'Speed Freak Killers' search yields bone pieces

  • FILE - In a Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 file photo, San Joaquin Sheriff deputies and Department of Justice personnel catalog human remains recovered from a well on an abandoned cattle ranch near Linden, Calif. Authorities say Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers," wantonly murdered many throughout California's rural Central Valley before their arrest in 1999. Now, motivated by a bounty hunter's promise to pay, one of those convicted killer's is breaking his long-held secret and leading investigators to burial sites that have yielded hundreds of human bones. (AP Photo/The Record, Craig Sanders)

LINDEN — Searchers have found about 1,000 bone fragments in an abandoned well as they pursue information provided by a serial killer who is claiming to disclose the location of long-lost victims, authorities said Wednesday.

Investigators intend to make a decision about exploring a second nearby well after wrapping up the excavation of the first site near the farming town of Linden, about 12 miles outside of Stockton, San Joaquin Sheriff's Department spokesman Les Garcia said.

More than 50 calls have been made to a hotline set up by authorities for people who believe their loved ones might be among the victims of Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

Officials already have positively identified the remains of two female victims buried on Calaveras County property once owned by Shermantine's family.

Shermantine and Herzog were dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers" after their 1999 arrest. Investigators said the boyhood friends were suspected in as many as 20 murders.

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