Police Addressed Users on Behalf of an 11-Year-Old Girl, and Now Readers Obsessively Follow New Developments
On July 6, an unusual message appeared on the Newport Beach Police Twitter page. An 11-year-old girl named Linda who was murdered 45 years ago addressed followers. According to her, the person who killed her was never found. And now she wants to tell her mysterious story to the world.
We at Bright Side were really interested in the girl’s story and now we want to tell our readers about the incident.
It all started with this tweet:
The police wanted to use an emotional tactic to attract the attention of the public to a crime that had been committed 45 years ago. It happened on Friday, July 6, 1973, when Linda O’Keefe was 11 years old.
What we know about the girl
She was a shy and quiet girl. She didn’t like science or school, but she loved music and was learning to play the piano. Linda could easily express her thoughts and draw, and her mother said that she was a talented girl.
She loved swimming and sunbathing. By the way, the summer when the tragedy happened was the first summer that her parents let Linda go to the beach alone.
Like all children, she often watched TV. According to her mother, she was very organized, always kept her room perfectly clean, and asked her mother to evaluate her work every time she cleaned.
But she was easily hurt. A few months before the incident, her cat died. She cried a lot and it was very hard for her to deal with the loss.
Linda had 2 sisters and she was very close to the older one. Her sister was an adult and she worked in a dry-cleaning shop but continued to live in her parent’s home.
Linda was a girl scout and a member of the local youth center, but her scout skills didn’t help her on that tragic day.
Linda’s last day
She left home at 8 a.m. and went to Lincoln Elementary School. Her music teacher gave her a ride that day, and it was a little bit cold, so Linda put her green jacket on, on top of a light dress.
Aside from the dress and the jacket, Linda was wearing dark blue tennis shoes and thick white socks. Her hair was up in a ponytail.
She carried her school books in an American flag-colored bag that her mother made specially for Independence Day (which was 2 days before the incident).
She had brought some change with her, so after her second class, she went to a local store that was a block away from her school and bought bubble gum. She managed to return on time by the beginning of her third class.
After the school day finished, Linda decided to call her mother to see if she could pick her up. Usually, she rode a bicycle, but when she found out that her teacher could give her a ride to school, she decided to leave her bike at home.
The school secretary couldn’t let her use the phone right away and she asked her to wait.
To make the time go faster, Linda went to Richard’s market where she had bought the bubble gum a couple of hours before. There, she met her friend Brenda. The girls greeted each other and her friend left. According to Brenda, when she was leaving the store, she saw a turquoise van driving right at her. She managed to jump out of the way at the last minute to avoid the van hitting her.
Brenda saw that the strange vehicle stopped next to her friend but she was too far to hear if Linda was talking to the driver.
After the incident, Linda returned to school and finally called her mother. But unfortunately, she was too busy with a sewing project and told her to walk home.
Linda didn’t like walking. Her parents were often angry that she always asked them to drive her even though her school wasn’t very far. Because she didn’t like walking very much, she didn’t go home right away. Still sobbing, she left school, and decided to sit on the road in front of the school.
Later that day, the police will question a girl named Jannine. She and her mother were driving by and saw Linda at that spot. And according to the women, a turquoise van was near the girl. It was parked on the intersection of Marguerite Drive and Inlet Drive.
The front door of the van was half open and witnesses saw Linda standing near the driver. The police got the first description from the women: white male, age 20-30.
Jannine’s mother felt that something was wrong, so she parked her car nearby. They were hoping to write down the license plate of the van when it passed by. But the unknown driver turned the vehicle and drove away. Because of the bad angle, neither Jannine nor her mother, no matter how much they tried, managed to see how many people were in the van or if Linda was inside.
All this time, nobody worried about Linda. This was a different time and children spent hours with their friends outside. But when Linda didn’t come home for lunch, her mother started to worry.
The woman started calling her daughter’s friends hoping that she was at someone’s house. But none of them knew where she was.
When Linda’s father came home from work, they decided to go looking for her. The family had 2 cars, so the older sister and the father were driving around hoping to find the girl but the search was fruitless, so the family returned home.
The police found out that the girl was missing at 18:42. They immediately started looking for her. Linda’s sister and her father joined the police. Patrol cars drove down the road from Lincoln Elementary School to the O’Keefe house a countless number of times, but there was no trace of Linda. At the same time, her mother made about 40 phone calls asking neighbors if anyone knew where Linda was.
The police searched not only the city streets, but also the meadows, and the nearby forests.
Linda’s mother knew that she would never stay outside when it’s dark and the sun had already gone down.
Soon, the first theory was born: that day, Linda’s friend Katy wanted to spend the night, but Mrs. O’Keefe wouldn’t let her. The police found out that Katy’s parents went to Catalina that day, and they thought that Linda might have gone with them.
Later, they found out that the boat that belonged to Katy’s parents was gone. It was soon found but the children weren’t there.
The entire police force was looking for Linda. Patrol cars and helicopters — nothing helped.
This was exactly when Jannine heard that a girl was missing and she went to the police to tell them about the van she and her mother had seen earlier. Another witness was a woman who lived on a cliff. She heard a scream nearby. But she didn’t know that a child was missing, so didn’t think it was important.
The police looked for Linda until dawn, then took a short break, and continued the search at 7:30 a.m. This time, volunteers joined the police and local newspapers started informing the public.
At approximately the same time, a mile away from Linda’s house, there was a bicycle rider with his 4-year-old son. He was going to meet his friends to watch the frogs at a nearby lake.
But instead of frogs, he found Linda’s body. He screamed trying to wake the girl up but she didn’t react. She had been suffocated.
The man called the police immediately. From that moment, Linda’s search turned into the search for her murderer.
Not far from the crime scene.
Based on information from witnesses, the police drew a sketch of the van driver who was the prime suspect in this case.
But despite all their efforts, the case still remains unsolved. And now, 45 years later, there is finally some new information about the case. The investigators asked scientists to do DNA phenotyping. This procedure helps to realistically portray what the suspect looks like.
Now, the police have a new quality portrait of the probable murderer. He was “aged” with special software, so this is probably what he looks like right now.
After the police finished the story on behalf of Linda, they asked everyone who had any information about this crime to contact the authorities. The classmates of the girl and the American media supported the request. And we hope that the police will finally be able to solve this case because the girl’s story is becoming more and more popular.
Do you think the police did the right thing informing the public about the incident via Twitter? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Preview photo credit Newport Beach Police / Twitter