01-26-2009, 09:24 AM #16Registered User
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- Jul 2005
Lewiston Civic Theater Murders article
Ive written about this local case before but the Lewiston Tribune Online has a pretty decent article about it on the front page today,you can read it there if anyone is interested.
It gives a pretty good overview with some photos of the victims.
01-26-2009, 11:03 AM #17Registered Lurker
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01-27-2009, 06:48 AM #18Registered User
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- Jul 2005
Sadly my rudimentary computer skills dont cover linkage(hangs head in embarrassment)
But if you put lewiston tribune online into your search engine it will take you right there.
01-27-2009, 06:18 PM #19
01-27-2009, 06:34 PM #20Registered User
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01-27-2009, 10:23 PM #21
Bumping this up, Lewiston Civic Theatre case.
01-28-2009, 11:59 AM #22
thanks for bumping.
Steven Pearsall is the odd duck in this bunch. All of the other victims were young females. Steven is a 35 year old man - doesn't exactly fit the MO here.
I think the POI was assaulting Kristin and Jacqueline, in the process of abducting them or had already killed them when Steve showed up to practice. Steven saw what was happening and most importantly saw the POI which is why the perp had no choice but to kill Steven too.
Per other thread - this article was in the Lewiston newspaper recently:
http://individual.com/story.php?story=95337409'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
01-31-2009, 05:14 AM #23Registered User
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- Jul 2005
Your theory is the same as LE's I think thats what happened as well.
His girlfriend dropped him at the theater where he was going to dry some laundry and practice his clarinet.
His laundry and the instrument were still there.
Its just my opinion but I think the killer dumped Stephen's body seperate from the two girls so he wouldnt be 'intruding' when the sicko went back to revisist the girls bodies.
I wasnt surprised to learn that LE's check into the background of their POI revealed he had been arrested for breaking into a morturary as a teenager.
The recent article cleared up one question I had .
That lead based paint interfered with luminol results.
The inside of the theater is quite the rat warren of rooms so its hard telling where the murders actually took place.
Though the side backstage area door is about the only place he could have removed the bodies in reasonable privacy.
I really hope that wherever the POI moved to when he finally left Lewiston that authorities are keeping a close eye on him.
This guy killed just as many people as the Zodiac Killer in just as bizzare and ferocious a manner and its no mystery that he really is alive and walking the streets.
02-02-2009, 09:50 AM #24
"Mr. (Fred) Pearsall, he said Steve would have never left without a musical instrument, he would never leave, because that was just a part of him," Schoeffler said. "They said that he was extremely attached to that, and he wouldn't go anywhere without it."
It was one of many indicators that led investigators to believe the three disappearances were not voluntary.
An uncashed paycheck was found at Pearsall's apartment, and his car remained parked at a friend's house.
Nelson and Miller had gone from Nelson's apartment on the 200 block of Fourth Street, just a few houses from where Pearsall lived, to a downtown grocery store earlier the same evening. Miller lived nearby.
Nelson had previously worked as a janitor at the theater, a job later held by Pearsall. Police believe they stopped by the civic theater on their way to or from the store."
.."Their instincts always turned to the same man.
"Pretty early on," Johnson said detectives were able to connect the murders to a missing Asotin girl who disappeared three years earlier. The case still shares the same person of interest with the disappearance of Christina White.
The man of interest was also at the theater the night Miller, Nelson and Pearsall disappeared. He told police he briefly left for the former Red Baron pizza parlor downtown, but returned to the theater at about 10 p.m. and fell asleep. He told police he didn't wake up until 4 the next morning, and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"We started doing a bunch of background checks on him. We found some information out of a California authority that gave us more of a positive lead on what had happened to the three girls primarily," Schoeffler said."
I wonder what they found out from a California authority? This case is a fascinating one, i can't believe i didn't know about it earlier..
02-03-2009, 04:32 AM #25Registered User
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With the exception of The Lewiston Tribune Im probably the only person to my knowledge who has written anything about it on the Net.
Most of it here.
Oh,what the California authorities told Idaho detectives is that their POI was arrested as a young man for breaking into a Mortuary.
Yeah.I know....'Ewww' is the appropriate word.
10-10-2009, 08:45 AM #26
Published: Lewiston Tribune
STILL A MYSTERY
The decade of the '80s leaves a number of lingering mysteries.
The murders of three young women, one a University of Idaho student and two stepsisters from Lewiston, remain unsolved. Six people have disappeared between 1979 and 1989, three from Grangeville and one each from Moscow, Lewiston and Asotin.
Two disappearances in 1979 have never been explained. Sometime after 10 p.m. on April 28, 1979, 12-year-old Christina White of Asotin disappeared from the Asotin County Fairgrounds. Extensive work by police and psychics have not located her.
Just three months later, Gayla Schaper, 27, vanished after going to feed her horses in a field east of Moscow on the evening of June 29, 1979. Again, searches and investigations were fruitless.
Two years later, on June 26, 1981, UI student Kristin David, 22, disappeared while riding her 10-speed bicycle between Moscow and Lewiston on U.S. Highway 95. Her dismembered body was found July 4 along the banks of the Snake River below the Red Wolf Crossing at Clarkston.
Law enforcement officers from four counties in two states and the FBI formed a task force to investigate the grisly murder, but the case has never been solved.
Four people disappeared in a two-week period, beginning Aug. 31, 1982.
Young Ricky Barnett disappeared Aug. 31 from Hillcrest Farms seven miles north of Grangeville, where he was visiting his grandparents. Hundreds of volunteers searched for days for the 2-year-old boy, but he has never been found.
Sgt. Herbert J. Lindsey of the Idaho County Sheriff's Department said the case is still open. Ricky's picture still appears on posters circulated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. ''We get leads all the time,'' Lindsey said. ''We check all of them out.''
He said he checked out a possible sighting in Montana just last week. ''But the subject was a year older,'' he said. Ricky Barnett would be 10 this year.
''There's every possibility that he's not alive,'' Lindsey said. ''But we have to treat it as though he is alive.''
Three Lewiston residents vanished without a whisper 12 days after Ricky's disappearance. Steven R. Pearsall, 35, and stepsisters Kristina Nelson, 21, and Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller, 18, all disappeared Sept. 12, 1982, from the Normal Hill area of Lewiston.
The bodies of the two young women were found almost two years later, on March 19, 1984, at the bottom of a steep embankment on State Highway 3 north of Kendrick. Pearsall has never been found.
A couple of months after the bodies of Nelson and Miller were found, Lewiston police announced they had a strong suspect in the killings. But no arrests were made.
The same suspect was being looked at in connection with the disappearance of Christina White, police said earlier this year. The person is still a suspect in both cases, and still resides in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, police said last week.
The latest unsolved puzzle is the disappearance of Marie L. Rogers, 50, and her ex-stepson, Samuel L. Webb, 16, of Grangeville.
Rogers and Webb were last seen the evening of Nov. 1 at the Cash and Carry grocery store at Grangeville. After the pair's pictures were run in the Lewiston Tribune, police also received reports that Rogers and Webb were seen at a restaurant at Craigmont and a store at Moscow.
Family members say they have their suspicions about what happened to Rogers and Webb, and police admit they considered foul play. But the initial suspect in the case, Rogers' ex-husband Pat Webb, voluntarily submitted to and passed a polygraph test.
So the whereabouts of Marie Rogers and Sam Webb remains the last mystery of the decade. Diane Pettit
10-10-2009, 08:46 AM #27
Published: Lewiston Tribune
Police are now speaking publicly about what the community has been whispering privately for years.
The prime suspect in four unsolved homicides was involved with the Lewiston Civic Theatre and told investigators he slept at the theater the night of Sept. 12, 1982, when Kristina Nelson, Brandi Miller and Steven Pearsall disappeared.
Police believe the three may have been killed at the theater that night.
The suspect also told former Asotin County Sheriff Herb Reeves he was with 12-year-old Christina White the afternoon of April 28, 1979. She has not been seen since.
''There are four victims involved and one suspect. We're 99 percent certain who the culprit is,'' Lewiston police Capt. M. Duane Ailor said last week.
Ailor and others who have worked the cases over the years are frustrated to be so close to solving the murders yet far enough away to prevent an arrest.
''Don't think for a minute this is put back in the files and forgotten about,'' Ailor said. ''Not a week goes by that I don't think about this case. Not a month goes by that I don't talk to someone about it.'' He often pulls out the foot-long stack of files he's complied and studies them to see if he's missed something that could crack the case.
''What concerns me greatly is we feel we have a suspect responsible for four murders. And what happened before he came to our area and since he came? ... There's a great possibility he may be a serial-type killer.''
*On the day she vanished, Christina White attended the Asotin County Fair and then went to a friend's house. She called her mother to say she wasn't feeling well and was told to come home.
Her mother watched down the road for Christina, but she never appeared.
Ailor said the suspect offered to help the sheriff's posse search for the girl, who was initially classified as missing or a runaway. Neither her body nor the 10-speed bicycle she was riding has ever been found.
Stepsisters Kristina Nelson, 21, and Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller, 18, apparently met up the evening of Sept. 12, 1982, to go to a downtown Lewiston grocery store. Nelson left a note in her apartment letting her boyfriend know where she was and who she was with.
Both women were residents of Normal Hill and may have walked by the Civic Theatre on Eighth Street to get downtown. Nelson had previously worked as a janitor at the theater.
Steven Pearsall, 35, was dropped off at the theater at midnight by friends. A janitor at the theater, he told the friends he intended to do some work, wash some laundry and practice his clarinet.
Earlier in the day, Pearsall had been working at the theater with the suspect. Pearsall left at about 7 or 8 p.m. to attend a get-together in Clarkston.
The suspect told police he also left the building for a time to get pizza at the former Red Baron downtown and returned to the theater at about 10 p.m. He fell asleep and didn't wake up until 4 a.m., he said.
''He claims he never saw or heard anyone come into the building,'' Ailor said. ''Needless to say, Pearsall has never been seen since he went in the (theater's) doors.''
He is convinced the two women somehow ended up at the theater that night and ''Pearsall got involved in this by mistake. ... I believe he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.''
The badly decomposed bodies of Nelson and Miller were found in March 1984 at the bottom of a steep embankment at Big Bear Ridge near Kendrick. Ailor declined to say how they died.
Because Pearsall has never been located, he cannot be completely ruled out as a suspect, Ailor said. ''But we believe he is a victim.''
Unknowingly, detectives on the White case and the Nelson-Miller-Pearsall case shared the same suspect. It wasn't until a few days following the Lewiston disappearances that similarities between the two cases caused something to click, Ailor said.
The suspect was interviewed by Lewiston police twice and twice refused to take a polygraph exam that could vindicate him. He then told police if they had any more questions to talk to his attorney.
At one point, he threatened to file harassment charges against the Asotin County Sheriff's Department.
He still lives and works in the community.
Sheriff's department Sgt. Tom White acknowledged officers are very aware of the suspect. ''We're doing as much as we are allowed to do. ... We've gone clear to the very edge of what the law says we can do as far as contacting this person.''
Like Ailor, White said the case is never far from his thoughts.
About five years ago, Ailor said he renewed the by-then 7-year-old investigation. He talked with former Asotin County Sheriff Herb Reeves and uncovered another piece of evidence.
''I about fell out of my chair,'' he said. The sheriff remembered the suspect telling him he was at the house Christina White was visiting and he had gotten her a wet towel to hold over her face when she became ill.
That information added cement to Ailor's suspicions and set him wondering about other unsolved murders.
''I think the chances are great that he's either done this before or will do it again. It's hard to believe he wouldn't do it again ...''
Several other homicides and missing person cases in the region remain a mystery.
They include the murder of Kristen David, a 22-year-old University of Idaho student who disappeared June 26, 1981, while riding her bicycle between Lewiston and Moscow.
Several motorists reported seeing David on U.S. Highway 95 near Genesee, but she never arrived in Lewiston.
Eight days later, a headless torso and leg were found by a boater on the north shore of the Snake River downstream from Red Wolf Crossing in Clarkston. The next day, a dismembered head, arms and part of a leg were found downstream from the bridge. All the body parts were wrapped in clear plastic bags. They were identified as David's.
Police also discovered what appeared to be blood on the railing of Red Wolf Crossing. The bicycle was never found.
An intensive investigation followed that involved several local law enforcement agencies and the FBI. Numerous leads have surfaced over the years, but none have lead to an arrest.
Detectives interviewed the notorious Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Ellwood Toole who claimed to have killed at least 100 women in 16 states in their travels around the country. Lucas denied killing David and Toole said he was in the area in 1981 and may have done it. His story was too vague, police said.
In April 1993, an escaped rapist-murderer from a Washington, D.C., hospital for the criminally insane was apprehended in Lewiston. Investigators with the U.S. Marshal's Service suspect Harry Anthony Hantman may have been responsible for many unsolved murders and sex crimes during his 20 years on the lam.
David's murder was listed as a possibility and one investigator with the Lewiston Police Department is convinced Hantman was her killer.
Ailor said when the common suspect emerged in the White and Nelson-Miller-Pearsall cases, he was also considered a suspect in the David case. ''It's a possibility, but the cases are not obviously linked,'' he said.
Every time there is a homicide in the Northwest or western United States without a clear suspect, information about the local crimes and the prime suspect is forwarded to the investigating agency, Ailor said.
The suspect was referred to the Green River Task Force looking into the serial killings of numerous young women in the Seattle-Portland area.
''I felt they needed to know,'' Ailor said.
Latah County Sheriff's Department detectives also believe a handful of local unsolved murders and disappearances may be connected and have shared files on the cases with the FBI in the hope some of the puzzle pieces may fit.
The Moscow cases include the June 29, 1979, disappearance of 27-year-old Gayla Schaper, who was last seen feeding her horses on Lenville Road, and the bludgeoning death of 18-year-old Janice Foiles at the Tip-Top Cafe in 1969.
A longtime suspect in the Foiles' murder was cleared in March 1994, leading investigators to seek a new direction. In the Schaper case, a Moscow father and son recently emerged as possible suspects.
According to court documents, an unnamed person told police William Gale Hagedorn and his father, Larry Hagedorn, that JoAnn Grace Romero confided the Hagedorns had raped a girl on Lenville Road many years ago and that the girl was never found.
William Hagedorn last year was convicted of Romero's murder. The police source alleged Romero was killed because of what she knew.
Other cases still unsolved include the 1990 stabbing death of 18-year-old Toni Ann Tedder as she slept in her Clarkston home; the disappearance of Clarkston resident Jason Goddard, 21, from Lewiston in 1990; and the strangulation of C. Bruce and Lynn Peeples, a Grangeville couple found in their burned apartment in April 1994.
Police in these cases said they have strong suspects, but no arrests have been predicted.
Until the cases are officially solved, speculation is bound to continue. An article in the London Times labeled Lewiston ''The Town Where People Vanish'' and called the disappearances ''one of the most baffling and terrifying mysteries that police in the American West have ever faced.''
The article mentioned several other unresolved cases, including those in Moscow and the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area.
''No theories are being discounted,'' the article reads. ''Police have even looked into the possibility that grizzly bears have been raiding the towns from nearby national parks.'' Ailor isn't losing any sleep over the grizzly bear theory, but he is uncomfortable the cases remain open.
He said he released new details of the White and Nelson-Miller and Pearsall cases hoping to ''to set off a spark in the community.'' He asked anyone who may have information to contact the Lewiston Police Department or the Asotin County Sheriff's Department.
''I'll do the best I can as long as I'm with this agency to see it solved.''
10-10-2009, 08:46 AM #28
Published: Lewiston Tribune
Authorities investigating the Spokane serial killings were in Lewiston Wednesday looking into a man who lives in this area as a possible suspect.
The man is a longtime suspect in three murders and two disappearances that took place in the Lewiston-Clarkston area in the late '70s and early '80s, said Lewiston Police Lt. Alan Johnson.
The man and his attorney met with two detectives from the Spokane task force Wednesday afternoon.
The task force is investigating the murders of seven women in the Spokane area since November. The body of another woman linked to the case was found in Tacoma in December.
Johnson would not comment on what transpired during the meeting.
This is the second time members of the task force have been to Lewiston, Johnson said, and it will likely be their last.
He believes the information gained during Wednesday's visit will rule out the man as a suspect in the Spokane murders.
In the unsolved murders and disappearances in this area, however, the man is still a prime suspect, Johnson said, although he has never been charged.
The murders of Kristina Nelson, 21, and Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller, 18, and the disappearance of 35-year-old Steven Pearsall were reopened about a year ago at the Lewiston Police Department.
They all vanished from Lewiston on the same night in September 1982 and are all believed to have been at or near the Lewiston Civic Theater sometime during the night. Almost two years after they disappeared, the bodies of the women were found on a brushy slope in Kendrick.
Although Pearsall has never been found, he is not believed to be the women's killer.
Authorities announced years ago that they believe the person responsible for the Civic Theater murders is also responsible for the disappearance of 12-year-old Christina White from Asotin in 1979.
White had been attending the Asotin County Fair when she called her mother from a friend's home to say she was feeling ill. Her mother told her to put a towel over her head and walk back to the fair when she felt better. She never arrived.
Johnson believes Kristen David fell prey to the same suspect.
"Officially, he is a suspect in that case," he said. It is the first time law enforcement has publicly announced her murder may be linked to the others.
"We're looking at the time frame," Johnson said.
David became the victim of the area's most gruesome killing in 1981 -- two years after White's disappearance and a year before the Civic Theater murders -- when she disappeared while riding her bike from Moscow to Lewiston.
Eight days later, her headless torso and leg were found on the north shore of the Snake River near the Red Wolf Crossing in Clarkston.
The next day, a dismembered head, arms and part of a leg were found downriver from the bridge.
The cases, one of which is nearing its second decade as an unsolved mystery, are Johnson's top priority. He has spent a year going over the yellowed, handwritten documents in the Kristen David and Civic Theater files.
Last fall, he thought he had a break in the case when he and other detectives excavated property in Asotin that was thought to hold clues. None were found.
More recently, Johnson has sent information on the suspect to other law enforcement agencies that have had similar murders, hoping to find some sort of match.
"More than anything, I want to see these solved," Johnson said.
10-10-2009, 08:47 AM #29
The POI for these murders is now living in CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA>
Last edited by Seifsister; 10-10-2009 at 04:23 PM.
10-10-2009, 08:55 AM #30
Remote Veiwing on this case
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