Real Names: Marie Lilienberg and Maria Walhén
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Redwood City, California
Date: July 22, 1983
Details: Marie Lilienberg, 23, and Maria Walhén, 25, were two Swedish maids who met in Vail, Colorado, in January 1983. After the skiing season ended in the summer of 1983, they went hitchhiking throughout California. For several weeks, they went across California, hitching rides with strangers. Although friends had told them that hitchhiking was dangerous, they claimed that they could "size up" anyone who picked them up and could defend themselves, since Maria carried a knife with her.
Several truck drivers gave the women rides, all the while telling them about the dangers of hitchhiking. Mark Hanson drove the women from San Diego to Compton. While there, he had one of his friends give them a ride to Oakland, near San Francisco. The women were last seen alive on July 22, while hitchhiking near Redwood City. They were heading back to Los Angeles, so that they could catch their flight to Sweden on July 24.
Two days later, their backpacks, passports, and other items were found in a dumpster in the City of Commerce, a Los Angeles suburb. A travel diary was also found which helped investigators determine where they had gone and who they had gone with.
After they vanished, both of their fathers came to the United States, hoping to find their daughters through widespread media attention. Several leads came in, but no trace of them were found. Four weeks later, on August 18, two deer hunters found their bodies in Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara, California. Both victims had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.
Police had few leads in the case until eight years later, when a caller contacted the Swedish consulate, claiming that a woman-hater named "Loren" was responsible for the murders. He has never been identified and the murders remain unsolved.
Suspects: On September 26, 1991, an anonymous caller contacted the Swedish consulate in San Diego, claiming that a man named "Loren" was responsible for the murders. The caller claimed that Loren was from Canada and that he apparently hated women. He also drove from Canada to Mexico during the summer in a white van with a green canoe on top. Loren apparently told the caller that he had come through San Diego and had met two Swedish women who had tried to con him. According to the caller, he confessed to killing both women. He was over 6'0", slight build, 175 pounds, protruding nose, and red hair.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the April 8, 1992 episode of Unsolved Mysteries .
Results: Unresolved. The anonymous caller later came forward and helped police locate the man named "Loren". However, there was not enough substantial evidence to convict him for the crimes. "Loren" was later arrested and convicted in other crimes, but has never been charged with the murders.
"Loren" is believed to be Loren Joseph Herzog. He and Wesley Shermantine were dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers." Herzog died of suicide on January 16, 2012, and Shermantine is currently on death row. This duo is suspected of the murders of at least 15 people, including possibly Michaela Garecht.
- Fathers identify jewelry of missing Swedish girls
- The fathers of two Swedish girls identify their bodies
- Young tourists take chances
- Marie Lilienberg at Find a Grave