Updated: $26,000 reward over murdered Palmdale woman cold-case

Leslie Long

Leslie Long, Photo courtesy of Crimestoppers Television

PALMDALE – This December will mark the 33rd anniversary since 20-year-old Palmdale resident Leslie Long was robbed, kidnapped, raped and murdered.

Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to offer a $20,000 reward to help solve the cold case.

According to official reports, on Sunday, December 3, 1978, Palmdale resident Leslie Long, mother of three small children, was working her evening shift at the Chevron Gas Station (now Alliance Gas) located at the corner of Palmdale Boulevard and Division Street in Palmdale. Unknown suspects entered the office area and robbed Long of the money inside the location’s floor safe. The suspects then kidnapped Long at gun point.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Long was discovered missing when a customer entered the office area and attempted to pay for his gas. The customer found the gas station office wide open and lights turned on, but there was no attendant in sight. The customer saw that the floor safe was open and empty, and numerous coins were scattered on the floor.

Long’s purse was still in the office and her vehicle remained parked behind the gas station. Deputies were called and they began a massive manhunt for Leslie Long.

On December 6, 1978, the search ended, after Long’s body was discovered at the base of a small hill off the 14 freeway at Soledad Canyon Road in Acton, eight miles south of the Chevron gas station. Homicide investigators responded to the scene and determined Long had been shot and killed at this location. An autopsy later revealed Long was also sexually assaulted. Evidence at the crime scene revealed at least two suspects were involved, perhaps more.

In the months to follow there was extensive media coverage of Long’s murder. It was learned that two prisoners had escaped from a Northern California prison just three days prior to Long’s murder. Circumstances seemed to link the escapees with Long’s murder, so the escaped prisoners were soon recaptured, and though there was a lack of evidence to charge them with the Long murder, it was believed they were involved.

This is the last impression that was left with the general public before the investigation went cold, according to officials.

Recently, with DNA technology, both prison escapees were excluded from the trace evidence found at the crime scene. They are no longer suspects and the case remains open and unsolved.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is seeking assistance from the public with information that may aid in the investigation of this crime.

Leslie Long

Leslie Long with family. Photo courtesy of Crimestoppers Television

The Board of Supervisors has offered a reward of $20,000 in exchange for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Leslie Long. Those with information are asked to contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Brian Schoonmaker at 323-890-5500

“Crime Stoppers Files,” the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers Television Program has partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and the surviving family members of Leslie Long to air a re-enactment of the robbery/kidnap/murder. The program is scheduled to air on KCAL 9 on Sunday night, October 9, 2011 at 11 p.m.

Updated 10/4/11 at 9 p.m.: The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for Leslie Long’s murder is now $26,000. The reward money donations break down as follows: $20,000.00 from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; $1,000.00 from the city of Palmdale; and $5,000.00 from the Chevron Corporation

  18 comments for “Updated: $26,000 reward over murdered Palmdale woman cold-case

  1. December 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

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  2. Miffed American
    October 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    This is such a tragic story! Boy she had children so young and then she died so young. This like another story I would like to see solved. Carol Frisle who was murder on Valentines Day back in the 60’s I was a baby when this happened and didn’t even live in this valley, but the case still has me perplexed.

  3. Denise
    October 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

    As the sister of a homicide victim, my heart bleeds for this family. My prayers go out to all that were touched by this tragedy.
    Please don’t listen to the negativity. Cold cases are closed frequently these days, and I pray that this one is too.

  4. Ted
    October 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Rewards are a good way to motivate people to help solve crimes. A lot of times people know something but think that it may be too small or too insignificant to make a difference in a case. They don’t come forward because they don’t want the hassles that come along with giving information (i.e. interviews by police, testifying in court, etc.) A reward might give them a little boost, a financial incentive.
    I am too young to be able to offer anything in this case, as it is older than me, but I believe that someone, some where had to have seen something. The cops wasted a lot of time chasing the wrong people, and those that knew something figured they didn’t have to come forward because the cops already had those responsible. Now that the case is reopened, many of the people that had something to offer way back when may not remember. This is going to be a toughie, but at any rate, the reward and the show is positive.
    It is a shame that jaded people like Ace want to cast this in a negative light. Ace, since you appear not to be in agreement with the rewards system, what are YOU doing to see that those responsible for this horrendous act are finally brought to justice?

  5. October 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Since Crime Stoppers’ inception, tips have led to over 900,000 cases being solved, and the organization has paid over 84 million dollars in rewards, and has recovered over a billion dollars in stolen property.
    Rewards may not always lead to a solved case, and some that do are not even claimed – but they are very real.

  6. October 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    This was my dads cousin and i am just hearing about this how sad……..I feel bad just thinking about it…………. That i was related to something so sad!

    • October 10, 2011 at 12:52 am

      This is/was my aunt. I (obviously) Was named after her. My family hopes that something positive will come of this.It was a horrible horrible tragedy.

  7. Joyce
    October 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

    How very sad for Leslie and her family. I hope the murderers are made to pay for this very terrible crime.

  8. S. Parker
    October 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

    God bless and keep those poor children! I hope that after all these years, justice is finally served for this tragedy that shook our town so many years ago. If her killers haven’t already met some other fate by now, I hope they are caught and made to spend their golden years rotting in jail!!!

    • October 10, 2011 at 12:58 am

      My family all really appreciate this. The re-enactment was hard to watch, and I wasnt even alive when it all happened. So very good friends went to my parents home and lit a bunch of candles in the front yard.

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