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

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

  1. Nyla4

    Nyla4 Member

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    The poor parents of the murdered girls must be so confused. I feel so bad for them.
     
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  2. kbl8201

    kbl8201 Former Member

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    they arent thinking clearly cause they are willing to lock up innocent people in the name of closure. do they think they're daughters would want the wrong people locked up while the real killers walk? i get what happens in most of these cases.........the victims families are convinced more by the prosecutions 'sincerity' to put the right people away then what the evidence actually says. its sad.
     
  3. kbl8201

    kbl8201 Former Member

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    the issue wasnt over the testing.......it was over stall tactics on the testing whilel they fear the prosecutors are looking for evidence elsewhere. as someone with experience on a murder case with no forensic evidence, i'd be worried they state is gonna look for a jailhouse snitch wanting to cut a deal for himself, to put a bullshooty story up about what they told him.
     
  4. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    I was aware of this case but didn't know much about it until the last few days. Its pretty obvious that the prosecution wanted to convict somebody; anybody for this crime While I am not convinced that the prosecution "knew" they we innocent, there are serious ethical issues raised here. Realistically, jurors are highly unlikely to acquit when the crime is "horrific" like this one. I know that defence attorneys take pride in their ability to "sway" a jury to acquit a guilty client. In truth, they are, in fact. acting ethically and are justified in their pride when they do their job well. Prosecutors have an entirely different ethical standard. It is a complete violation of a prosecutors' ethical standard to bring charges against someone whom they are not personally convinced of their guilt. In 2000 I'm not so sure the members of the jury were aware of the real problem of coerced "false confessions" or the reliability of DNA. The DA did however and they went ahead with the case.
     
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  5. LunaticFringe

    LunaticFringe I know you're out there...

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    I am not convinced that the four men are guilty of this crime.
    I think of The West Memphis Three when I saw this.
     
  6. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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    National show puts focus on Yogurt Shop murders

    Reported by: Katherine Stolp
    Wednesday, April 14 2010

    The parents of all four teenage girls killed in the yogurt shop murders reunite for the first time in years. They're joining forces with the hope of finally putting the horrific crime to rest.

    It's been nearly two decades since their daughters were murdered at an I Can't Beleive It's Yogurt shop in Northwest Austin.

    On Tuesday evening they taped an episode of America’s Most Wanted and spoke exclusively to KEYE TV’s Katherine Stolp.

    It will be the fifth time this case has aired on that show. The parents said they’re desperate because just months ago, the two men who served nine years in jail for the murders walked out; the charges against them dismissed.
    .....................................
    Last June, an unknown man's DNA found on at least one of the girls, cast doubt on the confessions of two men. But a judge said their case was too weak. Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen walked; all charges against them dropped.

    “I am totally convinced these guys killed my daughter,” exclaimed Ayers.

    “They know they murdered our girls,” said Thomas. “They let them out. It just doesn't make sense.”

    “The brutal murder of these four innocent young girls here is one of the worst crimes in the history of America,” said the host of America’s Most Wanted, John Walsh. “It's appalling. I can't wait for the DA to saddle up and do the right thing and retry these guys.”

    Until then, the parents hope this national show will help bring them the justice they've waited for, for so long.

    “It may be small, we just need a little break,” said Ayers-Wilson. “We have so much evidence we just need a little break to finish this.”

    The District Attorney is still trying to find out who matches that mystery DNA. The America's Most Wanted episode will air next Saturday on April 24th.


    more here

    http://weareaustin.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=58735

    ========================================
    Good 48 Hours article with background info on the case

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/09/48hours/main6076933.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody
     
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  7. JoeFromLB

    JoeFromLB Well-Known Member

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    The show aired tonight. Unbelievable case. The parents of these poor murdered girls have gone through hell waiting for justice all these years.

    I'm praying that the people who did this are found and punished.
     
  8. Hucklepie

    Hucklepie Active Member

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    I saw the show last night too - that is so awful. I wonder if they're testing the unknown DNA... if any of the girls had a boyfriend who might have innocently left their DNA in an unrelated earlier situation.
     
  9. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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    He ran from LEOs after they tried to stop him for running a stop sign.


    The man who was killed by police after officials said he stabbed an officer late Thursday was identified by police officals today as Maurice Pierce, one of the four men initially charged in 1999 for the infamous 1991 yogurt shop slayings.
    ......................
    Pierce, the only person in the car, traveled a short distance, then led the officers on a foot pursuit through a neighborhood near Parmer Lane and McNeil Drive, officials said.

    Carter said that Wilson later found the driver, and that a tussle began between the two of them.

    During that fight, Pierce grabbed a knife from Wilson’s duty belt and stabbed him in the neck with it, officials said. Wilson then fired one round at the man.



    more here

    http://www.statesman.com/blogs/cont...2010/12/24/police_identify_man_killed_by.html
     
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  10. RoseTree

    RoseTree Active Member

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    I very much wonder if this guy had something to do with it. Not that we'll know now.
     
  11. audie

    audie New Member

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    Officials vote to hire outside help to solve yogurt shop murders

    Posted: Jun 04, 2012 4:29 PM CDT
    Updated: Jun 04, 2012 6:50 PM CDT


    The Public Safety Commission voted 5 to 4 to pass a resolution asking for an outside investigation into the yogurt shop murders.

    On December 6, 1991, four young girls were sexually assaulted and killed at the I Can't Believe Its Yogurt Shop in North Austin.

    Nearly 21 years later, no one is behind bars for the horrific crimes, which is why Dr. Kim Rossmo, proposed the resolution.

    <More story and video at link>

    http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/18...ing-outside-help-to-solve-yogurt-shop-murders
     
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  12. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    It is about time someone did something to solve this case.
     
  13. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Quite some time ago I watched the 48 Hours episode (likely a repeat) regarding this case and soon thereafter I did a little reading and searching for background info. I don't mean to open a can of worms, but I remember a (questionable?) attorney made quite a stink... his theories involved insurance money and a stepfather of one of the victims. Then, from another source I read that particular stepfather's brother and SIL were murdered and their house set on fire. I found the similarities in these cases quite noticeable... is it simply coincidence?? I'm curious if anyone else has wondered about these two cases.
     
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  14. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    fred&edna,

    About two years earlier, there was a horrific "robbery gone bad" of a bowling alley in Las Cruces NM. It was similar to the extent that what could have/should have been a simple armed robbery of a small business became a "mass murder". There were a few other "robberies gone bad" in the south west during that period but none were particularly noteworthy. There has been a suggestion floating around that these "robberies" were really staged in order to prorogate an elaborate insurance fraud. The "(questionable?) attorney" was probably Erik Moebius who has what can only be described as a "checkered pass". Is he some kind of a hero who has been shut out by "powers to be" or is he just a publicity seeking nut job?

    The best I can tell Insurance Reserve Fraud can be understood as follows: Insurance companies operate by setting aside a certain amount of their operating cash for every potential claim that is identified. Claims often take years to settle (any who has been in an accident knows about this). If the claim is eventually paid, the money is transferred to the plaintive in the case. If the claim is successfully fought and the defendant (who is covered by the insurance co) prevails, the Insurance company would transfer this money from the reserve account back to the operating funds. There is the potential for someone in the insurance company to create documentation to the effect that the claim was really paid to the defendant and somehow misdirect this money for their own use. Like any business that relies on employees to handle money, internal controls are generally in place to prevent this. Could it still happen? I have no idea.

    For the Liability Insurance carrier of a business that has experienced the death of an employee during an armed robbery, a large sum would probably be transferred to the reserve account "just in case" since the potential loss could be very large if, and only if, the employer is "negligent". If the employer was not negligent there would be a Workers Comp" settlement but no Liability settlement. If internal controls were not sufficient, this would create a good opportunity for "Insurance Reserve Fraud".

    Although I have no information to the effect that this has actually happened, it would certainly be possible for an individual or a group of people working for an insurance company to defraud their employer this way. This would be classic "white collar crime". Taking it a step further and having "hit men" stage robberies and murder employees in order to create particularly lucrative Reserve Accounts would again, be possible, but, to my knowledge, unprecedented.

    I recall reading where some relative of one of the Yogurt Shop Girls had ties to the Insurance industry but it didn't seem significant. Perhaps you have more information.
    This all sounds like "Conspiracy Theory" stuff, but I am open to the possibility that sometimes there is "something there".
     
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  15. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply, Kemo :) Yes, Erik Moebius is/was the attorney behind the insurance fraud theory, and I agree with you... it sounds like "conspiracy theory". It was only when I read the story about the cold case of the murdered relatives (Carl & Jane) I felt there could be some truth (or quite the coincidence). I have no additional information. I was actually hoping someone had noted the connection.
     
  16. Dreamnine

    Dreamnine Member

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    The cases in Austin and Las Cruces have a number of similarities - complete overkill being one.

    It's likely that whoever committed both crimes is long gone - South - where they probably came from - dead, or in jail.

    I don't think, sadly, that either case will ever be solved. The insurance fraud theory is fascinating reading but just too 'out there' for me.

    http://www.mackwhite.com/Yogurt1.html
     
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  17. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Most all of the info regarding insurance fraud is definitely "out there", and is probably not worthy of discussion. I just thought the murdered relatives brought it a little closer home, but it's likely just a terrible coincidence.
     
  18. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    There are a few subplots in the Yogurt Shop Murder case. The false confession/conviction of Springsteen and Scott was certainly the angle that has dominated the news of late. There have been far too many of these in Texas. I do like the place and have always had a good time there, great food and lots of good live music and people are really friendly and don't hold my Blue State/Liberal opinions against me. Still, I can't help but get the feeling that the Rich and Powerful have pretty much free reign and run roughshod over the rights of everyone else; particularly anyone with the bad judgment to be poor.

    I really think it is time for the Travis County DA's office to come clean and admit they were wrong. Yes, they will have to pay out a couple of settlements and perhaps re-open the investigation. Is that such a bad thing?

    Anyone who still doubts that "false confessions" really exist needs to brush up on this case (but there are plenty of others). This is also a pretty good example of why we have a Fifth Amendment and the Miranda Decision. The kids confessed only after they were roughed up and threatened with a gun (there is a video tape of that). There was no other evidence and the details of the crime that were laid out in the signed confession were all wrong; particularly the part about the unknown Perp who raped and left DNA on Amy Ayers.

    That DNA is probably the best clue available. Officially, that sample has never been matched to anything on CODIS. I give Texas Law Enforcement the benefit of the doubt that they would never "hold back" on a criminal investigation in order to defend a law suit.

    If the Perp has managed to avoid a felony arrest in the 20 years following the crime, interesting questions are raised. This was not an ordinary "robbery gone bad". The Perp(s) came with gasoline. The plan all along was to rob rape, kill and then torch the place. This is the sort of thing a stone cold sociopath might do. Kind of scary that he could then settle back into the life of a law abiding citizen. There is also the problem/possibility that the matching sample is sitting in some storeroom waiting for funds to be available to test it, log it and submits it to CODIS. If there really is no "hit" out there, very likely the case will never be solved. I'm sure any valid leads were dropped once they got the confession from Springsteen and Scott. It is probably hopelessly cold by now.
     
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  19. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    I agree! Especially that it was not a "robbery gone bad". I cannot accept that the perp/s otherwise lived a law-abiding life... so, I suppose they fled the country and/or died soon after committing this heinous crime?

    I know it's ridiculous, but I can't seem to let go of the conspiracy subplot ... maybe the perp was hired and he just happened to be a psychopath? Yep, I feel silly thinking about these oh-so-questionable theories but they nag at me.:blushing:
     
  20. twall

    twall Well-Known Member

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    Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News Channel did a segment on this case Saturday night. I don't see anything on her website yet about it. I will add it if I check later and it is there. Here is the link to her page if anyone wants to check before I get a chance to.

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/justice-jeanine/index.html/
     

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