The Deck - Jenny Lin (Queen of Hearts, California) Part 2

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If you’re just tuning in, go back and listen to part one because we unpacked a lot in the

last episode.

I told you about the investigation into the murder of 14-year-old Jenny Lynn, whose brutal

killing in 1994 shook the quiet community of Castro Valley, California, and it has left

investigators searching for her killer for 28 years.

When we left off last time, police were four months into their investigation and struggling

to find a viable suspect.

But a written questionnaire they passed out in the Lynn’s neighborhood brought out the

most promising tip they’d received yet.

I’m Ashley Flowers, and this is The Deck.

One of the responses to the questionnaire was from a woman who was part of the neighborhood

crime watch.

She said that she had talked to a neighbor of the Lynn’s, and this neighbor told her

that she saw something the day Jenny was killed.

The neighbor was outside watering her rose bushes when she saw a man in front of the

And then, moments later, she heard glass shattering.

Now this was huge for investigators, a potential eyewitness, maybe someone who could give a

description of the killer.

So police tracked down the neighbor who allegedly saw this.

Police asked us not to use her real name, so we’re going to call her Greta.

She lived across the street from the Lynn’s, just a few houses down, but the story she

told police was a bit different and not very helpful.

She said she did see a man that day, but she didn’t get a good look at his face, so

she couldn’t offer that great of a description.

And she also completely denied hearing any glass break.

Here’s Detective Smith again.

She was very, as the investigators would state, is she was very hesitant and wasn’t fully

cooperative in the interview, did not want to give this information up.

And she was in fear if she, when they’re trying to get this information out of her, she was

in fear that if she said something that something was going to happen to her.

So what they did was they went back with an FBI agent who spoke in her native language.

She spoke in Arabic language and she’s saying she’s watering her roses.

She saw a man that she previously described, short, wearing a dark jacket, walk in front

of the Lynn home and then stop.

She said the man walked back and forth in front of the house and looked at it, but she

never saw him walk to the front door, never saw him go into the side yard and denied hearing

glass break.

Police wondered if Greta was walking back her initial statement because she was so scared

of retribution by the killer.

After their conversation with her, police got a hold of Greta’s son, who said that

he saw his mom later that same day, but he said that his mom wasn’t wearing her glasses

and Greta’s eyesight without her glasses was extremely poor.

So her son was implying that anything she did see during that time might not have been

accurate since she couldn’t see well.

After that, police encouraged Greta to let them know if she recalled anything else, but

it seemed unlikely.

So they decided that it was in their best interest to pursue other leads.

In December, so just over six months after Jenny’s murder, detectives decided to revisit

their first suspect, Doug.

And in the four months since police had spoken to him, his story had changed, like majorly.

He told detectives that on May 27th, he was at his job at a local car wash until 6pm,

then went home and got cleaned up, and then picked up his girlfriend at around 8.

But if you remember from the last episode, his initial statement to police was that he

was at home alone the entire day until he picked up his girlfriend from work.

That’s kind of a big thing not to remember, and a silly thing to lie about, because detectives

were easily able to do some fact-checking.

Police went straight to Doug’s employer, and sure enough, they said he did not work on

May 27th.

So this made police even more suspicious of Doug, because if he didn’t kill Jenny, why lie?

Police quietly continued investigating Doug’s background, and a couple months later in February,

investigators asked him to come back to the station for a polygraph.

Initially he was reluctant, but he eventually agreed, and he also consented to something

a bit less conventional.

He agreed to rip some pieces of duct tape for them.

You see, they wanted to see if Doug tore the duct tape in the same way that the tape they

found on Jenny had been torn.

They had him do this, the FBI analyzed Doug’s ripped duct tape and compared it to the ripped

tape in Jenny’s case, and they concluded that the ripping wasn’t similar.

And listen, I don’t know this guy, I don’t know how smart he was, but I don’t think it

would take a genius to realize what police are getting after here, and I’m sure it wouldn’t

be that hard to fake something like that, or to rip it differently than if you were

the person, you knew how you ripped it then, or how you always rip it, to do it differently,

you know?

So I don’t, to me, I don’t know what this really proves.

But after the tape experiment, Doug must have been spooked because he was like, you know,

that whole polygraph thing you wanted me to do?

Never mind, not into it anymore.

Doug said he wanted to consult a lawyer about it, so police had to let him, and they let

him go.

And there was nothing more they could really do with Doug, so they decided to look into

other tips that were coming in on Jenny’s case over the next year.

But all the while, they kept Doug on their radar.

And by February of 1996, they circled back to Doug, and he finally did agree to take

a polygraph.

Doug also allowed police to search his car.

Detectives collected fibers from his car to compare against fibers that were found on

the duct tape used to bind Jenny.

And that polygraph?

It did, in fact, indicate deception.

But ultimately, the fibers weren’t a match to anything.

So once again, police had to let Doug go.

The next big lead didn’t come for another year.

In February of 97, that’s when someone called in a tip.

But not a tip directly about the Jenny Lin case.

This tipster told the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office that there was a law enforcement impersonator

in their midst.

He said that a man, who we’re going to call Alan, was going around claiming to be a detective

with the Sheriff’s Office, flashing a badge and requesting information about certain people.

After this complaint, police located Alan, and as part of the whole impersonation investigation,

they got a warrant to search his car.

And in the trunk of his car, detectives found something that made them wonder if Alan was

more than an impersonator.

He could actually be the murderer they’ve spent the last three years looking for.

Because they found a roll of duct tape.

But not just any duct tape.

It was the exact brand of duct tape that was used to bind Jenny.

Police sent it off to the FBI lab to be analyzed.

And want to know what else they learned about Alan while the tape is getting looked at?

He actually lived in the same neighborhood as the Lins.

Even more than that, he lived with his wife and their children in that home.

And it was the exact same model as the Lins home, just in reverse.

Detectives also found out that Alan actually knew Jenny.

She and his daughter went to the same school, and Alan would sometimes drive them both to


So, listen, this is one too many coincidences for police.

So armed with this information, detectives sat down with Alan to ask him some questions.

By the way, in this clip, Detective Smith refers to Alan as A because he’s concealing

his real identity.

He has a question about the tape.

He says, you know, he used tape around the house, and not uncommon for him to have it

in his car and his house.

Question about the brand.

He doesn’t always buy the same brand, just looks for whatever’s on sale.

When Sergeant Nice is questioning him, and he’s questioning about the Lin case, obviously

as the questioning starts to move forward without directly accusing him, A gets perturbed

thinking he’s being questioned as a suspect.

And he’s basically saying, this is ridiculous.

You’d think I actually did this.

That’s how he’s coming off to him.

Alan told police that he remembered the night Jenny died.

He was at home with his family when they heard sirens blaring.

They stepped outside and saw a bunch of police officers just down the street, right in front

of the Lin’s house.

Detectives asked Alan to take a computer voice stress analyzer test, or a CVSA test, which

is basically a test along the same lines as a polygraph.

Its goal is to detect whether or not the subject is lying, again, just by using like

your voice rather than your heartbeat and sweat or whatever.

Alan agrees to take the test and he passes.

No deception indicated, though it is worth noting that in the years since Alan’s CVSA

test was administered, the accuracy of voice stress analysis has been called into question.

The National Institute of Justice did a big study on this, and they found that these tests

only had a roughly 50% accuracy rate.

We actually linked to that study in our blog post for this episode, which you can find

on our website.

But like, listen, to be fair, polygraphs, which again is the alternative to a CVSA test,

aren’t reliable 100% either.

According to APM reports, estimates of their reliability range from 70 to 90%, so more

reliable than CVSA tests, but neither option is perfect by any means.

Anyway, pretty shortly after Alan passed his CVSA test, the results came back from the

FBI about the tape found in his car.

It was not the same tape used on Jenny.

The FBI did find that the tear on Alan’s tape and the tears on the tape in Jenny’s

case had similarities, but they definitely proved that the tape used to bind Jenny did

not originate from the roll found in Alan’s car, which, I mean, we’re talking years

later, right?

I have no doubt the real killer is still rolling around with the same roll of duct

tape in their car.

So I was more interested in the findings when they compared the tear marks.

Because I think that’s even more telling than the experiment they did with Doug.

Because again, if you’re just someone pulling from the tape that you have in your car, they’re

not planning on having that analyzed.

Like someone might be who is asked to tear the tape in front of police, you know?

And police were obviously kind of on the same page because just because it wasn’t the same

roll or tear or whatever, they weren’t ready to just write Alan off.

So police gathered fibers from Alan’s car and sent those off to the FBI to be tested

and compared to the fibers that were found on the tape in Jenny’s case.

But just like the fibers they took from Doug’s car, they were not a match.

Police did find an old reserve deputy badge and ID in Alan’s car, which I’m sure you’re

like, okay, well, at least you got this guy on impersonating an officer.

But not so fast.

You see, Alan had previously been a reserve deputy for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office,

the very agency interrogating him about Jenny’s murder.


But police couldn’t prove that he’d been flashing the badge, pretending to still be

a deputy.

So without any physical evidence, once again, they were back to the drawing board.

It took another full year for anything new to happen in Jenny’s case.

But in 1998, police got a lead that would hand them the most promising suspect they’d

ever had.

On February 20th, 1998, four years since Jenny was murdered, Sebastian Shaw, the guy that

I told you about in part one who was found sleeping in that stolen car with handcuffs

and duct tape and stuff in his trunk.

This guy came back on police’s radar because he was arrested in Oregon for sexually assaulting

a 22-year-old woman at gunpoint three years earlier.

It’s unclear how, but somehow police in Oregon had gotten a hold of Sebastian’s DNA, which

matched the DNA from the woman’s sexual assault forensic exam.

And that crime wasn’t the only crime Sebastian was connected to through DNA.

His DNA had also been found at the scene of a 1992 double murder in Portland.

18-year-old Donna Ferguson and 29-year-old Todd Ruediger had been stabbed to death and

bound with cords.

Donna had also been sexually assaulted.

Sebastian was then also connected to the 1991 murder of 40-year-old J. Rick Beal, who had

also been bound with cords.

Sebastian was given three life sentences plus 30 years for the three murders, the sexual

assault and the attempted murder.

After he was convicted of those crimes, investigators with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office

started taking a closer look at Sebastian as a suspect in Jenny’s case.

Remember, this guy had ties to California and Alameda County law enforcement knew that

he had been in their area in May of 1994 when Jenny was killed.

So they went to Oregon to actually question him, but he denied any involvement.

Though Sebastian’s denial convinced no one, so they eventually turned to DNA testing.

In the early 2000s, detectives gathered some of the items taken from the car Sebastian

stole in the 90s and sent them off for DNA testing.

But the results showed that none of the items contained Jenny’s DNA.

After that, there wasn’t much else police could do to connect Sebastian to Jenny’s murder.

So once again, Jenny’s case went back on the shelf to collect dust.

But it didn’t stay there long.

Because in 2005, police got another big tip involving Sebastian, one that could potentially

connect him to Jenny’s murder once and for all.

Detectives got a call from a former cellmate of Sebastian’s who claimed that Sebastian

had bragged to him that he killed at least 10 people.

This inmate told our investigators that Shaw had admitted to him that he committed several

unsolved murders in several Western states and possibly one on the East Coast.

Shaw allegedly told this inmate he likes to bind his victims with duct tape, likes to

sexually assault his victims, likes to steal cars and switch license plates to avoid apprehension,

and he’d like to cut and stab his victims to death.

He allegedly told this inmate how he’d like to use a knife to cut off the victim’s clothes.

So in January of 2006, detectives with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office went to get

a DNA swab from Sebastian.

Now you might be wondering why they had to get a swab from him at all.

I mean, he was a convicted killer, so his DNA was already in CODIS.

But Detective Smith told us that getting a hit in CODIS can be used for probable cause

to arrest someone.

But it actually gets trickier to use that hit in a court of law to get a conviction.

Things can get messy with chain of custody, like what agency put the DNA into CODIS, what

person did the swab, did they do it correctly, and the defense could potentially use that

to poke holes in the case.

So really, detectives were saving time by getting a swab directly from him.

Anyway, while police were there getting the swab, Sebastian made an alarming announcement,

seemingly unprovoked.

He told the detectives the exact same thing he’d allegedly told his cellmate, that he’d

killed at least 10 people.

Investigators saw this as their opportunity to press.

They asked if he was somehow involved with a murder out of Castro Valley, California.

But Sebastian denied ever killing someone in that area.

And the detectives reported that he dodged their questions about Jenny specifically.

Later that same year, Sebastian was publicly identified as a suspect in Jenny’s case.

He was the first suspect, whose name was made public.

But Sebastian adamantly maintained his innocence.

In a Statesman Journal article, Sebastian’s attorney implied that investigators were biased

against Sebastian because of his record.

He said, quote, it’s easy for them to look towards someone like my client with his other


I’ve never seen any physical evidence to suggest he was involved in the Jenny Lin case.

End quote.

Police didn’t reach out to Sebastian again until several months later, when they asked

if he’d be willing to be formally questioned about Jenny’s murder.

At first, Sebastian agreed.

But when detectives arrived at the prison for the interview, he refused to talk to them.

Even though he was already serving three life sentences up in Oregon, but now he was accused

of killing a 14-year-old girl.

That when you’re in prison, of course, doesn’t go over well.

So he was very angry about that.

So when they, our investigators, got up there and talked to him, he basically said, I’m

not talking to you guys.

You guys put me on blast.

After a major lull in the investigation, Jenny’s dad, John, took matters into his own hands.

By the fall of 2008, it had been 14 years since his daughter was murdered.

Sebastian was the most promising suspect police had, and John was determined to get answers.

So he wrote a letter to Sebastian, who was still incarcerated at a maximum security prison

in Salem, Oregon.

Here’s a voice actor reading an excerpt from John’s first letter to Sebastian.

November 12th, 2008.

To Sebastian Alexander Shaw, Oregon State Penitentiary.

Mr. Shaw, it is with great pain that I write this letter to you.

I am the father of the slain victim, Jennifer Lynn, who was murdered in my own home in Castro

Valley, California on May 27th, 1994.

And finally, the detectives have identified you as the prime suspect of the murder.

For the past 14 years, or more than 5,000 days, I woke up every morning and the first

picture came to mind was my daughter’s brutal death.

I have so many things I wish to say to you, however, nothing I can say now will bring

my daughter back.

I want you to think back 14 years and answer the following questions.

Why did you target my daughter?

How did you get into my house?

Why did you have to kill her?

Even though you haven’t admitted it, it’s clear in my mind that you did it.

So why can’t you just admit it and be responsible for your own act?

Did you ever feel sorry and remorseful for killing my daughter?

You have relatives yourself, and can you imagine the impact of losing your own relatives to

violent crimes?

Jennifer’s father.

Sebastian used an Alameda County Sheriff’s PO Box as his return address.

He wasn’t sure if Sebastian would even bother to write him back.

But a little over a week later, a letter appeared.

November 21st, 2008.

Dear Jennifer Lynn’s father, first of all, I want you to know that in the past I’ve received

letters for journalists in that area, and I take your letter with Jennifer Lynn’s father

with a huge grain of salt, roughly the size of a cow lick.

You may or may not be Jennifer Lynn’s father, who knows.

I have asked sources in the past to get me in touch with Jail’s father.

Would you be amenable to a face-to-face meeting here in Oregon?

If I could meet you and talk with you and afterwards in the same room take a lie detector

test in your presence and look you in the eye as I answer those questions you want to

ask, need to ask.

The law is a pit bull, and the sheer tenacity of those detectives who hunt monsters are

to be greatly admired.

I understood the concept of duty.

To this day, if the military need me to serve at a highly dangerous job, I would do it.

So please, if you are indeed Jail’s father, write me and I will gladly correspond with

you and help you clear this misdirected conception that the ever so tenacious lawmen have put

into your head.

My sincere regrets that you were a victim of such horrendous violence.

It is a real travesty of the natural law to outlive one’s children.

Give me your telephone number and once I have verified that it is indeed you, I will put

you on my allowed to call list and we’ll talk.

Until then, God keep you and your safe and blessed.


John felt compelled to respond to Sebastian’s reply.

By the way, we have the full copies of these letters that you can read in their entirety

on our website.

February 18th, 2009.

Mr. Shaw, I am disappointed at your disbelief that I am not Jennifer’s father.

And no, her name is not JL.

Her name is Jennifer, if you still have the conscience to call her by name.

It took a lot of praying to be able to write to you to begin with.

I do not feel comfortable at this time to give you my personal phone number or see you

face to face.

Mr. Shaw, I am a father looking for answers.

I believe you have the answers.

I’ve done quite a bit of study on your past crimes with help by the Sheriff’s detectives.

I am pretty certain that you are responsible for my daughter’s death.

I know you stole a car in San Ramon, California around the time when my daughter was murdered.

Why did you choose this house and area to commit your crime?

John Lin.

February 24th, 2009.

Dear Mr. Lin, I am disappointed in your disappointment at my disbelief on whether you are Jennifer’s

father or not.

Are you kidding?

I’m sorry, but the fact of the matter is anyone can print out any letter on a computer, put

a little ink on the bottom, and call himself such and such.

You haven’t convinced me yet.

Okay, as to the fact you have studied my past crimes, none of them did I ever use duct tape.


Not one.

An anger and frustration I have killed, and it’s usually something I do at the spur of

the moment.

It’s something that has always been a part of my psyche.

It’s unhealthy, very destructive, and causes me no end of grief.

Part of it, I believe, is an anger at my…

Ah, that’s another time.

As to my having duct tape in my car, I was living out of that car at the time.

What person does not have a roll of duct tape in their garage?

The killer who slayed Jennifer was an organized killer, something of which I have never been

accused of.

It’s very tragic that you lost your daughter at such a young age.

I pray that you come to peace with it.

Modern day shows like CSI and others of its kind make it seem so easy to solve crimes

and the motives of the killer so clear.

Sometimes things happen with such weird coincidence that it makes it easy to come to a conclusion,

albeit a wrong one.

If I wronged you, then I would ask for forgiveness.

But I don’t have a need to ask Mr. Lin for his forgiveness, because I never wronged him.

So there it is.

Give up your quest for vengeance.

Believe me when I say revenge doesn’t give very much satisfaction.

I give you my prayers.

May you find your way back.

Yours truly, S.

After this, John made one last attempt at getting information straight from the suspect’s mouth.

April 16th, 2009 Mr. Shaw, I don’t think I need to spend any more effort convincing

you that I am Jennifer’s father.

You should have come to that conclusion yourself as you read through my letters, which could

only come from a tireless father continuing his quest for his daughter’s killer.

Mr. Shaw, my heart ached as I was holding your letter.

It gave me such a chill as I thought of the senseless crimes that you committed, as you

put it, at the spur of the moment.

Was Jennifer’s death the result of your brutal acts at the spur of the moment?

You state in your letter that Jennifer was killed by an organized killer.

How can you make that assumption if you were not there?

As far as I know, investigators have not released any type of information that would

lead anyone to that conclusion.

And even if it was an organized killer, it still doesn’t mean you weren’t the one responsible.

Based on what I read about you, I can tell that you are a very capable individual, one

who has great ability to organize an evil plan at the spur of the moment and execute

it well.

Plus, there were just too many coincidences for me to not think of you as Jenny’s killer.

Tell me why you were in the Bay Area.

Why San Ramon?

Where were you on Friday afternoon before the memorial weekend of 1994?

How did you choose your victims?

Why did you slash their throats?

Are there other victims the police do not know about?

Other families that suffer as my family, not knowing who killed their loved ones, waiting

for justice?

John Lynn.

Sebastian never responded and John never wrote to him again.

They never spoke on the phone and they never met face to face.

There had been lulls in the investigation in prior years, but for the next seven years,

there was zero developments in Jenny’s case.

In 2015, law enforcement took one more shot at Sebastian, but he denied being involved,

just as vehemently as he did in 1994 and 1998.

He continued to cling to his innocence until he died in October of 2021.

Even though their most promising suspect is dead, police haven’t given up their quest

for justice.

They still have some foreign DNA that was collected from the Lynn’s house nearly 30

years ago.

And that’s what they’re hoping will bring answers to the mystery that’s haunted the

Bay Area for decades.

The last time the DNA was tested was just earlier this year.

And Detective Smith says they’re not done trying.

We’re looking at the tape again.

There are some other things that we’re looking at as well.

Other items of evidence that we’re looking into.

So this really hasn’t stopped as far as how we’re trying to find evidence, largely DNA

evidence from the evidence that we have.

And now we’re coming up with a plan of where we want to go from here.

It’s easy just to say, well, let’s take this piece of evidence and send it over to him

and ask him to analyze it.

But when you’ve looked at a lot of things multiple times, you know, you really got to

put some thought into how you attack this evidence.

Because number one, science could change.

We know how fast science is changing and how sensitive equipment is changing from year

to year.

We don’t want to necessarily do something that is like the Hail Mary all for one shot.

And we’re doing something that might affect future testing.

That doesn’t mean we’re sitting back and not doing anything.

But it’s just being thoughtful in the way we go about it.

It’s frustrating because these things take time.

It’s not like on TV where you can submit something and 50 minutes later we’re getting the results.

It takes time and it’s very frustrating.

It’s frustrating for the family most of all.

It’s frustrating to myself, but hopefully one day we’re going to get there.

Even though Detective Smith doesn’t know who killed Jenny that fateful day, he has little

doubt about how it happened.

But his theory that Jenny’s killer was lying in wait in the Lynn home gives me chills.

When you look at the totality of this, of Jenny’s case and the facts of it, you know,

I believe that the suspect did enter through that window.

He attempted to get in upstairs through the balcony, did get into the window, tried to

conceal that entry and was actually in the house before Jenny got home from school.

When you think about it, if Jenny had been home and that window broke, if someone was

home and you’re breaking windows, and we know that when Jenny was home, she was playing

on the piano, which was right next to the window, she was talking on the phone, she

was watching TV downstairs, the TV was on, she was right there.

Play the scenario out.

If she was home and that happened, if for some reason the suspect was so quick that

he was able to get there before she could get out, I don’t believe he would have seen

the cover up of the window.

It just doesn’t make any logical sense to believe that that happened, that entry made

while she was home.

Detective Smith’s working theory is that after Jenny got off the phone with her friends,

she turned on the TV and went into the kitchen.

He thinks Jenny was standing in the kitchen making her microwave dinner when she heard

some commotion upstairs and went to investigate.

And he doesn’t think that was an accident.

His theory is that she was purposefully drawn up there and was caught by surprise.

What’s more, Detective Smith strongly believes that Jenny’s killer was either someone who

surveilled the Lins for a while, or a friend, maybe someone who knew the family well enough

to know their routines.

They probably watched, knew the comings and goings.

I don’t believe it’s a random attack.

They came prepared.

The tape was forwarded to the house.

They obviously had some kind of knife.

They took some time.

There was some planning that went into this.

As I’ve researched Jenny’s case, every twist and turn has left my head spinning.

And I think one of the things that’ll be keeping me up at night is the man that John saw at

the BART station a few weeks before Jenny’s murder, the man who told John he had his daughter.

Again, detectives think it was just a coincidence, but I can’t shake the feeling that maybe it wasn’t.

I mean, the timing was almost unbelievable.

But as soon as I convince myself that it’s connected, I ask again, why?

What would have been the point?

Because that man, whoever he was, didn’t have either of John’s daughters.

What was he doing?

Was he testing something?

I don’t know.

It is worth noting, though, that neither of the composite sketches that were done of this

man resemble any of the suspects or persons of interest or anyone we talked about in these episodes.

So maybe that weird interaction at the BART station was just a coincidence, or maybe not.

After the case, Detective Smith hasn’t given up hope for catching Jenny’s killer,

whether it’s one of the suspects already known to police or someone who has yet to

come on their radar.

Detective Smith’s been working Jenny’s case since 2018, and he’s as determined to solve

the case today as he was four years ago.

Well, you just look at this, and here’s this 14-year-old girl, life snuffed out brutally.

I have kids.

You see the lens.

They’re amazing people, amazingly strong people.

So you put yourself in their shoes, and that’s what keeps you motivated.

I think we all get into this job because you want to, you know, you’d love to be able to

prevent the crime, but, you see, in my line of work, the only thing you can do is try

to find the perpetrators and at least help render some sort of justice.

That motivation, when you see something like this, you just know what it means to the family,

what it means to her friends.

That’s what motivates me, and that’s what’s for me.

I’ve been doing this over, you know, over a decade, and it’s hard to let that stuff

go because you know the cases you’re leaving behind.

Not that I’m under any illusions that I can solve them all, but that’s why we’re here.

I’m just hoping that we find something that is a piece of evidence that identifies one

person that’s, you know, an intimate piece of evidence that ties somebody to a crime

scene that’d be something that you’d be having a hard time explaining your way out of, particularly

when, you know, if it does come from the crime scene of a 14-year-old murder victim

in her own home, inside her parents’ bathroom, most people would have a tough time explaining

how that got there.

In the years since Jenny’s murder, John and Mei Lin have been left to mourn their daughter

who never got to grow up, never got to experience life and change the world.

But despite their unspeakable loss and sorrow, the Lins chose to create something positive

out of their living nightmare.

After Jenny was killed, John and Mei Lin founded the Jenny Lin Foundation to promote

child safety and youth music education.

The foundation sponsors events like Free Music Camp and Safety Awareness Education.

They also aim to help law enforcement fight and solve crimes against children.

Well, at the time, of course, we were all heartbroken.

We were devastated and we really would not have any ability to even pick up the kind

of mission like what we have done in the past.

But through the help of our friends, our classmates, they really gave us enough, a lot of encouragement,

a lot of support and thought that in order to keep to find this killer, in order to keep

Jenny’s memory alive, the best way is to form a foundation and keep working on getting to

the bottom of this case.

And that’s what we did.

So with the help of our friends and family members, we formed the foundation and started

this mission.

The foundation also holds the Jenny Lin Walk every year on the anniversary of Jenny’s death.

So we do the walk to keep the public aware.

It’s important to make sure that you be careful with your children.

Just be aware of your surroundings and support the child safety activity and just keep the

environment safe.

We wanted the public to know that loss of a child is just priceless.

We cannot afford to have any child lost through violence.

We asked John and Mei-Lin if they still think that Sebastian was responsible for what happened

to their daughter.

Well, I can only go by what the investigation team’s conclusions and their conclusion was

pretty much inconclusive.

So while I’m kind of grateful that this guy got locked up and was unable to do any more

damage to society, I’m still very frustrated that someone out there who killed Jenny may

still be free walking on the street.

Every time when they zero in on someone, it gave us hope that this could be the person

that could close the case.

Of course, we would be very anxious to know the results, to hope that the police would

keep going and keep digging and keep getting to the bottom of this.

So it really gave us hope.

A lot of times, the police couldn’t really give us any new information, and that’s when

we feel like, are they still doing investigation or not?

I know that they have been treating this as a very pretty high priority case, even after

all these years, but it’s really very frustrating to just keep waiting and waiting for even

this long time, 28 years.

Any moment to us is too long.

What else can we do?

What else can we do other than just keeping patient and hope that the police will do their

best for us?

One of the things that Jenny’s parents miss about her the most is her hugs.

Maylynn said Jenny was such a hugger.

She gave those big, meaningful hugs to her family all the time, and her family hasn’t

felt one of those hugs in 28 years.

Jenny’s death left a hole in the Lynn’s lives that can never be filled.

John, Maylynn, and Rhoda have waited long enough for justice for their beloved Jenny.

Somebody somewhere knows something, and it could be that final piece of the puzzle law

enforcement needs to close this case for good.

If that someone is you, if you have any information about the murder of Jenny Lynn on May 27,

1994, please contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office at 510-667-3636, or call the Jenny

Lynn hotline at 855-4JENNYLYNN, that’s 855-453-6695.

Again, there is currently a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and

conviction of Jenny’s killer.

If you don’t know anything about her murder, but you’d still like to help in some way,

you can donate to the Jenny Lynn Foundation at

We’ll have that linked in the show notes.

The Deck is an AudioChuck production with theme music by Ryan Lewis.

To learn more about The Deck and our advocacy work, visit

So what do you think, Chuck?

Do you approve?