What about Duncan?
Where's Logan Tucker?
Interesting cases....the good news about CODIS is that if any relative, son, daughter, uncle, nephew etc. ever has their DNA entered into the system.....the computer can produce a partial match that can set LE on the track of the real perpetrator. If the system shows that a close relative of a person in the system is a partial match, that can be followed up to see what relatives were in the area at the time of these murders.
This link has a bit of extra information about the case.....
[ame="http://www.helpfindthemissing.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8929"]Unsolved murder: The Bennett Family, Aurora Colorado, 1/16/84 - Help Find The Missing[/ame]
I was screwing around on Google a few days ago after reading about these terrible murders (I forget exactly what I "Googled"), and I came up with a guy who committed similar crimes in Florida in 1984, for which he is currently on death row for. His name is Duane Eugene Owen. Then I tried to see if he had any ties to Colorado. Indeed he did.
For a time, he lived about 90 minutes from the Bennetts. He's a drifter though, and I can't place him in Colorado in January of 1984. I found something that said he "fled" Michigan in January of 1984 for Florida. Could he have traveled to FL via CO? I know the first hammer attack in CO happened January 4, so he would have had to leave MI real early in January of '84.
Then I came across the July 6, 1984 edition of The Palm Beach Post through Google News Archives, and at the end of an article about him, it said that Colorado authorities were interested in him for the Bennett murders. That kind of floored me, since I didn't know they were ever looking at him. I came up with his name on my own.
Then I found an article in Boca Raton News from September 20, 1991 where Owen claimed to have killed a couple people in Colorado.
I almost want to send an e-mail to the detectives working this case and just ask them if they've compared his DNA to the perp's DNA. You would think they have, but who knows?
Wouldn't this guy's DNA already be in CODIS if he's on death row in Florida? You'd think so, but I don't now how submission to that database works.
Definitely worth looking into for Aurora PD. I'd send that e-mail if I were you.
I should also add that I've always had a gut feeling this crime, as well as the other hammer attacks in the area, was committed by a drifter. It's the seeming randomness of the crime and how they suddenly stopped that made me think this way.
Duane Eugene Owen:
According to details of the murder in Florida, he left a bloody footprint at the crime scene.
The Bennett murderer also left a bloody footprint at the crime scene, in the garage. The police cut up the floor to perserve it. Have they tried to match it?
Owen also committed a murder five days later in Florida, according to the information at the link above.
Wait...Owen committed a murder on 3/24/84 where he killed a 14 year old babysitter. He then committed another murder five days later. He left a bloody footprint at the first murder scene and a fingerprint at the 3/29/84 murder scene. He first confessed to the latter murder and then confessed to the former afterwards when cops inked his feet to see if he left the footprint.
This guy's good for two murders and a number of burglaries and sexual assaults. Aurora PD should take a closer look.
I sent an e-mail to the Aurora detectives yesterday about whether or not Owen has been cleared by them. We'll see what happens.
I heard back from one of the detectives, and he said that they looked into Owen but were able to eliminate him as a suspect in the Bennett homicides.
He's already on death row anyway. At least when this gets solved we may be able to get another low-life on death row where they belong.
First time I've read about this case. Horrible circumstances indeed!
My thoughts about this crime are thus:
I don't think the killer knew the family. It appears random to me. I base this off of the other hammer attacks prior to this crime, and the fact there were no more after this one.
Some people get caught up in the fact there was no forced entry. I tend to look at the easiest and most reasonable explaination - doors / windows were not locked.
I can see how the wife and kids might not have been awoken by the struggle. Some people can sleep through anything. And if doors to bedrooms are shut, and the distance from the struggle to the room is great, it makes sense. I'm wondering what woke the husband? If he went to investigate, and was ambushed (i.e., throat slit), once a struggle for suvival ensued he likely wound not have considered calling out to his wife for help or 911 call.
The purse in the yard was probably cast off by the perp. I don't think money was the motive here, though it was very likely a secondary consideration of the criminal.
Personally, I think this crime will be solved eventually. I doubt someone like this stops committing crimes. Unless this person died before DNA was collected and entered into the system, he'll be nabbed. And they have a shoe print and a fuzzy fingerprint to help with the conviction as well!
In 2002, a warrant was issued for a John Doe, based on a DNA match. That suspect has yet to be arrested or identified.
Bumping for the Bennetts. Drove past that house today and just so want to see this case solved! Feels like most here have forgotten it as there are so few Aurora natives in Aurora anymore.
I saw a post on the Denver Post cold case Blog by a family member that stated police may have linked the DNA found at the scene to one of the hammer attacks that occurred before this murder. I had never read or heard about this before, but if that is the case then we certainly had a serial killer at work in Aurora in early 1984 and who knows how long before that?
I am going to assume primary DNA from the scene is in CODIS....curious.
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I can not imagine all that this family has had to endure. The daughter stating that she saw her family riding a yellow bug, was so sweet! I hope she is happy and healthy!
Wow here I was thinking about that case and it was in the news today. Looks like another case has been linked to it.
Glad to see it hasn't been forgotten by law enforcement.
My name is Jim and my ex-wife Kim and I are believed to have been the first to be attacked by this monster on Jan 4 before the Smith and Bennett murders(he almost killed me). Just to answer some of the questions he was a African American male about 6 feet tall. My ex (Kim) is the only one to have seen him and he came in through a open garage door about 2 am. I was told that is how he had gotten into the other homes also, there were footprints in the snow up to other homes leading up to our house but mine was wide open so he was just looking for a easy target. Hope that answers some questions. Can't wait for the day they catch him, I still have a hard time sleeping to this day.
Last edited by hobbs; 09-15-2010 at 03:15 AM.
Wow thank you for sharing Jim. I can't imagine what you and your ex went through. I am so glad that you two survived.
I hope all this new media coverage jars someone's memory or brings a lead to catch this monster and bring him to justice. Although of course any punishment they could give him seems small in comparison to the evil he has committed against you and the others.
DNA Links Cold Case To Bludgeoning Of Aurora Family
Murders Happened In Different Cities, Just 6 Days Apart In 1984
Deb Stanley, 7NEWS Producer
POSTED: 11:02 am MDT September 14, 2010
UPDATED: 8:27 am MDT September 15, 2010
PLEASE READ ARTICLE
Contact numbers for APD Detectives
Between the 2 murders he did a few other break-ins, attempted assaults. He liked to steal women's clothing.
One of the break-ins was my house.
I had fallen asleep in the living room while reading. I woke up and went to bed without noticing the time. I awoke later to breaking glass and thought it was the cat knocking the dishes off the counter, lol.
As I walked through the living room to check on things, there was a guy standing in the front doorway. I screamed and ran out the kitchen door, noticing broken glass all over the floor from the window.
It was about 10pm, as it turned out. Sherriff's deputy did't arrive till at least an hour later, IIRC.
I later found out Owen lived a few blocks from me at the time.
And also I delivered mail to hi splace of employment, Florida Auto Sales. I took my lunch break with the girl in the office. She was going to California, I gave her my address to send me a postcard. And yeah I used to tell her my whiny dating stories Be careful who you talk to kids....ya never know who's listening
Also one of the detectives on the case was a little too sympathetic with this guy. Jeez.
This could be a completely dead lead, but I have been trying to locate more information and this drifter and convict, Troy Eugene Wigley. He savagely attacked a woman in her own home after hiding in her attic for days. It struck me the brutality he used, and that he used a hammer (again, could be completely unrelated) I believe he is serving a life sentence, but again, there is so little information out there about him. I don't believe he was convicted until 1987.
He looked to me like a good suspect for the Bennett and Smith murders as he was a drifter. Just something I have been chewing on.
Wanted to bump this thread for The Bennetts, Patricia Smith and this monster's many other victims spread across Denver, Lakewood and Aurora. The 28th anniversary just passed and I drove through the area where the Bennett's house is - as I do often and just keep hoping someday they will find a DNA match or get some other lead. I just hope the public never forgets.
It's hard to believe the killer didn't leave DNA elsewhere. I hope he's found, soon. That poor little girl... I hope she's had a good life, since.
Jim and Delray, your words are chilling and I can't imagine how terrifying it all was and has been for you. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your stories here.
Good sleuthing, freshwater. Even if the guy was eliminated (I wonder how, did they say?) I think you followed that lead through really well.