Karl F. Warner

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Karl Francis Werner (born 1950) is an American serial killer active in Santa Clara County in Northern California. He was convicted of the murder of three teenage girls during his period of activity from 1969-1971.

Furlong/Snoozy slayings[edit]

On August 3, 1969, the bodies of Debra Gaye Furlong, 14, and Kathie Ann Snoozy, 15, were found on a hillside in southern Almaden Valley, San Jose. According to Santa Clara County Medical Examiner Dr. John E. Hauser, the girls died in a "frenzied flurry of knife wounds," totaling nearly 300.[1]

Bilek slaying[edit]

On Sunday, April 11, 1971, Kathy Bilek, 18, visited Villa Montalvo, in Saratoga, with the intent to read and engage in birdwatching in the seclusion of a remote, wooded portion of the park, near a small stream. Her body was found the next day by her father, Charles, while Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies searched nearby. She'd been stabbed 49 times.[2]:180


Bilek was murdered in the Villa Montalvo park in Saratoga. A park maintenance man who had seen him there and who knew him to be "a little odd" was able to give police the name of Oak Grove High School graduate and San Jose City College student Karl F. Werner of San Jose.[3] Werner was a student and classmate of the first two victims. According to a girl who dated him, he was an "accomplished in mathematics" and not a "weird, skulking guy that we picture as a serial killer."[4]

Werner had previously been a suspect in an unsolved knife assault on another woman. A search warrant was obtained, and the knife used in the Bilek murder was located on the premises of the Werner residence. The local authorities had already drawn a connection between the 1969 Furlong/Snoozy slayings and the Bilek murder, calling the latter "a carbon-copy killing." In September, Karl F. Werner confessed to the murders of Furlong, Snoozy, and Bilek, and received a life sentence.

Initially, San Francisco police Inspector Dave Toschi suspected the Zodiac Killer may have perpetrated the Furlong/Snoozy murders. At the time of his arrest, there was consideration given to the possibility that Karl F. Warner was the infamous Zodiac;[5] however, it was subsequently determined that Warner had been residing in Marlborough, Massachusetts at the time of some of the earlier Zodiac slayings.[2]:180–81 Warner is currently incarcerated at California Medical Facility in Vacaville.[6]


  1. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, "The Frenzy of San Jose Girls Slayer" (August 6th, 1969 - retrieved August 22nd, 2011).
  2. ^ a b Zodiac, by Robert Graysmith, published by the Penguin Group, January 2007 edition, ISBN 978-0-425-21218-9
  3. ^ "Pair Split $25,000 Reward for Murderer's Conviction". Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence, Kansas: Associated Press. 21 October 1971. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Hettiger, Joyce (30 July 1997). "Murder, She Wrote". Sunnyvale Sun. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Avery, Paul (12 November 1969). "'I've Killed Seven' the Zodiac Claims" (PDF). San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Inmate Locater