***Warning: graphic content***
Cynthia [Ann Schall] was a large eighteen-year-old with straight blonde hair. In her family she was Cindy, and she had a younger sister named Candy. The children grew up in San Francisco, but their mother remarried and moved to Marin County with her new husband. Candy went with them to attend high school. Cindy, at seventeen, however, struck off for Santa Cruz to enroll in Cabrillo College, debating about whether she wanted to become a school teacher or a policewoman. In her freshman year the college had required her to live with a family because of her youth. Later she moved down near the beach with a girlfriend. And again, just recently, she had gotten a babysitting job with the Arthur Windy family downtown and was living in. She shared her job in shifts with a friend named Pamela. And it was her custom to thumb a ride out to the college. In the early evening of January 8 , she was walking down Mission Avenue, the main thoroughfare that becomes a freeway that leads into another freeway that goes past Cabrillo College. When she did not reach her class and did not return home that night, Pamela telephoned the police. Later she also alerted Cindy’s family in Marin County. News of Cindy’s fate was not long in arriving. Less than twenty-four hours later, a California Highway Patrolman stopped beside a three-hundred-foot cliff on the coast south of Carmel, doing a routine check for motorists who sometimes overshot the curve and for incautious photographers who occasionally took one backward step too many. He spotted what appeared to be neither of these, but a human arm sticking out of a plastic bag beside the road. Further search not only confirmed the finding but disclosed, strewn down the side of the cliff, strips of skin, portions of two legs, an arm, and a severed hand. A week later, a neatly severed human rib cage washed ashore back up the coast near Santa Cruz, a case of the crime returning to the scene of the murderer. Since many other girls were missing from their California homes, certain identification by the pathologists was not completed until January 24.
The sliced portions of a human body which have drifted into shore during the last week have been positively identified’ by the coroner’s office. The victim has been named as Cynthia Ann Schall, 19, 220 Cleveland Ave. She had been reported missing Jan. 9, one day after she reportedly hitchhiked to a class at Cabrillo College.
According to the coroner’s office, the victim was identified by two different methods. The first was a comparison of fingerprints of the severed hand which washed onto the beach Friday with fingerprints in Miss Schall’s room. The second method was a comparison of chest x-rays of the torso discovered in the surf last week with x-rays which had been taken of the woman in October.
It was also confirmed that the severed arms and legs found in Monterey County belong to Miss Schall. Positive identification of the limbs was made Thursday when two pathologists and a radiologist concluded that the arms and legs belonged to Miss Schall. Police Lt. Chuck Scherer said that x-rays of the severed parts of the body matched up: the x-ray showed a healed fracture in one forearm, an injury which Miss Schall suffered a few years ago.
The investigation of the crime is being handled by the Santa Cruz police department, which was originally notified of the missing girl.
Source: “The Coed Killer” by Margaret Cheney / Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 24th & 26th, 1973