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.

Comments

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.

The young girl that was killed in Redlands off of Grove st was walking to school. her name is Paula, I use to walk in that same direction every morning to work and would see her.. Just so happened I was off work that day, otherwise maybe I could have seen something and helped her.. Also her Grandmother is my God Mother (Nora)

Nora is my great grandmother. I wasn't alive when this happened but m mom was

The girl's name was Paula Hernandez, she was 15 years old, a sophomore at Redlands High School. She was killed on her way home from school on 3/22/77 on her way home from school. She was walking towards Sylvan Park was attacked, raped and murdered by John Zenc. I knew Paula. She was a year younger than me, and a good friend of my brother's. She was not murdered in Prospect Park, there had been many sightings of cougars. Not very many people lived past Sunset Dr.

Yes, I remember too, Paula got in a little argument with her BF so she didn't get on the bus. Later her BF went to her house to look for her and she didn't make it home. It was really sad, and around that same time there was this man exposing himself to students while walking to and from school. I don't remember if it turned out to be the same guy.

how can I find the archives for Paula's murder?

one source I've found to be reliable is the local library.  You should be able to view microfilm of old newspapers.  Hemet Library also has a heritage room with alot of history and a lot of help.  If you have a date or an approximate date that will make it easier.  Some libraries have the capability of a topic search of the archives.  That really helps.  Try by date first or tell the reference librarian what you are looking for, 'cause they are great at pointing you in the right direction. 

Don't be afraid to tell them what you are looking for, or even why.  I have never had a librarian laugh at my request.  In fact most ask for me to come back when I finish my research and let them know what i've found.  The Hemet Heritage room volunteers have asked me to provide them with a copy of my reseach when I am finished. 

Thanks for the help.

You can also try the newspaper offices to see if they allow access to their archives.  Some do, some don't and some charge.  Also, police reports are available at a cost at the police station or courthouse, depending on the area where you are searching.

I'm doing an in depth study of the history of the Soboba rd mansion, and I've had to do the legwork for most of it.  Very little is posted on the internet.  got very frustrated until I started looking at hard copy stuff

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