739 thoughts on “Questions??? I Have Plenty!!!

  1. There has always been a lot of rumors surrounding the activities of Terry “Tab” Harper, foremost among them being that he was seen in Koehne Park the evening of the murders by many people, this is just not true. Also we hear a lot about Harper’s violent criminal history and as with most rumors there is some truth at the root of said rumor. Everyone is aware of the violent end of Tab Harper where he stabbed an elderly couple, killing the gentleman, and then Tab shooting himself as police were closing inn on him. Violent indeed but that happened in 1994, twelve years after the Lake Waco murders. Anyone would experience many ups and downs that would impact them over more than a decade traversing the long and winding road of life. Most of the names connected to this case had already had a wide variety of indelible experiences prior to the fateful night of July 13, 1982. The victims, the accused, the convicted, witnesses, friends and associates all had colorful lives, a rainbow of experiences would shadow their activities and behavior. Honestly it is this complex web of connections and shared experiences that is the most intriguing aspect of this case. Looking back we can see this was a train wreck waiting to happen, no one expecting the carnage hence no one was capable of stopping it, why? What if Gene Deal, David Spence’s parole, had violated him for failing to comply with the conditions of his parole which David obviously was doing. Or what if Anthony Melendez’ mother had been honest with police when they came looking for Anthony after the Corpus Christi robbery and sexual assault. Anthony would have probably been off the street his name never mentioned in connection with the Lake Waco Murders. And what about Tab Harper? If we are to believe all the rumors why was he even on the streets?

    I will take an excerpt from an August 6,1998 Dallas Observer article as an example but there are countless others I could use, this was just the first one I found at the moment. This article mainly deals with Brian Pardo’s involvement in the case but in doing so does mention the favorite target of many of David’s champions; Tab Harper.
    “In the weeks that followed the murders, several witnesses reported that a man named Terry Lee “Tab” Harper, who had been arrested 25 times for assorted assault charges, had bragged about killing three people at the lake. Police confirmed that he made his boasts before news of the murders had been broadcast. Harper was brought in for questioning, but he refused to cooperate. Witnesses who had been at the lake that night reported seeing the victims talking to someone in a van matching a description of Harper’s.”

    Now I have gone over the rumors of Harper being seen in the park that night ad nauseam. But did anyone else think 25 assorted assaults sounded strange? How many assaults does one have to commit in Texas before someone realizes maybe that person needs to be taken off the street for awhile, a long while? Most likely this is just another well traveled rumor. So what is the truth what are the facts?

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  2. Obviously if you want to find the facts of someone’s criminal history you need to read the police records and although Tab Harper was the primary focus and the majority of time was expended tracking down this lead early in the investigation, from July 16th until the end of July, there is very little actual information about him present in those reports. the primary and probably best sources of the little information we can cull from the reports come from two girls that knew Tab Harper to some degree and the details they give us though limited do give us a glimpse into the behavior and personality of Harper during that time period, 1981-1982, and this matches other accounts we see in the reports. The two girls were Rebecca DesMarias and Nell Priest. Rebecca was the girl that had been reported as an eyewitness to the murders and was missing leading to the believe that she might have fallen victim of foul play at the hands of Tab Harper. This all proved to be false, as most of the rumors surrounding Harper did. Rebecca had just eun away from home and had nothing to do with Harper and the murders. She had been present at Midway Park the night of Wednesday July 14th after the bodies of the victims had been discovered and Harper came to Midway and asked her if she had heard about the murders.

    One issue that arises about the night of July 14th and what actually happened and when at Midway Park that night is exactly what Harper said, what details did he have at that point and when did he actually arrive at the park. By all accounts given by the kids were present Harper did not arrive until around 9:00p.m., some of the kids thought it was closer to 10:00p.m., Rebecca stated she didn’t get to the park until about 9, she had left her home around 8:45p.m. and Harper arrived after she had. Again by all accounts Harper stated he had seen a lot of police cars headed towards Speegleville Park and that three kids had been stabbed, not very incriminating. So he didn’t have many details about the murders at that time. Even if he did again it would not be shocking or surprising as some have tried to point out. The Lake Waco Murders were very shocking even to the police tasked with investigating them and although they tried to keep details under wraps details and rumors spread immediately, again we clearly see this in the police reports. People like to point at Tab Harper when it comes to someone having details early on but he wasn’t alone, any number of people had details and were sharing them with anyone and everyone. Probably the most grievous account we get in the reports clearly shows how fast and far the details and rumors of this case were spreading. The Payne brothers reported James Lucas and Ralph Finstad had detals of the murders after Lucas or Finstad had allegedly stabbed ther younger Payne brother. Lucas had actually picked up the brothers from Koehne Park, so with this information of coarse the police were interested in talking to Lucas and Finstad. Lucas and Finstad denied any involvement in the murders, then they were asked how was it they had details of the murders, precisely that the girls had been violated with a foreign object. Finstad explained he had heard that from a girl he worked with. With that the police go to the hotel where Finstad worked and talked to the girl Finstad had told them had given him that information. She admitted she had given Finstad this information and when asked how she had gotten that information she replied she heard it from her mother. Apparently her mother was playing bridge with some other ladies at someone’s house when the subject of the murders came up and one of the ladies had mentioned a coke bottle had been used during the assaults on the girls The police track down the ladies that had attended this bridge game, it came to light the one of the ladies was the wife of an ex-officer of DPS and apparently she had gotten the information from him and the other ladies stated it was from her that they had heard it but that lady as well as her husband denied they ever talked about the murders. So just by this account we know information about the murders was spreading to 4rd and 5th and 5th degrees of separation. That anyone in Waco would have any details of the murders was probably closer to the norm than an alarm. One person that apparently hadn’t heard anything about the murders until Thursday July 15th was Nell Priest, the other girl that was the best source of information on Tab Harper.

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  3. It was the rumor mill that dragged Nell Priest’s name into the web of the Lake Waco Murders. While Mike Nicoletti was following up a lead he had received early he went to the Oakie Dokie to try to obtain further information and in doing so was told by another patron that he had talked to a girl, Nell Priest, a few days after the murders and this girl had told him this guy Tab Harper had told her about the murders and had threatened her. According to this patron Nell had expressed her days were numbered and that she might not be around much longer. The patron knew Nell lived at the Gemini Apartments and Nicoletti went there to talk to Nell but Nell wasn’t home when Nicoletti arrived so he put a Waco PD card in her door. Apparently Nicoletti hadn’t passed on this info to anyone and a few days later the Patron called the police station and talked to Ramon Salinas. Sometime later Nell Priest called into the station and asked why the police had left their card in her door, I would guess she had probably talked to the patron that had given given Nicoletti her name in between time. Salinas told her they needed to talk to her and asked if she would come in, which she agreed to do. When Nell affived Salinas interviewed her and informed her they had received information that she could provide information about the murders, Nell stated she didn’t have any information about the murders, she didn’t know anything about them. Salinas asked her if she knew Tab Harper, Nell said she did and then Salinas told her the information they had received. Nell cleared things up to some degree. Harper had threatened her but that had happened the year before.at Airport Park. She was out at the park drinking beers with friends, including Tab Harper. At some point she needed to use the restroom and was walking towards the restroom when Harper came up behind her, grabbed her, picking her up off the ground and wouldn’t let her go. When Tab wouldn’t let her go Nell busted a beer bottle over Tab’s head. At this point Harper dropped Nell and then pulled a knife out and told Nell he should kill her for what she had just done. Nell explained that Harper hadn’t held the knife on her lie against her neck or anything and she didn’t feel threatened by him, that was just the way Harper acted. This is exactly the same thing Rebecca DesMarias had said about Tab Harper when she was asked about the night at Midway Park. Rebecca stated Harper always was acting like that being his crazy self. He had tried to start fights with some of her friends but she wasn’t scared or intimidated it was just the way Tab acted. When some of the other kids that were present at midway that night including a couple of the kids Harper had tried to start fights with all said the same thing, Tab was always trying to start fights with them. That was clearly part of Tab Harper’s personality at the time he like to pick on and bully the teenage boys, some just blew it off while it truly intimidated others. One of those that was seriously intimidated was Rusty Escott, yes the same Rusty Escott that started and spread the rumor that Tab Harper that Harper was in Koehne Park the night of the murders. On July 16th after Nicoletti has received the calls naming Tab Harper as the party responsible for the murders and had been told he needed to talk to Rusty Escott and tracked him down, Rusty asked Nicoletti if Tab Harper was ever going to find out that it was he (Escott) that had given Harper’s name to the police, Nicoletti asked Rusty why and Rusty answered he was afraid of Harper and his friends. of coarse more on this later, but first get back to Nell Priest.

    So Nell hadn’t been threatened by Tab around the time of the murders, if she had ever been threatened, she didn’t feel she had been. She had run into Harper at Midway Park a couple days after the murders. It was this encounter when Harper apparently shared more details about the murders, specifically he had bitten the nipple off one of the girls’ breasts. Nell didn’t recall hearing Tab talk about the murders, the friend that had met her at the park that day had, that girl had come to the station with Nell that day and had been the girl that had first told Nell about the murders. Her name was June Wilson, Salinas interviewed her and June had heard Tab make these statements. June added it made her sick and she just wanted to leave the park after Harper had given the details of what he had done. Nell Priest didn’t remember any of this, what she did remember was Tab had said he was getting ready to get locked up again and he wanted to hurt someone before he did. Now those that want to point to Harper as the culprit interpret this as he is admitting to the murders and that he knows he’s going to get arrested and sent away. Again this looks like another case where the facts have been bent to match a certain narration. With Nell telling us that Tab told her that he was getting ready to get locked up “again”, it tells us Harper had been locked up before and felt he was headed back but what had he done?

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  4. So two days after the murders Tab Harper is at Midway Park divulging graphic details about the murders and telling a friend he is about to get locked up again, in the eyes of many Harper is implicating himself in the murders, I suggest we take a step back. All we have on Tab Harper at this point is he probably has beat up some kids somewhere along the way, that’s a far cry from a triple homicide even though the victims were teenagers, Harper’s preferred target, well at least males, that would fit Kenneth Franks. Again we have to turn to the police reports, this time police reports not associated with the Lake Waco Murders. I sent a request and received some reports a few months ago. Keep in mind when you make these request you can’t just ask for a complete criminal history, I guess they don’t want to make it easy.. I had to break it down to a few years, I wanted what crimes Harper might have committed around the time of the murders, so I requested and received the police reports on Harper for the years 1982 through 1985. I will get around to getting the reports for the years prior to this. So the reports I received might be limited in scope but they are very interesting and I believe very telling.

    Tab Harper was arrested on June 12, 1982, one month before the murders. Shortly after midnight Tab Harper and a friend named David Dunkin highly intoxicated walked into the 7-11 located at 1844 Lake Shore Drive. Gary Carter was the clerk working at the time and there were two customers playing video games in the back of the store when Harper and Dunkin strolled in. According to Gary Carter once in the store Harper and Dunkin went to the back of the store where the two customers were playing the video games and started yelling at them, apparently scaring one of the customers and causing him to leave the store. Then Harper grabbed some frozen food out of the freezer and threw it in the microwave and yelled out to Carter asking if 7-11 was going to pay for his food, Carter replied no 7-11 wasn’t going to pay for his food. Somewhere around this time David Dunkin having drank too much and not feeling well decided to go back out ro rhe car and wait for Harper. Apparently then Harper started a fight with the one remaining customer, Carter wasn’t sure if Harper had hit the customer but did see Harper swing at him and added Harper hit something but he just wasn’t sure if it was the customer or something else, then Harper chased this customer out of the store into the parking lot. While Harper was still outside in the parking lot, realizing the situation was getting out of hand Carter called the police. Harper re-enters the store and again according to Carter pulls out a knife and again Harper asks Carter if 7-11 is going to pay for his food. Carter now feeling threatened now replies yes 8-11 is going to pat for Harper’s food and with that Harper decides he wants more groceries. Carter states now Harper grabs a few empty grocery bags and then tells Carter be also wants the cash in the register. Trying to stall Harper until the police arrive Carter tells Harper to go get his groceries first then Carter will give Harper the cash from the register. Harper walks over to the aisles and starts filling the bags he had grabbed. About this time Waco PD pulls into the parking lot, David Dubkin sitting in the car in the parking lot sees the police pull in and walks back into the store and tells harper they need to go, Harper replies he will be out in a minute and Dunkin returns to the car. Two officers from the Waco PD responded to the call; Officers Rhudy and Swinson. When they enter the store Harper is still in the aisles acting like he is just shopping. Gary Carter explains the situation to the officers informing then there is another guy sitting out in the parking lot, referring to Dunkin, who the police saw when they first pulled in. Swinson goes out to the parking lot and approaches the car where he sees Dunkin has vomited ll over himself and the side of the car, figuring Dunkin isn’t much of a flight risk he returns to the store. Rhudy has already confiscated the stuffed grocery bags from Harper and then while searching him the officers two cans of Deviled ham in his boots. Now the police are unsure what they should Harper be charged with.Harper had filled the bags with groceries but he hadn’t left the store, so he really hadn’t stolen anything at that point. He had asked for the cash but hadn’t gotten it nor had forcibly tried to take it and although he had pulled out a pocket knife he really hadn’t used it in anyway. They could get him for shoplifting for the two cans of deviled ham but the cost of those cans were 89 cents a piece for a grand total of $1.78, was that even worth the effort. Finally the officers decided to charge both Harper and Dunkin with public intoxication, take them to the station, place them in a holding cell then go talk to someone in C.I.D. and see what they advise. So Rhudy and Swinson cuff Harper, go out collect Dunkin, have the car towed and proceed to the Waco PD station, place the drunk duo in a holding cell and make their way to C.I.D…

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  5. And whom was on duty when Rhudy and Swinson arrived? No other than Detective Ramon Salinas, the same person that would pick up and release Tab Harper on July 16th early on during the investigation of the Lake Waco Murders. Rhudy and Swinson give Salinas the run down of the information they had obtained from Gary Carter. Salinas advises Harper and Dunkin should be charged with aggravated robbery in addition to public intoxication and this being prior to the Lake Waco Murders and Salinas having a light case load at the time, he took over this less than.overwhelming case. Salinas interviews both Harper and Dunkin and officially charges the pair with public intoxication and aggravated robbery. By the time Harper and Dunkin were arraigned the aggravated robbery charge had been dropped against Dunkin, he was returned to the city holding cell until he paid the fine for public intoxication.Harper was arraigned on both charges and his bail was set at $1,500 and he to was returned to the city holding cell and would stay in the custody of the city until he paid his fine for public intoxication, then Harper would be sent over to the county jail. Salinas wrote his report on this case on June 17thm five days after the events had occurred and at that time Harper was still in the custody of the City, Salinas writes that the city will continue to hold Harper until he pays his fine and then send him over to the county, the reports never say when Harper paid this fine nor when he posted his bail so I don’t know exactly when he was finally released from jail. After his arraignment, Harper apparently had sobered up and realized he was in a world of trouble and asked the D.A. or the assistant D.A. if he could talk to Salinas. The A.D.A. passed on the request and Salinas agreed to talk to Harper. During this meeting Harper told Salinas he didn’t want any trouble and that he was innocent, he hadn’t pulled out a knife nor went behind the counter and grab the grocery bags nor asked for the cash out of the register. There is a little discrepancy in the reports of Rhudy and Salinas as to what Harper did with the knife,; Rhudy states Harper stabbed the counter, Salinas states Harper tapped the blade on the counter. Harper explained he knows Carter and he goes to that 7-11 to buy beer after hours and sometimes he gives Carter marijuana in exchange for the beer and Harper had offered Carter marijuana that night and then Cater told Harper he could grab some groceries and handed Harper the bags. Salinas asked Harper if he wants to file a complaint, Harper declines but insists he is telling the truth and tells Salinas he will take a polygraph. Salinas tells Harper he won’t give him a polygraph because Harper was intoxicated at the time in question but Salinas says what he will do is bring Carter in and give him a polygraph and if any irregularities show up Salinas will pass it on to the D.A.. Salinas contacts Carter and asks him him to come to the station to go over some things about the case. When Carter arrives Salinas gets him to write out a statement. Carter produces a four page statement. Afterwards Salinas questions Carter about the information Harper has provided; Carter admits he knows Harper and that he has sold him beer after hours before but Carter denies ever taking marijuana from Harper in exchange for beer. The reports never state if Carter was ever given a polygraph and if so what were the results. The reports on this case end with Harper going to court in December 1982 and agreeing to plead guilty for a five year sentence. He was out of prison by April 1985 which was the next time Harper had problems with the law when he held a loaded gun to his sister’s head. That case went nowhere when the sister decided she didn’t want to press charges and didn’t want to cooperate with law enforcement, the warrant issued for Tab was returned and the case suspended and that would be the only eun in with the law Harper would have in 1985. So in the four years I’ve reviewed Harper was convicted of one charge and it was not an assault and I would say it was more drunken stupidity than violent. Either way it’s a long way from 25 assaults or even a long violent history. But as always a few questions.

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  6. Going back to the conversation Nell Priest had with Tab Harper on July 15th, two days after the Lake Waco Murders and a little more than a month after Harper had been arrested for aggravated robbery the obvious question is isn’t it most likely Harper was talking about the crime he had been charged with when he told Nell he was getting ready to get locked up again? And when he told her he wanted to hurt someone before he was sent away again he had a certain person in mind; Gary Carter, the person that had called the police on him? When you remove the often repeated rumors this has to be the only reasonable conclusion, if reality was only that simple.

    When Detective Salinas interviewed Gary Carter, Salinas asked Carter if he knew the names of the two customers playing the video games that Harper ran off. Carter said he didn’t know their names, so Salinas told Carter if those customers ever returned to the store get their names and let him know. It doesn’t look as if Carter ever came up with these names. So whom were these guys. I take it that they were guys, just don’t see Harper fighting girls or chasing girls out of the store. And that takes me back to Rusty Escott and his confession to Mike Nicoletti that he was afraid of Tab Harper. When you read police reports and trial testimony over and over and over .you get into the habit of finding questions you wished law enforcement or attorneys would have asked. When Rusty told Nicoletti he was afraid of Harper why didn’t Nicoletti ask if there was a reason had something transpired between the two. That was the first thing that came to mind when I first read the report on this incident at the 7-11. I figured the two guys that Harper had run out of the store must have been teenagers, what adult man would have just allowed some loud rude obnoxious drunk to run them out if a store, you night get your ass beat but you are not just going to run off. So the guys that did runoff must have been young and intimidated and that made me think of Rusty Escott. And that he was worried about Harper finding out he had given Harper’s name in connection with the Lake Waco Murders, I can see Rusty as one of the guys being run off and then hearing about the murders and how Harper had talked to Rebecca DesMarias about the murders, Rusty found a way to cause problems for Harper. This is just my opinion, if anyone has anymore reliable facts or information on this please share.

    There are a couple things about these reports that stick out to me. First there isn’t any mention of a probation or parole officer or that Harper was on either on parole or probation, which you would expect to see if Harper had a long violent criminal history. Either the crimes Harper had committed in the past were not serious enough to require parole nor probation or the crimes he had committed in the past had happened so long ago before this crime that the terms of a a month later?ny parole or probation had run it’s term. Maybe whenever the last time Harper was locked up was for a parole or probation violation which would have cleared any further parole or probation. Again I don’t know the facts just one of those things that stuck out to me, you hear about Harper having such a long violent criminal history but he’s hot locked up nor on parole or probation just doesn’t seem to add up.

    On June 12th Tab Harper is telling Ramon Salinas he doesn’t want any trouble and tries to explain his actions, including given out marijuana in exchange for alcohol, remind you this was 1982 the time of the escalation of the war on drugs in America, in hope of lessening his culpability. Does this sound like someone that would commit a brutal triple homicide a month alter? Some might say well if he snapped out on drugs he could have done it. But that is why the trademark shallow stab wounds are so important. The person that committed these rapes and murders just didn’t snap out. This killer was in control of both the victims and himself, a confident rampage unconcerned with place and time, totally consumed with the pleasure he achieved while exhibiting the domination he had over his victims and inflicting pain with impunity. This is not the makeup of Terry Lee “Tab” Harper. This clearly comes out in the reports about the 7-11 incident, Harper is too easily distracted, when he asks for the cash Carter simply delays him by telling him to go get his groceries first and Harper complies, he is not in control, his mind isn’t clear he is just a drunken idiot and I would say this is the same thing with the bullying of the teenagers we read about in the Lake Waco Murders police reports, Harper stumbles around trying to cause havoc but never really accomplished anything.

    To be fair I guess I still need to obtain the police records on Tab Harper prior to 1982 and I know I have been slow on this. The reason I have been so slow is because I know Tab Harper just didn’t commit nor had anything to do with the Lake Waco Murders. I would hope at some point this will become the general consensus but there are always going to be the die hards and those that have only heard the rumors and that’s all they are left with to believe.. So much time and effort has been spent on Tab Harper and in doing so others with more connections to the case, with questionable stories and incoherent timelines slip under the radar, rarely mentioned and never scrutinized and it becomes more difficult as time goes by.. And most of these people are still alive today and can still be questioned. Yes I am talking about Clifford Oliver, Todd Childers, John Arnett Jr., Cal Frazier Josie Scionti, Diane Scionti, Harold Windham, James Gutierrez and Terry Gutierrez. Any number of this group hold the answers.

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  7. When things are slow, as they have for most of the past year, I like to go back and check out the old stuff and see if anything new is out there. It seems there are always sites and podcast popping up discussing the case and sometimes you hear some different stuff, there is a wide spectrum of thoughts and opinions on the :Lake Waco Murders and even though some of the stuff you see is way out there, I believe all views should be heard. I try to talk to as many people as possible, Christine Juhl, Josie Scionti and Lisa Kader still top my list of people I would like to talk to or talk to again, there are others I have talked to but I’m not sure if they are capable of telling the truth, that would include Gayle Kelly and Clifford Oliver, I would like to talk to both again but I don’t know what value could be redeemed, they probably know the truth but they aren’t giving up the secrets. Then we have the people that won’t talk, hello John Arnett Jr, and Todd Childers, you night be trying to hide but we know you are out there and we still want to know about your ride between parks around Lake Waco on the night of July 13, 1982. Well until then we will talk to anyone that has something to say. Does anyone want to chime in?

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  8. THE STRASNGE AND CRAZY STORY OF JANES RUSSELL BISHOP AND RONNIE AND CATHERINE BREITEN.

    How often have we heard how weak the State’s case against David Wayne Spence, Muneer Muhammed Deeb, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez was but Spence was convicted by two different juries, the Melendez confessed to avoid the death penalty and got a great deal if they held up their part of that deal and Deeb got off on a technicality thanks to Gilbert Melendez which in the end along with the falsehoods and hollow promises certain people were pushing doomed the brothers or served them the just dessert they deserved depending on your view. So how could this be, how could such a weak case see three of the men they went after spend the last years of their lives in confinement, locked away from society the State said these monsters could not fit in? The simple and usually over looked answer is the defense’s case was even weaker and the strongest exemplification of this is the case of Bishop and the Breitens but as usual we never hear the facts or truth about this. What we usually hear is that the presiding judge, George Allen, did not allow the defense to present this during David Spence’s first trial, we see this in news articles, websites and podcast but it is not true. And I’m not asking you to take my word on it, I will share the actually trial testimony of Catherine Brieten so you can see for yourself. Now I will have to explain the back story to put things in the proper context and at the moment I can’t find when Catherine was first called to the stand, I have it somewhere I just need to find it, I lose stuff every time I change computers. But you will clearly see what transpired. To understand how this whole thing unfolded we have to start with James Russell Bishop.

    James Russell Bishop’s name never came up in connection to the Lake Waco Murders in anyway, well not until the police in San Diego called the Waco police asking for info on Bishop after he raped and shot two teenage girls in San Diego County California in early 1983. Waco Police saw similarities between the crime Bishop committed in California and the Lake Waco Murders; two teenage girls, sexual assaults, hands tied behind their backs, and decided to check out Bishop. In March 1983 Lt. Marvin Horton, Sgt. Dennis Baier and Det. Ramon Salinas flew out to California to interview Bishop and members of this family. They ran into a problem, which has led to some of the misinformation that has been told over and over over the last few decades. When they first arrived in San Diego Bishop was going to be arraigned that morning for the crimes he had committed in California and the officers from Waco were told they would not be able to talk to Bishop after he was arraigned, so that really didn’t give them the proper time to interview him, they really didn’t get to talk to him at all. The one thing Baier was able to ask Bishop before the parties went their separate ways was if he knew David Spence. Bishop replied he knew David from the pool hall where Bishop worked, David would come in and shoot pool. That was the total of the interview. Now this has gone down as Bishop and his attorney didn’t nor wanted to cooperate with the Waco police, again this is not true. After Bishop and his attorney took care of his legal problems in California, where Bishop pled guilty, they consented to all of Waco PD’s request including interviews and samples of hair and blood but that was a few months later. In the meantime Waco PD continued their investigation into Bishop And this is where the Brietens come in. Looking into Bishop they found he had cashed a check at the same Piggly Wiggly where Jill Montgomery and Raylene Rice had cashed checks only hours before they were killed. Bishop has cashed his check either the day or two days before the girls had cashed their checks but it was the same cashier that had cashed all the checks and that cashier was Joyce Breiten, the wife of Ronnie Brieten and on top of all that Lt. Horton had gotten a strange call from an attorney representing Ronnie Breiten back in September 1982, which Horton had checked out back then but now Horton thought that story needed to be checked out again.

    Ronnie Breiten was another one of Waco’s finest citizens always finding himself in trouble with the law for one thing or another. At the time of David Spence’s first trial Ronnie was in prison or had just been recently released but back in 1982 he was having legal problems, some insurance issue and in September 1982 his step mother, Catherine Breiten called the attorney representing Ronnie at the time; Derrel Luce. Mrs. Breiten told Mr. Luce that she thought her step son Ronnie might have had something to do with the Lake Waco Murders. She stated Ronnie had come to her house that morning and he had been drinking and he had blood on his clothes. Luce passed this information on to the Waco Police Department and Lt. Horton interviewed Mrs. Breiten at that time. Catherine Brieten was somewhat of a character in her own right, as you will see when you read her testimony, so it doesn’t look like he put much faith in her story and it goes nowhere until after Horton, Baier and Salinas return from California and come across the information about the check Bishop had cashed at the Piggly Wiggly. Now in March or April Horton sends Sgt. Baier to go talk to Catherine Breiten again and again it looks like Baier doesn’t put much faith in Catherine Breiten’s story and again it goes nowhere but you can see the genesis of the idea of trying to connect James Russell Bishop to Ronnie Breiten and both men to the Lake Waco Murders, a idea David Spence’s attorney, Russ Hunt, would pick up and try to run with as the center piece of his defense of David Spence but by the time of David’s first trial everyone, Waco PD, the D.A.’s office and probably Russ Hunt knew Catherine Breiten’s story wasn’t true but it was all Hunt had, the whole emphasis of Hunt’s defense was there were parties other than David Spence that could have committed the Lake Waco Murders, parties, well he tried to sell to the jury, the police didn’t investigate thoroughly. I would point out Russ Hunt didn’t even try to point the finger at Terry “Tab” Harper he knew that wouldn’t get him anywhere, that was beating a dead horse back then in 1984, that’s why I can’t believe some people are still beating that dead horse decades later. Russ Hunt was willing to try anything and point the finger in any direction away from David Spence but he won’t even try to go after Harper, he knew where that would get him but in the end the choice he made with going after James Russell Bishop and Ronnie Breiten and trying to use Catherine Breiten has his star witness totally crushed the defense. I believe once this fiasco went down the Melendez brothers’ attorneys convinced the brothers to cooperate to save their lives because Hunt and Catherine Breiten had just put the final nails in David Spence’s coffin and if the brothers didn’t want to succumb to the same fate they had better make a deal.

    So that is how all this went down and now we will get to the actual testimony in question, I will have to share that in two separate post. To understand the context, this is the part of the proceedings I am missing at the time and of course I am paraphrasing but trying to keep as close as possible to the content. The defense, Russ Hunt, calls Catherine Breiten to the stand as a witness for the defense, the State, Vic Feazell, objects and asks for a sidebar. Vic Feazell knows what Catherine Breiten is going to state is not true and doesn’t think she should be allowed to testify. Hunt argues how does Feazell know what she is going to say and if he wants to rebut anything she says he can do so on cross, Feazell fights back that Mrs. Breiten should testify outside the presence of the jury first and this is agreed upon and the proceedings move to the Judge’s chambers and this is where we pick up the testimony.

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  9. Some ask why is it so important, after all these years and the passing of so many people connected to the Lake Waco Murders, to find the truth, the whole truth. Over the next few days I plan to share a number of podcast dealing with the case and for those that are familiar with the case will find many inaccuracies in these podcast but in the world in which we live today a large majority of the public looking into this case will get their information only from these podcast and what they hear in this podcast they will take as fact and the truth. In reality as time passes and we listen to more podcast the gulf between the story we hear and the facts and truth widens. I’m waiting for the podcast that connects Henry Lee Lucas to the Lake Waco Murders, with Vic Feazell connected to both it’s coming Until then we can listen to the stories that continue to be told, for entertainment if nothing else, it does help keep alive interest in the case. For the memories of all those that lost their lives forever connected to this case the truth needs to be found and preserved.

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  10. Motorcycle gangs in Waco – 1982

    One subject that doesn’t get much attention is the possibility of a motorcycle gang being responsible for the Lake Waco Murders. I think the main reason for this is just the lack of a conclusion either way, were David Spence or any other persons of interest connected to any bike gangs? I honestly don’t know, I don’t have a strong opinion either way and I usually have an opinion on everything. I’m hoping some of the readers from Waco will share their thoughts, opinions or information. Another reason I think the motorcycle gang angle doesn’t get the scrutiny other aspects of the case is because it didn’t originate from Truman Simons, although the only time we see David Spence being connected with a bike gang in the police reports is during an interview conducted by Simons and Dennis Baier. If anything Truman dispels this, David tries to exhibit the biker style and attitude but he is just a wannabe. Actually the information on a bike gang being responsible didn’t even originate in Waco, the information was passed on to the Waco PD from the Waxahachie PD. In the first podcast I shared earlier today it mentions David and even Gilbert Melendez were members of a bike gang, where did they get this information. Where did this information lead? Like so many other aspects of this case, when the case was suspended this was just another loose end left dangling? Was David in a bike gang, I don’t know, I doubt it mainly because Christine Juhl firmly states he was not and points out he didn’t even have a bike. But what about a bike gang being responsible, again I don’t know but the idea got some play and it might be the sporadic references that cause it to get lost in the complex web that is the Lake Waco Murders. So let’s look at the police reports and see what they say on the subject.

    The first we hear any mention of a bike gang comes from Mike Nicoletti’s interview with Gayle Kelly on July 20th. Nicoletti states Gayle informed him that Kenneth didn’t get along with the motorcyclist and that on several occasions had gotten in trouble with the motorcyclist and that the only time Kenneth had dealings with the motorcyclist was when he was trading narcotics with Rebecca Desmarias. Now for those that have been following along should recognize the name Rebecca Desmarias.as the girl that had been reported as an eye witness to the murders, had been threatened if she talked and had been missing.. She was found just the day before Nicoletti’s interview with Gayle Kelly. Rebecca had run away from home and was found staying with a biker named Wolf. That would just be the tip of the iceberg.

    In Ramon Salinas’ report of July 22 he writes that he and Texas Ranger Joe Wiley went to Waxahachie to interview Jill Montgomery and Raylene Rice’s parents. While in Waxahachie they stopped in the police station and talked to Captain Charles Sullins. The captain told Salinas and Wiley that about midnight on July 20th he received a call informing him that a motorcycle gang called the scorpions were taking credit for the murders. This gang was from Troy and had moved into the Waco area. Sullins further stated another Waxahachie PD officer had gotten the same information from an informant but he didn’t have anymore information on this gang.

    A few day pass by before we see anything more on any bike gangs, then on July 27th, would be in Salinas’ July 28th report, Salinas and Sgt. Robert Fortune drag Rebecca Desmarias back down to the police station and ask her if she knew a bike gang the Scorpions and if the people at the Motorcycle shop on North 18th Street were the Scorpions. Rebecca gives them the name of a friend that was dating a guy that worked at the shop named Angel and maybe should could give them some information. They also ask her if they know a Mexican subject that ran around with Tab Harper, she replied she knew of a guy that went by the name of Bird. The only reason I mention this Bird is because at some later point it was speculated this Bird could have been Gilbert Melendez, depending when this happened it could be the first time Gilbert’s name came up in connection with the case but again it depends when and whom came up with this, I need to find it and it might have been Truman much later which wouldn’t mean much.

    Later that same day Salinas and Nicoletti go to the apartment of girl whose name Rebecca had given them; Carren Ritchie, that is how it is spelled in the report. Carren doesn’t come off much, she has only known Angel a few months, the group that hangs out at he shop on 18th Street aren’t a gang. As Salinas and Nicoletti are questioning Carren another girl that knows Rebecca and this group stops by. Her name was Kathy Prochnow, she claimed she knew Jill and Kenneth from the Methodist Home and that she had seen Jill and Raylene together in Waco about a month before and then states that she, Carren, Angel and another biker named Fingers had taken a ride out to Koehne Park on July 13th and she had seen Kenneth and the girls pull in. Kathy said they were they from about 7:30pm to 9:00pm but then she says they just rod through. I tried to talk to Kathy Prochnow one time but all I got was a big NO!

    This biker Angel was the next stop for Salinas. This is where some confusion still remains, we often hear that there were 6 witnesses that claimed they saw Tab Harper at Koehne Park, I don’t know where nor how anyone comes up with that number and I have asked countless times and never get an answer because they don’t exist, there is a huge difference between hearing some one saw Harper at Koehne Park that night and being an actual eye witness to that fact which was the overwhelming case. Other than Rusty Escott to claim he actually saw Harper at the park that night was this biker Angel but it is very questionable and this can clearly seen in the report. In the report Salinas writes Angel states he is agreeing with whatever the girls, Carren and Kathy, have said but the girls never stated they saw Harper, it looks like Salinas leads Angel to believe the girls have said this and when Salinas asks Angels for exact details Angel doesn’t have any and the lack of information Salinas gives on Angel like real name, phone number or address shows Salinas knows this won’t stand up to any scrutiny and is worthless there is no need to re-contact Angel hence he doesn’t need to give any contact info. A little more than a month later Waco PD suspends their Lake Waco Murders investigation but that’s not the end of the biker connection.

    On September 3rd Waco PD suspends their Investigation, On the 9th Truman Simons calls Chief Scott and asks if he can take over the case and on the 10th Simons and Dennis Baier officially take over the case. Going over all the reports Simons and Baier realize the original investigators failed to follow up leads, probably the most shocking was the information they had received from a girl that lived at the Methodist Home with victims Jill Montgomery and Kenneth Franks, she lived on the same unit as Jill. Her name was Lisa Kader and on July 19th she cane to the police station and informed the police Muneer Deeb had killed Kenneth and not only did she give them the killer but she also provided the motive; Gayle Kelly. The Waco PD did absolutely nothing with this information even though Gayle Kelly came to the police station the next day and was interviewed but was never asked about this. Simons and Baier decided to interview Lisa Kader again, which they did on September 11. Deeb was already on Simons’ and Baier’s radar because information they had received the night before. When they questioned Lisa this time, realizing Deeb couldn’t have committed these murders by himself, they asked her did she know whom would have helped Deeb. Lisa answers there’s this guy that hangs out in Deeb’s store named David that goes by the name Chili it’s like his biker name and with that David Spence is put all their radar. The next day, September 12th, Simons and Baier interview Gayle Kelly, actually a couple times and for the first time Gayle is asked about Muneer Deeb and David Spence’s name also comes up. Gayle Kelly informs Simons and Baier members of David’s gang have been hanging around her friend Patti’s apartment, where Gayle was staying and harassing her .and one time at the 7-11 these same gang members had confronted Patti, saying something to the effect that she was the girl they had been looking for and wouldn’t it be nice to live to see 18. By the time the trials started this had changed a little bit, it wasn’t members of David’s gang, it was David and it was said towards Gayle. Gayle didn’t know the day it happened during the trial but when I talked to her a few years ago she was sure it was her birthday. I don’t doubt this happened, there were other witnesses that have confirmed this, no other than Gilbert Melendez and Cindy “Sunshine’ Click, they were both with David that day. Gayle stated this harassment ended a couple weeks after the murders once Muneer Deeb started coming over to the apartment But here is the question for me, why didn’t Gayle ever mention this to Waco PD when it first happened, when she went to the police station with Patti on July 20th it was to report the first break-in of the apartment would it make sense to inform the police that a bike gang was hanging around the apartment harassing you? And then the second incident a week later, a few days after the apartment had been broken into a second time and at that time some one says you were the girl they were looking for which is eerily similar language to the note the perpetrator left during the first break-in, along with all the knives lined up on the table, which stated they will get you or see you next time but you don’t say anything to the police! Why? Even if you didn’t connect any of this to the murders, you seriously couldn’t connect it to the break-ins? Gayle and Patti couldn’t have been that clueless. I have asked Gayle Kelly about this but I doubt if she will ever answer. The story of the bikers and/or bike gang ends there, very intriguing but I don’t know, I hope others have something to say.

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  11. Since Vic Feazell started his podcast series I have been waiting for him to address the Lake Waco Murders, his site claims it’s coming soon, I guess Vic Feazell understands the meaning of the word soon as much as he understands the words truth and justice. And now he and Harry Storm have returned to some kind of lovefest, the retrofitting history is nauseating. And now HarryStorm/Bernadette Feazell is promoting Vic’s podcast, I think people should put pressure on Vic Feazell to address some of the questions that remain with the Lake Waco Murders and do anywhere and anyhow possible and if they are going to promote his podcast that provides the stage. So here is my latest inquiry into the subject, it will probably be deleted, these people really aren’t interested in the truth, which should be troubling to anyone .I hope others will take up the cause to hold Vic Feazell accountable for the unfathomable narrative he spun about the Lake Waco Murders.

    Vic Feazell
    Apr 1, 2021
    Thank you so much!!

    Vic Feazell http://www.vicfeazell.com

    >

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    bkl67
    bkl67
    Vic Feazell
    4m ago
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Mr. Feazell, when are you going to discuss the Lake Waco Murders and answer any of the numerous questions that remain? I know a lot of people still have questions, it would be helpful if you could clear up some things.

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      • I have to make a correction,, HarryStorm/Bernadette Feazell decided to let my comment stand for a change and she replied, but I was really looking a reply from Vic Feazell. Anyway I usually don’t post Harrystorm/Bernadette Feazell’s comments because they are usually just crazy off topic rants but this one was reasonable so I thought I would share. I don’t totally agree with it but healthy and respectful different viewpoints are what this case needs. So I will post my reply later.

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      • harrystorm
        14 minutesimmadtooharry.com

        I can only clear up so much as I never had power, just interest and questions. Of course, the ultimate question was why hasn’t DNA been run. That took forever to shake loose and get run. I don’t know if you saw it but there is a report from Dallas Forensics via the Texas Forensics Commission to me that states the DNA showed nothing and probably never would. It sat in a metal storage shed twenty years so that was pretty much that. No DNA. Ever. Next is the Texas Forensics Commission throwing out bite mark evidence. The people who knew things or had things and some who touted having things never came forward, and in 2014 TEXAS MONTHLY and Michael Hall did a story that took over two years to write. Mike Hall’s story had no satisfying conclusion or end. No one has written me any new trails in years and it’s not the first unsatisfactory conclusion I’ve had to put out of my head. That’s all I got. Thanks

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  12. I am trying to post the seldom seen and mostly unknown Grand Jury testimony of Clifford Oliver, as usual having difficulties. Keep in mind the Grand Jury testimony was sealed until David Spence’s appeals so neither jury in his two trials ever heard about Josie Scionti, Diane and Harold Windham, a very strange and questionable omission.

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  13. On the testimony front, I have added another page, TESTIMONY, that will contain testimony from the trials. So Clifford Oliver’s Grand Jury testimony is available for viewing and download. As time goes on I will add more testimony, if there is something in particular someone wants to read just let me know and I will try to get it up.

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  14. In response to Harrystorm/Bernadette Feazell’s comment I do not believe the biggest or most important question has to do with the DNA. I don’t know for sure because the of the lack of communication that comes with lawsuits but as far as I know when the DNA samples were first sent to the lab in California run by Dr. Edward Blake test were completed, the only thing Dr. Blake has said publicly is they found nothing. The question is what does that exactly mean, I take it to mean that no matches were found between the samples from the crime scene and the samples collected from persona of interest. And we have to keep in mind that Dr. Blake and this lab in California are the leading experts in the field, many of the advances we now have came from the work in that lab. In making these advancements they destroy samples they receive doing whatever crazy experiments scientists do, so when the Samples were originally sent to that lab there was only going to be one chance to get satisfactory results, this has been the regular procedure and process since the early days of forensic science, as with any field of science they need samples to further their studies. Nothing nefarious about this and should have never been publicized as such, it only damages relationships that could have been helpful later on. So from the time those DNA samples were sent to that lab those samples were a dead issue but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of the testing and this is how the acrimony that was created by interested parties towards this lab has hurt all parties. If test were done, although the samples would be damaged and of no further use, the results should still exist, those results would consist of DNA profiles. So whatever happened to these profiles? By the terms of the legal decision, the lab was required to turnover everything they had related to these samples, one would think that would include the profiles but it is possible the lab could have retained the profiles due to intellectual property laws. So again what happened to these profiles? One might question if the lab and Dr. Blake just got tired of dealing with this very frustrating case and disposed of the profiles but Dr. Blake has always been the leading voice in the importance of keeping a DNA database, I can’t see him going against his own strongly held beliefs, so I believe those profiles should still exist somewhere. But here is the problem you would have to collect new samples to compare to the profiles and how would one go about it and whom is doing to pay for this. Some might believe or want the state to pay for any future testing but that is not how things are set up in most states, the State’s only obligation is to prosecute a case once that is done and they achieve acceptable results they don’t have to lift a finger. That might sound unfair but once the State has met the burden of proof any other furtherance of a case falls on the defense or other parties. So first we have the question whom is going to cover the cost of further testing? Does anyone have upward of $100,000 they have laying around they might want to take a change on something where results are guaranteed? Then how would one go about collecting new samples. Well you can hope persons of interest would be voluntarily willing to provide samples, good luck with that, no one wants their name connected to this case and are staying away as far as possible and at this point you can’t blame them. The only other way you can et samples is to obtain warrants and you have to have just cause, you might be able to find a favorable judge but even with that you are still only half way to getting anywhere. Now if someone was able to come up with the money and able to obtain warrants I would suggest you need to expand the sample pool beyond the the donors where matches weren’t found before. Which brings me to what I believe is the biggest and most important question.

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  15. Whatever happened to the fingerprints lifted from Raylene Rice’s car or the beer cans found near the victims’ bodies or Clifford Oliver’s car or the physical evidence collected at Patti Deis’ apartment after the first break in?????

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