Does anyone remember a climber named Luke Stong


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Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 25, 2007 - 08:09pm PT
I was just wondering if anyone out there remembers a climber
named luke Stong/ He did a lot of climbing in the 70s and early 80s. He went to jail in the middle 80s for killing his Grandmother. He was caught on his way to Yosemite, with his grandmother in the trunk, by the police. He was stopped in Victorville, for speeding, about 5 hours earlier. I think he was going to dump her body in Yosemite.
Luke lived with my wife and I, in Ridgecrest, from 77 til 79.
He started getting really weird in 78, and my wife told me either he left or she was going to leave. He was OUT within 3 days!
It sure gave me chills, when I heard he got arrested for killing his grandma. I started thinking about when he lived with us, and was sure glad, that he didn't off us, when I kicked him out.
The last thing I heard about him was that he was commited to an institution, for crazy people. Does anyone out there know what happened to him or if he is still in the psyche ward??
One thing I can say though, is, he was a good climber when
he wasn't taking LSD or other mind altering drugs.
He had this awful habit of looking at a person very strangely,
without saying anything, and then break into this evil chuckle,
or laugh. You always wondered what he was thinking at the time.
He would never tell you though, what he was thinking.
If you knew Luke,or know what happened to him, share your story, and your impressions of him.



Jan 25, 2007 - 08:27pm PT
Maybe he changed his name to A. Crowley...or Russ something or other. He could be anybody. Better watch your grannies.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Jan 25, 2007 - 08:32pm PT
Wow - sounds like your wife's woman's intuition had your back!

Frightening to think about. Do you know any details as to the stroy behind his murdering his grandmother? Maybe he was living with her, similarly to the way he was at your house....

Who knows what goes on in he dark recesses of some poeple's minds..... Oftentimes even they are unaware!

Jan 25, 2007 - 08:34pm PT
He belongs in the "Worst 20th century climbing personalities".

Thief and killer, ultimate lowlife, like why bring this guy up again? Caught him casing my van one day and had him run out of the park.

Probably serving life somewhere.

And he hacked his Grandmother up.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jan 25, 2007 - 08:38pm PT
Is this the same guy known as Luke the Fluke? The guy Scott Cole and his partners found jacking their bags at the top of their fixed lines. I seem to remember there being two separate Lukes, but I can't recall now.

Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2007 - 08:38pm PT
I know it isn't Russ. Luke had a bunch of FAs at JT. In the old Vogal Guide book, Randy had lukes last name spelled wrong. Randy had the last name written as Strong, not Stong.
One of the FAs at JT, Luke did, was a climb called, Jughead,
in the Echo area.


Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2007 - 08:55pm PT
Yes Werner, He definitely was a thief also. A lot of my gear came up missing also, after I booted him out.
I only brought this up, because I was curious, and I was wondering if he ever got out of prison, or the looney bin.
I just never want to run into him, if he is out. He might still bear a grudge against me for kicking him out.
I still remember the time I was climbing with him on Washingtons Column and I find out 5 pitches up, he is stoned
out of his gourd, on LSD, needless to say, after I find out,
I let him know, I was rapping going down, with or without him!
I never climbed with him again after that.

Standing Strong

Ice climber
still decidering
Jan 25, 2007 - 09:27pm PT
that's really scary. i just want to put in a plug for this book that crimpergirl and a couple of other folks on this forum have recommended: "the gift of fear" by gavin de Becker. in this society people aren't taught that emotional intelligence is important, so it's useful to learn to listen to intuition.


Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2007 - 09:39pm PT
Thanks SS;
I wish that book had been around in the 70s, when I climbed with Luke. I would have never had an association with him,
if I could tell that he was that crazy.


Social climber
Under a Big Sky
Jan 25, 2007 - 09:49pm PT
I remember him very well. He came into the shop a lot & would give you that "I'm certifiable" look. I always had the immediate fear of turning my back on him. If I remember correctly all sorts of gear was being boosted in the ditch about the time that he was around, especially fixed stuff.

Aren't wives wonderful!!!

Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2007 - 10:01pm PT
Yes they are Robb.
If only us guys could have intuition, like most women have.
We'd sure get in a lot less trouble.
I figured he was weird at the time, just not killer weird.
Who knows what would have happened to us, if I hadn't listened to my wife.


Trad climber
Jan 26, 2007 - 12:10am PT
Climbed a little with feller named Roger Linfield around 79.

Trad climber
Apple Valley, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2007 - 12:38am PT
Yeah, Linfield and Luke, did a few FAs together, Jim Thoen also.
I don't think Linfield parted on good terms with Luke either.

James Baker

Gym climber
Baldwin Park, CA
Dec 25, 2012 - 10:27am PT
I knew Luke Stong personally. He was one of my neighbors in a condo complex in Baldwin Park early '80s. He lived with his mother, Nancy. She was as crazy as he was, on serious drugs. He worked at a 7-11 for a few days and was promptly fired. This was all a year or two before he killed his grandmother. He asked me for a ride to Riverside once. He suddenly asked me to pull over near Mt. Rubidoux where he got out. I asked him "why get out here in the middle of nowhere?" he pointed to Mt. Rubidoux and said, "I'm gonna climb that mountain." I can't believe anyone remembered that freak. He's not in the California prison inmate locator. I only thought of him because of the wackjob that shot the fireman, after hearing he too beat his grandmother to death with a blunt object. What a small world!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 25, 2012 - 10:37am PT
(October 23, 1984)
DENNIS, MABEL The body of Mrs. Garnett (Mabel) Dennis of Covina, CA was discovered in the trunk of her car recently. Her grandson, Luke Stong, 24, was driving the car and he has been charged with capital murder. Mrs. Dennis was discovered missing from her home August 15 by another former Mansfield resident, Mrs. John Kelly, a close friend and neighbor of Mrs. Dennis. Signs of a struggle were discovered in the house and her car was missing. Mrs. Kelly notified the police and the car was apprehended in Fresno. Services for Mrs. Dennis were held Tuesday, August 21. Mrs. Dennis was a sister-in-law of Erman Dennis of Mansfield and Mrs. John (Dutch Fuge) Critcher of Seymour. Her father was the late Clarence Critcher of the Odin community. She had many other relatives and friends in the area.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 25, 2012 - 10:40am PT
Psycho Killer Pillar

Originally FA'd in 1977 by Luke Stong and Tom Cowie, the routes' namesake wasn't attached until 1985 by Tom Cowie and Scott Loomis. Tom and Scott thought of the name when, in that same year, Luke Stong was convicted of first degree murder after killing his grandmother and placing her body into the truck of his car, with the intent to dump her body somewhere in Yosemite. Luke never made it to the park, only to be stopped by the CHP on the way there. Stopped for speeding along the 395, the cops soon became suspicious when they noted that Luke was edgy and nervous, insisting he needed to leave right away. A quick search of his car revealed the body of Luke's granny. CREEPY!! The same can be held true upon your arrival to Great Basin Falls and the surrounding landscape. Think 'The Hills Have Eyes' or the original crash landing scene for 'Planet Of The Apes'!

Dec 25, 2012 - 10:56am PT
Actually did meet him a few times. I got the strong and immediate impression that he was a sociopath.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Dec 25, 2012 - 11:53am PT
Cosmic....When can i move in...? RJ

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 25, 2012 - 11:58am PT

Tom Cowie and I are still Friends, Survival.
I just talked with him a couple of weeks ago.Tom and Loomis have been doing a bunch of routes together lately.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 25, 2012 - 05:10pm PT
Luke always had a strange look in his eyes and had a way of getting personal with you when you didn't even know him. Knew your name and what you were up to before you were even introduced. Yes, that's the same guy who killed his granny and ripped off Scott Cole et alia.

Hope he's still locked up somewhere!
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