A 19-year-old woman whose slashed body was found in thick brush off Mulholland Drive in 1969 was publicly identified Wednesday, but police said they have not established a link between her killing and the Manson family.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Reet Silvia Jurvetson was found on Nov. 16, 1969, off Mulholland near Bowmont Drive, and she had been stabbed multiple times.
The woman remained unidentified — known only as Jane Doe #59 — until last year, when a friend of Jurvetson’s family stumbled onto a photo of the victim that had been posted by police on an online database of unidentified missing people and homicide victims. A DNA test was conducted, and the results were compared to Jervetson’s relatives, leading to the identification.
Jurvetson had come to California in 1969 and her family lost touch with her, but the family never reported her disappearance to police.
Given the nature of her death and the location where the body was found, police said they began investigating a possible link with the Manson Family murders that were committed that same year.
“Investigators made arrangements to interview Charles Manson to see if he was able to provide any further details or information related to the death of Miss Jurvetson,” according to the LAPD. “Their encounter with Manson did not produce anything fruitful and the investigation remains open and ongoing.”
Police said detectives are still trying to identify a friend of Jurvetson’s named John — or the French name Jean — who she met in Montreal, Canada, and who also traveled and lived in the United States in 1969.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detectives Luis Rivera or Veronica Conrado at (213) 486-6818.
Jurvetson’s 73-year-old sister, Anne, posted a statement online, imploring anyone with information about Reet’s killing to contact police. She said her sister was stabbed more than 150 times.
Anne Jurvetson said the family received a postcard from Reet in the fall of 1969, saying she was “happy, had a nice apartment in Los Angeles and told them not to worry.”
“As time passed, however, we received no more news,” Anne Jurvetson said. “Attempts were made to reach her, but they proved fruitless. Initially, we believed that Reet was probably in search of more autonomy, and therefore we waited for her to get in touch with us.
“… As incredible as it seems, my parents never thought to report Reet missing to the police. They thought that she was just living her life somewhere and that eventually news from her would turn up. In hindsight, I realize that this is a lack of discernment. But sadly, we did not know how to find someone on the other side of the continent, in another country, if that was even where she still was. North America is a big place. The remains, we were terribly perplexed and we grieved her disappearance for many long years.”
She notes in her statement that her sister was not raped, and there were no traces of drugs or alcohol in her system. Her message includes a series of photos of Reet “in the hope that they might prompt someone’s memory and help those who had contact with Reet to remember what she looked like at the time. This, in turn, might enable them to provide leads or confessions to the police.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Jane Doe #59 was referenced in the 1974 book “Helter Skelter,” written by former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who suggested she may have been killed because she witnessed another murder suspected of being linked to the Manson family, the killing of John Phillip Haught in late 1969.
— Wire reports