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  1. #46
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    what type of vehicle did the abductor drive?

    In thinking about the type of vehicle the abductor drove I think it would have to be a van. Hands down. Regardless of who took them, or where they were taken from, two girls being taken out of the area will only be calm for so long.

    I imagine the abductor somehow convinced the girls it was a good idea to get in his car, but imagine what happens when the girls realize he is not on the up and up. They probably freaked. So how does the abductor keep the public from seeing 2 girls freaking out in a car?? It was broad daylight in a populated area. The surrounding streets are all residential type streets. Even Georgia Ave., Viers Mill Rd., and University Blvd. are the largest streets around and have close lanes and many stop lights. You would have a difficult time hiding two girls who are going crazy, thus drawing attention to oneself. So at some point they have to be restrained and hidden in order for the abductor to get the girls out of the area. A van has to be the vehicle used, maybe a work van, conversion van, or a VW van that was popular in the 70s. I don't think it was a station wagon, too many windows for the public to see TWO girls. And how did the abductor restrain two girls, with no witnesses, in this highly populated area? If they weren't restrained immediately then the question remains what type of vehicle was used to take these girls, willingly at first, away from the scene, away from the area??
    Children don't stop dancing

  2. #47
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    The Vehicle........

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    In thinking about the type of vehicle the abductor drove I think it would have to be a van. Hands down. Regardless of who took them, or where they were taken from, two girls being taken out of the area will only be calm for so long.

    I imagine the abductor somehow convinced the girls it was a good idea to get in his car, but imagine what happens when the girls realize he is not on the up and up. They probably freaked. So how does the abductor keep the public from seeing 2 girls freaking out in a car?? It was broad daylight in a populated area. The surrounding streets are all residential type streets. Even Georgia Ave., Viers Mill Rd., and University Blvd. are the largest streets around and have close lanes and many stop lights. You would have a difficult time hiding two girls who are going crazy, thus drawing attention to oneself. So at some point they have to be restrained and hidden in order for the abductor to get the girls out of the area. A van has to be the vehicle used, maybe a work van, conversion van, or a VW van that was popular in the 70s. I don't think it was a station wagon, too many windows for the public to see TWO girls. And how did the abductor restrain two girls, with no witnesses, in this highly populated area? If they weren't restrained immediately then the question remains what type of vehicle was used to take these girls, willingly at first, away from the scene, away from the area??
    My first choice is a van for reasons you mentioned.I would only consider a regular vehicle if they were taken by someone they knew and were not afraid or suspecting anything and taken out of public view quickly.Example- offers them a ride home and on the way asks them if they want to take a quick ride to see his horses? Something to keep them content for the ride.

  3. #48
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    The vehicle...

    Very good comments regarding the abductor's possible choice of vehicle.

    Of all the possible traits and characteristics I listed earlier, probably the first and formost should have been that he very likely had a vehicle to use in committing this crime. Almost any scenario NOT involving a vehicle would seem impossible to have carried off, without someone seeing or hearing something.

    It is the need for a vehicle to commit this crime, that tends to rule out some of the possible suspects in this thread.

    Of course, we have no solid evidence of any kind to indicate what kind of vehicle he used - no surveillance video, no eyewitnesses to the girls actually getting into a vehicle, and no forensic evidence found after the fact to indicate what kind of vehicle was used.

    Your theory and deductions may well be correct. Vans, especially "conversion vans" were very popular in the 1970's. These usually started out as plain cargo vans with either no windows in back, or sometimes only windows in the back doors (they were optional). Next, customizers would cut large picture windows, add air conditioning or roof vents, insulation, carpeting, couches, lights, etc, etc. topped off with fancy paint jobs.

    Such a van would have afforded the abductor a mobile prison for anyone he chose to abduct. No one could see in or out, lowering the risk of witnesses seeing anything. A stock cargo or work van might also be used to achieve the above, but I wonder if the girls would have willingly gotten into the back of a work van with no place to sit.

    You are correct about using a sedan or station wagon - while he might get them into the car willingly, he would have to get them somewhere unobserved, then get out of the car to subdue them when they realized something was up. There is a lot of risk involved in such a venture, and he probably had thought things through in advance.

  4. #49
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    possible links to other cases

    I've read this thread and do not see any ties between the cases listed and the Lyon sisters. In the listed cases there are boys taken, I tend to think whoever took these girls only takes girls. And bodies were found relatively easy in these cases of girls being abducted. There is no trace of the Lyon sisters. Therefore I don't see any link between any of the named cases/defendants in this thread and the Lyon sister disappearance. It is also why I don't think Coffey had anything to do with this case. He left the bodies to be found, he was sloppy. This abductor left seemingly without a trace and no bodies have been found.
    Children don't stop dancing

  5. #50
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    Known killers...

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    I've read this thread and do not see any ties between the cases listed and the Lyon sisters. In the listed cases there are boys taken, I tend to think whoever took these girls only takes girls. And bodies were found relatively easy in these cases of girls being abducted. There is no trace of the Lyon sisters. Therefore I don't see any link between any of the named cases/defendants in this thread and the Lyon sister disappearance. It is also why I don't think Coffey had anything to do with this case. He left the bodies to be found, he was sloppy. This abductor left seemingly without a trace and no bodies have been found.
    Most of the potential/possible suspects that have been mentioned on this thread are individuals who are known to be killers and/or child molesters. The main reason that they were mentioned at all is that they were known to be somewhere in the vicinity (or likely Could have been in the area) on 25 March 1975. Of course, police investigated scores more persons who had child molesting incidents but no known murders in their records. And they investigated persons with no police records at all.

    The fact that no trace of the Lyon sisters has never been found is one of the things that makes this case so frustrating. So many things could have happened to them, but as of today, we just do not know.

    It is a mistake, however, to look at the LACK of evidence as proof of something - for instance to rule out suspects whose other victims may have been discovered, while these girls have not. Much more must be taken into consideration.

    A good example would be Ted Bundy. He was a serial killer and did many things in a pattern, even disposing of some victims in the same manner and place. There are very likely others who were never found, or bodies found but never identified as his victims.

    In regard to Fred Coffey, he was convicted of murdering only one person - 10-year-old Amanda Ray. It is almost certain that he also murdered 5-year-old Neely Smith and 8-year-old Travis Shane King. All of their bodies were found, but it is a stretch to say that Coffey "left them to be found". In fact, the bodies were left in isolated, wooded areas.

    Coffey was known to use various devices to lure children, including fishing rods and metal detectors. He may have used a puppy to lure Amanda Ray into his van in 1979. Hairs from his dog were found on her body and in his van.

    Coffey did not murder all of his victims. He was convicted of many counts of child molestation and related charges on victims who were alive to testify against him, and he admitted to molesting over 100 other children - male and female. Only Fred Coffey knows how many murders he committed and what he did with the bodies. The lawyers who got him off death row have advised him not to talk, however.

    That said, Fred Coffey might have had absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance of the Lyon sisters. It could be just a big coincidence that this Serial Child Rapist and Child Murderer happened to be in the area about the time the girls went missing.

  6. #51
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    A Woman???

    I am posting this here because it seems to be a good place to put this although my post will be very general, not a specific person. Maybe we need to start a theory thread to list things like this post.

    Bear with me on this one. I've been following the Sandra Cantu case. (8 yr old from CA goes missing in mobile home park, later she in found dead in a suitcase in an irrigation pond) An arrest was made and the suspect is a woman. Not just any woman but a woman with a daughter close in age to Sandra-in other words a mother. In fact the mother of one of Sandra's friends.
    When the arrest was made there was tremendous shock over who was arrested, maybe not who, but the fact that it was a female. Prior to the arrest all eyes were on males, RSO's, shady male neighbors, males acquainted with Sandra etc.
    With the arrest of a female everyone assumed she was working with a male. She lured kids to some other person who then molested and killed them.
    Then news broke that no further arrests will be made. Basically, she worked alone. What? how can this be?? Maybe it was an act of rage, or an accident??
    Today news breaks of additional charges, rape and molestation. And again no other suspects will be arrested, the one arrested worked alone.

    This blows my mind, but it happened.
    An unrelated female, abducts, molests, rapes, and kills a young girl.
    It's a rare instance for certain, but the fact that it happened tells me it can happen, and probably has happened, and maybe many of the cold cases are cold because no one ever thought to look for a woman as the perp. Goodness knows I wouldn't have thought to look for a woman.

    In this case, it would explain why the girls were abducted without a scene. Most children trust women. Any woman. Especially if she is a mother. The girls would not be afraid to get into the car that belonged to a woman.

    While it is still hard for me to digest, a woman can kidnap, molest, and kill young girls. So maybe we need to also look at the women who were around at that time also. Just some thoughts in light of this very disturbing case in CA.
    Children don't stop dancing

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    I am posting this here because it seems to be a good place to put this although my post will be very general, not a specific person. Maybe we need to start a theory thread to list things like this post.

    Bear with me on this one. I've been following the Sandra Cantu case. (8 yr old from CA goes missing in mobile home park, later she in found dead in a suitcase in an irrigation pond) An arrest was made and the suspect is a woman. Not just any woman but a woman with a daughter close in age to Sandra-in other words a mother. In fact the mother of one of Sandra's friends.
    When the arrest was made there was tremendous shock over who was arrested, maybe not who, but the fact that it was a female. Prior to the arrest all eyes were on males, RSO's, shady male neighbors, males acquainted with Sandra etc.
    With the arrest of a female everyone assumed she was working with a male. She lured kids to some other person who then molested and killed them.
    Then news broke that no further arrests will be made. Basically, she worked alone. What? how can this be?? Maybe it was an act of rage, or an accident??
    Today news breaks of additional charges, rape and molestation. And again no other suspects will be arrested, the one arrested worked alone.

    This blows my mind, but it happened.
    An unrelated female, abducts, molests, rapes, and kills a young girl.
    It's a rare instance for certain, but the fact that it happened tells me it can happen, and probably has happened, and maybe many of the cold cases are cold because no one ever thought to look for a woman as the perp. Goodness knows I wouldn't have thought to look for a woman.

    In this case, it would explain why the girls were abducted without a scene. Most children trust women. Any woman. Especially if she is a mother. The girls would not be afraid to get into the car that belonged to a woman.

    While it is still hard for me to digest, a woman can kidnap, molest, and kill young girls. So maybe we need to also look at the women who were around at that time also. Just some thoughts in light of this very disturbing case in CA.
    I think we should explore the female option. Also we should keep in mind that it wouldn't have to be for a sexual purpose. Remember the mother that tried to put a hit out on another mother and daughter over cheerleading?There could be many reasons why a woman would abduct and kill.The first theory that comes to my mind though, would probably be a a woman abducting kids to help a man who wants them.I also agree that kids would trust a woman before a man.I do however have a female RSO living in my little town so I known that it does happen.

    Rest in piece Sandra

  8. #53
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    Possibility of a woman suspect...

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    ... I wouldn't have thought to look for a woman.

    In this case, it would explain why the girls were abducted without a scene. Most children trust women. Any woman. Especially if she is a mother. The girls would not be afraid to get into the car that belonged to a woman.

    While it is still hard for me to digest, a woman can kidnap, molest, and kill young girls. So maybe we need to also look at the women who were around at that time also. ....
    Most sexual preditors and child molesters are male. But as you point out women are sometimes among that lot as well.

    When looking at the Lyon sisters case, the thing that stands out in my mind is that it almost defys all odds or statistics. I mean any sort of quantification or classification falls flat simply because it is such a rare crime.

    By that, I mean two young girls disappearing in thin air in a very busy and populated mall in the middle of the afternoon. And no evidence whatever being left behind.

    When you eliminate the possibility of them running away, the likelyhood of a ransom kidnapping, the apparent randomness of the girls going to the mall and by one of a couple of routes, etc. You are left with very little. It is an extremely rare occurrance for quite a number of reasons.

    If one concludes (as Montgomery County Police did early on) that some sort of sexual preditor committed an abduction that day, then it is more likely that that person was a man than a woman.

    But it is also quite possible that the perpetrator was a woman, or that one might have assisted in the abduction. Or in concealing the truth.

  9. #54
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    The fact that this crime was so rare, for all the reasons mentioned above , makes it even more plausible that a woman is the perp.
    All the known cases during this time (mid seventies) were committed by men. As the post states this case defies what is known. So all the more likely it could be a woman.
    Strictly my opinion. But the above post did make me think this may be a lot more plausible than I originally thought.
    Children don't stop dancing

  10. #55
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    question

    Does anyone know if LE interviewed someone/anyone they consider to be "the suspect" but couldn't get enough proof to actually arrest?

    I ask because recently I've read two cases where LE KNOWS who committed the crime but could never get the right/enough evidence to charge and convict the person.

    So I am wondering with a case this old if this could be the case.

    Maybe they've interviewed someone and they are watching/waiting, but just can't get enough to arrest. Maybe they "know" who did it, and that person is dead. They couldn't get enough together while the person was alive??

    Could this be the case? Anyone ever hear this could be the case?
    With the exception of Coffey. Let's not get into him again. We have a whole thread devoted to him. I am looking to see if there were ever talk of someone else. Certainly in 34 years there has to have been a lot of talk in this case. Need fresh ideas

    ETA: Okay I just went back and checked and we really don't have a whole thread devoted to him, but we certainly have enough info to have a thread on him, so please no Coffey here.
    Children don't stop dancing


  11. #56
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    Coffey and other suspects

    We should post a thread on Coffey then.

    I've read this forum off and on for a few years, lurking and considering. Aside from Coffey, I don't think there has been anyone that's been looked at as a prime suspect aside from the usual long shots where someone brought in a name and that person's MO and whereabouts were examined. If the police have someone, it's a pretty well kept secret.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fukiyama View Post
    We should post a thread on Coffey then.

    I've read this forum off and on for a few years, lurking and considering. Aside from Coffey, I don't think there has been anyone that's been looked at as a prime suspect aside from the usual long shots where someone brought in a name and that person's MO and whereabouts were examined. If the police have someone, it's a pretty well kept secret.
    I tend to think he belongs in the person of interest thread. It's my opinion that he doesn't need that much attention, but I realize there are other posters who put a great deal into Coffey being the perp of this crime. So if you feel he needs a thread, just start one

    The police have been pretty quiet, which is odd for a case this old.

    I still think in 34 years there has to have been some kind of talk, speculation, something?? In recent cases they always look to those closest to the victims and throughly examine their whereabouts. Did this happen?
    I am not suggesting in any way, that I believe the family had anything to do with this. I don't.
    But maybe someone connected to the family.
    Children don't stop dancing

  13. #58
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    Coffey thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    I tend to think he belongs in the person of interest thread. It's my opinion that he doesn't need that much attention, but I realize there are other posters who put a great deal into Coffey being the perp of this crime. So if you feel he needs a thread, just start one ....
    I do not think that Fred Coffey merits his own thread in this featured case. At least not at this time.

    He is mentioned in many threads of this feature, in particular in the Potential Suspects and Persons of Interest thread. Because that is what he is.

    If you would like to read more about him, go to the Cold Case section and select the Search feature and enter his name. You will see a lot of references to him, particularly some cases in which he is a very strong suspect. You can also read about the case for which he was convicted and sentenced to death (Amanda Ray age 10).

    And you can read all about his slick lawyer who in 1995 got him off death row and immediately up for parole... which by the way he will be up for again in July.

    The question of who (if anyone) has been named a suspect in the Lyon case is a very valid one. The answer is a simple one - nobody. There are plenty of candidates, but none has ever been formally named as a suspect.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but here are the strongest probable reasons:

    1. Police have no solid forensic evidence or even circumstantial evidence which places a particular person at the scene of the crime. There is even some debate about where that actual scene is (Wheaton Plaza? Parking Lot? Route to their house? etc).

    2. Naming someone as a suspect means that police have to produce ANY and ALL information and evidence to that person's Lawyer.

    3. Naming someone a suspect and NOT being able to back up that charge would mean embarrasment for the police and law suits against the county for false arrest.

  14. #59
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    When I asked about LE knowing who "the suspect" was I didn't mean from a legal standpoint, as I understand the legal implications of this, this is why I used quotes around those words.

    I was simply asking if it is possible that LE knows who did this but doesn't have enough to arrest and charge the person.

    And I might add that I don't think we can assume that police have no forensic or circumstantial evidence.
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  15. #60
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    "The usual suspects"...

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    When I asked about LE knowing who "the suspect" was I didn't mean from a legal standpoint, as I understand the legal implications of this, this is why I used quotes around those words.

    I was simply asking if it is possible that LE knows who did this but doesn't have enough to arrest and charge the person.

    And I might add that I don't think we can assume that police have no forensic or circumstantial evidence.
    Over the years there have been several different case officers assigned to the Lyon Case. If you were to ask each one candidly who they thought was the best possible suspect, you would probably get many different answers. Some might think that one or another potential suspect or person of interest discussed here was involved, while others might have an entirely different person pegged for it.

    In reality, probably NONE of those officers would offer their own theory, but would go with the official answer for the last 34 years - that no one was ever positively identified or charged.

    All that aside, I really do not think that there is one such a person who could be described by police as "the suspect".

    The closest that I have seen them come was in March of 1987, when officer Caswell stated in a press conference that Fred Howard Coffey, Jr. seemed to be the strongest lead in the case since it began. He stated this in various ways three separate times in the same interview.

    In that interview he stated that police DID NOT think that Coffey was the Tape Recorder Man, but he did not state why they thought this.

    After two weeks of intensive investigation, police announced that they could not tie Coffey to the disappearance of the Lyon girls.

    Police did look into Coffey very closely and while they could not definitely link him to the girls disappearance, they also did not in any way prove that he did NOT abduct them. They simply could not state positively that he was at Wheaton Plaza or vicinity on 25 March 1975. Whether or not they ever interviewed Coffey in North Carolina is questionable. I do not think that they did.

    In the minds of some Montgomery County Policemen (past and present) Coffey may be "the suspect", but that was not the impression that I got when speaking with the current case officers. They seem to be open to any and all possible solutions.

    As to forensic evidence, Police have no bodies in this case, no blood, no dropped items, no bits of clothing, jewelry, etc. At least if they do, they have never stated such.

    They have reports that dogs picked up the girls' scents along the route between Plaza and home, but could not state definitely that it was going or coming, or what day the scent was left. But then, we know that they walked through that area to get to the Plaza that day, so of course their scent should have been there.

    There was no communication from the abductor or from the girls after they disappeared. There was an extortion attempt, but police decided that it was a hoax separate from any abduction.

    They have eyewitness testimony about the Tape Recorder Man, but that same witness stated that they went their separate ways, and no eyewitness ever stated that he or she saw the girls getting into a vehicle of any kind - either voluntarily or involuntarily.

    There has been some eyewitness testimony (mostly secondhand) about persons suspected of having abucted the girls. But evidently none which caused any arrests.

    The naming of a suspect is a specific legal action. The reasons that I stated above are my opinion as to why police have not named one. They are not inside knowledge of police or prosecutor decisions in this case.

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