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  1. #16
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    To Richard

    You've outdone yourself again Richard. If I were the 'bad guy', I'd rather walk through Hell with gasoline on my underwear, than have you looking for me!

  2. #17
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    Question for someone familiar with area in 1975

    I have a question for anyone familiar with the Wheaton Plaza area as it was in 1975.
    If you were leaving Wheaton Plaza from Montgomery Wards in 1975, you'd head across the parking lot, and then go where next to get to the Lyon house?

    I thought I remembered someone saying that after the parking lot the girls would have to walk through a field or through some trees (basically an area that one could get to on foot, but not by car)

    I've looked for that information but cannot find it again.

    My bigger question is: on the route the lyon sisters took to the Plaza in 1975, how many places were only accessible by foot? ANd what were those areas?? forrest, school yard etc.

    Like if you were walking and cut through a school yard, obviously that would only be accessible by foot. I thought there were two places in their route that were only accessible by foot.
    Children don't stop dancing

  3. #18
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    The route from Wheaton Plaza to the girls' house

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    I have a question for anyone familiar with the Wheaton Plaza area as it was in 1975.
    If you were leaving Wheaton Plaza from Montgomery Wards in 1975, you'd head across the parking lot, and then go where next to get to the Lyon house?....
    My bigger question is: on the route the lyon sisters took to the Plaza in 1975, how many places were only accessible by foot? ANd what were those areas?? forrest, school yard etc......
    Good questions. I know that the route has been discussed in a number of other places in this forum, but I will try to answer here. I believe that there was a good description in an Washington Star article dated 6 April 1975 that I posted recently in the News article thread.

    When you exited what was then Wards by way of their "back door" exit, you were headed due west. You would walk through about 100 feet of parking lot and cross the perimeter road which goes all around the mall area.

    There was a foot path which went through a very small area of trees - maybe about 20 - 30 feet and that path brought you to the end of Faulkner Drive. Walking due west on Faulkner, either on sidewalk or roadway, you come to Drumm Ave. At this point, you can either turn right on Drumm and head north to University Blvd, or you continue straight, still headed west, but now off Faulkner and on Drumm (again either on sidewalk or roadway).

    There are a few small residential roads on the right and left from Drumm, but soon it intersects with McComas. At this point, the girls usually turned left on McComas and then right into a wooded area with a foot path. The foot path came out on Jennings. The girls would then continue west on Jennings until they came to their home on the corner of Jennings and Plyers Mill Road. The footpath was, of course, inaccessable to vehicle traffic.

    That wooded area is now developed and the path is no longer there in its entierty.

    Now a secondary route that the girls could have taken was to continue west on Drumm, crossing over McComas and continuing all the way to Plyers Mill Road. At this point, they could turn left, walk a hundred feet or so to Jennings and cross over to their house. There is and was a section of Drumm (between McComas and Plyers Mill Road) which is closed off to Vehicle traffic. This is done with large upright posts in the roadway.

    So either way, a vehicle could not go all the way to their home except by a round about way.

    I have walked the entire route both directions (the second one I mention) and at a brisk walk it takes 15 minutes one way.

    Areas only accessable by foot:
    - The short path between Faulkner and the Mall perimeter road.
    - The very short stretch on Drumm Ave.
    - The wooded area between McComas and Jennings.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Good questions. I know that the route has been discussed in a number of other places in this forum, but I will try to answer here. I believe that there was a good description in an Washington Star article dated 6 April 1975 that I posted recently in the News article thread.

    When you exited what was then Wards by way of their "back door" exit, you were headed due west. You would walk through about 100 feet of parking lot and cross the perimeter road which goes all around the mall area.

    There was a foot path which went through a very small area of trees - maybe about 20 - 30 feet and that path brought you to the end of Faulkner Drive. Walking due west on Faulkner, either on sidewalk or roadway, you come to Drumm Ave. At this point, you can either turn right on Drumm and head north to University Blvd, or you continue straight, still headed west, but now off Faulkner and on Drumm (again either on sidewalk or roadway).

    There are a few small residential roads on the right and left from Drumm, but soon it intersects with McComas. At this point, the girls usually turned left on McComas and then right into a wooded area with a foot path. The foot path came out on Jennings. The girls would then continue west on Jennings until they came to their home on the corner of Jennings and Plyers Mill Road. The footpath was, of course, inaccessable to vehicle traffic.

    That wooded area is now developed and the path is no longer there in its entierty.

    Now a secondary route that the girls could have taken was to continue west on Drumm, crossing over McComas and continuing all the way to Plyers Mill Road. At this point, they could turn left, walk a hundred feet or so to Jennings and cross over to their house. There is and was a section of Drumm (between McComas and Plyers Mill Road) which is closed off to Vehicle traffic. This is done with large upright posts in the roadway.

    So either way, a vehicle could not go all the way to their home except by a round about way.

    I have walked the entire route both directions (the second one I mention) and at a brisk walk it takes 15 minutes one way.

    Areas only accessable by foot:
    - The short path between Faulkner and the Mall perimeter road.
    - The very short stretch on Drumm Ave.
    - The wooded area between McComas and Jennings.
    Thanks Richard. You answered part of my question on the other thread. I was going to come back and amend my post, but you already answered in full here. Thank you.
    Children don't stop dancing

  5. #20
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    Military Anyone?

    I am wondering about the military.Coffey was in the military and Richard's profile of TRM mentions the military.I don't know much about what happens when you enlist,but I'm wondering if there is any type of psychological assessment done before one can enter the military? I'm wondering what they thought of Coffey.Can anyone explain how the military works?

  6. #21
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    Coffey's time in the Navy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    I am wondering about the military.Coffey was in the military and Richard's profile of TRM mentions the military.I don't know much about what happens when you enlist,but I'm wondering if there is any type of psychological assessment done before one can enter the military? I'm wondering what they thought of Coffey.Can anyone explain how the military works?
    I can't explain the whole military in this small post, but will mention a bit about Fred Coffey and his Navy time.

    Coffey first enlisted in the Navy in 1962 at the age of 17. He served three consecutive enlistments (each hitch for four years) for a total of 12 years.

    He had actually applied to re-enlist again for a fourth term, but his legal troubles involving his inappropriate behavior with children caused Navy officials to NOT allow his fourth enlistment to take place. The Navy did not have jurisdiction over his crimes. They were handled in civilian criminal court proceedings.

    Coffey had reached the end of his third enlistment and was the rank of Petty Officer First Class (Paygrade E6) by September 1974. He was given an honorable discharge - based on his behavior and work in the Navy. But because of the civilian convictions, he was denied re-enlistment.

    It is possible that Coffey landed his job with Vitro Laboratories in Maryland through connections that he had made in the Navy.

    So, Coffey was probably a pretty good sailor and likely did well in his occupational specialty. He obviously was a sexual predator while in the Navy and managed to hide that part of his behavior from his Navy supervisors and officers.

    It should be noted that by late 1975, Coffey had managed to enlist in the North Carolina National Guard.

    If the Navy had learned of Coffey's proclivities earlier, it is very possible that he would have been evaluated by Navy psycologists and that a recommendation for an administrative discharge could have been made.

    If the Navy had tried him by Court Martial for the abduction and rape of the Navy dependant child, such a court could have recommended such punishments as confinement at hard labor, reduction in rate to E1, loss of all pay and allowances, and Dishonorable or Bad Conduct Discharge from the Navy.

  7. #22
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    Military again . . .

    Do you have to take a psych. evaluation prior to enlisting in the military, or prior to them accepting you??
    Children don't stop dancing

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    The girls shared a paper route with younger brother Joe.They wouldn't have handed the paper to people,but they would have knocked on doors to collect the money for the route however often that was done,right?I'd like to know when was the last time they collected the money? The article said that they split the route.I assume that means that they took turns,so they would each be out alone doing the route on thier particlar Wednesday.I'm just thinking that in collecting the money,they would have come in contact with alot of people.I wonder how soon before they were taken did they collect money from the route and who collected it?
    Bumpity Bump

    This got buried in other Q&A.

    I don't know the answers to these paper route questions. Did it mention what paper they delivered?
    Children don't stop dancing

  9. #24
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    The Paper Route......

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Motherof5
    The girls shared a paper route with younger brother Joe.They wouldn't have handed the paper to people,but they would have knocked on doors to collect the money for the route however often that was done,right?I'd like to know when was the last time they collected the money? The article said that they split the route.I assume that means that they took turns,so they would each be out alone doing the route on thier particlar Wednesday.I'm just thinking that in collecting the money,they would have come in contact with alot of people.I wonder how soon before they were taken did they collect money from the route and who collected it?

    Bumpity Bump

    This got buried in other Q&A.

    I don't know the answers to these paper route questions. Did it mention what paper they delivered?
    __________________
    Children don't stop dancing


    I don't know the name of the paper. I'm just thinking that they would have come in contact with several people on their route.If anyone can help me with these questions I'd really appreciate it.

  10. #25
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    Timeline Compilation

    I like doing timelines and I think it would be useful as we have a lot of events for that day, but they seem to be listed and references across several different threads without one post listing them all together with comments.


    • AM: Mr. Lyon slept in after overnight radio show; Katherine invited over to a girlfriend's house to play, but was discouraged by Mrs. Lyon. Arrangements were made for Katherine to call at 1500. Katherine told friend she and Sheila were going to Wheaton Plaza.

    • 1100-1200: Sisters left home.

    • ~1930 (1130): Sisters allegedly seen near Drumm Avenue and Faulkner Place as they walked away from their home toward Wheaton Plaza by 12 year-old David Reed (knew them from the pool the previous summer and having attended school with Sheila). Sighting of girls heading away from home that late in the evening in the dark discounted two weeks after it was made. [This sighting is believed by Richard to be a possible error by police and should have been Eleven rather than Seven. Given that it is discounted otherwise and makes no difference since they obviously made it to the mall, I include it here.]

    • ~1145: Sisters seen by Sarah Biosca, retired seamstress, at a leather shop looking at a wallet.

    • Unknown: Sisters seen at Up Against The Wall (jeans store) by 18 year-old clerk.

    • Noon: Mrs. Lyon out bowling.

    • ~1300: Sisters seen at mall center waiting at the Easter Bunny display by brother Jay; Jay walked right by, but Jay does not know if they saw him.

    • Unknown: Sheila seen by 13 year-old who knew her as she was sitting on the Easter Bunny's arm as children talked to the bunny.

    • 1300-1400: Sisters seen by "Jimmy" and friend (both 13 years old) near the Orange Bowl restaurant as they were talking to TRM.

    • ~1400: Sisters allegedly seen by brother Jay as they ate pizza in the Orange Bowl according to Washington Post. Sighting not reported in interview with Ms. Kuhn in 6 April 1975 Washington Star interview.

    • 1430-1500: Sisters seen near intersection of Drumm and Devon by another boy who only came forward after the discounting of the 1930 sighting. This sighting was/is viewed with skepticism as it was reported two weeks later.

    • ~Early PM: Sisters seen by James Mann as they passed by his house. (This sighting was not reported by any of the contemporary news media and is dubious.)

    • 1500 (3pm): Mrs. Lyon: "A good time to be home"; Katherine was expected to be home to call her girlfriend. Mr. Lyon left home to pick up Mrs. Lyon at bowling.

    • 1600-1630: Mr. and Mrs. Lyon returned home.

    • 1800: Supper, Mrs. Lyon worried as girls were not home yet.

    • 1900-2000: Sisters reported missing.


  11. #26
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    Thank you this timeline is very helpful!
    Children don't stop dancing

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fukiyama View Post
    I like doing timelines and I think it would be useful as we have a lot of events for that day, but they seem to be listed and references across several different threads without one post listing them all together with comments.


    • AM: Mr. Lyon slept in after overnight radio show; Katherine invited over to a girlfriend's house to play, but was discouraged by Mrs. Lyon. Arrangements were made for Katherine to call at 1500. Katherine told friend she and Sheila were going to Wheaton Plaza.

    • 1100-1200: Sisters left home.

    • ~1930 (1130): Sisters allegedly seen near Drumm Avenue and Faulkner Place as they walked away from their home toward Wheaton Plaza by 12 year-old David Reed (knew them from the pool the previous summer and having attended school with Sheila). Sighting of girls heading away from home that late in the evening in the dark discounted two weeks after it was made. [This sighting is believed by Richard to be a possible error by police and should have been Eleven rather than Seven. Given that it is discounted otherwise and makes no difference since they obviously made it to the mall, I include it here.]

    • ~1145: Sisters seen by Sarah Biosca, retired seamstress, at a leather shop looking at a wallet.

    • Unknown: Sisters seen at Up Against The Wall (jeans store) by 18 year-old clerk.

    • Noon: Mrs. Lyon out bowling.

    • ~1300: Sisters seen at mall center waiting at the Easter Bunny display by brother Jay; Jay walked right by, but Jay does not know if they saw him.

    • Unknown: Sheila seen by 13 year-old who knew her as she was sitting on the Easter Bunny's arm as children talked to the bunny.

    • 1300-1400: Sisters seen by "Jimmy" and friend (both 13 years old) near the Orange Bowl restaurant as they were talking to TRM.

    • ~1400: Sisters allegedly seen by brother Jay as they ate pizza in the Orange Bowl according to Washington Post. Sighting not reported in interview with Ms. Kuhn in 6 April 1975 Washington Star interview.

    • 1430-1500: Sisters seen near intersection of Drumm and Devon by another boy who only came forward after the discounting of the 1930 sighting. This sighting was/is viewed with skepticism as it was reported two weeks later.

    • ~Early PM: Sisters seen by James Mann as they passed by his house. (This sighting was not reported by any of the contemporary news media and is dubious.)

    • 1500 (3pm): Mrs. Lyon: "A good time to be home"; Katherine was expected to be home to call her girlfriend. Mr. Lyon left home to pick up Mrs. Lyon at bowling.

    • 1600-1630: Mr. and Mrs. Lyon returned home.

    • 1800: Supper, Mrs. Lyon worried as girls were not home yet.

    • 1900-2000: Sisters reported missing.


    Wish we knew what time each brother arrived home to add to this timeline.
    Children don't stop dancing

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    The girls shared a paper route with younger brother Joe.They wouldn't have handed the paper to people,but they would have knocked on doors to collect the money for the route however often that was done,right?I'd like to know when was the last time they collected the money? The article said that they split the route.I assume that means that they took turns,so they would each be out alone doing the route on thier particlar Wednesday.I'm just thinking that in collecting the money,they would have come in contact with alot of people.I wonder how soon before they were taken did they collect money from the route and who collected it?
    Bolded by me for reference.

    The thought just occurred to me that if this was a weekly paper delivered on Wednesdays chances are it was a free newspaper. No money would be collected.

    I grew up in Montgomery County and we had a newspaper delivered weekly every Wednesday and it was free.

    Just a thought.
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  14. #29
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    About Sheila & Katherine........

    I'm thinking that knowing a little bit more about the girls personalities might be helpful in trying to figure out what they might have done that day.I have a question about statements made by their father and one by their friends. John Lyon said this in an interview............

    "They weren't shy," Lyon said in an interview with the Montgomery Journal. "They were very confident and trusting. Maybe too much."


    Their friends said this about them in the Washington Star article.........

    It was into this busy, teeming shopping scene that the two Lyon sisters walked. Two blond haired girls: Kate, the youngest, "sort of the silly one - the outgoing one" as some friends affectionately put it, and Sheila, the oldest, who they said is "quiet - she would talk when you talked to her."

    This makes me think that Kate was out going and Sheila was somewhat shy.However,John Lyon said that they weren't shy. Kids aren't shy around their parents and others that they know well,but it sounds like Sheila was shy around others outside of the family.I bring this up because Sheila was the oldest and it would seem that given the comments made by kids that knew her,saying that she was quiet,she would speak when spoken to,seems like a careful person. John also said that they were trusting,I wonder how trusting? Sheila had just started babysitting,according to her mother,that means that she was somewhat responsible. Considering that her friends said that Sheila would talk when you talked to her,I think she might have answered an adult that would approach her,but would she have gone willingly with a stranger or someone she had only spoken to once,briefly?

  15. #30
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    Trusting/Outgoing/Shy

    I guess it would depend on what people meant when they said she would talk if you talked to her first. Does this mean she'd talk to anyone who spoke to her first, or was she this way just at school with acquaintances/people she didn't know well?? Did she trust ANYONE or just people she knew??
    It is natural for a parent to have a slightly different opinion of a child's personality than a peer would especially if they didn't see them around their peers much.

    It would be nice to know more about these girls. Getting to know their habits, likes, dislikes etc. could give us a clue to this puzzle.
    Children don't stop dancing

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