OH OH - William 'Bill' Comeans, 14, Columbus, 7 Jan 1980 - #1

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by pdxmama, Jan 10, 2014.

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  1. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    bessie, was Bob verified? I hope he understands that we work alongside of LE, and try to adhere to the laws.
     


  2. Anita Richman

    Anita Richman New Member

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    I don't know if this has been corrected yet, but there are several comments about why Mr. & Mrs. Comeans would let their son out and about after he'd been attacked twice. He was given a can of mace which he was to have on him at all times. It was found at his side. A knife was also found at the scene. I believe that knife was used as a threat to get him to leave the safety of his front yard.

    Based on statements from family members and the investigating detective, Billy Comeans was a "perfect student, perfect kid, perfect citizen". Maybe he knew something about people who weren't so perfect (theft ring, drug sellers, cheating scandal, etc.) who were afraid "Mr. Perfect Citizen" would rat them out.
     
  3. Anita Richman

    Anita Richman New Member

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    Welcome, Bob! I have lots of respect for your family thinking outside of the box and using social media in such a smart way. I look forward to brainstorming and sleuthing alongside you.
     
  4. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    Yes, thank you for this. Also, he quit his paper route and, his parents stated that he would not leave his yard without letting them know. They also reported the two attacks and the threats to the police so I really think they were doing everything in their power to keep him safe. Whoever was responsible, they were very determined.
     
  5. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of us do, and I believe this case is solvable! :)
     
  6. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    BBM: I see your point. Couldn't both be true? What continues to perplex me is the fact of two attackers and BC's guesstimate of their ages. It may be a stretch, but wouldn't someone more "normal" be daunted by learning how hard it was to kill someone? and by the increasing levels of risk that came with each assault? Who does this sort of thing? I don't have a fixed POV. Just speculating -- mainly because it is so strange. I just wonder if one member of the pair had this "thrill kill" side to him and the other, the local connection. JMO
     
  7. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Bob, hopefully you know how to access any private messages you get from the moderator (link in top-right corner of screen). If I remember correctly from another thread I participate in, when you are "cleared" for posting, it will no longer say "registered user" under your name but "verified insider." Hang in.
     
  8. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    WARNING: This is a brainstorming post. I am really tired (and still sick!) but have started listing out the 4 theories that we have thrown around and arguments for and against each theory. I'm hoping that I have at least formed complete thoughts but please add, edit, etc.

    Bullies

    Pro
    • Notes were found in BC's locker at school which would presumably only be accessible to students/ staff
    • BC described his attackers as white, early 20's (could be older teens)
    • Parents believed he was bullied and at least one article said they felt bullies were responsible

    Con

    • Three attacks, one being fatal seems to be an extreme level of bullying; very risky, especially if BC were abducted from his yard or porch.
    • We assume that students with an aqua/ turquoise car would have been ID'd as the color would be very identifiable.
    • BC could not identify his attackers but if he went to school with them he probably could have (unless he did not ID them on purpose.)

    Thrill/ serial killer

    Pro

    • Possible similarities with known serial killer (age of victim, MO, active in early 80's)
    • Behavior of multiple attacks points to someone psychopathic/ sociopathic

    Con

    • It would be unusual for a random attacker to attack the victim more than once.
    • Very unlikely that this type of killer would leave threatening notes in a locker

    Accidental/ autoerotic asphyxiation

    Pro

    • Seems to be the opinion of investigators

    Con

    • Weather and setting would be an unusual place for such activity
    • Doubt the ability of someone to strangle themselves without some kind of device (meaning strangling without hanging.)
    • Lack of evidence that we believe would be present in an autoerotic situation
    • Valium in BC's system. Unusual choice for a person to take prior to sexual behavior.

    BC was a witness/ needed to be "silenced"

    Pro

    • Explains determination/ persistence of assailants.

    Con

    • Seems unlikely that he would report the attacks but leave out details of who he thought it might be.
     
  9. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    I like this. Thanks! I hope you feel better -- it's been a week for you, right? Not fair.

    My only addition would be to think about whether the profiles/motives of both killers has to be the same. I could see a bully/thrill partnership, as well as a silence/thrill partnership -- IOW, one with a motive against BC, one with a motive to kill. Plausible? Unsure. I find it hard to always remember that we are talking about two attackers, so I'm just trying to keep it out there.
     
  10. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    Yes, a week! So unfair. I hope you are all better.

    Yes, there are so many possibilities with the two killer scenario. Three of the four theories above could all have worked with two killers but the thing that just gets me so stuck is the three attacks. I just can't wrap my brain around TWO people being so reckless/ psychopathic or whatever, that they risked being caught 3 times without one of the pair saying, "Hey man, I'm not doing this again." Right??

    Multiple attacks only works for me if this is a bullying or revenge situation so if that person was the ringleader and partnered up with someone who just absolutely had no conscience (thrill killer), and was more of a follower, then I could definitely see how what your suggesting could happen.
     
  11. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Thx -- I got off easy and was better by Monday :) Fingers crossed for you.

    I went to bed thinking about this last night (not a good idea -- LOL -- but I can't let go of it).

    I am thinking that the weirdest thing about this case is these two attackers. Maybe the key to this case is getting neighbors to think about any strange pairings they were aware of back then. Some things that strike me:

    • The risk rose with each of these multiple attacks that BC would be able to recognize them or someone else would see them. AND YET, for the last attack they waltz right onto the family property. They went from the woods, to a relatively busy street, to BC's neighborhood. Up, up, up! What emboldened them? What made them so comfortable -- made them feel like they owned this turf?

    • Were they smart/shrewd? fearless? lucky? IMO, they both had to be somewhat "on" and prepared for the attacks to pull this off. One bumbling partner could have brought them down. Were they both smart? Not necessarily. I think even a unstable/challenged but loyal follower could pull this off with another stronger figure in charge.

    • What was their relationship to each other? Friends? Dominant/submissive? Brothers? Lovers? How did they divide their labor? Who administered the drug and how? Did one of them hold BC down while the other did the choking? Or did the drug make the choking so easy that one just watched?

    • I keep wondering how good a judge of age BC was -- many kids his age are not good at this. But BC had two older brothers, so may have been able to guess his attackers ages better than some. Also, he knew "men" in brothers' circles, but STILL didn't recognize them. I wonder, how large was this school at the time? Wouldn't two strangers stand out to someone? And if they were not students, what did they do?

    • Was the choking meant to kill BC each time? From the beginning, I thought this was obvious, but now I am questioning it. I keep coming back to the valium. Sure, the drug helped them subdue him and took his memory away, but what did they care about memory if they planned to kill him? And if they planned to kill him, why didn't they check to SEE if he was dead before they left -- even the third time? One explanation is that they did not know what they were doing, but IMO, every thing else runs counter to this.

    • Warning: Very explicit (and hopefully farfetched theory). Apologies in advance for both the content and not having a better way to say it. I could not even have thought of this a few days ago, but since then I have read about some 300 midwestern killers and seen that some kind of sexual gratification is the most common reason for killing boys this age (it's not the most common victim profile) -- and that gratification does not always involve penetration or making the boy do things to the killer:
    Is it possible the valium and choke-hold were meant to allow them to gain control over BC, to eroticize him for their own mutual enjoyment? (I really am sorry.) Could they have molested Bill orally or manually so they could watch him and gratify themselves sexually? Could they have understood that BC would not remember this if they gave him enough valium? This would explain why they left afterward -- with no concern over whether BC was dead or alive -- maybe even confident that he was alive. If there was any sign of this at the scene or on BC's body, it would also explain LE leapt to autoerotic asphyxiation.

    Having put it out there, I hope you'll say IMPOSSIBLE. I feel a little sick about it myself. The thing that seems most unlikely to me is the attackers' understanding of the drug, but who knows.​

    • My main point in all of this is that these were not two ordinary men. One reason LE seems to have dismissed the case so easily is that "things do not add up." Maybe that means these guys were really "off the map." If so, they had to stand out in some other ways. And IF the notes are a legitimate part of this, at least one of them had to be connected to the school -- which means someone must know who he is.

    All speculation.
     
  12. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Welcome, Bob! Congrats on the quick verification. I am sorry we are meeting under these circumstances, but hope the process will yield some leads about your brother's death so that your family can get some answers. We are all appalled by the disrespect these two attackers showed for his life -- as well as what they put him through during the last months of his life. I will throw a few Qs into the thread-o-sphere before I go to work and then check in again this evening:

    • The night Bill was attacked by the elementary school, was he taking an unusual route home? Or was it “family policy” to stick to roads, rather than say take the path along the RR tracks or a shortcut through people's yards?

    • Was Bill or anyone else in the household taking valium on a doctor's orders at the time of his death?

    • In terms of what you know about the police investigation, has LE ruled out any known offenders that you are aware of?

    • Have you noticed any factual errors in our understanding of the case?

    • The bowl of ice cream that was so poignantly described in your family's Twitter feed: Was Bill eating that on the porch the night he disappeared? If so -- and if he was not taking valium by prescription -- was the ice cream ever tested for the presence of a drug?

    • Did Bill first receive notes in his locker before or after the first attack? Where I live, 9/5/79 -- the first Wed. after Labor Day -- would have been the first day of school. Did you all start earlier? I am just wondering if someone unrelated could have subsequently written those notes to play on his fear about the attack.

    • Were you aware of any cars in the neighborhood or at the high school like the one Bill described?

    There will be no shortage of questions here, so please just take a break from us when you need to. In the meantime, we'll do our best for you.
     
  13. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    YES!! Bob is verified! Let the questions begin!!
     
  14. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    ^^ What she said!!
     
  15. bessie

    bessie Verified Insider

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    I was coming here to let you know Bob's been verified, but I see you've already heard. :)
     
  16. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much bessie! :) Now, let's do what we do best!! :blowkiss:
     
  17. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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  18. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Bumping.
     
  19. Mouse

    Mouse Active Member

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    I know this is probably a real stretch, but from the first I read of this case, all I could think of was the Circleville Letters:

    http://www.nbc4i.com/story/20745470/ohios-mysteries-the-circleville-letters

    http://www.unsolved.com/ajaxfiles/mur_poison_pen_murder.htm

    The harassing letters in the Circleville case started in 1976 and continued for at least a decade. Google maps says that Galloway, OH (Comeans case) and Circleville, OH are only about 40 minutes apart. It's hard to find relatively straight-forward info on the Circleville case because it was featured prominently on Unsolved Mysteries (and thus gets caught up in all the "Ooooooh, spooooooky!" over-dramatized nonsense)...but it does seem like quite a coincidence. I don't mean to suggest that the two cases are connected, since they both seem to be of a personal vendetta-type to me, and I can't see there being a connection between Billy Comeans and Mary Gillespie, but I wonder if the note-writers in the Comeans case (both Alean Tope and the locker-note culprit) were maybe copy-catting from hearing about the Circleville case.
     
  20. KatCo

    KatCo Verified insider - Bill Comeans case

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    It's been quite interesting to get everyone's take on what has happened with my brother, Bill Comeans. Hope that soon all the pieces will fit together.
     
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