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The Murder

-Chronology of Events-

THEORY: After setting up their alibis, one of the real killers changed his clothes and returned to the abandoned shed at approximately 8:15-8:45 pm and under the cover of darkness. The perpetrators attacked, sexually mutilated and brutally beat the victims. Christopher died from his injuries but the other victims were left unconscious. The autopsy report on Christopher claims that his blood was almost completely drained out when he was attacked. The abandoned shed is artistically depicted in the illustration above. 

 

THEORY: After the brutal beating and murder of Christopher Murray (also known as Christopher Byers), there was a tremendous amount of blood that needed to be “cleaned out.” The perpetrators found themselves with an urgent need to return to the primary crime scene to clean the blood while they were dumping the victims at the dumpsite. The thought that they needed to clean the primary crime scene was urgent and engraved in the mind of one of the killers. After the “dump,” the real killers returned to the primary crime scene to make sure that it was all cleaned out. Forensic scientists have informed us that DNA evidence is not only “possible” but “likely” to exist in large quantities at a location where such a brutal attack has taken place, even 30 years after a murder, and even if the location is thoroughly cleaned with conventional methods.

 

 

The body of Christopher Murray (also known as Christopher Byers), the breathing bodies of Steven Branch and Michael Moore, and the bicycles of Steven and Michael were placed in the truck belonging to the killers where they were transported to the parking area behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash. The Blue Beacon Truck Wash is the closest location where a vehicle can park in order to carry the victims and the bicycles to the locations where they were found. It is also more likely that the “northern” entrance was used since the area is a non-residential area. It is a fact that Ryan Clark and his friends entered the Robin Hood Woods area at approximately 9:00 pm from the residential southern entrance of the woods to look for the missing children on May 5th, 1993.

 

The real killers wore his clothes for several days after committing the murder so that he would be aware of their location at all times since there would have been evidence all over the garments. Also, wearing the same clothes for several days would give the killer the believable excuse of destroying his garments if they are ever requested in the future by investigators. He may have anticipated this request and planned to tell investigators… “They were filthy and I burned them” if the police ever asked for them.

 

 

FACT: After Officer Regina Meek leaves to search for the boys, John Mark Byers is not seen again by anyone other than Melissa Byers until 9:42 pm when Officer John Moore notices that John Mark Byers’s truck is parked behind The Blue Beacon Truck Wash (a short distance from where the bodies were found).  At 9:43 pm, Officer John Moore finds John Mark Byers walking on the South Service Road by himself, wearing boots and overalls, and without a flashlight LONG AFTER THE SUN HAD SET. The image below is the actual truck of John Mark Byers that was parked behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash on the night of the murders.

(Link to the actual police transcript)

(Link to the police log that corroborates Officer John Moore’s search with John Mark Byers.)

 

The above image of John Mark Byers’s truck is taken from “Paradise Lost, Part 2.” This is also the truck that was parked behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash at 9:42 pm on the night of the murders.

 

FACT: Detectives James Sudbury and Bryn Ridge NEVER follow up on this point during their interview with John Mark Byers on May 19th, 1993 even though Officer John Moore located John Mark Byers at 9:42 pm on May 5th 1993, alone, without a flashlight, and his truck parked at the closest location to the bodies where a car can be parked when considering the walking distance to where the victims were dumped. (Behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash)

 

FACT: John Mark Byers tells the police on May 19th, 1993: “My son, Ryan and I got in the car and we drove around there to Blue Beacon, and went into Blue Beacon Truck Wash, and I said, look, we got 3 boys missing. I didn’t want ya’ll, you know, I want to go back here behind ya’ll’s property and holler and yell in these woods.  But I wanted you to know why my car’s back there.”

(Link to the actual police transcript)

 

FACT: The above statement DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS the statements made by Ryan Clark and his friends who never claimed to have seen or heard John Mark Byers at anytime from 8:20-9:15pm during their search for the victims.

(Police record summarizing the statements by Ryan Clark)

(Police record summarizing statements by Britt Smith)

(Police record summarizing the statements by Richie Masters)

(Police record summarizing statements by Robbie Young)

 

FACT: Detectives James Sudbury and Bryn Ridge NEVER FOLLOW UP on this OBVIOUS INCONSISTENCY IN HIS ALIBI made by John Mark Byers during their interview on May 19th, 1993.

 

FACT: In regards to the night the children were missing, John Mark Byers states the following, “We were just kind of debating on if THEY HAD FELL IN THE BAYOU AND DROWNED, where would the bikes be and we couldn’t see how both bicycles could have run off in the bayou. And I KNEW MY SON (Christopher) WAS A REAL STRONG SWIMMER, and he, the only way he could have drowned would have been maybe trying to help one of the other kids that fell in.” In this statement, John Mark Byers correctly states the means by which Michael Moore and Stevie Branch die the night before they are found. He also implies that Christopher could not have drowned. Christopher was the only victim who did not have water in his lungs, signifying that he had died from his injuries.

(Link to the actual police transcript)

 

FACT: The autopsy report for Christopher Murray (also known as Christopher Byers) states the cause as of death as “Multiple Injuries.” The autopsy reports for Michael Moore and Steve Branch state the causes of death as “Multiple Injuries with drowning” for both victims.

(Link to the autopsy reports)

 

FACT: Detectives James Sudbury and Bryn Ridge NEVER follow up on the above statement made by John Mark Byers who discloses that the victims had drowned before anyone knew they were dead.

 

FACT: The following morning and before the kids are found, John Mark Byers suggested to the police that they should put a boat in the bayou in case the kids drowned. John Mark Byers states, “I made the comment; Denver Reed, when ya’ll going to put a boat in the bayou? You know, if they’ve drowned, you know, let’s get a boat in the bayou. And he told me, you know, that they would do that. And it seemed like around 9:30 (am), 10 o’clock, I was told.” In this statement John Mark Byers again correctly tells Officer Reed the means by which Michael Moore and Stevie Branch die the morning before they are found AND THE LOCATION OF THEIR BODIES.

(Link to the actual police transcript)

 

FACT: Detectives James Sudbury and Bryn Ridge NEVER follow up on the above statement made by John Mark Byers where he not only tells a police officer that the kids drowned before they are found, but he also leads the police officer to the location of the bodies.

 

FACT: Right after Inspector Gitchell tells John Mark Byers that they found the boys and before any information about the crime was disclosed to the public, John Mark Byers discloses intimate and correct details about the crime to the media. He stated to a reporter that one of the boys was hit above his eye and another’s jaw was injured. He also said that another kid was “worse than that.” (Source: Atria Books: Mara Leveritt, Devil’s Knot, p.13, 2002.)

 

FACT: Officer Regina Meek was searching for the victims on the night they disappeared and she entered the area where the victims were found.

Prosecutor John Fogleman asked her in court, “was there any particular thing about the, uh, the conditions that you noted?”
Meek: “Yes, sir. When I went down the hill to the pipe, of course the weeds were extremely high, the mosquitoes were tremendous. I was breathing in mosquitoes it was so bad.”

 

FACT: There were no mosquito bites on the bodies of the victims, which implies that the area where the victims were found is not the location where they were attacked. (Refer to the autopsy report links above.)

 

FACT: The victims lost a tremendous amount of blood during the attacks. However, not a single drop of the victim’s blood was found anywhere around the dumpsite.

 

FACT: John Mark Byers discloses to the police that he wore the same boots and overalls for three days after the murders.  The police never requested or tested the garments he wore on the night of the murders. 

 

FACT: A hair belonging to Terry Hobbs was found in a knot that was used to tie Michael Moore. A hair belonging to David Jacoby was found at the dump site as well. An unidentified “negroid” hair was also found at the dump site. The prosecution stated that the hair belonging to Terry Hobbs could have gotten there through “secondary transfer.”

 

FACT: If you are going to believe the “secondary transfer” argument, this would mean that the hair belonging to Terry Hobbs ended up on Steven Branch’s shoelace in the following manner: The killers removed the shoelaces from the shoes but hair belonging to Terry Hobbs remained on the shoelace. Then the killers used the shoelace to hog-tie Michael Moore, and Terry Hobbs’ hair ended up at the exact location where the knot was made.

 

FACT: The judge decided to believe the “secondary transfer” argument above the argument that the hair of one of the actual killers ended up in the knot that was used to bind Michael Moore.

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