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Regi

Unsolved Triple Murder, North Carolina, 1972

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Regi
22 hours ago, Southsider said:

Strangulation was the method in both cases.

The female in both cases may have been struck or hit.

More specifically, ligature strangulation, and from what I gather in the earlier case, no sexual assault.

***

According to this article, (in the earlier case) there's DNA to compare against a suspect.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/article10293734.html

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Regi

(^ Having read that article over again, it isn't clear to me whether a profile actually has been obtained (from the crime scene evidence) or it's believed there's the potential to obtain a profile. :huh: Anyway...)

Below is an article 3 mos. previous to that other one where it's reported that a "famous criminal psychologist" profiled the killer and said he was "likely out to cleanse the world", which to me (in recognition of the sadistic nature of the crime) sounds like he's describing a serial killer.  

http://www.wral.com/investigators-seek-help-solving-42-year-old-murder-mystery/13106175/

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Southsider
7 hours ago, regi said:

(^ Having read that article over again, it isn't clear to me whether a profile actually has been obtained (from the crime scene evidence) or it's believed there's the potential to obtain a profile. :huh: Anyway...)

Below is an article 3 mos. previous to that other one where it's reported that a "famous criminal psychologist" profiled the killer and said he was "likely out to cleanse the world", which to me (in recognition of the sadistic nature of the crime) sounds like he's describing a serial killer.  

http://www.wral.com/investigators-seek-help-solving-42-year-old-murder-mystery/13106175/

Assuming the profiler is correct I would say any similarities are coinsidental. 

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Regi
14 hours ago, Southsider said:

Assuming the profiler is correct I would say any similarities are coinsidental. 

Oh, I would, too, regardless of whether he's correct.

I'd also say that the cases are more different than similar.

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docyabut2
On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 11:03 AM, regi said:

(^ Having read that article over again, it isn't clear to me whether a profile actually has been obtained (from the crime scene evidence) or it's believed there's the potential to obtain a profile. :huh: Anyway...)

Below is an article 3 mos. previous to that other one where it's reported that a "famous criminal psychologist" profiled the killer and said he was "likely out to cleanse the world", which to me (in recognition of the sadistic nature of the crime) sounds like he's describing a serial killer.  

http://www.wral.com/investigators-seek-help-solving-42-year-old-murder-mystery/13106175/

 I thought a criminal psychologist said  in this case, said the killers were very comfortable in the home and there was no fighting back:(

Edited by docyabut2

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nchillbilly2

48 years have now passed. Justice continues to be elusive.

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docyabut2
19 hours ago, asheonce said:

There's been a couple of podcasts  about it in the past few months. doesn't really disclose any new info, though. See link....

https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/true-crime-all-the/ep130-the-durham-family-qt-VM18LUnX/

 

That is interesting. but there were car tracks behind their house found on the other street  ,but no footprints  leading up to their house , or any other car tracks in their driveway, on the heavy snow night .except the family`s friend `s truck that came and called the police.

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micahc

i have found this case about 9 years ago.  I followed if for a time but not really studied it in the last few years.   I found a pod cast the other day about this case, so it made me start thinking about it again.  I think way back when i pretty much decided it was orchestrated by the son in law, the call never happened and the crime scene was staged. the other day i started thinking maybe that is all wrong.  What if the call happened just as the son in law reported, and there was no staging? I read thru many posts here back to 2014.  Sorry didn't read every post, so someone might have the same theory.  I know part of what i am going to say has been talked about.  I am going to do a little amateur profiling too. So the staging theory comes from the tossed house, and the pillowcase with silver plate items left in a running Jimmy.  So here is my theory. The perps were already in the house when the Durhams got home.  If the call really happened they would be 3 black men. I think they were surprised when they Durhams arrived home but were prepared if that happened. I believe at least one had a gun. I think the house was tossed before they got home. They were looking for something, perhaps a safe, and i think they eventually found it.  It seems they were taking their time for most of the time then every thing sped up. When they found Virginia on the phone they were in a panic. They appeared to be torturing the men trying to get information.  Maybe the safe never existed. Maybe the rumors around town it held lots of money. Maybe someone hired them to get documents proving someone else's crimes ie the odometer scam.  I am still thinking money. I think one of the perps was a ex con.  a sociopath. Probably the mastermind.  the other two more passive, and one of them very young. I think the very young one decided to take some things he thought were valuable while they searched for the safe. A very poor small town boy would think the local car dealer was rich, even thought they lived in a modest rental. He sees shiny objects and he is thinking he can sell them.  So everything is going fine until they come home. Then the young one is suppose to be watching Virginia but get nervous and goes to see what is happening or maybe to go get some more items, allowing Virginia to make the calls. She is caught and soon after they are all killed, with the men drowning after being strangled with the cord.  Seems the first part of the crime was happening slowly but now its almost frantic.  Bryce came home and went up stairs, Bobby got some food and sat on the couch, Virgina was probably in the kitchen. She had set her purse on the kitchen table and the bank bag on the chair.  This all happened after the house was tossed mostly upstairs, so the perps didn't see the money because they had already searched the house. The perps probably were upstairs and put Bryce at gunpoint and marched him downstairs. There was no real scuffle though Bobby might have reacted by picking up the audomen to use as a shield or weapon, but was quickly disarmed by a gun toting perp. The audomen might have been kind of tossed aside and ended on the couch by chance.   Now that the Durhams are home they never searched the kitchen again. So leaving the money behind was not an indication of a robbery, it just means the robbers didn't think to go back into the kitchen because hell had broken loose. I think there was a 4th person cruising on the road waiting for a signal, maybe a light flashing, so they could drive up to get them, but now its all changed. The perps took the safe perhaps got it into the Jimmy, drove off, when the 4th in the getaway car followed. they made a turn on the first remote road, took the safe to the new car, and the youngest left his pillowcase because he was so shook up or the leader said forget that junk we got to go.  So who are they. My guess one or all three has a connection to the dealership. One might work there or be related to someone who worked there.  I would look for a violent ex con connected in some way to that dealership. Of course it could be someone who worked directly for the family that is the connection.  Now if that call didn't happen, and the son in law lied, then my theory means nothing.  I would like it clarified if the rope, cord or slash came from the house.  I am thinking the safe might have come from Bryce's loan business and he just brought it home when he closed it. Maybe Ginny didn't even remember or know he had it.

Edited by micahc

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asheonce
10 hours ago, micahc said:

i have found this case about 9 years ago.  I followed if for a time but not really studied it in the last few years.   I found a pod cast the other day about this case, so it made me start thinking about it again.  I think way back when i pretty much decided it was orchestrated by the son in law, the call never happened and the crime scene was staged. the other day i started thinking maybe that is all wrong.  What if the call happened just as the son in law reported, and there was no staging? I read thru many posts here back to 2014.  Sorry didn't read every post, so someone might have the same theory.  I know part of what i am going to say has been talked about.  I am going to do a little amateur profiling too. So the staging theory comes from the tossed house, and the pillowcase with silver plate items left in a running Jimmy.  So here is my theory. The perps were already in the house when the Durhams got home.  If the call really happened they would be 3 black men. I think they were surprised when they Durhams arrived home but were prepared if that happened. I believe at least one had a gun. I think the house was tossed before they got home. They were looking for something, perhaps a safe, and i think they eventually found it.  It seems they were taking their time for most of the time then every thing sped up. When they found Virginia on the phone they were in a panic. They appeared to be torturing the men trying to get information.  Maybe the safe never existed. Maybe the rumors around town it held lots of money. Maybe someone hired them to get documents proving someone else's crimes ie the odometer scam.  I am still thinking money. I think one of the perps was a ex con.  a sociopath. Probably the mastermind.  the other two more passive, and one of them very young. I think the very young one decided to take some things he thought were valuable while they searched for the safe. A very poor small town boy would think the local car dealer was rich, even thought they lived in a modest rental. He sees shiny objects and he is thinking he can sell them.  So everything is going fine until they come home. Then the young one is suppose to be watching Virginia but get nervous and goes to see what is happening or maybe to go get some more items, allowing Virginia to make the calls. She is caught and soon after they are all killed, with the men drowning after being strangled with the cord.  Seems the first part of the crime was happening slowly but now its almost frantic.  Bryce came home and went up stairs, Bobby got some food and sat on the couch, Virgina was probably in the kitchen. She had set her purse on the kitchen table and the bank bag on the chair.  This all happened after the house was tossed mostly upstairs, so the perps didn't see the money because they had already searched the house. The perps probably were upstairs and put Bryce at gunpoint and marched him downstairs. There was no real scuffle though Bobby might have reacted by picking up the audomen to use as a shield or weapon, but was quickly disarmed by a gun toting perp. The audomen might have been kind of tossed aside and ended on the couch by chance.   Now that the Durhams are home they never searched the kitchen again. So leaving the money behind was not an indication of a robbery, it just means the robbers didn't think to go back into the kitchen because hell had broken loose. I think there was a 4th person cruising on the road waiting for a signal, maybe a light flashing, so they could drive up to get them, but now its all changed. The perps took the safe perhaps got it into the Jimmy, drove off, when the 4th in the getaway car followed. they made a turn on the first remote road, took the safe to the new car, and the youngest left his pillowcase because he was so shook up or the leader said forget that junk we got to go.  So who are they. My guess one or all three has a connection to the dealership. One might work there or be related to someone who worked there.  I would look for a violent ex con connected in some way to that dealership. Of course it could be someone who worked directly for the family that is the connection.  Now if that call didn't happen, and the son in law lied, then my theory means nothing.  I would like it clarified if the rope, cord or slash came from the house.  I am thinking the safe might have come from Bryce's loan business and he just brought it home when he closed it. Maybe Ginny didn't even remember or know he had it.

Not bad. I'll post my variations to it as soon as time allows.

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docyabut2
14 hours ago, micahc said:

i have found this case about 9 years ago.  I followed if for a time but not really studied it in the last few years.   I found a pod cast the other day about this case, so it made me start thinking about it again.  I think way back when i pretty much decided it was orchestrated by the son in law, the call never happened and the crime scene was staged. the other day i started thinking maybe that is all wrong.  What if the call happened just as the son in law reported, and there was no staging? I read thru many posts here back to 2014.  Sorry didn't read every post, so someone might have the same theory.  I know part of what i am going to say has been talked about.  I am going to do a little amateur profiling too. So the staging theory comes from the tossed house, and the pillowcase with silver plate items left in a running Jimmy.  So here is my theory. The perps were already in the house when the Durhams got home.  If the call really happened they would be 3 black men. I think they were surprised when they Durhams arrived home but were prepared if that happened. I believe at least one had a gun. I think the house was tossed before they got home. They were looking for something, perhaps a safe, and i think they eventually found it.  It seems they were taking their time for most of the time then every thing sped up. When they found Virginia on the phone they were in a panic. They appeared to be torturing the men trying to get information.  Maybe the safe never existed. Maybe the rumors around town it held lots of money. Maybe someone hired them to get documents proving someone else's crimes ie the odometer scam.  I am still thinking money. I think one of the perps was a ex con.  a sociopath. Probably the mastermind.  the other two more passive, and one of them very young. I think the very young one decided to take some things he thought were valuable while they searched for the safe. A very poor small town boy would think the local car dealer was rich, even thought they lived in a modest rental. He sees shiny objects and he is thinking he can sell them.  So everything is going fine until they come home. Then the young one is suppose to be watching Virginia but get nervous and goes to see what is happening or maybe to go get some more items, allowing Virginia to make the calls. She is caught and soon after they are all killed, with the men drowning after being strangled with the cord.  Seems the first part of the crime was happening slowly but now its almost frantic.  Bryce came home and went up stairs, Bobby got some food and sat on the couch, Virgina was probably in the kitchen. She had set her purse on the kitchen table and the bank bag on the chair.  This all happened after the house was tossed mostly upstairs, so the perps didn't see the money because they had already searched the house. The perps probably were upstairs and put Bryce at gunpoint and marched him downstairs. There was no real scuffle though Bobby might have reacted by picking up the audomen to use as a shield or weapon, but was quickly disarmed by a gun toting perp. The audomen might have been kind of tossed aside and ended on the couch by chance.   Now that the Durhams are home they never searched the kitchen again. So leaving the money behind was not an indication of a robbery, it just means the robbers didn't think to go back into the kitchen because hell had broken loose. I think there was a 4th person cruising on the road waiting for a signal, maybe a light flashing, so they could drive up to get them, but now its all changed. The perps took the safe perhaps got it into the Jimmy, drove off, when the 4th in the getaway car followed. they made a turn on the first remote road, took the safe to the new car, and the youngest left his pillowcase because he was so shook up or the leader said forget that junk we got to go.  So who are they. My guess one or all three has a connection to the dealership. One might work there or be related to someone who worked there.  I would look for a violent ex con connected in some way to that dealership. Of course it could be someone who worked directly for the family that is the connection.  Now if that call didn't happen, and the son in law lied, then my theory means nothing.  I would like it clarified if the rope, cord or slash came from the house.  I am thinking the safe might have come from Bryce's loan business and he just brought it home when he closed it. Maybe Ginny didn't even remember or know he had it.

. but there were car tracks behind their house found on the other street  ,but no footprints  leading up to their house , or any other car tracks in their driveway, on the heavy snow night  they were killed,.except the family`s friend `s truck  that came and called the police. it only points to  the family

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micahc
8 minutes ago, docyabut2 said:

. but there were car tracks behind their house found on the other street  ,but no footprints  leading up to their house , or any other car tracks in their driveway, on the heavy snow night  they were killed,.except the family`s friend `s truck  that came and called the police. it only points to  the family

The snow started earlier in the afternoon, so if they walked up then, the new snow would have covered everything up.  My theory is they were in the house for some time before the Durhams came home.

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docyabut2
1 hour ago, micahc said:

The snow started earlier in the afternoon, so if they walked up then, the new snow would have covered everything up.  My theory is they were in the house for some time before the Durhams came home.

 There were no defense wounds on the victims, so I think because they knew their attackers they did not fight back.,

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micahc
8 hours ago, docyabut2 said:

 There were no defense wounds on the victims, so I think because they knew their attackers they did not fight back.,

I don't think no defensive wounds are an indication they knew their attackers. If your mother came at you with a baseball bat you would probably have defensive wounds. To not have defensive wounds is more an indication of surprise, or no opportunity to defend or react. So in my theory, and its just a theory, the perps have the Durhams at gunpoint and bind their hands behind their back. So they cannot put their hands up in defense. I think there is indication Virginia had blunt force trauma to her head, but that was most likely a surprise attack when they saw her on the phone. Keep in mind, I use to think it was a family member, but my new theory is its just as Troy told.  I could be wrong but I have tried to explain each bit of evidence in my imagined scenario.  The tracks on the back road does nothing to my theory.  One other thing I want to mention. When you look at the photo into the kitchen, you see the bank bag on the chair. Something else you see is Virginia's purse as big as can be and it appears upright and untouched on top of the table.. Now I cannot tell for sure it was untouched, but we know how sloppy the perps were upstairs.  So what self respecting thief would ignore a purse?  They might miss a bank bag on a chair, but that purse might as well have a sign on it saying come search me. So that might help my theory, the perps had already tossed the house before the Durhams came home, so never went back and searched the kitchen.  I wish we knew exactly what was in that pillowcase.  I think there are a lot of little things that could be the key and the police have dismissed it and never shared it with the public.

Edited by micahc

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docyabut2
44 minutes ago, micahc said:

I don't think no defensive wounds are an indication they knew their attackers. If your mother came at you with a baseball bat you would probably have defensive wounds. To not have defensive wounds is more an indication of surprise, or no opportunity to defend or react. So in my theory, and its just a theory, the perps have the Durhams at gunpoint and bind their hands behind their back. So they cannot put their hands up in defense. I think there is indication Virginia had blunt force trauma to her head, but that was most likely a surprise attack when they saw her on the phone. Keep in mind, I use to think it was a family member, but my new theory is its just as Troy told.  I could be wrong but I have tried to explain each bit of evidence in my imagined scenario.  The tracks on the back road does nothing to my theory.  One other thing I want to mention. When you look at the photo into the kitchen, you see the bank bag on the chair. Something else you see is Virginia's purse as big as can be and it appears upright and untouched on top of the table.. Now I cannot tell for sure it was untouched, but we know how sloppy the perps were upstairs.  So what self respecting thief would ignore a purse?  They might miss a bank bag on a chair, but that purse might as well have a sign on it saying come search me. So that might help my theory, the perps had already tossed the house before the Durhams came home, so never went back and searched the kitchen.  I wish we knew exactly what was in that pillowcase.  I think there are a lot of little things that could be the key and the police have dismissed it and never shared it with the public.

well my thoughts are it was the  Durhams family  that got by  the  murders

Edited by docyabut2

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micahc
On 2/14/2020 at 8:50 AM, asheonce said:

Not bad. I'll post my variations to it as soon as time allows.

hope you have time to post some thoughts. 

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)

There is no justice on this case. I still believe Durhams `s that were killed, was theirs  son in law and daughter  that did it   :ph34r:

Edited by docyabut2

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micahc
On 2/13/2020 at 9:51 PM, micahc said:

i have found this case about 9 years ago.  I followed if for a time but not really studied it in the last few years.   I found a pod cast the other day about this case, so it made me start thinking about it again.  I think way back when i pretty much decided it was orchestrated by the son in law, the call never happened and the crime scene was staged. the other day i started thinking maybe that is all wrong.  What if the call happened just as the son in law reported, and there was no staging? I read thru many posts here back to 2014.  Sorry didn't read every post, so someone might have the same theory.  I know part of what i am going to say has been talked about.  I am going to do a little amateur profiling too. So the staging theory comes from the tossed house, and the pillowcase with silver plate items left in a running Jimmy.  So here is my theory. The perps were already in the house when the Durhams got home.  If the call really happened they would be 3 black men. I think they were surprised when they Durhams arrived home but were prepared if that happened. I believe at least one had a gun. I think the house was tossed before they got home. They were looking for something, perhaps a safe, and i think they eventually found it.  It seems they were taking their time for most of the time then every thing sped up. When they found Virginia on the phone they were in a panic. They appeared to be torturing the men trying to get information.  Maybe the safe never existed. Maybe the rumors around town it held lots of money. Maybe someone hired them to get documents proving someone else's crimes ie the odometer scam.  I am still thinking money. I think one of the perps was a ex con.  a sociopath. Probably the mastermind.  the other two more passive, and one of them very young. I think the very young one decided to take some things he thought were valuable while they searched for the safe. A very poor small town boy would think the local car dealer was rich, even thought they lived in a modest rental. He sees shiny objects and he is thinking he can sell them.  So everything is going fine until they come home. Then the young one is suppose to be watching Virginia but get nervous and goes to see what is happening or maybe to go get some more items, allowing Virginia to make the calls. She is caught and soon after they are all killed, with the men drowning after being strangled with the cord.  Seems the first part of the crime was happening slowly but now its almost frantic.  Bryce came home and went up stairs, Bobby got some food and sat on the couch, Virgina was probably in the kitchen. She had set her purse on the kitchen table and the bank bag on the chair.  This all happened after the house was tossed mostly upstairs, so the perps didn't see the money because they had already searched the house. The perps probably were upstairs and put Bryce at gunpoint and marched him downstairs. There was no real scuffle though Bobby might have reacted by picking up the audomen to use as a shield or weapon, but was quickly disarmed by a gun toting perp. The audomen might have been kind of tossed aside and ended on the couch by chance.   Now that the Durhams are home they never searched the kitchen again. So leaving the money behind was not an indication of a robbery, it just means the robbers didn't think to go back into the kitchen because hell had broken loose. I think there was a 4th person cruising on the road waiting for a signal, maybe a light flashing, so they could drive up to get them, but now its all changed. The perps took the safe perhaps got it into the Jimmy, drove off, when the 4th in the getaway car followed. they made a turn on the first remote road, took the safe to the new car, and the youngest left his pillowcase because he was so shook up or the leader said forget that junk we got to go.  So who are they. My guess one or all three has a connection to the dealership. One might work there or be related to someone who worked there.  I would look for a violent ex con connected in some way to that dealership. Of course it could be someone who worked directly for the family that is the connection.  Now if that call didn't happen, and the son in law lied, then my theory means nothing.  I would like it clarified if the rope, cord or slash came from the house.  I am thinking the safe might have come from Bryce's loan business and he just brought it home when he closed it. Maybe Ginny didn't even remember or know he had it.

first post I made here,  anyone want to discuss this one again.  I see it was a busy thread for a few years.

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Vincennes
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, micahc said:

first post I made here,  anyone want to discuss this one again.  I see it was a busy thread for a few years.

Well once again this is one that I researched and participated in way back....  Now the issue is, of course, memory.  

I will say I think the "silver plate" that was in the pillow case is a strong indicator that whoever it was didn't have a real idea of the value of things.  Any professional would know that silver plate is worth almost nothing resale.  Although I do think the daughter and/or son-in-law could have been immature enough to think that it was.  Especially the son-in-law who came from a low income background.  I think he would have thought that silver plate was of value to behold.  

My other thought was I think the son-in law's conduct in later years was an indicator he was not an upstanding person.  

Edited by Vincennes

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micahc
2 hours ago, Vincennes said:

Well once again this is one that I researched and participated in way back....  Now the issue is, of course, memory.  

I will say I think the "silver plate" that was in the pillow case is a strong indicator that whoever it was didn't have a real idea of the value of things.  Any professional would know that silver plate is worth almost nothing resale.  Although I do think the daughter and/or son-in-law could have been immature enough to think that it was.  Especially the son-in-law who came from a low income background.  I think he would have thought that silver plate was of value to behold.  

My other thought was I think the son-in law's conduct in later years was an indicator he was not an upstanding person.  

if you get a chance read my long post.  what do you think?

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Vincennes
6 hours ago, micahc said:

if you get a chance read my long post.  what do you think?

I apologize I am still having issues with my eye.  So I had missed parts of it.  

I'm really impressed by your theory. I was trying to say that I agree with your assessment whoever took the silver plate was one who lacked the knowledge to assess value  .  A younger one watching Virginia while the psychopath was drowning the mean makes sense to me.  Really horrible sense.  

I had one silly question and it's silly but it struck me as I read.  Why would Virginia put the purse on the table and the money bag on the chair ?   Now I sometimes lay my purse on te table and sometimes on the chair.  Those are my two regular places BUT I would lay them together.  If I was quickly trying to make the money bag less obvious because someone was there, I would put the money bag on the chair and the purse on top of it.  

I'm anxious for Ashe's comments.  He usually has a lot of local insight.  I gotta go back now and find the crime scene photos.  

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micahc
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Vincennes said:

I apologize I am still having issues with my eye.  So I had missed parts of it.  

I'm really impressed by your theory. I was trying to say that I agree with your assessment whoever took the silver plate was one who lacked the knowledge to assess value  .  A younger one watching Virginia while the psychopath was drowning the mean makes sense to me.  Really horrible sense.  

I had one silly question and it's silly but it struck me as I read.  Why would Virginia put the purse on the table and the money bag on the chair ?   Now I sometimes lay my purse on te table and sometimes on the chair.  Those are my two regular places BUT I would lay them together.  If I was quickly trying to make the money bag less obvious because someone was there, I would put the money bag on the chair and the purse on top of it.  

I'm anxious for Ashe's comments.  He usually has a lot of local insight.  I gotta go back now and find the crime scene photos.  

I think it is one of those things that could just be random. Who really knows why she put it in the chair. Maybe she put them both in the chair but then retrieved something from her purse and moved it. You might be right, she moved it in response to a visitor. I can see that too.  I doubt they would have left it there when they went to bed, but at least at first she was comfortable not locking it away as soon as she got home.  Perhaps they generally use a night drop at the bank, but decided not to that night due to the weather, so she really had no habit of one thing or another.

Edited by micahc

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Vincennes
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, micahc said:

I think it is one of those things that could just be random. Who really knows why she put it in the chair. Maybe she put them both in the chair but then retrieved something from her purse and moved it. You might be right, she moved it in response to a visitor. I can see that too.  I doubt they would have left it there when they went to bed, but at least at first she was comfortable not locking it away as soon as she got home.  Perhaps they generally use a night drop at the bank, but decided not to that night due to the weather, so she really had no habit of one thing or another.

I did go back and find the photo.  There is room on the table, right beside the purse.  So to me the separation is odd, although you right it could be the purse was on the chair and she, herself, got something out of it but ,in view of the murder, I tend to look more toward another reason.  And I'm putting this toward your theory.  Someone she knew from the garage but was immediately uncomfortable and didn't know why they were there.  No time to hide it but she just put it out of sight.  That's exactly what I would do.  

Edited by Vincennes
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micahc
1 minute ago, Vincennes said:

I did go back and find the photo.  There is room on the table, right beside the purse.  So to me the separation is odd, although you right it could be the purse was on the chair and she, herself, got something out of it but ,in view of the murder, I tend to look more toward another reason.  And I'm putting this toward your theory.  Someone she knew from the garage but was immediately uncomfortable and didn't know why they were there.  No time to hide it but she just put it out of sight.  That's exactly what I would do.  

that does makes sense. so the people were not immediately threatening but the visit struck her as unusual.  It could be as simple as they claimed their car got stuck and can they come in an use the phone.  

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Vincennes

YES !  That's what I meant exactly.  

The only thing is I think the son-in-law fits a profile that would think the silver plate was valuable PLUS she might have thought, "Oh here he is again and he probably wants to borrow money and here I am carrying cash" and also ditch it because he was there.  

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