45 Years After 11-Year-Old's Brutal Murder, Cops Finally See the Monster's Face


“But now, 45 yrs later, I have a voice again. And I have something important to say.”

Eleven-year-old Linda O’ Keefe was abducted as she was walking home from school on July 6, 1973. Despite search efforts, her body was not found until the following morning by a man looking for frogs to observe.

Investigators in Newport, California, were never able to identify who committed this brutal murder, but by giving Linda her voice 45 years later, they are hoping that someone will come forward and recognize the face of the man they’ve never been able to find.

The Newport Beach Police Department decided to use the 45th anniversary of Linda’s death as an opportunity to spread awareness of her case and share new information that modern technology has brought to light, including a never-before-seen generated photo of her murderer.

They did so by “live” tweeting the last hours of her life as if Linda, herself, was narrating. They used the hashtag “#LindasStory” so people could follow along.

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“‘Hi. I’m Linda O’Keefe (or Linda ANN O’Keefe, if I’m in trouble with my mom). Forty-five years ago today, I disappeared from Newport Beach. I was murdered and my body was found in the Back Bay. My killer was never found. Today, I’m going to tell you my story.’ #LindasStory,” the first tweet in the series read.

“Linda” walked followers through her day from the moment she walked out of her front door to when investigators began the search for her killer.

Normally, Linda would ride her bike to and from school, but because she rode with her piano teacher that morning, she didn’t have her bike with her. When school let out, she asked the secretary in the office if she could call her mother to ask for a ride home; she really didn’t want to walk.

The secretary told her she needed to wait a few more minutes just in case her mother was already on her way. So Linda decided to walk to a nearby market to waste time until she was able to call her mom.

She passed by a classmate who noticed a turquoise van that stopped beside Linda a few times as she was walking back to school

Linda finally gets a hold of her mom, but her mom just tells her to walk home. That made Linda upset so she sat outside on the curb for a little while.

Just a little bit later, a young woman named Jannine and her mother were driving on Marguerite Drive when they saw something suspicious: Linda and a white male inside of a turquoise van.

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Jannine’s mom parked the car and instructed her daughter to write down the license plate if it drove by, but the van went a different direction.

That was the last time Linda was seen alive.

Her family and police investigators combed through the surrounding area, but none of their searches ended in the result they had wished for.

Her parents were still holding onto hope that Linda had just gone to a friend’s house without telling anyone, but that theory would be proven wrong when her body was found the next morning.

A man was searching for frogs to observe in the Back Bay area when he spotted a tiny, pale hand hidden in cattails. He screamed in hopes that the young girl was still alive, but it was too late.

“’The search for Linda Ann O’Keefe is now the search for Linda Ann O’Keefe’s killer. Was it someone I knew? A stranger? The man in the van? There are so many questions.’ #LindasStory”

Investigators followed a myriad of different theories and possibilities that all resulted in dead ends. Linda’s case eventually went cold.

At the very end of the series, a never-before-seen generated photo of the murderer was released. Using modern technology the Newport Beach Police were able to create a face based off of DNA that the killer left at the scene.

The tweet that shared the new photo read, “‘But now, 45 yrs later, I have a voice again. And I have something important to say. There is a new lead in my case: a face. A face that comes from DNA that the killer left behind. It’s technology that didn’t exist back in 1973, but it might change everything today.'”

With this new photo, hopefully this case will be solved soon.

They also released a video that tells her story in more detail.

Linda’s last plea directs anyone with any information to contact the NBPD’s Cold Case Tip Line at 949-644-3669.

“‘And please share my story … all it takes is for one person out there to recognize his face, even after all these years. Thank you.'”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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