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  1. #571
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Bobbi, I noticed that too, but couldn't make out what Melton was holding.

    Another thing I found odd is supposedly that gravel road where the girls were found was a rough road. Seems hard to fathom that a killer with 3 bald tires would chance a rough road. Wonder exactly what they meant in describing it as rough. Was it because of heavy gravel or pot holes or undulations in the land? Maybe someone local knows. Then too, it being desert country out there, wouldn't cactus have been a worry or other thorny plants?

    And didn't I read something about rain either the night of the murders or that weekend? When did it rain?
    justthinkin, I believe only one tire was bald, and it was said that there had been a light rain falling on the night of the 11th.


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  3. #572
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    Do you think that the killer(s) was/were trying to bury the bodies, but got interrupted? They obviously weren’t dumped. In most rape/murders of strangers, the body is thrown to the ground. Generally, the female is face down. Here both victims were face up and separated by at least 50 feet. My guess is that the killer knew the victims and was intending to bury them separately. He was going to bury them separately, because he is discriminating between them.


  4. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM BEYER View Post
    Do you think that the killer(s) was/were trying to bury the bodies, but got interrupted? They obviously weren’t dumped. In most rape/murders of strangers, the body is thrown to the ground. Generally, the female is face down. Here both victims were face up and separated by at least 50 feet. My guess is that the killer knew the victims and was intending to bury them separately. He was going to bury them separately, because he is discriminating between them.
    The area that the girls were found is rock with very little dirt covering the rock. You can see the strata of rock from the cuts made for the highway. That is the reason that it surprises me that someone with three bald tires would take a car off the main road in that area since the rocks are sharp and can punch a hole in the tires in a heart-beat.

    Do you think that this is the site that the murder took place or the place that the murderer left the bodies? Do we have anything that tell us whether there was tissue and blood spray recovered from the site or only on the bodies? Do you think that the murderer was familiar with the site or was it an area of convenience since it is the first trail (not a maintained road) that you come to when you turn onto Hwy. 137?


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  6. #574
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    The consensus, of which I agree, is that Mattie & Patty were murdered elsewhere than where their bodies were found. If the location is "rock with very little dirt covering the rock", then burial would not be possible. But remember that it is likely that the bodies were laid down at the spot the night of August 11-12, then even someone partially familiar with the area, may have put them in a place that he wished he didn't. Meaning, he thought that burial would be possible, but found out that it wasn't and then fled the scene.


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  8. #575
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    I am just trying to figure out why the murderer would go to all of the trouble of driving 12 miles out of town, carefully placing the bodies on the ground, but not burying them. It's still possible that the perp may have been somewhat familiar with the area, but still placed the bodies in an area where they would be found (not immediately, but eventually). Many Websleuthers give murderers too much credit - they are not that smart, they do things out of convenience, and won't make huge efforts to cover their tracks. But Finder50 may be correct (& makes a good argument), that the killer was not familar with area.


  9. #576
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    Tom I agree with you that the site was a matter of convenience. If you had a map and you followed from WDB's address on Texas St. you will find that there is one stop sign between that address and the truck by-pass which leads directly to Hwy 285 and is only about five miles from the site. Back in 1961 it would taken about 30 seconds of driving very carefully to have been out the populated area and chance of being detected.

    In 1961 Hwy 285 was a two lane highway and the first noticable road that the murderer would have encountered was Hwy 137, which intersects Hwy 285 at Hamilton Station, and then once off the main highway it was a matter of finding someplace remote to dispose of the bodies. The first primitive road that the murderer would have encountered once he turned on Hwy 137 was the one that he dumped the bodies on. That is not to say that he wasn't familiar with the area, but I agree with you that he was looking for the quickest route out-of-town with the least chance of being detected. The only other reason would have been that he was not from the area and he was traveling north.

    Otherwise, had he gone east where there are hundreds of oilfield roads and desert that you could bury a body in and chance are it would never be found.

    Don't get me wrong I am not near as good at sleuthing as you guys are, but I have hunted all over the area around Carlsbad and wanted to give you an idea of the different geography.


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  11. #577
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    The Navy Arms "Rabe" Pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine 1950 View Post
    The reason the gun catalog was in the file was: When J.Lee Cathey threw the three guys theory out....remember Rabe, McCaskey, and Howard...well the story is this...Rabe and one of the other men went cruising for girls the night the girls were killed and the other one had to remain at work...the service station...I'll have to find out which station...I can't remember right now. Anyway...the two borrowed the guys car (the one that had to work) to go cruising in....and when they returned his car he was really nervous (all of this story is told by Cathey) because he had his antique revolver in the glove compartment...and he looked in the glove box and found the gun was still there...so that is why the catalog was there...Estrada said it was in the evidence box when he got it...so he left it there....I know when we had Matties body exhumed....he said he wanted to look and see if there might be a ball (slug) in the coffin and something about the wadding...the wax paper...hoping for it to be the revolver...but there was nothing in the coffin...or the skull. But I always felt like that theory was just something the people put together...why I don't know...but it wasn't correct...
    That was the first time Estrada meet with me....before the Blair information came to light.
    The three detectives that worked the case were very candid about how they were stonewalled...I feel like one of them will talk about it...but I just haven't felt like I should call him...maybe now is the time...Tulley,Sadler, and Deluche were the detectives names. I don't know if all of them are still alive. Ruth Scott was the ladies name that was mentioned in the report....she was the secretary that worked with all the investigators during the time the orginial investigation was going on and she is still alive as well. She lives in Silver City with her son.

    These Navy Arms pistols are muzzle loaders and use a totally different gun powder from a regular pistol, i.e. black powder. Black powder burns very dirty. According to the reports both girls were shot in the head at close range. IF a black powder pistol were used, it should have been very apparent to the medical examiners...assuming they knew anything about firearms.

    Estrada was very smart to look for signs of the bullet or wadding at the exhumation. There is traditionally a cotton cloth patch around or sometimes under the bullet between the ball and powder as a sealant. Sometimes this patch will separate from the projectile in the first few yards of flight and sometimes it won't.

    Point being is that IF this cap and ball style pistol were the murder weapon, this should have been obvious to all and especially the ME. This is true with or without the presence of the cotton patch.

    Most people don't buy such pistols for reenactments. They are usually bought because they are cheaper than modern pistols and then again some people just enjoy messing with the older style guns. Considering the suspects, I suspect this gun was bought because it was cheap.


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  13. #578
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    Both Shot in Temple

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine 1950 View Post
    Mattie was shot in the right temple. And Patty was shot in the left temple. I don't know if they ever stated what they thought about which the killer was right or left handed. I've always wondered that myself.
    I find it odd they were both shot in the temple. Were they unconscious? Obviously they wouldn't cooperate with the killer. Why was one shot in one side and the other in the opposite side of the head?

    The scenario that comes to mind is if the girls were lined up side by side. One was shot and the other looked away and was quickly shot in the opposite side.

    I recall reading there was no surrounding blood spatter at the scene but now I learn it rained that night and may have washed away most of the blood on the ground etc.

    To say that this crime scene was contaminated by onlookers would be a great understatement. There were about two dozen people wandering around the scene that we know of.

    Since the bullets passed through both girl's heads, the only way there would be a bullet to find is if the girls were sitting or lying down where their bodies were found. Otherwise the bullet would have traveled a considerable distance, i.e. 100 yds or more, and would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Also quite likely is that some of the people looking for the bullet would not know what it looked like after the fact and might walk right over it and never recognize it.

    In a way it sounds like where the girls were found was a "dump site" rather than the murder site. But if they were shot inside a vehicle or even transported after being murdered in a vehicle, this brings up some horrible cleaning and evidence removal problems for the killer. It would be dumb to kill or move a body in your own vehicle.

    For this reason I tend to think they WERE murdered where they were found. The rape could have taken place anywhere.
    Last edited by Pecos45; 10-18-2009 at 11:37 AM.


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  15. #579
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    I received some news today that makes me sad....the Nichols man's daughter has died. She was 94 yrs. old and died on Oct. 4th. Her daughter e-mailed me this morning and told me that her mother had passed away. That is why I haven't been able to get in touch with her. Pray for her family during this time, we all know losing a loved one is hard.


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  17. #580
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finder50 View Post
    The area that the girls were found is rock with very little dirt covering the rock. You can see the strata of rock from the cuts made for the highway. That is the reason that it surprises me that someone with three bald tires would take a car off the main road in that area since the rocks are sharp and can punch a hole in the tires in a heart-beat.

    Do you think that this is the site that the murder took place or the place that the murderer left the bodies? Do we have anything that tell us whether there was tissue and blood spray recovered from the site or only on the bodies? Do you think that the murderer was familiar with the site or was it an area of convenience since it is the first trail (not a maintained road) that you come to when you turn onto Hwy. 137?
    I

    I have thought on this crime scene location, and unfortunately it seems like not only might a local choose it, but also someone from out of town. Being just off a highway, and connected by a road to the north and one on the south both leading back onto the Artesia Hwy spells convenience and quick get away.

    I think the crime scene location was preselected whether the killer was a local or not. I'l say again, I believe the killer to be a sexual predator. This type person usually plans out the crime in advance. He knows where he will take his victim/s once he has them, and he knows how much traffic the area is apt to receive, and what the odds are of him being seen or disturbed. He could be a local or a temporary local, but he would've been familiar with the area where the bodies were found. Such a person is still going to want a quick get away after the deed is done.

    And now that I've said that, I just had the thought if this person or his car was seen in the pasture from the highway that night, then he might have been from out of town, and unaware when he headed down that road just how close to the highway he'd doubled back.


    It's my feeling where the bodies were found is where the crime occured. I see nothing to indicate the police thought the crime had occured elsewhere. Had the girls been moved, then some of Patty's clothing wouldn't have been folded.

    I've got a question. Does anyone know if the two women killed the night the trucker was killed were sexually assaulted? Their bodies were found a number of feet apart. That could suggest that the crimes are similar, and yet IIRC they were strangled? Yes? No?


  18. #581
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post

    The girls were found laying 50 feet apart, the women in the 1957 triple homicide were found approximately 24 feet apart. (Post #63)
    The crimes are strikingly similar. The women were shot, the truckdriver at the scene and the women were abducted and found in a field miles away. There are other similarities.
    Last edited by Legacy; 10-18-2009 at 11:45 PM.


  19. #582
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM BEYER View Post
    I am just trying to figure out why the murderer would go to all of the trouble of driving 12 miles out of town, carefully placing the bodies on the ground, but not burying them. It's still possible that the perp may have been somewhat familiar with the area, but still placed the bodies in an area where they would be found (not immediately, but eventually). Many Websleuthers give murderers too much credit - they are not that smart, they do things out of convenience, and won't make huge efforts to cover their tracks. But Finder50 may be correct (& makes a good argument), that the killer was not familar with area.
    Tom, that all depends on the caliber of killer. Sexual predators are a class apart. Their murders are usually premeditated, and they know where they're going to kill or dump the bodies before hand. Usually they're of higher intelligence, but still from a blue collar background on average. They don't make huge efforts to cover their tracks, they try not to leave evidence behind so there aren't any tracks to follow.


    Don't get hung up on phrases like "carefully placed." That wording came from Estrada IIRC, and who came along years after the fact. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Patty was the one to fold her own clothes. I will always believe she did that because she knew she was about to die, and was trying to stall her own death.

    It's interesting. I have heard of killers who go crazy if the bodies of their victims aren't discovered. It seems unlikely the girls' bodies would've been discovered so soon. I mean, what are the odds? Unless there was a stock tank or windmill in that pasture, it's unlikely there would have been live stock in it, and if not, there's no reason for the owner to check the pasture regularly.

    It looks to me like WDB couldn't rest until those bodies were found. I still think he was the perp, and not his son, and I think he was driving his son's car, and that's why his son and the car were sent to Texas that same night. After all, he had been working on his son's car that day, and it's quite possible that his son had borrowed his dad's car in place of his own, and hadn't returned it.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 10-19-2009 at 12:06 AM.


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  21. #583
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    The crimes are strikingly similar. The women were shot, the truckdriver at the scene and the women were abducted and found in a field miles away. There are other similarities.
    Legacy, that's what I thought, but just wasn't sure if I remembered right. I personally think the same perp was good for both crimes.

    One thing I have wondered about is why was that gas station there on 137 & the Artesia Hwy. Is it because that road went to Carlsbad Caverns or some other reason?

    I wonder if we can get a location on all the mines in the area that were being worked at the time of the murders. I'd like to know if there were any close by the crime scene. Would it have been common for someone living in Artesia to work in a mine in or near Carlsbad? Does anyone know which mine WDB worked at?
    Last edited by justthinkin; 10-18-2009 at 11:54 PM. Reason: added info


  22. #584
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    Random Thoughts

    Hi gang. I'm the new kid on the hunt here so let me give you a tiny bit of info about me.

    First, I grew up in Artesia and like Finder have hunted and fished all over Eddy County. I was just starting my sophomore year in college at ENMU when these murders happened and I never forgot them. I went on to become a school teacher in Lovington and ultimately a police officer in the city. Finally ended up in Texas as patrol pilot. And that's probably all that's relevant about me. But I know Carlsbad pretty well and even dated a girl from there when I was in high school.

    Anyway, I bring a bit of a different perspective. I don't claim I'm right about anything and respect the wealth of ideas put forth before me. Now let me toss out a few of my thoughts for you to chew on.

    First, I think maybe too much thought has been given to these crimes from only the victim's point of view. I try to close my eyes and get in the heads of everyone...the killer's...the cops...the witnesses...whatever. Here are some random thoughts relating to some of the comments put forth in this thread.

    1. The murder scene/dump site. I believe it was genuinely the murder scene for the reasons I've stated below.

    2. I do not think the murder scene was preselected. A dumber location would have been hard to find and Eddy County is a paradise for places to hide or bury bodies. I think there was a growing panic in the killer's mind. He has already abducted two young girls, beat one of both of them into some sort of submission. He has already raped Patty, I suspect. He knows he must kill them to hide his crime and perhaps he has some vague idea where he wants to do it. But each tick of the clock he is getting more nervous. Each tick of the clock things are getting more dangerous for him. What if he's stopped? What if one of the girls does something crazy? He's told them he'll turn them loose if they obey but he knows they are starting to doubt him. They must be feeling desperate enough to try anything. He's got to get rid of them and fast.

    He turns down the Sitting Bull Falls road from the Artesia highway. He drives .7 of a mile, possibly arguing with the girls each foot of the way. Then he sees the little dirt road leading north into absolute nothingness of the New Mexico night. No houses. No vehicles. Nothing but the little road and grease wood. Perfect, he thinks and turns off on this road.

    He drives another half mile down this bumpy track thinking that he is really getting away from all possibility of discovery. At last he stops, turns his headlights to the east and marches both girls out in front where he can see them. He murders them and starts back to the car for Patty's clothes. Was he going to try to dress her, put the clothes by her or what? Who knows.

    This is when he gets his first big shock. The car comes into view right through his headlights as they shine out towards the Artesia highway. (Witness)

    He panics. Little did he know that he had simply driven parallel to the highway and was easily in view. The next car could be state police.

    So he throws Patty's clothes in the air and runs for his car for a panic return to Carlsbad. That's how I see the murder happening.

    3. Someone questioned why the WB went fishing just at dusk. Easy answer. Night time is the best time to fish the Pecos River. The main fish on the river is catfish and most of their feeding is done at night. So leaving for fishing at dusk make perfect sense. Many people go out and fish all night. Frankly, a better question is "Why didn't they fish longer after going to the trouble and paying money to get there?"

    4. Police cover-up. I'm going to be in the minority here and say as an ex-cop I don't believe it. Cops come in all flavors like anything else but few are crooked or up for any serious cover-up. They let a fellow officer slide if they catch him driving a little fast. They send him home if they catch him after a drink or two. But that's about it. Do anything more serious than this and most cops will throw a fellow officer in the slammer. When I was a cop we found the chief screwed up and hired an officer from Texas where there was a warrant for him writing hot checks. We arrested him and threw him in jail so fast he never knew what hit him. The vast majority of cops are serious about right and wrong...even the lazy ones.

    What many here see as police cover-up, I see as bungling incompetence. You have to understand the times in 1961. When I became a cop, I was handed a badge and some uniforms and told to report for work that night. Another officer rode with me a few hours and he was dumber than dirt and a total coward. Happily he was the one leaving that I was replacing and the next day he told the chief I was "good to go" just so he could get away from me. That was my training and this was six years AFTER the girls were murdered. Serious police training was non-existent back then. So it naturally followed that these murders were a tragic parade of errors that would make any properly trained officer today fall over in a dead faint.

    Carlsbad is not New York or L.A. Carlsbad will always be plagued by poorly trained, inexperienced officers. I think if they have anything to hide, it is their own internal weakness. The result of all this has been tragic for the Restines. This case was once, I think, very solvable. Today I despair.

    Anyway, I'll kick out more of my screwy thoughts as I have them.
    Last edited by Pecos45; 10-19-2009 at 09:00 AM.


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  24. #585
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    Who Is Estrada

    Can anyone tell me about the ECSO officer Jim Estrada who worked on this murder case in 1973? He's the only one who seems to have made the right moves or known what he was doing. Why did he retire near the end? Age? Health? Other?


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