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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Lyons Sisters Media and Document Links **NO DISCUSSION**

    This thread is intended to be a place for posting Articles and Links about the missing Lyon Sisters. Be careful not to violate any copyright laws. Please cite the source, date, and author.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Intense search only left police, community frustrated

    This article was written on the 35th anniversary of the girls' disappearance. Note that the writers borrowed heavily from my summary of the case, but they also interviewed a number of persons for their memories of those days.

    The Gazette (Montgomery County, Maryland)
    Intense search only left police, community frustrated
    by Charlotte Tucker and Chris Williams
    Staff Writers
    March 23, 2005
    Dan Gross/The Gazette Retired Police Sgt. Harry Geehreng leafs through a scrapbook of old cases in his Damascus home. "Because we had nothing, we had no really substantial leads, we were just grasping at anything that came in, not wanting to disregard any tip," he said.

    See related story: Innoncence lost

    While investigators had few clues in the disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon, one thing was almost certain -- the girls had not run away from home.Police did not keep statistics on missing children in 1975. But according to Carla Proudfoot, director of the Maryland Center for Missing Children, Sheila and Katherine, at 12 and 10, were younger than most kids who leave home by choice.

    "Most runaways are between 14 and 17 years old," she said, adding that those ages haven't changed since 1986, when the state agency first began keeping the data.

    The widespread search began in the early hours of March 26, 1975. Retired Sgt. Harry Geehreng, a plainclothes detective in the department's Juvenile Aid Unit at the time, remembers tearing up his leisure suit while searching through briars in the woods near the girls' Kensington neighborhood.

    "You really cannot fathom the emotion involved in it, the intensity -- and the frustration," Geehreng said.Over the first few days, searchers combed back yards and the woods the girls would have had to walk through to get to the mall. Police dredged the pond near the Kensington Gardens Nursing Home on McComas Avenue. Officers wearing oxygen masks searched storm drains and sewers. Police looked in people's homes.

    "They came around to all the neighbors," remembered Peg Dunne, who lives on Drumm Avenue near where the girls disappeared. "They asked if they could search basements, garages -- it was strictly volunteer."

    Douglas DeLawter, who has lived in Kensington for 38 years, remembers the intensity of the police search.

    "They came in the house, looked in closets and boxes and under stairs," he said. "The detectives interviewed everyone."If the search appeared desperate early on in the investigation, statistics validated the police's concern.
    "For one thing, it's unusual that two girls, especially sisters, would go missing at the same time," said Ron Jones, a case manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who was a Metropolitan Police detective before working at the nonprofit. "It's happened before, but it's unusual. And at that time, we weren't hearing about too many child abductions. It was odd that they would just disappear off the face of the earth."

    In talking to patrons and employees who had been at Wheaton Plaza that day, police learned that several people had seen the girls talking to a man holding a microphone attached to a tape recorder inside a briefcase. Witnesses said he was trying to record women's voices for an answering machine. When news of the man with the tape recorder broke, police were inundated with calls from other girls and women who had been approached by a similar man.
    "That really set it off," Geehreng said. "By Sunday we were getting so many phone calls we had to call more people in."

    The man was described as approximately 6 feet tall and 50 years old, wearing a brown suit and carrying a brown briefcase. Police released two composite sketches of the man based on witness descriptions, including an account by two salesgirls and a customer who said they saw the man on March 22 -- three days before Sheila and Katherine disappeared -- at Iverson Mall and Marlow Heights in Prince George's County.

    As the search for the girls moved into its third week, a sort of mania about the case developed in communities around Washington, D.C.
    First came the news that an IBM executive reported seeing two girls bound and gagged in the back of a station wagon stopped at a red light in Manassas, Va. The executive said the driver saw him looking at the girls and drove off, running the red light. He said the vehicle was a 1968 beige Ford station wagon with Maryland tags; he was able to make out the first four characters of the license plate, DMT-6, but the rest of the tag was bent and obscured, reports said.The announcement of the supposed sighting touched off a frenzy of activity. The Washington Post reported that C-B radio operators chased phantom suspects. Truck drivers forced beige Ford station wagons from the road and examined their contents.

    "The governor sent the National Guard to help us search," Geehreng said. "We searched a wooded area on Muncaster Road [in Rockville]. ... A psychic had called in and said we would find a body there. Because we had nothing, we had no really substantial leads, we were just grasping at anything that came in, not wanting to disregard any tip."

    Extortionists also took advantage of the case. An Annapolis radio station reported that John Lyon, the girls' father, was told to leave $10,000 at a location in Annapolis, but police would not confirm the extortion attempt. The station said that the money was not picked up, no arrest was made and investigators thought the attempt was fake.
    Police have considered a few suspects over the years, including Fred Howard Coffey, a man convicted in 1987 of murdering a young girl in North Carolina. Police learned that Coffey was living in Silver Spring around the time that Sheila and Katherine disappeared, and they began considering him a suspect in March 1987, according to published reports and the national missing children center. Police were unable to connect him to the case, however, and he has never been charged.

    Coffey, who is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison, did not respond to a request for an interview.

    In 1982 police also dug up the yard of Raymond Rudolph Mileski, a Suitland man serving a 40-year prison term for killing his wife and teenage son in their home in November 1977. Police were looking for evidence connecting Mileski to the Lyon case but came away empty-handed.

    Geehreng does not quite remember when the department's focus began to shift away from the Lyon girls."I really can't tell you, but you reach a point where you have other things to do, so you have to start turning your resources back to other cases," he said. "But the intensity level remained very, very high for a long time."

    Today, the case file is spread out across two tables in a room at police headquarters in Rockville, said Lt. Philip C. Raum, Deputy Director of the Major Crimes Division. After 30 years, the investigation remains a high priority and sits atop the caseload of the department's Cold Case Unit.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Innocence lostMar. 29, 2005Charlotte Tucker and Chris Williams
    Staff Writers

    Sheila and Katherine Lyon left their

    Kensington home on a spring afternoon in 1975 to eat pizza and window-shop at a nearby mall.

    As many kids did in that simpler time, the sisters walked the half-mile to Wheaton Plaza shopping center. Their mother just expected them to be home in time for dinner.

    Instead, the girls vanished without a trace. And with them went a way of life.

    The disappearance of the Lyon sisters on March 25, 1975, just days before their 13th and 11th birthdays, changed their neighborhood

    and changed Montgomery County.

    Theirs had been an idyllic suburban community, where families knew and looked out for each other, and the thick trees lining old streets lent an air of solid security. That illusion of safety was shattered by the terrible events of 30 years ago. In the days and weeks after the Lyon sisters disappeared, parents began to realize that the suburbs could be touched by tragedy just as easily as inner-city communities.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Washington Star, 3 April 1975 - Eyewitness: Last Time the Lyon Girls Were See

    This was posted on another thread, but I am putting it here as well for ready reference...

    Below is the text of a front page article which appeared in The Washington Star newspaper on Thursday, April 3, 1975. It is an interview with the boy who saw and described The Tape Recorder Man talking with Sheila and Katherine Lyon on the afternoon of 25 March 1975, at Wheaton Plaza shortly before they disappeared.
    The headline is a bit misleading, because the girls were actually seen a short time later by their brother, Jay and possibly a little later by another boy.

    Aside from "Jimmy's" detailed statement and description to the Montgomery County Police on 28 March 1975, this is as close as it comes to a first hand account of exactly what he saw and heard in regard to TRM and the Lyon sisters. To my knowledge, it is the only newspaper interview that he gave.

    Also interviewed in this article is Davis Morton, the Montgomery County Police officer who drew the two composite sketches of TRM. A print of the second or "updated drawing" was included with the story.

    After reporting on their interview with Jimmy and his mother, and with Davis Morton, the article shifted theme to give an account of what people were saying about the case and about how they were all reconsidering safety and security issues.

    The Washington Star newspaper went out of business in 1982, and to my knowledge, there are no "on line" archives of their articles. I obtained a copy of this interview from a microfilm file in a library.

    Eyewitness: Last Time the Lyon Girls Were Seen
    Thursday, April 3, 1975
    By Mary Ann Kuhn and Rebecca Leet
    Washington Star Staff Writers

    Jimmy sat in a blue armchair in the living room of his family's Kensington home, letting his 13-year-old legs with their high-top sneakers stretch out on the turquoise rug as he talked publicly for the first time about the man he saw with the missing Lyon sisters last week at Wheaton Plaza.

    Jimmy is the teen-ager who provided Montgomery County police with a description of the 50 to 60-year-old man he saw talking to the girls, Sheila, 13, and Katherine, 11, daughters of John and Mary Lyon of 3xxx Plyers Mill Road.

    With his help, police drew a sketch of the man's face which has been published in newspapers and shown on television. Police have kept Jimmy's identity a secret. Jimmy (not his real name) did not seek publicity. His parents, fearful of retaliation, requested that his real name not be used.

    Last night, four women who called police saying they recognized the man in the sketch went to the Wheaton Police station to offer help in drawing a new composite.

    According to Pfc. Davis Morton, a robbery squad detective who does composites "to help out whenever it's needed," the 13-year-old's description of the man was accurate.

    "I showed the composite to four women (separately) and it seemed to be basically the guy they had seen," he said. "They suggested a few minor changes, but I don't know if they would even be noticeable."

    "Sometimes you're close and sometimes you're way off (in making a composite) but I feel better about this one because of the other witnesses."

    "It was about 1 or 2 o'clock." Jimmy related. "I was out with a friend. We were down near ... um ... Peoples (Drug Store) and the Orange Bowl (pizza carryout) and we saw the two girls talking to a man with a tape recorder."

    "I heard the man ask one question: ' Are any of you two involved in sports?'"

    "And then ... um ... 30 seconds later I looked back. He was walking away toward Wards (Montgomery Ward) and the girls were walking the other way toward the fountain."

    Jimmy stopped talking. Up to then, the words had tumbled out. He sat there and crossed his hands over his maroon lettered football jersey.

    His parents didn't say anything.

    His mother sat on the sofa with an untouched glass of red wine on the next table while her husband sat across the room with the newspaper opened across his folded legs. Jimmy was asked to give more details about what he had seen.

    He smiled when he told how he and his friend had joked about going over to the man and asking him to interview them so they could get on television.

    "I said to my friend, 'Hey, look over there. I wonder what's going on. It looks like a reporter.' We thought he was some kind of a reporter," Jimmy explained. "We were joking around that maybe we should go over there and get him to interview us."

    "The man was holding a microphone in his hand between the girls, and asking questions. He had a tan briefcase on the ground. It was one of those hard ones that sat up." the boy said, adding that the tape recorder was sitting next to the man, out of the briefcase.

    The man was sitting on the ledge next to an island of (illegible word - bushes?) in the middle of the plaza, Jimmy said. People sit on the ledge to rest during their shopping sprees or to eat a snack or pizza from the carryout.

    Jimmy said he had never seen the man before or since. He said the man was well dressed in a brown suit.

    Jimmy, who lives several blocks from the Lyons said he and his friend rode their bikes up to the plaza that day "to see friends. We just went up there to ride around. We had nothing else to do so we decided to go up there and look around."

    Jimmy's mother said that right after the news came out that the Lyon girls were missing, her son told her he had seen them at the plaza. But it wasn't until Friday that he mentioned anything about the man with a tape recorder, she said.

    "On Friday, he said that the girls were talking to a reporter. I said, 'How do you know he was a reporter?' He said because he had a microphone. I told him that could have been anybody and notified police."

    At the police station on Friday, Jimmy said, the police "had me look through two files of mug shots."

    (The beginning of the next sentence seems to have been left out of the printed article)

    ... in a while, a police officer would ask me if everything was all right (with the sketch). I'd tell them what was right and what was wrong." Jimmy said he thought the sketch was a good likeness. His mother said he was at the police station 2 1/2 hours that day.

    Jimmy's friend who was with him the day the Lyon girls were seen with the man at the plaza verified virtually everything Jimmy said except that he said he did not hear any of the conversation between the man and the girls.

    "I hope they find them." Jimmy said.

    Meanwhile, fewer kids are "hanging" at Wheaton Plaza in the days since the Lyon sisters disappeared.

    "Kensington, Md., isn't all that exciting a place, " 15-year-old Rachel Farr explained the mall's magnetism for teen-agers yesterday. "This (the plaza) is the best place to hang."

    But now, "There's a kind of eerie feeling around the mall.... You can really see it," said 16-year-old Eric Provost, assistant manager at the Orange Bowl. "There's less talk. Less fooling around. When somegody goes up now (to the plaza) they have a reason."

    Karen McGhee, 11, said that when her friend's coat fell as they were walking through the plaza yesterday and a man stopped to point it out, "I got my lungs ready to scream if he grabbed her."

    A spokesman in the plaza manager's office said calls have come in from people wanting to know if it is safe to come there and shop.

    If Montgomery County teen-agers are not gathering at the mall, they also are not running away from home as much since the Lyon girls disappeared, according to the county's Juvenile Bureau, which is investigating the case.

    After eight tense days, the investigation of the Lyon girls' disappearance is settling into the tiring, colorless and seemingly endless routine of tracking down one fruitless lead after another - remembering, the police often note, that it may take only one good lead to resolve the mystery.

    Yesterday, specially trained tracking dogs from Philadelphia spent the morning sniffing the area behind Oakland Terrace Elementary School and Newport Junior High, where the girls are students, in a re-check of an area officers already have searched twice.

    Police said the dogs turned up nothing. Their two day role in the continuing drama ended as have so many apparently hopeful starts - quietly, uneventfully, sadly.

    "We don't have anything," one officer said yesterday. "We're right back where we started."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Article about Kathy Lynn Beatty's murder

    Kathy Lynn Beatty was abducted, assulted, and left for dead on 24 July 1975 in Aspen Hill, Maryland - only four miles north of where the Lyon sisters were last seen on 25 March 1975. Although the two cases have never been linked forensically, it is possible that the two cases were connected.

    Montgomery County Police looked into the possibility that convicted child molester and child murderer Fred Howard Coffey, Jr. might have committed one or both of these still unsolved crimes.

    From the Washington Post Newspaper 6 January 1977
    Maryland Weekly Section, Page 1:

    The Beatty murder: "we have ideas about who was involved"
    By Martha M. Hamilton
    Washington Post Reporter

    The posters are still there, taped to the window of the Aspen Hill barbershop asking for someone to come forward with information to help solve the killing of Kathy Lynn Beatty.

    The police still believe someone will, and her mother prays that it is so. "The police seemed so sure in the beginning that they would find the person responsible, but now I am not so sure," said Patricia Beatty. So far there is no answer to who left her 15-year-old daughter dying from head injuries in the rocky area behind the K-Mart in Aspen Hill.

    Kathy didn't die until 11 days later in the intensive care unit at Suburban Hospital. "The hospital personnel led us to believe that she would be able to talk. That's what we needed - a little break" said Maj. Wayne Brown, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police.

    It was July 24, 1975, when Kathy received the fatal blow to her head and was left lying behind the K-Mart at Georgia and Connecticut Avenues. She and her mother and older sister were just back from vacation in Atlantic City. A friend of her mother's was a contender in the millionaire lottery drawing to be held in Baltimore that night, and her mother was going to Baltimore. Kathy and her sister decided to stay home.

    Her mother last saw her about 4 p.m. Kathy had been inside all day watching television, "and she asked me if she could go outside and ride her bike," said Mrs. Beatty. Her mother said she could, invited her to Baltimore again, and told her to fix her own supper since Kathy declined again.

    "I said I would be home at 9. She knew she had to be home by 8:30, because she wasn't allowed out after dark. We said goodbye and she went off on her bike," her mother recalled.

    Instead of 9 p.m., it was closer to 11 when Mrs. Beatty returned, and when she saw the dark house, she was frightened, she said. But when she turned on the lights there was a note from Kathy saying she had gone to a friend's and would be back at 10 p.m. It was raining, and Kathy's mother assumed her daughter was waiting for a ride home.

    She headed for the friend's house, but when she arrived, Kathy wasn't there. "The children said she had been there but had left," said Mrs. Beatty. As it happened, Kathy had not been there at all. "I think they were trying to cover for her".

    At that point, she began to worry again, she said. She called other friends of her daughter until she had only one more to try - a boy on whom Kathy had a crush. The two had been sweethearts in 8th grade, and Kathy continued to be fond of him, said Mrs. Beatty. She thought that Kathy might have found an excuse to be wherever he had been and that he might have seen her.

    The boy and a freind were supposed to be sleeping outside in a camper, she said the boy's father told her. When the boy's father checked outside, the boys were not there, she said. She asked him to call when they returned and began driving around, looking for Kathy.

    She looked at Parkland Junior High School and drove by the K-Mart. Kathy was infatuated with mini-bikes and would go up to the store to look at them she said. She said she also kept returning to the house, hoping Kathy would have called.

    On one of her outings, she encountered a police officer. "I told him what the problem was and asked him if he would go up to K-Mart. I had been up there, but it had been so dark," she said. The police officer told her to go home and wait for an hour. If she did not hear from him, it would mean that he hadn't found Kathy and she should file a missing person report, she said.

    That was what she did. Then she sat waiting for dawn, so she could call the boy's house again. When she did call, about 7 a.m., the boy came to the phone and said that he had not seen Kathy either.

    Kathy's older sister, Theresa, called her boyfriend. Together they went up to search the area around K-Mart. "I didn't have much hope there", said her mother. "I didn't think she would be at K-Mart." But Theresa and Theresa's boyfriend found her purse nearby.

    "Her boyfriend was running to K-Mart to call the police when he heard Theresa screaming her head off," said Mrs. Beatty. Theresa, just turned 17, had found her sister lying in a ditch that runs through the wooded area behind the store with a depressed fracture of the skull. "Kathy was barely alive," said her mother.

    Theresa's boyfriend ran back, then called the police, an ambulance, and Mrs. Beatty. He didn't tell her that Kathy was hurt. As she was driving toward the K-Mart, an ambulance passed. Mrs. Beatty said she pulled over and said to herself, "Dear God, don't let it go to K-Mart."

    Kathy died of complications, including blood poisoning. "At that point she was too weak to live," said her mother.

    "We feel and have felt that the assailants lived in the community," said Brown. There were several persons who saw her the night she disappeared, about 8:30 p.m. near Parkland Junior High School. Several of them, youngsters Kathy's age, refused to take polygraph tests.

    A boy who lived next door had seen Kathy at home about 6:30 or 7 p.m. the night she received the injuries. He had brought her a shirt from Ocean City, chatted with her awhile, then left, said her mother. After that, she was not sure what happened. Although several youngsters said they saw her at the school, "none of them claimed they were with her," Mrs. Beatty said.

    "We feel sure that Kathy would not have gone up to K-Mart alone." said her mother. For one thing, although the area was littered with broken glass and stones, she was barefoot, her mother said. "I think someone down at Parkland Junior High that night must be responsible for her death. She wouldn't have gotten in a car with a stranger and she wouldn't have gone up to K-Mart by herself," her mother said.

    Brown thinks that it may not have been meant to end the way it did. "We're still working on that. We still have some investigative techniques to apply," he said. "I have always felt that someone should come forward on that case."

    Kathy had been sexually assaulted but not raped. More specifically than that, police will not say. "I have a feeling that the person or persons who did it didn't intend to kill her," said Brown. "It's highly possible that she ran from her assailant and fell against a blunt object. I've always felt the result wasn't intended, and that would be mitigating, if a person came forward to ease his or her conscience," he said.

    "We've interviewed hundreds of people, and we have ideas about who was involved," said Brown.

    Life goes on, said Mrs. Beatty, but Kathy's death has been hard on her and very hard on Theresa. "Life will never be the same for me, a part of me has died," said Mrs. Beatty.

    In the hospital, Kathy never regained conciousness. "We talked, and hoped and prayed that she could hear," her mother said.

    "Everyone liked her. I don't understand why they had to kill her," said Mrs. Beatty. "I think somebody knows.....I have a feeling sombody knows who's responsible and is not talking. I hope somebody will come forward."

  6. #6
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    Sep 2004

    The Tan Station Wagon story from a California Newspaper 8 April 1975

    Here is the text of a UPI feed story which was picked up and printed by a California newspaper on 8 April 1975. It provides some details about the story of the Beige or Tan Ford Station Wagon which was reported by an IBM executive to police as possibly containing the Lyon Sisters and their abductor.

    Of interest is that news of the LYON sisters disappearance seems to have been spread through out the country. Although it was major news in the Washington DC metropolitan area for weeks.

    The Daily Review
    Hayward, California
    Tuesday, April 8, 1975


    Fairfax VA, (UPI) The sighting of a car monday carrying two girls, reportedly bound and gagged, has raised hopes that two young Maryland sisters who disappeared two weeks ago may still be alive, law enforcement officials said today.

    Maryland and Virginia authorities began the search for the elusive beige station wagon, a 1968 Ford with 1975 Maryland plates, early Monday, after a Manassas Virginia citizen reported seeing two blonde haired girls, both tied in the rear of the car. It was subsequently spotted by citizens in several Northern Virginia towns, but disappeared early Monday evening south of Falls Church.

    The girls reportedly resembled Sheila Lyon, 13, and her 11-year-old sister, Katherine, of Kensington MD, who were last seen on March 25 in a shopping center at Wheaton MD. A massive ground, air, and water search had failed to turn up any clues to the whereabouts of the two girls.

    Authorities said they were told by the Manassas citizen that the driver of the car, a white-haired man in his fifties, resembled a composite sketch last week of a man believed to have talked to the girls shortly before they disappeared. The witness said when he tried to get a closer look, the car sped off through a red light.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2004

    Fred Coffey in Maryland...

    Quote Originally Posted by NJshrink View Post
    Since the Lyons girls were abducted in March of 1975 and Coffey did not begin his new job until April, he may have simply been looking for housing and not yet received any parking permits for his new job. Does anyone know if he still had housing in VA or was staying with a friend in MD. If he still had a residence in VA, it is likely he disposed (sorry) of the girls on-route back to his residence. It seems the searches centered around the mall and may not have gone outside of the immediate area. Did he have any relative he might have gone to visit around that time as he was in transition between employment?
    You ask some very good questions about Mr. Coffey and his move from Virginia to Maryland. I don't think that anyone has ever been able to answer those specifics, mainly because of the long time between the events of March and April 1975, and the time that he came to the attention of Montgomery County Police in 1987.

    Fred Coffey was a First Class Petty Officer in the US Navy, just finishing his third (4-year) enlistment in Norfolk, Virginia when he was arrested and charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl in Virginia Beach. The Navy did not prosecute him (that was done by Civil Authorities there), but they did not allow him to re-enlist for a fourth "hitch". He was discharged from the Navy 17 September 1974.

    Coffey had entered the Navy in 1962, when he had just turned 17. His prior duty station (before being stationed in Norfolk) was in Southern California, so he also had contacts on the West Coast. During his West Coast time, he had been deployed to VietNam. This would have been roughly in the 1966 - 1970 time frame.

    It is possible that Coffey may have actually left the Norfolk, VA area prior to his discharge date, because he may have had unused leave on the books. So his exact Virginia departure date is not known - but it probably would have been some time after August 1974 and before April 1975.

    Coffey had family and connections in Bristol, Va and in North Carolina. Bristol is in the extreme west part of Virginia, close to Tennessee and North Carolina. He may have spent some time there in 1974 and 1975.

    When exactly he came to Maryland has not been definitely established, to my knowledge. A newspaper reported (in 1987) that he interviewed for his job at Vitro Laboratories in Wheaton/Aspen Hill/Rockville (they had several offices), Maryland on 1 April 1975, and that he actually began work there on 23 April 1975. LE, however, have indicated that they believe he already had the job prior to leaving Virginia and that he may have gotten assistance through his Navy connections to obtain that employment. Vitro Laboratories was a defense contracting firm which had many contracts with the Navy.

    Coffey listed on his VITRO job application that his address was the Holiday Motel in Gaithersburg/Rockville, northwest of Wheaton, but within an easy commute of all VITRO offices.

    Coffey left his job at Vitro without prior notice in late July 1975. (His departure coincided with a vicious attack on another young girl, Kathy Lynn Beatty,14, of Aspen Hill, MD.) He later sent his employer a letter of resignation, with the explanation for his sudden departure being that his wife and daughter had been injured in a car accident in Kentucky. This was a fabrication and one which he used again with another employer following a departure under suspicious circumstances. So, although the car wreck story was made up, it is possible that he did have a wife and daughter living in Kentucky.

    Coffey was back in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area of Virginia in October 1975 when he was arrested for "Contributing the the Delinquency of a Minor" in an incident involving a 15-year-old girl. By the end of 1975, he had enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard with an Artillery unit.

    Coffey is reported to have owned many vehicles, and as you can see, livid in, or traveled to many different places in the 1974-1975 time frame.

    Regarding the search for the girls, you are correct in that the initial police search centered on the shopping center, nearby woods, and the residential area of Kensington adjacent to Wheaton Plaza. No sign of the girls was ever found there, leading most investigators to think that they were probably taken from the area shortly after the last sighting of them.

    About a month after the girls disappeared, there was a very large scale search involving National Guard, police, helicopters, and numerous volunteers. This search was conducted in wooded areas to the west of Kensington. Articles of clothing were found, but they were determined to NOT belong to the girls. No trace of Katherine or Sheila has ever been found.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Richard, have you considered submitting this case to the Dateline producers? With the innumerable details and suspects contained in this thread alone one could create a fascinating two-hour episode.
    New publicity could be just enough to jog the right person's memory.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by CrimeSolver View Post
    Richard, have you considered submitting this case to the Dateline producers? With the innumerable details and suspects contained in this thread alone one could create a fascinating two-hour episode.
    New publicity could be just enough to jog the right person's memory.
    Below is a link to a book being written as a novel.

    I saw the author being interviewed in Baltimore's Channel 13 morning show called "Coffee With" with Marty Bass and Don ?

    Maybe in her research she has found something that may help


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I remember seeing this case(the Lyon sisters) on a true crime t.v. show, does anyone remember seeing it as well? I cannot recall the name. You all have certainly done a lot of research, good job!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Answer Karen

    I recall watching a show in the early 80's titled 'what happened to the Lyon Girls?'. (This title may not be exact ). To my knowledge there has never been another show of this nature, except for News stories, or TV shows where John Lyon speaks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Chesapeake View Post
    Below is a link to a book being written as a novel.

    I saw the author being interviewed in Baltimore's Channel 13 morning show called "Coffee With" with Marty Bass and Don ?

    Maybe in her research she has found something that may help

    While I haven't read the book, from what I can tell, she merely used the story of the Lyon sisters' disappearance as a jumping off point for her novel. Her book has a woman claiming to be one of the two missing girls appear 30 years later and explores things from that perspective. The author has made a point of repeatedly saying that she did not investigate the Lyon sister case or take any further inspiration from them or their family.

    But, what I think the book may do is draw more attention to the fact that the real Lyon sisters' case has never been solved. Perhaps, renewed interest in this mystery will bring forth new evidence.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by CrimeSolver View Post
    Richard, have you considered submitting this case to the Dateline producers? With the innumerable details and suspects contained in this thread alone one could create a fascinating two-hour episode.
    New publicity could be just enough to jog the right person's memory.
    I don't mean to answer this question for Richard, and I'm not generally a watcher of Dateline and shows of their ilk, but it seems to me that the few times I happen to catch one of these shows on TV, they are only highlighting crimes where the case has been already been tried to a jury. The shows structure seems to be to present first the prosecution's case and then the defense's case through re-enactments, footage of the crime scene and crime scene evidence and then to "announce" the jury's (possibly surprising) verdict (or perhaps the appeals court's ruling) at the end. They don't actually engage in any "sleuthing" of their own (relying instead on the lawyers and court record to spoon feed them) and, it seems to me, are too lazy to actually investigate a case that hasn't been prosecuted.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Other Websites featuring the Lyon Sisters

    Since I first posted the story of Sheila and Kate's disappearance, about nine or ten years ago on a long defunct website, the story has been picked up and repeated over and over, usually with the same basic facts and often with verbatim wording. Here are a few links that I found on a recent search.

    I do not vouch for the accuracy of all these sites, and I have no ownership of or commerical interest in any of them. I have not intentionally left any sites out, and I am sure that there may be many more - especially in many Newspaper archive sites.

    Please feel free to add other links you find.

    I searched on: Sheila and Katherine Lyon, 1975.


    Sheila and Katherine Lyon-sisters missing since 1975 - Websl...

    The Charley Project: Katherine Mary Lyon

    The Charley Project: Sheila Mary Lyon

    Case Files of Katherine and Sheila Lyon

    The Doe Network: Case File 65DFMD

    WUSA9.com | Unexplained - Cold Case: Lyon Sisters Disappeara...

    Innocence lost

    Lyon Sisters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Neal J. Conway: Montgomery County's Biggest Mystery:The Lyon...

    Amazon.com: Comment on this review Laura Lippman's "What the Dead Know" was inspired by the 1975 case of Sheila and Katherine Lyon, two sisters who disappeared one day and were never heard ...

    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children http://www.missingkids.com/missingki...archLang=en_US

    Crime and Justice - true crime and justice cases from around...

    Powell's Books - What the Dead Know: A Novel by Laura Lippman...

    The Doe Network: Unexplained Disappearances; Index Five

    Brian has been voted as the world's most accurate real psych...

    Meca Newsletter_Fall.indd

    A Virtuoso Reappearing Act - washingtonpost.com ...

    The Flibbertigibbet: March 2005

    Neal J. Conway: Updates on Various Essays The 30th anniversary, March 25, 2005, of the disappearance of Sheila and Kate Lyon ... http://www.nealjconway.com/essays/updates0105.html

    Taken from our Midst — Missing Girls

    Laura Vandervoort Laura Lippman has taken the true-life disappearance in 1975 of two sisters ...

    Maryland Missing Persons Network Kate / Sheila Lyon (March 25, 1975) ...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by emery View Post
    I don't mean to answer this question for Richard, and I'm not generally a watcher of Dateline and shows of their ilk, but it seems to me that the few times I happen to catch one of these shows on TV, they are only highlighting crimes where the case has been already been tried to a jury. The shows structure seems to be to present first the prosecution's case and then the defense's case through re-enactments, footage of the crime scene and crime scene evidence and then to "announce" the jury's (possibly surprising) verdict (or perhaps the appeals court's ruling) at the end. They don't actually engage in any "sleuthing" of their own (relying instead on the lawyers and court record to spoon feed them) and, it seems to me, are too lazy to actually investigate a case that hasn't been prosecuted.
    You're right. I'm a voracious viewer of these shows, and they almost invariably tackle solved cases. Worse, they tend to gravitate towards trashy, uninteresting "marriage, infidelity, murder" stories.
    Occasionally though, "Dateline" and "48 Hours Mystery" do stray from sensationalism and pat endings, and with the background, detail, and hypotheses extant, the Lyons sisters case might prove to be one of those exceptions to the rule.

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