ANAHEIM (Calif.) — A 49-year-old Iowa teen believed to be the first victim of a infamous California serial killer was identified.
Michael Ray Schlicht, formerly known as John Doe and a resident of Cedar Rapids in Iowa, was officially identified as the teen on Tuesday.
In a press release, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said that the teenager has been suspected of being the first victim of Randy Kraft. Randy Kraft is also known as the “Scorecard Killer.”
Kraft is still incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison. He was convicted for brutalizing and murdering 16 men over a decade-long series of killings that culminated with his arrest in 1983. Kraft, who was convicted of the Orange County murders in 1989, is also suspected of other killings in California, Oregon, and Michigan.
The release stated that the body of Schlicht, now identified as the 17-year-old, was discovered on September 14, 1974 while two people were offroading northeast of Laguna Beach in California. Initial reports attributed the death of 17-year old Schlicht to intoxication with alcohol and diazepam.
Investigators began to notice other deaths that were similar in the years following and classified them as murders. The release stated that some of the deaths occurred within a few mile of where Schlicht’s remains were found.
A California Highway Patrol trooper stopped Kraft when he saw him weaving on the highway and driving along the shoulder. A U.S. Marine was strangled in the passenger seat.
The prosecution described Kraft, an ex-computer programmer, as being a fetishist, who kept dismembered body parts in his freezer. He told the judge that he had not killed anyone, and a reasonable review would prove it.
In November 2022, sheriff’s investigators re-examined the death of John Doe after submitting tissue samples to a private biotechnology company for a DNA profile. Investigators loaded the DNA profile into a genealogy program to start building a family history.
They then traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to collect a DNA from a woman they believed to be her mother.