FL HOLT JANE DOE: WF, 36-45, possible Happy Face Killer victim found near Holt, FL - 15 September 1994


The victim's skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area north of I-10 north of the Holt exit. She was believed to have been hitchhiking from the Tampa Bay area, and may have had connections to Miami.

The suspect in the case, Keith Hunter Jesperson, confessed to the murder. He was not sure, but thought her name was possibly Suzanne, Suzette, or Sue. According to Jack Olsen's book, "I: The Making of a Serial Killer," Jesperson thought the unidentified woman might also be named Suanna, Susannah, or Sushanna (or Shoshana). He also noted that she was carrying around things like bark and moss and he wondered if she might have been some sort of fortune-teller. She also carried a music device (boom box or Walkman), which Jesperson later gave to his friend.

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Three unidentified bodies found locally remain a mystery, Florida

Of the seven people who have been discovered dead in the area and are still unidentified, a woman found Sept. 15, 1994, in Holt is the most famous and most puzzling.

She is one of three people who are believed to be homicide victims, and the only one in which a serial killer has claimed responsibility.

But like the other local unclaimed bodies, she has no name, no known relatives and no confirmed identity.

Her skeletal remains are stored at the District 1 Medical Examiner’s Office in Pensacola.

“You have people that typically stay anonymous,” said Jeff Martin, the office’s director. “They’re hitchhikers, transients, illegals.

“She was well cared for,” Martin said of the woman found in Holt. “That’s what makes it more personal. She should have a known identity.”

The woman was found wearing a well-made gown with a matching sequined jacket. Her teeth were in excellent condition and she’d had orthodontic work.

She is believed to have been killed about six months before she was found by a state prisoner assigned to a road crew. He was working along the westbound Interstate 10 entrance ramp from State Road 89 when he noticed the skeletal remains.

Because it is an open homicide case, the medical examiner’s records on the case are not public record.

But information about her is posted in national data-bases and numerous stories have been written about her killer.

Her brown hair showed signs of being dyed or bleached blonde. She was about 5 foot, 6 inches tall and about 120 pounds. Investigators guessed her to be in her mid-30s to mid-40s.

News reports about Keith Hunter Jesperson —a truck driver who claims to have killed eight women — say that the woman found in Okaloosa County was his sixth victim.

Jesperson was known as the Happy Face Killer for the way he signed anonymous notes to a newspaper in Oregon. He apparently sought attention after someone else took credit for killing one of his victims.

Jesperson’s murder spree is believed to have begun in 2000 and spanned five years.

It was only after he killed his girlfriend in March 2005 that police made the connection and identified him as man who signed his notes with a smiley face.

Jesperson’s cellmates told authorities he talked about two additional victims — one in Nevada and one in Florida. Their in-formation led to the discovery of the Nevada victim’s body and helped authorities to link Jesperson to the woman found in Okaloosa County.

According to the cell-mates, Jesperson told them his Florida victim was as a tall, pretty 34-year-old blonde named Suzanne. He had picked her up at a truck stop in Tampa and was driving her to Lake Tahoe to go skiing with friends.

In the 18 years since her body was discovered, the medical examiner‘s office has had four inquiries or possible matches for her. None has panned out.

Jesperson is serving three life sentences without parole. Martin said Jesperson has admitted to killing the woman found in Holt, but will never stand trial for it.

Her unsolved case is especially troubling to those who have studied it.

“We knew that she was known to have friends and that she was known to have skied in Colorado,” Martin said. “She had traveled with her friends. She was dressed well.

“She wasn’t a homeless person,” he added. “She wasn’t without money. She had an identity and she belonged to somebody and it was very unfortunate that we couldn’t find out who she belonged to.”

View: http://lost-inthegrey.tumblr.com/post/138419355784/this-unidentified-woman-was-the-victim-of-serial

This unidentified woman was the victim of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson i.e the Happy Face Killer.

Her skeletal remains were found on the 15th of September 1994 in a wooded area north of I-10 near the Holt exit in Okaloosa County, Florida.

She is described as white, aged between 36 - 45 and between 5'3" - 5'6". She had brown hair with blonde streaks and was wearing a floral dress, as well as several pieces of inexpensive jewellery - all of which can be seen in the photos.

It is believed the woman was hitchhiking at the time of her murder and may have caught a ride from the Tampa Bay area. Investigators also feel she may have had connections to Miami. Allegedly the victim was trying to travel to Reno, Nevada.

Keith Hunter Jesperson, the man who confessed to this woman’s murder, stated he thought the woman’s name may have been Suzanne, Suzette, or Sue.

Anyone with information on this case can contact the District 1 Medical Examiners Office on 850-416-7200 or 7210 and ask for Emily Speed.

595UFFL - Unidentified Female





Artistic renderings (Sgt. Paul Moody, Illinois State Police); Victim's jewelry

Date of Discovery: September 15, 1994
Location of Discovery: Holt, Okaloosa County, Florida
Estimated Date of Death: June or July 1994
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Suspected strangulation

Physical Description

Estimated Age: 36-45 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'3" to 5'6"
Weight: 110-116 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown with bleached streaks.
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown

: Available. Tooth # 25 in Labio-version, possible orthodontic treatment at an earlier age.
Fingerprints: Not available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: A bra, full-length floral print dress with seven fabric covered buttons and nine button holes, and a floral print jacket with a draw string and zipper with sequins in a pattern on the upper shoulder with knit cuffs and collar were found near the remains.
Jewelry: Silver, inexpensive ring. Silver heart-shaped ring with a four leaf clover design. Silver charm bracelet with eight loops but no charms. Black cord bracelet with three multi-colored Indian beads. Simple cord necklace with a triangle, a square, and two circles interconnected.
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Discovery

The victim's skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area north of I-10 near the Holt exit.

The victim was believed to have been hitchhiking. She is understood to have caught a ride from the Tampa Bay area, and may have had connections to Miami. Allegedly the victim was trying to travel to Reno, Nevada.

The suspect in the case, Keith Hunter Jesperson, confessed to the murder. He was not sure, but thought her name was possibly Suzanne, Suzette, or Sue. According to Jack Olsen's book, "I: The Making of a Serial Killer," Jesperson thought the unidentified woman might also be named Suanna, Susannah, or Sushanna (or Shoshana). He also noted that she was carrying around things like bark and moss and he wondered if she might have been some sort of fortune-teller. She also carried a music device (boom box or Walkman), which Jesperson later gave to his friend.

She is victim number six on the Happy Face Killer's list.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: District 1 Medical Examiners Office
Agency Contact Person: Emily Speed
Agency Phone Number: 850-416-7200 or 7210
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 1994-00132

Agency Name: FDLE
Agency Contact Person: Inv. Dennis W. Haley
Agency Phone Number: N/A
Agency E-Mail: dennishaley(at)fdle.state.fl.us
Agency Case Number: 94-31438

Agency Name: Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 800-226-8574
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: Unknown

Agency Name: Pensacola Regional Operations Center
Agency Contact Person: Special Agent Kenny Pinkard
Agency Phone Number: 800 226-8574
Agency E-Mail: kennypinkard(at)fdle.state.fl.us
Agency Case Number: 94-31438

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 1129

Information Source(s)
Pensacola Regional Operations Center
Columbian, The Vancouver, WA 10/4/1995
Oregonian, The Portland, OR 1/19/1996

Admin Notes
Added: 11/15/07; Last Updated: 9/10/16

Unidentified Female in 1994 in Okaloosa County,Florida

Here is the information on her that was sent to me. The state lab says she has natural brown hair, but, however, it may have been "High Lighted" she had very good teeth. Tooth #25 on her was in Labio-version. There was unusual low cost jewlery with her. There was a circle, triangle, and square all intertwined together and that was hung about her neck on what appears to be a leather string. It does not appear she had any broken bones. The anthropologist dates her age as being about 40 to mid 40. Around 5'6. She was picked up by a trucker in Tampa, Florida about 2 weeks prior to discovery of her body. There is a hint of information that she might have been the Miami area and Reno area. She had some clothing on. The name Suzanne could be possible.

A L.G. Barberree,investigator used to be on her case with the Okaloosa county sheriffs office
296 Brackinstreet,Crestview,Florida.32539

Okaloosa County: Interstate 10 Jane Doe cold case

Updated: Saturday, 07 Apr 2012, 8:37 AM CDT
Published : Saturday, 07 Apr 2012, 12:00 PM CDT

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) - The latest installment of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office’s “Cold Case Chronicles” profiles the unsolved mystery surrounding a 1994 murder victim.
The woman’s remains were found off an Interstate 10 exit ramp near Holt in September 1994.
Okaloosa Sheriff’s Investigators have been unable to identify her but do have some clues they’re hoping will help spark either someone’s memory - or their interest in calling authorities with information.
Included in those clues are several distinctive items of jewelry and the photos indicating the color and pattern of the dress and matching short jacket the victim had been wearing.



Her murderer doesn’t know her name, but the so-called “Happy Face Killer” says cops have created an accurate depiction of the woman who became his sixth victim.
Police are turning to the public to ID one of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson’s alleged victims from more than 21 years ago. Jesperson, who claims the mystery woman was one of eight people he killed in the 1990s, worked with a police sketch artist to draw the woman. That illustration was then superimposed on a skull found with the woman’s remains to generate a 3-D image.
When the process was complete, the results were sent to Jesperson. His reaction convinced Sheriff's Dept. forensics imaging specialist Paul Moody that the reconstruction was accurate.
"He said, 'When I opened up the package it was like a rush of emotion running through me. I saw her again in your picture,'" Moody said.

The victim is likely from Florida or Nevada and named Suzanne, Suzette or Susan, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Jesperson told investigators he picked up the woman, who was heading to Reno, at a truck stop in Tampa in 1994. He later raped and killed her before dumping her body.

Now 60 years old, Jesperson is serving life in prison. He’s called the “Happy Face Killer” because of smiley faces he left on notes confessing to his crimes.

Investigators use Happy Face Killer's painting to recreate Jane Doe's face with decomposed body found in 1994


A Palm County, Fla., investigator gleaned a prison painting by the so-called Happy Face Killer to illustrate what his sixth victim looked like.

Keith Jesperson’s colorful picture painted from behind bars at the Oregon State Penitentiary helped the Florida Division of Law Enforcement put an accurate face to the badly decomposed body found beside Interstate 10 in 1994, authorities said.

At the peak of Jesperson’s notoriety in the mid-90s, Jesperson claimed to have killed eight women in letters to members of the media.

In those letters, he earned his moniker by drawing happy faces.

One of those victims was a woman whose name was either Suzy or Suzette, but he couldn’t remember. The 60-year-old did recall Jane Doe’s frizzled sandy-blond hair depicted in his painting recently shipped to Paul Moody, a Palm County Sheriff’s Office forensics specialist.

That was enough to reconstruct the victim’s face and send it back to Jesperson for confirmation, the Sheriff's Office said.

“When I opened up the package,” Jesperson reportedly wrote to Moody, “it was like a rush of emotion running through me. I saw her again in your picture.”

Her body was found in Okaloosa County alongside a tattered floral dress also depicted in the reconstruction. She had been wearing a bracelet with Native American-styled beads.

Jesperson pleaded guilty to the strangling death of 23-year-old Taunja Bennett in 1995 and another woman, but bragged about killing more.

Detectives went as far to dub Jesperson a “blatant liar” in 1997, but Moody feels confident in his latest reconstruction of the victim.

The image is a far cry from a reconstruction done in 1995 that produced a short-haired brunette with prominent cheeks.

Jesperson said he picked the woman up at a Tampa, Fla., truck stop more than 400 miles away from the swampy forest he dumped her body.

She wanted a ride to Reno leading investigators to believe she may have been from either Florida or Nevada.




Prize-winning journalist Jack Olsen, armed with unprecedented access to one of the most infamous serial killers in American history, provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a murderer in the killer's own words . . .

In February 1990, Oregon State Police arrested John Sosnovke and Laverne Pavlinac for the vicious rape and murder of Taunja Bennet, a troubled 23-year-old barfly who had suffered mild retardation since birth. Pavlinac had come forth and confessed, implicating her boyfriend and producing physical evidence that linked them to the crime. Authorities closed the case.

There was just one problem. They had the wrong people.

And the real killer wasn't about to let anyone take credit for his kill. Keith Hunter Jesperson was a long haul truck driver and the murderer of eight women, including Taunja Bennet. As the case wound through police precincts and courts--ending in life sentences for both Sosnovke and Pavlinac--Jesperson began a twisted one man campaign to win their release. To the editors of newspapers and on the walls of highway rest stops, Jesperson scribbled out a series of taunting confessions:

I killed Tanya Bennett . . . I beat her to death, raped her and loved it. Yes I'm sick, but I enjoy myself too. People took the blame and I'm free . . ..Look over your shoulder. I may be closer than you think.

At the end of each confession, Jesperson drew a happy face, earning for himself the grisly sobriquet "The Happy Face Killer."

Based on access to interviews, diaries, court records, and the criminal himself, I: The Creation of a Serial Killer is Jesperson's chilling story. It chronicles his evolution from angry child to sociopathic murderer, from tormentor of animals to torturer of women. It is also the story of the fate that befell him after two innocent citizens were imprisoned four years for one of his killings.

Edgar Award winner Jack Olsen lets the killer to tell his story in his own words, offering unprecedented insight into the twisted thought process of a serial murderer. Olsen takes his readers along on Jesperson's vicious cross-country killing spree, letting him describe how he played his "death game" with eight innocent victims and how he finally came to grips with the fate he deserved.

I: The Creation of a Serial Killer is one of the most revealing and insightful pieces of crime reporting ever published.

Keith Hunter Jesperson


Born Keith Hunter Jesperson
April 6, 1955 (age 61)
Chilliwack, British Columbia,Canada
Other names The Happy Face Killer, Igor, Ig
Criminal penalty Life imprisonment
Spouse(s) Rose Hucke (m 1975–s 1990)
Children 3
Victims 8 confirmed
Span of killings
23 January 1990–10 March 1995
Country United States, Canada
State(s) California, Florida, Nebraska,Oregon, Washington,Wyoming
Date apprehended
30 March 1995

Keith Hunter Jesperson (born 6 April 1955) is a Canadian Americanserial killer who murdered at least eight women in the United States during the early 1990s. He was known as the "Happy Face Killer" because he drew smiley faces on his many letters to the media and prosecutors. Many of his victims were prostitutes and transients who had no connection to him.

Strangulation was his preferred method of murdering, the same method he often used to kill animals as a child.

After the body of his first victim, Taunja Bennett, was found, media attention surrounded Laverne Pavlinac, a woman who falsely confessed to having killed Bennett with the help of her abusive boyfriend, John Sosnovske.

Jesperson was upset that he was not getting any media attention. He first drew a smiley face on a bathroom wall (hundreds of miles away from the scene of the crime), on which he anonymously confessed to killing Bennett.

When that did not elicit a response, he began writing letters to the media and prosecutors.

His last victim was his long-time girlfriend, a crime that ultimately led to his capture. While Jesperson has claimed to have killed as many as 160 people, only eight murders have been confirmed.

Daughter of 'Happy Face' serial killer reveals how she found duct tape in his truck's sleeper cabin and how he hanged and tortured her kittens when she was five

Melissa Moore, now 34, is the daughter of Keith Hunter Jesperson who raped and strangled eight women in the U.S. in the 1990s
She revealed how at the age of 15, she found duct tape in her truck-driving father's sleeper cabin
She said her father took pleasure in sharing graphic sexual details with her growing up and how he once tortured kittens to death in front of her


PUBLISHED: 14:16 EST, 6 November 2014 |

The daughter of the 'Happy Face' serial killer has revealed how at the age of 15 she found a roll of duct tape in the bed of his long-distance truck's sleeper cabin - a moment which she brushed off but came back to haunt her, many times, years later.

Melissa Moore, now 34, has revealed in a new essay, published this week, chilling details about her father Keith Hunter Jesperson which had always left her with a lingering unease while growing up in Washington.

When she was five she watched in horror when he hung her pet kittens on a clothes line and tortured them to death, paying no heed to his young daughter's screams


Interstate 10 West at Exit 45: CR 189 - Holt (Photo taken 6/7/11).


045) Exit 45 – CR 189, Holt, Blackwater River State Park

Camping: Blackwater River State Park, Eagle’s landing RV Park, River’s Edge RV Park


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