Episode 18

Does Charles Jackson Have More Victims?

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Charles Jackson was an active serial killer in Northern California from 1975 until 1982. Beginning with a burglary in 1953, Jackson spent most of his life in and out of prison for an array of crimes--burglary, rape, assault and child molestation.

He was arrested and convicted of murdering biology professor Joan Stewart in 1983. Through the tireless work of law enforcement including Paul Holes and prosecutor Rockne Harmon, he would be tied to seven more murders.

Most of Jackson's murders were committed when he was on parole. During his last time on parole from September 13, 1981 to January 8, 1982, Jackson killed five people. But there is reason to believe he may have killed more.

Known Victims:

19-year-old Sonya Higginbotham was murdered in June of 1975.She was found sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her Oakland home.

In August, 27-year-old Ann Johnson was found stabbed and sexually assaulted in her Montclair home.

April 22, 1978-
11-year-old Cynthia Waxman was seen playing with a kitten near the high school baseball field in Moraga, California. A short time later, Cynthia's body was discovered under nearby brush. A synthetic rope was knotted tightly around her neck. Her hands were also tied with the same rope. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted.

On November 22, 1981, 62-year-old Henry and 59-year-old Edith Vila were attacked in their home in Albany Hill. Both were stabbed. Edith was also sexually assaulted, and there was a semen found in Edith's mouth. The house was ransacked, but law enforcement was able to pull hairs from the bed and a comb that was found.

On December 4th, 37-year-old Betty Jo Grunzweig was attacked in her home in the Trestle Glenn neighborhood. Her daughter found her mother stabbed but still alive at first. Betty Jo told her "I think he was a rapist." Betty's estranged husband was a suspect until DNA linked the case to Charles Jackson.

Four days later on December 8th, 34-year-old Gail Slocum was stabbed in her yard in the Rockridge neighborhood. She was sodomized and stabbed. The killer also strangled her with her own scarf. DNA on Gail's clothing was matched to Charles Jackson.

On January 5th, 1982 Joan Stewart was attacked in a wooded area along Scout Road in Montclair. She was sexually assaulted, strangled, stabbed and her throat was cut. Eye witnesses identified Charles Jackson's car at the scene. Those witnesses allowed Rockne Harmon to charge and convict Jackson with Joan's murder.

Dates of Jackson's Parole Periods-
These are the dates when Jackson was released into the public domain and most likely could have killed other people:

March 11, 1961 - March 2, 1962
September 8, 1964 - January 11, 1965
March 11, 1966 - May 15, 1967
March 23, 1969 - October, 1969
January 1970 - June 9, 1970
June 10, 1975 - August 21, 1975
March 18, 1978 - May 22, 1978
September 13, 1981 -January 8, 1982

We are looking for possible victims of Charles Jackson. He was active in the East Bay and Oakland areas. When searching for possible matches please use the parole timeline above for possibilities. Also keep in mind his MO: usually attacked women alone at home, strangled or stabbed them, and sexually assaulted them.

If you think you come across a match, please contact us.


1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police.
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members.
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want to the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.