Sunday, November 22, 2009

Murderess Chic

[Continued from previously]

Lane Dahlquist picked up men and killed them.
She wrote about her kills as if they were fiction,
in unpublished pulp fiction-style novels.

A Haunted Detective

     Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Ray Vogler hadn't seen it all.
     But he'd seen quite a bit.
     "It would be a cliche to say I'd never seen anything like it. But, I'd never seen anything like it," Vogler said about the several decade old unsolved crime, sitting at a bar while chain smoking Lark cigarettes after pulling off the filters.
     Ray is no longer with the department, having left about five years after the murder of a young surfer who had been a friend of his nephew. There has also been the alleged killing of a witness.
     "Ray Vogler" is not the detective's real name, which has been changed for use in this article. For several reasons.
     "That case was controversial. Because I'd been on scene, and saw how this kid was left, it stuck with me. I wouldn't let it go. (And) the kid was a friend of the family. When the case wouldn't come together to satisfy the DA and brass, I wouldn't let go. It was personal," 'Vogler' says after his fourth filterless Lark in 30 minutes.
     Personal is where it shouldn't go for a cop. When Vogler wouldn't accept the case could not be brought, "I started to get treated like a bad character out of a TV movie. Started with the brass. (But) by the time I left I'd had it. Even the new kids had heard of me. I'd become the last thing you want on a PD. That crazy guy who's haunted by the case that got away."
     'Vogler's one condition in speaking for this piece, written in 2006 and published here for the first time, was to not use his actual name.

Her M.O. was to kill during sex. In this case
a surprise spiked surgery tool into the base
of the skull during intercourse. Her victim hadn't a chance.

A Haunting Case

     From the moment Vogler first saw the 23-year-old local Ventura surfer's body, he promised himself he'd solve the case.
     "I failed. Let him down. My nephew, was the kid's surf buddy. Sure, they smoked a bit of weed. Threw back a six-pack or two on the weekends. But he was a good kid (and) didn't deserve to die like that," Vogler says, ordering his second scotch and soda of the evening to go with his mutilated Larks. We sit on an outside patio, where smoking is still permitted at bars in California.
     "In this state (California) they'll let the rich, the connected, kill people like that kid. But a former detective can't smoke inside in a bar. That screwed up, or what?" the former detective says, letting out some of the bitterness remaining after all these years.
     Asked to describe the crime scene, and the subsequent information about the killing from forensics, Vogler orders another double scotch soda. Even though the one in front of him isn't finished.

     "Talk about your sick stuff. It was like a sacrifice. Some kind of ritual. But neat. Pretty. Wacko.
     "I knew a few guys who'd been at the Manson murders back when. (I) saw some of those photos. That was savage. But somehow this was worse. Crazy people on drugs going crazy is one thing. But sacrificing a kid nice, neat, thought out, like that's what he'd been born to be used for. Fries my brain. My soul, if you will."

     Vogler takes a moment's rest to rip the filter off another Lark before lighting it. Finish his scotch soda before starting on the double that awaits, in front of his heavy body, still solid for a man in his sixties.
     Asked about the specifics of what he saw, and the forensics info, he grimaces as if feeling pain from an old injury.
     Then he braces with a drink, and goes into it.
     "Okay. first there's this kid. Coulda been my nephew. laying there naked on the bed.
     "No sign of struggle. That was the first signal of something up. Relaxed. Eyes closed. Almost a smile on his face. Like he's at peace with whatever happened to him.
     "Blankets' pulled back. Dried something on the sheets around his, you know..."

Sheriff's Det. 'Ray Vogler', a man traumatized by
the murder of his nephew's surf pal. Killed during sex
with, he says, an attractive blonde surgeon twice the kid's age.

     Vogler, a hardened detective, used the term "you know" for a murder victim's sex organs. Vogler wasn't the kind of guy that would cringe at using stronger terms. Few detectives were. But he had been traumatized by this case.
     "Anyone who wasn't a virgin could see this kid had been fucking someone. There was dried blood that had come out from behind his head. He had a mess of tangled hair that was dried together in the spot where he'd been...where she had..."
     Vogler crushes out a Lark. Tears off the filter to another. Lights it and continues.
     "He'd been punctured in the back of the head with something. No sign of struggle. Anywhere. Pretty obvious what went on," Vogler said, pausing to get lost somewhere in his mind while splashing some scotch and soda down his throat.
     Vogler didn't follow up on what "obvious" meant. He figured it was...obvious. But I asked anyway.
     "Guess you had to be there to understand. Whoever he was with, which I came to, came to know, was Dahlquist. She had nailed him in the back of the head while they were doin' it. No struggle. No ruffle to the sheets. (He) never saw it coming.
     "She left him just like that. Those were the days before DNA. I think a year or so later was the first conviction using it. Our department wasn't set up with any kinda procedure (for it)," Vogler said.
     "DNA regarding?" I asked.
     Vogler looked at me like I wasn't following along. I was, but had to nail things down.
     "The dried liquids. You know, the kind during sex? It was all over his (genitals)...soaked and dried in the sheets. Today they'd have that analyzed and ready to convict. Back then I don't think our guys had even taken a class on that stuff (DNA) yet."
     Vogler sits, reflects for a second. Drinks. Considers another cigarette, but passes. Then speaks.
     "I'm not ripping our department. Hey, we were a small jurisdiction. That was before DNA was happening. Anyway, forensics did corroborate what I already knew. The dried liquid on and around the kid's body was from a broad. What'd they call it? 'Vaginal discharge.' (While) fucking him. Not the technical term in the report, which was, if I recall, 'intercourse'.
     "Basically, she spiked him while she fucked him. Guess that's getting double fucked, huh?"

The killer was older now. But still beautiful. And smart.
Perhaps too smart to have been discovered until
after her own death.

Another Victim

     If there's one thing about the case former Det. Ray Vogler can live with, it's that the Ventura County's crime lab was not cutting edge enough in 1986 to collect, handle and preserve DNA in the case. Really, just before DNA evidence came into it's own.
    What Vogler says he can't live with is the system's failure given other evidence in the case.
    "We had a witness. We didn't protect him like we should. She got him. I'm sure of it. Once he was gone, that was it. Point. Game. Match. Lady walks."
---Res Cane



  1. Amazing. I've read many things like this. It's sad someone can get away with killing for sex, pleasure.

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