For 22 years, Ernest Christie III lived with a horrible secret. When he was young, he says his meth-head father, Ernest Christie Jr., enjoyed terrorizing women. He’d once held one captive in a stump near their northern California home in the 1980s…
In another incident, he took a woman out in a fishing boat and told her he was going to kill her. Both managed to escape, but never told the cops. If they had, Lysandra Turpin might still be alive.
In 1988, she went missing in Humboldt County, California at the age of 27. More than two decades later, police still didn’t know what happened to her — at least until February.
That’s when Ernest III came forward with a grisly tale. He says he was 16 at the time his father abducted Lysandra. Ernest Jr. kept her captive at their home for weeks while he abused her. But she apparently lost her entertainment value. So Ernest Jr. murdered her.
Dad made his son help him dump Lysandra’s body in a remote ditch 80 miles south of the Oregon border. They covered her with old tires, doused her with gas, and set her on fire.
Her disappearance remained unsolved all these years until Ernest III, now 38 and living in North Carolina, led police to the body. Lysandra was positively identified through teeth and bone found at the site. Detectives also found corroborating evidence that Ernest Jr. had kept another woman captive in a large tree stump.
Police won’t be charging Ernest III with any crimes, apparently due to his young age at the time and the likelihood of coercion. Ernest Jr. won’t be charged either. He died in 2006.
See our last cold case story: Kristen Charbonneau Abduction: Dan Moore Arrested for Murder in Stripper’s Disappearance.