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Thread: VA - Christine Marie Wright, 7, Dinwiddie, 12 Feb 1974

  1. #76
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    Get this...From the Virginian-Pilot archives---

    "His (Mueller) record of earlier burglaries, and a rape in California, would have called for a 44.8-year sentence when he was convicted of rape in Chesterfield in 1976."

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    Marvin Leon Grimm

    I just received information that Grimm had been convicted and jailed in 1973 on charges of assaulting a 10 year-old boy. This followed his having spent two years in prison for another assault on a young boy.

    As an aside...In September of 1966, a five year-old girl was kidnapped, assaulted and killed in Sandston, a town east of Richmond.
    Her name was Mary Elizabeth Wright. Her killer, Clarence E. Madison, was convicted in March of 1975.

  3. #78
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel View Post
    I just received information that Grimm had been convicted and jailed in 1973 on charges of assaulting a 10 year-old boy. This followed his having spent two years in prison for another assault on a young boy.

    So was he in a juvenile facility? He was only 20 when he murdered the little Harper boy. Any info on where these crimes occurred?

  4. #79
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    [quote=carrie;2628574]


    So was he in a juvenile facility? He was only 20 when he murdered the little Harper boy. Any info on where these crimes occurred?
    I'm going to check into this further.

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    Correcting Myself...

    Okay, I went back and checked my notes on this again. This was NOT Grimm...There was another young man, Alphonse Williams (a year older than Grimm) who murdered a little boy in Richmond 15 months after Christopher Harper's murder. It appears both the previous attacks occurred in the Richmond area.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  6. #81
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    Hey shadow...
    There is obviously some family connection to Ivey's and Muellers. Ivey's owned the property at 3001 Mountclair until 1987. Kenneth Mueller apparently paid nothing for it, so I assume it was given to him by a relative or he inherited it. Meullers also live at 2998. Here's the link.
    http://www.chesterfield.gov/Manageme...earch_List.asp
    I'm still checking other property owner histories.
    So 3000 is owned by Ivey's. 3001 WAS owned by Ivey's and now by Kenneth Mueller. 2998 is also owned by Muellers, who bought from Kenneth Muller in 2001..for $0. And 3001 was listed as estate owned when Kenneth Mueller got it for $0.

    ETA..Kenneth Mueller also owns 2992 Mountclair...purchased in 1992 for $85.5k from estate of Nixon's
    Kenneth Mueller SR...lives at 2986. Bought that property in 2001 for $0 from Nixon estate.
    All of these people are related! There are Ivey's, Nixon's and Muellers all over this road. I guarantee you Everett Lee Mueller grew up right there on Mountclair Rd.
    I found Kenneth Mueller Sr and his wife Rose at 2976 in 1972.

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  8. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrie View Post
    I was wondering if you ever found that article you were looking for? Hoping you did. C.
    No I am ashamed to say I havent yet but ,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterfly View Post
    Hey shadow...
    There is obviously some family connection to Ivey's and Muellers. Ivey's owned the property at 3001 Mountclair until 1987. Kenneth Mueller apparently paid nothing for it, so I assume it was given to him by a relative or he inherited it. Meullers also live at 2998. Here's the link.
    http://www.chesterfield.gov/Manageme...earch_List.asp
    I'm still checking other property owner histories.
    So 3000 is owned by Ivey's. 3001 WAS owned by Ivey's and now by Kenneth Mueller. 2998 is also owned by Muellers, who bought from Kenneth Muller in 2001..for $0. And 3001 was listed as estate owned when Kenneth Mueller got it for $0.

    ETA..Kenneth Mueller also owns 2992 Mountclair...purchased in 1992 for $85.5k from estate of Nixon's
    Kenneth Mueller SR...lives at 2986. Bought that property in 2001 for $0 from Nixon estate.
    All of these people are related! There are Ivey's, Nixon's and Muellers all over this road. I guarantee you Everett Lee Mueller grew up right there on Mountclair Rd.
    I found Kenneth Mueller Sr and his wife Rose at 2976 in 1972.
    Maybe a good next step would be to check school records from the area. We know now that Mueller was back in the area by mid-'76, when he was jailed for rape in Chesterfield. (He escaped jail in September of '76 but was quickly re-captured).

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    ***INFORMATION contained in this post was taken from articles in the following newspapers*** Danville Bee 02/14/1974, 02/15/1974
    Danville Register 02/15/1974, 02/22/1974, 04/23/1974, 02/12/1976
    The Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) 02/22/1974, 03/31/1976, 02/11/1976, 02/12/1976
    Kingsport Times 03/28/1974
    High Point Enterprise 04/23/1974

    Events/facts re: the abduction and murder of 7 year old Christine Marie Wright in Chester/Dinwiddie, VA in 1974


    02.12.1974 (Tuesday)

    9:30 pm -Christine Marie Wright (a blonde, blue-eyed 7 year old with dimples and her hair cut in bangs) is put to bed @ approx. 9:30 pm (her usual bedtime) in her 2nd floor bedroom of townhouse style apartments in small town of Chester, VA on Chestertowne Rd.

    10:30 pm -strange man spotted by neighbors in vicinity of apartment complex, chased away by barking dogs [description: 30 yoa, 6 feet, 175 lbs. dark complexion, medium length beard]

    02.13.1974 (Wednesday)

    1:30 am -neighbors hear a tapping noise coming from area of Wright apt.

    **family hears nothing unusual that night**

    6:30 am -Christine’s bed discovered empty
    -father discovers sliding glass door open w/ curtains still pulled together (glass door opens onto small patio at back of apt)
    - parents call police
    - none of Christine’s clothes missing she is assumed to be wearing only pink nightgown w/ green stripes and bedroom slippers in which last seen
    -father states "door was locked when they went to bed"-mother states they had “no trouble w/ girl, other than her not wanting to go to bed”, parents cannot imagine why she would run away, they knew of nothing troubling her

    duration of Wednesday -intensive search conducted by county and state police and community volunteers
    -nearby woods searched
    -sewers and drained
    -firemen drain pool in complex
    -helicopter does air search
    -policeman states (re: search results) “there were no clues”
    -police are “worried” and “baffled” “have never seen anything like it”
    -ten to twelve man team of county detectives assigned to case

    02.14.1974 (Thursday)

    -statewide lookout posted for individual fitting description of man chased by dogs
    -local LE contact FBI on “theory of kidnapping”
    -father states doesn’t believe she was kidnapped as the “act would not be beneficial”
    -search continues but yields no results


    2.22.1974 (Thursday)

    evening
    -parents, interviewed at home by press, say they believe Christine will be found ok
    -father states:they ”still have faith that she’ll be found" and that “she’s alright” “a lot of prayers are with us,” “we’re relying on our faith and our belief”
    -Mother plays with puppy they have yet to name born since Christine vanished to the family's pet Pekingnese and states [w/ assurance/per press] “we’re sort of saving it for Chrissie [to name], she likes dogs so much”
    -Father, smoking cigar in arm chair states: “we haven’t named him yet, we thought we’d let Chrissie do that”

    3.28.1974 (Wednesday)

    -Rogge (FBI agent) comments briefly to press re:Christine Wright's disappearance, states “FBI is pursuing leads in Connecticut and North Carolina” in connection w/ Christine’s disappearance, refuses to confirm whether it is a case of “kidnapping” states: “several persons have been questioned but none taken into custody”

    04.20.1974 (Saturday)

    late evening -3 men discover Christine’s body floating face down and entangled in tree branches in White Oak Creek in rural area of Dinwiddie county, "150 yards from nearest house," "100 yards downstream of bridge in deepest and widest part of creek," bridge crossing creek is Route 613/ White Oak Road, child still wearing pink and green striped gown in which she was last seen

    -Dinwiddie sheriff states he believes “murderer was familiar with area” “a thousand in one chance someone found this spot by accident”
    -Sheriff also states he has “gut feeling” that Christine knew her killer because of the “way the child went quietly” “Who knows? Maybe the man thought he had to kill her because she knew him?”

    04.21.1974 (Sunday)

    -autopsy conducted, drowning determine as cause of death, also “sexually molested” “child alive when placed in creek”

    04.22.1974 (Monday)

    4 pm -Funeral @ Chester Baptist Church
    3 pm -graveside service and burial in Asheboro, NC @ Pleasant Cross Christian Church

    02.10.1976

    -exhumation and second autopsy performed (parents not notified, but learn of exhumation when contacted by relative in NC

    02.11.1976 (Wednesday)

    - former Commonwealth atty. From Dinwiddie county tells press “there is a legitimate reason for ordering exhumation” but that he “cannot comment until results are in” states there was “renewed discussion in case last September “ and that efforts [were] more concentrated in December

    -judge who ordered exhumation states to press the parents called him night of 2nd autopsy upset they were not notified, father: “if it had to be done it had to be done but at least someone could have had the common decency to notify us”

    -Chesterfield county Commonwealth atty. states it was a "mistake in communication" parents weren’t notified

    -officials now say that it was legal technicality, not expectation of new eveidence, that prompted two court orders (in VA and NC) for exhumation and 2nd autopsy, referencing new law recently passed that ME must testify and the ME who conducted original autopsy had died, in the event the case is ever tried they would need the present medical examiners testimony, state they are not closer to an arrest, at this point“we have no more suspects than we did have”

    -LE also states “several people have been questioned in the case and taken polygraph tests including the child’s parents”

    To date, 09.07.2008, no arrest has ever been made in the case

    Miscellaneous Information

    Christine had 3 siblings: brother aged 6, brother age 5, and sister, aged 4

    Christine attended 2nd grade at Curtis elementary (public school)

    Mother Linda taught 3rd grade Harrowgate elementary (another public school in Chester)

    Father Kenneth worked for loan/financial firm in Richmond

    Parents met in California

    LE believes Christine was placed in creek the night she was abducted, probably not very long after she was taken

    LE believes where she was found is pretty much the location in which she was placed because debris and branches cluttered the creek not far up from where she was found all the way upstream
    Last edited by carrie; 09-08-2008 at 02:14 AM. Reason: to reference articles

  11. #85
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    **family hears nothing unusual that night**
    Yet the neighbors did. Course they could have just been heavy sleepers. Or the neighbor was a light sleeper, or awake. Mmmnnn.

    -policeman states (re: search results) “there were no clues”
    There just can't be no clues! There had to be clues. Even if there weren't any clues, that, in itself, is a clue.

    -Mother plays with puppy they have yet to name born since Christine vanished to the family's pet Pekingnese
    Wonder why the dog didn't bark? Mmmmnn. . .
    Last edited by carrie; 09-07-2008 at 08:13 AM. Reason: spelling

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  13. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel View Post
    Get this...From the Virginian-Pilot archives---

    "His (Mueller) record of earlier burglaries, and a rape in California, would have called for a 44.8-year sentence when he was convicted of rape in Chesterfield in 1976."
    Quote Originally Posted by carrie View Post
    Events/facts re: the abduction and murder of 7 year old Christine Marie Wright in Chester/Dinwiddie, VA in 1974

    *snipped*

    Guys can we please get links to these articles or to the source of the information? If a mod comes in here and sees all of this info with no links to verify the info we're gonna get slammed. Sorry to be a pain in the @zz but I've seen other people get reamed over that AND it makes it a lot easier for someone who comes in later to research the case with us. Everything we read and subsequently post in relation to this case needs a link attached to it.

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    "ASHBORO- Christine Marie Wright 7 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth N. Wright of 5508 Essling Rd, Richmond, Va, former residents of Ashboro, was found dead Saturday. She had been abducted from her home in February.
    The childs body was found floating face down in the creek early Saturday night, a little more than two months after she disappeared from the apartment in Chester, Va where her parents then lived.
    An autopsy indicated thechild was alivewhen she was thrown into the water.
    The girls parents reported the child missing after finding the upstairs bedroom empty early in the morning after putting her to bed at 9:30 pm the night before.
    Survivors are her parents; a sister, Teresa Wright of the home; two brothers Kenneth N. Wright II and David Edward Wright of the home: grandparents,Mrs. Esther Burge of California and Mr. and Mrs. N.L. Wright of Rt 1, Ashboro; and great grandparents, Lynne Pulver of Kansas and Mrs. Dora Wright of Ashboro.
    Funeral was to be held at 4 pm today at Chester Bapstist Churchin Chester, Va. Graveside services will be held at 3 pm Wednesday at Pleasant Cross Christian Church in Ashboro. The body will arrive at Ridge Funeral Home, Ashboro, late tonight."

    I'm no expert at screenshots so go easy on me. This is from The High Point Enterprise, NC April 24th 1974

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  16. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterfly View Post
    *snipped*

    Guys can we please get links to these articles or to the source of the information? If a mod comes in here and sees all of this info with no links to verify the info we're gonna get slammed. Sorry to be a pain in the @zz but I've seen other people get reamed over that AND it makes it a lot easier for someone who comes in later to research the case with us. Everything we read and subsequently post in relation to this case needs a link attached to it.
    I haven't been able to figure out how to upload and post the articles. I have them saved in WORD and it won't allow me to upload them as images. If I'd saved them in the right type of file I could have posted the pictures of the artices like you did. Sorry. Anyway, they come from a pay site called www.newspaperarchives.com. The articles are from these newspapers.Danville Bee 02/14/1974, 02/15/1974
    Danville Register 02/15/1974, 02/22/1974, 04/23/1974, 02/12/1976
    The Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) 02/22/1974, 03/31/1976, 02/11/1976, 02/12/1976
    Kingsport Times 03/28/1974
    High Point Enterprise 04/23/1974

  17. #90
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    If you can't copy the entire article, don't lose sleep over it. Posting the source of the article and publication date should suffice. Links are nice when available, but as we know that isn't always possible with cases that are some 30 to 40 years old.

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    Another Richmond Area Cold Case (Involving a Child)

    From the Henrico County (Va) Division of Police website ( http://www.co.henrico.va.us/police/coldcases/homicides.html )

    Year - Date - Name - Age - Address - Manner of Death
    1972 / 7-10 / Eric C. LaForest / 4 / 1625 Hope Rd / Asphyxiation

    And that is all the information I can find anywhere. I've spent several hours searching archives with no reference to this case. All I was able to discover is that the address, 1625 Hope Rd, appears to be in Glen Allen-a northern suburb of Richmond.
    The address is some 11 to 12 miles from the apartment complex where Marvin Grimm would kidnap and murder little Christopher Harper some 3 years later.
    Alphonso Williams, mentioned in an earlier post, kidnapped and murdered 6 year-old James Richardson in Richmond in February of 1976. He had been convicted in 1971 of assaulting a young boy; and again in 1973. (The Danville (Va) Bee, 5/22/77).

    ( Correcting my earlier post, the date that Mary Elizabeth Wright was murdered was in 1968, not 1966. In September of '74, some five months after Christine was discovered, Madison confessed to her murder. )

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    The address is some 11 to 12 miles from the apartment complex where Marvin Grimm would kidnap and murder little Christopher Harper some 3 years later.
    It may be a coincidence, but I found an article with a picture of Grimm when he was first arrested, before he shaved apparently, it EXACTLY fits the description of the man the neighbors said was chased away by dogs the night Christine went missing. I mean EXACTLY. I'll see if I can find anything on this Eric and will try post the picture of Grimm. I'm not very good at that kind of things but I'd like everyone to see it.

  20. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrie View Post
    It may be a coincidence, but I found an article with a picture of Grimm when he was first arrested, before he shaved apparently, it EXACTLY fits the description of the man the neighbors said was chased away by dogs the night Christine went missing. I mean EXACTLY. I'll see if I can find anything on this Eric and will try post the picture of Grimm. I'm not very good at that kind of things but I'd like everyone to see it.
    It would be great if you could find more info on the LaForest case...It disturbs me to no end that there appears to be no info at all out there about it. It just seems there were a lot of bad people about in the Richmond area in the early 70's...
    I'd love to see LE get interested in these cases again.

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    New Info On Christine's Case

    Hi guys, I went to the library here in Richmond, VA and looked through the microfilm at some of the local papers from when Christine was abducted and murdered. I've listed some new information on her case we had not yet seen. I'm sure it reads somewhat fragmented because I've only included what was new (to us) and left out the parts we've seen or heard that would be repetitive.

    There were a couple of pictures of Christine and one of her parents. When I get a chance to get to Kinko's so I can scan the pic of Christine, I will post it. She was an adorable little girl, SO innocent looking, with long, blonde hair and straight blonde bangs.. She had dimples in her cheeks and a sprinkling of freckles across her nose and cheeks. Whoever did this to her should pay. There is no sufficient payment in my opinion.

    Anyway, here are a few details from the articles. I'm going back to the library tommorrow to look at the articles from April 1974,when she was found, to see if there's anything new in them as well.

    From the Richmond News Leader 2/15/1974

    Christine Marie Wright was abducted from 12173 Bristol Manor Court in the Chester Townhouse Apartments, after her parents searched the neighborhood for approximately an hour; they notified police who found no signs of forced entry.

    A one mile area surrounding the apartment, which included a mostly wooded area, was combed 2 or 3 times police said. The search was called off at about 4 pm.

    Detectives were checking out and questioning about a dozen names in connection with the disappearance.

    Christine’s father aided about 50 volunteers in the search. He told reporters they had moved to Chester “last August” after he was “transferred to this area from Charleston SC.”

    Wright said that he found the sliding glass door open [back door of apartment which opened onto small patio] at approximately 6:30 am on Tuesday morning, but said the curtains were still pulled closed. His 4 year old daughter was asleep on the couch in that room and did not appear to be cold he said. This leads police to believe the door had not been open very long. The front door of their apartment was still locked this morning, Wright said. He stated that the glass door was also locked when the family went to bed the night before.

    The door was dusted for fingerprints by police.

    Wright said that his daughter was afraid of the woods and would not have been attracted by them or gone to them on her own.

    Mr. Wright works for a financial services firm on Forest Hill Ave in Richmond.

    Muddy and tired from the long search, Wright borrowed a dime to call his wife. “I’m sort of a chicken I guess,” he tells reporters. “It’s easier for me to be out here doing something instead of sitting at home waiting.”



    News Leader 2/17/1974

    After searching for 2 days and then calling off the search, police began a new search today based on a “new lead” in the case.

    At 3 pm, several local ministers will be holding a prayer group for many of the locals who wish to come out and pray for the missing girl. Mr. Wright attended.

    The parents are “very upset and taking it quite hard” one of the ministers told reporters.

    “The parents are very distraught,” says detective John Phillips, who is leading the search, “as the thought she wandered off diminishes the more time goes by.”



    2/18/1974 News Leader


    "Virtually every detective on the force is assigned to the case,” detective Phillips says.

    A $5,500 reward has been posted by concerned townspeople for any information leading to the whereabouts of Christine and/or the apprehension of anyone involved in her disappearance... The article details how to be a “secret witness” and fill out a form to give information to police while remaining anonymous.

    Progress Index 2/15/1974 (A banner headline)

    The article has a picture of Christine and discusses how baffled the police are.

    A woman who heard a tapping noise at approximately 1:30 am [on the night of the disappearance] coming from the direction of the Wrights apartment was unable to see anything from her window though she tried, she told police.

    Detective states to the press the initial search covered an area from north of Chester to south of Petersburg

    Detective states, “There is always the possibility she could have just hidden somewhere.”

    Neighbors doubt the possibility Christine ran away. A waitress at Pizza Inn, which is a restaurant just outside the apartment complex, said Wednesday night that she and many other people in the area know Christine because she walks her Pekingese dog outside the apartment complex on nice days. The waitress described Christine as a pretty, dimpled, blonde girl and said she was extremely friendly when out walking her dog.

    Police and neighbors stood at the entrance to the apartment complex stopping cars and showing pictures of Christine. Search parties worked until midnight on Wednesday and resumed early Thursday morning.


    Progress Index 2/16/1974

    Ground search efforts, which were called off twice in the past 2 days, have been resumed again today, police said, today’s search is based at Chester Community center and was carried out by automobile.
    Track dogs, hundreds of volunteers, and helicopters have exhausted all ground possibilities say police. The automobile search is to explore seldom traveled back roads abandoned buildings and other possible hiding places in the area, police stated.

    100’s of leads have been called in and dozens of face to face interviews have been conducted. “All sorts of wild rumors are circulating” say police,” but until we have tangible evidence we cannot assume her disappearance is involuntary.”
    The girls parents and neighbors are convinced her disappearance “was forced.”

    Mrs. Wright describes Christine as "a loving, giving, caring child who willingly gave away candy and toys to other and draws pictures of hearts and flowers.”

    Garland Updyke, the principle at Curtis Elementary school where Christine attends describes her similarly. He says “She gets along well with the other children, is quiet, and anxious to please parents and teachers. She is a joy to work with,” teachers say.

    Her mother also states, “Christine is friendly, but not friendly enough to go off with someone without telling me.”

    Police state that in order to leave her apartment, the child would have had to “go down a flight of stairs, past her sister sleeping on the couch, and past her parents open bedroom door. She took no shoes and left the door open behind her.”

    Mrs. Wright tells reporters she is “disturbed by a memory that hangs in her mind. For the past couple of months, she has awakened during the night and found both doors front and back standing open.” She says,” She attributed the mysterious door openings to a mischievous 2 year old and so though little of the incidents – until she discovered the small child was not responsible.” I don’t know if it means anything,” says Mrs. Wright, “it just stays in my mind.”

    Neighbors have taken turns staying with the couple constantly since the childs disappearance, taking calls and bringing food. The wrights graciously thank neighbors and police for “helping them find Christine.” They say they “cannot believe the support they’ve received as they’ve only recently moved to the area.”


    Progress Index 2/18/1974

    “We’ve got to assume Christine was abducted,” says Mr. Wright on the 6th day of his daughter’s disappearance.

    The parents wait in their apartment while the police search snatching the kitchen phone off the wall the very second it rings. They have rarely left the apartment since Christine disappeared and when they do leave; neighbors stay at the apartments and keep a phone vigil just in case the police call with any word.

    The article describes the Wrights as a “faith filled couple” who are “philosophic in their approach to the tragic void left by their daughter’s disappearance.” Mr. Wright states,”We have faith she will return . . . but there is nothing we can do to control the situation. . . . Without the community support we've received we would probably have cracked up the first day without any clues.”

    Wright says that when friends gather with them it’s almost a spontaneous prayer meeting and at those times he feels as if everything will "be alright."

    According to Wright the three other children have been sent to stay with their regular babysitter. He and Mrs. Wright are asking that anyone who is nervous or sorrowful to please not visit when the children are home. So far, he says, their attitudes are healthy and positive concerning their sister’s return. They continually ask, “Chrissie’s gone. When will she be back?”
    Last edited by carrie; 09-15-2008 at 11:57 AM. Reason: spelling, spelling, spelling!!

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  23. #95
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    Carrie, thanks for posting all this. It gives a much better insight into what was going on with the parents than what I had from the few articles I had written. It seems these poor people were struggling to deal with what happened within the constraints of their of their strong religious faith.

    The more I read, the less sense this all makes. The mother finding the doors to the apartment opened in the months prior to Christine's disappearance is eerie. I wonder how she determined the youngest child was not responsible. Did she know who was?
    If the youngest child were making nocturnal wanderings of the apartment, is it possible that someone there knew about it and SHE was the actual target that night? Could Christine have been up for some reason, heard someone tapping on the door, and been taken instead? The fact that there were no screams is another strange point in this story. I'd think even a 7-year old, grabbed from the open doorway of her home, could be hard to handle if she were struggling. The neighbors claimed to hear a tapping...How could they not hear a little girl struggling for her freedom?
    Why would she go willingly with someone in the middle of a cold winter night, with only her nightgown on? Could it have something to do with her puppy, which she obviously loved?
    It isn't stated how long the youngest girl was sleeping on the couch (when I first read that, I assumed she had left her bed and fallen back alseep on the couch, but I guess its possible that her parents let her sleep there normally.) If she had just wandered from her room and crawled up on the couch, she might not have been there long enough to get cold.

    The area where Christine was found is known locally to be a fishing spot, so I definitely think this Christine was taken by someone very familiar with the area. I'm surprised however that, this being February, the area of the stream she was found wasn't frozen over. Could the killer have already known that?

    And lastly, the articles state that LE were checking some dozen names in relation to Christine's disappearance. I'd love to get a look at that list...Either the police weren't able to lift any relevant prints from the door, or the killer wasn't yet in the system. It's difficult for me to get a clear picture of a suspect in my mind...I would think if the person were young, Christine would be more trusting, maybe even someone she knew from the local restaurants or from walking her dog. The fact that she was dumped, alive in a stream, could indicate that the person panicked and, unable to kill her by any other means, just pushed her into the stream. With the water being at or near freezing, she would have died quickly. (Which brings another point...Was she placed into the stream? Could she have been molested somewhere in the area, been let go, and fallen into the stream?)
    On the other hand, the fact that the person was able to get her from the apartment, leaving behind no sign, without awaking anyone in the apartment complex (including her parents) seems to be the work of someone more mature...Someone who had either thought the details out carefully or had done something similar before.

    Questions, questions.....

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  25. #96
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    Shadow- I agree with your lack of scream.


    My boyfriend walked in my house the other night unannounced and I screamed. I'm in my mid twenties.
    "The cure for anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea." -Isak Dinensen

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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel View Post
    Carrie, thanks for posting all this. It gives a much better insight into what was going on with the parents than what I had from the few articles I had written. It seems these poor people were struggling to deal with what happened within the constraints of their of their strong religious faith.
    Thank you.

    Yes, I had that same experience concerning the parents as I was reading the articles. They give a much more complete and probably accurate view of extremely concerned and worried parents trying to hold onto their faith. It makes more sense than that the picture I'd gotten from those few articles from the Danville paper. Just goes to show how things taken out of context can distort the real picture.

    The more I read, the less sense this all makes. The mother finding the doors to the apartment opened in the months prior to Christine's disappearance is eerie. I wonder how she determined the youngest child was not responsible. Did she know who was?
    It does make less and less sense!! I don't think she knew who was responsible, because if she had and it cleared things up and was unrelated to the mystery, I don't believe she'd have mentioned it. It seems odd that this was mentioned in only one article. Many of the other facts and details were, naturally, repeated from article to article and paper to paper. This particular comment from Mrs. Wright was only mentioned this one time. I wonder if the police focused on it at all and what, if anything, they made of it?

    IMO it HAS to be relevant. It MUST have something to do with Christine's diappearance. It's just too wierd not to. The killer wouldn't have had something to do with doors being opened each of those times, I wouldn't think. Why would someone do that? Unlock and open doors and harm no one (at the risk of being discovered). Unless maybe hoping they'd (the parents) get used to it and beging to think it innocuous? (pretty far fetched but anything is possible). . . But, if the killer had noticed the smaller child opening doors at night, sleepwalking, playing, whatever, that means he/she would have had to live in, or expremely close to, the apartment complex, (or work there, as some have already suggested).

    Some times adventurous children, mine never did this kind of thing, but I've had friends whose children were known to get up and go outside while the parents were sleeping and get into all kinds of things, make messes, even go outside and down the street, be brought home by police! But they did those things in the early morning, not at dark, but in the daylight. Mrs. Wright stated that she'd awakened at night and found both the doors standing open. I really wish the article would have elaborated on that point. I believe it's very significant and important to finding out who the murderer is.

    At first, when I read about the 4 year old sleeping on the couch, I assumed that was her usual sleeping place. Since they had four children, and there were probably no more than 3 bedrooms in the apartment. One article said they found "Christine's bedroom empty," as if it was hers alone. It would have seemed more likely though, that she and Christine would have shared a room and the two boys would have shared a room. But it's possible that for some reason the couch was where she slept. Who knows, maybe she was just graduating out of sleeping in the parents bed. They could have allowed her to fall asleep in their bed and then, once she was asleep, they could have moved her to the couch. Lots of parents let their children start the night off in their bed and then move them later once they're asleep. It's part of the transitional phase while trying to teach them to sleep alone. It said in another article that the parents bedroom was downstairs and Christine's was upstairs. No doubt the boys shared a room upstairs.

    But now I'm thinking, after what Shadow wrote, maybe the child was up and doing whatever she possibly did in the middle of the night, sleepwalking, playing,??, and had opened the door and then later laid down on the couch and fallen back to sleep instead of going up to her bedroom (assuming she shared Christine's room). But i think the articles and police would have mentioned that. Not sure any of this even matters. It's just so eerie, as Shadow said, to think of those doors being open like that, in the months preceding the abduction. I guess it did "hang" in the mother's mind.

    I know that some children do sleepwalk and do so quite actively. The trait ran in my ex husbands family. More than once, one of my nephews got up in the middle of thge night, left his apartment, walked down two flights of stairs, walked three buildings over and knocked on the door of his older married sisters apartment. She would open the door and see he was still asleep (he would be standing there in pajamas, barefooted, no matter what the weather was doing). As she was used to him doing such things while sleepwalking, she'd just put him in bed with her kids like it was no big deal and go back to bed herself til morning. This same boy was known to go out of their apartment, down the hall to a soda machine, buy himself a cannedd drink, then come back into his apartment and into his bedroom and get nack in bed, never opening the can of soda, all while sound asleep! I would not have believed any of this had I not seen him do similar things with my own eyes. At the time he was about 6 or 7 years old. It scared me to death, just the thought of what he could have wandered into. but they all took it in stride because they were used to it. His eyes would be open and he would even talk to you and respond to questions, though what he said didn't usually make much sense. This child gradually grew out of his sleepwalking habit. As I said, it ran in the family and quite a few of them did these kinds of things while sleepwalking, though actually leaving the house was less common. It was quite usual for one of them to get up and walk around inside the house or apt. They'd go to other rooms and wake up in a different place than where they'd fallen asleep. Talking a lot in their sleep was quite common and seemed to go along with it, as did nightmares and night terrors. The ones that did it, only did it as children and grew out of the actual sleepwalking as they got older.

    But, getting back to Christine's case, if someone was aware of this sleepwalking or whatever was causing the doors to be unlocked, they had to be in very close view of the Wright's apartment. Does anyone agree? Disagree? They would have to either be a family friend, or relative, that heard the parents speak of it. OR, to have actually observed it they'd have had to live next door or right across from them , somewhere with a clear view of what was going on in the vicinity of the (Wright's)apartment.


    If[/I] the youngest child were making nocturnal wanderings of the apartment, is it possible that someone there knew about it and SHE was the actual target that night? Could Christine have been up for some reason, heard someone tapping on the door, and been taken instead? The fact that there were no screams is another strange point in this story. I'd think even a 7-year old, grabbed from the open doorway of her home, could be hard to handle if she were struggling. The neighbors claimed to hear a tapping...How could they not hear a little girl struggling for her freedom?
    Shadow, I believe it's quite possible that the younger child was the intended target.

    As for no one hearing screaming, it possible that someone who was practiced and experienced at doing this would be ready for a possible scream and covered her mouth? Thrown something over her? Cloroformed her? OR, tricked with some kind of story to keep her quiet just long enough to get her out of earshot.

    Another thing--I wonder why the dog didn't bark or make noise? No offense to Pekingese owners, but aren't they kind of yappy little dogs? This reminds me of a famous line from "Silver Blaze," one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories by Sir A. Conan Doyle. Holmes says to Watson something about the "strange occurence of the dog barking in the night." Watson replies, "But there was no dog barking in the night." And Holmes says, "That was the strange occurence."

    . . . the same could be said of the scream too, Shadow. I think, since the neighbor/s were apparently observant enough to hear a tapping noise, and since neither the parents, siblings, nor neighbors reported hearing a scream, sounds of struggling, or other suspicious sound/s, that we can probably safely assume that Christine did not, for whatever reason, scream or struggle in the vicinity of the apartment doorway. Thoughts anyone?

    This is far fetched perhaps, but, is it possible that the youngest child had done whatever she did at night and left the back door open and fallen back to sleep on the couch, and that the glass door being open the morning Christine went missing was just a coincidence and has nothing at all to do with her disappearance?

    Someone mentioned a while back that they thought they remembered an article that told of one of the children being found standing and looking out of the open door and being sent back to bed as Christine wasn't known to be missing at that point? Does anyone remember reading anything like that? I didn't find anything to that effect in any of the articles I read. I'll have to go back and check and see who posted that. I think they said they thought they remembered it and they were going to look for the article.

    Why would she go willingly with someone in the middle of a cold winter night, with only her nightgown on? Could it have something to do with her puppy, which she obviously loved?
    It isn't stated how long the youngest girl was sleeping on the couch (when I first read that, I assumed she had left her bed and fallen back alseep on the couch, but I guess its possible that her parents let her sleep there normally.) If she had just wandered from her room and crawled up on the couch, she might not have been there long enough to get cold.
    I wonder how deeply the police dug into questioning these kinds of details, since at first they seem to have thought she went off on her own and hid or whatever? I wonder how much weight they gave to the mysterious open doors or whether the couch was where the youngest daughter usually slept or not, and, if not, why she was there that morning, etc? It worries me that I only found mention of the mothers nagging fear re: the mysterious open doors mentioned in ONE article. If LE was focusing on that detail you'd expect it to repeated in more than one article. Other details were repeated over and over. The fact of the glass door being open and the curtains still being pulled together was repreated in virtually every article, but nothing about the prior incidences of mysterious open doors. I wonder if LE even got that part of the story? What I read was told by Mrs. Wright to a reporter. I hope they didn't overlook something vitally important to the case in that detail.

    I know they took notice of the 4 year old on the couch because it states in the article that mentions it that because of that detail LE thought she hadn't been gone for very long. this may have led them to overlook evidence in the apartment, believeing anf hoping, natuarlly, that they would soon find Christine and that their efforts were best spent in searching quickly and thoroughly. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    The area where Christine was found is known locally to be a fishing spot, so I definitely think this Christine was taken by someone very familiar with the area. I'm surprised however that, this being February, the area of the stream she was found wasn't frozen over. Could the killer have already known that?
    It stated in one article the closest house was 150 yards away? Did they check that house/person out I wonder? Were there other houses neraby? Did they check those out? Is there anyway to find out what was done back then? I wrote down the names of several detectives who were quoted by the press as being "in charge of the case" or "leading the search" etc. Can those people be contacted?


    And lastly, the articles state that LE were checking some dozen names in relation to Christine's disappearance. I'd love to get a look at that list...
    It said that in a couple of articles, that dozens of face to face interviews had been conducted. Also there was mention of polygraph tests being taken by the parents and others.

    Either the police weren't able to lift any relevant prints from the door, or the killer wasn't yet in the system.
    So they'd still have the prints most likely right? If there were any? It doesn't say whether there were any but there could have been and they might match something now right?

    It's difficult for me to get a clear picture of a suspect in my mind...I would think if the person were young, Christine would be more trusting, maybe even someone she knew from the local restaurants or from walking her dog. The fact that she was dumped, alive in a stream, could indicate that the person panicked and, unable to kill her by any other means, just pushed her into the stream. With the water being at or near freezing, she would have died quickly. (Which brings another point...Was she placed into the stream? Could she have been molested somewhere in the area, been let go, and fallen into the stream?)
    If she'd wandered or walked much, as she would have if she was let go and subsequently fell into the stream, would the autopsy report have shown that, since she was barefoot?

    If she was thrown in the stream it seems she have tried to get out unless she was unconscious or very weak perhaps, or maybe couldn't swim. I don't know how deep the creek is though it's said to be quite shallow and that where she was found is "the widest and deepest part." By stating that, I wonder if LE mean to say that it's the only part of the creek she could have drown in?

    On the other hand, the fact that the person was able to get her from the apartment, leaving behind no sign, without awaking anyone in the apartment complex (including her parents) seems to be the work of someone more mature...Someone who had either thought the details out carefully or had done something similar before.
    And we don't know if something had been prearranged by this person and Christine, someone who met her and got her confidence while she was out walking the dog? Remember her mom saying she didn't want to go to bed, though we don't know if that was that particular night, or in general. I think it's safe to assume she did not plan to leave the apartment barefoot and in a nightie though.

    Questions, questions.....
    Yes, questions. I have to get to the library again to check on the papers from when the body was found. There is also a weekly paper that was published back then called the "Chester News Journal." The library has it on microfilm and I want to see what it may have to say about Christine's disappearance. I had planned to go today but something came up so I'm hoping to go in the morning. MEANWHILE THOUGH . . .

    Is is possible to do something to get some others reading this forum again. Maybe some of the ones who were reading at first but seem to have not checked back lately? I've read in some of the other threads about people "bumping" threads to draw attention to them, but I don't know what that means. Can we "bump" whatever that means and would it help. I'd just like to get some more brains working on this now that we have some new clues to go on.

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  28. #98
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    "Bumping" a thread simply means posting on a case that hasn't seen any attention for a while so that it moves back to the first page, so that people who may have not seen it before can do so.

    The more I think on this, the more convinced I become that Christine was taken by someone who had done something similar before. I guess its possible that Christine was "sleepwalking", or might have been known to wander at night...That's possibly why the killer knew which apartment to target. Regardless, I do believe it was someone Christine (and possibly the family) knew.

    At this point, I think we should start looking for more suspects...Other men who may have been arrested around that time or even much later in that area for molestation or similar crimes and try to tie them to Christine or her family.

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  30. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel View Post
    "Bumping" a thread simply means posting on a case that hasn't seen any attention for a while so that it moves back to the first page, so that people who may have not seen it before can do so.

    The more I think on this, the more convinced I become that Christine was taken by someone who had done something similar before. I guess its possible that Christine was "sleepwalking", or might have been known to wander at night...That's possibly why the killer knew which apartment to target. Regardless, I do believe it was someone Christine (and possibly the family) knew.

    At this point, I think we should start looking for more suspects...Other men who may have been arrested around that time or even much later in that area for molestation or similar crimes and try to tie them to Christine or her family.
    This is probably a stupid question, but what is the best way to do that? I'm assuming it's to check the news archive sites for similar crimes like in the decade after and before Christines murder? And then to try and get background info on them as well as the suspects we already have?

    I wish there were more searchable newspaper databases. I joined newspaperarchives.com which is a pay site. But they don't have the Times Dispatch or NewsLeader (the 2 main Richmond papers) at all and what they have from the Progress Index in Petersburg is very limited.

    Are there sites that one can use to search court records from these times? I'm willing to pay for them if I can find them. The only records I can seem to find in VA that are serchable are Supreme court records (online I mean).

    I know I can go to the library and look through the papers on microfilm. But theres is no way to search them by name or subject so I'd have to go through them day by day which would take forever with nothing to narrow it down. I did look for other crimes when I was looking through February 1974's papers, just in case.

    I found a couple things that seemed unrelated but I'll post the and see what others think. One was the rape and murder of a 12 year old black boy in Petersburg ( I think there were references in the article that said there were some other similar occurences, cases involving boys about that age, same ethnicity, same area-it caught my interest and I planned to see if they were later solved).

    There was also a case within a day or two of Christines of two girls who were raped at knifepoint in their home in Richmond. Ages 12 and 17. they weren't abducted though, thankfully, and both survived.

    Anyway, can you give me some suggestions as to where to look for suspects who've committed similar crimes during the time frame of interest?

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    Unfortunately, there's no easy way to it...It just takes a lot of digging and can be very time-intensive. Very few papers from Virginia are on newspaperarchive, and the ones that are only go up to around 1977. You can try other papers from the area, especially Richmond, to see if they have their own archives (the LA Times and the Oklahoman, for example, have their own extensive archives (accessible through subscription, of course). Otherwise, its just a matter of sifting through microfiche, keeping in mind that cases like this would usually make the front page...Narrowing the search a little.
    Another idea, if you're up for it, is to speak to the locals. Either a local reporter, or someone from the police. They may have some memory of things that were going on. That's why I want to get Christine's story back in the papers...There's a very good chance that someone may now remember something that seemed insignificant then but could be an important missing piece.

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