OH - William 'Bill' Comeans, 14, Columbus, 7 Jan 1980 - #2

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Bougainvillea, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Bougainvillea

    Bougainvillea New Member

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    I rode my horse up those tracks hundreds of times in the early through mid-1970's. There were girls in the neighborhood who had horses who boarded near our farm- we were buddies. I would go pick up a particular girl who was my best buddy and double her on my horse to go get her pony and we would ride all over the neighborhood.

    Here are my memories of that area.

    There was a whacky lady who lived on the corner of Park and Buena Vista - east side of BV - who would sometimes turn her dog loose on the horses. My horse finally kicked her dog one day and she just threw a complete cursing fit. She had a rep for being 'strange'.

    At Rome Hilliard road and the tracks - now from the aerial view there are three very long buildings. It was a patch of scrub/weeds with a wooden building with peeling white paint (might have been auto salvage- something like that) with a tall chain fence around the back of it.

    There were always dogs barking in the building and one day I snuck up to peek through the window - there were cages full of dogs in there. I rode home and told my mother who I believe called the police. Like there was a dog fighting racket going on. There were always rather rough looking men going in and out of the place.

    In the wooded area behind the school (Attack #1) there was a circle of wooden benches around a center area that looked as if it were used as a fire pit. We would ride there and jump our horses in and out of the circle, over the benches. A few times we encountered HS age kids smoking pot, drinking, etc. I remember seeing condoms on the ground and thinking they were weird balloons until I got a bit older and realized what they were. So it was kind of a hot spot for kids sneaking off and misbehaving.

    The path along the tracks was frequently used by us 'horse kids' and also by dirt bike riders. Opposite the tracks (north) there were fields and a few patches of woods. Several times riding in the woods we encountered rather fresh sites where 'bums' (as we called them) would camp. These were just guys who rode the rails. We would see them every once in a while hiking along the tracks with little sacks and backpacks. Often the same ones would be around for some time.
    None ever bothered us.

    The Middle and HS were kind of strange. A mix of middle/upper middle class and farm kids. There was a bullying problem as I recall but the school didn't seem to do too much about it. The bullying wasn't a rich/poor issue as most kids were from families with money. It is hard to explain.

    I do remember that the older kids always and constantly smoked pot and a lot of them were into pills- ''valium moms' seemed to be pretty common back then and I remember kids always talking about getting into their moms valium and quaalude supply. There was also a lot of sexual activity going on with these kids.

    This has brought back a lot of memories for me. The spot where Bill was found I know intimately- having ridden over it hundreds of times. Most of the backyards from that point eastward are houses on Annhurst- most had chain link fences- many had gates back there too.

    I feel horrible for the Comeans family- I remember the boys, vaguely. I hope the Sister finds what she is looking for and finds peace.
     
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  3. GoingByMyGut

    GoingByMyGut New Member

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    Original text trimmed by me:

    Bougainvillea, welcome to the thread. I really enjoyed your recollections. They connect with questions I have had, based on my own memories of growing up elsewhere about a decade earlier. My BBMs are out of order below, but I've used them all the same.

    BBM3: "The wooded area behind the school -- your recollection of the "den" in the middle throws a lot of light on ways BC could either hung out with, or run into, a "wrong crowd" of some sort there. Maybe both.

    BBM4: I grew up someplace that tracks ran through (maybe tracks run through everywhere, who knows), and while I was not a horseback rider, I had a father inclined to hike these paths and opine about history at the same time. We walked the rails, often finding shards of railroad pottery and talking about things like how the rails were built, where they went, how they transformed society, etc. Sometime we ran into kids on horseback as well as "hobos." It was New Jersey, not Ohio, but I know there are people everywhere who understand the "routes" the tracks provide from place to place, as well as the hidden view from the suburbs that have since sprung up around them like so many weeds. And lots of different kinds of people appreciate what the hidden has to offer: For some, like my dad, a living history. For me, a view of where the wild things roam. Still others, a shield from the law.

    What we've heard here is that these particular tracks were forbidden territory, and that kids didn't travel them. I think that was an honest accounting, because to those more protected kids who were warned against them, they were an unknown, slightly scary place -- probably for good reason. But if you've been on the other side, you saw they were an option for getting from place to place. I never congregated with friends along the tracks, but I am sure some did. I used them (and graveyards) all my life to short cut, alone, back and forth to school -- a two-mile walk. Mostly, I saw no one. But that was probably due to time of day. And maybe I was lucky. I do know one boy from our high school hung himself in an abandoned RR car, and there was always talk about whether someone may have helped him.

    For me, your description of the gates that open onto the tracks (BBM7) makes perfect sense. That is very typical, geographically speaking, and would have offered a perp perfect entry and escape routes the night BC died. To me, this is a trait of the terrain that in my mind connects the home and school attacks. My mind is fixed on someone living in the neighborhood to the north of the C home, near the school, but along the tracks, on BC's paper route or connected to the high school, as potentially responsible for his attacks and later death.

    The dog fighting scenario you happened upon (BBM2) points to the kind of activity that often goes on in these hidden places -- esp. RR areas, abandoned and otherwise. It doesn't shed any light on what actually happened to Bill, but it does make a lot of other scenarios we've posed somewhat more plausible, IMO.

    BBM6: The same is true for the valium story. To me this is colloquial evidence of what many of us who are "of a certain age" have speculated: V would have been very easy for BC, or a perp, to get their hands on, whether or not from BC's own medicine chest.

    As to the whacky lady (BBM1), I am guessing there were no horse "pooper scoop" laws and that your horse dropped on the go? ... just saying. I'm sure she was nuts, but could that have inspired her yelling?

    Finally, re the bullying (BBM6), I think that was a school culture problem no one was doing much about in those days. As a society, I think we saw bullying as the way youth behavior evolved when unmonitored or directed by adults -- a Lord of the Flies kind of thing -- the natural stratification of power. It was everywhere.

    Thanks for your post.
     
  4. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Bill Comeans Twitter Account Gives Voice To Teen Murdered 34 Years Ago
    Social Media, Newly Discovered DNA Breathes New Life Info 32-Year-Old Cold Case
    Family of teen murdered 34 years ago create Twitter account recounting his death from 'beyond the grave' as they continue to look for his killer
    [​IMG]


    Case of the Month: Bill Comeans Jan 11,1965 - Jan 7, 1980
    Defrosting Cold Cases - February 1, 2014​



    William Comeans: Media, Facts, Timeline and Maps **NO DISCUSSION** - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community



    Thread #1
     
  5. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    :bump:
     
  6. ZaZara

    ZaZara Active Member

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    :bump::bump::bump:

    You're too quiet on Twitter, dear William. I miss you. Keep on banging those drums, your time will come.
     
  7. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Did anyone happen to see this story? The murder occurred twelve years almost to the day after Bill's. The suspect is 71 now, so he's old enough to have committed murder in 1980. LE will have his DNA now. If a profile's been developed from the sample in Bill's case the two can be compared. I know it's a long shot, but I can't help but hope this could be the break Bill's family deserves.
    [HR][/HR]Arrest made in 1992 cold case murder of Illinois teen
    ByCrimesider StaffCBS/APJuly 24, 2014, 3:10 PM

    [​IMG]
    David Chereck

    CHICAGO - A 71-year-old man has been arrested in California in connection with the 1992 strangling death of an Illinois teenager.

    Cook County authorities say Robert Serritella was arrested this week in Los Angeles County.

    [...]

    David Chereck was last seen walking home from a bowling alley in Skokie, Ill. on New Year's Day 1992. His body was found the next day in a forest preserve. His coat and shoes were missing and he had been strangled with his scarf, reports CBS Chicago.[HR][/HR]Suspect in '92 slaying of Niles West student held in Los Angeles
    By Robert McCoppin Tribune reporter
    8:35 p.m. CDT, July 24, 2014

    The case of the 15-year-old boy who disappeared while walking home from a Skokie bowling alley was cracked not by a single breakthrough — and not by physical evidence — but by detective interviews that found Serritella made incriminating statements to people he knew, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

    “We’re happy he’s in custody and will be back on his way here to answer for this,” Dart said.

    But the victim's mother said when detectives in the cold case division reopened the case about three years ago at the direction of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, they worked "doggedly" on the investigation.

    [HR][/HR]Another link here
    http://abc7chicago.com/news/mother-of-1992-murder-victim-hopes-for-justice-after-arrest/215553/
    [HR][/HR]An original article from 1992

    Slain Teenager Vanished While On His Way Home
    January 03, 1992|By Jerry Thomas and John Gorman.

    [...]

    Gerald Palacios, chief of detectives for the Cook County Forest Preserve Police, said Chereck did not appear to have been sexually molested, but an autopsy would be conducted Friday. Palacios said some apparently defensive wounds were found on the body, and a struggle appeared to have taken place where the body was found.

    Chereck`s empty wallet was found nearby. He had $30 with him Wednesday, but it was not clear whether he had spent it or was robbed.

    ``At this point, we have no motive or suspects,`` Palacios said. ``This kid seemed like Mr. Joe Clean Cut. . . . There`s a good possibility he knew his killer or killers.``

    [...]

    ``He said his parents moved out here to get a better life for him,`` one friend said Thursday. The family moved from Chicago`s North Side to Skokie four years ago.

    The friend said Chereck was in the highest-level classes at Niles West and was not ``a blowoff,`` or someone who would cut class or smoke marijuana. At the friend`s home Wednesday, the boys made plans to meet later that night at Fair Lanes Oakton Bowl, 4833 W. Oakton Blvd., to play video games.
     
  8. leilarose68

    leilarose68 Member

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    How close did RObert Seritella live to Columbus?
     
  9. leilarose68

    leilarose68 Member

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    thinking of bill and his beautiful family that has never ever given up. i am hoping for answers and sending lots of love and peace their way.

    'the arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice'
     
  10. Gemmie

    Gemmie New Member

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    Jack the Ripper supposedly identified by DNA on a scarf. How about testing the DNA on Bill's scarf? :tantrum: Article here.
     
  11. Jondalar45

    Jondalar45 New Member

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    I'm not buying the sexual auto asphyxiation theory at all. In fact, I think it's ridiculous. It reaks of the police saying "we can't solve this so lets call it this and blame the victim."

    Not really their fault though because it's obvious Billy lied. (not his fault either) He was probably badly bullied in school and had a victims mentality. He definitely knew his attacker but was afraid to tell people. Kids who are bullied do strange things. They might go off with their attacker again because they are afraid they get bullied worse. There is a lot of shame involved.

    Were his friends ever questioned about how Billy was treated in school? Did they mention that he was actively having sex and into kink? This case is a big goose chase. The truth is probably right under their noses.
     
  12. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Greetings,

    Good points! Is there a link where I can read more of what user Jondalar45 is referring to above? I just learned about this case and the Ohio Attorney General Report has what might be the wrong date of Bill's murder here:

    http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Law-Enforcement/Investigator/Cold-Case/Homicides/Comeans

    Most accounts list January 7, 1980. I wonder if that other date is significant to Bill's case? Much kudos and great dedication for his surviving family members to find out what really happened.

    Satch
     
  13. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    This is an old newspaper article from November of 1980:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...WvchAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FKEFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2179,129218

    It states that others on Bill's street received threatening notes around Halloween of that year, and it alleges that Bill had as well before he was abducted and killed. The horror of two previous attacks on him seems to suggest that whoever killed him, is/was a local resident familiar with the area.

    Satch
     
  14. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    I found the answers to my questions! Thread #1 (40 pages) is here:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...Info-thru-Social-Media&highlight=Bill+Comeans

    This is one of the most baffling crimes I have read about. Many twists and turns. I apologize if I inquired about anything not in the first thread. To continue here, what is the strongest evidence that BC was abducted and murdered by two or more persons? Could it have been a single perpetrator? Why or why not?

    I also share the total confusion and shock was to why someone would be so angry at BC as to want to kill him?

    Satch
     
  15. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    More questions for study:

    1.) It does seem odd that Bill would be attacked three times and never see the assailant's faces?

    2.) There's no evidence that Bill did anything to hurt anybody. He was a great kid and a model student. Why would someone want to hurt him three times? And on the third time, kill him. As horrific as bullying has become, if this was a bullying incident, can anyone recall kids or adults doing anything this horrifying to a good, loving, and model-kid?

    3.) I was so convinced that this was an unsolved homicide, but now looking at this whole thread, could there have been a medical issue? A personality or sexual issue? Or deep-rooted emotional pain that Bill faced where he could have committed suicide? We know very little about the first two attacks. Some have speculated that Bill was not attacked. Why would he lie? When Bill went to his doctor, what sort of injuries did he have following the first two attacks?

    4.) Did Bill provide specific details to the family or to LE about how he escaped those attacks the first two times? Reports seem to describe that he got away. But did he recall specifics?

    5.) Were there any medical or psychological issues within the family structure? Could Bill have been gay and was horrified that it would shame the family, so painfully that he never wanted anyone to know and had to take his own life?

    6.) Was he involved in a secret relationship that went horribly wrong, where this was not suicide but murder?

    7.) I consider ALL elements of this case to be questions ranging from a possible suicide, homicide, bullying. Even the "crazy-lady" letters and she and herself are suspects IMO.

    8.) Why would anyone want to hurt Bill? Why would Bill want to hurt himself?

    Satch
     
  16. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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  17. bflocket

    bflocket Active Member

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    I know that the post-murder (Halloween) letters distributed in the neighborhood were from a crazy woman who did not apparently have anything to do with the crime.

    Was anything more discovered about the notes to Bill and his friends at school before the murders and his assaults? I tried to look through the thread(s) and didn't see it.
    But I'm a bit scatter-brained tonight...


    Regarding the Valium...

    Someone mentioned whether an injection site was noted during the autopsy. Did they ever note that or anything in his stomach?
    It was a very commonly prescribed drug (the "stressed housewife pill") at the time, but that would be pills.
    It is also commonly used as a sedative at hospitals (jails?) and it is more likely to be injected in that type of situation. If it turns out to be a fact that it was injected, it could tighten in on suspects. But if it was the pill form, we'd be SOL if we tried to locate the source.
     
  18. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Correction: #7 above should read:

    7.) I consider ALL elements of this case to be questions. Ranging from a possible suicide, homicide, or bullying attack. Even the "crazy-lady" letters, and her husband should be suspects. IMO.


    Satch
     
  19. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Would love to know this as well! Has Robert Seritella had his trial yet in the other case where he was arrested? If not, when is it? He sure sounds like a strong suspect! That scarf evidence in both David's and Bill's cases! WOW! Maybe not enough to go beyond a reasonable doubt for guilt. But it would be interesting to see what RS knows about Bill Comeans case.

    Satch
     
  20. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Would love to know this as well! Has Robert Seritella had his trial yet in the other case where he was arrested? If not, when is it? He sure sounds like a strong suspect! That scarf evidence in both David's and Bill's cases! The "Child Luring" WOW! Maybe not enough to go beyond a reasonable doubt for guilt. But it would be interesting to see what RS knows about Bill Comeans case. Hopefully, they can do DNA testing on Bill's scarf, and if it matches to RS, present that to a judge or jury, and RS can be convicted. Than, peace will finally come for Bill, and David in his case as well.

    Satch
     
  21. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Distance from Illinois to Ohio concerning state proximity between suspect RS and murdered victim BC is just under 400 miles according to Google Maps. a good six hours in the car, about 2.5 hours by plane:

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Ill...99c9fd916!2m2!1d-82.907123!2d40.4172871?hl=en

    Satch
     

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