Woman Slain in Gilroy in 1993 by ‘Happy Face Killer’ Identified as Oregon Mother

Nearly 30 years later, detectives from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office have identified a woman whose body was left on the side of a road at the Pacheco Pass east of Gilroy, according to authorities.

Oregon resident Patricia “Patsy” Skipple, who was about 45 at the time of her death in 1993, was one of at least eight victims murdered by the serial killer known as the “Happy Face Killer,” the sheriff’s sheriff said in a press release. office.

Patricia Skippel, murder victim since 1993
Picture of Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office

On June 3, 1993, authorities found the body of a woman on the side of Route 152 in Gillroy. At the time, the woman’s body was dressed in blue and her identity was unknown, police said in a statement. Cold Case detectives later referred to the woman as “Blue Pacheco”.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s report listed the cause of the woman’s death as “unknown,” authorities said.

The sheriff’s office continued to investigate the death. Local researchers have learned that in 1994, a newspaper in Oregon published a five-part series called “The Serial Killer of the Happy Face,” a press release said. An anonymous letter writer claimed to have murdered five people along the West Coast.

Four of the five cases were not resolved at the time, authorities said. The anonymous letter writer was later identified as Keith Hunter Jefferson. He became known as the Happy Face Killer after a smiley face symbol with which he signed his letters.

Authorities have confirmed that Jefferson killed eight adult women over the course of five years, the press release said.

In 2006, Jefferson sent a letter to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office stating that he had sexually assaulted and killed an unknown woman along the starting point on Route 152, authorities said. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to the murder of “Blue Pacheco”, and was convicted of first-degree murder.

The victim was not yet identified at the time of the 2007 murder conviction.

In 2019, Sheriff’s cold case detectives revisited Blue Pacheco’s death to track the leads, according to the press release. Detectives used “advanced genetic genealogy investigation in an attempt to identify Blue Pacheco.”

The sheriff’s cold case detectives have collaborated with Project DNA Doe, a non-profit organization that provides investigative genealogy services to identify unknown bodies across the country. On April 13, detectives identified the 1993 murder victim as Skippel, who was known to family and friends as “Patsy.”

Skipple was a mother who lived in Colton, Orange for several years, authorities said.

“Although this criminal case has been tried, detectives have never given up because they worked diligently throughout the investigation to provide closure to Patricia Skippel’s family,” a press release said. “We would like to thank Project Ayala, the Oregon Police Criminal Investigation Division, including Detective Jim O’Connor, and the Calgary Police Service, including Detective Ken Carrier and Analyst Amy Lamio for their assistance during this investigation.”

Woman Slain in Gilroy in 1993 by ‘Happy Face Killer’ Identified as Oregon Mother Source link Woman Slain in Gilroy in 1993 by ‘Happy Face Killer’ Identified as Oregon Mother

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