Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 11)

With the records from Ames (Hande’s) Hardware, the police renew their efforts to show that Casper Oveross did have a 30-30 Winchester model 94 hunting rifle, despite his claims to the contrary.

Tuesday, March 15, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty

9:10 AM Leave with Officer Riegel to make contacts in Silverton area

9:50 AM Contact Lee Kuenzi,

Remembers going hunting with Lund Bros., and Noah Weneger, Cliff Kuenzi, believes it was during Elk season 1949. Also stated he thinks that he could find the place they were target shooting on the trip.

Said he remembered that Noah Wenger had put aside the 8MM he had been using because it Jammed on him. Thought that the other gun Noah used was a 30-30 caliber Carbine, new gun, lever action.

10:20 AM Contact Clifford Kuenzi home again for additional details as to time went on Elk hunting trip. Cliff stated that they went on the trip 13 November 1949. Also stated that people in the community are getting a little worried for Wayne Moore, and sounds as if Casper Oveross has done some talking.

Further revealed that Hanson had the information on night we talked with him that Gilham had heard Casper Oveross say Ervin had 3 slugs in him, however they didn’t tell us.

11:10 AM Contact Alvin Lund, Stated that Noah Wenger had borrowed a 30-30 Carbine from Casper Oveross to be used on Elk Hunting trip, also had a 8MM he was using. Stated he was not with Noah when he got Cap’s gun.

12:05 PM Contact Alfred Von Flue stated he was on the hunting trip and remembers others on trip. Had talked over with Cliff Kuenzi, about Caps gun being on the trip and seems to remember it.

12:30 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Sheriff Office

2:50 PM Contact Mr. James Sullivan, Stayton, knows Casper Oveross and has worked with him doesn’t know any thing about family troubles, nor any thing about Cap’s rifle.

3:30 PM Contact Kolstads Cannery Silverton reg address of 2 contacts.

4:10 PM Contact Lloyd B Larson stated he has known Casper Oveross for several years doesn’t know of Cap’s guns doesn’t know of Cap’s marriage difficulties.

Says he has just finished fixing up Cap’s income tax report form, and he still claims Ethel Oveross for the entire year 1954, advised Cap he couldn’t do it however Cap insisted that was the way he wanted it made out. Also that Cap never made over 1000 Dollars in Wages last year. Most of money was derived from property sales.

[EK_note: here’s a third instance of Shaw re-reporting a day’s activities, shown below]

8:00 AM On duty

9:10 AM Leave Office with Officer Riegel to make contacts in Silverton Area.

9:50 AM Contact Lee Kuenzi Remembers going hunting with Lund Bros and Noah Weneger & Cliff Kuenzi. Believed to have been during Elk season 1949. Also remarked that he though he could find the spot they had been target shooting. Said he remembers Weneger had put aside the 8MM Mouser he had been using because it Jammed on him, and thought that the other gun he used was a 30-30 Caliber Carbine lever action rifle.

10:20 AM Contact Clifford Kuenzi home again for additional details as to time he went Elk hunting and Cap’ Oveross rifle was taken along. Hunting trip was 13th. Of Nov. 1949. People in community are getting a little worried for Wayne Moore, and it sounds as if Cap’ Oveross has done some talking. Also stated that Hanson had the information that Cap’ had contacted Danny Gilham night of murder however Hanson never told us when we contacted him. Hanson had the Info. night after the Murder.

11:10 AM Contact Alvin Lund, stated that Noah Weneger had borrowed a 30-30 Cal. Carbine, from Casper Oveross the time all went Elk hunting in 1949. Stated that Noah also had a 8 MM rifle he used. Stated he was not with Noah when he borrowed the gun from Cap.

12:05 PM Contact Alfred Von Flue Stated he was on the hunting trip and more or less verified the information given by Cliff Kuenzi.

12:30 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Sheriff Office

2:50 PM Contact Jr. James Sullivan, knows Cap’ and has worked with him. Doesn’t know any thing about guns of Cap’s. Nor any of Cap’s family troubles.

3:30 PM Contact Kolstad Cannery, Silverton and obtain Address of some people whom used to work in there and we have to contact.

4:10 PM Contact Lloyd B Larson, stated he has known Cap Oveross for several years, doesn’t know any thing about Cap’s guns. Doesn’t know Cap’ marriage difficulties.

Says he has just finished fixing out Cap Oveross Income Tax return for last year, and Cap’ Claims Ethel Oveross for the entire year of 1954. He told Cap’ he couldn’t get away with it but Cap’ had him fix it up that way. Also that Cap’ never made over 1000 dollars in Wages during 1954, most of income come from Property sales.

4:36 PM Contact Chief Buck Main, Silverton. Reports Don Maulding’s Brother was shot at last week. Will attempt to get name of brother and all information available to ascertain if it has any bearing on this case.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 15 March 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Lee Kuenzi. Lee Kuenzi was one of the members of the hunting party referred to by Cliffor Kuenzi. Lee Kuenzi stated he remembered the hunting party and to the best of his knowledge that it was in the first part of November 1949. He stated that he remembered Noah Winiger and the fact that Noah Winiger had taken two rifles on this hunting trip. He believed that one rifle was a 8mm bolt action that he had borrowed from a Emanual Kellerhal and that the other was a 30-30 carbine that he had borrowed from Casper Oveross. Lee Kuenzi stated that he did not shoot this rifle, however, there was some target practising in the area and that he was quite sure that this gun had been used in the target practising. When questioned as to the exact location of the target practise, Lee Kuenzi stated that he was quite sure that he could return to the exact spot as it was only a short distance from their camping area in eastern Oregon. He further stated that he believed the 30-30 used by Noah Winiger was the only 30-30 in the crowd that was used at the time of target practise.

Clifford Kuenzi was then contacted for more specific information and for the date which he in the previous reports stated that he would get. Clifford Kuenzi stated that they had left Silverton on 13 November 1949 and that the above mentioned group had gone in his truck and had hauled a jeep belonging to Alfred Vonflue. Clifford Kuenzi also stated that he was quite sure that he could return to the exact spot of the target shooting. However, it was in the Wallowa Mountains and it would be snowed in at this time of year. He stated to the best of his knowledge and remembrance the target practise was across a valley into a side of a bank approximately 300 yards and that there had been two or three small rocks laying against this bank into which they had shot. The question came about as a result of a elk walking by this area and that no one had shot because they thought the distance was to great for a 30-30 rifle to carry, however during the target practise dust was kicked up in this area and they were quite sure that the shots had been fairly close to the rocks. Clifford Kuenzi gave information that while visiting with the Monroe Hanson residence that Hanson’s had stated that they were quite worried since Casper Oveross had been released and they felt some danger for themselves but more for the Wayne Moore’s as Casper Oveross had made statements showing his dislike for Wayne and Mrs. Moore. Hanson’s further stated that the day following the shooting 17 February 1955 that Mrs. Hanson while talking with Ethel Oveross had been advised that Cap Oveross had been at the Gilham residence shortly after the shooting on 17 February 1955 and that he had attempted to establish an alibi for his time by telling Danny Gilham Ervin Kaser had three slugs in him and that Danny Gilham would be his alibi. It was also the opinion of Monroe Hanson that Casper Oveross had left his gun at the Gilham residence at that time and that Gilham had taken the gun some place and hid it or taken it to another party when he was called at 3:00 A. M. on the morning of 18 February 1955 by Colene Oveross. Mr. Kuenzi stated that he had no definite information of this and that this had devloped during a conversation with Mr. Hanson and as far as he knew Mr. Hanson had no definite information. That it was merely his opinion or thoughts.

Mr. Kuenzi further stated that he was quite sure that several people in the Dutchman Flats area had valuable information relative to this case and information that the police should have. But that they were very reluctant to give this information and he is quite sure that they will never come to the police and volunteer the information, however, if they are contacted they may give what information they have. He further stated that he himself had thought considerable of coming to the police with his information relative to the gun and that he had decided not to contact the police himself, however, if he was contacted by the police that he would give what information he had. He feels that most of the people in this area are of the same thought relative to the case.

Alfred Lund and Alvin Lund and Melvin Lund were all contacted relative to the hunting trip referred to by Clifford Kuenzi. The Lund boys admitted that they had knowledge that Noah Winiger had borrowed a 30-30 carbine from Casper Oveross to use on this hunting trip. They stated that they were under the opinion that Winiger was to use Emanual Kellerhals 8mm Mauser, but Casper’s gun was to be used only in a case of failure of the 8mm. The 8mm did fail to function and Noah Winiger had used Casper Oveross’ rifle a major portion of the hunting trip.

Alford Vonflue was also contacted, stated that he had gone on the hunting trip. Stated that he was not a hunter and that it was the first time that he had ever hunted and that he had more or less gone along just for the enjoyment of being outside. Stated that he did not own a rifle and that he had borrowed a rifle, a 30-30 carbine from Alvin Lund. He further stated that he knew very little about guns but while on the hunting trip he was comparing the 30-30 carbine that he was carrying with that being carried by Noah Winiger. He stated that the guns were exactly the same as near as he could tell. The gun actually carried by Alford Vonflue was a 30-30 Winchester carbine model 94 belonging to Alvin Lund.

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

9:40 A.M. Contacted Beth Mulkey, 590 Browning Ave., Never heard any comments about shooting. Anything that she might have said was purely for conversation.

5:15 P.M. Contacted Mrs. Mary Kaser at office. She states that Ervin wanted her to wait and let him file for divorce first. He has seen her twice since she left him and has asked her for dates which she refused. Also wanted her address.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Young and writer contacted Floyd Mulkey, proprietor of Maude and Andy’s Tavern, S. 12th Street, Salem, Oregon, on information of a story we received Casper Oveross was known at that tavern also that the lady bartender in that tavern had made a statement that the Kellerhal’s were not telling all that they knew. In contacting Floyd Mulkey he stated that he knew Casper Oveross but not too well and he knew him when he lived at Silverton. Mr. Mulkey coming to Salem from Silverton. He stated that he knows for sure that Casper Oveross was not in his tavern on the night of February 17, 1955. He stated he could supply no further information on Casper Oveross about any guns or anything he might know concerning Ervin Kaser’s death.

Contacted Mrs. Beth Mulkey, wife of Floyd Mulkey, who tends bar at the Maude and Andy’s Tavern. She stated she was formally from Silverton and she knew Casper Oveross. Also that she just knew the Kellerhals slightly. She stated that the remark about them not telling everything they knew was just conversation as she did not know anything about the Kellerhals at all. She stated that Casper Oveross had been in their tavern in Salem but this was a considerable time before the shooting. She stated he had never mentioned any of his family troubles and she though it was about two months prior to the shooting that he was in their tavern. She stated she does not remember making the remark about the Kellerhals but if she did it was just conversation and there was no meaning to the statement.

Sheriff Denver Young contacted Mrs. Mary Kaser on 15 March 1955 and she stated, through permission of her attorney Ray Rhotan, that Casper Oveross had been to see her three times at the Capitol building where she is employed by the Secretary of State office besides the once he visited her at the house on July 4, 1954. Sheriff Young also stated that Mrs. Kaser advised him that Ervin Kaser had met her at her parking lot near the apartment where she lived and they talked concerning their divorce actions. She stated that Ervin Kaser contacted her on January 19, 1955 at the parking lot in back of the apartment, also again on February 11, 1955 in the same place. At that time he said that he would see her again on the 18th of February 1955. She stated that Ervin Kaser told her one time that he did no plan on marrying anyone and when she had questioned him concerning Ethel Oveross he told her that she had been listening to too many rumors. When questioned by Sheriff Young as to why he made so many contacts she stated that he tried to make advances to her and she may have permitted him to if she had not been in her menstrual period. She believed that Ervin Kaser might have been planning on giving up Ethel Oveross.

Wednesday, March 16, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty

8:30 AM Sheriff Office

9:00 AM Discuss case and leads in Sheriff Office

10:00 AM Search lumber and area around property previously belonging to Casper Oveross on Golf Course Rd. Finding nothing of signifigance.

11:00 AM Contact Danny Potter Kolstad’s Cannery.

Danny knows Cap and Ethel Oveross and Ervin Kaser, never saw Ervin pick Ethel up or try to contact her at the Cannery. Knows Cap and knows he goes hunting however knows nothing of his Fire-arms.

Floor lady Wanda Schultz on Edison Rd., Silverton. Stated to D. Potter that Ethel and Ervin were going together.

1:30 PM Contact Mrs. Calvin Kaser

2:00 PM Contact Calvin Kaser at S&M Trucking Co. Silverton. Venita Mc-Morris told Calvin that Cap Oveross had been to the State House 3 times prior to the Murder, and contacted May Kaser there. Ted Finlay told Calvin that Wayne Moore had even been accused of going with or helping some else go with Mary, accused by Cap.

Calvin saw Ervin and Ethel in Salem and this was April or May, 1954. Ethel was confronted with this and strongly denied it at the time. After the murder she admits it was her with Ervin that Calvin saw.

[EK_note: In 2002, my parents Calvin and Wilma Kaser, remembered it this way:]

Calvin: The first instance that we had of it… I was driving truck for S&M Truck Line, and every Tuesday and Friday, I had a route in Salem, we’d take freight over, and we’d pick up freight. And most of the time, that was one of my jobs, to go to Salem and pick up freight. This day I went to Salem, and I was going down what now would be 12th and Mission, before all the reconfiguration, you gotta remember, this was back in the 1950’s. I came up to the stop sign, and I had to stop, and I was in a cab-over truck, you sat up pretty high in this truck. And you looked down at the cars. And I looked down [to the right, to the car stopped on the street coming in from the right], and here was Ervin and Ethel Oveross, and Ethel, oh god, she just scoots down and tries to hide.

Wilma: I was along. I don’t remember why, but I was along with you. That was a Friday, and that night there was something going on out at Evergreen School, and we were getting ready to go out there. Before we left, Ervin was at our door.

Calvin: He never said anything about it, but it was the one and only time he ever came to our house. He was a guy who could be just as nice as Peaches and Cream. He wanted to find out if I was going to say anything, but he never said anything. He talked there for a little while, then left because we said we were going somewhere.

2:45 PM Pick up 30-30 Cal. Carbine from Calvin Kaser Serial 1306368, give receipt for the gun, and hold for a Ballistics. Also 2 30-30 shells Live Ammo. mark & Identify.

3:25 PM Check with Derald Maulding, regarding shot fired at him on 9 March 1955, Subject was at first reluctant to talk and didn’t know any thing about any shot being fired. Later remembered and admitted to having been driving along looking at some Timber he wanted to buy. He had just stopped the Jeep when a shot rang out and the bullett missed the top of Jeep about 2 inches in front of window. Didn’t believe it was intentional, however did state if it was intented for him it was over a Lumber deal, and wouldn’t talk further on the subject.

Stated that he was positive that the incident had nothing to do with the E. Kaser Murder.

Doesn’t know Kaser but is a good friend of Cap’ Oveross and wont say any thing of value to us about Cap’.

4:30 PM Contact D.D. Kuenzi. No additional information

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 16 March 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Darrel Maulding, Star Rt., Silverton. Information had previously been received that Darrel Maulding had been shot at some time between the 17th of February 1955 and the 12th of March 1955. It had also been determined that Darrel Maulding was a good friend of Casper Oveross. When Darrel Maulding was questioned relative to his having been shot at, Maulding denied the fact. Maulding was asked if he had been shot at would he admit it? Maulding stated that he would not, that it was none of the business of the police, that it was a personal private problem of his own and that he felt until it was reported to the police that it was none of their business. Taking this as a point to work on the writer then questioned Maulding as to whether the shots were connected with the Ervin Kaser case. To this Maulding stated that they were not in any way connected with the Ervin Kaser case. Using this as admitting that the shot had been fired the writer questioned Maulding as to why the shot had been fired at him. He stated that a few days ago while looking at a piece of timber that a shot had been fired in front of his vehicle and that it struck a tree, stated that he was quite sure that this was over the timber that he was trying to underbid another man and that there had been quite some hate and arguments over this timber. There was nothing to indicate through the questioning that there was any connection between the Ervin Kaser case and the shots having been fired at Darrel Maulding.

Maulding was asked to point out the tree in which this slug had landed. Maulding stated that the slug did not land in the tree that it hit the tree, knocked off the bark and glanced off and he further stated that he would not point out the tree where the shot was fired as he still did not feel that it was any of our business and if we would possibly find the slug, or if we found the slug, might try to make an issue out of the shooting and that it was connected strictly with the lumber deal and not with Ervin Kaser or Casper Oveross in any way.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Young and writer contacted Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Kaser, Rt. 1, Box 198, Silverton, on March 16, 1955. They stated that they knew the suspect Casper Oveross but they had never visited with him and did not know what kind of guns he might have. Calvin Kaser stated that at one time he observed Ervin Kaser and Ethel Oveross in Salem. He does not recall the time but they were together and he observed just as they drove by in Ervin’s car.

Mrs. Calvin Kaser stated that Mary Kaser, wife of Ervin, had told her that Casper Oveross was in to see her three times where she is employed at the Secretary of State’s office. This was relative to their divorce proceedings. He had supposedly told Mary Kaser that he had considerable information on Ervin Kaser and Ethel Oveross going out together. She stated that Edith Kaser, wife of Harvey Kaser, mentioned that Casper Oveross used to watch Ethel when she got off work at the cannery, during last summer, where she was employed there working nights. She stated Casper used to hang around and watch her when she got off work to see where she may have gone before going home. She also stated that she had heard that Ethel had forbid Casper to come on the place since Ervin Kaser had been shot.

Calvin Kaser stated he owned a 30-30 Winchester model 94 carbine rifle and that the would voluntarily submit it for ballistic test. Check showed this rifle to be a 30-30 Winchester model 94 carbine, serial #1306368. This rifle was picked up and a receipt given and was taken to the crime laboratory for ballistic tests by Officer Riegel and Deputy Sheriff Shaw. Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Kaser could supply no other information on Casper Oveross or Ervin Kaser.

Contacted an Alvis Bruner, 514 W. Main Street, Silverton, former employe of Ervin Kasers, relative to information that he might know considerable about Ervin Kaser and Ethel Oveross. He stated he worked for Ervin over a period of approximately six years and that he never at any time knew that Ervin and Ethel were going out together. He stated that when Ethel was driving tractor for Ervin at the hop fields that whenever Ervin went over there to see her, how she was getting along, the lights on the tractor would go out and Ervin always said that there was a short in the light system. He stated that he did not think this was unusual as the lights did occasionally short out when the hop vines had covered the wiring. He stated he could supply no information of Casper Oveross as he did not know him very well nor could he supply any information of any gun he may own.

Contacted Recruit State Police Officer Frank Dederick, who stated that a Robert Barnes had told him that a subject by the name of Ben Eckley had sighted Casper Oveross’ gun in one time when they were target practising on Casper Oveross’ place. He stated some time just prior to last hunting season, possibly in the last two weeks of September 1954, that he had gone up to Casper Oveross’ bean yard to do some shooting to target his rifle in. He stated that he was suppose to meet some others up there but no one showed up so he started shooting at targets. He said he had been there a short while when Casper Oveross came over and watched him. Then Casper Oveross went back towards his car and was gone for a short time and then came down again with a rifle. Dederick said it was a short barreled carbine like our state police rifles. He stated it was a lever action. He further stated that Casper Oveross and he target practised there for a short time and that he had shot the rifle of Casper’s about three times. He stated it seemed to shoot straight but he was not accustomed to shooting it so he did not make a very good score. He further stated that when he was practising there with Casper Oveross that he was using a 30-06. He stated that this time was approximately a week prior to the time that he was out there shooting with Ben Eckley and the others. He stated it was either the Saturday or Sunday before he was with Ben Eckley.

[EK_NOTE: Casper Oveross’s “bean yard” would have been on the 20 acres on the south side of Finlay Road (the old Golf Course Road), south of Harvey Kaser’s place.  That 20 acres ran downhill to Drift Creek, and the land on the other side of the creek rapidly rises back up, providing a reasonably safe backdrop for target practice.]

Contacted a Benjamin Eckley, Rt. 1, Box 119, Silverton, who is employed at the Credit Production Corporation in Salem. He stated he was at what is known as the Barnes Bean Yard target shooting just before hunting season. He believes it was the last week of September 1954. He believes it to be the 19th of September 1954 but he is not sure. He stated the date could be checked as the Sublimity rifle club had a contest that same day. He stated that he was in charge of the practise session out there and those present were Herb Barnes, Robert Barnes, Richard Barnes, Dr. E L. Hinkle, Frank Dederick and an Oswald Johnson, Stayton, Carol Nelson of Salem and George Fullenwider, credit corporation in Salem. He stated they all had individual targets and that Casper Oveross was not there that day. He stated that he thought Frank Dederick was mistaking about Casper Oveross being there on the day they were all target practising. He stated he shot most of the rifles that were there to check if they were sighted in and he does not remember shooting Casper Oveross’ rifle. He stated they left there about 5:00 P. M. in the afternoon and went to Herbert Barnes place to plan a hunting trip.

Benjamin Eckley stated that between March 25 and April 25, 1954 that he was at Casper Oveross’ place and there was a carbine 30-30 rifle where he was building his new house in back of the old house. He stated it was standing up by his carpenter tools. It was either a 30-30 or a 32 special carbine. He believes that it was equipped with a saddle ring but he was not sure. He stated it looked old, like it had seen lots of service or was poorly cared for.

Deputy Sheriff Shaw, Officer Riegel, Sheriff Young, Recruit Dederick and writer checked the area where Frank Dederick and Casper Oveross reportedly shot the targets at the bean yard on the Casper Oveross place just off the Golf Course Road. Check the area where the firing was taking place and was unable to locate any empty casings from any type of guns that might have been fired. Checked the target area and it showed the targets were placed on bean posts spaced at approximately ten foot intervals. The targets appeared to be quite old. Check of the bean posts revealed that most of the shells were fired and went completely through the posts and across Drift Creek and into some brush on the bank on the other side. Check of the trees in that area showed some bullet holes in the trees and the bullets stayed inside with no indication that they had come out of the trees. A later check in that area may reveal some bullets still inbeded in the trees near Drift Creek and directly behind the target. Some of the targets were initialed H. B. which is presumably is Herbert Barnes. Others are not initialed.

[date uncertain] State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Young and writer contacted the James Gilham residence in an effort to contact Danny Gilham for other information. We learned that Daniel Gilham had left to go to Toledo, Oregon, to look for work. His mother, Mrs. Ginny Gilham, stated that he has a cousin in Toledo by the name of Allen Parton who is a mill right or mechanic foreman at the C. D. Johnson Lumber Company. She stated that Daniel did not get a job there he would return to their residence that night but if he secured work that he planned on staying over and would be home on the weekend. She stated that he also has another cousin there by the name of Ernie Parton. Mrs. Gilham was requestioned concerning Casper Oveross’ actions on the night of 17 February 1955 when he came to their house about 11:00 P. M. and she stated that she watched the car turn around in their driveway, as she had heard that Casper drank and she wondered if he was drinking that night, if he would be able to make it. She stated that she saw that he drove off alright and that as he went out the driveway towards the road that she lay down on the bed and did not see which way the car went after it left their place. She stated it sounded like it drove out like the other cars do out towards the highway. She stated that Colene Oveross and two men who identified themselves as Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones came to their place and wanted information on what they had told the police. They would not give them any information as they said the D. A. advised them not to talk with anyone about it. She stated Mr. Williams wanted to know what they would do if the police picked up Danny and they told him they would not hold him unless he needed holding and they were trying to threaten them through Danny. She stated Colene did not appear very angry towards them at that time.

Thursday, March 17, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty

8:30 AM Sheriff Office

10:35 AM Contact Ed Crosby Rt 1 Box 263 Woodburn Oregon

Saw Ervin Kaser about 1 week before Death in Salem before the Capitol Drug Store. Talked about Hop crops, and Ervin stated that he and Brother Harvey hated each other, didn’t give reason for dislike.

Saw Harvey last Spring 1954 and Harvey said that he and Ervin hated each other and didn’t speak.

Doesn’t know Casper Oveross at all

12:20 PM Contact Ed Norton Forrest Grove Oregon, Manager of J.C. Penney’s store. Knows Cap’ Oveross and had him do some work on his house was employed for about 1 month. Last worked for him in Jan 1955. Doesn’t know any thing about Cap’s rifles. Never worked for Ames Hardware store in Silverton (Now Hande’s Hardware) Doesn’t know Ervin Kaser to the best of his knowledge.

2:15 PM At state Crime Lab. Ralph Proudy, leave Rifle of Calvin Kaser Ser. 1306368 Also 2 30-30 Cal. Rifle shells marked and Identified. Also leave fragment of Bullett recovered near scene of Fatal Shooting of Ervin Kaser 2-17-55 signed D. Young. Also 1 30-30 Cal Rifle Serial 361221 from Melvin Kaser and 3 Shells submitted by Melvin Kaser with rifle.

4:30 PM Contact Sheriff and Sarg. Huffman at Silverton

5:00 PM Go out to Target area in attempt to locate Shell casings or bulletts supposedly where Cap’ Oveross had been shooting. Unable to locate any shell casings or lead bulletts.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 17 March 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer took to the the crime laboratory a 30-30 Winchester carbine #1306368 belonging to Calvin Kaser and a 30-30 Winchester Model 94 octagon barrel #361221 belonging to Melvin Kaser, the bullet found in the Melvin Kaser strawberry patch and the two casings found by the writer on the Casper Oveross property. On the way to Portland Edgar Crosby, Rt. 1, Woodburn, hopgrower was contacted relative to his association with Ervin Kaser and any knowledge he may have pertaining to this case. Crosby stated that he had known Ervin Kaser several years and had been strictly a business relationship in hop growing and hop drying. Stated that he had no knowledge of Ervin Kaser family problems, kaser had never talked of family problems and that he did not know whether Ervin Kaser was married, divorced or just what his status was. Stated that he had no knowledge of Casper Oveross other than what he had read in newspapers.

Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Ed Norton, assistant manager J. C. Penny Store, Forrest Grove, Oregon. Ed Norton stated that he knew Casper Oveross and that Casper Oveross had done some building for him during the first part of January 1955 while he was still the assistant manager of the J. C. Penny Store in Silverton. He stated the only comment Casper had ever made was that he could live cheaper under the present conditions than he could while living with his family at their home place. He also stated that in 1954 during the pheasant season while talking with Casper Oveross relative to this building project and securing some plans for the building project that he had mentioned pheasant hunting and Cap had stated that he had a model 97 Winchester pump 12 guage shotgun and that he would like to go hunting with Edgar Norton some time if the opportunity arose. He further stated that he did not know if Casper Oveross had a deer rifle that he had never seen it and had never talked deer hunting as he himself did not care to hunt for deer.

Crime laboratory was contacted the above mentioned articles were left with Ralph Purdy for ballistic checks and other checks necessary.

Upon return to the Silverton area Deputy Shaw and the writer assisted Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman in the search of the bean yard which lays along the Golf Course Road, south side of the road and on the rear of the Barnes property. This bean yard actually lays between the Barnes property and the land previously owned by Casper Oveross. Information received from Frank Dederick, State Police Officer, Salem, revealed that some time prior to the hunting season in 1954 that he and Casper Oveross had done target shooting in this area. A check of the area failed to locate any bullets or casings from the target shooting. Additional report by Sergeant Huffman will cover this in more detail.

Sergeant Huffman and the writer on the evening of 17 March 1955 contacted Mr. and Mrs. Emanual Kellerhal for additional information and for an actual view from their bedroom window to the spot where they believe and had previously stated that the slayers vehicle was standing. Detailed information will be covered by Sergeant Huffman’s report.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

On this date Sheriff Young and writer contacted Joseph Schmidgall whose new address is Rt. 2, Box 280, Silverton, Oregon. He stated that he and his wife visited with Kellerhals and on leaving they turned by the Evergreen School and went up over the hill to the Brush Creek School Road and across and home which is closer than going through Silverton. He stated they left the Kellerhal residence between 10:00 and 10:15 P. M. on 17 February 1955 and that they never noticed any cars going by when they left also never saw any cars parked when they turned at Evergreen School, did not remember any cars on the back road at all that night. He stated that if there had been any cars that he knew he would have remembered it as he knew Casper Oveross’ car which he described as a blue 1950 or 1951 Ford, he believed it to be a two door sedan. He stated that they went to Kellerhals that night to put antifreeze in the truck and they started the truck and left it run for about fifteen minutes and this was around 9:00 or 9:15 P. M., he was guessing on that time as he never looked at a clock. He stated that there were no cars went by as they were out working on the truck, at least any that he recognized. He stated he did not know if Cap had a rifle but Casper did tear down a building at Lyons which he thought was a dry kiln and he had some lumber to sell and they bought some of this lumber. Also he stated that the truck driver that went up to haul the lumber was a Jim Lawrensen, Silverton. He stated that Lawrensen may know Casper and also that Casper may be acquainted around Lyons.

On March 17, 1955 Officer Riegel and writer contacted Mrs. Kellerhal, who stated that she had received third hand information that a Mel Torresdall, Rt. 2, Silverton, had heard that a businessman in Mt. Angel had seen Casper Oveross in Mt. Angel on the night of 17 February 1955 and that he had asked him what he was doing in Mt. Angel and Oveross supposedly replied “I’m looking for a son-of-a-bitch and it’s going to be to bad for him if I find him”. She stated she would rather her name not be used but be treated as a confidential informant. Mrs. Kellerhal was assured that her name would not be brought to the investigation as far as where the information came from.

In re-inacting their movements on the night of February 17, 1955, Mrs. Kellerhal stated that upon hearing the first shot she jumped out of bed and went to the front bedroom window which faces the main highway that goes directly past their place. She stated that as she glanced out she looked to her left, which would be north towards Silverton, and observed a car parked beyond their truck in the other driveway that goes into the field. She stated that as she looked at this car she saw three more flashes which appeared to be blasts from a rifle with the other three shots. She stated it would only have taken her two seconds or three seconds at the most to get out of bed and get to the window. She stated that she then looked over toward Kaser’s driveway and observed his car sitting in the driveway with the headlights on and the dome light on inside. She stated her husband had also jumped out of bed and went to the window approximately the same time she did. She stated after the shots they had waited a few moments and debated as to what to do then they went to the phone and called Ervin Kaser’s residence. She stated she dialed 925 then hung up and let the phone ring two or three times and in getting no answer she took the receiver off the hook and they looked out the window again to see if there was any activity around Kaser’s car. She stated they then called Ervin’s house again and let the phone ring again for two or three times and still no answer. She stated she took the receiver off the hook, got the dial tone and dialed Melvin Kaser’s number which is 929. She stated she let the phone ring twice then she took the reciever off the hook and someone, a man, said “Hello”. She stated she asked inquiringly “Mel” and he said “No, you have the wrong nuymber” and hung up. She stated as he hung up Koreta Kaser came on the line and she stated she told her someone was shooting at Ervin. She had asked her what to do. She stated Koreta said “Oh, let’s forget it and go to bed”. She said she hung up then and they both, she and her busband, went to bed. She stated they decided to wait ten minutes and if Ervin’s lights did not go off they would take some other action. She stated they were in bed a short while, approximately two or three minutes or maybe longer, and the phone rang. She got up and answered it and it was Melvin. She stated that Emanuel, her husband, and Melvin were talking just as the clock struck 11 chimes for 11:00 P. M. She stated they repeated the information given to Melvin’s wife and that he said he would call Officer Depeal at Silverton. She stated looking up their phone numbers in the book and fumbling around in the dark in the house and their other actions would have taken at least 10 minutes and not more than 15 minutes.

Contacted Charlotte Moore, 15 years, Rt. 3, Box 111, Silverton, daughter of Wayne Moore. She stated she goes to Silverton High School and that she is a close friend of Karen Oveross and that she knew Colene when she was going to high school, but they did not chase around together. She stated the date that Deputy Sheriff Shaw and Officer Riegel came out to Colene Oveross’ house to pick up Danny Gilham that she had been there that day but not while the officers had picked him up. She stated she got down there after Danny had been taken in. She stated she had to take some milk down that day as they bought milk from them and that Karen was there alone when she got there. She stated that Karen was mad because they had taken Danny by force and just because he had a 30-30 rifle. She stated she was there when Colene returned with the two attorneys from Salem and that Colene was very mad and she mentioned something about Mrs. Gilham, the old biddy, being on the side of the law. She stated that the attorneys wanted Colene to get the names of everyone who was on the Kellerhal’s phone line and that she, Charlotte Moore, helped Colene get these names. She stated that Colene phoned her boss that afternoon as she was suppose to go to Portland with her boss. Charlotte Moore stated she asked Colene what she was going to Portland with him for, Colene replied “shopping”. She stated she told Colene “Oh, pardon me for asking” as she knew she had said the wrong thing from Colene’s attitude. She stated that the attorneys also told Colene to have Danny call them as soon as he got out. She stated there was nothing else said and they did not talk very much while she was around.

Contacted Wayne Moore, Rt. 3, Box 111, Silverton, who stated that old man Kaser, Ervin’s father, was having an affair with Ervin’s wife. He stated this information came to him through Harvey’s wife to Ethel Oveross who had told it to him and his wife. He stated that he had seen old man Kaser’s car parked at Mary Kaser’s place while Ervin had been gone and he knew that the old man Kaser’s wife, or Ervin’s mother, was home working outside. He stated he has seen that car parked there many times and he often wondered about it. He stated old man Kaser would probably not get to old to have an affair with a woman as he was pretty well of the same type as Ervin. He stated he has been hunting with Casper Oveross and that Casper has a 30-30 rifle carbine and he said he hunted with him about three years ago. He had the same gun when he hunted with him two years ago. He stated that Bill Specht and Floyd Staiger were along then.

[EK_NOTE: there will be some more about Ervin’s father Fred visiting with Mary in next week’s post.]

He stated that he was not aware what the term 150 grain or 170 grain bullet was until just lately. He stated he always thought that was the amount of powder in a bullet but he stated that somebody told him that was the weight of lead bullet itself. He stated that possibly on this hunting trip he may have exchanged ammunition with Casper Oveross but he does not remember if he did. He stated those shells in his gun could have been put in there by himself and that he had not shot the gun more than twice since last hunting season. He stated he cleaned it right after hunting season but he does not think he cleaned it since he shot it the last time. He stated that an Elmer Olson had told him that Cap always insisted on 150 grain bullet when he bought ammunition at his place.

Contacted Mrs. Wayne Moore who stated that Ethel had told her that Ervin had informed her that he was going to subpoena Melvin to tell about his father and Mary having an affair. Also he was going to make Ethel Oveross look like a loose and immoral woman if necessary. Also that he was going to show that Mary was a loose and immoral woman. She stated that Ethel had said that she had tried to talk Ervin out of this and would have had him settle peacefully with Mary but that he would not. He was going to fight it in court and that he would really show them something.

Sheriff Young and writer contacted a Willy Bean, owner of the Men’s Shop, Mt. Angel, Oregon, who was the former proprietor of the hotel tavern, Mt. Angel. He stated he never saw Casper Oveross on the night of February 17, 1955 as he had attended a dance at the high school and was not in town. When questioned about being the subject that Casper was to have seen and takled to that night he stated that was evidentially some false rumor as he had never seen Casper that night and he did not know where the rumor could come from. He stated this high school dance had considerable young people there and the police at Mt. Angel had come and told them shortly after 11:00 that there had been a shooting in Silverton and he believed that the police were trying to locate Casper Oveross at that time.

Oregon Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

RE: KASER, Ervin Oren
Homicide #7858

Received by the Crime Detection Laboratory March 17, 1955 at 2:15 P.M. the following items in connection with the above case:

1. One bullet 30 caliber from field – fragment
2. Winchester Model 94, serial no. 361221
3. One package of 3-30-30 cartridges.
4. One envelope of two 30-30 cartridges
5. One Winchester model 94, serial no. 1306368
6. One fired Super X 30-30 cartridge. ???? of Oveross Rec by Young

Amos O. Shaw

Deputy Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Riegel, Oregon State Police

Ralph W. Prouty


And that’s it for this week.  Things are rapidly drawing to a close, not much further to go on the investigation.  Stay tuned!

Blogically yours,

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