Killer of Aspiring Model Gets Life A Generation Later

Joanne Marie Jones was last seen alive leaving her boyfriend's Long Beach home near Bixby Park in 1985. DNA testing helped solve police cold case.

The man convicted of killing aspiring model Joanne Marie Jones in 1985, sometime after she left her boyfriend's Long Beach house, was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Stafford Joel Spicer, 56, was convicted Oct. 1 by a Pomona Superior Court jury of first-degree murder in connection with the April 29, 1985 disappearance of Jones, a Covina resident. She was last seen alive while leaving her boyfriend's Long Beach home, near Cherry Street and Ocean Avenue.

Jones, 23, left her boyfriend's home at 5:30 a.m. that day to drive to her job in West Covina, but she never arrived.

Some days later, Long Beach police officers saw it on the road, and pulled over its driver, a white male, then 33. It was Spicer. Police did not elaborate on what other connection, if any, there allegedly was between Spicer and Jones.

Jones' 1978 Chevrolet Camaro -- which her boyfriend reported seeing being driven in Long Beach three days after she disappeared -- was found abandoned behind a market, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

,Her decomposing body was discovered June 8, 1985, by four people returning to their car after fishing near a culvert on the East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest. 

As a result of a cold case investigation that began in 2008, investigators determined DNA from blood found on a floor mat in the Camaro and on a plastic cup holder belonged to Jones. And they also discovered that Spicer could not be excluded as a contributor to a DNA mixture in blood stains, authorities said.

Spicer was arrested in March 2011 at his home in Las Vegas. Along with the murder charge, jurors found true the special circumstance allegations of murder during the commission of a kidnapping, rape and robbery. The panel also found that he personally used a knife during the crime.

--City News Service contributed to this report.

Nancy Wride November 05, 2012 at 01:50 AM
You can only see the victim's photo if you click on the article, but she is there.
Mike Ruehle November 06, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Do I have this right? Joanne Marie Jones is reported missing. Spicer is then caught afterwards driving Jones car and is RELEASED by Long Beach police because of "insufficient evidence." Months later, Jones decomposing body is found in her car, the same car Spicer had been caught driving. Reading this article, you may think the Long Beach police solved this crime after setting Spicer free. That's not the case. This cold case crime was solved by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy Steve Davis. http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2012/10/stafford_joel_spicer_arrested.php Doesn't it make you wonder whether Long Beach might be better served by the County Sheriffs?


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