The question remains, though, had there not been a Black Dahila, would Trelstad have been murdered? Can and should Mary Tate, Jean French, Evelyn Winters, Rosenda Mondragon, Dorothy Montgomery and Trelstad be discussed under the rubric of â€œcopycat killings?â€
The death of Laura Trelstad, and the site today:
Derricks have disappeared from our landscape, save for the one constructed atop Oil Patch Liquor in Signal Hill. A mere handful remain in America, in central Texas and southern Oklahoma. (Should anyone know of extant Californian derricks, please contact us.) Derricks have since been replaced by the beam pumping unit:
aka the walking beam pumper, the grasshopper, the horsehead; these can pump out low-pressure wells for decades.
Despite grilling some subsequent attackers-of-women, Trelstadâ€™s murderer was never found. Neither was her shoe, which of course raises another question: white before Memorial Day?