This California City Has Been Named the Unsolved Crime Cases of the State

California is known for its sunny weather, diverse culture, and booming economy. But it is also home to some of the most notorious and baffling unsolved crimes in the country. From serial killers to missing persons, the Golden State has hundreds of cold cases that remain unresolved.

One city in particular stands out for its high number of unsolved homicides: Redding. According to the Redding Police Department, the city has six cold cases stretching back 45 years — five of which are homicides. These cases include:

  • The murder of 15-year-old Terri Lynn Ray, who was found stabbed to death in her bedroom on June 4, 1976.
  • The murder of 19-year-old Christine Munro, who was found strangled and stabbed in a ditch on June 1, 1995.
  • The murder of 27-year-old Christine Eastin, who disappeared after leaving a car wash on January 18, 1971. Her car was found abandoned with blood stains and signs of a struggle.
  • The murder of 38-year-old Judith Hasselstrom, who was found shot to death in her car on October 25, 1977.
  • The murder of 50-year-old Francis “Sonny” Ridenour, who was found shot to death in his home on April 20, 2011.

Why Redding?

Redding is a small city in northern California, with a population of about 92,000. It is located along the Sacramento River and surrounded by mountains and forests. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists.

But it is also a city with a history of violence and crime. According to the FBI, Redding had a violent crime rate of 611.9 per 100,000 residents in 2019, which was higher than the national average of 366.7 and the state average of 441.2. Redding also had a homicide rate of 9.8 per 100,000 residents in 2019, which was higher than the national average of 5.0 and the state average of 4.4[2][5].

Some of the factors that may contribute to Redding’s high crime rate are:

Poverty and unemployment. Redding had a poverty rate of 17.5% and an unemployment rate of 5.9% in 2019, which were higher than the national averages of 10.5% and 3.7%, respectively.

Drug abuse and trafficking. Redding is located along Interstate 5, which is a major corridor for drug smuggling from Mexico to Canada. The city also has a problem with methamphetamine and opioid addiction, which can fuel violence and crime.

Lack of resources and funding. Redding has a small and understaffed police department, which has struggled to keep up with the rising crime and caseload. The department has only 98 sworn officers, which is below the national average of 2.4 officers per 1,000 residents. The department also has a limited budget, which affects its ability to hire, train, and equip its personnel.

What is being done?

Despite the challenges, the Redding Police Department has not given up on solving its cold cases. The department has a dedicated cold case unit, which consists of two detectives and a crime analyst. The unit works closely with the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Justice, and other agencies to review and investigate old cases.

The unit also uses advanced technology and techniques, such as DNA testing, forensic analysis, and investigative genetic genealogy, to identify and locate suspects and victims. For example, in 2019, the unit solved the 1995 murder of Christine Munro, by using DNA evidence and genealogy databases to link the crime to James Watkins, a convicted rapist who died in prison in 2007.

The unit also relies on tips and information from the public, which can provide crucial leads and clues. The department encourages anyone who has any knowledge or information about any of the cold cases to contact the cold case unit at (530) 225-4214 or the Shasta County Secret Witness line at (530) 243-2319.


Redding is a city with a dark and disturbing past, where many unsolved crimes haunt the families and friends of the victims. But it is also a city with a hopeful and determined future, where dedicated and skilled investigators work tirelessly to bring justice and closure to the cases. Redding may have been named the unsolved crime cases of the state, but it is also a city that never gives up on its cold cases.

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