Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona on September 17, 1995 · Page 15
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Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona · Page 15

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Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 17, 1995
Page:
Page 15
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Tucson, Sunday, September 17, 1995 SJjf Arizona Satin Star Section B Page Threef Thatcher residents living in fear since hideous killing of woman THATCHER (AP) - Fear has plagued this town since a woman was hacked in a slaying so brutal that an investigator says the murderer "couldn't be human," a newspaper reports. Mary Ann Holmes was killed in her bedroom on July 9 with "several chopping-like blows by a large knife or hatchet" to her head, according to police. Authorities wouldn't provide further details, but neighbors told the Arizona Republic the woman had been tied up, and her body was nude and sexually mutilated. Lack of progress in finding her killer has been extremely frustrating for police and for this farming community, about 90 miles northeast of Tucson, said Sgt. Gary Cleland. "We've interviewed over 75 people, and there's still no suspect that we can point to," Cleland said. "There's a lot of stress on our officers, and we've really been putting in the overtime to try to get this cleared up. "Whoever did this couldn't be human," he said. He said a special state Department of Public Safety unit has been called to assist in the investigation because of concerns for public welfare. Cleland said a bloody print of a large shoe was found at the site. Money that Holmes had earned from a yard sale the previous morning was stolen, he said. "Mary Ann was talking rather loudly about what a good idea the sale was and how much money she was making," said Kaye Turner, a neighbor and friend of the victim. "I think the wrong person heard her talking about that." Police have looked into that but have found nothing to go on. Holmes had filed a report weeks before her death saying she feared a former boyfriend in Florida, who had contacted her by phone ' and was thought to be en route to Thatcher. Police interviewed the man in Florida two days after Holmes' death, and his alibis checked out, Cleland said. Fearing that the killer may live in the community, Kathy Mullenaux now lives behind locks, though she seldom locked a door before the murder. Mullenaux, whose great-grandfather, Christopher Layton, founded Thatcher, lives across Church Street from the house in which Holmes was slain. The Eastern Arizona College campus is only two blocks away. Even friends in nearby Safford have been buying Mace, guns, outdoor lights and guard dogs, Mullenaux said, adding, "We even have been running to the car if we have to go anywhere at night." The last murder here was the slaying of a classmate nearly 30 years ago, Mullenaux said. Weeds now stand 4 feet high in the Holmes yard where once she was growing snapdragons for the wedding of Mullenaux' s daughter. "She was such a beautiful woman," Mullenaux said. "I keep hoping that we get some closure for this nightmare." Police think they have socialite's killer PHOENIX (AP) - In 1988, . philanthropic socialite Jeanne Tovrea was found in her mansion bedroom with a blood-stained pillow over her face and five bullets in her head. . Seven years later, police say they have found her killer. -; The arrest of James Cornel 3iarrod, 41, of Phoenix was announced Friday by Maricopa bounty Attorney Richard Romley. -Harrod has been charged with Iburglary and first-degree murder ;ahd was being held without bond in a county jail. I Romley refused to reveal any "of the details that led to Harrod's capture, calling them "sensitive tissues," but he said there may be .'additional arrests. - "I do not believe this is the -whole story with just the arrest Zof James Harrod," Romley said. Tovrea, 55, was the widow of livestock baron Ed Tovrea, whose family was one of the most illustrious in Arizona history. The prominence of the Tovrea name, along with the wealth of Jeanne Tovrea's friends, led to a $35,000 reward in the case. Tovrea was killed April 1, 1988, when a gunman managed to skirt her home's double-alarm security system and enter her bedroom. According to autopsy reports, the killer put a pillow over her head and fired five shots into it. Although a few items were taken from her home, police believe that was done to make it appear as if a burglary had taken place. Tovrea's husband died in 1983. Court documents show he left the bulk of his multimillion-dollar estate to his wife and a trust fund for his three children, payable to them upon Jeanne's death. Romley refused to say whether there was any connection between Harrod and Tovrea or between the suspect and the victim's three stepchildren. He said that although Harrod was not a suspect immediately after Tovrea's death, he was questioned by authorities at the time. Despite other murder cases involving a considerable passage of time between the crime and an arrest - such as the slaying of TV actor Bob Crane, whose murder trial 16 years after his death resulted in an acquittal - Romley said he is certain evidence will prove Harrod's guilt. "I feel confident, absolutely confident that we will get a conviction on this man," Romley said. A GREAT TIME. EVERY TIME Tlem Scratch It It's hot, it's summer, and Harrah's Phoenix Ak-Chin has the coolest giveaway in town. With all the cash and prizes up for grabs, you're bound to come out a winner. There are three ways to win: Instant win scratch cards Weekly $5,000 drawings $25,000 Grand Prize Drawing Be there for the cool. Be there for the cash. Be there for the prizes. Just be there. Take 1-10 east to exit 164, Queen Creek Rd. Turn right and drive 17 miles south. Harrah's is on the right. For more information call: 1-800-HARRAHS (1-800-427-7247). Must be 21 to enter. 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