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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlK View Post
    Yeah, it's a natural tendency we have to insert our own opinions into unsolved cases and then we forget what we have put into it and recall it like fact. I'm not immune to it myself



    My first thought was indeed the squirrel rifle as a weapon of opportunity but one would think that if such had been the case it would have been solved eventually. From what you describe it appears to me that the shooter did not care about leaving tracks. Either he/she was careless, lucky or perhaps an outsider with no direct link to the victim.

    At first I had pictured the event taking place on farmland but from what I gather Orofino is a logging town not unlike those we have upstate here. Such places do get pretty rough at times and many transients employed as casual labor pass through them. If a local had wanted to get at Mr Bonner I suppose it is possible he/she hired a transient to do the job for them. This would make it the more difficult to solve. Pure speculation on my part since I am not familiar with the details. I only read a snippet on the Lewiston Tribune's website but without a subscription I had no access to the article itself.
    Yeah that area of upper Ford's Creek is rough terrain,seriously most of it sits on a 45 degree slope with a few level areas that stick out before plunging downhill again toward the Clearwater River at the bottom of the canyon,much of it heavily forested with Ponderosa Pine.
    I guess Mr. Bonner worked as a mechanic in town and certainly wasnt wealthy.
    there are still quite a few members of the Bonner family here in Orofino,I played music with Jake Bonner for almost seven years at a local church and the family sponsors a Gospel/Bluegrass festival every July that draws musicians from all over the Northwest called the "Bonner Mountain Music Festival"
    Next time I speak with Jake Ill ask him what he knows about the case.
    I had heard the story for years but didnt know it was a Bonner who was murdered until that Lewiston Tribune article you mentioned came out.


  2. #32
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    Kline, have there been any new developments on this case?


  3. #33
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    His hands were bound by a handerchief ? Belonging to him,or the killer(s) ? Any DNA on that handkerchief ? Or anywhere else on his body,I wonder ?

    The use of the handkerchief sounds like this was an opportunistic murder ; the killer had to improvise, bind his hands with whatever was immediately available...He didn't set out to kill anyone...MOO

    I would hope that the 2 teenagers were questioned very,very closely...MOO


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  5. #34
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    Interesting case - wonder if there is any physical evidence preserved?


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  7. #35
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    I honestly believe in my heart that a carney did this and not a local. Someone need to track the trail of that particular carnival and see if there were similar crimes or just crimes period committed wherever that carnival set up shop


  8. #36
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    What was the explanation the teenagers gave for dropping Lonnie off at that particular site? What did he tell them when he was in their car?
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid


  9. #37
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    Look on page 1-I think you will find more about the teens there


  10. #38
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    This case is a long way from where I am, but surfing through unsolved cold cases, I read the background, and thought I'd add my two cents. Poor kid was probably very trusting back in those days, and coming from a rural area where people rely on their neighbors, he most likely never imagined what was in store for him until it was way too late. Very sad.

    I think the teens could easily have been telling the truth. Just as easily though, they could have been lying, and Lonnie could have left the carnival with them a lot earlier than the time they claim they gave him a lift. I'm guessing they'd also been to the carnival and were returning home to Kamiah. If they were telling the truth, they probably had a deadline to be home by so dropped Johnny as far as they could take him, Greer.

    I looked at the 4 locations on the map, Orofino, Greer, Wieppe, and Kamiah. This is a very rural area with few people. Even looking at Google Maps, there was not a single shot of a vehicle on Hwy 12 between Orofino and Kamiah.

    Why on such a lightly traveled road, would a trucker have to leave the side of the highway to travel down a deeply rutted road to look for a place to relieve himself? I'm guessing we're talking about someone in a pick-up? 18 wheelers don't take to rutted roads easily nor do other, smaller, but still large trucks. Was the man in a pick-up, and his occupation was that of a truck driver or was he simply referred to as a truck driver because he was driving a pick-up? Was he on the job at the time, and if he was driving a truck larger than a pick-up was he the owner or did the truck actually belong to the company he worked for? Would he risk getting his employer's truck stuck just to take a pee?

    I was a child back in the fifties, and I remember people even stopping by the sides of freeways to relieve themselves or to let junior out to pee. It was not all that uncommon a sight to see back then. Men didn't think anything of doing this, IMO, back in the day. You could see a guy standing out by his vehicle, his back to the road, and you pretty much could guess he was watering the plants.

    Wish someone up that way could track down the name of the person who discovered Johnny's body, via an old newspaper account perhaps. I think that person is very much of interest in this case.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 11-05-2011 at 01:41 AM.


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  12. #39
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    Lonnie O'Dell Jones b. Nov. 1, 1938 d. Sept. 23, 1951. He is buried in the Weippe Cemetery, and is the only person with the sir name of Jones interred there.


  13. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    I honestly believe in my heart that a carney did this and not a local. Someone need to track the trail of that particular carnival and see if there were similar crimes or just crimes period committed wherever that carnival set up shop
    Sometimes I just HATE my last name! (And no, I was not alive in 1951)


  14. #41
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    Wait, how soon did the carnival leave town after Lonnie went missing? And how could that trucker tell just by looking that Lonnie had been sexually assaulted?


  15. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    Wait, how soon did the carnival leave town after Lonnie went missing? And how could that trucker tell just by looking that Lonnie had been sexually assaulted?
    Historicaly from my experience the carnival closes by late afternoon on Sunday the day of the Lumberjack competitions,tears down that night and is pretty much gone by monday morning.
    I would have to assume it was pretty much the same in the early 50's.
    It wasnt the truckdriver who made the call that Lonnie had been sodomized but the coroner.
    Of course considering he was nude with his hands bound behind him was kind of a tip off im sure.


  16. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post
    His hands were bound by a handerchief ? Belonging to him,or the killer(s) ? Any DNA on that handkerchief ? Or anywhere else on his body,I wonder ?

    The use of the handkerchief sounds like this was an opportunistic murder ; the killer had to improvise, bind his hands with whatever was immediately available...He didn't set out to kill anyone...MOO

    I would hope that the 2 teenagers were questioned very,very closely...MOO
    Ill have to review the article but im certain it said it was Lonnie's handkerchief.


  17. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    This case is a long way from where I am, but surfing through unsolved cold cases, I read the background, and thought I'd add my two cents. Poor kid was probably very trusting back in those days, and coming from a rural area where people rely on their neighbors, he most likely never imagined what was in store for him until it was way too late. Very sad.

    I think the teens could easily have been telling the truth. Just as easily though, they could have been lying, and Lonnie could have left the carnival with them a lot earlier than the time they claim they gave him a lift. I'm guessing they'd also been to the carnival and were returning home to Kamiah. If they were telling the truth, they probably had a deadline to be home by so dropped Johnny as far as they could take him, Greer.

    I looked at the 4 locations on the map, Orofino, Greer, Wieppe, and Kamiah. This is a very rural area with few people. Even looking at Google Maps, there was not a single shot of a vehicle on Hwy 12 between Orofino and Kamiah.

    Why on such a lightly traveled road, would a trucker have to leave the side of the highway to travel down a deeply rutted road to look for a place to relieve himself? I'm guessing we're talking about someone in a pick-up? 18 wheelers don't take to rutted roads easily nor do other, smaller, but still large trucks. Was the man in a pick-up, and his occupation was that of a truck driver or was he simply referred to as a truck driver because he was driving a pick-up? Was he on the job at the time, and if he was driving a truck larger than a pick-up was he the owner or did the truck actually belong to the company he worked for? Would he risk getting his employer's truck stuck just to take a pee?

    I was a child back in the fifties, and I remember people even stopping by the sides of freeways to relieve themselves or to let junior out to pee. It was not all that uncommon a sight to see back then. Men didn't think anything of doing this, IMO, back in the day. You could see a guy standing out by his vehicle, his back to the road, and you pretty much could guess he was watering the plants.

    Wish someone up that way could track down the name of the person who discovered Johnny's body, via an old newspaper account perhaps. I think that person is very much of interest in this case.
    Yes.It is sparsely populated more so back then.
    I dont know what kind of truck it was...it could very easily have been a logging truck then as now there are many on the roads.
    I would like to know the truckdriver's name as well.I havent been able to gain access to the file yet.Very frustrating.(If it still exists.)
    The kids returning to Kamiah would have been indeed taking him as far as they could...Greer,such as it is ,is only about four blocks long.The very steep Greer grade starts uphill immediatly at its east end .
    After dropping Lonnie off they would have had to turn around and go back across the bridge that spans the Clearwater River to HWY 12 turn left and beat it toward Kamiah especially if they were up against a curfew deadline.
    Lonnie would have had to get back up the nearly five mile long uphill grade to get home to Weippe.
    Greer would have been most likely dark and deserted at that hour.
    I still feel it a very unlikely place for a transient deviant or Carny to be lurking by chance(youd have to see the area yourself I guess)its not a likely place to happen upon if you dont live here I guess im trying to say.
    But thats just based on gut feeling I may well be wrong.
    However ANY of Lonnie's Weippe neighbors would have to go that way to get home which he undoubtebly was counting on.
    Nice work by the way being able to draw so many correct conclusions about the area just from Google!
    I sure appreciate the input please feel free to continue.
    Any suggestions or thoughts are most welcome...I get kind of discouraged with this case at times.
    I was by the Weiipe cemetary recently up on the prairie.
    Its just a stones throw from where Lewis and Clarks half starved band of explorers first encountered the Nez Pearce Indians who saved them.
    Its a very peaceful spot.
    Last edited by kline; 11-07-2011 at 09:29 AM.


  18. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by marycarney View Post
    Sometimes I just HATE my last name! (And no, I was not alive in 1951)
    Thats your real name?
    Thats awesome.I thought you were pulling my leg!


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