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Psychics believe they’re on trail of killers

Film crew thinks they may have solved the 2000 murder of a La Cañada Flintridge pair.

April 23, 2009|By Mary O’Keefe

Since the first week of March, a film crew and psychics have been investigating the long- unsolved murder of La Cañada residents Harold “Skip” and Joni Tillman. Using traditional and psychic medium methods, the team traveled from the couple’s home in La Cañada to where their bodies were found in shallow graves in Yucaipa on Feb. 9, 2000.

The team poured over records, interviewed friends and family, and used the psychics’ skills to navigate through the spirit world. And, in the end, they think they just might have solved the case that has been cold for more than nine years.

“We think we have a lot of evidence that points to the [responsible party],” said filmmaker Stephen Hansen.

Hansen is not ready to reveal their suspect/suspects until they speak with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s detectives in charge of the case.

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“We don’t want to [jeopardize] their investigation,” he said.

The fim team’s investigation is part of a documentary/reality pilot demonstration reel for a TV program titled “Revisited” that Hansen and co-executive producer James Hafner are now shopping to networks. The premise of the program is to join traditional investigative techniques with psychic skills in solving cold cases. The Tillman murders included elements of embezzlement, mystery and the isolated desert area where the couple was buried.

The case had gone cold for detectives, but last year was reopened through the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s newly-formed cold case division. A month after the case was reopened, detectives sought a “person of interest” when a witness came forward and informed investigators that he saw a man in the desert area about five days before the Tillmans’ bodies were found. A composite drawing of the man was released to the public but no one has come forward with further information.

Harold and Joni Tillman went to dinner on Feb. 6, 2000 with friends in Pasadena. They parted with their dinner companions about 9 p.m. that night, and that was the last time anyone reported seeing them alive. Their bodies were discovered in two isolated desert graves in Yucaipa three days later. Their dog, a Maltese named Teddy, was discovered in the desert near the graves. He appeared, according to San Bernardino detectives, to have died of exposure.

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