The Lyon sisters & Adelaide Oval abduction Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon

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The Lyon sisters & Adelaide Oval abduction Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon

Post by redpill on Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:53 pm

The Lyon sisters

the Adelaide Oval abduction

Joanne Ratcliffe, 11, (left) and Kirste Gordon, 4, (right)

talk about time travel with a time machine, those photos were taken before 1975 and 1973 respectively. obviously color photos existed back in the day. i do wonder what it is like to grow up in the 70s at their age, and i do wonder what it is like to grow up in australia.

when i research these crimes, i wonder how i ever survived past childhood since like a lot of these victims i wandered the streets and malls alone as a very young kids as both my parents worked. i am surprised i wasn't abducted or murdered.

from wiki

Katherine Mary Lyon (aged 10), and Sheila Mary Lyon (aged 12) were two sisters who disappeared without a trace during a trip to a local mall in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in 1975. Known colloquially as The Lyon Sisters, their case resulted in one of the largest police investigations in Washington Metropolitan Area history. It is "one of the most high-profile unsolved cases in the D.C. area."[1] The case remains unsolved.

The immense media attention given to this case at the time, its significance in the Washington area’s criminal history, and the fact that their disappearance has never been explained, has resulted in the story being revisited on a regular basis, and it has started to pass into the area’s folklore

Background to the sisters' disappearance

The two sisters were born to John and Mary Lyon in Kensington, Maryland. They had an older brother, Jay, who later became a policeman. Their father was a well-known radio personality at WMAL, a local radio station then held by the owner of the ABC Television affiliate in Washington and the now-defunct Washington Star; he later worked as a victims counselor. Immediately following the girls' disappearance, the U.S. was pulling out of Vietnam, but their disappearance continued to be featured in high-profile stories on the media for months.[2]

Located a half mile away from their home was Wheaton Plaza shopping mall (now Westfield Wheaton). On March 25, 1975, Katherine and Sheila Lyon were going to see the Easter exhibits. It was their spring vacation and they planned to have lunch at the Orange Bowl. They left home between 11:00 AM and noon. Their mother had instructed them to return home by 4:00 PM; when they had not arrived by 7:00 PM, the police were called and an extensive search was conducted.[1] Police felt comfortable enough with accuracy of this timeline to release it to the public.

   11:00 AM to noon: The girls leave home.
   1:00 PM: A neighborhood child tells investigators that he saw both of the girls together outside the Orange Bowl. He also told the investigators that the sisters were speaking to an unidentified man.
   2:00 PM: The girls' older brother saw them at the Orange Bowl eating pizza together.
   2:30 to 3:00 PM: A friend sees the girls walking westward down a street near the mall which would have been one of the most direct routes from the mall to their home. This is the final sighting of the sisters that is absolutely confirmed by the police.
   4:00 PM: This curfew set by their mother passes. The girls are expected home and do not arrive.
   7:00 PM: Police are called. The investigation and an active search by professionals begins.

Police investigation

Police were told by witnesses that the sisters were in the Wheaton Plaza mall at approximately 1 PM. A neighborhood boy, who knew the sisters, reported that he saw them together outside the Orange Bowl speaking with an unidentified man, about 6 feet tall, 50 to 60 years old, and wearing a brown suit. The man was carrying a briefcase with a tape recorder inside; there were also other children around who were speaking into a microphone he was holding. The witness's description of the man led authorities to view the unknown person as a prime suspect in the Lyon sisters' case and two composite sketches of the man were created.

Police investigating the case followed up on reports from several people who said they recognized the sketch of the unknown man with the briefcase. Press reports indicated that a man matching the sketch was seen a few weeks earlier at the Marlow Heights Shopping Center and the Iverson Mall, both in neighboring Prince George's County, Maryland. These people reported that he had approached several young girls and asked them to read an answering machine message typed on an index card into his hand-held microphone. The police never publicly acknowledged a direct link between these reports and the Lyon sisters' disappearance.

As the weeks wore on, numerous volunteer groups combed vacant lots and stream beds for the sisters. The search continued and press interest reached such a fever pitch that on May 23, 1975, Maryland Lt. Gov. Blair Lee ordered 122 National Guardsmen to participate in a search of a Montgomery County forest for the missing girls.[3]

No trace of the girls was ever found.

A new lead has been discovered as of September 20, 2014. The police have been searching the woods of Thaxton, Virginia and have entered a house Hyattsville, Maryland, seizing several items evidently pertaining to the case.[4]
False leads

On April 7, 1975, about two weeks after their disappearance, a witness in Manassas, Virginia, reported seeing two girls resembling Sheila and Katherine in the rear of a beige 1968 Ford station wagon. The witness stated that the girls were bound and gagged in the vehicle. The driver of the station wagon resembled the man in the publicly available sketch of the prime suspect. The witness further claimed that when the driver spotted the witness tailing him, he ran a red light and sped west on Route 234 towards Interstate 66 in Virginia. The station wagon had Maryland license plates with the possible combination "DMT-6**." The last two numbers are unknown due to the bending of the car's plate. The known combination was issued in Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Baltimore, Maryland at the time. This supposed sighting inspired a small army of mobile citizen band (CB) radio users to scour the area throughout the evening and into the night with a running commentary and chatter but without any tangible results.[5] A search for matching plate numbers failed to produce any information. Although this witness's report was at first treated as credible, and a media firestorm erupted because of it, it was later deemed "questionable" by police.[6] Despite its questionable nature, media continue to mention this report as credible.[citation needed]

Several phone calls from people claiming to have the girls and offering to exchange them for ransom money were made to the Lyon family in the immediate aftermath of the sisters' disappearances. The one that went the furthest and that had seemed most credible began with an anonymous male voice on April 4, 1975, and demanded that John Lyon leave a briefcase with $10,000 inside an Annapolis, Maryland, courthouse restroom. The money was left just as the instructions from the caller required, but the money was never claimed. This same anonymous person called John Lyon later and maintained that police had surrounded the courthouse and he could not retrieve the ransom. The man was told that he would have to show some evidence of having the Lyon sisters in his custody before another attempt would be made to leave him a ransom. Although the caller then said he would be in touch with the family, he never contacted them again.

Fred Howard Coffey was convicted in 1987 for the 1979 beating, strangulation murder, and molestation of a 10-year-old girl in North Carolina and (as of 2012) is serving a life sentence (after an earlier death sentence was overturned) in a North Carolina prison. Authorities learned that he interviewed for a job (and was subsequently employed) in Silver Spring, Maryland, six days after the Lyon sisters vanished. Silver Spring is a short distance from Wheaton Plaza. Investigators have been unable to determine if Coffey is connected to the case, and he has never been charged in the disappearances.

Raymond Rudolph Mileski Sr. was another possible suspect named in press reports. Mileski resided in Suitland, Maryland in 1975, not far from the malls in Prince George's County that had reported a man with a microphone approaching young girls. In a family disagreement, Mileski murdered his wife and teenage son and wounded another son inside their home in November 1977. He was convicted of the homicides and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Based on both prison informants tips and Mileski’s own claims to know something about the Lyon sisters case, which he offered to share more fully in exchange for more favorable prison conditions, authorities searched his former residence in April 1982, but no evidence was discovered. Mileski died in prison in 2004.[7]

John Brennan Crutchley has also been considered a suspect.

In February 2014, inmate Lloyd Welch was named as a "person of interest" in the case. Police said Welch, who was 18 years old at the time, and had since been convicted of rapes in three other states, had been "seen 'paying attention' to the sisters." [1]

In 1973, two children, Joanne Ratcliffe (aged 11) and Kirste Gordon (aged 4), disappeared from Adelaide Oval during a football match, and they are presumed to have been abducted. Joanne's parents and Kirste's grandmother had allowed the two girls to leave their group to go to the toilet. They were seen several times in the 90 minutes after leaving the oval, apparently distressed and in the company of an unknown man, but they vanished after the last reported sighting.[15] The police sketch of the man last seen with the two girls resembles that of the man last seen with the Beaumont children

Joanne and Kirstie disappeared in 1973 in Adelaide football stadium, and Lyon sisters 1975 just 2 years apart, in mall Washington DC.

both in 2014 and 2015 received news of investigators attempting to locate their remains.

A “CLUE” in the 41-year-old Adelaide Oval abduction mystery has been sent for independent testing as a team of private sleuths move to finalise their investigation and name the man they suspect killed Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon.

The contents of barrels retrieved from a concealed and submerged tunnel in the wall of a Mid-North reservoir are being tested.

The private investigators have also returned to the outpost of Yatina with a television news crew to further document their work in trying to solve the abduction case, which carries a $1 million reward.

The girls, 11 and 4, were abducted from Adelaide Oval on August 25, 1973.
A police sketch of man wanted for questioning over the disappearance of Kirste Gordon and

A police sketch of man wanted for questioning over the disappearance of Kirste Gordon and Joanne Ratcliffe in 1973.

A map included in a confession to the Mullighan Inquiry in 2007 by convicted paedophile Mark Trevor Marshall led the investigation team to Pekina Dam where they found the barrels, stamped with “USAF”, sealed and full of a honeycomb-like substance.

In 2008, Major Crime investigators went to the site and left with items of interest — a search briefly denied by police media in 2011 when The Advertiser inquired about it.

The police investigators could not find the tunnel in which the barrels were hidden. They are understood to have taken a girl’s shoe from the site, a medical book from a Yatina property also detailed in the confession and they later accepted evidence from the private investigators.

Among that evidence were core samples of the contents of the barrels.
The opened barrels that were found in the reservoir.

The opened barrels that were found in the reservoir.

SA Police forensic testing slips show a “weak to very weak” trace of blood was detected.

“We feel compelled to check this evidence again because the clues and tips given in that confession continue to check out,’’ one of the private investigators said.

“It is too compelling to ignore. There are too many questions left unanswered with the items we have found and where we have found them.’’

Police say the barrels, and the region, are of no relevance to the case.
A screenshot of the tunnel in the dam wall where the barrels were found in a 2009 search.

A screenshot of the tunnel in the dam wall where the barrels were found in a 2009 search.

They also say Marshall’s confession naming the abductors is “fantasy”.

Man claims he saw Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon loaded into van at a boarding house after their disappearance from Adelaide Oval

MAJOR Crimes detectives are investigating claims that Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon were loaded into the back of a van at a Prospect boarding house soon after disappearing from Adelaide Oval 40 years ago.

Prospect man Robert McMahon, 73, approached the Sunday Mail during the week claiming he saw the girls at a Vine St boarding house on the day they were supposedly abducted from the 1973 SANFL match between Norwood and North Adelaide.

He said the girls were accompanied by a man known as 'Scotty' with whom he shared the boarding house.

He said Scotty, who claimed the girls were his grandchildren, paraded the pair in front of his housemates before taking them outside and ordering them into a cream-white van parked in a laneway at the back of the boarding house.

READ MORE: Police seek help Oval abductions case

Mr McMahon said he was so disturbed by the incident he drew pictures that night of what he claims he saw and wrote a letter detailing what happened at the property on August 25, 1973.

The artist said he kept the sketches and letter in a box before later placing them in a sealed envelope.

He opened the envelope in front of the Sunday Mail this week and produced sketches that appear to be accurate portrayals of Joanne, 11, and Kirste, 4.

There are also drawings of Scotty and a cream white van along with two scribbled notes.

Major Crime detectives collected the documents on Friday and intend to interview Mr McMahon this week.

Mr McMahon claims that late on the afternoon of August 25, 1973 he was sitting in his room watching a VFA football match on TV when he "heard a racket" out the back of the house.

"I went to check and there was one of the borders coming in and he had two children with him," he said.

"He had the little one under his right arm and the other one was ahead of him.

"He walked them around in a circle in front of us (four or five men) laughing and joking.

"He said the kids were his grandchildren but when the older one went to speak he told her to 'shut up' and not say anything.

"I can still see the taller girl now as she walked passed me."

"It was all very weird,"

Mr McMahon, who was 33 at the time of the girls' disappearance, went to the kitchen area of the boarding house where he said he watched the man drag the small girl to the back of his van that was parked in a laneway.

"He threw the little one in roughly and motioned to the bigger one to jump in," he said. "He slammed the back door and then locked it.

"It's not the way you treat your grandchildren."

Mr McMahon said he was so concerned he returned to his room and did sketches of the girls, Scotty and the van.

He said he rang police the next day when news broke of the possible abductions.

"When I saw the photos I knew for sure it was those girls that I'd seen." he said.

"But the police said they had hundreds of sightings and would get back to me."

He claimed they never did. He said he rang police a week later and then again around the first anniversary of the abductions with the same result. He said he didn't pursue it further out of frustration.

But he contacted the Sunday Mail this week after reading a story published in the paper last weekend, marking the 40th anniversary of the girls' mysterious disappearance.

Mr McMahon said Scotty - he never knew his real name - did not return to the boarding house and he never saw him again.

He described Scotty as being in his early 40s, with a broad Scottish accent. He said he was about 165cm, had grey receding hair and limped on his right side.

Former Adelaide Oval assistant curator Ken Wohling reportedly saw the back of a man walking with the two girls and noticed he had a 'stoop'.

Mr McMahon, raised in a Catholic orphanage in Geelong, said he was fully aware of the pain and distress his story could cause if he was lying.

"I will tell the same story on my death bed and if I ever get to face my God," he said.

"I have a bit of guilt that I didn't try even harder at the time to get it out but we all have things we have to live with and I did try."

TAYLORS MOUNTAIN, VA. — Three detectives pulled up to a rugged piece of land here, a 220-mile drive from their offices in suburban Maryland.

To their right was a small white house. Beyond that, a rutted dirt road extended up a steep slope, bending through towering trees.

The detectives walked up a 100-foot driveway and knocked. Nikki Arrington, 30, answered, telling them she just started renting the place and it would be fine for them to look around. She pointed to the dirt road. “There’s a family graveyard up there on the hill,” she said.

TAYLORS MOUNTAIN, VA. — Three detectives pulled up to a rugged piece of land here, a 220-mile drive from their offices in suburban Maryland.

To their right was a small white house. Beyond that, a rutted dirt road extended up a steep slope, bending through towering trees.

The detectives walked up a 100-foot driveway and knocked. Nikki Arrington, 30, answered, telling them she just started renting the place and it would be fine for them to look around. She pointed to the dirt road. “There’s a family graveyard up there on the hill,” she said.

The trip, six months ago, had come after significant progress in their efforts to solve an indelible, heartbreaking mystery — the 1975 disappearance of two Montgomery County girls, Sheila Lyon, 12, and her sister, Katherine, 10. The girls vanished after walking to a Wheaton shopping mall to look at Easter decorations and eat pizza.

The detectives had zeroed in on a man who had family connections to the land — a convicted sex offender who had gone so far as to tell detectives he’d left that mall with the Lyon sisters, according to court papers.

i am a bit mystified how an abductor managed to abduct girls ages 10-12 in public, in mall and sports stadium, without distress or alerting by standers. i suppose the lyon sisters could have been abducted in a parking lot into a waiting car or van. i am surprised joanne didn't return to her mother to alert authorities about what happened.

a memorial page for joanne

there was no internet and home pc back in 73 and 75. i wonder if those abductors knew one another.

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