Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Mystery of "The Springfield Three"

Yesterday, when Investigation Discovery ran that marathon of Disappeared I only got a chance to see a few of them.

These would have all been repeat viewings for me, but usually you need to really see those shows twice or thrice to really get all the facts of each disappearance into your head.

The disappearance of "The Springfield Three" is one that really stilettos the viewer. The details of this nightmare are succinctly summed up here.

This one's pretty much pure horror, because it looks like three wonderful human beings were probably all taken and killed in one fell swoop.

And two of them had just graduated high school that very night and were just beginning their lives.

It boggles the mind.

I am moved by Kathee Baird's continual efforts to bring these women home and move this case towards a resolution and--hopefully--justice.

Justice is a poor substitute for lives stolen.

I haven't spent any great length of time reading about this case so I don't know if convicted killer Cox (who has implied he may have murdered these women) is just toying with the media and family members or not.

Or if the other serial rapist/killer mentioned in the Wiki article is a viable suspect.

Perhaps I'm oversimplifying this case, but the salient fact that jumped out at me was the two obscene phone calls received by the family friend who was in the house the next day after the apparent abduction.

What Is Known

The two young women arrived home after 11 p.m. The mother of one of the two (Sherrill Levitt) was present in the home. All evidence points to the fact that the girls removed their makeup and then went to bed and that the mother also slept in her bed that night.

Sometime before 8 a.m. the next morning they had to have been abducted. Most likely this was in the middle of the night.

The glass globe of the front porch light was found shattered but not the light bulb itself. The show didn't say whether this bulb would still light or not. It was implied it did.

What it looks like: attacker either followed the girls home from the friend's house where they were staying or (much more likely) had the new house on Delmar Street the mother and daughter had just moved into under surveillance. Attacker broke into the house sometime between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. and used a weapon (most likely a gun or knife) to convince the women to go with him, probably telling them they wouldn't be harmed if they obeyed. Either the light was broken before entering the house (to prevent any witnesses seeing the exit of four people in the middle of the night--if only one of them had screamed and run!) or on the way out of the house during the actual abduction. I'm guessing on the way out of the house since making that much noise going in could have caused a call to the police by a neighbor (if there were close neighbors). On the show, it looked like there were neighbors nearby. But then if he was inside the house he could have just turned the light off by the switch. But maybe in his fervor he wasn't able to be that rational. Maybe these women were tied up inside the house and he was carrying them out to a vehicle one by one. I'm surprised the phone lines weren't cut (this occurred in 1992 and nobody had cell phones) or the phone in the house in some way disabled. I guess that just points again to a lightning-quick round up of the women in the house. The perp had to have been watching that house for some time. I don't believe this is a case of a killer just suddenly stumbling upon the house that night.

The reason I mentioned the two obscene phone calls is because I'm thinking whoever abducted the women could actually still see the house the next day. And I think that would point to a neighbor committing these crimes. How else would he know anyone was there?

There was also an odd answering machine message that got erased that might also have been a stalking call. It was left in doubt.

But if the FBI was involved in this case, I'm thinking they would have been able to trace all those calls and they would have. So I would think any suspects found that way either had to have been cleared or there just wasn't sufficient evidence.

The calls could have been unrelated but--because they were sexual in nature and this looks like a sexually-motivated crime--I tend to think they probably are related.

A real shame that twenty people traipsed through that house, post-crime and before the police could get in there and process the scene.

The women's three purses found lined up on the floor could imply robbery was the original motive, but I'm guessing that's an opportunistic element in this abduction and that this was primarily a sexually-motivated crime. Even though the young girls are beautiful, I think the mother was the stalker's focus. Possibly the daughter. But someone who lived in that house. It could be the friend (Suzi Streeter) who was being stalked, but I think that's unlikely since I believe this crime occurred because someone had noticed the mother and daughter moving into the new home and had realized how vulnerable these two were.

And when you've first moved into a house and are fixing it up, it's often an invitation to stalkers. Often curtains are not yet hung. You're going in and out of the house so often with painting and such...and airing it out when painting, so windows and doors are often left open. The night of the disappearance the mother was refinishing a piece of furniture. I wonder if she had a window or door open to release fumes.

It's really too horrible to contemplate.

But I do believe in this case it was someone very physically close to that house.

I don't think I lean towards Cox. But I don't know enough about him.

Okay, I just read this horrific summary of Cox's modus operandi.

Circumstantial case or not, he committed that rape-murder in '79.

You don't bite through a man's tongue unless he's raping you or trying to kill you.

And that young woman's body was found 300 yards from the motel where Cox was staying.

The Florida Supreme Court's reversal of this conviction was just a ridiculous miscarriage.

And it was spitting in the faces of his surviving victims and their loved ones.

It's not like the guy was able to skate free though. Not when he had that other kidnapping under his belt--and those other crimes for which he was convicted and which were not idiotically reversed.

But this guy will be up for parole in 2025. Think he'll be too tired to still rape and kill? Doubt it.

Let's hope the victims' loved ones and the surviving victims are smart enough to show up in 2025 and stop that from happening. I was very impressed recently when I saw how the father of a murder victim who knew he was dying had made a recording to be played in perpetuity at any future parole hearings his daughter's murderer would get. And that tape did its work. The murderer was denied parole. Keeping justice justice is hard work.

How people can be against the death penalty with creatures like this I just don't understand.

Would you let a shark live in a bathtub with you?

I mean. Get real.

Serial killers?

Kill them all. Let God sort them out.