I hope to get back to body site in January and do some metal detecting. But I agree totally with Pecos45, it’s a very, very long shot. I’ve done acres of detecting and in every acre there are tons of metal – barbed wire, tin cans, rebar, buckshot, and every type of caliber bullet you can image. There may have been few true rabbit hunters at the site, but plenty of other hunters and target shooters. I’ll get plenty of hits, but finding the actual murder bullets is remote. But metal detecting is always worth it – rebar makes good garden stakes!
Tom, I apologize for casting Finder as our resident "metal detector." I've done enough of this to know it's tedious work at best. And you left out pull tabs and bottle tops as "finds."
Maybe you'll find something much better than a bullet. Maybe you'll find an old ID bracelet or something more identifying that may have been dropped. I've always been curious about Blaire going out and "discovering" the scene. Considering his background and his son's, that is an annoying coincidence for me.
Whatever he was looking for....did he find it? Maybe you will. At least this time of year I doubt you'll get snake bit for trying.
Take your digital camera. You might see something you want to photograph.
Thank you who have asked me to stay in spite of my sometimes discouraging comments. All of you have struggled longer and harder with this tragedy than I have and I have no right to discourage anyone...even if in my little mind I am trying to keep us focused on what we can and can't really expect to achieve.
If I get too annoying, please, someone tell me to buzz off. I'll more than understand. And let me stress one more time that I am NOT the ultimate authority on anything. My comments should be taken with grain of salt the same as everyone's.
My mind is chewing on other ideas for our efforts that could take everything in a whole new direction. Give me a day or two to put these ideas in some understandable form and I'll drop it here to see what everyone thinks.
Stay warm and healthy. Jim
Pecos I do have a background in law and I'm afraid I might occasionally be more blunt than you but I don't think you upset anyone. The truth is I don't care what you found at the sight today it would never be admitted into any court of law because it could never be proven where it came from. I too believe the best hope lies in the DNA. I personally don't know enough about DNA myself to know what would be needed. I would like to have the case examined by a forensic pathologist and then we might have some better answers. I am going to start looking into finding someone in the state of NM that would be merciful enough to accomodate us for free. Of course this would require cooperation from Law Enforcement and knowing the political temperature in Carlsbad far better than I wish I did, that will probably take some pressure. Those of you that cooresponded with Tom Udall keep up the pressure and if you want more names of congressman I will gladly provide those email addresses to you. The governor's office........forget about it! I've tried on other cases and been told to hire an attorney (to sue them). They do not respond to any kind of pressure that we would could offer, not even the media gets to them. Bill Richardson isn't very high on my elected officials that are trustworthy list and I'm a die hard democrat!!! Anne, Gary King is the new Attorney General have you tried contacting his office? I would say that I would do that for you but I campaigned against him pretty fiercely and I'm afraid his office might not respond to me. I still believe this case can be solved!!!
Last edited by Jan1966; 12-07-2009 at 07:53 PM.
Jan1966, glad to have you on board. I was never thinking of what might be found at the crime scene in terms of what would be admissible in court. I was thinking only in terms of what might be valuable to us as a group in possibly narrowing the number of POIs. I'm not entirely ready to admit defeat on that just yet. Like Pecos, I think Blair Sr. could have gone out there looking for something. ID bracelets were very popular back then with guys, and some girls wore them as well.
If Finder50 or Tom goes out there, finds an ID bracelet with the name David Blair on it, then I think we've got something that would stand up in a court. I may be misguided in thinking that, so if you'll explain it to me, I'd like to understand why it wouldn't be valid. Can't tests be done that would prove it came from the right time period? Perhaps the particular styling was only available during X number of years around that time. Are you saying that we've arrived at a point in time where the only good evidence is dna evidence? What's wrong with good old circumstantial evidence? Does it have no credence anymore?
Are you aware that the girls' clothing has already been submitted for dna testing, and came back negative for foreign dna of any significance? I think push would have to come to shove to get ECSO to turn over any evidence they have, if they still have it, for a second round of testing. JMO.
Last edited by justthinkin; 12-07-2009 at 09:12 PM.
In order to get some hope of different DNA...that would have to come Patty's body...wouldn't it?
Thank you for the help.
As everyone is all too aware, my instinct leans toward Nichols as a suspect in the murders and I have probably sounded like a broken record in this respect.
In an effort to help Sunshine and after her introduction, I was able to speak with someone in the Nichols family who shared details surrounding this family's suspicions and their origination. I have documented my conversation and our plan is to email this information to the ECSO once it is finalized and approved as to form by the family member. This will not only establish written documentation of the information, but also provide a third party witness to the family member's statements.
The daughter who lived in Carlsbad who Nichols was visiting shared details of Nichols' visit and activities surrounding the murders with her sister during a private conversation. She may have been the only person she ever shared these details with. Although she was 94 years old, the sister who was told the information died somewhat unexpectedly this past October before the family was able to videotape her statement.
A couple of the key details we all should know about Nichols (there may be more later):
Nichols left town suddenly, shortly after the murders, although his plan was to have stayed longer. His daughter told her sister that she thought their father had killed the girls. There was something wrong with his car. It was a mess. It had something all over it. The 94 year old sister, by the time she shared this with her daughter, could not remember if the something was all over the outside or the inside of the vehicle.
Nichols had scratches and marks on him as if he had been in a struggle.
Nichols later told his daughter from Carlsbad that he had been at the beach and had seen the girls making a phone call for a ride home. He told her that whoever they wanted to come get them couldn't, so someone had offered them a ride and they went with that someone. Nichols' daughter had shared this with her own daughter before either of them had any confirmation about such a phone call being made. Once they learned that there had been a phone call made through newspaper and other accounts, it only added to their suspicion. By his own statements, Nichols placed himself at the beach and as one of the last people to see the girls alive.
Now, we know that Linda Lou Roberts reported seeing the girls walk by her house after they left the beach, so we know Nichols' statement was not entirely true.
As I told Sunshine recently, I just wonder if Nichols didn't himself offer them a ride which they initially refused. He then could have followed them to Mesquite Street - the first residential street they turned off after leaving busy Church Street and re-offered the ride, this time brandishing a gun. I believe this could have been the subject Bunnell saw holding something in his hand as he approached the girls on Mesquite.
Nichols was very young in appearance and agile for his age. This family member has no doubts that he could have pulled off the murders. He was not a tall man, and like most men in the family may have worn a size 8-9 (maybe 71/2?) shoe. They mostly preferred the pull on type work boot, without laces.
The report will show ID numbers for the 53 Chevrolet Nichols would have been driving at the time. It comes as no surprise that Nichols would have been very likely to have balding tires, as he had no money to speak of to keep his vehicle properly maintained.
I know there will be questions. If I don't have the answers I can check with the Nichols' family member, as they have asked to be kept informed of what is going on. The family member I have been talking to is one of the nicest people to speak to, and would love to help Sunshine in any way possible. Other than Nichols, this family appears to be comprised of fine and upstanding citizens.
I'll have more later...
Last edited by Legacy; 12-07-2009 at 10:54 PM.
Legacy, is he still alive?
No, he died seventeen months after the girls were murdered of a heart attack at his home in Wichita Falls, Texas. Until that time he had enjoyed good health according to his family member. He was over 70 at the time, but given his family's account of his behavior and sexual molestation background - and his meanness - they think he did it. They know the sister who lived in Carlsbad thought he did. These suspicions were a large part due to the condition of the car and Nichols' condition with scratches and marks on him. This would have been even before he made the statements about seeing the girls at the beach, the phone call and someone giving them a ride...
The daughter who lived in Carlsbad is also dead, as is her son who would have been a teenager around the time of the murders. She had a daughter who would only have been 1-2 years old at the time, but her mother never shared her suspicions with her. For some reason, this daughter never came forward, or to anyone's knowledge in the family told anyone else, except for the one sister who recently passed away at 94 years of age. There are no remaining living siblings out of Nichols' nine children.
What I would love to see happen is the vehicle traced. What if it is sitting on an old farm somewhere, or in an auto salvage yard with specks of DNA still attached underneath, in the seats, etc.?
Do you have any idea what that process would involve for a vehicle this old, or would records even still exist?
Last edited by Legacy; 12-07-2009 at 11:26 PM.
Legacy, outstanding work!! A simple thanks was just insufficient. This certainly breathes new life into this case. You can harp on anything anytime you like!!
And if any member of the Nichols family may be reading this, I know we all sincerely thank you for your bravery in providing this information.
Good work, Legacy. I think you've convinced me this guy is worth adding to any SERIOUS suspects list. Ironic that both DB and Nichols didn't live long after the crime.
Chances of that car still being in one piece would be million to one. Most likely it's been melted down and made into 15 different things since 1961. And I worry about any DNA evidence that could be gained if miraculously it were found in a field somewhere. Most likely the seat covers etc have disintegrated into cobwebs.
Whatever DNA profile could be gathered by swabs from the Nichols family would be useless unless we can get some DNA from the victims.
So many dots to connect. So few people left alive to connect them with.
Patty probably folded her own clothing as she took it off. The underclothing was probably forced off. It would be easy for one man to control two girls by threatening to hurt one if the other didn't cooperate. JMO
Points well taken, Pecos. I'm aware of the possibilities and the million to one odds, but it is not the million that I'm focusing on at this point, it is the one.
My question was geared more toward the registration tracing of a vehicle that old and I thought you or someone else here might know. I will check with the State of Texas, since that is more than likely where the vehicle was registered. That is the first step. My questions will involve generalities of antique car registration tracing.
It would be nice to have a plate number and an indication of what the difference in the appearance of NM versus TX plates was at that time. I don't know if NM plates have always been so distinguishable with their bright yellow background, but maybe you can tell us.
Last edited by Legacy; 12-08-2009 at 01:44 PM.
Nichols' 94 year old daughter did leave cheek cell cotton swabs before she died, specifically for DNA purposes in this case.
Further, Nichols' family member suggests that exhumation of Nichols' body from its burial place in Big Spring might also be agreeable to the family - if it would help in Sunshine's quest for justice for the girls. One less hurdle in obtaining a court order and addressing a fight from the family, if that is ever determined to be a plausible step.
Last edited by Legacy; 12-08-2009 at 08:20 AM.
Last edited by Legacy; 12-08-2009 at 08:51 AM.
The trouble with DNA is we can have a ton of it and still have NOTHING. We absolutely MUST have some DNA from the killer and taken from one of the girls, most likely Patty.
Without the ability to complete this link, or as I've put it before, connect these dots...we have nothing for this case.
I hope everyone can see this and realize its importance. Without this connection we are like a dog chasing his own tail and the best forensic pathologist in the land would have nothing to work with.
As I recall, NM plates back in 1961 were pretty drab...red on white or black on white. Not very imaginative. I recall being somewhat shocked when N.M. changed to the bright yellow plates. I can't tell you the year it happened but it was long after 1961. We should be able to find this info on the internet pretty easily. In fact, I'll volunteer to look.
OK, I did a very hurried check and I was right. In 1961 the plates were indeed red on a white field. This was true from the years 1961 through 1964.
The bright yellow background plates didn't come along until 1965.
I just called Wichita County, and they don't archive their auto registrations. Seems like I remember from working on another case that there is no way to trace an auto from that time period, something about them only having a five digit vin number back then that didn't give the model or style of the vehicle.
Unless that vehicle happens to be in existence and registered as an antique auto, I think we're out of luck trying to track the registration. That would also mean we couldn't tie Nichols to a particular 53 Chevy unless someone in that family has any idea of how or where that car was disposed of, and it has a clear trail to follow. Doubtful at best.
If it was still in Nichols possession upon his death, it might have gotten handed down to a grandson or granddaughter through the inheriting parent. Nichols did have one son who lived in Wichita Falls. Question is did he have any children of driving age at the time of Nichol's death?
Legacy, is this something you could find out via Ancestry.com? We can then see if there's any direction to go with this info.
Last edited by justthinkin; 12-08-2009 at 04:46 PM.
Well that lowers our million to one odds considerably, doesn't it? Not sounding good - but thanks so much for your efforts.
I was told there was a son who also lived in Wichita Falls, but that he died before Nichols did. They were both carpenters according to the family member, although I recall his obituary stated he was a blacksmith by trade. The family member indicates that he did all sorts of construction type work and blacksmithing could have been one of the jobs he did.
Another of the reasons for suspicion of Nichols was that he got rid of the vehicle he was driving at the time of the murders soon after. Unfortunately, no one in the family knows what happened to the vehicle or how he disposed of it. After visiting more with the family member it was determined from old paperwork still in the family that a replacement vehicle was purchased Sep-Oct of the following year. The next vehicle Nichols owned was a 1950 Plymouth. The sales receipt shows the vehicle was paid for by Nichols' daughter who lived in Carlsbad. The vehicle was purchased for $110.00 with the receipt showing "paid in full." Although I have not seen the paperwork myself, it is indicated that two dates 9-20-62 and 10-2-62 show on the paperwork, which I assume is a bill of sale from the dealership where it was purchased.
The family dynamics surrounding Nichols were such that he would not have been around many of his family members throughout the years. Since there were some suspicions of molestation within even his own family, the grandchildren were warned to stay away from him if he was ever around. The family pretty much sheltered their young from him. He was not well thought of within his family because of some dark family history and how he treated his own children as they were growing up. Out of deep respect for this family, let me leave it at that and suffice it to say that Nichols was not a nice man.
Accordingly, he was a cunning man and could be very gentlemanly in his approach of people. But beneath this exterior, he was described as being very mean and a child predator.
Last edited by Legacy; 12-08-2009 at 08:23 PM.