TheWitnessPartIII was the Tulsa Police homicide detective assigned the investigation of three young women—Geraldine Martin, Marie Rosenbaum, Suzanne Oakley–who were murdered one by one three months apart in a MO (modus operandi) that suggested the work of a serial killer.

A witness came forward. Sammie Lintonberg stated that her boyfriend Harold had confessed the homicides to her. My partner McCracken and I ran Harold down and interrogated him for two days. Harold was a pervert, but I was convinced he was innocent. I released him. (See Part I previously)

“Sammie Lintonberg has no reason to lie on him,” McCracken objected.

Another detective, “Doc” Roberts, and I had given a title to women like Sammie who came out of the woodwork in high profile cases to reap the notoriety of “star witnesses.” We called it the “Fat and Ugly Girl Syndrome.” Women do and will lie.

Every week or so after that, the homicide sergeant tossed another police report at me as Sammie pursued her crusade for attention.

Sammie Lintonberg stated she could produce the murder weapon in the Marie Rosenbaum murder case.. (She) had even helped him get Rosenbaum’s body over a fence because he couldn’t do it himself due to his small size… She said she had seen Harold slice the body completely down the back with a knife…

Reporting officer was approached at the YMCA by Sammie Lintonberg, who stated that the reason Miss Oakley was killed was that she was a sacrifice and that Harold was the perpetrator of the crime…

Sammie stated she could take officer to a location where a knife had been stashed by Harold which he had used to inflict mortal wounds on a 16-year-old runaway by the name of Marie. Sammie stated that Harold had committed the homicide sometime during August in basically the same area where Suzanne Oakley was killed.

Officer proceeded to a location where she pointed out a spot where the knife was buried. There was nothing found at this time…

McCracken, the homicide sergeant, even the Police Chief started to think Sammie might really be on to something. Things came to a head when the Police Chief received a long letter from Sammie in which she claimed to have been present when Harold murdered Suzanne Oakley.

Met Harold at Keith’s Bar. We took five hits of speed. We walk down the path in River Park and sat down by those trees. We started talking off the walls. We saw her coming. He jump up and said, “Here is your chance to see all the blood you want.”

There was another person with us that we met on the bridge. I think his name was Wes. Harold went up to her and asked her for a match. He ask her if she would like to smoke a joint. She said, “No.” He hit her in the mouth and threw her on the ground and drag her by the hair down to where me and Wes was. She was screaming and crying. I got scared and tried to run up the hill. Wes grab hold of me and held me on the ground.

Harold held her down while Wes held me down. They took off their belts and tied me to a tree and told me I better keep my mouth shut and my eyes open. I tried to get away. Harold started to beat her with his cane and Wes was laughing. . But I got the belts loose and run…

“She’s lying through her teeth,” I assured McCracken. “Harold needs to be behind bars—but not for something he didn’t do.”

“Sasser, just because they call you Colombo doesn’t mean you’re always right.”

A command decision was made behind my back to take an official statement from Sammie and go to the District Attorney to file murder charges on Harold.

(To be concluded in Part III)

Charles W. Sasser is author of HOMICIDE!, his grim autobiography of life as a homicide detective.