Police Make Arrest in 1974 Homicide Case, Seek Assistance Identifying Victim

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1974 homicide

Composite drawing of victim.

Long Beach Police made an arrest in a 39-year-old cold case and seek the public’s help in identifying the victim known as Jane Doe #40.

Through a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” grant, Long Beach Police cold case investigators focused their attention on the backlog of unsolved homicides awaiting case review, evidence screening, and potential DNA analysis. Among the backlog was a young woman who was murdered in May 1974. The victim, who was found on Alamitos Beach, near Alamitos Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, remains unidentified and is known only as Jane Doe #40.

1974 homicide victim

Photo of distinct scar on victim.

Cold case investigators were unable to locate any evidence remaining in the case that could be submitted for DNA analysis, and it appeared the case was destined to return to the cold case shelves. Troubled that the young woman had remained unidentified for over 38 years and puzzled that they could not locate a missing persons report which matched Jane Doe #40’s physical description, investigators felt compelled to review the case file once again. However, since the case no longer met the criteria for further investigation under “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” due to the lack of evidence suitable for DNA testing, investigators turned the case over to homicide detectives for further investigation.

Long Beach Homicide Detectives Todd Johnson and Malcolm Evans’ investigation led to the identification and interview of a possible suspect/witness residing in Texas. This subject admitted to homicide detectives that he assisted the main suspect in the murder of Jane Doe #40 by helping to dispose of her body on Alamitos Beach. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office will ultimately review his involvement and determine his culpability.

The subsequent investigation, led homicide detectives to a 61-year old male, living in California. The suspect confessed to killing Jane Doe #40 after raping and strangling her, then disposing of her body on the beach. The case was submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review and a warrant was issued for the suspect’s arrest. On Monday, May 20, 2013, Homicide Detectives Johnson and Evans arrested Gary Stamp for the May 28, 1974, murder of victim Jane Doe #40. Stamp is scheduled for arraignment on June 12, 2013, in Long Beach Superior Court.

The suspect could not provide any additional information as to the victim’s identity, other than her first name might have been “Anna”. Through additional interviews, detectives believe the suspect(s) met “Anna” in a bar or on the street in the downtown Long Beach area.

With the assistance of the National Center for the Missing and Exploited Children, a rendering of the victim has been made available and Long Beach Police are hopeful someone can identify Jane Doe #40:

  • Ethnicity – White or Hispanic
  • Age – Estimated late teens to early 20’s
  • Height – 5’2”
  • Weight – 135 pounds
  • Hair – Long brown
  • Eyes – Brown
  • Distinguishing Marks – Scar on top of left hand
  • Possible Name/Nickname – “Anna”
  • Clothing – Two piece pink pantsuit with black waist length faux fur coat and black boots
  • Jewelry – 14k white gold ring with small diamond solitaire

Anyone with any information regarding the identity of Jane Doe #40 is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Todd Johnson or Malcolm Evans at (562) 570-7244.

Anyone with any information regarding other unsolved murders is asked to contact the Long Beach Police Department Homicide Detail at (562) 570-7244. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may call Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.

For information about the National Institute of Justice, visit www.nij.gov.

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