Case 137

Arlis Perry

*** Content Warning: sexual assault, suicide ***

19-year-old Arlis Perry took her Christian faith seriously. After fighting with her husband Bruce on the night of October 12 1974, she decided to clear her head by stopping in at the Stanford Memorial Church to pray. When she still hadn’t returned an hour later, Bruce checked the church but the doors we locked. He waited a few more hours before reporting Arlis missing. 

In the early morning hours, Stanford University night watchman Stephen Crawford entered the church and came across a shocking scene. Arlis had been brutally murdered in what appeared to be a satanic ritual. Several other young women had been murdered around Stanford University over recent years, leading investigators to question whether Arlis’s murder was a standalone attack or part of something bigger.



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The Ultimate Evil, an Investigation Into America’s Most Dangerous Satanic Cult – Maury Terry

Who killed Arlis Perry? – Darla Foster

Bloody Ivy: 13 Unsolved Campus Murders – Chris & Harry Bobonich



Police Discover Suicide Victim – Issue 12, Feb 16 1973

Deputies Investigate On-Campus Strangling – Issue 13, Feb 20 1973

Police say Perlov Not Sexually Assaulted – Issue 15, Feb 22 1973

Law Officials Continue Taylor Murder Probe – Issue 28, April 1 1974

Slim Lead In Taylor Case – Issue 29, April 2 1974

Student’s Slaying Baffles Campus, County Officers – Issue 1, Sept 24 1973



Sheriff pleads for clues to coed hitchhiker killer – Independent

Seek Sexual Psychopath for Slaying – The Times

Investigators seek link between two slayings – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Coed found stabbed: Stanford Chapel Murder – Tulare- Advance Register

They Came to Pray for Arlis Perry – The San Francisco Examiner

Woman is Slain in Church – The Billings Gazette

Officials Doubt Slaying Link to Ritualism – The Bismarck Tribune

God Was Very Real to Young Couple – The Bismarck Tribune

Arlis Perry Rites Scheduled Friday – The Bismarck Tribune

Mourners Comforted by Arlis’s Words – The Bismarck Tribune

Mrs Perry Eulogized as Probe Continues – The Bismarck Tribune

Marvin Dykema Obituary – The Bismarck Tribune

Engagement of Arlis Dykema – The Bismarck Tribune

Child Abuse on the Brain – The Chicago Reader

Bundy may be linked to Stanford murder – The Stanford Daily

Bismarck’s Shocking Best Seller – The Bismarck Tribune

Stanford Student’s wife found slain in church – The Stanford Daily

Update (Leslie Perlov) – The San Francisco Examiner

Blond Man Sought in Strangling – The Times



Murder at Memorial Church remains unsolved forty years later – The Stanford Daily

NYC musician linked to unsolved church murder, and ‘Son of Sam’ killer is involved – The New York Post

Cops Cracked 3 Standford Cold Case Murders. Will DNA Help Them Solve a 4th Campus Killing? – The Mercury News

Suspect in 1974 Stanford Killing was Guard who Found Body – The Mercury News

Stanford church slaying suspect was likely considering suicide for two years – The Mercury News

Sheriff: suicide note, serial killer jacket at murder suspect’s home – Palo Alto Online

Sheriff investigating whether Stanford watchman linked to other campus murders – Palo Alto Online

‘She fought desperately’: Arrest in 1973 killing of Stanford grad after DNA genealogy probe – The Mercury News

Sheriff: Grisly 1974 Stanford murder solved – Palo Alto Online

Victim’s sister confronts alleged killer – Palo Alto Online

Murderer of former athletic director’s daughter identified after 45 years – The Stanford Daily

He was a married hospital technician and a Boy Scouts leader. Was former Palo Alto resident John Getreu also a serial killer? – Palo Alto Online

Suspected serial killer charged in 2nd Stanford cold case homicide from the ’70s – The Los Angeles Times

Victim’s green pants to be key piece of evidence in serial-killer case – Palo Alto Online

I still miss my sister: family of slain Stanford grad ‘grateful’ for arrest in 1973 killing – The Mercury News

Alleged serial killer pleads not guilty in 1973 murder case – Palo Alto Online



Behind the Headlines – Stanford Memorial Church Murder

Sheriff discusses cracking a 1974 cold case murder

Sheriff offers new details on death of infamous cold case suspect

Oprah reports on childhood trauma’s long-term effect

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