Cold Case Detective Visits Palisades

On the afternoon of Friday, March 11, LAPD Robbery Homicide Cold Case Detective Luis Rivera walked around the Palisades Village with the Palisadian-Post, retracing the last known steps of Rachel Ziselman.

Ziselman was 11 years old when she disappeared on Labor Day, 1977 while walking to her home on Monument from Hughes Market (now Ralphs)—a route of little more than one block.

Rivera told the Post that, since he got custody of Ziselman’s case in 2012, he had yet to visit the Palisades and walk the route she took home on that day.

LAPD Detective Luis Rivera Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
LAPD Detective Luis Rivera
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Starting at the 881 Alma Real Dr. building (where the Post is located) across from Ralphs, Rivera walked across Sunset and down Monument toward Swarthmore before taking a look at the still-standing house on the 1000 block of Monument that was once the Ziselman residence.

Rivera said he was surprised to see just how close Rachel was to her home when she went missing.

Rivera then walked along Swarthmore and across Sunset again to the Village Green, where a photo was taken of two high school girls in 1977 by a man who allegedly said his name was “Rod.” The girls’ description of the man matched that of Rodney Alcala, a serial killer who was active in Southern California at the time and who was known for passing himself off as a photographer in order to lure his victims.

Rivera said LAPD, who recently acquired and tested the photograph, found no DNA or fingerprint matches with anybody in the DNA database.

Rivera said the visit to the Palisades was helpful and he is hopeful, as always, that new information or evidence turns up to solve Rachel Ziselman’s disappearance.

—JACQUELINE PRIMO