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. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Great, great work, you guys. Wow. Rarely has so intense a job been done so soon after a long-cold case snaps back into the picture. And this from one who believes it a case of autoerotic asphyxiation. Anyway - applause for you all.
     


  2. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Interesting tweet: The BC family posted this partial clipping of a newspaper article from 1/17/80 last night which -- like the other articles we've seen -- says BC was on his paper route both times he was attacked in the fall. Acc. to the tweet that is only true of the second attack. For the first one, he was on his way home from a friend's house. It's too late to add this to the above now (can no longer "edit"), but I will collect the tidbit with any others we find and will repost at a later date.

    Here's the tweet with the clipping:

    Bill Comeans ‏@BillComeans 21h (1/19/14)
    "1st attack, coming home from friend's house (not paper route). 2nd attack, collecting for paper route."
     

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  3. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    Thanks for posting these, Bessie. The only one that has BC listed is the first link. I have been looking through various websites that list Cold Cases nationally, for Ohio, the city of Columbus and Franklin County and haven't found any that list BC. Anyone else find that strange?

    I've just emailed Central Ohio Crime Stoppers and asked them list his case.
     
  4. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    Well, that makes a lot more sense actually. I could see him taking a shortcut through the woods on the way home from a friends house but it didn't make much sense to me for him to be there while on his paper route.
     
  5. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Taking a different approach: Looking at cold cases to see if any new theories of the crime emerge. For instance, if this was a "training case" for thrill killers with a broader agenda, where might they have gone after killing BC? Using Bessie's resources, I tried looking west to Indianapolis and east to Dayton for similar cases, but found this is very difficult to do, largely I think due to the age of the cases.

    Looking only at the age and gender of victims, combined with MO, and sticking to the 1980s, I did find one listing among the Indiana cold cases. The location where the body was found is a well-to-do northeast suburb of Indianapolis today, but judging by when many of the homes were built (Zillow), it was probably very rural in the 1980s. The boy was abducted from Indianapolis. Here are the available details:

    DELVOYD LEE BAKER 10/02/1982
    Unsolved Cold Case Homicide 
Case Number 51-1609
    Age: 14
    Sex: Male

    Race: African-American
    Case Date: 10/02/1982
    County: Hamilton
    Location of Offense: Lantern Rd. near Fishers, IN
    Circumstances: On October 3, 1982, the body of Delvoyd Baker was found on Lantern Road near Fishers, Indiana in Hamilton county. He had been dumped in a ditch along the side of the road. The cause of death was ligature strangulation. He had been missing from Indianapolis the night before. He was last seen getting into a van near the downtown library. ​

    The details of the above are only superficially similar to BC's death; it's impossible to say more without additional details. The case is not on WS (thanks for the tip on pulling up OH cold cases on WS, Bessie). I'll try to find more info. If anyone else wants to look too, that would be great.

    Also, I combed Bessie's Dayton spreadsheet for cold cases from the 80s, but the file contains only barebones details for these early cases -- no age, gender, or COD/MOD like it does for the later ones. There are 60 cold cases in Dayton in the 80s alone! None are the subject of WS threads, and the Dayton LE site does not give summaries for the cases like Columbus does. I am still looking for a way to narrow these down.
     
  6. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    The family posted a map on Facebook today showing the sites of all three attacks, their home, and the friend's house BC was on the way home from the night of the first attack (9/5). It's a lot like the map pdxmama made, the primary difference being the addition of the friend's home. However, that one little thing completely changed the picture in my mind: It appears he was moving south (I pictured north toward the tracks) along the east side of the woods. I wonder if there was anything unusual about the route he took, or if the route makes sense to his siblings. It seems a bit indirect, but maybe it was meant to go around areas the parents didn't want the kids walking through? Like the RR tracks? I am attaching their picture here. It's not an active map, just an image taken of a Google map. See what you think.


    https://twitter.com/BillComeans/status/425747022520410112
     

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  7. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    That's not what I pictured at all. Why would he be going SW to get home from his friend's house? It looks like he could have gone west on Annhurst or Musket Way and it would be much more direct. I added to the Google Map so we can get a better look.

    Here's the updated link http://goo.gl/maps/yisA3
     
  8. pdxmama

    pdxmama Member

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    This is a good find. I've been doing similar searches just trying to find any cases with commonalities. Without knowing motive it is so hard to know what to look for though.
     
  9. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    I don't know how credible this FB post is. Found it on one of the family's sites, but not by a BC sibling:

    <modsnip>

    Not sure TOS allows me to include poster's name BC she's unrelated to the case?

    We might be able to find out if there is any truth to the BBM. Also, another poster mentions an older (presumably Maple Drive) resident being killed some time after BC. I should have copied that, but I don't think I did. However, it wasn't any more informative that what I just said.
     
  10. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    I went through this listing of known murderers (the search results for OHIO are organized by years of deaths and numbers of victims) and read summaries of any from the 1980's, on the assumption that BC may have been a first kill.

    My thinking was that BC might have been an early homicide by someone who was later convicted of other murders.

    However, for none that I read did the victim profiles, MOs, motive, and killer's age in 1979/80 align.

    I did find one serial killer, David Penton, who was born in Columbus and killed children by strangulation, but the known victims, which start in 1985, are girls and the motive appears to be sexual. He would have been the right age at the time of BC's death, but was in the service in TX at the time. Not a match, but the closest I could find. I'll look at neighboring states the next chance I get.
     
  11. dogperson

    dogperson Well-Known Member

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    When I first saw this case I thought of auto-erotic asphyxiation but have completely discarded the idea. I wouldn't expect a person to take a drug like valium beforehand, as that would probably be counterproductive. Plus there should have been other signs of that activity, such as the pants being down, etc. Unless someone who found him pulled them up and never mentioned it, I think we can discount that. The area he was found in doesn't sound like the kind of place you would go for that, plus the two prior incidents don't add up. Although I do know of a case in my neighborhood that happened in the early 90s, before I'd ever even heard of this type of thing, when a young boy was found hanging in the barn, in the middle of winter, with his pants down. At first everyone in the community thought we had a child predator on the loose but it was ruled accidental. Still, that incident sounds completely different from what we have here with Bill Comeans. Someone had definitely targeted him and intended to finish the job, hence the multiple attempts to kill him. Whether or not they knew him, once they picked him out they intended to follow through. Such a sad story.
     
  12. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    New online article (The Daily Dot, 1/21/14) linked from the family's Twitter account today. I don't think the following excerpt is accurate, but it goes to how confusing the accounts of the pre-death threats BC received and the post-death threats sent to his neighbors are:
    "While Franklin County police initially thought the messages were a hoax, according to an article in the Free Lancet-Star, handwriting analysis later concluded that the same person who wrote messages to Comeans&#8217; neighbors also authored the notes to Comeans."

    IF INDEED the handwriting analysis does connect the two sets of notes (and I don't know that they do), that would be problematic for AJT and her family ...
     
  13. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    ETA: Quoting myself bc the original post (TBM) can no longer be edited. I was wrong, the actual post is a little more informative. I am guessing "Gary" refers to Gary, Indiana, but it could also be a first name. Here it is:

    <modsnip>

    (A few posters on the FB site -- including someone I think is an aunt -- call the car BC saw on the second attack "green." I think that some people blur "teal" (blue/green) and "aqua" (light blue like the stone aquamarine) in their minds. Just goes to what I said earlier, that the description provides an imprecise gauge of car color. JMO)
     
  14. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    A Dec. 1980 Columbus Dispatch article not yet posted on this thread:
    "Christmas Without Billy" is attached (found last night on the family's FB page).
     

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  15. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    And a letter or journal entry written by BC's little sister, KC, before and just after the second attack, when she was 8 years old or just under (also found last night on the family's FB page). It is poignant, yet quite informative on the subject of the locker notes.
     

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  16. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    Finally, this tweet from yesterday (1/21/14), which was posted with the attached photo of a (truly aqua) car. I guess this means that the description BC gave was more detailed than we realized? I doubt that the family would post a pic if they didn't feel it was in the ballpark, but JMO. I am probably dating myself, but this is what I pictured. :)

    "The car that I recall seeing after my second attack was along the lines of a aqua colored Ford Falcon."


    https://twitter.com/BillComeans/status/425737286299308032
     

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  17. Anita Richman

    Anita Richman New Member

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    Great work, guys! This case is heartbreaking and chilling. IMO, his friends/classmates at least have a suspect in their mind. Hoping the pressure of having this in the press/social media will drive someone's conscience to tell.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut Active Member

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    OMG, quoting myself bc I just accidentally stumbled on the man known to be the above boy's killer while combing through the Indiana listings on Murderpedia.

    Here is the page for Larry Eyler, the man thought to be responsible for murder of DELVOYD LEE BAKER and as many as 20 known others. However, get this: "In 1990 Eyler made the news again when he offered information on 20 more murders if his sentence was commuted to life. The state refused ..."

    There are some troubling similarities, as well as differences, in the murders Eyler committed, compared to BC's death. A few of his victims were BC's age. However, his motivation was sexual, other victims spanned a broad range of ages, and his victims were often stabbed and dismembered, as well as strangled. One article on him says, "Now they were seeing a pattern of assaults on young men, with stabbing and strangulation present in every case."

    That said, his first known victim is from 1982, and the article on him leaves it unclear what he was doing from 1978-82. Also, he killed within a wide geographical area, and in 1980 he would have been 28.

    Very disturbing (BBM): "On november 1990, bargaining to save himself from execution, Eyler agreed to help Indiana authorities olve a number of his crimes if they would intervene to get him off death row. He confessed to the Agan torture-slaying and surprised investigators by naming an alleged accomplice, 53 years old Robert David Little, chairman of the Departament of Library Science at Indiana State University, in Terre Hte. According to Eyler, Little snapped photos and masturbated while Larry disemboweled the victim."

    Eyler is called The Highway Murderer (not to be confused with the I70 Strangler whose victims were older), but that doesn't seem very accurate; he got the nickname because of his geographic range. He died of AIDS in 1994.

    Man -- there has been no shortage of brutal murders in these two rurall midwestern states (Ohio and Indiana); the numbers are on par with much more developed areas.

    I have more to go through, but am calling it a night.

    ETA: I went thru the info on Eyler in greater dept and found an attempted but botched murder of Mark Henry in 1978 and the following:

    "The Henry stabbing was not Eylers only contact with police. Three years after that incident, in 1981, he was arrested for drugging a 14-year-old boy and dumping him unconscious in the woods near Greencastle, Indiana. That victim had also survived, his parents dropping charges when he left the hospital with no lasting damage."

    Gulp.
     
  19. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Well-Known Member

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    Can you provide clarification about the above FB statement?

    Is this person on FB saying that the victims of three unsolved murders in the neighborhood were Westland High School students? Did this person say who the victims were, and when or how it happened?

    Or is this person saying that three students from Westland were responsible for the murders?
     
  20. katydid23

    katydid23 Well-Known Member

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    Every time I try to understand this case I just get really confused. These posts up above are amazingly organized and well researched--and yet I am still confused. It is just such an odd set of bizarre circumstances. I feel very stuck.
     
    Coppertop15 likes this.
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