Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Pintada Kid on the Case: Part 1, Skeletons in a Cave

The missing tourists were driving a 1929 Nash (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

... on May 29, the Lorius car was found abandoned in Dallas, Texas - the first sign that something went very, very wrong. Contacting the Lorius family in Illinois, Dallas Police learned George and Laura were on vacation in New Mexico, although they hadn't been heard from since the family received the postcard from Vaughn. They simply vanished. Even today, not a trace of their whereabouts has been found.
from Socorro County Cold Cases, June 7, 2008

In the past couple of posts, I have given you some background on the Heberer Lorius case and on the Pintada Kid. Today, I bring you Part 1 of the story of the Kid's investigations, told in his own words: 

I never meant to try to solve the Heberer Lorius case. It just so happened that I was traveling down this deserted road in my 65 Comet Convertible with a leaky roof on a rainy day over 30 years ago with a couple of good friends of mine who loved treasure hunting and being out exploring in the mountains. As we approached certain areas they would tell me how they had friends that lived out here many years ago who rode horseback all over these areas.

One of these people told how, when they were little kids, they were playing in the cliffs and caves in the center of New Mexico and came upon an opening which led to a hidden cave with several skeletons in  it. The kids were scared and ran to get their parents, but on coming back they supposedly couldn't find the right area or opening again. 

At the time I had never heard of the Heberer Lorius case. I asked them where the area was where the skeletons were seen and they said that after you pass a certain draw or crossing it will be the mountain with the cliffs out in the Distance. I thought that was easy enough, yet I spent years searching caves in the area and killing some big rattlers, some with rabbits in their stomach, but I never found any human skeletons in that area. I thought that if I did find skeletons [they would be from] an Indian burial.

It wasn't till years later when one day my Brother-In-Law was visiting at my house and we were out sitting in the back yard. He started telling me a story about when he reopened the Heberer Lorius case back in 1951 when he was a [member of the] New Mexico State Police. I asked him, "What are you talking about?" He says the Heberer Lorius case--it was one of the Ten Greatest Unsolved Mysteries in the United States. He said, "I searched those mountains north of here for years and went into caves but could never find the bodies of these two men and two women, so I could never solve the case." I told him that I had been looking for a cave with skeletons these kids saw out there many years ago. It turned out that I was searching several miles from where my brother in law had searched for the bodies.

My brother-in-law, who was much older than me, told me that if I found that cave with skeletons I would solve the Heberer Lorius case. He went on to tell me what happened to the people, who the killer was, and why the killers ended up killing the two couples.  ~El Pintada Kid

Tomorrow: The Kid's investigation continues

4 comments:

Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

More please!!!

becky said...

Did he find the bones?

Deb said...

Why you cliff-hanger writer, you! Now what am I going to do here at work worrying about the next episode!

Nan said...

I won't comment on each installment but I just want to say how fascinating this is, though I got stopped for a minute about killing rattlers and the one that had eaten a rabbit. Not so fond of these snakes, say I.