|Clyde Tingley, Governor of New Mexico, 1935-1939|
The Lorius-Heberer case came well before "America's Most Wanted" and 24-hour cable coverage that drops us into the middle of creepy crimes all over the country. Back then, four tourists swept up in fatal foul play and a killer on the loose was so unusual that the state's governor, Clyde Tingley, decamped from his office in Santa Fe to a suite at the Franciscan Hotel in Albuquerque to head up the search.
"They were guests of New Mexico; we intend to find their bodies and bring their killer to justice," he told United Press International.
Leslie Linthicum, Albuquerque Journal, 6/20/10
The Pintada Kid continues the story of his investigation into the Heberer Lorius case, in his own words. For a list of the entire series, click on the Pintada Kid on the Case tab at the top of the page.
Since I believed that I now knew the exact area where those kids had seen the skeletons many years ago, I asked permission from the rancher to go onto his land again. I invited a friend who had been asking me to show him the place, but he said his wife wouldn't let him go if he didn't take the kids with him. I told him to forget it and brought along another friend instead.
When we met the rancher at the gate, he unlocked it and told us to lock it back up on the way out. The Rancher told us to watch out for the Big Cats there at Las Cuevas (The Caves), as he called it. My friend, who I've known most of my life, is one of those who ventures out into the country once in a blue moon and hyperventilates when he's out there in the wonderful fresh air. His usual pastime is to watch football on TV all day. I call it Butts 'N Balls because that's all you see all day and it's from the fridge to the potty to the TV, 24/7 for some people.
We used 4 wheel drive to get up as close as we could, before walking the rest of the way in. I showed my friend how to mark our path with lines on the dirt every so many yards, pointing back to the truck, so we could find our way back out again.
We got to a place where a crevice was in the way, and it was too wide to jump. All we had to do was to go further up and cross over where it was narrower, but my friend decided to jump at the wide place. He almost didn't make it across. I could hear his fingernails scratching on the rocks as he tried to keep from falling down into the crevice, which was probably three or four stories deep. I had my VCR movie camera with me and had been taking pictures in the other direction. I told him, "Darn--why didn't you tell me you were gonna jump?" I tried to get him to jump back now that the camera was aimed at him, but he wouldn't do it.
When we got to the entrance of the caves, I told my friend to check out some of them, but he wouldn't get near them because of what the rancher had told him about the big cats. My friend said that he was going back to the truck and would wait for me there. He took off along the bottom of the cliffs, while I followed slowly along looking for signs or evidence.
A little way down the trail I thought I saw my friend lying on a big rock, all relaxed with his hands behind his head. I yelled at him, "HEY, this is no time to be Sleeping!" He got up real slow and walked a little ways from the rock. He looked like he was trying to point in a certain direction, but acted like his arm was too heavy to lift up. I told him that I was not going all the way over there, and that he should come on up. I suddenly realized it wasn't my friend and my first thought was that someone else must have come in through the unlocked gate.
Then it hit me that it was a Ghost and that he was trying to point toward some small cliffs out in the distance, away from where the Heberer Lorius bodies were. For just a moment, I thought about taking a picture of the Ghost with my movie camera, but I knew he would disappear when I tried to get the camera going. I didn't want to take my eyes off him and when I moved a little bit the Ghost just disappeared.
When I finally got back to the truck, my friend was waiting there for me. He told me he had a hard time finding the truck and I told him that I had seen a Ghost.
I said that I wanted to take some movies of the old houses and corrals close by and would be back in a bit. While I was taking pictures, I noticed what looked like a Chicken house that was constructed with some tree trunks and branches tied with together with wire. All of a sudden I saw an image flash inside those branches and tree trunks--it was of the 1929 Nash Sedan that the Heberer Lorius people had been driving before they disappeared [the car that later showed up in Dallas]. Although I only saw it flash for just a couple of seconds, I realized that this was where the Heberer Lorius car had once been hidden--in this hastily-made and now decomposing garage.
I was excited to find this piece of evidence. I wasn't sure about it at that point, but later confirmed with the Nash Car Club of America that this "garage" would fit the measurements of the 1929 Nash Sedan.
In the meantime, my Friend was beeping and beeping the truck's horn and I was worried that he was gonna call all the cattle and ranchers for miles around. While rushing and trying to get as much on my movie camera as I could, I ran into a Big Cholla Cactus and was angry that I had stickers stuck on my movie camera and on me. I was mad at my friend when I got to the truck and told him, "Here we are, trying to solve one of the Ten Greatest Unsolved Mysteries in the United States, and all you want to do is to go home to watch Butts 'N Balls!"
P.S. Needless to say, he knows that I won't ever invite him back there. I would rather go alone--it's much more peaceful, and I can accomplish a lot more on my own.
~El Pintada Kid
|The Kid in his beloved New Mexico back country|
Tomorrow: A lady friend helps out