Inseparable since childhood, Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, both now 44, grew up to turn into meth-heads and killers, ultimately getting themselves dubbed the “Speed Freak Killers”. The two frequently used methamphetamine, or speed, while they roamed around California’s San Joaquin County for approximately 15 years, terrorizing the residents of the mostly rural region and allegedly killing a number of people, frequently women, in their deadly rampage. Shermantine once reportedly bragged that he had killed 19 people, but the duo was convicted of only a few of the slayings they were suspected of committing.
Arrested in 1999, Shermantine was convicted in 2001 of raping and killing Cynthia “Cyndi” Ann Vanderheiden, 25, of Clements, Calif., as well as killing two other people, and Herzog was convicted in 2003 of the three killings as well. Herzog and Shermantine were also suspected of killing many others. Herzog gave a detailed videotaped confession over a period of four days detailing how he had lured Cyndi to a cemetery by promising to provide speed—she, Herzog and Shermantine had apparently shared drugs before. After getting her to the cemetery, Shermantine allegedly attacked and killed her. Herzog testified that he hid in the backseat of Shermantine’s car while Cyndi was being attacked. Afterward, he said, he helped Shermantine load her body into the trunk of Shermantine’s car and that he did not know what happened to her body after Shermantine left with it. Her remains have never been found.