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  1. #16
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    The Rock Creek Search...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeb View Post
    According to a Mont. Co. Newspaper, the Dutch Psychic Peter Hurkos (who is now deceased) sent a cassette tape to LE indicating where he thought the girls could be found. 135 national guardsmen and police searched a 2 mi. area east of Gaitherburg on the north branch of Rock Creek, but found nothing.

    I do not have a date with this article I mentioned, but I do beleive this search took place shortly after the 2 girls vanished.
    Both the Washington Post and the Washington Star newspapers mentioned this search. I will have to look up the actual date, but I believe that you are correct about it taking place shortly after the girls disappeared. I believe it was in Late April 1975. The Star featured a front page story and I remember there was a photo of John Lyon, looking very tired, as well as photos of searchers.

  2. #17
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    Updated Doenetwork links...

    The Doenetwork has recently changed website location or ownership. To view any previous links to it, simply change the "us" in the address to "org". Here are corrections to the links in my Case Summary. Simply click on them to go to the Doenet site.

    Links:
    Sheila Lyon - The Doe Network: Case File 64DFMD

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/64dfmd.html


    Katherine Lyon - The Doe Network: Case File 65DFMD

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/65dfmd.html

  3. #18
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    Timeline for the Lyon Girls

    Date 25 March 1975 (Tuesday)

    Between 11:00 AM and 12:00 Noon
    - Sheila M. LYON age 12, and her younger sister, Katherine M. (Kate) LYON age 10 left their home at 3121 Plyers Mill Road in Kensington, Maryland to walk to the Wheaton Plaza Shopping Center in Wheaton, located on the corner of University Boulevard and Veirs Mills Road, a distance of about half a mile from their home. The girls were on spring break from school and it was their intention to view Easter exhibits and to have lunch at The Orange Bowl Restaurant. Their probable route would have been down Jennings Road, then on a path through a large wooded area, coming out on McComas Road, then to Drumm Ave, up a small dead-end street through some woods to the Wheaton Plaza parking lot.


    Some time between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM
    - They were seen outside the Orange Bowl by a 13-year-old boy "Jimmy" who knew them. He described seeing them talking to a middle aged man in a brown suit who had a cassette tape recorder and a tan briefcase. They were speaking into a microphone that he held. Immediately after talking to the girls, the "Tape Recorder Man" walked away toward Montgomery Ward. The girls walked in the opposite direction toward the fountain in the mall, where they were seen talking to the Easter Bunny by their brother Jay.

    About 2:00 PM
    - The girls were seen in The Orange Bowl Restaurant by their brother, Jay LYON age 14, who said that they were eating pizza together.

    Between 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM
    - Another boy later reported seeing them walking west (toward home) on Drumm Avenue near Devon Street. Drumm Avenue, a residential street, was part of the most direct route from Wheaton Plaza to their home.

    4:00 PM
    - this was the time that the girls' mother, Mary LYON had told Sheila and Kate to be home, but they did not arrive.

    7:00 PM
    - Mary and John Lyon become worried after looking for the girls and called the Montgomery County Police to report them missing.

  4. #19
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    Richard,
    you have extensive information/research on this case. are you a reporter, or an investigator. it seems you've followed this case a long time. do you have any connections that could get this case out in the public again with maybe more info released? the anniversary date is again approaching and it may be helpful to release more info to get this case solved.
    how is it you have so much info on the case? part of your job? a hobby? just curious.
    Children don't stop dancing

  5. #20
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    My knowledge base of this case...

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    Richard,
    you have extensive information/research on this case. are you a reporter, or an investigator. it seems you've followed this case a long time. do you have any connections that could get this case out in the public again with maybe more info released? the anniversary date is again approaching and it may be helpful to release more info to get this case solved.
    how is it you have so much info on the case? part of your job? a hobby? just curious.
    I was a young navy navigator flying in the Western Pacific area in March of 1975. It was the beginning of the end for South Vietnam and Cambodia. So, I did not know of this case when it was in the news in the Maryland and Washington DC area.

    By 1985, however, I was stationed in Silver Spring Maryland - still in the Navy, but now writing technical manuals and books. March of 1985 marked the 10 year anniversary of the disappearance of the Lyon sisters, and all of the area TV stations had news features on it. I did not see any of these shows, but a man that I car pooled to work with had seen them and spoke extensively about what he had seen on TV and what he personally remembered of the case.

    It was closer to 1995, however, that I began my own research into the case. I had by then retired from the Navy and was doing some research into the end of the VietNam war. Newspaper microfilms that I was reading contained articles about the Lyon Sisters. I remembered hearing about them in 1985, and got sidetracked from my VietNam research by all the 1975 press coverage on the Lyon Sisters.

    At some point, I was asked to write up a case summary about the missing girls for a Website which eventually became "Maryland's Most Missing". That summary was "borrowed" by many other websites, usually in total, sometimes in a "rewrite" form. I later updated my summary for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) file on the girls.

    Much of my information on this case has come from newspaper microfilm files. You have to read several news stories by different writers to understand the confusion and separate the facts from the opinions.

    I do not claim to have all the answers, but I believe the only way that the answers will come is to first ask the questions. I have spoken with several of the Montgomery County Police case officers assigned to this case - which by the way - has been continuously open since March 1975.

    I have tried in this forum to present the facts as I have been able to ascertain them, and always try to label my opinions or theories as such.

    It certainly would be nice if more information was made available by police, but they have their procedures and security requirements. Obviously they know much more about these cases than is reported in newspapers or posted here. I certainly have a "short list" of questions concerning this case that I would like to have answered.

  6. #21
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    Richard, thank you for your brief bio. I just wanted to tell you that you are one of my favorite poster's on WS's. Any time I log on and see a thread that has been started or updated by you I immediately go there. Thank you for all of your time and research on this case, it's one I can't let go of as well.

  7. #22
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    It has now been 35 years since the Lyon sisters, Sheila and Kate disappeared. I wanted to bump this thread up and mention that In writing it, I used a number of sources.

    Some "facts" could be off a bit. For instance, most sources state that the girls' brother Jay saw them near the Easter Bunny. One stated that he saw them eating pizza at the Orange Bowl, but that is not confirmed by other accounts.

    Some recountings of the story make statements like, several other children were also seen talking to the man with the tape recorder. As best I can determine the eyewitness, "Jimmy" claimed that he only saw the man talking to Sheila and Kate Lyon. This was confirmed by his friend who accompanied him that day to the mall.

    No other witnesses could be found who claimed to have seen the Tape Recorder Mat on THAT DAY. Other witnesses claimed to have seen someone with a tape recorder on OTHER DAYS at Wheaton Plaza and at other malls.

    There was a boy who stated early in the investigation that he saw the girls headed toward the mall at about "7:30" Police soon discounted his story because they felt that this could not fit in with other known facts in the case. Had he been misquoted and did he actually say "11:30"?

    The alleged sighting of the girls "on Drumm, near Devon" was made by a boy described only as "Over 15" by police. He claimed to have been in a car with another boy driving when he saw and recognized Sheila and Kate. walking west on Drumm, traveling in the direction of their home. He actually came forward around 28 March, but his statement was not released to the Press for two weeks. Later police felt that the delay in the report could have rendered it "questionable". In 2005, however, a man then in his 80's who lived on the corner of Drumm and Devon claimed that he, too, had seen the girls that day.
    Last edited by Richard; 03-26-2010 at 09:49 AM.

  8. #23
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    Sheila Mary Lyon siting

    These photo's that look like Sheila Lyon were found by police in serial killer Rodney Alcala's storage unit

    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktl...4.photogallery
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #24
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    36 years have gone by...

    Bumping this thread up for the 36th anniversary of Sheila and Kate's disappearance. Sometimes it is good to review the summary.

    I would like to make a correction to the summary which has just come to my attention. I refer to a place along the girls' walk home as the intersection of Drumm and Devon. The name of that road is actually Devin Place.

  10. #25
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    Lyon Case Eyewitnesses on 25 March 1975

    Eyewitnesses on 25 March 1975

    There were probably over a thousand customers, employees, and vendors at Wheaton Plaza on Tuesday, 25 March 1975. Accounts of that day say that the place was packed and that people were waiting in line at clothing store dressing rooms. Schools were out for the week and there was an Easter Bunny character to attract kids and their parents.

    It is pretty well established that Sheila and Kate Lyon walked to Wheaton Plaza between 11 and 11:30 that morning and that they were seen by at least a dozen "known" people that day, both inside and outside the mall. That is, newspaper reports have identified or mentioned at least 12 individuals out of the thousands who were at the mall that day, and out of the people who lived in at least 40 houses they had passed on their way to and from the Mall.

    As pointed out in some previous posts, here are those eyewitnesses who came forward. They are not listed in any particular order because times of sighting were only estimates at best. I number them only for reference/discussion purposes.

    1. Mrs. Sarah M. Biosca, age 67 in 1975, a retired seamstress who noticed them at Beckers Leather Goods store, at about 11:45 AM. She recognized them and told a story of how they were looking at a wallet.

    (Note: Mrs. Biosca died in 2003 at the age of 95.)

    2. Brian McAbee, 18, a clerk at Up Against The Wall, a clothing store featuring jeans and shirts,who says he saw them a few minutes after they had been in Beckers.

    3. "Jimmy", age 13, who knew Sheila from school, saw them near a planter by the Orange Bowl Pizza take out, "around 1 or 2 PM" talking to a man with a tape recorder.

    4. Unnamed Male Friend of "Jimmy", age 13, who also saw the girls talking to TRM near the Orange Bowl.

    5. The Tape Recorder Man (TRM), estimated age 50-60, seen talking with the girls by "Jimmy" and friend near the Orange Bowl.

    6. Jay Lyon, age 13, brother of the girls, who saw them at Mall Center near the Easter Bunny Display around 1PM.

    7. Another boy (Unnamed), age 13, who stated that he saw Sheila Lyon near the Easter Bunny listening to children. He recognized her from school.

    8. The Easter Bunny (name, age, and sex unknown) also saw Sheila, but was never interviewed by press.

    9. David Reed, age 12, who knew both girls from having seen them at the community swimming pool, the previous summer, and who attended school with them, saw them near Drumm and Faulkner walking toward the mall about 7:30 (PM?). He made his statement within 24 hours of their disappearance, but his time estimate was considered to be so far off from other accounts, that police disregarded his story.

    (Note: In 2010, a poster on another website described himself as the neighborhood boy who spoke briefly with Sheila and Katherine on their way home from the mall. He says that he had been in the same grade as Sheila at Newport Middle School and knew both girls from having seen them the previous summer at Kenmont Swimming Pool. He claimed that as an adult he later lived in the same neighborhood and could point out the spot where he saw the girls.)

    10. Boy (Unnamed) age "Over 15" claimed to have seen the girls walking down Drumm, near Devin between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, while he and a male friend were riding in a car. Claimed he knew Sheila from school. His report was made on or shortly after 28 March 1975 because he claimed that since he had heard that the girls were seen around 7:30 PM (David Reed's reported sighting), he didn't think his information was important, but that when news media reported that police doubted David's time, he decided to come forward.

    11. Boy (Unnamed) probably between 16 and 18, Driver of the car in which "Over 15" was riding, corroborated the 2:30 - 3:00 PM sighting, but claimed that he did not know the girls personally.

    12. James Mann, age 50 in 1975, lived in a house on the corner of Drumm and Devin. Claimed (in a 2005 interview) to have seen and waived at the girls as they walked past his house on their way home.

    Note that with the exception of Mrs. Biosca and possibly the Easter Bunny, all persons who claimed to have seen Sheila and Katherine were MALES, most of them adolescent boys. The only male eyewitnesses who were older, were Mr. Mann who only came forward 30 years after the girls' disappearance, and the Tape Recorder Man who has yet to come forward.

    Note also that although the press identified Jay Lyon and David Reed as having seen the girls, five other boys were not named.

    Two other witnesses who significantly DID NOT see Sheila or Kate that day were Melanie Ganas, Kate's 10 year-old girl friend and neighbor whom Kate was going to call when she got home at 3PM - and Mrs. Kuester, whom Kate had promised to visit that afternoon so that she could see her new baby. The fact that Katherine did NOT call or visit either of these two, is a clear indication that she never made it home that day.
    Last edited by Richard; 09-22-2011 at 10:28 AM. Reason: spelling and spacing


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Eyewitnesses on 25 March 1975

    There were probably over a thousand customers, employees, and vendors at Wheaton Plaza on Tuesday, 25 March 1975. Accounts of that day say that the place was packed and that people were waiting in line at clothing store dressing rooms. Schools were out for the week and there was an Easter Bunny character to attract kids and their parents.

    It is pretty well established that Sheila and Kate Lyon walked to Wheaton Plaza between 11 and 11:30 that morning and that they were seen by at least a dozen "known" people that day, both inside and outside the mall. That is, newspaper reports have identified or mentioned at least 12 individuals out of the thousands who were at the mall that day, and out of the people who lived in at least 40 houses they had passed on their way to and from the Mall.

    As pointed out in some previous posts, here are those eyewitnesses who came forward. They are not listed in any particular order because times of sighting were only estimates at best. I number them only for reference/discussion purposes.

    1. Mrs. Sarah M. Biosca, age 67 in 1975, a retired seamstress who noticed them at Beckers Leather Goods store, at about 11:45 AM. She recognized them and told a story of how they were looking at a wallet.

    (Note: Mrs. Biosca died in 2003 at the age of 95.)

    2. Brian McAbee, 18, a clerk at Up Against The Wall, a clothing store featuring jeans and shirts,who says he saw them a few minutes after they had been in Beckers.

    3. "Jimmy", age 13, who knew Sheila from school, saw them near a planter by the Orange Bowl Pizza take out, "around 1 or 2 PM" talking to a man with a tape recorder.

    4. Unnamed Male Friend of "Jimmy", age 13, who also saw the girls talking to TRM near the Orange Bowl.

    5. The Tape Recorder Man (TRM), estimated age 50-60, seen talking with the girls by "Jimmy" and friend near the Orange Bowl.

    6. Jay Lyon, age 13, brother of the girls, who saw them at Mall Center near the Easter Bunny Display around 1PM.

    7. Another boy (Unnamed), age 13, who stated that he saw Sheila Lyon near the Easter Bunny listening to children. He recognized her from school.

    8. The Easter Bunny (name, age, and sex unknown) also saw Sheila, but was never interviewed by press.

    9. David Reed, age 12, who knew both girls from having seen them at the community swimming pool, the previous summer, and who attended school with them, saw them near Drumm and Faulkner walking toward the mall about 7:30 (PM?). He made his statement within 24 hours of their disappearance, but his time estimate was considered to be so far off from other accounts, that police disregarded his story.

    (Note: In 2010, a poster on another website described himself as the neighborhood boy who spoke briefly with Sheila and Katherine on their way home from the mall. He says that he had been in the same grade as Sheila at Newport Middle School and knew both girls from having seen them the previous summer at Kenmont Swimming Pool. He claimed that as an adult he later lived in the same neighborhood and could point out the spot where he saw the girls.)

    10. Boy (Unnamed) age "Over 15" claimed to have seen the girls walking down Drumm, near Devin between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, while he and a male friend were riding in a car. Claimed he knew Sheila from school. His report was made on or shortly after 28 March 1975 because he claimed that since he had heard that the girls were seen around 7:30 PM (David Reed's reported sighting), he didn't think his information was important, but that when news media reported that police doubted David's time, he decided to come forward.

    11. Boy (Unnamed) probably between 16 and 18, Driver of the car in which "Over 15" was riding, corroborated the 2:30 - 3:00 PM sighting, but claimed that he did not know the girls personally.

    12. James Mann, age 50 in 1975, lived in a house on the corner of Drumm and Devin. Claimed (in a 2005 interview) to have seen and waived at the girls as they walked past his house on their way home.

    Note that with the exception of Mrs. Biosca and possibly the Easter Bunny, all persons who claimed to have seen Sheila and Katherine were MALES, most of them adolescent boys. The only male eyewitnesses who were older, were Mr. Mann who only came forward 30 years after the girls' disappearance, and the Tape Recorder Man who has yet to come forward.

    Note also that although the press identified Jay Lyon and David Reed as having seen the girls, five other boys were not named.

    Two other witnesses who significantly DID NOT see Sheila or Kate that day were Melanie Ganas, Kate's 10 year-old girl friend and neighbor whom Kate was going to call when she got home at 3PM - and Mrs. Kuester, whom Kate had promised to visit that afternoon so that she could see her new baby. The fact that Katherine did NOT call or visit either of these two, is a clear indication that she never made it home that day.
    I wonder,though, if the sisters did get to their house, and just stopped in for a brief time.With the intention of returning later on that afternoon.And then they went back out...somewhere. Given that it was about a 15 minute walk, and they were seen going in the direction of their house at around 2 :30pm, one would believe that this would have had them at their house at around 3pm ... Mr.Lyon would probably have just missed them, if this was the case.

    Otherwise, one is left to believe that they were abducted from a quiet suburban area in the middle of the day. And no one saw or heard anything ? The houses seem very close together for this to be the case ... Just some thoughts...

  12. #27
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    That fifteen minute walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post
    I wonder,though, if the sisters did get to their house, and just stopped in for a brief time.With the intention of returning later on that afternoon.And then they went back out...somewhere. Given that it was about a 15 minute walk, and they were seen going in the direction of their house at around 2 :30pm, one would believe that this would have had them at their house at around 3pm ... Mr.Lyon would probably have just missed them, if this was the case.

    Otherwise, one is left to believe that they were abducted from a quiet suburban area in the middle of the day. And no one saw or heard anything ? The houses seem very close together for this to be the case ... Just some thoughts...
    It is, by my own measurement, a fifteen minute walk (at a brisk pace without pausing) from the old Wards back door of Wheaton Plaza to the Lyon house on Plyers Mill Road.

    However, you cannot accurately pinpoint a time when the girls might have arrived home based on the possible sighting of them at "Drumm near Devin". The sighting was somewhat questionable (by police) at the time and later. And the time of the sighting was only a rough estimate by two teenaged boys - given several days after the event.

    It was reported that they saw the girls walking down Drumm some time between 2:30 and 3:00PM that afternoon. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that it was a true and accurate sighting... From that point, assuming that they continued walking without delay or detour, it probably would have been another 10 minutes to their home. This would give them an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of between 2:40 and 3:10 PM.

    There is no evidence, however, that they ever reached home. Certain indications, such as leaving a purchase or receipt at home, changing clothes from what they had been wearing, making a phone call, leaving a note, etc were just not there.

    Other questions remain unanswered - such as:
    Exactly who (if anyone) was home at that time?
    Was the door left unlocked or did they have a key?
    Did anyone see them there?

    You are correct, then, in stating that "one is left to believe that they were abducted from a quiet suburban area in the middle of the day."

    You are also very correct in stating that the houses along the girls supposed route were (and are) very close together. Also, there were no big gaps or vacant lots between those houses (then or now).

    That is - house spacing is very close UNTIL you reach the corner of Drumm and McComas. At that point (then and now) Drumm only continues for a short distance before being blocked off to Vehicle traffic for a few hundred feet. Only pedestrian traffic can get through. Drumm then resumes to vehicle traffic, but only from Plyers Mill Road. To get from one end of the blocked off area of Drumm to the other would involve a LOT of driving around on neighborhood roads and the possibility of getting lost or turned around is high.

    Also at that same corner of Drumm and McComas was where a foot path through a wooded area began, and that foot path would have taken them diagonally to Jennings Road, emerging from the woods very near their own house. (Note: that foot path is no longer in existance, and there are now homes and fences where that wood lot used to be.)

    So... If a perpetrator USING a VEHICLE was going to abduct the girls - in that suburban neighborhood - he would have had to do so at one of only three places:

    1. On Drumm Ave (between Devin and McComas) in front of a large number of closely spaced houses and potential eyewitnesses.

    2. At the corner of Drumm and McComas where there are fewer houses, but before the girls entered a walking only area.

    3. On Jennings Rd, in sight of a number of closely spaced houses and within a few hundred feet of their own home. (and this only after having driven around in a maze of winding roads, and relying on perfect timing and pure luck).

    The first scenario above would have to occur within only a few minutes of three eyewitnesses (two in a car and one in his house) having seen the girls. A potential abductor in a vehicle would have been driving behind the two boys who reported seeing them. Such a person would have had to wait for the boys' car to exit the area, and that would have meant having to drive to McComas before making his move.

    The second scenario above, while still risky, would have been the best choke point to intercept or wait for the girls - he wouldn't have to follow behind them. This spot provided a quick escape route either with or without the girls in his vehicle. Access to this corner was available without driving down Drumm, and he could position his vehicle in any desired direction and position.

    If he did not know exactly where the girls lived, he would not know exactly which direction or route they would have traveled from this intersection, and the visibility from houses was limited here. Therefor, waiting at Drumm and McComas, would have allowed him an opportunity to abduct the girls, NO MATTER which route they intended to travel.

    On the other, hand, IF HE DID KNOW where they lived, he would know that at this point, he could offer them a viable story or enticement into his vehicle - because he knew that they were still some distance from their home AND that this WAS the best possible site to attempt the abduction.

    The third scenario above would only have been possible if the abductor KNEW girls and exactly where they lived, and if he knew not only the maze of roads - but also the foot path and where it began and emerged from the woods. He would have to have been highly skilled in the art of road rally calculation to have achieved success in Controlled Time of Arrival.

    He would also have to be willing to take a tremendous risk of being seen and recognized by anyone on Jennings Road - including possibly the girls family members. In short, he would have to have been highly skilled and fearless, and ultimately very, very LUCKY to have pulled off an abduction on Jennings Road. This third scenario, therefor, is most unlikely.

    In conclusion, I believe that the girls were in fact abducted in broad daylight that afternoon. If not in the Wheaton Plaza parking lot, then at the corner of Drumm and McComas.

  13. #28
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    Time estimate by boy "Over 15"...

    I have re-read my newspaper clipping file about this case and I find that the Washington Post reported that the two boys in the car driving west on Drumm, who stated that they saw Sheila and Kate walking down the roadway on Drumm, near Devin, estimated that they had seen them between 2:30PM and 3:30PM.

    Again, this was an estimate given on or about the 28th of March, some three days after the girls went missing.

  14. #29
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    Richard

    Richard...maybe you can help me understand your line of reasoning. This is a quote by you from post#98 on the Potential Suspects thread.

    "Over Fifteen" stated that he knew Sheila from school. He further stated that the first reports stated that the girls had been sighted at around 7pm and that he therefore did not report his sighting immediately, because he did not think it significant.

    On 27 or 28 March 1975, Police stated in the press that they felt an earlier report (by another boy) was inaccurate or mistaken. That was when "Over Fifteen" came forward with his story. [B]Police began to consider this new report by "Over Fifteen" to be a possibility, and some stories state that the Sighting at Drumm and Devon was the last known/confirmed sighting of the girls. Police, however did not release information on "Over Fifteen's" statement until two weeks later.



    You have no trouble believing the sighting by "Jimmy".....yet you always try to discount the "Over 15" sighting. You said....."Again, this was an estimate given on or about the 28th of March, some three days after the girls went missing."

    You seem to be implying that the sighting given by "Over 15" can't possibly be real because....as you've said......it's just an "estimate" and was given...."some three days after the girls went missing." How is it that this statement....given by "Jimmy" is somehow more realistic and accurate?

    "It was about 1 or 2 o'clock." Jimmy related. "I was out with a friend.

    Is that not an "estimate" of the time "Jimmy" claims to have seen the girls? Why do you have a problem with "Over 15" coming forward 3 days after the girls went missing...but not with "Jimmy" coming forwrd 3 days later?

    "Over 15" had a logical reason for waiting 3 days. When he heard about the 7:00 sighting of the girls,he assumed that his didn't matter ....the 7:00 sighting would have been the last time the girls were seen.

    "Jimmy" had NO logical reason for waiting. Taken from his interview....

    Jimmy's mother said that right after the news came out that the Lyon girls were missing, her son told her he had seen them at the plaza. But it wasn't until Friday that he mentioned anything about the man with a tape recorder, she said.


    There is no way a kid as old as "Jimmy" could see these girls talking to a strange man...then they go missing and the only thing he says is that he saw them that day. There is no way a mother wouldn't ask exactly what he saw the girls doing. Yet...."Jimmy" just tells his mom that he saw them at the mall...end of story....no big deal.....UNTIL Friday.....by Friday he had a sensational story to tell and only "Jimmy" and his friend saw it.

  15. #30
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    Eyewitnesses and their time estimates...

    Motherof5,

    Regarding the "Over 15" sighting. I have NEVER stated that his sighting "couldn't possibly have been real", nor have I ever personally discounted his story. I have always related it as closely as possible to newspaper accounts and to how MCP case officers have stated it to me.

    MCP stated about the sighting of "Over 15" and his friend that they were "95 per cent sure that the latest witness saw the girls." This was in a press conference given on Wednesday, 16 April 1975 and reported the next day in the Washington Post.

    His statement that it was between 2:30 and 3:30 PM when he saw the girls was an estimate, and one which seemed to police to fit in with the timeline they were constructing from the statements of other eyewitnesses. "Over 15" was also specific about which direction he was traveling (west on Drumm) and that the girls were walking in the same direction "down the roadway" on Drumm, near Devin.

    Although police at the time considered "Over 15's" story credible and accurate, one case officer in the late 1990's told me that he had doubts about it.

    "Jimmy" made a significant statement about the girls as well, saying that he had seen them, and then when he elaborated his sighting by saying that he had seen them "talking to a reporter". His time frame for this was also an estimate of "between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. He was also specific about where he saw them and in what direction the girls went immediately afterward.

    Police considered "Jimmy" a reliable witness and gave his story full consideration, initially deeming it an important clue. By the end of a month, however, they no longer published the TRM sketch. Of course, because of the media blitz, TRM was a big part of the story, but police soon began to say things like, the man with the tape recorder might have been there for some legitimate purpose, and that he was only wanted for questioning. Of course, he never came forward, and he has never been positively identified.

    Police were quick to discount publicly David Reed's reported sighting of the girls on Faulkner at 7:30PM. This was stated by them on 27 or 28 March and so reported in the 28 March issue of the Washington Post. I have always questioned why they would so quickly discount David's story, and would really like to see their origional notes and his origional statement on this reported sighting.

    While there was a delay of two or three days by both "Over 15" and "Jimmy" in talking to the police, I believe that it was probably for similar reasons on the part of both boys: They initially didn't think that their information was important.

    The statements by both "Over 15" and "Jimmy" were corroborated in each case by a second boy.

    Both eyewitnesses stated that they personally knew Sheila from school, so in each case it was a positive identification, rather than a possible case of mistaken identity.

    I would be quick to mention that David Reed also knew both girls personally. I have offered my own opinion in the past that his sighting was also a real event, but wonder if his time estimate was misquoted or misunderstood. Besides the girls' brother Jay, David was perhaps the first eyewitness to come forward - certainly before either "Jimmy" or "Over 15".

    I often wonder how many other eyewitnesses that day refrained from talking to police for the reason that they did not think their information important - or because they didn't want to get involved. Also, how many people DID come forward in later days, only to have their information disregarded, overlooked, or less valued because it was late? We only know what the police released to the press and what subsequently got reported.

    A possible reason for some delays in witnesses coming forward was that the story actually took a full day to get into the papers and TV, and as the days went along, it became THE top story in the news. As news stories bemoaned the lack of clues and readers began to get caught up in the sad loss of the two girls, they began to rack their brains for any kind of information that might be of assistance.

    Consequently, the police were soon deluged with all kinds of callers, clues, stories, etc. And they were having to sort through them all for what they considered real and viable clues. With each new part of the story reported, more calls came in.

    As I have pointed out in a previous post, MOST of the eyewitnesses who came forward were adolescent boys. One has to take that into consideration when reading their accounts. How many of them had a watch? And how did they arrive at their time estimates?

    We have to view this case through a number of filters, unfortunately. The story we know is the one which the Police and family have given to the press, and that information came from a number of different sources. News stories in later years relied heavily on earlier news stories and even On-line summaries, like the ones that I have written. And I would be quick to state that my summaries have contained inaccuracies and confusing parts. If we could go to the origional source documents - that is the police files themselves - we might be able to make more sense of things.

    In considering this case today, we do have the benefit of 36 years of hindsight and experience. Most of the "possible suspects" discussed in these threads were not known to police in 1975. But time is, in itself, a filter. Memories fade and stories sometimes might change over time. An adolescent boy of 1975 would be a middle aged man today, and he certainly would have a different perspective on his experience now.

    While the police stated that the girls' dissappearance was very unique at the time, the internet and history have shown that there are many similarities in other cases. Some of those cases have been solved, and hopefully the Lyon Sisters case will some day be solved as well.
    Last edited by Richard; 10-04-2011 at 12:48 PM. Reason: clarity and spelling

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