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  1. #31
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    Link to Westwood Wheaton (Wheaton Plaza) website...

    Below is a link to the current Westwood Mall which was Wheaton Plaza back in 1975. A lot has changed since the girls were there in March of that year.

    In 1975, the mall consisted of two rows of stores facing eachother, on opposite sides of open air corridors. Today the entire mall is enclosed and there are upper and lower levels. Most of the buildings from 1975 have been incorporated into the present day mall, and you can see a floor plan (as it looks today) at the link.

    Note that today's Target was where Montgomery Wards was located in 1975. Today's Penny's was Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies) in 1975.

    The "Mall center" is midway between present day Target and Penny's, near a main entrance. It is indicated in the floor plan by a question mark (?) at the link, and that is exactly where a fountain was located in 1975. This is where the Easter Bunny display was in 1975.

    Sheila and Kate probably entered the mall through Wards' (now Target) western-most outside entrance (bottom of the drawing) OR through a general mall entrance at the upper right hand corner of Wards (now Target) in the floor plan drawing.

    The Orange Bowl and Peoples Drug store were on the left hand side of the floor plan between Mall Center and Wards, near what is now the entrance to Macy's.

    There is an excellent description of what Wheaton Plaza was like in the thread titled "Case Summary".

    LINK:

    http://www.westfield.com/wheaton/dir...?category=2040
    Last edited by Richard; 10-06-2011 at 08:08 AM. Reason: wording

  2. #32
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    This time of year (Christmas Shopping season) is a super busy time for all shopping malls. I wonder if the abductor of the Lyon sisters frequented malls as a matter of habit, and if he was particularly active in December of 1974 - only three months before the girls went missing.

    There has been a lot of discussion about the possible suspect/person of interest referred to in these threads as "The Tape Recorder Man" or "TRM". He was reportedly seen talking to Sheila and Kate shortly before they disappeared. Other witnesses reported seeing him - or someone who resembled the sketch of TRM - with a tape recorder at other shopping centers and malls in the Metropolitan DC area just prior to his reported appearance at Wheaton Plaza on 25 March 1975.

    Could he have been doing similar activities at area malls during the Christmas Shopping season? I wonder if there was any information available which would indicate such activity, such as complaints of parents to Mall security personnel back then.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    This time of year (Christmas Shopping season) is a super busy time for all shopping malls. I wonder if the abductor of the Lyon sisters frequented malls as a matter of habit, and if he was particularly active in December of 1974 - only three months before the girls went missing.

    There has been a lot of discussion about the possible suspect/person of interest referred to in these threads as "The Tape Recorder Man" or "TRM". He was reportedly seen talking to Sheila and Kate shortly before they disappeared. Other witnesses reported seeing him - or someone who resembled the sketch of TRM - with a tape recorder at other shopping centers and malls in the Metropolitan DC area just prior to his reported appearance at Wheaton Plaza on 25 March 1975.

    Could he have been doing similar activities at area malls during the Christmas Shopping season? I wonder if there was any information available which would indicate such activity, such as complaints of parents to Mall security personnel back then.
    Richard, Great observation. Would probably have been mentioned back at the time, though ? JMO

  4. #34
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    About the mall that day.........it was a Tuesday. What was going on at the mall the day before? They were taken on such a busy day. I'm just wondering if Monday was also busy? It's been reported that Tuesday was the first day of spring vacation for the kids...but then I saw it reported that it was the second day. Did the abductor have an entire week of busy days to choose from or was Tuesday it?

  5. #35
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    Busy days at the Plaza...

    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    About the mall that day.........it was a Tuesday. What was going on at the mall the day before? They were taken on such a busy day. I'm just wondering if Monday was also busy? It's been reported that Tuesday was the first day of spring vacation for the kids...but then I saw it reported that it was the second day. Did the abductor have an entire week of busy days to choose from or was Tuesday it?
    Good question, but no simple answer. True it was a Tuesday and it was the second day of spring break for most schools - particularly the public schools of Montgomery County.

    My personal feeling is that the perpetrator did not limit himself to the school or shopping mall schedules. He was probably "hunting" for potential victims 365 days of the year. But there were probably a number of factors which went into him doing what he did when he did it.

    Monday, the 24th of March 1975 was a very cold and rainy day. That factor probably kept a lot of the kids from going to the mall that day, and may have contributed to the very busy day of Tuesday the 25th, which was fairly warm and sunny. That same combination of factors may have led to the perpetrator being at the mall that day.

  6. #36
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    Wheaton Plaza in 1975 was an "outdoor" mall. It was somewhat enclosed, in that there were continuous rows of shops facing eachother. But, the passageway or courtyard between the stores was open to the weather. If it was raining, you would get wet, if it was cold, you were cold - unless you stepped inside one of the stores.

    Today Wheaton Plaza is completely enclosed, like many modern shopping malls. Also, it has a different name, but many folks in the area still refer to it as Wheaton Plaza.

  7. #37
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    Bumping this thread up due to some recent discussion about Wheaton Plaza in 1975 when the Lyon sisters, Sheila and Kate went missing. Posts 29 and 30 contain a photo and description of the Mall as it appeared around that era.

  8. #38
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    Maya Love is offline I've been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
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    When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there. - George Harrison

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maya Love View Post
    Great pic!! Thank you!!

  10. #40
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    A member of the Wheaton Plaza facebook page posted a picture of the water fountain at Wheaton Plaza:



  11. #41
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    Mall Central looking East...

    Quote Originally Posted by cgoodwin22 View Post
    A member of the Wheaton Plaza facebook page posted a picture of the water fountain at Wheaton Plaza:


    Great photo. Thanks for posting it. This is likely an early photo of the fountain, judging by the clothing worn by the people.

    The fountain was in a location known then as "Mall Central" or "Mall Center". The main entrance to Wheaton Plaza would be immediately to the left in the photo.

    The photo faces East toward one of the two story "End Stores", Woodward and Lothrops (aka Woodies). Today this is a J. C. Penny's store.

    Behind the photographer would be the area where the girls were seen near the Orange Bowl Pizza take out and beyond that, the other End Store, Montgomery Wards (now a Target store occupies the Wards space)

    The Fountain marked the area of a "T" junction, just to the viewer's right in the photo. This was known as the "Plaza South" section as indicated in the sign.

    Note the overhead covering of the fountain area and that the rest of the avenue is open to the weather, except for covered walkways on either side, close to the shops.

    It was at or near this fountain that the Easter Bunny display was located, and where Sheila Lyon was seen by her brother Jay, and by another 13 year old boy who knew her.

    Note that the fountain in this photo has a circular railing around it and a metal structure in the middle of it. A previous photo posted does not have any metal in or around the fountain.
    Last edited by Richard; 03-10-2014 at 01:03 PM. Reason: clarity

  12. #42
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    Another good photo from Wheaton Plaza circa 1978:

  13. #43
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    More pics from the MG Car Club Show @ Wheaton Plaza: June 3, 1978:







  14. #44
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    Great photos of Wheaton Plaza in 1978. Thanks for posting them.

    You can see in one photo that when it rained, the whole avenue got wet.

    Also, some great photos of the stores and of the planters between them.

    It was on one of these planters that the Tape Recorder Man was reported to be sitting and "interviewing" Sheila and Kate shortly before they went missing.

    Wheaton Plaza was (and is) a continuously changing place, with businesses coming and going, changing location, etc. It seems that the Orange Bowl Pizza take-out was no longer there in 1978. It would have been located between Hot Shoppes Cafeteria and the Peoples Drug Store in these 1978 photos.

    The photo showing Hot Shoppes on the left was very close to the entrance to Montgomery Wards, which would have been immediately behind the photographer. To the left is a short walkway which went to the movie theater.

    I believe that the Hot Shoppes business was NOT in this location in 1975, but rather at the far end of the mall near Woodies, with an entrance to the outside facing University Blvd. and that some other business was in the pictured location in 1975.

  15. #45
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    Correction to previous post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Great photos of Wheaton Plaza in 1978. Thanks for posting them. ...

    Wheaton Plaza was (and is) a continuously changing place, with businesses coming and going, changing location, etc. It seems that the Orange Bowl Pizza take-out was no longer there in 1978. It would have been located between Hot Shoppes Cafeteria and the Peoples Drug Store in these 1978 photos.

    The photo showing Hot Shoppes on the left was very close to the entrance to Montgomery Wards, which would have been immediately behind the photographer. To the left is a short walkway which went to the movie theater.

    I believe that the Hot Shoppes business was NOT in this location in 1975, but rather at the far end of the mall near Woodies, with an entrance to the outside facing University Blvd. and that some other business was in the pictured location in 1975.
    I would like to correct the above post regarding the location of Hot Shoppes Cafeteria.

    The photo was actually taken from the origional fountain location (also called Mall Center), facing somewhat north east, and NOT from Montgomery Wards as I mistakenly stated.

    Hot Shoppes was just to the right of the main entrance to the mall (going out) and very close to Mall Center. As I had stated correctly, it was closer to Woodies than to Wards.

    Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies) was the two story end store at the East End of the Mall, and Montgomery Wards was the two story store at the West End of the Mall.

    It would have been very close to Hot Shoppes that the Easter Bunny display was located, and it was near here that Sheila's brother Jay and another boy saw her on 25 March 1975.

    In fact, I would conclude, after viewing all the photos of the 1978 MG show at Wheaton Plaza that the fountain had been removed and paved over by that time.

    If you look at the photos linked below, you will see that the blue and white car is sitting right where the fountain used to be. Right behind it is the main entrance to the mall with Hot Shoppes to the right (In first photo) and Gallenkamp Shoes to the left (second photo)

    Note: Gallenkamps may have been called Edwards Shoes in 1975.

    LINK:


    https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/...36379899_n.jpg


    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...93522565_n.jpg
    Last edited by Richard; 03-29-2014 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spacing and clarity

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