CA - Tommy Bowman, 8, Altadena, 23 March 1957

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by camracrazy, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. camracrazy

    camracrazy New Member

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    I found Thomas Bowman's profile on the Charley Project site:

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/bowman_thomas.html

    While I was reading his story, Kenneth Parnell came to mind. He is the guy that kidnapped Steven Stayner. Kenneth Parnell was convicted in 1950 of kidnapping and sexually abusing an 8 yo boy (it states this in the link below), so we know he was already abusing boys before Thomas Bowman went missing in 1957.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/01/04/molester.arrest/

    Steven Stayner was 7 when he was kidnapped. Another Parnell victim, Timmy White, was 5. Thomas Bowman was 8, so he seems to be in the right age range for Parnell. Also, the Bowman family received a letter after Thomas was kidnapped saying has was alright and was being cared for by an unidentified man. This would fit in with what Parnell did to Steven and Timmy White.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
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  3. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    Sounds interesting. Where's Parnell now? Maybe a timeline would help.


    found this:
    Last week, Kenneth Parnell, a 71-year old convicted sex offender and kidnapper, was arrested for trying to buy a 4-year old male child in Berkeley, California.

    When arrested, he admitted he was trying to buy the child, but when interviewed by a local newspaper in jail, Parnell's defense was he was trying to buy the child to have a family. He further stated he was getting on in age and he just wanted to have a son to love and be loved by as any normal human being. Normal?
    http://www.gibbsmagazine.com/Kenneth%20Parnell.htm

    The trial of two men charged in the kidnap of Steven Stayner, a one time student of Dana Gray School in Fort Bragg, was ordered transferred to Oakland in Alameda County. The two, Kenneth Parnell and Irvin Murphy are accused of kidnapping Stayner in 1972 while he was walking home from school in Merced.
    http://www.advocate-news.com/Stories/0,1413,95~3977~3025855,00.html
     
  4. camracrazy

    camracrazy New Member

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    Timeline from info on the web:

    Unknown - Served time in Utah for armed robbery.

    1950-1951 - Convicted of molesting a Bakersfield boy. Served 3 1/2 years in prison. (other articles say he kidnapped and sexually abused a boy, I am thinking this is the same boy, but I could be wrong).

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/issues/2003-01-22/news/sevendays.html

    December 4, 1972 - Kidnapped Steven Stayner

    February 4, 1980 - Kidnapped Timmy White

    March 1, 1980 - Steven and Timmy went to Ukiah and went to the police station.

    June 1981 - Went to trial for the abduction of Timmy White.

    December 1981 - Went to trial for the abuction of Steven Stayner.

    Served 5 years for the abductions of Timmy and Steven. Was paroled to Berkeley.

    2002 - Offered a caregiver $500 to get him an African-American boy.

    January 3, 2003 - Arrested and charged with soliciting a kidnapping, trying to steal a child, and attempting to purchase a person.

    2004 - Brought to trial on the above charges.

    April 2004 - Convicted on the above charges. Sentenced to 25 years to life. Currently in San Quentin.

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/kenneth_parnell/index.html?sect=19

    http://www.threestrikes.org/fresbee_16.html
     
  5. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    Just to add to the timeline, at the age of 13 Parnell himself was the victim of a rape. In '49 at the age of 17 Parnell married his high school sweetheart. He abducted and molested the 8 year-old boy just four days after the birth of his first daughter, at the age of 19. After serving 3 1/2 years in San Quentin, Parnell's wife left him and told him he could never see his daughter again. In the mid-'60s, he served time in the Utah Penitentiary for robbery (4 years, as I recall).
     
  6. camracrazy

    camracrazy New Member

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    Thanks for adding that information. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info about Parnell on the web. I find it impossible to believe that he went from 1950/51 to 1972 w/o abusing another child. Since he is in San Quentin for 25 to life and he is in his 70's, I wish they could offer him a deal that he could spend the rest of his life in a hospital or some other such facility in exchange for info.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    In a way, he already has that "deal". He is set for life at taxpayers expense. The only thing that would make such a deal possible would be to connect the guy to a capital crime like murder in which the death penalty is possible. With a possible death penalty facing him, he might be inclined to confess to other crimes in exchaged for a guranteed Life sentence.
     
  8. PrayersForMaura

    PrayersForMaura Help Find Maura Murray

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    Fifty years after Tommy Bowman vanished from an Upper Arroyo Seco trail, Pasadena police have relabeled the case a homicide. Cold-case detectives believe Tommy was the victim of Mack Ray Edwards, as suggested earlier this year by local author Weston DeWalt and a team of investigators from other law-enforcement agencies.
    But now, as DeWalt seeks to fill the gaps in Edwards' criminal biography, Pasadena's prime suspect falls under suspicion of unsolved crimes from Santa Barbara to Tijuana, prompting police to consider the unsettling possibility he might have murdered the most children in state history.
    "Everybody needs to know about Mack Ray, who may be one of the most prolific child killers in history," said Pasadena police Detective John Dewar. "DeWalt's done a magnificent job, and I have to give him credit for everything we've been able to do up to this point. I'd hire him any day as a detective here."
    Although Pasadena's new cold-case unit shares DeWalt's belief about where Tommy's body could be buried, the 63-year-old investigative journalist has added six more children he suspects Edwards killed.

    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_7174165?source=most_viewed
     
  9. AmandaBrown23

    AmandaBrown23 Im just living among all the madness

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    This is very interesting.
     
  10. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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  11. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Searching for Tommy

    By Kenneth Todd Ruiz, Staff Writer
    Posted: 10/14/2007 12:23:06 AM PDT

    Fifty years after Tommy Bowman vanished from an Upper Arroyo Seco trail, Pasadena police have relabeled the case a homicide. Cold-case detectives believe Tommy was the victim of Mack Ray Edwards, as suggested earlier this year by local author Weston DeWalt and a team of investigators from other law-enforcement agencies.

    But now, as DeWalt seeks to fill the gaps in Edwards' criminal biography, Pasadena's prime suspect falls under suspicion of unsolved crimes from Santa Barbara to Tijuana, prompting police to consider the unsettling possibility he might have murdered the most children in state history.
    "Everybody needs to know about Mack Ray, who may be one of the most prolific child killers in history," said Pasadena police Detective John Dewar. "DeWalt's done a magnificent job, and I have to give him credit for everything we've been able to do up to this point. I'd hire him any day as a detective here."

    Although Pasadena's new cold-case unit shares DeWalt's belief about where Tommy's body could be buried, the 63-year-old investigative journalist has added six more children he suspects Edwards killed.


    Dead man's trail

    What began as a study of how the Bowman family survived without ever knowing 8-year-old Tommy's fate has turned into a macabre puzzle for DeWalt.

    Every hunch that becomes a theory and arouses law-enforcement's interest is a new piece to fill out the portrait of Edwards, whose life ended 36 years ago with thekiller hanging from the end of a television power cord on San Quentin's death row.


    In recent months, DeWalt's added a jailhouse exchange with Charles Manson, a dead girl in a muddy Mexican creek and more children who just seemed to have vanished as more chilling stops along the decades-cold trail he's felt pulled along for the past three years.
    "Cold-case detectives have a unique capacity to walk those trails, and I have learned a great deal from them during the course of my research," DeWalt said. "The trick for me ... is how to to leave the those trails behind when you go home at night."

    In 1970, Edwards confessed to the murder of six children: Stella Darlene Nolan of Norwalk; Donald Baker and Brenda Howell of Azusa; Gary Rocha of Granada Hills; Roger Madison of Sylmar; and Donald Allen Todd of Pacoima.
    A heavy-equipment operator, Edwards reportedly chose victims near the highways and freeways he was building, where some of their bodies are believed buried.

    "His (method) was to have the kill site picked out and the burial site picked out ahead of time, and they had to be close together," DeWalt said.

    Then and as now, police believe there were many more murders he never owned up to. But with few living witnesses who knew Edwards — reported to have been an amicable loner — establishing the extent of his criminal career has been difficult.

    Eighteen was the number he gave one of his jailers but refused to repeat under subsequent interrogation.

    Apart from Edwards' widow, whom police have interviewed several times during the past year, at least one person remains alive who heard much more.

    Neither police nor DeWalt would identify their source beyond his first name — Roberto.

    A minor at the time of his unrelated arrest, Roberto was locked in a Los Angeles County Jail cell, flanked by Manson on one side and Edwards on the other.

    Manson would offer him a cigarette, then threaten to kill him minutes later, according to DeWalt.

    Edwards was consistently friendly, according to that account, but no less frightening. He'd keep Roberto awake at night talking about the different children he'd murdered.

    DeWalt said he asked how many stories Edwards told him.
    Upward of 20, Roberto recalled with certainty.

    Grisly calculations

    In March of this year, police detectives went on the record with their belief that Edwards abducted Tommy Bowman along Altadena Drive on March 23, 1957.

    They also were giving serious consideration to DeWalt's suspicions that Edwards might also have killed Bruce Kremen in Angeles National Forest, as well as Karen Lynn Thompkins and Dorothy Gale Brown of Torrance.
    Doing the grisly math, that's 10 children Edwards is either known or suspected of killing.

    If Roberto's account is true, who were the other eight?

    Having convinced police he was right about Tommy and possibly others, DeWalt hopes detectives will now review six other unsolved crimes he suspects may have been Edwards' victims.

    "The issue, in my mind, is that in these cases, he should be considered a suspect," DeWalt said Friday.

    As his theories lead him north into Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and south to the Mexican border, DeWalt has received mixed responses from various agencies.

    A Santa Barbara County sheriff's detective said they were working with DeWalt regarding the 1964 disappearance in Goleta of Todd Eugene Collett, 3, but referred inquiries to a spokesman who did not respond to calls for comment.

    Nearby, Santa Barbara police Lt. Mark Vierra said they've ruled out Edwards as a suspect after DeWalt brought him to their attention in the case of Ramona Irene Price, 7, who disappeared while walking unsupervised on Sept. 2, 1961.

    Edwards made regular visits to the area after a longtime friend moved to Goleta in late 1959 to work as a maintenance man near two major construction projects — a housing tract and a highway.

    "Certainly, Edwards is someone we should have worked at and we had to listen to what Mr. DeWalt had to say about him," Vierra said. "Our stance was that he would not be a person of primary interest to us. We think that the two people we looked at ... are probably our primary suspects."
    Two convicted sex offenders, Raymond and William Panno, admitted under a voluntary, sodium-pentathol-fueled interview that they saw the 7-year-old from their vehicle and paused to urge her away from the side of the road that day.

    A forensic examination of their car discovered no evidence of abduction, and even concluded no effort had been made to clean it.

    "The sum of all our investigative leads have been evaluated to a blank," concluded a police summary of the extensive investigation.


    Ramona Price might have been the first child to go missing in that area in a decade, DeWalt said. After Edwards' 1970 confession, Santa Barbara Police Chief William Hague formally requested that Los Angeles investigators ask their suspect about Price.

    DeWalt, who reviewed records of those interrogations, said it was never brought up.

    But not long after the Pannos said they addressed the girl, someone saw a girl matching Ramona's description get into a Plymouth stopped along Modoc Road near La Cumbre Country Club.

    Just like the police sketch that proved the crucial break in solving Tommy's disappearance, a sketch of that car's driver is what snags DeWalt's attention.

    It shows a tall, thin man, 30 to 40 years old, with his dark hair swept back. Edwards was known to have driven several Plymouths, DeWalt said.
    Vierra said his department would continue listening and give serious consideration to any new information but acknowledged that, like most police agencies, "cold-case units are kind of a luxury, especially to have someone doing it full time."

    That's something Dewar in Pasadena understands. Pasadena police had taken no action on the Bowman case, even after other agencies publicized their conclusions.

    "LAPD and (the Sheriff's Department's) cold case were both working the Tommy case as a homicide, and we weren't, which was kind of embarrassing," he said. "We dropped the ball on that entirely here, so I changed that around."

    Edwards also had a friend he would visit in National City, a small suburb of San Diego. On Jan. 3, 1960, 10-year-old Mary Lou Olson vanished after telling her father she was walking to a nearby mall.

    Her body was found nine days later in a muddy creek bed just south of Tijuana, an area DeWalt said two people have claimed Edwards was familiar with.

    On Friday, a representative of the National City Police Department said detectives had looked into Edwards as a suspect and determined there was no connection.


    DeWalt also considers Edwards a "possible" in the 1965 murder of Stephanie Lynn Gorman of Los Angeles, Dixie Lee Arenen's disappearance from Granada Hills in 1968, and that of Cindy Lee Mellin in 1970 from Ventura.

    Unforgotten Children

    The Bowman case is one of the oldest among 130 unsolved homicides being reviewed with renewed vigor by Lt. Kate Favara of the new cold case unit funded by Pasadena this summer.

    As to why such old, cold cases are important, Dewar looks no further than Tommy's father, Eldon Bowman, who held out hope for 50 years his son might yet contact him.

    "The bottom line is that it's in everybody's best interest to get the information out about Mack Ray and see if anyone else can have closure," Dewar said. "There are other families out there still wondering what happened to their kid."

    Last month, Favara and Dewar traveled to Simi Valley to tell Eldon Bowman they'd reclassified Tommy as a homicide -- and to ask if they had ever fallen short of his needs.

    "I never understood how the Police Department could classify it as a missing (person) when neighbors saw this strange guy, Mack Ray, following Tommy out of the Arroyo, and even did a composite drawing," Dewar recounts Eldon saying.

    Interviewed Wednesday, Eldon Bowman said he appreciated the visit.

    "They didn't have to," he said. "I've been aware of what was going on. Probably so - 50 years is a long time to expect something else."

    Both Dewar and DeWalt said they've narrowed the likely location of Tommy's body to two locations - an El Monte residence or somewhere under the freeway in Pasadena.

    "Even his wife never understood why they moved out" of an El Monte home they'd been at for less than a year, Dewar said. During part of his career, Edwards worked for Kirst Construction, a contractor with offices near the west end of Woodbury Road in Pasadena, near the south end of the parkland where Tommy went missing.

    At the time of Tommy's disappearance, nearby stretches of highway were in various stages of construction.

    At the time of Tommy's disappearance, nearby stretches of highway were in various stages of construction. Determining those exact locations in March, 1957, has been held up since this past spring, when Caltrans began searching for project records.

    Read past stories on Tommy Bowman and more about Mack Ray Edwards on reporter Kenneth Todd Ruiz's blog at

    www.insidesocal.com/pasadenapolitics.
     
  12. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Thomas Eldon Bowman
    Missing since March 23, 1957 from Upper Arroyo Seco Canyon, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: January 6, 1949
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 8 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0"; 47-50 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Dark blonde hair; brown eyes. Receeding chin, protruding ears.
    Clothing: Blue plaid shirt, blue jeans, brown shoes
    Dentals: Available. Gold bands on back of his teeth, several silver fillings.
    AKA: Tommy

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    On March 23, 1957, Bowman, along with his family was hiking in the Arroyo Seco Canyon area. When the family arrived back at the car, Bowman was no where to be found. Law enforcement was notified and numerous searches were done, to no avail. In March 1970, Mack Ray Edwards surrendered to police and confessed to murdering 6 children between 1953 and 1970. He once claimed to have killed 18 but in 1971 while on death row he committed suicide.

    Edwards confessed and was convicted of the murder of Gary Rochet, Donald Allen Todd, and Stella Darlene Nolan. He also confessed to killing Brenda Jo Howell, Donald Lee Baker, and Roger Dale Madison. He was never charged with the murder of these children because their bodies haven't been found.

    He is suspected in the disappearances of Bruce Kremen, Karen Lynn Tompkins, and Thomas Eldon Bowman. Investigations are currently underway, some new and some re-opened.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
    323-526-5541
    Email: LACountyMurders@lasd.org

    Agency Case Number: 04-0003031
    NCMEC #: NCMC985024
    NCIC Number: M-753904993

    Please refer to these numbers when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
    CA DOJ
    LA Times
    The Doe Network: Case File 1267DMCA

    LINK:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1267dmca.html
     
  13. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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  14. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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    Another article about Tommy, snipped by me:

    AUTHOR WESTON DEWALT was researching the jogging trails near his home in Pasadena in the fall of 2005 when he came across a brief mention of an 8-year-old boy who disappeared along a beautiful Arroyo Seco trail more than 50 years earlier.

    DeWalt was intrigued. How could little Tommy Bowman, who had been on a short hike with his father, brother, sister, uncle and two young cousins on March 23, 1957, just disappear forever?

    The sandy-haired youngster had run ahead of the pack and was bent on beating them to the family car, parked less than a quarter of a mile away. But something went horribly wrong. The Redondo Beach boy vanished in the blink of an eye, and a weeklong search by frantic family, friends and police came up empty.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopters buzzed over the Arroyo Seco, a stretch of verdant creek land that begins at Red Box, near Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains, and meanders through steep mountain canyons for 11 miles to South Pasadena. Bizarre theories abounded. Was Tommy dragged away by a mountain lion? Was he whisked into a car in the nearby Jet Propulsion Laboratory parking lot?

    “People were grabbing in the dark for answers,” says DeWalt. However, two women did provide one eerie clue. The day Tommy went missing, they saw a crying boy who resembled Tommy walk out on a trail near Altadena Drive in Pasadena. They said a tall, “deeply tanned” man dressed in khakis and a plaid shirt was not far behind him.

    There's more at the link. The story is actually a couple of years old: http://www.laweekly.com/2008-10-09/news/weston-dewalt-8217-s-amazing-year/
    I wonder why there has never been a search for Tommy's remains? Is it because they feel he's under the freeway? Do they not have the money for a search? Forgive me if these are dumb questions. I don't know why this case has affected me so much. For whatever reason, this boy really drew me in. I just can't get him out of my mind, you know?
     
  15. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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    Bumping Tommy's thread because it's nearing the time he went missing so many years ago. Let's pray his father finds closure!
     
  16. momtolil

    momtolil New Member

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    Looks as though this case has been solved.
    Such a sad fate for Tommy and all of the other victems of Mack Ray Edwards. My heart is breaking for all of them and their families. I hope Edwards is paying for his evil actions in one way or another to this day.

    I have so much admiration for Author Weston DeWalt. What a wonderful and inspiring man. It's amazing how he came to his conclusions without the help from law inforcement, they could really use someone like him on the force. I wonder if he will ever write a book about all of his detective work. I for one would read it.
     
  17. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Although Mack Ray Edwards sounds like a strong suspect in this case, it is still unsolved and Tommy's body has never been found.
     
  18. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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    I so wish that Tommy's body could be recovered so his dad can give him a proper burial.
     
  19. glorias

    glorias New Member

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    I just happened to stumble across some articles from LA Times archives. This is a Paul Coates article from March 23, 1959, mentioning the disappearance:

    More at the link:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2009/03/paul-coates--12.html
     
  20. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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    Thank you so much for finding and posting this, it tears my heart out :(
     
  21. sogren

    sogren Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

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    Bumping because I :heartbeat: Tommy!
     

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