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Is a killer stalking the site where he dumped the bodies of two young women?

Jennifer Lueth & Diane Shawcroft

Who was driving the blue truck?

CASE DETAILS

In 1996, Diane Shawcroft, 20, and her best friend, Jennifer Lueth, 19, left their homes in Colorado and moved in with Diane’s older sister, Kristina Frigoin, in Glendale, Arizona. After a spat with her sister, Diane left with Jennifer to go to the store. Kristina thought they would be right back:

“They said they were going to walk to the store to get cigarettes and a pop and that they would be back in a little while. They didn’t take anything with them. And they never went anywhere without their make-up.  So that’s what made me think they were coming right back.”

They were found dead by two hikers

Diana and Jennifer headed for the mini-mart a few blocks away. When they didn’t return immediately, it wasn’t cause for alarm, since the two young women were always up for adventure.  Diane and Jennifer were seen at the mini-mart around 7 P.M.  The cashier said the girls bought cigarettes and soda, then sat outside the store. Two hours passed.   The girls were still there when the cashier saw a man pull up in a blue truck. According to Ted Symonds of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office:

“They conversed for quite a while. They got into the truck. And then the truck drove off.  And that’s the last time anyone saw them alive.”

Their memorial pictures were stolen

Three months later, two men were hunting in a remote desert 100 miles north of Phoenix when they came upon two bodies. Diane Lynne Shawcroft lay on top of Jennifer Sue Lueth. Both girls had been murdered. Because the investigation was ongoing, police withheld the cause of death. But the location of the girls’ bodies offered several clues as to who the killer or killers might be. The area was extremely isolated, 16 miles from the nearest highway and accessible only by pick-up truck or four-wheel drive. Police believed the perpetrator knew the area well and frequented it often to hunt or four-wheel drive. Jennifer Lueth’s father, Bob Lueth, believed the killer did not act alone:

“Jennifer was strong girl and she was a scrapper if she needed to be. It wouldn’t be easy for one person to overpower Jennifer alone, but with two of them, it’s just sort of inconceivable to me that one person was able to do that to two girls.”

Who was the man in the blue truck?

The investigation centered on finding the man in the blue truck. Believing that the girls knew this man, police focused on their personal lives. While in Phoenix, Diane and Jennifer had been to many parties and nightclubs. They had met a lot of people in the short amount of time they lived in Glendale, many of them men. Jennifer Lueth’s mother, Debra Lueth, knew they were easy targets:

“I think both Jenny and Diana were very naïve and very innocent. I think like most 19 year-olds, they think they’re invincible and can just conquer the world.  I think whoever got involved with them knew that, could read them like a book, and took advantage of them.”

There was one final strange twist to this case. The families erected a shrine where the bodies were found. Pictures of both girls were placed at the foot of two wood crosses.  Police decided to occasionally survey the sight, hoping to find evidence of a visit from the killer. Four years later, on September 29, 2000, they found it. Both photos of the girls had been removed from their frames. Only police and the victims’ families knew the exact location where the girl’s bodies had been found. Diane’s father:

“Nothing else seemed to be disturbed and it definitely raised questions as to who would want the pictures, who would go to that much effort to go back in as far as it is, get the pictures, and take them. Hard to even imagine who it would be, or why they would do it, unless it was the perpetrator.”

No evidence that might identify the murderer has ever been found. Authorities would like to question the man in the blue pick up who was the last person seen with the girls.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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17 Comments

  1. thinkingoutloud

    wonder if the sister knows more than what she’s saying. the girls had an argument and then they decided to go out and get cigs and soda (which isn’t bizarre), but then they spend 2+ hours at the store and then later get into someone’s truck and never return.

    and if the only people who knew about the site were police and family…maybe it was an inside job. but someone knows more than what they’re saying

    Reply

  2. Jason

    I dont recall this episode. My first thought was: “in a lot of these episodes, its common that someone had raped, then killed people (usually by someone on parole) and it is a matter of time b4 they’re caught. But, there aren’t too many facts released. My guess is that, maybe they were taken to a party in the dessert, walked away from the group (maybe an argument?) and fell into the darkness? Or, some young man that accidently (Im speculating) saw or heard them fall, or discovered their bodies. Without releasing injuries sustained, dna evidence, etc, we don’t have much to go on

    Reply

  3. Sharon

    Since the police did not have any suspects from the main lead of the blue truck….or the DNA or fingerprints….and withholding details about the case such as cause of death did not seem to help the case, maybe they should have released more details to generate tips and useful information. The cabin being renovated in the area seems to be worth​ investigating to see if anyone working there observed anyone frequenting the area or any suspicious activity or evidence! The police would have had to be the source to initiate contact with the Forest Service! After 21 years it’s sad to know these families may never find our what happened to their loved ones!

    Reply

  4. Magdi M Manjal

    Just have the store clerk undergo a hypnosis to get more details, such as the car’s plate number

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    I just recently stumbled across this case, I have no clue how or why I don’t even remember it happening I was so young at the time but it still very unnerving unsettling and very disturbing I haven’t been able to sleep very comfortably at all since I read about it those poor girls bother 12 and half years older than me… What’s sickening is knowing that the person or persons who did this is still out there and who knows they might have killed again although it has been 20 years since this happened they should reexamine the DNA from the frames maybe the sicko or sickos have been arrested since then you know? I don’t understand how anyone can take a life of another and not feel any remorse and dump them off somewhere like they’re trash of some sort you know? These girls were and are very loved even to this day and they deserve justice they didn’t deserve what happened to them and who knows the guy in the blue truck hasn’t been seen since the day the girls disappeared so maybe he either disappeared with them and hasn’t been found or maybe he might have dropped them off somewhere or maybe he and one of his buddies helped with the murders. Idk it’s very very disturbing and just pure evil. And if it was an accident as mentioned in an earlier comment my question is how can anyone kill someone on accident?I don’t get it. And the pictures, “oh I killed them on accident,but I want these pictures to remember them by”? The actual mess is that?
    RIParidise sweeties I know this will not go unpunished and y’all will get y’alls justice soon the lord knows and will seek vengeance for y’all it’s a sin unto death and these people that did this horrible act will get What’s coming to them if it hasn’t already I just hope that maybe these families will get their peace of mind soon…

    Reply

  6. Miranda shortt

    I hope one of thse days they will find out who did it so the family’s can have some peace

    Reply

  7. Gin

    two hikerssssssssssssssss hmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply

  8. M

    It’s very sad when these Grils Died ;-(( I know Death is very bad!! These Young Ladys will live again they have hope God will grant them too see life;-))) If you know God then he will make it better for you too understand.

    Reply

  9. M

    I rely like too know who killed these 2 Prety Grils ;-((( I watch Unsolve Mystries alot I never stop I saw it when it 1st began !!! Any way I hate when People kill People & inasent Baby’s & Chikdren even Wiman those who do wrong will be killed my God himself he will not permit this any more.

    Reply

  10. friend of the mother

    I read somewhere that they thought the girls may have gone to a cabin in the area with the man in the truck. There is a forest service cabin that was being renovated at the time in the area called Sycamore Cabin. I think this needs to be checked for DNA from the girls. My intuition tells me that this is a likely area and I wish they would reopen this case and investigate it. I have tried questioning the F.S. to get them to look at their records of whomever was working on the cabin renovation at the time and I have gotten nowhere.

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    Jenny is my auntie! i love you Jenny.. mommy misses you

    Reply

  12. Crime Alert

    I thought the forensic could match everybody’s finger prints. If they can’t match the killer’s finger prints, then, there’s no way the killer has a record at all. The killer couldn’t just came out of nowhere. It just doesn’t make any sense. Why would the killer take the pictures from the frames? Why not just take the frames with him? It really doesn’t make any sense to me. Has anybody seen that man in the blue truck today? If so, Please contact the Authorities right now. It’s very important for them to question him.

    Reply

    • CuriousViewer

      There is no way that I’m aware of to match just anyone’s fingerprints. You must either be arrested, willingly be fingerprinted & have your DNA submitted for analysis or sign up for civil service jobs. (i.e. postal worker, armed forces or in some states, work with children in a public setting)
      I hope someday the killer/killers come forward or new evidence will be found that will answer the questions I’m certain this family has.

      Reply

    • RIP D.S.

      The killer hasn’t been caught yet. Some think this was is first and only murder, maybe it was by accident, and some think he could be a very practiced killer that hasn’t been caught yet. What makes the case even harder to solve is the fact that the bodies of both Diana and Jennifer were so badly decomposed, the police needed to use dental records to identify them. The only DNA evidence found was on the picture frames. At least that’s all the police have released to the public. A lot of info about this case has been kept from the public so that when the killer is found they can use it to confirm his involvement.

      Reply

  13. Anonymous

    Why didn’t they take the picture frames in for forensic analysis they could have gotten finger prints . It isn’t easy to take a picture out they had to have left skin cells on it.

    Reply

    • Anonymous

      Or better yet why didn’t they set up a game cam?

      Reply

    • RIP D.S.

      They found finger prints and DNA. They didn’t match anyone who has a record. Whoever did this has never been arrested or processed. And I’m scared that whoever did this will never be found. I wish my family could finally have the answers they long for.

      Reply