Los Peñasquitos Creek Arch Bridge & Memorial Garden

  • March 11, 2014 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

The last investigation we had here was interesting. I thought we'd have another, as it seemed like we got  a few EVPs and personal experiences. Do not plan on leaving early, we will leave the area as a group around 9:30. Please do not be under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or recreational drugs (legal, or otherwise). This training session is for outdoor safety and equipment. This is a memorial area, please conduct yourselves accordingly. The picture above shows the I-15 overpass, the old bridge underneath now a bike path and we'll be under that bridge. This gives you an idea of the terrain.

There is a road we have to hike down and back up on to get to the garden. Then we'll be going under the bridge. A K-2 or full-spectrum infrared camera is perfect for this due to the bridge being too noisy (we're under I-15).

Bring a piece of equipment, this is a training session and you MUST have something to get evidence on. No cell phone apps can be used for this session. Ideally, a full-spectrum or infrared camera, a recorder (you will need to download Audacity and run your file through it and send it to me — doesn't need to have evidence on it, to be equipment certified). This event has limited attendance, so 24-hour cancellation is necessary for this event. NO GUESTS, only members may attend.  THIS is both an outdoor and equipment training session. PLEASE READ THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY AND GO TO THE LINKS, knowing the history of an investigation site is important to understanding the evidence we capture.
BE PROMPT, as you'll need to sign the release. No white light, we'll be filming in infrared, so make sure you have a red cover for your flashlight. 


Layer, it will be cold. There may be snakes, so you might want to wear jeans and boots. It is quite a hike from the parking lot to the garden, as well as hiking the area, hills, rocky areas, please be physically able to do this hike. You will be asked to sign a liability and model release at Chili's to be able to attend, as we'll be filming for a segment.

There is a creek on the property that seems to increase the activity. We have had personal experiences during the day near this creek.

DO NOT remove or rearrange anything in the memorial garden. Be respectful. NO provoking.

See this video to see footage of the garden and a tribute to those there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5lJJ2wpb6o

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Murder-Victims-Remembered-at-Ceremony-in-Poway-224741902.html

http://www.pomeradonews.com/2005/04/27/thriving-memorial-grove-pays-tribute-to-victims/

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/25-Years-After-Cara-Knotts-Murder--136258773.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/02/local/me-60177

So, here's the background.... If you look under the Mercy Road/Scripps Poway Parkway Hwy 15 overpass you'll find another nearly forgotten bridge that you don’t see from the highway, or nearly anywhere else. It's like an Infinity mirror-keep looking and you'll find another story, layered on top of another one...on top of another one. The Bridge, Los Peñasquitos Creek Arch Bridge, under the current overpass was built in 1949 when Poway was little more than a stop. If you look under the older bridge you'll find a memorial park with a very grim story.

On Dec 27, 1986, Cara Knott, a 20-year-old SDSU student with a promising future, was taking care of her sick boyfriend in Escondido. Her dad, Sam Knott, picked up the phone when she called to let her family know she was headed back to their El Cajon home. Nearly home, she was pulled over by CHP officer Craig Peyer. Hwy 15 (on this side of the county) was mostly a road going through chaparral and darkness-with no one to hear you scream. There were no call boxes, or phone phone booths. She was alone with a killer.

Cara drove a VW bug and probably assumed she had a tail light out. Peyer was known as someone who used his badge to excess. He’d pull women over off of the 15 to his favorite dark and lonely dead end at Mercy Road and play sexually-charged cat and mouse power games with them. Apparently, there had been some knowledge of his practices — 20 women would testify against him at his trial. It's shocking that this killer-in-training would be allowed to be protected by his badge for so long until his twisted mind escalated his fantasies into murder.

Nine hours after Cara made the call to her family, her body was found on what is now known as Cara Way. It wasn’t the police that originally found Cara’s body, it was Sam and his family who found Cara, strangled and dumped under the bridge-at a time when the police hadn’t even started looking for her. The murder rocked the county and women avoided driving alone. In an ironic twist, Peyer was interviewed by local TV media in a ride-along about protection for women driving alone. During the taped interview scratches were visible on his face, and it was used against him in court. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Peyer 

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20099196,00.html

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-08-04/local/me-9995_1_cara-knott

Most can imagine how the scenario unfolded-Peyer pulled over the young and beautiful Cara Knott and harassed her for a date. The situation escalated when Knott, who perhaps wasn’t intimidated by this rogue making the moves on her, became infuriated by his behavior threatened to turn him in. Perhaps she felt some intuition that he was on a path to murder, and did everything to get away. Whatever happened, she must have been terrified the last minutes of her life.

Those profiling murderers say that when people cross the line and murder, they just look for another opportunity to do it again. Murderers enjoy murdering. They have no remorse, or regret. They just want to do it again. In reading the research on this case, Cara may not have been his first victim, but she was his last.

Twenty-one days later, Peyer was arrested for Knott's murder. Peyer's first trial had ended in a hung jury. I haven't read the transcripts, so I don't know why he wasn't given the hot-shot to hell. He was convicted on his second trial. Peyer had always claimed innocence. More recently when DNA testing was offered to "clear him," he declined without so much as an explanation. He has and will be up for parole again. To me this is insane!

He has been denied parole in the past, and if you'd like to help keep him behind bars and keep the world safe, here is information about how to do so — your letter can make a difference http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/8096

Cara's mother and family still work hard to keep Peyer behind bars. Sam Knott, a former stockbroker, may have led a stressful life, but unlike many who do- what was important to him was his family. And, apparently, other people’s families, too. After Cara’s murder, he went on a crusade for law enforcement to ease up on the 48-hour waiting period to look for missing people, and to put devices in police cars to monitor their whereabouts at all time. Thanks to Sam Knott's lobbying, a $83M communication system now links all county emergency agencies. Grief is a thing that takes over the mind and the soul. In Sam Knott’s LA Time's obit there was a quote from Peyer’s prosecuting attorney, "The pain of Cara's murder never left him," said Dist. Atty. Paul Pfingst. "His every act, every day, took him back to Cara. In 25 years in this business, I've never seen anyone like Sam Knott."

Peyer was in a way responsible for Cara’s father’s death as well. Knott soothed some of the anger of his daughter's murder by planting oak trees-a Victorian symbol of strength and eternity. In 1996, he created the Cara Knott Memorial Oak Garden (now called the San Diego Crime Victims Oak Garden) http://www.svlp.org/events/crimevictimsoakgarden.html

Sam planted many of the seedlings from acorns in this garden and tended to the location where his daughter’s body was found. While caring for this sacred place, in 2000, he passed from a heart attack just yards from he found his little girl. Four-hundred more seedlings raised from acorns were planted by volunteers on the memorial site that has grown into a sanctuary for family and friends of people who have passed from senseless violence. Although tucked under the original Peñasquitos Creek Arch Bridge and the noisy I-15, it’s a peaceful place where many victims of violent crime are remembered through Sam’s oaks and the more than 100 touching descansos that have been placed here.

How did I find this place? I was drawn off of Scripps Poway Parkway to turn down the road and found it. It was completely unplanned. Down the hill, there is art on the cement walls leading to some kind of government building at a dead end with cameras trained on its locked gate. Across from the building are hundreds of descansos. The overwhelming feeling of grief just takes over. I didn’t even feel like I could breathe as I took in all of the rocks with names and birth and death dates-some painted, some engraved or scrawled. I wrote down many of the names to research them, it turns out many of them are still open cases.

One of the rocks is for the Virginia Tech massacre, many more of them are for people who were murdered out of state. The place was deserted. I definitely got the impression of brute force and violence, it's been a peaceful feeling otherwise. I definitely feel there is an emotional imprint of the murder at the site, you don't erase things like that. The purpose of this investigation is to contact Sam, Cara or possibly get a lead on other victims and to communicate with any other entities who may be trying to get information to us. I do believe that once you pass over, that a great many details of your death are made clear, so maybe by reaching out, something will reach back.

©Sally Richards 2014 Do NOT copy this information or photos without written permission, if you do so, you are in violation of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act punishable by fines & jail time (seriously, read it). One of the members posted the first photo, so I do not own that photo. 

If you are a friend or family member of anyone connected to this place, and have found this notice by doing a google search, we invite you to inquire about what we've found, and/or come with us on a private investigation with our core team where we can use our equipment to help you communicate with your loved one.

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  • Marlene B.

    My first time there. I loved the memorial garden. Very touching. Great seeing familiar faces again and meeting new ones!

    1 · March 12, 2014

  • obilyn

    I can't wait to see you all again!

    1 · March 12, 2014

  • leo

    The noise from the freeway makes it difficult for recordings. Other than that, great place.

    2 · March 12, 2014

    • Sally R.

      That's why running everything through editing software is great. I cleaned out all the traffic sounds with audacity.

      March 12, 2014

  • Lina R.

    Great investigation, I could immediately feel the energy shifts as soon as we began walking down Cara Way. Fine choice of a spot to investigate, Sally. Excellent job by Michelle leading our little 'splinter' group...enjoyed working/chatting with all. Can't wait to hear what we got on the recorders. Thanks for the amplification of my talents, Michelle...it was a pleasure to return the favor, lol...and Happy Birthday, Brian! Glad you decided to spend it with the group!

    3 · March 12, 2014

  • Theresa

    Awesome as always!!

    1 · March 11, 2014

  • Sally R.

    Wow! I think we got a bunch of great evidence!

    3 · March 11, 2014

  • Marlene B.

    My rehearsal gets over at 6 PM. I should be able to make it out to poway by 7 PM I will see you guys there.

    March 9, 2014

  • Michelle M.

    I regret I will not be able to make this one.

    March 4, 2014

  • Marlene B.

    I can't make this unfortunately. Found out Friday I have a dance rehearsal for a work event that night. And I need the practice heaven knows!

    March 1, 2014

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