Lewis Clark Valley murders

The Lewis Clark Valley murders refer to a cluster of unsolved murders and disappearances that occurred in the Lewiston-Clarkston metropolitan area of northern Idaho between 1979 and 1982. Law enforcement investigators have identified four victims and possibly a fifth that are connected to a single, unnamed suspect.[1]

VictimsEdit

Christina WhiteEdit

External image
  Age progression of White to 52

Christina Lee "Chrissy" White, 12, disappeared April 28, 1979, from Asotin, Washington after attending a parade with a friend. She had returned to the friend's house and telephoned her mother stating that she felt ill. Her mother advised her to return home on her bike but White never appeared and has not been seen since.[2][3] The bicycle White rode has also never been found.[4]

Kristin DavidEdit

University of Idaho student Kristin Noel David, 22, disappeared June 26, 1981 while biking from Moscow, Idaho to Lewiston. Her dismembered remains were recovered July 4 that same year from the Snake River near Clarkston, Washington.[5][6]

Lewiston Civic Theater incidentEdit

Kristina Diane Nelson, 21, and her stepsister Jacqueline Ann “Brandy” Miller, 18, disappeared while walking from Nelson's apartment to a grocery store in downtown Lewiston, Idaho on September 12, 1982.[7]

On the same night, Steven R. Pearsall, 35, an employee of the Lewiston Civic Theater located at 8th Street and 6th Avenue, went missing after going to the theater to use its laundry facilities.[8]

Pearsall and Nelson had worked together at the theater and both attended Lewis-Clark State College and were neighbors.[9][10][11]

The remains of Nelson and Miller were found March 19, 1984, in a rural area 35 miles from Lewiston near Kendrick, Idaho. Investigators were unable to determine a cause of death for Nelson, but determined that Miller had been murdered.[12][13] Pearsall was never located.[14]

Investigators initially suspected Pearsall may have been involved in the Nelson-Miller abduction and murders, but later stated that all three had probably been in or near the theater at the time they vanished and were likely victims of the same killer.[15]

SuspectsEdit

In 1984, Idaho State Police stated that serial killer Ottis Toole had "implicated himself" in the murder of David and was their "strongest suspect", but added that two other men had also confessed to the same crime.[16][17] In 2009, a retired Lewiston police detective who had also interviewed Toole stated that he had ruled him out as a suspect.[18][19]

In 1995, Lewiston police announced that Nelson, Miller, and Pearsall may have been murdered together inside the Lewiston Civic Theater by another theater employee. The unnamed suspect, who was present at the theater the night of the trio's disappearance, had also lived in the home from which Christina White disappeared in 1979.[20] In 1998, authorities from Spokane, Washington who were investigating the killings that would later be attributed to Robert Lee Yates interviewed this same suspect.[21]

In 1998, Lewiston police stated their belief that Kristin David's murder was linked with the other Lewiston-area murders and disappearances.[22] A 2009 news report stated that David had worked for a time at the Lewiston Civic Theater and may have known the same theater employee suspected in the Nelson-Miller-Pearsall case.[23]

In 2011, a 53-minute documentary examining the case, Confluence, was released.[24]

In 2018, a two-part television documentary series examining the case, Cold Valley, aired on the Investigation Discovery network.[25] An Asotin County police detective who appeared on the program reaffirmed the links police had made earlier between the White and Pearsall disappearances and murders of Nelson and Miller, stating they were likely the work of the same killer.[26] The program also linked the unnamed suspect with three other deaths in and outside the region, including an unsolved Chicago murder from 1963.[27]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ A Look into the Suspect in Christina White Disappearance (TV news report). KLEW. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  2. ^ Lafferty, Kaila (27 April 2017). "38 years later, a look into the Christina White disappearance". KLEW. KLEW Television. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Christina Lee White". Charley Project. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  4. ^ [Lewis Clark Valley murders "Christina White"] Check |url= value (help). National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Dismembered Body Could Be of Idaho Coed". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. 6 July 1981.
  6. ^ "Slaying Still Unsolved". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. Associated Press. 27 May 1983. p. 9.
  7. ^ "No Clues in Disappearance of Three Lewiston persons". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. Asasociated Press. 2 March 1983. p. 3.
  8. ^ "No Clues in Disappearance of Three Lewiston Persons". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. Associated Press. 2 March 1983. p. 3.
  9. ^ Bradley, Anne (Director) (28 November 2018). Cold Valley (TV Series).
  10. ^ "Lewiston PD has suspect". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. 3 January 1995.
  11. ^ "Missing Lewiston Trio May Not Be Connected". Twin Falls, ID: Times-News. Associated Press. 19 September 1982. p. 3.
  12. ^ "Police Confirm Suspicions". Twin Falls ID: Times-News. Associated Press. 28 March 1984. p. 2.
  13. ^ "Rites set for Lewiston Women". Spokane, WA: Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. 25 March 1985. p. 13.
  14. ^ "Steven R. Pearsall". Charley Project. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Visit Rules Man Out in Serial Killer Probe". Spokane, WA: Spokesman-Review. 9 October 1998. p. 20.
  16. ^ "Task Force eyes suspect in UI Murder". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. Associated Press. 22 May 1984. p. 3.
  17. ^ "Toole Charged in Killing". Tyler, TX: Tyler Morning Telegraph. 25 May 1984.
  18. ^ "Toole Charged in Killing". Tyler, TX: Tyler Morning Telegraph. United Press International. 25 May 1984. p. 14.
  19. ^ "FBI Keeps File Open on Kristin David Case". Lewiston, ID: Lewiston Tribune. 16 February 2008.
  20. ^ "Lewiston PD has suspect". Burley, ID: South Idaho Press. Associated Press. 3 January 1995. p. 5.
  21. ^ "Interview suspect in Lewiston-area killings". Twin Falls, ID: Times-News. Associated Press. 3 January 1995. p. 14.
  22. ^ Clouse, Thomas (22 August 2017). "Lewiston law enforcement gives fresh look at unsolved 1982 killings". The Spokesman-Review. The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  23. ^ Lee, Sandra (16 February 2009). "FBI keeps file open on Kristin David case". The Lewiston Tribune. TLewiston Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  24. ^ Confluence, retrieved 2020-04-13
  25. ^ Bradley, Anne (Director) (28 November 2018). Cold Valley (TV Series).
  26. ^ "Investigation Discovery show debuting Thursday will focus on decades-old mysterious deaths and disappearances in Idaho". Yakima, WA: Yakima Herald. 26 November 2018.
  27. ^ Bradley, Anne (Director) (28 November 2018). Cold Valley (TV Series).

External linksEdit

Confluence 2011 documentary film about the murders and disappearances.