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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    Sheila and Katherine Lyon-sisters missing since 1975 - #1

    Anyone else familiar with this case? Sheila and Katherine Lyon, sisters, aged 11 and 13, walked to a shopping mall near their Wheaton, MD home in March 1975 and have never been seen again. I believe they were actually last seen leaving the mall, and then again a possible sighting a week or so later. Someone saw two girls in the backseat of a car bound and gagged, fitting their description. There have been no new leads since. I can't imagine the torture their family has gone though, losing two children and not knowing if they are alive or dead. Sorry I don't have a link but if you do a Google search you will find their story.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Blueclouds, thanks for the links. If you have any more, please share. Like the one link stated, I believe the man at the shopping plaza with the tape recorder is the one who abducted them. I wonder if their family will ever put up a website about their daughters' disappearance, though I understand it may be too painful for them. Somebody somehwere must know something....but then again maybe not. It is just heartbreaking their loved ones will go to their graves probably not knowing what happened.

  4. #4
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    In today's world with cell phones, etc. the person who saw the bound and gagged girls could have called police at the touch of a few buttons. Thank goodness for today's technology. Sincere prayers to the family of these two girls.

  5. #5
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    I grew up in Maryland not far from where the sisters disappeared and I can remember their story like it was yesterday.....Every March i read the Washington Post to see if there are any updates....It caught my attention because of the fact that there were two of them and as my mom always told me back before this happened "You safe with two"...Boy was mom wrong....I know that their dad was on a radio station back then and have wondered over the years how the family is doing? I remember that after this happened I realized that the world is not always a wonderful place...I grew up that year alot.....God Bless those two little girls (wherever they may be)

    Does anyone else remember anything about this story???

  6. #6
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    Dec 2003
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    Doe link for Sheila Mary Lyon
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/64dfmd.html

    Doe link for Katherine Mary Lyon
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/65dfmd.html

    With HOPE, Lanie
    Help For The Missing
    HelpForTheMissing@yahoo.com

  7. #7
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    The case of the missing Lyon sisters, Sheila and Katherine is Montgomery County's longest open cases. It received so much media attention back in 1975 because their father, John Lyon was a radio announcer and personality with WMAL AM radio. The station owner also owned Channel 7 TV and the Washington Post Newspaper. So this case received a lot of coverage.
    Unfortunately, there just was not much evidence. The strongest lead to a suspect were several corroborated reports about the middle aged man in the brown suit with the tape recorder in a brown briefcase. Sheila and Kate were seen talking to that man, as were several other children. Police sketch artists drew a composite sketch of the suspect, and when this was published, about 15 new leads came in from other persons who had seen a man who resembled the sketch and fitting the description a few days earlier at two shopping centers in neighboring Prince Georges County. The man was never identified and no one ever came forward claiming to be him.
    The extensive media coverage generated many tips and leads over the weeks, months, and even years following the girls disappearance.
    I wrote the story that is repeated on most of the linked websites. It is long, but as concise and factual as I could be. There was much, much more information available in news paper stories, and certainly in Montgomery County Police files. At one time, those police files filled twenty three large boxes. There are probably more now. The case is still considered open and active.
    Mr. Lyon is now a counselor who works with families who have lost a child. He was mentioned in the news a few years ago, when he provided support to the father of little Michele Dorr. Michele, also of Montgomery County, Maryland had been murdered by Hadan Clarke, in 1986 and buried near White Oak Naval Weapons Center. She was missing for 13 years before prosecutors got a conviction (without a body) on Clarke. After his conviction, Clarke led investigators to her grave.

  8. #8
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    I lived in Prince Georges County and Montgomery Cty in the early to mid 70's, left about a year before this happened. Shopped often at the Wheaton Plaza, where the girls met the "tape recorder man" prior to their abduction. Someone somewhere knows this man---the sketch of him was definitely recognizable to enough people that they reported having seen him at other shopping centers prior to the sisters' disappearance, yet they didn't know who the guy was. Someone, somewhere who actually knew (and still knows) who this guy was also had to have recognized the sketch. This person still knows who this "tape recorder man" was. I wonder if the guy wasn't local to state or county, and if the sketch was circulated on a nationwide basis. I'd like to see the sketch myself, but have never seen it in any of the articles on line that I've read about this case. Would be nice if the sketch was still viewable somehwere, might jog someone's memory even after all this time.

  9. #9
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    Tape Recorder Man Sketch

    There were actually two sketches made of Tape Recorder Man, both done by artist PFC D. Morton of the Montgomery County Police. The first sketch appeared for the first time on 1 April 1975, and again on 2 April in the Washington Post Newspaper. The first sketch generated 15 phone-in leads which placed the unknown suspect at Iverson Mall and Marlow Heights Shopping center three days prior to the disappearance of the Lyon Sisters. based on information from new witnesses, the origional sketch was modified slightly and a second version of it appeared in the Post on 4 April, and again on 17 April. The sketch is of a caucasian, well dressed, middle aged man "in his 50's", with thick lips, a narrow nose, and with black and gray hair.
    News reports of that time indicated that police spoke with at least one PG county man and possibly two or three, who may have fit the description of the suspect, but that none were considered to be suspects during the investigation.
    In 1982, Montgomery County officers spent about three and a half hours digging "test holes" in the backyard of a house on Suitland Road, not far from the two Prince Georges County shopping centers. The house belonged to a man who had been convicted and imprisoned for murdering his wife and son in that same house in November 1977. Tips from other inmates led police to that backyard, but nothing was found, and the matter dropped.

  10. #10
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    Sketch Comments

    I tried to reply to your question about the sketch yesterday, but evidently the website did not accept my message.
    There were two sketches made of Microphone Man, both by artist PFC D. Morton of the Montgomery County Police. The first was based on descriptions of witnesses who had seen him at Wheaton Plaza the day the girls disappeared. It was published 1 and 2 April in the Washington Post Newspaper.
    Following publication of sketch No. 1, a number of people phoned in to say that they had seen a man who resembled the Sketch and description three days before the girls' disappearance. He was seen at two Prince Georges County Maryland Malls: Iverson Mall, and Marlow Heights Shopping center, both just south of Washington DC on Route 5.
    Police interviewed a sales girl who stated that a man of this description had approached her with a microphone and tape recorder. He asked her to read a message for his answering machine, but she refused. He left, but was seen by at least two other teenaged girls whom he also approached. Based on their recollections, Sketch No. 1 was altered only slightly and published by the Post on 4 and later 17 April 1975.
    Both sketches show a caucasian man in his 50's with thick lips, thin nose, medium brushed back hair which was black and gray in color. The man was said to be well dressed, and some witnesses said that he wore a brown suit and carried a brown briefcase.
    Police reportedly questioned at least one PG county man, and possibly 2 or 3, but considered none of them to be viable suspects. The Microphone Man has never been identified and no one ever came forward to say that he was the person.
    In 1982, MCP detectives dug "test holes" looking for possible remains of the girls in a yard behind a house on Suitland Road, not far from the PG County Shopping Centers. It was a house which had belonged to a man convicted of murdering his son and wife in 1977. The tip had come from other inmates at the Maryland Prison where he was serving a 40 year sentence. Nothing was found in the three hours that detectives spent looking, and the tip became only one of thousands filed away as unfruitful.


  11. #11
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    I am glad to see this thread I started back in April has come back to life. This case has always bothered me. At least on the anniversary of their abduction, the newspapers should do a story, on the small chance it jogs some one's memory or causes someone with a guilty conscience to come forward. I wish shows like Unsolved Mysteries would profile this case, along with Evelyn Hartley, Janice Pockett, etc. All these cold cases need more media attention.

  12. #12
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    What was the reasoning for digging in the man's yard? Did it have anything to do with the Lyons girls? Does he resemble the sketch of the tape recorder man? This seems like a case with no end but I hope I am wrong. Keep us posted Richard, you have some good info.

  13. #13
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    it would be nice if someone else took over the job that robert stack did for unsolved. since doing research on janice pockett, and others and then finding out about the 2 sisters its so sad that people could just take inoccent children. i do agree i think after a long period of time has passed they should re air info on the case on local news channels or the newspaper.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sisters
    What was the reasoning for digging in the man's yard? Did it have anything to do with the Lyons girls? Does he resemble the sketch of the tape recorder man? This seems like a case with no end but I hope I am wrong. Keep us posted Richard, you have some good info.
    The Montgomery County Police detectives were indeed searching specifically for the Lyon sisters when they dug test holes in the yard on Suitland Road. It was one of many stories about the girls disappearance that was in the news over the years. Many tips were followed and many pediphiles and serial killers were investigated in depth before being ruled out.
    In regard to the Suitland Road house, I cannot say specifically what information detectives had from the prison inmates, but I do know that it related directly to the Lyon Sisters. Detectives had to investigate and also had to make a determination as to the veracity of that information and as to the reliability of the informants. I do not know how much reliability was eventually given to them, or how thoroughly their information was checked, beyond the one time newspaper account.
    There has been, however, subsequent information which seems to link the former owner of that house to the Lyon case. I have not seen a 1975 photo of that individual to compare to the sketch, but know that he was about 38 years old at the time. He is still incarcerated in a Maryland Prison. He had a home based cabinet repair business, and allegedly employed another person who had a long police record and who lived in several places near those two shopping centers.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smile22
    it would be nice if someone else took over the job that robert stack did for unsolved. since doing research on janice pockett, and others and then finding out about the 2 sisters its so sad that people could just take inoccent children. i do agree i think after a long period of time has passed they should re air info on the case on local news channels or the newspaper.
    Fox Channel 5 in Washington DC airs a special once a week called "Cold Case Files" in which they feature various local cases which have not yet been solved. I do not recall ever seeing anything on TV about the Lyon Sisters. Newspapers make reference to their disappearance from time to time, but usually when comparing more recent crimes of a similar nature.
    Some time after I wrote the story and posted it on "Marylands Most Missing" website, there was an anonymous tipster who provided investigators with a lot of second hand information. Much of what the tipster told investigators checked out, and certain persons were implicated as possible suspects. All tips and possible leads were passed directly to the officer in charge of the investigation.
    You are right about the power of the media in regard to crime solving. Look at the case of the Unibomber for a perfect example. It was only after the Washington Post and the New York Times published the "Manifesto" (against the wishes of the FBI) that the right person recognized the writing and after 17 years, Ted Kaczinski, aka Unibom was caught.

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