Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 12)

It’s now a month since the murder, and the police are starting to run out of leads to investigate.  They’re convinced at this point that Casper Oveross committed the murder, and they have plenty of evidence and witnesses that paint a pretty convincing picture of how and why it killed Ervin Kaser.  They’ve found the receipt showing him buying a 30-30 rifle from Ames Hardware in 1949, which Oveross denied.  But they still can’t prove that (without a SHADOW of a doubt) that it was his rifle that fired the fatal bullet and that he pulled the trigger.  In the following reports, they have trouble with Cloreta Kaser’s name, referring to her as Colleta or Koreta.

Friday, March 18, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty work on Reports

9:30 AM Discuss Case with Sheriff & State Police

10:45 AM Leave for Mount Angel to make contacts

11:05 AM Check sources of info. In Mount Angel, regarding Melvin Torresdahl

11:15 AM Contact Melvin Torresdahl Rt 2 Box 86 Silverton

He stated the information come to him second hand that Willis Bean, Men’s Store Mount Angel seen Cap’ Oveross in Mount Angel on night of Murder. Isn’t sure of time.

12:00 PM Silverton Wait for contact with Sheriff

1:00 PM Lunch & Discuss case

2:10 PM Contact Telephone Office.

NOTE* Parties on Kellerhals Phone line

#1- Otto Stadely
#2- E. Kellerhal
#3- Ted Finlay
#4- John Kauffman
#5- Ervin & Mary Kaser
#6- E.M Peer
#7- E.A. Bolliger
#8- Ralph Detwyller
#9- Melvin Kaser

The Telephone company verified the fact that all Kellerhal would have to do in order to ring Melvin Kaser would be to dial 9-2-9 and it is possible that a Ring-Back would have come through No. 7 E.A. Bolliger and he could have answered the phone. (Refer to Statement of Mrs. Colleta Kaser and her conversation with Connie Kellerhal)

3:00 PM Contact Mrs. Melvin Kaser [EK_note: Cloreta], and obtain signed statement also revealed the following information.

Family Insurance has been carried thru Edward Rosteen, Salem. And if Ervin carried any Insurance it likely would have been thu him.

Mary Kaser stands to gain 28 Acres of Hop ground in hers and Ervin’s name that cannot be attached by the Estate, valued at 15000 Dollars. Which will be clear. Also any Machinery and equipment where Ervin’s Mother doesn’t have any thing in writing Mary is going to take. However all of Family is of the opinion that the Equipment belonged to Ervin’s Father prior to his Death.

Mary Kaser told Connie Kellerhal that she was a suspect until the case was cleared, meaning Mary was suspect.

Also information was revealed that Mary Kaser doesn’t get home to very late every night and Colletta stated she knew that Ray Rhoten doesn’t have Office hours that late.

Also stated that Ervin’s father had continually come over to see Mary when Ervin wasn’t home. Would park his car and stay all day. When Ervin come home Father Kaser would leave. Also was continually patting Mary, and putting his arm around her loving her up. Mary seemed to like it and would snuggle up to him. He had tried to make passes at Colletta but she wouldn’t have any thing to do with him so he left her alone. Also remarks about making a trip to Fort Lewis Washington during the War to see Melvin, they used Father Kaser’s car and Colletta and Ervin sat in the front seat, and Old man Kaser and Mary sat in the rear seat. She would sit on his lap and he had his arm around her all the way. Ervin never seemed to mind. And Colletta stated she didn’t think that if Ervin had found them in bed he would have let it bother him any, but would have used it in his Divorce. If he stood to gain any thing by it.

Coletta was picking up walnuts for a Mr. McDonald whom has large orchard on East hill out of Silverton. He told Colleetta that Cap was getting info. for his and Mary’s divorce and it would leave Ervin with everything.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 18 March 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Melvin Tarresdahl, Rt. 2, Box 86, Silverton. Mr. Tarresdahl stated that he had heard, second handed, that Willis Bean now proprietor of the Man’s Store in Mt. Angel had seen Casper Oveross on the evening of 17 February 1955 in Silverton. When questioned as to who had told him of the statement made by Willis Bean, Mr. Tarresdahl stated that he could not remember as to whether it was conversation he had overheard in town or whether it was conversation he had overhead by other farmers while visiting at his place. Stated to the best of his memory that he had heard it approximately two weeks ago and that he was not sure that the information was correct. This information was given to Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman who contacted Willis Bean. (See report by Sergeant Huffman covering information obtained). The writer was told by Sergeant Huffman of a negtative result so Melvin Tarresdahl was again contacted in an attempt to pin down more definite where he had heard this information. This was without results.

The telephone company in Silverton, Oregon, was then contacted by the writer and Deputy Shaw relative to information regarding members on the party line of the Ervin Kaser, also the dialing of one member of the party line to another member on the party line. Information had been received from Connie Kellerhal that while attempting to phone Melvin Kaser on the evening of 17 February 1955 that another party had picked up the phone and answered and advised her that she had the wrong number, however, at the same time Koreta Kaser answered the phone and this being on the same party line. Information from the telephone company revealed that there are nine members on this party line and that another member of the line ca phone to a second member on the party line by dialing 9 the last digit of their phone number and the last digit of the phone number the party they desire to call. The receiver then has to be hung up and the phone will ring at both parties at the same time. They also stated that in the case of Connie Kellerhal phoning the Melvin Kaser residence that the number to have been dialed would have been 929, which was actually the number dialed by Connie Kellerhal. They state that no other phone along the line would hear this ring, however, that it is possible that the reverse ring of number 2, which would be number 7, might hear a slight ring on their phone. Phone number ending in number 7 belongs to E. A. Bolligar. Other than the Bolligar phone there would be no sound on any other party phone.

The writer and Deputy Shaw then contacted Koreta Kaser, the wife of Melvin Kaser, residing at Rt. 3, Box 114, Silverton, Oregon. Koreta Kaser stated that on the evening of 17 February 1955 that she and her husband, Melvin Kaser, had been at her father’s place in Silverton and had returned home at approximately 10:00. They had taken approximately 10 to 15 minutes getting ready and getting into bed and that they had fallen asleep. She stated that the first she knew of anything happening in the area was when she heard her phone ring twice and that she jumped up and answered the phone and it was Connie Kellerhal stating that Ervin Kaser had driven into his driveway, that another car had driven up behind, parked along side the road and that they had heard one shot a pause then had seen the flashes from three shots. Stated that they believed that they were shooting at Ervin Kaser and asked Koreta what they should do. Koreta stated that she heard a phone receiver raise or being replaced this was indicated only by a click in her receiver. Beings it was a party line and she felt that other parties might be listening on the line she advised Connie Kellerhal to do nothing about it and to go back to bed. At that time Connie hung up. She stated that she woke her husband after she had looked out the kitchen window and seen Ervin Kaser’s car setting in the driveway with the headlights and the dome light on. She stated as soon as her husband got up that she did nothing further as she left any further action up to her husband and Emanual Kellerhal. She stated that she and her husband looked out the window and saw one or two cars pass and that they could see no one laying near Ervin Kaser’s car so her husband then phoned Emanual Kellerhal and talked with him a few minutes, the conversation unknown. She stated her husband then went to the scene and arrived there at approximately the same time as Mr. Depeal, Constable from Silverton.

Koreta Kaser was then questioned relative to any family problems that she knew of particularly between Ervin Kaser and Harvey Kaser or Ervin Kaser and Melvin Kaser. Koreta stated that there had always been family problems and that the brothers had not got along for several years. She further stated that she knew of the fight between Harvey Kaser and Ervin Kaser but she did not know exactly what the fight was over, however she had assumed from the conversation after the fight that it was something to do with the settlement of the fathers estate. She was questioned as to her friendship with Mary Kaser, the wife of Ervin Kaser. She stated that she had never been friendly with Mary and Mary had always felt herself much better than she and that they had never been friendly while living in the community. She gave of her own free will without question what she thought might possibly be information relative to the case. She stated that Ervin Kaser and Mary Kaser jointly owned 28 acres of land which was valued at approximately $15,000. She stated that this 28 acres was not included in the estate and it was free of all debts and that no debt could be filed against the valuation of this estate. She further stated that the home place, presently occupied by Mary Kaser, was valued at approximately $7,500, this did not include the valuation of 10 acres of land on which the home place sets. She further stated that the farm equipment, machinery, the hop drying machine and the irrigation equipment had been jointly owned by Ervin Kaser and his father and when his father passed away that the ownership reverted to Ervin’s mother. However, Ervin’s mother had nothing to show that she owns a portion of this equipment and machinery and that Mary Kaser had adopted the attitude unless she can show definite proof of ownership that the property belongs to her and that she is going to take it. She further stated that since the shooting of Ervin Kaser, Mary Kaser has been keeping very late hours and not returning home until some times as late as 10:00 and 11:00 in the evening. Never has she returned home shortly after her working day from the Secretary of State’s office, Salem. Koreta Kaser further stated that there had been an affair between Mary Kaser and Ervin Kaser’s father or referred to as Father Kaser. She stated that many is the time that Mr. Kaser would spend the entire day with Mary but as soon as Ervin returned home that he would leave. She further stated that at one time while visiting with her husband, Ervin Kaser at Camp Ord, California, [EK_note: that should be “...her husband, Melvin Kaser at Camp Ord...”] that father Kaser and Mary Kaser had gone along and during the time while at Camp Ord, California, that father Kaser and Mary Kaser had carried on quite shamefully. They had actually ridden in the car, Mary had set on his lap and they had proceeded to make love in various manners. She also stated that father Kaser had made passes at her when she and Melvin were first married but that he had quit after she had told him off a time or two.

Koreta Kaser stated that while she was working for McDonald Nut Growers on the east hills of Silverton that Mr. McDonald had told her that Casper Oveross was collecting information for Mary Kaser to file for a divorce and that if the information was filed that Casper Oveross had found out, that Ervin Kaser would be left without a thing, that Mary would be successful in gaining control and possession of all property, monies and equipment.

The writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Richard Hacek, Rt. 5, Salem. Richard Kacek stated that he was a good friend of Danny Gilham and that they had gone to school in Silverton together. He stated that some time during the unior year that Danny had started going with Colene Oveross and that to the best of his knowledge the two had gone together since that date. He further stated that Danny had talked to him very little about the incident and basicly the only thing said was, quoting Danny, that he had been talked to by the police several times relative to the incident and that he was more or less being accused of driving the car used by Casper Oveross. He had not mentioned to Richard Hacek that Casper had been at the Gilham place or any other information pertinent to the case. Richard Hacek stated to the best of his knowledge the one good friend that Danny had in that area was Frank Kaser, the son of Harvey Kaser [EK_note: 'Frank' should be 'Fred'], who at the present time is attending Oregon State College, Corvallis. However, he is not sure whether Danny is contacted Frank Kaser since the incident or not and that he does not believe that Frank had been home other than the one day for Ervin’s funeral. Richard Hacek stated that on the evening of February 17, 1955 that he had attended a national guard meeting in Salem, battery D, Oregon National Guard and that he had left the meeting at approximately 11:00 P. M., had driven to a drive-in near Salem and had a cup of coffee and proceeded out State Street to his home. He further stated that while traveling along this road he did not observe any vehicles parked along the highway or does he remember meeting any vehicles other than close in at the Four Corners area and that he was not able to give any description of the vehicles he met near Four Corners. Stated that he arrived home at approximately 11:30 P. M.

EK_note: I can’t find a recording, but after reading the above reports 10-12 years ago, I asked my parents, Calvin & Wilma Kaser, about Cloreta’s story of my grandfather Fred Kaser and Mary being ‘friendly.’  They both confirmed that, yes, he had been “overly friendly” with all of his daughters-in-law, including my mother Wilma, but left them alone after they told him to stop.  Apparently, based upon what Cloreta and my parents said, Mary never told him to stop, but rather encouraged the attention.  I did find this little piece of an interview with my parents:

Everett: How did your Mom deal with your Dad running around with Mary? Or did she know?

Calvin: Oh, it’s hard to believe she didn’t know. But she never, ever said anything, not that I ever heard.

Wilma: I didn’t think she liked it that he spent so much time up there with Mary. Maybe there wasn’t anything going on, but he hung around…

Calvin: Yeah, he’d be up there every day, for two or three hours every day. He’d drive the car up there, he couldn’t walk. About the only time Ervin and Mary socialized with the family was at Christmas or sometime, when the family got together, but I think Mary got along with the rest of them [meaning the rest of the family].

Saturday, March 19, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty

8:30 AM Sheriff Office for briefing

9:20 AM Leave for Mount Angel to recontact Mr. Torresdahl

9:50 AM Talk to Melvin Torresdahl. The only additional information we were able to obtain was that Torresdahl had heard the rumor that Willie Been, had seen Cap on the evening of the murder of Ervin Kaser. Wasn’t able to reveal who gave him the information nor any thing else of importance.

10:45 AM Talk to Richard Hacek 18 yrs. Home is next to Danny Gilham’s home.

Information that Freddy Kaser, (College Student Oregon State) was close friend of Danny Gilham went out on dates together Etc.

Danny never told Richard much about the murder but did mention that the Police had picked him up and questioned him. And that they thought that he drove the car.

Danny Gilham formerly went with a girl name of Shirley Doerfler, Silverton and stopped going with her when he stared going with Colleen. They have been going together for the past 2 1/2 yrs.

Richard Hacek was at a National Guard meeting night of murder and left Salem for home about 11:00 PM coming out State street on East until reaching home, doesn’t remember passing any cars East of Pratum on that night. Arrived home about 11:30 PM.

11:30 AM Contact Floyd Kaser, supposedly last seen Ervin Kaser June of 1954. Ervin never talked much about business dealings and never about family difficulties.

Cap’ Oveross and Floyd went coon hunting 6-7 yrs. ago and Cap used his 32-?? never saw any other guns of Cap’s.

No further information of value.

1:00 PM Home off duty

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

On March 19, 1955, Sheriff Denver Young and writer contacted Daniel Gilham where he was working near his residence, Rt. 5, Box 417, Salem and asked him if he would be willing to undergo a lie detector test on the information he had concerning Casper Oveross’ movements on the night of February 17, 1955. He stated that he did not think it was necessary to take the test inasmuch as he was telling the truth, but finally consented and agreeded to accompany Sheriff Young and the writer to Eugene and undergo the test at the State Police office at Eugene.

Upon arrival at the State Police office, Eugene, Sheriff Young and writer contacted Sergeant Baker and city officers Oakley V. Glenn and Warren Wiley of the Eugene City Police Department. They were given a resume of the highlights of the investigation on the Kaser murder case and a list of questions was submitted for them to ask Danny Gilham and check his reactions on the lie detector. The lie detector was set up in the interrogation room at the State Police office in Eugene and the city officers Glenn and Wiley interrogated Danny Gilham with the questions that were assembled. The city officers made several tests with Danny Gilham on the machine and stated that they would submit a report with copies for the State Police office and the Marion county Sheriff’s office at the conclusion with opinions of their findings.

They stated that the lie detector reacted considerably to the question “Did Casper tell you he killed Ervin Kaser?”. They stated on the first test the machine registered 9, which is considered high, and on the second and third tests it registered 4, which is still considered high. City Officer Wiley stated the first test where it registered 9 was understandable as Danny Gilham was not use to the machine, but where the machine attained reaction 4 on the next two tests would show that he was lying when he replied “No” as the answer to the question. City Officer Wiley stated that there is a possibility that he does know Casper Oveross killed Ervin Kaser and the guilty knowledge may cause him to react to that question.

City Officer Wiley stated that Gilham’s reaction to other questions varied between 1/2 and 2 1/2 which is normal for a person telling the truth. He stated Gilham probagbly has guilty knowledge that Casper killed Kaser and this would cause some reaction in addition to probably something else that he might know. He stated in the question “Do you know where Casper’s gun is?” he received the answer “No” and the machine showed that Gilham was telling the truth as there was no reaction other than between 1 and 2.

City Officer Wiley of the Eugene City Police Department stated that this machine was available for the further use in this case should this department need it. Any request for the use of this machine should be made through Chief of Police Vern Hill at Eugene. He stated that either City Officer Glenn or himself would be available to conduct the tests and that the machine could be brought to Salem if it was necessary.

City Officer Wiley stated that when Gilham was questioned if he had seen Casper Oveross at 10:30 P. M. on the night of February 17, 1955 near the Ethel Oveross residence he replied in the infirmative. Also that this north bound car that went by the Ethel Oveross residence as Gilham was backing out of their driveway and which sounded its horn at him was Casper Oveross’ car and that Casper was in the car alone. City Officer Wiley stated that Gilham was pretty definite in his answer to this question.

All undeveloped leads in this case were turned over to Officer Riegel who is continuing the investigation in conjunction with the Sheriff’s office, Marion county.

Sunday, March 20, 1955

Day off.

Monday, March 21, 1955

No reports.

Tuesday, March 22, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw (Badge #51):

1:00 PM Proceed to Silverton to Contact Informant.

1:30 PM Make contact, obtain the following information regarding Ervin Kaser Murder.

Hilman Loveland, told Informant that his next door neighbor has a lot of information about the Murder but he wasn’t going to tell what it was. Neighbor that supposedly has the information is Chauncey Bowen, Silverton. Bowen is supposed to be a friend of Kaser’s, & Kellerhals.

2:20 PM Attempt to Contact H. A. Barnes residence no one home.

3:00 PM Attempt to Contact Roy Jacobson, residence, no one home.

4:00 PM Contact Mr. & Mrs. Herbert A Barnes, Rt 3 box 100 Silverton.

Mr. Barnes said that on night of Murder of Ervin Kaser he was home alone and had laid down on Davenport by large picture Window. He had intended to listen to the 10:00 PM News broadcast, and had woke up shortly before hearing the 1st shot. he at first thought it was an Automobile back firing coming down the hill by Oveross home. He thought there was a 4 or 5 second interval then 3 more shots closely spaced. Not sure of the time of the Shots but believe it to have been not later than 10:25 PM. Further stated I had got off the Davenport and was looking out the Window North toward the Oveross home and Highway, saw at least 4 or 5 cars coming down the hill going South on Black top. I thought at the time that there must have been a basket ball game in town and kids are returning home. Never saw any vehicle turn into Harvey Kaser home, or turn up the Golf Course Road.

(Note: this wittness was some what confused as to wheather he stood looking out the window before hearing thelast shot fired, or if he looked out the Window and saw the Vehicles coming down the Hill 5 Minutes after the last shot was fired.)

Mr. Barnes stated he doesn’t remember ever seeing Casper Oveross Rifle. And cant recall ever having seen Cap’ fire a rifle down in Bean patch where they had been sighting in Rifles.

Mr. Barnes stated he has known Cap’ since 1943, and had gone Fishing with him Etc however was under the impression that Cap’ had been losing his mind the past year over this Family trouble, and continually talked about it in recent months. Cap’ made the statement on one occasion that He knew Ervin was going out with Ethel, and that he would like Catch Harvey Kaser, and Wayne Moore out with her.

4:40 PM Robert Barnes & Wife come to Herberts house and remarked that around the 13th. March 1955 he and Wife had seen Danny Gilham, and Cap’ Oveross going South toward Sublimity in Danny’s Car. Danny honked and Waved, Cap’ wouldn’t wave.

5:00 PM Mr. Barnes has a 30-30 Cal. Winchester Carbine. Also stated no car pulled into his Driveway night of Murder at the critical time.

Wednesday, March 23, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty

8:30 AM type up back days reports, and catch up on Office duties.

9:30 AM Work in Office of Kaser Homicide case.

12:30 PM Lunch

1:25 PM Leave Office to pick up State Officer Lloyd Riegel.

1:45 PM Leave State Police Office with Riegel.

2:15 PM At Hande’s Hardware store Silverton, for search of Serial No. on Rifles sold in 1949.

3:20 PM Found

INVOICE HIBBARD, SPENCER, BARTLETT & CO.
2201 W Howard St.
Evanston Illinois
Date Shipped Feb 22 1949

SOLD TO: AMES HARDWARE & FURNITURE CO SILVERTON OREGON
Date Sold 2/18

2 Only 30-30 Winchester Carbine 1538797 – 1541417
$62.45 Net 46.85 $93.70 Postage 2.13 $95.83

[EK NOTE: meaning each gun had a list price of $62.45, was sold wholesale for $46.85, times 2 = $93.70, plus $2.13 shipping for both rifles from Illinois to Oregon for a total cost to Ames Hardware of $95.83.]

The above described Invoice was Found by Writer and Lloyd Riegel in a Box containing Jobbers Invoices from January to June 1949. This is the Only Invoice we found where 30-30 Carbine’s had been shipped to Ames Hardware in 1949 Jan to June. Found Invoices where Ammunition, Bee rifles, & 22 Rifles had been purchased and shipped to the store and where 30-30 Winchester Rifles had been ordered but not shipped.

The Above described Invoice was marked and Identified as to time of find, Date and Initials of Writer, & Loyd Riegel. Also the Box containing the Invoice was similarly marked and initialed.

Continued search of files, Invoices, and Charge slips until 5:00 PM when we asked permission to bring the box of Charge slips with us to check at the Office. State Police Officer Riegel kept the Box, and Invoice for Photo-Static Copies.

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

At this point the police reports come to a halt for about a week, probably because they’re running out of leads, without having found the murder weapon.  There’s a few more reports in April 1955, with Officer Riegel notifying various agencies that there is no further need to search for records of Casper Oveross purchasing a rifle, because they’ve now found the records at Ames Hardware

Friday, April 1, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

4:00 PM

From the records of Ames Hardware Silverton, Oregon a ledger sheet and sales slip have been found that shows the sale of a 30-30 Winchester Carbine to Casper Oveross on 5 March 1949. From an invoice sheet found within the same set of files it is now believed that the rifle Casper Oveross purchased carries the serial number of 1538797 or 1541417.

A request has been made with the records section and the pawn shop detail of the Portland Police be on the alert for the sale of a weapon which carries either of the above listed serial numbers.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

4:30 PM

It is requested that the pawn shop detail and records section be advised that the State Police Department is vitally interested in locating a 30-30 Winchester Carbine bearing serial number 1538797 or 1541417, believed to be connected with a case presently being investigated by this department.

If information is obtained regarding a weapon bearing either of the two above mentioned serial numbers advise the Department of State Police, Salem, Oregon.

cc to Capt. Gurdane
cc to Portland Police Department
cc to Salem Police Department
cc to Eugene Police Department

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

5:00 PM

Information has been obtained which eliminates the necessity of further checks of gun stores for the sale of a weapon to Casper Oveross.

cc to Capt. Gurdane

April 26, 1955

State Police Captain R. G. Howard:

The following is copied from reports pertaining to the ERVIN KASER case which have been delivered at this office by Sheriff Denver Young:

The following information was volunteered by Mr. Wayne Moore, neighbor of victim and also of suspect Casper Oveross.

Mr. Moore stated that last fall Ervin Kaser told him that some one had followed him home after he and Ethel Oveross had been out for the evening. The car that followed him passed as he turned into his driveway and continued on to his brother Melvin’s driveway where it turned around and went back to the north. At the school the car turned to the left and drove back of the school and towards the back of the elder Mrs. Kaser’s home.

Ervin stated that he followed this car and cornered it back of the school and by turning his headlights on it was able to secure the license number. He said that he went into Silverton and gave the number to the Silverton police officer to check the ownership. A State Police Officer who was there at the time stated that the car involved was one which he had been trying to locate on a spotlighting case.

Mr. Moore also stated that Ethel Oveross told him approximately the same thing which indicated that she was familiar with the affair.

Moore also stated that he was sure that Mrs. Oveross also told him that on the night of the shooting, 2/17/55, a coupe automobile followed either her or both her and Kaser. She stated that she had seen the car since then in front of the Mary Kaser (Mrs. Ervin Kaser) residence. This information has never been mentioned before in our conversation with Ethel Oveross.

A further interrogation with Mrs. Oveross to clear up these two points will be undertaken in the near future.

(sd) Denver Youngsters
Denver Young, Sheriff”

Re: OVEROSS, Ethel
WFA, 40 yrs.
Rt. #3, Box 110, Silverton, Oregon

Following is technician’s interpretation of results of lie detector test administered to the above named subject on 20 April 55 at approx. 3:00 PM in the office of the Marion county sheriff. Test was conducted by the two undersigned officers of the Eugene Police Dept. in the presence of Sheriff Young and Sgt. Huffman, OSP.

Questions Answers

  1. Is your name Ethel Oveross? yes

  2. Do you live at Rt. 3, Box 110? yes

  3. Do you smoke? no

  4. On the night of Feb. 17th ’55 did you hear shots? yes

  5. Do you own a car? yes

  6. Did you hear a car go by right after you heard shots? yes

  7. Do you work in Stayton? yes

  8. Did you discuss the Kaser shooting with Colleen? yes

  9. Is your car a Ford? yes

  10. Do you have a sister? yes

  11. Have you told the truth to all these questions? yes

  1. Is your name Ethel Oveross? yes

  2. Do you own a Ford? yes

  3. Do you have a sister? yes

  4. Did Colleen blame you for the shooting? no

  5. Did it rain today? yes

  6. Is Colleen still living with you? yes

  7. Have you talked to Cap recently? no

  8. Do you live at Rt. 3, Box 110? yes

  9. Did Cap ever threaten you or Kaser with harm if you continued to see him? yes

  10. Have you told the truth during this test? yes

One other question was asked: “Did you recognize the car that passed just after you heard the shots?”. MRS. OVEROSS answered this question, “No.”. Machine reaction to this answer was 13 units which with one exception was the highest reading obtained throughout the test.

General reactions to the questions were very erratic showing some 10 and 12 points to some known truthful answers as compared to 3 and 5 to others. Only possible results to be reached were that of inconclusive test, however, following is alist of indications which may furnish some leads.

A. Previous to actual test MRS. OVEROSS was asked, “Did Cap ever threaten you with harm if you continued see Kaser?” She answered “No.” to this. The question asked on the test was, “Did cap ever threaten you or Kaser with harm if you continued to see him?” She answered “Yes” to this.

B. The question, “Have you talked to Cap recently?” seems to have bothered the subject.

C. Subject stated under interrogation that she supposed that Colleen blamed her for the shooting but she denied that Colleen had specifically stated that she did.

D. Subject denied under interrogation that she had relatives living in Eugene or Eugene area. It is a matter of personal knowledge to the undersigned that subject does have a cousin living just out of Eugene, off Country Club road. Name is not known at this time but can be obtained if necessary.

E. Subject attributes relatively high reaction to identity of passing car to fact that she knows that her sister drove by.

(sd) W. Wiley
W. Wiley, Ident. Officer

(sd) O. V. Glenn
O. V. Glenn, Supt. Of Ident.”

May 4, 1955

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Denver Young, Marion County Sheriff’s office, called this office this date and advised that Deputy Amos Shaw had secured information from Melvin Kaser as follows- His brother Harvey Kaser had worked for Mr Kellerhall and was told by Mr Kellerhall that he knew who’s car that was that was parked on the highway and from which the shots came from that killed KASER. He also stated he didn’t want to say this as he was afraid of what the Defense Attorney would do to him when he got him on the Witness stand, also he didn’t wish to get involved in the case anymore than he had to.

Sheriff Young wished this information be checked further by this office in conjunction with his office and possibly the Sychometer could be used on the questioning of Kellerhall.

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

And that is very close to the end of the investigation… close, but not QUITE done.  Up next: The Rifle.  And then, there will probably be a gap of a few weeks (at least), while I work on the rest of the story: The Trial.

Blogically yours,
Everett

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