Jeffrey Dean Gerald

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Above Images: Gerald, circa 1985

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 24, 1985 from San Francisco, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: June 21, 1949
  • Age: 35 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'3, 170 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Gerald was last seen in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1985. He has never been heard from again. Authorities believe that Gerald was a victim of serial killers Charles Chitat (occasionally spelled "Chat") Ng and Leonard Lake. Photos of Ng and Lake are posted below this case summary. The men reportedly met through an advertisement in a survivalist magazine in the early 1980s. Lake was a former United States Marine and a Vietnam War veteran. Ng was a citizen of Hong Kong and falsified American citizenship documents in order to enlist in the Marines. Ng was charged with stealing weapons from the military in 1982 and was apprehended on Lake's property in California later that year. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and should have been deported to Hong Kong after completing his sentence, but a bureaucratic error allowed Ng to remain in the United States.

    Ng was released in 1984 and moved on to Lake's ranch in Wilseyville, California. Lake was a survivalist and the residence was stocked with weapons, explosives and provisions. Ng and Lake began using the ranch as a veritable sex slave compound shortly thereafter. Authorities believe that the men found their victims at random, as in the Gerald's case. The female victims were often videotaped and forced to perform sexual acts for Ng and Lake prior to their murders. The male victims and children were usually tortured before their deaths.

    Investigators apprehended Lake after he and Ng were caught shoplifting from a San Francisco hardware store in 1985. Ng fled from officers, but Lake was taken into custody. The men were driving a vehicle owned by a missing person, who was later determined to have been one of their victims. A pistol and a silencer were discovered inside the car. Lake swallowed a cyanide capsule he taped to the collar of his shirt while in custody. He reportedly told authorities that Ng was his partner prior to his death several days later. Investigators searched Lake's property and uncovered the remains of several victims. Many of the bodies had been dismembered and burned, making identifications of the victims difficult or impossible.

    Ng was apprehended in Canada later in 1985. He was convicted of eleven murders in California in 1999 after 14 years of legal wrangling and stalling. Ng's trial was one of the most expensive in California history. He claimed Lake was the actual murderer and has never accepted responsibility for the murders.

    Authorities believe that three members of the Dubs family -- Deborah, Harvey and Sean -- were victims of Ng and Lake. The men are also believed to be responsible for the disappearances of Clifford Peranteau and Paul Cosner. None of the presumed victims have been located.

    Ng Lake
    Left: Ng; Right: Lake, circa 1985

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    San Francisco Police Department
    415-553-0123

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    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    The Crime Library
    APB News
    Canoe
    The San Jose Mercury News

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    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 13, 2013; picture added.

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