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Villisca Murders


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#31    petermattson

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:53 PM

View Postregi, on 30 August 2013 - 08:00 PM, said:

Apparently, the house is listed on the National Registry for Historic Places. :no:

http://www.villiscai...-renovation.php

According to info. at that site, the ceiling of the parent's bedroom also showed marks from an ax.

Yeah, I misread it the first time. I guess the re-enactment was supposed to show that since there were marks on the ceiling, the killer could not have been short. The detective was trying to rule out a suspect who was short but the re-enactment did not prove anything.


#32    Antilles

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:45 AM

View Postpetermattson, on 03 September 2013 - 02:53 PM, said:

Yeah, I misread it the first time. I guess the re-enactment was supposed to show that since there were marks on the ceiling, the killer could not have been short. The detective was trying to rule out a suspect who was short but the re-enactment did not prove anything.

   The killer must have been short!

Have you actually looked at how close the ceiling was to the bed?


#33    regi

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:12 PM

View PostAntilles, on 20 September 2013 - 10:45 AM, said:

Have you actually looked at how close the ceiling was to the bed?

In a video tour of the house, it appears that both of the upstairs bedrooms have sections of slanted ceiling and the beds are shown to be positioned beneath those slanted sections, so if one of the bedrooms didn't show the same marks on the ceiling, then I think that indicates that there was another reason that one ceiling showed marks and the other didn't.
(Of course, that's considering that the placement of the beds is accurate.)

Edited by regi, 20 September 2013 - 12:15 PM.


#34    Antilles

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:57 AM

As far as I'm aware, the house is furnished as close as possible to the way it was on the murder night.

A 6 foot man swings an ax over his head. Not enough clearance.

If there were any photos of blood splatter that would help.

But I clearly remember reading that there were ax marks in the ceiling.

To me, that points to a shortish suspect, maybe 5'6, 5'7.


#35    regi

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:11 PM

View PostAntilles, on 21 September 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

But I clearly remember reading that there were ax marks in the ceiling.

Well, I've read that one bedroom ceiling showed marks and I've read that both did, so the info. isn't clear, but both bedrooms have those slanted ceilings.

View PostAntilles, on 21 September 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

To me, that points to a shortish suspect, maybe 5'6, 5'7.

To me, it's not surprising that there's marks where the ceiling is lower. Now if they'd been relatively high ceilings and showed marks, then I think that circumstance would be an indicator of height.


You know, Antilles, from an investigative standpoint, I think a lack of marks on the other ceilings could also be a indicator of height.

Edited by regi, 21 September 2013 - 02:37 PM.


#36    freetoroam

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:38 PM

View PostAntilles, on 19 August 2013 - 09:38 AM, said:

I agree with you that the covering of the mirrors was significant but I don't think it was for the reason you make. I really do think it was just that he couldn't look at what he had done. I did originally think it was to stop light shining out of the windows but I discarded that as not making sense. Why would the murderer give a crap about one of his victims returning and haunting the place?

Unless it was a personal crime and by that, I mean that he was known to his victims.
Highly likely it was someone they knew  or someone who had done their homework on the family first... for a person to enter a house, kill 8 people AND manage to escape without being seen, they would surely have had to know the layout of the house and its surroundings. No cars for a quick getaway in those days.
The sniffer dogs where a complete waste of time and could have hindered the investigation as the blooded axe had been handles by many people by that stage.
The bodies and the murder scene had been left for hours and any clues would have been useless by the time everyone had rummaged around.
It appears the family were not the best loved in the neighbourhood as it seemed everyone was suggested as a suspect by someone, but that could have been down to jealousy by some as the family were quite well to do.
As for the serial killer theory, in those days there were no cross references of records between different counties and some counties were reluctant to share its info with others, so it is possible the killer was a travelling man, maybe a regular to the different locations over time, hence getting to know the families.
But as it stands, there was too much contaminated evidence to ever be  used as evidence against someone, it seems the investigation was thrawt from the start. It was not until the 1920`s  that Sir Bernard Spilsbury created the murder bag.
Many crimes went unsolved and many people were wrongly accused down to the fact that evidence had been touched and contaminated in those days.


#37    Antilles

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:57 AM

I'm not sure where you've got the info that the family weren't liked? Perhaps you could share that with us.

regi, I don't know how much wood you chop but I chop a lot of the stuff. I'm going to split a block of wood that ax comes way up over my head so I can use as much force as possible. There are vids out there showing people in the top rooms of the house. I'll see if I can find them. I mean, tall or short doesn't really make that much difference I guess but if there was an offender profile it could help narrow it down. A tall person would be hindered in driving the ax down.


#38    regi

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostAntilles, on 22 September 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

There are vids out there showing people in the top rooms of the house.

:nw: Good idea!
(The vids would also give an indication as to the ceiling height downstairs.)

View PostAntilles, on 22 September 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

I'll see if I can find them.

:tu:

View PostAntilles, on 22 September 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

I mean, tall or short doesn't really make that much difference I guess but if there was an offender profile it could help narrow it down.

In general, I think it could be useful info., but since the weapon is an ax, I don't know how accurate (or discriminating) an estimation could be, mainly because it seems a lot would depend on how high the perp's grip was on the handle. I wouldn't assume that the grip was as it would be chopping wood.
Also, I've read it was theorized that the victims were first struck with the blunt side, and I wonder if that was (at least partly) because of the marks on the ceiling that I've seen referred to as "cuts".

Edited by regi, 22 September 2013 - 11:46 AM.


#39    freetoroam

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

View PostAntilles, on 22 September 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

I'm not sure where you've got the info that the family weren't liked? Perhaps you could share that with us.
.
Perhaps you should read the article again:

It seemed everyone was suggested as a suspect by someone.
http://www.villiscam...om/story_01.htm


Why would this be then? You would not suggest someone as a suspect  if you knew they were friends of the family......there must have been a reason somewhere for everyone to implicate someone.
As I said, it is highly likely the killer already knew the inside of the house and knew the family, if killing them is not a sign of disliking them, then I do not know what is.
it seems a strange time to have wanted to kill them, when the house had guests? It is possible the family had no idea they had an enemy, it is possible the killer never gave them any indication of their hatred, it is possible the killer had a deep hatred towards families in general and unfortunately this night the killer chose them.


#40    susieice

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:14 PM



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#41    rashore

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:30 PM

Just sain.. A lot of upper rooms in houses at the time had low ceilings. Maybe the killer was used to such surrounds.

Your ad hominem connotes your sciolism. Now that is some funny commentary.

#42    susieice

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:34 PM



"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to sharpen."  Eden Phillpotts

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#43    susieice

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:27 AM

View PostAntilles, on 20 August 2013 - 06:52 AM, said:

September 1911, 6 people  killed in Colorado Springs. October 1911, 3 people killed in Monmouth Ill, then 5 in Ellsworth, Kansas.  June 5 1912, 2 people killed in Paola, Kansas. Every one of these murders was committed with an ax.
This is an interesting link that discusses the similarities at the end of it.
http://blogs.smithso...r-who-got-away/

Here's a good link that describes all the axe murders and how they seem connected. I remember discussing this case in a thread here awhile back. Fascinating cases. There is a graph on page 23 and a map on page 28 to help visualize the murders.
http://freepages.gen...story paper.pdf

Edited by susieice, 23 September 2013 - 02:57 AM.

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#44    Antilles

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:25 AM

Thanks so much for the Ed Epperley discussion Susie. I'll listen to it in full as soon as I can. :yes:

Edited by Antilles, 23 September 2013 - 07:27 AM.


#45    Antilles

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

And I have. That was really informative. Thanks Susie.

I think if anyone wants to discuss the murders then they need to listen to that webcast.

A few points raised.

The parents bed. He hit the ceiling with the axe because there was plaster found on the bed.

2. He came back to the parents bed.

3. The children's bed on the top floor. Cuts were found 8ft above the floor..

4. The 2 children on the ground floor. The one girl with the defense wounds was an extremely well developed 12 year old.

It was a sex crime. He was in that small house for a very long time.





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