Disappearance of Robin Graham
|Robin Ann Graham|
High school graduation photograph
|Born||Robin Ann Graham
June 22, 1952
Los Angeles, California
|Disappeared||November 15, 1970 (aged 18)
Los Angeles, California
|Status||Missing for 44 years, 6 months and 9 days|
Robin Ann Graham (June 22, 1952 – disappeared November 15, 1970), was a college student who disappeared from a Los Angeles freeway in the early hours of November 15, 1970 after her car had broken down. She has not been heard from since, nor are there any clues as to her whereabouts or subsequent fate. Graham's case is often included in television programs about missing persons.
Robin Graham was the daughter of Marvin and Beverly Graham. She grew up on Lemoyne Street, in the Silverlake-Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, and had graduated from John Marshall High School in June, 1970. She was attending Pierce College, in Woodland Hills and working part-time at Pier 1 Imports, in Hollywood.
Robin Graham was last seen by California Highway Patrol officers at approximately 2:00 a.m. on November 15, 1970, beside her car on the shoulder of the southbound Hollywood Freeway near the Santa Monica offramp; she was in the presence of a dark-haired white man estimated to be in his mid-twenties who drove a late 1950s model Chevrolet Corvette C1, pale blue or green with primer. Graham used a call box to ask that a CHP emergency operator let her parents know she had run out of gas. Graham's younger sister took the call and relayed the information to her parents upon their return home at approximately 2:30 a.m. They went immediately to the location where they found Robin's car, but she was not there. There was no note found on her locked car. The CHP officers had stopped several times earlier and spoke with Graham but did not stop again when they saw her talking with the young man; the patrolmen assumed he was family, the help for which she'd called. The CHP officers were acting in accordance with policy; as a result of this case CHP policy was changed to ensure the safety of stranded female motorists.
Graham had been out Saturday night with friends. After dropping off a girlfriend, Graham was dropped off at her car in the Pier 1 Imports parking lot, at approximately 1:45 a.m. The initial report had Graham leaving voluntarily in the Corvette, but the CHP officer who made that report was requestioned and said he saw her in the presence of the young man but did not see them leave.
The case was handled by detectives at the Rampart Division of the LAPD who thought Graham's disappearance was possibly linked to three other similar cases involving young women over the previous two years, including Rose Tashman, an Israeli-born student at San Fernando Valley State College who disappeared in 1969. She had a flat tire on the Hollywood Freeway, a few miles from the location of Graham's car. Months before Graham's disappearance, another young woman, Cindy Lee Mellin disappeared on January 20, 1970; her car was found with a flat tire, she has never been found. None of the other cases were solved and all the other victims were found dead in the Hollywood Hills. In 1975, a similar disappearance took place from the San Bernardino Freeway, in El Monte. The skeletal remains of Mona Jean Gallegos were found nearly six months later in a Riverside ravine. At the time of her disappearance Graham had long brown hair, brown eyes, fair skin and was 5'6 in height.
Seventeen years later, an ad appeared in the Los Angeles Times classifieds which caught the attention of the Graham family as well as KFI disc jockey Geoff Edwards, who read it on the air: "DEAREST ROBIN You ran out of gas on the Hollywood Frwy. A man in a Corvette pulled over to help. You've not been seen of since. It's been 17 years, but it's always just yesterday. Still looking for you (signed) THE ECHO PARK DUCKS." It turned out that Al Medrano, a friend still living in the neighborhood, simply wanted to express that Graham had not been forgotten.
The case of Robin Graham's disappearance has been included in television specials about missing persons.
- Drummond, William J. (November 18, 1970), "Girl Sighted Talking to Man on Freeway Before She Vanished:Homicide Detectives Say Patrolmen Directed Pierce Coed to Call Box, Later Saw Corvette Parked Near Her Car", Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif. p. a3 (2 pp.)
- Drummond, William J. (November 19. 1970), "CHP, POLICE REGULATIONS EXPLAINED:Why Missing Coed Was Left on Freeway", Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif. p. a1 (2 pp.)
- "WILL INCREASE AID TO WOMEN:CHP Alters Freeway Policy After Disappearance of Girl", Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.:Dec 12, 1970. p. a1 (2 pp.)
- Jones, Jack (June 8, 1977), "Postscript: Parents Won't Give Up on Girl Who Disappeared 6 Years Ago", Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif. p. oc1 (1 pp.)
- Harvey, Steve. (December 15, 1987), "Postscript: 'I just wanted to show she wasn't forgotten.'" Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. metro2, pg. 3