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  1. #16

    Thread I found on Wheaton Plaza

    http://www.labelscar.com/maryland/we...-wheaton-plaza

    I basically only had time to skim this right now but did find it interesting. Notice that Katrina Blair's post almost halfway down the page states that her brother played the Easter bunny one year at the mall.

    Also, a little farther down Stella's post mentions a report of a van in the 80s trolling the mall taking pictures of children.

    Interesting stuff.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Wheaton Plaza: a description

    I would like to take some time to describe Wheaton Plaza - the place where Sheila and Katherine Lyon were seen on 25 March 1975, the day they disappeared. I think that these details might be helpful in trying to envision the case and in attempting to reconstruct possible scenarios.

    I got my information by visiting Wheaton Plaza a number of times, by looking at maps and aerial views, and by reviewing video news coverage of the Lyon Sisters story. The first time that I was at Wheaton Plaza, however, was in 1984.

    My most recent visit was two weeks ago, and at that time, I was accompanied by someone who has been familiar with the area, the mall, and with the Lyon case since 1975. I certainly welcome any comments or corrections by folks who have more intimate knowledge of Wheaton Plaza.
    <snip>
    snipped by me for space, bolded by me for reference

    Where can one go to view old video news coverage?
    I know the library has old newspapers, where should I go for old video news coverages.
    Any help here is greatly appreciated.
    Children don't stop dancing

  3. #18
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    I noticed the post which mentioned a bowling alley in the mall and the dad was worked a radio station. I had not known he worked in a radio station but find that interesting in reguards to TRM.

  4. #19
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    Farrell's Third Door

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    There were other entrances into the mall area besides the corridors and the Mall "ends". Farrell's Ice Cream Shop was located in Wheaton Plaza and you could enter Farrell's from the parking lot. You could also enter Farrell's from the mall. There were doors on each side of the resturant.
    If I remember correctly there were also movie theaters at the end next to Montgomery Ward's. From the parking lot, you had to pass a bank and enter some glass doors to get into the movie theater area. The theaters may or may not have had an entrance into the mall. I think they may have. There was a lobby type area where you purchased tickets and I think there were doors that lead to the parking lot AND doors that lead to the mall area, right next to Montgomery Wards.
    The movie theaters are now not in the mall, not even connected to the structure, and they are at the opposite end of the structure then they used to be.
    I worked at Hot Shoppes Cafeteria in 1975. There was also an emergency exit in the basement of Farrell's. A famous trick of school kids would be to leave through that door without paying for their meal. You are correct about the movie theater doors, there was a mall entrance plus the parking lot entrance.

  5. #20
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    Not sure if this has been posted but I just happened upon this group on FB and it has over 200 photos of Wheaton from the 1970's.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37805734402
    The above post is as always MY OPINION ONLY!

  6. #21
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    Thanks for the link. There is some discussion of them on the group as well.

  7. #22
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    I was down at the mall Saturday. Well across the street at a music store. Boy has it changed in the last five years. They built a huge parking lot.

    Heard Farrell's chain is coming back alive.

  8. #23
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    I grew up in that area, and spent a lot of time at Wheaton Plaza as a kid, before they enclosed it. The Lyon sisters' disappearance has haunted me since it happened.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LillyRush View Post
    I found the comment that you're talking about. It sounds like this person heard about the story when they were a kid in 80s, maybe from a friend or something. I guess if that's the only source they had, they may have questioned whether it happened. Also, sometimes people sensationalize things when they retell it to the point of it sounding unreal. It's kind of silly really because clearly this person could have just looked it up online or something. But some people are just not interested in the news, or would prefer to think of something like that as a crazy rumor to make themselves feel safer.
    I lived in Virginia when they went missing and I remember it well because child abductions weren't a usual occurence in the news, as they are now. But I remember this being on the news very clearly. There wasn't the media coverage back then that there is today. Sometimes I am curious if there are stats somewhere that would tell how much this type of crime is compared to the 60's, 70', 80', 90's. I know the media puts them in our face now, back then mostly I remember news coverage was about Vietnam, etc. Some brainiac somewhere must be studying the increase in child abductions now vs decades ago without factoring the media into the equation. I grew up, luckily, in an era where we had no fear of walking in the woods or playing outside, and I was lucky to rise kids just before all this abduction etc started to become everyday news. Now I worry like he77 about my grandkids. I have looked up their houses and there are plenty of RSO"s around. My daughters don't let them just roam the neighborhood, thank God.

    They found the remains of some abducted people (adults/ children can;t remember) down in the Triangle, Va area awhile back and for a short period of time they were wondering if maybe it was the Lyon sisters, but it turned out to be two other unsolved missing people cases.

    abbie

    Rest in Peace, Robbi 1980-2012

  10. #25
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    Disappearances then and now...

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbieNormal View Post
    I lived in Virginia when they went missing and I remember it well because child abductions weren't a usual occurence in the news, as they are now. But I remember this being on the news very clearly. There wasn't the media coverage back then that there is today. Sometimes I am curious if there are stats somewhere that would tell how much this type of crime is compared to the 60's, 70', 80', 90's....
    abbie
    Welcome to The Lyon Sisters featured case, Abbie.

    You make a very good point concerning media coverage of this type of crime in 1975. Actually, the Lyon sisters case was quite well covered for weeks in the Washington Metropolitan area papers as well as on TV and radio. It was probably better covered than the end of the Vietnam war which was taking place at the same time.

    That coverage, however, was not the norm for 1975. All you have to do is look for coverage on some of the other child disappearances of the same time frame to see how little news coverage and media attention was given them.

    It is hard to say whether or not today there are more child abductions or if it is just covered more closely by the media and by Amber Alerts and such. Certainly public awareness of the problem is much higher today than it was in 1975.


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Welcome to The Lyon Sisters featured case, Abbie.

    You make a very good point concerning media coverage of this type of crime in 1975. Actually, the Lyon sisters case was quite well covered for weeks in the Washington Metropolitan area papers as well as on TV and radio. It was probably better covered than the end of the Vietnam war which was taking place at the same time.

    That coverage, however, was not the norm for 1975. All you have to do is look for coverage on some of the other child disappearances of the same time frame to see how little news coverage and media attention was given them.

    It is hard to say whether or not today there are more child abductions or if it is just covered more closely by the media and by Amber Alerts and such. Certainly public awareness of the problem is much higher today than it was in 1975.

    BBM.

    First, thanks for the welcome, I don't think I have ever received a "welcome" to a thread. Hoe refreshing!
    This is a case I will never forget, it was my Sr year of HS and it was all over the news and we got the Washington Post daily in my home. And, as I said, child abductions were not reported like they are today. Not that they didn't happen, I am sure.
    In a way, I have been waiting since 1975 to hear what happened to those girls. I doubt we will ever know. Sad, sad, sad.

    abbie

    Rest in Peace, Robbi 1980-2012

  12. #27
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    Music that week...

    Popular Music the week of 20 March 1975:

    Lovin' You - Minnie Riperton
    Lady Marmalade - LaBelle
    Have You Ever Been Mellow - Olivia Newton John
    Philadelphia Freedom - The Elton John Band
    You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
    Shame, Shame, Shame - Shirley & Company
    One You Get Started - Rufus feathruing Chaka Khan
    No No Song - Ringo Starr
    Poetry Man - Phoebe Snow
    My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli
    Shining Star - Earth, Wind & Fire

  13. #28
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    found a neat picture of it before it was enclosed. i really wanted to see what it looked like as descriptions give me no idea where to even start imagining...

    OCCAM'S RAZOR : "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."

  14. #29
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    Wheaton Plaza Fountain Photo

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyM View Post
    found a neat picture of it before it was enclosed. i really wanted to see what it looked like as descriptions give me no idea where to even start imagining...

    Thanks for a great photo. The picture was taken at what is referred to in some of these posts as the mall center or fountain area. Behind the photographer was one of the large end stores, Woodward and Lothrop (aka "Woodies").

    The scene is of the fountain area where the Easter Bunny display was set up and where Sheila and Kate were last seen by their brother Jay and by another boy.

    In the background is the Montgomery Ward Company (aka Wards), which was the other large "end store". Woodies was in the East end of Wheaton Plaza, and Wards was in the West end.

    The Mall was sort of "T" shaped. You are looking West at the main avenue between the End stores, but there was also an avenue of stores which extended South, toward the left of the photo.

    Between the fountain and Wards was the Orange Bowl pizza takeout restaurant and the brick planter where Sheila and Kate were seen talking to the "Tape Recorder Man" (aka TRM) by the eyewitness known as "Jimmy" and his friend.

    "Jimmy" stated that immediately afterward, he saw the TRM walking away toward Wards and the girls walking in the opposite direction toward the Fountain.

    There were parking lots in almost any direction from which you could exit the mall. At that time, there were quite a number of different entrances and exits to Wheaton Plaza, some led directly from the parking lots to the open area shown in the photo, while others led directly into stores - particularly into the end stores of Wards and Woodies.

    It is most likely that Sheila and Kate entered Wheaton Plaza through Wards, OR through the Mall entrance just to the left of Wards in the photo, as their home was to the West of Wheaton Plaza, and the path they usually took led directly to Wards' back door.
    Last edited by Richard; 02-23-2011 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #30
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    The Orange Bowl...

    Someone asked me where the Orange Bowl Pizza restaurant was located in the photo that MistyM provided a couple of posts back.

    Looking at the photo, you see Wards store at the West end of Wheaton Plaza. There is a sign which reads "WARDS" high on the corner of that building which can be seen from University Blvd and Viers Mill Roads outside.

    If you look at the W of "WARDS" visible in that high sign and then look straight down from it in the photo, on the right hand side of the open walking area, that is where the Orange Bowl was. It was a small take out place with a few stools to sit at. It was located about halfway between Wards and the fountain. They sold Pizza by the slice and many took it to go or sat on planter benches to eat it. Cost had just gone up to 45 cents a slice.

    Across from the Orange Bowl is a white brick planter with bushes in it. You can see a row of them between the fountain and Wards. Sheila and Kate were seen talking to a man (TRM) sitting on the one nearest the Orange Bowl. He had a tan briefcase on the ground next to his feet and had a small tape recorder sitting on the planter next to him. In his hand was a microphone and he was overheard asking the girls a few questions and they were replying into his microphone.

    The walkway is roughly parallel to University Ave. which borders the parking lot to the far right in the photo, on the other side of the stores.

    If you walk to Wards (now a Target Store) and turn to the left, you can exit to a large parking lot. If you walk to Wards and turn right, you will be near the entrance of the movie theater. There is also an entrance/exit to a parking lot past the theater.

    You could walk all the way through Wards and in 1975 there was a back door which led to a very small parking lot, and just past it, straight ahead, was a small pathway which led to Faulkner, where the girls usually walked to and from the mall. There is now only a loading dock at the back of the store, no outside entrance/exit.

    I should also mention that the Main Entrance to Wheaton Plaza was just to the right of the photographer in the photo. the first thing you would see coming into the mall from that entrance was the fountain area. It is not likely that the girls used that entrance, because it would have required them to take a long walk around the theater side of the mall (upper right in photo). Going through Wards, or along the south side of Wards and coming in at the upper left of the photo would have been most likely for them.
    Last edited by Richard; 02-28-2011 at 09:47 PM.

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