This is my theory of what happened, developed after many years of research, reading extensively at callahan's and other sites and influenced by the research of "Paid" at the Blackboard ( www.wm3blackboard.com ) which is temporarily down, crashed I imagine from overload! I will tell it from the perspective of the Hobbs' household, as it is my contention that Terry Hobbs is the guilty party. I'm just going to give you the bare bones. I'll provide documentation when I can get back on the BB since a lot of it is there. Pam picked Stevie up from school, and they went home. Shortly thereafter, Chris Byers came over to watch a cartoon with Amanda on whom he had a little crush. Michael Moore arrived and asked if Stevie could ride bikes. Pam told Stevie to be back by 4:30 as she had to be at work at 5. (Stevie had made plans to run away and had discussed those plans with Chris and Michael that day at school. He could no longer abide the abuse from his stepfather. His friends had agreed to help.) Stevie and Michael leave on their bikes. Chris stayed behind waiting for the cartoon (I think it was Muppet Babies) to be over. When the show was over (I believe at 4 pm), Terry had arrived home. Chris left on his skateboard and went home to check in. Shortly after JMB left to take Ryan (his step son) to court to be a witness, Melissa became inattentive and Chris rode off on his skateboard to meet Stevie and Michael. The three boys were huge fans of Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, they had a "secret" hideout - a large volcano style manhole. The plan was for Stevie to spend the night in the manhole and someone would call his grandparents (Pam's parents, Marie and Jackie Hicks) and tell them where he was. In order to get supplies, Stevie had to wait until Terry and Amanda had left to take Pam to work. Pam is worried about Stevie when she leaves, but not overly. It's early May; school is almost out; it's warm outside; she probably figures that he simply lost track of the time. At about 4:45, Stevie, Chris and Michael go back to the Hobbs' home for Stevie to get supplies. They had two backpacks with them (which IIRC to this day have not been found). I'm assuming one was for clothes and the other for food. Terry and Amanda are gone to take Pam to work. From experience, Stevie knows that Terry will give him permission to play a little longer with his friends. At this time, Stevie also changes into red shorts from the jeans that he wore to school. (This will be important later.) So, the boys wait for Terry and Amanda to return. (This is probably when Stevie eats some green beans, which explains the green vegetable-like matter found in his stomach at autopsy.) When Terry and Amanda return, Stevie begs to play with his friends a little longer. Terry says yes. By now it's about 5:15 or 5:30. The boys go off to play and Terry and Amanda go to the Jacoby's. This explains why Jacoby says that he saw the boys in the street when Terry came over to play guitars. (According to Jacoby's declaration in the Pasdar case, Terry was at his house from about 5:15 or 5:30 until 6:15 or 6:30 playing guitars. Terry has claimed that, during this time, he and Jacoby are looking for the boys.) Apparently, Stevie has forgotten something. They make a risky (and as it turns out, fatal) move and try to return to the Hobbs' house at about 6:30. Terry is just getting back from the guitar playing, and he yells at the boys to come home. (This is the Ballard sighting, the latest reputable sighting of the boys.) They all run back to the manhole. Terry, who knows of the manhole (the parents knew that the boys were into TMNT, and Ryan Clark [Chris' half brother] even mentioned searching a manhole, according to Terry in the Pasdar deposition), follows them. He's angry about Stevie disobeying him, and he intends to punish Stevie. He goes down into the manhole to confront him. At first, I believe that he just tried to humiliate Stevie in front of his friends. Stevie may have been defiant, and Terry just got angrier and angrier. Eventually, he smacks Stevie in the face, knocking him against the side of the manhole where the ladder is. Stevie is knocked unconscious. I'm not sure if Terry thought he was dead at this point or not, but whether he thought he was dead or not, he knew the other two boys were witnesses to this scene. They try to run up the ladder, and he violently yanks them down, throwing Michael down so violently that he lands on his head on the floor of the manhole. Chris, too, is smacked down to the floor of the manhole. All three boys are on their backs. Now Terry needs an alibi. He goes back to the Jacoby's (where he's left Amanda) and tells Jacoby that he can't find Stevie and would he help him look. Jacoby dutifully goes and they drive around for a while (maybe 15 minutes according to the Jacoby/Pasdar declaration). Then, Terry takes Jacoby home and says he wants to look one other place. By this time, the little boys are unconscious on their backs at the bottom of the manhole. Terry goes to check on them, finds them unconscious, and goes back and asks Jacoby to help him search again. I believe that he is trying to confuse Jacoby with all the back-and-forth so Jacoby will agree that Hobbs was with him the entire time. By now, the other parents are worried about their children. The police have been called, and missing persons' reports are taken on Chris and Michael, but not on Stevie. Terry keeps away from the police at this time. He claims that he searched for Stevie from the time he got back from taking Pam to work until the time that he went to pick her up. Terry arrives at Catfish Island (where Pam works) around 9:15. He immediately goes in and calls in the missing persons' report on Stevie. When the police arrive, Pam gives her description of Stevie, stating that he was wearing jeans. Terry knows that Stevie had on red shorts. (One witness stated that he saw Stevie in red shorts around 6 pm.) Terry's mind is reeling. He has to do something. By this time, parents and police are searching for the boys. Someone has told the police that they saw the three boys entering the RHH woods at about 6:30 or so. The search is concentrated there because of the sighting and because it is an area where parents know that boys like to play. It has trees, trails, everything an eight year old boys desires in a play area. Terry joins the search, being sure that no one but him goes to the manhole hiding spot. He probably checks on the boys and by now knows that they're dead. Pam's parents arrive and join the search. Somehow Terry keeps everyone away from the manhole. Since, by this time, the boys are dead, they're not screaming or anything. There is nothing to alert anyone's attention to the fact that there are three dead or dying little boys in the bottom of a manhole. Some time while the bodies are in the manhole, scavenger animals (raccoons, snapping turtles, etc.) find the bodies and begin to predate on them. There is a small amount of water in the bottom of the manhole, enough to cause drowning, maybe six inches, but not enough to deter the predating animals. These animals (this is backed up by the testimony of the certified forensic pathologists at the Rule 37 hearing) leave claw marks, bite marks, etc. on the bodies. One, probably an alligator snapping turtle, degloves Chris. Another bites at Stevie, leaving the injury on his forehead. Something (possibly Terry himself) eventually scares them away from the bodies. Terry continues to bide his time. Sometime around 5 am, when Pam and the Hicks have fallen into an exhausted sleep, he returns to the manhole, intent on moving the bodies because he fears that there might be some evidence in the manhole to connect him with the crime. He has brought with him Stevie's jeans, meaning to change his clothes. However, he discovers that getting clothes off of a dead body is easier than putting clothes on a dead body. So, he takes the red shorts away with the backpacks. He doesn't want to leave Stevie nude and the other boys clothed. He believes that would call attention to Stevie. So, he strips the other boys, too. (This accounts for Chris and Michael's pants being found inside out while Stevie's were right side out.) Next, he hog-ties the bodies with shoe laces. However, something goes wrong when he's tying Michael's body. Maybe the shoe string breaks. Now he's short a shoe string. At the time, according to relatives, Terry wore LA Gear knockoffs with double laces, one black and one white. He takes one black lace from one shoe. He tries to bite it in two, but he fails. (This is when and how the incriminating hair gets on the lace.) Then, he remembers Stevie's pocket knife. He takes the knife from Stevie's pocket, cuts the string, and voila! Now he has two strings to use. When he was younger, Terry worked in his father's slaughter house. He has seen how dead pigs are tied for transport. The two legs on the same side are tied together, with enough slack being left in the rope to make a handy handle. He puts this past learning to use. This explains the unusual manner in which the boys were tied and the reason for it. First, he takes Stevie's and Chris' bodies to the discovery ditch, only about 200 yards away. He pushes them face down into the murky water and returns for the last body and the clothes. This explains why Michael's body is found a short distance from the other two. On his final trip, he places Michael's body face down in the ditch and secures the clothes with the sticks to keep them from floating to the top. On one of these trips, probably the first one, he leans against the tree and deposits the Jacoby hair (which he picked up on his clothing while playing guitars) on the tree stump. Unfortunately for Terry, the clothes become dislodged and some rise to the top. The next day, eventually, these clothing items are seen by the searching police and the bodies are discovered. By this time, Terry is convinced that he has gotten away with murder. He even brags about it to his girl friend, Sharon Nelson, telling her that he found the bodies "buried underwater" before the police did. Isn't that a strange turn of phrase? That's it. That's how I think it happened. I've tried to refer to some of the guideposts that helped me come to that decision. The biggest thing that helped me was "Paid's" Manhole Theory from the BB. Hopefully, the site will soon be fixed so you can see what I mean. Questions?