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January 25
1915 - Death of pre-Mentry oilman & San Francisquito vintner Ramon Perea [story]
Perea grave marker


ColdCaseEditor’s note: The body of Leslie Long, a 20-year-old Palmdale resident, was found Dec. 8, 1978, at the base of a small hill off the 14 Freeway at Soledad Canyon Road in Acton, three days after she went missing.

 

[LASD] – On Sunday, December 3, 1978, between 8 p.m. and 10:05 p.m., 20-year-old Leslie Long, a married woman and mother of three young children, was working alone as an employee of a gas station on Palmdale Boulevard and Division Street, in the City of Palmdale.

During those hours, two black male suspects entered the gas station with a handgun and robbed Leslie Long of an undisclosed amount of money from the store’s floor safe, leaving coinage strewn about the floor. The suspects then kidnapped Leslie Long at gun point, forced her into their vehicle and drove away, south on the Antelope Valley Freeway toward Los Angeles. After driving for some time, the suspects pulled off the freeway and drove to a deserted area, where both suspects then raped her. After the rape, the suspects shot Leslie Long multiple times, killing her. Both suspects returned to their vehicle and fled the scene.

During the manhunt for Leslie Longs’ killers in 1978, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detectives were assigned the case. At the time of their investigation, detectives were unable to identify the suspect(s) involved in the horrific crime.

Leslie Long

Leslie Long

For the past 37 years, the criminal case remained unsolved, although having been investigated by various detectives. However, in an unrelenting effort, the case was again reviewed in March of 2006, where new leads, tips, persons of interest, and the re-examination of physical evidence submitted to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s crime lab left no stone unturned during the many hours dedicated to the investigation in the several years that followed. And with the great advances of DNA technology, the sperm of Neal Matthews and Terry Moses was found on Leslie Long, linking them to her death, decades later.

Suspect Neal Matthews, a 58 year-old black male, was arrested on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at his residence in Lancaster. Suspect Matthews was booked at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station and appeared at the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. He is currently being held without bail.

Suspect Terry Moses, a 59 year-old black male, is currently serving a life sentence on an unrelated case. On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed an arrest warrant on Terry Moses for the murder of Leslie Long. Suspect Moses will be arraigned at the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse at a later date.

At the time of the murder, both suspects were active gang members.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Leslie Long, and that a sense of closure, peace and relief can be obtained with the identity of two perpetrators who will come before the justice system. It is also our hope that with the continued advancement of DNA technology and the tireless effort of the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in keeping the public safe, that these types of violent crimes are prevented.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to please come forward and contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Bureau Detective Steven Lankford, currently assigned to the case, at (323) 890-5500. If you have inquiries about the booking photos, they will not be released at this time.

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8 Comments

  1. Wow sad story Aracelly Lopez Leal Carlos Iraheta Better late than never huh?!

  2. I saw this case on a TV show. I remember watching it and thinking how close to home it was. Such a tragedy. I am glad they caught the persons involved….

  3. Good job Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department…No matter how long it takes, the job gets done!

  4. Jeanne says:

    I wonder who the “tips” came from. Someone who knew these guys way back when and as they grew older maybe grew a conscience?
    Good for them for finally speaking up.

  5. Jeanne says:

    The story in the SIGNAL today about the car chase that ended when the person drove his car to the SCV sheriff’s station and parked the car looks a little weird.

    He looks a little banged up. Why would it be necessary to “take down” a guy who essentially gave himself up AT the station?

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jan 25, 2021
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Officials with the California Department of Public Health on Monday ordered the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order – San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and Southern California.
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