'My killer was never found': Police department gives voice to 11-year-old girl who died 45 years ago
Linda O’Keefe's story — on the official Twitter account of Newport Beach Police — begins with her explaining how her killers were never caught
The Newport Beach Police Department in California gave voice to a 11-year-old girl, who was murdered 45 years ago, through their Twitter account on Friday. The police officials live-tweeted the story of the girl on the day she went missing, in hopes of getting any new leads on the case which might help them bring justice to the slain girl.
Linda O’Keefe's story — on the official Twitter account of Newport Beach Police — begins with her explaining how her killers were never caught and that she is going to tell her story to the world now, 45 years after her tragic death.
"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," reads the first tweet about Linda's story posted by the police department.
“I was 11 years old on the day I disappeared. It’s kinda strange… that year (1973), July 6 also fell on a Friday. It was a cool day. Cooler than usual. The high was about 70 degrees.” #LindasStory— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 6, 2018
The police department began tweeting #LindaStory tweets on Friday, the anniversary of the day Linda disappeared, and the series of the tweets ended on Saturday morning at the same time the 11-year-old's body was found.
Police spokesperson Jennifer Manzella, while speaking to the Los Angeles Times, said that the posts tweeted by the department were a way to humanize Linda's case and to assist in creating an emotional attachment with any of the readers who had not heard the child's heartbreaking story before.
“We believe Linda is due that,” Manzella said.
The tweets were also posted a recently created image of what Linda's killer may have looked like at the time of the incident and how he may look now. The images were created with the help of the DNA found at the murder scene, according to reports. The spokesperson said that she believes that this is the only time an advanced technique has been used by the US police to come up with a possible face of the killer.
“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.” #LindasStory pic.twitter.com/GsZClKFwPj— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 7, 2018
“We want as many sets of eyes on that sketch as possible so somebody can recognize the face of a killer so we can get justice,” Manzella said, adding that the tweets will also help in making the case more engaging for a longer stretch so that people do not forget about Linda's justice.
In a series of tweets, "Linda" tells the readers about her life, her personality and the events which led up to her disappearance. She says that she is not the best of students, she doesn't get great grades but she loves science class, playing the piano and her cats. She recounts how her mother thinks she is artistically inclined.
“Time for first period. Here we go. School isn’t really my thing. I get Bs. Cs. A couple of Ds. And I *hate* doing my homework. I’m not too fond of school in general, I guess. But – not to brag – I’m really good at spelling. And I love science class.” #LindasStory— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 6, 2018
“I love the piano. Before I had piano lessons, I would go to the Hammond Organ Studio in my neighborhood and play their organs and pianos for hours at a time. I also love painting and crafts. My mom says I’m ‘artistically inclined’.” #LindasStory— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 6, 2018
Then she begins divulging the details of the day she vanished: "I walk out my front door ... and have no idea that it will be my last time."
The multiple tweets include detailed information about her summer school, about what she was wearing the day she disappeared to the area she was found in.
“I’m wearing a dress today… It’s white, with light blue flowers on it, and dark blue trim. My mom made it. She makes a lot of my clothes, and my sisters’ clothes. She’s really good at sewing, and we don’t have a lot of money for fancy store outfits anyhow.” #LindasStory pic.twitter.com/9sucqJsnGg— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 6, 2018
Manzella, while speaking to NBC Los Angeles, said that even though 45 years have passed since the incident, police officials have continued to hear from Linda's former school friends, in hope for any new leads on the case.
“They haven’t forgotten about her, and we haven’t either. Her death touched so many," Manzella added.
“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 pic.twitter.com/LLiBky3THS— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 7, 2018