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    The Springfield Three--missing since June 1992 - #5

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    Question

    I have lived in Springfield all my life and followed this since the beginning. I am new to the forum and spent the last few weeks reading all the past threads. I have a question though, does anyone remember a dig or search that was done, I want to say around 2000-2003 that was at first covered by KY3 and the News-Leader and in fact I think something was found, but the evidence was sealed or a gag order was placed and it immediately dropped out of the public eye? It seemed like it was in both the paper and the news one day as something promising, and actually going on, then the next day it was gone. I thought perhaps it was the Cassville dig but from what I have read nothing was found. I might just be remembering all wrong and need to get to the library to look and see if I can find the original article.

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    OP - Can you please tell us the reason why thread #3 was removed?

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    Resident,

    I believe it was the Cassville area dig. There were quite a bit of rumors going around at the time that they were digging for the women and the van there and that something had been found, but I believe that they had recovered old animal bones.

    I really wish something would be done about the parking garage. I am sure that if nothing is found, then people will start saying that PFI and the James River Freeway will also need to be scanned/cored, but for the past several years this has set on the minds of the friends/family/people who were nearby at the time/and those who have just recently stumbled onto the case. I cannot even imagine sitting around waiting for LE to do something if I felt that there was any reason to core that garage. I'd probably do it myself after waiting this long.

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    This should help set the timeline of "digs."

    "Never answer an anonymous letter"

    "I didn't really say everything I said"

    Yogi Berra



  6. #6
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    Thank you, that site is helpful...

    I know those are a long time ago, and its easy for a new reader to come onto these threads and lose sight of that fact. I dont want to come off as making accusations but you do understand why I would ask you that right? I dont think i've read anywhere that you have stated you are the foremost expert on this case, and if you have a hubris that means you're the main character in a tragedy...i dont see either of those . But I make the conclusion that ON THIS THREAD you are the person that has the most first hand knowledge of the case, as well as connections in the community, and a bank of information pertaining to the case...so thats why i say that.

    MM a few questions for you...what has made you focus on Cox as the only person of the suspects that could have committed this crime solo? Like I said previously I know you weren't convinced for quite a few years that he had any involvement, but I noticed you have come around to basically point the finger directly at him. Why is this? Is it the re-examination of his physical attributes, coupled with the fact that he lied about his alibi (suspicious in it's own right), while eliminating the other suspects by their physical inability to single handedly restrain the girls?

    Through your local connections to LE have you ever had personal conversations with officers involved in the investigation (post- SPD officers that worked with you that didn't know any more than you did) and asked which suspects were eliminated and why? do they think cox did it? and why?

    You said that the paper had listed the GJ suspects...can we post there names here and the theories as to why they have been eliminated and if any knowledge is known of the evidence that LE had against them to suspect them as triple homicide/kidnapping candidates other than their previous crimes i.e. -"Aug 26, 1994 2:00 PM
    A federal grand jury reviewed evidence in the missing women's case. Police sources said they had three suspects at the time. One was a 36-year-old man from Springfield with a long criminal record dating to 1978. He's spent most of his adult life in jail or prison, including sentences for stealing, burglary, theft, robbery and harassment. He had escaped from prison and, most recently, was arrested for raping and sodomizing a woman in Springfield after breaking into her home. On this date, he was behind bars. The second suspect was a 28-year-old man from Kansas. He, too, has a criminal record dating to 1984, including convictions for burglary, aggravated assault, escape and various parole violations. He also was behind bars at this time. The third suspect was a 28-year-old man who was originally from Cedar County, Mo., near Stockton. He was first arrested in 1985 and has done time for burglary, stealing and parole violation. He escaped from prison with the first suspect in 1990 but was in custody as of this date. These three men were moved around the Kansas prison system for years and often did time together in the same facility. When the three women disappeared, all three of the men were on the street. The federal grand jury issued no indictments" (FROM TIMELINE WEBSITE GIVEN ABOVE BY MM
    -am I mistaken Cox was NOT one of these 3 guys right?

    Was the "follow the money" theory your own theory or did you form that idea from information that was relayed to you through the reporters and/or LE connection? At that time you were stating almost matter of factly that that was what happened and you couldn't divulge your source but until there was a shake-up (which there hasn't been) the real story wouldn't be revealed. I understand it was a long time ago but it doesn't seem to me that anyone has excluded these theories yet.

    I myself think that it could have been someone in the house with sherril, that he could have subdued the mother first with ties/tape over the mouth, proceeded to the girls ties/tape at the end of a weapon (girls in a surprised state...late at night...been drinking?..getting ready for bed.."murderer WHAT ARE YOU DOING" "shutup and lay down and i wont hurt you") ties/tape. Girls subdued...get whatever stash of $ is there (one theory), or just drag the girls into the room by the front door. grab purses stack them up, wipe down house, with girls subdued run out move cars and pull up the getaway vehicle (possibly a van), throughout this time a few hours have passed say maybe 4am at this time...early risers may be starting to stir...time to go...he grabs the first woman, one at a time, tied and taped over his shoulder and lays them in the van, in for the next girl, now the last...maybe the mother, who starts to fight him when he picks her up, he's wobbling carrying her out, trying to hold onto her, her foot hits the glob and smashes it, making noise, a dog barks or something; spooking the perp who then throws the mother in the back of the van, hops in and takes off. Forgetting to grab the stacked purses with $800 in it, to lock the door, or shut off the tv. Absolutely pure speculation but for some reason I think that the globe was broken by the foot of one of the ladies being carried face first (facing down) over the shoulder of whomever it was that abducted them.
    The total lack of forced entry lead ME to think that there had to be someoen in the house or if they did meet people at Georges at 1-2am then they could have brought afew guys back.
    Celebration, a few cocktails later..a few good looking concrete workers from out of town, graduation night, why not right?- the guys come back...the girls aren't willing to go the full monty and one of em flies off the handle and they decide there's no turning back. That or these guys had talked about it on the ride over...this one for me doesn't really fit just because the lack of any signs of a struggle in the house, but that doesn't mean a grown man can't choke a teenage girl to silence behind closed doors with limited movement or signs of struggle then a "oh man what did i do" too late now we have to get out of here, the mother and friend can identify us, we have to clean up our mess.

    just some food for thought...how my mind thinks...but MM if we can get a list going of suspects and reasons why/why not they were chosen by the GJ it would be helpful.

  7. #7
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    I have to leave shortly but I want to deal with the entry question. As I just posted a response elsewhere I will repost it here as it deals with several issues: (Question was if the door was left unlocked)
    "If in fact the door was unlocked that would be possible but there is no particular reason to draw that conclusion. The evidence states they had made ready for bed, had taken off their make-up and had apparently gone to bed. It seems probable to me, if as reported, Sherrill was security conscious, she would have gotten up out of bed to greet the girls as they were not expected to arrive there. She undoubtedly would have had a minimum a brief conversation and ensured the door was locked before all went to bed. Of course it is possible that one of the girls might have gone to the car to obtain something at which time the door became unlocked. This is possible. But if they were in bed and someone came to the door they had to be let in voluntarily as no forced entry was in evidence. This suggests that it would be someone they knew or someone in an official position such as a fake police officer, or example, as has often been suggested. I'd like to go back to Cox for a moment. Why did he feel the need to concoct a phony alibi putting his girlfriend at risk for imprisonment for perjury or lying to the FBI, if they questioned her, if he had nothing to do with it? If any of the other 150,000 people in the Springfield area were asked to produce an alibi they could have told the police to jump in the lake. Innocent people don't need an alibi nor do they have to tender an alibi regardless. It is the affirmative responsibility of the police to produce probable cause that the person being questioned even needs an alibi. The police have no right to enter my home absent my permission. It's in the Constitution. Cox felt he needed one because he realized that claiming he was at his parent's home was a shaky alibi and unprovable but if his girlfriend said they were in church together it would be tougher to disprove. I would also add that it is my belief that there was some kind of relationship between Cox and Garrison. Their statements about the lack of solving this case were almost exactly the same which suggests to me they had discussed this among themselves before they were eventually apprehended and imprisoned. Can't prove it but I take Cox's statement about "Steve" as indicating a familiarity with him as opposed to referring to him by his last name. Stated differently, who among us would refer to Cox as "Robert?"

    Cox was not one of the three people listed in the newspapers. He was however part of the grand jury investigation. The names of of the three people described in the newspaper I am not privy to. We are not supposed to know who those three people are. I will leave it up to your imagination whether I know those names.

    Why Cox? Call it an epiphany if you wish. I read and reread this case over, and over and over, and when everything was considered it seemed to boil down to him as the best candidate. His deceptive remarks; his past, his inability to explain where he was led me to place him at the top of the suspect pile. As I read his letters over and over again I just couldn't shake this suspicion this is a guy who is hiding something. His sole motive, in my opinion, is to avoid the death penalty. From what I have been told he will never leave prison. After his sentence is possibly over in 2025, assuming he would be paroled, he still has federal charges to face according to information I believe to be valid. I think he wants at all costs to avoid going back to Missouri. Although Texas puts many to death, he is not currently in prison sentenced to be put to death. In Missouri, he would be if convicted. He knows the officers assigned to this case could have ready access to him and would target him continuously. Being in Texas makes that more difficult due to the distance and expense although I believe they have seen him some three times to date.

    I'll try to go over the other questions you raise later today.
    "Never answer an anonymous letter"

    "I didn't really say everything I said"

    Yogi Berra



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    take your time i'll be here till 4est periodically checking in...if he is the person that did it though and he is the only one that holds the key to finding these girls body there is ABSOLUTELY no way he is going to get put to death. He will just not tell anyone...vice versa he CAN without a shadow of a doubt work out a deal to AVOID the death penalty in Missouri to lead investigators to the bodies...thats the thing. You think he's not telling them because he wants to avoid the death penalty where he's not looking at the death penalty...you dont think that, that is the first thing that is thrown on the table by the prosecutors office that went down to talk to him? They dont have a leg to stand on and have to offer this guy some sort of incentive to come clean...and he hasn't...and I have to think that when they went down there they offered it and tried to make a deal with him and he didn't come clean. I take that as either A. He doesn't know where they are and didn't do it. B. He believes he is going to get out of jail in Texas and be scott free of this whole mess. I certainly dont think avoiding the death penalty is his reason for not telling though...because he almost certainly would NOT be looking at it. HE holds the chips (if in fact he did do it), so why would he agree to give up the info only to be killed for it. It wouldn't happen that way. I would hate to think that the 3MW would have to wait till 2025 to find out either way though.

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    can we get some clarification on the timeline of cox's alibi?

    crime committed June 7, 1992.

    Cox on LE radar - ? if I recall correctly it was brought to LE attention when the victims family in florida called after right? do we have a date on this?

    Cox interviewed initially by LE - 1st alibi from GF?

    GJ Proceedings begin- Cox now at this time EX gf admits lieing for him?

    Cox re-interviewed 2nd alibi come out? - is he in Texas by this time? when is 2nd alibi offered? Parents say they heard him come in the house that night.

    When do the SPD make their trip to Lovelady initially?


    Also I want to touch on something from way back...I hope I'm not being a nag but someone that is bringing up some old ideas that seemed to not have been ruled out but just kind of pushed down while cox and the garage have stayed up top of the list. The call from AMW that was lost from Florida...what were you implying when you were saying that the person that called had a vested interested in the case etc. In your opinion MM who was it that you thought was calling from Florida? and at that time you had told a few of the other posters to google it, and that there was a DUI or something like that....can u elaborate on that? is it of any signifigance? i would think that if there was an AMW caller from Florida that had pertinent information like they had said they did before they tried to patch through...who is it?

    also MM just an interesting snippet I found while doing some reading on garrison...your post: Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - The Springfield Three--missing since June 1992 - #4 ALMOST the exact scenario I played out a few posts ago...didn't see this till just now. Great minds think alike.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-30-2015 at 08:43 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverreefer View Post
    can we get some clarification on the timeline of cox's alibi?

    crime committed June 7, 1992.

    Cox on LE radar - ? if I recall correctly it was brought to LE attention when the victims family in florida called after right? do we have a date on this?

    Cox interviewed initially by LE - 1st alibi from GF?

    GJ Proceedings begin- Cox now at this time EX gf admits lieing for him?

    Cox re-interviewed 2nd alibi come out? - is he in Texas by this time? when is 2nd alibi offered? Parents say they heard him come in the house that night.

    When do the SPD make their trip to Lovelady initially?


    Also I want to touch on something from way back...I hope I'm not being a nag but someone that is bringing up some old ideas that seemed to not have been ruled out but just kind of pushed down while cox and the garage have stayed up top of the list. The call from AMW that was lost from Florida...what were you implying when you were saying that the person that called had a vested interested in the case etc. In your opinion MM who was it that you thought was calling from Florida? and at that time you had told a few of the other posters to google it, and that there was a DUI or something like that....can u elaborate on that? is it of any signifigance? i would think that if there was an AMW caller from Florida that had pertinent information like they had said they did before they tried to patch through...who is it?

    also MM just an interesting snippet I found while doing some reading on garrison...your post: Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - The Springfield Three--missing since June 1992 - #4 ALMOST the exact scenario I played out a few posts ago...didn't see this till just now. Great minds think alike.
    I no longer believe the person I believed at the time placed the call. However we do have some new information and that is information the police should have on file. The call came from Jacksonville. The police traveled to the area for a purpose. I would think it was because they had to know who placed the call or they knew the approximate location and wanted to try to locate the person placed the call. I can't recall where I read that but it was in some newspaper; possibly the Springfield News-Leader. I didn't see that until recently. Now one might naturally be inclined to believe it was a second person who held "prime knowledge" of the case who placed the call. That is an assumption which should not be made. It COULD have been the perpetrator himself, such as Cox, who merely traveled there and conveniently cut off the phone call before it could be traced. Just as the phony alibi of Cox that he tried to foist off as genuine it would also suit his purposes to want to muddy the waters by suggesting that multiple perpetrators were involved.

    We know he had a history in Florida so it is not unreasonable to believe he would have traveled there since he knew the upcoming program was soon to air. As has been noted in previous posts, some of those phone calls to the home may have been for nothing more than to determine if the crime scene had yet been discovered since the house was left unlocked.
    "Never answer an anonymous letter"

    "I didn't really say everything I said"

    Yogi Berra




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    Cox himself stated that he sat across the st. and watched the crime scene action right? If that is the case how far is his parents house or wherever he was staying from 1717? The calls were made at what 3? the police were called when? 5? Aren't there phone records to show where the incoming calls were coming from on that particular day? They had to have had some sort of tracking technology then since the old man that was eventually arrested for the obscene calls all over town that summer DID get caught...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverreefer View Post
    Cox himself stated that he sat across the st. and watched the crime scene action right? If that is the case how far is his parents house or wherever he was staying from 1717? The calls were made at what 3? the police were called when? 5? Aren't there phone records to show where the incoming calls were coming from on that particular day? They had to have had some sort of tracking technology then since the old man that was eventually arrested for the obscene calls all over town that summer DID get caught...
    This has been discussed extensively in the past and evidently there were no phone logs that were available, except for pay telephones. Something about that part of town didn't have the technology at that time. If the police have such information they aren't releasing it to the public, or at least I have never seen it.
    "Never answer an anonymous letter"

    "I didn't really say everything I said"

    Yogi Berra



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missouri Mule View Post
    I no longer believe the person I believed at the time placed the call. However we do have some new information and that is information the police should have on file. The call came from Jacksonville. The police traveled to the area for a purpose. I would think it was because they had to know who placed the call or they knew the approximate location and wanted to try to locate the person placed the call. I can't recall where I read that but it was in some newspaper; possibly the Springfield News-Leader. I didn't see that until recently. Now one might naturally be inclined to believe it was a second person who held "prime knowledge" of the case who placed the call. That is an assumption which should not be made. It COULD have been the perpetrator himself, such as Cox, who merely traveled there and conveniently cut off the phone call before it could be traced. Just as the phony alibi of Cox that he tried to foist off as genuine it would also suit his purposes to want to muddy the waters by suggesting that multiple perpetrators were involved.

    We know he had a history in Florida so it is not unreasonable to believe he would have traveled there since he knew the upcoming program was soon to air. As has been noted in previous posts, some of those phone calls to the home may have been for nothing more than to determine if the crime scene had yet been discovered since the house was left unlocked.

    I'd like to go back to the issue of this 'call from Florida' on AMW. You say it was traced and 'we know it was from Jacksonville.' Does that mean the call WAS made within the Jacksonville city limits ? We know that as unquestionable fact ? Allow me my digressing moment.

    I used to live in Jacksonville, FL (a few years before all this, thank you). And I'm quite familiar with Northern Florida. For those unfamiliar, if this trace is correct, it would have been the 904 area code. In 1992, 904 covered a LARGE area, to which Jacksonville was the largest metro area. Did this trace determine, without question, the call DID come from the metro area of Jacksonville ? Further still, where ? In 1992, Jacksonville was serviced by the Baby Bell 'Bell South' aka 'Southern Bell.' It was the same Baby Bell that serviced the community in the SE I lived in, in 1992. Where I lived, prefix phone numbers were mixed, they had no basis in geography except they were contained in that area code. Also, for those unfamiliar, the 'metro area' of Jacksonville is huge, in fact, was and is the largest geographic municipality in the Lower 48 (consolidated with the county, Duval). So, specifically, does anyone know if this number to AMW was traced to a specific location on the ground. A number being serviced, at that time, with wires coming out of the wall/ground to a phone, December '92/Jan '93 ? Or, and not to be flippant, is it, '...well it's a 904 area code and this prefix shows up in other Jacksonville numbers and our suspect was in Jacksonville at this time...' weak. If we've got a physical place...'the number has been traced to room 303 at some motel where our suspect way staying,' GREAT. Or, some specific payphone at the JAX airport, back to weak again. Not to mention this was around the Holidays.

    Second point surrounds recording of the call. From all the accounts of this mention, it has always been described as '...someone who had intimate knowledge of the case not known to the public...' but was cut off before air. To know that, he had to talk to someone at AMW. In those days, did they record all the calls they received ? They would have ample legal grounds to do so, you are making the call to them, they are a broadcast entity, I'm sure their lawyers have them more than covered. Point is, does a recording of that conversation with (I guess producers of the show) exist and has it ever been analyzed ? There are amazing things, with newer technology they can do. Which, by the way, if that tape from the Levitt house answering machine is also in custody, I bet treasures could be found on that as well.

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    I want to be clear on the call. As I don't have the newspaper article at hand, I don't know the pure definition of "traced" as to what it really meant. All I can remember from the news article is that it was from Jacksonville and that the SPD reportedly went there ostensibly for the purpose of interviewing or doing specific investigative work.

    I agree that modern technology should be employed to determine what was recorded in the home and during the AMW call and who made the calls. That may already have been attempted and found wanting. I suppose it is also possible that the caller was located down there and interviewed and somehow, someway, he or she had specific information known only to the perpetrator. Perhaps it was hearsay heard from another person; possibly the perpetrator but not sufficient to bring charges or move the investigation forward. We would need to see the raw investigation notes to know for certain what actually took place.

    I could be mistaken but it is my impression that Cox was off the radar until the grand jury testimony revealed that his original alibi was false. We know that the police were notified by the Zellers family within just a few days after the women went missing. Yet, reading between the lines we never really heard much about him until several years later. At the point that the alibi was debunked he moved to the head of the class of suspects and is the only suspect given such press coverage.

    Garrison was interviewed by the police as it was believed he had information regarding the abduction but evidently nothing came of it and he escaped from the motel room where he was bonded out or interrogation. I believe it was during that time that he committed the rape which landed him in the slammer and where he is now serving 72 years in prison. He, like Cox, has clammed up.
    "Never answer an anonymous letter"

    "I didn't really say everything I said"

    Yogi Berra



  15. #15
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    Has anyone tried to have contact with the families? I've read that Bartt reads this board regularly but doesn't post right? Has anyone had contact with the McCall family? has anyone tried to share information with them and see if they can shed any light on some of the dark spots surrounding the SPD investigation? Maybe the SPD shared info with them that the public wasn't privy to?

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