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  1. #706
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    6

    Where to find additional information about Wheaton Plaza in the 1970's

    It's been a while since I've posted anything but for those of you on Facebook, if you go to the "You know you're from Wheaton, MD because..." group, there are a lot of postings of Wheaton Plaza from the early 1970's and the time the Lyon sisters disappeared. Maybe something from that group will trigger someone's memory.

  2. #707
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,341

    I give up!!

    I can't find the article that mentioned the search dogs. The article said that the dogs took LE across the mall parking lot...down a hill and to a stream...then they lost the scent. Does anyone remember which article it was? I understand the parking lot and the hill...but where would the stream be?

  3. #708
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    This case is always one that stays in my mind, wondering where the girls are. I lived in Wheaton MD in late 70's early 80's. My dad was stationed at Walter Reed and the housing was in Wheaton off of University Blvd. I worked in the mall at the Lamp shop beside the Movie theater and Wards.

    Even at that time we walked or took the bus and metro everywhere we went. I walked to that mall every work day and walked back home at night and always felt pretty safe.

    If they were taken through Wards to the back side of the mall it was never busy. At the time that was the back main entrance and there was a lot of parking that was never really used except during the busy Christmas season. It wasn't uncommon to see but a few cars back there. Parking anywhere else, the two sides that led to the pathways to the main section of the mall was very busy all the time.

    While I believe its possible they were lured on the way home, I do think the bigger possibility is they were taken there at the mall and through the back Wards entrance. The likelyhood of getting in the car and not being noticed would be great back there.

    Kelly

  4. #709
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    375

    Is Gregory Oakley Jr. TRM?

    I have followed this case here the past few years. It's absolutely terrifying. In fact, it was while researching this case, it lead me to the 1974 Missing Fort Worth Three case. And there is something amber1 stated to me on that thread a few days ago. She mentioned the Ann Gotlib case and how the man who they think possibly abducted and killed her resembles the sketch of the Tape Recorder Man. I don't know if this has been posted in this thread yet, but that man, Gregory Oakley Jr., really does look like the man in that sketch.

    I then found this interview video of Gregory Oakley Jr. online. It was filmed in 1989 when he was doing time for his crimes. After watching it, he resembles the Tape Recorder Man of the Lyon sisters case even more. I wonder if any witnesses at Wheaton Mall who saw him that day would recognize him? The only thing is, in the reports of the Lyon sisters, it states the TRM was 50-60 years old. If it was Oakley, he would have been only 31 years at the time and the time of the Fort Worth Trio. And I also see here on this thread that TRM could have been Mike DeBardeleben, but he also would have been in his thirties. Perhaps TRM's age in the description was way off?

  5. #710
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    TRM's age estimate...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post
    I have followed this case here the past few years. It's absolutely terrifying....
    ... I wonder if any witnesses at Wheaton Mall who saw him that day would recognize him? The only thing is, in the reports of the Lyon sisters, it states the TRM was 50-60 years old. If it was Oakley, he would have been only 31 years at the time and the time of the Fort Worth Trio. And I also see here on this thread that TRM could have been Mike DeBardeleben, but he also would have been in his thirties. Perhaps TRM's age in the description was way off?
    The age estimate of TRM came from "Jimmy", a 13 year-old boy who was the eyewitness who first reported seeing the girls talking to the man with the tape recorder shortly before their disappearance.

    "Jimmy" (not his real name) told his parents, and then police that he had seen a man in a brown suit, with "salt and pepper" (graying) hair who sat on the edge of an outdoor planter. He had a tan briefcase open at his feet and a tape recorder beside him, microphone in his hand. The man was talking to the girls and they were speaking into his microphone.

    Another boy, the same age, was with "Jimmy" and he corroborated the story. They described TRM as being about 6 feet tall and estimated his age at between 50 and 60 years old.

    One has to consider the source(s) of the information and the level of expertise of the eyewitnesses. While a 13 year-old might be able to accuratey describe what he saw and heard, his estimate of age is at best an opinion or conclusion based on what he observed.

    A sketch was made by Montgomery County police and relased to the news media. Following publication and TV showings, a number of other people came forward to state that they had seen someone resembling the sketch with a tape recorder interviewing other children at several other malls and shopping centers. Based upon some of those other witnesses, the sketch was modified slightly in the mouth and chin area and re-released for publication. He was never located or identified.

    Police today, state that the TRM might or might not have been involved in the disappearance of the Lyon sisters, but over the years he has remained an integral part of the story. At the very least, he was the last known person to speak with them.

  6. #711
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    22

    TRM Description

    "The man was not tall, probably under 6 feet, but he was wearing the type of shoes or boots with higher heels that were popular back then. He had on a brown sport coat or suitcoat with brown or tan pants that had long, flare type bottoms which covered most of his shoes/boots. He had on a yellow dress shirt, but no tie. I recall seeing him best in profile when I turned to look at him talking with the little girl. I recall a prominent rise or bump to the bridge of his nose, and I will always remember that tight lipped smirk."

    I have been investigating the disappearance of Tina Faye Kemp from Delaware in Feb 1979 and during the course of my research I have been looking into a lot of missing people threads of kids that went missing in the mid-Atlantic region. Actually Richard pointed me towards this thread a few months ago and I have been intrigued ever since. I just finished reading all 30 pages of this thread and took a lot info from this thread to use as research into Tina's case. It seems in the beginning of this thread that Fred Coffey was the main suspect and then a lot of discussion was moved onto James Debardeleben as a suspect. Since hind sight is 20/20 I wanted to post the above quote from Richard about a discussion he had with a witness who saw TRM on or about Feb 28th 1975 in where he clearly states he saw "a prominent rise or bump to the bridge of his nose". This was posted well before Debardeleben was ever discussed on this thread as a potential suspect and may have been overlooked. If it hasn't... My apologies but I found it to be very interesting since one of Debardeleben's most prominent features was a nose abnormality from a surgery he had as a child. I wonder if this witness was ever shown any pictures of Debardeleben. I have to say that in my limited research of this case that IMO Debardleben would be my leading suspect in this case as well as many others from the 70s (and maybe even 60s and early 80s). Richard seems to have spent a lot of time and effort like many others on this case and since it was his recollection of a discussion with this witness I though I would bring up the quote that I posted above as just more evidence of Debardeleben's involvement.

  7. #712
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    22
    Just in case anyone wants to read the whole statement about this witness it is on Page 11 of this thread my apologies that I did not include this on my above post.

  8. #713
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    Sep 2004
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    Potential suspects...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thewop356 View Post
    Just in case anyone wants to read the whole statement about this witness it is on Page 11 of this thread my apologies that I did not include this on my above post.
    Thank you for your posts.

    I try to keep an open mind concerning the various aspects of this case and the many potential persons of interest/suspects.

    Because there are now so many posts, threads, and discussions - and so many similar cases with possible connections, I have periodically posted summaries with links or references to previous thread postings.

    If you look on the thread about Possible suspects, you will find such a summary. Note that there are many possibilities when it comes to the girls' disappearance, and my list of potential suspects is made up primarily of persons who are known criminals with some background or connection to the Washington DC/Maryland area around 1975.

    I do NOT include persons with no known criminal background, although that possibility certainly exists and has been commented upon by others in the past.

    My impression is that the person (or persons) who abducted Sheila and Kate were experienced at it and had done similar crimes both before and after 25 March 1975.

    In considering each person on the list (or others not on the list) one has to look at other crimes which they were convicted of and suspected of for similarities. Their wherabouts at the time, access to motor vehicles, houses, or property, associates, etc all come into play. Also of consideration is their mental state and mode of operation.

    Victomology also enters in. For example, in this case, I would consider a person who preys upon pre-adolescent girls more of a suspect than one who usually attacks older women. But I would not rule him out. Some predators might choose anyone as a victim, while others have a very specific type of victim in mind.

    Some have specific times, methods, schedules, tastes,etc. and like to plan things out in detail, while others are more impromptu and disorganized. But even the organized ones might leave the actual victim and moment to chance.

  9. #714
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,312
    It's really sad and frustrating to me that the Wikipedia page for the Lyons sisters does not have their photographs nor does it have the two sketches of the TRM. Anyone looking online for more information about this case is likely to go to the Wikipedia page first and it's a shame that it doesn't contain these pieces of the puzzle that would probably be very helpful in finally getting it solved!

  10. #715
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    477
    Quote Originally Posted by NocturnalLady View Post
    It's really sad and frustrating to me that the Wikipedia page for the Lyons sisters does not have their photographs nor does it have the two sketches of the TRM. Anyone looking online for more information about this case is likely to go to the Wikipedia page first and it's a shame that it doesn't contain these pieces of the puzzle that would probably be very helpful in finally getting it solved!
    A shame, yes, but having personal experience with Wikipedia's image policy, it's understandable. Wiki demands that images be under an open license. With older subjects like the sisters where all the available photos are probably press photos owned by an agency like Getty, it's very hard to find something that is usable.

  11. t>

  12. #716
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    4,970
    PHOTOS and SKETCHES

    The only photos of Sheila and Katherine shown in news media reports and on all websites were school pictures of the girls probably taken in fall of 1974. The only other photo of the girls which I have seen is a grainy snapshot of the two together taken shortly before their disappearance.

    The origional sketch of TRM was made by Officer Daniel Morton of Montgomery County Police on 28 March 1975. He made the first sketch with the help of eyewitness "Jimmy" who was the 13 year-old boy who saw the girls talking with the Tape Recorder Man shortly before they disappeared.

    After that first sketch appeared in the Washington Metropolitan area media (TV and newspapers), a number of other people came forward to say that they had seen the same man or one who resembled the sketch and description at Wheaton Plaza on other days and at other area malls. Officer Morton met with some of those people and asked them if they could help refine the sketch, most told him that it was a pretty close likeness, but made some suggestions. As a result, the sketch was modified slightly in the area of the chin and mouth and this Second Sketch was released. The same date and sketch number was used on both the first and second sketch. The links below have these sketches and they are in order from left to right: First sketch and second sketch.

    The Montgomery County Police made a wide distribution of the sketch in flyers but after about the end of April 1975, they stopped releasing it. Different investigators later have stated that the TRM might not have been involved in the girls disappearance. This may (in part) have been because a man came forward claiming to be the TRM seen in Prince Georges County, but stated that he was never in Montgomery County with his tape recorder. He further had an alabi that he was in a hospital on the day Sheila and Kate disappeared. MCP did not think this information was important enough to release to the public and there is no info as to how thouroghly it was investigated.

    I obtained the copies of the sketches that can be seen today on various websites. These were copied from microfilm archives of Washington Newspapers, enlarged and then passed on to the Doe Network. Unfortunately, after going through so many "filters" the quality of those sketches has suffered somewhat.

    Doenet based their Lyon case file summaries on some of my early (circa 1999) articles, and there are a few inaccuracies in them, but nothing substantially wrong. For instance, they state that Jay Lyon claimed to have seen his sisters at the Orange Bowl Restaurant. Actually, he saw them near the Mall Center or Fountain area waiting to see the Easter Bunny. It was "Jimmy" and a friend who saw them near the Orange Bowl talking to TRM.

    Any other website which has case summaries, photos, or sketches have borrowed them from either Doenetwork or Websleuths - often without credit. This is true of Wikipedia.

    Sheila Lyon Doenetwork file with photos and sketches of TRM:

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

    Katherine Lyon Doenetwork file with photos and sketches of TRM:

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

  13. #717
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,970

    Correction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    PHOTOS and SKETCHES....

    ... The origional sketch of TRM was made by Officer Daniel Morton of Montgomery County Police on 28 March 1975. He made the first sketch with the help of eyewitness "Jimmy" who was the 13 year-old boy who saw the girls talking with the Tape Recorder Man shortly before they disappeared. ...
    Correction: The Officer who made the sketch was DAVIS Morton, vice Daniel.

    He signed his work as PFC D. Morton and dated it 28 March 1975.

  14. #718
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NoVA
    Posts
    4,596
    There's been a possible break in the case. Looking for online sources. The story was on NBC 4.


    Hollye

    The information contained in the maps below are my interpretation of locations, based on MSM and input from others. They are meant solely as a guide and are not to be taken as fact.

    Possible Victims of Lloyd Lee Welch Jr ~ https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...01105,0.019634

    Elizabeth Collins & Lyric Cook ~ https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...406effc9c7306f

    Holly Bobo ~ https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...184749,0.31414

    Kyron Horman ~ https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...kQ&usp=sharing

    Relisha Rudd ~ https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...3bc4b55d&msa=0

  15. #719
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    Sep 2008
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    Here, but I'd rather be at the beach
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    2,077
    I just heard the same thing. Will look as well.
    Children don't stop dancing

  16. #720
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    18,396
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The age estimate of TRM came from "Jimmy", a 13 year-old boy who was the eyewitness who first reported seeing the girls talking to the man with the tape recorder shortly before their disappearance.

    "Jimmy" (not his real name) told his parents, and then police that he had seen a man in a brown suit, with "salt and pepper" (graying) hair who sat on the edge of an outdoor planter. He had a tan briefcase open at his feet and a tape recorder beside him, microphone in his hand. The man was talking to the girls and they were speaking into his microphone.

    Another boy, the same age, was with "Jimmy" and he corroborated the story. They described TRM as being about 6 feet tall and estimated his age at between 50 and 60 years old.

    One has to consider the source(s) of the information and the level of expertise of the eyewitnesses. While a 13 year-old might be able to accuratey describe what he saw and heard, his estimate of age is at best an opinion or conclusion based on what he observed.

    A sketch was made by Montgomery County police and relased to the news media. Following publication and TV showings, a number of other people came forward to state that they had seen someone resembling the sketch with a tape recorder interviewing other children at several other malls and shopping centers. Based upon some of those other witnesses, the sketch was modified slightly in the mouth and chin area and re-released for publication. He was never located or identified.

    Police today, state that the TRM might or might not have been involved in the disappearance of the Lyon sisters, but over the years he has remained an integral part of the story. At the very least, he was the last known person to speak with them.
    Hi Richard. Maybe I can shed some light on this. When my son was 4, he wanted to enroll in Karate. I told him he could on one condition. That condition was that he had to participate with me in a stranger danger course. He readily agreed, and with in six weeks, he could tell you the approximate age of the perp, hair coloring, eye coloring, and with hubby being LE, he taught him the ins and outs of calculating their height and weight. He could also draw pretty accurate sketches with the help from mom. Kids at that age don't miss a beat and pick up on every detail. I'm just wondering if their parents had done something similar. He was my only son,( I couldn't have anymore), and I wanted him to be protected at all times. He done very well in Karate, and actually excelled in it. We made it fun for him and he truly enjoyed it. He has thanked his dad and I countless times over the years for that protection. Thankfully, he never had to use it!!
    Unless I provide a link, every one of my posts are to be considered rumor, Speculation, or simply MY OWN OPINION.

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