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  1. #16
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    Schipperke-

    I think that LLW provided information to LE that was not made public, including that one girl had been wearing a flower print shirt. He may have provided deeper and more personal information that the parents do not want disclosed, such as a scar or other physical characteristics.

    Questions revolve around the statements from cousins. According to media reports, one cousin said Richard Allen Welch confided to him that he was involved with other family members in the murder, rape and abduction of the sisters. This same cousin also believes he saw the two girls at the RAW home in Hyattsville being babysat by LLW wife Helen Craver.

    Other questions should be raised about the level of obstruction and the fact that 3 family members committed perjury or obstruction. Why?

    I have a few theories about the case, here they are....

    1. The Tape Recorder Man: Another child molester who was not "successful" on that date but coincidentally happened to be in the Mall. He never came forward to clear himself because he was guilty in other sex crimes (but maybe not murder)

    2. There were more sexual assaults committed by the Welch family with RAW being the lead conspirator. The ruse was being a security guard investigating shoplifting in the Mall. LLW was a younger, dumber ride-along who also indulged. The car and residence key to the Lyons crime was RAW's.

    3. The original crime may not have been intended as a murder, but a sexual assault "catch and release". Something motivated the Welchs to hold the sisters- possibly as part of a kidnap plot when they realized they were daughters of a local radio DJ. Or perhaps the uncle/nephew team felt their identities had become compromised. The Welchs may have even been involved in the Annapolis ransom scheme. As mentioned earlier, two sources including LLW claim the girls were babysat at the Hyattsville home by Helen Craver. This would lead one to believe there was a ransom motive that would be much more acceptable to the female members of the family.

    4. Some of the Welch relatives have been told a toned down version of what happened with the sisters. They know that RAW had contact with the girls, but either believe he was falsely implicated as an accessory by LLW, Or maybe the family was told there was some kind of accidental death that couldn't be explained to authorities and needed to be covered up to protect the family. LLW has also implicated his deceased father in these crimes.

    5. These events were around Easter and the schools Easter recess. The women of the Welch family were out of town, and the home in Hyattsville was vacant.


    I think a lot more questions need to be answered by all of these people in the family.

    I believe Henry Parker has since died, but his sister Connie Akers is still alive. Akers saw a cousin bring a bloody duffel bag 200 miles and throw it onto a fire. This is a major WTF moment. You said nothing at the time and only came forward later. What type of conversations did you have with family regarding this? Please explain.

    Thomas Teddy Welch had several conversations with Richard Allen Welch when the investigation begin, You have also placed the sisters in the house in Hyattsville. You were very young and possibly not a willing accomplice. You did hear stories from Richard Allen Welch. Please explain.

    All of the members of the extended Welch family who were charged and/or convicted of obstruction or perjury. What were your motivations and why the loyalty? Patricia Welch, Leslie Engelking, Amy Welch-Johnson and Gladys Stangee- is there a good reason you behaved as you did? Please explain.

    Richard Allen Welch- either you have one vindictive SOB nephew and you are another victim or you just got away with murder. Why the conversations years later with Thomas Welch and why the lack of cooperation in this case. Please explain.
    Last edited by WaynezWorld; 09-15-2017 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #17
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    Good start WaynezWorld. There are just too many unanswered questions for actions having taken place during the investigation or having not taken place. I believe LE remains in possession of information which may yet yield revealing information unless it "disappears." BTW, where does all the investigative yield now reside? Montgomery County or Bedford, VA? Anyone contemplating a FOI inquiry might want to get that question settled now before it all goes missing between the jurisdictions.

    Does anyone else question the "neutrality" of having this investigation handled in what is virtually the family's hometown and having the single piece of possible DNA evidence, the"tooth," disappear from the evidence room without any explanation of actions being taken to find out the "who" within the ranks of "hometown" LE was involved in the disappearance? Where did the "proof" come from which gave Bedford jurisdiction? What proof is there that either of the girls ever set foot (or dead body) in Bedford or in Virginia after the kidnapping in Wheaton? The who/what "game" screams cover up to me--"make this investigation end before the real 'skeletons' are uncovered." The late Stacy Heller Welch's words echo about the dimension of the activity, the "family" financial situation, and the "skeletons in the closet." She said they would fight because the "money is there to do it." "Family" is a strange word with different meanings in some parts of the world. Everybody is a "cuzin" no matter what name is on the "certificate" (birth, death, marriage with or without divorce, even property deeds for $10 houses, and corporations). This case needs a good Forensic Genealogist, but apparently the "family" is satisfied--both Welch and Lyon. Yet, no one knows (cares?) where the girls are or who is responsible for the parts we all know LLW could not have performed by his lonesome. Solved or covered up?

  3. #18
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    I thought I would feel better after LLW went to court, but I really don't. The message from Maryland is sadly clear: child abuse, including but not limited to murder, is still okey-dokey with Maryland authorities. I have yet to see Maryland authorities actually care what happens to children, even children of the rich and famous. TTW's testimony actually corroborates the testimony of a female friend of Sheila and Katherine's, who gave a really good description of the suspect, however; imagine his terror at realizing that his own family members, including his dad, was involved in this crime. Very scary, especially at such a young age. I think Maryland has a responsibility to go ahead and solve the crime.

  4. #19
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    I do not blame police for not making a criminal case against others. Montgomery County police want this solved very badly. I am not second guessing their intentions and abilities.

    I think there are probably very good reasons why there were no charges filed against Richard Allen Welch. I am not convinced his innocence is one of them. I cannot imagine that the police in Bedford tried to protect the Welch family at all.

    I do not want to blame police or question their competence. It does trouble me that LLW slipped the radar in 1975 but someone he did with the "perfect storm" of talking to police first about the reward and failing a polygraph. Perhaps also, he cut his hair and did not appear like the mugshot when he spoke to police in 1975; then returned to that look in 1977.

    I would hope that law enforcement can release some of the investigative materials, interviews of LLW and statements of family members. I am confident that LLW was responsible, but I am very curious as to why no case could be built against others.

    If anyone knows the status of the gag order or whether more info will be released into the public record, please let me know.

  5. #20
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    Having seen people get charged with crimes they definitely did not commit, it makes me really angry to see someone not get charged when his home was the last place two murder victims were seen alive. Not negating your point, but I actually do want to blame police and question their competence. Until they can give us a really good reason for getting this wrong all these years.....don't forget about the composite sketch of LLW that was never released......and tell us why RAW does not have to answer for his involvement, I will not be satisfied.

  6. #21
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    It would be hard not to classify the 1975 dismissal of LLW as a mistake by investigators, but remember that he did fail a polygraph. The police may not have believed he was even at the Mall at the time because of this failure. It sounds like as a criminal LLW was playing with fire to return to the crime scene and try to claim a reward. This is especially weird if the girls were still alive (which by some accounts they may have been) on 4/1/75.

    Why was the Long Haired Man sketch not released to the public? Good question. Maybe because the Tape Recorder Man was named by more people at the Mall and he seemed to fit a profile of a sex offender? It would have been possible to have released both the TRM and the LHM sketches. Maybe investigators thought it would confuse people?

    I think Montgomery County did a terrific job in the last several years at least, regardless of what happened initially. I would bet they put a lot of effort into Richard Allen Welch- they wiretapped him, they interviewed countless relatives, they presented information to a grand jury- I think they tried very hard.

    Bedford County got a guilty plea and put LLW away for life. That they were unable to get a psychotic killer and proven liar to tell the truth and come clean does not reflect poorly on their investigative or judicial abilities. I think any implication that they looked the other way or somehow sympathized with the Welch family is an insult.

    There is a possibility that LLW eventually did tell the truth and he had limited involvement in the crimes, but I doubt that could be determined to be factual.

    I would like to see the release of investigative information and the case the Commonwealth was going to present. I would like to see information that proves Richard Allen Welch is an innocent man and that he was targeted with LLW Sr. out of spite by LLW Jr. I would like to think no guilty parties are free.

    But right now, all we have is the comfort that LLW will never walk the streets again, and the sad 42 year old memory of these poor young girls who had their lives stolen from them.

  7. #22
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    LLW is the first person of whom I have ever heard to be turned loose by the police just because he FAILED a polygraph. Seriously.

    Maryland has a terrible track record of obtaining justice for crime victims. Someone I know was brutally attacked by a guy with a tire iron, and because the defendant has a mental illness, he was put in a funny farm and later released, despite the fact that he did it. No trial, and at least a dozen restraining orders against him........but the defendant is too "fragile" for justice! Also, remember Stephanie Roper? Her parents were not even allowed to be present for many of the hearings and court proceedings in that case!

    It may be an insult to say that the judicial system in Maryland looked the other way, but the judicial system in Maryland insults the victims of crime on a regular basis when they keep handling cases the way they handle them.

  8. #23
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    The facts are what they are, and the questions are what they are. If making them statements are to be considered "insults," so be it. The fact remains that there is no proof that these girls ever stepped foot in Bedford. Only the testimony of an acknowledged "liar" puts them there. The case for kidnapping could have accomplished the same final outcome, IMO. Underneath whatever happened in the legal processing of this case, LLW has spent time in Bedford and in a prison where many of the people are his relatives and communications COULD HAVE BEEN TAKING PLACE. The only piece of POSSIBLE evidence that the girls were ever IN VIRGINIA disappeared from the "hometown" police custody, and either no one has been charged or information on any action taken over that "breach of custody" has not been released to the public. My purpose is not to "insult" anyone, but to recognize the facts as they are. One man has taken the fall, covering for others that were involved and may still be walking free, IN MY OPINION. I respect the right of others to have different opinions. I am not satisfied that this case has been "solved" at this point; and, while I don't understand how anyone else could be satisfied with the results, I recognize their right to believe whatever they want to. I am hoping that LE is continuing to treat this as an open Cold Case. A key question at this point, for the future: WHERE ARE ALL THE EVIDENCE AND CASE RECORDS BEING HOUSED? WHO IS ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR PRESERVATION AND "PRODUCEABILITY SHOULD THEY BE REQUESTED OR SUBPOENAED IN THE FUTURE?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schipperke View Post
    One man has taken the fall, covering for others that were involved and may still be walking free, IN MY OPINION.
    LLW is the one who brought up the name of his father and uncle as being involved in the kidnapping, assault and murder. How is this "taking the fall"? Sounds more like taking them down with him, if of course what he said was true.

  10. #25
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    If the uncle to whom you refer is RAW, it has to be noted that the last place the girls were seen alive is RAW's home. I agree that LLW's reason for confessing to this in the first place probably has a lot to do with bringing others down, but without discussing a place that could be investigated as a crime scene, there would have been no confession.


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by siriunsun View Post
    Also, remember Stephanie Roper? Her parents were not even allowed to be present for many of the hearings and court proceedings in that case!
    I remember the Stephanie Roper case also, I think it was in Charles or St.Marys? I thought the issue there was the victims parents not being allowed to give an impact statement. I think MD changed some legislation over that about 30 years ago.

  12. #27
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    Look I will say this again if it was not clear.

    I think some mistakes were obviously made in 1975 with not releasing the pic of the long haired suspect. Maybe there was a compelling reason they did not or maybe they wrongly did not put much credibility in the witness who saw the girls being leered at by LLW.

    I don't think there is any room to criticize current MD or VA investigators or prosecutors for "laziness" or "bias". Here is why-

    MD reopened this case after it sat somewhat dormant. They spent THOUSANDS of man hours and did a half dozen trips to DE to interview the killer. This is something that took a lot of patience and time. If the interview had alienated LLW, he could have easily terminated it and demanded legal counsel. They were savvy enough to keep him talking not just for one session, but for several. Good poker play.

    VA (Bedford) did not give any breaks to family members as I see it. Had they not been serious, would they have charged the Welch daughter, Gladys Stangee or Leslie Engelking with obstruction or perjury? VA held a grand jury there, and I doubt they would have if they thought the case was shaky or they thought the Welch family was just some good fine country folks and didn't want to hassle their neighbors, like at least one of you other posters implied. Was a tooth lost? By media accounts, yes. But I'm not sure that this was a tooth with a DNA match, or if it was even an elaborate bluff to get LLW riled.

    I still have tons of questions and I hope there will be some more material released or even a book by someone close to the case to explain it all better, particularly why no case could be built against Richard Allen Welch.

    Also, while I think the general evidence is important and should be part of public record if it doesn't compromise the possibility of a later investigation, I think the privacy of the Lyons family is very important in some regards of the case, particularly any sexual assault.

    Let's allow this family to heal and the memory of those poor girls to rest. But at the same time, I think we all agree we's like some more answers.

    It's a nice day in Northern Virginia and my lawn and the 0-1 Redskins await. Have a great Sunday.

  13. #28
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    I never implied anything negative about the way Virginia administers the law. It was Maryland. The last time I was there was 2010, and it hadn't changed. Domestic violence is still acceptable in Maryland, child abuse is still okey-dokey, and victims still get blamed, regularly, for those crimes. Men still get slapped on the wrist for very serious crimes, and women still get long sentences for self defense. The victim in the tire iron case I mentioned has still not been encouraged to get a gun and defend herself, and she has been told repeatedly that she is safe because of a paper and ink restraining order! Mind you, she lives off the beaten path, and police would take at least 15 minutes to get to her home......but it wasn't a priority before, why would it be one now? I really think that the reason the two credible witnesses in the Lyon sisters' case were not taken seriously is because they were children, and police in Maryland could not be bothered with taking the time to listen to what children had to say. I was glad to see police in Maryland interview LLW, but I really do not think Montgomery County Police have had an epiphany since the 1970's. They are the same old, same old. If they were not, we would know exactly what happened to Sheila and Katherine.

    Without the FBI, the case would never have come this close to getting solved.
    Last edited by siriunsun; 09-17-2017 at 01:05 PM.

  14. #29
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    Every reader of these posts is entitled to form his/her own opinion. But opinions are formed based on information at hand. My opinions have not changed from my previous post; and it appears to me that when LLW was in Delaware, he was "giving" information (true or not) like the implications of his uncles. That changed once he was moved to "hometown" and to a prison with lots of relatives in the same facility--communication takes different paths from Bedford to Delaware.

    My point still remains that the transfer was made without one shred of evidence that any crime was committed in Bedford, and the one piece of DNA evidence claimed to have been found in Bedford disappeared while in the custody of "hometown," without any further explanation or who or why it happened.

    In my view, the communication between LLW and LE appears to have changed drastically when the transfer was made. The decision on the transfer was made by whom--Bedford, Montgomery County, Delaware Corrections?

    The only person charged and convicted in this crime is LLW. IMO, he "took the fall" so that others might walk or remain unknown even if they are dead--whoever "they" are. Even the dead can tell tales if investigated! Helping to hide information is how martyrs are made! If you are going to have to die in prison, why not have people remember your name. Statement, not a question.

    As for a book, unless it contains facts that can be verified, all we have is another opinion. We have plenty of books on many of these missing/murder cases, some with pieces of information which could link them. What we don't have, in most cases, is verification that the links actually exist in the cases or whether are edited in for the reader's mind/eye to catch.

    Oh yes, and then we have lots of old cases where evidence is unable to be found or has been destroyed because the case is considered "solved" despite the fact that not all questions have been answered.

    I also have grass to cut, but I don't care who wins the football. I am willing to respect your right to have and share your opinion, if you are willing to respect mine. Readers are free to choose to accept either one or sleuth out more to help them decide and perhaps share other opinions with us.

    If pointing out facts/errors is considered an insult, so be it. I would like to see answers to the issues instead of enabling sympathetic rhetoric which will allow the same to continue in other cases. We learn from recognizing and correcting mistakes when we can, not by ignoring them as if they never happened.

  15. #30
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    Another reason the nature of LLW's information sharing changed after he got to Bedford is probably the fact that he was granted help from the office of the public defender, and since he was facing the death penalty, it was the best of the best advice that pro bono attorneys could offer. Is he really in prison with relatives? I was not aware of that.

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