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  1. #1
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    CA - Linda Lovell, 25, & Stephen Packard, 18, Westport, 10 June 1974

    Linda Lee Lovell and Stephen Locke Packard
    Missing since June 1974.
    This is a joint posting.
    For separate accounts unraveling their intertwined cases, see Linda Lee Lovell and Stephen Locke Packard. There is uncertainty in the date and place(s) of their respective disappearances. Add to that the fact that they were both jointly and singly reported missing in several different jurisdictions, and it becomes apparent that this thread should serve as a record of their joint activities. The links to their individual cases will be supplied below after they are also posted.

    BASIC CASE:
    25-year-old Linda Lovell and 18-year-old Stephen Packard were hitchhiking north on the Pacific Coast in June 1974. Packard called home on 10 June 1974, from Stinson Beach CA. Lovell mailed postcards home from there. That was her last known contact.

    The pair's goal was the World's Fair in Spokane WA. After visiting that, they planned to be in Missoula MT for the Fourth of July holiday.

    On 20 June 1974, one of Stephen's traveler's checks was cashed in Westport CA in Mendocino County, 170 miles and 4 hours 30 minutes drive north of Stinson Beach. Here's their most probable route up the coast, as the pair were tourists and the inland route wasn't particularly scenic. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/West...37.9004816!3e0

    Overhead view of Westport. Store is in the center. https://www.google.com/maps/place/We...!4d-123.784591

    Ground view of the Westport store: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Westport+Community+Store/@39.638401,-123.784545,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1s-wcl-lhsctK0%2FV4PS_-5CEiI%2FAAAAAAAAAGU%2F1Ww0mYWF8KYLsHyKvnOMh6r1wjTAoFNYQCLIB!2e4!3e12! 6s%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com%2F-wcl-lhsctK0%2FV4PS_-5CEiI%2FAAAAAAAAAGU%2F1Ww0mYWF8KYLsHyKvnOMh6r1wjTAoFNYQCLIB%2Fs114-k-no%2F!7i1024!8i768!4m5!3m4!1s0x8081d33817774185:0x d65c3a10d8406f7e!8m2!3d39.6383445!4d-123.784591!6m1!1e1

    If Steve actually did cash that traveler's check, it cannot be known whether Linda was also in Westport. Conversely, neither of them may have made their way to Westport. Whether Steve cashed the traveler's check does not seem to be authenticated.

    Sources:

    Doe Network: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2999dfmt.html

    National Missing Person Directory: http://www.missingin.org/reg7331/ste...ke_packard.htm

    Charley Project: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/l/lovell_linda.html

    There are mysteries within this mystery:

    So whose relatives were they supposed to meet in Spokane, Linda's or Steve's? Or both?

    Just what was their relationship to one another? How did they know one another? The age difference makes a romantic relationship less likely.

    Possible scenarios: She hitches out of Missoula (it says somewhere.) Conjecture that he graduates high school in Provincetown, flies Boston or NYC to SFO. They meet by chance in San Francisco and form a traveler's alliance; his protective brawn, her worldly wisdom.

    Seems unlikely also. What is the connection between these two?

  2. #2
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    Stephen Locke Packard's thread is at http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ight=Mendocino

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by burblestein View Post
    BASIC CASE:
    25-year-old Linda Lovell and 18-year-old Stephen Packard were hitchhiking north on the Pacific Coast in June 1974?

    Just what was their relationship to one another? How did they know one another? The age difference makes a romantic relationship less likely.

    Possible scenarios: She hitches out of Missoula (it says somewhere.) Conjecture that he graduates high school in Provincetown, flies Boston or NYC to SFO. They meet by chance in San Francisco and form a traveler's alliance; his protective brawn, her worldly wisdom.

    Seems unlikely also. What is the connection between these two?
    In what fantasy universe does a seven-year age difference make a romantic relationship unlikely?

    I've lost count of how couples I've known where the age difference was twenty years or more; a seven-year difference is nothing.

  5. #5
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    Stephen Locke Packard's name sounded vaguely familiar so I checked Google and realized that he was the son of a Provincetown artist, Anne Locke Packard. I found an article that references her son's death and indicates that Linda was his girlfriend (see paragraph 7). The article is titled "Building Provincetown: The History of Provincetown Told Through Its Built Environment."

    It also provides interesting description of Stephen's family: "Mystery and fascination surrounded them; the Packards were like old-fashioned outlaws. They had energy, flair, bravado, charm; and they were generous and kindly and sexy, in part because they created their own laws, their own society.”

    https://buildingprovincetown.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/621-commercial-street/

  6. #6
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    Great find!

    Great find, Coleraine! Not MSM, but informative. This is the first source I have seen that calls them romantic partners. I am not saying a seven year age span makes a difference in all, or even most, couples. However, a 25 year old woman has 7 years experience past high school. An 18 year old boy coming out of high school doesn't have that experience. So it's easy to wonder, Where's the common ground for a relationship?

    Then again, there was the time factor. Either they hooked up within less than two weeks in early June 1974, or they knew one another before the trip. And one was from Provincetown, but the other was from Missoula. So how would they know one another? So, you can see why I was skeptical.

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    If there was a pre-trip romantic relationship, Stephen was a minor when it began. If that matters for anything.

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    Some answers, courtesy of Coleraine.

    They were an involved couple after all. They began their road trip at Stephen's home on 10 June 1974, per below link. This also means that the reports of postcards and a phone call home from Stinson Beach on the 10th are false.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/13/ar...pe-in-art.html

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by burblestein View Post
    They were an involved couple after all. They began their road trip at Stephen's home on 10 June 1974, per below link. This also means that the reports of postcards and a phone call home from Stinson Beach on the 10th are false. http://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/13/ar...pe-in-art.html
    RBBM for clarity.
    Not necessarily. I guess it would have depended on where they landed. If they landed in Sacramento, that appears to be under 3 hours away from Stinson Beach. Take into consideration flight time and the three hour time difference between the east and west cost and it's doable if they were able to get a ride right away from the airport. They could have called/written right when they got there, just to let their folks know they arrived. Does anyone know for sure where they landed?
    ETA: San Fran is even closer.
    What I really want to know is how a woman from MT meets a man from the tip of the Cape prior to the internet. It really has no bearing on the case, I'm just curious. How people met, especially from so far away, has always fascinated me.
    Last edited by Alleykins; 10-01-2016 at 06:20 PM.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

  10. #10
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    Another mystery within the mystery

    Actually, Alleykins, the question is how does a grown woman from MT meet a school boy from MA? She maybe vacationed in Provincetown and met him then? And who knows whether any given piece of info is relevant until the case(s) are resolved?


  11. #11
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    There's a problem with the NY Times article in which June 10th is referred to by Stephen's mother as the Saturday. In 1974, June 10th was on a Monday. So I'm thinking the June 10th date for their departure is incorrect. I've seen one of the sites--not sure which one--state the date of departure as Stephen's birthday, which was June 6th. And if Stephen and Linda did hitchhike cross country, as his mother states was their plan, then they made fantastic time (4 days!) to reach Stinson Beach and call on 6/10/74. Maybe they did hop on a jet at some point...

    Alleykins, I'm really curious about how they met, too. I'm so fascinated by this case! Thank you, burblestein, for bringing it to the forum.

  12. #12
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    Let's not confuse my speculation with fact

    I have speculated that Stephen departed MA on his birthday; I don't recall that as a given fact in any source. There is a source that says his 18th birthday (6 June 1974) was the last time he was seen.

    And while they may have hitched to the airport and flown out in time to call home per Alleykins, I am skeptical about that. Would they not have gotten a ride to the airport to guarantee catching their flight? And how about the ride from the destination airport to Stinson Beach? Let's not forget that travel was slower in 1974, both air and ground. Back in those days, my long haul trucker uncle used to run coast to coast in 96 hours...and he was known to pick up hitchhikers to keep him amused and awake.

    So far as Linda is concerned, the Times article relates that she was seen after authorities say she was hitching out of Missoula because she was seen in MA.

    At any rate, I want it verified Linda was in Stinson Beach, and I want to know if she subsequently left.

  13. #13
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    Okay, if you don't recall it, then I must have been confused because you're certainly more well-versed in this case than I am. In any case, I was assuming, since you've included it in all 3 of the threads concerning this couple that both Lovell and Packard made contact with family from Stinson Beach--Lovell via post card and Packard via phone call. At least one of your sources is the Santa Maria PD missing person report. Is this where the Stinson Beach info originated?

  14. #14
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    Stephen's mother's claim the couple left P-town MA on the 10th. Other sources have them in Stinson Beach (Marin County) the same date. However, Santa Maria PD doesn't quite have it that way; they say Stinson Beach but give no date.

  15. #15
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    Does anyone know if Stephen called home collect or reverse charges when he called from Stinson Beach? Because that would have shown up on the phone bill and would have been proof positive at least he was there. His mother also said in that article that the post cards stopped after three weeks, which would have put his last known date of contact after when his last traveler's check was cashed. But, that depends on three weeks from when, I guess.
    But, you're right, if they left on the 10th, like his mother stated, and they were hitch hiking, there's no way they'd get there that fast, so it appears something may be on the time line here.
    Last edited by Alleykins; 10-02-2016 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Blond moment
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

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