• Fatim Hemraj

He Cut Her Arms Off and Left Her for Dead in a Drainage Ditch

15-year-old Mary Vincent lived in Las Vegas with her parents and six siblings. Her father, Herb, worked as a mechanic and her mother, Lucy, as a blackjack dealer. Dealing with their impending divorce, Mary started skipping school and wearing heavy makeup, something her conservative parents detested. After many fights over her rebellious behaviour, Mary packed a bag and fled to Sausalito, California with her boyfriend where they lived many sleepless and cold nights out of his car.

When Mary’s boyfriend was arrested for the rape of a teen girl, she decided to hitchhike to her grandfather’s home in Los Angeles, six hours away.

On September 29, 1978, along with two others she had met during her travels, Mary stood by the side of the road in Berkeley and stuck out her thumb. A middle-aged man in a blue van pulled over and offered her a ride to Los Angeles through Interstate 5, but insisted he only had room for one. At first, Mary felt uneasy but when the man told her he had a daughter her age, she accepted his offer.

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