Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 4)

Casper (Cap) Oveross

Casper (Cap) Oveross, 44, charged with first degree murder of Ervin O. Kaser, 49-year-old Silverton farmer, remained calm and resigned in the county jail Thursday, protesting that he is a victim of circumstances. Above exclusive close range photographs of the defendant show virtually no emotion in the various poses. The investigation Thursday settled down to a routine check-up of the defendant’s clothing, his automobile and that of the victim by crime laboratory experts. Meanwhile District Attorney Kenneth E. Brown is evaluating statements taken from numerous witnesses. (Captial Journal photos by Mike Forbes.)

The police continue to attempt to find the rifle used in the murder, checking records in stores that sell firearms. For those too young to remember it, Hande’s Hardware was in the brick building on the northeast corner of the intersection of Water Street and Main Street.  Before Carl Hande took over the store, it was Ames Hardware, owned by Norris Ames.  The transfer of ownership and the name-change occurred in the early 1950s.  At the same time, the police are trying to find witnesses who may have known about Casper Oveross’ guns, and to eliminate other possible suspects if possible.

Thursday, February 24, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy R. L. Walker:

Subject: GUNS

REBS SPORTING GOODS 4090 Portland Road [Salem]

J. C. Mount 2295 Chemawa Road, Salem 300 Savage Remington 12/23/54
Don Madison Salem 300 Savage Mod 99 12/16/54
M. E. Clapper 5090 Silverton Road 30.06 Remington Pump Mod 760 9/27/54
L. R. DeHut 4150 Fisher Road 300 Savage Mod 722A 10/12/53
Louis Hince 640 Madison Salem 30.30 Mod 94 Carbine

SQUARE DEAL 263 Chemeketa [Salem]

John Albus Rt 1, Box 48 Aumsville 30.30 Winchester Mod 64 9/25/51
A. W. Fisher Rt 2 Box– Turner 30.30 Stevens Mod 325C 9/13/51
Loren Dunagan Cherry St. Silverton 300 Savage Mod 99EG 5/21/51
V. H. Watkins Box 94 Scotts Mills 300 Savage Mod 99EG 9/10/51
Fred Long Star Rt. Box 35 Silverton 30.40 Krag (Springfield) Mod 98 9/7/51
Paul Cox Rt 1 Box 205 Gervais 30.30 Winchester Mod 94 8/15/52
Lyle Klampe Rt 1 Box 187A Brooks 30.30 Winchester Mod 94 9/6/52
Glen Willmseher Rt 1 Box 165A Stayton 30.40 Krag (Spring.) Mod 1896 9/6/52

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:05AM: Contact Sheriff at office. Wants us to try and contact Sam Metheney.

8:20AM: Take 2 rifles from safe prepatory to taking to State Crime Lab.

#1- Gun was tagged by Sheriff Young rifle initialed

#2- 30-30 caliber rifle, Sheriff sign, and date 2-22-55 enscribed on rifle

9:05AM: Leave Salem for State Crime Lab.

10:20AM: At State Crime Lab. Leave guns, shells, cartridges and hat with Doctor Harris and get receipt.

11:30AM: Leave Crime Lab. For Sam Metheney residence

12:30PM: Check Sam Metheney property no one home.

1:45PM: Contact Mrs. Floyd Steiger, and she says Floyd will be home around 5:30 PM. Will attempt to contact later.

2:05PM: Contact Clyde Sprecht. No information gained.

2:24PM: Contact and obtain signed statement from Clyde Sprecht, Sivlerton. See statement.

3:00PM: Contact Chief Main, Silverton

4:30PM: In service

4:35PM: Contact Melvin S. Chandler, 205 Charles St. Silvertron regarding some places a person is likely to hide a gun.

5:15PM: Pick up State Officer Riegel and go for lunch.

7:15PM: Contact Floyd Steiger, and receive signed statement regarding case. He is a hunting pardner of Casper Oveross, and said Casper 4 or 5 yrs. ago went on hunting trip together, see statement for additional info.

7:50PM: At Barnes Brothers residence. Boys not home will try again later.

8:05PM: Gas car 2 while Officer Riegel phones Charley Hopkins and made an appointment to meet him at Cherry’s Cafe in Salem tomorrow.

8:45PM: Contact Mr. Merle G Eisenhart, at 335 Mill St. Silverton 62 yrs. Hearing good, eye sight good, clean appearance, gun smith, clerked for 2 years at Hande Hdwre, at that time Ames Hardware. Saw Cap hunting with a 8 millimeter and purchased shells from Mr. Eisenhart. Also has used a Model 94 Winchester. See statement.

11:00PM: At State Police office.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On the morning of 24 February 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer proceeded to the crime lab, Portland, Oregon, and delivered to Doctor Harris three weapons that had been picked up throughout the investigation, three live rounds of ammunition and one shell case that had been picked up by Sheriff Denver Young, and the Ervin Kaser hat requested by Doctor Harris (see attached receipt from Doctor Harris).

Deputy Shaw and the writer then contacted Floyd Staiger, Rt. 1, Box 301 A, Silverton. Mr Staiger stated that he had known Casper Oveross since they were boys in grade school and that they had hunted together ever since that time. He further stated that four or five years ago he had went to Eastern Oregon hunting with Casper Oveross and at that time Casper Oveross was using a borrowed 8mm Mauser rifle. At this time Casper Oveross was quite discussed with this rifle and stated he wished he had brought his own rifle a 32-20. The following year Floyd Staiger and Casper Oveross returned to Eastern Oregon. That is the year that Casper Oveross got a large buck deer. A picture of Casper Oveross, Floyd Staiger, the deer and the two guns was displayed to the officers. Mr. Staiger further stated that the one gun, a 30-40 Craig, was his gun and the second gun was that of Casper Oveross. He believed this gun to be a Sport Winchester model 94 or a Marlin 30-30. he stated that to the best of his memory that this was a new gun at the time and Casper had sold his 32-20 rifle and had purchased this gun. Floyd Staiger stated that he did not know where Casper had purchased the gun or to whether he still had the gun or not. That was the last time that he had hunted with Casper Oveross.

Deputy Shaw and the writer then contacted a Merle G. Eisenhart, 335 Mill Street, Silverton, Oregon. Mr. Eisenhart stated that while he was clerking at the Ames Hardware in the years 1946 and 1947 that he had talked to Casper Oveross several times about rifles and ammunition. He further stated that he had sold Casper Oveross 8mm 30-30 ammunition for his rifles. He further stated that he had actually seen Casper Oveross carrying a model 94 Winchester Carbine and he assumed that this Carbine was the property of Casper Oveross. He further stated that he had actually seen him carrying a 8mm Mauser, bolt action, and from talking to Casper Oveross he got the impression that he owned either a Springfield or an Infield model rifle. Mr. Eisenhart further stated that Casper Oveross had always favored the 150 grain shell and that he always bought or tried to buy this shell when purchasing ammunition. He further stated that from his experience with Casper Oveross that he could say that he was an exceptionally good, quick shot, and that he would further say that Casper Oveross was one of the few men in the Silverton area that could shoot as well as the shots had been placed in the car. He stated that Casper Oveross had always favored the open-ironed peep sight but to the best of his memory he had never seen Casper Oveross own a telescopic sight of any kind.

Of all the above mentioned information written statements have been taken from these subjects giving their story in detail. The above written report is a brief of the complete statements, hitting only the more important parts of the statements. The investigation continues. Additional information is subject to a form three.

Sheriff Denver Young:

10:46 AM Contact this A.M. Hande Hdwe re:gun sales. Omer Bailey c/o Silverton Auto Parts. Marion Zahler, who was bookkeeper for Ames Hdwe.

10:55 A.M. Contact Johnson Hdwe. Re: gun sales. They sold gun to Lloyd Oveross brother of Casper Oveross

11:20 A.M. Contact James Painter, Silverton Police officer, 401 W. Main St., recd first info. when Car 4 was notified. Contact Hoyt at Town House 11:15 P.M. He and Bethscheider checked Cabin 6 at Hollan Court. Located cardboard box. Removed two 30-30 shells placed in paper sack. Picked up 30-30 shell from floor under the couch.

Failed to see shot gun on first trip to cabin. Did see gun on second trip.

1:10 P.M. Received info from James Beard re: Mrs. Jaeske suicide.

2:30 P.M. Accompany Dr. Harris & Ralph Prouty to 195 S. 23rd St., check Kaser car Lic. 569497 1949 Chev. sedan. Oveross car 1950 Ford couch license #1A 118. Contents removed and listed by Harris & Prouty.

Oregon State Crime Laboratory, Homer H. Harris, M.D.:

RE: KASER, Ervin Oren – MURDER C.D.L. #7858

Refer to the autopsy report from this laboratory dated February 22, 1955 regarding examination of the body of Ervin Oren Kaser.

The following items of clothing were removed from the body prior to autopsy:

Item #1 consists of a dark red and black plaid jacket with a total of five metal fasterners down the front, a metal fastern over the pocket in the front on each side and on the sleeves. A few fragments of metal are found on the outside of this jacket in the left should region as are very small fragments of glass.

In the back of the left shoulder region of this garment there are a series of perforations in an area approximately 2 1/2 inches across. The lateral aspect of these perforations begins at a point 1 1/2 inches to the right of the left should seam, and 4 1/2 inches below the seam across the top of the shoulder between the arm and the neck. The largest of these holes is 3/4 of an inch across, and roughly overlays the area of perforation noted in the body. This region is slightly stiffened with blood but there appears to be more serum than blood in the region. A few blood clots are found on the inner surface of the cloth. None are seen on the outer surface. Some pieces of toothpick are found in the left pocket of this jacket; In the right pocket there is a part of abdly worn paper towel, some tinfoil which appears to be part of a wrapper. Nothing else of a remarkable character is noted. Identifying mark is placed in the right front pocket.

Item #2 is the grey cotton work shirt bearing the label “Super Pioneer” in the collar. This is labelled “Size 42, 15 1/2 neck, Lot 804.” The shirt is badly worn. There are numerous small holes in all portions of the shirt. The buttonhole in the left collar region is particularly large and worn. No buttons are missing. However, there has been an obvious replacement of the third button on the right side of this shirt. In the right front pocket there is a note with handwriting on it stating, “lard, oranges, butter, bluing, and bread.” This is written in pencil. In the left front pocket there is an open package of Lucky Strike cigarettes containing nine unsmoked cigarettes. There is a moderate amount of loose tobacco in this pocket. The left should region is heavily stained with blood and there are numerous perforations in this area. The left shoulder region of this garment is the site of numerous perforations following a pattern similar to that described in Item #1 and found in the body of Mr. Kaser in this region. There is deposited on the outside of the garment a few fragments of metal and glass. The largest perforation is approximately 3/4 of an inch across.

Item #3 consists of a pair of grey twill trousers with a worn leather belt in place and a detachable belt buckle bearing the intials “E.O.K.” These trousers bear the manufacturer’s label, “Penney’s Big Mac Sanforized.” The contents of the pockets were described in the autopsy. Nothing else of remarkable character is noted. No blood stains are identified on this garment.

Item #4 consists of an underwear top bearing the manufacturer’s label “Craftsman Quality Underwear Size 42.” With the exception of staining of the left shoulder region of this garment with blood, the stains being heaviest on the inside, and a pattern of perforation similar to that found in the shoulder region of the other garments described and on the body, nothing of remarkable character is noted. The largest hole here is approximately 1 inch across.

Item #5 is the second part of the underwear described as Item #4. It is long-legged, and has a small area which is laced in the rear. Nothing of remarkable is noted on this garment.

Item #6 is a pair of grey socks. These are not remarkable.

Item #7 is a pair of brown loafer type shoes having some large drops of orange paint on the right toe, and smaller drops on the left. There is, in addition, smaller drops of white paint on either shoe. No blood stains are identified.

SUMMARY: Examing clothing removed from the body of Ervin Oren Kaser reveals nothing remarkable with the exception of the blood stains and numerous perforations in the garments which overlay the wound found in the body of Ervin Kaser.

On the outer garments there is a scattering of small fragments of metal and glass, particularly in the region perforated by the projectiles found in the body of Mr. Kaser.

Oregon State Crime Laboratory, Homer H. Harris, M.D.:

RE: KASER, Ervin Oren – MURDER C.D.L. #7858

There is received from Deputy Sheriff Shaw of Marion County and Officer Riegel of Oregon State Police, a grey hat which was first seen on the body of Ervin Kaser while he was lying in the front seat of an automobile in front of his dwelling on February 17, 1955. This hat bears the initials “E.R.E” in green ink on the brim, “L.T.R.” in blue ink on the inside of the crown, and has the initials “E.O.K.” imprinted on the hat band. The hat is manufactured by Mallory, Size 7 1/8. It bears the distributor’s name, “Jayson’s, Salem, Oregon.” The brim of the hat in just about the exact front has been perforated with the perforation apparently coming up and striking on the under surface of the brim and coming through on top. There are numerous fibers which are displaced upward in this manner. The tear associated with this perforation is 3/4 of an inch across. The perforation itself is about 1/8 of an inch across. In the crown of the hat there is a through and through perforation about the region where the head would normally set in the hat. This perforation is 3 inches from the brim of the hat, one inch from the front edge of the crown. The perforation enters the left side of the hat, and goes out on the right. The point of exit is somewhat larger than the point of entry. A smaller perforation approximately 1/32nd of an inch across is found in approximately the mid-part of the crown on the left side. No point of exit for this perforation is found. The second perforation is 2 1/4 inches up from the brim, and 4 1/4 inches to the rear of the front of the crown. No blood stains are identified on this hat.

Friday, February 25, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00AM: On duty type up report

9:30AM: Discuss case with State Police and Sheriff Young

10:00AM: Attempt to contact Mr. Henry Wellman

10:40AM: Contact Henry Wellman. Doesn’t know of any guns belonging to Casper Oveross

12:00PM: Lunch at Cherry’s at Salem

12:45PM: Contact Charles Melvin Hopkins and obtain signed statement.

1:45PM: Contact Frank Sexton’s home, no one there.

2:45PM: Take signed statement from Robert Barnes, see statement.

4:00PM: Take a verbatum account of Harley DePeel note book.

5:00PM: Contact Sheriff and Sargeant Huffman reg. Activities

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 25 February 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Henry Wellman, 1320 Wodows Ave, Salem, Oregon relative to any information on guns owned by CASPER OVEROSS. Mr. Wellman stated that he only knew OVEROSS as a person to whom he spoke. He stated that he had lived next door to HENRY OVEROSS for years but had never became acquainted with CAPSER. He further stated that he knew nothing about his guns or whether he even had a rifle.

Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Mr. Frank Sexton, Rt 5 Box 416 Salem, Oregon. Mr. Sexton’s house is located at the head of the lane leading into the J. W. Gilham place, home of Daniel James Gilham. Mr. Sexton stated that he had heard a vehicle turn into the lane about 10:30 PM 17 February 1955 and assumed that it was the Gilham boy going home. Mr. Sexton further stated that he might have gone to sleep soon after the Gilham boy’s car turned in, but that he did not hear another car turn into the lane.

Sheriff Denver Young:

10:00 AM. Left office with Huffman and return 11:00 A.M.

 11:40 A.M. Sheriffs Office

Interview Mrs. & Mr. Henry Oveross of 514 S. Water St, Silverton.

Stated was not acquainted with Mr. or Mrs. Ervin Kaser.

Did not know whether Casper owned a rifle or not. Only knew of a 12 ga. shotgun.

States Danny Gilham and Colleen came to their home on 2/18/55 and only stayed about 5 or ten minutes.

Claims last fall Harley DePeel came to their house to inquire about a car that had been parked outside of the city (registered to Ethel Oveross)

2:00 P.M. Contacted Willie Verboort, Mt Angel, re: gun sales. Suggests seeing Ray Reuscher.

2:25 P.M. Contacted Ernie Crowder, no information.

2:35 P.M. Contacted Willie Bean, Mt. Angel, Ore. Knows Cap but hasn’t seen him for a long time. Doesn’t know about guns.

3:45 P.M. Contacted Mr. & Mrs. Kellerhals again. No new information.

5:10 Contacted Shaw & Reigel at Toney’s Cafe.

5:40 Contacted Jerry Hoyt to determine if Ervin Kaser might have been in Town House in early evening of 2/17/55.

Saturday, February 26, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

10:05 AM Served Subpoena, for Grand Jury, as Witness on Daniel James Gilham.

At this time writer asked Mr. Gilham if he would accompany writer into the Sheriff Office for an interview. Danny said he was helping innoculate some cattle and asked if it would be all right to come in about 1:00 PM or 1:30 PM. The Sheriff was contacted and advised that this was satisfactory.

10:10 AM Was advised by radio to keep an eye on Danny Gilham in the vicinity, and check on any one he may desire to contact.

10:30 AM Observed Danny GILHAM’S vehicle leave the RICHES farm where he was working, the vehicle turned south and drove directly to Danny’s home.

11:05 AM Observed Danny Gilham’s vehicle leave home and head towards Silverton.

11:15 AM Observed Danny Gilham’s vehicle in Silverton, at this time he had Colleen Oveross with him. Subject headed towards Sublimity again.

11:28 AM Stop Danny Gilham and his girl friend at the Evergreen School, subject stated he would take his girl friend home and come right on into town with us.

11:35 AM Pull up in back of Danny’s car in Oveross drive way, Colleen was observed jumping out of his car and running in the house, Danny was called over to our vehicle and said he would go right in with us, while he was talking to us Colleen was observed talking on the phone. Said he was going to tell Colleen he was leaving and went in the house and closed the door.

11:50 AM Advised the Sheriff of situation, and Sheriff ordered GILHAM picked up at the house and brought in. We were advised to go in the house and get him, that the Sheriff was ready to file a charge of Accessory After the Fact and was going to contact the District Attorney right now.

Subject was again contacted in the house and asked if he was willing to accompany us to the office. He stated I will be in at 1:30PM that was when you told me to be there. I informed him I was ordered by the Sheriff to bring him in now. Colleen Oveross stepped between us and stated that we couldn’t take him as her attorney had advised her we couldn’t take him unless we had papers to do so. I stated I didn’t have any papers but was taking him any way, as papers weren’t necessary. The Gilham boy again said I am willing to go with you. And again Colleen broke in and grabbed him and said my Attorney will be here in just a few minutes and you are not going to take him. I said ALL RIGHT THEN IF WE HAVE TO WE’LL PLACE HIM UNDER ARREST, the Gilham boy said no I’ll go along with you and stepped forward past the girl. I took him by the elbow and got between him and the girl and stepped out on the porch with him where I released his arm. Prior to getting in the car he started for his car and I told him we would take ours to leave his there. Prior to getting in the car the boy again expressed willingness to go along as soon as the other officer moved over in the seat. As he was getting in the seat of vehicle the Oveross girl yelled from the door way, “You don’t have to leave this property, Danny.” Danny willingly got in the car and a short distance from the house he was advised he was not under arrest and was coming along of his own free will. Gilham again stated his willingness to accompany us, and that he understood he wasn’t under arrest.

NOTE: AT NO TIME WAS ANY DEGREE OF FORCE USED IN HANDLING THE SUBJECT. NOR ANY MEASURE OF RESTRAINT APPLIED. THERE WAS NO MENTION OF ANY CHARGE SUBJECT WAS BEING PICKED UP FOR.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

At 10:05 AM 26 February 1955 Deputy Shaw accompanied by the writer served a subpoenia on DANIEL JAMES GILHAM and at this time asked him if he would return to Salem with Deputy Shaw and the writer for further questioning and verification of the statement previously given. GILHAM stated that he was assisting Mr. Richie at that time in a blood test of some cattle and would be in Salem at 1:00 PM date for further questioning by the Sheriff and Sgt Huffman. Sheriff Young was contacted by radio and stated to let the GHILHAM boy continue his work but to get into Salem as soon as possible.

At 10:10 AM 26 February 1955, Deputy Shaw and the writer were advised by Sheriff Young to keep a watch on the GILHAM boy to see where he went before he actually came to Salem. This was carried out. DANIEL JAMES GILHAM left the Richie place at 10:30 am and proceeded to his own home. At 11:05 AM GILHAM left his place and proceeded towards Silverton. This information was given to Sheriff Young by radio to which instructions were given by Sheriff Young that if the GILHAM boy stopped and picked up Colene Oveross to stop him and request that he come to the Sheriffs Office at that time. DANIEL GILHAM went to the Ethel Oveross residence and stayed about three minutes and left alone. GILHAM proceeded into Silverton and picked up COLENE OVEROSS at the Nu Method Cleaners and returned south towards the Ethel Oveross residence. This information was given to Sheriff Young by radio, to which instructions were given to stop the GILHAM boy and request that he come to the Sheriffs Office at that time. GILHAM was stopped and it was explained that we would like him to accompany the writer and Deptuy Shaw to the Sheriffs office at that time. GILHAM stated that he would go with us but that he would have to proceed to Ethel Oveross residence and let his girl out as she couldn’t drive. GILHAM proceeded to the Oveross residence, followed by the writer and Deputy Shaw. At the Oveross residence and while standing in the yard GILHAM again agreed to accompany the officers to Salem, and that he would tell his girl, COLENE OVEROSS, that he was going. He then changed his mind and stated that he wanted to wait thirty minutes and bring the girl along with him. He walked away and into the house. Deputy Shaw contacted Sheriff Young as to how far he was to go in getting GILHAM to come along. To this Sheriff Young stated to go inside and get the GILHAM boy and bring him to the Sheriffs Office, and that he was goint to contact District Attorney Brown and file a complaint for Accessory after the fact. The writer and Deputy Shaw went to the house and knocked on the front door. COLENE OVEROSS answered the door and the writer asked to speak to DANIEL GILHAM. GILHAM came to the door and again the writer asked him to come with him to the Sheriffs office. GILHAM started to walk to the door and COLENE OVEROSS stepped between the writer and GILHAM and stated that he did not have to go along as her Attorney had advised her this, and at the same time demanded to see the papers on which we were taking GILHAM with. The writer stated that if necessary a warrant could be obtained and GILHAM could be held. COLENE OVEROSS again spoke up and stated that we were not going to take DANIEL GILHAM as her attorney had stated that we could not take him and that Mr. Williams would be at her place in just a few minutes to stop this act. GILHAM stated that he was willing to go along, and again COLENE OVEROSS spoke up and stated that you are not taking GILHAM. Deputy Shaw then stepped inside the door close to GILHAM and COLENE OVEROSS and stated to the effect, “that if we have to we will place him under arrest.” GILHAM then stepped between the girl, COLENE OVEROSS, and Deputy Shaw and stated that he would go along. COLENE OVEROSS then took ahold of GILHAMS arm and held him back. GILHAM and Deputy Shaw came outside and to the vehicle. At the vehicle GILHAM was told that he was not under arrest and that we wanted him to go along under his own free will. GILHAM then stated that he was willing to go along and that he didn’t want to be placed under arrest. He was again advised that he was not under arrest and he stated that he realized this, and that he was willing to accompany Deputy Shaw and the writer to Salem, Oregon.

DANIEL JAMES GILHAM was taken to the Salem patrol office where he was talked to by Sheriff Denver Young and Sgt. Huffman.

On 26 February 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw served subpeonas [EK_note: to testify at the Grand Jury on Monday] on James W. and Mrs Gilham, Robert Barnes, Betty Hollin, Edith Kaser, Marvin [EK_note: Melvin] Kaser and Daniel James Gilham. Daniel James Gilham was asked by the above officers to accompany them to the State Police Office for further questioning. Gilham further stated that he would be at the office at 1:00 PM date. This was approved by Sheriff Young with further instructions that the officers should watch every move made by Gilham until he arrived at the State Police office. Gilham’s movements were observed and reported to Sheriff Young until he picked up Coleene Oveross. At this time Sheriff Young advised that Gilham be stopped and requested to come to the office immediately. While picking up Daniel James Gilham some difficulty was encountered, not with Gilham but with his girl friend Coleene Oveross, however this was settled and Gilham accompanied the officers to Salem where he was questioned by Sgt. Huffman and Sheriff Young.

Sheriff Denver Young:

12:30 noon, State Police headquarters.

Interview with Daniel J. Gilham, he accompanied officers Shaw & Reigel in for interview. Tape recording made of this interview by Lt. Farley Mogan of the State Police.

[EK_note: The interview with Danny Gilham was not in the County Sheriff's file, but was in the State Police file.  This post is already too long, so I'll post the text of the interview next time.]

He states that after he talked to Casper Oveross in his driveway, he met Colleen Oveross at the Harvey Kaser residence. Then they left there and drove to the Henry Anundson residence on Abiqua Creek. Stayed there until dawn. Gilham and Anundson went to Henry Oveross residence, then back to Anundson res. for breakfast. After breakfast he and Henry Anundson went over to the Ed. Schubert residence.

Also that 2/25/55 he went to Salem and talked to Bruce Williams then to the Payless Drug store where he waited for Colleen and Beverly Morrell and all three of them went to Corvallis to the game. Returned home about 1:00 AM 2/26/55.

3:00 P.M. Dropped Danny off at the Oveross house.

3:08 P.M. Served subpoena [EK_note: to testify at the Grand Jury on Monday] on Harvey Kaser.

February 27, 1955 2:18 P.M. Info. from Chief Norfleet that Casper Oveross may have been with the owner of a tavern from Scio.

3:15 P.M. With Huffman left for Scio.

4:10 P.M. In Scio.  Contacted J. J. Janota owner of the West Side Cafe. States that Casper worked for him before Christmas on some carpenter work and fireplace. Hasn’t seen him for over a month.

4:20 P.M. Contacted Mr. Carball McDaniel, bartender. Knows Casper only slightly. Has not seen him for about two months.

4:30 P.M. Contacted John W. Gear & Rockey’s Tavern in Scio, no information.

End of day.

Sheriff’s Deputy John T. Zabinski:

RE: Lanora Jaeschke

State hospital reports that Lanora Jaeschke was committed to the hospital by a court order on 11-16-44.

Released to her husband George Jaeschke on 12-12-45. They then lived in Silverton, Oregon.

The Statesman, Saturday, Feb 26, 1955
Slaying Case Set for Grand Jury Monday
Casper Oveross, Silverton carpenter charged with first degree murder, will go before a Marion County Grand Jury Monday, District Attorney Kenneth Brown announced Friday in a surprise legal move. Previously, the next step in the case was to have been a preliminary hearing next Wednesday.

The calling of the grand jury for 9:30 a.m. Monday was made over strenuous objections by Oveross’ attorney, Bruce Williams, Salem.  It brought on a tense legal skirmish before Marion County District Judge Edward O. Stadter Jr. late Friday afternoon. Williams called the move “an attempt to deprive my client of the right of a preliminary hearing in the hope of gaining a grand jury indictment on the charge.”

Denies Charge

Brown denied Williams’ charge and said that he was only speeding justice.  Oveross, 44, is in Marion County jail charged with the rifle slaying of his one-time neighbor, Ervin O. Kaser, Silverton hop farmer, on Feb. 17.

Brown said Friday the state is ready to present its case to the grand jury and that he expects to call 15 or 16 witnesses, perhaps more, to testify on Monday.

Maintains Innocence

The 49-year old Kaser was shot to death in his car just after arriving at his home near Silverton a week ago Thursday night.  Oveross, who lives near the Kaser farm, was arrested and charged Tuesday.  He was arraigned in district court on the murder charge Wednesday.  Oveross, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, is being held without bail.

Sheriff Denver Young and deputies reportedly were in the Silverton area Friday night to serve subpoenas on persons slated to testify before the grand jury.

*********************************************

Blogically yours,

Everett

2 thoughts on “Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 4)

  1. I keep waiting for some part of the events that took place to suddenly make sense, but the developments are just seeming to go further down the rabbit hole..

    Also very interesting perspective of police proceedings then as compared to now. Yikes!

    • We’ll get there, but yes, the police had to “spin their wheels” for a while, trying to track down enough further evidence that a grand jury would accept. And yes, “CSI” was pretty primitive 60 years ago! :-)

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