August 30, 1980 – Marj Von B, the Register-Pajaronian crime reporter who covered the three most notorious mass murder cases in Santa Cruz County history, died Friday morning at Dominican Hospital. She was 54.
Miss Von B had been ill for several weeks. She entered the hospital last week after it was learned she had cancer, and her health failed rapidly.
Since 1970, she had covered the crime beat at the county courthouse in Santa Cruz for the Register-Pajaronian. During the period, Santa Cruz County was shaken by three mass-murder cases which for a time earned the county the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of the world.
Miss Von B covered the murders committed by and trials of the three killers: John Linley Frazier, who killed four members of the Victor Ohta family and Dr. Ohta’s secretary in October 1970; Herbert Mullin, who killed 13 people in random murders during late 1972 and early 1973; and Edmund Kemper, who killed eight women, including his mother, during the same period in which Mullin was active.
Born in Two Buttes, Colo., on Sept. 20, 1925, Miss Von B was educated in the Los Angeles area, where she was a reporter for news wire services and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. She served in the Navy’s WAVES during World War II.
Having moved to Ben Lomond, she was a reporter for the Valley Press in Felton for three-and-a-half years before joining the Register-Pajaronian’s news staff in April, 1970.
Miss Von B acquired her unusual name formally following her divorce from Linton von Beroldingen; she had it legally changed to the shorter version which she had used all along in newspaper bylines.
She was quietly married at home, at 360 Branciforte Drive, Santa Cruz, two weeks ago to Lyle Freckleton, whom she had known since childhood. A son and daughter by her first marriage are Linton A. and Priska von Beroldingen. A niece is Paula Amerine of Auburn.
There will be no funeral or memorial service; arrangements were handled by the Neptune Society. The family asked that friends wishing to pay their respects make donations to the American Cancer Society.
Source: Green Sheet – August 30, 1980
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