San Diego

The grieving father and boy friend of slaying victim Anne Swanke testified Wednesday in the murder trial of David Lucas.

Their testimony was limited to the last time they saw Swanke, 22, of San Carlos, alive and about when she failed to return home after visiting her boyfriend Nov. 19, 1984.

Lucas, 33, of Spring Valley is charged with kidnaping and murdering Swanke after she ran out of gas at 1:45 a.m. at Jackson Drive and Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa. Her body was found in a remote area of Spring Valley on Nov. 24, 1984, with her throat slashed.

Lucas is also charged with murdering five other people and the attempted murder of a seventh person, all of whom had their throats severely cut.


John Swanke, a philosophy professor at the University of San Diego, where his daughter was once an honor student, told the jury how she failed to come home after seeing her boyfriend, Greg Oberle.

Swanke also identified pictures of his daughter’s 1974 Dodge Colt, which was found abandoned with her keys, flashlight, valuables and gas can nearby.

In an interview with KFMB-TV (Channel 8) in the courthouse hallway, Swanke said coping with his daughter’s death, even after four years, was “an extremely difficult situation.”

“I would like to have had this (the trial) over in a year,” he said. “We really can’t bury the girl until this is resolved.”


Lucas is also charged with killing Rhonda Strang, 24, and a 3-year-old girl, Amber Fisher, she was baby-sitting in Lakeside on Oct. 23, 1984; Gayle Garcia, 29, on Dec. 8, 1981, in a home she was showing to prospective buyers in Spring Valley; and Suzanne Jacobs, 31, and her 3-year-old son, Colin, on May 4, 1979, in Normal Heights.

The case’s key witness against Lucas, Jodie Santiago, 33, of Seattle, will testify soon in the trial, which started Jan. 3.

Santiago has identified Lucas as the man who kidnaped her from an El Cajon restaurant in June, 1984, and left her for dead in Spring Valley, after cutting her throat.