Monday, September 13, 2010

The Pintada Kid on the Case: Part 8, Family Ties

A scene in the center of New Mexico. Perhaps the missing tourists passed this way?

The case was given to the Albuquerque Field Office with Detective Albert Raymond Gere placed in charge... It was one of the first major abduction cases given to the FBI since the Lindberg Act went into effect.

Gere immediately went to work. His first task was carefully checking George Lorius' car in Dallas for clues.

There was no evidence of violence, such as blood or signs of a struggle. He did find receipts and odometer readings that George Lorius kept during the trip. Gas receipts were found from St. Louis to Vaughn, then Socorro, with the last receipt dated May 23 at an unknown location. The last positive location of the party was a service station in Socorro. Where did they go from Socorro?

~Paul Hardin, El Defensor Chieftain, 6/7/08


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.

There are all kinds of stories about what could have happened to the Heberer Lorius people, including being buried under a hotel in Vaughn, somewhere near Albuquerque, or south of there. I think they even checked into a motel in Albuquerque which is the area that was searched more because of the discovery of a Suitcase with their things half burned in the mountains east of Albuquerque. There were all kinds of people searching, including hundreds of Indians that could track anything that moved, according to what I read. 

Even the Governor of New Mexico got involved in the search because it would affect the tourists going through New Mexico.  I think that reward of 1000 dollars was offered to anyone who found the killers or the bodies. It took them a whole month to search the area north of Vaughn and by that time all trace of Evidence was gone. 

The Government passed a law [the Federal Kidnapping Law, also known as the Lindbergh Act] that The FBI could get involved in Kidnapping cases. The New Mexico State Police were just getting started at the time, and they were competing with the FBI to Solve the Heberer Lorius case. [I believe that they] withheld evidence from each other, and they ended up Bungling the case and not solving it, according to my Brother-In-Law. 

My Brother-in-Law could have solved the case because the Killer fell on his knees and begged him not to turn him in. He told my Brother-in-Law that [he and his companions] buried [the Heberer Lorius people] in a cave north of Vaughn. They never meant to kill them--just rob them of their Diamonds, Money and Travelers Checks; but they ended up killing them when the [victims heard the robbers] calling each other by their first names. 

My Brother-in-Law spent some time out there searching and going down ropes into caves that I knew about. However, [I believed that] he was searching in the wrong area by about 4 or 5 miles from where the bodies are actually going to be found. Since he couldn't find any bodies he couldn't solve the case. He knew [the murderers] and these men were his friends, even though he never told me that. 

My Brother-in-Law was a very intelligent man who knew most everybody in the State of New Mexico. When other New Mexico State Police came around him they would always salute him. While working under cover, he was stabbed in prison. 

He had all kinds of Memorable stories to tell out over the campfires in the Mountains, where our families would spend several days camping, picking piƱon, playing guitar, and singing around the campfire. All my sisters-in-law were beautiful and very good singers, not to mention very good cooks. One even wrote a book about Mexican Cooking that contained lots of family recipes and for years they all would get a booth at the State Fair and make some good money selling Burritos, Enchiladas and all kinds of Delicious Mexican Cooking. 

The area of the Heberer Lorius people has lots of old graves all over the Landscape and most of them are almost erased by time. Back then, if you didn't get along with your neighbor, he would tell you, "Te voy a tirar al poso," a phrase used back then that meant "If you don't behave I'm going to throw you in the hole." 

Sometimes when I think of the Ghost I saw out there, trying to point to a Distant area which I've yet to search, I think maybe there are lots of other hidden bodies out in these mesas; people who disappeared without a trace. When they start looking for the Heberer Lorius people, if that ever happens, they will end up finding other bodies, which might be in good condition, depending on how well their Tombs were sealed. Even the Heberer Lorius people might be in Good Shape when found if their cave was well sealed. 

One of the favorite ways of getting rid of someone back then in the 1800s and early 1900s is they would conk you over the head and have your horse or burro drag you all over the country until someone found you and there was no way of finding out if you fell off your animal or were murdered. The Book, We Fed Them Cactus, kind of tells a little about the History of that area and the people in that book are probably related to me in some ways and are from the land of my people up in northern New Mexico. 

~El Pintada Kid 


Anonymous said...

I think the ghost was a key to where the bodies are located. So many times the ghost of someone that was killed cannot rest until the case is solved. I truly believe that one day their souls will find peace and we will all know what happened. I enjoyed every episode of this story.

Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

I'd be interested in hearing more about that Pintada family Mexican cooking book!!

becky said...

Interesting chapter of Pintada Kid on the Case... I bet he's right, there probably are other bodies out in the Mesa. I'm wondering if he has gone back out to look in the area of Vaughn.

Clair, have you read that book? It sounds like a good one. On a side note, I do love your header photo... Quintessential New Mexico Skies.

clairz said...

Judy, I'm glad you are enjoying this tale. 2 more episodes to go.

Becky and Buck--I was interested in that cookbook, too. When I asked the Kid about it, he replied, "Elisa Clayton wrote a cook book over 20 years ago and I only saw the copy my ex had and took with her she cherished that book written by all 'her sisters and half sisters. I'm not sure there's a better Mexican cookbook around that can compete with 8 Spanish Sisters who were very talented some playing guitar and all of them sang and they were all very good cooks which helped me to hone up my culinary skills also."

I am assuming that the book is now out of print, as I haven't been able to locate any cookbooks by Elisa Clayton in online bookstores or libraries. If anyone comes across any information about it, please let us know.

Unknown said...

The ghost that i saw was pointing towards the area of the rock shaped like a horse but he was wearing a short sleeve shirt and levis and Martinez was Elisas maiden name. el pintada kid

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

I've found some out of print books online at a place from Tampa, FL...although it's been a while. Can't remember exactly the name, but could be "Out of Print Books of Tampa." Gees, I'm such a brain trust! Maybe that's not it... Anyway, I'm still enjoying the narrative and check every day for updates!

Nan said...

The missing people situation reminds me of the Arnaldur Indridason books, set in Iceland. The detective does a lot of reading about disappearances, and theorizes that more may be criminal than anyone knows.

clairz said...

I got this comment from the Kid about the cookbook. He was having trouble with Blogger, so I am posting it for him:

Hi Clair. I found the Title to Elisa Clayton’s cook book its called ...... Favorite Recipes from Elisa’s Kitchen published in 1993.  One of the Sisters told me they have another book out. I also have a phone number to call if you can’t find the book. el pintada kid