406smokedesignal: Hi Robert, FYI, when you referenced the Idaho Falls cases that are unsolved for 35 years, but there was a POI that never was arrested: I believe you are thinking of Lewiston, Idaho, unsolved missing persons/murders. The name(s) of the case(s) are: The Snake River Killer or Lewiston Civic Theatre murders. More twists and turns to missing persons cases and murders than one can fathom…and yet a serial killer walks freely. The strangest part to all of these Lewiston, ID., mysteries is the last person known to have seen almost every victim, yet he was never arrested for any of the disappearances or murders. Things that make you go, hmmmmmm. Thank you for the great blog and keep up the great work.
Yes, those are the Lewiston Murders. Just being the last person seen with a murder victim is never even enough for an arrest. He definitely got away with murder. I believe that those were not his only killings, and that he killed more in Idaho. He now lives in Appalachia, and I believe he has continued to kill over in the Smokies. He’s damn good at not getting caught all right! He’s one slick fellow. He is still alive, and I saw a recent photo of him. Looking at his photo, he doesn’t appear to feel the tiniest bit bad about anything he did.
I have a huge set of notes on that case that has needed to be turned into a post forever now. I really need to do that. This case is one of the most fascinating I have ever researched.
Those of you Delphi readers who are into some really crazy murder mysteries really need to look into this one.
This also goes to show how much evidence you need to take someone to trial for multiple murder. People argue that cops will file such a case just to get a killer off the streets, but that is not the case. In fact, there are cases all over the US where the police think they know who did it, but they do not have enough evidence to file on them. We still live in a democracy you know, never mind that Trump, Pence and the Republicans would love to get rid of it.
In fact, instead of filing desperately to get a killer off the streets, the standard of evidence for terrible multiple murder and serial cases is much higher because you are accusing someone of such a bad crime. The less serious the crime, the less evidence you need to take it to trial. Accusing someone of multiple or serial killings is one the most profound condemnations LE can make of another human being, and DA’s are adamant that LE needs to have a good case before they will take it to trial. The bar for enough evidence to try only raises as the crimes get worse and worse.
In the Lewiston case, police say they are 99% sure who did it, but they don’t have enough evidence to file. The police chief actually wanted to try the main suspect, but the DA refused to take the case, as he said the evidence was not good enough.
Robert A. Taylor of Virginia was recently convicted of the rape murder of a young Black woman. Before that, he was suspected by LE of being a serial killer, as he was the last person to see two young women alive. One was last seen at his house at midnight. In all three cases, the bodies disappeared, so not only did he know how to get away with murder but he also knew how to disappear bodies, which is no simple task. But this last time they got him, and they actually found good evidence against him including the victim’s bloody shirt and her hair and DNA in his home. Her phone last pinged at his house. Her body also vanished. This time police pounced on him. He was convicted the most recent murder but not the other two.
Police often say that they feel they know who did certain terrible crimes, but they really have nothing on them. In those cases, LE often says, “We have to watch him all the time.” So even though they can’t take him to court, they think he is dangerous enough to keep him under surveillance all the time. Surveillance requires no search warrant, and you would not believe how many people LE has under regular or irregular surveillance. And they are pretty good at surveilling you without being caught.
The story of the Lewiston Killer is one of the great true crime stories of the last 40 years. A documentary about the killings called Confluence was recently produced. You can see the trailer for it on Youtube. Police kept the main suspect’s name secret for many years,, but it has finally leaked out. I believe the killer’s latest job in North Carolina was postman. Some wonder if he has been killing women on his postal route. He is still married to the same woman he was married to during the Lewiston killings. She has insisted on his innocence all this time. He was the theater director in Lewiston, a very popular fellow who put on many popular plays. He involved himself in all of the searches often to the point of even leading them himself, and in one case he may have been the first one to find a body.