Mystery couple murdered in South Carolina, 1976 - #6

Discussion in 'Mystery couple murdered South Carolina 1976' started by christine2448, Jun 27, 2009.

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  1. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Hello, I'm new to Websleuths and this is my first time posting, but I actually discussed this case with my mother-A native South Carolinian like myself-after viewing it on The Doe Network. She suggested that the reason they were killed-and why no-one has come forward to identify them-is because the were on the run from or affiliated with The Family. It's not widely known, and it's not something people talk about, but Charleston, South Carolina, has always had a quiet, yet very active, La Nostra presence. My mother actually worked with the low-level number games in the early '80s, about six or seven years after this couple was found. This is especially interesting when you consider their Mediterranean features... Maybe they came to the US to hide from someone, but were unsuccessful?

    Thanks,

    Joyce
     


  2. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to WS Joyce Josette, your Mom is probably onto something !
     
  3. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Thank you dotr! I respectfully disagree with some of the earlier posters-I don't think either were native to The States, not do I think they just hooked up on the road. They're too similar, and the idea that this was a random murder doesn't make much sense when you consider what Sumter was like in '76. The whole drug-deal-gone-bad thing is a little silly-this was pre-crack and pre-meth, and you could get pot anywhere. Just about every young person smoked. :twocents:
     
  4. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    I'm not so sure. If they wouldn't pay up the dealer would have probably beaten the living hell out of them, taken their money and left-and that's worst-case scenario. I seriously doubt we had some deranged murderous pot dealer running around-if there had been there would have been way, way more murders, because God only knows how many drug burns there were in Sumter in the '70s. Besides pot, the only other substance that was popular were pills-and I still can't see how that would lead to murder. It was still a few years before Coke gained popularity, and as far as I know that was really more of an upperclass Island thing in the beginning. :twocents:
     
  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    No, it's not pre-meth. Meth (crank) wasn't epidemic yet, but it and other milder forms of speed were quite popular.

    It was pre-crack but powdered cocaine was popular. Pills were popular.

    But the drug that might get you killed in 1976 would have been heroin.
     
  6. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Heroin? In Sumter, South Carolina? No. Not unless it was mob related, and whatever heroin-related event that led to their demise happened elsewhere. You didn't start seeing crank in that part of the state for a decade, and powder cocaine was just coming into Downtown Charleston. No way in hell you could get either of those in rural Sumter. You could get Black Beauties & some 'Ludes if you were really lucky, and pot, of course, but not much else. Maybe some LSD, but again, not really anything to kill for. I think they were running and/or hiding from something. :twocents:
     
  7. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I would never have dreamed that Sumter, South Carolina, was years behind rural Montana...
     
  8. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Oh, yeah. I mean, the coast is a different story, but the big crack/crank thing didn't start happening in rural SC for another 10/15 years. No-one was really into anything "Hard" in that area at the time, especially not H or powder.
     
  9. youshouldveknown

    youshouldveknown New Member

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    I have to respectfully disagree with Joyce. Both cocaine and heroine were present in SC in the 1970's. Definitely not like pot, but it was circulating. My opinion is that if this was over a drug deal, it would be over cocaine moreso than heroine, but I could be wrong. I don't see why it would be hard to believe that these two could be traffickers using various ports. They could have been the ones to bring it to SC, then, instead of paying for the load, they were shot and killed - the killer keeping his money and the coke.
     
  10. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Yeah, they were here, but not wildly popular, nor were they very present in the boonies, and Sumter county is definitely the boonies. If it were Charleston, I would agree, but inland South Carolina is very different from the coast. There were only 25,000 people in the entire county of Sumter in 1976. Not exactly a hotbed for any kind of activity.
     
  11. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    What would draw a young, good-looking, hip and seemingly affluent couple to a town with no particular tourist attractions?

    I wondered if the couple had been spotted being amorous in a field somewhere, and were ordered at gunpoint to dress quickly, and leave (perhaps explaining the lack of underwear on uid's)
    fwiw...
    Around the mid-seventies many affluent Jewish Moroccan students moved to Montreal,this couple reminds me of some of those students.
     
  12. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Interesting theory. Charleston has always had a large Jewish community.

    Sumter county is basically what you drive through on the way to somewhere else.
     
  13. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    What about a connection to the air force base that's in or near Sumter? I had a friend who was stationed there for a while in the early 70's.
     
  14. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'm looking at this news article from the Sumter Daily Item for the day the bodies were found: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...&pg=1940,4395151&dq=unidentified+bodies&hl=en I'll try to transcribe the whole article later, but it gives a fairly precise location where the bodies were found: On Locklair (or Locklear) Road, which runs from 341. For part of the way, it runs right beside I-95.

    I took the little man for a walk along the highway, northbound on I95. I discovered you can see Locklair Road through the trees from there. Most of them look less than 30 years old, so it could have been even more open then. You can also see the highway sign for the route 341 exit. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...d=o8LThcxw2SDFYajUf9t8NQ&cbp=12,72.01,,0,6.27

    Just past the highway sign, it's even more open: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...d=RBI6UScTgBRRN6qqSBxK_w&cbp=12,71.06,,0,6.18


    The exit: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...=dycUbfZF8t3USNhfHFguAw&cbp=12,20.55,,0,12.17

    The end of the exit ramp. This looks like it could have been redone recently but it's still pretty small and quiet. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...=LKYFnxccCVf4CX8a2lm4Bg&cbp=12,20.55,,0,12.17

    Right on 341. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...=Y_9igAKGPN-cmSThK7wEmw&cbp=12,65.55,,0,12.17

    Obvious right turn onto the side road -- Google calls it Old St. John Church Road, but there's no street sign I can see. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...cej-sqf8fi70eW-2kVwaCQ&cbp=12,110.55,,0,-2.83

    Looks like a house over there, though it could have been built since. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...KqUFEqcW0Vm-8WtVUMh9SQ&cbp=12,155.55,,0,-2.83

    Oh, look, here it is. Locklear Road. Unfortunately Google didn't take their truck down this little dirt road, so I couldn't follow any further. Here's what it looks like looking back: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...k0Hk04t25isBPTZfAMD9Og&cbp=12,347.63,,0,10.86


    This is where Locklair Road comes out at the far end, on Douglas Swamp Road. The pictures over here seem to have been taken at a different time of year. You can see it ahead on the right: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...=94fduY4QeyCUSq52PgCLjQ&cbp=12,316.71,,1,1.18

    Here's looking down Locklair Road: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lock...d=m8iIOVxDJt00F8slhrXQSA&cbp=12,18.78,,0,2.21

    You can find your way back to the interstate from here by making the obvious turns: Douglas Swamp Road to County 43-61 to Pleasant Grove Road, though turning back to the exit you got off on would be the easiest.
     
  15. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Great work, but something to consider: Hugo. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 caused extensive damage to the area, wiping out a great many trees, etc, and causing a great deal of road work, new tree planting, etc. to occur. Plus, I would bet my last dollar that most of those roads look a lot different than they did in 1976. That interstate was probably nothing more than a two-lane road at the time.
     
  16. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I thought of that, but on the whole there's not much there to have changed. Things were probably rebuilt where they were. There are a lot of tall older trees in the area, which would seem to indicate not a lot of damage in that immediate area. Even if there were old trees along the highway, you could still probably glimpse that road here and there.

    I'm sure details have changed. Different fields planted, ditches in different spots, trees cut or blown down, all of that. The road might even have been rerouted somewhat, but I'll bet it still looked basically the same.

    It's identified as I-95 in that article. Also, Wikipedia says the I-95 section from Turbeville to Dillon was opened in 1968; that would include the 341 interchange (Interstate 95 in South Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). (Off topic: Spouse and I drove through there in 1978 on the way to Florida from Massachusetts. It was foggy all through the Carolinas, and boy was it spooky.)

    I'm not sure any of it means anything -- except that it looks entirely possible that they and their murderer had nothing to do with Sumter. As you say, they might have been like everybody else on that road, just passing through. Maybe went into Sumter to find a place to have dinner and ran into the wrong people. I'm not saying that's what happened, but it's sure possible.
     
  17. Joyce Josette

    Joyce Josette Member

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    Yeah, I think that's one of the best possibilities. If it were someone who lives/lived in Sumter I think we would've heard more whispers & rumors over the years, it being such a small county. I really think it was either The Family or an opportunity killer.

    Oh, and yeah, I've had several of those experiences over the years. It's like a scene from a horror movie, lol.
     
  18. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read many of the posts on this case so if this has been suggested and discussed, I apologize. One thought I had was the possibility that the male had fled to Canada to avoid the draft for Vietnam maybe while traveling through the US they indicated they where from Canada because 1.) They where physically from Canada at that point in time and 2.) They did not want people to figure out the truth.Possibly family was firmly against draft dodging and that is why not alot of effort was made by the relatives to track them/him down.

    I have seen nothing to support this idea and it really doesn't even begin to answer the main questions. Just a quick thought.
     
  19. Tear Drop

    Tear Drop Member

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    I have to agree with youshouldveknown. Cocaine and Heroin was definitely around. Pot was clearly more ubiquitous. No matter what drug trade or no matter what criminal enterprise someone is involved in, there are plenty of reasons to kill someone (i.e. robbery gone bad, elimination of snitches, reprisal for robbery, debt owed, reprisal for another murder, knew too much, etc.) I tend to lean towards the elimination of snitches or knew too much scenarios.

    Just 6 years later there was a ton of cocaine that was intercepted at the Sumter County airport. It was the 3rd largest drug bust in US HISTORY! The individuals involved in this operation were related to organized crime in the area. This organized crime group was responsible for other murders in the area. One of the murders happened in 1978 only two years after the mystery couple murders. It is not much of a stretch to think they might also be responsible for mystery couple's murders.

    I believe this is drug related. I know there is not enough evidence to say that this is NOT drug related.
     
  20. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    That's not a bad thought. Draft dodging wasn't just disapproved of, it was illegal. He could have gone to jail -- probably still could, for that matter. So if he needed to go home for some reason, say for a parent's funeral, he might have traveled under an assumed name or something.

    My thought on the Canada thing is that either the witness who told the story, or the dead man himself, made it up to direct attention away from where he was really from.
     
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