What Lies Beneath

A previous entry covered a Dark Spring in Oklahoma City.  A portion of the area's older homes were, at that time, destined for demolition in just a few years. That spring, they were still home to some people, although some houses were vacant and decaying by the minute.  Grisly, and still unsolved murders, erupted that dismal spring creating fear for many.  Today, the area is a green and tree filled area dotted by state and corporate buildings.

A short account of the events :

The first body parts showed up in April 1, 1976, in an abandoned house at 325 NE 8th in Oklahoma City, utility workers exploring an abandoned house found the head and body parts of a 18 year old Cathy Lyn Shackelford. At the time, however, she was unidentified and was labeled a 'Jane Dow'.   

Fast forward to April 19, 1979 when several grisly discoveries are made between mid-April and the first of May. All around the 300 block NE 10th and 200 block NE 7th in Oklahoma City.  The  second known victim was named Arley Bell Killian. 

A strange gap of seven  years followed before another find was made.  On March 6, 1986, the body of   23 year old  Tina Sanders was located at 507 N. Lindsay.  A fourth has been suggested but unverified.

There are interesting similarities which might provide links to similar crimes and bring closure to this cold case. 

All the women were Native American, they either lived on the streets and/or worked as prostitutes, and were all probably killed within the same one mile radius where their bodies were found. The killings were in the spring, they were not rushed, and due to the ease with which the body parts were created and discarded, the killer had to have been familiar with his surroundings (the Stiles Circle - Lincoln Terrace neighborhood; now generally covered by the Centennial Expressway and the OU Health Science buildings and related structures).  Each body had an incision in the lower lip, massive body mutilation and dismemberment, and certain parts of the bodies were never found.



The ubiquitous windmill, featured in the early painting of nearly every would be artist of the west, is a haunting image often set in lonely desolation.  A rusting vestige, even if still in use, of simpler and harder times.  Odd, near anomalous skeletons of a dead past - like this image of a windmill bumping up to a road - a holdover of a time when the road was much more narrow and further to the south.  Now, however, as the 21st century dawns a new type of wind power is being seen in structures surely to be as iconic as the old wind wills pumping water from deep in the earth. These mills seek to capture the power of the wind - that constant and powerful force so loved and hated by inhabitants of the plains.  They are already providing new sources of power, income, and visions of a renewed future booming with potential and hope.


Boiling Springs State Park, NW Oklahoma (near Woodward) is a single gurgling spring not as fascinating or visual as one might think. The location and the region are, however, very interesting and reveal the amazing geological surprises in the state of Oklahoma.  Just 20 some miles away is the largest gypsum cave, Alabaster Caverns and further afield are sand dunes of impressive dimensions.

Wooden Boxcar

It simply sat in the meadow, tall sprouting trees, heads of wild flowers and decorative grasses hugging its base as if to keep some internal modesty. The wood was soft and muted reflecting the tones of a dove's breast.  Where had it come from? When was the last wooden boxcar in use on the rusting rail systems of the landscape.  What stories of hope, acclaim, devastation or danger could it voice if we would but pause to listen?



Some of the entries which have elicited the most responses have been those associated with St. Joseph's Children's Home, Bethany, Oklahoma. It opened in 1912 and closed in the 1960's.   If you would like to share your information there is a Facebook page set up for that purpose or leave a comment here.

If you are looking for someone or just wonder what ever happened to.... maybe together we can solve a mystery.

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