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Regi

Unsolved Triple Murder, North Carolina, 1972

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asheonce

Could you tell us which detective case magazine it was? I mean, was it called Detective Case or was it a magazine about cases? What month was it from?

It is Front Page Detective Magazine, from October 1972.

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Onaliv1

Having recently visited the Boone area, and driving the most probable route from where Troy and Ginny Hall's trailer would have been...seems improbable that they would not have passed the GMC Jimmy enroute too the Durham house (if that whole scenario is even accurate). ALSO, whoever ditched the GMC Jimmy was more than likely a "local" versus someone from out of town, otherwise it would have made more sense to abandon the getaway vehicle further from the crime scene. This reinforces the theory that it was staged. It also reinforces my opinion (and that's all it is), that the whole story of how the bodies were discovered was fabricated at least in part and that the "discovery team" had a different role than represented. For the sake of argument (and to be considerate of the familial relationship), suppose that Ginny was an innocent pawn but that Troy and Cecil were more heavily involved...you can research and see what became of Troy (law career, etc.) but what about Cecil? Does anyone on the forum (Boone residents, that is) know if Cecil Small exhibited any noticeable change in lifestyle following the murders, before his own death? Anything to indicate he may have been paid off for "something"? Anybody know how he died? Just more questions to a seemingly unending list associated with this case. There was/is a $40K reward offered...still having a very hard time believing NOBODY in this small town talked.

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mbrn30000

Having recently visited the Boone area, and driving the most probable route from where Troy and Ginny Hall's trailer would have been...seems improbable that they would not have passed the GMC Jimmy enroute too the Durham house (if that whole scenario is even accurate). ALSO, whoever ditched the GMC Jimmy was more than likely a "local" versus someone from out of town, otherwise it would have made more sense to abandon the getaway vehicle further from the crime scene. This reinforces the theory that it was staged. It also reinforces my opinion (and that's all it is), that the whole story of how the bodies were discovered was fabricated at least in part and that the "discovery team" had a different role than represented. For the sake of argument (and to be considerate of the familial relationship), suppose that Ginny was an innocent pawn but that Troy and Cecil were more heavily involved...you can research and see what became of Troy (law career, etc.) but what about Cecil? Does anyone on the forum (Boone residents, that is) know if Cecil Small exhibited any noticeable change in lifestyle following the murders, before his own death? Anything to indicate he may have been paid off for "something"? Anybody know how he died? Just more questions to a seemingly unending list associated with this case. There was/is a $40K reward offered...still having a very hard time believing NOBODY in this small town talked.

I did some research on Cecil including trying to see if he bought real estate after the deaths. I think if you look back in the thread I posted some of what I found. Basically nothing really. Seems he and his wife bought some small lots with a loan, so does not sound like they came into money. He was quite the character it seems. Claims to have given Oswald a ride the morning of the Kennedy assassination. that crazy story is found in this thread some pages ago. He later ran for sheriff of this county in NC but lost. So I am thinking part con man dreamer part walter mitty. I do think it was staged and there was no robbery. I think most people believe it to be the son in law, but no one has more than just opinion as evidence.

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Onaliv1

I did some research on Cecil including trying to see if he bought real estate after the deaths. I think if you look back in the thread I posted some of what I found. Basically nothing really. Seems he and his wife bought some small lots with a loan, so does not sound like they came into money. He was quite the character it seems. Claims to have given Oswald a ride the morning of the Kennedy assassination. that crazy story is found in this thread some pages ago. He later ran for sheriff of this county in NC but lost. So I am thinking part con man dreamer part walter mitty. I do think it was staged and there was no robbery. I think most people believe it to be the son in law, but no one has more than just opinion as evidence.

Thanks for the info, it seems like Cecil Small is as big of a mystery as the case itself.

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Regi

I realized an anniversary had past and I came across this Jan. 2015 article and I'm very disappointed because the sheriff seems to me to be offering an especially lame excuse for not submitting evidence for DNA analysis.

Yeah, we're informed such analysis would be "very difficult". :huh:

http://www.wataugademocrat.com/news/investigation-of-durham-family-s-slaying-continues/article_e16a2616-a983-11e4-9e07-bbfdbdd91c44.html

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lw-intuit

Very interesting case!

I have a question.

In this link, http://ididitforjodie.com/2013/12/29/overlapping-murders-presidential-edition-travels-with-cecil/, which was offered up on page one, there is a photo of three bodies over a tub. Is that photo the actual crime scene?

Everyone here states that the mother was the last one murdered and placed in position, but if that photo is correct, how is that possible since the son's body and jacket are positioned over her? Just wondering-------

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docyabut2

Very interesting case!

I have a question.

In this link, http://ididitforjodi...els-with-cecil/, which was offered up on page one, there is a photo of three bodies over a tub. Is that photo the actual crime scene?

Everyone here states that the mother was the last one murdered and placed in position, but if that photo is correct, how is that possible since the son's body and jacket are positioned over her? Just wondering-------

An autopsy revealed Virginia had died of strangulation and that her husband and son were strangled before being drowned in the running water of the tub.

Perhaps the preps strangled, her husband and her first and placed them there before the son were strangled , her blood was found in the living room in a apparent struggle. You are right the pictures appear as the husband was first to have been laid there because the wife over laps him and the son is over lapping her .

Edited by docyabut2
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mbrn30000

I realized an anniversary had past and I came across this Jan. 2015 article and I'm very disappointed because the sheriff seems to me to be offering an especially lame excuse for not submitting evidence for DNA analysis.

Yeah, we're informed such analysis would be "very difficult". :huh:

http://www.wataugade...fdbdd91c44.html

I really wonder about the competence in this case. why not try or use touch dna on the ligatures? every year this case is less and less solvable. but we have discussed all this before. if you want to kill somebody, take them on a sight seeing tour of boone county. it won't take much staging to fool the local's finest.

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lw-intuit

An autopsy revealed Virginia had died of strangulation and that her husband and son were strangled before being drowned in the running water of the tub.

Perhaps the preps strangled, her husband and her first and placed them there before the son were strangled , her blood was found in the living room in a apparent struggle. You are right the pictures appear as the husband was first to have been laid there because the wife over laps him and the son is over lapping her .

The photo is strange. The investigator's claim is that the son was first, father second and mother last. I don't understand where that photo came from. Surely they didn't take the bodies out of the water, examine them and put them back in, in the wrong order. I can't imagine anyone going to all the trouble of creating a fake mock-up of the crime scene using bodies in order to take a photo as well as placing them in what appears to be an incorrect position, or is it? Certainly are a lot of unanswered questions in this case.

Another question I have, because I think the family was followed home from the dealership, is who owned the 'Jimmy' they were driving prior to and had it just been repossessed, since Bryce was said to be in 'auto loans', Also since there were four 'Jimmy's' said to have come in to dealership that week, in the news it says he told the salesman to 'gas up THE Jimmy', not 'gas up any one of the Jimmy's', so why that particular one? It doesn't appear to have been a new one, but not that old, thus raising the question as to whether it was a vehicle Bryce had repossessed. One could then ask why whoever it was then left it behind..........may have been because it was the biggest clue as to who it was connected to. Revenge, that got out of control possibly. Maybe Bryce refused to turn over the keys and that was what they were looking for, not money. Just a thought-----

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docyabut2

The photo is strange. The investigator's claim is that the son was first, father second and mother last. I don't understand where that photo came from. Surely they didn't take the bodies out of the water, examine them and put them back in, in the wrong order. I can't imagine anyone going to all the trouble of creating a fake mock-up of the crime scene using bodies in order to take a photo as well as placing them in what appears to be an incorrect position, or is it? Certainly are a lot of unanswered questions in this case.

Another question I have, because I think the family was followed home from the dealership, is who owned the 'Jimmy' they were driving prior to and had it just been repossessed, since Bryce was said to be in 'auto loans', Also since there were four 'Jimmy's' said to have come in to dealership that week, in the news it says he told the salesman to 'gas up THE Jimmy', not 'gas up any one of the Jimmy's', so why that particular one? It doesn't appear to have been a new one, but not that old, thus raising the question as to whether it was a vehicle Bryce had repossessed. One could then ask why whoever it was then left it behind..........may have been because it was the biggest clue as to who it was connected to. Revenge, that got out of control possibly. Maybe Bryce refused to turn over the keys and that was what they were looking for, not money. Just a thought-----

Well I was all set to believe it was the son and daughter that did this crime, but it was always my first thought that Jimmy that was repossessed had something to do with it,as if there were drugs hidden in that car

Edited by docyabut2

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lw-intuit

Well I was all set to believe it was the son and daughter that did this crime, but it was always my first thought that Jimmy that was repossessed had something to do with it,as if there were drugs hidden in that car

I don't know that it was ever mentioned that the 'Jimmy' had been repossessed. Did you see that somewhere in the news articles and I missed it? IF it was repossessed, I wonder if it was then reconditioned/cleaned out somewhere else before arriving at the dealership or if it went directly to the dealership. That could definitely make a big difference as to whether drugs could possibly be what someone was after. I continue to think the vehicle is the clue as to who, but just my opinion.

I am thinking more like someone vengeful because vehicle was possibly taken and having a sense of entitlement about it. Maybe a relationship problem, with SO paying for it, and possibly a break-up stopping payment leading to re-po? Someone who had returned from VNam war possibly, with problems, as well as money problems, coupled with relationship problem? Thinking war vet because of the manner by which the victims were murdered. In my opinion, there had to be at least three people, so thinking possibly gang member friends, possibly prior to military? Just thinking of who don't 'talk', even 40 years later.

I am of the thought the sash cord didn't come with intruders, because from what I have researched, that type of sash cord is still available on Amazon.com, and one of the comments made was that it makes a perfect rope for Boy Scout knot tying. The son was said to be an Eagle Scout. I found this article about how important it is to a scout to study and practice knots. I am thinking the rope was already at the house, possibly in the son's room.

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/mb-PION.aspx

DNA testing should definitely be done on it because my guess is there would be no other predominant DNA on the cord other than that of the son if he used it often to practice knots. I'm not certain whether someone in the military from the 70's would be in the CODA base unless arrested for something later on. I don't know if VA members are put in CODA base or not.

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lw-intuit

One additional thought---------I am thinking that instead of the silver plate found in a bag in the vehicle being part of a 'staging' or part of a robbery gone bad, that rather it was possibly a plate the mother carried food on to the office for lunch/dinner and then brought the plate back home, but forgot to take out of the vehicle and into the house.

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rashore

I'm not quite sure why the notion that the Jimmy was a used vehicle is coming up again. At the time, the Jimmy was still a new introduction, barely a few months into it's third production year. Leasing and reselling wasn't really a thing back in the 70's- and even with repossession, the vehicle would have been repossessed to the dealership, not repossessed to the manufacturer and re-distributed with three other of the same vehicle to the dealership. If it had been a drug vehicle, it would have gone through the police channels, and at best potentially being sold through police auction- and again, not delivered with three other Jimmys to the dealership.

And the bag of silver plate was a bag of silver plate, meaning multiple pieces- not a bag with a single plate in it.

And the pic of the bodies in the tub is a crime photo, and accurate to who died when. The son was first, and is on the left- he's wearing mens slacks and a belt, with his shirt tucked in. Then the father, and he is in the middle- wearing dress slacks with the back pocket turned out and a tucked in dress shirt. The mother was placed last and she is on the right- that's her plaid coat lapping over the fathers body.

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Vincennes

I'm not positive about what occurred to me as I read the posts regarding the Jimmy's repossession. I tried to search it a bit but didn't have much luck. My problem is that I don't think the automobile industry was offering financing back then on their new vehicles. I think back then automobile financing was done through banks, credit unions, not the auto companies themselves as they do today. Chrysler's first bail out which happened in 1979 might have opened that door for Chrysler but that first bail out was in 1979, so after the murders happened.

My point is that if there was a repossession of a car at that time, it was done by the banks and, as the lender, the cars actually went back to the bank, not to the dealers. Where I live the banks would then get together and organize large auctions for those vehicles. The dealerships or dealers never see those cars again.

Edited by Vincennes

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lw-intuit

I'm not positive about what occurred to me as I read the posts regarding the Jimmy's repossession. I tried to search it a bit but didn't have much luck. My problem is that I don't think the automobile industry was offering financing back then on their new vehicles. I think back then automobile financing was done through banks, credit unions, not the auto companies themselves as they do today. Chrysler's first bail out which happened in 1979 might have opened that door for Chrysler but that first bail out was in 1979, so after the murders happened.

My point is that if there was a repossession of a car at that time, it was done by the banks and, as the lender, the cars actually went back to the bank, not to the dealers. Where I live the banks would then get together and organize large auctions for those vehicles. The dealerships or dealers never see those cars again.

Not certain how a repo might have played out at that time. According to the news, the father had been in the car loan business. While he may have dealt with banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, still wondering if he might have had some past connection to that vehicle.

Bryce Durham was a Wilkes County native who had moved to Mount Airy in the car loan business and then to Boone to open his own dealership, a dream come true for the hard-working family.

Also according to same news story, A four-wheel drive vehicle called a Jimmy had just arrived at the dealership that day, and Bryce Durham told an employee to gas it up.

That is not to say that three other ones hadn't arrived that week, just pointing out that the vehicle in question was said to have arrived that day.

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_3f04e50f-a3a2-5aed-9dfb-c0118871ac34.html

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lw-intuit

I'm not quite sure why the notion that the Jimmy was a used vehicle is coming up again. At the time, the Jimmy was still a new introduction, barely a few months into it's third production year. Leasing and reselling wasn't really a thing back in the 70's- and even with repossession, the vehicle would have been repossessed to the dealership, not repossessed to the manufacturer and re-distributed with three other of the same vehicle to the dealership. If it had been a drug vehicle, it would have gone through the police channels, and at best potentially being sold through police auction- and again, not delivered with three other Jimmys to the dealership.

And the bag of silver plate was a bag of silver plate, meaning multiple pieces- not a bag with a single plate in it.

And the pic of the bodies in the tub is a crime photo, and accurate to who died when. The son was first, and is on the left- he's wearing mens slacks and a belt, with his shirt tucked in. Then the father, and he is in the middle- wearing dress slacks with the back pocket turned out and a tucked in dress shirt. The mother was placed last and she is on the right- that's her plaid coat lapping over the fathers body.

According to the news article from link on page one, A silver plate from the home was found in the back seat.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1665&dat=19720204&id=wi8aAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gSQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4928,2534985&hl=en

Are we looking at the same photo? Doesn't the one in the middle have a dark skirt on and the one on the far right has men's long underwear on? His body overlaps the one in the middle as well as does the jacket. Are you saying the one with long underwear on is the mother?

http://ididitforjodie.com/2013/12/29/overlapping-murders-presidential-edition-travels-with-cecil/

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Vincennes

Not certain how a repo might have played out at that time. According to the news, the father had been in the car loan business. While he may have dealt with banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, still wondering if he might have had some past connection to that vehicle.

Bryce Durham was a Wilkes County native who had moved to Mount Airy in the car loan business and then to Boone to open his own dealership, a dream come true for the hard-working family.

Also according to same news story, A four-wheel drive vehicle called a Jimmy had just arrived at the dealership that day, and Bryce Durham told an employee to gas it up.

That is not to say that three other ones hadn't arrived that week, just pointing out that the vehicle in question was said to have arrived that day.

http://www.journalno...118871ac34.html

I agree with what you are saying but I still question that would have related to the purchase of new cars. Around here we have dealers that do in their own financing but it's used by those who have poor credit rating, job history, etc. So the type of cars they finance are usually the junkers by people who take their payments every week to the dealer. I'm not saying it was impossible for a rather new Jimmy to be financed like that, it just strikes me as out of the norm.

This is also a silly little thought of mine reading the posts re. the "silver plate." The question occurs to me on that is just how accurate was that reporter when he related or understood what was in the bag in the back seat. "Silverplate" is a term that is used for items that are not solid silver but that are an alloy base dipped in silver. I actually just purchased an entire set of antique "silver plate" silverware and recently sold a coffee and tea server set that was also "silverplate." Even though these items were not solid silver, they do look like they are (and can actually be quite valuable if they happen to be a pattern sought after by collectors). Yet, say if a reporter was looking up an insurance report of what was taken, a bag of "Rogers silverplate" might just have interpreted that as an actual silver plate.

Please know that I realize these little blips probably won't entirely change consideration of the murders - LOL - I just thought it might make a difference in the consideration of just what might have been in that bag in the back seat.....

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lw-intuit

I agree with what you are saying but I still question that would have related to the purchase of new cars. Around here we have dealers that do in their own financing but it's used by those who have poor credit rating, job history, etc. So the type of cars they finance are usually the junkers by people who take their payments every week to the dealer. I'm not saying it was impossible for a rather new Jimmy to be financed like that, it just strikes me as out of the norm.

This is also a silly little thought of mine reading the posts re. the "silver plate." The question occurs to me on that is just how accurate was that reporter when he related or understood what was in the bag in the back seat. "Silverplate" is a term that is used for items that are not solid silver but that are an alloy base dipped in silver. I actually just purchased an entire set of antique "silver plate" silverware and recently sold a coffee and tea server set that was also "silverplate." Even though these items were not solid silver, they do look like they are (and can actually be quite valuable if they happen to be a pattern sought after by collectors). Yet, say if a reporter was looking up an insurance report of what was taken, a bag of "Rogers silverplate" might just have interpreted that as an actual silver plate.

Please know that I realize these little blips probably won't entirely change consideration of the murders - LOL - I just thought it might make a difference in the consideration of just what might have been in that bag in the back seat.....

Since it doesn't appear, at least to me, that robbery of home valuables was the motive, the only other reason I can think of is that vehicle. I doubt that anyone is going to brave a snowstorm to walk a mile to a house. If they wanted money, why not rob the car dealership while the father and son weren't there? Why would they want silver over cash which was left behind? What attracted 'them' to the Durhams? The only thing I can come up with is the something to do with the vehicle and revenge. Why steal 'silver plate' or 'silverplate' and then leave it behind? Even if the bag had silverware in it, according to the autopsies and food found in the mother and father's intestines, it would appear they ate together at lunch likely at the dealership, and likely food the mother took there as well as possibly silverware (silverplated) or a silver plate. I continue to think it far more likely what was found in the vehicle wasn't related to the crime.

The next thing I questioned is who actually died first------------------according to the news, Autopsy results would show Virginia Durham died of strangulation, while her husband and son had been strangled and drowned. Bryce Durham had a cord tied loosely around his neck. Since they were all strangled, but apparently only one cord was found, is it possible the father was the last to be strangled, ie: rope still around his neck, and possibly pointing even more toward revenge?

Edited by lw-intuit

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mbrn30000

I'm not positive about what occurred to me as I read the posts regarding the Jimmy's repossession. I tried to search it a bit but didn't have much luck. My problem is that I don't think the automobile industry was offering financing back then on their new vehicles. I think back then automobile financing was done through banks, credit unions, not the auto companies themselves as they do today. Chrysler's first bail out which happened in 1979 might have opened that door for Chrysler but that first bail out was in 1979, so after the murders happened.

My point is that if there was a repossession of a car at that time, it was done by the banks and, as the lender, the cars actually went back to the bank, not to the dealers. Where I live the banks would then get together and organize large auctions for those vehicles. The dealerships or dealers never see those cars again.

Yes and no. Back in the late 70's my father owned a little country new car dealership and we got stuck quite often with repos. I was a kid so I don't remember how it worked. Big dealers never got stuck. the bank did in those cases for sure. I don't remember the Jimmy ever being described as a repo though. It was most likely a demonstrator if it was new. GM gives some concessions to dealers so their sales staff and owner can drive a new car. I would think the owner might have a couple he drove so telling someone to gas up the Jimmy would be clearly understood by whomever he told. I think this case is solvable but time is slipping away.

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docyabut2

Did they ever say where that Jimmy came from that day to the dealership? If the son law and daughter didn't do this crime, there had to be something that some body was looking for, to turn the house upside down, kill those poor people. If the killers went to the house that night in another vehicle, why would they take the Jimmy run with it and then a banned it? Then again if the son in law was dropped off at the house and killed them, he could have taken the jimmy to stage a burglary and was picked up by his wife. If they were just thrill killers that went there to kill those people why stage anything at all, I know a lot of questions:):)

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lw-intuit

Did they ever say where that Jimmy came from that day to the dealership? If the son law and daughter didn't do this crime, there had to be something that some body was looking for, to turn the house upside down, kill those poor people. If the killers went to the house that night in another vehicle, why would they take the Jimmy run with it and then a banned it? Then again if the son in law was dropped off at the house and killed them, he could have taken the jimmy to stage a burglary and was picked up by his wife. If they were just thrill killers that went there to kill those people why stage anything at all, I know a lot of questions:) :)

I haven't read anything that states where the Jimmy came from.

What I did find in researching is that Bryce, prior to coming to Boone, managed Mt. Airy Auto Loans, Inc. I think the murders were about something that had it's origin prior to the Durhams moving to Boone that then moved into 'grudge' state due to an occurrence of some type prior to the murders.

I think the theft of the Jimmy was planned prior to arrival at the Durhams house. If they went there to commit a crime, how did 'they' expect to make their getaway if their car was parked a mile or two away? Just walk out in a blinding snowstorm? I personally do not think so.

I continue to believe the ramsacking was about the keys to the Jimmy, not money, not important papers, not 'silverplate', (which I continue to think was more likely something that the mother was taking home from office to wash/clean, whether it be silverware, silver plate, or both).

The father was said to have taken off his Totes and that his coat was upstairs. Question I have is where did he keep the keys to vehicles? The kitchen doesn't appear to have been ramsacked and aside from things being tossed around during a struggle in what appears to be living room, I am wondering where the photo of the ramsacked drawers was taken. My guess, same room as where the father's coat was, where keys possibly were not found in coat, so search was on. IMO, the theft of the Jimmy was planned prior to the murders,----no intention of trudging through a mile or two of snow on foot. Why abandon it then? First, they needed it to get to their vehicle without being seen in full view, and secondly, I don't think 'they' specifically went there to murder, but went too far once there. After that, they realized taking the Jimmy after murdering would lead LE right to them, so best to abandon it close to their get-away car.

All just a theory, but I don't think this was about thrill seeking. I think it was about anger about a deal that got out of control.

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docyabut2

What's hard to believe could the son in law have killed all three people of this family ?. Maybe the phone call to him from the Mother saying there were three men ruffing up her husband and son in the house could be true. A question how did the killers get there? were they already there or came in after the Durhams got home, or did the Durhams picked them up in a snow storm, them claiming their car broke down and brought them home to make a phone call, its just odd that the neighbors only saw the jimmy go to the house and leave the house that night .

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mbrn30000

What's hard to believe could the son in law have killed all three people of this family ?. Maybe the phone call to him from the Mother saying there were three men ruffing up her husband and son in the house could be true. A question how did the killers get there? were they already there or came in after the Durhams got home, or did the Durhams picked them up in a snow storm, them claiming their car broke down and brought them home to make a phone call, its just odd that the neighbors only saw the jimmy go to the house and leave the house that night .

That's the hardest for me. I do not think he could have acted alone. Both Durham men were pretty big. I do remember seeing some comments in the newspaper articles about a brother but not sure if the commenter actually knew for sure. Cecil was older and can't see him being much help. Even with a gun, the three would have not been strangled or subdued easily. I would think at least two men if not more. Not sure I believe the phone call ever happened, but its just dumb enough to be true.

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docyabut2

That's the hardest for me. I do not think he could have acted alone. Both Durham men were pretty big. I do remember seeing some comments in the newspaper articles about a brother but not sure if the commenter actually knew for sure. Cecil was older and can't see him being much help. Even with a gun, the three would have not been strangled or subdued easily. I would think at least two men if not more. Not sure I believe the phone call ever happened, but its just dumb enough to be true.

There was no apparent struggle in the house except for the Mother`s in the den , which says to me they were really over powered and there had to be more then one or two persons that did this crime.

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lw-intuit

There was no apparent struggle in the house except for the Mother`s in the den , which says to me they were really over powered and there had to be more then one or two persons that did this crime.

Completely agree, and I think they would have had to have been big, strong men considering the size of the father and son. My guess is three with the third one leaving the other two with father and son and proceeding to catch mother on phone and taking her down. I think what the son in law reported as having been said to him on the phone is likely correct----three.

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