Identified! Mystery couple murdered in South Carolina, 1976 - Pamela Buckley & James Freund #9

Discussion in 'Mystery couple murdered South Carolina 1976' started by Richard, Oct 4, 2004.

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  1. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I’m honestly starting to believe they knew what was coming to them. NOT that they deserved it, but that they expected it.
     


  2. superunknown

    superunknown Well-Known Member

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    IMO this will be the key to solving the entire case, if that happens.
     
  3. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If that were the key though, I think it would have been solved long ago. The weapon was one of the first things “known” and still led nowhere.
     
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  4. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    How did James and Pamela meet? It actually all starts there.
     
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  5. Ajaygee11

    Ajaygee11 Semi Retired / Rally Driver / Very Amateur Slueth

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    Well actually, yes I would think it was likely, if I knew that there had been an IMSA Race on Saturday at Talladega. If there had just been a NASCAR Race and no IMSA Race, definitely less likely. Just my thought process and opinion. I am willing to accept that I may be wrong about this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  6. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    Gad, talk about a tough time for the family. Pamela's younger sister Laura Buckley-Commerford passed away on January 29 at age 64, barely one week after Pamela was identified:

    Obits | West Central Tribune
     
  7. superunknown

    superunknown Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    And let's not forget, this was the summer of the bicentennial. People were traveling like crazy all over and there were events going on everywhere. It would not have been unusual to see people on the road that summer. Also the Vietnam War had just ended and a lot of Vets had taken to the roads to travel around.

    There was even a movie made around this theme back then



    I believe these two knew each other and may have gone on a bicentennial road trip. The gun is key, and hopefully they can do some high tech forensics on it, which are likely much more advanced than they were in 1976 and figure out who had access to it.

    From what I remember, the man stopped with the gun (Mr. Henry) was too far away from the area at the time of the murders to be a likely suspect. Previous information that I recall being posted (stated by Verna Moore, the now deceased Coroner), was that Mr. Henry's wife had been in the hospital in North Carolina and he had been there with her most of the time. Due to the distance, he would not have had the time to make a round trip journey to and from the crime scene in Sumter.

    That, coupled with his polygraph results leads me to theorize that he did not do this, but may have known who else had access to this weapon and didn't want to disclose it.

    It's also super important to remember that the authorities always hold back details of crimes from the public. So there's probably a lot we don't know so that their case is protected. I also think the Canada theory was focused on not only because of the alleged encounter at the campground, but because no one seemed to be looking for this couple. It was a lead that had to be ruled out, and it was. It made a lot of sense that they were from far away from Sumter, and as it turns out, they were.
     
  8. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    He provides no links for that information. There are linked sources here that confirm the couple were brought there in a vehicle. JMO, its just some lurid speculation in that article.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  9. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    How terribly sad. It sounds like she had health problems for a while. I hope her final days were peaceful and not bothered by rude people discussing details of her sisters death or unfairly blaming her family. RIP and condolences to her loved ones.

    Her obit mentions she graduated from high school in Colorado before returning to MN. Perhaps the family lived in CO for a while when Pam was living there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  10. worldwatcher

    worldwatcher Well-Known Member

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    I hope that too, it must be devastating, to hear that your sister was murdered, being unidentified for decades and all the sorrows, heartache, wonderings from your family comes back to haunt you.
    May she rest in peace, and may the family have all the strength, privacy and peace too.
     
  11. killarney rose

    killarney rose Well-Known Member

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    Ive been saying all along that the details of what happened are going to be much simpler than what many are fantasizing that they were. Ive seen this on so many cases here. Members come up with some convoluted theory but all along its a simple, straightforward scenario when it’s solved. Occam’s Razor.

    if this is ever solved and we know the details it’s going to be a case of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person(s), and their vehicle was stolen by the perp(s).
     
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  12. Ajaygee11

    Ajaygee11 Semi Retired / Rally Driver / Very Amateur Slueth

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    I remember seeing that movie on TV probably about year or so after it was released. It was weird seeing The Fonz in another role. I forgot Sally Field was in it but I remember Harrison Ford was his friend who was a Stock Car Driver :)
     
  13. worm

    worm Well-Known Member

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    I think this was really important when trying to find out who they were but as for who murdered them I’m not sure.
     
  14. Fukiyama

    Fukiyama Well-Known Member

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    Just to revisit this briefly, I have been in contact with the South Carolina DOT about maps from the time period. The gentleman I have been in contact with sent me PDFs of maps of Sumter County from 1974, 75, and 76. They show that everything was as it is now, with interstate construction in the area complete.
     
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  15. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was wondering if it was COVID complications. The obituary said she retired early last fall due to health concerns. Then the services are delayed in respect to COVID realities.

    Thank you for mentioning the Colorado connection. I was so stunned when I found the obituary I did not notice that. Seemingly it does fit the timeline of when Pamela lived there, because a 64 year old would have graduated high school in roughly 1974 or 1975.

    I stumbled upon that obituary totally by accident late last night. I wanted to take another look at the obituary of Pamela's father to see if there was anything related to Colorado or Pennsylvania. But I didn't remember his first name. I had only seen that obituary when Pamela's name surfaced in the other thread two days before the press conference. I did remember that the father owned a nursery, and also that one of the sisters lived in Hawaii. Seemingly those search terms were unique enough to lead to the father's obituary. Instead they led to the new obituary of the younger sister. I'm still shocked. Apparently the sisters were very close because it said they loved spending time together in Hawaii. I was thinking Pamela would have also remained close and done the same thing.

    Also, a sick family member would explain why the Buckley family did not attend the Sumter press conference on January 21, nor commented subsequently.

    RIP
     
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  16. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I spent part of one day months ago excited that they could be Irish Travelers. It seemed to explain plenty, including why nobody was looking for them or revealing the names. That is a very private society.

    I posted one related comment here. Then I stepped back and took a look at it. Wait a minute...that is overly complicated and unlikely, basically everything I don't believe in. I shook it off at that point.
     
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  17. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    I came across her father's obit and saw no mention of Colorado. The town where they grew up and nearby Spicer, MN were small towns. I'm sure Pam looked forward to getting away and seeing the US, meeting new people.

    Back around the same time, after graduating high school I deliberately chose a college a few hours from home. After college graduation, I sought and found a job that would transfer me to another part of the country. I haven't lived at home since, but lived in several different states while having a successful career and family. Its not that you don't love family or the area where you grew up, but its wanting to see other places, experience new things, meet new people, etc.

    Pam left her home town for Colorado because it was the place to be in the early-mid 1970s. So much going on there, lots in the music scene, etc. Nothing more. Back then, young people were backpacking around Europe for months at a time, because it was a fun adventure.

    With COVID 19 raging, its understandable why neither of the victim's families traveled to South Carolina for the press conference. It's just too dangerous to fly that far, stay in a hotel, eat out, etc.
     
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  18. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    I agree. IMO their identities were a mystery for so long because they were just passing through, they knew no one in that part of the world. If they'd had any contacts or connections in that area, IMO someone would have missed them and reported them missing from that region.

    Therefore since they were just passing through and had no connection to anyone, no one would deliberately target them.

    The possibility that they were killed by someone who knew them and had travelled there with them is, IMO, eliminated because of the gun.

    The history of the gun has been traced to that region, it was purchased long before they died, by the brother of the man found with it.

    My theory is, the brother owned the gun, it was left in his brother's possession because he was not involved and had an alibi.

    IMO the case has not been solved because police cannot come up with sufficient evidence to prosecute whoever used the gun. For example, they could not trace the stolen vehicle. This is the advantage, to a killer, of targeting people with license plates from far away, and stealing their ID: the killer(s) know they won't be caught, and that's why they feel safe enough to kill them.

    ETA: this is why LE are so keen nowadays about surveillance cameras.
     
  19. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering about James. He was married and had a child with his ex-wife. He also had another child with someone else which resulted in that awful ad in the paper regarding none payment of child support for a child born out of wedlock (the term seems so archaic now).

    He obviously paid out some support but wouldn't he still be on the hook for more child support after the courts went after him in the first place? Does it mean after he paid the arrears amount for child support he continued to send money wherever he was? Or did he leave and just ignore it.

    Just ignoring it might have caught up with him eventually since once the courts are involved then your employer can garnish your wages meaning the IRS has been involved as well. Is it possible that James took on another name to avoid any problems? I think it would have been fairly easy back then to come up with a fake ID. Much easier than it is today.
     
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  20. wmm85

    wmm85 Well-Known Member

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    Well, there was the “paper chase” method, which sprung up as a way to avoid the Vietnam war draft. Also infamously used by Kimberly McLean AKA Lori Ruff to conceal her identity. Basically, they would find someone born around the same time who died very young, and then request that child’s birth certificate and start getting documentation in that name.
     
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