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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ellen Burleigh: I-5 Strangler Victim's Remains Found 30 Years Later

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Ellen Burleigh
  • Ellen Burleigh

Anyone who was in Northern California during the late 1970s remembers the paralyzing fear many had when the notorious I-5 strangler was on the loose. The serial killer was known for kidnapping, raping, and murdering women.

One of his many victims was 21-year-old Ellen Burleigh, whose remains were found in a dry riverbed near Lake Berryessa, 33 years after she went missing.

Roger Reece Kibbe, who was already in prison for murdering five other women, was convicted in 2009 of murdering her. In a plea deal, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in exchange for helping police find her body.

Burleigh, a Walnut Creek resident, went missing on Sept. 11, 1977, after meeting with Kibbe for a secretary job opening. She was scheduled to meet him at the Regency Plaza Shopping Center on the 500 block of Contra Costa Bouelvard. Kibbe told her that the area was under construction, so they would conduct the job interview in his van. She went inside his van, and the interview went well.

Kibbe then told her to meet him again on Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. in the same lot. She went to the appointment and was never seen again, according to media reports.

He was already in prison when he was convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering Burleigh in 2009. He told police he took her to the Lake Berryessa area, where they began the search for her remains.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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