Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on January 23, 1986 · Page 6
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 6

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 23, 1986
Page 6
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A6 ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL Thursday, January 23, 1986 omen Who Vanish Turn Up Later Unharmed FROM JOURNAL STAFF REPORTS In sharp contrast to the tragic fate of 22-year-old Linda Lee Daniels, the vast majority of women who disappear in the Albuquerque area later turn up unharmed. Of the 145 women reported missing last year in the city, none was later found dead. And only one case is believed to have involved foul play, according to Lt. Willjam Con-ley of the Albuquerque Police Department's violent crimes division. That case was the Dec. 6 disappearance of 58-year-old Jena Marie Powell, also known as Jena Repp. She never arrived home after leaving her job at Winrock Center. - Two other cases are unsolved, but no foul play is suspected, Conley said. Ernestine Roach, a missing-person investigator for APD, said most missing women leave their homes deliberately. Some stalk out of an argument with a spouse. "Sometimes they have a drinking problem and just want to get away," said Ms. Roach. But the widelypublicized case of Miss Daniels, who was abducted from the driveway of her fiance's Northeast Heights home Jan. 12 and found eight days later shot to death, has raised the city's concern and fear about violence against women. At the Rape Crisis Center, director Elena Avila said since Miss Daniels' abduction she has seen a 30 percent increase in phone inquiries from women concerned about safety, self-protection and self-defense. Some martial arts studios also have noticed an increase in requests for instruction in self-defense. Expert Tip Think Ahead Elena Avila of the Rape Crisis Center offered several tips for women. ; Whenever traveling alone, tell another person where you are going and what time you should return. Park your car in a well-lighted area and lock all doors. Always look inside your vehicle before entering to make sure no one is hiding inside. Lock your car doors as soon as you are inside. Install a peep hole in the door of your home, and always ask for identification from a stranger who comes to the door. Keep emergency phone numbers handy. Keep in mind that self-defense training is good for some women, but that many freeze at the time of an attack and aren't be able to use their training. Elderly women are usually unable to engage in vigorous training. "We had 12 calls this morning and about all were from women interested in self-defense courses," said Fred Abshear of Kojasho Karate, Inc., adding that was aboufdouble the number of calls he usually receives. He said he has seen the same reaction after other highly publicized cases. "It's the result of a tremendous amount of awareness generated by the media," he said. And some gun store owners said sales of guns, Mace and other protection deyices have risen dramatically. "Overall, it's made people more aware that things like this do happen," said Greg Kuehl, owner of the Handgun Emporium on San Mateo NE. He said sales of medium-caliber handguns, mostly .38 calibers, have gone up about 50 percent since Miss Daniels' abduction. Sales and inquiries in Mace, stun guns and other protection devices have gone up 75 percent. "People are really concerned," Kuehl said. "The buyers seem to be a lot of women, husbands and boyfriends." He added, "I try to stress to people who come in and want to buy a gun for protection that just buying the gun and having it in a car or house is not sufficient. They need to be familiar with the gun, take a course and learn the proper safety and use of a gun." The Linda Daniels' case is not only sparking more caution among women it's igniting other reactions as well. "Women are very angry and frustrated," said Kathryn Brooks, direc-' tor of the University of New Mexico Women's Center. "We're looking at the ugly ramifications of it." Albuquerque's Rape Crisis Center reports that it responded to 484 reports of sexual assault against women in fiscal year 1984-85. Journal staff writers Rick Nathanson, Arley Sanchez, Tony DellaFlora and Nolan Hester contributed to this story. UNM Campus Relatively Safe Among 39 Institutions, It Had Lowest 1984 Crime Rate By Rick Nathanson JOURNAL STAFF WRITER University of New Mexico students and faculty, still reeling from shock at the off-campus abduction, rape and killing of a 22-year-old student, are relatively safe while on campus, according to an FBI study. The study, conducted in 1984, compared the frequency of violent crimes at 39 colleges and universities across the country, each of which has a similar student population of 20,000-plus. Janis Nichols, associate director of UNM's public affairs office, said the study shows that UNM has the lowest rate of violent crime among all the institutions surveyed. In 1984, there were four violent crimes reported at UNM, all of them in the category of aggravated assault. There were no on-campus robberies, rapes or murders reported to police, she said. The Linda Lee Daniels slaying has students, particularly women, worried because "she wasn't doing anything particularly dangerous or risky," Ms. Nichols said. "She was just going about her business, and that's what has people thinking about personal safety more than they normally would." The UNM campus, she said, is safer than other parts of Albuquerque for several reasons: students can be accompanied by volunteer escorts to walk with them at night; the campus is heavily patrolled by police; and the campus is well lit. The telephone number for the escort service is 277-2241, the same number as campus police. When all the escorts are busy, campus police often provide the service, Ms. Nichols said. There are 37 campus police officers patrolling UNM grounds 24 hours a day. They are aided by the placement of 13 direct-line telephones around the campus. If someone needs help, all he or she has to do is pick up the telephone and it will automatically ring at the campus police department. It is not even necessary to speak because police can electronically pinpoint where each emergency call was placed. Further, UNM police submit daily reports detailing where lights need to be replaced, and where additional lighting is desirable. UNM police Capt. Alex Roybal said it was too early to tell if students would be using the escort service in greater numbers in the wake of the Linda Daniels killing, but he anticipated that would be the initial response. Roybal said he was confident that the campus is safe enough for women to walk around unescorted at night, but he cautioned that they be aware of who is around them. He suggested that women have their car keys in their hands before they get to their vehicle, and they check to see if anyone is hiding inside the car before opening the door. The biggest problem on campus, he said, is bicycle theft, theft of private property and larceny from unattended vehicles. Elena Avila, director of the Albuquerque Rape Crisis ? 't - JOURNAL PHOTO MARK HOLM Opening the door to see who's there is risky. Center, said the Linda Daniels killing has generated a 30 percent increase in phone inquiries "from women concerned about safety, self-protection and self-defense." Although UNM may be safe, she said, the rest of Albuquerque is not. The center responded to 484 reports of sexual assault in the last fiscal year. That number works out to roughly 121 reported sexual assaults per 100,000 population. The national average is 69 reports of sexual assaults per 100,000 population, she said. According to statistics compiled by law enforcement agencies for Bernalillo County, 56 percent of sexual attacks occur in the victim's home; 13 percent occur in the offender's home; 13 percent occur in a vehicle; 10 percent occur in streets or parking lots; 54 percent of the attacks are perpetrated by someone the victim knows; and 30 percent involve a weapon and threats. Young Woman Had Close Call In Parking Lot CONTINUED FROM PAGE A1 kidnapping, according to the affidavits. Sidney T. Sliger, commonly known as Thomas, "approached Sandra Wallace and requested a gun. He was given a .22-caliber revolver," the affidavits said. Sliger, 20, has been living in a mobile home outside Los Lunas with Mrs. Wallace, his aunt. He is being held on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy. Police searched for a .22-caliber revolver at an apartment on Pennsylvania NE rented to Scartaccini and his wife, Danielle. No gun was found. The Office of the Medical Investigator confirmed Wednesday that Miss Daniels died of a gunshot wound to the head but wouldn't reveal the caliber. Police believe she was killed Monday, Jan. 13. Her body was found a week later, when a man arrested in the case led police to a narrow bridge in the Jemez Mountains. Police arrested Scartaccini, Sliger and Wallace Randolph Pierce, 24, last Friday. Johnny Zinn, 44, was arrested after the body was located. The affidavits also revealed the alibis of the three suspects picked up Friday. Scartaccini said he and Sliger had been in Muleshoe, Texas, when Miss Daniels was abducted. He said they were visiting Bill Nickell, who is Sliger's stepfather. Nickell told FBI agents that Sliger had phoned him Jan. 13 and said: "If anybody asks, I came down Saturday night and left Monday." The affidavits also showed that Pierce, who has been charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, theft and fraudulent use of credit cards, admitted to using Miss Daniels' Amigo card. He was photographed Jan. 12 by hidden cameras at two automatic-teller machines in the Northeast Heights. The affidavits said he'd withdrawn $70. Police had requested Tuesday that Sunwest officials flag Miss Daniels' account; the bank gave APD a photograph of Pierce on Wednesday. Pierce told police he'd been given Miss Daniels' card and personal identification number by a man named Roy in the Mint Saloon, 9018 E. Central. Pierce said he and Roy, whose last name he didn't know, were there between 6 and 8 p.m. the day Miss Daniels disappeared. The affidavits also indicated that APD officers had obtained three search warrants. Shortly after midnight last Saturday, police took several items from a 1969 Plymouth station wagon. The car is registered to an Albuquerque couple. They said Wednesday they gave it to a family friend, and the friend said he sold it to Johnny Zinn in September. Zinn has been charged with suspicion of murder, kidnapping and first-degree sexual penetration. Among the items police took from the car were a nylon jacket, hair fibers, a cigarette and a gold pierced earring in a plastic box. They confiscated from the Scartaccinis' apartment a number of fireworks, handwriting samples and a bag containing paper and white powder. The third search warrant was for the apartment of Terry Lee Myrick on Monte Alto NE. Pierce had lived there smce December; he'd dated Ms. Myrick's 21-year-old daughter. Zinn also lived at that address; he and Ms. Myrick were engaged to be married. Police took from there a cap stitched with the logo of singer John Conlee; Pierce was wearing such a cap in the teller-machine photograph. The police documents also indicated that Sliger worked at Ed Black's Chevrolet. Scartaccini worked at A-l Cleaners, which is owned by his grandfather. Police arrested Pierce in the alley behind the A-l shop at 10415 Comanche NE on a citizen's tip. Officers also got an important lead in the Daniels case from an Albuquerque couple who had talked with Miss Daniels at the Albertson's that Sunday night. The couple told police they noticed a suspicious-acting "subject" in the store who waved at another, equally suspicious-looking subject who seemed to be waiting. Journal staff writers Rick Nathanson, Tony DellaFlora, Charles Moore and Susanne Burks contributed to this report. Police Say Same Person May Have Killed Several Women CONTINUED FROM PAGE A1 the head. Being held in the Bernalillo County Detention Center without bond on murder and related charges are Johnny Clifford Zinn, 44, and Wallace Randolph Pierce, 24. Another accused participant in Miss Daniels' kidnapping, although not accused in her murder, Sidney Thomas Sliger, 20, is in the same facility on $35,000 bond. All three men are being segregated from one another and the rest of the inmate population, according to Michael Hanrahan, jail director. A fourth kidnapping suspect, James Scartaccini, 17, is being held in the Juvenile Detention Center. The first in the trio of cases piquing the renewed interest of authorities at Tuesday's meeting is the Aug. 10, 1984, strangulation slaying of Danessa Howard. Ms. Howard, 21, was found in the laundry room of an apartment complex on 180 Monte Largo NE. She had been killed somewhere else and her body dumped there, police said. In the same block in the following May, the strangled body of Jennifer Lynn Shirm, 22, was found under some bushes. She, too, had been killed elsewhere and dumped on Monte Largo. Four months later a Colorado man, Gene Autry Hill, 27, surrendered to police who had been searching for him in connection with Ms. Shirm's slaying. Hill pleaded innocent and charges against him were later dismissed due to insufficient evidence. And on Jan. 4 of this year, the partially clad body of Kathleen Therese Bindel, a 23-year-old Carlsbad woman who had been visiting friends in Albuquerque, was found beaten to death in Tijeras Canyon. Sheriffs Detective Ed Pacheco said that while it appears at this time there is no connection between Ms. Bindel's slaying and that of Ms. Daniels "we are now following dif ferent leads in an ongoing effort to reach a solution in the Bindel case." He refused to amplify his remarks. Other matters in which evidence and speculation were exchanged at the meeting included the State Police case involving Susan LaPorte. The 25-year-old woman was visiting Santa Fe from Boston when she was last seen alive on Dec. 4. Three days later her body was found in the foothills north of the city. Also discussed was the Dec. 6 disappearance of youthful-looking Jena Marie Powell, 58, also known as Jena Repp. She was apparently abducted when she left her job in Winrock Center. Neither she nor her car has been seen since. ' Three days later, her purse and blood-stained clothing were found along a dirt road in Moriarty. State Police also brought into the discussion the Sept. 21 disappearance of Debra Lansdell. The 29-year-old nurse was last seen in front of her Belen apartment. Iinda Daniels Case Touched Rare Chord in Community By Mary Engel JOURNAL STAFF WRITER When Linda Lee Daniels was abducted from a Northeast Heights driveway just steps away from the safety of her fiance's home it touched a chord that has seldom sounded in the Albuquerque community. In an age where a numbness to violence is the norm, Albuquerque sat up and paid attention. ; But why did Albuquerqueans pay attention to Linda Lee Daniels? The familiar setting of her abduction, the quick succession of clues in the case and her girl-next-door looks combined to make the story of Miss Daniels' abduction and death one that captured the fear, prayers and finally the anger of the entire community. "The circumstances were so common to all of us," said Tony Hillerman, a former New Mexico newspaperman, journalism professor and author of popular mystery novels. "It happened in a driveway: a young woman bringing home the groceries. All those homey touches." Shirley Lansdell of Belen wishes that her daughter's disappearance had received the publicity that the Daniels' case has. Debra Lansdell was reported missing Sept. 21. But, unlike the Linda Daniels' case, there were few clues to Debbie Lansdell's disappearance. Miss Daniels left scattered groceries and a can of Mace behind, clear evidence of a struggle. Neighbors reported seeing a dark, unfamiliar car in the area, and described its occupants. In less than 72 hours, police had their first big break in the case: a photograph of someone using Miss Daniels' bank card. Other clues followed, and suspects were arrested five days after the abduction even before the community knew whether the victim was dead or alive. But when Debra Lansdell failed to keep "The circumstances were so common to all of us." Author Tony Hillerman a date and, two days later, didn't show up for work, police only noted that the door of her Belen apartment appeared to have been forced open. " The Valencia County Sheriffs Department told her mother that the vast majority of women who are reported missing leave on their own accord. While statistics back this view, it is little comfort to Mrs. Lansdell and her husband, who are convinced their daughter has been abducted. "In the Linda Daniels' case, they had evidence to go on," Mrs. Lansdell said. But in her daughter's case, "They haven't found any clothing. They didn't find her car. She doesn't have any credit cards. "If they don't find anything in 48 hours," she added, "they push it aside." Dan and David Repp's mother, Jena Marie Powell, was reported missing in early December. Three days after she was last seen, leaving her job at night at the Winrock Mall, her bloodied clothes and a purse were found near Moriarty. "Everybody's asked me, 'Why so much attention to this case when you're mother-in-law is still missing?'" said Debbie Repp, David's wife. "But the public attention was building, as people became aware of my mother-in-law." Neither the Repps nor Mrs. Lansdell attributed the attention shown the Daniels' case to the fact that Linda Daniels, a 22-year-old University of New Mexico student, was blonde and attractive. Debra Lansdell, 29, is also an attractive blonde, and Mrs. Powell, 58, looks far younger than her age. But Hillerman thinks Miss Daniels' girl-next-door appearance, as seen on television newscasts and the front page of the daily newspapers, turned her into an "everyman's daughter." "We middle-class folks, we don't typically bear the brunt of being the crime victim," Hillerman said. "All of a sudden, here's one of us." The strong reaction from the community did not go unnoticed by Linda Daniels' family. "The support was there because it (the abduction) was purely random," said Miss, Daniels' father, Gary, from his home in Denver. "Linda was not the only victim, and I'm not the only victim, or her mother or her sister. Every one of us in Albuquerque are victims. We are hostages. We are prisoners in our own homes, our own neighborhoods. It's real close to home for a lot of people," he said.

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