Santa Clara Online News Article – By Robert Haugh 03/08/24

Santa Clara Weekly - Article, Friday, March 8, 2024 by Robert Haugh

Local Artist Sonya Paz Tells Story of 1969 Santa Clara Murder
By Robert Haugh 

What do you get when you combine a Bay Area true crime and the passionate energy of Santa Clara native and acclaimed artist Sonya Paz

You get a compelling story of a little-known Mission City triple homicide. 

At eight years old, Paz lost touch with her childhood friend in 1969. The small quaint Santa Clara neighborhood was perplexed when a local family vanished, seemingly disappearing into thin air.

Fast forward 4-½  years later, the Santa Clara Police Department was notified that three bodies were found under the house by a termite inspector. After decades of wondering what happened to her childhood friend, it all became evident what happened to the family.

Paz has been researching the case for several years, having created a chronological roadmap about the case, creating a story that’s never been told through a new podcast, “Investigated.”  

Paz and Private Investigator co-host Marek Kasprzyk are providing details keeping listeners gripped to the edge of their seat. They detail the chronicles of Paz’s childhood friends, Marianne, her sister Paula, and their mother Pauline who were murdered at the hands of the father, James Arthur Pearson.

Telling the story from her perspective and on behalf of the victims, “I feel that they never have a voice throughout this and I want to keep their memory alive,” Paz says.

Based on real-life interviews with detectives who led the case, along with key witnesses who testified, the story is not your average neighborhood homicide; there are many twists and turns to the story including an interstate flight, child abduction, embezzlement, and more, all ultimately leading to the apprehension of James Arthur Pearson.

“I was glad to hear from Sonya and that she was investing time to tell this story after many years,” said retired Santa Clara Police Detective Monte “Rex” Macer

Macer was one of the detectives on the case in 1978 who traveled to Mississippi to bring Pearson back to California after he was identified by a post office patron who saw his face on an FBI poster.

Along with hundreds of hours of research, Paz connected with the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society and worked with researcher Mary Boyle to locate articles that helped fill the time gaps.  

“I am grateful to have had so much support during this research process … everyone has been amazing to assist in preserving these memories of my friends,” said Paz.

“Investigated” launched on February 15. Visit for more information. 

To share memories of the Pearson family or to contact Paz, visit

To learn more about Investigated and the details on this story visit their website at:
Also available on Apple Podcasts or where you listen to your podcasts.

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