Blurb for “The Crime of the Century” a shocking true story
The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.
At 5:45 pm., Chief White used his walkie-talkie, to radio Lt. Phillipes, who stayed at the command post with Richard and Nancy. Only a few short words were needed.
“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief. What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.
Just 150 yards north of the railroad trestle spanning Bottle Neck River, Sheriff Reynolds and one of his deputies reported “something entangled in debris,” near their small boat.
The officers initially said they believed the object was an animal carcass. Once it was dislodged and floated down stream, they realized it was human.
The officers then followed the remains and discovered 30 yards south of the first torso, the second torso was located. Both torsos were reportedly snagged against brush along the riverbank just west of The Regency Supply Company. Both torsos were reportedly nude and so badly decomposed, officers said they were unable to determine their sex.
Upon the discovery, Jack Jones broke down and was seen “running and screaming” from the area. The remains were pulled to shore and coroner Rausch was summoned to the riverbank.
Law enforcement personnel cleared the immediate area of non-official personnel. Afterward, they stationed themselves around the perimeter of the area while the bodies were examined.
Many searchers, upon leaving the crime scene, were overheard by reporters asking one another “Are the authorities looking for one killer or two?”
2# Excerpt- The Arrest
On September 29, 1983, months of investigative work, combined with the public’s doubts, fears, and beliefs that Richard Lloyd was a killer, paid off. What most in the county hoped for, finally came true.
Jethro said Richard was unaware of the conversations between him and the authorities. Through conversations, he believed Richard would “pin” the murders on him, to escape arrest. He wanted the killer caught and “put out” of society, even if that person were a loved one. Still he was not totally convinced of Richard’s guilt, but that “gut feeling,” was still there.
Police said what came next as no surprise. It happened on a cool autumn afternoon, as citizens busied themselves with the upcoming fall and winter festivities. While leaf-covered streets overflowed with gleeful residents and out-of-towners, two silent cruisers, lights out, descended upon the Lloyd farm.
The Newsome County Grand Jury, after two days of testimony, and 56 witnesses, handed down an indictment against Richard Allen Lloyd. The stepfather was now a murder suspect, for two counts of aggravated murder with mitigating circumstances.
What the grand jury heard was all the evidence that pointed to Richard Lloyd being the killer. They did not hear the information that conflicted with the investigators theory of accounts. According to some witnesses, the state went to great lengths to ensure only the evidence against the accused was heard.
Detective Eli, with the eager assistance of Sheriff Reynolds, finally arrested Richard for the murder of the teenagers. However, that would prove not to be the end of the story . . . only the beginning.