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. killarney rose

    killarney rose Well-Known Member

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    I almost posted the same thing. ITA . Mens fashions changed drastically from 1970 till the mid 70s. A lot of them wore longer hair, and in no way were they “ hippies”.
     
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  2. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

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    And if I were to tour the US (or any other place in the northern hemisphere) in August, id wear sandals and a T-shirt, too. Both wore fashionable and normal clothing for the mid 70's and it was appropriate clothing for a warm summer. Does not mean anything.
    It is funny that even though pretty much anything goes today fashion wise, we are so much thinking in boxes today when we look at vintage styles.
     
  3. worm

    worm Well-Known Member

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    I’m just trying to visualize their Sunday. I’m convinced that wherever they woke up Sunday, they were able to shower and put on fresh clothes. Where the worn clothes went is a wonder. I honestly think if they were around Sumter, away from the interstate and in places where more locals would have been, they would have been noticed. That’s just the way it is in southern towns where strangers aren’t immediately trusted. Most places that have a waterway such as the rivers near here, have a weekend popular spot where young people hang out but again, they would have been noticed.
    At this point, I’m kind of meh on the produce stand story. I don’t think that was our couple that those folks seen. The fruit in their systems remains a point of interest tho.
     
  4. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Certainly not, I don't think anyone is suggesting it.

    I think there is a question about why/how it took 44 years to identify them. I don't think it was because no one cared. IMO, if anyone had known either of them had been last heard of in that part of the US, the link would have been made decades ago.

    IMO they both, for some reason, were not in touch with anyone back home, and there's bound to be speculation about why.
     
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  5. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Very true.

    Further, even if he were dressed "like a hippie", it would make no difference. It makes no sense to infer that being nearly 10 years out of military service and dressing like a hippie is evidence of some abnormal behavior. It wasn't.

    As was quoted by the former coroner in an earlier linked article, the couple was dressed well, they were called All American, clean-cut.
     
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  6. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

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    I dont think people would necessarily get noticed even if someone stays every night at a campground or motel. Too many younger couples traveling. Even today, years ago I worked as hotel receptionist. Would I remember any of the guests faces or names? Definitely not.
    I agree all the reports were red herrings (the worst was the one with the "Canada connection" that turnes out to be a complete failure but crucially delayed identification until DNA technology advanced enough).
     
  7. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

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    Both were reported missing early after their disappearance.

    Back then, there was no network of missing person profiles and an UID database that could be accessible from many places. Even today, that is not always sufficient. Take the Jolaine Hemmy/Pecos JD case... she went missing in 1966 and was immediately reported missing. Her family even paid a private investigator to search for her. She was found dead many thousand miles away from her home a few days later, but nobody was able to connect the two cases. So she stayed missing|UID until recently.

    And in the case of two missing adults, LE does not really care so much.

    I also believe that LE gave the Canada theory too much importance. It tremendously inhibited investigations. And the whole Latin American theory was also fed by the coroners comment about their "olive skin" and "unshaved legs". Again, we know, a red herring.
    But in hindsight, it is so easy to be smart... i am sure they did what they could.

     
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  8. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    What we don't know, is whether it mattered to their killer(s). They think in boxes, they tend not to say "who am I to judge?". For example, perhaps they looked like people who wouldn't be carrying a gun.
     
  9. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about the same thing. The fruit stand story likely was another well-intentioned case of mistaken identity, just like the KOA story. I also don't like the drug angle. Whatever led to Locklair Road at 1 AM was probably very normal...hours if not minutes earlier.

    I'm always a huge believer in everything tends to drift back to the beginning. While reading the early articles from this case in that Gray Hughes video I linked here a few days ago, I was struck that investigators believed the couple had traveled in the West at some point, and were possibly the victim of a carjacking. This was long before the Canada distraction. While it's true that some people like to travel at night -- including myself -- it's not most common. After reading about James I doubt he was without a vehicle. My first guess would be that the vehicle was targeted and James/Pamela eliminated. That sick tactic has been applied by countless murderers including Andrew Cunanan.

    I've traveled all my life by car and have always noted the vast difference between Saturday night and Sunday night at roadside hotels/motels. Friday and Saturday are scrambling to find an opening while Sunday nights are almost totally barren. That's why the prices plunge. You can be in a room around the corner in one of those budget motels and be totally isolated on a Sunday night, with little company except an ice machine not far away. It would be simple for criminal types to target a vehicle like that and then come up with some ruse to get the owners out of the room and under your control. Then in 1976 no cameras to worry about if you need to return and use their key to clean out the room of any belongings.

    A carjacking doesn't have to be on the highway. That's what I'm saying. And it doesn't necessarily have to be nearby. I've driven I-95 enough to know you slice through South Carolina in a hurry. A type of crime like that could have happened in Georgia or North Carolina, for example, and then the killers invested an hour or so driving the van with hostages James and Pamela into South Carolina to confuse the issue of who they were and where they were abducted.

    The gun likely has meaning just like the ring logically had meaning. I believe the guy found with the gun was from North Carolina and likewise the prior owner.
     
  10. killarney rose

    killarney rose Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. They could’ve rented a room, showered and cleaned up. Went out to eat and likely ended up having ice cream with fruit as dinner. While there,they could’ve caught the attention of the killer(s). Whether he followed them to the hotel and overpowered them, or began talking to them where they got the food, either could be a likely scenario.
     
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  11. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    All good possibilities. Thanks for mentioning the Gray Hughes video, I'll have to go listen to that one.
     
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  12. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    I still think there is some merit to the fruit stand scenario, whereby they stopped in there for ice cream and fruit. Up here in Canada I live in an area with alot of fruitstands during the summer months (yes, we do have them :) and some fruitstands do serve up ice cream along with all the fruit for customers.
     
  13. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I think that Pam and J.P. Freund were known by their correct names until they died. Freund was known as JP and his ring had his initials. It's too bad that police didn't search for missing men with those initials in other states. Freund would have popped up if they had.

    Regarding child support, all costs were dropped. One child is mentioned in two places: child support, and in 1985 (I think) an "orphan" application to have a father, James Freund, declared deceased (link upthread).

    It's like he vanished and his family assumed that he was deceased, not that he was avoiding his child or child support.

    upload_2021-2-2_21-19-47.png

    19 Sep 1985, 52 - Intelligencer Journal at Newspapers.com
     
  14. Vern

    Vern Well-Known Member

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    RSBM.

    Lots of posts while I was in virtual meetings all day today!

    Being there could be normal (hitch-hiking and get let off at the exit ramp, head off for some shut eye for example). But, where's their stuff?

    But, it isn't normal to be taken to an off-road in a vehicle at 0100hrs and immediately shot to death. With each receiving a coup-de-grace shot. Someone wanted them dead and made sure they were. Someone they were involved with somehow, someone who they could identify if they lived is my guess, IMO.

    What could the motive then be? It wasn't rape. It wasn't robbery of his expensive watch and rings etc.

    No one just ups and kills two people without reason/motive. What was their "normal" that got them killed that night?
     
  15. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    Everything boomerangs to Locklair Road. Today I was thinking I couldn't be the only one who visited and filmed a video. I searched this forum and sure enough there was a 4 minute video posted here within thread #3 in November 2008. That video would be superior to mine because the user worked with law enforcement on the case, including speaking to Verna Moore about the bodies location. Several members here saw the video and referred to it. Unfortunately the link to the video no longer works and I can't find it anywhere. It was a Yahoo video and apparently never uploaded to YouTube.

    The user "shadetreePI" was familiar to me. I have read his posts previously. Unfortunately he hasn't been active here since December 2013.

    If anything, I became more confused. His first related post seemed to indicate the bodies were nearer the center of Locklair Road, since a billboard from I-95 was visible in photos of the crime scene. Then a later post mentioned the end of Locklair where the bodies were found. That can only mean the side connected to Old St. John Church Road. He mentions approaching on that road while filming the video.

    Here are those segments from thread #3. I've done the best I can with the available photos and info. Obviously there are additional photos. Maybe the guy who plans to write the book will have access to them, since he helped Sumter County on this case over the past 8 years.

    This is from Page 20, posted on November 5, 2008:

    "As you watch this video, start paying attention to the right hand side of the road when you are about -1:37 minutes into it. You will start to see traffic traveling down the interstate. There will be a billboard on the right hand side, on Locklair Road. There is only a glimpse of it, and only for a second. See the patch of woods ahead? This is where our Does were found. Verna Moore told me that in some of the crime scene photos you can see the billboard. Obviously not in any photos we have access to, unless I'm wrong. But I haven't seen any with the billboard in the background."

    This is from Page 21 on November 7, 2008:

    "And another thing I noticed. On the end of Locklair where they were found, it has been used as a dumping ground. There are old tires and other miscellaneous trash. I asked Verna how well the woods there were searched for their personal belongings. I mentioned that I would like to wait until cold weather came (if that ever happens - it's been known to be warm here in December) and try my hand at rummaging thru that junk. I can easily see the Does' personal belongings getting thrown into the swamp back there. No one in their right mind would go digging thru that area in August. It is so dense and swampy - a paradise for rattlesnakes and water moccasins. It has been on my mind to try and find out who owns that land and ask them if I can poke around out there. I was warned by Verna to be very careful, as we still don't know who murdered this couple. Its probably a complete waste of time as a wallet or purse would be lucky to still exist in any recognizable form today - after all these years in those conditions. But it would be one thing I could eliminate from my cluttered mind of "what -ifs"."

    ***

    I didn't notice a swampy area or dumping ground like that. Perhaps it has been cleaned up since November 2008. Or it might have been within the uncut area near the street sign saying Locklair Road. I didn't look back there.
     
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  16. Vern

    Vern Well-Known Member

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  17. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger Well-Known Member

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    Also from thread #3 the prominent user "Mysterylover" already had info that the finishing shot was not to the neck area.

    Page #22 on November 8, 2008:

    "I have cut and pasted some paragraphs below that say the couple was shot in the back of their heads...It does not mention being shot under the chin...big difference..."

    "In 1977 SLED matched bullets from a .357-caliber Magnum with the serial number filed off, to bullets taken from the bodies.

    "Entry wound examinations revealed someone shot them in the back of their heads to finish them off."
     
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  18. worm

    worm Well-Known Member

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    Interesting if the place they were found was known to locals as an unpopulated dumping ground.
     
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  19. Kiranerys

    Kiranerys #LiveLikeLizzy

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    Exactly this!. If you were taking the trouble to kill two people for their vehicle and you have also bothered to take their wallet/purse or anything that could contain i.d then why wouldn't you take an extra minute at most to take the expensive watch from a dead man's wrist? I just feel like it's all too clean for a carjacking.
     
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  20. worldwatcher

    worldwatcher Well-Known Member

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    Just a question,is Old St. John's Church Rd, Sumter, SC,the same as Locklair RD,I am getting confused,some reports are about Old St Johns road,other mention, Locklair Rd.

    From what I read,I do think a local,or someone who had been there before, must have good knowledge of the place,where they were found,so imo ,the killer must have taken them there,I dont think James or Pam would have end up there,otherwise..
    ETA :Never mind,I read back so my answer is short of less,answered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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