Michael Ray Schlicht : “California Death Row Inmate Linked to 49-Year-Old John Doe Murder Case”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Randy Steven Kraft, widely known as the “Scorecard Killer,” has spent several decades on California’s death row. However, investigators have never stopped suspecting him of other unadjudicated slayings. Now, after 49 years, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has identified a teenage John Doe they believe was a victim of Kraft.

The victim has been identified as Michael Ray Schlicht, who was only 17 years old at the time of his death. According to deputies, Schlicht’s body was found on September 14, 1974, in unincorporated Laguna Hills, which is now known as Aliso Viejo. Investigators determined that he had died three to five days earlier due to an accident caused by alcohol and diazepam.

Schlicht’s body had remained unidentified for years, and he was buried in an unmarked grave at El Toro Memorial Park. However, in 1980, sheriff’s investigators noticed several deaths in Southern California, including their county, that were linked to alcohol and diazepam intoxication. These deaths were classified as homicides, and multiple young men were found deceased in Orange County and the surrounding area.

Kraft, now 78 years old, was arrested in May 1983 for murder after a California Highway Patrol officer discovered the body of Terry Lee Gambrel, 25, in his vehicle. Investigators also found a coded list believed to contain the names of up to 67 victims of Kraft. In May 1989, Kraft was convicted of 16 murders, but he was suspected of committing even more, although the Orange County District Attorney’s Office did not pursue those cases.

Authorities have long believed that the 1974 John Doe was one of Kraft’s early victims. With the help of the forensic genetic genealogy company Othram Labs, they were able to track down Schlicht’s mother in Kansas, Missouri, and confirm a DNA match. Schlicht was originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Now, deputies are focusing on investigating Schlicht’s murder. They are urging anyone with information to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers. Meanwhile, Schlicht’s family has been notified, and they are in the process of installing a headstone to mark his final resting place.

This latest development in the long-running case sheds new light on Kraft’s potential involvement in additional crimes. As authorities continue their investigation, they hope to bring closure to the families of other potential victims and uncover the full extent of Kraft’s murderous spree.

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