An unsolved death in Yosemite leads police to a strange cult that has been talked about.
The new season of “Wild Crime” starts on Hulu on October 24.
A possible brutal murder in one of the most beautiful places in America goes unsolved, a serial killer admits to more than 100 murders, and two generations of detectives try to solve the case.
On Oct. 24, Hulu will add the second season of “Wild Crime.” In June 1983, a man walking through Yosemite National Park with his friend’s son finds a hand in a meadow. This is the start of the main case of this season.
“It was pretty clear that it was a hand,” said Tom Day, who found the crime scene by accident. “I knew I had to call the police and send someone up there to check it out.”
Kim Tucker, who used to work as a criminal investigator for the National Park Service, said, “We had no idea who, what, when, where, why, or how this hand got to Summit Meadow.”
The police had problems right from the start. The crime scene was in the middle of nowhere, DNA testing wasn’t widely used at the time, and there were no clues in the area.
Tucker said, “We didn’t know of any missing people from the immediate area, so it was hard to figure out what we should do next.”
A forensic anthropologist was eventually called in to help, and he or she thought the person who had died was a young woman.
In the spring of 1984, when the case had gone cold, the California Department of Justice called the police and told them that a man who was thought to be a serial killer was confessing to killings all over the country, including one that fit the description of the Yosemite case.
Investigators thought this could be a big break in the case, so they went to meet this alleged serial killer, whose name and scary story are told in “Wild Crime.”
The alleged serial killer admitted to things like necrophilia and cutting his victims into “little tiny pieces.” During his four months in police custody, he also said that he had killed 156 people, most of whom were women.
Tucker said that one place he said he had killed someone was “a mountainous national park in California.” This gave investigators their first possible lead in the case.
In an interview with the police, the man who is thought to be a serial killer said, “I specifically left evidence across the United States to show I did the crimes.”
In August 1984, investigators went to the Sacramento county jail to meet the person they thought had killed someone.
He told them what happened and said that he strangled a young woman to death in the national park.
A few months later, in Texas, the alleged killer gave even more information. He said that he and the alleged victim had lunch together, eating “some fried chicken wrapped in tin foil” and beer, before he killed her. He also said he remembered markings on the trail near where the murder happened.
Investigators realized that these marks could have been signs for cross-country ski trails that had been nailed to trees in Summit meadow.
Don Coelho, who used to be a criminal investigator for the National Park Service, said, “It’s like, ‘This guy has been to the crime scene.'” “Then it dawned on us.”
Back in Yosemite, the alleged killer’s confession gave investigators important clues that helped them solve the case. They found beer cans, tin foil that had been wrapped up, a canteen, and what looked like a piece of the victim’s jacket.
Tucker said, “I’m not sure if what we found was proof, but I felt like we found the scene he described.”
The story keeps getting stranger and less likely to be true.