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Thread: Sheila and Katherine Lyon-sisters missing since 1975

  1. #701
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    Body Found Year Ago Identified as Youth, 17
    By Megan RosenfeldWashington Post Staff Writer The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Feb 28, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1994) pg. B3

    A body pulled out of a catfish pond in a fishnet nearly a year ago has been identified as that of 17 year old Farnum Lloyd Burton Fairfax Police reported.

    The boy was identified after an aunt recognized a composite picture in a local paper, the Alexandria Gazette, and called the boys mother in Triangle, VA.

    Burton was never reported missing, apparently because his parents, who live apart, each thought he was living with the other, police said.

    Burton had been shot six times in different parts of his body then wrapped in chains from the waist down and rolled in a blanket before being dropped in the privately owned pond off Gunston road in a wooded area of Fairfax, police said.

    After police were unable to identify him, he was buried through an agency of county government. Whether or not the body will be re-interred was unknown yesterday, as his father Rev. Michael Burton of 4011 14th Street, NW is ill in a district hospital.

    Police said that young Burton spent most of his time with his father in Washington, attending MacFarland Junior HS before he dropped out in June of 74. In October of that year he moved to Triangle to live with his mother, but police said in the months preceding his death he moved around living with relatives in Virginia. He was last seen in February, police have no suspects in the killing. The youth was not known to have held any jobs. Positive identification was confirmed by dental x-rays said investigator Ronald E Yeager of the Fairfax police.

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  3. #702
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    Shot 6 times - including in the face...shot in the face certainly smacks of having seen something - and it functioned in making the victim unidentifiable for some time.

    Did this boy stumble upon the Lyon girls while being held in a safe house in Northern VA by the kidnapper?

    Striking that the body was found within a day of the reported sighting of the girls gagged and bound in the back seat of station wagon.

    A drill down would be in order of rental homes circa January and February of 1975 for properties that would allow high levels of privacy in Northern Virginia (Lorton?). The "someone knows something" phrase fits perfectly here - someone rented a house to (my top and so far only realistically viable suspect) DeBardeleben - his safe house. They may have never met him in that he could have done all by phone and mail - and if he did meet them he likely used disguises and an alias in the rental process. But he knew Northern Virginia well.

    Burton could very well be connected as a 3rd victim in this case.

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  5. #703
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    Possible connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstman View Post
    Body Found Year Ago Identified as Youth, 17...Feb 28, 1976; ...A body pulled out of a catfish pond in a fishnet nearly a year ago has been identified as that of 17 year old Farnum Lloyd Burton Fairfax Police reported....
    ...Burton had been shot six times in different parts of his body then wrapped in chains from the waist down and rolled in a blanket before being dropped in the privately owned pond off Gunston road in a wooded area of Fairfax, police said.
    .... He was last seen in February, police have no suspects in the killing. The youth was not known to have held any jobs. Positive identification was confirmed by dental x-rays said investigator Ronald E Yeager of the Fairfax police.
    As I read the above post, the boy, Farnum Lloyd Burton went missing some time in or after February of 1975. At least that is the last time anyone reported seeing him.

    Obviously, this was a boy living at great risk, and he was obviously murdered and his body deliberately disposed of. I wonder if there were any other reports made by investigators regarding the case.

    This story leaves one thinking that the boy had been tortured by shooting. It would not take six bullets to stop a young boy from attacking or from running away.

    Because this is so close in time and geographical area to the disappearance of the Lyon sisters, one would have to consider it as possibly linked, but without other details and information, it would be hard to draw any conclusions.

    It actually sounds more like the crime of a serial killer who lived in that area of Northern Virginia... He shot and killed a young boy, buried his body and then made up a BS story about killing him accidentally. After going to prison for a manslaughter charge he was parolled in the late 1980's. Not long afterward, he shot and killed another young boy, was arrested and convicted of murder. I wonder if this Farnum Burton might have been an earlier victim of that killer.

    It is interesting to note that in this case, a composite drawing was helpful in ultimately identifying the dead boy.
    Last edited by Richard; 10-01-2011 at 06:56 PM. Reason: spelling and spacing

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  7. #704
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    Are you Richard referring to Montie Rissell. If so he would have been 15 or 16 in 1975. He was not a killer yet by all accounts of friends and sister. Bizarre at times and unpredictable but not yet a killer - if that was whom you were referring. If not then I do not know which serial killer you were referring to.

    To me, regardless of the whether Burton was linked or not - the fact that the public was never made aware of him as a possible linked connection to me reveals much about how poorly the MCP did circa 1975.

    I have some mercy on the MCP in the hours, days, weeks, months and even few years after the vanishings but by 1983 in DeBardeleben's 2nd arrest the MCP made NO mention of any potential connection to the public. One rape victim of DeBardeleben - a girl kidnapped in 1979 in Howard County Maryland and transported across a tollbooth very likely to VA stated DeBardeleben had a receding hair line (see composite of TRM). Photos of him revealed the same - actually a deep or recessed hairline was prevalent in photos of him in the 1950's and 60's.

    If Coffey was thrown out there in 1987 how in the world did DeBardeleben get passed over as a potential suspect in 1983?

    And to make matters much more troubling DeBardeleben was arrested in 1976 for passing a fake $100 at a "montgomery county mall". Upon finding his printing press, the Secret Service found a large amount of homemade pornography of young girls and women obviously being forced into sexual acts. How was it that the MCP did not get themselves into this investigation and find out what other crimes this criminal may have been conducting at say the Wheaton Plaza?

    Also DeBardeleben ran a business in DC for people to rent camera equipment and purchase time with "models" and provide photo booths to make their own pornography. The DC police were constantly being called to his place of business for an assortment of violent crime including the use of illegal handguns. Eventually the DC police shut it down. All of this prior to his 1976 arrest and yet somehow he was never a more serious suspect after his 1976 arrest. WOW!

    Many times DeBardeleben's crime scene photos - photos that he took of himself while raping his victims were destroyed. The 1976 arrest by the secret service. Evictions from his homes. The storage lockers where he was kept his "rape-kits", police sirens, and crime trophies all were reported to have been destroyed at one time or another.

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  9. #705
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    Not Montie...

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstman View Post
    Are you Richard referring to Montie Rissell. If so he would have been 15 or 16 in 1975. He was not a killer yet by all accounts of friends and sister. Bizarre at times and unpredictable but not yet a killer - if that was whom you were referring. If not then I do not know which serial killer you were referring to.....
    I was NOT refereing to Montie Rissell in my previous post. You are correct in stating that Montie would have been around 15 or 16 at the time Sheila and Kate went missing. He had already committed a rape at the age of 14. He continued raping women and eventually murdered at least five. I doubt that he would have been able to drive to Wheaton Plaza, or to have accomplished a "no-evidence" double abduction in 1975.

    I cannot recall the name of the killer that I referred to, and have not been able to locate it. As I recall, he had taken a little boy into the woods and shot him in the head with a handgun, then buried him. He spent some time in a mental hospital or in jail and was released. He then became a Federal government employee working in the Arlington, Virginia area. He then encountered a young teen boy on a motorbike trail and killed him. For that murder, he was convicted and sent to prison. I cannot recall his name or the actual dates of those crimes, but the last one was sometime in the 1990's.

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  11. #706
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    OK Richard, you were referring to Arthur Frederick Goode III, yes?

    Here's some unofficial info on Goode:

    A native of Hyattsville, Maryland, Arthur Goode was a victim of borderline retardation who still wore his hair in Little Lord Fauntleroy bangs at age 22. In his teens, Goode began making sexual advances to younger boys, quickly becoming notorious in his own neighborhood. Arrested three times for indecent assaults upon minors, he was freed each time when his parents posted bail. In March 1975, Goode was arrested on five charges of sexual assault, stemming from his abuse of a 9-year-old boy. His parents raised $25,000 to spring him from jail, but Arthur wasn't finished yet. While out on bail, he molested an 11-year-old, escaping with five years probation on the condition that he undergo voluntary psychiatric treatment at Spring Grove State Hospital. The key word was "voluntary," and no one could stop him when Goode checked out of the hospital fifteen weeks later, catching a bus for his parents' new home in St. James City, Florida.

    Goode was executed by electric chair in Florida in Spring of 84 I believe.

    Burton's missing person photo reveals an adolescent who was more man then boy, for what that may be worth. To see a photo of Burton: google cold case VA click on "police agency cold case files" scroll down to Virginia section and click on "Fairfax County unsolved cases"...on this page search for Farnum Burton and click the top icon "cold case do you know me" you will get a chronological download including photos of people missing in the modern history of Virginia - keep going to 1975 and there he is...

    Also I have seen no documentation of Goode as having used weapons. His method of murder was strangulation.
    Last edited by thefirstman; 10-02-2011 at 02:32 PM.

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  13. #707
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    Freddie Goode...

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstman View Post
    OK Richard, you were referring to Arthur Frederick Goode III, yes?...
    ... Also I have seen no documentation of Goode as having used weapons. His method of murder was strangulation.
    No I was not referring to Freddie Goode either. Again, I simply do not recall the name of the killer of those two little boys in Northern Virginia.

    I posted some information about Freddie Goode on the first page of the Lyon case's "Possible Suspects and Persons of Interest" thread a few years ago. He was a real piece of work and was active in Maryland in March of 1975.

    Personally, I do not see Freddie as a strong suspect in either the Lyon sisters' case or in the murder of Farnum Burton. I included him in the Possible Suspects thread because he was an active pedophile and child killer known to be in Maryland at the time that the girls went missing.

    Freddie's known victims were all young boys. No evidence that he even approached girls. And a 17 year-old Burton would probably have been too old for Freddie. Also, I do not think that Freddie could even drive a car. All reports of him that I have seen have him riding a bicycle around town, or traveling by bus.

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  15. #708
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    New Search

    I know it's be soooo long, but wouldn't it be nice if a new search could be conducted on the Lyon sisters. Sometimes we may think that bodies are taken so far away and many times they end up being close to where they were abducted after all. I'm unsure just how extensive the original searches were, but I was just thinking that if they started out again and searched near where they were abducted and then panned out from there they might find something. I know it's just "wishful thinking," but they are out there somewhere!

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  17. #709
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    No I was not referring to Freddie Goode either. Again, I simply do not recall the name of the killer of those two little boys in Northern Virginia.

    I posted some information about Freddie Goode on the first page of the Lyon case's "Possible Suspects and Persons of Interest" thread a few years ago. He was a real piece of work and was active in Maryland in March of 1975.

    Personally, I do not see Freddie as a strong suspect in either the Lyon sisters' case or in the murder of Farnum Burton. I included him in the Possible Suspects thread because he was an active pedophile and child killer known to be in Maryland at the time that the girls went missing.

    Freddie's known victims were all young boys. No evidence that he even approached girls. And a 17 year-old Burton would probably have been too old for Freddie. Also, I do not think that Freddie could even drive a car. All reports of him that I have seen have him riding a bicycle around town, or traveling by bus.
    The two little boys in Northern virginia (Springfeild) remain missing.

    If this is what you were refering too.
    http://unsolveditn.blogspot.com/2008...g-fairfax.html

  18. #710
    It is interesting that TRM asked the girls "Are any of you involved in sports" and then proceeded to head in the direction of Montgomery Wards. Did the store have a section that sold sporting goods? IMO since he was asking questions with the recorder the chances are good that the answers helped him complete the second part of his ruse (abduction). Perhaps the theory of giving a gift to win affection is not so far from the truth.
    Choose Kindness

  19. #711
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    Quote Originally Posted by darmela View Post
    I know it's be soooo long, but wouldn't it be nice if a new search could be conducted on the Lyon sisters. Sometimes we may think that bodies are taken so far away and many times they end up being close to where they were abducted after all. I'm unsure just how extensive the original searches were, but I was just thinking that if they started out again and searched near where they were abducted and then panned out from there they might find something. I know it's just "wishful thinking," but they are out there somewhere!
    There are two areas of possible interest for me in searching for the girls now:

    1. Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge - That is the national park areas in and around Lorton and Woodbridge VA. - This area would/could be of interest because it was near where Farnum Burton's body was shot 6 times and found wrapped in chains and at the bottom of a catfish pond.

    2. A drill down of possible rental properties advertized in the Washington Post and or the Washington Star circa January/February 1975 in remote areas (at that time) that could have been used as safe houses.

  20. #712
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    It does sound quite plausible to me that Farnum Burton's death might be related; it was observant and diligent of you, thefirstman, to notice his case.

    Not as interesting is that it's weird that the other person listed at Fairfax Underground as having been murdered in Fairfax County in 1975, Rebecca "Becky" Barber, was murdered (January 26) at her home at Pylers Mill Court, which sounds much like Plyers Mill Road.

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  22. #713
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    Double abduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmagent View Post
    The two little boys in Northern virginia (Springfeild) remain missing.

    If this is what you were refering too.
    http://unsolveditn.blogspot.com/2008...g-fairfax.html
    That is a very interesting case, and looks to be a double abduction much like that of the Lyon sisters.

    It is not, however, the case that I was trying to recall.

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  26. #715
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    Old Evidence Files...

    I do not know what evidence the Secret Service holds in regard to DeBardeleben. I doubt that they still have that 1971 Chrysler in their possession, but it is possible that they might have vacuumed it and still have evidence obtained FROM the car.

    There have been a lot of old cases recently which have been solved based on old evidence still maintained in LE files. A number of convicted persons have been freed based on DNA evidence and there have actually been some new convictions made due to DNA testing of old evidence.

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    Despite the good intentions of all of the posters on this thread and 37 years of investigation by the MCPD chances are that the person who committed this crime is someone who no one suspected. He may not even be mentioned in the case file.

    The Ryan/Shomette murder case that happened in neighboring Prince Georges County in 1955 is a prime example. The case may be on this site but I couldn't find it. Two girls were walking through Northwest Branch Park when they were shot from long range. For 45 years there were hundreds of suspects including serial killers that were known to have operated in the area. In the end it was a death bed confession by a man who had been a teenage neighbor of the girls. He had been mentioned in the case file but only as someone who had been talked to as the result of a neighborhood survey. He was never a suspect and the police moved on. Finally a phone call to the police solved the case.

    I have a feeling that this is the way that the Lyon sisters case will be resolved.

    Here is the story on the Ryan Shomette case. The Washington Post did a long story on the case but you need to be a subscriber to read it.

    http://ww2.gazette.net/gazette_archi...s/16348-1.html

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  29. #717
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    Please take the time to write a letter. Stop Fred Coffey from getting his parole!
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

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  31. #718
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    How widely publicised was this case? If it did not receive much attention out of state then maybe that is why the trm did nto come forward - he did not hear about it at the time. If he was doing maret research, it is feasible he was travelling around doing it for a bigger company, and so only spent a day or so in that state.
    But if that theory does not fit, I cannot see how he would not be somehow involved (or if not involved in this case he was up to something else), as if he was legitimate I woudl assume someone else was employing him, and why did they not come forward?

    In 2002 in a village called Soham in the UK two ten year old girls, called holly and jessica disappeared one early summer evening after going for a wal in the village. There was a masisve hunt launched and the media went mad with almost 24 hour reporting on the case, and there were all sorts of reports of sightings and possible abduction. Sadly after two weeks the girls were found murdered. It turned out that on their walk they had passed the hous eof their teaching assistant. She was not there, but her partner Ian Huntley was. Somehow the girls ended up going into his house where he killed them. My reason for writing about this is that maybe the girls might not have been abducted as such, but willingly went into someones home, and something happened to them there. The idea of them being taken in a car could be a wild goose chase.
    Last edited by brit1981; 06-25-2012 at 08:37 AM.

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  33. #719
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    Quote Originally Posted by brit1981 View Post
    How widely publicised was this case? If it did not receive much attention out of state then maybe that is why the trm did nto come forward - he did not hear about it at the time. If he was doing maret research, it is feasible he was travelling around doing it for a bigger company, and so only spent a day or so in that state.
    But if that theory does not fit, I cannot see how he would not be somehow involved (or if not involved in this case he was up to something else), as if he was legitimate I woudl assume someone else was employing him, and why did they not come forward?

    In 2002 in a village called Soham in the UK two ten year old girls, called holly and jessica disappeared one early summer evening after going for a wal in the village. There was a masisve hunt launched and the media went mad with almost 24 hour reporting on the case, and there were all sorts of reports of sightings and possible abduction. Sadly after two weeks the girls were found murdered. It turned out that on their walk they had passed the hous eof their teaching assistant. She was not there, but her partner Ian Huntley was. Somehow the girls ended up going into his house where he killed them. My reason for writing about this is that maybe the girls might not have been abducted as such, but willingly went into someones home, and something happened to them there. The idea of them being taken in a car could be a wild goose chase.
    I think that's actually a very good theory and makes total sense. A neighbor or someone from the general neighborhood could have seen them walk by on their way to the mall and then decided to lure them into his house on their way home if the opportunity arose. Think of Summer Thompson who was lured by a man living in a house that was on her route to & from school. He used the classic "come and play with my puppy" as a lure. I can easily see the Lyon sisters falling for the same thing - especially if the perp was someone they knew or recognized from around the neighborhood.

    I've never really believed the sighting of the girls tied up in the back of a car was real.

    As far as I know the case did get alot of publicity locally at the time. Although not the wall to wall coverage that we are used to & that a case like this would get nowadays. I'm also pretty sure there was never any kind of house to house search along their walking route. The police may have tried to speak to as many neighbors as they could but houses and backyards were never searched as far as I know.

    I think the Lyon sisters could easily be buried in someone's basement or backyard right their in their own neighborhood. It's a scary thought but maybe a more likely scenario because it would be difficult to get two girls successfully into a car without being noticed. Not impossible by any means but difficult. It might have been much easier for the perp to simply call to them from his front door and have them walk in voluntarily.

    Also - I seem to remember the girls were interested in going to see a neighbor who had just had a baby. Not to accuse anyone but that would be a lure to get them into a house for sure. Also it shows that they were in the habit of visiting with neighbors and entering their homes.

    Something to think about for sure. Maybe the police could zero in on neighbors who lived along the route at the time of the abduction and are STILL living in the same home. If the perp maintains control of their burial site then it would be less likely to have been discovered over the years.

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  35. #720
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    brit1981 and NocturnalLady, Your theories are good. Fred Coffey was a suspect in their disappearances. If you read about the murder of Amanda Ray and the disappearance of Neely Smith you will see that his MO fits your theories.

    He didn't bury his victims. He left their bodies in the woods or pastures. He also lured them into his apartment/home. I don't know if Coffey is guilty of abducting the Lyon sisters or not but someone else could have lured them into a home just like Coffey did.
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

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    Some good comments. Welcome to this discussion thread.

    To address a couple of points:

    This case received a LOT of news coverage and publicity at the time. Mostly in the Washington Metropolitan area and Maryland. But there were also Associated Press reports about it in papers as far as California. Everybody was talking about it in the Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area. It was in every local paper and on all the news channels. Citizens were really tuned in to it.

    It is certainly possible that the girls could have been taken into a house along their route home. There were about 40 houses which they would have to pass along the way (both sides of the street).

    If the statements of two witnesses, Mr. Mann and a boy described as "Over 15" are taken as true - that the girls were seen headed west on Drumm near Deven - then they would have already passed most of the houses along the route, leaving only a few remaining houses and a few places for a parked vehicle before they would enter a wooded path area leading to their own street and home.

    Area search: Police have stated - both through official press releases, and in individual statements by investigators years after the event - that they did go door to door questioning residents and even searching sheds, garages, etc. Now just how thorough this search was or if someone could have gotten through the process without detection is certainly a question.

    Kensington residents have made widely varying statements about this door to door search, some saying that it was very thorough and some saying that it was only cursory and others saying that their own home was not searched (although it was not actually on the assumed path of travel).

    Even the girls' mother, Mary Lyon, hypothesized early on that the girls might have fallen for some ruse or trick. A story about a puppy or a baby could have worked in getting the girls to enter either a home or a vehicle.

    Katherine Lyon had two previously arranged appointments for that afternoon that she never kept or called about - one to visit a neighbor lady and her new baby, and another to call/see her girl friend (who lived on her same street).
    Last edited by Richard; 06-26-2012 at 09:54 PM. Reason: additional comments.

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  39. #722
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Some good comments. Welcome to this discussion thread.

    To address a couple of points:

    This case received a LOT of news coverage and publicity at the time. Mostly in the Washington Metropolitan area and Maryland. But there were also Associated Press reports about it in papers as far as California. Everybody was talking about it in the Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area. It was in every local paper and on all the news channels. Citizens were really tuned in to it.

    It is certainly possible that the girls could have been taken into a house along their route home. There were about 40 houses which they would have to pass along the way (both sides of the street).

    If the statements of two witnesses, Mr. Mann and a boy described as "Over 15" are taken as true - that the girls were seen headed west on Drumm near Deven - then they would have already passed most of the houses along the route, leaving only a few remaining houses and a few places for a parked vehicle before they would enter a wooded path area leading to their own street and home.

    Area search: Police have stated - both through official press releases, and in individual statements by investigators years after the event - that they did go door to door questioning residents and even searching sheds, garages, etc. Now just how thorough this search was or if someone could have gotten through the process without detection is certainly a question.

    Kensington residents have made widely varying statements about this door to door search, some saying that it was very thorough and some saying that it was only cursory and others saying that their own home was not searched (although it was not actually on the assumed path of travel).

    Even the girls' mother, Mary Lyon, hypothesized early on that the girls might have fallen for some ruse or trick. A story about a puppy or a baby could have worked in getting the girls to enter either a home or a vehicle.

    Katherine Lyon had two previously arranged appointments for that afternoon that she never kept or called about - one to visit a neighbor lady and her new baby, and another to call/see her girl friend (who lived on her same street).
    I wonder if the families of the people Katherine was supposed to call on were ever check into. What if the girls rang the doorbell at the friends house (for example) and suppose the only one home was an Uncle or cousin who did something to the girls and then took away their bodies in his car. Are there any sex offenders that are related to these two families in particular and if so have they been investigated as to their whereabouts on that day? If the scenario I just proposed did actually happen then the family who owned the house where the crime took place could be none the wiser. An uncle comes by for an unscheduled visit, finds the family not at home, then the doorbell rings and fate brings two little girls right into his control. I think this was most likely to be a crime of opportunity rather than someone who was stalking or targeting the girls in a planned out way.

    I really wish the police would dig a little deeper. I really think that exploring angles like this one or going through each house on the route with a cadaver dog might actually solve the case. A lot of times the perp turns out to have been right under your nose all along! I also question exactly how through the investigation/search really was. Back in those days I don't think police though about these cases the way they would now. Just look at the Etan Patz case for example. The perp Pedro Hernandez (I do believe he is the one who did it) was working right at the bodega where Etan may have been intending to stop and buy a soda. It was known to the police that Etan stopping at the bodega was a possibility. Hernandez's family also knew that he was a troubled young man. The police knew Hernandez worked at the bodega. But they never interviewed him. When Hernandez quit his job and essentially fled the city within days of the crime it seems that the police and his family never put two and two together. I think there were red flags there that should have raised suspicion about Hernandez for sure. I guess the point I am trying to make is that it is likely the girls disappeared from a very small area. It's also likely that the perp is someone who has ties to that very small area (as opposed to a total stranger abduction - someone who just happened by). I think that rather than focus (at this point) on a random stranger who grabbed the girls and then fled the area the police should really focus on the small zone that comprises the walking route they took - and even more so the space between where they were last seen (by Mr. Mann and the boy) and their home. Probably the only hope of really solving the case anyway is if the perp is someone from the neighborhood or with strong ties to the neighborhood. So why not really go over that area and all the people associated with it with a fine toothed comb?

  40. #723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Some good comments. Welcome to this discussion thread.

    To address a couple of points:

    This case received a LOT of news coverage and publicity at the time. Mostly in the Washington Metropolitan area and Maryland. But there were also Associated Press reports about it in papers as far as California. Everybody was talking about it in the Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area. It was in every local paper and on all the news channels. Citizens were really tuned in to it.

    It is certainly possible that the girls could have been taken into a house along their route home. There were about 40 houses which they would have to pass along the way (both sides of the street).

    If the statements of two witnesses, Mr. Mann and a boy described as "Over 15" are taken as true - that the girls were seen headed west on Drumm near Deven - then they would have already passed most of the houses along the route, leaving only a few remaining houses and a few places for a parked vehicle before they would enter a wooded path area leading to their own street and home.

    Area search: Police have stated - both through official press releases, and in individual statements by investigators years after the event - that they did go door to door questioning residents and even searching sheds, garages, etc. Now just how thorough this search was or if someone could have gotten through the process without detection is certainly a question.

    Kensington residents have made widely varying statements about this door to door search, some saying that it was very thorough and some saying that it was only cursory and others saying that their own home was not searched (although it was not actually on the assumed path of travel).

    Even the girls' mother, Mary Lyon, hypothesized early on that the girls might have fallen for some ruse or trick. A story about a puppy or a baby could have worked in getting the girls to enter either a home or a vehicle.

    Katherine Lyon had two previously arranged appointments for that afternoon that she never kept or called about - one to visit a neighbor lady and her new baby, and another to call/see her girl friend (who lived on her same street).
    I'm not sure that those could be called "appointments " ? Maybe a more casual thing about possibly stopping by ? Kids that age usually aren't that formal in their socializing... But, I really wonder who was home at the girlfriends house that afternoon and early evening... MOO

    And Mr Mann... he didn't mention seeing them when they first went missing ? He only mentioned it many years later ? Does he still live in the same house ?

    I think I read that the girls' parents stayed in the same house,even after this happened.... So sad...MOO

  41. #724
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    I fully agree with thoughts and comments about going back to the basics in this case and looking into the many possibilities discussed.

    It is quite possible and likely that police DID concentrate strongly on the neighborhood area and the Kensington residents, but with so many police asking the questions, it is quite possible and likely that something could have been missed or not deemed important at the time.

    I do not know whether or not Mr. Mann was interviewed or if he came forward in 1975. The first I heard of him was an interview he gave to a newspaper reporter in 2005 on the 30th anniversary of the girls' disappearance. At that time, he was still living in the same house.

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  43. #725
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    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.

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