TX TX - Yogurt Shop Murders, Austin, 6 Dec 1991

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by colette, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. txngal

    txngal New Member

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    This DA also had a lot of her own legal issues in recent years - she can't be considered reliable or honest.
    Not just her DWI arrest, but also her issues with firing/disciplining employees. ..
     


  2. jbirner

    jbirner Well-Known Member

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    I firmly believe they were under pressure to close this case and they found the weakest link of the 4 guys and practically convinced him he and the others were guilty. No, I do not trust the police or the DA in this case.
     
  3. cody22

    cody22 Former Member

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    ***...moo
     
  4. Zzzz

    Zzzz Active Member

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    My biggest concern on this case has been, and always will be, the fact that this murder was so cruel, violent, torturous and haunting that it had to have been done by (probably two) depraved and intensely hate-filled men who had done this type of thing before and would have a base need to do it again. It wasn’t a robbery gone bad. It wasn’t some guys they had just met at a pizza parlor. It was fast, intense, vicious and pure evil. None of the “confessors” (although hoodlums and petty thieves) had ever done anything remotely like that in their past. They had never hurt or raped anyone, as far as I know. They just didn’t fit the psychological profile at all. Why was McDuff eliminated? Did he have an alibi? What about his buddies? Have crimes of similar m.o. been investigated nation-wide? Are there plans to run the DNA through the many social databases that now exist? Why isn’t that being done? I’m just baffled by this lack of effort. I believe this could be solved.
     
  5. jbirner

    jbirner Well-Known Member

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    I've been concerned for awhile now about why the DNA evidence in this case hasn't turned up anything. I find it hard to believe that the person who left this DNA has not been in the system for anything since 1991. I hope they are not still hung up on the two confessors. This case needs to be solved.
     
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  6. Zzzz

    Zzzz Active Member

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    Most likely, the person who left the DNA has a relative in one of the many, many social DNA databases that now exist. Some good detective work could solve this.
     
  7. Via Marple

    Via Marple Here to learn how devious minds work

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    Any podcast on this case? This is one way to get a lot of attention these days.
     
  8. Tuffgong

    Tuffgong Former Member

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    Here is my new take. There were numerous rumors that Eliza was dealing. Here me out now. You have the security guard and the couple that both said they were very uncomfortable about the guys at the booth. The couple said they were creepy and gave off a bad vibe. The security guard made the same observation about the guy letting people cut in line. However, Eliza was not phased by them, she was very comfortable with them and allowed them to go back and forth from the front to back. What if Eliza knew them, what if they were there to do a deal. What if they were also there to collect on money Eliza owed for past product she got on credit. The guys are maybe there to collect, deal, and are going back and forth from booth to bathroom in order to do some crystal. The store closes and Eliza asks for more product. The guys, under the influence, act tough, telling her she owes some money first. Maybe they disrespect her. One of the other girls (Amy), not liking this, gets in the face of the guys. The guy hits or pushes her. Now you have the other girls jumping in. This is a melee. The guys produce weapons to control the melee. Now the guys are in another more crazed state, adrenalin, drugs, financial compensation. Maybe one of the girls threatens police involvement, maybe Amy or one of the other girls was hurt. The guys realize they are in for a penny in for a pound. Events deteriorate into violence, rapes, etc. The girls know who the guys are, so they cannot be left alive. They are executed and burned. The scoop is left in Amy because perhaps there anger is at her the most for her defiance. The money required for Eliza's debt is taken from the register. There could have been no intent for murder at the start, but the effect of the drugs and the escalation of events by the girls' aggressive response, kicked off a crazed and hysterical event. If these guys were strangers, there just would have been no reason for killing four girls. I think they were known to the girls. When you examine so many mass killings, drugs inevitably comes up, so often. And I am not disrespecting Eliza, I had friends in high school and college that moved small amounts, they were not bad people, usually they were party people. She did have an expensive car that also required expensive parts...
     
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  9. jbirner

    jbirner Well-Known Member

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    I can see this being a possible scenario, but what if they were concerned about these guys but were afraid to say anything? Maybe the girls did know these guys and thought if they ratted them out there would be retribution.
     
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  10. Tuffgong

    Tuffgong Former Member

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    There is a possibility that the girls were nervous of them, perhaps Eliza knew they were there to collect on a bill. Eliza thinks she can handle the situation, maybe talk her way out of it.

    I always see two themes in so many cases that involve murders, escalation and drugs. I think there was an escalation here. I just don't believe the intent was rape and mass killing. I also see drugs at the root here, it is a business that goes hands in hands with violence. I see a similar scenario in Springfield Three, people going to talk to Suzie, heated words, escalation, mother gets involved, before you know it, something happened to either Suzie and the mother, so action had to be taken against all of them. In for a penny, in for a pound.
     
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  11. Via Marple

    Via Marple Here to learn how devious minds work

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    Actually I think the perps were looking for something in the back room. That's why they piled the girls up in the middle of the room. So that there was space left to walk around and reach the storage shelves. Then they torched the shelves first.

    JMO
     
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  12. Tuffgong

    Tuffgong Former Member

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    What? The safe was in the office and the office was locked. To me, rage got built up quick here. If in fact they were the two guys at the booth, they were patient for an hour or so, something turned this mad dog.
     
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  13. fruit loop

    fruit loop Member

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    None of the teens was dealing drugs or using them. Toxicology screens were done on all four as part of the autopsies and no trace of any kind of drugs (even OTC) or alcohol was found. Eliza sure as hell wasn’t dealing. She was working at the store to help pay for car repairs to her 1971 (hardly late or luxury model!) car and had even asked for car parts for Christmas because it was in such bad shape.
    I agree about the DNA. I am a genealogist and deal with it every day. They might not find a perfect match to the killers but would almost certainly find a relative. From there it’s simply trace all near relatives of the match, and there are your suspects. Eliminate the females, eliminate anyone born after 1991 or too young to have done the crime, where were they in December 1991, and so forth. Any genealogist can do it in an afternoon!
    My guess is that the cops, or Texas govt, don’t want to find the killer anymore. Too embarrassing to admit they screwed up and tried the wrong people, and, more importantly - HAVE TO PAY THEM. Rob Springsteen and Mike Scott sat in jail for more than ten years. They’re owed millions!
    I say, take a look at executed serial killer Paul Dennis Reid, “the fast food killer.” He had been released after serving time for murder in Harris County, and tooled around Texas for a few years before moving to Nashville, where he quickly went back to killing. He liked strip-joint businesses, including a Baskin-Robbins. Now, I don’t buy that he stayed clear of the law between his release from prison and his move to Nashville. He doesn’t murder in all that time, but is a serial killer, and suddenly Music City inspires him to do it again???
    Serial killers always start up again. McDuff killed with weeks of his release in 1989, and that was after more than 20 years inside.
    It’s one to look at.
     
  14. fruit loop

    fruit loop Member

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    Also curious about the yogurt shop’s neighbors. If I remember correctly, that party store closed at 9 pm. The owner says he’s in his office, watching tv, and remembers hearing a few popping noises, but doesn’t see or hear anything else.
    Or does he?
    The other businesses in the strip mall had some smoke damage from the yogurt shop fire. He just misses that??? When his own property is damaged???
    Why in hell is he staying at work, hours after closing, to WATCH TV???
    That one doesn’t make sense, either.
     
  15. Via Marple

    Via Marple Here to learn how devious minds work

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    I do wonder about that neighbour too. Seemed like his story was taken up without further investigation.

    As for drug dealing.... There didn't have to be any. Maybe just rumours of it... were enough to attract some really bad people to the store, to "try their luck".

    All speculations of course. It is a very cold case and no further info from authorities.
     
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  16. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    It’s hard to tell what, if anything, is going on with this case. Officially, no one connected to the Austin PD or the Travis Co. DA’s offices has acknowledged that this is an unsolved case and there is any continuing investigation. That doesn’t mean there isn’t; Law Enforcement handles cases like this in different ways and sometimes the media and the public are kept in the dark about an active investigation until there is the Big Break. In this particular case however, I am not optimistic. The cynic in me suspects that local law enforcement considers this a screw-up that is best forgotten.

    The sexually motivated murders of strangers was a phenomenon in the US between the mid 1960’s and the early 1990’s. Of course it existed before and after that period, but it was during that period that incidence of those crime spiked and the law enforcement and the public became aware of it. Since then, the number of these crimes have dropped off (along with the overall crime rate) and those that continue are solved at a significantly higher rate. The media exposure resulted in an outpouring of resources directed at these cases and that, in turn, resulted in advances in investigative methods and technology. The big advance was the forensic use of DNA.

    This new technology resulted in not only the resolution of contemporary crimes but very old cases as well. It has also revealed many prior convictions to have been in error. While every decades old Cold Case that is solved exposes the failures of some retired detectives, it is the “ false convictions” that have cased the most upheaval. They have not only sullied the reputations of Prosecutors who still might have political clout but have subjected municipalities to costly settlements. While it would seem the Right Thing To Do is just admit the error and settle up, there is going to be pressure to deny, coverup and delay. I can’t help but suspect this is what is going on in Austin.
     
  17. jbirner

    jbirner Well-Known Member

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    I think they already have egg on their face. I think the other way around and maybe they feel they can redeem themselves as a department and right the wrong that was done to the four guys and also the four innocent girls who cannot speak for themselves. I really hope that the powers that be in Austin and the state of Texas are working diligently on this case, even if working quietly behind the scenes.
     
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  18. Tuffgong

    Tuffgong Former Member

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    Does not fit Reid's MO
    Does not fit Reid's MO. Although he was in Houston for awhile, his territory was Tennessee. He also acted alone, this was multiple perps. Toxicology reports don't reveal if someone dealt or used weeks or months earlier. I agree that APD has shut down on this. They can just say we got the guys, courts let them loose. That way they do save embarrassment and get to put the case to bed. The three Mexicans that were considered early always seemed like good suspects, but government politics complicated it. I think APD was just way over their heads.
     
  19. fruit loop

    fruit loop Member

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    Reid was from Texas and was in the area at the time of the murders. He moved to Nashville several years after his release from prison in Harris County. Serial killers never stop. I don’t believe he was living clean in that five or so years between his prison release and move to Nashville. He was moving around the state of Texas. He favored strip/mall and fast food restaurants and shot the staff execution style. Some were strangled as Amy was. It’s worth looking at.
     
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  20. Tuffgong

    Tuffgong Former Member

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    they looked at him. this crime was sexual. Reid was robbing for money to pay for plastic surgery. Houston and West Austin are a considerable distance from each other. I considered him early and think he is evil, but he does not make sense for this one. Who knows.
     
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