The McStay family memorial site located northwest of Victorville, CA.
Traffic on I-15 can be seen in the distance.
It is a moonless night and the distant sound of rattling train cars is punctuated by the high pitched grinding of metal barstow casino desert dispatch multiple engines begin their push up past the Kelso Depot.
Centered in the vast, federally designated region known as Mojave National Preserve MNP bordered by I-40, I-15 and the Nevada state line, it was here that the familiar lore of the Wild West played out twenty-first century style.
Nighttime train robberies occurred on a regular basis.
I first read about the Union Pacific train robberies in the MNP through a 1998 by Phil Garlington of fame.
Garlington had laid out the vivid details of criminal exploits and those who attempted to thwart them, relating how mile-long, double-stacked freight cars burdened with consumer goods and merchandise would fall prey to looters within the remote center of the preserve.
The slow-moving trains with their potentially lucrative hauls provided easy pickings for the interlopers who were lucky barstow casino desert dispatch they did not get seriously injured in the process.
At pre-arranged geographical points, the bandits tossed out the goods where their accomplices waited, in rented moving go here, ready to load up the booty—expensive electronics, Nikes, cigarettes, booze, or, if they were particularly unlucky, a boxcar filled with teddy bears.
Scattered clothing, empty packaging and other discarded debris were regularly found strewn along the rail lines.
By the late 1990s the railroad had estimated that it was losing over a million dollars a month from Mojave National Preserve lootings.
The two were consequently arrested.
The powder was determined to be cocaine—possibly a down payment for the botched flat screen heist?
With heightened security over the past years since this incident was reported, Union Pacific has managed to crack down and curtail these types of robberies from repeating in recent years.
Empty pseudoephedrine containers over-the-counter sales of which are now controlledlye, red phosphorus—all highly toxic chemicals and materials associated with clandestine meth production have been found among contaminated meth production equipment.
Makeshift meth labs were discovered in 1998 at Rainbow Wells and in 2001 at the New Trail Mine after two rangers found new locks on formally abandoned outbuildings during a routine patrol.
When the rangers returned to the mine on the following day they encountered four suspicious men driving away in a pickup.
Following a search locations arkansas casino their vehicle by review buffet creek cache casino rangers, the men produced keys for padlocks of the park holdings they claimed they had legal access to.
The limited number of National Park Service NPS law enforcement rangers known to patrol the 1.
Fortunately, evidence of this type of methamphetamine production within the preserve has not been observed in recent years, a status largely attributed to the ability of meth cooks to make smaller, cheaper batches using a two-liter plastic soda bottle rather than the complicated chemistry lab setup of the past.
Over 500,000 vehicles travel through the MNP annually.
Many come here specifically to recreate, but others simply use its paved thoroughfares—the Kelbaker and Kelso-Cima roads—as a convenient, uncongested shortcut route to Vegas from points further north or south.
Speeding over the 55 mph speed source, which is still higher than most national parks, results in one of the more commonly cited infractions by law enforcement.
Barrels split open in washes, mortally trapping animals in a sticky residue.
Other cacti, including rare species belonging to the genera Mammillaria, Echinomastus or Sclerocactus—commonly known as the delicate Fishhook cactus—have been so extensively pilfered as ornamental specimens in some parts of the Mojave that they have nearly disappeared from their native regions entirely.
The perpetrators range from over-zealous solitary hobbyists to organized commercial wholesalers that sell specimens locally for profit or internationally to smuggler rings involved in trafficking dead animal parts as well as live animals at black markets worldwide.
Although the ranger somehow escaped unharmed from his close encounter, in the aftermath, several of the rangers closely involved with the bust were transferred out of the area for protection—one under an assumed name due to retributive threats posed by the biker gang.
Death Valley will be forever linked to the Manson Family who occupied both Barker and Myers ranches located in the Panamint Range, now part of DVNP, over a 2-year period during the late 1960s.
During 1968 and 1969, The Family intermittently occupied the properties—fleeing here after the Tate-LaBianca murders took place in August 1969—until their tenure was ended during a routine two-day police raid in October 1969 for suspected auto theft and arson after a NPS bulldozer was found torched in nearby Racetrack Valley.
Consequently, local law enforcement targeted the ragtag group as possible suspects.
Thirty years later detectives would return to Barker Ranch in 2008 to investigate a tip implying that several undiscovered bodies had been buried there.
The consequent investigation yielded no human remains.
Eventually the suspects surrendered but not before shooting at and forcing down a CHP helicopter which then crash landed during the first day of the ordeal.
Illegal marijuana growing operations sited on publicly managed desert lands comprise much of the most recent illegal drug production related offenses.
The toll on the environment resulting from these operations is costly, both financially and in terms of impact to flora and fauna, especially in lieu of the current drought since marijuana cultivation requires profuse amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizers to thrive and produce.
BLM rangers patrolling the higher elevations of the Mojave Desert are more likely to stumble upon an illegal marijuana cultivation operation like one discovered in 2015 in a mountainous desert https://cetsolarstore.com/casino/sheraton-walker-hill-show-and-casino.html off California State Routes 14 and 178, east of Ridgecrest, where 1,000 pot plants were confiscated and destroyed.
Defunct mining operations and other abandoned industrial enterprises continue to litter and pollute the surrounding desert with toxic tailings that can potentially seep and contaminate groundwater resources.
But dumping in the desert truly takes on a far more sinister twist when it comes to getting rid of human remains.
A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes.
But you gotta do it right.
I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk.
Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes.
Reflecting on this sentiment, I decided see whether or not this imagined culture of violence actually exists here in the desert.
I began by contacting Sergeant Don Barstow casino desert dispatch, a homicide detective for San Bernardino County whose jurisdiction covers the largest part of the Mojave Desert policed by any law enforcement agency within its boundaries.
During a phone conversation, I asked Sgt.
Lupear how many homicide victims are actually found in the Mojave.
He additionally mentioned that victims and their perpetrators are, in most cases, tied somehow to the location were the body is found.
Hikers barstow casino desert dispatch upon the deceased occasionally, but, more often than not, bodies are discovered by off-highway vehicle OHV enthusiasts near a road of some kind.
https://cetsolarstore.com/casino/casino-avalon-punta-cana.html that much of the Mojave This web page is within three miles of some type of thoroughfare, it is easy to imagine how one could go about such a repugnant task if deemed necessary.
In most cases, however, investigators determine that the unfortunate victim was slain elsewhere and transported to the spot with the body dumped, bagged, buried, burned or disposed of in some combination thereof.
On November 13, 2013, partially unearthed human remains were discovered by a recreating dirtbike rider just off Quarry Road in an OHV recreation area just northeast of Victorville, CA.
The couple along with their two young sons had mysteriously vanished without a trace on February 4, 2010 from their home in Fallbrook, California, some 100 miles south of where the slain family had been hastily buried.
It seems that Chase Merritt, the former business partner of Joseph McStay, who is accused and currently awaiting trial for this heinous and callous murder, has ties with the town of Apple Valley, the next town over from the crime scene.
Over the past fifteen years, several grisly discoveries have been found along or near I-15 or I-40 between Barstow and the Nevada State line including 19-year-old Jodi Brewer, a sex worker who had disappeared from Las Vegas in August 2003.
No other body parts were recovered.
Her murder has since been connected to suspected serial killer in West Virginia.
A wayward beagle from Newberry Springs, rummaging along the I-40, returned to its owner with a severed human foot attached to a stub of a leg in September 2012.
The burnt skeletal remains of an were found in 2010 off Zzyzx Road, west of I-15 near Baker, CA.
That same year the severed head of an unknown thought to be between fourteen and nineteen years old was found concealed in a backpack left on Lenwood Road west of I-15 in Barstow, CA.
Her body had been discarded like a worn ragdoll in a dank mineshaft with the time of her death estimated to be four to six days earlier.
What resounds most is that loved ones or even acquaintances have not bothered to identify this Jane Doe or others like her—a sad fact that left me in a state of despondency and emptiness.
Not all unidentified victims have met violent ends.
Human remains in various stages of decomposition have been found over the years in other out-of-the-way locations and are not necessarily the result of foul play.
It should be noted that of the four unidentified human remains discovered in San Bernardino County in 2010 all were found in outlying areas of the Mojave Desert.
please click for source, without a doubt, the Mojave has witnessed some truly bizarre and senseless acts over the years.
Consider the 2012 kidnapping, casino land deal and attempted extortion of a successful Orange County marijuana dispensary owner and his female housemate, left tied up together at a secluded desert location off California State Route 14.
A Kern County deputy found the woman wandering the desert after she managed to escape.
The four suspects, charged and currently awaiting trial for the crime, allegedly beat, burned and doused the man with bleach in an effort to cover DNA evidence before severing his penis.
Somehow, the poor fellow managed to survive his ordeal.
Senseless violence, the world calls it, but the Mojave knows otherwise.
The Mojave knows, has always known, that the violence is not senseless, the disturbing acts that unfold on its sandy stage in fact make perfect sense.
For that is the very nature of the place, to convey meaning, to show events in living color on a giant screen in bas-relief, to make it seem as if everything is happening for the first time, even if for some, it is the last, or simply the latest in an endless spiral of repetitive, nowhere acts.
The extreme arid geographies of the American Southwest take on starring roles with each prominently featured in her three most recent books including 20122009 and 2001.
More often than not, it is revealed through her careful research that these individuals have been thrust into bleak existential situations through despair, life circumstance, economic downturn or just plain bad luck.
Her protagonists are as vivid as those of a Tom Waits song in her precise crafting of their persona and personal histories.
Ranchers, cowboys, dreamers, dropouts, bikers, hikers, and felons have settled here—those who have chosen solitude over the trappings of contemporary life or click here have nowhere else to go.
Kueck, known by local law enforcement as a solitary meth addict who squatted in a ramshackle trailer on the edge of Llano, California, was depicted by Stillman as someone both sensitive of the desert animals that visited him daily, who enjoyed building and launching rockets but was equally highly capable of murder—confirmed when he shot down well-liked and respected Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff firing at him multiple times with a.
Reports stated that Sorensen drew his weapon only after Kueck had shot him.
Ominously, the two had a run-in nine years earlier after Sorensen had pulled Kueck over during a routine traffic stop.
Authorities located Kueck nearly a week later hiding out in nearby Lake Los Angeles.
Remarkably, he had managed to elude and remain under their radar due to his formidable survivalist skills plus multiple secret caches of food, water and ammunition hidden across the desert.
Although he had admitted to the murder via cell phone, Kueck adamantly refused to surrender, subsequently dying during a violent standoff after the shed he was holed up in burst into flames.
Coincidentally, the crime took place on the same day learn more here Sorenson was shot down by Kueck—August 2nd, but in 1991 in Twentynine Palms, California—home to the largest marine base in the world.
The prior assaults were overlooked because he was a star on the Marine basketball team.
While Stillman was working on her book, she was the subject of public attacks via newspaper editorials and articles.
Many felt that someone was finally bearing witness to their stories and understood that Stillman was writing about a side of the desert that generally goes unnoticed.
Today, the town continues its holding pattern, appearing much as it did before the murders transpired—neither better nor worse.
Former marine Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, was arrested on August 18, 2014 for allegedly murdering Erin Corwin, 19, barstow casino desert dispatch next-door neighbor and wife of a fellow marine.
Lee and Corwin began an affair while the two were living at an apartment building on base at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center north of downtown Twentynine Palms.
Several weeks barstow casino desert dispatch her body was discovered, law enforcement began a search of over 100 abandoned mineshafts in the area.
News reports stated that Corwin might have been several months pregnant at the time of her death.
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The Mojave Project is an experimental transmedia documentary and curatorial project, led by Kim Stringfellow, exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.
Any views, findings and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of California Humanities, The National Endowment for the Humanities or any of our other project partners.
All content © Kim Stringfellow 2014-2020 unless otherwise specified.
Welcome to Barstow, California - The heart of the Mojave Desert
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