Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jane Doe and a Serial Killer?


They tagged the body “Jane Doe” after the discovery in a rustic grave on the desert floor near Florence, Arizona. The dead female, estimated between 15 and 18 years old, became Doe case number 2278dfaz.

The body was discovered on May 10, 1997, by hunters in the remote desert area. In an odd twist, Arizona authorities years later admitted that they'd misplaced the corpse of Jane Doe, but not before a facial reconstruction could be created, using the skull, to help identify the body. It was then placed in a county cemetery, but the exact location of the plot was not noted on the paperwork.

Three months after the discovery of Jane Doe’s remains, the wife of Craig Leslie Jacobsen, who was eventually convicted in the Las Vegas murder of 20-year-old salsa dancer Ginger Rios, led police to Ginger’s grave in the same vicinity off the Florence Calvin Highway, a 30-mile dirt road between Florence and the Riverside-Kearny area not far from Tucson. The wife knew exactly where the body was, because she had been in the van with her husband, along with their baby, when he drove Ginger’s body to Arizona to bury her.

Jane Doe
Jacobsen eventually told police that the Jane Doe remains, buried not far from Ginger’s body, were those of a missing woman named Mary Stoddard. Thus, the body was formally ID’d and police believed the case had been solved. On the body’s right baby finger was a yellow metal ring with two clear stones and a light purple stone. On the left hand was a ring fashioned with two twisted gold wires with the letter "M.” Police believed it stood for “Mary.”

But seven days before Jane Doe was discovered, 15-year-old Christina Marie Martinez disappeared, on May 3, 1997, on her way to a local laundromat.

Thirteen years later, in the summer of 2010, according to the Doe Network, police finally learned the true identity of Jane Doe. The ring’s “M,” they also learned, actually stood for “Martinez.” The family, for all those years, had not realized and had not been told that the remains of a young Jane Doe were found just days after Christina's disappearance. It was the same day Christina would have turned 16.

Ginger Rios (left)
For Ginger Rios, her interaction with Craig Jacobsen, also known as John Flowers, started out innocently enough when, on the afternoon of April 4, 1997, she drove with her husband to Jacobsen’s Spy Craft shop near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to buy a how-to book on cleaning up their credit so they could buy a house. Ginger left Mark Hollinger, her husband of five months, in their car, telling him, “I’ll be right back.” Jacobsen had a second Spy Craft shop in Phoenix just blocks from where Christina Martinez was last seen.

With three deaths in his wake–Jane Doe, Mary Stoddard and Ginger Rios–all evidence points to Craig Jacobsen being a serial killer. Yet, he has not been charged in Christina Martinez’s murder nor in connection with Mary Stoddard’s disappearance.

Now, however, evidence is reportedly being gathered in an effort to charge Jacobsen with Christina’s murder.

I interviewed Jacobsen after Ginger’s disappearance and before his arrest. He told me he was angry with Ginger for causing him trouble and that he didn’t appreciate it. He, too, wanted to find her, he said. His words, in light of Ginger's death, were chilling.

Jacobsen was arrested in Los Angeles in August 1997. A day after being interviewed by Las Vegas police about Ginger’s murder, Jacobsen was found comatose in his cell, hanging from a bed sheet, inside the Los Angeles County Jail. He survived.

Shortly after Jacobsen’s arrest, his wife suddenly offered, in an apparent move to help save herself from being named an accomplice, led police to the desert where her husband had buried Ginger’s body.

In light of the evidence against Jacobsen, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, in downtown Las Vegas, at the time publicly vowed to seek the death penalty against him. Yet, months later, in a surprise move, Jacobsen was offered a plea bargain in Ginger’s case in exchange for a lesser penalty of 25 years–this, despite two confessions for two separate murders and damning evidence against Jacobsen. Then, a couple years later, his guilty plea was withdrawn and a judge allowed him to instead plead guilty by reason of insanity. Today, Jacobsen sits in a Northern Nevada prison hospital with an uncertain release date.

In the meantime, Ginger Rios’s family remembers the good times and the dreams their daughter had for her future. “She wanted to get her own musical group and have her own show here in Vegas,” her mother, Denise Rios, said. “She was taking professional voice lessons.”

“She said to me once,” her mother added, 'One day, Mom, I'm going to be Miss Las Vegas.’”

Seeing Jacobsen take a plea deal, only to have it tossed out, was hardly justice for Ginger’s parents. They understandably have said they want Jacobsen put away for life.

Time will tell whether Arizona law enforcement will do right by Christina Martinez, which would be justice for Ginger as well, and pursue charges against Jacobsen for the murder of Jane Doe, a k a Christina Martinez.

13 comments:

LearningByReading said...

I had read about this sometime back and was excited to be further informed by your well researched , well organized post! Thanks

DrGinaSimmons said...

Good post! We often wish justice were swift. More often than not it takes a long time.

concerned citizen said...

I was unable to enter this sight for several days. I missed reading reports from you all. Do I have to reregister? Please advise.

bail bonds las vegas said...

I really do hope Arizona goes after this guy 100% and help make sure he never sees the light of day. What a tragic situation for that young girl's family.

Cathy Scott said...

Thanks, Gina. Yes, justice moves slowly.

concerned citizen: Thanks very much for your patience. You shouldn't have any more problems getting on the site.

bail bonds las vegas: Because Jacobsen currently has an open-ended get-out-of-prison card, hopefully Arizona will ensure he stays behind bars.

Anonymous said...

Craig Leslie Jacobsen doesn't like to be called this birth name he changed his name to John Joseph Flowers,he is a serial killer.More people to be aware of that,and that there is other victims out there.

Anonymous said...

Hi,My name is Valerie I was Christina's best friend and the last person to see her the day she went missing and the one to report her as a missing person in Nov 2oo8.It's been 13 years since the day Christina disappeared,and only a few once since I have known my best friend is dead.The case is ongoing so I cannot talk about it,but once I am able to I will.We are still trying to locate Christina's body.Thank you for writing about this,and letting the public know about her story.There is no Mary though that is just a name he "made" up to throw police off,it worked...then again police didn't know Christina was missing till 2oo8..her family didnt care enough all that time to report her,I did.

Anonymous said...

*Opps meant few months not once* I run a facebook and myspace(Though I don't use myspace anymore) site in memory of christina and in decation to the many missing and unidentified people please feel free to join the email to find it is inmemoryofchristina@yahoo.com for facebook,Kathy if you own a page please let me know so I can join your page*

Cathy Scott said...

Thanks for posting, Valerie. I'm sorry for your loss. Please feel free to e-mail me at any time: cathyscott10@gmail.com

And good luck with the case.

Cathy Scott said...

Thanks, Valerie. I've seen your page. You've done a great job with it.
For FB pages, go here:
http://www.facebook.com/CathyScott10
http://www.facebook.com/womeincrimeink
http://www.facebook.com/pages/CathyScottcom/183211997544

Anonymous said...

there is a Mary Stoddard in Long Boat Key Florida....Craig befriended her in 1986...He maintained contact with her for a long time. She is still alive and obviously I am concerned for her. Does anyone know if Craig is still in prison...

Anonymous said...

For the person who commented on September 13, 2014

Craig has been transferred to Arizona he's currently here waiting for his trial to start. (google Craig Leslie Jacobsen) They were unable to locate Christina's misplaced body, and apparently have given up on finding it which is HORRIBLE and wrong :/ you would think it would be a capital case but this f*ucker is trying to fight it so that he could get out in 25 years after being found guilty which I HOPE he will be he is a serial killer and should not be released I've heard it could take up to 3 years before the trial will actual start. When he was arrested he had three different wedding bands in his car, I'm like 99% sure it's from other victims Arizona California Vegas Florida this monster has got around. He used his Phx Spycraft store to harm woman, just like he did with his Vegas store. Maybe this Mary female could connivence him to come clean so that his other victims could be found he has a daughter he should be ashamed of what he's done to his own blood and what's he's done to my best friend and Ginger ... He deserves to rot in jail the fact that he would use a friends name as the name of his victim is sick why would you be worried about her safety? They are friends" right. He's a monster I feel horrible for the other unknown victims that are nameless that he's suspected in that he won't be charged with

Anonymous said...

Sadly Arizona decided not to do this as a capital case. Which is wrong. Please google this guy, keep up with this case there are more victims out there and we need them to come forward and be found so that he will NEVER get out. This guy owned many spy craft style stores, he attacked woman in many of them. He boosted of killing others he has at least 12 known alias so far.. He has at least 3 woman's wedding bands in his glovebox when he was arrested. He's been sitting in Las Vegas but was currently moved to Arizona if he's found guilty it's what 20 years which means he would be young enough to get out and continue on his evil ways. Do victims ever really get justice the victims of this monster surly are not