Remembering Sheila and Katherine

Discussion in 'Sheila and Katherine Lyon' started by Richard, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Saturday, 25 March 2006 marks the 31st anniversary of the disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon from Wheaton Plaza shopping center.
     
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  3. joellegirl

    joellegirl New Member

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    Sheila and Katherine have been on my mind alot this week with the anniversary coming up. I will never forget about them, and hope someday soon the mystery of what happened to them will be solved.
     
  4. Thrasher

    Thrasher New Member

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    Thanks for noting it. Some of us could never forget, but it deserves to be pointed out each year.

    This has been a constructive discussion, for the most part, and again thanks to Richard for his work investigating and reporting on this. I have noticed a trend which concerns me - the speculation is getting further away from the limited facts, and, for all the long-running mystery of this, the answer may not live up to the speculation.

    I have known the Lyon family for many years. I am from Kensington, lived there in 1975, and am here again. I think I have heard every theory, and, while not claiming to be an "insider," I have perhaps heard some stories most people haven't. My thoughts, based on all of this, are these:

    Coffey is the only person who could be associated with the crime with any degree of probability. Many people with criminal backgrounds passed through, or had connections to, the area in March of 1975. Some of them even committed crimes against children. But the timing of Coffey's arrival and departure, his location, his personal history and his past methods of approaching children makes a very strong circumstantial case. His proximity to the Beatty murder, and the hasty departure, is compelling. He also resembles the TRM drawings. This situation was not the work of ransom-seekers (the Lyons didn't have money) paranoid ex-military (there was no violence at the site of abduction), slavers, prostitution-ring operators, or random shooters. Loose talk by convicted criminals, a fascination by a troubled person with the case, or collecting weapons, or unsubstantiated claims by a prisoner don't really bear on the case. John Lyon had no enemies. The police very thoroughly investigated his career and acquaintances in the weeks after abduction. .He has a wicked sense of humor, and could joke about prostitution (although not a lot on AM radio in 1975) but the idea that he could have inflamed someone to abduct in retaliaton, is an absurd prospect. The comments about international conspiracy and racketeering aren't worthy of a response. And again, if you have some elaborate conspiracy or plot directed specifically at those girls, why abduct them at Wheaton Plaza? They moved freely about their neighborhood, alone, much easier targets. The perpetrator went to the Plaza, on Easter school vacation, because that's where you found large numbers of children.

    It has always appeared in every respect to be the work of a clever, experienced, child molester, exactly like Coffey. Coffey's attorneys have never let him speak about this, even though he could hardly be punished more for confessing to such a crime.

    Of course, he may not have done it. It could possibly be done by one of the other people mentioned here. But follow Ockham's Razor - don't look for a complex scenario when a simple one fits the facts. My greatest hope for this case is that a witness can place him at Wheaton Plaza on that day. And with DNA evidence not available in 1975, a case could be made from that point.


     
  5. Jeb

    Jeb New Member

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    Thrasher, I agree 100% with you, on the fact that all these theories & speculations are not helping one bit. To me, the fact that TRM was at the Plaza on that particular day explains it all (Who & why).

    The statement you made indicating Coffey couldn`t be punished more if he confessed to `this` crime. Right now he`s up for parole every year. If he confessed to another crime, he could receive `life without parole`. In addtion to that he could be given the death penalty, & he has proven he does`nt wish to die when he appealed his last death sentence until it was commuted to life.

    I feel like I have an advantage, since I did see TRM twice in 75. I`ve talked to MCP 3 times, & have made an honest effort to remember what I saw despite rumors, newspaper articles, etc. So far none of this has seemed to help solve the case. I will continue to pursue.
     
  6. Thrasher

    Thrasher New Member

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    Thanks for your continued attention to TRM. I think there is a good chance someone out there could identify Coffey as the man at Wheaton Plaza.

    In saying that he could not be punished any more than he is, what I was trying to convey is that immunity in this case and avoiding execution provide a basis for negotiation with Coffey to tell what he knows. He will never be paroled, and whether he gets fried is of much less interest than providing answers for the Lyons and everyone else. As Richard mentioned earlier when I brought this up, there are complicated jurisdictional questions, and right now Coffey is the property of North Carolina. But there are possibilities there.
     
  7. Jeb

    Jeb New Member

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    There is a person I know, who saw TRM 1mar75 at Wheaton Plaza, & I have given the MCP his name. I have been trying to locate this individule for some time now, with no success. I haven`t seen him since around 1979. It`s unknown to me whether or not MCP have located him.

    It was 1Mar75 & my neighbor was returning from Wheaton Plaza, & I told him I had seen something `important` yesterday. He interrupted me to indicate that he had just seen a TRM tallking to young girls at the Plaza. I told him that the `important` info. I had was, that I had seen a TRM yesterday around 1 PM, at the Plaza.
     
  8. Khavna

    Khavna Crazy WS member

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    i have been interested in this case, by reading the whole thread. i've always wondered what made sheila and katherine want to go with the TRM (if it was him that took those two sisters)? and since there was 2 of them and just one man, i've always thought how could he managed to get both of them in the car (if it really was them bound and gagged)?


    if it wasn't sheila and katherine bound and gagged in the car, then who was? where there any other mysterious diaperances just before and after they went missing?
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    You ask very good questions about two events which were separated from eachother by about two weeks.

    First, while TRM is probably the prime suspect in this case for a number of reasons, nobody ever reported seeing the girls getting into his vehicle. He was seen talking to the girls, but the same witness reported that the encounter was brief, and that they parted ways, with the girls going into the mall and TRM heading in the opposite direction (toward Wards).

    - In can be surmised that the abductor most likely had a vehicle. If the abductor was in fact TRM, then he probably had parked his vehicle near the Montgomery Wards end of the mall. From here he may have kept watch over the parking lot and the adjacent paths and wooded areas.

    - It is probable that both girls entered the abductors vehicle voluntarily. Why they entered it remains a mystery, but since there was no commotion noticed, no screams, no struggles, noted by anyone, it is most likely that they simply climbed into the vehicle, perhaps lured by a ruse of some sort.

    Mary Lyon, mother of Sheila and Katherine was quoted by the Washington Post as thinking that someone might have pulled up alongside the girls and said something like, "Your mother was in an accident. Your father wants me to take you to the hospital." Such a ruse, Mary Lyon speculated, might have worked on the girls.

    Your second question regarding the reported 7 April 1975 possible sighting of the girls "bound and gagged" in the back of a tan 1968 Ford Station Wagon is one of the main questions in the minds of many. There are several possibilities:

    - The IBM executive, could have made the story up. However, police spoke with him on numerous occasions, and were convinced that he was actually reporting something he had seen. His story never changed, and he never added any information on other occasions.

    - Assuming that what the witness reported actually occurred, it could also have been a staged Hoax by someone. There were a number of false leads called into the police and the newspapers at the time, due to the charged atmosphere which the story had created in the area. The Lyon family was inundated with phone calls. Many were people who were concerned, many were offering any information they could to try to solve the case, and there were some crank callers and hoaxers trying to bilk them for money. Police took the 7 April sighting seriously and checked out all 100 possible license plate combinations, not finding any matches with the vehicle and reported incident. How certain was the witness about the letters and numbers? Were the tags actually Maryland plates?

    - The witness may have seen a car with children who were traveling with their father and simply sleeping in the back. The witness may have thought that they were bound and gagged.

    - Assuming that the incident actually happened and that it was a bonefide case of abduction of children, who then, were they? It could have been the Lyon sisters, as many believed at the time. There were also two boys who went missing in New Jersey that same day. They are missing still today. However, they were reported as having gone missing around 4PM, while the sighting took place earlier at around 7:30AM.
     
  10. Khavna

    Khavna Crazy WS member

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    wow Richard, thanks for that your a fountain of knowledge! about the two boys that went missing the same day who were they? and is their case connected to the lyon sisters in anyway?
    about the gagged children i think i read it that the boy could see that they were gagged and were struggling to get out of the car (?) if they were children and there father i'm sure they wouldn't be doing this. if the TRM went in the opposite direction to the lyon sisters there could be a possibility that it wasn't him, did anybody see him stop then turn the other way towards the sisters? i'm going to assume that it was a busy day that afternoon why were their no witnesses?

    about the ruse theory their mother said i would wholeheartedly believe this it could have been a simple sentence that got those two girls to go into his car. if those children that were bound and gagged in the back of the car, how could TRM tie them up by himself?, to me at least one of the girls would try to fight it could he have been working with someone else? about TRM was he ever sighted or connected with any other dissaperances at all over the years?
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    John Lyon is the father of Sheila and Katherine. The link below has a recent photo and short bio of him.

    John Lyon
    Originally from Chicago, John calls Kensington, Maryland home, although Ireland and New Orleans rank up there as secondary addresses! John was a Washington, DC radio institution for many years before moving into public service with the Montgomery County Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. John has been playing guitar, writing music, and singing most of his life. He founded the Gross National Product in 1973. John sings lead, plays 6- and 12-string guitar, and occasionally switches off to play banjo. Many of the GNP's most requested songs are John's originals.

    Link:
    http://www.thegrossnationalproduct.com/john_lyon.html
     
  12. Littledeer

    Littledeer Former Member

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    I know I posted this...........but don't see it now. Am going to repost as close to what I had originally posted:

    I am confused!! Why have there been no posts since 2/11/07 until sleuthin4fun post dated 2/8/08???
     
  13. Jeb

    Jeb New Member

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    Good question, Littledeer. Unfortunately there is nothing new to post. We have discussed this case 6 ways from Sunday, many people have researched, talked with LE, posted info. on 6 or more threads, read old newspaper articles, etc., etc., etc. Personally I spoke with one cold case detective, who I've spoke with before, & he told me a couple months ago there is nothing new. Myself, like many others on the Lyon Case Threads would love to have new info. to work with & discusss. It's been almost 33 years, & I feel like this; if LE has addional info., put it out here for the public to see. We,ll shake the bushes, & let's see what falls out.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    March 25th will mark the 33 year anniversary of the disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon from Wheaton Plaza Shopping center.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Case Summary as it currently appears on the DoeNetwork:

    Sheila Mary Lyon
    Missing since March 25, 1975 from Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: March 30, 1962
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 12 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2" (157 cm); 100 lbs (45 kg)
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; blue eyes. She wears eyeglasses.
    Clothing: Sheila was last seen wearing a dark blue shirt and wheat-colored corduroy pants.

    NCMEC #: 793205
    NCIC Number: M-6053299749
    Please refer to these numbers when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Katherine Mary Lyon
    Missing since March 25, 1975 from Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: March 29, 1964
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 10 years old Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'8; 85 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; blue eyes.
    Marks, Scars: She has a birthmark on the inside of her upper thigh.
    Clothing: Katherine was last seen wearing a red jacket and Wrangler brand blue jeans with a front zipper.

    NCMEC #:793205
    NCIC Number: M-605329953
    Please refer to these numbers when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Sheila and her younger sister, Katherine, departed together from their family's residence on Plyers Mill Road in Kensington, Maryland on March 25, 1975 between 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM. The girls were walking to the Wheaton Plaza Shopping Center in Wheaton, Maryland, which was approximately one-half mile from their home and located on the corner of University Boulevard and Veirs Mills Road. Sheila and Katherine were on spring vacation from school and wanted to see the Easter exhibits at the mall, as well as have lunch at The Orange Bowl Restaurant .

    A neighborhood child saw the girls outside the restaurant at approximately 1:00 PM. He told investigators that the sisters were speaking to an unidentified middle-aged man wearing a brown suit. The man was carrying a briefcase with a tape recorder inside. There were also other children around who were speaking into a microphone he was holding. The witness' description of the man led authorities to view the unknown person as a prime suspect in the Lyon sisters' case and a sketch of the individual was created.

    The girls' older brother saw them inside The Orange Bowl Restauranteating pizza together at approximately 2:00 PM. A friend stated that the girls were walking westward down Drumm Avenue near Devon Street between 2:30 - 3:00 PM. This would have been one of the most direct routes to their home on Plyers Mill Road from the mall and was the final confirmed sighting of the sisters.

    Their mother had instructed Sheila and Katherine to return to the residence by 4:00 PM; when they did not arrive by 7:00 PM, authorities were summoned and an extensive search was conducted. No evidence of the Lyon sisters' whereabouts could be located. The girls had less than $4 between them when they left home, and after eating lunch, would have had only some change left in their pockets.

    A witness in Manassas, Virginia reported seeing two girls resembling Sheila and Katherine in the rear of a 1968 beige Ford station wagon on April 7, 1975. The witness stated that the girls were observed bound and gagged in the vehicle at approximately 7:30 AM that day.

    The driver of the station wagon resembled the man seen questioning children at The Orange Bowl Restaurant the day the sisters vanished. When the driver spotted the witness tailing him, he ran a red light and sped west on Route 234 towards Interstate 66 in Virginia. The station wagon had Maryland license plates with the possible combination "DMT-6**." The last two numbers are unknown due to the bending of the car's plate. The known combination was issued in Cumberland, Hagerstown and Baltimore, Maryland at the time. A search for matching plate numbers failed to produce any information.

    The girls' disappearances remain unsolved.

    Sketches of man wanted for questioning can be seen in the links below.


    Investigators

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

    Montgomery County Police Department
    301-279-8000

    You may remain anonymous if you wish when submitting information to any agency.

    Source Information:

    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    The Doe Network: Case File 64DFMD (Sheila)
    The Doe Network: Case File 65DFMD (Katherine)

    LINKS:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/64dfmd.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/65dfmd.html
     
  15. mere

    mere Member

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    I have a question. If the media decides to do a story on an older case such as this , do they need permission from the family?
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    No, there is certainly no law which prohibits the press from reporting on an old case - such a law would be in violation of the Constitional Right to freedom of the press. In fact it is usually the other way around with family trying to keep the unsolved case in the public's eye.

    That said, different media reporting companies have different rules and policies regarding how they handle or report on unsolved cases. The story might be a bit difficult if the family is opposed to their coverage of the crime after so many years.

    Also, the press has to be more careful today about how and what they report. For instance, 30 years ago they would include the victim's complete address and photos of their house. Today, such detail might be considered an invasion of privacy.

    The news media should consider the wishes of the family (if known) but
    they owe it to the victims of unsolved crimes and to the community at large to keep the public informed of any progress or status in the case.
     
  17. mere

    mere Member

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    It makes me sad that it is another year that this case is unsolved. I wish there could be some answers. The sad fact is that these girls are gone and answers can't bring them back now.
     
  18. curious1

    curious1 So broccoli, mother says your good for me,well I'm

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    Wish the family could get some answers. I know how they feel. The not knowing where they are and/or who did it just makes it all that much harder. :(
     
  19. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking up old newspaper articles in microfilm archives recently trying to find more information on Sheila and Kate Lyon's activities prior to their disappearance on 25 March 1975. Among other things, here is an up date on what the girls were wearing that day.

    Sheila Mary Lyon, age 12:


    Sheila was wearing a navy blue sweat shirt. She wore "wheat color" (ie. light tan, camel, or khaki) corduroy pants which she referred to as her "cheap jeans". Several different sources refer to both girls as wearing "jeans" that day.

    She might have been wearing a flowered blue shirt under her sweatshirt. (See notes below.)

    Sheila's shoes were described as "tennis shoes". Although no further specifics were found, they were likely white in color and may have had colored diagonal stripes, as that was the style of most running shoes in 1975.

    She was wearing her metal frame eye glasses, as described by a witness who saw her at Wheaton Plaza.

    Sheila's ears were pierced, and she probably wore very small ball earrings or posts.

    Not mentioned, but possible that she was wearing a watch, belt, and of course underclothing and socks.

    Sheila was known to have gone to the mall with about 3 dollars. After purchasing lunch, she probably had some change in her pocket, which would have consisted of "clad" quarters and dimes dated between 1964 and 1974, and nickels and cents dated 1974 and earlier.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Katherine Mary Lyon (Kate) age 10:

    Kate wore a bright gold turtleneck top, red knit cap, red knitted jacket-sweater, blue Wrangler brand jeans, and brown shoes.

    Wrangler jeans were "top of the line" at many stores such as Sears at the time. They featured a "W" stitched in orange thread on each of the two back pockets. Sewn on the upper edge of the right rear pocket was a tan vinal patch which had the brand name "Wrangler" in script which looked like a rope.

    Her "Red Knitted Jacket" is not described further in news reports, but a check of clothing catalogs of the era indicates that there was a style of women's sweater known as a "sweater-jacket" or "jacket-sweater" which featured a bulky acrylic style of knit, wide collar, rolled up cuffs, side pockets, and large buttons (of the same color) up the front. It was usually a bit long, extending down about halfway over the hips. These jackets were often worn with turtleneck tops, as Kate had on that day.

    Kate's ears were not pierced, but she was very fond of jewlry. She owned over a dozen rings, often wearing several on her fingers. Kate liked to make bead chokers and may have had one on that day.

    Kate may also have had on a belt, as her jeans were of the style which had belt loops. She made reference that morning to her girlfriend as being home by 3PM, so she may have also been wearing a watch. Of course, underclothing and socks would also have been worn.

    Kate may also have had some change left in her pockets after lunch.

    -----------------------------------

    Note:
    There were a few descrepancies in different papers in the descriptions of what the girls were wearing. One reporter stated that Sheila had on blue jeans and brown shoes, but that was clearly in error, because he was describing Kate's outfit. Mrs. Lyon stated to both police and to a news reporter that Sheila wore "wheat colored jeans", a navy blue sweatshirt and tennis shoes.

    The same reporter stated that Kate was wearing a "flowered blue shirt", but it is quite possible that the reporter misunderstood and that it was actually Sheila who was wearing such a shirt under her Navy Blue Sweatshirt. Sheila was a fan of singer John Denver, who often wore flower print shirts.
     
  20. mere

    mere Member

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    I can't remember if there was a section on here where looked at possible matches for the Lyon girls. I was looking on the doe network and saw this UWF and thought of them.

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/468ufva.html
     
  21. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    There certainly are some similarities in the description of the girl and her clothing. Dates are off slightly, but still within reason. I do not know if this unknown girl was compared with Sheila or Kate, but would hope that she was.

    I was thinking of the sketch in the link when I was writing about the Lyon Girls' clothing. I had seen it before, but could not remember the specific case. The heavy cardigan sweater is probably similar to the one worn by Kate the day the girls went missing.

    The linked case file states that the unknown girl was found on Bull Run Mountain.

    "Bull Run" is the name of a stream or river near Manassas, VA. I am not sure of the distance, but there is a story about a witness having seen what he thought was the Lyon Girls at a traffic light in Manassas about a week after they disappeared from Wheaton, Maryland.

    Even if these cases are not the same, I would consider them possibly linked in some way.
     

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