My mother was 22 when she was murdered. This is the way I remember it. The first time I realized I was different than anyone else.
It was 14 miles from town and if you heard a car it was coming to Nanny's house. Being at her house was nothing new as I was always there when my mother wanted to "go out dancing". I couldn't quite see who it was and my Nanny (mother's mom) said, "stay inside Debbie."
It was Christmas day and all I can recall was the drunk in the car outside yelling, "I want my daughter!" My grandma "Nanny" said, "she is not your daughter, Sandy, now get on back to town." His name was Sandy Chafee. He was my step-dad and he and my mom were in the process of being divorced.
His friends, Larry Lang and John Warner were just as drunk...yelling obscenities at my grandma. I knew I was supposed to stay back but Papa had loaded the double barreled shot gun with one shell and he went out too..... So I snuck out from behind the evergreens that graced the front porch of Nanny's house.
I stuck my head out from between Papas overalls and Nanny's shin long dress. My grandpa had emphysema but he drew a breath big enough to say, "you best get on down the road." When they heard the shotgun load an lock and saw it lowered they spun out so fast they threw rocks clear to the yard........
No one had yet told me my mother was dead. It sure didn't seem it was Christmas at our house as everyone was crying and they wouldn't tell me why but I knew something was very very wrong. My Nanny had told everyone in my family about the dream I had concerning my mother. All this is verified. They knew about it before I did really, nor do I remember the dream. My Nanny also had second sight and it passed down through to me and my children have it as well.
Now, as it was, I was always at Nanny's. Still their were whispers about my mothers death. I can not really say I realized it until a few years later when I read the newspaper clipping about her crash and death.
The woman who had come to see my Nanny was Larry Lang's wife, and wow did she give my Nanny an earful. She said she had been out of town and when she got back her husband broke down and confessed to her what they had done. Sandy Chaffe and her were in the proceeds of a divorce and she was supposed to pick them 3 up at the oil rig. They worked the middle shift 4-Midnight.
She arrived but they had other plans for her and they gang raped her. Phyllis was informed that John Warner hit my mother hard in the face when she told them she was going to the sheriff's office to report them. He hit her so hard she wrecked the car running into a culvert. Now my mothers skull was fractured, wrists were broken and 2 of the men had black and blue eyes and their noses were broke. Im not sure of the 3rd's injuries.
She had also informed my grandmother that the three men took a gas can out of the trunk and poured it on my mothers legs and the engine and then set it a fire. They walked back to town so it would not look like they had not been with her. Well Nanny informed Sheriff Hess, who was called "Tiny Hess." They called him this because he weighed 400 pounds.
He started an investigation and when he got to John Warner and Larry Lang they denied being with her. Saying their black eyes came from a fist fight they had been in, in the alley of the Blue Goose Bar.And now Phyllis was denying she ever went out to my Nanny's and told on them. Now Tiny Hess brought in the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
I do not know the 3rd mans story but I know Sandy Chaffe died of cirrhosis of the liver, Larry Lang was thrown in an out of asylums.The man that towed the car in told my husband he had never ever seen a car burn like this. It says on her death certificate both wrists were broken, fractured skull and partially cremated legs.
Even with the tow mans statement and Phyllis's denial, the FBI was thwarted in the investigation. No proof and no DNA tests in 1959. Her Timex watch was still ticking and was put up for me when I was older.
The plot thickens. Each of those men had children my age and they were still allowed to play with me. To this day I have never understood that. How if Nanny knew it was murder she still let me on overnights at these children's home.
As a young mother at 22 the same age she was when she died I started getting dreams about my mother. I also found some letters written from my mother to my Aunt Susie who also was planning on joining them after work that fatal night. She said some nice things about me in the letters too which I will always cherish. I dreamed of her so many nights in a row. I went to the sheriff myself and showed him the letters and it showed their intent of all going out that night after they cleaned up from the oil rig.
So I talked to the Sheriff and re-contacted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to see if there was anything they could do now that I had the letters from my mother to my Aunt concerning all of their plans of getting together that night.
He said that recently John Warner had been pursued by a highway patrol and the man is so strong he literally pulled up a fence line and started working over the highway patrolman with the fence pole and got away. But his daughter Belinda 3 years older then I remained my best friend. She did not live with her parents she also lived with her grandma who had a beauty salon on Broadway.
My Nanny had a flea market and antique store on Broadway. My other friend Brian Lang also stayed with his grandmother on the corner who ran a Hotel and Bar. Small town USA a bakery and a cafe just 2 doors north of Nannys flea market and the Motel on the other corner. I could go to the swimming pool and swim all day for a dime or I could go to the movies for a 25 cents......
To Be Continued.