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  1. #1
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    SUSPECT: William Lewis Reece

    Investigators probe unsolved 1997 homicide
    Published: Friday, July 30, 1999


    HOUSTON {AP} Investigators who have failed to solve the highly publicized abduction-murder of a 12-year-old Friendswood girl continue to question William Lewis Reece, the man they've never been able to charge.

    Laura Kate Smither's April 3, 1997, disappearance from her Galveston County home sparked a search that drew 2,000 volunteers to the Johnson Space Center suburb. Her nude body was found 17 days later in a retention pond several miles away in Pasadena in Harris County.
    http://lubbockonline.com/stories/073...30990053.shtml
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  2. #2
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    William Lewis Reece as suspect in the murders of Laura Smither and Jessica Cain

    However, sex offender William Lewis Reece is the prime suspect in Laura Smither and Jessica Cain deaths but did he do it? Information, including allegations of evidence tampering, surfaced. The autopsy report indicated that African American hairs found on the girl's body were contaminants and that did not come from the crime scene.
    http://psu-sk.tripod.com/frames/i45-victims.html
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  3. #3
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    May 2011
    Posts
    4,987
    I wonder how they surmissed that the African American Hairs found on the bodies contaminated the evidence. How did they know they didn't come from the crime scene?

    I wonder if they looked at Kevin Edison Smith.
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  4. #4
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    May 2011
    Posts
    4,987
    In October 1997, Friendswood Police Chief Jared Stout stunned the media and other area police by naming paroled sex offender William Lewis Reece as the prime suspect in Smither's death.

    The 38-year-old construction worker already was jailed at the time in a May 1997 aggravated kidnapping, in which he has since been convicted. However, he has never been charged in Smither's death, and hundreds of pieces of evidence collected in Smither's case have failed to link Reece.
    http://www.angelfire.com/nj4/savethechildren/COD4.htm
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeannieC View Post
    I wonder how they surmissed that the African American Hairs found on the bodies contaminated the evidence. How did they know they didn't come from the crime scene?

    I wonder if they looked at Kevin Edison Smith.
    The hairs complicated matters, but it's not the reason Reese was not indicted.

    Clumps of hair were found in and on Laura's hands. When the medical examiner learned the hairs were decomposing (and from an African American person) she surmised they were from another homicide victim, Raquel Crouch, whose body was autopsied the same day as Laura's. Carter, the ME, says that she instructed the pathologist who performed the autopsies to add an addendum to Laura's report stating the hairs were contaminants. The pathologist refused. (She was eventually terminated.) Reece's attorney declared his client could not be the perp because he is caucasian. An investigation followed, and the findings declared the hairs belonged to Crouch and were not partof the crime scene evidence.

    State investigators concluded last week that the hair on Smither's body belonged to Raquel Crouch, another homicide victim whose body was autopsied the same day as Smither. Officials now said the hair appears to have nothing to do with Smither's slaying
    After microscopic examination at a state lab linked the hair to Crouch, prosecutors said they didn't expect the hair to play a role in any criminal case...
    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/ar...ir-on-smi.html

    Tests performed on the hair show it belonged to Raquel Crouch, a 20-year-old homicide victim whose autopsy was performed at the Harris County morgue the same day as the one performed on 12-year-old Laura Smither of Friendswood.
    http://web.reporternews.com/1998/texas/hair0418.html
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

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  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    Beaumont, TX
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    This isn't the first time there has been contamination in a lab in the area. The DNA lab in Houston was shut down due to contamination. This is why there is such a back log when it comes to processing and comparing DNA in Texas. From my understanding, there is now only one working DNA lab in the state and that is in the DFW area.

    I had heard about the AA hairs, but did not ever hear of the location on Smither's body where they were found or that they were from another murder victim who was autopsied the same day.

    I am interested in learning the details of Raquel Crouch's murder to see if there is any possible connection. If not, this is proof that evidence was planted.

    If it were a stray hair randomly on Laura's body, I could see how the contamination could be accidental (although that wouldn't make it acceptable.) But, for her to have clumps of hair in her hands - that has to be planted. And it makes me call into question ANY other evidence they have in the case. The carpet fibers from Reece's vehicle are questionable to me too.

    Who is LE trying to protect? A family member? Or one of their own?

  7. #7
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    I don't know about the carpet fibers, but I lay awake awhile this morning wondering how a "clump" of hair from one corpse gets into the hands of another. Not saying it can't happen. I've never worked in a morgue, so I wouldn't know. Just seems odd.

    This statement came from the fired pathologist's attorney, so I take it with a grain of salt:

    "She (the pathologist) was asked to say a clump of hairs she found during the autopsy in and on the hand were contaminants.
    http://www.texnews.com/1998/texas/smither0403.html
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 02:45 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  8. #8
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    Big news in our local Galveston paper - they think that William Lewis Reece may have abducted and killed Jessica Cain. They have been very quiet and are digging in a field in South Houston now.

    http://www.galvnews.com/news/free/ar...afa941180.html

  9. #9
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    In another thread, someone posted the digging is around BW8 and Orem - this second article does not mention Jessica Cain but confirms digging at East Orem...http://abc13.com/news/laura-smither-...ounty/1218868/
    Last edited by lgrahamtx; 02-25-2016 at 07:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    Jessica Lee Cain, 17 - Disappeared from Gulf Freeway, La Marque, August 17, 1997

    2012 Article

    Fifteen years later, Jessica Cainís disappearance still a mystery
    KHOU Staff 4:46 p.m. CDT August 17, 2012

    [...]

    A young woman named Jessica Cain, just days away from her high school graduation, had spent the evening performing in a musical gala. A few of her drama club friends celebrated their performance at a Bennigan s restaurant in the Clear Lake area. Then, she drove away in her pickup truck and simply vanished.

    You wake up one morning after spending a lovely evening with your friend and you re told she s not there, recalls David Stallings, one of her high school friends. And you look for her.

    Her father found her truck parked on the shoulder of the Gulf Freeway, but she was nowhere in sight. Her wallet was inside. Authorities dusted her truck for fingerprints, but found nothing that indicated what might have happened.

    Related
    https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...1261%2C3516772
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...841#post771841
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:16 AM.


  11. #11
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    Tiffany Johnston, 19 - Kidnapping and murder, Yukon, OK July 27, 1997

    Articles from September 2015

    Texas Felon Charged In 18-Year-Old Murder Case In Oklahoma Co.
    Posted: Sep 21, 2015 3:09 PM CDT Updated: Sep 21, 2015 6:04 PM CDT
    By Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

    OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma -
    Oklahoma County prosecutors have charged a Texas felon with the 18-year-old murder of an Oklahoma woman.

    William Lewis Reece, 56, is currently at the Ellis Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections, serving a 60 year sentence for an aggravated kidnapping that happened in Harris County, Texas in 1997, the same year that 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston was found murdered.
    DNA evidence links Reece to the crime.

    Mother of Bethany woman killed in 1997 hopes case has been solved
    Kyle Schwab by Kyle Schwab Published: September 28, 2015 Updated: Sep 28, 2015

    [...]

    Johnston, a 19-year-old newlywed, went to wash her white 1995 Dodge Neon before a planned night out with her husband to celebrate their three months of marriage.
    Only Johnston never made it to dinner. She disappeared.
    Her vehicle was found at the car wash later that night with the keys still in the car and the floor mats hanging on the wash pegs, investigators reported.

    The next day, authorities discovered Johnston's body in some tall weeds near Gregory Road and Interstate 40 in Yukon. She had been strangled to death, the state medical examiner reported.

    Related
    http://kfor.com/2015/09/21/cold-case...oklahoma-teen/
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:17 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  12. #12
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    Sandra Sapaugh,19 - Reece convicted of abduction, Webster, May 17, 1997

    From 1998

    Construction worker convicted of abduction
    Saturday, May 9, 1998

    HOUSTON (AP) - A Harris County jury on Friday convicted construction worker William Reece for the May 17 abduction of a topless dancer. Reece, who has two convictions in Oklahoma for sodomy and kidnapping, was charged with forcing Sandra Sapaugh into his truck at knife point after offering to help her with a flat tire. As they drove down Interstate 45, she said she jumped from the truck when her kidnapper told her to undress.

    Looking for Laura
    By Steve McVicker
    Thursday, March 12, 1998

    [...]

    On May 16, 1997, 19-year-old Sandra Sapaugh was changing a flat tire on NASA Road 1 in Webster, just across Interstate 45 from Friendswood. A man stopped and offered to help. Sapaugh says that after she walked with him toward his truck, the man pulled a knife and forced her into his vehicle. As they drove north on I-45, he pointed the knife at her and ordered her to undress. Instead, Sapaugh opened the passenger-side door and jumped out of the truck, which was traveling approximately 65 to 70 miles per hour. She sustained serious injuries, but was rescued by another motorist.

    It was several weeks before Sapaugh spoke with Webster police. And not until undergoing what Stout describes as "forensic hypnosis" was she able to identify her abductor. The hypnosis was conducted by Sue Dietrich, an officer with the Alvin Police Department who would become the police chief of tiny Tiki Island near Galveston Island a few weeks later. Chief Dietrich was also involved in the investigation into the disappearance of Tiki Island resident Cain, who had vanished from the same general area where Sapaugh was abducted and Laura Smither's body was found.

    Related

    https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...=1815%2C894450
    http://www.texastribune.org/library/...-reece/780819/
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:14 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  13. #13
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    Laura Kate Smither, 12 - Kidnapped and Murdered, Freindswood, Apr 3, 1997 (Unsolved)

    1999 article

    Investigators probe unsolved 1997 homicide
    Published: Friday, July 30, 1999

    HOUSTON {AP} Investigators who have failed to solve the highly publicized abduction-murder of a 12-year-old Friendswood girl continue to question William Lewis Reece, the man they've never been able to charge.

    Laura Kate Smither's April 3, 1997, disappearance from her Galveston County home sparked a search that drew 2,000 volunteers to the Johnson Space Center suburb. Her nude body was found 17 days later in a retention pond several miles away in Pasadena in Harris County.

    Reece, who was working as a bulldozer operator near the girl's home, was named a prime suspect by Friendswood Police Chief Jared Stout. While laboratory tests so far have failed to link Reece to the girl's murder, the investigation has focused largely on the 40-year-old, who's now serving a 60-year prison sentence for an unrelated kidnapping.

    More than two years later, no charges have been filed in the Smither case because of a lack of evidence.

    Related

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/th...d-1082160.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-60a9db63a0fc/
    http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/04/...l#.Vs_3xdCfXh4
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:13 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  14. #14
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    Sources: Police searching for Jessica Cain's body in SE Houston field
    By Jessica Willey
    Updated 13 mins ago

    HOUSTON (KTRK) --
    There's been a bombshell development in the years-long search for missing teenager Jessica Cain. Her father tells Eyewitness News police have notified him they have received a lead about his daughter's whereabouts and are digging in a southeast Houston field for her body.

    Houston police say authorities will be back out on the private property off East Orem Friday morning to continue their search for a body. Cain was just 17 years old when she disappeared in 1997.

    [...]

    Reece also was the primary suspect in the death of Laura Smither, the 12-year-old girl who vanished while jogging near her Friendswood area home on April 3, 1997. Her body was found later that month in Pasadena.

    more at the link

    La Marque police, Texas Rangers investigate undisclosed case near Pearland
    osted: Thursday, February 25, 2016 12:20 am | Updated: 9:38 am, Thu Feb 25, 2016.
    By CHACOUR KOOP The Daily News

    La Marque police, Texas Rangers and members of other law enforcement agencies were digging in a field between Houston and Pearland on Wednesday, as part of an unspecified investigation.

    The La Marque Police Department confirmed it was involved in the multiagency investigation in the 6000 block of East Orem Drive in Houston. It appeared authorities would resume their work today.

    The field, which appears to be a horse pasture, is across from the Johnny Nash Indoor Arena.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:29 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  15. #15
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    Last edited by bessie; 02-26-2016 at 04:24 AM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



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