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  #1  
Old 03-01-2017, 10:16 AM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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Default Delphi Indiana Suspect Analyzed

Did this guy have a hood on in one of the pics? Picture on the right kind of looks as if he has a brown hood over is head. When I zoom in it looks as though he has mustache and maybe even a white beard.

From the info released to the public it seems as if this is an opportunist killing and perp had no prior knowledge of the victims.

Based on the age of person in pic, it's unlikely this is his first murder?
If not caught he seems the type to strike again, unfortunately.

Interested to hear others' opinions on picture of suspect and possible motives.

-Dan

PS: Hopefully he's identified and apprehended sooner then later.

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Old 03-01-2017, 12:45 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Link to story about the investigation:

http://wlfi.com/2017/02/28/stepping-...homicide-case/

The pictures were stills from the video and audio recording one of the victims was able to make. Extraordinary action on the part of a young teen!
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Last edited by Pcdunn : 03-01-2017 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2017, 01:36 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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I've been wondering if someone would post about this. It's of great interest to me, first in that I used to live nearby, and secondly, in that it seems so absolutely creepy to me that the victim was able to photograph and even record her killer. I suppose things like that are probably to be expected these days, given the ubiquity of smart phones, but it jars with my unexamined assumptions about the world. I'm getting old.

Anyway, onward to the subject:

He's wearing a brown or perhaps camouflage hoodie like a hunter might wear. You can see the bottom of it sticking out of his jacket. I don't think his hair is visible at all. He's got something in his right jacket pocket that I think may well be a semi-automatic pistol, carried handle down and butt forward. Having spent some years living not too far from Delphi, I can say that it wouldn't necessarily be a remarkable thing for someone to carry on a hike, although most people would keep it safely in a holster on their belt, and it's rather less likely to be carried on a developed trail like this as well. It's more the sort of thing you might carry in the forest or fields. More on this in a bit.

His posture and overall bearing interests me as well. I have the impression that he's hurrying, and watching his step on the trestle as he goes. In the picture of Abby crossing the trestle, she has her head down in a very similar way, although she's obviously going more slowly. Why did he jink so abruptly to the left like that? To get away from the edge?

If he's also keeping his head down to avoid having his face clearly seen, then that suggests that he's aware of the possibility of being photographed, or alternately that he was known to the victims, and hoped to get as close as possible before being recognized. The other possibility is that it was a pre-arranged meeting, and the waiting victim just idly photographed him as he approached, as people sometimes do. His hurrying, if that's what he's doing, could support either hypothesis - that he was hustling along trying to close on his victims, or that he was late to the rendezvous. More on this too in a bit.

They began their hike at 1pm - pickup was scheduled for 5:30. I suspect that reflects the work schedule of the parent who gave them the ride to and from the trailhead, although it certainly leaves them time to meet someone if that formed part of their plan for the day.

The trail is 1.44 miles long, and technically ends at the entrance to the bridge, although one supposes that most people can't resist crossing the bridge. The photo of the bridge, and of Abby Williams on the bridge, was apparently uploaded to Snapchat at around 2pm. That was taken from the south side of the bridge - you can tell by the angle of the sun, and also by the "end of trail" sign visible at the far (north) end. Having reached the end of the trail, one must turn around, and retrace one's path to the trailhead. The far end doesn't connect to anything. It's essentially a trail to go look at the bridge.

Some people think that they can see the suspect in the picture of Abby crossing the trestle, standing on the north bank of the creek, partially concealed behind the prominent whitish (birch?) tree that can be seen on the east (right) side of the trestle, about halfway between the girl and the little platform jutting off the bridge. I tend to believe this myself. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b045cd34bf7443 shows what people are seeing.

IF that's the case, then my hypothesis is that it was a crime of opportunity. The murderer was out walking in the woods, having possibly reached the woods by the trail, and saw the two unaccompanied girls crossing the bridge, ending their hike, and beginning their return. He hurried to the north end, perhaps concealing himself until they got closer. Even in its very severely cropped state (does anyone have a full-frame version of this picture?), you can tell that the suspect is just entering the northern end of the bridge, and judging by the quality of the picture, the girls were still about the middle. He hurried, I'm guessing, to intercept them while the bridge was still too high to jump from. The bodies were found on the northern bank of the creek, so after accosting them on the bridge, he marched them back to the north end, then along the bank to where they were murdered. I suspect that he had a certain location for the murder in mind, either from being a local, or else from having just walked that portion of the woods.

I honestly expected the fellow to be rapidly caught, since he was careless enough to be photographed and recorded, and apparently didn't even bother to take or destroy the victims' phones. He's either extremely confident in what he's doing, and knows what he can get away with, or else just a lucky bungler. I hope for the latter, but I fear the former.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:29 PM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger View Post

He hurried, I'm guessing, to intercept them while the bridge was still too high to jump from.



I honestly expected the fellow to be rapidly caught, since he was careless enough to be photographed and recorded
Picture gave me the creeps but it's hard to say if it's him behind the tree. Assuming the girls noticed his stalking behavior and were aware of him on their way back to the trail from the bridge, couldn't they have kept going (South?) to the other side of the bridge and take another trail out of the park instead of crossing paths with their killer?

With the still shots, audio clip, and whatever evidence the police are holding (possible DNA?) I figured he would've been caught by now. I'm starting to doubt this. Being that we have pics of the suspect and he still hasn't been identified leads me to believe he may be a transient/homeless man. Any idea of what the homeless and transient scene looks like in Delphi?

-Dan
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2017, 02:47 PM
Harry D Harry D is offline
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There was no sexual element to this crime, correct? That is to say, neither of the victims were raped? I wonder if he necessarily had murder in mind when he approached them. He could've been planning a sexual assault, but they put up too much of a struggle so he had to silence them and make a break for it.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2017, 03:07 PM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry D View Post
There was no sexual element to this crime, correct? That is to say, neither of the victims were raped?
It's hard to say if this was sexually driven. Police haven't released much info on how they were killed and what transpired before that. Authorities are releasing bits and pieces of evidence and are being very careful of what they put out, which I think is clever. After all we don't need anyone writing hoax letters claiming to be the killer ie: Sickert and thousands of others. It's possible Liberty recorded the entire ordeal on her phone.

-Dan
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2017, 03:40 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
Picture gave me the creeps but it's hard to say if it's him behind the tree. Assuming the girls noticed his stalking behavior and were aware of him on their way back to the trail from the bridge, couldn't they have kept going (South?) to the other side of the bridge and take another trail out of the park instead of crossing paths with their killer?

With the still shots, audio clip, and whatever evidence the police are holding (possible DNA?) I figured he would've been caught by now. I'm starting to doubt this. Being that we have pics of the suspect and he still hasn't been identified leads me to believe he may be a transient/homeless man. Any idea of what the homeless and transient scene looks like in Delphi?

-Dan
It's not even really a park in the normal sense, but just a trail that follows an abandoned railroad right of way. Look at it on Google maps. It's all surrounded by woods, so they may not have known what was to be found to the south, even though the right of way continues past the marked trail.

You hope people would recognize a local, but it's not much of a picture, he has his head down, and people frankly don't socialize as much as they used to. People don't sit out on their porches of an evening, and when they go somewhere, even a short distance, they drive. People tend to be strangers to their neighbors these days.

I'd not assume he's homeless because of the clothes. How you dress and, to some extent, groom, isn't as important in farming towns as it might be in other places.

You don't get a lot of homeless people or transients in rural midwestern towns because there's no support structure (missions, shelters, soup kitchens, etc) for them there, and the winters are deadly to those without shelter. On a summer weekend, if there's a festival or a fair, you might have a lot of visitors, and of course in the autumn you'll see illegals* being trucked in and out to work the harvest for labour-intensive stuff like apples and strawberries, but that's about it.


*and the farmers would be shocked - shocked, I tell you! - if they realized that these weren't honest Americans that they're hiring for cash at sub-minimum wages.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:24 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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You can see a topographical map of the murder scene at https://www.topoquest.com/map.php?la... zoomin&size=m . This was surveyed before 1982, as the railroad right of way is still owned by L&N, which were eventually eaten up by CSX. The notation "gravel pit" interests me, as I see no such thing on the Google Maps aerial pictures. Gravel pits are, by their nature, somewhat concealed places, and I can think of a few murders that have taken place in them. Judging by the trees on the Google picture, though, it's long since overgrown (and possibly eroded into sloping ground) in the intervening 25 years.

If you find the Delphi Cemetery, and then follow the road to the east for a bit, you come to a little dot of a house just where the road bends. This, I think, is the house of the fellow upon whose land the victims were found. "Down the hill", then, is more than likely going to refer to either the steep-sided gulley just to the west of the gravel pit, or the gravel pit itself (supposing that it even still exists as a topographical feature). Alternately, if he stayed close to the northern margin of the trees (the forest is more widespread than it was in 1982) to avoid the bad terrain, then at some point he would have herded the victims back down the slope towards the creek. That, too, may be "Down the hill".

I'd be interested to hear other opinions/theories.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:11 PM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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I would imagine there might be some foot tracks showing the path they took? Then again search party may have trampled any kind of trail that was left behind. Considering the geographical knowledge the killer had, he has to be a local or someone that grew up in the town.

Regarding the still shots, the jolting to the left you pointed out in a previous post was probably the killer changing direction and heading toward them. Probably walking with his head down then heading straight for the girls with pistol or knife out. The still shots we've seen were probably right before he approached the girls. I'm still surprised they haven't caught him yet. No results after all the tips and reward money, it's starting to look like a cold case.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2017, 02:01 PM
dantheman dantheman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
I honestly expected the fellow to be rapidly caught, since he was careless enough to be photographed and recorded, and apparently didn't even bother to take or destroy the victims' phones. .
Imagine his surprise when he saw his pic posted all over the news. I find it hard to believe that suspect is a complete loner with zero family or friends. It's likely that he already killed any person or persons that would have identified him, ie; son/daughter, maybe a stay at home wife with little to no friends or family.

I'm surprised we haven't had more reply's on this post and would like to hear other inputs as well.

-Dan
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