A complaint has been filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court charging Keith Hunter Jesperson, also known as the “Happy Face” killer, with murder in connection with the death of an unidentified woman whose body was found on a dirt turnout along Highway 152 in unincorporated Santa Clara County in 1993.
The murder charge is the result of an extensive investigation by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. Over the past thirteen years, investigators from several police agencies have made numerous attempts to identify the victim, who to this day remains unidentified. Investigators are hopeful that news coverage associated with the prosecution of Jesperson will lead to the identification of the victim.
Jesperson, a long haul trucker, sent an anonymous letter containing a happy face to an Oregon newspaper claiming responsibility for the murders of several women throughout the United States. He was eventually identified and convicted of two murders in Oregon and one in Wyoming, and is currently serving two life sentences for murder in Oregon, concurrent with a similar sentence from Wyoming for murder.
The maximum penalty for this murder is life without the possibility of parole or death.