least 35 feet down in a whole and unable to be processed by the Department of Justice. But pictures of the scene show what appears to be no more than 15 feet.

In addition, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department agreed to let the family take possession of JoAnn’s remains only if they did an immediate cremation on the remains. It has the appearance of wanting to get rid of damning evidence towards the sheriff department.

There are many other factors that led to this lawsuit as you saw in my previous post, but these are some of the principal reasons. There is a lot more information available and I am still talking to people in I will put more information out when I am confident I can report on it accurately.

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