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Episode 72

The Humboldt Five, Part 2

October 19, 2020   Tags: , ,
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Paul and Billy finish their look into the Humboldt Five. They take a deeper look into the disappearances and deaths of Sheila Franks and Danielle Bertolini. Sheila was a single mother of two young children. Danielle was a transplant from Maine who came to Northern California and became entangled in the Emerald Triangle. Both met with someone sinister. But neither has seen justice. We continue the search for the Humboldt five and justice for the known victims. 

Sheila Franks:
37-year-old Sheila Franks was living in Rio Dell and Loleta, California in February 2014. When Sheila’s marriage began to fall apart, she leaned on a friend she’d known most of her life. At the time, James “Jim” Jones was a sawmill worker. The two had been dating for several months. The mother of two young sons and divorced, Sheila split time between the locations because she would never leave her children. 

According to her sister Melissa and her best friend Brooke, Sheila and Jim had begun having problems in early 2014. Sheila told Jim that they could live together, be friends, companions; but the romantic part of their relationship needed to end. Her family and friends suspected she may have been abused because she would show up with black eyes. But this was never confirmed with law enforcement. 
 
But even within these troubling circumstances, Sheila always remained in contact with her family. That was until February 2014. 

On February 2, Jim and Sheila were at home in Fortuna. According to Jim, Sheila decided to go for a walk around 8 AM. He saw her at the end of the road, but then not again. It was the last time anyone saw or heard from Sheila.

Then in June 2019, a passerby discovered a human bone at the mouth of the Eel River. The bone was then delivered to the Humboldt County Coroner. The bone was examined and sent to the Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory. In September 2019, the lab confirmed the femur belonged to Sheila Franks.

Danielle Bert
And six days after Sheila supposedly went for this walk, another woman would become a part of the growing concern in the area. 

23-year-old Danielle Bertolini was similar to Jennifer Wilmer in many ways. Danielle was originally from the northeast-- Maine--but felt the draw to Northern California. The beauty spoke to her, but the underbelly of the Emerald Triangle also tugged her ear. Like many of the people who moved to this area in the decades before, Danielle became involved with drugs. 

And similar to Jennifer Wilmer and Christine Walters’ parents, Danielle’s mother Billie Jo wanted her daughter to come home.  The contact between Danielle and her family wasn’t constant but they had a system. According to her mom, if she didn’t hear from Danielle for a three week span, Billie Jo was going to track her down.

Billie Jo spoke to Danielle on January 29th. Danielle said she didn’t feel well and was going to lie down, that she would call back later. She didn’t. Billie Jo kept calling the house. No one answered, not even the homeowner. 

Billie Jo reported Danielle missing on February 19th. But just like with Jennifer and Christine, the authorities said Danielle was voluntary missing. With a little more investigating, law enforcement caught a break. Danielle was last seen getting into a vehicle with a man on February 9th in Fortuna. That man? James “Jim” Jones. The same man last seen with Sheila. When interviewed by law enforcement about Danielle, Jones said he gave her a ride home and she was perfectly safe.

No one heard or saw Danielle after that car ride. Then on March 9th, 2015, a man named Chris Ghidinelli was cutting a new ATV path from his favorite fishing spot on the Eel River near Ferndale. He discovered a human skull. Forensics matched the skull to Danielle. 

Others Missing in Humboldt County:
22-year-old Andrea Jerri White. Andrea was living in Hoopa but had a court date in Eureka. She headed to the town on July 31, 1991. After her court date, she was seen hitchhiking home. Andrea is Native American. She was 5 feet and 115 pounds when she disappeared. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She has a five inch scar on her left temple. 

The next is 29-year-old Hannah Rowell. Hannah was last seen in Eureka on September 1, 1993. A friend reported her missing six days after that. Her disappearance was always thought to be suspicious but not much is known about her case. She was 5’1” to 5’2” and 125 pounds when she disappeared. She is white with red hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a black sweater, flowered stretch pants and sandals. 

44-year-old Lorie Lynn Walters-Pope was last seen in Humboldt County. She was seen on November 19, 1996. She was 5’5” and 200 pounds when she disappeared. She is white with red hair and blue eyes.

Listener Holly G. Her cousin, 28-year-old Charlene Rosser, went missing from Eureka on April 12, 1998. Her remains were located in 2003 between Truckee and Calpine, in a wooded area on State Route 89. The remains were skeletal. It took nine years for authorities to match the remains to Charlene. Her case remains unsolved. 

Then in 2001, 21-year-old Katie Elizabeth Wantz went missing. She was last seen around 1:30 PM in Eureka on October 28th. Katie was 5’6” and 140 pounds when she went missing. She had brown hair and brown eyes. She had roses tattooed on her back. 

In 2003, 36-year-old marjiana activist Chris Robert Giaque disappeared after leaving a friend's house in Spyrock, California. At 9 PM on August 9th, he left his friend’s to make the two hour drive home in his 1994 blue Toyota pickup truck. He was reported missing on the 11th. On the 13th his truck was located near the Avenue of Giants four miles south of Meyers Flat. He hasn’t been seen since. 

Chris was between six feet and 6’2” and 145 to 150 pounds. He was wearing a hat, orange-red pants, a red, orange Hawaiian print shirt and an undershirt. He is white with sandy blond hair and blue eyes. At the time of his disappearance he had a beard and long dreadlocks.His has a steel rod in his spine and surgical scar on his back. He may use the name Jame Anthony Beam.

24-year-old Victoria Joy Tatro was last seen on August 1, 2014 in Eureka. Allegedly she had stolen money from a person before she vanished. At the time she was 5’1” and 120 pounds. She is white with blonde or red hair and green eyes. Her ears, lip and navel are pierced. She may go by the name Kendra Schofield. 

The following month 51-year-old Daniel Flanagan disappeared. He was last seen on September 17, 2014. He was driving a 1994 Chevy van in Eureka. At the time he was 5’8” and 160 pounds. He is white with hazel eyes and brown hair. 

38-year-old Robert Joseph Tennison disappeared on January 19, 2009. He was last seen in Humboldt County with his son and his friend. Later in the day his son and his friend went to Keyes. Tennison was in town for a job. His son expected him home a few days after the construction job done, but Tennison never came home. 

Tennison was between 5’4” and 5’9” and 115 to 160 pounds. He is white with brown hair. His left eye is blue and his right eye is green. He has broken his right heel before. He also has a broken front tooth. He has a woman’s face tattooed on his stomach. He goes by Bob or Bobby. 

45-year-old Jeff Joseph went missing in June after Sheila and Danielle’s disappearance. Jeff was last seen in Humboldt County on June 20, 2014. He was driving a 1998 green Toyota RAV4 with a Louisiana license plate. He was supposed to fly home in a few days. 

He had come to the area to visit a marijuana farm. He was on probation for running his own illegal dispensary down in Los Angeles. On June 21st his cell phone pinged in Hoopa. He did not get on the plane back to Louisiana and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. He was 6’1” to 6’3” and 200 pounds at the time. He was white with salt and pepper hair and hazel eyes. He was mostly bald with sideburns. Both Jeff and Bobby are suspected to have been met with foul play. 

And we have several cases brought to our attention by a listener, Jesse A. The first is Virgil Bussell Junior. 52-year-old Virgil is a member of the Hoopa tribe and went missing in late February 2020. His truck was found abandoned on March 25th on Deerhorn Road south of Weitchpec, California. Virgil is Native American. He is 5’8” and 180 pounds. At the time he disappeared his hair was cut into a short mohawk and he had a goatee. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and work boots. He may go by Uppity or Buscat. He has tribal tattoos on his arms and chest. He has a “buscat” tattoo on his upper right arm.
 
The next is Nick Vigil. 38-year-old Nick left Fortuna around 9 AM on February 25th. He was headed to go to the Blue Lake Casino. His gray Ford 250 was located in Hoopa, but there is no sign of Nick. Nick was last seen wearing black Nike shoes, black socks, khaki shorts, black belt, white tshirt, and a brown hoodie. He had a black backpack with his laptop and belongings with him. Nick was 6’1” and 250 pounds when he disappeared. He had a very short almost bald head and brown eyes. He had no facial hair.
 
38-year-old Tiffany Clark was last seen on June 29, 2019.  She was in Lodi, California. Her 2002 black Ford Ranger was found deserted on Martin’s Ferry Bridge near Weitchpec. Her ID was the only personal belonging found in the car. The bridge is on the Yurok Reservation. She regularly went bungee jumping off this bridge. 

Tiffany was 5’5” and 185 pounds when she disappeared. She was last seen in a black, white and pink scrub shirt, black scrub pants, black Nike shoes. She worked at Stockton Hospital. She was wearing a Fitbit smart watch, pearl earrings, cross necklace and a diamond ring. She is white with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a scar on her left knee. 

ASSIGNMENT:
We focused on the Humboldt Five. We need to know who is accountable for Danielle and Sheila’s death. We also still need to find Jennifer, Karen and Christine. We mentioned several other cases from this triangle and there are others we didn’t mention for a variety of reasons, mostly those without suspicious circumstances. 
 
If you have any information on any of these cases, please contact us.   

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

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 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.

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