WHEN Robin Graham’s car broke down on a busy LA road, a man was seen giving her a hand. But he had a much darker purpose.
WHEN Robin Graham’s Dodge ran out of petrol on the Hollywood Freeway early on a Sunday morning, she’d been driving for less than minutes. Graham had been out partying all night with a group of college friends and had gotten a lift to her car, which was parked at her workplace.
Her car stalled near the Santa Monica Boulevard off-ramp. Steering to the side of the road, she was helped moments later by California Highway Patrol officers, who offered to call her a tow truck. Declining the offer, she instead walked to a nearby call box and phoned home. The patrol car did a loop and stopped again as she returned to her vehicle. She informed the officers she had successfully called to be picked up and so they left her by the side of the road.
When the Highway Patrol officers drove past for the third time that night, about 2pm, they noticed Graham talking to a man, who they assumed to be the family member she mentioned calling. A light blue Corvette was parked nearby; the officers kept driving.
This was the last time Robin Graham was seen alive.
Graham’s family arrived just shortly after 2.30pm to pick her up, only to find her Dodge locked and abandoned on the side of the road. There was no sign of her, no note.
At the time of her disappearance, in the early hours of November 15, 1970, Graham was an eighteen-year-old college freshman at Pierce College in Los Angeles. She was one of a number of young women to have disappeared in eerily similar circumstances within a few years in Northern California.
Just eighteen months earlier, Rose Tashman, a college student, had also broken down on the Hollywood Freeway, just a few kilometres from where Graham went missing. Her car was abandoned there and her naked, strangled body was found hours later, dumped in the Hollywood Hills. Earlier still, in November 1967, West Valley police had warned of an attacker who flagged down three separate women under the guise of car trouble, before assaulting them. The incidents seemed to be linked.