Discussion in 'Texas Killing Fields and Mysteries Along I-45' started by JeannieC, Nov 15, 2011.
These Victims were shot and killed by a shotgun.
SOLVED JAMES M WHITTLE CONVICTED
Adele Margaret Crabtree (Gypsy)
For a Detective, luck, lots of informers and a flair for spotting clues are all nice things to have. Also a sharp memory for trivia. You hear something unimportant and forget it, and then on day, just when you need it, suddenly pops up and its important.
This happened to tall, rugged-faced Paul Nix, a detective in the Homicide Division of the Houston, Tex Police. Go back to 1969. Nix was at his desk, doing some paperwork, when an attractive young woman marched into the office and talked to a detective two desks away. She talked loudly enough for Nix to hear.
She said she wanted to file a rape charge against a wrecker driver whom she described as big and mean. She named him. But before the detective could finish taking down her complaint, she suddenly announced she had changed her mind, there would be no complaint, and with that she walked out.
To the detective who interviewed her, it was a damned annoyance. To Nix it was a mild diversion, quickly forgotten.
A couple of years passed. On Nov 3, 1971, a pretty blonde was found dead in a lonely spot in Montgomery County, north of Houston. She had been killed with two loads of buckshot and one bird-shot and there were indications that before the shooting there had been an act of sex, probably forced on her.
On the possibility that she came from the Houston area, county officials asked Houston police and the Texas Rangers for a hand. Houston assigned Detectives Nix, John Donovan, and Ed Horelica to work on it and the Rangers sent Kelly Whitehead. Within a day the had an identification.
The slain girl was Adele (Gypsy) Crabtree, a 16-year-old runaway from Cincinnati. Since her arrival in Houston several months previously she had been living at various hippie communes.
She had worked as a go-go dancer, a cocktail waitress, and as a gas station attendant. As a gas jockey, she sported a cute, highly revealing uniform.
She was last seen alive by friends the night of Nov 2. A youth living near her pad said he saw her walk along a street when a late model two-tone Mercury without hubcaps pulled to the curb and someone in the car talked to her. She got into the car, which drove off. At this point the inquiry petered out.
Man Held In Slaying Not Thought Involved in Six Other Deaths
Makes you wonder who was the first girl? Why didn't she report the rape and who had she named? Did that have anything to do with the arrest of Whittle?
Lanham and Koppa confessed to Adele's murder, told how they did it, killed other young women. The picked her up that night and were the last ones to see her alive.
How did Whittle fit into this? Was Whittle Big and Mean? All three were tow truck drives. Did they know each other? Could all three have been involved in her rape and murder?
Did Lanham and Koppa take the polygraph?
SOLVED HARRY LANHAM AND ANTHONY MICHAEL KNOPPA
Linda Faye Sutherlin - 21 year old
Article has been snipped and some paraphrasing.
Linda was beaten with a club, raped, and strangled with pantyhose but she still fought to stay alive, tried to escape. And in the end they shot and killed her!
She begged for her life and they didn't care........
SOLVED HARRY LANHAM CONFESSED
Pamela Huebner 22 Year old
Her body was never recovered
I wasn't able to get Pamela Huebner's picture to post from the article. Sorry.
Added the picture for you.
If she was an exotic dancer and he was a wrecker driver, the company for which he worked might have been contracted at her club, and she didn't want to end up dead? I was trying to figure out why she would walk away from pressing charges too.
Like apartments, if you park illegally, you can find a sign in the parking lot that says which towing company has taken your ear (found in grocery store, mall, strip center parking lots also) etc... This keeps the Houston businesses from having 40 different towing companies from taking cars from their property. Exotic clubs have the same kind of deal. Also, wrecker drivers sometimes will be around the club around 2am to see if they think any drunks will get arrested on their way home (and thus, will they get another tow job, once the police are on the scene). Whether they tail a dancer home might not be noticed, if they kept enough distance.
Just a theory.
That makes a lot of sense. I hadn't though about the tow trucks around the club. That is probably what he did when he raped her, followed her home (assuming he was the same man).
That could be how LE got on to him in the first place. I still think tow trucks have something to do with several of these murders. Easy to move a car and not even be noticed.
It is good to know that these crimes were solved and the families had their wife or daughter to bury. It won't make it right but it does offer at least a some justice.
REST IN PEACE ADELE, PAMELA, AND LINDA
They never did find Pamela's body and cannot find ANY living relative to get DNA from. The missing persons reports are supposedly gone. I did find another newspaper article where it stated the police found Pamela's coin purse about a mile from where Lanham said he put her body. All they know is she was a housewife, 22 years old, and POSSIBLY had a husband named Larry (although the cops won't give out the reason WHY they know his name was Larry). So the cops definitely know more but there is a large facebook presence of them trying to find her family.
Separate names with a comma.