"Speed Freak Killer" Loren Herzog Found Dead, May Have Killed Himself While On Parole
Loren Herzog, one half of the duo dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers," was found hanged to death at his trailer on state property late Monday night, and state and local officials are investigating the parolee's death as a possible suicide.
Herzog, 46, "was on parole after serving a 14-year determinate sentence for voluntary manslaughter, three counts of being an accessory to a felony, and one count for transportation of a controlled substance," explains the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Despite protest, Herzog had been sent to live in Lassen County, with strident restrictions from his parole officer.
Along with childhood friend Wesley Shermantine, Herzog was "originally convicted of numerous first-degree murder charges, including the 1998 rape and murder of Cyndi Vanderheiden," notes the CDCR. However, in September 2010, Herzog was set free. The CDCR elaborates:
Herzog had been sentenced to 78-years-to-life (three consecutive 25-to-life terms plus three years for being an accessory to a felony). In 2004, a state appellate court threw out the three murder convictions and much of the evidence against Herzog. It led to a plea bargain and Herzog pleaded guilty to the voluntary manslaughter charge. Shermantine remains on death row.
Herzog's body was discovered at around 11 p.m. Monday night, when staff from the High Desert State Prison (HDSP) were dispatched to his residence to determine why his ankle bracelet's battery was not being replaced and why the parolee could not be reached by phone.