Details of Disappearance
Peranteau was employed at Dennis Moving Company in San Francisco, California in 1985. Witnesses told authorities that he often argued with one of his co-workers, Charles Chitat (occasionally spelled "Chat") Ng. Peranteau was last seen in San Francisco on January 20, 1985. He has never been heard from again.
Several of his personal belongings were discovered shortly afterwards in an apartment owned by Ng, as well as in the cabin Ng frequented with his friend, Leonard Lake. Authorities believe that Peranteau was a victim of Ng and Lake, serial killers who operated in the San Francisco area in the 1980s. Photos of them are posted with 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. 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 Jeffrey Gerald and Paul Cosner. None of the presumed victims have been located.