Johnnie Chrisco

See also: Anita Louise Piteau

Johnny Chrisco has been identified as the lead suspect in the March 14, 1968 murder of 26-year-old Anita Louise Piteau in Huntington Beach, California. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Chrisco.

Piteau’s body was found in a field by three young boys playing there. She had been raped and beaten, and her throat was cut. She could not be identified – becoming Orange County’s oldest Jane Doe – and the case went cold.

A male DNA profile was developed in 2001 from the sexual assault kit taken at Piteau’s autopsy. No workable leads were generated from law enforcement databases to identify either Piteau or her killer. Permission was obtained for familial searching to be performed in the California state DNA database, but this also produced no leads. The FGG was undertaken by Colleen Fitzpatrick of Identifinders, who identified both Piteau and the suspect in her murder.

Piteau had left her home in Maine in February of 1968 to work as a waitress in California, and her family never heard from her again. She has two sisters and a brother who never stopped searching for her these past 52 years. Her remains were taken from an unmarked grave in California and delivered to her family in Maine.

Chrisco had served in the Army, but he was discharged due to failing a psychological exam that showed he suffered from aggression, anger, and impulsivity. He was charged with several violent offences over the years, including domestic violence, statutory rape, and child molestation. He killed one of his own sons in a drunk driving accident, while another infant son died in suspicious circumstances. He passed away in 2015 in Washington state.


Binion, Andrew. “Murderer in 1968 Cold Case Never Saw Justice, Living and Dying in Bremerton.” Kitsap Sun, July 29, 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020.

CBSLA Staff. “Authorities Identify Victim, Suspect in 1968 Huntington Beach Rape, Murder.” CBS Los Angeles, 22 July 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020.

Li, Johanna. “Orange County’s Oldest Jane Doe, Found 52 Years Ago, Identified as Anita Louise Piteau.” Inside Edition, July 26, 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020.

OC Tribune Staff. “After 53 Years, Cold Case is Solved.” Orange County Tribune, July 23, 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020.

Shalby, Colleen. “DNA Solves Orange County’s Oldest Cold Case, Identifying Jane Doe and Suspected Killer.” Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020.


First Name Johnnie
Last Name Chrisco
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2020-00-00
Case Cleared 2020-07-22
IGG Org Identifinders


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1393 Anita Piteau 26 1968-03-14 Huntington Beach, CA Huntington Beach PD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.