Austin Yogurt Shop Murders - Texas - 1991 Sept 17, 2013 14:18:41 GMT -5
Post by HeadMarshal on Sept 17, 2013 14:18:41 GMT -5
Clockwise from top left: Sarah Harbison, 15; Amy Ayers, 13; Eliza Thomas, 17; and Jennifer Harbison, 17
Authorities in Austin, Texas have spent over 20 years trying to precisely determine who was responsible for the murders of four young girls in 1991. AMW aired the case in 1992 and re-aired it in 2010.
On Dec 9, 1991, authorities found the remains of four teenage girls at the I Can't Believe It's Yogurt Shop in Austin. The victims were 13-year old Amy Ayers, 15-year old Sarah Harbison and her 17-year old sister Jennifer, along with 17-year old Eliza Thomas. They were closing up the restaurant when they were bound, gagged, burned and murdered, most or all were raped and some bodies were stacked on top of each other. The fire set at the location destroyed alot of evidence that may have identified the killer(s).
Carlos Saavedra and two other Latino men quickly because persons of interest in 1992. On Oct 1, 1992, an AMW tipster led authorities to Saavedra in Mexico, becoming Capture #227. It was revealed that authorities had tortured a confession out of Saavedra and the charges were dropped against him and the two other men.
In 1991, authorities found a gun on a man named Maurice Pierce. In 1999, Pierce along with Michael Scott, Robert Springsteen and Forest Welborn were arrested in connection with the massacre. After an 18-hour interrogation, Scott confessed but put most of the blame on Springsteen, who then put the blame back on Scott. In 2000, the ATF determined that the gun found on Pierce was likely not the murder weapon. All the men were indicted for capital murder except for Forest. Springsteen and Scott were convicted but Pierce was acquitted. Eventually the convictions against Scott and Springsteen were overturned when it was revealed that DNA evidence matched a completely different person than any of the publicized suspects, even before Scott and Springsteen were convicted. The charges against the two men were dropped in 2009.
A married couple who were the last customers in the Yogurt Shop mentioned that they had seen two suspicious men in the restaurant before the murders. Some of the Defense Lawyers believe they had determined the table the men had sat at based on crime-scene photos and believed they were the killers. A former police officer saw a suspicious man wearing a military-fatigue style jacket loitering in the customer line, then only ordering a soda. The man was described as white, mid-late 20s and six-feet tall. The former officer couldn't pick out a person from photo line-ups.
Thoughts? It seems like none of the suggested people were actually involved in the murders. So who was responsible? Apparently even serial killer Kenneth McDuff (Capture #202) confessed to the murders on the day of his execution, but authorities never believed he was responsible.
Admin Note: Should anyone have any information on this case, the Crime Stoppers line for the Austin, Texas area is 1-800-893-TIPS