Prospect Park Murders

No one was murdered in Prospect Park. In 1977, a Redlands High School student was raped and murdered in the orange groves while walking home from school. I grew up in Redlands and did live there at the time of the murder, but was too young to remember it happening. The girl who was murdered was the older cousin of one of my best friends. She was killed cutting through the orange groves along Grove Street in Redlands, next to Sylvan Park - which is across town from Prospect Park. A recently paroled felon was arrested 2 weeks after the murder and found guilty of the crime; he is still in prison today. I don't know of any "hauntings" stemming from her murder, but I mention this because I've noticed that her murder seems to be incorporated into many Redlands "ghost stories" that are posted online, particularly regarding Prospect Park. While Prospect Park is certainly creepy at night, no murders have taken place there.

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Thank you for clearing that up

Not a problem. :) I did not know of the Katie Knodel murder mentioned by poster Esther, however - I'll have to look into that as I am intrigued that I never heard about it. Thanks Esther!

I have been reading her and on other sites about this "Urban Legend" and there are a few things I would like to clear up. First of all the ghost story of Prospect Park was being told way before 1977 when that poor girl was killed. I believe someone came upon that story and ran with it. Like I said in my previous post, I was warned something bad had happen in that area, I was cautioned about going there. And that was back in the sixties when I was a child. And with that cane the ghost stories, I guess a way to scare children from going where danger may occur. Well I had to research it and find out how this story came place. Cynical me :) I went to the newspaper archives and put murder/prospect park in the search engine and nothing came up. Than I just stuck with murder and came up with a gad load. Than I simplified it went directly to the 50's and low and behold came up the Knodel murder. It was big news in Redlands made the headlines for months in the early fifties. And as I read on, I seen how this story of the haunting could get started from this item. She did not live very far from the park. She was in many shows from high school as a singer and dancer, noted as being very talanted. Plus raped and murdered. Just go to the NewsPaper archives and go check it out. It is all here on the internet. And see what you think. Plus I have to add Redlands Daily Facts had many stories about murders and rapes throughout the fifties and sixties. Even seen a story about a young coed that was killed back in 69 at the U of R that had a Zodiac Killer connection.

This is how I think the story got started. I used to live only a couple of blocks from the Park and I was always warned never to ride my bike out towards there because it was dangerous, my grandmother would tell me that a girl was murdered once in that area. Well I did heed her warnings and never went there unless I had adult supervision. But as I got older I started hearing stories about the Prospect Park Haunting. And cynical me had to find out how this story got started. I started going through old Redlands Daily Facts archives, and found a murder that had happened back in 1952 or 1953. It made the headlines for quite awhile. It seemed that a young girl by the name of Katie Knodel who lived on Alvarado St (which I believe is not to far from Prospect Park) was abducted from her residence by an uncle who raped and murdered her. She was not killed in that area but somewhere off towards Yucaipa and her body was found I believe in the Palm Springs area. The uncle was even a suspect in the Black Dahlia killing. But anyways the Facts described her as a talented young lady who loved to sing and dance. So in my theory that is how the story got started.

Yes you are right. Kathryn Knodel was murdered and abducted from her home by an uncle. I was very close to the Knodel Family. It was big news in Redlands. She was the eldest of 4 children.

Hi there, Kathryn Knodel would have been my great aunt. This murder is never talked about in my family and I would love to find out as much information as possible.

I'm going to check that out - now I am very, very intrigued. I still can't believe I'v never heard her name before - I moved to Redlands in 1975 at age 1 and was raised there. I'd have thought I'd have heard of her at least once over the years! Anyway, thanks for the information Esther - I'm going to start digging tomorrow. :)

It is very intriguing. When you find it on the Newspaper Archives you will have hours and hours of reading on this girl. I was surprised myself when I came across this. Keep me updated on what you think. Myself I think this is how the story got started.

Which one of the girls is your Mom? Ester and I use to be good friend...I lost touch with them when I got married and my husband went into the military.. Sure would like to hear from some of them.. Thanks for the respond

Pauline is my nana. Esther got into a bad car accident recently and lost her husband, she's doing a little ether now and is with her daughters in Washington for awhile.

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