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Man Who Led Search for Girlfriend Is Convicted in Her Slaying

April 21, 1988|Associated Press

OAKLAND — Bradley Page, who led a massive search for girlfriend Roberta (Bibi) Lee after she disappeared while they were jogging, was convicted on Wednesday of voluntary manslaughter in her 1984 slaying.

Two years ago, Page was acquitted of murder after a 10-week trial, but was ordered retried after the jury deadlocked 8 to 4 in favor of a manslaughter conviction.

Page, 27, a former University of California linguistics student, sobbed and clutched his attorney as the verdict was announced in the sixth day of deliberations.

Lee, 21, was found bludgeoned to death and buried in a shallow grave near where she and Page had been jogging.

Both trials centered on a controversial confession that Page gave police in which he confessed to bashing Lee's head repeatedly with a rock after a lovers quarrel, dragging her body into the woods and then returning later to have sex with the corpse before scooping dirt and leaves over the body with a hubcap.

Confession Renounced

Both times, Page took the stand to renounce his taped confession as the wild ramblings of a young man exhausted by hours of grueling questioning.

Page told officers he thought he might have had two personalities, one of which could have committed the crime and then blocked it out.

He also mentioned another woman friend who had been killed in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early part of this decade.

Asked if he could have been responsible for the first death, Page is heard on the tapes replying, "Well, I am running around doing things I don't know I am doing. . . . Then maybe . . . that's the same type of thing I'm capable of playing out."

Dist. Atty. Kenneth Burr advised jurors to "listen to the tapes and you will listen to the voice of the killer of Bibi Lee."

Defense attorney Gene Peretti argued that there was no physical evidence indicating Page was the killer.

The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. Sentencing was set for June 1.

Jogging Date

Testimony showed that the couple and a friend had gone jogging on the morning of Nov. 4, 1984, at Redwood Regional Park in the Oakland hills. The friend became separated from Lee and Page, but waited for them at a park gate. Page arrived alone and said Lee had gone down a different path.

He said he had looked for her unsuccessfully for about 15 minutes before leaving for home.

After one of Lee's roommates called Page the next day to say Lee hadn't returned home, he reported her disappearance to police.

During the next five weeks, the search for Lee led to a media blitz throughout Northern California. Page participated in the campaign, as did his mother.

who distributed flyers with Lee's picture and description to news agencies.

The search ended Dec. 9, 1984, when the partially decomposed, half-nude body of the Cambridge, Mass., native was found buried in a thicket in the park.

Page originally was freed on $100,000 bail, but was released on his own recognizance last November. He married trial witness Amy Hacker two months after his first trial and they now have a son.

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