Victims of Patrick Kearney

on March 30, 2011 in Serial Killers, Victimology by

Patrick Kearney was charged for the murders of twenty-one people, but upon his arrest confessed to being involved in thirty-five murders.  Although Kearney gave police a list of his victims, a formal list of all the victims names was not given to the media. We currently have information regarding some of his known and suspected victims.


George had been murdered around Christmas of 1968. He had been shot to death. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Merle “Hondo” Chance

Most online sources claim that Merle Chance, age 8, was shot to death. The authoritative book on Kearney, Tony Stewart’s The Trash Bag Murderer says:

Suddenly, as the words are leaving the boy’s mouth, thoughts of concern begin to race through Kearney’s head. He begins to think about what this little boy is going to say to his mother, and then, he panics. He realizes that a stranger offering to take a small boy to an amusement park may not sound appropriate to the mother, or to the police, for that matter. Kearney quickly pulls his truck over to the side of the road. The boy looks up at the stranger and says, “Are you taking me home?” The stranger grabs a sweater on the seat, and pulls it tightly over the boy’s head and body, and then he slides his hand up underneath the garment. With his fingers, he squeezes the nose with force and covers the boy’s mouth thightly with his hand, and smothers the child.

While the information on Hondo in specific, and Kearney in general, is very nebulous, we believe that this scenario is likely closer to the truth than what is told online usually.

Ronald Dean Smith

Ronald, age 5, had been murdered. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Kenneth Eugene Buchanan

Kenneth, age 17, had been murdered. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

John Demchik

John, age 13, was murdered in Inglewood. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Wilfred L. Faherty

Wilfred, age 20, had been murdered. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Michael McGee

Michael, age 13, had been murdered on June 16, 1976. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Robert Bennefiel

Robert, age 18, had been murdered in 1975. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

Nicolas Hernandez-Jimenez

Nicolas, age 28, was discovered on January 24, 1977. This victim was discovered in a similar fashion as Kearney’s last known victim.

John LaMay

John LaMay, age 17, was shot to death on March 13, 1977. LaMay has been confirmed as Kearney’s last victim and Kearney was convicted for this murder.

Update from Brian, 2012/07/31: According to a fax sent by the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Headquarters pursuant to a file request by a “Mr. Stewart”, Kearney:

…confessed to killing most of his victims by shooting them in the head with a small caliber weapon while they were asleep or somehow distracted. He stated he did this “because they did not bleed much when shot there.”

Much of the information on Kearney from investigators is intentionally cloudy, but this wording does suggest that there may have been victims who were killed in other manner. One person has contacted me insisting that Merle “Hondo” Chance was killed by being smothered or strangled, but I have not been able to independently confirm this information.

Update from Brian, 2012/08/03: We have been convinced of the accuracy of the claims that Hondo was smothered, and have edited the information above to reflect this.


  • Alan Profitt says:

    I am doing research for a possible book on serial killers. Is there any way to get a complete list of victims for Patrick Kearney/

  • Brian Combs says:

    The above is all we’ve been able to find. I suppose you might try contacting the Los Angeles courthouse were he was tried and attempt to get a copy of the proceedings. That might have more info.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hondo is my uncle and it makes me wonder what he would have been like.

  • Tony Stewart says:

    I have a true story to tell that has never been told.

    As a survivor of serial killer Patrick Wayne Kearney, I have an untold story that you may be of interest to you and your readers.

    I am one of the only survivors of the most deadly serial killer in Los Angeles, California. My new book, “The Trash Bag Murderer, not only reveals my personal connection with the killer, but the shocking reality of what happened to the 32 plus victims. Also includes the heartfelt aftermath stories from the families of victims, statements directly from the killer, as well as the lead detective in charge of over 200 detectives on the case.

    This is the first publication ever told on this horrific murderous crime spree that left thousands of unhealed scars that still exist today.

    From his prison cell after hearing I wrote the book, the killer accused author Tony Stewart (me) as being his associate in the murders, which was absurd. He was called the trash bag murder after shooting, raping, butchering, and disposing his victims in trash bags left on the side of freeways of Southern California. The book even brings out the strong evidence, and forensic analysis that this killer may have been the mysterious Zodiac killer.

    Tony Stewart, Author
    The Trash Bag Murderer

  • Matt says:

    Ok I am Hondo Chances cousin and the story is a little off. The killer was not afraid of what my aunt was going to think about wanting to take him to an amusment park. It was that he was afraid of what she was going to think that a stranger had fixed his bike. If anyone knows about the killer then they would know that he was not thinking of that. He killed before and he just did it again.

  • rebecca says:

    another reason why not to like people under ten, somehow so many people turn into monsters killing so many innocent people.
    and just to think if patrick kearney wasnt born maybe all these people would be alive today.

  • Tony-Stewart says:

    If your interested there is a new book out on Patrick Kearney entitled, LA’S DEADLIEST SERIAL KILLER

    • val says:

      Tony, I just tried the site for the book you mentioned and its frozen it says. Who is the author of that book, if you know? I wasn’t able to find that title elsewhere.

  • Kathie says:

    Watch where you get your info. Tony Stewart had false statements about my brother’s murder. I told him that info my niece gave to him was not true. Never heard anything from him. There is so much that is said or printed that is not true.
    If anyone wants the real story, do as suggested and go to the courthouse. There are too many that make up stories, to make money off of deaths like my brothers.

  • Julie LaBonte says:

    I was the little girl with a family member that found Albert Rivera along side Hwy 74 in April of 1976, that started the investigatiion of Patrick Kearney.

  • val says:

    I believe Michael McGee is spelled McGhee.

    I’ve also seen as victims –
    James Barwick, 17, date of death unknown
    Albert Rivera, 21, killed in 1975
    Larry Gene Walters, 20, killed in 1975
    Oliver Peter Molitor, 13, killed in 1976
    Larry Armedariz, 15, killed in 1976
    John “Woody” Woods, 23, killed in 1977
    Larry Epsy, 17, date of death unk
    Arturo Romos Marquez, 24, killed in 1977
    Mark Andrew Orach, 20, killed in 1976
    Randall “Randy” Lawrence Moore, 26, killed in 1976
    Timothy B. Ingham 19, killed in 1976
    David Allen 27, killed 1976
    Arturo Romos Marquez, 24, killed in 1977


  • B Buchanan says:

    Thank you for listing Kenneth “Kenny” Buchanan as one of his victims… He was my uncle and this is the first page that actually lists him. You may be interested to know that he got Kenny’s address and visited his home (where my teenage Dad lived). He tried to talk my Dad into going on a ride with him but my Dad was creeped out and shut the door in his face.

  • Candie says:

    What about the Fuchsberger boy? Was he not a victim?

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