Santa Cruz is one of those wonderful, sleepy destinations in the mountains of Northern California. Known for its Boardwalk and being close to the Redwoods, it’s a travel destination and the home for more than 270,000 in a truly diverse population.
The tension between the Mexican heritage and modern “progress” is a part of the culture that really changed when the University of Santa Cruz opened there creating a youth population in the 1960s which changed the area from being seen as a tourist destination in the summer and a religious/conservative to the hippie culture.
In the early 1970s, it was, for a time, known as “The Murder Capital of the World” with several mass killers and serial rapists who preyed on the population with victims as young as four and up to the elderly.
Today we talk about the history of the region, the most famous crimes of the 20th century, and why you should still visit if you ever get the chance.
Trigger warnings: Murder, sexual assault, and basic creepiness
Sources for this episode:
- Santa Cruz Wikipedia
- Herbert Mullin Wikipedia
- John Linley Frazier
- Edmund Kemper Wikipedia
- Netflix Mindhunter
- Salon.com” Ronald Regan’s Shameful Legacy: Violence, the homeless, mental illness”
- Santa Cruz Waves
- Murder Capital of the World by Emerson Murray
- Haunted Santa Cruz by Maryanne Porter
- Serial Killers of Santa Cruz by Aubrey Graves
- Real Crime “Was Herbert Mullin Born to Kill?”
- Edmund Kemper Audiobooks “Flowers in the Attic” (40 seconds)
- Capitola Birds Attack 1961 (San Jose Mercury News)