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California bill lets death row inmate help authorities find victims
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to allow a death-row inmate to help authorities search for the remains of his long-dead victims, the governor's office announced Tuesday.
The governor signed AB2357 by Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Tracy, which gives California's corrections secretary the authority to let convicted serial killer Wesley Shermantine help investigators search for more bodies.
Shermantine and a friend were known as the "Speed Freak Killers" for their drug-induced killing spree in the 1980s and 1990s. The other man, Loren Herzog, hanged himself earlier this year after learning that Shermantine provided crude maps to lead authorities to the remains of four of their victims.
Shermantine is currently awaiting execution in San Quentin prison for four murders.
The tightly drafted bill makes it clear that Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate has the authority to release Shermantine from death row to help find evidence and victims' remains under heavy guard. The bill withdraws that authority on Jan. 1.