Reward over murdered Palmdale woman cold case extended

Leslie Long

Leslie Long, Photo courtesy of Crimestoppers Television

PALMDALE – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday extended a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the 1978 kidnapping and murder of Leslie Long.

The $20,000 reward offer approved by the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 4 was due to expire on Jan. 2, 2012, and the Sheriff’s Department requested the extension.

The Supervisors’ reward, combined with the $1,000 reward from the city of Palmdale, and the $5,000 reward from the Chevron Corporation, puts the total reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for the murder of Leslie Long at $26,000.

On Sunday, December 3, 1978, 20 year-old Palmdale resident Leslie Long, the mother of three small children, was working the evening shift at the Chevron Gas Station located at the corner of Palmdale Boulevard and Division Street, in the City of Palmdale (now Alliance Gas), when unknown suspects entered the office area, robbed her of the money inside the location’s floor safe and kidnapped her at gunpoint.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., a gas station customer found the 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.  The victim’s purse was still in the office and her vehicle still parked behind the gas station.  Sheriff Deputies were called and a massive manhunt ensued.

On Wednesday, December 6, 1978, the Sheriff’s Department Aero Bureau found the victim’s body at the base of a small hill off of the 14 freeway at Soledad Canyon Road in Acton, eight miles south of the gas station. Homicide investigators responded to the scene and discovered she had been shot and killed at this location.  An autopsy later revealed she had also been sexually assaulted.  Evidence at the crime scene revealed at least two suspects were involved, perhaps more.

Extensive media coverage of the robbery/kidnap/murder focused on two prison escapees from a prison in Northern California who were recently excluded, with DNA technology, from the trace evidence found at the crime scene.  They are no longer suspects and this case remains open and unsolved.

“Crime Stoppers Case Files,” the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers Television Program, partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and the victim’s surviving family members to air a re-enactment of the robbery/kidnap/murder. The program aired on KCAL 9 in October of 2011.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects or any possible clues is asked to call Detective Schoonmaker at 323-890-5579.

(Information via press release from the office of Supervisor Michael Antonovich.)