747 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?


  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.


  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?


  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…


  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.


  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.


  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?



    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.


  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.


  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.


  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


    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.


      • 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.


      • 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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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?????


  16. Over the last few weeks I have been posting the trial testimonies, unfortunately I don’t have access to all the testimony. Which brings me to the most troubling aspect of this case; what happened to all the files and records? For some explained reason all the records and files on the Lake Waco Murders have disappeared. The last person that I am aware signed them out was Fred Dannen back in 1997 or 1998, I don’t know if he ever returned them, I would guess he never did. When Michael Hall wrote is article in Texas Monthly a few years ago he had access to the records but Dannen was clearly one of his sources, so it would figure Hall had access via Dannen, some information Hall put in his article had the Dannen slant/view on things. I know Mr. Hall talked to other sources for his story; Jan Price, Bernadette Feazell, Jan Thompson but you can see Fred Dannen was his main source Vic Feazell and Truman Simons were also interviewed but their views weren’t necessarily in line with the story the article was trying to portray. In that article it is stated Feazell did not wish to comment, which was not the truth, he sent a response through his attorney, Texas Monthly just decided not to publish it, that is what led to the creation of this page. So the question remains where are all the records now?

    And this presents a problem with posting the testimony, without being able to provide the statements made by witnesses prior to their testimony the impact, contradictions and controversies of said statements and testimonies are missed and not understood. Point in case with the testimony I just posted earlier today. In both of Christine Juhl’s testimonies the statement she gave in the Spring of 1983, after she was arrested for shoplifting, is the source of information the lawyers on both sides are using. In Deeb’s re-trial, Deeb II, the States attorneys’ argue it is unfair for the defense to question Christine about what she said in that statement without allowing her to see that statement, she made that statement almost 10 years earlier. And in the Grand Jury testimony when Vic Feazell asks Christine how she got home from work the night of July 13th, the night of the murders, she answers David might have taken her home and Vic’s response is not is not what she had said earlier. If David picked up Christine from work about 11:00 p.m. the state has a serious problem with their case against David Spence. If we could see the original statement then we could actually see what she said 8 months after the murders. It was this lack of clarity that allowed Muneer Deeb to walk in 92/93.
    Although I couldn’t find Karim’s testimony during Deeb’s re-trial, at least on one point it was the same as it had been in his earlier testimonies and this created an obstacle the State could not over come.

    In 1992 when Gilbert Melendez decided he would not testify for the State in Deeb’s re-trial, as he had done in Deeb’s first trial, unless he got some guarantees about parole, that left the State in a bind. Deeb had been granted a re-trial because the use of an inmates testimony, so the attorneys prosecuting Deeb now; Bill Lane and David Chapman, couldn’t go that path again. In a circumstantial case you can present circumstantial evidence but it has to be corroborated by other evidence which also can be circumstantial. In Deeb’s first trial there were two people, well actually three when you count the inmate, which makes Vic Feazell’s decision to use him even more questionable because he didn’t need to, t could testify they heard Deeb ask David Spence to kill Gayle Kelly for insurance money, clearly circumstantial but meets the legal requirement to be permissible. These two witnesses were Karim Qasem and Gilbert Melendez. When it came around to Deeb’s re-trial and Gilbert decided not to testify that left the State with only one witness. To correct this problem Lane and Chapman had no choice but to use the only other person that had heard Deeb talk about killing Gayle with David. It was a witness Feazell had decided not to use after her Grand Jury testimony, she hadn’t been a solid witness for the State during the Grand Jury, she wasn’t sure on details and that doesn’t do much for clarity. This was Christine Juhl and her testimony created another problem for Lane and Chapman that a skilled defense attorney like Dick DeGuerin would attack and tear apart, which he did. The problem was this the two witnesses Lane and Chapman were using to corroborate each other disagreed on a very important point, when and how Christine got home from work that night. Christine was back to the story she had apparently told in her statement, again we would need to see that statement, that Deeb took her home after she got off about 11:00p.m.. Karim testified David picked up Christine from work earlier in the evening and he and Deeb closed. Clearly some one was wrong, not saying intentionally but it was a major problem that made convicting Deeb impossible. If the State’s two witnesses couldn’t agree on this major detail or wrong or unclear what other details could the be wrong about or mixed up about, so Christine and Karim wiped out each others’ testimony and with that the State didn’t have a case.

    I bring this up now because I am planning to post the Melendez brothers’ testimony next, probably early next week and if there was ever a time that the statements should be viewed to better understand the testimony this is it. One should be familiar with Gilbert’s multiple statements and Anthony made two statements And not just the contents but also the timeline of those statements, so one can see when and how the information in those statements came out, how the story evolved. In many ways the many statements are more telling and informative than their testimony where the brothers were allowed to tell their version of events, which didn’t always match up, like which girl Anthony stabbed, but were allowed to stand with little contention. So again without the statements we don’t get to see the full story that was developed in them. Hopefully someday we will be able to find and gain access to all the files and records.


  17. Another sad anniversary, 39 to be exact and still so many questions. Three teens brutally slain and laid out in a public park. And with all the files apparently missing one would think there would be more of a public outcry. How can a case as messed up as this just be tossed aside like it never happened? It changed too many lives forever to just forget!!!


  18. The other day I received a strange message, I don’t know what to make of the message but it did make me realize there are still so many people that I would like to talk to but haven’t been able to find. The list of names is way too long to post with description as to why I would like to speak with these individuals, so I am just putting out a few that have come to mind recently. If anyone could give me any information on any of these individuals it would be greatly appreciated.

    First I have Brian Kitzmiller, Mark Roth and Glen Singleton. Back in 1982 these three boys stayed at the Methodist Home, they ran away from the Home around the time of the murders. On July 13th, prior to the murders these subjects were seen talking to victims Jill Montgomery and Raylene Rice at approximately 3:00 p.m. outside the Ivy Square Apartments, which were next door the Fort Fisher where the girls had stopped just prior to stopping at the apartments. This 3p.m. hours starts the two hour gap in the timeline where we don’t know what the girls did or where they were until they show up at the Piggly Wiggly on Herring to cash two checks amounting to some amount between $400 and $500. The three run away boys would steal a number of cars and head south where they were arrested a few days later. SO the point of interest with these individuals is did Jill or Raylene say anything about what they were planning to do that day or where they were planning to go? Also did they know anyone in those apartments, we know one staff member lived there at the time, Linda Fuqua, I have had no luck in reaching her either.

    Next on my list I have one Tommy walker, I don’t know much about this Tommy Walker other than he was an associate of both David Spence and the Melendez brothers, apparently Mr. Walker was the local neighborhood drug dealer. In Anthony Melendez’ original statement he says he and David went to Tommy Walkers to score some crank but that WALKER was not at home at the time. Tommy Walker lived at the corner of 12th and Concord, only a few blocks away from David Spence’s mother’s house.

    So that is all the information I have on these individuals, again if anyone could add anything it would be greatly and sincerely appreciated!!!


  19. As we go into the year 2022 we will hit the awful 40th anniversiary for not only the tragic day of July 13, 1982 but also many other dates indelibly connected to those horrific events. Today we sit six months away from one of those critical days bit in the grand scheme of things it is a day that gets glossed over and that is because that is the way the powers to be at the time wanted it. If the jury and the public would have been truthfully informed about the events that day it would have severely damaged the carefully crafted, although seriously flawed and highly improbable, false narrative the prosecutors were trying to build. Somehow they were able to get away with it for some time but they didn’t see the coming of the internet and the free flow of information that would open the eyes of the world to the true tragedy that is the Lake Waco Murders. And now some of those facts they tried to sweep under the rug can come to light and all the unanswered questions they avoided for so many years ring out even louder today. Beyond the date July 13, 1982, the actual date of the murders and July 13, 1982, the day the bodies of the victims were discovered, there is another date that stands out, the juries in any of the trials never heard this date although they did hear some version of some of the events that occurred that day, again to connect those events to any specific date, a date both the State and their witness knew, would have thrown giant shadows and opened the door for irreconcilable questions and threatened to expose their less than completely honest narrative.

    July 26. 1982 is a date most people close to the case will be familiar wih, the general public including the jury probably much less so. This was Gayle Kelly’s 17th birthday and for a lack of a better word, this date would be what we can call the linchpin of the case, the thing, time,date and/or event that puts al lthe pieces together, explains the situation, the realations and how all these separate elements existed and changed around the central event, which would be the murders. Some people might say or think the insurance policy was linchpin that brought all the pieces together but it is not the linchpin the insurance polict is just one of the elements. There are too many qiestions about that policy, Deeb’s defense would argue that whatever talk about killing Gayle Kelly for insurance money was a joke. And can the case be made that a few people that are connected to the murders got together on Forth of July, hung around the pool at the apartment, had a little party and kidded around about killing Gayle Kelly? Obviously that would be Deeb’s version, but David Spence, while he was still sitting in the McLennan County jail awaiting his trial for the Pack sexual charge, long before he he was charged with the Lake Waco Murders, wrote a statement inwhich he states he believed Muneer Deeb was serious about killing Gayle Kelly when he asked him if he could find someone to kill her. What David never really shares was what were his own thoughts and feelings about this. And that’s what we need, if David was the one that was going to carry out this plan we need to find something that points toward him at least trying to, to show he didn’t take it as a joke. Hey I believe he is guilty but with the lack of physical evidence or eye witnesses, shakey testimony from co-defendants and the frequently mentioned fact that no one saw him in Koehne Park the night the kids went missing, but I would add no one has come forward to say they saw him in the park David states in was in. I believe David committed the two break-ins of Patti Deis’ apartment to get to Gayle Kelly to finish what he started on the night of July 13 so he could get paid but there isn’t any conclusive evidence to whom committed those break-ins, as with so much with this case it is just another examples of the multitude of things and questions the Waco PD left hanging and unanswered when they gave up on the case.So where does this leave us? Is there anything that can show us David’s true feelings and intent in regard to the offer to kill Gayle Kelly. Yes july 26 1982. And unlike we the public and the jury have been told Gayle Kelly and David Spence knew each other and were at least on friendl terms. That all changed on that night, July 26 1982 and there are enough sources to confirm this to alleviate any reasonable doubt.


  20. Unlike the narrative the State weaved for the jury and public in general, a story of mistaken identity, a world where victims, intended targets and not and conspirators and killers didn’t know each other, to the point they didn’t even share common courtesies such as saying hello when they did cross paths, the truth is much more complex, the web of connections darker than most would like to see, which gave the State the leeway to spin their improbable tale into reality. To get to the truth we have to understand.how things actually were leading up to July 13 1982 and the events that transpired in the wake of that horrible tragedy. And to find the truth we have to cast a wider net that encompasses more than just the simple characterizations of victims and killers, for in the narrowest of scopes they were only these characters for a flahing moment, maybe a couple hours and although these terrible moments will be forever remembered and those connected always stained, they are but a blink in the eye eternal. But they were so much more, they were lives lived and to find truth we must understand those lives.

    Many of the kids that lived at the Methodist Home were not from Waco, some might say they were like strangers in a strange land, without family without friends, additionally weighted with any of a plethora of problems, from the lost of parents, neglective parents, parents with their own problems, learning and emotional disorders and just typical teenage rebellion but they were kids and just wanted to have fun like other kids and kids make mistakes, we all do and unfortunately sometimes we don’t get the chance to learn from those mistakes, those opportunities and possibilities are taken away from us, sometimes by people that have never learned from their own mistakes, never will and now have gone down the seedier path that leads to unfathomable tragedy, welcome to Waco, Texas autumn 1981.

    A few of the kids from the Methodist Home had found solace and retreat from the watchful eyes of the staff of the home in the many parks that surrouned Lake Waco. One park in particular, Koehne, became their choice destination. There they got to mingle with other kids their age that were native to Waco, they got to party and just be regular teenagers, probably all they really wanted out of life at that point. But where ever the sheep will herd the wolves will follow. About his same time two characters of the aforementioned never learn from their own mistakes tribe returned to Waco;David Spence and Anthony Melendez. Spence fresh out of prison for arobbery charge he picked up when he tried to ro a 7-11 with a hatchet in Fort Worth. Melendez was a fugitive from the law, trying to evade the authorities that were looking to arrest him for a robbery and sexaul assault he had committed in Corpus Christi, Anthony’s cohorts had been captured, ppled guilty and had given Anthony up, with the help of his family it flew Corpus Christi and returned to Waco to hide out with other relatives. Spence and Melendez were old friends that had known each other since they attended junior high together, neither one made it through high school and they both had gone their separate ways, so 1981 was kind of like a reunion for the two. Both now 24 were just looking for a good time and the parks now populated with wayward kids from the Methodist Home presented Spence and Melendez with a golden opportunity,for the one thing they were lacking much needed to have a good time was money but there were these kids they had the money but didn’t have the connectionsor or ability to obtains the things they wanted to party with and with that the birth of a unstable union. But everyone to seemed to be enjoying theirselves. Spence liked the kids, he liked teenage girls, he had just recently moved a teenage girl he had met through mutual aquaintances into his mother’s house with him named Christine Juhl, 17 at the time. So David was happy he liked the girls, liked to party with them and do whatever with them, you can decipher that anyway you would like. Now into the mix came Anthony’s older brother Gilbert Melendez, another character with a shady history back in the 70’s he had spent time in jail for attempted murder when he shot someone and the brothers became well known by the kids not just from the Methodist Home but the kids from the other high schools around Waco as the guys to buy weed from. Both the Melendez brothers would eventually move into David’s mother’s house with David and Christine and the non stop party just continued. By this time David and at least Anthony saddled with addiction their judgement and behavior started to become erratic and things at the house on 15th Street started to come apart, until finally in November the craziest struck a new level and a hight that end with David chasing the Melendez brothers and Christine down the street with a hatchet, tying Christine to the back of his truck and dragging her down the road and then destroying that same truck with the hatchet because she wanted to leave and the brothers moving out, it should have been assign but things continued but now with different old friends because shortly after this episode another old friend of David’s returned to Waco and somewhat took the place of the Melendez brothers, one Clifford Oliver. Oliver became David’s partner and witness to the alcohol and drug fueled outburst.It was now 1982 the the final party to this deadly mix entered the scene and this would be none other than Muneer Deeb.


  21. Muneer Mohammad Deeb was a Jordanian that had come to America on a student visa, By early 1982 he had given up being a student and decided to open a convenience store with fellow arab immigrant and friend Karem Qasem, this act put Deeb in violation of his visa status that required him to be a student. Fearing deportation Deeb wanted to do what his friend Karem had been able to do, find an American wife that would allow him to be granted U.S. citizenship. Deeb loved the opportunities and possibilities the U.S. provided but he was socially awkward, had a tendency of obsessiveness towards the girls he liked and also had a hard time adjusting to a world where women have equals rights as men, there are no laws protecting men that are foolish with their money in pursuit of females, what a man might see as disrespectful and illegal in the world he came from was not the same in America. Deeb also had some physical limitations, possibily caused during his time in the Jordanian army as part of the United Arab Peace Keeping Force during the Lebanese Civil War that left him with a permanent limp.The store he opened with Karem in February 1982 was across the street from the Methodist Home and on the corner of 15th Street only a few blocks away from where Christine Juhl lived with David Spence. Deeb had known Christine for over a year, he being a regular customer of the taco joint she had working, so in the early spring when Christine walked in looking for a job, Deeb was more than hapy to give her a job, Deeb not fully aware of the hell Christine’s live had delved into at that point. Along with Christine came her jealous and unstable boyfriend David Spence to keep his eye on Christine. The mental and physical abuse Christine is suffering at the hands of David Spence is noticed early on by both Deeb and Karem and they try to get Christine away from David but Deeb has noticed something else about this strange dynamic he just can’t understand. As bad as he treats his girlfriend Chrstine Julh, the girls from the Methodist Home that are by now coming into the store everyday David seems to have a way with. Girls that won’t give Deeb the time of day even though he has offered many of them $500 to marry him with no strings attached, he just wants to be allowed to become a U.S. citizen but he can’t get anywhere. Then there is David, unemployed, rough around the edges, unkept, usually under the influence of something, sometimes rude and loud, no money but he is friends with all these girls, Deeb just can’t understand it. In short time Muneer Deeb finally realizes the nature of the relationship between David and the girls from the Home, when these girls want to go out and have a good time and party David can help them get their party supplies and the guy they knew and partied with out at the lake now is just across the street, taking convient in convience store to a whole knew level. Deeb sees maybe he needs to change he tact to get what he is looking for, if it works for David it surely would work for him because he has one major advantange over David, Deeb has money and the resources o obtain more, so not only purchase alcohol and drugs for the girls he can give it to them for free, surely one of these girls will appreicate this enough to take him up on his offer. Deeb does have one problem though,he doesn’t have any history of dealing with drugs and he doesn’t know how about doing so and with that the strange codependency love hate relationship between David and Deeb begins to take it’s volatile shape just waiting for the final unstable ingredient to enter the mix and explode into a brutal orgy of violence. A giel walks into the store and her name is Gayle Kelly.


  22. By the time Gayle Kelly walked into the Rainbow Drive-in and asked if it was true they were giving away weed she had already experienced a heartbreaking world that left her scarred both emotionally and psychologically. Her mother had passed away when she was younger and when her father fell in love again, his new love didn’t want anything to do with anything that was connected with his former love and made him choose between the two, either her or his two daughters from his previous marriage, he chose the former and that is what brought Gayle Kelly to the Methodist Home. And what she had learned from this cruel world in this short time of her life was take whatever you can get and she had little qualms about how she might exactly get it but she was definitely get what she wanted. What she had failed to learn by this time at the rie age of 16 is that these selfish follies usually have unintended consequences and more often than not others end up paying those unintended consequences. Gayle had been the victim of these same circumstances and without learning from them she was doomed to repeat them and continue the cycle of horrific heartbreak.

    For most part I believe anyone interested in this case knows the basic story of Gayle Kelly and Muneer Deeb, maybe with disputed or questioned versions on some aspects, Deeb becomes obsessed to some degree with Gayle and she in return takes advantage of the situation as much as possible until Deeb rents an apartment for her, planning for it to be their love shack. Gayle has different ideas and within a couple days Deeb becomes aware of Gayle’s true nature and they have a fallen out. But now he wants to recoop some of his loses and he takes his idea to David Spence and in a confusing and complex chain of events 3 teenagers are killed, Deeb’s 18 year old enemy Kenneth Franks and two 17 year old girls neither named Gayle Kelly. They were two girl from Waxahachie. The one girl Kenneth had met at the Methodist Home and was in loe with her name was Jill Montgomery, she had just returned to live back in Waxahachue only a few weeks before thhhe murders. She had asked the other girl who was a longtime friend from her hometown to give her a ride to Waco so Jill could wrap up some personal business there, this friend was Raylene Rice, neither girl would return to Waxahachie alive from that fateful trip. And as sad as this story is unfortunately the story doesn’t end there and a few more lives would be destroyed before anyone could even start to piece together anything that semmed like a feasible explanation and as flawed as it was it was the best anyone could comeup with. When it went to trial almost two years latter Gayle Kelly became their star witness in the first trial against David Wayne Spence, she lost a little of her luster after the Melendez brothers agreed to a plea bargainand testify in the upcoming trials of their codefendants. But it was Gayle Kelly that helped sell the story of a case of mistaken identity, she was in fact the only witness in any of the trials to do so and she knew that wasn’t true. A few years ago I talked to Gayle Kelly about her testimony, I would like to again but that doesn’t look likely anytime soon. I believe Gayle unfortunately believed my purpose was to prove that David Spence was innocent, which is not the case, I just want the truth and you can’t have the truth by ignoring obvious lies ven though by ignoring them might help your case, I believe we have seen enough of that related to these murders already.. Anyway Gayle started asking me if I was familiar with some of the other things David had done during the summer of 1982 other than the murders, she jotted down a list of offenses David had committed, I was familiar with all but one but Gayle would never elaborate on that incident so I still don’t know if it is true. The one incident that really drew my attention was one I was very familiar with but Gayle had added a detailed that she had failed to do when she testified even though she was asked. This was the confrontation between her and David Spence when he threatened her, now she was saying his had happened on her birthday. I pointed out to her that when she testified about this incident she was asked could she recall the date, at that time sitting on the stand she claimed she could not remember the date. So I had to ask her why she was so sure it was her birthday now. She responded she knew as well as Vix Feazell knew it had occurred on her birthday but Vic wasn’t interested in the truth. Actually I had heard this sentiment on Vic Feazell before, so I would believe Gayle Kelly on at this this. It is easy to see why Vic wouldn’t want the jury to hear that David Spence had some idea it was Gayle’s birthday, he had built his whole case around the idea that Gayle and David only knew each other in passing and never said as much as hello to each other. If the jury had heard this surely they would have had to ask how is this possible if they never spoke to each other? But we still need to ask that questuon, I know plenty of people that I have no idea when their birthday is. So how did David know July 26th was Gayle’s birthday? And that is why that date is so important, the linchpin to the whole case because if you looked what happened and changed on either side of that date you get a glimpse into the truth.


  23. Back when Gayle was talking to me she told me she knew David pretty well just from partying at out the lake and that they all partied out at the lake with David and the Melendez brothers plenty of times, I would hear this again from another oneof the girls from the Methodist Homes and this was long before Muneer Seeb came into he picture or the Rainbow Drive-in opening. I wouldn’t say Gayle and David were friends, she definitely never admit that now, it was more of an association of convenience, David was a little rough for Gayle’s liking he could be rude and crude but has long as she was getting something out of it, alcohol and weed, she could tolerate his behavior. That dynamic changed once Deeb entered the picture he was a lot easier to deal with, she and David were still on friendly terms she just didn’t need him for anything once Deeb came around. But that dynamic changed again once Gayle and Deeb had their fallen out. Just to keep the timeline straight; Gayle runs away from the Home sometime in early June, Deeb tells her he is going to Dallas and he will give her a ride to where she wants to go, which he does and tells her when she is ready to return to Waco just call him and he will come a get her. Around June the 20th Gayle calls Deeb to come get her, again Deeb gives Gayle a ride On their way back to Waco Deeb tells Dayle he has rented an apartment for her and offers her a job, Gayle refuses his offer at this time and get Deeb to drop her off at her friend Patti Deis’ apartment where she spends her first hight back. But Gayle is in a little dilemma Patti has joined the army and will be leaving in the near future and then Gayle will need to find somewhere to go, so maybe she should take Deeb up on his offer. She goes to Deebs’s store to tell him she has reconsidered his offer and now would like to take it up on it. Deeb over joyed gives her some money and tells her to go buy some new stuff for the apartment, this is June 21st, the next day, June 22 is when Deeb takes out the insurance policy on Gayle and pays for David to get a policy on Christine. Deeb would take that money out of one of Christine’s paychecks later. Later that night is when Gayle and Deeb have their fallen out and Gayle returns to Patti’s. gayle and Deeb would have no contact for over a month from this point. On July 5, eight days before the murders Kenneth Franks convinces Gayle to return to the Methodit Home, on her return she is put on restriction for two and is not allowed to leave the grounds. July 13th the murders occur. July 19th finally off restriction Gayle runs away again from the Home and returns to Patti’s apartment. Layer that same night Christine Julh and David Spence get into an argument and leaves him and Patti’s apartment is broken into. Two nights later Patti’s apartmentis brolen into for a second time. The next day, July 23, Gayle starts to think she might be safer staying at the Methodist Home and returns there, this last for only a couple days her birthday is coming up and she doesn’t want to be stuck at the Methodist Home and runs away for the final time, the Home informs her father they are done with her. And this takes us to July 26 Gayle’s 17th birthday and her encounter with David Spence at the 7-11. How did David know it was Gayle’s birthday? She told him!!! It was her birthday, she wanted to party, she and Deeb were still on the outs so she couldn’t go to him but she and David were still on good terms up ontil that point, she still couldn’t put two and two together. David is willing to hook her up bu he wants to party with her, it’s not that he really wants to party with her, he wants to kill her so he can get paid. Gayle declines she;s not in the mood to put up eith him and he his now being more brazen with his crudeness she just doesn’t want to put up with it and blows him off and this is when David makes the threats against her that go somewhere along the line that Gayle won’t see her 18th birthday. We can’t say for sure exactly what David said but we do have a number of witnesses that heard him maling threats toward her, including Patti Deis, Gilbert Melendez and Cindy “Sunshine” Quick. What ocurs in the immediate aftermath of this incident, David and GilbertMelendez take Cindy back to David’s apartment where David proceeds to attack Cindy Quick. Within the next couple days Gayle and Deeb make up, the break-ins at Patti’s apartment stops and Deeb even starts spending some nights there. A couple weeks later David attacks another girl, this is starting to become a pattern for David Spence. Now all this doesn’t come to light and then little by little when Trumman Simons and Dennis Braier take over the case, it’s not like anyone went to the police about any of the incidents. The first anybody heard about this wasn’t until David was finally arrested for at least his third sexual assault in about six weeks, Gilert being involved in this last assault and being arrested as well. Two days later Simons and Braier are doing a follow up inerview with Lisa Kader and she informs them about how David had assault her back in August. Simons and Braier decide to go take a look at their newest suspect and while there they run into Spence’s parole officer who informs them that he tried to get Waco PD to look into David Spence and that he called three times but it seemed they just weren’t interested and David had told this parole office he had information on the case. In multiple interviews with Gayle Kelly over September 11th and 12th they finally hear about the events that occurred on July 26th from Gayle Kelly. they inform her that Muneer Deeb is their prime suspect at that point, when she tells them that she and Patti are planning to go to the movies with Deeb later that night they ask her not to say anything about what they have discussed tp Deeb. Later that night Gayle calls Truman claiming Muneer Deeb has confessed to the murders. Deeb is arrested on September 13, exactly two months after the murder and a day before law enforcement first hears about the insurance policy. Deeb is released after being in custody for about 6 days. Simons leaves Waco PD o go work at the jail, by this time Gilbert has accepted a plea deal for the sexual assault charge and has been sent off to prison. David refusing the deal remains in the county jail when Truman first starts working there, Truman starts hearing stories about David talking about the Lake Waco Murders. Truman starts asking inmates about what David is saying and in doing so some across Cindy “Sunshine’ Quick’s old man that informs Truman that David assaulted his girlfriend back in the summer, this is the first any law enforcement has heard about this incident. Truman goes to talk to Cindy Quick to get details on the assault and try to convince her to press charges, Cindy refuses to do so but does tell him that the night David attacker her, he had threatened Gayle Kelly earlier that same day at the 7-11 and that it could have only been one day because that was the only day that summer she got up with David and Gilbert and after David attacked her she stayed away from him. In early March Gilbert returns to Waco to testify against the David in his sexual assault case. While back in Waco Truman visits Gilbert and informs him David has been talking and brought up Gilbert’s name in relationship to the Lake Waco Murders, Gilbert is offered immunity if he will talk. After Deeb wins his release in 1992 the Melendez brothers want to recant their testimony, Gilbert goes on to state the only reason he areed to talk and testify was because Truman threatened to charge him with sexual assault on Cindy Qoick on the night of July 26th. Gilbert really can’t be this stupid, he seriously wants us to believe he was going to take the wrap on 3 murders two which were capital because they also inclused sexual assaults so he wouldn’t get charged for a single sexual assault, really!!! Anyway in the end all Gilbert does is further corroborateS the events of July 26 as Cindy Quick had done much earlier and gives us the one concrete indisputable piece of evidence that shows David Spence showed his true colors in regards to his intentions towards Gayle Kelly that night of July 26 1982 and it has been the only time this can be confirmed


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