1982 Lake Waco Murders

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This case is technically "solved"; however, many questions remain (not the least of which is: was an innocent men executed?). I was living in Waco for several years; left a couple of months before this happened. I knew Vic Feazell casually- he was having trysts w/ my room mate. My impression of him was/is *smarmy*- not just because he was married & screwing around, but because he literally came across that way- just exuded ego, anything for attention, nasty personality in general. Also, the media makes this case sound like an aberration in Waco, and, honestly, it wasn't. I sobered up in 1980; in early 1981 an acquaintance from the program & her boyfriend went to Koehne Park to try to score some weed; the boyfriend was shot and killed. It wasn't at all unusual for people to be shot, stabbed, etc. in Waco- I worked in medicine, and not a weekend went by without shootings & stabbings coming into the E.R. Anyway, will comment more later; hope to hear others' opinions!
<snip>
The 1982 Lake Waco Murders refers to the deaths of three teenagers (two females, one male) near Lake Waco in Waco, Texas, in July 1982. The police investigation and criminal trials that followed the murders lasted for more than a decade and resulted in the execution of one man, David Wayne Spence, as well as life prison sentences for two other men allegedly involved in the crime, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez. A fourth suspect, Muneer Mohammad Deeb, was eventually let out after spending several years in prison.
<snip>
On July 13, 1982, two fishermen discovered the bodies of Jill Montgomery, 17, Raylene Rice, 17, and Kenneth Franks, 18, in Speegleville Park, near Lake Waco. Franks' body was found propped against a tree, with sunglasses over his eyes. All three victims had been repeatedly stabbed, and both of the women's throats had been slashed. There was also evidence that the women had been sexually assaulted.[1] <snip>
The investigation was initially headed by Lieutenant Marvin Horton of the Waco police department, with assistance from Detective Ramon Salinas and Patrolman Mike Nicoletti. Truman Simons, who was with the Waco police department at the time and had been one of the first respondents on the scene of the crime, also assisted the investigation in an informal capacity.

Initially, the investigation revealed a number of different possible suspects, including James Russell Bishop [2] and Terry Harper, local residents who had been tied to the area at the time of the crime. However, both men were found to have credible alibis (Harper's was later proven false when Spence's attorneys investigated it), and in September of that year, the investigation began to stall and was marked as "suspended." Simons, who had taken a significant personal interest in the case, requested that he be given permission to continue investigating the case, which he was subsequently granted.

<snip>The case languished for nearly a year, until the work of Simons and others had produced enough evidence to again arrest Deeb and three alleged accomplices in the plot.[4] Deeb had had a life insurance policy for one employee at his convenience store who bore a striking resemblance to Jill Montgomery. Simons hypothesized that Deeb had hired David Wayne Spence to murder her, and that Spence and two friends, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez, had seen the victims and mistaken Montgomery for the target. They speculated that the other two victims had been murdered because they were witnesses.[5]
<snip>
Deeb, Spence, and the Melendez brothers were all indicted late in 1983. District Attorney Vic Feazell, whose office had been instrumental in continuing to pursue new evidence in the case, would manage the prosecution against the accused.[6] Spence and both Melendez brothers were, at the time, already serving prison sentences for various crimes.[7]

The evidence against the men largely consisted of testimony provided by other inmates, who claimed that the defendants had admitted to their involvement in the killings in private discussions, as well as confessions made by Anthony and Gilbert Melendez. Also considered was the confession Deeb had made to the two young women about his involvement in the killings, as well as the life insurance policy he had taken out for his employee. Bite marks on the victims were also presented as evidence of Spence’s involvement.

The trials began in May, with testimony from dental specialists supplementing the evidence that had been provided by the prison witnesses. In June, Anthony Melendez pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life imprisonment.[8] Spence’s case was badly damaged by Melendez’ confession, which played a key role in his eventual conviction in July 1984. Unlike Melendez, Spence was sentenced to death for his involvement in the killings.[8]

<snip>
In 1986, true-crime writer Carlton Stowers published his account of the murders and police investigation surrounding the Lake Waco murders, Careless Whispers. The book focused heavily on Truman Simons’ involvement in producing the evidence which led to the convictions.
<snip>
Controversy
Following the convictions of Spence and Deeb, some began to question the substance of the evidence on which the convictions had been based and the methods through which it had been obtained. Forensic odontologist Homer Campbell was proven to have made false assessments at around the same time, and when a blind panel examined the alleged bite marks and a mold of Spence's teeth, three said that the marks were not even bite marks, and the other two matched them to a Kansas housewife.[citation needed] Three of the seven people who said Spence confessed later stated that Simons had offered them privileges in order to secure their testimony and had fed them info on what to say.[citation needed] Spence's lawyers also discovered an alternate suspect in Terry Harper, a local thug with a history of knife-related offenses. Six witnesses testified to seeing Harper and his friends in the park on the night of the murder, and others claimed that he had boasted of committing the murders (some even said that he did this even before the crime was made public).[citation needed] Also, one of the victims, Kenneth Franks, was later found to have been an associate of Harper's in the drug trade.[citation needed] When Harper was interviewed by Spence's lawyers, he claimed that he was at home watching Dynasty; records showed that Dynasty did not air that night.[citation needed] Brian Pardo, a wealthy Texas businessman, met Spence a few months prior to his execution and, on becoming convinced of his innocence, launched a campaign to delay his death sentence so that a new trial could be commenced. His efforts were unsuccessful, but they brought attention to the case following Spence’s execution.

Bob Herbert wrote a series of articles for The New York Times in 1997, with headlines such as “The Wrong Man” and “The Impossible Crime,” in which he claimed that the case had been “cobbled […] together from the fabricated and often preposterous testimony of inmates who were granted all manner of favors in return.” [12]
 
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GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
Yeah, @BKL67 , I'm not big on bite mark evidence at all, for exactly the reasons you listed. I think I'd be prone to discount it if I was on a jury, but I haven't been in that situation, so I can't say for sure.
Another question: if I'm remembering correctly, the M.E. said the 2 female victims had been sexually assaulted, but there was no semen- I think she said it was done by other objects (need to go back and re-read that). My problem is I can't recall off hand where the DNA came from. Can you refresh my memory?
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
And GarAndMo39 this is what I usually ask people when this subject comes up. Let's say some how Spence and the Melendez brothers were granted a new trial, even now. Of course the prosecution would change up their strategy to some degree. Remember during David Spence's two trial none of the living victims of his violent behavior, including his penchant for violently biting, testified during the guilt phase of the trials, Lisa Kader testified during the penalty phase. Christine Juhl didn't testify until Deeb's re-trial and Cindy Quick/Click never testified, David attacking her on the night of July 27th. There would have to be adjustments in the testimony, Lisa Kader could only testify during the penalty phase because she was claiming rape, which hadn't been adjudicated. Being the only girl testifying to David's violent behavior there was no other was to get her testimony in. If she was only claiming an encounter and not an alleged crime she could only testify in the guilt phase if there was corroborating evidence, even if that corroborating is circumstantial, to meet that requirement the prosecution would need to produce at least another witness that could testify to this violent behavior, they would have two Christine and Cindy. So my question is; what do you think would have more of an impact on a jury, remind you in the guilt phase, doctors or experts debating the veracity of bite mark evidence or three girls getting on the stand and describing in uncomfortable detail the violence David Wayne Spence unleashed upon them, including viciously biting them?
That's a tough question! I don't know that I can give you an answer that I'm comfortable with, because the bite mark evidence would be dicey, and until I saw and heard from the 3 women, I couldn't determine how much credibility to give them. That sounds awful- I really hate questioning women who are rape victims. But if I felt any or all of them had an agenda (as in wanting Spence convicted due to, let's say, resentment of him for being a crappy boyfriend/date/etc.), as opposed to just stating their experiences without undue "coaching" from a prosecutor, I might be a bit reluctant to believe them. If the prosecution presented photos of bruises, abrasions, etc. from the victims I'd definitely put serious if not total weight on their testimony. Of course, the problem with that is that, unfortunately, many women don't go to the E.R, (or are physically prevented from doing so by their assailant), and many don't think about having friends/family/etc. take photos. In this hypothetical situation, keeping in mind what I just stated, I think the women would be more convincing to me. Expert witnesses have a way of neutralizing each other sometimes, plus I'd know they were being paid, so I don't think I'd put much weight on them debating bite mark testimony...testimony about more solid evidence is a different story. That's the best answer I have for now- but I still have reading to catch up on, so my feelings might very well change!
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
@ GarAndMo39 again you are correct, the "other objects" usually gets narrowed down to David's infamous whoopee or love stick. I would add the minute amounts of blood found in David's car would be consistent with someone bending down or getting down on their knees and reaching under the front seat to get something, which Anthony Melendez testified David did when he went to retrieve this stick. For the DNA evidence, there were hairs found a number of places, and like so many other things reported about this case it has been reported that pubic hairs from an unknown individual were found on the girls bodies. Yes their were pubic hairs found but they were all matched to the girls. The hairs found in the shoe strings entangled in the bindings gets the most attention but anyone with an open mind could think up scenarios that could explain how those hairs got there unrelated or unconnected to the case. Then there were fibers found on the bodies, widely considered to be fibers from automotive carpet. What I found interesting was it looks like the FBI could not determine the source of these fibers, which I found very strange. This was the specific issue I was trying to resolve when I sent my FOIA request to the FBI, they sent me what they could release but it wasn't any help at all. No DNA evidence was not found anywhere inside the bodies of any of the victims, that's the definitive kind of DNA evidence that is irrefutable, that's a hard one to try and explain away.
 
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GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
@ GarAndMo39 again you are correct, the "other objects" usually gets narrowed down to Davis's infamous whoopee or love stick.
Oh, good God- I forgot about the infamous "love stick" <not gonna puke>. What a d-bag! I need to get out of this office & go hang with my "kids" (2 cats), but I'll be on the tablet in the other room shortly, so I'm still in this (have groceries coming today, so I'll be trying to stay awake until then). See you on the other side soon!
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
@GarAndMo39, your answer to my question about the bigger impact is fair but of course another question, I'm Captain Question and yes i'm related to Captain Obvious, were like second cousins once removed or something. What if co- defendants also testified to the defendants violent behavior, which happened in this case. I can see people questioning the Melendez brothers, they agreed to cooperate with the prosecution but Muneer Deeb was pleading Innocent. The narrative of his involvement is that he was physically incapable of committing these brutal crimes so he had to get someone else to do it for him, testifying he new about David being violent really doesn't help his case. this would be the kind of person Deeb would go to.
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
@GarAndMo39, your answer to my question about the bigger impact is fair but of course another question, I'm Captain Question and yes i'm related to Captain Obvious, were like second cousins once removed or something. What if co- defendants also testified to the defendants violent behavior, which happened in this case. I can see people questioning the Melendez brothers, they agreed to cooperate with the prosecution but Muneer Deeb was pleading Innocent. The narrative of his involvement is that he was physically incapable of committing these brutal crimes so he had to get someone else to do it for him, testifying he new about David being violent really doesn't help his case. this would be the kind of person Deeb would go to.
Hey Captain Question!
I haven't yet gotten to the trials, so I'm at a disadvantage here. My off the cuff response is that I'd probably figure the codefendants were all trying to pin Spence down as the worst of them in order to avoid the death penalty (which I'd think their attorneys would encourage), and knowing that none of them were exactly upstanding citizens, I'd be inclined to not trust any of them much. Deeb is technically as guilty as the rest for his involvement even if he didn't directly participate in the murders. To the best of my knowledge at this point in time. I don't feel very secure in this response since I need to read about the trials. Plus I'm half brain dead now!!
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
Now to the fiasco revolving around how the whole scene was handled at Kohne Park from the beginning. After Mr. Franks filed the missing person report at 9:00 a.m. he was told to meet the responded officer at Koehne Park. The first officer to arrive was Mike Nicoletti. Lt Horton would arrive later not really to investigate, as his rank put him in a position of leadership/command, as he would later state from time to time he liked to get out of the office and show his face, well maybe he should of spent more time doing the necessary work his position required; reviewing the work and reports of the people he commanded and maybe then he wouldn't have suspended a triple homicide case after less than two months and before he made sure those under his command had followed up all tips and leads which was what their jobs required. The other officer to arrive of the scene was Lyons I believe, he was the evidence collector, again I will have to re=check this, I believe the official title the Waco PD used was special investigator. And he did find fingerprints on both Raylene Rice's car at Koehne and the car at Midway. I have never been able to find if those prints were ever checked and if so the results. I actually talked to one of the guys that worked in the department that was responsible for the record keeping, can't recall his name at the moment but it's on the blog. I do have to say when I was trying to get as many files on the case and some other related material the staff of the Waco PD that handled FOIA request were always very helpful, very courteous and polite and really went out of their way to assist me in getting records and information on these old cases that can be very difficult to find. When things were switched over to computers everything was not saved, some things deemed unimportant were discarded and even though I was unable to get a lot of the things I requested the staff at Waco did everything humanly possible and then some to fulfill my request, much appreciation, gratitude and respect. OK back to Koehne park on the morning of July 14th, after Mr. Franks provided what information he would give everyone left, leaving Raylene's car there. It was until much later that someone decided something should be done about that. Now I could be wrong about this but the way it sounds in the report, it wasn't until the next shift came in that day until anything more was done with this case. The person that finally thought something should be done was Detective Trantham, again probably spelling his name wrong and will have to go back to the reports to correct. This detective you don't hear much about, he was one of the detectives taken off the case when the number of people working the case was reduced during the Monday morning July 19th meeting. In my opinion, Tranthan seemed more on top of everything in the short time he was involved than the others working the case at that time, I wonder how things might have been different if he had stayed on the case, I wish he would have. Anyway in his report he states when he arrived that day, approximately 1:00 p.m. he was informed or updated on the days events up to that point, he asked if anyone had done any follow up on the missing kids no one had and that the car was still sitting at Koehne park, Trantham thought it best being that late in the day maybe they should go ahead and tow the car and having it taken to the impound. Before he did this he decided to call the parents of the missing kids to be sure they hadn't heard from the kids, this would be the first time Jill's mother or Raylene's parents would talk to someone from the Waco PD, before that all their communication had been with Mr. Franks. None of the parents had heard from their children, so Trantham informs Mr. Rice he is going to impound the car nd that Mr. Rice can come pick it up which Mr. Rice agrees to do later in the day. Then Trantham asked Mr. Rice when he came to Waco could he bring pictures of the girls. Mr. Rice said he would. So the car was finally removed from Koehne Park about 2:00 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Rice arrived in Waco a few hours later, don't know the exact time, and brought the pictures Trantham had asked for. Trantham put the pictures of the girls with the picture of Kenneth Franks that Mr. Franks had provided that morning when he filed the missing person report. The Rice's pick up the car and on their way home before 6:00 p.m., shortly after 6:00 p.m. the call comes in to Waco PD of a possible questionable death, sorry again I can't remember the exact wording used in the report. Sergeant Truman Simons and Patrolman Brian Reynolds the the first officers from Waco PD to be dispatched. Before they arrive the second call comes in it isn't a questionable death foul play was definitely evident. A white male had been found laying by a dirt road, more like a dirt path, his legs laying out into the path and he had been stabbed. After this second call came in to Waco Pd detective Ramon Salinas was sent to respond, as Salinas gets ready to leave the station Trantham hands him the photos of the kids telling Salinas these kids had been reported missing earlier in the day, Salinas takes the photos. Arriving at Speegleville Park Salinas realizes the male victim was Kenneth Franks, he was wearing the same shirt as the one in the picture he was giving. At that time Kenneth's body was the only one discovered, now Salinas informs the other officers there from multiple law enforcement agency that Kenneth had been reported missing along with two other girls showing the pictures, officers start looking for the two girls. Raylene Rice is found laying in some tall grass about 50 yards away and shortly afterwards Jill Montgomery is found a few more yards away, her knee slightly visible over the tall grass in a more wooded area. An abandoned and vandalized car and three missing kids now became a triple homicide, Mr. and Mrs. Rice were still on the road driving home when the discovery was made and never being notified, first hearing about the terrible fate of their daughter on the late night news. Salinas and another office, I believe Sergeant Robert Fortune escorted the bodies to Dallas where the autopsy were to be conducted, picking up Raylene's car in Waxahachie on their way back. When they got back to Waco early in the morning of July 15th they decided to go back out to Koehne Park to see if they could find any clues or evidence, while there walking around where Raylene's car had been found they find four paycheck stubs scattered around that for some unexplained reason had gone undetected the day before, a harbinger of how this investigation would go. Those paycheck stubs belonged to Jill Montgomery.
 
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GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
Every time I see Horton, I think of Dr. Suess- Horton Hears A Who! (I'm not quite awake yet, which makes me more nuts than usual- sorry! In re: the paycheck stubs, I remember that- why were they there on the ground? Was the theory that Franks went thru her purse; or she dropped them there, or the perps accidentally spilled them while looking for money (or something else)?
Also. in re: the "good reverend"- why do you think the files on his murder are sealed? And do you think he & Mr. Franks ever had a relationship going?
Will talk about juries in next post!
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
Oh, another aside, @BKL67 - Dr. Jolliff, the shrink who evaluated Spence, was my doctor the whole time I lived in Texas~ .IMO, he's the best of the best. Not surprised he diagnosed Spence as a sociopath- regardless of whether or not Spence was guilty, I think that assessment is absolutely correct!
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
. I will start with just my little opinion on O.J. to get that out of the way. Yes that was a travesty of justice but our Justice system is geared towards protecting the accused and I can understand that especially in capital cases, the prosecution has to meet the burden of proof all the defense as to do is plant the seed of doubt in the mind of one juror. That's what makes David Spence's conviction so distinguished he was found guilty my two different juries. But again that is just my opinion.
Ok, my opinions on juries. You, of course, are correct. However, in the OJ case, I believe that was likely a matter of jury nullification (based on Rodney King, mostly). I also think stealth jurors get into juries & screw things up (thinking here of the Jodi Arias case- don't know if you followed that or not). In the Arias case, I believe the foreman in the guilt phase was anti death penalty, based on his interviews after the trial. In the penalty phase (second), there was a juror whose husband had been prosecuted by Juan Martinez, which she "neglected to reveal" during voir dire. Now, as far as Spence, I doubt either of those issues were factors.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
@ GarAndMo39, now you're hitting on the soft underbelly of the case, the issues that barely get brushed if touched at all, the unknowns. I know I'm going to be all over the place on this so please bear with me. I don't even know where to start with Richard Franks and Robert Frueh.

I think the only conclusion we can arrive to at this point is they knew each other and lived only a few doors down from each other at the time of the murders. Frueh preferred younger boys and right off hand I can't recall how long Mr. Franks had been with his partner Kenneth King. We do have that one account from one of the Dannys about Mr. Franks getting drunk and coming on to he and Donnie Sizemore. Did Mr.Franks and Mr. Frueh have any drug dealings or other nefarious dealings along the way? The first person to call Waco PD and mention Frueh was a biker, his girlfriend worked with the Reverend, Frueh was a part time substitute teacher, that is how Ronald Robinson was able to identify him when he saw him at Koehne Park the night of the murders, he told the police he thought it was the guy that was his substitute teacher in 8th grade. Anyway this biker calls the police and tells them they should look into Frueh and tells them Frueh likes to invite people over, offer them drugs and alcohol, puts on porn videos and then makes sexual advances toward his guest. Police recovered videos in a hide away in Frueh's closet after he was murdered. Seeing the similarity in the one boy's report of Mr. Franks and the Biker's on Frueh, I guess one might wonder did the two ever have any shared experiences, as dreadful as that thought might be. Among those that believe that Mr. Franks got a call the night of the murders and that is what sent him off to Koehne Park that night at 3:00 a.m. some speculate it was Robert Frueh that made that call, Mr. Frueh seeing something, so he called his friend and neighbor to alert him something was wrong. That would fit the reported timeline. Mr. Franks said it got up around 2:00 a.m., noticed Kenneth hadn't returned home. Mr. Franks unable to get back to sleep decided to ride out to Koehne Park knowing that is where Kenneth liked to hang out and it was only five minutes away, Mr. Franks got there about 3:00 a.m.. Ronald Robinson reported he, his friend and the unidentified girl left the Oaky Doky at closing time, that being 1:00 a.m. and got to Koehne about 1:30 a.m., shortly after that Mr, Frueh arrives pulls up beside Robinson and company and asks if they have seen a blonde hair girl, Mr. Frueh stating he was suppose to meet this girl there. Then Mr. Frueh offers Robinson some hash, well what Robinson believed to be hash and then Mr. Frueh leaves. If he went straight home after he left the park that would have put him back home around 2:00 a.m., the time Mr. Franks says he got up. When the police finally did interview Robert Frueh in November 1982, he also stated he had gotten to the park after 1:00 a.m., matching what Robinson had said. It didn't match what the other person, Deanna Storts, reported when she believed she saw Kenneth Franks in Robert Frueh's car much earlier, she being the witness that was so distraught that no one in law enforcement got back with her until that November. GarAndMo39 remember when you asked me about the homophobia of those times and I replied something to the effect a homosexual and drug connections permeate the police reports which led me to, and I still do, believe that the homosexual community would have felt safer in their drug dealings to deal with others in that community, well here is where all that comes together. I'm just going by what's in the reports, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but when you see this in the reports it really sticks out.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
When Reverend Robert Frueh first moved to Waco in the 70's he lived on Rambler Avenue, then he moved to Savannah Court, where the Franks lived, and was living there when the murders took place. According to the police reports there was a witness that believed saw Kenneth Franks on Rambler Avenue the day of the murders. The report states the witness thought it was Kenneth but wasn't sure because if it was Kenneth he wasn't on his motorbike he was on a red one. Turns out Kenneth's motorbike was in the shop that day so he was using his friends Patrick Torres' motorbike and it was red, with that I believe the witness did see Kenneth that day, it usually comes down to little details. The witness says he thought Kenneth was going to see his girlfriend at the time, she also lived on Rambler Avenue. When police talked to this girl she told them that she didn't get to see Kenneth that day, they had made plans ealier, either on Sunday the last time she saw Kenneth or Monday evening over the phone, to get together the evening of July 13th but before Kenneth was to arrive he had called her and told her that some of his friends were in town and he wanted to spend time with them. In the police reports they refer to his girl as either Michelle Schillings or Michelle Lewis, usually putting down both names, one in parenthesis, as if this was one girl, apparently they never realized these were two different girls. Neither did I until Rhonda Evans told me, we were talking about girls from the home or girls Kenneth was dating around the time and I repeated this girl's name as it appears in the reports with both surnames Lewis and Schilling. Rhonda had no idea who Michele Schilling was, she knew Michelle Lewis. This girl was a girl that lived at the Methodist Home and was in the same age group as the other girls we hear about in the reports, 16 or 17. The girl Kenneth Franks was seeing at the time was Michelle Schilling and she was only 13 and had just finished middle school that year. Kenneth had only been seeing this girl for about 10 days, probably started seeing her after Gayle Kelly returned to the Methodist Home and was put on restriction on July 5th. Michelle Schilling lived in an apartment building on Rambler Avenue that was right across the street from where Robert Frueh lived when he resided on Rambler Avenue. The girl that reported seeing Kenneth Franks in Frueh's car, Deanna Storts, lived in the same apartment as Michelle and was her next door neighbor, she stated this is how she first met Kenneth Franks, so she would have had only limited contact with Kenneth in those few days he was seeing Michelle Schilling. Apparently Deanna didn't know Robert Frueh, when I talked to Deanna's daughter I asked her if she knew when her mother started living at the apartments on Rambler to see if it was possible she and Frueh would have been living across the street from each other at any time, all the daughter could tell me was her mother was living on Rambler when her father (Deanna's husband) started dating her. Deanna would identify Frueh from a picture the police had on file. A little sidebar on this picture, in the police reports Salinas identifies this photo with a number, Frueh had at least been arrested once while he was living in Waco prior to the murders and this is where this picture came from when Salinas pulled the filed, I take it was a mug shot. Of course I wanted to know what Robert Frueh had been arrested for before, seeing all the stuff in the reports about him and that he was still a Reverend and substitute teacher, it looks like somebody missed something on that hire.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
Finding information via FOIA request can be very trying , at least when it comes to criminal files. You just can't ask for a criminal history you have to be more precise, I was told this many times. Well I was trying to find what Robert Frueh had been arrested for that was in the file Salinas had pulled the picture from and all I had to go by was the number on that picture. I was getting nowhere so I finally decided to call and talk to someone, at first it couldn't be determined exactly what that number was. The person I talked to was very nice, he hadn't been with the police department when the murders had occurred, he was too young, and didn't know much about the case but by going through the files trying to satisfy my request he started reading about the case and thought it was like the craziest case he had ever heard about, so he was kind of hooked and really wanted to help me. He couldn't figure out what the number on the picture was, so he decided to go to the captain or chief, I can't remember which one, all I remember is he told me his name was Price. When he told me that I asked him if this was the Price that married Jan Price the officer that had the problems with Truman Simons over the Juanita White murder and testified against him during the trial for that murder. His guy didn't know so I asked him to find out and I would call him back to find out. Well I never called him back for that, I figured he had better things to do than satisfy my curiosities and it would be better to stay on the good terms I had up to that time and calls for when I had more important issues, so I never found out if the two Prices were one in the same, but if it was it's funny how the world turns. Well this guy talked to Price about the number on the picture, they didn't have the picture just the mention of it in the report has I had, Price concluded it was just a booking number and you can't correlate a booking number to any case. I thought that strange what's the use of a booking number if you can't connect it to a case. So I never did find any information on that arrest, don't know if it was something Waco PD couldn't release or didn't have, the guy I talked to said they didn't have anything. One of the many things hard to find when it comes to the strange world of the Reverend Robert Frueh. But it wouldn't be the only arrest or file I couldn't get access to or couldn't be found.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
A couple guys I really haven't gotten into, because there is so much to get into , many things you don't read in the news paper articles and for most part not even in the book Careless Whispers, are James "Blinky" Lucas and his Uncle Ralph Finstad (spelling ?), these were two more shady characters that liked to pick up boys from the parks around the lake. For now, their connection to the case in a nutshell, Lucas had picked up two boys, brothers, from Koehne Park shortly after the murders, these boys were swimming in the little waterway that separated the two parts of Koehne Park. Lucas allegedly took the boys to the hotel where is Uncle Ralph worked and the four got a room. While there either Blinky or Uncle Ralph asked the younger boy to undress and lay on the bed with him, the young boy complied and then one of the men asked this boy if he (Lucas or Finstad) could perform oral sex on him (the boy), at this time the boys decide it's a good time to leave. Days later these guys would run into each other again, Lucas and Finstad apologizing to the boys for their behavior, the boys agree to climb in Lucas' truck and take off with him and his uncle again. Somewhere along the line things turned dark again. Now Lucas told the boys he had killed the three kids out at the lake, apparently threatening the boys to keep them quiet and also he told the boys that he had taking the girls purses and thrown them up in a tree, Jill and Raylene's purses were never recovered. If things don't sound crazy enough already they are about to get crazier. Now the two boys decide to try and blackmail Lucas and Finstad, they meet at a restaurant, the boys' father either sitting outside in the parking lot or at another table in the place they agree to meet. The group meets, take a table and according to the younger boy this is when Finstad stabs him and at this point the Waco police get involved. They interview the boys and they tell the police the bizarre story I have just shared. The police actually take the boys to the park to find the purses, the boys claiming they know which tree it is. Well they never find the purses and the boys' story starts looking a little suspicious, so the boys give a little more detail into made they did when they were with James and Uncle Ralph, now telling the police, Lucas and Ralph took them to a place where there were drugs and offered the boys angel dust, the boys didn't remember the exact address but they recalled the place they were taken was on, that often mentioned location, Rambler Avenue.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
Later Waco PD interviews James "Blinky" Lucas and of coarse he denies any knowledge of the murders or the story the boys have reported. But then he does the strangest thing, he decides to tell the police how he would have committed the murders, in doing so he tells the police how he would have cut the fence to get where the bodies had been discovered, well the fence had been cut just like Blinky stated he would have done. In the end the police figured the boy were making up he whole story to try to get some of kind of deal for some legal problems they were having at the time, those legal issues are not detailed in the police reports. Lucas denied the story the boys told the police but did admit to taking them to Rambler Avenue. Lucas and Finstad were also having other legal troubles at the time and while being interviewed about this other matter either Lucas or Finstad give the exact address of this place on Rambler Avenue. Unfortunately in the police reports, Lake Waco Murders reports, we don't get what other crimes or the address to this Rambler Avenue location, all only thing in those reports ins that Lucas or Finstad gave up the address to that place while being interviewed by officers handling whatever the other crime was. Well this looked like a report I should try to get my hands on via a FOIA request to see if I could get that address on Rambler. I was wrong, I tried every which way to find that address or any report on the other crime Lucas and Finstad were being interviewed about or any crimes they could have committed, I got nothing. GarAndMo39 I would point out it's not just with Frueh where it's difficult to find the files, actually it is everything and with everybody, even when I got the police reports from Waco and the reports from the FBI they were heavily redacted and very limited. That was the one good thing Fred Dannen did when he came to Waco, when he first showed up he and Vic Feazell were like buddy buddy, it was Dannen that helped set up Vic's web page, the original vicfeazell.com, and when they did they put up the police reports without any redactions, they were better and you got a lot more information from those. Well plenty more on Robert Frueh, Richard Franks and the purses later.
 

BKL67

Concerned Citizen 007
What happened to Jill Montgomery and Raylene Rice's purses? They were never recovered, odds are if you can find the purses you will find the killer. After Richard Franks met Officer Meeks at Midway Park and was told he should call around and ask Kenneth's friends if maybe they know where he and the two girls were, Mr. Franks returned to Koehne Park around 7:00 a.m., he wanted to get in touch with the two girls' parents but didn't have any contact information for either. Mr. Franks didn't know Raylene Rice at all and although he knew of Jill Montgomery he had only seen her once when Kenneth had pointed her out one day Mr. Franks was visiting while both Kenneth and Jill were both still residents of the Methodist Home. When Mr. franks arrived at Koehne he went to Raylene's car, the doors were unlocked so he went inside and scrounged around finally finding a phone number for the Rice Residence. It is widely believed that this would have been how and when Jill Montgomery's pay check stubs were unceremoniously discarded and not being discovered by law enforcement until the next day. It is also accepted, by most that Jill would have kept these check stubs in her purse, sounds logical, girls have purses so they can carry stuff around with them, females as a general rule her more organized than males, yes there are clearly defined differences in personality treats between men and women, if a guy was carry around a few check stubs, one he had just gotten that day, he would have one in his pocket, another one on the dash, one or two in the glove compartment, maybe one in the console. So if Jill did have her check stubs in her purse then it would reason her purse was still in Raylene's car when Mr. Franks went in the car around 7:00 a.m. when he was looking for the contact information When Waco PD first arrived at Koehne Park after Mr. Franks filed the missing person report around 9:00 a.m. the purses were no longer there. I would add neither Officer Mike Nicoletti, the first responding officer, Special Investigator Lyons who was at the scene to collect evidence, take pictures and fingerprints nor their commander Lieutenant Marvin Horton that appears came out for the media, the local media fast on the scene when they heard there were three missing teens, neither mention nor make note of the check stubs. You would think, well at least I do, while they were at the scene they would have looked around for clues to help them determine what might have happened to the kids or where they had gone and that check stubs of one of the girls that was missing were just laying there in the vicinity of the other missing girl's car would have been something they should have noticed and made note of. When Waco PD left the scene they left the car keys and the doors unlocked has had when Franks when he was there at 7:00 a.m., I believe the thinking still being at that time the kids might return. The check stubs weren't found until the next morning when Salinas and Fortune returned to Koehne Park after escorting the victims' bodies to Dallas for the autopsies. Of course it is impossible to say if those stubs moved around from the time they found their way to the ground until they were discovered at more than 24 hours later, maybe the wind or a breeze could have blown them around but where and how they were found kind of made a trail, the first stub being found at the edge of the parking area just in front of where Raylene parked her car or at least where her car was found, the fourth and last stub found at the foot of the picnic table where later witnesses that saw the kids in the park the night of the murders said the missing kids were. The other two stubs found between the stub found at the edge of the parking area and the one found at the picnic table, so like a path from the car to the table or vice versa. OK, it could reason; since the car was unlocked when Mr. Franks first went inside the car maybe he took the purses for safe keeping, thinking he would return the purses when the girls brought Kenneth home but if this was the case why didn't he inform the police of this at anytime, again the questionable behavior of Mr. Richard Franks.

My favorite subject connected to the Lake Waco Murders case is one Clifford Franklin Oliver and that brother still can't keep his story straight. It's like when you first try a new recipe and don't get it right and you keep trying different things until you finally get it right, well Clifford Oliver still can't get it right. Anyway during his testimony somewhere, I believe it was in his Grand Jury testimony he finally admits he went to Koehne Park with David Spence on the morning of July 14th after he got his car out of the impound. The time on the release ticket given to Mr. Oliver from the Waco PD when he paid the cost for getting his car towed was approximately 9:10 a.m., that would have been the same time Mr. Franks was filling out the missing persons report, Clifford Oliver's care being the abandoned and vandalized car Mr. franks found at Midway Park and reported at 6:00 a.m. that morning. According to Clifford's testimony he and David went to Kohne Park after Clifford got his car out of the impound lot on LaSalle Avenue. Mr. Oliver stated he really didn't know why they went, David Spence just wanted to go. When they arrived Clifford states they parked beside the orange Pinto, Raylene Rice's car, but didn't touch it in anyway, they just went to the picnic table closest to that car and sat there drinking a couple beers and talking. Clifford adds he didn't see anyone else around while they were there. Makes one wonder what time Clifford and David were there and why, remind you David Spence on multiple occasions stated he usually didn't go to Koehne Park, actually that was part of his defense; he didn't go to Koehne Park he went to Airport Park and then one would have to question when did Mr. Franks and Officer Nicoletti arrive? So many questions, so few answers.

A few years ago when I was talking to Christine Juhl told me something so astounding truly it hard to believe but that's the thing when you talk with her, she will tell you something one day and then something the totally opposite the next day or even the next minute But to be honest on this one thing she never did back down from it although there were some questions about this she wouldn't answer. What she told me was when she was still living with David Spence he liked to bury things where he had buried his beloved dog Blu. Blu had been accidentally run over by David's mother shortly after she moved back to her house on 15th Street in either late May or early June 1982. Christine said one day David was digging up Blu's backyard grave and when she asked him what he was doing David replied this was where he kept all this secrets. Christine would leave David Wayne Spence for good around July 20, 1982, so this had to have happened between the time Blu was killed until the time she left. After she told me this I asked her why she never said anything about this to the police, she replied she did tell Truman Simons about this before she had her meeting with the judge before she testified in Muneer Deeb's re-trial but Truman didn't seem interested, keep in mind had was ten after the murders in 1992. I then asked her why she didn't say anything earlier and Christine never answered tat question. I would point out there are many problems with the Book Careless Whispers and that book is basically Truman Simons' version of events. In the book he does mention how unreliable and uncooperative Christine Juhl could be. Christine disputes this but going by what records are available I would have to agree with Truman's assessment, you don't see anything suggesting Christine Juhl was willing to cooperate until after she gets arrested for shoplifting in the Spring of 1983 and that is when she is interviewed by Dennis Baier and Ramon Salinas, now part of the task force or special investigation unit Vic Feazell formed when he took office and were handling the investigation of the Lake Waco Murders that also included Truman Simons, Willie Tompkins and select members from the D.A.'s Office. The result of this interview would be an eight page typed up statement that would also include a couple handwritten pages where Christine made corrections to what Baier or Salinas had typed up and then Christine Juhl signed, this would be the source of all her later testimony.

Now I know what most people would be thinking about this, it couldn't be this simple and with this case I would have to agree nothing as been this easy with this case but maybe the odds are starting to turn and we're due an easy break. And being a firm believer in Occam's razor it will probably be something very simple that finally puts this case to rest and what do I have to lose in contrast to what could be gained, I have to check this out. Going through public records I tracked down the current owner of that property. I have tried to contact her many times but I Haven't gotten any response to date. Asking someone if you can come to their home, dig up their backyard, looking for the remains of a dead dog whose grave may also contain physical evidence from a triple homicide that occurred almost 40 years ago isn't the greatest ice breaker. But I haven't given up on that one. Where is the media blitz on this?
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!
Finding information via FOIA request can be very trying , at least when it comes to criminal files. You just can't ask for a criminal history you have to be more precise, I was told this many times. Well I was trying to find what Robert Frueh had been arrested for that was in the file Salinas had pulled the picture from and all I had to go by was the number on that picture. I was getting nowhere so I finally decided to call and talk to someone, at first it couldn't be determined exactly what that number was. The person I talked to was very nice, he hadn't been with the police department when the murders had occurred, he was too young, and didn't know much about the case but by going through the files trying to satisfy my request he started reading about the case and thought it was like the craziest case he had ever heard about, so he was kind of hooked and really wanted to help me. He couldn't figure out what the number on the picture was, so he decided to go to the captain or chief, I can't remember which one, all I remember is he told me his name was Price. When he told me that I asked him if this was the Price that married Jan Price the officer that had the problems with Truman Simons over the Juanita White murder and testified against him during the trial for that murder. His guy didn't know so I asked him to find out and I would call him back to find out. Well I never called him back for that, I figured he had better things to do than satisfy my curiosities and it would be better to stay on the good terms I had up to that time and calls for when I had more important issues, so I never found out if the two Prices were one in the same, but if it was it's funny how the world turns. Well this guy talked to Price about the number on the picture, they didn't have the picture just the mention of it in the report has I had, Price concluded it was just a booking number and you can't correlate a booking number to any case. I thought that strange what's the use of a booking number if you can't connect it to a case. So I never did find any information on that arrest, don't know if it was something Waco PD couldn't release or didn't have, the guy I talked to said they didn't have anything. One of the many things hard to find when it comes to the strange world of the Reverend Robert Frueh. But it wouldn't be the only arrest or file I couldn't get access to or couldn't be found.
Jan price is another interesting person; I felt, just based on what I read, that she was legit. You bring up another interesting subject: the murder of Spence's mother. Need to try to check into that further, but it would seem like an awfully huge coincidence if it didn't relate to this case. Especially if she was holding/storing files on Spence's case. Any input, @BKL67 ?
 

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