January 21, 2016 by bkl67 Questions??? I Have Plenty!!! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
And while we are on the topic of podcast; I continually complain about the content or lack of facts shared in these podcast, and there are many too many to get into at one time, but there is one that comes up in just about all the podcast. It’s not like they are trying to mislead or not tell the truth, it’s more like they just don’t have a general understanding of the case and how it proceeded. The one major disappointing podcast on this point was the Bloody Happy Hour podcast where they interviewed Walter Reaves and actually they asked Reaves about this and he wasn’t completely honest with his answer. I guess it can be argued that he just didn’t remember this but I personally find that hard to believe, I would attribute it more to selective memory on the part of Mr. Reaves, he was very intstrumental in how things played out, he was David Wayne Spence’s attorney at the time. So I just can’t see him not remembering this and unfortunately you see this a lot with this case; the people that should be able to provide answers or clear things up just won’t for whatever reason and you see this again and again. Why???
In this instance I am talking about the sexual assault comitted by David Spence and Gilbert Melendez and how it came about that they ended up with such differing sentences. When Mr. Reaves was asked he answered Gilbert took a plea and David decided on a jury trial, which is true but he didn’t explain the chain of events that he had part in creating. The sexual assault David and Gilbert comitted occurred on Sunday September 5, 1982, it was Labor Day weekend and the 18 year old victim’s parents were away for the holiday. They returned the next day, Monday September 6, 1982, they come home to find their son beat up and need of medical attention. Taken to the hospital the victim gets stitches on the cut on his leg admistered by David Spence. At first the boy is hesitant to discuss the ordeal he had been through, I only add this due to the question of the date the criminal complaint was filed, either September 6th or September 7th, also the victim didn’t know David nor Gilbert, he had just met them that day. He knew the guy they were with and that’s how David and Gilbert came to be at the victim’s home. It was through this third guy; Robert Coleman, that David Spence and Gilbert Melendez were identitified as the culprits of this offense. Once law enforcement gets their names they run a check and find Spence is on parole, they call his parole officer and Spence is picked up on Friday September 9, 1982, the same day Truman Simons and Dennis Baier take over the Lake Waco Murders investigation, Gilbert is picked up about the same time, with in 24 hours of the Spence apprehension. Dating events, as would be in any case, is very important and in particular in this case to debunk some of the falsehooods and myths.
Now we all know government moves slow and the wheels of justice even slower. David and Gilbert had been sitting in the McLennan county jail for a couple weeks, which would be late September 1982, awaiting their fate on the aggravated sexual assault charge when the State offered both David and Gilbert plea deals, plead guilty get 7 years. The actual time they would have spent in prison would have been different, Gilbert could have gotten out on that charge in about three years. David on the other hand had violated his parole so he would have had to finish out that sentence, which was about 18 months and did not run concurrent with the aggravated sexual assault charge. At first David and Gilbert verbally agreed to this plea deal. It was also at the end of September Truman Simons decided to leave the Waco PD and go worth for the county as a jailer. Again the slow moving machinery of our justice system took it’s time to finalize this deal, a couple weeks. Middle of October, 15th or 16th, the assistant D.A. brings the paper work for this deal for David and Gilbert to sign. Gilbert readily signs and is sent off to prison, the same fate awaits David Spence but via his attorney Walter Reaves they request the language of the charge and agreement to be changed. Spence knowing how other inmates in some of Texas’ finer institutions feel and act towards fellow inmates that sexually assault teen ages boys would like his charge to be just aggravated assault not aggravated sexual assault. David’s attorney, again Walter Reaves just in case you forgot, argued that David hadn’t committed a sexual act on the victim, only Gilbert had and that being the case David had only committed aggravated assault. Isn’t it funny how Walter Reaves failed to mention any of this when questioned about this on the podcast. The assistant D.A. has to take this proposal back to the D.A. to get approval of the chnage in language on the deal. Of course this takes time again and about two weeks later a new D.A. gets elected, Vic Feazell. With the election of Vic Feazell, the assistant D.A. that had been working Spence’s aggravated sexual assault charge decides to leave the D.A.’s office, all his cases need to be reassigned to other attorney’s working in the D.A.’s office. Again another time consuming process, actually this case hadn’t been reassigned to anyone when Vic Feazell took office about 8 weeks later in January 1983 and when it came across his desk, being familiar with the status of the Lake Waco Murders investigation, decided Spence had declined the plea deal offered and no deal existed now and that’s how David ended up with a trial jury. David would go to trial in March 1983 and Gilbert would testify against him. Feazell went for an extremely harsh sentence, 90 years, to keep David Spence in prison until they could build their case on the Lake Waco Murders against him. And I would add it was the ease in which Gilbert was willing to cooperate with them in the sexual assault that opened the door to them approaching him with a deal of immunity in the Lake Waco Murders. It was while Gilbert came back to Waco to testify against David in the sexual assault case in March 1983 that he was first interviewed, cajoled or coerced, depending on how you look at it, by Truman Simons into talking about the Lake Waco Murders.
We often hear that Truman Simons went after David Spence,Truman had tunnel vision and once he got on a suspect he would do anything to prove he was right and his suspect was guilty. Many point to Truman going to go work for the jail to be close to David Wayne Spence as a prime example and I heard this on many of the podcast but if we take a look at the facts and chain of events this just isn’t true. Yes Truman Simons did go to work at the jail so he could keep investigating the Lake Waco Murders but not to get close to Spence. When Simons first decided to leave the Waco PD and go work at the jail, David Spence had verbally agreed to a plea deal and if he kept his word he would have been gone, sent to prison just like Gilbert before Truman started working at the jail. Truman didn’t know David was still going to be there when he decided to go to work at the jail and he couldn’t have known because no one knew how that was going to play out after David went back on his word. It’s a little thing I guess but it’s putting all the little things together to get to the whole truth.
It says that it’s been sent to you. Took screenshot but still can’t figure out how to put it in a comment. It copies but won’t paste 🤷♀️ Sent on 04/02/22
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Oh btw… when looking for similar types of homicides (just to consider the type of perpetrator previously convicted for such crimes…. and the motive) I ended up falling down the OCCK rabbit hole.
Have you read (or listened to as I did to speed up the process/multitask) “The Kill Jar” by J Reuben Appelman? Impressive! Poops all over Careless Whispers IMHO. He was brought up at the same time and in the same area as the victims. And Tim King’s sister highly endorses it in the foreword. That’s a rabbit hole and a half of you need time out from Lake Waco….
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No I have not read The Kill Jar. Honestly it’s really hard to get into reading more true crime novels in the last 6 to 8 years since I decided to put my focus on this case. As I said prior sometimes I look into other current cases just to take a break from the Lake Waco Murders but with those cases there haven’t been any novels published yet, I know a couple are in the works. Really I wish I could dedicate more time to this case, there are so many questions that still need to be answered, I should post a list sometime, if work is slow the next couple days I might start one.
Juts relistening to parts of Careless Whispers and have realised I’ve missed a name/friend of KF mentioned. Pat Torres. Ever come across about anything about him?
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Actually I started re-reading Careless Whispers a couple days ago, first time in 8 years and will be the fifth time I have read it. Honestly I’m not a big fan of the book any longer, there are serious inaccuracies and discrepancies just about on every page and we are not talking about small things and tha’s just counting the ones I know about personally just going by the police reports and trial testimony but I have talked to a few people mentioned in the book or that were interviewed by Truman Simons and/or Carlton Stowers that have told me what was written in the book is not a true representation of what happened and/or what they had stated and this includes Gayle Kelly, Christine Juhl, Rhonda Evans, Clifford Oliver. Sure we can debate the credibility of these people but to hear it again and again from so many and knowing the other blatant falsehoods that permeate the book as a whole it’s value as a reliable source is greatly diminished. The only reason I am reading it now is because I have been listening to so many of the podcast and the book Careless Whispers and Michael Hall’s article in Texas Monthly are always the two major sources used and in many cases the only sources used and sometimes I hear things I honestly can’t remember reading in the book but once you read the police reports and trial testimony again the book pales in comparision. I rarely agree with anything Russ Hunt says but in one of these podcast, I believe it was the Bloody Happy Hour podcast he stated Careless Whispers is a fictional story of the Lake Waco Murders, at this point I would have to agree with him on that.
On Patrick Torres there really isn’t much on him, he was Kenneth Franks’ best friend, Kenneth had called him the night of the murders to ask him to give him a ride, Patrick couldn’t because he had to work that evening. It was also Patrick that picked up Kenneth from summer school and actually allowed Kenneth to use his motorcycle that day because Kenneth’s was in the shop getting repaired. And Kenneth riding that bike actually led to one of the more interesting sightings of him that day and gives us another glimpse on how things were going with this investigation. That will be next after a smoke break.
In the police reports, sorry I don’t have the report right in front of me at the moment but I can get it if necessary, there is a sighting of Kenneth Franks I can’t remember the street name, the witness knew Kenneth and he states he was pretty sure it was Kenneth but Kenneth wasn’t on his motorcycle he was on another bike. The boy described the bike he saw Kenneth on and it matched Patrick Torres’ bike, so this gives this witness’ story credence. The sreet the boy saw Kenneth on, again I can’t remember the name, was the street where the girl Kenneth was seeing at the time lived and the boy thought that’s where Kenneth was headed. This girl is mentioned several times in the reports, funny thing is in the reports she is referred to by two different last names and sometimes by both last names one name being put in parentheses and sometimes a question mark added at the end, clearly showing the police didn’t know and couldn’t figure out why this girl was being referred to by two last names. And although there are to last names we know the police are talking about the same girl because they are referring to her as Kenneth’s girlfriend. In the reports this girlis named Mchelle Shilling or Michelle Lewis or both Shilling and Lewis, strange and never could figure out why until a few years ago. I was talking to Rhonda Evans and I believe I brought up Kenneth’s girlfriend and mentioned both last names Shilling and Lewis and Rhonda got upset with me and was like what are you talking about Kenneth and Michelle Lewis weren’t seeing each other at the time of Kenneth’s murder. I share with her what’s in the police report and give the description that is in the report 13 years old, white female and gave her the address given. Rhonda responded Michelle Lewis was 17 not white and lived at the home. After upsetting Rhonda I decided to check into this, something the Waco PD should have done but didn’t. Michelle Shilling and Michelle Lewis were two different girls, so when people mentioned Michelle Lewis they were not talking about Kenneth’s girlfriend Michelle Shilling as the police put in their reports, they were talking about a completely different girl and the police did talk to Michelle Shilling but never talked to Michelle Lewis because they thought it was the same person. It was just one of those little things that makes you wonder about the investigative skills of the original detectives working the case, just as them not finding out who was Jill’s roommate until November two months after they suspended the case, you would think she would have been someone the police would have wanted to talk to in the beginning of the investigation.
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And Henry Reyes (Gayle Kelley’s boyfriend)
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Sister you just hit the million dollar issue!!!
Ponder this question. Well I guest first the facts; Muneer Deebhanded out beer, weed and pills like candy to the girls from the Methodist Home but only the girls not the boys. Not sure if he would sell these items to the boys, there is no evidence that he did and it has been stated many times by many people that Deeb was not a drug dealer, he gave freely to the girls. That being the case don’t you think some young punk wannabe drug dealer aware of the situation would have tried to take advantage of that situation and put Deeb in a jam, what could Deeb do about it???
Now, since it looks like some one else is willing to go down this rabbitt hole it would be a good time to delve into the forgotten drug angle. I would start with how the book Careless Whispers dealt with it or described it, since for most of us, well at least those of us that don’t live in Waco or Texas it was this book that first introduced us to the Lake Waco Murders. Most issues of this case that Truman Simons didn’t agree with get white washed over at best, maybe a line or two explaining Simons thoughts on the matter and this is how a possible drug related motived was handled in the book but as so many other things in the book Simons’ narrow view is misleading and inaccurate. In Careless Whispers it is stated that the original investigators working the case believed the murders were drug related and were looking in that direction, which is true. The book also says that this belief arose when the bodies were first discovered, that some of the officers and detectives on site thought that whoever did this had to be on drugs or it a drug burn gone bad, again this is true but in the book they make it look like this was the only reason the original detectives were looking at a drug angle and that’s where the problems begin because that is not true and Careless Whispers doesn’t mention the tips Waco PD were getting along those lines, all it says is they thought it could be drug related Truman didn’t he was right and they were wrong, but were they?
If there was anything close to information, tips, leads, rumoras or not that hinted towrd any kind of motive for the murders and repeatedly so it was Kenneth Franks owed someone money over a drug deal and a number of times through out the reports the mount he owed was given by multiple people, $500. So it wasn’t just how the bodies were butchered and sprawn out that led the original investigators consider to the murders to be drug related, it was the one plausible motive they kept hearing again and again. And then when Gayle Kelly was first interviewed on July 20th she told Nicoletti that Kenneth Franks had told her he was making a big drug deal. Kenneth wouldn’t tell Gayle who he was making the deal with but said it was somebody she knew but it was someone they didn’t trust and were wary of and he didn’t want to tell her for her own safety. So the investigators were getting plenty of information in this direction but they just couldn’t come up with any names, they did try.
And this has to make one wonder if they would have followed up the information Lisa Kader gave them on July 19th that Deeb had killed Kenneth Franks because of Gayle Kelly would it had led them to the drug connection they had been so desperately looking for. Or maybe more troubling; why when the staff of the Methodist Home found out what had been going on at the Rainbow Drive-In in regards to Deeb giving their female residents alcohol and drugs they didn’t inform the police? And finally in Careless Whispers it states when Truman Simons first took over the case he didn’t care who got the credit and if he came across anything he would turn it back over to the original investigators, well that is apparently a straight out lie. When he and Dennis Baier were first told about Deeb giving the girls beer and weed and pills why didn’t they go to the original detectives and go hey here is your drug connection. Again that is just another example of how hostile the environment was inside the Waco PD, there wasn’t any cooperation nor any will to work together to solve this case and the detrimental effects caused by that atmosphere still radiate today.
So I have 5 simple questions on the singular issue of a drug connection that have never been answered.
1) Who did Kenneth Franks burn or owe money to???
2) Who was Kenneth planning to make this drug deal with that Gayle Kelly informed Waco PD
3) Deeb was handing out drugs like candy, who was supplying Deeb???
4) Apparently David Spence was using drugs on a regular basis but he had no job nor money,
how was he getting his drugs???
5) On the night of the murders both Deeb and his partner said after they closed the store they
went looking for someone that owed Deeb money, who was this person???
I believe that the answers to all 5 of these questions will be connected some how and you find the answers to these questions you find the true cause or motive behind the Lake Waco Murders.
But why, if he didn’t even want to do much as tell GK the name of the dealer, would KF involve JM and RR in the drug deal?
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The sirmple and short answer, money. Kenneth needed it, didn’t have any and went to the one person he was sure would help him out, Jill.
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Be warned though… it’s strictly for lateral thinkers only and those who lean more towards the Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes sleuthing approach than the (often misused – because how can all things be equal anyway?) Occam’s razor approach. In fact some would say that the very nature of (in this case arguably) unsolved cases means that the simplest/most obvious option has already been discounted. Having said that I doesn’t appear that family, surrogate family or school were thoroughly investigated. And aren’t you supposed to clear the ground under your feet first?
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Yes I am on Facebook. And I am a advid believer in Occam’s Razor, that approach far surpasses any other deductive reasoning theories. And that’s what this case needs, Hey the crazy farcical narrative makes for an interesting and intriguing story but in the end that’s all it is; a nightmarish tale filled with boogie men that come creeping out of the dark night knives in hand ready to slaughter any victim to appease their blood thirsty fetishes. Yeah that’s going to sell a ot of books but it lends itself very little in the way of reality. For that you need the simple facts, the simple connections, put those together with simple deductive reasoning and you will come to the truth. Henry Reyes was Gayle Kelly’s boy friend by the time of the murders, as least by the end of June 1982 Muneer Deeb knew this. Deeb’s modus operandi when girls he was intersted in became involved with other guys Deeb became jealous of that couple and get upset, which he did the night he saw Gayle kissing her boyfriend, not Kenneth Franks as the fairy tale has been told, If he was mad at Gayle about her realationship it would have been directed towards her and Henry and Gayle and Kelly. The logical reasoning then would be whatever the problem was Deeb had with Gayle and Kenneth had to be something else.
lauraheaney3863 in response to your question about the families being invesigated, they were to differing degrees. Forget what you have read in Careless Whispers it is in this area where some of the biggest falsehoods in that story are found. We have to deal which each family separately. And keep in mind the Waxahachie PD ran their own investigation on thier end, two of the victims were from Waxahachie; Jill and Raylene. Detectives from Waco made a couple trips to Waxahachie to talk to the two families and to talk to the Waxahachie PD but the majority of the girls lives and families fell to the Waxahachie PD, most the information Waco PD got on the girls they received from the Waxahachie PD The girls families were looked into, there were a few issues that popped up but clearly neither family had anything to do with the murders. The one thing I would mention though is Raylene’s mother never did talk to the police nor anyone for that matter she was just so distruaght, so it was Mr. Rice that provided the information about his daughter’s life and of course there were things he didn’t know, that is understandable. Actually he didn’t know Raylene had taken Jill to Waco until Mr. Franks called the following morning.. With Jill’s family it was very similar, her mother was as equally devastated as well but she did talk to the police but as things went along Jill’s aunt, Jan Thompson, became of the focal contact point for the family and has been pretty much since. I don’t know where I would be without all the help and information Mrs. Thompson has provided and shared with me, words cannot adequately define my sincerest gratitude. And like the Rice family Jill’s family definitely had nothing to do with the murders. And that leaves us with Mr. Franks.
And this is where Careless Whispers is a huge fail, hey if you don’t want to tell the truth don’t say anything at all, don’t fill pages with crap that leds you to tell lie after lie to cover each proceeding lie and that is Careless Whispers when dealing with Richard Franks. As is well known now my Franks was gay, which the book never mentions The one factual thing in the book about Mr. Franks is early in the investigation he was considered a suspect in the murders but ecause the book did not divulge the truth about Mr. Franks lifestyle it couldn’t get into many of those details and justmade up stuff. Just becase I read this is the last couple days I know early in the book it states that Kenneth’s friends remarked that Kenneth’s father was neat or cool or whatever, that there was a limited amount of stress at home between Mr. Franks and Kenneth. Actually the police reports paint a ver different picture. Mr. Franks was extremely uncooperative with the police in the beginning and I guess to be fair that can be somewhat understandable and I guess there will always be the question did the police harbor some preconceived notions because of Mr. Franks lifestyle which could have come off as hostile or was it Mr. Franks who came off hostile because he didn’t like law enforcement prying into his lifestyle. Here is my personel view on the matter, ok I understand Mr. Franks was grieving and would have rather been left alone, much like the Rice family but Mr. Franks interfered with the progress of the investigation, so be it. But then Mr. Franks turned around and complained at the lack of progress of the investigation and that’s where he was definitely wrong, not that the investigation wasn’t progressing very fast it wasn’t but if you aren’t going to share information the police are asking from you don’t cry about the lack of results. There were a couple specific request Waco PD asked of Mr. Franks. Once, only a couple days after the murders detectives came to the house, they wanted to see Kenneth;s room see if they saw or could find anything that could give them a hint or clue into the murders, Mr. Franks refused to allow them in the house. Then they wanted Mr. Franks to come to the station to be interviewed, they just wanted some general information Mr. Franks didn’t want to. It should be added in the same complex where the Franks lived there was a judge, Walter Smith, and he knew and I guess was friends with Mr. Franks and he ended up becoming the go between Waco PD and Mr. Franks, another strange asspect of the case. It was Judge Smith that finally arranged for Mr. Franks to come in and talk to the police, it was about two weeks after the murders and it was at this time they agreed to bring whatever the detectives wanted from Kenneth’s room that the police thought might be helpful. What the detectives had wanted was names and phone numbers of people Kenneth knew and had contact with in the days leading up to the murders, that was a simple enough request but thanks to Mr. Franks that information was withheld from law enforcement for two weeks. When Mr. Franks did meet with the police one thing he did not have they asked for was his phone bill and I’m not sure if he ever did give it to them. In contrast Jill’s mother gave the police two phone bills to cover the time perid they were interested in. And it was at this meeting with police that Mr. Franks frst disclosed to law enforcement that on the night of the murders he was out at the lake from about 9p.m. until a little after midnight and you don’t think that shot up some red flags, why wait two weeks to tell them that? So the police had good reason to look at Mr. Franks as a suspect and then we have what other people stated in the reports. There were a couple of Kenneth’s friends that never wanted to go back to the Franks residence because Mr. Franks came on to them. Back in June stay with a couple frineds at the Northwood apartments, not Gayle and Patti, because there was trouble at home, his friends didn’t know what the triuble was all Kenneth told them was he couldn’t gpo back home. Even Gayle Kelly said there were problems, she stated Kenneth didn’t get along with Mr. Franks live in boyfriend Kenneth King, there was aslo some tension between Mr. Franks and Kenneth over Mr. Franks getting rid of their boat, details a little sketchy on tht one and I believe Gayle also stated that Kenneth did have problems with his father being gay, again Careless Whispers had to pass over all this because it wasn’t truthful about it from the beginning. And it just wasn’t the kids or Kenneth’s friends, Kenneth’s golf team coach called Waco PD and told them they should look into Kenneth’s father. Waco PD had plenty to go on to justify their inclusion of Mr. Franks as viable suspect. I don’t believe Mr. Franks had anything to do with the murders and I believe that was the general and final feeling among those investigating the case. But that does leave us the question why did Truman Simons and Carlton Stowers feel the need to lie about it so badly in the book???
Forty years ago today, on what would have been a rather typical hot summer night in Waco Texas, friends and family, both young and old, had journeyed out to any of the peaceful and picturesque parks that surround Lake Waco to enjoy the usual summer activities; boating, fishing, water skiing, maybe a few beers, even smoke a little weed, listen to some summer tunes and just in general hang out. Among the scores of park goers that evening were three teenagers; Jill Montgomery,17, Raylene Rice,17 and Kenneth Franks 18. Jill Montgomery had returned to Waco that day to pick up her final paycheck from the city offices for her recent employment at Fort Fisher during her stay at the Methodist Home in Waco. She had just recently moved back to live in her home town of Waxahachie a few weeks earlier. To make this trip and to wrap up things in Waco Jill asked her best friend from Waxahachie, Raylene Rice, if she could drive her to Waco. Raylene was more than happy to provide a ride for her friend, they had spent a lot of time together since Jill’s return and a little excursion down to Waco, about 75 miles away, would be a nice day trip for the two longtime friends. The two happy go lucky teen girls made a few stops; Fort Fisher just to say hi to familiar faces, city hall to pick up Jill’s check, Piggly Wiggly to cash said check and then to Jill’s favorite restaurant in Waco. It was about 6:00 p.m. when the girls arrived at at El Chico’s, prior to leaving Waxahachie the girls had planned and told their families they would be back in Waxahachie at 9:00p.m. to eat dinner with Raylene’s family, then Jill would be home after that, probably around 10:00p.m., so sitting there at El Chino’s the girls had some time to kill and Jill decided to call a boy she had met, dated and still had feelings for; Kenneth Franks.
Kenneth was not home when Jill made her initial call, Kenneth’s father, Richard Franks, informed her that Kenneth had gone out to grab some burgers for their dinner but would be back shortly and she could call back later. Mr. Franks was well aware of the feelings Jill still harbored towards Kenneth were more than mutual with his son. About a half hour passed when Jill called again; this time Kenneth was gone and he was ecstatic to hear from Jill. She was in town had a little time before she had to make the trip back to Waxahachie and asked Kenneth if he wanted to get together to see each other for a little while before she left Waco. Kenneth didn’t have to be asked twice, but the how, where, and when had to be ironed out. As soon as Kenneth got off the phone with Jill, he was calling his close friends in Waco asking if they wanted to get together, as he had a couple girls he wanted to get up with that were in town also. He needed a ride, and as tempting as it might have sounded to his friends, they declined for one reason or another. Although it is not well documented, a third call had to occur in which Kenneth had to inform Jill he wanted to see her but he didn’t have a ride after his friends had turned him down. Finally, the decision was made that Jill and Raylene would pick up Kenneth at his residence and go to Koehne Park. It was perfect; that park had been a favorite hang out for the kids and it was only a hop, skip, and jump from where Kenneth lived. They could all spend some time together, then take Kenneth home first and still make it back in time as planned to eat dinner with Raylene’s family at 9:00 p.m.. One very crucial detail usually over-looked, is Jill at the time, was allowed to stay at home on a probationary basis. Any return to past behavior’s, such as not coming home on time, would force Jill’s mother to send Jill away again to an environment probably worse than that of the Methodist Home which Jill was so happy to get away from. And Jill was happy to be home, happy to be attending her local high school for her senior year the coming fall. She was trying to get a job and save money so she could buy new clothes and such and everything was going in a positive direction in her life. Raylene, as well, seemed to be doing pretty good as a teen, at least as finances go, she had a job, was responsible, although had a habit of getting to work a little late, but she helped her parents the bills. Raylene had to be at work the next morning at 8:00 a.m. and these girls would not have totally blown off their well laid out plans and families that night for whatever reason just doesn’t make sense.
Sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Jill, Raylene and Kenneth arrived at Koehne Park. Many of the other people in the park saw the three kids, some, local youths from Waco that knew Kenneth even exchanged salutations with Kenneth. There didn’t seem to be any problems; the trio seemed to be happy and just having a good time just like the few other dozen people that were at Koehne that evening. Unlike the other dozens of teens, friends and families that were there at the park that evening, Jill Montgomery, Raylene Rice and Kenneth Franks never made it home. If you are here you probably know some details or version or even the controversy that surround the horrendous end that befell those three kids, teens in their spring of life, that fateful night. And just as that tragedy still lingers four decades later, on the shores of Lake Waco, the forever scarred parks that will never be the same and in the conscience of the city itself, the state of Texas and the whole justice system as well, questions and doubts still linger as well. Can anyone say with 100% certainty what really happened, what vehicle or more likely vehicles were used that night or even whom was there? I have been researching and digging into this case for almost 30 years and I honestly have to say I believe and feel with what I have read, dug up and with the conversations I have had with people closely connected to this case the quartet of Muneer Deeb, David Spence, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez still look like the most likely culprits of this odious atrocity’ but can I prove it do any acceptable degree of certainty? NO!!! And now to male matters worse, all the records and files have disappeared and when I talk about files and records I’m talking about over 50 boxes of evidence, interviews, statements, reports, letters and other correspondences. How can that be and whom is responsible for this critical loss? All that remain are the highly redacted Waco Police reports and F.B.I. reports, which anyone can obtain through the freedom of information act but they are nearly useless with all the redactions. Luckily Fred Dannen posted the Waco Police reports on-line unredacted back in the late nineties, it was the only useful thing he ever did with this case but Vic Feazell took them down some years ago. There are those that will ask this happened 40 years ago, why does it matter now? All I can say to that is the truth always matters. Today keep in mind the living victims that have had to suffer for all these years not really knowing the truth but still living with all the unbearable, life changing loss and sorrow just wanting to know the truth. Our hearts should go out to them. And remember Jill Montgomery. Raylene Rice and Kenneth Franks and remember they never got the chance to live their lives to the fullest. Their stories only partially told or known, our memories of them are indelibly marked with the brutality and violence that took them away. The only way to honestly and completely tell their story is to find the truth. And as the years pass, and more of those close to the case leave us each year, remember there are still those out there that could still provide some of the answers to some of the questions that still remain and linger 40 years on.