San Francisco Coroner, Henry Turkel, concluded the attack was sexually driven. Her skirt had been pulled up, her undergarments were removed and then her depraved attacker had subsequently mutilated her with the branch of a shrub. She had also been savagely beaten about the face and body, by what was believed to be the fists of her assailant. Investigators clearly understood they were looking for a sexual psychopath. The case was turned over to the FBI as the Presidio base came under federal jurisdiction.
Diane was a regular visitor to the Fort Scott Presidio Enlisted Men's Club, a log cabin on Presidio Hill.
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Agents said Diane Louise Gerrish, 19, of Albany, had been killed with a garrotte fashioned out of her stockings and brassiere and had been mutiliated sexually in an appalling manner. Her face was covered with blood and her skirt had been tossed carelessly over her body.
Miss Gerrish’s body was discovered by three Presidio soldiers Monday. They called MP’s who immediately turned the case over to the FBI since the military post is under federal judisdiction.
Miss Gerrish had been missing from her family home since last Friday after she stormed put of the house in an argument over use of the family car. She was a popular girl who had recently graduated from the North Berkeley Beauty College and was to have taken her operator’s examination in San Francisco today. The tall, blue-eyed girl was considered extremely attractive and was described as a "friendly, kind girl" who was "very good with children".