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Thread: WI - Evelyn Hartley: Vanished While Babysitting, 15, La Crosse, 24 Oct 1953

  1. #501
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    Father's behavior

    I am sure this article has been posted previously, but since this thread has been ongoing for a while, I thought I'd post it to give a little info regarding the father's behavior as to why he ended up going to the home to look for Evelyn...it seems perfectly sane in the way he took action....poor man

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=7093,5773208

    Creole

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  3. #502
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creole View Post
    I am sure this article has been posted previously, but since this thread has been ongoing for a while, I thought I'd post it to give a little info regarding the father's behavior as to why he ended up going to the home to look for Evelyn...it seems perfectly sane in the way he took action....poor man

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=7093,5773208

    Creole
    Yep

    We of course discussed it briefly but it is very unlikely her father was the perp.

    More interesting in your article, to me at least, states that the front door locked behind her dad when he left the house. We discussed this but I can't recall if we were discussing whether or not the door could do that or if we were discussing it because we knew it was able to.

    Frankly, I think the perp got in from the basement window (article supports that) and exited from the front. Sounds like they agreed at one point. I dunno, we may have already had this exact discussion before but I believe they left from the front door.

    Also, I forgot there was no blood in the house.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  4. #503
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    Do we know how long the Rasmusens had lived there? In the picture I have the lawn doesn't appear to have even been seeded yet. Maybe this is an earlier realtor picture rather than a crime scene photo and if so of diminished relevance.

    I don't see any way that the father could have been involved unless he hired it done and that is about equal in likelihood with UFO abduction.
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

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  6. #504
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    2 months I believe. It was new construction in a new neighborhood - not all of the houses were up yet.

    Also, a general note to everyone, I am adding Evelyn to my signature in hopes of getting more notice for her. Feel free to steal it.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  7. #505
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    I'd like to get people's opinions on this. Many items believing to be involved in the case were scattered in the area and found right off the highway - for example, the perp's shoes and jacket and her undergarments. Why do you think this is? Why not dump it in an isolated area or with her? Do you think this indicates that she was probably placed in a similar type area and, by sheer luck, was never found? Personally I think the guy took all of the items and threw them randomly out the car as he drove around the area.

    There wasn't any DNA back then so why was she not found but so many other items were? Why hide her so well but nothing else?

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  8. #506
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    I figured the guy was just trying to lay a false trail.
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

  9. #507
    I agree with the false trail idea. I know there have been other cases where perps would leave random items in order to confuse LE.

    I know that we've discussed so many theories on this thread that I keep having to re-read through the posts to remember them all. It's one of the most intriguing cases I've read about, and even with the passage of time I still think this could be solved.

    If two people were involved in Evelyn's disappearance, which I think is possible, it just adds to the puzzle. What are the odds that two people could keep this crime a secret over the years? It seems like one of them would have let something leak, to a wife/girlfriend for example.

  10. #508
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    I agree with the false trail idea. I know there have been other cases where perps would leave random items in order to confuse LE.

    I know that we've discussed so many theories on this thread that I keep having to re-read through the posts to remember them all. It's one of the most intriguing cases I've read about, and even with the passage of time I still think this could be solved.

    If two people were involved in Evelyn's disappearance, which I think is possible, it just adds to the puzzle. What are the odds that two people could keep this crime a secret over the years? It seems like one of them would have let something leak, to a wife/girlfriend for example.
    I was just thinking, I need to re-read this.

    It's possible they did, remember the drunk men(s) that claimed they did it?

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  11. #509
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    I was just thinking, I need to re-read this.

    It's possible they did, remember the drunk men(s) that claimed they did it?
    I recall a witness who claimed he saw two men supporting a young woman who seemed groggy or intoxicated. I think this was fairly close to the Rasmusen's house. Nothing came of this sighting that I can recall but I'd say it's safe to assume it didn't pan out.

    Maybe that's what you're thinking of?

    I need to re-read the posts, too, it's been a while since I've done that!

  12. #510
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    No, actually I started to re-read it and one of the very first posts talks about a guy that came forward in the 80s claiming he recorded a guy in a bar talking about how he and his buddy we the ones that abducted her. That's what I was thinking of.

    There were a few witnesses to her kidnapping, one of which heard screams, one of which saw a man supporting a woman while walking (witness assumed they were partying too much), and another (could have been the same guy) that saw a car with two men and a female leaning forward against the seat in front of her.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  13. #511
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    I was thinking about why the abductors would force Evelyn out the basement window instead of going out a doorway. Maybe, the window where they got in was in a less than noticeable area - it was still early enough for people in the surrounding area (whether in their home or walking the streets) to be up and out and about. The perps would need to be stealthy. It may have made sense to them to push her out the more "safe from being seen" window than just dragging her out a door where someone could have seen them immediately. Doesn't make sense to us, but of course, we are not pumped up on adrenaline committing a crime. This also would tie in with someone witnessing a man holding up a staggering woman while walking...Evelyn would have had to have been somewhat conscience for someone to be able to get her up and out the window in the basement - there is a huge difference in moving someone that still has the capacity to hold themselves upright (even if the capacity is diminished) than to push dead weight up and out the window. And I think there was more than one person involved.
    Just my thoughts,
    Creole

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  15. #512
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    Thought - can't come up with a scenario off the bat that would start this but maybe she tried escaping out the basement window, the "lookout" heard her coming out and attacked her. Head wounds often emit a lot of blood without really being too bad. However, you would think there would have been blood in the house. I don't know, this whole thing is so weird. Or maybe it's just as simple as she tried to escape and they caught up with her. I don't think she would leave the baby behind though.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
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  16. #513
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    I'm re-reading everything for a refresher so I'm going to probably be posting a lot of random thoughts.

    Her dad entered the house from the basement window. I would like to know where the blood was if he didn't see it. Initially when re-reading it sounded like it was right outside, or even in, the window well but obviously this wouldn't be the case as he would have got some on himself.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  17. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheie View Post
    I was born in LaCrosse and my grandparents were close friends of the Hartley's, my grandfather being a chemistry professor at the University.
    My grandparents (Mr & Mrs Lawrence Rowe), along with the Hartleys, the Campbells, and others I can't remember, formed a pot-luck "supper club" that met regularly - and this is how I know and remember the Hartleys.
    I can say they were both exceptionally pleasant, charmingly funny and sweet natured.
    No one in my family, or anyone, ever mentioned or discussed Evelyn in front of them. I was told they had accepted the fact that she was dead and her body would never be found. They had lost another child earlier to polio, which from other stories I have been told, was another entire nightmare affecting many families and spreading fear throughout La Crosse. So the loss of a child was something they were already unfortunately familiar with.
    I also know that there was extensive investigation and searching for Evelyn (or her body) at the time, and the Hartleys were vigorously involved - and that any attempt to portray the Hartleys as being disinterested, or no longer being interested in continuing the investigation, is to discredit their need for closure in mourning the loss of their daughter and moving on with their lives. I also understand that the event generated significant fear throughout the city, which remained for sometime.
    Regarding rumors of what happened that night, I have heard the following theory discussed by my family: The assailant(s) were let into the house by Evelyn under false pretense of car trouble, students looking for Prof. Rasmussen, or some other sympathetic story. Evelyn was smart enough to be aware of potential danger, but kind, and it was believed that appealing to her desire to be helpful would have worked as a way of getting inside the house. It was strongly felt that Evelyn did not know the attacker(s). At some point after this an attack occurred inside the house. Evelyn looses one shoe escaping, and unable to get out of the house (or in an effort to keep the assailant(s) away from the infant), flees (or falls) down the stairs to the basement. Another fight occurs in the basement, either before, or while, Evelyn is trying to escape through the basement window. It is at this point that she is screaming and neighbors look outside and see nothing. She escapes out the basement window (possibly with stab wounds in her back and legs), and is disoriented, rapidly losing blood, possibly about to faint or lose consciousness, she steadies herself from falling leaving a bloody handprint on a house, while she zig-zags across the yards. The attacker(s) leave the house, and pursue and capture her. She is seen by a witness being taken by two people to a car and then being driven from the area. The Gein rumors were frequent - but there were also rumors that this was an act of one or two male college students engaged in a random rape attack, fraternity hazing stunt, or some such that spun disastrously out of control and ended in murder.
    Anyway, I stumbled across this discussion and thought members might be interested to hear this...
    Bumping this as I totally forgot about it. Theory makes the most sense to me all around - both how they got in and how she got out.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

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  19. #515
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    Thank you Claudette - never saw this! It is a very plausible theory. I am frustrated that nothing came of the eye witness reports of the people who were assisting a girl to a car or the car itself.....Creole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creole View Post
    Thank you Claudette - never saw this! It is a very plausible theory. I am frustrated that nothing came of the eye witness reports of the people who were assisting a girl to a car or the car itself.....Creole
    Yes - it was the same guy. He was either picking up or dropping off an in-law that lived in the area. When driving to the house, he saw them walking. When leaving the area, he saw the car. He was called "Mr. X" in news reports because he did not want his name publicly known. Only recently did he come out publicly.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
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  22. #517
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    Just a thought that has occurred to me. If the witness that saw the young woman walking & being steadied by the two men was correct, one way they got Evelyn to settle down & walk quietly on her own accord may have been to tell her if she cooperated, no harm would come to the baby. The baby could have been used as leverage against her. I can easily envision this poor sweet girl begging for no harm to come to the toddler in her care & her abductors realizing this was a way to keep her quiet. You all know a lot more about this case as Im late to it. But this just popped into my head.

    Bothers me a lot the family won't give dna. Doesn't poor Evelyn deserve to perhaps be identified & buried with dignity if ever found? I just do not understand begrudging their sibling this.

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  24. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    I think we should find out more about the girl that should have been there, I agree. I also think there has to be a "oh duh" explanation to the shoe and jacket size. We're missing a key piece there.


    Was anyone ever able to find out any more information about the girl whose place Evelyn took to babysit that terrible night?

    Something else that bothers me. The neighbors hearing screams but just thinking it was kids playing. I mean, kids playing or not, when I hear a scream, I check it out. This just doesn't sit right with me. Strikes me as odd. I bet the moms on here would agree with me on this one.

    Im so impressed with all of the research & thought you folks have put into this case that I can't stop reading. Who needs clean laundry anyway? That can wait while I reread this fascinating thread.

  25. #519
    I just re-read the post by scheie.

    If the scenario of Evelyn bleeding and escaping from the basement window is true, I would think that the woman being "assisted" by two men (as seen by a witness) would have been bloody. You might ignore a young woman being held up by two men, but not a bloody woman.

    Also, it seems there would have been much more of her blood on the basement window.

    Was a knife found at the scene? I've been participating on this thread for a long time and can't recall.

  26. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    I just re-read the post by scheie.

    If the scenario of Evelyn bleeding and escaping from the basement window is true, I would think that the woman being "assisted" by two men (as seen by a witness) would have been bloody. You might ignore a young woman being held up by two men, but not a bloody woman.

    Also, it seems there would have been much more of her blood on the basement window.

    Was a knife found at the scene? I've been participating on this thread for a long time and can't recall.
    If he was far enough away and the lighting was bad he probably wouldn't see the blood imo

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

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  28. #521
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    Evelyn was supposedly 5-7 and 126# and wore size 16 jeans as per Charley Project. Talk about size inflation! She would probably wear something like a size 4 in today's vanity sizes. At any rate, she was a woman size girl going by that description and I would think could have put up quite a fight.

    It also says she wore a 34-36 (bust measurement I believe) blouse so we are talking near model proportions here.
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

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  30. #522
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    If he was far enough away and the lighting was bad he probably wouldn't see the blood imo
    But I wonder if that would be true under scheie's scenario:

    "She escapes out the basement window (possibly with stab wounds in her back and legs), and is disoriented, rapidly losing blood, possibly about to faint or lose consciousness, she steadies herself from falling leaving a bloody handprint on a house, while she zig-zags across the yards. The attacker(s) leave the house, and pursue and capture her. She is seen by a witness being taken by two people to a car and then being driven from the area."

    Evelyn would be covered in enough blood that I'd think anyone would notice. Remember, she was wearing a white blouse at the time.

    The idea of Evelyn climbing out the basement window to get away sure makes more sense than the perp(s) carrying her out that way, I have to admit.

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  32. #523
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    Ok, I am new here, but I spent the last week re-reading all the threads about Evelyn Hartley, and I have a couple of points. My theory is this:

    (A) No one seems to really consider the fact that Mr. Rasmusen was a college professor who may have inadvertently confirmed for a shady student that he intended to be at the home-coming game and not at home. TAís and such may have been aware of the Profís personal plans for that evening. A college-age student would be more likely to have access to a vehicle as well. Lie-detector tests were only given to Evelynís classmates, not the students of the professor. Perhaps he had a not-so-nice student or one hard up for money.

    (B) Also, the issue of lights being on: It is possible that as they tried to break into different houses, they didnít notice the light on or just figured the owners left the lights on when they went out. I leave lights on when I am not home. Perhaps they peeped in the window and Evelyn was using the restroom. The house would have appeared empty. Also, the radio could not have been that loud as there was a sleeping baby in the other room. Which brings up the point that I think it is interesting Evelynís father knocking on doors and ringing the doorbell didnít wake the baby up.

    (C) Another idea to consider is that perhaps the burglar was already in the basement when the family left and he may have thought the entire family was gone, not realizing their babysitter was there. The documentation I have read states that Mr. Rasmusen picked up Evelyn that night. Perhaps the perp. saw him leave and thought the house would be empty, climbed in the window, and was surprised to find that the wife and kids were still home. Soon Mr. Rasmusen returns with Evelyn, there is a brief period of sound, the radio goes on softly, the car drives away, and all gets quiet. At this point the burglar thinks he is alone and makes a noise which Evelyn goes to investigate. At that time she is surprised by the burglar (or perhaps he was startled by her) in the basement and is chased back up the stairs. This is when she loses the first shoe. She bolts for the front door, struggling with the man who has, by now, caught up to her in the living room. She loses her second shoe, has her glasses broken, and begins bleeding in the struggle, but is still able to get out the front door and begins to try to outrun the intruder while screaming. It is at this time, the second perp, who was waiting for the first to let him in the locked house, cracks her over the head with an object, likely the one he used to try to pry the windows that were locked (the neighborís house and the bedroom window) taking her completely by surprise. They donít re-enter the house, but just take her to their car and drive away.

    (D) Also, has anyone considered that Evelyn had babysat for this family before so she had some experience with the front door lock? Perhaps she even had a similar style lock on the front door of her own home. It may be complicated for one not familiar with it, but not so much if you use that style every day. It being self-locking does not eliminate the possibility of her exiting that way. In fact, her father exited that way and the door locked behind him.

    (E) Another point I have been thinking about: In a documentary from the 1980s you can watch on YouTube, police stated that Evelyn had been laying/laid beside a building for a period of time (long enough for a significant pool of blood to form) before again being moved on. I hypothesize that the perp. that Evelyn encountered in the house did not have a plan to kill Evelyn, but as she ran from the home screaming in an attempt to draw attention to her situation perp #2 hit her with something. I believe he hit her so hard that they felt they had no other choice but to take her with them. Not premeditated at all, but an act of desperation when things spiraled out of control. I can picture them in my minds-eye arguing over what to do with her and the stronger willed of the two winning the argument that they had to finish her, as the case may be, because they had wounded her so badly. I think this was an incident that spun out of control quickly and dire consequences.

    Opinions?

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  34. #524
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    Okay. Two days and 516 posts later - I'm caught up.

    Something similar happened in MO/KS over the past weekend. Guy got messed up on drugs, knew of a girl he wanted to rape, went to rape her and ended up killing her and her sister. After killing them he left the one girl, Britny's two babies in a crib and took there bodies to a field to dispose. Left a ton of blood.

    Anywho, this got me thinking. So a few opinions first:

    1. I keep reading that she wasn't "wounded" in the house. Says who? Just cause there's no blood doesn't mean she wasn't hurt/wounded. If someone sucker punched me I'd feel pretty wounded!

    2. In regards to the babysitting - it sounds to me like this is a dead end. Really seems like she was nothing more than a back up to the regular babysitter. Perhaps the regular babysitter was asked to homecoming last minute and that's why Evelyn stepped in. She'd babysat before so the Rassmusens (sorry if that's spelled wrong) would be comfortable with her and it's be an easy switch.

    3. It sounds like Professor R was at least semi-involved in the community/college. More than likely they used their regular babysitter often enough. A big thing like the college game anyone who knew him would know that the chances were in favour that he'd be at the game.

    4. I grew up in a small town and homecoming/football games were much more than that. They were events for the whole family.

    5. About the window - in highschool I had a boyfriend who lived in the basement of a 1950s ranch style house. I climbed in and out of that thing more times than I'll ever admit. In the middle of the night/after school/all the dang time. I was 5'6" and 125 lbs in highschool. So close to her height/weight. Never had a problem. Just slid in and he'd catch me. Or he'd push me up and I'd pull out. Having her leave through the window actually seems kind of smart to me.

    6. Throwing the clothes out the window: lack of thought. Once I was given this note from a guy that was really embarrassing and I tossed it out the window of my friend's car as we sped down the highway. My thought was just to get rid of it. Out of sight/out of mind. Plus when you're skyrocketing down a highway/rural road you don't think of people going slow enough to see what you through out.

    7. Dad thinking blood was from her period. Yeah, that's gross but I could see my dad thinking the same thing. While he's aware of periods and whatnot I could see in the heat of the moment and seeing the blood him trying to grasp for any reason that the blood would be there. Especially if violence isn't something he'd be expecting.

    8. Why nobody reported the jacket. I am betting that if this guy was willing to do this to Evelyn then if he did have a wife (which he probably did) she didn't have a good life. She was probably scared and used to violence from him. What if she reported the jacket and it wasn't his? Imagine the punishment for embarrassing him like that. Or what if it was? Most women back then didn't work - what if they had kids? How would she support herself or their kids? And finally - imagine the social embarrassment. It's much easier to turn a blind eye than to shine a spotlight on yourself like that.


    With that in mind, here's what I think happened:

    {For purposes of this scenario I'm calling the perps Larry and Moe}

    Larry and Moe are out getting drunk somewhere. They get it into there head that they're going to rape someone. Knowing that the homecoming and football game is going on Larry mentions that he knows this guy who he thinks would be going and that he'd probably have a babysitter watching his youngest.

    They get to the house at/around the time when Mr. Rasmusen and his family are departing. Upon inspecting the property they see Evelyn. Unfortunately they can not get in as the doors/windows are locked -- except one. (in my mind I picture Larry as older, less agile and perhaps a little hefty than Moe) Larry instructs Moe to go retrieve Evelyn and they'll take her elsewhere, rape her and leave her to find her own way home. Larry gives Moe a switchblade to threaten her with.

    Moe enters with ease, surprises Evelyn. Evelyn puts up a fight so he punches her in the stomach, eye, somewhere that will surprise her/knock the wind out of her but wont cause her to bleed. He shows her the knife and demands that she exit through the window since that's where Larry is waiting. Evelyn being scared complies with the hope that if she behaves she wont be hurt. However once she climbs out the window and sees Larry and has a better idea about how much trouble she's in. This is the point where she screams -- what was it 3 times? 2 and a half? While she's screaming either Moe stabs her in the side/stomach (don't want to stab too high or too low as they still have hopes of rape). Maybe Larry punches her in the face as well. So she's bleeding and injured. They threaten to hurt her further if she does anything else to attract attention.

    At this point Mr. X sees two men assisting Evelyn to their car. Being that she's not crying or screaming he probably just glanced their way. Can you blame him? Not really. I've seen drunk people all the time and all I do is glance and shake my head. Even if she was bleeding it was dark and I'd have just assumed it was vomit. Perhaps she vomited as well.

    So they get her in the car and their driving down the main road to LaFarge. My guess is that they had her in the backseat and finally had a chance to see how much blood was all over them. So Larry (who I'm picturing in the back seat with Evelyn because he's an eager beaver) tosses his jacket out the window. Then he rapes her. They pull over to switch places and this is where the tennis shoes get tossed out in addition to her bra and panties -- because I mean, honestly, why take off those things unless you're going to have sex with her? Maybe she gets raped again. Probably not. I see Moe as being in over his head and regretting this already.

    I also picture these men as the blue collar type. Construction workers.. hunters.. men of the land. I'm guessing once they realized she's dead they drag her out into the woods and leave her. Probably near LaFarge since they didn't search that far out. I'm guessing she was eaten by wildlife and her bones where scattered and probably still there today.

    Several years later when Moe has distanced himself from Larry and is known as harmless drunk he starts telling his tale of the biggest regret in his life. Only nobody takes him seriously.


    ---

    That's all I've got. But I just wanted to say to MaryLiz, JoelleGirl, PunkLuv, Richard, DocWho, Mariyln and I know I'm missing someone or two - it's been a pleasure reading through the 8 or so years that you've been posting on this thread. It's hard not to consider you all friends!!

    --Leah

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  36. #525
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsfauller View Post
    Okay. Two days and 516 posts later - I'm caught up.


    8. Why nobody reported the jacket. I am betting that if this guy was willing to do this to Evelyn then if he did have a wife (which he probably did) she didn't have a good life. She was probably scared and used to violence from him. What if she reported the jacket and it wasn't his? Imagine the punishment for embarrassing him like that. Or what if it was? Most women back then didn't work - what if they had kids? How would she support herself or their kids? And finally - imagine the social embarrassment. It's much easier to turn a blind eye than to shine a spotlight on yourself like that.
    I agree, and getting a visual on the jacket would have been much more difficult in those days than it would be now. Not everyone had a TV. As you've said, perp's wife probably didn't lead an easy life. She might not have even known there was anyone looking for the owner of the jacket. Of course, she would know that her husband was missing his jacket, but she didn't dare question him about it. Or if she did, he bullied her into silence.

    and

    Welcome to WS mrsfauller! We're glad you're here!
    All posts are my opinion

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