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
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.''
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.
The POI for these murders is now living in CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA>
Last edited by Seifsister; 10-10-2009 at 04:23 PM.
Remote Veiwing on this case
Detectives are done with Lewiston man
Published: Lewiston Tribune
Spokane detectives are not actively investigating the man they interviewed last week in this area, said sheriff's Capt. Doug Silver of the serial killer task force.
"We haven't included him or totally excluded him from being a suspect, but we are no longer working any information from him," Silver said Wednesday.
Two detectives from the task force visited the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley twice in the past few weeks to investigate a man who has been a longtime suspect in several murders in this area.
The man is a suspect in the 1981 murder of Kristin David and the 1982 murders of Kristina Nelson and Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller and the disappearance of Steven Pearsall that same year.
He is also a suspect in the 1979 disappearance of 12-year-old Christina White, according to police.
The man has not been charged in any of the cases, however.
The Spokane 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.
Published: Lewiston Tribune
Sitting on shelves in area law enforcement offices are binders titled "Kristen David," "Christina White," "Toni Ann Tedder" and "Joyce LePage."
The pages inside have yellowed. The signatures at the bottom of the reports are of men who have since retired or died.
But the binders of unsolved mysteries -- some murder, some disappearances -- are pulled off the shelves every now and then, dusted off and reviewed.
In the case of Kristen David, the young University of Idaho student who was found dismembered in the Snake River near Clarkston in 1981, a detective at the Latah County Sheriff's Office has begun to re-read the volumes of reports and interviews.
New information on an old suspect who has since died in prison surfaced recently, Sgt. Earl Aston said. Although he declined to say what the information is, or which suspect he's interested in, he did say he would renew the now 16-year-old investigation.
David's grisly murder remains one of the area's most frustrating cases, partly because of the horrendous nature of the crime and partly because closure has eluded a cadre of relentless investigators intent on finding her killer.
She disappeared June 26, 1981, while riding her bicycle between Lewiston and Moscow. Several motorists reported seeing her on U.S. Highway 95 near Genesee, but she never arrived in Lewiston.
Eight days later, a headless torso and a leg wrapped in plastic bags were found by a boater on the north shore of the Snake River near Red Wolf Crossing in Clarkston.
The next day, a dismembered head, arms and part of a leg were found downstream from the bridge.
The intense investigation that followed took investigators on a search for the killer as far away as Florida.
Still, no arrest has been made.
Aston hopes his new information will change that, but he doesn't have much time on hands. He is the lead detective in the Hazel Martin murder case of last year -- an investigation he says is well on its way toward solution.
Martin, 73, was last seen alive May 17, 1996, at a card party at the Princeton Grange. After she was reported missing, her home in Princeton was searched and no sign of struggle was found. Days later, bedding eventually identified as Martin's was discovered along the Palouse River.
Some five miles from where the bedding was found, a skull and lower jaw bone were discovered this spring in the White Pine Drive area by mushroom hunters. Since then, Aston said, a femur has been found.
Initial indications were the skull showed signs of trauma from blunt force, he said, but forensic tests that could determine exactly how she died have not yet been completed.
Aston said the Martin case is one that won't be added to the binders on the shelf.
"We're very optimistic about solving this case. ... We're not going to stop until we solve it."
Aston and Latah County Sheriff Jeff Crouch say they have suspects and know why Martin was killed.
A homicide last year in Pullman also has been added to the area's list of unsolved mysteries. But, like the Hazel Martin murder, the Dorothy Martin murder is being worked on night and day by optimistic investigators.
"It's a very active case," said Sgt. Sam Sorem of the Pullman Police Department.
Martin, an 89-year-old resident of the Statesman Condominium on Military Hill, was found murdered by asphyxiation in her bed in July 1996.
Investigators in both the Hazel and Dorothy Martin cases say a connection between the two murders is not likely, despite the similarities in age, last name and time frame. But a link has not been ruled out completely.
"In murder investigations, you don't rule anything out until you have solid evidence that would tell you otherwise," Sorem said.
"New information still comes in all the time, and Baker (Fred Baker, the lead investigator on the case) checks up on all of them," he said.
Investigators have a lot to work with now, he added.
In addition to having "persons of interest," there are a set of missing keys to Martin's apartment and missing items that should have been found inside.
"The only person that knows they're gone is the person that committed the crime," Sorem said.
Baker will be presenting information about the Dorothy Martin case at a meeting of Washington investigators involved in Homicide Information Tracking System (HITS) this week in Kennewick. The hope is after investigators present the evidence in their unsolved murder cases, similarities with other murders will arise.
Det. Joel Hastings of the Clarkston Police Department also will attend the meeting.
Hastings has the Toni Ann Tedder murder on his shelf.
"To solve this, we would need some additional information and we're just not there yet," he said.
Tedder, 18, was stabbed while she was sleeping on a couch in her family's living room in Clarkston in 1990. Another family member was sleeping on the floor near Tedder during the attack and came face to face with the murderer, Hastings said.
The fisherman-type knife used to stab Tedder was found near her.
Over the years, Hastings said, one suspect in a field of many has not been eliminated.
A Tedder family member said she believes Toni was killed by mistake -- that the murderer intended to kill someone else in another house.
Another case in southeastern Washington that has plagued investigators for years is the disappearance and probable homicide of 12-year-old Christina White of Asotin in 1979.
The White disappearance is unlike most unsolved mysteries in that investigators are certain they know the culprit.
"We do have a primary suspect who has been our primary suspect for years," said Sgt. Tom White of the Asotin County Sheriff's Office.
In fact, he said, White was last seen standing with her bike outside an Asotin home often frequented by the suspect.
White had called her mother from the home to tell her she felt ill from the heat. Her mother told her to put a towel over her head and come to the Asotin County Fair when she felt better.
She has never been found.
The suspect in her disappearance is believed to have killed again.
Investigators in the White case and in the Lewiston Civic Theatre case announced in 1989 they shared the same suspect.
In the Civic Theatre case, police believe the suspect, who was working at the theater that night, was presented with an opportunity to kill Kristina Nelson, 21, and her stepsister Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller when the two women walked by -- and perhaps inside -- the theater Sept. 12, 1982.
Nelson had left a note in her Normal Hill apartment telling her boyfriend she and Miller were walking to a downtown Lewiston grocery store.
Steven R. Pearsall, a janitor at the theater, was dropped there later that night by friends. He told his friends he intended to do some work, wash some laundry and practice his clarinet.
Police believe the suspect killed all three of them that night.
In 1984, the decomposed bodies of Nelson and Miller were found by a Kendrick youth at the bottom of a steep embankment along State Highway 3, about 2 1/2 miles north of Kendrick.
Pearsall has never been found.
Former Lewiston police Capt. Duane Ailor, who died this summer, was the primary investigator in the Civic Theatre murders.
According to LPD Capt. Paul Ayers, nothing has changed in regard to Ailor's suspect.
"There are four victims involved (including Christina White) and one suspect. We're 99 percent certain who the culprit is," Ailor told the Tribune in a 1995 interview.
The suspect was interviewed numerous times by police and then refused to cooperate, telling investigators to talk instead with his attorney.
He still lives and works in the community.
Although Pearsall could not be ruled out completely because he's never been found, Ailor believed Pearsall was a victim.
Sometimes in an unsolved mystery, a fresh approach may be what it takes to close the case.
In the 26-year-old murder of Joyce LePage, a Washington State University student found in skeletal form in a ravine about 10 miles south of the university, a sergeant from WSU's police department recently has reactivated the case.
"I'm taking an active second look," Sgt. Don Maupin said.
LePage, 22, was last seen by friends who dropped her off at her apartment July 21, 1971. LePage often would stay at Stevens Hall on campus even though the building was being remodeled that summer and was supposed to empty.
It is there, Maupin said, that LePage was killed.
Her skeletal remains -- which bore signs of a stabbing -- were found almost a year later by a boy hunting for opals in a steep ravine off Wawawai Road.
Maupin said he has suspects and a motive, but declined to elaborate on either.
Other unsolved murders and disappearances continue to haunt law enforcement officials and family members in this area:
After working an evening shift alone, waitress Janice Foiles, 18, was killed in 1969 by two blows to the head at a Moscow cafe. There was no sexual assault, police said, and nothing was taken from the restaurant. Police found no weapon and no motive.
In June 1979, Gayla Schaper, 27, was last seen feeding her horses on Lenville Road. Nearby meadows were excavated and pieces of clothing were found, but investigators declined to comment on the results of forensic tests on the clothing.
Patty Otto, a 24-year-old Lewiston woman, hasn't been seen since September 1976. Her husband was a prime suspect in her disappearance, but he died in prison, where he was serving 25 years for hiring killers to murder Duane Ailor, who at that time was a Lewiston detective.
A young man who has never been identified floated down the Snake River near Hellar Bar in June 1982. When sheriff's deputies recovered his body, they discovered he had been shot. His age was determined to be 18- to 22-years old, he was 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds.
Daniel Walker, 31, a WSU student, was found shot to death in his pickup truck on the shoulder of Lewiston's Old Spiral Highway in April 1982. Police believe the shooting was drug-related and have issued a warrant in connection with the shooting for Edward L. Hart, who, after an extensive search in Alaska and Mexico, has never been found.
C. Bruce and Lynn Peeples were found strangled in their burned Grangeville apartment in April 1994. Their killer has never been found.
Last edited by believe09; 11-28-2011 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Bolding vics names
Published: Lewiston Tribune
He drives a late-model car that he's pretty proud of. He lives alone or with a girlfriend or his mother, who tends to be dominating.
He's intelligent, but considered an underachiever.
He has at least a high school education.
And he likes to kill if the opportunity comes up.
He's still out there. And his crimes are decades old.
Kristin David, Christina White, Kristina Nelson, Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller, Steven Pearsall.
Five people police believe all suffered the same fate -- all at the hands of the same man, Lewiston Police Lt. Alan Johnson believes.
The police cases are all still open, and Johnson, the Lewiston Police Department's head investigator on the crimes, says new information has been discovered.
But he's not saying just what that information is.
"The information is background in nature, and it has not produced any eye witnesses or new witness names," says Johnson. "Technology is one avenue that has been and is being explored, and DNA technology is one that we're kind of focusing on."
Most of the recent investigation has focused on the Christina White case with the Asotin County Sheriff's Department.
If the crimes are all connected, solving her murder should give some clues to the others as well.
"Every crime has a piece of the puzzle that is always going to be out there -- we just have to find it," Johnson says.
"Sometimes we have to be satisfied with knowing who is responsible, even if we can't get that individual into a court of law."
And the police do know who committed the serial murders, says Johnson. They just can't release the name.
But a suspect profile done when the cases were still fresh offers some clues.
The profile, a yellowed, typed list with notes scrawled in the margins, is in several of the blue binders that contain all the information police have on the cases.
It's most likely an FBI profile, since that was one of the only agencies doing profiling work at the time, says Lt. Ron Seipert. But the profile doesn't have an author name or an agency's heading.
The title at the top of the page is "Psychological Profile of Lust Murderer."
The list of 20 characteristics that follows reads like a horror novel -- seemingly benign at first, and then becoming a recipe for a psychopath:
Subject will have lived in the area for a period of time and will be known to various people in his community.
Bite marks or stab wounds, commonly made after death ...
As this fantasy wears off, will kill again and more frequently as time passes ...
Will have fantasized about what he would do to a girl if the situation presented itself, i.e. premeditated and when the situation does occur, he conducts himself as he has fantasized.
And the final characteristic: Might have left the area after the killing, moving to another town and establishing himself (job, etc.) before he will kill again.
Many detectives believe there are two types of serial killers, says Johnson, those who go on a killing spree and then stop for some reason, and those who just go on killing.
And which one is the suspect of these crimes?
"Will he kill again? It's a possibility," says Johnson. "We can't say for sure that he hasn't since these cases."
The detectives on the case when the profile was new believed the suspect matched at least some of the characteristics, says Johnson.
For instance, the suspect had a prior record -- he was arrested years earlier in California for allegedly breaking into a mortuary.
He was involved in the community, and was relatively well known.
And the suspect has moved from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, and now lives in a southern state. Law enforcement authorities there, says Johnson, have been alerted.
As far as the authorities know, he has committed no new crimes.
Killer's crimes are more than 20 years old
Published: Lewiston Tribune
For 21 years, someone has been keeping a dark secret.
And though at times the Snake River, a ravine near Kendrick, and even a Lewiston theater have offered up clues to investigators, the secret of who killed five area residents is still hidden.
The five unsolved murders police in the region are working on all happened in a four-year period, beginning with a vanishing little girl.
April 28, 1979
Christina White was at the Asotin County Fair the morning before she disappeared. She left the fair and went to a friend's house, where she called her mother at about 2 p.m. to tell her she was feeling ill from the heat.
Her mom told her to put a towel over her head and walk home when she felt better. Twelve-year old Christina never appeared.
People helped the Asotin County Sheriff's Posse search for the girl. One of the men who offered to help would later be considered the primary suspect in her disappearance.
Neither Christina White, nor the 10-speed bicycle she had with her that day, has ever been found.
June 26, 1981
University of Idaho student Kristin David was biking from Moscow to Lewiston on the day she vanished. Though several motorists came forward to say they saw her near Genesee on U.S. Highway 95, she never arrived in Lewiston.
It was eight days before a clue to the missing 22-year old student surfaced, eight days before the Snake River yielded its grisly offering to a boater near the Red Wolf Crossing in Clarkston.
A headless torso and a leg wrapped in plastic bags had washed ashore.
The next day, arms, part of a leg and a dismembered head were found further downstream, near the bridge.
Sept. 12, 1982
Kristina Nelson and her stepsister Jacqueline (Brandy) Miller were headed to a downtown grocery store from Nelson's Normal Hill apartment.
Nelson, 21, and Miller, 18, walked by the Lewiston Civic Theatre. They may have gone inside.
Steven R. Pearsall was a janitor at the theater. He had friends drop him off there that night to do a little work, a little laundry and practice his clarinet in the usually empty building.
All three were killed that night, police believe, by the same man responsible for White's and David's murders.
The badly decomposed bodies of Nelson and Miller were found in 1984 by a Kendrick youth. They'd been placed at the bottom of a steep embankment along State Highway 3, about 2 miles north of Kendrick.
Pearsall's remains have never been found.
There are searches going on all weekend and this following week for the remains of Christine White.
Interesting case, Kline. Do keep us posted, please.
It might be interesting to research unsolved murders and/or missing persons cases in and around Mint Hill (which I believe is in North Carolina...A suburb of Charlotte).
Being a rural mail carrier? Wouldn't that be a serial killer's dream job?
There is a web site that covers this case in detail including NAMING THE PRIME SUSPECT (something I'm a little uncomfortable with)
I was aware that there was a prime suspect who worked at the CivicTheater and had some sort of ties to the Christina White. Posters on the above site claim that this suspect also was involved in finding the body of Kristin Davis and had a prior arrest in Calif for breaking into a mortuary to "gain access to" the body of a young girl. In addition, Kline mentions an incident with a real estate agent in post #16 above.
If these are all true, it looks enough of a cicumstantial case to get a conviction.
Wow! I am glad to see this thread so active today. thank you Kline for the updates.
Do you think the killer only killed in Idaho? Or is it possible he was active along the NW Coast?
When I went through the thread again today I immediately thought of Misty Copsey. She disappeared from a fair in WA. http://www.thenewstribune.com/misty/
It is time for me to head out of here (work - yay!!) and head home but I am interested in looking into any missing persons or unsolved homicides in SC. It is possible however a little unlikely someone who murdered 5 people would just stop.
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Mint Hill is very close to Charlotte, NC. I didn't find anything on Mint Hill's PD site regarding missing people or unsolved homicides. If the POI was continuting to kill I would imagine he would go to Charlotte considering Mint HIll is such a small town.
Here is a link to Charlotte's Missing Persons linked on the PD. I am sure there are tons more than this. I looked through the unsolved homicides in the area and saw nothing that seemed like a good match, at least in my opinion.
These two cases are interesting. Alison Foy and Angela Rothen did not know eachother yet their bodies were found in the same place. Angela had disappeared 18 months before Alison. Both had murdered presumably by the same person. Their bodies were found about 4 hours from Mint Hill, NC.
Lisa Hohman, 2005 - 16 yrs old found murdered in Maxton, NC (1.5 hours from Mint Hill)
'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
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Can the neighbor of the girls (the one who swung the golf club) identify the poi as the person who tried to break in?
Oh, of course I have more questions. On the night of the Pearsall (sp?) disappearance and the murder of the two girls - what was the poi doing in the theater. It said he'd been there, left to eat, and then came back. Was there a rehearsal, or was he working there or what?
Also - he has found the bodies of two dead girls himself? One of whom was an apparent suicide? Does anyone have info on the suicide. Does it sound like it really was suicide? How instrumental was he in finding Davis' body?
Editing my last post. Still with the questions. After looking at the Yuku site I have addl ?'s. Has LE released anything about what they feel is the cause of death in any of the cases where remains were found? Davis' remains were apparently dismembered? What about the two girls found together, any dismemberment there?
Can anyone give me approx dates that the POI lived in various cities and states, preferably going all the way back to California if that's where he lived first. Anything along those lines would be helpful. Also, how old is this guy?
I understand that the POI is a parent or a step-parent? Maybe he's been the boyfriend of other women with children in the past. Has LE checked with social services in all of the jurisdictions where he's lived to see if there have been any reports made to CPS regarding him? When I worked for CPS I found that people frequently abuse members of their own family in addition to committing criminal acts against others. There was overlap in the area of sex crimes. Frequently, abuse in the home isn't prosecuted criminally though, so you have to check with social services. LE would be the only entity that could make that inquiry and get that info.
Last edited by hopetohelp; 10-30-2009 at 08:47 PM.
Ok, so more questions still. In addition to those I've already posted. What kind of car did the poi have during the time that the two girls and Steven disappeared? One wonders how the poi pulled all of that off unless the crime scene was at the theater and then remains were taken and dumped (with maybe Pearsall's being left at the theater). Since they both apparently worked there, did Steven Pearsall know the poi? What was their relationship? Were they friends? For that matter, was the poi friends with Nelson or Davis due to perhaps interfacing at the theater? The places where remains have been found in these cases, how far are they from an actual roadway?
Last edited by hopetohelp; 10-31-2009 at 04:03 PM.
To sit on the suspects name for 30 years certainly did not bring in any leads. The suspect did work as a technical director at the Lewiston Civic Theater. The arrest record from 1972 is public record. There were encounters with people that were strange to say the very least.
Claudette that is mention did commit suicide. This has been verifed by a family member.
Unfortunatly until the Steven Pearsall's body is found the DA will probably willl not pursue criminal charges.
The purpose of giving the suspects name is also to bring public awarness. This might prevent another family grief. Another reason is perhaps it would jog someone's memory and that might help find the remains of Christina White and Steven Pearsall. As Kline said in his post we did do searches in the Kendrick, Idaho area and the Asotin, Washington area. These areas are vast, the terrain is very rough and it is almost overwhelming. I do believe that Steven Pearsall is out there in the Kendrick area, the suspect was pressed for time. By my estimation he would have had roughly 3 hours to dispose of the bodies.
Steven Pearsall had been working on a set that day with the suspect. Steven was pick up by his girlfriend around 7pm to attend a party for a co worker that was leaving. The suspect went to Red Baron Pizza and returned to the theater around 11pm. He fell asleep around 11:30pm and did not hear Steven return to the theater. I have been in that theater and I do find that rather hard to believe.
The suspect was on the boat that found Kirsten David's remains. No information has been released as to her cause of death. She was dismembered and her remains dumped into the Snake River.
My cousin Kristina Nelson and her step-sister Jacquelyn "Brandy" Miller were found by a boy collecting cans. Brandy died by strangulation, I have not been told Kristina's cause of death.
The suspect at the time of their murders was 35 years old. He is now 61 years old. He lived in California in the early 70's.
According to most "official" reports, Christina White "disappeared" from a local fair but various forum posters report that she was actually on her way home and was last seen at the home of her "best friend" (was not home). Her best friends' mother's boyfriend was the "Suspect" at the Civic Theater. (one poster reports that this "Suspect" was the last one to see her, but other posters claim it was the best friends's brother) Can anyone verify or elaborate on this?