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Willow Meadows 1973 Shooting Rampage

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Does anybody remember this? My little sister was at Red at the time and I was at Johnston.

Mass killer counts down to freedom /Survivor painfully recalls '73 rampageHouston - Karen Kurtz's scarred right leg begins to ache every afternoon, and she has to use a cane to get around, every painful step a reminder of her brush with Houston's first mass murderer. She was walking home from Red Elementary School on a spring morning 25 years ago when Larry Delon Casey, angry following an argument with his girlfriend, drove intersection to intersection gunning down little girls with a .22-caliber rifle. After fatally shooting an elderly woman on that day in April 1973, he killed two schoolgirls and injured Kurtz and another girl. Two months earlier, he'd killed a convenience store clerk. Despite Casey's notoriety - Harris County prosecutor Bert Graham calls him Houston's "original" mass murderer - few Houstonians nowadays are familiar with his name. That probably is because the horror of his 1973 shooting rampage in southwest Houston was eclipsed just four months after it happened, when the entire nation learned how Dean Corll and two young accomplices had killed dozens of teen-age runaways here. But Kurtz, now 35 and living far from Houston, remembers Casey. In a recent interview - after insisting that her new address or married name not be published for fear the killer might find her someday - she recalled how the slug that shattered her right leg also shattered her life. "I've dealt with 25 years of leg problems because of him," she said. For Kurtz, the Casey shootings didn't fade away with the next Page 1 crime. Every few years, she gets a postal reminder that the stranger who shot her is alive, standard notices from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that he is being considered for parole. The last letter she got on the subject arrived in mid-July, and sometime this month the board likely will make a decision about freeing Casey. Kurtz and Graham, who convinced a jury to sentence him to 99 years in prison, both expect the board to reject him for the fourth time in a decade. That is not what concerns them. Thanks to a pristine prison record and a lot of 3 -for-1 "good-time credit," Casey, 48, knows he must be freed on a mandatory release on Feb. 19, 2006. He will have no parole officer watching him, no letters warning his new neighbors about him, no legal limitations on him whatsoever beyond the rules all Texans face daily. Larry Casey does not look like a murderer. Gone is the cocky, smirking expression he displayed when Houston homicide detectives brought him downtown. "I guess I went out of my head for 15 to 20 minutes," he told a Chronicle reporter at the police station that day. "I just flew off the handle." Today, watching Casey interact with other prisoners and guards at the prison system's Wynne Unit outside Huntsville, he comes across as a pleasant, schoolteacher-ish sort of guy. He received a bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University in 1988, and it shows in the way he talks. He is fully aware he would have been sent to death row but for a fortuitous twist of legal timing. At the time of the shootings, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled the Texas capital murder law invalid. A revision of the law went into effect two months after the girls were shot. If he committed his crimes today, prosecutors could seek the death penalty under several statutes - killing children under age 6, committing multiple murders and, in an unrelated offense, executing a 7-Eleven clerk during an $80 robbery. As Casey describes it, he was fresh out of the Army after two years in Germany as a radar operator, and he had "quite a chip on my shoulder" when he returned to Houston. By then, he had been accused of numerous minor crimes - theft, burglary, possession of marijuana, pretending to be a policeman, drunken driving, shooting up a mobile home and more. But the potential to hurt somebody was always present, he said, because he usually was armed. He said this was because his father, Theron Casey, 53, had been murdered by two junkies in New York City, a crime Larry Casey blames on his father's giving a Brazoria County man nine hot checks to cover gambling losses. Whatever the reason, Larry Casey had a pistol on Feb. 21, 1973, when he and his girlfriend, Yvonne Ellis, were at a 7-Eleven on Burdine Street. Casey said they got into a dispute with the clerk, Dorothy Jones Young, 48, about selling beer after hours, a fuss that Casey ended by shooting her three times. In an interview, he described it as a simple method of ending a problem. "If there would have been the death penalty when I was in the 7-Eleven arguing with the manager, I never would've pulled the gun," Casey said. "But I knew there wasn't any death penalty, and I figured I could get away with it because there weren't any witnesses around." In his confession, Casey did not mention that his girlfriend was there. He said he shot Young "because I thought she was reaching for a gun." That killing became just another unsolved Houston crime until the Red Elementary shootings two months later. According to Casey, he and Ellis - who he says visited him in prison just once, several years ago - were both hard-drinking pot smokers who supported themselves with a Houston Post delivery route. Both were on probation on April 18, 1973, and Ellis was increasingly unhappy that Casey was drinking while driving, fearing he would get her in trouble for violating probation. "Yvonne was mad at me about drinking and driving and wanted out of the car," his confession says. "She got out at the intersection of Bissonnet and Chimney Rock." His confession says he was mad and went to fetch his mother's .22-caliber rifle. "I left the house and drove across Willowbend and into the neighborhood," it reads. "I was near where my little brother (went) to school." The confession says he shot a woman standing in front of her house. But in the interview, he described how Beulah Davis saw him stop near her home and came over and saw weapons in the vehicle. She may have gotten a good look at Casey's license plate. "I felt threatened by her," he explained. "I'd just been put on probation, and I figured she'd call the law." So he shot her in the back. The confession jumps from that to his spotting a child riding a bicycle in a driveway 75 yards away. One shot and the child fell down. "I do not remember shooting at anyone else," the confession says. Prosecutor Graham has not forgotten the rest. After shooting Claire Jakubowski, 5, off her bicycle in the driveway at 10423 Green Willow, Casey drove two blocks and wounded Lynn Jean Tucker, 10, with a shot to the back as she walked home in the 10600 block of Willowilde. Next was Jana Whatley, 10, fatally shot through both lungs as she walked home in the 4700 block of Kinglet. Last was Karen Kurtz, 10, walking with her younger sister near Cliffwood and Stillbrooke. "I was on the street corner waiting for (Casey's) car to go by," Kurtz said. "I looked straight at him." Casey was arrested almost immediately, after he returned to the shooting scenes with Ellis and his little brother. Police had scant trouble getting a confession since Casey freely admitted to killing the 86-year-old and the 5-year-old girl, contending that he did not remember the others. Nowadays, he said, he does remember them. But he said the actual shooter was a man called "Rooster." Casey insisted he did not tell the police about Rooster to avoid being "a snitch." Kurtz, however, said no one else was in Casey's car when she was shot, and a man from the neighborhood positively identified Casey as the car's sole occupant. Graham argued that Casey alone did it, and that is what the jury believed. Casey's version of the events, it seems, has evolved over the years, polished perhaps to make it more palatable to his cellmates and others in a penal environment where tattletales are not popular. Though he somehow still blames Graham's "twisted lies" for the conviction that he set up himself with his confession, Casey now calls his prosecution reasonable. "I don't have a problem with them prosecuting me for the murders," Casey said. "If one of my family members had been shot, I'd want them to do what they did and what they're still doing. I just don't agree with why they're doing it. They're just getting revenge." Graham said Casey should be jailed forever simply because anyone who could get mad at his girlfriend and then go shoot up schoolgirls he did not even know remains too dangerous to be released.

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Yea, I remember all of that. In fact, it was a friend of mine that

discovered the body of the women shot in the 7-11..

I remember her well as we were in that store all the time.

The night that happened, my friend was across the street at

the Cozy Corner bar. This was back when I worked at Al Betos

in the square, and this friend also worked there.

Him and another guy that also worked there often hung out

at cozy corner after work.

Anyway, he ran out of cig's, and went across the street to the 7-11

to get some more. He walked in and no one seemed to be around.

But when he came around the back of the counter, which was in

the middle of the store, he saw her laying on the floor inside the

cash register area.

Then a couple of months later he went on the rampage near Red

school, and after he got caught for that, they found out he also did

the 7-11 shooting.

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Was the 7-11 on the corner of willowbend and south post oak?

How about the Cozy Corner?

The Cozy Corner is now at the corner of Belrose and Burdine in Westbury as far as I know.

flipper

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Was the 7-11 on the corner of willowbend and south post oak?

How about the Cozy Corner?

The Cozy Corner is now at the corner of Belrose and Burdine in Westbury as far as I know.

flipper

Thats the same cozy corner.. It's been there a long time.

Back then, a 7-11 was across the street at belrose and burdine.

I forgot what is there now..

Burdine and Belrose was a lot different in the 70's.

Where the present convenience store is, used to be a Texaco

station. What is now the auto repair shop used to be a Gulf

station. Then next door was the short strip building that

held the 7-11, and once had a pizza place.

That basic strip building is still there next to the auto shop,

but like I say, I never pay any attention to what is there now..

I don't know how long the cozy corner has been there, but

it has been a real long time. With different owners I'm sure,

but it's still basically the same old place it's been since the

70's. Probably the 60's for that matter..

There was a cleaners behind the 7-11, but I'm not sure if it's

there any more or not.. It's probably gone.

Willowbend and Post Oak... Hummmm.. Ya know what..

I do think once upon a time there may well have been a

7-11 there. Sure seems like it.. If it was, it would be where

the present Popeyes chicken place is..

But it was the one on Burdine where the woman was shot.

I believe she was the owner. She was there nearly all the

time. I remember her very well, as she was always getting

after us "heathen" kids who would tromp in there every day

after school, etc.. She could get pretty cranky...

I can well imagine her stance on selling beer after hours..

No way.... I'm sure she told that guy to get his heels to

clicking on down the road, and unfortunately he had a very

bad attitude. :(

Everyone at Westbury was talking about it the next day

after it happened.

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Then next door was the short strip building that

held the 7-11, and once had a pizza place.

I remember that. The pizza place was originally a hardware store run by a cranky old guy who was suspicious of any kids that came there to buy things. Then it became Zippy pizza, and then Sir Pizza. My sister and other friends worked there. We used to call in loaded pizza orders right before closing so that when the girls got off, there would be free loaded pizzas.

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I have a very vague memory of this whole incident. It certainly didn't get the media attention as Corll and Henley did. It’s scary to think this man is going to get released. That’s just another reason we need the death penalty so bad.

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Was the 7-11 on the corner of willowbend and south post oak?

How about the Cozy Corner?

The Cozy Corner is now at the corner of Belrose and Burdine in Westbury as far as I know.

flipper

There use to be a 7-11 at the Corner of Willowbend and S. Post Oak, it is now Popye's Chicken.

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I have a very vague memory of this whole incident. It certainly didn't get the media attention as Corll and Henley did. It

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Or life WITHOUT possibility of parole. I don't see how the governor would free a man like him...

He may not get out as planned. I heard he put a hit out on the judge and time has been added to his sentance. I have been trying to find more information on this.

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Or life WITHOUT possibility of parole. I don't see how the governor would free a man like him...

Unless something's changed, we don't have life without the possibility of parole, in Texas - which is stupid.

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Does anybody remember this? My little sister was at Red at the time and I was at Johnston.

I was a Senior at Bellaire, for some reason I can't remember, I wasn't at school, I either picked up my little sister from Red, or I was in the car with my mother when we picked her up. The cops came to our door to ask questions. Someone had given them our license plate number and they tracked us down. We hadn't seen anything.

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Yowzer. I'd never heard about this. Someone was killed on my block!

flipper

I was there that day. Riding my bike just a few steps behind Karen Kurtz. I was unfortunately the first to help her. She was shot in the back of the upper thigh. The bullet just made a small pierce of her skin and there was just a trickle of blood coming down her leg. She was wearing a skirt that day. She was in a lot of pain. I had just past one of my baseball coaches, Mr. Poling, who was in his garage at Willowbend and Cliffwood. I ran to ask him to call an ambulance, that a girl had been shot. He was quite alarmed and I remember him saying, "Shot with a gun?" I just said yes and it was bad. He ran inside to call. As I went back toward where Karen was laying in the grass, I noticed another girl laying in the middle of the street around the corner on Creekbend. I ran over to find see had been shot also. I ran back to Mr. Poling's house and just as I came up to his garage he was coming outside loading up a shotgun. I asked him to call another ambulance that another girl had shot. I went back over to Creekbend because that girl was not moving and she looked more serious. She was actually dead. A nurse started to try CPR on her but her windpipe had been destroyed, shot in the throat. About that time my mom had come all the way up from our house on Kingfisher, 7 or 8 steets down. I had no idea but she had only seen my bike left with Karen and could not find me. She was completely frantic. An ambulance arrived , then another. Now police were everywhere. As I went back to my bike with my mom, the guy came around the corner from Willowbend to Cliifwood right in front of the police cars. We pointed him out. His car had blood over the front of it because when he had shot the Jakubowski girl on her sidewalk, she fell off the tricycle and into the street. He ran her over and left blood on the front of his car.

This was a crazy set of events. We later learned that he shot the older lady on Benning earlier in the day. Police thought that was isolated. Then, he shot the Jakubowski girl but because he ran her over as well, police thought that was a hit and run and not related. Had he not run over the Jakubowski girl, that might have been the only two people he shot that day as it would have alerted the police. I also found out that he shot my classmate Lynn Tucker that day.

This guy, Larry Delon Casey, was going to get out of Huntsville's Wynn unit a few years ago. He hired a hit against the District Attorney Bert Graham and got sentenced to two more 99 year terms. So, he'll never be free as it looks. Saved me a bullet.

It's been 35 years now since this happened. I still think about it a lot. Not every day, but about half the days. I suppose it leaves quite an impression on a 10 year old 5th grade kid. One good thing came out it for me. I am always very aware of my surroundings and always watch for people not looking quite right. Slow moving cars concern me.

Steve Hutchinson

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It's been 35 years now since this happened. I am always very aware of my surroundings and always watch for people not looking quite right. Slow moving cars concern me.

Steve Hutchinson

I was mugged only early morning 25 years ago in downtown, I still start when somebody comes running up behind when I'm in an urban area.

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Gosh, Steve, what a thing to go through. When I first moved to Houston, strangers would say "hello" as I got on an elevator or just to get my mail. It would freak me out so bad that at first, I'd just freeze. Having been born and raised in Detroit, I thought bad stuff only happened there (circa 1980, it's getting better now). But, wow, Houston was such a friendly place, I couldn't help but love it. Just shows you that loose cannons can be anywhere.

I'm just sorry you had your first crime experience so young, esp one so violent; that had to mess your head up for a while. It was quite a story and couldn't be easy for you in bringing up the past again. Appreciate your sharing it with us.

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My little sister was probably in your class at Red Steve. She was in Jana Watkin's class who was one of the little girls killed that day. It freaked my mom out because my little sister's name is Jana too.

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Does anybody remember this? My little sister was at Red at the time and I was at Johnston.

Mass killer counts down to freedom /Survivor painfully recalls '73 rampageHouston - Karen Kurtz's scarred right leg begins to ache every afternoon, and she has to use a cane to get around, every painful step a reminder of her brush with Houston's first mass murderer. She was walking home from Red Elementary School on a spring morning 25 years ago when Larry Delon Casey, angry following an argument with his girlfriend, drove intersection to intersection gunning down little girls with a .22-caliber rifle. After fatally shooting an elderly woman on that day in April 1973, he killed two schoolgirls and injured Kurtz and another girl. Two months earlier, he'd killed a convenience store clerk. Despite Casey's notoriety - Harris County prosecutor Bert Graham calls him Houston's "original" mass murderer - few Houstonians nowadays are familiar with his name. That probably is because the horror of his 1973 shooting rampage in southwest Houston was eclipsed just four months after it happened, when the entire nation learned how Dean Corll and two young accomplices had killed dozens of teen-age runaways here. But Kurtz, now 35 and living far from Houston, remembers Casey. In a recent interview - after insisting that her new address or married name not be published for fear the killer might find her someday - she recalled how the slug that shattered her right leg also shattered her life. "I've dealt with 25 years of leg problems because of him," she said. For Kurtz, the Casey shootings didn't fade away with the next Page 1 crime. Every few years, she gets a postal reminder that the stranger who shot her is alive, standard notices from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that he is being considered for parole. The last letter she got on the subject arrived in mid-July, and sometime this month the board likely will make a decision about freeing Casey. Kurtz and Graham, who convinced a jury to sentence him to 99 years in prison, both expect the board to reject him for the fourth time in a decade. That is not what concerns them. Thanks to a pristine prison record and a lot of 3 -for-1 "good-time credit," Casey, 48, knows he must be freed on a mandatory release on Feb. 19, 2006. He will have no parole officer watching him, no letters warning his new neighbors about him, no legal limitations on him whatsoever beyond the rules all Texans face daily. Larry Casey does not look like a murderer. Gone is the cocky, smirking expression he displayed when Houston homicide detectives brought him downtown. "I guess I went out of my head for 15 to 20 minutes," he told a Chronicle reporter at the police station that day. "I just flew off the handle." Today, watching Casey interact with other prisoners and guards at the prison system's Wynne Unit outside Huntsville, he comes across as a pleasant, schoolteacher-ish sort of guy. He received a bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University in 1988, and it shows in the way he talks. He is fully aware he would have been sent to death row but for a fortuitous twist of legal timing. At the time of the shootings, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled the Texas capital murder law invalid. A revision of the law went into effect two months after the girls were shot. If he committed his crimes today, prosecutors could seek the death penalty under several statutes - killing children under age 6, committing multiple murders and, in an unrelated offense, executing a 7-Eleven clerk during an $80 robbery. As Casey describes it, he was fresh out of the Army after two years in Germany as a radar operator, and he had "quite a chip on my shoulder" when he returned to Houston. By then, he had been accused of numerous minor crimes - theft, burglary, possession of marijuana, pretending to be a policeman, drunken driving, shooting up a mobile home and more. But the potential to hurt somebody was always present, he said, because he usually was armed. He said this was because his father, Theron Casey, 53, had been murdered by two junkies in New York City, a crime Larry Casey blames on his father's giving a Brazoria County man nine hot checks to cover gambling losses. Whatever the reason, Larry Casey had a pistol on Feb. 21, 1973, when he and his girlfriend, Yvonne Ellis, were at a 7-Eleven on Burdine Street. Casey said they got into a dispute with the clerk, Dorothy Jones Young, 48, about selling beer after hours, a fuss that Casey ended by shooting her three times. In an interview, he described it as a simple method of ending a problem. "If there would have been the death penalty when I was in the 7-Eleven arguing with the manager, I never would've pulled the gun," Casey said. "But I knew there wasn't any death penalty, and I figured I could get away with it because there weren't any witnesses around." In his confession, Casey did not mention that his girlfriend was there. He said he shot Young "because I thought she was reaching for a gun." That killing became just another unsolved Houston crime until the Red Elementary shootings two months later. According to Casey, he and Ellis - who he says visited him in prison just once, several years ago - were both hard-drinking pot smokers who supported themselves with a Houston Post delivery route. Both were on probation on April 18, 1973, and Ellis was increasingly unhappy that Casey was drinking while driving, fearing he would get her in trouble for violating probation. "Yvonne was mad at me about drinking and driving and wanted out of the car," his confession says. "She got out at the intersection of Bissonnet and Chimney Rock." His confession says he was mad and went to fetch his mother's .22-caliber rifle. "I left the house and drove across Willowbend and into the neighborhood," it reads. "I was near where my little brother (went) to school." The confession says he shot a woman standing in front of her house. But in the interview, he described how Beulah Davis saw him stop near her home and came over and saw weapons in the vehicle. She may have gotten a good look at Casey's license plate. "I felt threatened by her," he explained. "I'd just been put on probation, and I figured she'd call the law." So he shot her in the back. The confession jumps from that to his spotting a child riding a bicycle in a driveway 75 yards away. One shot and the child fell down. "I do not remember shooting at anyone else," the confession says. Prosecutor Graham has not forgotten the rest. After shooting Claire Jakubowski, 5, off her bicycle in the driveway at 10423 Green Willow, Casey drove two blocks and wounded Lynn Jean Tucker, 10, with a shot to the back as she walked home in the 10600 block of Willowilde. Next was Jana Whatley, 10, fatally shot through both lungs as she walked home in the 4700 block of Kinglet. Last was Karen Kurtz, 10, walking with her younger sister near Cliffwood and Stillbrooke. "I was on the street corner waiting for (Casey's) car to go by," Kurtz said. "I looked straight at him." Casey was arrested almost immediately, after he returned to the shooting scenes with Ellis and his little brother. Police had scant trouble getting a confession since Casey freely admitted to killing the 86-year-old and the 5-year-old girl, contending that he did not remember the others. Nowadays, he said, he does remember them. But he said the actual shooter was a man called "Rooster." Casey insisted he did not tell the police about Rooster to avoid being "a snitch." Kurtz, however, said no one else was in Casey's car when she was shot, and a man from the neighborhood positively identified Casey as the car's sole occupant. Graham argued that Casey alone did it, and that is what the jury believed. Casey's version of the events, it seems, has evolved over the years, polished perhaps to make it more palatable to his cellmates and others in a penal environment where tattletales are not popular. Though he somehow still blames Graham's "twisted lies" for the conviction that he set up himself with his confession, Casey now calls his prosecution reasonable. "I don't have a problem with them prosecuting me for the murders," Casey said. "If one of my family members had been shot, I'd want them to do what they did and what they're still doing. I just don't agree with why they're doing it. They're just getting revenge." Graham said Casey should be jailed forever simply because anyone who could get mad at his girlfriend and then go shoot up schoolgirls he did not even know remains too dangerous to be released.

I was there that day also. My part of the story isnt mentioned above. Before he shot little Claire, he came by my house on Waynesboro. My neighbor came out of her house when he pulled up beside me and my friend and he took off around the corner. It was very scary for me and like many others whose lives where affected that day, it still haunts me too.

I was there that day. Riding my bike just a few steps behind Karen Kurtz. I was unfortunately the first to help her. She was shot in the back of the upper thigh. The bullet just made a small pierce of her skin and there was just a trickle of blood coming down her leg. She was wearing a skirt that day. She was in a lot of pain. I had just past one of my baseball coaches, Mr. Poling, who was in his garage at Willowbend and Cliffwood. I ran to ask him to call an ambulance, that a girl had been shot. He was quite alarmed and I remember him saying, "Shot with a gun?" I just said yes and it was bad. He ran inside to call. As I went back toward where Karen was laying in the grass, I noticed another girl laying in the middle of the street around the corner on Creekbend. I ran over to find see had been shot also. I ran back to Mr. Poling's house and just as I came up to his garage he was coming outside loading up a shotgun. I asked him to call another ambulance that another girl had shot. I went back over to Creekbend because that girl was not moving and she looked more serious. She was actually dead. A nurse started to try CPR on her but her windpipe had been destroyed, shot in the throat. About that time my mom had come all the way up from our house on Kingfisher, 7 or 8 steets down. I had no idea but she had only seen my bike left with Karen and could not find me. She was completely frantic. An ambulance arrived , then another. Now police were everywhere. As I went back to my bike with my mom, the guy came around the corner from Willowbend to Cliifwood right in front of the police cars. We pointed him out. His car had blood over the front of it because when he had shot the Jakubowski girl on her sidewalk, she fell off the tricycle and into the street. He ran her over and left blood on the front of his car.

This was a crazy set of events. We later learned that he shot the older lady on Benning earlier in the day. Police thought that was isolated. Then, he shot the Jakubowski girl but because he ran her over as well, police thought that was a hit and run and not related. Had he not run over the Jakubowski girl, that might have been the only two people he shot that day as it would have alerted the police. I also found out that he shot my classmate Lynn Tucker that day.

This guy, Larry Delon Casey, was going to get out of Huntsville's Wynn unit a few years ago. He hired a hit against the District Attorney Bert Graham and got sentenced to two more 99 year terms. So, he'll never be free as it looks. Saved me a bullet.

It's been 35 years now since this happened. I still think about it a lot. Not every day, but about half the days. I suppose it leaves quite an impression on a 10 year old 5th grade kid. One good thing came out it for me. I am always very aware of my surroundings and always watch for people not looking quite right. Slow moving cars concern me.

Steve Hutchinson

I know what you are saying about the slow moving cars. I can still picture it all so clearly. It's a day i will never forget.

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I never heard of it. I have heard of Dean Corll. What a sick pervert.

Who was this guy and what did he do?

Here are a few pics of the area.

DSCN2640.jpg

DSCN2641.jpg

DSCN2642.jpg

DSCN2645.jpg

DSCN2647.jpg

Edited by LarryDallas

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Gosh, Steve, what a thing to go through. When I first moved to Houston, strangers would say "hello" as I got on an elevator or just to get my mail. It would freak me out so bad that at first, I'd just freeze. Having been born and raised in Detroit, I thought bad stuff only happened there (circa 1980, it's getting better now). But, wow, Houston was such a friendly place, I couldn't help but love it. Just shows you that loose cannons can be anywhere.

I'm just sorry you had your first crime experience so young, esp one so violent; that had to mess your head up for a while. It was quite a story and couldn't be easy for you in bringing up the past again. Appreciate your sharing it with us.

This was just one of those things that can happen anytime or anyplace. This guy was a loose cannon and just happened to live in our area. Otherwise, it was a great neighborhood. I'd be happy to still live there today, although I do enjoy Huntington Beach quite a bit. But, overall, Houston was and remains a very friendly town.

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the article in the paper today about corll and henley brought back memories of this tragedy that happened near where i grew up. i went to red and my brother was a student there at the time. he knew several of those shot or killed. we were coming home from high school, dropping off one of my classmates who lived on stillbrooke and saw all the police combing the neighborhood. my brother and i were scared to death when we got home as our mom worked and we were there by ourselves.

they didn't have grief counseling in those days. the students went back to red on monday and it wasn't discussed.

a couple of years ago, i saw this article and told my brother he didn't have to worry anymore that casey was going to get out of jail.

Date: SAT 10/09/2004

Section: B

Page: 1 Metfront

Edition: 3 STAR

Decades later, victims face assailant / Women recount 1970s shooting; Casey gets life for murder plot

By BOB SABLATURA, Houston Chronicle Correspondent

HUNTSVILLE - More than 30 years after being shot while walking home from elementary school, Lynn Tucker sat in a Walker County courtroom Friday and looked into the eyes of the man who pulled the trigger.

Despite the years, Tucker had no trouble identifying the assailant who almost cut her life short a few weeks before her 11th birthday.

"I have seen him many times in my dreams," she said.

Tucker's testimony came during the punishment phase in the trial of Larry Delon Casey, who was sentenced Friday to life in prison for solicitation of capital murder.

Casey was convicted Thursday of trying to hire a hit man to kill the Harris County prosecutor who sent him to prison in 1974 for a shooting spree in the Westbury area of Houston that killed three people and wounded two others.

Under state law, jurors are allowed to consider past crimes committed by a defendant as part of the sentencing process.

Because Casey is serving a 99-year sentence, the new life term almost certainly means he never again will be a free man.

Tucker fought back tears as she told of surviving the incident that has haunted her for more than three decades.

She told jurors that she was cutting across a neighbor's yard when a green car pulled up behind her and she heard someone call out.

When she turned, Tucker said, she saw a man lift a gun and lean over to put it out the window.

She said she began to run but was shot in the back.

Several minutes later and a few blocks away, one of Tucker's 10-year-old schoolmates also fell victim to Casey's bullets.

Karen Kurtz testified she was walking home with her 8-year-old sister and a friend when Casey pulled up to the curb a few feet away and put a gun out of the car window.

"We asked him if it was a toy gun," Kurtz said.

Kurtz said she then began to stumble and fall while her sister and friend tried to pick her up. She did not realize she had been shot, Kurtz said.

She also identified Casey as the gunman, but not before defense attorneys vigorously objected.

Dixie Lee Pritchard, one of Casey's two lawyers, questioned why Kurtz was able to identify her client Friday, but was unable to do so during his original trial 30 years ago.

Kurtz said she could have identified Casey at the time, but she was too scared.

"My parents told me he had been in jail and I was afraid he was going to get out and kill me," she testified.

Casey never was prosecuted for shooting Tucker and Kurtz. He was convicted of killing 86-year-old Beulah Davis during the same shooting spree.

He also shot and killed 5-year-old Claire Patricia Jakubowski and 10-year-old Jana Whatley.

Because the death penalty had been declared unconstitutional, Casey received a 99-year sentence, the maximum allowed under the law at that time.

He was scheduled to be released in 2006.

Last December, however, Casey attempted to hire a hit man to kill First Assistant Harris County District Attorney Bert Graham and former Houston police officer David Sheetz, prosecutors said.

The hit man turned out to be an undercover investigator for the Harris County district attorney's office.

State prosecutor Phil Hall argued for a life sentence on the solicitation charge, saying Casey's crimes have had an impact that 30 years cannot erase.

"Time is really relative," Hall said, referring to Tucker's testimony. "In the blink of an eye, 30 years melts off that lady and she is a 10-year-old girl again, telling you how she was shot in the back."

Defense attorney Dan Maeso said he thought the sentence was too harsh and said the conviction would be appealed.

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I remember this well. My friend Donna and I were standing on the same corner as Karen prior to her being there. We were all walking home from school that day. Karen and her sister behind us. Donna and I saw the car, stopped at the stop sign on the opposite side across Cliffwood. We waited and waited for the car to drive by but it wouldn't. I remember Donna and I discussing on whether we should wait or walk. As it turned out we walked, crossed the road with Karen behind us. When we got to the other side we heard the shot. The boy that lived on the corner there I remember his name being Rocky. I remember Donna and I banging on his mother's garage door to get her to call the police. I have thought about that day many times. Donna and I were both in 6th grade at the time. Walking home from school that way was something I had done since kingergarten. Jana was one of my friends. Donna and I were both at her funeral. Before today I've never tried to look up anything about that day. Somehow it's strangly comforting that there are others that remember that day as well.

Teresa Jones

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I know this is an old post, but I just now saw it.  My grandmother was the one shot that day.  I was not there when it happened, but I still remember events afterwards.  I was 10 at the time this happened, so the same age as Karen.  I spoke to her a couple of years ago, in length, and I have to say it was the most enlightening conversation I have ever had.  She told me a lot that I did not know about the events, some of which are mentioned here.  As an adult with children, I lived in fear as his release date was coming up in 2006.  Now that he hopefully will never see the light of day again, I still fear that he will some how manage to get released from prison.  This man has shown no remorse for his actions that day or the months previous to these killings.  

 

To those of you who were there, who witnessed this, or lended aid to those children, you are very special.  I know you live with those images of that day, and will for the rest of your lives.  I hope that one day when the SB is dead you will be able to live in peace.  We can only hope that day comes sooner than later.

 

Hugs to all of you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wynne Unit.........easy time for a spree killer.Love that 3-1 on a 99.

Edited by GEM

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I think he is actually at the Michael unit now. He is no longer in Huntsville last I checked.  

 

I just don't understand how he could murder so many people, solicit to have two more killed and there is even the remote possibility of parole for this ass.  

 

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David Sheetz lived around the corner from where I grew up. Now I know why he kept a special eye out for all the kids in the neighborhood

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There use to be a 7-11 at the Corner of Willowbend and S. Post Oak, it is now Popye's Chicken.

 

I used to get my load of the Houston Press Sunday edition to roll on the porch of that 7-11 backin the early 60's. It was a much simpler life back then.! Even at 4am.

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can't believe it will be 40 years next month.  even after all the years i still won't drive down cliffwood to my parents house. i either drive down greenwillow or windwood.  i will be out of town on the 18th, but my thoughts will still be with the families that were affected by this senseless tragedy.  

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Karen was a dear friend of mine who moved away when we were in elementary to their house on Kingfisher where she lived when she was shot.  She use to write to me before she was shot and she wrote to me after.  We lost touch.  I thought about her over the years.  Many years.  Ironically, week before last once again I decided to see if I could find her on fb again.  Never have been able to get in contact with her in my adult years.  Now I understand why.  My heart goes out to Karen and everyone for what you have been through.  I wish I could ease your pain or take it all away.  Karen and her family were always some of the nicest people you would ever meet. Back in October 2012 I purchased a beautiful little home back in the states in the Houston area and last night I went over to Kingfisher and picked up an antique piano that some people were giving away.  It was a beautiful old piano and I always remembered the street she lived on from the letters she wrote me.  I remembered her getting shot, but I didn't really remember or not sure if I comprehended back then how bad this guy was.  I thought it kind of odd that I was just recently once again looking on fb for her and then ended up on that street.  So Karen if your out there, it's your old friend Tammy.  And I know you still have those bright eyes, big smile and warm heart like the rest of your family.   God bless you.  Friends forever.

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I assure you that no one has to worry about Larry Casey. I don't think he will ever get out. If he does I will handle it. I'm watching his prison time and writing the Parole Board every time he comes up for parole. If he ever gets out, it will be a very short lived freedom.  

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Pretty unlikely this person wil ever make parole.

 

If you look at his parole information, he was convicted in 2003 and given a life sentence. One of the reasons he was denied parole was for the fact that he was convicted of a felony while serving a prison term.

 

He is up for parole in 2017, however, I think that that is really just a formality, as it should be.

 

JMO

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Having just read this I am wondering if there is anymore information on the murder of Theron Casey, the father. Writing bad checks to a person that I think it was sounds plausible. There were several people from Freeport area that could have accomplished that murder in NYC. All passed on.

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…stumbling through the archives.

I remember this very clearly, and have still thought about it now and again through the years. I lived on the west side, but of course this was big news wherever you lived.

My seven-year-old, newspaper-reading self found it so tragic and upsetting. I always remembered the cute little blonde girl and how sad it was that something so random and inexplicable like this could happen.

Now, having looked back into online archives, it's good to know that the tragedy wasn't entirely forgotten, even with the bizarre Dean Corll murders that came to light not long after. Thanks for the sad trip through memory lane.

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