Marie Spannhake

On Jan. 31, 1976, Marie Elizabeth “Marliz” Spannhake, 18, vanished in Chico, California, after she got into an argument with her boyfriend at a local flea market and decided to walk home alone. Friends and family never saw or heard from her again.

Details of Disappearance

Marie Spannhake was last seen in Chico, California on January 31, 1976, at 4:00 p.m. She’s never been seen or heard from again. Cameron Hooker and his wife, Janice, are suspected of kidnapping and murdering her. This case summary includes photographs of them.

Cameron Hooker and his wife

Janice later told police that she and Cameron were driving in their two-door Dodge Colt when they noticed a young woman walking down Mangrove Avenue. She later discovered that the woman was Spannhake by looking at her identification.

Janice stated that they offered Marie Spannhake a ride, and she willingly accepted. They drove her to her destination on Rio Linda Avenue and stopped to let her out when Cameron grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to him.

The Hookers kidnapped her and held her for about a day. Cameron strangled Marie Spannhake from the basement rafters, then shot her in the abdomen with a pellet gun. Janet and he buried her near Lassen Park.

Colleen Stan, a twenty-year-old woman, was kidnapped by Cameron and Janice in May 1977. This case summary includes photographs of Stan. For seven years, the Hookers held her captive in their home, torturing and sexually abusing her. She was released in 1984 and went to the police.

Janice was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her husband after they were arrested. Despite his claims that Stan had consented to his treatment of her, he was convicted of rape and kidnapping and sentenced to 104 years in prison. He was denied parole in 2015 and will not have another hearing for another fifteen years.

Spannhake moved to California from Cleveland, Ohio in late 1975. She was living with her fiance in the 100 block of Parmac Road and had a part-time job as a model at a camera shop. No charges have been filed in her case, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Chico Police Department 530-897-4911

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