NEWPORT, Ore. - They all have one thing in common - young girls, walking alone or in pairs along a coastal highway, who vanished.
"I'll break down and bawl like a baby at times just thinking about it," said Floyd Esson (pictured at right), whose youngest daughter was murdered back in 1995.
Jennifer Esson was just 15 years old when she disappeared along Highway 101 near Moolack Beach, north of Newport.
"They took my little girl from me and to me, that's a wound that will never heal," said Esson.
He isn't sure who "they" is and neither are detectives from the Oregon State Police Major Crimes Unit and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.
We went with them to look at the 14-year-old crime scene - up an old logging road northeast of Moolack Beach. That's where Jennifer Esson's body was discovered, two weeks after her disappearance, lying right next to her friend, 16-year-old Kara Leas. Both had been strangled and their bodies had been covered with brush.
Crime scene photos never before seen publicly show one of the first clues investigators found at the scene - a girl's shoe and aerial photographs of the area where the bodies were found - in a new clear cut.
Lincoln County District Attorney Rob Bovett is taking a fresh look at the double murder, along with three other homicides that could be linked by a common killer or killers.
"That's why I had all five homicides reopened," he said. "Because of the potential of a connection."
Three years before the murders of Jennifer Esson and Kara Leas, in May of 1992, two other girls vanished. They too had disappeared along Highway 101 north of Newport. The girls were last seen making a call from a pay phone booth while their families camped at Beverly Beach State Park.
Four months later, in October of 1992, hunters found the bodies of 17-year-old Melissa Sanders and 19-year-old Sheila Swanson off of Highway 20.
The bodies were found just a few miles from where another girl had disappeared eight years earlier. Kelly Disney, 17, was last seen walking east along Highway 20 in March, 1984. Her mother talked to KATU in 1994, 10 years after the disappearance, and just days after the story aired, someone found Kelly Disney's skull near a reservoir north of Newport.
Now, a team of murder detectives hopes the killer, killers or someone who knows who they are will finally step forward and give all of the families some answers. They want peace and closure for families who have been tormented by these girls' murders.
"What haunted me most is did she have to sit there and have to watch her girlfriend get strangled first, knowing it was going to happen to her?" said Floyd Esson.
There is also another old case further north in Warrenton involving a Warrenton High School student who went missing in 1983 and was never found. Not a fiber of evidence turned up in that case - no body, no clothes, nothing.
On Sept. 30, 1983, Joan Hall (pictured at right) disappeared without a trace.
"I still wonder to this day whatever happened to her," said Debbie Walker, who ate lunch with Joan Hall that day and never saw her alive again. "I can still see her face like it was yesterday."
Old police reports, obtained by KATU News, raise questions about three of her classmates who were seniors at Warrenton High School in 1983. The police reports reveal two different statements from the teens, who changed their story about whether Joan Hall had been in one of their vehicles that day.
Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis believes someone out there knows what happened.
"We're hoping that every time someone talks about the Joanie Hall case, there will be people who remember and maybe somebody who will come forward," he said.
Anyone with information on Hall's case is asked to call Detective Michael M. Smith of the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office at (503) 325-8635 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a comment for reporter Thom Jensen on this piece, e-mail him at email@example.com