John Doe ID'd nearly 50 years later as Iowa teen, presumed victim of the 'Scorecard Killer'

Randy Kraft, serial killer convicted in 16 murders, remains in California prison

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Orange County John Doe identified after 49 years
Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators have managed to identify a man whose name was a mystery for 49 years and was thought to perhaps be a murder victim of serial killer Randy Kraft.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- Investigators in California said Tuesday they identified a John Doe homicide victim found nearly 50 years ago as a 17-year-old Iowa boy and presumed victim of an infamous serial killer.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said the victim was found 49 years ago in unincorporated Laguna Hills, present-day Aliso Viejo, California.

On Sept. 14, 1974, two people were off-roading when they found the victim on the side of a trail, police said. He appeared to have died several days before.

The incident was initially ruled accidental due to alcohol and diazepam intoxication.

In 1980, investigators found other deaths in 1978 due to alcohol and diazepam intoxication in southern California, which were classified as homicides.

Over the years, multiple young men were found dead throughout southern California, some of which were near where John Doe's remains were found.

In May 1983, Randy Steven Kraft, later known as the "Scorecard Killer," was arrested for murder after a California Highway Patrol officer conducted a traffic stop on Kraft.

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There was a dead male victim, later identified as Terry Lee Gambrel, in the front seat, police said. There were several empty beer bottles and an open prescription bottle of Lorazepam tablets at his feet, according to police.

In the trunk of Kraft's vehicle was a coded list of Kraft's likely over 67 victims.

In May 1989, Kraft was convicted of 16 murders and sentenced to death. An additional 10 murders Kraft was suspected of committing were not filed by the Orange County district attorney.

He remains incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. John Doe has long been thought to be an early victim of Kraft, police said.

In November 2022, investigators began using genetic genealogy to try to identify John Doe, and eventually found relatives last month.

The victim was identified as Michael Ray Schlicht of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His sister told police she had not seen her 17-year-old brother since April of 1974.

Police continue to investigate his death.

Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or