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The on-going hunt for Sharon Ostman’s killer

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It has been eight months since 59-year-old Sharon Ostman’s half-naked body was discovered partially submerged in San Luis Obispo Creek downtown near the Mission. She had been savagely beaten, sexually assaulted, and murdered. For the last 20 years of her life, Ostman wandered the streets of SLO, homeless, weathered, and confused.  Police and members of a frightened and vulnerable street community are still searching for her killer. 
 

SHARON OSTMAN:  Raped and murdered in San Luis Obispo last summer
  • SHARON OSTMAN: Raped and murdered in San Luis Obispo last summer
# When Ostman’s body was discovered during the early morning hours of July 11, 2005, there were signs of blunt force trauma to her head and bruises over much of her body, Her teeth were smashed, her tongue was bruised and her mouth was filled with blood. Ostman’s autopsy report shows no gun or knife was used, though the exact cause of death has been redacted from the report. SLO police hope any future confession will conform to this withheld information .
 
While a number of suspects have been mentioned and many theories cast, the strongest (but still-developing) scenario, based upon an ongoing investigation by New Times, is that Ostman was killed and then robbed by at least two, and possibly three, dangerous methamphetamine addicts. Ostman was known to have received a large disability check, and her friends claim that she was in possession of approximately $1,700 the night she was murdered. Very little money was found on her body, police say.
 
Since the beginning of this year, several people have contacted New Times saying that a transient identified as Hippie G openly confessed to Ostman’s murder to a group at a homeless encampment known as the Hooch in Albany, Oregon.
 
One, named Annie, told New Times in January, “He said he killed the religious bitch because she was a narc.� Annie then described how horrified residents of the camp became enraged and allegedly killed the confessed murderer. In February, another woman, whom we’ll call Sue, related an eerily similar story of a man who claimed to have killed a female police informant in SLO. Sue said the angry and frightened group then dragged the man from the encampment, beat him, and threw stones at him, though she said he survived the attack and was seen at a homeless shelter a few weeks later. Police think Hippie G, a known meth addict, may still be in the Albany area.
 
Another visitor to the Hooch sometime after Ostman’s death was a black transient named Whitey, who was treated to dinner by Ostman at Woodstock’s Pizza just hours before her death. Friends report Ostman flashed a large amount of cash when she paid for the meal.
  
According to Sue, Whitey was seen staying at the Hooch with his girlfriend Abby. “She told me Whitey and Hippie G each took $500 off Sharon’s body,� Sue said. “Abby is afraid Whitey is going to get caught.� New Times has learned that Whitey and Abby were last seen heading for Nevada.

Another transient speed freak who may be involved in the murder goes by the name of Roger; Roger carried a chain and was known to dislike Ostman. Eddie Simmers, Ostman’s long-time friend and one of the last people to see her alive, says that Hippie G and Roger approached him a few weeks after Sharon’s murder.“ They came off on me, said I was working for the cops, told me to talk about nothing,� Eddie says. “Hippie G wanted to fight. He is a violent SOB.�

Just this week, a police detective and an investigator from the District Attorney’s office questioned Simmers for approximately two hours concerning Sharon’s death. “The police asked about Hippie G and Whitey,� Eddie said. “They told me they think Hippie G killed Sharon.�


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