Carol Beth Hilburn

Amanda Wienckowski
Date:
November 14, 1970
Crime:
Abduction, Murder
Location:
Sacramento, CA
Rio Linda, CA
Age:
22
Occupation:
Cocktail Waitress
Suspects:
None
Agency:
Sacramento Police
916-808-0650

22-year-old Carol was a cocktail waitress from Santa Rosa, CA. She was visiting Sacramento with a friend that November weekend. She was last seen at a bar on Del Paso Blvd. called Lloyd Hickey's Forty Grand Club, a place where musicians who had performed around Sacramento would head after hours to jam late into the night.

The next day, her nude body was discovered six miles away in a field in Rio Linda. She had been severely beaten. Carol's case is eerily reminiscent of the Judith Ann Hakari murder case from March of the same year and the Nancy Bannallack murder case from just the month before...all in Sacramento, CA.

By way of the Donna Lass disappearance in South Lake Tahoe the month before, Carol's case has forever been linked to the Zodiac Killer murders. We aren't convinced, but there are many theorists and Zodiac followers who are. Whatever you believe, please help us solve this horrific murder.

Clues
If you see these items, or any other items or information, that you believe to be connected to this case; or if you have a source that better describes or disputes the information we have here, please fill out the ClueTip form.

Carol's Purse

Carol had a brown leather or suede purse with fringe (see sketch below).

Carol's Pants

Carol was wearing multi-colored bell bottom pants (see sketch below).

Carol's Jacket

Carol had a black jacket with yellow lettering that said "Santa Rosa" on her front right and "Carol" on her front left. On the back, was "The Capri Lounge" (see sketch below).

Carol's Boot

One of Carol's boots (see sketch below) was missing from the crime scene. According to the initial police report (Sacramento Sheriff), the missing boot was a right foot "dark brown walking boot".
Theories
We've compiled a group of theories that we've either read in the press clippings or have considered ourselves. Considering there are a grand total of ZERO publicly known suspects, these should be considered until each of these theories are proven false or evidence has been found to prove one is correct. If you have a theory or any information that could help solve this case, please fill out the ClueTip form.

Terry C. Carpenter

Carpenter was arrested and convicted for the 1971 death of Marilu McNeal. McNeal was bludgeoned to death – like Carol was. Marilu was beaten to death 2.3 miles from Lloyd Hickey's Forty Grand Club. There are ties between Carpenter and people who frequented the Forty Grand Club as well. Solve Crimes provided Sacramento Sheriff with Carpenter's name and how we connected him to Carol's death.

the zodiac killer

Carol's murder has been associated with the Zodiac Killer (by way of the Donna Lass disappearance two months prior), but there is zero evidence of this and we do not believe the Zodiac was involved. We have evidence that police did consider Arthur Leigh Allen (a Zodiac suspect) a suspect, but there was no evidence of his involvement, so no charges were ever filed. Allen died in 1992.

Phillip Arthur Thompson

Phillip Arthur Thompson became a possible suspect when in 2003 his DNA matched evidence in the murder of Betty Cloer (1971). Thompson was convicted of the Cloer murder in 2008 and is currently serving a life sentence. As of now, DNA from Thompson has not matched evidence in Carol's case. It is unclear what DNA evidence was collected at the location where Carol's body was discovered and if so, what condition the evidence is in.

Two Men

An inmate at the local jail gave a statement to police that he saw Carol get into a car with two men and another woman (possibly Carol's friend Deeanne Bertini with whom she rode to Sacramento with from Santa Rosa). Both suspects were eventually identified, but no charges were filed. Both men are now deceased.
Image
Family photo of Carol Beth Hilburn (left) as a child. Image courtesy of Lynda Pinochi. Please do not replicate.
Click to enlarge.
Image
Family photo of Carol Beth Hilburn (right) as a child. Image courtesy of Lynda Pinochi. Please do not replicate.
Click to enlarge.
Image
Family photo of Carol Beth Hilburn. Image courtesy of Lynda Pinochi. Please do not replicate.
Click to enlarge.
Image
Family photo of Carol Beth Hilburn at her marriage to Jay Hilburn. Image courtesy of Lynda Pinochi. Please do not replicate.
Click to enlarge.
Image
Artist's rendering of what Carol Beth Hilburn looked like on the last day of her life.
Click to enlarge.
Image
Photo that was published in the newspaper of Carol Beth Hilburn. We believe this is a DMV photo.
Click to enlarge.

Crimeline

Preloader
  • Carol Calls Jan

    Carol calls her friend – and former roommate – Jan who lives in Sacramento to let her know she was coming to town. She promises to call her on Sunday. The call never comes.

  • Carol Visits Husband

    Sebastopol, CA

    Carol and her friend Deeanne drop by and visit Jay Hilburn (Carol’s husband whom she was amicably separated from for approximately three months) at his home in Sebastopol, California (Sonoma County).

  • Carol Heads to Sacramento

    Carol and her friend Deeanne leave Santa Rosa to drive to Sacramento. Carol wants to visit former co-workers at the 40 Grand Club and is hoping to see a man she likes who hangs out there.

  • Carol Seen At Clubs

    Friday evening (11/13/70), Carol is seen at (ironically) The Zodiac Club in W. Sacramento and then at Jay Hickey’s 40 Grand Club in N. Sacramento.

  • Carol Leaves Club

    Carol is seen leaving Lloyd Hickey’s 40 Grand Club on Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento in a vehicle at approximately 5am with two men and a woman.

  • Carol’s Body Found

    Rio Linda Field

    Carol’s body was discovered by fishermen. She was badly beaten and naked with her panties around one leg and with one sock and a boot in a field in Rio Linda – approx. 6 miles from the 40 Grand Club where she was last seen alive. It was apparent that she had been beaten and killed elsewhere and then dragged approximately 30 feet from the road. Carol’s throat had also been cut, although not deep enough to be the cause of death. The rest of her belongings – including identification – were not found.

  • Detectives Arrive

    Detectives from both Sacramento County Sheriff and Sacramento PD arrive at the scene and begin collecting evidence. At this point, Carol is a “Jane Doe”.

  • Body Removed

    At approximately 4:45 pm, Carol’s body is removed from the field and transported to Sacramento Medical Facility for initial x-rays.

  • Carol Identified

    News coverage of the “Jane Doe” found in Rio Linda brings in enough information that police are able to positively identify Carol’s body through fingerprints and dental records.

  • Sketch Published

    Police Sketch

    A police sketch is published in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper with the headline, “Did you see this woman last Friday?” in hopes of finding witnesses. This sketch is seen by Carol’s former roommate Jan, which is how she found out that Carol had been murdered. See the full sketch on the case page.

News Reports

Petaluma Argus Courier

Sonoma County Woman Killer

17 November 1970


The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa Woman Is Slain

17 November 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Body Of Woman Found In Field Is Identified

17 November 1970


The Argus

Blonde, 22, beaten to death, identified

18 November 1970


The Press Democrat

Police Silent On Slaying Of SR Woman

18 November 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Did You See This Woman Last Friday?

18 November 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Carol Hilburn Murder Clues Are Sought

18 November 1970


San Bernardino County Sun

Deputies Name Slain Woman

18 November 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Woman Who Held Off Officers With Gun Faces Counts

24 March 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Slain Woman Is Traced To North Area Card Room

1 December 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Slain Woman Was At Card Room

2 December 1970


The Sacramento Bee

Slain Woman Is Traced To North Area Card Room

2 December 1970


The Sacramento Bee

1970 Year In Review - Police

1 January 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Year Ends, But Hunt For Killers Of 3 Capital Women Goes On

1 January 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Probe Links Rio Linda, El Dorado Slaying Cases

22 June 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Deputies Say Woman Left With Man Prior To Death

23 June 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Police Seek Identity Of Dead Girl

2 August 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Dead Girl's Identity Sought

3 August 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Police Seek Identity Of Dead Girl

3 August 1971


The Sacramento Bee

6th Unsolved Slaying; Woman Is Beaten To Death

31 October 1971


The Sacramento Bee

Bee Starts $100,000 Witness Fund

19 November 1971


The Sacramento Bee

City, County Have 5 Unsolved '74 Deaths

24 December 1974


The Sacramento Bee

Did 'Witchcraft Killer' Slay Three Women In Sacramento Vicinity?

25 April 1975


The Sacramento Bee

Profile of Witchcraft Killer: 'Religious' But DeaDly Savior

26 April 1975


The Sacramento Bee

Witchcraft Killer Linked With Two More Murders

29 April 1975


The Sacramento Bee

DNA find may tie 2 cases

1 January 2003