A 60-YEAR-OLD mystery may have been solved after a detective linked the murder of a pregnant teenager to a suspected serial killer who killed his wife after she found a crucial piece of evidence.
Monte R. Merz of Mount Pleasant, Utah, was believed by his grandchildren to have died in a car accident in 1965 at the age of 54.
However, the true cause of Merz’s death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police say Merz fatally shot his fifth wife, Ina, in California in 1965 and then shot himself.
The detective assumes that Merz murdered a total of two women, a young girl and a fetus in California from 1956 to 1965. So far, however, nothing has been confirmed.
Monte Merz was “an avid gambler, a prolific child molester, violent toward animals, a womanizer (and) a rampaging alcoholic,” LA detective Rachel Evans told KSL.
“He would marry these young women who had these young girls, and then he would abuse these girls,” she said.
The 1956 murder
That year, the oldest unsolved murder in the San Fernando Valley was uncovered by Evans and linked to Merz.
Evans amassed enough evidence to conjecture that Merz was responsible for the 1956 murder of a pregnant 18-year-old woman in Van Nuys, California.
The pregnant woman has been identified as Barbara Jean Jepson. She was married at the time and four months pregnant.
Interestingly, Jepson was the daughter of Merz’ partner Fern Spiva, with whom he lived for six years from 1948.
Evans has suggested that Merz “groomed and molested Barbara along the way.”
There were no signs of forced entry, making it appear that the suspect knew Jepson.
On the day of her murder, her husband Joe Jepson found his wife’s naked body on her bed, with a knife in her chest.
It was believed that she was raped and fatally stabbed at her home.
Although much evidence had been collected, DNA evidence was not used during this time in history.
Despite the lack of DNA evidence, recovered in 1956 and then collected using today’s technology, Evans used a very rigorous verification process to say there was a 99% certainty that Merz was Jepson’s killer.
The 1960 Murder
The police only discovered Merz as a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl in 1960 after a key witness came forward in 2017.
The victim, Mary Ann Perdrotta, had a horse stable next to Merz’s, and they often rode horses together.
Her body was later found with nine stab wounds in the nearby Foothills area.
After 52 years, a former stepdaughter of Merz’s finally stepped forward after previously being too scared to call the police.
She told police she saw Merz come into the house with a bloodied knife and blood on his hands and clothing on the day the 15-year-old was killed.
The stepdaughter was 10 years old at the time. “[She] explained the suspect [Merz] repeated [abused] and threatened her.
“Corresponding [the stepdaughter]The suspect molested many young neighborhood girls. She said if she ever told anyone she would be killed by the suspect.”
The 1965 Murder-Suicide
About two to three years after he allegedly murdered Perdrotta, Merz married Ina.
Then in 1964 he was arrested for molesting a 14-year-old girl. However, he died before his case came to trial.
A year later, when Merz was released from prison, Ina found underwear belonging to a young girl in a drawer of her California home.
She decided to confront Merz about whether he had abused this girl.
Then it turned violent when Merz grabbed a gun and chased Ina into the street.
He shot her several times and then after killing her he went back inside and killed himself.
Merz holds his victims
Merz had a lot of control over his victims. “He would never let her out of his life. He would never let her go,” Evans said.
One victim told police that Merz “had them in his pocket all the time. He would still molest and rape her until he died,” Evans said.
“So he was kind of a womanizer. He had all these women that he connected with and kind of kept,” she said.
“There are many stories around him about these young girls who were abused by him.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5889299/serial-killer-monet-merz-murdered-multiple-woman/ ‘Serial killer’ mystery linked to the murder of a pregnant teenager who murdered his wife after she found the crucial lead