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  1. #1
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    William 'Bill' Comeans: Media, Facts, Timeline and Maps **NO DISCUSSION**

    William Comeans: Case Information & Initial Timeline

    Thanks to several posters, we have been given a lot of information from MSM and internet sources to digest across the first six pages of this thread. It helps me to cull and collate information from a deluge like this and look at it in a more organized fashion. Since I have done this for myself, I am sharing it here in case this sort of thing helps you too.

    That said, I urge you to look at the source materials if you haven’t already done so, because pulling out what seems to be valid information from media sources is a subjective enterprise. There are a lot of contradictions and errors in the press coverage -- some of the latter I’ve caught (e.g., one source saying that, including Bill, Mrs. Comeans has two other children, when in fact she has three; and a photo of Bill with his father’s name, Robert, under it), but some I likely have not. In general, I’ve assumed something’s true if I read it in more than one place, but that’s not foolproof.

    Caveat: IMO this timeline is best used after you've read the source materials. Only then will you really get what the abbreviated statements mean. Also, the timeline is not intended as a substitute for reading the thread. Posters' points of view, analyses, and later content contributions all shed new light on the preliminary information presented here.

    (1) From the Ohio Atty. Gen.’s website (TBM):

    UNSOLVED HOMICIDE: WILLIAM COMEANS
    Case number: 713
    Date: 1/23/1980 [Error: the homicide actually occurred 1/7/1980]
    Location: Buena Vista Ave., Columbus, Ohio -- Franklin County
    DOB: 1/7/1965 [Error: DOB is actually 1/11/1965]
    Gender: Male
    Race/Ethnicity: White
    Height: 5' 09" [One news source says 6’1”]
    Weight: 170 lbs [One news source says 177 LBs]
    Hair: Brown
    Eyes: Brown
    Law enforcement agency: Franklin County Sheriff's Office
    Case Details
    William Comeans was helping his father work on family car. He then went two doors down to get his sister to come from a birthday party but it wasn't over, so he came home and told his mother that he would go back to get her. His parent's never saw him again before his discovery. They filed a missing persons report and police canvassed the neighborhood. William's father and neighbor found him at the dead end of Buena Vista Ave., which was the next street over, by the railroad tracks. William died later at the hospital. The cause of death was strangulation. On two previous occasions, in September and October, William was attacked by two unknown males and was choked on both occasions.
    (2) From various sources (see listing after this post):

    PERSONAL INFORMATION

    • Family residence: Maple Drive, New Rome (Franklin County, Columbus, considered “the west side”).
    • Bill was a freshman at Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio.
    • Police describe Bill as “the perfect student, the perfect child, the perfect citizen.”
    • Bill had a passion for music, played piano, and was in the school choir and musicals.
    (3) Created by pdxmama:

    MAP

    For a visual of locations mentioned in the timeline that follows, pdxmama created a Google Map with colored pushpins showing:

    • Red -- The family residence on Maple Drive
    • Aqua -- Westland High School (where BC was a freshman and received notes in his school locker)
    • Yellow -- Prairie-Lincoln Elementary School (site of the 1st assault)
    • Magenta -- The intersection of Maple Drive and Beacon Hill Road (site of the 2nd assault)
    • Green -- Where Buena Vista Ave. dead-ends by the railroad tracks (where BC’s body was discovered after the 3rd and final assault)
    (4) From various sources (see listing after this post):

    TIMELINE

    September & October Threatening Notes Rec’d at School

    • Throughout the fall, Bill finds 3-4 threatening notes in his school locker, which he gives detectives.
    • Some are typed, some are written, and some are cut from pieces of magazines.
    • Bill’s best friend and a girl friend each also received a note in their lockers. These messages, typed in red ink, say “Blood will spill,” “It’s your turn,” and “Bill has three mths. left. ps. make the best of it.”
    • At least one note is found at Westland HS after BC’s death. It says, "You're next" and is signed with a red "S." (A source says this is according to BC's parents, as deputies would not confirm such a note was found.)
    • LE compares Bill’s handwriting to the handwriting on the notes.
    9/5/1979, Wednesday First Assault (Attempted Murder?)
    8:30 PM

    • Bill is on his way home from a friend's house and cuts through the woods behind Prairie-Lincoln Elementary School, at 4900 Amesbury Way.
    • Bill is on a trail 50 yards into the woods behind the school.
    • Bill is knocked from his bike by “two unknown men” who approach from behind.
    • They tie a plastic garbage bag over Bill’s head and wrap a bicycle inner tube around his neck.
    • Bill nearly loses consciousness but frees himself.
    • Bill returns home with bruises on his neck.
    • Police find inner tube, plastic bag, and BC’s bike at scene, plus note that says “He was warned.”
    • Bill later files an assault report with Sherriff’s deputies, and police find Bill's bike bag, inner tube, and note at the scene.
    • Bill is unable to describe his assailants.
    10/22/79, Monday Second Assault (Attempted Murder?)
    6:30 PM

    • Bill is out collecting money on foot for his paper route near Beacon Hill Road and Maple Drive.
    • Two men leap from an older model, aqua/turquoise car and jump him from behind.
    • They tie a rope around neck and leave him for dead under a tree or some shrubs.
    • Bill lies there unconscious for 5-1/2 or 6 hours, then walks home at 1 AM.
    • Bill arrives home with rope burns on his neck and a gash on the right side of his face.
    • Bill tells his parents what happened.
    • Bill quits his paper route after this attack.
    • Bill sees a doctor and files an assault report with Sheriff’s deputies.
    • Bill describes his assailants as two white males in their late teens/early 20s.
    • Four days later, Bill takes a polygraph test at Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in London, Ohio.
    1/7/80, Monday The Murder
    About 9 PM

    • Sister Kathleen (age 9) attends a birthday party two doors down the street from the family home.
    • Bill goes to pick Kathleen up, but she asks for more time and Bill leaves.
    • Mother is in living room of family home.
    • Father is working on the car in the garage.
    • Bill brings his father coffee twice.
    • Bill wanders from the garage to the porch to the yard and never returns.
    • Nearly 20 minutes later the family becomes alarmed when they realize Bill is gone.
    • The family believes he was abducted.
    • Father says Bill would not have left the yard without telling someone.
    9 - 9:45 PM

    • Father searches for Bill with a neighbor.
    • Bill is found near the Conrail RR tracks at the north end of Buena Vista Ave.
    • Bill’s winter scarf was used to choke him and is still knotted tightly around his neck.
    • He lies face down in a snowy ditch, about two blocks from home, amidst beer bottles, broken tree limbs, and rusted car parts.
    • Brother Mike cuts the scarf free with a pocket knife.
    • Bill’s father and brother Bob give Bill CPR until ambulance arrives.
    • The ambulance takes Bill to Doctors West Hospital.
    • LE determines that, aside from the strangulation, there are no signs of a violence/struggle, no marks on Bill’s body, and Bill was not robbed (one source suggests he was not robbed during any of the attacks); they are unsure at this time if his death was caused by murder or suicide
    About 11 PM

    Bill is pronounced dead at Doctors Hospital West.
    4/22/80, Tuesday Coroner’s Report Released

    • Coroner William Adrion rules death a homicide. (Adrion may have had to put his name on all reports, as another source says Dep. Coroner Patrick M. Fardal conducted the autopsy.)
    • Finding is based on autopsy findings and sheriff’s department investigation.
    • COD: Cardiac arrest due to compression of the neck by ligature.
    • MOD: Petechial hemorrhaging shows he was most likely strangled.
    • Toxicology report shows diazepam (valium) in BC’s blood, but LE sees no evidence of personal drug use and does not know how Bill may have gotten any.
    • The report says Bill has internal injuries from the strangulation as well as facial hemorrhaging, but no other wounds to his body.
    • Coroner declares death “a very bizarre case.”
    7/21 - 10/31/80 Neighbors on Maple Drive receive threatening letters/notes

    • 13-19 letters (sources are mixed on the exact number) are received by eight families living w/in 200 yards of one another on Maple Dr. (or within 200 yards of the Comeans home)
    • Families on Maple Drive who receive the notes include: Armstrong, Baker, Blain, Comeans, Kidwell, Stormont, Tope, and Watts
    • Families receive identical notes on same days.
    • In July they start to arrive at two-week intervals.
    • Some are mailed, others hand-delivered at night (several sources say tied to porches and cars with leather belts; one source says taped; one source says leather straps).
    • First to be delivered in person arrive 9/9/80.
    • Sometimes arrival is 4 days apart, other times 33 days apart.
    • Handwriting is described two ways:

    • “crudely printed messages”
    • “neatly penciled on pieces of cut envelope.”

    • Handwriting analysis reveals all are written by same person. (Unclear whether comparison include pre-death notes.)
    • Messages are “very brief in three or four words or in poorly constructed sentences.”
    • Messages reported in press:

    • Parents should guard their children carefully, signed X.
    • “Time is short”
    • “[Name] is next” (seven neighborhood females, aged 7-50, were specifically named across in these notes)
    • “All have been warned”
    • “Death in October”
    • “U R Next”
    • “It’s time.” (left the night before Halloween)

    • Police believe the letter writer may be BC’s killer.
    • On Nov. 2, LE calls the letter writer a “terrorist” and go to Syracuse to get a psychological profile done on the letter writer.
    December 1980 54-Year-Old Woman Arrested for Penning Letters to Neighbors

    • Alean J. Tope, 54, of 387 Maple Dr., is arrested for writing threatening letters to her neighbors from July - Halloween.
    • Tope, a clerk in the Ohio Dept. of Taxation, and her husband, retired mail carrier Willard Tope, 56, have lived in the neighborhood for seven years and have four adult children (in 1980 they include a 22-YO daughter and three sons “ranging in age up to 30”).
    • Alean is allegedly diagnosed in November by a psychiatrist as having “dual personalities” (one source calls this diagnosis “tentative”); she had nervous breakdowns in 1973 and 1974; and she spent three weeks in University Hospital in November (presumably as a psych in-patient-- this stay shortly following the writing of the last note on Mischief Night/Halloween Eve).
    • At the time the neighborhood was alarmed by the notes, Tope claims to be one of the first to receive a note and participates in the neighborhood response to the letters. Early on, she tells the Columbus Dispatch, “This is a sick joke or someone ready to go off the deep end.”
    • She also tells police two men tried to force her into a van about a block from her home.
    • She also calls LE about prowlers, getting threatening phone calls, and attempted break-ins.
    • LE begins to see her as a suspect when her claims can’t be substantiated (once source says “proves to be false”].
    • The county sheriff executes a search warrant on her desk at the Dept. of Taxation Nov. 11 because she won’t surrender a handwriting sample or take a polygraph.
    • She is charged with disorderly conduct, pleads “no contest” (reportedly fainting and falling to the floor during the proceeding, something she reportedly had done several times since being found out), and is fined $50 (half of the maximum $100).
    • Exact charge is “did recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance, and alarm to other persons by engaging in threatening harm to such persons when taken in the context of the death of William Comeans,” a misdemeanor.
    • Mrs. Comeans says of her, “She was a good friend, but I don’t even want to look at her.”
    • She offers no explanation as to why she wrote the notes.
    • LE claims she is not a suspect in BC’s death or in the writing of the notes he received.
    Sept. 1981 LE Proposes New Theory of Crimes

    • LE advances a theory that BC died of accidental suicide by way of autoerotic asphyxiation.
    • NYPD is asked to weigh in and agrees, while FBI calls COD “inconclusive.”
    • Coroner has not changed ruling of homicide and does not speak.
    • LE claims homicide investigation continues “officially” while detectives state publicly that they don’t believe BC was murdered.
    • Deputy Coroner claims ruling of homicide was given “to keep the case open.”
    • LE claims scenes of first two attacks showed no signs of struggle, and that in spite of wet ground from heavy rains, BC’s clothes and shoes weren’t soiled.
    • LE claims that BC’s responses to the lie detector test he took were “significant of an attempt to deceive.”
    • LE claim the trampled “death scene” [Bill dies at Doctors Hospital West] hurt their case: 35-40 people were present, many panic stricken, as the family and emergency services tried to save Bill’s life.
    • A teacher tells LE that, before Bill died, he asked him Qs about “how to make yourself pass out.”
    • Case remains open as a homicide.
    (4) From various sources (see listing after this post):

    EVIDENCE
    Medical Report
    • Bill sees a doctor after the second assault, and his physician sees signs that Bill was choked (the choking caused blood vessels in his face to rupture).
    Final Crime Scene

    • Knife, beer bottle, and scarf from murder scene sent to crime lab in London, OH.
    • Family: "Franklin County Sheriff Cold Case unit has files, evidence, the scarf, statements, the butcher knife, pictures, DNA sample, everything."
    • FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Lab and NYPD both perform "personality analyses,” using interviews with relatives, friends, and school officials, to determine "personality traits and habits" of the victim (a handwriting sample is included).
    • Trace DNA found on scarf, awaiting release of new testing procedure that will better preserve sample (test was expected for release in Jan. 2013, but has not yet materialized).
    CURRENT CASE STATUS
    A cold case detective says they found bodily fluids on the scarf and plan to send it for DNA testing, but that has not been done yet. Since there isn't a big sample, they are waiting for a new test, currently in the works, to become available.
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 12:41 PM. Reason: additions and corrections per poster's request
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  2. #2
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    Crime Tracker 10 Looks at Cold Cases
    October 29, 2012

    channel 10 broadcast
    Last edited by KateB; 05-21-2015 at 07:29 PM. Reason: repair url tag.
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  3. #3
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    Pdxmama's CASE MAP



    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Hope this aerial view helps. North is straight upward.




    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 11:08 AM.
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Bill Comeans Twitter Account Gives Voice To Teen Murdered 34 Years Ago
    Huffington Post UK -- Posted: 22/01/2014 10:02 GMT -- Updated: 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

    Bill Comeans was murdered aged just 14-years-old in 1980 and - as he appears to tell us here - those responsible for his death have yet to be found.
    Social Media, Newly Discovered DNA Breathes New Life Info 32-Year-Old Cold Case
    WBNS-10TV Columbus, OH -- UPDATED: Monday October 29, 2012 11:04 PM

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A sister is searching for answers after her brother went missing when she was 9 years old – 32 years ago. Kathleen Comeans Park still remembers the last time she saw her 14-year-old brother Bill.

    “I was a couple of doors down at a friend’s birthday party,” Comeans Park said. “Bill came over to get me. I told him, ‘Just a little while longer,’ like kids do. So he left, and that was the last time I saw him.”
    Family of teen murdered 34 years ago create Twitter account recounting his death from 'beyond the grave' as they continue to look for his killer
    By Helen Pow
    Daily Mail -- Published: 12:09 EST, 12 January 2014

    Bill Comeans' body was found January 7, 1980 a block away from his West Columbus, Ohio, home after he was strangled by his own scarf. His killer was never found.

    But this year, on the 34th anniversary of his death, his younger sister, Kathleen Comeans, set up the account @BillComeans to bring attention back to the unsolved murder, still hoping to find whoever took him from their family.



    Case of the Month: Bill Comeans Jan 11,1965 - Jan 7, 1980
    Defrosting Cold Cases - February 1, 2014
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingByMyGut View Post
    Father finds son; says he was killed
    Publication: Columbus Dispatch
    Date: Tuesday, January 8, 1980

    William Comeans, 14, dies at hospital
    Publication: Columbus Citizen-Journal
    Date: Tuesday, January 8, 1980
    Page: 7 C

    Earlier threatening notes probed in death of strangled teenager William Comeans
    Publication: Columbus Dispatch
    Date: Wednesday, January 9, 1980
    Page: 5 B

    Father says son's death not suicide
    Publication: Columbus Citizen-Journal
    Date: Wednesday, January 9, 1980
    Page: 8 A

    Death of William Comeans being treated as homicide
    The Columbus Dispatch - January 18, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Some key points:

    • BC was found by his father a little after 9pm. He died at the hospital around 11pm the same day.
    • The article says he was attacked previously by "two men" and his father believes the same men were responsible for his son's death.
    Coroner Says New Rome Boy Murdered
    The Columbus Dispatch - April 23,1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Key points:

    • Police initially suspected suicide but BC's parents disagreed so the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Lab performed a "personality analysis." This is, essentially, a series of interviews with relatives, friends and school officials to determine "personality traits and habits" of a victim. A similar analysis was done my NYCPD.
    • Dad was working on the car in the garage. BC brought him coffee twice then wandered into the yard, he never returned. He was gone nearly 20 minutes before it was realized. His father said he would not have left the yard without telling someone.
    • First attack (this info is different from what we had previously): Took place behind Prairie-Lincoln Elementary School at 4900 Amesbury Way at 8:30pm while he was on his paper route. He was on his bike and attacked from behind.
    • Second attack: BC was walking near Maple and Beacon Hill Rd. when two men jumped from a car and attacked him (time of day not mentioned.)
    • The notes he received were found in his locker. They were typed and cut from pieces of magazines. His best friend and girl friend also received notes.
    Bizarre' strangling of boy ruled a homicide
    Columbus Citizen - April 23, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Key points:

    • This article says his body was found around 9:45pm (other articles stated it was 9:00pm)
    • BC's parents posted signs in their neighborhood offering a $3000 reward for info, no leads as of the writing of the article.
    • Second attack - additional info: BC was out collecting money for his paper route and didn't return home until 1:00am. "He had rope burns on his neck and told his parents two young men in an aqua-colored car stopped him, tied a rope around his neck and threw him under some bushes, where he lost consciousness."
    • At least one note was found at Westland HS after BC's death. It said "You're next" and was signed with a red "S". This is according to BC's parents, deputies would not confirm such a note was found.
    Mystery Still Lingers Over Death of Billy Comeans
    The Columbus Dispatch - September 13, 1981
    Billy told detectives the first assault came on Sept. 5, 1979, at 8:30 p.m. as he was riding his bicycle down a trail behind Prairie Lincoln Elementary School, 4900 Amesbury Way. He said two men jumped him, put a large plastic bag over his head and tied a bycicly inner tube around his neck.

    Billy returned home that night with bruises on his neck. When sheriff's deputies were called to the scene later, they found the bag, the inner tube, Billy's bike and a note saying, "He was warned."

    In the following weeks, threatening notes typed in red ink, were found in the school lockers of two of Billy's friends. They read, "Blood will spill. It's your turn..." and "...Bill has three mnths left. ps. make the best of it."
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 09:53 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Fear Strikes A Quiet Street

    Reading Eagle - November 1, 1980
    NEW ROME, Ohio -- Another Haloween has passed for the residents of Maple Drive, a quiet, narrow road in the Columbus suburb of New Rome, where armed neighbors have waited in fear for the note-sending "X" to strike.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The residents have received notes saying: "Time is short," "All have been warned," and "Death in October." On note, signed X, warned parents to protect their children. Wednesday night, all eight families on Maple Drive received a note saying, "It's time."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The notes are neatly penciled and have been delivered at night and attached to automobiles and porches with leather belts.

    Death Threats Raise Spector of Fear in Ohio Town

    AP, The Freelance Star in Fredericksburg, VA (?!), Nov. 1, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by GoingByMyGut View Post
    * The eight families receiving the letters 6 mos. after BC died -- July 1980 -- all lived w/in 200 yards of each other.
    Neighborhood in Fear: Will the Killer Strike Again?
    Spoke Daily Chronicle in Washington state, Nov. 1, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by GoingByMyGut View Post
    * Country detective Steve Martin says the reason police are puzzled is that the case lacks a strong motive.
    A Day of Terror on Maple Drive
    The Hour in Norwalk CT, Nov 1, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by GoingByMyGut View Post
    * After a statement that the sherriff's office says they are taking the case seriously, this sentence follows: "Another officer called the threats a 'hoax," but said 'some of the people in the area think it is serious.' "
    Eight Ohio Families Live in Fear of Killer
    The Lewiston Journal in Maine, Nov 1, 1980
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 09:30 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Death Threats Terrorizing Neighborhood
    The Columbus Dispatch - October 31, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Key points:

    • The notes delivered in batches to multiple families are identical to one another.
    • The notes were neatly penciled on pieces of cut envelope.
    • Notes were hand delivered, attached to automobiles and porches with leather belts.

    There was a quote that struck me as pretty interesting as it's quite different from earlier articles where the family was often quoted as being very supportive of the work of LE.

    "The worst part of the ordeal, the families said, is what they call the deputies' indifference. 'They weren't interested in Bill from the beginning...They brushed it (the killing) off at first as a suicide' Comeans said. 'They tell us to call whenever we get a letter but then when they get here they just throw them in the trunk of their car and drive away.'"
    Threat Letters Believed Written By Same Person
    The Columbus Dispatch - October 31,1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Key points:

    • Detective believed letters were written by the same BC's murderer. Letters were received by families who also lived on Maple Dr.
    • Handwriting analysis was done and determined all were written by same person.
    • Some neighborhood children were specifically named in the letters.
    • 19 letters were received by 8 families between July 21st and "last Tuesday"
    • Delivered in groups (multiple houses at once) and delivered personally (did not use US Mail)
    Neighborhood Saturated by Police
    The Columbus Dispatch - November 1, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    Not a lot of new info here but it really goes to show the disconnect between what the police said and what the neighbors felt was really going on.

    "Although the distraught families claimed the sheriff's office has ignored their pleas for help, deputies said they have spent 'thousands of hours' staking out the neighborhood since letters began arriving in July."

    and

    "However, when approached by The Dispatch, two unnamed uniformed sheriff's deputies in the neighborhood said they had not idea what was going on. 'We were just told to meet you guys out here,' one deputy said"

    My thought: HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON??
    Terrorist Search Enlist Aid of Handwriting Analyst
    The Columbus Dispatch - November 2, 1980

    Neighbor of Slain Youth Arrested for Penning Series of Death Notes
    The Columbus Dispatch - December 5, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    The neighbor that sent the letters (A. Tope) also sent them to her own home and gathered with neighbors to talk about the threats. It was determined that she was not responsible for the notes BC received before he died, the ones found in his locker.
    New Rome Woman Admits Threats to Neighbors
    Columbus Citizen - December 5, 1980
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmama View Post
    The letters were mailed and taped to car windshields. Nothing about the leather belts that we heard earlier. I can't believe she was only fined $50. I would be livid if I were that family.
    Obituary of Hoax Letter Write
    Aug. 21, 2012
    Alean June (Greene) Tope (obituary), Columbus Dispatch
    Last edited by bessie; 04-06-2014 at 03:03 AM.
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  9. #9
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    KatCo

    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Forgive me as I navigate thru posts and try to respond to any that I can.

    Regarding Kanard Ave dead ends in to Beuna Vista Ave, however, there is a bike path that connects to Deerfield Rd. This cut-thru was often used to get from our house to any friends that lived in the next neighborhood.

    Taking a short cut where the railroad tracks are was never an option, then or now. Houses (with fences) line the tracks. Most of the houses in the neighborhood had fences.

    The layout of the neighborhood and the industrial area on the opposite side of the tracks remains the same today as it did 34 years ago.

    The area of woods where Bill was first attacked is still the same also. It is behind Prairie Lincoln Elementary School.

    The area where the attacks occurred are about a 1 mile radius.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Thousands of hours staking out the neighborhood in July 1980? Where were they September & October of 1979? Where were they January 1980? They couldn't find answers to this mystery... were they even looking? Seems they were quick to dismiss it as anything other than murder.

    When I contacted the Sheriff's office in October 2011, the detective I spoke with asked some of the older detectives and they responded, "Wasn't that a suicide?"
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    The driveway went to the side of our house back to the detached garage. The garage door would have been opened while our dad was working on the car.

    Our driveway was side by side with the neighbor's.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Almost every single house in the neighborhoods had garages, and it would probably be a pretty even split of attached garages vs. detached garages.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Most likely Bill would have cut through the neighbors front yard (to the south of our house) to get me from the party (two doors down).
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Regarding other unsolved murders in the neighborhood of Westland students... I do not recall any.

    In the Sept 1, 1980, Ronald Steven Capehart (18) and Gary Lee Trudell (16) charged with (stabbing) murder of Edith Bridenstine. Both boys attended Westland High School (along with Bill).

    Trudell is serving a life sentence will parole coming up in 2018. To my knowledge he has been questioned regarding Bill's murder. However, I'm not sure how extensively.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Trudell and Capeheart would have attended Westland.

    I do not know if they had any interaction with Bill at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    I am not aware of Bill or anyone else taking valium. When I did see that in the autopsy report, I wondered why. Bob might be have a better answer than me.

    From talking with Bill's friends (in the past few years), most of them where not questioned. Talking with some of them, they may have some information that might be useful to LE and I have passed that information on. Several friends told me that a couple upper classmen would come to the choir room and "stare Bill down". I am not sure if they were ever questioned.

    School for us usually started the week before Labor Day. I don't know if he rec'd the notes before the first attack... I would venture to say no. Bob would know better.

    I know that my mom & dad would scour the neighborhoods, driving all over, looking for cars like that. They would write down license plates and let the police know. I don't know if anything was ever check out by LE.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Children's birthday parties were much different in 1980 then they are today. My friend's birthday was that day. Her family was having cake and ice cream and invited me over. It was after dinner time, on a school day, it was dark out.

    I talked to Bill at the side door and told him I wasn't ready to go yet, and he said he'd come back, God I wish he had.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Then night Bill was murdered, he was actually supposed to go out with our mom and dad. The three of them were going to go to the mall and return a couple Christmas gifts. The car wasn't cooperating, which is why our dad was working on it.

    For someone to take Bill from our yard, they would to have been watching him to know he was home. Were they close enough where they could keep tabs on him? (Mrs. Tope, who later left threatening letters, lived across the street and over one house from ours).

    Maybe it was someone he thought was a 'friend' and felt 'safe' with them. Perhaps he really didn't see who attacked him the previous times.

    Maybe he knew exactly who it was and was too afraid to yell. If there were two of them, and they had a knife, I can understand why Bill wouldn't have fought.

    Was Bill threatened to the point of not knowing what to do? Were threats being made to Bill regarding his family? So many questions.

    Bill was an outstanding person. He was a friend to everyone. The neighborhood families knew him (from the paper route) and liked him. Bill wasn't a snob, he didn't act like he was better than anyone else. He was genuine.
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Bob6104

    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    I have been reading your posts and I appreciate what you are thinking and writing. We have been speculating for 34 years now. Keep them coming. New detective starts next week. B
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    I don't really remember hearing much about fingerprints back then.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    He never made any mention of what attackers may have said to him in either of the first two events. After the second attack, when he was missing for hours, he finally knocked on the front door, I looked out and it was him. It was wet, and possibly rainy outside that night, but his clothes were dry. I asked him and he said he had been tossed under a large bush. Theories on that aspect?
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    I am reading your theories, while not always contributing, I am considering all that is being said. I appreciate your ideas, and the time spent to formulate them. You have made me consider things I had not considered before. Predator, yes I believe so. Held captive on one or all of these events, quite possibly. Did he know the perpetrator, probably. I always felt Bill was holding back for any number of reasons. I begged him over and over to tell me anything at all that he might be holding back. He never said anything beyond very general descriptions. Nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    attack site #1 was in woods that totally concealed the scene. There are many footpaths/bike paths through the woods and many kids cut through that area.

    Unknown whether LE returned to the scene the next day for analysis. Unknown what investigation was done that night after EMS took body. We never went back to scene. Mother and father did go downtown to sheriff's office and were questioned for several hours after Bill was pronounced at hospital.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Handwritten note on notebook paper I believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Black trash liner I believe. Something you couldn't see through, so no descriptions given.
    Why both when either one would have worked alone. And a note? Seems all very premeditated?

    Bill willingly went back to school. We thought the first one was random. The second one obviously targeted. The third? After number two Bill wasn't out of our sight, we thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Firehouse one block from attack #2, Broad St and Maple Drive
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    How can someone attack three times but be completely invisible to us all. No one is that good, are they? If this is solved are we going to say, it was right there looking us in the face and we missed it all these years?

    Like opening a twitter account for Bill. Twitter's been around for awhile and all of a sudden Katco sees it as an opportunity, and it is.

    Ice cream was partially eaten in the house, put in freezer to go get sister, and never returned for it. It was not eaten outside. (to answer previous question)

    Just thinking out loud here.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    He was dead when we found him. I was giving him mouth to mouth. The only reason he went to the hospital was because we started CPR, so EMS took over and transported. Otherwise it would have been a body, crime scene tape, pictures, and evidence collection. The scene was chaos. IMO
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    No idea where valium came from. I did a double take when I read the autopsy report and saw that.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Bill found facedown, scarf knotted in rear. He was turned faceup, accessed, and scarf was removed to start cpr.

    Methodical, and All, I believe you understand where I am at, because most of you have been there in one way or another.

    First attack. Why leave a warning note if you believed victim was dead. Who are you warning at that point? Why leave something that could point back at yourself?
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Butcher knife was not touched at the murder scene. I specifically remember telling my brother and dad not to touch it. Of course, we touched most everything else, trying to save him.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Long cutting knife that probably most of us have in our kitchens. Not a cleaver.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    The bottle and knife are with LE. No word on any evidence taken off these objects. LE asked if the knife came from our house. I don't think so. We had no knife sets at the house or anything matching what was left at scene.

    By the third attack when Bill went missing, the family was out and immediately searching. Amazing what you get used to, and not in a good way. Dad and neighbor went one way. Two brothers went the other way. Brothers crossed paths with a patrolling LE and he stated they thought someone was walking other way. We headed back to house, got my car, and headed toward tracks. Parked car, walked out to tracks and found Bill, Dad, and neighbor.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Brothers south on maple, encounter LE, second block. Dad and neighbor north on maple.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    LEO encounter in south block was with officer in patrol car. 911 was called immediately upon noticing Bill missing.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Scene- 1 victim, 3 family, 4-6 EMS/FIRE, 2-4 LEO, 10-15 neighbors attracted by lights.

    Rough estimate of personnel at location as incident unfolded.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Going back to the first post I ever made here, in order to be your eyes and ears, I will try and answer your questions as best I can in order to move this thing past theories and onto facts. I'm dedicating the next two hours to questions. This brings questions to the front that have been overlooked in the past several weeks.

    Bill was found at Park and Buena Vista, face down in a shallow ditch apx 8 feet off Park. There was a small dirt bank and several trees between his body and the road.
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 10:22 AM.
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  11. #11
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    KatCo

    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    The letters written "after" Bill's death by AJT had nothing to do with Bill's death.

    For clarification, Bill wasn't attacked near a high school, it was an elementary school. And of course, a police report was made. They went to the crime scene and recovered items.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Regarding the "car theory"...

    It's not completely unlikely a car could have been used the night of the murder. You have to remember, everyone has their doors and windows shut (it's 30 degrees outside) and it's dark. How many cars go by your house on a given night while you are inside watching tv, doing laundry, cooking dinner? You don't know, because you are busy. It only takes a moment to "grab and go."

    The walk from Bill's house to the area he was found, is about a leisurely 5 minute walk, 20 seconds by car.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    The railroad tracks are the same today as the time prior Bill's murder. The ditch is fairly close to the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    In case anyone missed it from a prior post, 911 was called when family noticed Bill was missing, that's way LE was patrolling the neighborhood.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Many of the school personnel from the middle school and high school lived in the area. Some were probably at the school(s) when Bill's older brothers were in school and many were there when I attended school.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    I want to express my thanks for everyone taking their time to brainstorm, research, ponder, and share with us. I believe there is a time for everything. Perhaps it's taken 34 years for this new DNA testing to come about because it's taken that long for the DNA of whomever it belongs to, to get in the system. Maybe 20 years ago if it were tested, we'd have no matches. I have been called 'annoyingly optimistic' and I believe the answers to Bill's murder will come. I was 9 when Bill was murdered, so I have spent most of my life wondering why, praying for answers, hoping for something. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to Bill's attacks and there will never be an excuse for why he was murdered. I know nothing will bring back my brother, and any answers we will be given won't make things ok. But the life of a my brother was taken and the life of our family altered forever... even in to the next generation. Someone is responsible for Bill's death and that person needs be held accountable. I will be glad when we can all stop the discussion and move on... to the next cold case.
    Quote Originally Posted by KatCo View Post
    Regarding the location Bill was found on the night of his murder, it is a somewhat concealed area. The area is located across the streets (railroad track side) and situated somewhat behind the house. It is a very dark area, no street lights, no porch lights would be on that side of the house. It was a cold night (windows and doors shut). The families living in those houses are used to hearing the trains go by and had probably have been accustomed to tuning out any outside noises.

    The area where Bill was found is out of sight from any of the houses.

    The pathway of the railroad tracks would provide a quick getaway for the murderer(s). After killing Bill, they could have walked down the tracks, avoiding anyone out looking for Bill.

    No knives were missing from our house, that the LE did check.
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 11:05 AM.
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  12. #12
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    bob6104

    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Post 562 unknown. We didn't really know any LE or teachers from the high school.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Little farms edition just outside new rome. Dispatch. I believe it was an evening paper but then went to mornings? That paper route was in the family for years between 3 boys.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    I can only guess Bill aspired to be in music. I think he took piano lessons. Papers were dropped at house. No interaction with other paper carriers. Buying a piano, Im sure my parents helped pay for some of it too. No particular paper customer stood out as odd. No heavy tippers. There were always one or two older guys around maybe 20-25 who had a following. Like you said cause thats where the party was. Bill was two weeks into high school when this started. He didnt have time to make those contacts though I believe their were students trying to intimidate him, freshman piano player and who knows why.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Summer was unremarkable with maybe a family vacation and Bill probably seeing some middle school friends.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Bill was third son. Two older brothers had already graduated from same high school.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Bill dated girls at different times. He was well liked in middle school.No know relation to LE or teachers. Tulessa I'm sorry for your loss.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    We are trying to locate the autopsy report. I received a copy several years ago. Trying to find it again. I read it many times, but not in a couple years.Will keep you posted on that.

    Methodical, Bill was wearing winter coat, long pants, shirt, gloves, hat, shoes. Clothes were not displaced. I forget if coat was zipped or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    LE encounter... LE may have turned south on Maple from Kanard and come up behind us. We were scouring both sides of Maple looking at bushes, trees, etc, and not necessarily looking at a car coming up behind us. He was moving at walking speed and stopped beside us. I just assumed he was "out looking" just like we were.

    We beat him to scene, called 911 again, and there he was after that.

    I am posting in snippets because I keep getting timed out.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    LE had been to our house many times between the two previous attacks. Is it possible he already was familiar with us, and Bill, and the situation and was just making a quick cruise before contacting Comeans home? I don't know. I don't know if LE contacted mom at house while all males were out on the street prior to scene discovery.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    In all three attacks i was out somewhere else when it happened. I came home three different times and had family say bill was attacked #1, bill is missing #2,3.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    I think I said 2-4 LEO because there was one taking pictures. Also, this was a relative small jurisdiction and I'm assuming other LEO responding with EMS. I believe I also saw a later picture from scene with two detective types in photo. But now that you ask I only specifically remember the one uniformed LEO taking pictures at the time.

    The only verbal interaction with LEO was me telling the guy taking photos that the knife was not Bill's and it was probably evidence, and that we didn't touch it. LEO didn't go near Bill before, during, or after cpr was started and transferred to EMS. Nothing else was said between LEO and us at the scene, and family left to go to hospital.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    LEO in patrol car was encountered on the middle block of Maple. He stated he thought someone saw someone walking somewhere north of our location. Brothers were headed south at the time, patrol car was headed south as well.

    Father and neighbor headed north on Maple on foot at apx same time.

    Brothers turned around and headed north, picked a car at family house, and drove down Maple to Park, turned right and stopped at Buena Vista and Park. Left car on road, walked over to tracks and saw Bill's body, father, and neighbor kneeling in ditch with Bill's body.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    Post 458 wondering why Bill wasn't taken to the "no witness zone," beyond the railroad tracks.

    I feel he was dumped in the ditch because they had a vehicle that they couldn't abandon to move him further into a secure no witness zone area. I feel he was dead by the time they arrived at the dumping spot. As he was moved from the car to the ditch, someone had a knife in their hand and it was dropped at the scene in the chaos of the body transfer. The beer bottle I suspect may have already been in the ditch as trash. Anyone who was in a car with his body already had their hands full, literally, as they attempted to remove him from car.

    I stood alone last night in my front yard. It was cold, dark, wet. The street was quiet and there were many place of concealment around me in trees and bushes. I could feel how someone could be upon you quickly and overcome you, where even a quick shout would not call out attention from anyone. Bill's neighborhood the houses are close together with people parking along the street. A random car could be unnoticeable.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    post 550 the neighbors on the street had lived there for years and years. Fairly stable environment aside from Topes living directly across the street.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob6104 View Post
    911 was called as my brother and I walked out the front door and headed north. ETA was apx 5 minute walk from our house north to LEO encounter.

    He may have just entered the area of the neighborhood when we saw him. His comment seemed very random to me, as my brother turned and headed north, I have no idea where he went.

    Back to our house, less than 5 minutes, we were jogging back. Pick up car, drive north to tracks, another 5 to less than 10 minutes on scene.

    Brother and I were third and fourth on scene. No LEO. I accessed Bill, told brother to cut scarf off his neck and I ran up to northwest house on corner and called 911 for ems. 2-3 minutes later I was back at the ditch and LEO was taking pictures. I don't remember him saying anything to us or if it was the same LEO from the earlier encounter.

    Ems arrived probably within 5-10 mins, took over cpr from us, put Bill on gurney, hooked an automatic cpr machine to his chest, loaded and transported. Time EMS on scene, less than 10 minutes.

    Family left scene with no word to LEO. Don't recall other LEO on scene at my departure, although there may have been.
    Last edited by bessie; 02-09-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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