The Young Girl Who Predicted Her Death
Despite her premonitions telling her it wouldn’t happen, she lived to see her 16th birthday, only to later be kidnapped and killed.
Katherine Marie Hobbs was born on April 20, 1971, in Oakland, California. Her childhood was quite turbulent. Her parents divorced when she was eight years old and her best friend died of heart disease while in middle school. These events clearly left a mark on young Kathy. She would often have premonitions, most of which led her to believe she wouldn’t live past the age of 16.
Kathy’s mother, Vivian Ruth Murphy, decided to take her daughters, Kathy and Theresa, to live in the suburbs of Las Vegas. She was hoping it would be a sort of fresh start and would allow Kathy to move past her issues by leaving the environment that reminded her of difficult times.
It worked, temporarily. Kathy did manage to push past her fears for a while. She made several new friends and seemed to be very happy with her new surroundings. However, as her 16th birthday approached, Kathy’s old thoughts began to haunt her once again. On one occasion, while on the verge of tears, she told her mother she didn’t want to grow up. She was so scared she wouldn’t make it to her birthday that she stopped leaving the house.
On the morning of April 20, 1987, Kathy awoke, shocked and relieved that she had made it to her 16th birthday. From that morning on, she started living a happy, fearless life. She wasn’t scared of her past premonitions anymore. She started enjoying life and even became interested in pursuing a career as a beautician.
Kathy was finally living an ordinary teenage life.
A little over three months after her birthday, on July 23, 1987, Kathy was reading a book in her bedroom. It was 11 PM when she told her mother she was going to go to the local supermarket to buy a book. The store was about a block and a half away and Kathy regularly went there with her friends who lived in the same apartment complex as she did. Kathy asked her mom to give her a kiss goodbye, as she was probably going to be asleep by the time she came back. That was the last time Vivian saw her daughter.
Vivian soon went to bed. But at 3 AM an unsettling dream woke her up. She felt as if she had been hit in the head, but moments later she realized it was just a dream and went back to sleep.
The next morning, when Vivian realized Kathy was not in her bedroom, she reported her missing.
Police quickly concluded she had been kidnapped. They questioned the store clerk, who remembered Kathy had bought a book the night before. Receipts showed she had been there at 11:17 PM and, according to the clerk, she seemed normal.
It was also soon discovered that Kathy, although initially planning to go with her friends, actually had gone by herself. Kathy’s friends had not been by the pool as they usually were, and Kathy must have decided to go anyway.
Rick Pacult, a hiker and geologist who had been searching for rock crystals in the desert, near Lake Mead, was walking back to his car when he smelled something awful. He walked towards it and found Kathy’s body, nine days after disappearing.
Police investigated the scene where she was found. There were clear tire prints on the ground that showed where a vehicle had pulled in, turned around and drove off. Two rocks at the scene had Kathy’s blood on them, which the coroner confirmed were used to kill her. The murderer had repeatedly hit her in the head with them.
Meanwhile, Kathy’s family found letters addressed to each of the family members in her bedroom. The dates on them show she wrote them a month before her 16th birthday. In them, she mostly assured her family that she loved them and wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be upset over her death.
On October 24, exactly three months after Kathy disappeared, the Las Vegas police department received a call and it was recorded on their answering machine. A man claimed he witnessed the abduction, stating that he saw the girl being grabbed in front of the store a few months ago. He heard the young girl screaming and claimed that one of the abductor’s name was Robbie — meaning there were two abductors. He also provided them with a license plate number, but when police checked it, it didn’t exist. The man appeared to be credible, as he knew exactly where the kidnapping took place and knew what Kathy had been wearing that night. Police have asked the anonymous caller to come forward, but no one has ever done so.
Authorities have since connected the abduction and murder of Kathy to serial killer Michael Lee Lockhart, who is originally from Ohio. Blue fibers found at Kathy Hobbs’ crime scene match the car Lockhart stole in May 1987 — a blue 1986 Toyota Cecilia. He had this car until November of 1987. Also, credit card receipts place Lockhart in the same area as Kathy during the time of the kidnapping.
When questioned about Kathy, Lockhart essentially confessed to having committed the crime. However, they did not pursue prosecution as he had already been sentenced to death in three different states: Texas, Indiana, and Florida. He was executed in Texas on December 9, 1997.