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  1. #121
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    Regarding the Batsons from the KOA Campground: I thought I read or heard somewhere (can't remember where right now) that LE was interested in talking to David Batson's wife again as recently as last summer. I don't know if that ever happened or not.

    As far as them being involved, I have never thought of them as suspects but you never know. In 1976 the media wasn't as saturated with in-your-face news as it is today. This was long before the Internet and the only methods of reporting news basically were the newspapers, TV and radio. In the summer of '76 not a lot of people were glued to their TVs as they are today. It was the Bicentennial summer and people were out doing things. You just didn't watch TV as much as people do today, especially in the summer. So I can easily see where they may not have heard news reports about the couple or even seen the sketches of them for several months afterwards. I can't remember exactly how long it was before they came forward. And that's another thing, I can't see them even contacting LE with their info had they been involved. LE probably would NEVER have known that the Mystery Couple had even been at a KOA Campground in Santee if the Batsons hadn't come forward.

    I do wish LE would talk to Mrs. Batson again though to see if there is any other little tidbit of info she might remember. Highly doubtful she would remember anything different after all these years but it's worth a try.


  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    ITA.
    She should be interviewed.

    Oh, I think someone/s in LE were getting a kick back for looking the other way on an auto theft ring, and the trail could lead higher than that.


    One of the articles I've read discussing this case, reported 20 unsolved murder cases in Sumter County.
    If I'm not mistaken, it's mostly rural even today. That's an unheard of number so someone had something going on, and knew how to get away with it or had help getting away with stuff.........
    justthinkin: You said it...she should have been interviewed several times over the years , it's long over due.
    An Auto theft ring, with kick backs is exactly my first suspicion, also.

    Someone in Le could also have been involved with Henry and others, by selling the drug vehicles that had been confiscated, as well as other stolen things, like stolen guns...it was definitely 'something' going on, and this person could still be alive and 'running defense'..to keep covered what they were involved in, in the '70's...

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria View Post
    Regarding the Batsons from the KOA Campground: I thought I read or heard somewhere (can't remember where right now) that LE was interested in talking to David Batson's wife again as recently as last summer. I don't know if that ever happened or not.

    As far as them being involved, I have never thought of them as suspects but you never know. In 1976 the media wasn't as saturated with in-your-face news as it is today.
    This was long before the Internet and the only methods of reporting news basically were the newspapers, TV and radio.

    In the summer of '76 not a lot of people were glued to their TVs as they are today.
    It was the Bicentennial summer and people were out doing things.
    You just didn't watch TV as much as people do today, especially in the summer. So I can easily see where they may not have heard news reports about the couple or even seen the sketches of them for several months afterwards.
    I can't remember exactly how long it was before they came forward. And that's another thing, I can't see them even contacting LE with their info had they been involved. LE probably would NEVER have known that the Mystery Couple had even been at a KOA Campground in Santee if the Batsons hadn't come forward.

    I do wish LE would talk to Mrs. Batson again though to see if there is any other little tidbit of info she might remember.
    Highly doubtful she would remember anything different after all these years but it's worth a try....
    Cambria: Good point...I have to disagree alittle.
    Everyone I knew in 1976 read the newspapers cover to cover every day, a lot more than they do today and listened to the radio in the mornings before work..

    TV was about the only entertainment for folks and most everyone in rural area's watched a LOT of TV.. especially on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Bicentennial that year people I knew and worked with watched a LOT of TV..

    With all the people the Batson's talked to at the KOA, including workers and stores, I can't imagine NO ONE mentioning these 2 brutal murders in those days. After all, the victims was found only 50 miles from the KOA.

    It should have been the 'talk of the community' when some rural area's had no murders for years, ours didn't and it was larger than Sumter...

    When a father killed his family in my area in the late '70's I still remember it, because the violence shocked everyone so much...it was the talk of the town.

    Could it be possible someone in 'authority' told the newspapers to 'tone down' the reporting on the murders?
    It's been my opinion all along this case could have and should have been solved when L. Henry was arrested while driving drunk with HIS gun, the murder weapon...a FELONY....so what did he know, or who did he know, that kept him from going to jail?
    Last edited by Mysterylover; 01-24-2009 at 07:12 PM.

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterylover View Post
    Cambria: Good point...I have to disagree alittle.
    Everyone I knew in 1976 read the newspapers cover to cover every day, a lot more than they do today and listened to the radio in the mornings before work..

    TV was about the only entertainment for folks and most everyone in rural area's watched a LOT of TV.. especially on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Bicentennial that year people I knew and worked with watched a LOT of TV..

    With all the people the Batson's talked to at the KOA, including workers and stores, I can't imagine NO ONE mentioning these 2 brutal murders in those days. After all, the victims was found only 50 miles from the KOA.

    It should have been the 'talk of the community' when some rural area's had no murders for years, ours didn't and it was larger than Sumter...

    When a father killed his family in my area in the late '70's I still remember it, because the violence shocked everyone so much...it was the talk of the town.

    Could it be possible someone in 'authority' told the newspapers to 'tone down' the reporting on the murders?
    It's been my opinion all along this case could have and should have been solved when L. Henry was arrested while driving drunk with HIS gun, the murder weapon...a FELONY....so what did he know, or who did he know, that kept him from going to jail?
    Yes, those are good points too. I guess I just never thought of David Batson as a suspect. I guess I just thought he wouldn't have given any info to the cops had he been involved. There is no way the police would have ever known the couple had been at the KOA Campground had David Batson not contacted them. There was nothing to trace them anywhere without a vehicle or any ID on them.

    I do think that LE wants to talk to Mrs. Batson again and I hope they are able to get in touch with her.


  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    ITA.
    She should be interviewed.

    Oh, I think someone/s in LE were getting a kick back for looking the other way on an auto theft ring, and the trail could lead higher than that.

    One of the articles I've read discussing this case, reported 20 unsolved murder cases in Sumter County.
    If I'm not mistaken, it's mostly rural even today. That's an unheard of number so someone had something going on, and knew how to get away with it or had help getting away with stuff....
    Justthinkin: I see you're making more good points.
    Yes, 20 UNSOLVED murders in a rural area with only 85,000 people in the entire county is way too many, unheard of, imo....and ALL unsolved?

    The county I lived in had 200 thousand residents, in 1976, part rural and part city, 2 1/2 times what Sumter county had and there was 1 solved murder ......

    Does anyone know IF the DNA is being tested, yet? What about mtDNA?

    Lets, keep our fingers crossed they do an isotopic examination of the victim’s hair to see if there were any geographic clues left there by their diet.

    Also a isotopic examinations of the victim’s bone and teeth, and the location/country in which the WATER they drank.

    Isotope deposits in the human body can tell something about where the person lived when that body part was formed....

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria View Post
    Yes, those are good points too.
    I guess I just never thought of David Batson as a suspect. I guess I just thought he wouldn't have given any info to the cops had he been involved.

    There is no way the police would have ever known the couple had been at the KOA Campground had David Batson not contacted them. There was nothing to trace them anywhere without a vehicle or any ID on them.

    I do think that LE wants to talk to Mrs. Batson again and I hope they are able to get in touch with her.
    Cambria, thanks for the quick reply, correct me if I'm wrong.
    I understand that the 'person involved' in the crime, a lot of times, tends to check on the progress of the case and talk to the investigations, keep newspaper clippings, be helpful to the victims families, and even attend the funerals. Some murders/even put flowers on the graves from time to time.

    I do feel D. Batson was involved with L. Henry or Lonnie's son in 'some' way. Lonnie definitely KNEW who murdered that couple, from what the Lie detector test indicated, imo..

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  7. #127
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    That's a good theory. Now let's figure out how they knew each other.

    nothing seems black when i see your red shoes


  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterylover View Post
    Cambria, thanks for the quick reply, correct me if I'm wrong.
    I understand that the 'person involved' in the crime, a lot of times, tends to check on the progress of the case and talk to the investigations, keep newspaper clippings, be helpful to the victims families, and even attend the funerals. Some murders/even put flowers on the graves from time to time.

    I do feel D. Batson was involved with L. Henry or Lonnie's son in 'some' way. Lonnie definitely KNEW who murdered that couple, from what the Lie detector test indicated, imo..
    I think it can go either way regarding how a perp acts after committing such a crime. For example, I'm reading a book now about 2 guys who were murdered in Michigan in 1985. The perps went out of their way to avoid LE and they also threatened everyone they knew to keep their mouths shut or they would be killed too. So they reacted just the opposite. I know there are situations where perps appear to be very helpful and go out of their way to assist LE and hang around the families too, like you suggested.

    I also believe that Lonnie Henry knew who killed them. But I think it was someone he was related to. He wouldn't give up any information and acted like he didn't know anything, except to admit he tried to file the serial # off the gun. That sounds to me like he was trying to protect someone. People will protect family members almost always but I don't think he would have been so protective of a friend or acquaintance if he knew they used his gun to commit 2 murders. I think had that been the case, he would have told LE everything he knew and given them names too in order to take the heat off himself.


  9. #129
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    Vices in the Area in the 1970's

    It wasn't drugs around here back then, it was gambling and illegal alcohol. LE, preachers, etc. all involved.

    Our accents were VERY thick back then, and an "outsider"--even from another part of this state--stuck out immediately from the way they talked.

    If you knew the right people, ANYTHING could, and did, get "swept under the rug." I don't know anything about this case, but I sure wish I knew these shady people named, but all of my family from back then have passed away and I was too little.


  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by runr View Post
    It wasn't drugs around here back then, it was gambling and illegal alcohol. LE, preachers, etc. all involved.

    Our accents were VERY thick back then, and an "outsider"--even from another part of this state--stuck out immediately from the way they talked.

    If you knew the right people, ANYTHING could, and did, get "swept under the rug."

    I don't know anything about this case, but I sure wish I knew these shady people named, but all of my family from back then have passed away and I was too little....
    runr: My grandmother lived in S.C. for many years and she said the same thing.
    Did read if the LE found any shell casings near the murdered couple on the dirt road that August morning?
    I have read:
    A revolutionary forensic technique developed by a British scientist could help solve murder cases, by getting finger prints off shell casings.
    The method enables scientists to visualise fingerprints even after the print itself has been removed.
    This would mean prints can be retrieved from bullet cartridges..

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  11. #131
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    One thing to remember;
    a case is only as good as the perservierance and diligence of the detectives assigned to it...

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’..
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...What I write here, are my theories, speculation, opinions & deductive reasoning...not to be taken as 'fact'..


  12. #132
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    Anyone know who was originally assigned to this case?

    There are two roadside crime scene photos that we have available. I will be discussing photo #2.
    1. Taken from a camera angle in front of and to the right of the girl, and looking back towards both she and the male victim. Very natural looking photo except it's too far away to tell anything about the victims.

    2. Taken from the opposite side, to the front and left of the male victim, and angled to include both subjects. In this photo are 2 live people, LE I'm sure, but you can only see parts of their bodies. On the left is someone writing or sketching on a tablet, a female? Between the 2 victims is a guy with what appears to be light brown shoes. What are they? Italian loafers? Wellingtons? Those short boots guys wore during that time period, the ones that zipped up the side? Someone make some guesses here.

    Whatever they are they don't look like standard police issue shoes. Has to be a boot of some kind, not a loafer. No sock/loafer line is visiable. It is a man. His arm is visible, and a portion of him from just above the waist down.

    Take a look at the male victim's hair. It is visible, and extremely bushy. THIS IS NOT THE GUY IN THE MORGUE PHOTOS!! These aren't even the same people in the face shots of the victims taken at the scene. I'm not sure why in this photo, the faces of the victims are so obscured. The girl's head looks repositioned, and the guy has the jutting jawline typical of an African American male, and his hair would be consistent with that, but his skin is pale. Could be the flash, could be they were shot for being an interracial couple. The guy wasn't white enough to suit somebody? Something that definitely wouldn't have set well in 1976 in So. Carolina. What if these people are locals? Anyone think it's possible they were from Providence or Dalzel, Claremont or Stateburg? Could it be the whole Canada spiel is just that, a spiel? Look at the guy's nose. These almost look like dummies, except his arm looks quite real.

    We've got a whole slew of photos and sketches that don't add up, and that's hinky IMO. We've got somebody that went and covered up the deceased guy's shirt so that all anyone can read is Sumter. What's up with that? We have rings, but we don't have any shots of the deceased woman wearing them. A watch is visible on the guy's arm. I can't make out a ring on either hand. Why is it that the crime scene photos blur the faces when they're enlarged? Enlarge it, and the guy's nose looks like Pinochio. And yes, I am aware there are two other pictures showing the faces of the victims, but they don't look anything like the couple in the morgue shots.

    SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. This case will never be solved, and we're just spinning our wheels unless we can get someone from the FBI to take a look at it. If L. G. Henry was fencing stolen cars then who was he fencing them for? I honestly think, people were being selected, and shot for their cars, and the cars then shipped out of state, and sold.

    These pictures and sketches are an outrage when taken as a collection.


  13. #133
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    My family is from this area and I've heard about this crime all my life, hence my interest in this crime. To me it's one of those cases you can't and don't forget--why has no one ever looked for these people? But let's clear up a few things here. The crime was very well-publicized at the time--from hearing my family talk about it, I know the locals were shocked and they were upset about it. It wasn't as if no one cared about their deaths and as if it wasn't covered in the media at the time. I was really, really young at the time, and my parents no longer lived in the Sumter area by then but it was very well-covered in our area of the state at the time. It was a shocking crime for its time and it's still revisited in the SC media from time to time as being one of the state's great, unsolved mysteries. If it happened today I'm sure it would be a national story.

    Drugs were also very well-established in that area by the 70's. Hello? It was the early 70's--drugs were pretty much everywhere and had been since the 1960's, yes, even in "backwards", rural SC. It's not like the state was a suburb of Mars or anything. Don't forget that Sumter Co. is traversed by I-95 AND I-20 and was then and still is known for being THE drug highway from S. Florida to the Northern states. And many a South Carolinian has made a tidy sum growing and selling pot--and other illegal substances, then and now. Lots of available farmland and rural areas to hide illicit activity.

    I won't deny that corruption in LE didn't go on then and still does today. But I also know this much---to be fair to them, they did not have the tools then that exist now. There was no internet, there were no DNA databases, there wasn't even an organized missing person's database. Perhaps if they would have had those tools THEN this still wouldn't be an open case. And I hate to insult or implicate anyone specifically, but remember, this was the dark ages in terms of LE sophistication. Most of the LE in those days were the old school. Some didn't even have high school degrees. My grandfather used to say that if no one else would hire you, LE would. He did not mean that as a compliment to the LE agents of SC. Even today, the education requirements are low, the training to get a badge is very brief and the pay is lousy, and most agencies are under-staffed and over-worked. A 30-year old murder case is just not going to be a high-priority for them. And never forget, Sumter County is still largely rural, and has never been awash in cash, resources are still limited. I wish that they would turn it over to SLED or to the FBI but for whatever reason, they never have. Maybe it doesn't meet the qualifications to be turned over to those agencies. Or maybe it is them covering for someone. In Sumter County, to this day, there are people convinced that the true story was never told about who really killed Margaret Cuttino (another fascinating Sumter Co. crime). But there are also times when LE knows who did something and can't arrest them because they don't have the proof they need to make a case stick. And I think they hit a lot of dead ends in this case. I think Lonnie Henry knew who killed this couple. But he wasn't talking and no one else has either in all these years. It still baffles me to this day why no one has ever come looking for this couple.

    And one more item for thought: I know that LE did write down license plate nos at the funeral that was held for the couple. When their burial arrangements were announced, my aunt & uncle decided to attend the funeral b/c they reasoned that someone needed to mourn this couple, and they had seen the couple while they were at the funeral home. (Long story short, the owner was a long-time family friend, and while they were there to see someone else, he showed them the couple's bodies). They have always said that LE was there and that they were writing down the license plate numbers of everyone attended. So I wonder if those records are still in the files somewhere?


  14. #134
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    Lonnie Henry was in jail at the time of the murders.

    Correction: I goofed last night. I got Pee Wee Gaskins confused in my mind with Lonnie George Henry. It was Gaskins who was in jail, not Henry.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 01-27-2009 at 02:02 PM.


  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Lonnie Henry was in jail at the time of the murders.
    Hi, justthinkin--

    I'm sure I have read on several occassions that Henry's alibi was being at the hospital, as his wife was supposedly ill.

    Unless I've missed something?
    'Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.' Dr Samuel Johnson


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