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  1. #1
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    Jun 2011
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    Safford, Graham county, Az
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    Question AZ - Mary Ann Holmes, 29 - A small town murder in Thatcher, 9 July 1995

    On the night of July 12, 1995 in a small mostly Mormon community in eastern Arizona named Thatcher, a single mother, age 29, named Mary Ann Holmes was tortured, raped and murdered. The most brutal thing of all is that it was done in front of her two small girls, ages 5 and 3. The killer had tied the oldest girl, naked, with rope that she eventually untied and ran across the street to alert a friend of the family.

    The little girl said that her mother had been hurt by a "lion man". When the neighbor went to the house, she discovered the slain woman with her youngest child crawling in her blood.

    Police Chief Ned Rhodes was quoted as saying that the victim died of head injuries caused by a large knife or hatchet. I later learned that it was actually thought to be a blunt object. Mary Ann had been handcuffed, sexually torn apart, raped and then bludegened to death. She was found with the handcuffs still on. A single fingerprint was found on the underside of the cheap cuffs. Possible DNA was collected at the scene but it was later reported that the DNA had been stored in a non-climate controlled room and had been lost. A footprint size 11 1/2 was found and tracked to the nearby college campus parking area.

    Mary Ann had a yardsale earlier that day and it was reported that an unknown man had been at the sale and then later returned at the end of the sale to talk to Mary Ann. The money from the sale was missing after the murder.

    I have talked to almost all of the principals in this case in preparation for my book on murders and developed a new person of interest that I followed up on and reported to the authorities as well as looking into the prime suspect in this case. Of course the police details are kept close to the cuff in this cold case although I feel that allowing amatuer sleuths like myself to see the evidence would only help to solve this 16 year old murder.

    Any photo evidence on this case would be appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images


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  3. #2
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    Dec 2010
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    Best of luck to you on finding info on this case. I know firsthand how small town murders can go virtually unknown and forgotten. I hope that the murderer of this lovely lady will be found.
    Please consider my comments as my opinion. I don't ask that you agree with me and you are free to scroll past my post. Thanks for respecting my opinion as much as I respect yours.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Please help identify the unidentified photos found in the storage locker of serial killer, Rodney Alcala.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-F...61183953929612


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  5. #3
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    Thanks for encouragement

    Does anyone out there know of similar murders in New Mexico or California shortly before or after this murder? I am 50/50 on whether this was a stranger or a local. I think now that it was the yard sale stranger as her money was gone from that sale. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    2

    Mary Ann Holmes

    It's been nearly a year since her case was reopened as a cold case, I hope that there has been some progress and that apprehension of the criminal will be coming soon.
    I hate to see such a horredous crime go unsolved and our family, especially her daughters, left with no real closure after all these years.


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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Southwestern Maine is home but I'm not there nearly often enough
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    In my experience small town murders are relatively easy to solve when both victim and perp are local, usually because either they know each other or have overlapping circles of friends and relatives. But on the other hand such crimes can be almost impossible to properly investigate when a transient is involved. A "transient" can be defined as any outsider ranging from a student temporarily living in town to attend college to a railroad bum just passing through.

    I'm not too sure what the little girl meant by "lion man", could have been a man with mangy hair and a scruffy beard, or maybe someone wearing a t-shirt with lion imprint, or someone making roaring noises, it's hard to tell.

    Shoe size could be an indication that it was a relatively young man. For some reason that I have yet to comprehend it seems to me that almost any male born after 1975 has enormous feet regardless of their height, while those born before that all wear size 9. I do.


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  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenold48 View Post
    On the night of July 12, 1995 in a small mostly Mormon community in eastern Arizona named Thatcher, a single mother, age 29, named Mary Ann Holmes was tortured, raped and murdered. The most brutal thing of all is that it was done in front of her two small girls, ages 5 and 3. The killer had tied the oldest girl, naked, with rope that she eventually untied and ran across the street to alert a friend of the family.

    The little girl said that her mother had been hurt by a "lion man". When the neighbor went to the house, she discovered the slain woman with her youngest child crawling in her blood.

    Police Chief Ned Rhodes was quoted as saying that the victim died of head injuries caused by a large knife or hatchet. I later learned that it was actually thought to be a blunt object. Mary Ann had been handcuffed, sexually torn apart, raped and then bludegened to death. She was found with the handcuffs still on. A single fingerprint was found on the underside of the cheap cuffs. Possible DNA was collected at the scene but it was later reported that the DNA had been stored in a non-climate controlled room and had been lost. A footprint size 11 1/2 was found and tracked to the nearby college campus parking area.

    Mary Ann had a yardsale earlier that day and it was reported that an unknown man had been at the sale and then later returned at the end of the sale to talk to Mary Ann. The money from the sale was missing after the murder.

    I have talked to almost all of the principals in this case in preparation for my book on murders and developed a new person of interest that I followed up on and reported to the authorities as well as looking into the prime suspect in this case. Of course the police details are kept close to the cuff in this cold case although I feel that allowing amatuer sleuths like myself to see the evidence would only help to solve this 16 year old murder.

    Any photo evidence on this case would be appreciated.
    According to the newspaper article the date was stated as July 9th not the 12th as you have it here.. This may seem trivial but accuracy is important particularly in an unsolved murder case.


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  13. #7
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    what do they mean sexually torn apart?


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  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    what do they mean sexually torn apart?
    Must be an attempt at polite code for "genitals mutilated," although "sexually torn apart" sounds even worse.


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  17. #9
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    Correct

    You are correct in saying "genitals mutilated".


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  19. #10
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    The hell?!


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  21. #11
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    Horrible murder, and in front of her two little ones. So, so sad. I wonder if LE has ever thought to get the older daughter hypnotized to try to clarify what she meant by "lion man?" Perhaps they were able to clarify it back then, but without that fingerprint.....

    Don't suppose there's any chance they did a rape kit????


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  23. #12
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    Even if they did a rape kit, I'm wondering if the DNA has been lost.


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  25. #13
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    Safford, Graham county, Az
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    Yes, indeed

    I have never been told directly that a rape kit was used but I always considered that to be yes since they found DNA. Unfortunately, the DNA was stored at a local police department outside metal unit in Arizona and DNA was destroyed by heat.

    In the past few months the investigation has reported that they were going to re-interview the oldest daughter possibly under hypnosis and see if she had any repressed memories of the event.

    I can't believe that this was a one time crime for this individual. He must have repeated or done before elsewhere.


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  27. #14
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    Followup

    I tried to interview Mr. Black on more than one instance and found him to be one of the strangest men I have ever met. He did say that he was a suspect in the murder and had been interviewed by police and that once women find out who he is and where he lives, they will have nothing further to do with him. I think it has more to do with his strange behavior and personality. I do agree that that Stephanie, the oldest daughter, would most likely have recognized him had he been the murderer since he collected the rent from Mary Ann each month. Although I am no longer a member of the LDS church, I do not believe that Mr. Black or his family connections would protect him from the outraged members of this community if he was indeed the killer. My ancestors were also the Johnsons and I would be the first to turn him in if I knew he was guilty.


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  29. #15
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    Nov 2008
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    10,494
    This was posted last year, there is/was a $15,000 reward if info leads to conviction.
    http://somethingsaintfunny.blogspot....s-928-424.html

    A bit more info:

    http://somethingsaintfunny.blogspot....-up-modus.html

    and this:

    http://beyond90seconds.com/2009/02/0.../#.T_x5ZpLQg6M

    Guess you guys have already found all this stuff though. Good luck in your search!

    Unless I have included a link, it is my opinion and only my opinion that I am expressing.


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