Judith Ann Hakari / March 07, 1970 / Sacramento, CA

On the night of Saturday, March 07, 1970, 23 year old Judy Hakari was abducted from her car in the parking lot of her apartment complex upon arriving from working a late shift as a nurse at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, CA. She was violently beaten, raped, tortured and murdered. Her body was found on Saturday, April 25, 1970 in a shallow grave in rural Weimar, CA, 40 miles East of Sacramento.
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solve crimes victim facts

DATE OF CRIME(S): Saturday, March 7, 1970
CRIME(S) AGAINST: Abduction, Rape, Murder
LOCATION(S) OF CRIMES: Sacramento, CA, Weimar, CA
AGE: 22
OCCUPATION: Registered Nurse, Sutter Memorial Hospital
NAMED SUSPECT(S): None.
AGENCY IN CHARGE: Sacramento County Sheriff(916) 874-5057
CASE NUMBER: #70-7194

Scroll down for the exclusive Solve Crimes Crimeline!

SOLVE CRIMES CLUES

Our main goal in presenting these cases is to actually solve them. In this particular case, there is no usable DNA, no fingerprints and no eyewitnesses. Nothing concrete. 50 years later, there's very little hard evidence to work with. Below are some items that we know to be missing from Judy's car and/or were not found with her body. These items could be THE clue that can solve this case.

The reason we're attempting to get as many people (particularly in the Sacramento/SF Bay Areas) as possible to see this case is that there could be a scenario where someone is going through Grandpa's things (or uncle, brother, etc.) after he passes and they come upon a California driver's license with the name Judith Ann Hakari and a picture of a pretty brunette on it in his things.

Considering the length of time since this crime, even finding out WHO did it – even if they have passed – would help law enforcement tremendously, possibly closing other cold cases and bringing closure to families and the community.

Please familiarize with these missing items as well as the case – scroll down and go through our extensive Crimeline for a solid overview.

Hakari Clues

If you see these items – or any other items or information – that you believe to be connected to this case – or if you have a source that better describes or disputes the information we have here – please fill out the Solve Crimes ClueTip form HERE.

Judy's License

California drive's license with the name Judith Ann Hakari and her photo.

Judy's Purse

A black leather or faux leather purse.

Judy's watch

In nursing, these were called a "duty watch". It was a silver women's Timex.

Judy's shoe

One "saddle shoe". Probably white in color.

Hakari THEORIES

We've compiled a group of theories that we've either read in the press clippings or have considered ourselves. Considering there are a grand total of ZERO publicly known suspects, some of these may seem outlandish, but should be considered until each of these theories are proven false or evidence has been found to prove one is correct. If you have a theory or any information that could help solve this case, please fill out the Solve Crimes ClueTip form HERE.

Bearded Man

The night of Judy's disappearance, a bearded young man went to the nurse's station where she worked at Sutter Memorial Hospital and asked if Judith was on duty. He then left without a word. It is possible that this man followed Judy to her apartment complex.

Three men

Roughly six weeks before Judy's body was discovered, the landowner there confronted three "well-dressed young men" right where Judy's body was later found. They had a shovel and were standing next to a sedan with the trunk open. When the property owner approached, they shut the trunk.

Could Judy have been taken, beaten, raped and strangled by more than one person?

Hidden in the backseat

The evidence left behind in Judy's car were mostly found in the backseat of her car. Could someone (bearded man?) have been hiding in Judy's backseat waiting to pounce once she parked her car?

The problem with this theory is that the perpetrator would have had to plan this attack and have a getaway vehicle already at Judy's apartment complex. This is doubtful - unless she was a specific target all along.

serial killer

Judy's case has been linked to multiple – and similar – killings in the Sacramento Area in 1970. Those killings have had some speculating that a serial killer (the Zodiac, for example) was responsible, forever linking Judy Hakari's name.

But is that actually what happened or was Judy's case an isolated murder? With the evidence that was discovered and the brutal nature of her murder, we don't think that this was the one and only time this person (or persons) has killed, but it's possible.

three men, 2nd theory

Is it possible that a lone killer brutalized and murdered Judy and had two accomplices help simply get rid of evidence?

While that would certainly be an unusual situation, it's not so far fetched as to not be a possibility.

random attacker

With evidence of planning (binding agents, etc.) at both the scene of the abduction and the burial site, it is unlikely the person responsible didn't plan on killing that night. But did they plan on specifically killing Judy Hakari?

We've learned from history that serial killers sometimes prepare to kill and then it's up to an opportunity to present itself.

SOLVE CRIMES MEDIA FILES

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Solve Crimes News Clippings (Crimeline is below)

The Sacramento Bee
Police Probe Disappearance of Nurse, 23
9 March 1970

The Press Tribune
Sacramento nurse missing, police seek public aid
10 March 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Kin Of Missing Nurse, 23, Find Helpless Waiting Is Worst Ordeal
11 March 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Parents Of Missing Nurse Cling to Slim Hopes Daughter, 23, Is Alive And Well
13 March 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Missing Nurse's Mother Pleads To Her Abductor
14 March 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Parents of Missing Girl Offer Reward
30 March 1970

The Press Tribune
Reward for information

31 March 1970


The Sacramento Bee
Parents of Missing Girl Offer Reward
31 March 1970

Oakland Tribune
Missing Nurse Mystery
1 April 1970

Auburn Journal
Judith Ann Hakari
2 April 1970

The Placer Herald
Judith Ann Hakari
2 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Parents Hope And Pray
6 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Parents Hope And Pray
7 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Body Of Missing Sacramento Nurse Discovered Near Weimar
27 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Agonizing Ordeal Ends For Parents Of Nurse
27 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Fiance Had Premonition Hakari Girl Was Dead
27 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Lingering Doubt Plays Role In Finding Of Body
27 April 1970

The Press Tribune
Missing nurse's body found in Weimar grave
27 April 1970

Santa Cruz Sentinel
Body Of Missing Sacramento Nurse Found In Crude Grave
27 April 1970

The Californian
Body of Missing Nurse Uncovered
27 April 1970

The Napa Valley Register
Body Of Missing Nurse Is Found
27 April 1970

The San Francisco Examiner
Body of Nurse Found Buried
27 April 1970

The Fresno Bee
Body Of Missing Nurse Is Found In Placer Grave
28 April 1970

The Los Angeles Times
Body of Nurse Found in Grave
28 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Fiance Had Premonition Hakari Girl Was Dead
28 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Judith Ann Hakari Obituary
28 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Detectives Seek Clues In Capital Nurse's Death
28 April 1970

Reno Gazette Journal
Nurse's body found buried near Weimar
29 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Nurse Murder Is Reality Of Violence
29 April 1970

Auburn Journal
A Grisly Sex Beating And Murder: Body Of Missing Nurse Is Found Near Weimar
30 April 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Sex Angle Is Revealed In Nurse's Death
1 May 1970

The Times
Nurse Attack Is Revealed
2 May 1970

The Sacramento Bee
Officers Hunt 3 Young Men In Judith Hakari Slaying
6 May 1970

Auburn Journal

Sex Murder Probed By 2 Counties

7 May 1970


The Argus

Sex slaying suspects sought

7 May 1970


The Capital Journal

California Slaying; 3 Sought in Nurse's Death

7 May 1970


The Fresno Bee

Three Suspects Are Sought In Nurse Slaying

7 May 1970


The Press Tribune

Police seek 3 suspects in nurse's slaying

7 May 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Officers Hunt 3 In Hakari Slaying

7 May 1970


The Times

Suspect Trio Killed Nurse

7 May 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Officers Say Capital Nurse May Have Endured Days Of Terror Before Death

12 May 1970


The Sacramento Bee

For Slain Capital Nurse Terror May Have Preceded Death

12 May 1970


Auburn Journal

Investigators Hunt For Nurse Slayer

14 May 1970


The Sacramento Bee

SSC Sets Up Hakari Fund

20 May 1970


The Sacramento Bee

"WE CAN'T STAND to have the car around here any more..."

21 June 1970


The Sacramento Bee

THE SALE OF Judith Ann Hakari's car

2 July 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Letters From The People; Grateful Parents

3 September 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Year Ends, But Hunt For Killers Of 3 Capital Women Goes On

1 January 1971


The Sacramento Bee

In memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Zodiac Slayer In Capital? Mystery Killer May Have Struck Twice In Area

26 March 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Judy's Killer Still Walks Streets

16 May 1971


The Sacramento Bee

In memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1972


The Sacramento Bee

In loving memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1976

The Sacramento Bee

In loving memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1977

The Sacramento Bee

In loving memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1980


The Sacramento Bee

In loving memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1982


The Sacramento Bee

In loving memory of Judith Ann Hakari

7 March 1983


The Sacramento Bee

New keys may unlock years-old killings

25 March 1990


solve crimes crimeline

This is a horizontal timeline of key moments in this case. Click on the timeline and drag it left or right or use the arrows to navigate left or right.
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  • Judy & Ray Get Engaged

    Hakari Engagement Ring

    We know that they got engaged in November, but not the specific date. This isn’t Judy’s actual ring (although she was still wearing it when they found her body), but it is exactly the same ring by description. Distressed gold with a rose on top and a small diamond in the middle.

  • Judy Gets Engagement Photo Taken

    Judith Hakari Engagement Photo

  • Suspicious Visitor

    Anonymous Bearded Man

    A bearded young man appeared at Sutter Memorial Hospital and asked if Judith was on duty and then left.

  • Judy Leaves Work

    Sutter Memorial Hospital

    Sutter Memorial Hospital

  • Last Seen

    Judy was seen by a witness who told police that they saw her driving home at roughly 11:30pm.

  • Car Speeds Away

    A “dark sedan” was seen speeding near the Markston Apartment parking lot with the headlights off, almost hitting another motorist at roughly midnight. An interesting note here is that the description closely matches the description of the car seen with three men by the landowner of the property where Judy’s body was discovered. More on that ahead on this Crimeline.

  • The Search

    Sunday, March 8 and Monday, March 9, Ray Willis, Judy’s father Wilho “Bill” Hakari, Judy’s brother Michael Hakari and Sacramento County Sheriff deputies search nearby fields.

  • Ray Discovers Judy’s Car

    Judy's Car

    Judy’s fiancé Ray Willis finds her car in the parking lot with signs of a struggle. The car door was open, keys on the floorboard, buttons from her coat on the seats and strips of a towel.

  • Ray Calls Police

    Sacramento County Sheriff

    After discovering Judy’s car and quickly scanning the parking lot, Ray goes back into Judy’s apartment and calls the police…and then Judy’s dad.

  • Nurse’s Uniform Found

    A nurse’s uniform was found in a trash can at a Sacramento service station, but it turned out not to be the type Judy wore.

  • THREE Suspects??

    3 Men

    Three “well-dressed” young men are spotted at the place where Judy’s grave would be discovered the following month by the landowner. They were digging in the ground. They claim to be digging for collectible bottles, which was suspicious considering their attire. Their car’s trunk was partially open and as the landowner approached, one of the men closed the trunk.

  • No Clues

    Sacramento County Sheriff

    The Sacramento County Sheriff Department reports that they have not found any useable evidence to find Judy’s whereabouts.

  • Reward Offered

    Judy’s parents announce a $1,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of their daughter.

  • Detectives Are Reassigned

    Sacramento County Sheriff

    Three weeks after Judy’s disappearance, Sacramento County Sheriff detectives are no longer assigned to her case full time.

  • Judy’s Body Found

    Hakari Crime Scene

    Judy’s body is discovered in a shallow four foot long, two feet deep grave in Weimar, CA, 40 miles East of Sacramento. She was still wearing her nurse’s uniform with her name tag on it. She had been beaten, raped, bludgeoned and strangled.

  • Judy’s Parents Notified

    Hakari Engagement Ring

    A homicide detective knocked on the Hakari family home. Judy’s dad opened the door. The detective put his hand out and when Mr. Hakari looked down, he saw Judy’s engagement ring. After the detective informed him of the circumstances and that Judy was dead. He simply said, “Thank you.” and went back into the house and closed the door behind him.

  • San Francisco Examiner Publishes Article

    San Francisco Examiner Article

    The San Francisco Examiner Newspaper publishes an article about Judy’s case. Click image to view article.

  • Los Angeles Times Article Published

    Los Angeles Times Article

    The Los Angeles Times Newspaper publishes a small Associated Press article about Judy’s case. Click image to view article.

  • Obituary Published

    Hakari Obituary

    Judy’s obituary is published in the Sacramento Bee. There is no mention of how she died.

  • Toxicology Reports Suggest Rape

    Hakari Sac Bee Toxicology

    The Sacramento Bee Newspaper publishes an article that indicates that toxicology reports indicate that Judy was “sexually molested”…in other words, she was raped. Click image to view article.

  • Investigators Announce They Are Seeking 3 Suspects

    3 Men

    Investigators disclose that they are looking for three young men in connection with Judy’s abduction, rape and murder.

  • Suspect Sketch Released

    Suspect Sketch

    A sketch was released of one of the three men seen by the landowner where Judy’s body was discovered. Click image to view sketch.

  • Six Detectives Assigned To Case

    Placer County Sheriff

    It was announced that six detectives from both the Sacramento County Sheriff and Placer County Sheriff are now assigned full-time to Judy’s case. Lieutenant Arthur Ables of the Placer County Sheriff Office is assigned as the lead investigator.

  • Possible Torture Reported

    Sacramento Bee Article

    An article in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper quotes investigators from Placer County and Sacramento County as theorizing that Judy may have been held captive and tortured. Investigators said that Judy was found with one shoe and her stockings had been removed. They theorized that the three men seen the month before may have moved her body after she was killed elsewhere. Click image to read article.

  • Memorial Scholarship Established

    Spearheaded by Judy’s mom Evelyn Hakari, the Judith Ann Hakari Memorial Scholarship in Nursing at Sacramento State College is announced by the director of foundations Eugene Morris. It is a perpetual scholarship that will cover tuition and books. Eligibility requires the recipient to have graduated from a Sacramento area high school. The scholarship is still in place today.

  • Parents Sell Judy’s Car For Scholarship

    1968 Mercury Cougar

    Judy’s parents put her prized 1968 Mercury Cougar (photo not of Judy’s actual car) for sale and pledge the proceeds to her memorial scholarship fund.

  • Judy’s Car Sold

    Judy’s car sold for $2,250 and the money went into her memorial fund, bringing the fund total to $4,250 at the time.

  • Judy’s Mom Writes Letter of Gratitude

    Evelyn Hakari Letter

    Evelyn Hakari writes a letter of gratitude to the Sacramento Bee Newspaper for the community’s help in establishing Judy’s memorial fund. Click image to view article.

  • Donna Ann Lass Missing

    Donna Ann Lass

    Donna Lass, a 25 year old nurse is reported missing in the South Lake Tahoe city of Stateline, NV. The similarity of Lass (thin build, brunette, mid-20s and a NURSE) to the Judith Ann Hakari case isn’t missed and investigators quickly make a connection with the two cases. Donna Lass has not been seen since and no body has been recovered. Click image to view.

  • Nancy Bennallack Murdered

    Nancy Bennallack

    27 year old court reporter Nancy Bennallack was stabbed to death in her upstairs apartment after 11:30pm in the Polynesian Apartment complex off Arden Way in Sacramento…barely one block away from the Markston Apartment complex where Judy was taken. Like Judy, she was also engaged to be married. The striking similarities in this case has linked Nancy’s murder to Judy’s for the past 50 years.

  • Carol Beth Hilburn Murdered

    Carol Beth Hilburn

    22 year old nurse’s assistant Carol Beth Hilburn is found nude and beaten beyond recognition in a field in Rio Linda, just outside Sacramento. Her throat had been cut. Carol was estranged from her husband and living in a Santa Rosa area apartment with her sister. She had previously lived in Sacramento and was in town visiting friends. As with Judy and Nancy Bennallack, no suspects have ever been named.

  • Parents Publish First Anniversary “In Memory”

    First Anniversary Published

    Judy’s parents publish an “In Memory” in The Sacramento Bee on the first anniversary of Judy’s disappearance. They include “Her fiendish assassin still walks the earth a free man.” Click image to view article.

  • Sacramento Bee Announces Secret Witness

    The Sacramento Bee Newspaper announces an anonymous crime tip line they call “Secret Witness”. They guarantee total anonymity and a $2,500 reward for each case that the tipster provides information leading to the conviction of the killer. The Bee claims that the Judith Ann Hakari case was one of the cases that inspired the program.

  • Evelyn Hakari Passes

    Sixteen years after her daughter was brutally murdered, Evelyn Hakari passes away.

  • Wilho “Bill” Hakari Passes

    Wilho Hakari

    Thirty seven years after his daughter was brutally murdered, Wilho “Bill” Hakari passes.

  • Solve Crimes Begins Investigating

    Solve Crimes

    Solve Crimes with Rick & Gavin begins investigating the Judith Ann Hakari cold case.

  • First YouTube Episode Released

    Solve Crimes with Rick & Gavin release the first episode in the Hakari series to YouTube. Click VIDEOS at the top of the page to watch or find us on YouTube and subscribe, like and click the bell for alerts on new episodes.

  • First Episode of Podcast Released

    Solve Crimes Podcast

    Solve Crimes with Rick & Gavin releases first podcast episode featuring the Hakari case. Click PODCAST at the top of the page to listen or find us where you listen to podcasts.

  • Second Episode of Podcast Released

    Solve Crimes Podcast

    Solve Crimes with Rick & Gavin releases second podcast episode featuring the Hakari case. Click PODCAST at the top of the page to listen or find us where you listen to podcasts.

  • Second YouTube Episode Released

    Solve Crimes with Rick & Gavin release the second episode in the Hakari series to YouTube. Click VIDEOS at the top of the page to watch or find us on YouTube and subscribe, like and click the bell for alerts on new episodes.