Here’s more police reports. Some of the reports were written up and filed almost immediately, some weren’t written and/or filed until a week or two later. I imagine that the police took notes during their investigation, and then wrote up the reports as they found the time, putting it off when there were higher priority activities in the investigation.
State Police Officert Robert W. Dunn:
VICTIM: ERVIN OREN KASER, Rt 3, Box 115W, Silverton, 49 yrs., 6′, 160, brown, blue.
DATE OF CRIME: 17 Feb 55 about 10:45 p.m.
PLACE OF CRIME: Rt 3, Box 115W, Silverton. Farm residence of the victim. In the driveway to the residence which is on hwy between Silverton and Stayton about 2 miles south of Silverton, about 200 yards south of Evergreen School, on east side of hwy. Vision is unobstructed in all directions for over 200 yards.
DISCOVERED BY: EMMANUEL (nmi) KELLERHALS, Jr., Across from victim’s residence is this subject’s residence. This subject and his wife heard the first shot and then heard and saw the muzzle blasts from the rest of the shots (3 more). They saw the car drive away but could not describe the car nor how many were in it.
MODE OF OPERATION: The victim was heard to drive into his driveway and a car door was heard to slam. Immediately four shots were fired into the victim’s car, one shot hitting the victim and lodging in his heart and killing him. A car was heard to drive off immediately following the fourth shot. The gun used is estimated as a 30-30 calibre rifle by Dr. Harris of Crime Lab. Number of attackers and description of vehicle unknown. No conversation was heard. The shots were estimated to have come from a point on the hwy about 75 yards from the victim’s vehicle, indicating the attacker(s)’s vehicle was probably parked on the right shoulder of the hwy headed south in which direction the attacker’s vehicle departed at high speed. Another vehicle was following the attacker’s vehicle at about 1500 yards and may have contained a confederate or been coincidence. The shots were fired from north of the victim’s car, entering the victim’s car through the left front door’s window and the post immediately behind this door and leaving the car through the right side of the windshield and the right front door window. Victim’s car 49 Ply sdn lt green Ore lic 569-497 (’55).
SUSPECTS: KASPER (nmi) OVEROSS @ CAP, lives in northernmost cabin on the north side of 2nd St. at D St. in Silverton. 44 ysrs., 5’10”, 180, brown, blue. Has dk blue 50 Ford cch, Ore lic 1A118.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear and cold (16 degrees). Ground dry and frozen.
LIST OF EXHIBITS: Savage 30-30 carbine model 340, no serial number, bolt action, marked by writer with RWD on wood inside clip hole. Sent to crime lab for comparison with slugs recovered from body and car of victim. Obtained gun from VIRGIL HUDDLESTON at his retail lumber yard on hwy 213 one mile west of Silverton. The above mentioned gun was fired by the suspect, Oveross, in company of HUDDLESTON on the morning of 17 Feb 55 and was, according to Huddleston, in the possession of Huddleston or locked in his lbr yard office from the time of the practise firing at the lbr yard until turned over to Sheriff Young, who gave receipt, and writer at 2 p.m. on 18 Feb 55.
One empty 30-30 shell found in jacket pocket of suspect’s jacket. Found by and in possession of Sheriff Young.
Spent slug found in the body of the victim. Found by Dr. Harris in autopsy and in his possession.
Spent slug found in the victim’s car on the front seat. Found by Dr. Harris and in his possession.
Photographs of the victim, his vehicle, the bullet holes and the scene of the crime taken by Mr. Prouty of the Crime Lab and in his possession.
ACTION TAKEN: On 18 Feb 55 at 12:35 a.m. The writer was directed by Officer Mekkers, on desk duty at Salem patrol office, to proceed to Rt 3, Box 115W, Silverton and contact Sheriff Denver Young and assist in investigation of murder of this victim.
At 1:10 a.m. On same date the writer contacted Sheriff Young and was advised by Young that at 10:45 p.m. On 17 Feb 55 the witness KELLERHALS, immediately after the crime occurred, contacted HARVEY KASER [EK_NOTE: not HARVEY, but rather MELVIN], brother of victim, who lives in the first house south of the victim’s house. HARVEY KASER phoned Constable DePeel at Silverton and at 11 p.m. Constable DePeel advised the Sheriff’s Office at Salem of the crime. Salem patrol office was advised at 12:30 a.m. On the 18th of Feb 55.
The writer accompanied Sheriff Young from 1:10 a.m. Until 3:30 p.m. on the 18th of Feb 55 in the investigation of this case and the writer was acting at all times as an observer though Sheriff Young discussed the case with writer from time to time and requested suggestions.
At 1:45 a.m. on 18 Feb 55 the suspect was located at his home and on the suspect’s invitation the home and car of suspect were searched and the suspect was interrogated at his residence and at the Sheriff’s Office, Salem. Suspect voluntarily accompanied the Sheriff until about 11 a.m. the 18th when he was returned to his home by a Sheriff’s Deputy. The suspect was interrogated intermittently during most of this time and he refused to make a statement without his attorney.
Suspect said that he had spent the entire evening in Silverton at two taverns. Check with those taverns where suspect is very well known revealed he had left one at 9:30 p.m. And had not entered the other until 12:45 a.m. 18 Feb 55. Suspect, when confronted with this, still maintained he was in the taverns. Check of the taverns was made by Silverton PD members and Sheriff’s deputies.
Suspect stated that he had practise-fired a 30-30 with VIRGEL HUDDLESTON on the morning of the 17th of Feb 55. Check with Huddleston by Sheriff Young and the writer confirmed this and the 30-30 was obtained from Huddleston for comparison purposes as described in LIST OF EXHIBITS.
Marion County District Attorney KENNETH BROWN was at the scene of the crime when the writer arrived and he was with the Sheriff intermittently throughout the night and next day. DA Brown requested Dr. Harris of Crime Lab to make the check of the vehicle and autopsy of victim. Dr. Harris requested that Bureau of Identification and Investigation dispatch someone to check for fingerprints on the victim’s vehicle and to take photographs. Lt. Louis Johnson of the Bureau searched for fingerprints and the Crime Lab’s Mr. Prouty took the photographs desired by Dr. Harris.
Sheriff Young and writer contacted the ex-wife of the suspect and his daughter Colleen, 19 yrs., and Colleen’s boy-friend DANIEL JAMES GILHAM, 19 yrs, Rt 5, Box 417, Salem. All three of these persons and the two brothers-in-law of the suspect, HENRY CONRAD ANUNDSON, Rt 1, Box 290, Silverton and a Mr. SCHUBERT of N. Howell, advised the suspect has a 30-30 carbine. The suspect denied that he has or has had a 30-30 carbine. He stated that he had a 32-20 but sold it three years ago which was confirmed by all the above.
COLLEEN MARTIE OVEROSS, 19, daughter of the suspect and DANIEL JAMES GILHAM stated that the suspect visited Colleen and Dan at the home of suspect’s ex-wife, 1/2 mile south of the victim’s residence, from 8 p.m. Until 8:20 or 8:30 p.m. on the 17th of Feb 55. The suspect denied this and stated that he had not seen his daughter since the morning of the 17th in Silverton when he repaired the bumper on her 36 Chev sdn.
The numerous other contacts of neighbors and relatives of the victim and others revealed no new information.
Sheriff Young and writer searched the roads south from the crime scene and other side roads in the area for the gun used in the crime.
The ex-wife of the suspect [EK_NOTE: Ethel Oveross] stated that she was with the victim on the 17th of Feb 55 from early in the evening until a few minutes before his murder. She stated that they had met north of Silverton in separate cars and that they continued on in the victim’s car until just before they returned home. They drove home in separate cars. She stated that this was a common occurrence since her divorce.
On 19 Feb 55 the writer contacted SAMUEL P. MATHENY at his farm on Rt 2, Aurora, located in Clackamas County, the first farm north of the Clackamas-Marion County line on the Aurora-Wilsonville old hwy. Matheny advised that the suspect works for him as a carpenter, presently building a barn. On the 17th of Feb 55 the suspect left work at noon stating that he had overdrawn his bank account and had to go straighten up the problem. The suspect had not been back at work from then until the time of the contact by writer at 7:15 p.m. on 19 Feb. Sam Matheny advised that he likes the suspect very much and he is a good worker. Sam said he had heard of the murder and that the suspect was suspected but Sam said he didn’t think the suspect would do such a thing. SAM said that his son ROBERT MATHENY knew the suspect better than Sam did and said he would have his son contact the Salem patrol office and give what information he could on the suspect. Sam also suggested talking to LESLIE GROZER or GRAZER who lives at the old Ben Eppers place right behind the overpass under construction near Donald. GROZER works as a carpenter with the suspect and was the last one to talk to the suspect when he left at noon on the 17th. As my instructions were to only contact Sam Matheny no attempt was made to contact GROZER. The information was given to Sgt. Huffman at Salem patrol office. ROBERT MATHENY is living alone on the Sam Matheny place located on the ridge road, the first place behind the abandoned service station on hwy to Silver Falls from Shaw. He has a Silverton phone listed under name of Sam Matheny. He is gone most of the day driving a log truck.
All of the interrogation of witnesses and others (except Sam Matheny) listed or referred to above was by Sheriff Young. Attempt is only made to give the gist of these interrogations which were pertinent.
Officer Lloyd Reigel was dispatched to the scene early in the morning of the 18th and he accompanied Deputy Sheriff John Zabinski in attempting to obtain information on the gun owned by the suspect by contacting friends and hunting partners of the suspect. See his report.
WITNESSES: MR. & MRS. EMMANUEL KELLERSTAD, Across hwy from victim’s residence. Can testify to the fact of 4 shots being fired from a point near their driveway having heard the first shot and seen the muzzle blasts and heard the last 3 shots. They can testify as to the time of the crime, the hearing of a door slam, the finding of the body and bullet holes in car and notification of victim’s brother HARVEY KASER, next door neighbor of victim.
STATEMENTS OF SUSPECT: KASPER (NMI) OVEROSS, suspect, refused to make a complete statement of his activities the night of the murder. He did state that he had spent the entire evening in two taverns in Silverton which has been disproved by bartenders and customers of the taverns, according to Silverton PD and deputies. No contact of these persons was made by the writer or by Sheriff Young while accompanied by writer.
OVEROSS also stated that he had not been in the vicinity of the scene of the crime during the day or night of the 17th of Feb 55 but his daughter COLLEEN MARIE OVEROSS and her boy friend DANIEL JAMES GILHAM stated that OVEROSS visited his daughter Colleen from 8 p.m. to 8:20 or 8:30 p.m. on the night of the murder at the residnece of COLLEEN and her mother, the ex-Mrs. Kaser Oveross, which is located about 1/2 mile south of the scene of the crime.
OVEROSS also stated that he does not have and has not recently had a rifle. His ex-wife, his daughter Colleen, DANIEL JAMES GILHAM, HENRY CONRAD ANUNDSON (brother-in-law of Oveross), and VIRGIL HUDDLESTON all stated that OVEROSS has a 30-30 carbine thought to be a Winchester.
SUMMARY: About 10:45 p.m. on 17 Feb 55 ERVIN OREN KASER was shot to death while he was sitting in his car in the driveway of his home at Rt 3, Box 115W, Silverton, which is about 2 miles south of Silverton on Stayton hwy. The neighbor across the hwy heard the 4 shots and saw the muzzle blast of the last three shots. A car drove away immediately after the shots headed south on the hwy toward Stayton. The car and occupants could not be described. The deceased has been keeping company with the ex-wife of KASPER OVEROSS and was named in the divorce proceedings by Oveross against his wife. The deceased was with the ex-wife of OVEROSS the night of the crime until a few minutes before the shooting. Oveross has made statements found to be false as to his activities on the night of the crime and as to his having a 30-30 rifle.
Since this is a case being conducted by Sheriff Denver Young and the writer was dispatched to assist and not direct the investigation no recommendation, assistance desired or contemplated further action is listed here.
From the writer’s knowledge of the case at the present writing it is considered by the writer that the key to solving the case would be in attempting to enlist the aid of friends of KASPER OVEROSS to talk to OVEROSS in attempt to convince him of the advisability of confessing completely and accurately his actions on the night of the murder as OVEROSS refuses to further discuss the case, suggesting any questions be directed to his attorney, BRUCE WILLIAMS, who has also been retained by DANIEL JAMES GILHAM who also refuses to discuss the case and may be reached in the same manner.
The locating of the murder weapon or weapons is the only alternative apparent to the writer.
The writer is no longer assigned to the case and no further report will be made by writer unless directed to resume such activity.
Sheriff Denver Young:
After receiving the information on the above homicide (see original report 2/19/55) the writer proceeded immediately to Silverton Oregon where he picked up Chief of Police Main and then went immediately to Route 3 Box 115A which is about two hundred yards South of the Evergreen school on the left or eastern side of the roadway, known as the Silverton Stayton road.
Upon arrival we found Constable Harley DePeel of the Silverton District with two brothers of the victim, Harvey Kaser and Melvin Kaser and neighbor of them Emmanuel Kellerhals Jr.
The victims car a 1949 Plymouth sedan, Oregon license #569 497 was parked in the driveway leading to Ervin Kasers house and approximately 40 feet from the edge of the pavement. This driveway was apparently gravelled at the time of the building of the home but now consists of two tracks for the wheels and grass in between and on each side of the driveway. At the time of my arrival the car doors were closed and the windows were rolled up. Upon looking through the front window on the drivers side it was observed that what appeared to be a bullet hole had gone through the front left window on the left side and made an exit hole on the front windshield about midway on the right hand panel of glass and about 5” above the bottom. Another hole penetrated through the chrome strip just above the handle and through the door on the drivers side about an inch from the edge of the door itself. Two holes appeared in the frame of the rear door and on the hinged side. Two holes appeared in the right front windshield and one exit hole through the bottom of the right hand wind wing. Various nicks in the inside of the glass showed where fragments had damaged the glass. The body of Ervin O. Kaser lay towards the right hand side of the front seat facing upwards. Both feet were extended towards the foot pedals, lower part of his body from the waist down being on the floor of the car and from about the middle of his waist up lay on the seat. His head lay on the seat face up. A flashlight and a freshly opened pack of cigarettes lay on the seat and a spent bullet was visible laying on the seat near the intersection of the bottom cushion with the back of the front seat. In the rear seat was a sack of groceries.
First contact was made with Deputy Sheriff Boehringer who stated that on his arrival Constable was on the job and immediately after I arrived I radioed the office to have the State Police to send an officer to assist in the investigation. At 1:10 officer Robert Dunn arrived and was briefed on the situation.
Information from Chief Main that Casper (Cap) Oveross might possibly be the gunman as he had divorced his wife over Kaser and had been known to make threats on Kasers life. Writer asked Silverton car #30 to keep an eye out for Oveross and if located hold for questioning. Information on Oveross and his car was broadcast to all stations.
Mr. Emmanuel Kellerhals was contacted on the scene and he gave the following information (also see separate report and signed statement). He stated that he and his wife went to bed about 10:30 in the front bedroom of his home which is immediately across the road from Ervin O. Kasers. He had dropped off to sleep when he was awakened by what appeared to be a rifle shot. Both he and his wife jumped out of bed and looked out of the front window and across the street into Ervin’s driveway, but at this time there was three more shots and the attention of both of them was called to a place about fifty feet to the north where they saw the muzzle blasts of the three shots. They appeared to come from about car window height. They feel sure that the lights of the car from which the shots came were on at the time. Immediately thereafter this car stepped on the gas and left at very rapid speed towards the south. As the car passed their line of vision from the window they could tell that it was a dark colored car as the night was quite light and they judged that it was one of the lighter [EK_note: or LATER?] model cars. Both tail lights were on and quite widely spaced as on the later model cars. In kasers driveway they could see his car with the lights on. Both the head lights and the dome light inside the car were burning. They could not see Ervin Kaser so they both thought that he had gotten into the house. They went to the the kitchen and tried to call him on the phone and after several attempts they gave up and called his brother Melvin Kaser of Rt. 3 Box 114 and who is in the first house south of Kaser’s. Melvin Kaser stated that he called Constable DePeel and then went over to the car where he discovered his brothers body.
About this time it occurred to the writer that if the gunman went south and it should be Oveross he might be heading to his ex wifes home to injure her so in the company of Officer Dunn and Harvey Kaser we went to the Oveross residence at Rt. 3 Box 110 and approximately 3/4 miles south of the scene of the shooting. Mrs. Oveross was in bed but got up and let us into the house. When told by Harvey Kaser that Ervin was dead she let out a little cry but regained her composure almost at once. The writer asked her if she had seen Casper Oveross that night and she stated that she had not but called into the bedroom to some one else and asked if Casper had been out that evening and this person (later admitted by Colleen Oveross to have been her) stated that her father had been out from about ten minutes until eight to about eight thirty when he left.
We went back to the Ervin Kaser residence where we learned that Casper Oveross had returned to his cabin and the Silverton Police were standing by. Deputy Sheriff Amos Shaw, Chief of Police Main and the writer proceeded to Silverton in the Sheriffs car and State officer Dunn went in the State Police car. We drove to the Holland cabins where Oveross has been living since the divorce in cabin #6. The writer knocked on the door and after identifying ourselves as police officers he opened the door and invited us inside. He wanted to know what we wanted and appeared to have been drinking. He stated that if we were looking for marajuanna, he didn’t have any. The writer asked him to account for his whereabouts during the previous evening and he stated that he had spent the entire evening at Shortie’s Tavern and the Town House in Silverton. He was asked if he had been out earlier to see his daughter and he stated NO. When he was asked if we could look his cabin over he readily agreed. He was asked if he owned a rifle and he stated that he only had a shotgun that was standing in the corner of the room.
At this time the writer asked if he had any objection to the officers looking over his cabin and he replied “no go ahead, help yourself!” I saw Officer Painter take a small cardboard box from a cupboard over the drainboard and place it on the drainboard. A short time later I observed Officer Painter take something out of the box and place it in a paper bag on the kitchen talbe. He then told me that there were three 30-30 rifle shells in the bag. I went over and removed the shells and placed them in my coat pocket. These shells were brought to the Sheriffs office and marked “D” and were placed in a small box to forward to the crime laboratory. After Casper Oveross had given permission to search the cabin the writer walked over to the couch in the front room and picked up a blue green woolen shirt and from this shirt in one of the pockets I removed an empty 30-30 fired rifle shell. When Oveross saw me remove the shell from the pocket he remarked that that was not his shirt. He declined to say whose shirt it was. This shell was brought to the sheriffs office with the other three and marked for indentification. These were taken to the crime lab. By Deputy Sheriff Shaw and State officer Reigel.
At this time the writer asked Oveross to account for his time during the evening of 2/17/55 and he stated that he had spent the evening at the taverns. He was asked which taverns specifically and he stated that he had spent the entire evening at “Shortys” and the “Town House”, BUT COULD NOT or would not name any one who might have seen him there. He insisted that he had not been at any other place from about nine oclock until just before coming home at about 1:50 A.M. 2/18/55. He was then asked if he had been out to his daughters place earlier the previous evening and he stated No. He was insistant on this point even after telling him that both his daughter Colleen and her boy friend Daniel Gilham had stated that he was there from about 7:40 until about 8:20. he stated that the only time that he had seen his daughter the day before was down town when he had wired up the bumper of her car for her. He later stated that he did not see her but saw the car and had wired up the bumper.
Oveross was questioned about any guns that he might have owned at that time and he stated that he only owned a shot gun and that it was standing in the bed room. When asked to explain the empty 30-30 shell in the shirt pocket he stated that he and VIRGIL HUDDLESTON, had been doing some target practicing during the forenoon of 2/17/55 and that he had fired four shots and that this was one of the fired shells. (This was later confirmed by Huddleston.)
Before leaving the cabin Oveross was again asked about visiting his daughter and again he denied it. He was asked if his daughter would lie about it. He said “I just say that I was not there.” He also stated that he had not been out to his old home on the 17th or any place south of Silverton.
Further questions about being at the taverns brought only evasive answers except that at one time he said that he was only out of them long enough to go from one to the other and that did not take more than five minutes or so. He could not name any one who was in the taverns but stated that they all knew him. He stated that he had only had a few drinks during the night. The odor of liquor was apparent on his breath and during the time in the cabin he was extremely nervous and at times it was hard to follow the trend of the conversation.
He did say when being questioned about his gun, that the only rifle that he ever owned was a 32-20 which he had sold three or four years earlier. He talked of hunting but would not say with whom he had hunted or with what kind of rifle.
He was asked to accompany the writer and other officers to Salem where we could talk and he agreed quite readily.
After leaving the Oveross cabin with Chief Main and Deputy Shaw and Casper Oveross in my cvar and officer Dunn driving his car we went first to the residence of Virgil Huddleston on Pine street. He confirmed Oveross statement on the target shooting and stated that the gun used was a 30-30 Savage rifle that he was buying and that because of a sore shoulder he had asked Casper to test fire it for him. He stated that Oveross had fired four rounds, at a target in the lumber yard. We went to the lumber yard and checked through the window and determined that the rifle was still in the office. From there we drove to the Ervin Kaser residence but were only there a short time and then proceeded to the Sheriffs Office.
We arrived at the Sheriffs office at 3:30 A.M. February 18, 1955 and State Officer Dunn, Deputy Shaw and Chief of Police Main attempted to interrogate Oveross. He was very reluctant to answer any questions stating that any questions would have to be answered by his Attorney Norman Winslow.
He did say in reference to the shooting of Ervin Kaser that he was not mad at him any more. That he had broken up his home but if he had wanted to kill him he would have done it before this time. He stated that he knew that his ex-wife had been running around with Kaser but that two or three other men had as much reason to kill him as he did. He stated that his daughter Colleen had been the one who had advised him that his wife was running around with Kaser and that at the request of Oveross had told him when his wife was out with Kaser so that he could get witnesses to the occasions. Oveross related one incident where he, DePeel and Silverton officer (deceased) Jackson laid out in a field all night in order to watch Kaser call at the Oveross house, while Kaser was there. [EK_NOTE: I wish there were questioning of Silverton Officer DePeel regarding how it came about that two Silverton police officers were lying in a field with Oveross watching his divorced wife’s house, but there seems to be no record of them asking Officer DePeel about this. But it certainly explains why the police latched onto Casper Oveross as the suspect so quickly. His marital problems appear to have been well known.]
Oveross was questioned about any other persons who might have a grudge against Kaser and he would not name any one. He further stated that he had a friend who was doing ninety-nine years for killing his wife and that he didn’t think that it would be worth it. He refused to say who his friend was that was in the penitentiary. During the period which we spent at the sheriffs office Oveross was at one minute friendly then immediately his conversation would switch to something entirely unrelated to the subject.
At 6:00 AM we left with the subject for Silverton and dropped Chief Main off at about 6:30. From Silverton we proceeded to the Ed Schubert residence Route 2 Box 217 Silverton.
As we approached the house Ed Schubert came out towards the car and Officer Dunn and I met him and asked to go into the house and talk to him. He agreed and we went into the kitchen. Present in the kitchen was Henry Anundson, brother-in-law of Oveross, Danny Gilham, boyfriend of Colleen Oveross, and Mrs. Ed (Ruth) Schubert.
Each one was asked if they had seen Casper Oveross during the previous night and both of the Schuberts and Henry Anundson stated that they had not seen Casper at any time during the night. Daniel Gilham stated that he had been at the Oveross Residence from about 7:30 until 10:30 the previous evening and that at about 7:40 Casper Oveross had come out to the house and had stayed until about 8:20 when he left. Henry Anundson was then asked if he knew as to whether Casper Oveross owned a rifle. He stated without any hesitation, yes. He was then asked as to what kind of a rifle and he replied, “a 30-30 carbine”. Mr. & Mrs. Schubert were asked if Casper owned a rifle and if they knew the type and they stated that they did not know if he owned a rifle or not.
After leaving the Schubert residence the writer asked Oveross if he would accompany us to the Kaser residence and he agreed, however before leaving Silverton we had breakfast in Toneys Tavern which I paid for personally.
We went to the Kaser residence at Rt. 3 Box 115A and while Deputy Shaw stayed in the car the writer talked to Deputy Boehringer and instructed him to stay at the scene until relieved. The body had been removed and we were only there a few minutes.
Oveross accompanied us to his former residence where we made a brief search for a gun without success.
At approximately 10:00 A.M. February 18, 1955, the writer instructed Deputy Sheriff Shaw to take Oveross home, which he did.
At approximately 10:10 A.M. District Attorney Brown, Officer Dunn and the writer entered the Kaser residence to attempt to find something that might shed some light on Kasers death. The house was very poorly furnished and in a pretty well cluttered condition, typical of a bachelor housekeeper. Papers were cluttered in a desk and on the dining room table however not to indicated that anything had been prowled. In the clothes closet near the front door we found a 30-30 Cal Marlin rifle, Ser #G 10704. Examination showed that there was one cartridge in the chamber, but no further examination was made to determine as to how many shells might have been in the magazine. Gun was left in closet as it was decided that it could not have been the gun involved in the shooting.
At approx. 11:20 A.M. Officer Dunn and I contacted Ethel Oveross at her residence at Rt. 3, Box ?. She stated that she had been with Ervin Kaser during the previous evening. She stated that she had met him about two miles north of Silverton after she had called him and made the date. She met him about 8:00 P.M. and was with him until about 10:20 when he returned her to her own car and she drove home. She came in to town by way of James street and did not see Ervin again. On a later interview Mrs. Oveross stated that as they were returning to her car they observed another car coming toward them just before they came to the turn leading to the bridge. Ervin slowed down to let the other car get ahead of him and then followed it for about a mile until he was sure that it was not Oveross before he turned around and took Ethel back to her car.
She stated that she had heard the shots but thought nothing of them until the officers arrived.
At 1:30 contacted Mrs. Harvey (Edith) Kaser, re: threats of Casper Oveross towards Ervin Kaser. (See statement of Mrs Edith Kaser, also Harvey Kaser.) Mrs. Kaser is the twin sister of Ethel Oveross.
2:00 P.M. received information from Herman Doney that Oveross was supposed to have been around his ex-wife’s home some time during 2/17/55.
Balance of day spent in trying to locate spent bullets and at scene.
[Small section covering future days removed to be placed more properly in the chronological sequence]
Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:
At 11:40 PM, 2-17-55 Writer was contacted at home by phone and directed to get down to the Office immediately.
T.O.D. [EK_NOTE: Time of Departure, I presume]
At 11:51 PM, 2-17-55 Writer was met by Deputy Sheriff Zabinski, and taking police camera, and lights available we left the office for vicinity of the Evergreen School on highway between Silverton & Stayton, to meet the Sheriff and assist on a reported homicide investigation. Shaw in Car 2
T.O.A. [EK_NOTE: Time of Arrival, I presume]
At 12:15 AM, 2-18-55 Writer arrived at the Evergreen School and proceeded to scene of considerable activity at the home of Ervin Oren Kaser, a short distance south of the Evergreen School.
Scene of death was a farm consisting of the ten acres of cultivated ground. Farm consists of a two bedroom modern home that faces west onto the hard top high way that runs north and south between Silverton Oregon and Stayton Oregon.
The immediate scene of the death appeared to be in a 1949 model green Plymouth sedan bearing Oregon license plates number 569-497. The vehicle was sitting in gravel driveway, car facing east. Vehicle was approximately 30 to 40 feet from highway. To the south of vehicle is a field with strawberry plants in rows running east and west. Bordering the strawberry patch on south of Ervin Kaser home is the home of a brother of deceased, Melvin Kaser, 38 years of age. Address Route 3 Box 109 Silverton, Oregon. To the north of Ervin Kaser residence is an open field joined by Mr. Ervin Peer property. The Ervin Peer residence is roughly 600 yards from Ervin Kaser residence.
Across the highway approximately 150 feet from the house of victim is the residence and property of Emanuel Kellerhals Jr. 48 yrs. The house of Mr. Kellerhals fronts onto the highway facing east and almost directly facing the Ervin Kaser house. Windows from one bedroom and living room at the Kellerhals home faces the highway.
Most of property surrounding area is similar to most farming communities, with an occasional fence, livestock and poultry.
Upon arrival at scene writer went directly to vehicle that was parked and was the center of attraction. Writer noticed that both the interior lights and the headlights and the tail lights were illuminated. Coming up to the driver’s side of the vehicle, writer noticed the windows were rolled up on the vehicle and small hole was visible in the window on drivers side of vehicle. Also plainly visible were 3 other similar type holes in the door post on driver side of vehicle. Vehicle is a 4 door sedan and the door post with holes is on the drivers side between the front seat and rear seat doors. Inside the vehicle writer noticed an unknown (to writer) subject in a slightly reclining position, with the head and shoulders to right of steering wheel and feet extending under the steering column, close to the foot pedals. Body was with back to seat, and hat was partially covering right side of face. Left side of face was visible. No open wounds were noticed by writer, however streaks and what appeared to be splotches of blood or similar appearing substance was noted on face.
On passenger side of vehicle was noted several glass perforations, exact location not noted. Inside of vehicle on rear seat was noted a rather large paper sack with what appeared to be groceries sticking out of the top. This paper sack was on drivers side of vehicle in rear.
Vehicle was not opened by writer, nor in writer’s presence. All windows were closed in vehicle.
No firearm or similar type weapon was noted anywhere about vehicle.
Officers present upon officer’s arrival, as nearly as can be recalled, is as follows: #1-SHERIFF OF MARION COUNTY, DENVER YOUNG. #2-RICHARD BOEHRINGER, MARION COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF. #3-CHIEF OF POLICE (BUCK) MAIN, SILVERTON POLICE DEPARTMENT. #4-HARLEY DE-PEEL, CONSTABLE, SILVERTON DISTRICT.
The following citizens were present upon officer’s 1st. Arrival. #1-MELVIN KASER (LATER IDENTIFIED HIMSELF TO WRITER AS BROTHER OF DECEASED) #2-EMANUEL KELLERHALS (LATER IDENTIFIED HIMSELF TO WRITER AS NEIGHBOR TO DECEASED). (NOTE: IT IS POSSIBLE THAT OTHER PERSONS WERE PRESENT HOWEVER NOT OBSERVED BY WRITER UPON ARRIVAL)
Upon officer’s arrival at scene, the sky was clear, area was illuminated by a bright moon, and lights from parked vehicles. It was freezing on this particular night, and ground was frozen. (NOTE: This wasn’t a full moon but writer was under the impression that the moon was shining, and was fairly light out.)
ACTIVITIES OF OFFICER:
Upon arrival a considerable amount of the ground work had been started, and writer assisted in making a crime scene search for any spent bullets and other physical evidence present.
A brief interrogation was made of Melvin Kaser, brother of deceased, whom stated as follows:
I am Melvin Kaser, 38 yrs. old, address Rt 3 Box 114 Silverton. My property joins my brother Ervin Kaser on the south. I retired about 9:15 PM or 9:30 PM 2-17-55, and at about 11:00 PM my neighbor Kellerhals called on the phone and said, “I heard Ervin car drive in and heard some shots.” Melvin stated the first thing he did was to call Harley De-Peel, Constable in Silverton District.
A brief interrogation was made of Emanuel Kellerhals Jr. 48 yrs. of age, address Rt 3. Property and house is just across the road from deceased. He reports he had not seen deceased all day but car of deceased was in the driveay at 10:00 AM 2-17-55. Late that evening heard car drive up fast and turn in driveway, (Mr. Kellerhals and wife were in bed at time) also heard another car drive up and stop, heard a car door slam (Mrs. Kellerhals thought it must be cold outside and Ervin is in a hurry.) Almost immediately after hearing door slam heard one shot fired. Both Mr. & Mrs. Kellerhals got out of bed and heard and saw the muzzle blasts of 3 more shots closely on the first. (Mr. Kellerhals said the shots were about as fast as one could lever in another shell.)
Writer accompanied by Sheriff Young, Dick Boehringer, noticed a light on in the house. We went up and tried the front door which was found to be locked. Dick produced a skeleton key from somewhere and we went around to the back door and after a little difficulty got it unlocked. We were looking around in the house and found nothing of consequence to the investigation. When we were still in the house Coroner Howell came in the house. Also “2” brothers and a lady whom identified herself as a sister of deceased all came in. To this officers opinion nothing was removed from the house.
DEPARTURE FROM SCENE
At approximately 1:42 AM we were notified that Casper Oveross had returned home and the Sheriff’s orders were awaited. Writer (Deputy Amos Shaw) and Sheriff Denver Young, and Robert Dunn (State Police), and Chief Main Silverton, proceeded to Silverton, and went directly to Cabin No. 5 Hollan Cabins, located on 2nd. And D street. We left the car there and walked up to Cabin No. 6 occupied by Mr. Casper Arnold Oveross. Sheriff Young knocked on the door at approximately 1:55 AM 2-18-55. Oveross come to the door and asked us in after we identified ourselves. After gaining entry we asked for permission to look the place over. Mr. Oveross replied by saying “help yourself.” Sheriff Young asked him if he had a 30-30 rifle? To which he replied, “No. I have a shotgun in there,” and pointed into the bed room. The shot gun was observed leaning up against the wall, north end of room, between shower and bed. Chief Main picked the gun up and opened the breech. In the barrel was a live 12 guage shot gun shell, which the Dhief showed to the writer of this report.
Writer was also present when some 30-caliber cartridges were found in a cigarette carton placed in the cupboard above stove.
Writer was also present when Sheriff Young picked up a blue plaid jacket off davenport in main room and found a spent cartridge in one of the pockets. The owner of house seen the cartridge removed and said he and Rusty Huddleston had been out by the saw mill and target practiced and he had shot 4 shots at the target.
Subject stated several times, “What are you boys looking for, marijuana?”
Writer overheard one of the officers present ask Oveross where he had spent evening, and he said, “I just come from the Town House.” Upon being questioned further, stated he had spent the entire evening at the Shorty’s Tavern and Town House.
Before leaving Sheriff Young said, “We would like to talk with you and would you mind coming down to the office with us. I believe we can talk better there.” And Casper Oveross replied, “If it’s marijuana you want I don’t know anything about it.” And Sheriff Young replied, “No, it’s not that I just want to talk to you.” And Casper replied, “All right.”
Casper Oveross started to put on the blue plaid blouse laying on the davenport and said, “That’s not my blouse,” and reached over and took one from closet. Chief Main said, “Well, why don’t you take your own blouse?” and referred to the blue plaid one on the daveno, to which Casper replied, “No, I will wear this one, it’s clearner.”
2:20 AM Left cabin with Casper Oveross whom insisted on locking up his car which he did.
2:25 AM 2-18-55 At Virgil Huddleston home and stand by while Sheriff and Dunn of State Police and Chief Main got out of the car and talked to Mr. Huddleston.
2:35 AM Leave Huddleston residence and proceed to saw mill where target shooting took place, according to statement of Casper Oveross. I stayed in car.
2:45 AM 2-18-55 Arrive at saw mill southwest of Silverton. Stayed in car while other officers checked area.
2:50 AM Leave for Ervin Kaser home.
3:00 AM Arrive at Ervin Kaser home (Rt 3 Box 115 A Silverton). Chief Main stayed in the car with Casper Oveross. On way out writer overheard Casper Oveross remarking as to whom lived at the various places on way out.
We stayed in area about 10 minutes, and I assisted in searching area for spent slugs, finding nothing. Very little questioning of suspect up to this time.
3:30 AM Arrive at Salem. Casper Oveross was questioned by Sheriff Young, State Officer Dunn, Chief Main, and Writer. Subject wouldn’t admit to owning a 30-30 rifle, nor having been in the vicinity of murder.
6:00 AM 2-18-55 Leave for Silverton with Casper Oveross.
6:30 AM Leave Chief Main off at Silverton.
6:40 AM Back at Ervin Kaser home. Doctor Harris from State Crime Lab was there and his assistant. Also an Officer from State Identification Bureau was on the scene. Sheriff left instructions for Officer Boehringer, and we left for the Schubert residence at Central Howell. Writer stayed in vehicle. Left there for Silverton.
10:00 AM 2-18-55 At approximately this time writer took Casper Oveross home and let him out.
12:00 PM Writer was advised to go home and get some rest so as to be able to relieve some of the other Deputies working on the case.
NOTE: THIS CONCLUDES THE FIRST TOUR OF DUTY OF DEPUTY AMOS O SHAW, WRITER, AND ASSISTANT IN THE INVESTIGATION. REST OF REPORTS ARE IN TRANSCRIBED NOTES TAKEN FROM NOTE BOOK.
State Police Private Robert W. Dunn notes of the interview with Caspar Oveross:
STATEMENTS BY SUSPECT KASPER OVEROSS:
The following statements were made by KASPER (nmi) OVEROSS between 1:30 a.m. And 7 a.m. On the 18th of Feb 55 in the cabin residence of Oveross and in the Sheriff’s Office at Salem and in the car of Sheriff Denver Young. All the statements were made in the presence of the writer and most were made in the presence of Sheriff Denvery Young. Deputy Sheriff Shaw and Silverton PD Chief Buck Main were present at the time of most of the statements. The interrogation took place while the suspect was with us voluntarily. The suspect was not under arrest but agreed to accompany the Sheriff for the purpose of helping to determine who killed ERVIN OREN KASER. During the entire period of questioning the suspect was evasive in his answers, vague as to times and places, inconsistent as to his actions and feelings, and could not or would not keep on one subject even a subject of his own choice such as his hobbies, occupations or interests. His mood would change from one of extreme friendliness and co-operation to extreme antagonism even on subjects of his own choice and particularly on the subject of his activities on the day and night of the 17th of Feb 55. At times his words were unintelligible to all of us as his mind seemed to be wandering off his conversation. The entire conversation or interrogation would not have consumed thirty minutes with a coherent person of average intelligence and a small amount of co-operation.
OVEROSS said that he spent the entire day in the City of Silverton on the 17th of Feb 55. He said that about 9:30 a.m. On the 17th he, with VIRGEL HUDDLESTON, had fired a 30-30 rifle at a target on a pile of lumber at HUDDLESTON’S LUMBER YARD. He later changed the time to later in the morning closer to noon.
OVEROSS said that the only time he had seen his daughter COLLEEN MARIE OVEROSS on the 17th and 18th of FEB 55 was late in the morning of the 17th when he wired up the bumper on her 36 Chev in the City of Silverton in front of a grocery store. At another time he said that he did not see her but had noticed her car in front of the grocery store and had wired up the bumper and gone on without seeing his daughter. He later changed the time to 5:30 p.m. and said that he saw his daughter and that he didn’t see her. He denied seeing his daughter at her home located one-half mile south of the scene of the crime at any time during the 17th of Feb or 18th of Feb 55. He did not change this story at any time and when confronted with the fact that his daughter COLLEEN said he had visitted her at her home on the 17th about 8 p.m. until 8:20 or 8:30 p.m. and that DANIEL JAMES GILHAM, his daughter’s boy friend, confirmed COLLEEN’S story he still maintained that he had not been there. When we asked him if he considered his daughter a liar he merely said he had not been there. He flatly denied having been anywhere near the vicinity of the scene of the crime on the 17th and consistenly maintained that he had not been out of Silverton on the 17th, and particularly that he had not been south of Silverton on the 17th.
OVEROSS consistently maintained that he had spent all of the evening of the 17th of Feb 55 in TOWN TAVERN and SHORTY’S TAVERN in Silverton from very early in the evening until about 1:30 a.m. On the 18th when he went home. He consistently stated that during the hours of 9 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on the 17th that he was in one or the other of the two mentioned taverns though he never stated which one he was in at the mentioned times nor when he left one and went to the other. He said that he went from one tavern directly to the other and that it was only less than 5 minutes that he was not in one tavern or the other. He said that he was well known in both taverns and that the bartenders and customers would verify his story. He could not mention the name of one person who was a customer in either tavern who would remember that he was there at the times stated by him. He said that everyone in the taverns knew him but he didn’t name any of them. He said he could not remember the names of any of the customers at the taverns. He said he did not get drunk on the night of the 17th and that he never did get drunk and asked Chief Main if that was not so. He said that he had only had a few drinks during the entire evening and that he had not had enough to get anyone drunk and that the bartenders and customers would confirm this.
OVEROSS said that he had not had a rifle since he sold his 32-20 about 3 years ago. He would not say to whom he had sold the 32-20. He said he went hunting often but would not say with whom he had hunted nor with what rifle. He spoke of shooting deer within the past three years since he had sold his 32-20 but would not say what kind of rifle he had used. He discussed at length the proper way to prepare hamburger from venison and that he had prepared some this fall from a deer he had killed but still could not or would not say with whom he had hunted or what kind of rifle had been used.
OVEROSS said that three years ago he was angry at ERVIN OREN KASER but if he had wanted to kill ERVIN he would have done so 3 years ago when ERVIN had broken up OVEROSS’S marriage by running around with OVEROSS’S wife. OVEROSS stated that the reason he had divorced his wife was because she was running around with ERVIN KASER and that he had lots of witnesses to this fact including Constable DePeel and the murdered Silverton PD Officer Jackson. OVEROSS said that his best witness was JACKSON. OVEROSS said that he had never had it in his mind to kill ERVIN KASER and that he did not have any animosity toward ERVIN at the present time and that he never had had since the time OVEROSS filed for divorce. OVEROSS said that all the past trouble with KASER was water under the bridge as far as OVEROSS is concerned. OVEROSS said that several other husbands in the Silverton area had as much reason as OVEROSS to kill KASER as KASER was running around with other women besides OVERSS’S ex-wife. OVEROSS would not mention who these other husbands or wives were. OVEROSS said that he knew his ex-wife was running around with at least three other men besides KASER but OVEROSS would not name them. OVEROSS said that what his ex-wife did was none of his (OVERSS’S) business as they were completely through and that the only time he saw his ex-wife was when he visitted his two daughters who live with his ex-wife at the farm where OVEROSS formerly lived just south of the scene of the crime. OVEROSS stated that his daughter COLLEEN had been the person who advised OVEROSS that his wife was running around with ERVIN KASER and that his daughter COLLEEN had, at the request of OVEROSS, notified OVEROSS when his wife went out with ERVIN KASER so that OVEROSS could get witnesses to the fact that his wife was seeing KASER. OVEROSS said that he arranged for JACKSON and DE PEEL and others to witness the meeting of his wife and KASER and detailed one time when KASER spent a night at OVEROSS’S home and that JACKSON and DE PEEL and OVEROSS observed this from a field nearby. OVEROSS said that this was the only grounds he had for seeking a divorce, that he still thinks his ex-wife is the best woman in the world and that he would probably never marry any other woman as none could compare to his ex-wife. He said he would not re-marry his ex-wife because they could never be happy since OVEROSS found out about her running around with KASER.
County Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw tended to be much more brief in his reports than the State Police officers (excepting the unusually thorough report written about his initial activities on the night of Feb 17-18). Sheriff Denver Young appears to fall somewhere between the two. In reading the accounts from the various investigators (those three being the primary leads) I get a distinct visual image of Officer Riegel as being more highly educated and trained, a professional, with Deputy Shaw being more like the stereotypical “street cop” or “private eye,” street-wise and smart, but much more a “blue-collar working stiff,” and Sheriff Young in between them, having worked his way up from the ranks to a more professional position, but still not quite at the level of the State Police. State Police Seargent Wayne Huffman, who also contributed a lot of hours to the investigation, is similar to Officer Riegel in the thoroughness of his reports.
After spending most of the night and part of the morning with the immediate events after the murder, Deputy Shaw appears to have taken a few hours for sleep, then came back on duty about 3:45pm on Friday, the day after the murder. He received instructions for the remainder of the day from Sheriff Young, then at about 4:30pm left for Silverton to meet with Sheriff’s Deputy John Zabinski and State Officer Riegel at the Silverton Police Department. Zabinski and Riegel had been working together since 6:00am that morning. Shaw and Riegel spent the rest of the day together. Contrast Deputy Shaw’s account with Officer’s Riegel’s account of the same time period.
Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:
4:30 PM: Leave for Silverton, to meet Deputy Zabinski, and State Officer Lloyd Riegel, at Silverton Police Department.
5:27 PM: In service with car #2 with State Police Officer Lloyd Riegel.
5:33 PM: Contact Mrs. George Hopkins, Cabin No. 5 at Hollin’s Cabins, Silverton. No information taken down at this time will contact later.
6:05 PM: Contact FRANK SEXTON at Rte. 5 Box 415, Salem, whom stated that young Gilham was owner of rifle. Heard a car drive by his house at approx. 10:30 PM 2-17-55.
6:15 PM: Contact J.W. Gilham, father of Danny Gilham. Will cooperate and provide rifle tomorrow. Son is extremely nervous and uncooperative. Advised us to contact Bruce Williams, his Attorney, for information. Father stated he went to bed about 9:30 PM 2-17-55, son was away from home. He had gone to sleep and heard son come in later. (Was heard by wife Mrs. Gilham, not Father) not sure of time. Mr. Gilham further stated his son has a 30-30 caliber carbine, and would give us the gun tomorrow to send into the Crime Lab. Would rather give it to us when son is away from home.
6:45 PM: In Silverton
6:55 PM: Contacted by Painter, Silverton, regarding a gun smith to check with, Al Foster works for Eastman Furnace, is local gun smith, and may have done some work on Oveross rifle. Lives right next to PGE power plant on McLain St.
7:15 PM: Learn that Bill Speck or brother of Bill is close friend of Oveross and should be contacted.
7:25 PM: Contact Al Foster, 506 McLain, gun smith. Never worked on Oveross rifle.
7:40 PM: Contact Bill Jones, Silverton regarding any knowledge on case. No information available.
8:15 PM: Contact Edgar Hobert, Silverton, 4 houses on right after turn by Burians. Subject is cooperative, knows family history of Oveross.
8:35 PM: Contact home of Hank Davenport, Silverton.
9:10 PM: At McLaughlin School, talk with Hank Davenport. Will cooperate and pass on information.
9:40 PM At Shorty’s Tavern, Kiefer interviewed, whom stated that Rodney Oster talked to Oveross shortly before they left the tavern. (Referring to Casper Oveross)
10:05 PM Contact Rodney Oster, 115 North James St. Silverton, known Casper Oveross all his life. Saw Casper in Shorty Tavern. Saw Casper in Shorty Tavern. And saw Casper leave about 9:50 PM 2-17-55. Casper talked about his family troubles, and ex-wife at lodge meeting, but he said I suppose they are together. Also mentioned that he had a friend at Oregon State Pen. drawing 99 years for killing wife. Casper left Shorty’s Tavern before Mr. Oster, and wife Margaret Oster. Oster left Shorty’s Tavern about 10:15 PM, or 10:30 PM 2-17-55. Went directly into the bar at the Town House. Around 10:30 PM 17th and sat at the bar. Was at the bar until about 12:30 AM 2-18-55 and never saw Casper in the place at any time. The bar wasn’t crowded, and if Casper had been in the Town House bar he would have been seen according to Rodney Oster. Mrs. Oster had to go to the bathroom twice and to do this had to pass thru the cafe. Didn’t see Casper in the cafe at any time. The first time she went to rest room, four people were in cafe. A young man and a girl, one one side, and two girls on other side.
11:00 PM Contact Marion County car 4, and Dick Boehringer will get interview from George Hopkins. Cabin 5 Hollin Court, Silverton.
11:40 PM Off duty at home
State Police Private Loyd T. Riegel (excerpt repeated from The Murder-Part 1 for comparison):
Deputy Sheriff Shaw and this officer got together at the Silverton city police station at 5:30 P.M. on February 18, 1955 and compared notes and information previously obtained. At this time it was decided that George Hopkins who lived in the adjoining cabin to Casper Oveross would be the next subject to contact relative to any guns or ammunition owned by Casper Oveross. The Hopkins cabin was contacted and it was learned that Mr. Hopkins had not returned from work; however, Mrs. Hopkins related the information that some time shortly after 9:00 P.M. On February 17, 1955 she heard a vehicle drive up at the Oveross apartment. A man got out and went in the apartment, stayed for a short time, came out and got in his car and left. Mrs. Hopkins stated that she was unable to state whether this man was Casper Oveross or some other man. Mrs. Hopkins stayed up quite late that evening and she stated that she did not hear anybody return to the apartment before she went to bed near midnight. Deputy Shaw and the writer then proceeded to the area near the Daniel James Gilham residence, Rt. 5, Box 417, Salem, Oregon, Waldo Hills area.
At the entrance to the lane leading to the Gilham residence a Mr. Frank Sexton, Rt. 5, Box 418 was contacted. Mr. Sexton’s house sets at the intersection of the Gilham lane and the extension of State Street adjoining the Silverton Road. Mr. Sexton stated that he had gone to bed shortly after ten o’clock on the evening of February 17, 1955 and that he was not definitely sure of the time but he would state approximately 45 minutes later he heard the Gilham boy’s car turn from the main highway into the lane and go to the Gilham home. Mr. Sexton was questioned relative to if there were one or two vehicles and the manner in which the vehicles proceeded up the lane. Mr. Sexton stated there was only one car and that it had driven quite rapidly, but that was not unusual as the Gilham boy normally drove quite fast. He stated that he knew little of the Gilham family, that they had lived in this place for several years and that the boy had a step-mother as his mother had died several years ago. Mr. Sexton stated that Mr. Gilham was quite a respectable gentleman but he had never met or talked with the Gilham boy or Mr. Gilham’s wife.
Deputy Shaw and the writer then contact J. W. Gilham, father of Daniel James Gilham. Mr. Gilham was quite cooperative and stated that he did not know whether his son was implicated in this matter or not. He said that he knew that his boy was going with Colene Oveross and had gone with her for quite some time. He stated that he and his wife went to bed about 9:30 on the evening of February 17, 1955 and at that time his boy had not returned home. Some time after 9:30, exact time unknown, Mr. Gilham stated he was awakened by the sound of his boy entering the house. He stated that the boy came into the house and went to his room and went to bed, but he could hear nothing unusual and there appeared to be nothing unusual about his activity. However, he had not seen the boy or talked to him at the time he returned home. Mr. Gilham further stated that his boy owned a 30-30 rifle and to the best of his knowledge the rifle was in the house some place. He was asked if he would let us officers have this rifle so a ballistics test could be made of the gun. Mr. Gilham agreed that he would let the officers have the boy’s rifle; however, he would have to get the rifle and give it to the officers at a time when the boy was not at home. During the time Deputy Shaw and this officer were talking to Mr. Gilham the boy interrupted the conversation several times, calling his father out for telephone calls, and his wife, Mrs. Gilham, interrupted once stating they should be on their way to a grange meeting. At the same time Mr. Gilham was contacted Daniel James Gilham came to the door and acted very belligerent about the entire situation. He was at that time accompanied by Colene Oveross. They together, Daniel Gilham and Colene Oveross, stated that they had nothing further to say, that they were sick and tired of the officers pushing their weight around and that they felt we were taking advantage of them and accusing him wrongly. They stated that they had contacted their attorney, Bruce Williams, and had been advised by Mr. Williams to say nothing to any officer. This officer attempted to explain to Mr. Gilham that he had not been accused and that he was in no way attempting to be questioned by this officer. The only purpose for the presence of the officers was to determine if Mr. Oveross had borrowed a gun or whether Danny Gilham knew what type of weapon Mr. Oveross had. To this the Oveross girl spoke up and ordered this officer to leave the property and stated that if he did not they would contact their attorney, Bruce Williams, and have him come over and order us off of the property. Danny Gilham concurred with her statement, that he wanted us to leave the property; however, the owner of the property, Mr. Gilham, made no statements or gave no indication that he desired the officers to leave. However, the situation had developed with the conflict between the father and son and it was evident that no information could be obtained. These officers left with the understanding that they would contact Mr. Gilham at some time when his son was not at home and he would produce the rifle if it could be located.
Deputy Shaw and this officer returned to Silverton and contacted Silverton City Police Painter relative to information he had obtained on gunsmiths in the Silverton area. Painter stated that a I. A. Foster was the only recognized gunsmith in the Silverton area and it was possible that Mr. Foster may have worked on a gun for Oveross. Mr. Foster was contacted and he stated that he had never worked on a gun for Oveross and that to the best of his knowledge he had never seen or heard of Oveross having a gun; however, he would not say that Oveross did not have a gun. Several other people in the Silverton area, Mr. Bill Jones, Mr. Edgar Hobert, Mr. Hank Davenport were contacted relative to any information about Oveross of any guns he might own. These subjects admitted that they had hunted with Oveross but they had no knowledge as to what type of gun, size, make or description of gun used by Oveross.
Part of it is style and training. Sheriff Denver Young’s reports are much more like Deputy Shaw’s in style, but tend to be a little more wordy than Deputy Shaw’s grudgingly brief notes. The rest of Officer’s Riegel’s report for that Friday has already appeared earlier.
Oregon State Police Lewis G. Johnson, Assistant Director, State Bureau of Identification and Investigation:
On February 18, 1955, at approximately 7:30 A.M. At the Edman Funeral Home in Silverton, immediately following the autopsy performed by Dr. Home H. Harris on the body of Ervin Oren KASER, the undersigned made inked fingerprint impressions of the ten fingers of the victim.
The fingerprints of Ervin Oren KASER have been processed through the records of this bureau, with negative results.
The prints will be retained at this bureau for use in further developments.
And that’s the end of memories and police reports for the night of the murder and the following day.