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Regi

Unsolved Triple Murder, North Carolina, 1972

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rashore

Hit onto a whole bunch of articles... Sorry they aren't in date order or anything.. I just marked them as I hit them and I'm putting them all up at once.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19720206&id=FHcsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=EMwEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6136,697117

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1241&dat=19720303&id=C29TAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8IUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3764,1679774

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19720208&id=iswyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vQkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2426,1218893

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19720205&id=iMwyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vQkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3064,640535

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19720206&id=fswyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vQkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5739,813790

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1734&dat=19720425&id=bTceAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Rb8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5329,4644302

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19720306&id=68EsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wAkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4489,1192776

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1665&dat=19720425&id=h5BPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hyQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3432,4820285

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1734&dat=19720920&id=YHkcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AVIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7269,1435175

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1734&dat=19720427&id=bzceAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Rb8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=7121,5017928

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19890217&id=T24sAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Us4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6992,511196

Read through that weird forum I posted before too- Troy sounds like trouble. As mbrn30000 said there is commentary that Troy had a first wife, Annette Pearson. She was a suicide. I haven't confirmed either of those details. He's also supposed to have been involved with a Debbie Foster death too. There was a comment on him being around a few others too, but no mention of names.

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Regi

Many, many thanks, Rashore! I'm thrilled that we have those articles...and I'm blown away that you managed to find them in the first place! YOU ARE AWESOME! :nw:

I'll post again after I've read and correlated all the info..

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rashore

Yer welcome regi... I was pretty happy when I came across a bunch of good looking ones that didn't need a subscription. I only really glanced them over when pulling them, but they look promising.

Though at this point, I'm pretty happy for any information that is the older stuff and not just a re-hash in newer articles.

And missed an article yesterday when I was posting:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19720213&id=hMwyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vQkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2451,2128046

Edited by rashore
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mbrn30000

Rashore thanks for the links. i read the articles and forum entries. I found another article with many of the same facts, but interestingly written with some facts about the PI Mr, Small. http://ididitforjodi...els-with-cecil/

BTW that article starts like a JFK article but its about this case.

In that forum people alledge Troy changed his name and is now a successful lawyer. I am not going to use the name, because I don't know if this person is troy or not. If he became a lawyer, it would seem he had some ambition, unlike some people portray him in that other forum. I am still not convinced that call was ever made. One fact that your articles point out, was that Mrs. Durham said the three men beating her family were black. Its interesting that the police eventually charged 4 white people, so they must have not been entirely convinced what troy said was true. I am not accusing Troy but lets look at if he were involved how would he benefit from that call, since he could have waited for the family to be discovered perhaps the next day. But if we take the fact that Troy said Mrs. Durham said they were black, it certainly would be believable by police in 1972 North Carolina. It would put them on the wrong trail for sure. But what if the call is true. Why would they take their eye off Mrs Durham long enough to make the call? Of course she could have been in another part of the house. IF they discovered her making the call, why continue with the staging. Attackers would not know if the person she called was right next door, would they? You would think they would beat in retreat, but they took the time to strangle her and move her to the bathroom. I think the Jimmy was driven to a waiting car. The attackers probably walked to the residence. I still wonder why nobody thought about calling the police. Back then you would call the operator and she would connect you. Especially when the car would not start, you would think plan b would be police. I would have made police plan A. in fact i think Mrs Durham would have made the police plan A not call daughter.

Edited by mbrn30000
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docyabut2

I don't think it was the son in-law, that kill the Durhams, it took more then one person to do this horrific crime. Perhaps there was a off color confrontation at the meeting of the Green Berets demonstration the husband attended at the lounge, that cause them to hit this man and his family. I think Mrs. Durham made that call to the closest person to get there , the only one that was beaten up and the last to be killed.

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mbrn30000

I don't think it was the son in-law, that kill the Durhams, it took more then one person to do this horrific crime. Perhaps there was a off color confrontation at the meeting of the Green Berets demonstration the husband attended at the lounge, that cause them to hit this man and his family. I think Mrs. Durham made that call to the closest person to get there , the only one that was beaten up and the last to be killed.

As I read the articles Rashore linked, I went back and forth. I agree it seems like too much for the in-law to do on his own. Even if the wife helped, it would be difficult. I am not sure it would be impossible if a gun was used to gain control. One could have been forced to tie the others. I see your point about the mother being beaten and the last killed fitting being discovered on the phone by the attackers after the other two were either dead or at least tied up and beaten. I think the green beret link is weak. The event was kind of a bust due to the weather. Is it possible the phone call made the attackers panic and leave without all the loot? Is it possible the phone call was not the mother but the killer letting the in-law know its done? Could there be accomplishes recruited that have no link to the are. I still think the attackers might have been trying to find something they thought was in the house. The beating, the tying up, faces in the tub might have been to find out were a safe was, or money or drugs...not that there was a drug link. But perhaps it was to find the will. Just a guess there. I do think that the in-law may have gone on to be a successful lawyer as some people have posted in another forum, which means he was not the total loser some people have suggested. Is it possible someone close knows or has a very good idea what happened. I think so.

Edited by mbrn30000

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docyabut2

As I read the articles Rashore linked, I went back and forth. I agree it seems like too much for the in-law to do on his own. Even if the wife helped, it would be difficult. I am not sure it would be impossible if a gun was used to gain control. One could have been forced to tie the others. I see your point about the mother being beaten and the last killed fitting being discovered on the phone by the attackers after the other two were either dead or at least tied up and beaten. I think the green beret link is weak. The event was kind of a bust due to the weather. Is it possible the phone call made the attackers panic and leave without all the loot? Is it possible the phone call was not the mother but the killer letting the in-law know its done? Could there be accomplishes recruited that have no link to the are. I still think the attackers might have been trying to find something they thought was in the house. The beating, the tying up, faces in the tub might have been to find out were a safe was, or money or drugs...not that there was a drug link. But perhaps it was to find the will. Just a guess there. I do think that the in-law may have gone on to be a successful lawyer as some people have posted in another forum, which means he was not the total loser some people have suggested. Is it possible someone close knows or has a very good idea what happened. I think so.

Right the demonstration was called off because of the weather, but there were a lot of Green Berets men staying at the lodge. I kinda agree with others this may have been some kind of military crime.

Edited by docyabut2

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rashore

I went back through the thread.. Early on, regi referenced an article that mentions a book, Haunted Watauga County. Figured I'd share the link to the book with the Durham reference :) I put up some of the autopsy information from the book a couple pages back, but realized there wasn't a link to the book itself.

http://books.google.com/books?id=zWucDSpwpkkC&pg=PA45&dq=durham+Haunted+Watauga+County&hl=en&sa=X&ei=UAZwU5-xOYSPyATwroGYBA&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=durham%20Haunted%20Watauga%20County&f=false

It might be smart of all of us at this time and go back through and read the thread... See what's been questioned about already, what info has been shared so far. I'm reading some of the recent posts and caught myself a couple times thinking- Wasn't that discussed already? And it has been. There's some stuff I've forgotten about already too. And now we have a bunch of new stuff to read too.

I'm gonna try some more info digging...

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mbrn30000

I would think if there was an altercation with the green berets that would have been well documented. I also think the military connections was thought of because of the times. There has been the Mai Lai massacre a few years before, and of course Jeffrey MacDonald who had not been charged by then, but was in the news. I just think it unlikely they would have followed him to his dealership and then home to kill them over an insult. Its possible, but I think this was much closer to home or to the business. I doubt it was random, but it could be work related and not family. But the rope does make it seem a most unusual crime. I think this was also a factor that made people think military.

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Regi

I was pretty happy when I came across a bunch of good looking ones that didn't need a subscription. I only really glanced them over when pulling them, but they look promising.

Oh, there's some enlightening info. from those articles! I don't yet have my thoughts together (where do I start? ), but what definitely stood out to me was from the Mar 6th article (7th link): "According to authorities, Hall had refused to talk with them about the case after answering their questions on the night he found the bodies. But last week Hall's lawyer S.C Eggers, Jr. of Boone, called in sheriff Carroll and in the lawyers presence Hall submitted to an interview."

So, Hall was uncooperative... and three weeks after the murders, communicated through his attorney. Alrighty then, I think that surely must have raised a few brows! :whistle:

Rashore, I don't know if you've had a chance to read through those articles, but if you've haven't, I know you'll be at least as disappointed as I am when I tell you that there wasn't any mention in any of them about the Jimmy sighting.

Apparently, that info. wasn't released until some much later date, but the time and location of that sighting is critical!

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Regi

One fact that your articles point out, was that Mrs. Durham said the three men beating her family were black. Its interesting that the police eventually charged 4 white people, so they must have not been entirely convinced what troy said was true.

...or I think it's possible they figured he might have misunderstood what Mrs. Durham had said...

I still don't know on what evidence those men were arrested/charged. :unsure2:

I am not accusing Troy but lets look at if he were involved how would he benefit from that call, since he could have waited for the family to be discovered perhaps the next day.

He'd have benefitted because no one can be in two places at one time. Also, he fact that the phone was pulled from the wall supports his story that the call ended abruptly.

Now, the number one thing that bothers me about that call is that it made all three victims alive as late as 10:15 and I'm not able to correlate that with the scene/evidence.

Edited by regi

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mbrn30000

...or I think it's possible they figured he might have misunderstood what Mrs. Durham had said...

I still don't know on what evidence those men were arrested/charged. :unsure2:

There was one story that a wife of one of arrested 4 men said her husband talked about doing or casing the house, and then another or the same man confessed to police. He claimed to have gone there and robbed them. But later he claimed to have shot them which was not what happened. THen it turns out he was in jail when the crime happened. Two were actually indicted and two let go, then the other two were let go with charges dropped. I think the second two included the false confessor.

The police report, according to two articles I read, actually have troy quoting Mrs. Durham as saying two (n-words) are beating bobby and bryce. Which is a bit confusing because another article says she whispered something almost a mumble i think it said. So maybe Troy thought back, given the events and remembered it a little more clearly. I think it is strange he would assume the call could be just a joke. Who calls someone and says they are being attacked then hangs up. Not very funny i would think in any context. This story has all these facts out there of who did what, said what...I have so many follow up questions...I hope the cops asked back then. Seems they would want to know if Troy's car actually would not start, and think of all the possible forensic evidence that should have been found in the Jimmy. These people had to be sweating after what they did. DNA everywhere.

Edited by mbrn30000

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Regi

http://books.google.... County&f=false

I'm gonna try some more info digging...

Go Girl, and good luck!

Now, I don't know if you're mindful of it- or if it's helpful, but there's an article (link pg. 1 here, I think) about that book which says that Bullard wrote several follow-up stories on the anniversaries of the murders for the Watauga Democrat in the early eighties.

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Regi

There was one story that a wife of one of arrested 4 men said her husband talked about doing or casing the house, and then another or the same man confessed to police. He claimed to have gone there and robbed them. But later he claimed to have shot them which was not what happened. THen it turns out he was in jail when the crime happened. Two were actually indicted and two let go, then the other two were let go with charges dropped. I think the second two included the false confessor.

Yeah, obviously they need a lot more than just any one person's statements....

The police report, according to two articles I read, actually have troy quoting Mrs. Durham as saying two (n-words) are beating bobby and bryce. Which is a bit confusing because another article says she whispered something almost a mumble i think it said. So maybe Troy thought back, given the events and remembered it a little more clearly. I think it is strange he would assume the call could be just a joke.

It sounds to me like inaccurate reporting, together with possible censoring, together with additional info. :blink:

It'd be really nice to read Hall's statements- those he gave that night and then those from that official interview. :yes:

I think it is strange he would assume the call could be just a joke. Who calls someone and says they are being attacked then hangs up. Not very funny i would think in any context. This story has all these facts out there of who did what, said what...I have so many follow up questions...I hope the cops asked back then. Seems they would want to know if Troy's car actually would not start

Well, reportedly, Hall wouldn't cooperate after the night of the murders...not until three weeks later.

and think of all the possible forensic evidence that should have been found in the Jimmy. These people had to be sweating after what they did. DNA everywhere.

I think it's possible items could be analyzed but I don't know what items are in evidence.

They've consulted experts, but I haven't heard of any lab work.

I read there was a fingerprint but I don't know where it was taken from.

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rashore
Seems they would want to know if Troy's car actually would not start, and think of all the possible forensic evidence that should have been found in the Jimmy. These people had to be sweating after what they did. DNA everywhere.

I wanted to address this. The Jimmy part. Them sweating wouldn't have meant anything at the time- DNA swabbing like that didn't exist yet, the profiling didn't exist till the mid-80's, so police wouldn't have known to even try for that sort of collection. It's possible there might have been hair or fibers left in the Jimmy that were collected, but not necessarily for sure. There would have been checking for prints, but if the perps were wearing gloves that would be moot.

Now, no longer addressing the quoted, and just in general commenting :)

The information about the sighting of the Jimmy does seem to be a later article tidbit. Yes regi, I am disappointed I haven't found anything from the time about that in the articles, lol.

I tried to bring up Watauga Democrat articles from the 80's, and just nothing is coming up. They might not be accessible online through regular channels, and the stupid NC scan network for newspapers was just superfrustration to find nothing.

The Watauga public records site has some sort of messed up error going on with a linecode default and you can't look anything up at all.

The Watauga property records worked a bit better. Time consuming, but I was able to poke about a bit to see just how built in the neighborhood was at the time. Several of the Durhams neighbor houses were already there when the crime happened, a few weren't built yet. It's interesting info, but pretty pointless info.

And I think I'm done digging for the moment, heh. Time to re-read everything, and chew what we already got.

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mbrn30000

I wanted to address this. The Jimmy part. Them sweating wouldn't have meant anything at the time- DNA swabbing like that didn't exist yet, the profiling didn't exist till the mid-80's, so police wouldn't have known to even try for that sort of collection. It's possible there might have been hair or fibers left in the Jimmy that were collected, but not necessarily for sure. There would have been checking for prints, but if the perps were wearing gloves that would be moot.

I know DNA was not even thought of as a possibility in 1972 and the Jimmy is probably long gone, but seems perhaps finger prints could have been kept. They might have looked for hair using a vacuum or tape for fibers. Not sure the state of forensics then. But perhaps DNA was incidentally collected. The thought of some investigators if not all is the scene is staged as a burglary including a bag containing some silverware stashed in the Jimmy left on the road. So was the Jimmy dropped as part of the staging or was it used to drive back to another vehicle? What if instead of Troy and Cecil and Ginny getting stuck after leaving to check on them actually got stuck escaping from the murder. What if they were forced to a plan B when the car got stuck and then decided to concoct a we just came to check on them after a strange call? ok far fetched and Its just supposing not accusing anyone. There were rumors Cecil the PI mobile park manager was in on it. It did seem to take some time for them to go 2-4 miles even in snow.

One thing that gets me, Ginny's family was killed in a most horrific way, and Ginny seems to have put it all behind her. Of course I have no idea how she has behaved, or how she personally reacted. i only know from what I have read, but seems she should have been scared to death if she did not know who did this. She would be the only surviving member of a family and she would have to wonder am I next? I would also expect her to be involved to this very day. None of the articles ever say anything about her talking to investigators like Bryce's parents did. The investigators refer to his parents and how they vowed to find the killers to them. How they checked on them from time to time until the both passed away. But none of the articles including the anniversary editions ever talk about how they spoke to Ginny, how she calls ever so often for an update. One quotes her current husband saying she would like to know but has no comment. I guess we can all react differently but nothing about what we know fit. Also there was one story that Troy, or should I say gossip more than story, that Troy went to dealership and demanded a car the day after declaring him one of the owners...and the SBI made him bring it back. Like I said maybe just a rumor, but the police know what's true. Lots of stuff remains hidden from the public. seems that has not worked to anyone's advantage.

Edited by mbrn30000
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docyabut2

Wonder if there was any large life insurance polices on the family that the daughter would have gain from, its hard to believe she , her husband would have killed her family just for money, but it does happen.

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mbrn30000

I think there are articles that say the daughter inherited about 250k, in total. That was a large sum in 1972.

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docyabut2

What's really puzzling is that the detective that had arrived at the scene said, the victims shoes were at the door and still had water under them from the snow, but yet the so call group of men that came after in with heavy boots I imagine, left not one water print in the carpets or on the floors.The time line from the witnesses said the neighbors saw the Jimmy pull in at the home at 9:00 o clock and the other man saw the Jimmy that almost knock his car off the road leave the area and he said he got home about 10:30.

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mbrn30000

And I think I'm done digging for the moment, heh. Time to re-read everything, and chew what we already got.

I will too. Although I just found out about this crime, I think I will search around for even more info. Rashore you have given me a wealth of info. And thank you Reji for introducing this very interesting, though tragic case. I suggested the case on the 48hrs page in facebook yesterday. I think this case could be solved, but the window of time is closing. I came to this website curious about another crime, but this is a case that deserves attention. From time to time, even if I have nothing new, I want to just give this case a bump. But I will keep digging and researching.

Edited by mbrn30000
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Regi

Not sure the state of forensics then. But perhaps DNA was incidentally collected.

I like that the way you put that... "incidentally collected"...My thinking is that if they have items in evidence such as the victim's clothing, wallets, the rope, the pillowcase and the items inside the pillowcase, those items could be analyzed thorough processes then unheard of. You know, if you think about it, there was a lot of direct contact with all three of the victims/victim's bodies...

The thought of some investigators if not all is the scene is staged as a burglary including a bag containing some silverware stashed in the Jimmy left on the road. So was the Jimmy dropped as part of the staging or was it used to drive back to another vehicle?

I think both because there was no indication of any other reason that the Jimmy would have been abandoned... and the fact that only items taken from the home were left behind in that Jimmy is inexplicable. Now, was the 'Jimmy scenario' actually premeditated? No one could say, but I think it was staged.

What if instead of Troy and Cecil and Ginny getting stuck after leaving to check on them actually got stuck escaping from the murder. What if they were forced to a plan B when the car got stuck and then decided to concoct a we just came to check on them after a strange call? ok far fetched and Its just supposing not accusing anyone.

Wow, that's something I never considered! I love how you're not taking anything for granted. I don't think it's farfetched because- among other things- we're lacking any detail of that specific event and all three are each others witnesses/alibis.

Edited by regi
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mbrn30000

I am beginning to think Cecil Small, the PI and mobile park manager, might be the key. There are stories he started telling people that he gave Lee Harvey Osward a ride to his boarding house on the afternoon after the JFK assasination. He claims to have been on a road trip from California back to NC. I kind of doubt this story, but it makes me wonder who this man was. He apparently was a PI, which might just mean he had a badge, perhaps a license, and like to act like a cop. He could not have been so successful since he was also the mobile park manager where he lived. He certainly would know if the Halls were having financial issues. since he would collect the rent. I wonder if he was a kind of walter mitty...ordinary but led people to believe he had a much more exciting life. Perhaps he sold himself as a hit man...the jfk story seems completely made up to garner attention. Wonder what else he use to brag about? He did bring a gun to the house that night. He could have used it to gain immediate control of the victims. They clearly were surprised. So if the Halls stopped in with him in tow, they would not have thought a thing of it and let them all in. It would explain a lot of strange happenings. Small died in May of 1991. I did not pay to read his obit. Its in the Charlotte observer 5/21/1991.

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Regi

Needless to say, it's tough to call without witness statements and other info., but my strongest impression of Small's involvement is that he was easily led/taken in after the fact.

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rashore

Just chewing the cud... Going through articles..

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19720206&id=FHcsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=EMwEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6136,697117

This one says the killers came close to being seen at least twice as the fled in the Jimmy. Twice? TWICE? Grrr, the once is being hard enough to track, what the heck is this at least twice comment?

And a bit of name odd...

http://news.google.c...pg=3764,1679774

Maybe bad reporting? But they name the SIL as Ray Hall, not Troy Hall. Interesting, because in the gossip thread people say there were the Hall brothers, Ray and Troy.

http://news.google.c...pg=2426,1218893

Erm, this one names Ray as SIL too.

http://news.google.c...&pg=3064,640535

And again, Ray is SIL.

http://news.google.c...&pg=5739,813790

Again Ray is SIL.

http://news.google.c...pg=5329,4644302

This time, the SIL is Ray "Troy" Hall.

http://news.google.c...pg=4489,1192776

Now it's Troy, only he wasn't speaking without his lawyer.

I realize there's discrepancies in journalism sometimes... I just thought it odd that there was supposed to be 2 brothers, Ray and Troy, and some of the papers seemed to have mixed them up so much. It's probably nothing, but I just wanted to say something.

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mbrn30000

This one says the killers came close to being seen at least twice as the fled in the Jimmy. Twice? TWICE? Grrr, the once is being hard enough to track, what the heck is this at least twice comment?

And a bit of name odd...

Maybe bad reporting? But they name the SIL as Ray Hall, not Troy Hall. Interesting, because in the gossip thread people say there were the Hall brothers, Ray and Troy.

Erm, this one names Ray as SIL too.

And again, Ray is SIL.

Again Ray is SIL.

, the S

This IL is Ray "Troy" Hall.

Now it's Troy, only he wasn't speaking without his lawyer.

I realize there's discrepancies in journalism sometimes... I just thought it odd that there was supposed to be 2 brothers, Ray and Troy, and some of the papers seemed to have mixed them up so much. It's probably nothing, but I just wanted to say something.

I saw the name changing too. Ray, Troy and there is also Justin Troy. Supposedly Troy goes by Justin Troy Hall now. Not sure if Ray was a brother or his original name. Very confusing. Wonder if we can find an obit for the Durhams or maybe a Hall relative. Maybe it will say his name back then correctly. Perhaps in a Hall obit, maybe his parents it would say the names of his brothers. Some of those posters who claim to know all the players, might be locals full of third hand gossip. But it does seem reporting is a bit sloppy.

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