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  1. #31
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    Nursing Home Parking Lot Scenario...

    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    I'd like to offer a theory of how the girls could have been taken against their will.... in broad daylight....by a stranger....without anyone hearing or seeing anything. The girls cut through the woods taking the shortcut back to Jennings Rd. The nursing home parking lot would have been to their left...on the other side of the trees. The perp could have backed into a parking stall...popped the trunk but not opened it all the way. He might not have known the girls but he could have known the area and the habits of the neighborhood kids....such as the shortcut. He waits for a child to use the shortcut...steps out from the trees with a gun...tells the girls to come quietly. It would only be a few steps through the trees to the trunk of his car. That could be done in under a minute and he wouldn't have to try to control them or have them be seen while he's driving because he used the trunk. This can be done and has been done. Sisters older than Sheila and Kate went quietly.....
    Your theory has some good elements to it, and might explain how the girls disappeared.

    It would have to be based on the perpetrator knowing exactly where the path went and that the girls would be using it on their walk home, and knowing their time schedule fairly accurately.

    There would be an elevated risk factor in him using the Nursing Home grounds as his ambush point. It would be obvious to him that someone might see him from one of the many windows looking out on the parking lot. More chance of someone sitting and looking out a window here than from one of the houses along the girls' probable track. And the longer he had to wait, the more chance of being seen.

    A vigilent grounds keeper was mentioned by someone in a post. There would have been the chance of him seeing someone hanging out at the parking lot.

    Since the pond on the property was later searched by police divers, the grounds keeper would definitely have been in contact with the police. He may have been questioned by police and certainly would have had the opportunity to mention anything that he saw which he thought was suspicious.

    Your scenario is certainly possible. An abductor could have used a gun or simply some ruse to get them into his vehicle.

    I think it is very possible that the girls were abducted close to the Nursing Home. I would suggest, however, that a better place for him to have waited would have been on the other side of the Nursing Home pond - closer to the Drumm and McComas intersection.

    This would have offered three advantages over the Nursing Home parking lot:

    First, If he were parked on Drumm, facing across McComas toward Devin, he would be able to observe the the girls approaching him on Drumm.

    Second, he would be somewhat less visible to possible witnesses. If, as the girls reached him, he was to see another car approaching or someone watching, he could call it off, and simply drive away.

    Third, he could cover four possible routes that the girls might take when arriving at the intersection: left on McComas, right on McComas, straight on Drumm, or half left to enter the foot path. This way, he would not have to know exactly what their intended route was.
    Last edited by Richard; 09-06-2012 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Spacing, spelling, grammar

  2. #32
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    Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Your theory has some good elements to it, and might explain how the girls disappeared.

    It would have to be based on the perpetrator knowing exactly where the path went and that the girls would be using it on their walk home, and knowing their time schedule fairly accurately.

    There would be an elevated risk factor in him using the Nursing Home grounds as his ambush point. It would be obvious to him that someone might see him from one of the many windows looking out on the parking lot. More chance of someone sitting and looking out a window here than from one of the houses along the girls' probable track. And the longer he had to wait, the more chance of being seen.

    A vigilent grounds keeper was mentioned by someone in a post. There would have been the chance of him seeing someone hanging out at the parking lot.

    Since the pond on the property was later searched by police divers, the grounds keeper would definitely have been in contact with the police. He may have been questioned by police and certainly would have had the opportunity to mention anything that he saw which he thought was suspicious.

    Your scenario is certainly possible. An abductor could have used a gun or simply some ruse to get them into his vehicle.

    I think it is very possible that the girls were abducted close to the Nursing Home. I would suggest, however, that a better place for him to have waited would have been on the other side of the Nursing Home pond - closer to the Drumm and McComas intersection.

    This would have offered three advantages over the Nursing Home parking lot:

    First, If he were parked on Drumm, facing across McComas toward Devin, he would be able to observe the the girls approaching him on Drumm.

    Second, he would be somewhat less visible to possible witnesses. If, as the girls reached him, he was to see another car approaching or someone watching, he could call it off, and simply drive away.

    Third, he could cover four possible routes that the girls might take when arriving at the intersection: left on McComas, right on McComas, straight on Drumm, or half left to enter the foot path. This way, he would not have to know exactly what their intended route was.

    I agree with you but want to add that if this guy was waiting for "any" kid...he'd just need to know about the path through the woods and that the neighborhood kids used it. However...if he was waiting for Sheila and Kate he would need more information. I don't think it would be difficult to avoid being caught in the nursing home parking lot if this guy really knew what he was doing and it looks like he did. The man that took the Lisk sisters at gun point did it without the woods for cover. But everything you said is possible and makes sense to me.

  3. #33
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    This discussion regarding kids using shortcuts through wooded areas and parking lots near housing and shopping areas brings to mind another case from that same year and area - the murder of 14 year-old Kathy Lynn Beatty. I have always felt that it is connected with the missing Lyon sisters.

    Only four miles up Georgia Avenue from Wheaton Plaza is the intersection of Georgia and Connecticut Ave. To the east is/was the K-Mart and to the west is Aspen Hill residential area. Immediately between them was Vitro Laboratories. The Vitro area is now occupied by a Home Depot, but the parking lot areas remain essentially the same.

    On the evening of Thursday, 24 July 1975, Kathy was seen walking around her neighborhood. She went missing and was found early the next morning in a trash-strewn and rocky area next to the K-Mart parking lot, unconcious, savagedly beaten, and left for dead.

    Although we do not know for certain how she got from home to that field, looking at a map and walking around the area, it is quite possible that, like the Lyon girls, she took a commonly used shortcut through a wooded area and then onto the grounds of the Vitro Laboratories property, intending to walk to K-Mart. The most direct route would have her passing very close to two Vitro parking lots. A vehicle parked in one of those parking lots, near a choke point, could have easily facilitated her abduction and murder.

    Her attacker probably did not target her specificatly, but knew of local kids routinely using that route, and simply waited his chance.

    I mention this because of the strong similarity between this and the possible scenario of the Lyon Girls being similarly abducted.

    More information and discussion about Kathy Lynn Beatty's murder is available in her Websleuths threads in this forum and in the Cold Case forum.

  4. #34
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    I'm not sure what to think about Kathy's case mainly because she wasn't taken like Sheila and Kate. But then you look at how close she was to the Lyon's neighborhood and it seems like the cases must be related.

  5. #35
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    My two cents: I think Coffey did Kathy Lynn Beatty's murder. I don't think the person who took the Lyon sisters would have left a later victim's body where it could be so easily found.

    I think the Lyon sisters were most likely abducted by a neighbor/neighbor's relative who lived in a home along their route. I don't believe they were abducted by car. I think the car sighting of girls bound and gagged is a red herring. I think the sister's bodies may have later been taken away from the neighborhood by car but if so they were concealed. My theory is that someone from the neighborhood who was at least somewhat known to the girls lured them into his home. (It could also possibly have been someone who was visiting/or staying with a relative in a home in the sister's neighborhood). I think the girls are probably still somewhere close to home, their bodies hidden in the home that was the site of the abduction. It's also possible that the neighbor/abductor later took the bodies to some other site that he has a connection with & controls so that he knew there was little likelihood that they would be found. Or maybe - like the Etan Patz case - the bodies were quickly disposed of in "trash" and ended up in a landfill. (But I would have to know more about the garbage collection routines and dumpsters etc. in the vicinity to consider this to be higher on my list of where I think their bodies might be.) I don't think the police adequately (or promptly enough) searched the homes in the neighborhood. Back then the concept of a harmless seeming neighbor being a secret monster was much less though of then a classic snatch and grab abduction by the proverbial boogey man. I think this was a crime of opportunity done by someone who had been watching all the girls in the vicinity and waiting for and hoping for a chance to strike. I don't see this as being a carefully planned scenario. If so, why plan to abduct TWO girls? That would seem to be a much more risky plan and would be more in line with someone who would then just dump the girls bodies anywhere first chance he got rather than conceal them so that they have still not been found all these years later.

  6. #36
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    Abduction inside the neighborhood by someone living or staying in one of the houses along the route is certainly a possibility. That possibility does not necessarily rule anyone out and - as you have pointed out - does not rule out the possible use of an automobile.

    Regarding Coffey: Unforutnately, there is just a lot that we do not know about him or his stay in Montgomery County, Maryland. We do not know who he might have known or visited, or stayed with. We do not know even what kind of vehicle he had or when he actually first arrived in Maryland. It is possible that he had a relative or friend living in that Kensington neighborhood, but we do not know for certain.

    Coffey was a serial offender before and after the Lyon sisters went missing, and when you study the cases/crimes that he was KNOWN to have committed, and those he was strongly suspected of, you do see patterns, but you also see some variations and differences. For instance, he often was involved in molestation or rape, but not murder. And his method of body disposal varied as well. He was devious and quite flexible in what he did.

    It is also very possible that he acted under the influence of alcohol or drugs at times, and therefor might not have been as careful in his plans or actions as at other times. Thus, he COULD have abducted the Lyon girls and carefully hidden their bodies, and later abducted and attacked Kathy Beatty, then dumped her in the open.

    In one case, the Lyon girls seemed to disappear completely indicating possibly a well organized plan, and in the other a very viscious and messy attack which left Kathy to live for 12 more days in a coma, indicating a disorganized perpetrator. Five or six beers could explain the different outcomes.

    I would be quick to say that there is no solid evidence in either case that Fred Coffey committed either crime, but the coincidence of time frame, geographical proximity, victim similarity, situation (girls walking alone, along isolated paths, between home and shopping cernter) all tend to link the two cases together.

    Also, the BIG coincidence that Coffey worked at Vitro Laboratories in Aspen Hill and would have parked his car in the parking lot through which Kathy Lynn Beatty would have had to walk on her way to K-Mart cannot be ignored. Vitro also had an office at Wheaton Plaza. So there is at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that Coffey was in the vicinity of both crimes at one time or another. The fact that he left town so quickly after Kathy was found ALIVE is also highly incriminating in my opinion.
    Last edited by Richard; 09-14-2012 at 10:22 AM. Reason: added information, grammar.

  7. #37
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    Coffey

    I think the Coffey connection is a HUGE coincidence. I've just never felt like it was him...for many reasons. Besides....it's not like this case doesn't have other strange coincidences....2 different TRMen for example.

  8. #38
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    Neighborhood abduction theory

    I agree with NocturnalLady, who theorized that the girls were lured into a home somewhere on their route home. In light of the recent rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina de Jesus, and Michelle Knight in Cleveland, the possibility of the girls being kidnapped and held by a neighbor should strongly be considered. I have also heard rumors of a child porn ring operating in the Wheaton/Kensington area at the time of the abduction. The rumor was that kids were taken to the basement or cellar of a home in the area and were molested and used for child porn films. There is at least one known child molester who lived in the area at the time. He played in a band with his teenaged son and had access to young people. I wonder if it would be worth investigating the backgrounds of home owners in the area at the time.

  9. #39

    Another Post from 5/2013 Which Ties Into Part of My Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyHill View Post
    I agree with NocturnalLady, who theorized that the girls were lured into a home somewhere on their route home. In light of the recent rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina de Jesus, and Michelle Knight in Cleveland, the possibility of the girls being kidnapped and held by a neighbor should strongly be considered. I have also heard rumors of a child porn ring operating in the Wheaton/Kensington area at the time of the abduction. The rumor was that kids were taken to the basement or cellar of a home in the area and were molested and used for child porn films. There is at least one known child molester who lived in the area at the time. He played in a band with his teenaged son and had access to young people. I wonder if it would be worth investigating the backgrounds of home owners in the area at the time.
    I too have fears that there may be a connection to some kind of "ring" that was going on at the time in 1975.
    I have suspicions it was in Manassas, VA or not far from there.

  10. #40

    Could the Girls Have Lived with the Welchs for Decades??

    Since it has been pointed out, that even though it would seem that many crimes would be heard by others, perhaps seen and reported, sadly many may go unreported.

    We know from past cases, that victims have been found even within the abductor(s)' own home!

    Is it possible the girls may have lived locally for a time with the person(s) of interest or other relatives not yet named and then perhaps they were moved to another state to live decades with relatives of the person(s) of interest?


  11. #41
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    There is very little known about the girls disappearance. As a consequence, there is a wide variety of posibility when it comes to theories as to what happened. Going with the evidence is probably the best route. Without evidence, speculation often takes over.

    Possibilities cover a wide spectrum, but when considering various possibilities, one has to also consider Probability.

    For example, the girls probably left Wheaton Plaza early in the afternoon, 25 March 1975. They could have left by way of many different possible exits, but the more probable exits would be those closer to their home.

    There might have been several possible routes home they could have taken, but their usually traveled route would be the more likely.

    Taking a theory further, one has to consider not only what is possible but also what is probable - and where ever possible to base it on known factors.

    Without a suspect, one has the problem of working strictly with reason, deduction, and generality. If you take a named Person of Interest and throw them into the mix as a potential suspect, then you have to consider that particular person, his/her patterns, personality, Modus Operandi, resources, etc.

  12. #42
    Richard, do you know if LE has identified the company (store, bank, business) that Richard "Dick" Welch worked for in the capacity of a security guard in the Wheaton, Md area during the 1970's? I ask because I have thought about the possibly of it having been a bank or credit union. In those days, banks held strict hours of operation, usually 8:00 am-2:00 pm. This would mean that Dick Welch's work day ended at 2 pm and that would allow him to be at Wheaton Plaza in the afternoon on a weekday. The Lyon sisters' disappeared (abducted), on a Tuesday, (March 25th, 1975) most likely in the afternoon. The last family member to have seen them, I believe, was their older brother, Jay, who I believe, reported seeing his sisters at Wheaton Plaza in or near the Orange Bowl Pizza place around 1:00 pm. Does that sound familiar to you?

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Historydetective63 View Post
    Richard, do you know if LE has identified the company (store, bank, business) that Richard "Dick" Welch worked for in the capacity of a security guard in the Wheaton, Md area during the 1970's? I ask because I have thought about the possibly of it having been a bank or credit union. In those days, banks held strict hours of operation, usually 8:00 am-2:00 pm. This would mean that Dick Welch's work day ended at 2 pm and that would allow him to be at Wheaton Plaza in the afternoon on a weekday. The Lyon sisters' disappeared (abducted), on a Tuesday, (March 25th, 1975) most likely in the afternoon. The last family member to have seen them, I believe, was their older brother, Jay, who I believe, reported seeing his sisters at Wheaton Plaza in or near the Orange Bowl Pizza place around 1:00 pm. Does that sound familiar to you?
    LE may well know who Richard Welch worked for, but they have not released that information if they have it. Another poster on these threads stated that he worked as a security guard for the Giant grocery store which was located adjacent to or near the Wheaton Plaza mall.

    The uniform worn by R. Welch in the photo with Santa Claus is not one that I recognize as being from one of the larger established Security Agencies such as Pinkertons, Burns, Brinks, or Wells Fargo. Those companies had uniforms which looked much more like police uniforms of the era with wool serge trousers and blouses (coats) trouser stripes and piping of a contrasting color, Sam Browne belts, 8 point caps, and shoulder patches on coats and shirts.

    The uniform worn by Welch in the photo appears more like a military type uniform with olive drab trousers and cap, khaki shirt and black tie. The cap is round rather than 8 point style. The badge is not like any of those worn by the named security agencies.

    Regarding guard shifts, it would be hard to speculate because guard companies had overlapping shifts if it was a large operation, such as mall security - which might employ a force of about 16 guards. A smaller operation might involve a more predictable schedule.

    Yes, it has been stated that Jay Lyon was the last family member to have seen hsi sisters, Sheila and Kate. However, he saw them near Mall Center where the Easter Bunny display was - NOT at the Orange Bowl.

    The story of "Jay seeing his sisters eating pizza at the Orange Bowl" Is a bit of fiction by a news reporter who spliced together separate factors from second hand sources:
    - Jay did see his sisters at the mall that day
    - Another boy "Jimmy" and his friend saw the girls near the Orange Bowl talking to TRM
    - The girls told their mother that they INTENDED to eat at the Orange Bowl pizza take out shop.

    Unfortunately that story has been perpetuated by numerous internet sites.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    LE may well know who Richard Welch worked for, but they have not released that information if they have it. Another poster on these threads stated that he worked as a security guard for the Giant grocery store which was located adjacent to or near the Wheaton Plaza mall.

    The uniform worn by R. Welch in the photo with Santa Claus is not one that I recognize as being from one of the larger established Security Agencies such as Pinkertons, Burns, Brinks, or Wells Fargo. Those companies had uniforms which looked much more like police uniforms of the era with wool serge trousers and blouses (coats) trouser stripes and piping of a contrasting color, Sam Browne belts, 8 point caps, and shoulder patches on coats and shirts.

    The uniform worn by Welch in the photo appears more like a military type uniform with olive drab trousers and cap, khaki shirt and black tie. The cap is round rather than 8 point style. The badge is not like any of those worn by the named security agencies.

    Regarding guard shifts, it would be hard to speculate because guard companies had overlapping shifts if it was a large operation, such as mall security - which might employ a force of about 16 guards. A smaller operation might involve a more predictable schedule.

    Yes, it has been stated that Jay Lyon was the last family member to have seen hsi sisters, Sheila and Kate. However, he saw them near Mall Center where the Easter Bunny display was - NOT at the Orange Bowl.

    The story of "Jay seeing his sisters eating pizza at the Orange Bowl" Is a bit of fiction by a news reporter who spliced together separate factors from second hand sources:
    - Jay did see his sisters at the mall that day
    - Another boy "Jimmy" and his friend saw the girls near the Orange Bowl talking to TRM
    - The girls told their mother that they INTENDED to eat at the Orange Bowl pizza take out shop.

    Unfortunately that story has been perpetuated by numerous internet sites.
    Richard, do you think it possible that RAW could have actually been a security guard for and at Wheaton Plaza? Is there any way to know what the uniforms for those security guards looked like in the '70's?

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Historydetective63 View Post
    Richard, do you think it possible that RAW could have actually been a security guard for and at Wheaton Plaza? Is there any way to know what the uniforms for those security guards looked like in the '70's?
    I do not know if Richard Welch was ever a security guard employed by Wheaton Plaza mall to patrol the shopping center. Someone has stated that he was employed by the Giant supermarket at or near the mall, but I cannot verify that personally.

    I also do not know what the exact command structure was for the Wheaton Plaza security force. They did, in fact, have security guards in 1975, but whether they were specifically employed by Wheaton Plaza management, or contracted from a large Security company, I do not know for certain.

    They could have had a security manager on the staff of the Company who owned and managed Wheaton Plaza with a guard force of employees working directly for him, or could have contracted with a firm like Pinkertons or Burns to supply the guards. Or they might have had a mix of the two: some direct hires and others supplied by the Security company.

    Montgomery County Police were trying to learn more about the 1975 Wheaton Plaza Security Force back in February 2014 when they gave a joint press conference with the FBI on the Lyon case.

    Photos taken at Wheaton Plaza in the late 1960's or early 1970's show security guards dressed in what appears to be dark blue police type uniforms (black and white photos) of that era.

    A similar shopping center, Iverson Mall is/was located in Marlow Heights, Prince Georges County, Maryland. In April 1975, their security force was mentioned in Washington Post articles about the search for the Tape Recorder Man. TRM or someone resembling the sketch released by MCP had been reportedly seen at Iverson Mall and adjacent Marlow Heights Shopping Center as well.

    Iverson Mall had a Captain of Security, Charles Goddard, who was in charge of a force of 16 security guards. He was interviewed by the Washington Post regarding a meeting he had with MCP officers who briefed him on the case.

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