During research for Jaime or Jamie osuna, we stumbled upon Charles Michael Brown. Convicted of one murder and multiple rapes. KGET TV says that its suggested that Charles might be connected to other crimes. According to witnesses and anonymous sources, its pretty evident that he maybe responsible for more crimes.
We dive deep into the investigational Journalism done by KGET TV and talk about what we think about the matter. Plus we give you a detailed time line of his crimes, prison releases and the crimes linked to him. Join us while we talk about " Bakersfield's secret serial killer"
Police are still looking for information to solve the other crimes. If you have any information please contact the Bakersfield police department @ 661-327-7111
Kget 17 "Bakersfield's secret serial killer"
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In Bakersfield, california a rash of murders were happening in the city. So let's talk about bakersfield. Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is the largest city of Kern County. The city covers about 151 miles near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population as of the 2020 census was 403,455 making it the 48th-most populated city in the United States of America and the 9th-most populated city in California. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, in a 2020 census it was the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United states.
Christmas 1996, 44 year old Marion Perkins disappeared. She was found on December 30th 1996 on a rainy night at a vacant home in the back yard. She had been beaten and stabbed numerous times and her body tied in a blanket. She was identified by her dentures.
Mary Ann Perkins was born and raised in Bakersfield. Mary was a 44-year-old single mother of three when she vanished from her neighborhood. Family members recall her walking towards her South Owens Street home, wearing a green family reunion shirt, when they saw her for the last time. Mary’s family recalls how she was always humble, grateful, and very family oriented. She’d overcome a lot in her life, as she was a sickly child who suffered from seizures caused by epilepsy.
Family remembers Mary for being amazing with children and very humble. Mary had 11 siblings, but despite the size, the family was very close knit. According to original news reports, Family last saw Mary alive on December 21 1996. When she didn’t show up for Christmas, her family says they knew she was dead.
Leslie dawn Preston, 39 years old, was found on Madison street in a field and was Last seen 3 days prior. She was stabbed in the chest neck and face 19 times. Also she had been posed.
Leslie was born and raised in Bakersfield to a family with 11 children. Despite having so many siblings, Leslie had just one child herself, a daughter named Shannon. Shannon says the pair were very close, saw each other regularly, and spoke several times a day. She says she knew instantly something was wrong when she couldn’t get ahold of her mother one late June afternoon in 1998.
Tragically, one of Leslie’s brothers was also murdered a few years before her. The homicide took place in Germany and is still unsolved. Family remembers Leslie as being very outgoing and more than anything, very kind. She was overjoyed to become a grandmother and was very close with her young grandson. Family recalls how much Leslie loved to read. It was how she spent most of her free time. Leslie also worked as a caregiver.
Ruby Merriweather, 40 years old, was found on June 19th 2000. She was found on her bed by Mahalia Jackson, her daughter. Single mother of 4 was sexually assaulted and stabbed 18 times. She tried to escape the attacker by crawling under the bed.
Ruby Lee Jackson Merriweather was a single mother to four children at the time of her murder. Some of the first things Ruby’s family recalls about her is the love she had for cooking, music, and dancing. Ruby was very close with her children and siblings. Her death had a deep effect on her family, especially Mahalia Jackson, her daughter who discovered her body.
To this day, family says Mahalia is unable to discuss her mother’s death and struggles to hear her name brought up. Finding her mother’s body was extremely traumatic. Having someone finally brought to justice for the heinous crime did little to get the image of the crime scene out her mind.
Ruby’s sister, Zelma Jackson, says she long suspected Ruby was murdered by a serial killer. She believes there are other victims of Michael Charles Brown, and she welcomes those families to reach out to her. Though he’s only been convicted of Ruby’s murder, Zelma says she feels connected to the families of the other women he may have killed.
December 14th 2000 a tractor repair man found the body of 27 year old catrina Antoinette pink near Ridgeview High-school. She was found with her tee shirt pulled up and her pants pulled down with deep elongated gashes along her neck area. She was Last seen two days before at the Tropicana motel on union avenue..
Catrina Pink was born in Oklahoma and moved to Bakersfield with her parents as a child. Catrina’s grandmother who is her last living relative in Kern County says Catrina was an only child. Her grandmother remembers Catrina being intelligent and willing to stand up for others even if they were strangers. She recalled being at the grocery store with Catrina when Catrina noticed an elderly couple in the line in front of them was over-charged the cashier. Her grandmother said Catrina confronted the cashier and made him return the money to the couple.
At the time of her murder, 27-year-old Catrina Pink had prior arrests for prostitution and drug use. It’s a part of her life her grandmother said she was not privy to. Catrina had a son under the age of ten at the time of her death.
Billie Jean bear, originally from Alaska who had a really hard life, was 42 years old when she was found on January 13th, 2001. Her neck had been stabbed multiple times and her underwear and pants had been pulled down.
Investigators found similarities between catrina pink and Billie bear. Both were arrested for prostitution and both were known by police to work Bakersfield and union Avenue areas. Both were also stabbed.
Billie Jean Bear was born Billie Jean Johnson. Her two sisters, Beverly and Barbara all shared the middle name Jean. Billie was the youngest of the three girls. Billie’s sister, Beverly says they grew up in the icy town of Fairbanks, Alaska to a troubled mother and father. Their mother left the family when Billie was three years old, leaving them with their father who
Beverly calls “an abusive alcoholic”. Beverly says Billie was intelligent and dreamed of being a doctor, but her difficult family life made it difficult for her to strive. Billie graduated High School and from there worked as a bartender at a local saloon. Eventually she married, taking the last name Bear. Family says during her marriage she began using drugs with her husband. At some point the two became estranged and Billie’s mother who abandoned her all those years ago, welcomed Billie to come live with her. Her sister says her mother eventually kicked Billie out and put her on a bus to Bakersfield with $10 in her pocket. Her mother told Billie to leave frustrated she hadn’t found a job yet. Her sister says after her murder, employers called her mother’s home ready to offer Billie a job.
Billie wasn’t in Bakersfield long before her murder. Her sister says she was working as a hostess and living at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter. Court records show Billie had also recently been arrested for prostitution.
Patricia bessie martin, 29 years old, found on april 25th, 2001, laying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood near the trains tracks in Bakersfield. Bill Darby was on the scene and he said it was so gruesome it stuck with him. He witnessed her stab wounds and the way she was posed. Her shirt pulled up her pants pulled down. She was stabbed numerous times like the other victims.
Patricia Bessie Martin was born and raised in Kern County to a close-knit family. Her mother and sister say Patricia loved reading and always got As and Bs in school, a trait they say her children take after. Family recalls Patricia’s humor and playful nature. She and her sister were known to prank call their mother, a memory her sister still laughs about today. At 29-years-old, Patricia was a single mother to four young children. Her family says she was a loving mother and a good person, but at times she hung out with the wrong crowd. Court records show she had been arrested for prostitution a few months before she was killed.
Her murder was an incredibly stressful time, as her family had to deal with her death while also taking in her children to raise as their own. Patricia’s sister says the murder has had a huge ripple effect on the entire family. She says it’s deeply affected both of her parents’ health and changed birthdays and holidays forever. “I’ve needed her. The kids have had graduations and babies, and I’ve needed her. I think that’s when I get the angriest.”
Darby talked to a veteran cop who told him that these murders were all connected based on thier lifestyles and the ways the murders were committed. Especially the ritualistic way these women were killed. At this point it was obvious they had a serial killer on thier hands.
The cases had gotten cold though until gypsy rose. She was working union Avenue and met a John. He paid gypsy but he was real aggressive and rough. He pulled out a knife and he raped her so violently she defecated onto the car. When he noticed this he made her lick it up. He told her there were other woken that he had killed behind dumpsters, in his basement and in his car. He threatened gypsy, telling her that if she didn't comply she would end up like the other girls.
He held gypsy hostage for 6 hours until a street cleaner was passing by. Badly beaten and naked she escaped and got away.
A month later on Christmas eve 2007, another sex worker got into the same John's car. He became violent suddenly, she begged to be let go, he assaulted her physically and sexually for hours before telling her to get out of his car.
March 19th 2008 a car pulled up to a sex worker on union Ave. Once she was in the car he locked her in and said you are mine now. He brutally beat and raped her repeatedly and sodomized. She was also forced to eat her own feces. When she jumped from the car and tried to run, that's when the rapist hit her with his car. He drove five blocks with her on the hood of his car, slammed on the brakes and that's when she flew into a ditch behind a clinic in downtown Bakersfield. She survived, thank god, and was battered and beaten but hapoy to be alive.
3 days later a sex worker got into a John's car off of union Ave. They engaged in some sex stuff and that's when he stopped her and said "you know what I wanna do, I wanna keep you" so he choked her until she passed out. When she came to he shoved her out of the vehicle, naked. Then drove off.
All 4 of the women shared the same stories with police. Even describing the same tiger tattoo on his arm. When gypsy came forward to police she told them that this man confessed he liked to keep women in his cellar.
Another victim came forward to give a composit sketch to police, so they finally had a face to this brutal rapist murderer.
Patrol officers caught a lucky break when they spotted a gold mercury that fit the description of the Bakersfield rapist while cruising down union avenue. It even had a crack in the windshield and a missing wiper blade that corroborated one of the victims stories. The composition sketch matched the same physical features of the driver even down to his tattoos and gold necklace. They finally had a name, Michael Charles brown.
He was brought in on a traffic violation but was questioned reguarding the rapes. He was tight lipped about them and lied. Unfortunately for him though, all four victims positively identified him as thier rapist and browns dna was a match when compared to the DNA found inside the victims.
Of course while awaiting his arraignment the police submitted his DNA to codis and another match was made to ruby Merriweather. The single mother who's daughter found her dead in her bedroom. Browns DNA was found in feces located near ruby's body. No one knew the relationship between ruby and brown. The reason they think maybe they knew each other was that he was in the home when this occurred and there was no signs of forced entry. He of course denied ever being apart of it and even denied the DNA evidence against him.
When a police service technician confused two crime scenes the case broke open. On June 30th 1998 Kathleen Heisly was murdered. She was a school principal and didn't fit the victim description. Most of the victims were black and Kathleen was white. But what was similar was the manner in which she was killed. Ruby Merriweather and Kathleen heisly's crime scene photos were so similar that it was almost uncanny. That's when police put those two cases together and moved these girls to the forefront with the face of Kathleen heisly.
Most people didn't care about these other women because most of them were the less dead. Ie the women who led hard lives on the outskirts of society. But Kathleen was the all American mother, teacher, upstanding citizen. At least that's how she's described but let's not forget that these other women were mothers and daughters and friends. Let's not forget that because they had poor upbringing and were sex workers that these women were somehow any less then Kathleen.
But nonetheless, Kathleen was born into a prominent Kern County family with lots of history in the community, but friends say her background never had an effect on her vivacious and down to earth personality. She was known to be fiercely protective of her students. She was kind but tough. Her creativity is just one of her traits that make her so memorable.
Kathleen was a single mother who taught her children independence and perseverance. Her extended family admits her death was tough that it changed the entire structure of the Heisey family for good.
Her friends and colleagues had begun suspecting that something was amiss two days earlier when she had failed to show up for a school meeting without notice, which was very unlike her.
When she didn't show up on campus again the next day, office personnel called up Lynn Runyan, her best friend, and asked her to check up on the principal.
Runyan reached Heisey's residence at approximately noon on June 30, and when she managed to get herself inside, she came across her body. Her friend had been brutally stabbed to death with a large knife.Kevin Legg, the first homicide detective assigned to the case all those years ago, said the murder appeared to have been carried out by someone who was known to Heisey because of its graphic nature. "It wasn’t a poking-type of stab wound," he shared. "It was like an overhand into the upper torso, slash down until you hit bone and then you go right or left. There was overkill, which indicated to me it was personal."
Heisey also had two guns inserted into her body, which investigators said was a sexual statement of defiance or rage or hatred. After being killed, she had reportedly been dragged from the living room to the bedroom. nothing had been stolen and there were no signs of forced entry. There were no witnesses to the crime, no murder weapon was found, and no knives were missing, which left detectives with almost nothing to follow as they sought out the perpetrator.
Kathleen’s murder was horrific and very violent. It made a lasting impression on everyone who worked the case, from first responders, to the detectives and the coroner. It was the kind of crime that scared the entire community, as it planted that dreaded though, “if it happened to her, it could happen to anybody.”
One of the popular theories suggested Heisey's death was random and that she was the victim of a serial killer, Michael Charles Brown, a serial rapist and convicted murderer on death row in San Quentin.
While Brown shares no connection to Heisey, investigators have suspected him because of the similarities in her death and several crimes that have been attributed to him.
In an article by akshay pai on meaww.com,
One of the popular theories suggested Heisey's death was random and that she was the victim of a serial killer, Michael Charles Brown.While Brown shares no connection to Heisey, investigators have suspected him because of the similarities in her death and several crimes that have been attributed to him.
Heisey's son, Timm, on the other hand, claimed he is sure that his mother had been murdered by Lloyd Wakelee, a counselor at the school. Timm revealed that he left his mom just a day or two before the murder for training as a cadet at the US Naval Academy and that before he did so, she told him she was terrified of Wakelee.
"She told him that she was writing a bad evaluation on him and when she presented it to him he flipped out and basically said, 'If you submit that, it’ll be the last thing you ever do,'" he said. "She came home just hysterical. Several days later she was stabbed to death in her home."
It makes you think that maybe they are reaching for the wrong man in this instance and pursuing with blinders on. Or maybe they checked out the lead and it went no where. Regardless though, it's an interesting theory.
So let's talk about Michael brown...
Michael Charles brown was born into a large family in the small town of Grenada, Mississippi. Little is known about his childhood other than he was in and out of juvenile detention. Because he was a minor his records are sealed so theres no way of knowing what kind of offenses he committed back then. He visited family in bakersfield frequently and attended highland High-school. In the summer of 1996 he was discharged from the army and decided to move to bakersfield.
Im going to read a few paragraphs i took from kget.com because it was them who did the investigation on this case so im gokng to quote somw information they obtained from an anonymous source. "
"The only two people interviewed in our story who knew Brown only agreed to speak with us because they also knew victims mentioned in the piece.
The few people willing to speak with me anonymously and off camera told me Brown was really the last person you’d ever suspect would hurt another human being. To be clear, Brown wasn’t a prominent member of the community. He never went to college, he never owned his own home, and he’d been in and out jail for most of his life. But the idea of him being capable of rape and murder was and still is unbelievable to many who knew him. Everyone we spoke with who knew Brown said he was shy, quiet, and charming. Many spoke of his manners. Several people brought up how Brown had a diverse group of friends. He could make himself fit in with several different crowds. Despite his charm, friends said he wasn’t exactly a ladies’ man. They recall him spending most of his time out at bars playing pool, often keeping to himself." End quote.
During the time of the rapes and the Merriweather murder he was in a serious, livin relationship with his then girlfriend. Also while brown was in jail for vehicular manslaughter his brother was murdered in 2003. That case is still unsolved.
2001 memorial day weekend, circle drive in oil Dale, police responded to a fire. Inside was he body of wendy Kyle, 24 years old. Details matched some of the other crimescenes. Found near the foot of the bed and stabbed numerous times. Wendy's sister reached out to Sylvia brown, psychic, that used to go on the Montel Williams show a lot. She appeared on the show to find out information about her murdered sister. Sylvia brown told her they would find Wendy's killer.
There were other suspects in her murder. There was a man she had dated that made incriminating statements to the police and another man she had taken a picture with at what looks like a bar. Police were never able to identify him though. There were a few leads in the wendy Kyle case but it went cold fast and for years.
But witnesses place Michael brown and wendy Kyle at the mint bar downtown the night she was murdered. A friend of Wendy's who is in the witness protection program was also a mutual friend of michaels. She described him as charming and kind. When she found out Michel was arrested for 4 rapes and 1 murder she instantly thought of wendy.
Wendy Jeanne Kyle was born on her mother’s birthday and died on her sister’s birthday. Her mother said it’s been impossible for her or her living daughter to celebrate since Wendy’s murder. Wendy was born in Sierra Madre, California but spent much of her life in Kennewick, Washington. From a young age, Wendy combined her love for art and animals. She was known for being creative, quiet, and sweet. she volunteered at animal shelters In washington and when she died, her family told attendees that in lieu of flowers a donation could be made to a local animal shelter in Wendy’s name.
Wendy moved to Bakersfield about a year or two before her death to be closer to her grandmother. Wendy’s friends in Bakersfield remember her as being very shy but kind. They said she was someone who wanted to fit in. Some friends said the group Wendy often hung out with at the Mint Bar and the VIP Lounge was rougher around the edges than Wendy. Some said it appeared Wendy was much more innocent than her friends.
The timeliness says that Michael was out of jail and 1 mile from the Perkins murder in 1996. A week later he was arrested for stealing a car and was in jail from January 1997 to March 1998.
When he was released, 3 months later, the bodies of Preston and Haisley were found one day apart in 1998.
Then the sexworker rape happened on June 15 2000 and then 4 days later the Merriweather murder happened on June 19th 2000.
Brown was arrested for the rape of the sexworker a few weeks later on July 10th 2000 and was in custody until December 4th 2000. They tried to build a case against him in that time but didn't have enough to win a trial and abruptly dismissed the case and let him go. Which is wild to me because 10 days later Katrina pink was murdered.
Two years later brown was arrested again at a party with his brother's after a man was stabbed to death. But investigators couldn't pinpoint who did the stabbing so he was released.
He was arrested multiple other times that year for duis. Then arrested after he ran over and killed a pedestrian in March of 2003. The man was lodged into the windshield of his car, then brown and an accomplice pulled him out of the windshield and threw him on the side of the road. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to prison and released in 2007.
They released his suspended license in October of 2007 and guess what? More sexworker rapes occurred a month later in November of 2007. Coincidence? Hmm.
Kget TV recieved numerous tips from callers about the case because everyone believes that Michael brown is responsible for multiple murders. One woman called in and said she lived down the street from Kathleen heisley and remembered something strange happening the day before her murder. A young black man knocked on her door and told her he would clean her carpets for free. She denied the man access and called her neighbor who claimed he had been at her house earlier offering carpet cleaning services and she accepted. So the woman went over to her friends house and surprised the man. He acted startled. He told the two women he needed to get equipment from his car and never came back. They were shaken up by the incident but never reported it to police.
When they heard about Kathleen heisleys murder they decided to come forward because they think that's how he had gotten into her home and possibly Merriweathers home.
He was charged in 2008 of the four rapes of the sexworkers and while he was being held his DNA match to ruby Merriweather gave him a fifth charge of capital murder. He is convicted of the 4 rapes and the rape
and murder of ruby Merriweather. It is suggested that the death penalty be used in his case. May 9th 2016, the judge upholds the jury's suggestion of the death penalty. He was then sentenced to death and remains on death row in san quenton prison.
He still hasn't confessed to any other murders but police are sure he committed them. He wrote a reporter from kget TV and told her that he would reveal his crimes in time. Probably as a bargaining tool. He will probably pull a tedbundy and buy himself time.
Police are still looking for information to solve rhe other crimes. If you have any information please contact the bakersfield police department @ 661-327-7111
Kget 17 "Bakersfields secret serial killer"