What happened to Sonia Carmen Herok Stone (May 27, 1951 – October 15, 1981), that is what her family wants to know.
Sonia was found murdered in her house in Carmel, California, in 1981. She left behind one daughter. Her case remains unsolved.
Sonia Carmen Herok Stone moved from Quebec, Canada to Carmel, California in the 70s. From her marriage to Michael Stone in 1976, Sonia had one child. At the time of her death, Sonia was divorced. After the divorce, Sonia remained in California.
Reading up online, I tried to follow the case as it unfolded in the newspapers. There is a lot of vague reporting. I wish to thank the Herok-Stone Family for helping me collect newspaper articles and for their permission to use the picture. The only change that I made to it was sharpen the image and reducing the glare. .
On Oct 15, 1981 around noon, Caroleen McBride finds her friend’s body just inside the front door that opened into her living room. I have not read anywhere that McBride was exonerated as a suspect. Not accusing anyone but as you will see below, the case is riddled with vague reporting in newspaper articles.
Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone was 30 years old when she died. She was murdered in the early morning hours. I have not been able to find a time of death or a time window. Cause of death: strangulation with an object. See more about that below.
Sonia appeared to be sexually assaulted. She was sprawled on the floor with her purse and the content spilled near her body. Was anything missing? She was only partially dressed and strangled with a pair of pantyhose found wrapped around her neck. Was that a pantyhose that she was wearing? Did it came from her own wardrobe? If preserved that pantyhose is a goldmine for examination with the M-Vac. The material is such that it will capture touch DNA easily especially around the end parts where hands applied pressure to strangle.
Some clothes were removed. I read that a shirt and a jacket were torn and pulled back. But I read nothing about underwear, slacks or skirt, or shoes. It looks like a rape was planned but it may not have been carried out. This makes me wonder whether rape was indeed the intention, or if the appearance of rape was meant to cover up another crime. If the latter is possible, a female attacker cannot be ruled out. Did Sonia ever express fears, did anyone ever harass her, did she ever call 911? Did any similar crimes happen in that area at that time?
Sonia worked as a sales representative for Levi Strauss. The papers do not explain where her daughter was at the time of her death. I read that there were signs of a forced entry, possibly a struggle. It isn’t specified what exactly was stolen from Sonia’s home and where in the house entrees were forced. So, was it a back door, a window, a basement entrance?
The summary below follows the newspaper reporting in this case. Some notes were added to the dated entry to facilitate reading.
Oct 16, 1981: The papers mention that a robbery might have taken place at Sonia’s home.
Dec 19, 1981: Michael Scott Glazebrook (then 26) is arrested on two outstanding traffic warrants. Some newspaper editions mention one warrant, others mention two. Glazebrook lived across the street from Sonia. Was there any contact between Sonia and Glazebrook, or with Glazebrook’s wife? According to Caroleen McBride, who found her friend’s dead body, Sonia did not know Glazebrook. Other than these traffic warrants, did Glazebrook have a record?
The trial is scheduled for March 7, 1982.
Aug 12, 1982: The hearing is delayed.
Sept 9, 1982: Glazebrook’s bond reduction is refused.
Sept 13, 1982: Glazebrook’s bail is reduced.
Sept 25, 1982: the hearing is delayed.
Nov 9, 1982: At trial, two state medical experts gave contradicting testimonies.
Forensic Serologist Dr. Edward Blake of Emeryville said that he had found no indication of sexual assault. Blake is an expert in the field of biological fluids and examined blood, semen, and urine from both the victim and Glazebrook.
Dr. Boyd Stephens, Coroner and Chief Medical Examiner for San Francisco, said that the victim was sexually assaulted. He based that on the bruises on her body. Stephens is an expert in the field of sexual assault scene reconstruction.
Nov 10, 1982: A witness for the prosecution recants her story. Michele Wilson, a friend of Glazebrook, now denied the story that placed Glazebrook in Sonia’s home on the morning of the murder. She now denies that Glazebrook told her that he was indeed inside Sonia’s home on the day of the murder. Wilson stated that the passing of time made her uncertain about events.
Wilson had told police earlier that Glazebrook explained to her that the scratch on his face came from an argument at Monterey Peninsula College the day following the murder. Did anyone see this argument? Was the argument with a student? If this story is true, then the story below, about getting struck by plexiglass from his boat, is not.
Nov 11, 1982: Witness Michele Wilson is admonished.
Nov 13, 1982: Parents Walter and Jean Glazebrook testify that they did not see a scratch on their son’s face. Some witnesses place him near Sonia’s apartment. The prosecution mentions that of course, the scratch on his face came from fighting with the victim.
Feb 25 1983: the trial was continued to April 11. Defense attorney Jon Siegel requested additional time to review witness’ statements.
Feb 26, 1983: the judge refuses to throw out the murder charges against Glazebrook. However, he acknowledged doubt that he could find Glazebrook guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But, there was enough evidence to make Glazebrook answer to the charges.
June 20, 1983: Judge Richard Silver dismissed the murder charges against Glazebrook. Deputy District Attorney Robert Moody requested that dismissal after Silver granted pre-trial motions to suppress evidence.
Judge Silver called the investigators’ procedure “surreptitious and illegal”. He pointed out that Glazebrook was questioned after he was in a weakened psychological condition. Glazebrook was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant (here it is one warrant; in other articles it is two warrants) and there was evidence of police misconduct. This is explained much better in the later newspaper articles, see below.
Aug 11, 1983: Glazebrook is tried for a second time. He pleads not guilty.
Oct 10, 1983: Judge E. J. Leach of the Montgomery County Superior Court quashed evidence as Glazebrook was questioned and arrested primarily for illegal purposes. Judge Leach upheld a lower court decision to suppress statements made by Glazebrook to a former FBI agent as well as blood samples taken from him at the time of his arrest.
Defense stated that Glazebrook was arrested on two outstanding traffic warrants but was then questioned about Sonia’s murder. Arresting him on traffic warrants but questioning him about murder interfered intentionally with Glazebrook’s right to post bail on those outstanding traffic warrants. This violation tainted all the evidence then uncovered as fruit from a poisonous tree.
Nov 17, 1983: Some neighbors testify that Glazebrook was not home at the time of the murder. One neighbor said that Glazebrook’s green pickup truck was not in front of his house, another saw him driving away. Witness Peter Hammond said that Glazebrook was with him at his place of work until 1015-1045am.
Nov 18, 1983: Glazebrook had a scratch on his face. There are several explanations as to how he got this scratch. In the papers on this date it was explained that he was struck by a piece of plexiglass while he was working on a boat in the back yard of his home. I have not read anything related to the positive location of said boat, possible shards in the grass or, whether the scratch that he had was consistent with a plexiglass scratch. It matters as others will testify to other causes for said scratch. Moreover, if this story is true, then the story (see above) about getting hurt during an argument at Monterey Peninsula College, is not. Did anyone see how he hurt himself at the school?
The scratch on Glazebrook’s face is intriguing. Did Sonia fight with him and scratched his face? She did have blood under one of her fingernails and that blood was not hers. Was the blood underneath Sonia’s fingernail tested for DNA? Were the results entered into CODIS? Has it been preserved?
Dr. Robert Cushing, an Emergency Room Physician at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, testified that the laceration on Glazebrook’s face was not consistent with a scratch from a fingernail. Cushing said that he treated the wound himself the day after the murder. Does a second opinion exist on that scratch as not being consistent with a fingernail scratch?
The credibility of witness reports plagues the prosecution specifically how Glazebrook got that scratch, what he told others about the day that the crime occurred, his whereabouts, etc. What was stated on paper was not what was said on the witness stand.
To make matters worse, investigators said that they had destroyed their original outline-style notes after they typed up the interview reports. In other word, there was no way to check back what was said, what the officer wrote down, before it got all typed into a statement. Defense attorney Richard Rosen noted the discrepancies between the typed statements and those on the stand by witnesses.
Nov 24, 1983: Glazebrook said that he had played softball on the day of the murder. If that is true then his teammates might be able to tell if he had a scratch on his face or not.
Nov 29, 1983: Glazebrook is here referred to as a technician supervisor with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. None of the softball teammates were apparently contacted.
Dec 8, 1983: The murder charges are dropped for a second time.
As of today, the crime remains unsolved. If the pantyhose was preserved it needs to be examined with modern technology. That might tell us a lot more about what happened to the victim.
Rest in peace, Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone.
The Californian (Salinas, CA)
The Herok-Stone Family