Friday, March 4, 1955
Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:
9:30 AM Check at previous home of MARTHA TOCKSTED, party moved (To be checked later)
10:15 AM Checked at BALL BROS. Hardware in Turner Oregon, stated they didn’t believe that they ever sold any rifles to Casper Oveross. Will check books (sales slips if it is deemed necessary).
11:00 AM Check Jefferson Ore., Hardware, no information, also checked with previous owner Mr. A.B. Haynes, didn’t know Casper Oveross.
1:00 PM Contact North Santiam Sporting Goods shop at Lyons, subject will check sales slips and if a rifle sold to any Oveross will call our office immediately.
1:20 PM Contact Jenkins Hardware, Mill City, checked books back to 1950, and owner will check prior to that and notify us if any guns sold to C. Oveross.
1:30 PM Contact Marchall Wells store Mill City, checked books back to 1951, no recorded sales.
2:00 PM Lunch
2:20 PM Mehama Oregon, check Appliance Store (Ken Jolliette’s) No information
3:00 PM Check Charley Burmester, Stayton & Uncle of Mary Kaser, Charley has know Kaser for years however knows nothing of family troubles. Burmester said the following may know something of Oveross trouble
1- LAND, first name not know, Carpenter Contractor
2- JIM SULLIVAN, Electrician
3:30 PM Contact Ed. Sullins, has no information on Casper Oveross, or Kaser. Stated he had worked on Roy Philippi’s house with Cap however doesn’t know any thing about him. Stated that Cap had tried to get Ed to get a rifle and go hunting with him about the time they were working on the house. Received the following names. #1- Henry Leu Lay—Stayton XXX E 3rd. St. Henry is supposed to have been head carpenter at time, and is a hunter. (This took place 5-6 yrs. ago)
3:45 PM Contact Henry Lou Lay residence Stayton, wife advised that Mr. Lou Lay isn’t a deer hunter and only owns a shot gun used to hunt pheasants with.
4:00 PM Contact Kokelly Carpenter, worked with Cap 1948, for about 1 Yr. In Stayton. No information of value.
4:40 PM Contact Huntley residence, Clarence Huntley lives in Gold Hill now and is remarried and has own family.
Sheriff Denver Young:
Contact residence of Mr. Fred Schar Rt. 2, Box 297, Silverton. States he has known Ervin Kaser a long time but broke off friendship about 18 years ago when Kaser mailed a letter to Mrs. Schar asking for a date. It was an anonymous letter but they recognized the writing and just didn’t associate with him any more. He never heard of Kaser being mixed up with any other women. States that his wife definitely was never attacked by Ervin Kaser.
10:40 A.M. Contact Mrs. Laura Bolliger, Rt. 3 Box 118. Husband operates green house just north of Evergreen School. Did not hear shots. Showed us her husbands guns, a single shot 22 and single shot shotgun.
11:00 A.M. Contacted Melvin Lund, at Rt. 3 Box 125 Silverton. Has never hunted with Casper. Knew Kaser the better of the two. Lund shoots at the Sublimity gun club. Has never seen Cap there. He never heard of Kaser having any interests in the Madras area.
11:15 A.M. Contact Alvin Lund Rt. 3 Box 125 Silverton.
Claims he never hunted with Casper, knows nothing about his guns or never heard him make any threats toward Kaser.
11:35 A.M. Contact Esther Detwyler at Rt. 3 Box 113A. States she heard the shots but paid no attention to them. Her husband upstairs did not hear the shots.
11:55 A.M. Contacted Fred Zurbrugg brother-in-law of Mrs. Detwyler, lives at Rt. 3 Box 72B. States that two or three years ago Noah Wenger, his brother-in-law purchased a 32-20 rifle from Casper Oveross. He stated that he borrowed the gun from Wenger, and liked it so well that he kept the gun and still had it.
State Police Officer Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:
Contacted a Mr. Fred Schar, Rt. 2, Box 297, Silverton, husband of Marilyn Schar. He stated that he has known Ervin Kaser most of his life and they use to visit his family when Ervin was living with his wife. He stated one time his wife received an unsigned letter about eighteen years ago and he later learned it was sent by Ervin Kaser. He stated he did not visit after that. He stated the letter wanted his wife to meet Kaser north of Silverton on a certain date but they took it as a joke at first until they found out Ervin wrote it himself. He stated the letter was destroyed about a year ago with some other stuff when they were cleaning house. He stated Ervin has never tried to attack his wife to his knowledge.
He stated he has known Casper Oveross for several years and about three years ago was hunting in another party near them south of Mitchell, Oregon in the Ochocos. He stated he did not know the type of gun Casper Oveross owned and did not believe they were checked by game men as his camp was not checked. He stated he could supply no other information.
Marilyn Schar, wife of Fred Schar, was questioned and gave the same story as her husband. She seemed rather indignant when confronted with the fact that Ervin Kaser had tried to attack her. She stated he use to come to the house and visit but at no time ever acted out of line. She stated the letter was considered a joke until it was learned that Ervin Kaser had written it and then they had ceased to visit with the Kaser family. She could supply no information as to any type of gun Casper Oveross owned.
In checking Noah Wenger, Sheriff Denver Young and writer contacted a Fred Zurbrugg, Rt. 3, Box 172 B, Silverton. He stated approximately two or three years ago a Noah Wenger purchased a 32-20 rifle from Casper Oveross. He stated that he had borrowed this gun from Noah Wenger and that he still has it at the present time. He stated that he believes Noah Wenger is working for an Ernie Lantham near Pendleton, Oregon, as a carpenters helper and they are working for the B & R lumber company putting up a mill. He stated he could supply no further information on Casper Oveross or the type weapons he may have had.
Sheriff Young and writer contacted a Melvin Lund, Rt. 3, Box 125, Silverton, who stated he has known Casper Oveross and Ervin Kaser a good many years, but he is better acquainted with Ervin Kaser than Casper Oveross. He stated he has never hunted with Casper Oveross but that Oveross has wanted him to go hunting with him several times, but he was just busy and could not get away. He stated that he has never target practiced with him at anytime nor does he know what kind of a gun Casper Oveross may own. He stated he did not know Ervin Kaser had any business connections in Madras, Oregon, also that he had never loaned Casper Oveross any of his guns.
Alvin Lund, brother to Melvin Lund, same address was contacted. He stated he has known Casper Oveross for several years but he has never associated with him for any length of time but had seen him mostly in taverns around the Silverton area. He stated that on the night of 17 February 1955 he did not observe Casper Oveross in Silverton at all. He stated he has never target practiced with Casper Oveross on his place and did not see him in any tavern with a George Jaeschke. He stated he knows of this Jaeschke but not to visit with him or be friendly, only just by sight.
Marion County District Attorney Kenneth E. Brown:
University of Oregon Medical School
Crime Detection Laboratory
Attention Mr. Ralph Prouty
Re: Investigation of death of Ervin Oren Kaser
Dear Mr. Prouty:
Will you please return to the Marion County Sheriff the items belonging to Casper Oveross, which have heretofore been sent to you by the Sheriff.
Kenneth E. Brown
Saturday, March 5, 1955
Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:
9:00 AM Leave pic. of C. Oveross with State I.D. Bureau as directed.
10:30 AM Contact Marquam Post Office and Gen. Merchandise store reg gun sales. No info.
11:00 AM Monitor Gen Merch. Store, doesn’t sell guns except on order.
11:15 AM Check at Lone Pine Tavern, doesn’t know Casper Oveross at all doesn’t know if Cap has been in his place or not.
12:00 PM Contact Frances Patton, works at Town House address is 211 N 2nd. Silverton, known Cap 8 months or so. Never been on date with Cap, knows of Ervin Kaser, however never been out with him. Knows nothing of value to us. Will inform us if she hears any thing of value. (NOTE THIS MAY BE A GOOD INFORMANT)
12:10 PM Lunch at Silverton
1:00 PM Contact Mrs. Charles Hopkins, stated the records for Marshall Wells store are kept at the store, and all records left there when they sold out.
1:30 PM Contact Merle Eisnehart reg. info. on rifle. This man stated he had done considerable listening on this case, and overheard 2 attorneys talking that they think the logical suspect if it wasn’t Cap would be Mary Kaser’s son in law. Feels that we would find some good information if we would check him out.
Mr. Eisenhart is personal friend of Henry Oveross wife, and will see what info he can obtain for us regarding Cap’s rifle.
1:40 PM Contact Mrs. Paul Mann, states neither she nor husband has seen Casper Oveross in several years. And they have discussed the case together. Have not brother name of Lloyd.
2:00 PM Making house to house canvas from top of hill out to Ervin Kaser residence. Contact following parties:
1- Mr. Swenson (Doesn’t know any thing)
2- Contact home of George and Lillian Larsen (No one home Paradise Alley Rd.)
3- H.I. Moffett (Doesn’t know any thing)
4- Goehring, (Casper has done some work for him and mentioned his family trouble)
5- Otto Stadeli, (Husband heard shots, knows Casper Oveross & Ervin Kaser, not friendly with them.) Casual aquaintance.
3:22 PM Checked the following cars at Ervin Kaser home, Oreg. 616-142, 53 Plym. Sdn. Mary L. Kaser & Phyllis Huntley, Rt 3 Box 115 A Silverton. Oreg. 329-065, 47 Chev. Convert. Virgil A & Phyllis E Boyd, 4810 Reiman Rd. Salem.
3:25 PM Continue house to house check
John Kauffman (Nothing) A.G. Fetter (Nothing) E.C. Hood (Nothing) L.C. Baker (Nothing)
State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:
On 5 March 1955 Deputy Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the writer started a house to house check south and east of Silverton, Oregon. The check was started at the Myer’s garage east to the Silverton-Salem highway. The check was again started at Brush School Road proceeding west to the Silverton-Sublimity highway, then south along the Silverton-Sublimity highway to the Evergreen School, then west to the Paradise Alley Road, then south along the Paradise Alley Road to the Lardane Road, then east on the Lardane Road to the Silverton-Sublimity highway. People in this area were contacted relative to the date of 17 February 1955 as to vehicles being parked along this road during the evning and as to their hearing shots during the evening. People were questioned individually as to the time that they had returned home as to any children or young people that may have been out late that evening. No information was picked up relative to vehicles having been seen along the road. Several statements were obtained of persons having heard the shots. The most distant place to where the shots were heard was the Julius Goehring residence, approximately one mile south of the Ervin Kaser residence. The furtherest place north where the shots were heard was the Mrs. Kaser residence, mother of Ervin Kaser. Talking with Mrs. Kaser who lives the first house south of Evergreen School it became quite evident that vehicles were accustomed to parking in the school yard during the night and that any vehicle that might be parked there would not appear suspicious to a passing motorist along the highway. See attached diagram for detailed road lay out and people living along these roads for name and address as contacted.
At 5:00 P.M. on 5 March 1955 the writer received a phone call from a L. C. Eastman in Silverton, Oregon. Mr. Eastman stated that his wife had overheard some conversation in a beauty parlor and that he felt it was quite urgent that our office have this information. At 6:00 P.M. this evening the writer contacted Mr. Eastman. At that time it was related to the writer that his wife had been at a local beauty shop and had overheard a Mrs. George Steelhammer and another lady discussing the Ervin Kaser shooting. The other lady whose name was not given or known had stated that she felt that a check should be made in eastern Oregon relative to Mr. Kaser’s activities. That she had heard that Mr. Kaser and a partner in some type of business in eastern Oregon had had a violent fight three or four days before the shooting. This lady was not definite as to the location in eastern Oregon or as to the type of business.
Sheriff Denver Young:
9:00 A.M. Recd negative of full length picture of Oveross, turned over to Huffman to have copies made.
10:15 Left Salem for Silverton.
11:10 A.M. Contact Bank. J. Clary Moore. States that account of Oveross was overdrawn on February 12th, 1955 and covered by Casper on the 16th.
11:30 Contact Mr. Brown of Telephone Co. re phone calls made to Madras at 11:35 A.M. #2730. He talked 2 min. 43 seconds. No other charges show between 15th & 18th. Call was to the Foster Manufacturing Co. Madras, Oregon.
Checked other phone call made
1:15 P.M. Checked with Clifford Calkins re location of Noah Wenger.
1:45 P.M. Checked Sabastion Oster. Knew Casper Oveross and brothers but had not talked to them lately.
2:30 P.M. Contacted Bill Specht, re: guns of Oveross. He admits hunting with Casper several times. Also last year when Danny Gilham was there. They camped on the Payne ranch and hunted on the Maxwell ranch. Has known Casper a long time but has no idea as to what kind of gun he hunts with.
State Police Officer Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:
Sheriff Young and writer checked with the Silverton Telephone Company on Ervin Kaser’s telephone which is Silverton 34845. It was learned from their records that he had called Madras, Oregon phone 2730 at 11:35 A.M. On February 16, 1955. The records indicated the converation lasted two minutes and forty two seconds. There were no other calls made from that phone between February 15 and February 18, 1955, which is their cycle of billing.
Checked Harvey Kaser’s phone, Silverton 3-4836, found there was a call placed to Salem phone 2-7F22 at 3:15 A.M. On February 18, 1955. This number is listed to James Gilham residence, Rt. 5, Box 417, Salem, Oregon. There was also a call made from Harvey Kaser’s phone to Corvallis phone Plasa 2-9206 at 6:37 A.M., also another call placed to Stayton 4504 at 6:00 A.M. All on February 18, 1955.
Telephone calls were checked on Ethel Oveross phone 3-4765 which showed a listing of phone calls from that number starting February 20 to February 26, 1955. They are listed as follows:
February 20th – Stayton phone 4504
February 22nd – Salem phone 2-0367
February 23rd – Stayton phone 4504
February 23rd – Salem phone 2-7F22
February 26th – Salem phone 3-6455
February 26th – Salem phone 2-0367
February 26th – Salem phone 3-6455
February 26th – Salem phone 2-0367
February 26th – Salem phone 4-4443
February 26th – Salem phone 4-4443
February 26th – Salem phone 2-7F22
None of the above telephone numbers have been checked to determine their listings.
Check was made with the Salem Telephone Company by Sheriff Denver Young and information was received that Madras phone 2730 was listed to a Foster Manufacturing Company, Madras, Oregon. This concern having partners by the name of Foster and Miller. Further investigation will be made relative to this telephone call from the Kaser residence.
Deputy Sheriff Walker of Marion County Sheriff’s Office contacted a Noah Wenger, Silverton, Oregon, who advised he had purchased a 32-20 rifle from Casper Oveross around September of 1947. He informed Deputy Walker that he did not know what other guns Casper Oveross may have owned at that time. He stated he had loaned this gun to a Fred Zurbrugg and who still has this firearm.
Sunday, March 6, 1955
[Day off, no reports]
Monday, March 7, 1955
Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:
10:25 AM Talk with Bob Bolliger, Silverton, (Subject lives in Green house by Ervin Kaser.) Cliff Kinsey [EK_NOTE: Kuenzi] saw Ethel Oveross and Kaser together coming out a logging road together last hunting season and told Bob about it.
Bolliger said he woke up during the night of murder and thought he heard some noise around his house but wasn’t sure and went right back to sleep.
Didn’t hear any shots on night of 17th. Feb. 1955
Bolliger reports that a light gray pick up and a two tone green Olds. sdn. used to meet several times a week in front of the Green house and parties would laugh and talk for some length. Both male and female voices. Didn’t know the vehicles.
Several months ago Edwin Bolliger heard a car come by going south towards Stayton, party in vehicle was shooting a gun out the window and car proceeded on south. Bob was going to report it to police however never got around to it.
11:10 AM Contact Mrs. Schar (nice looking) regarding her knowledge of Ervin Kaser and if he had ever made any show of affection toward her. She stated that the last time she saw Ervin Kaser to speak to was 15 yrs. or more ago. They used to visit back and forth and she put a stop to it when he asked her to go to Portland with her alone one time. Stated she had never gone out with him and he had never tried to take her by force.
Stated she knew that Phyllis Huntley (daughter of Mary Kaser) had been married before and divorced. Had got married right after leaving school. Married a man in Silverton believed the name to have been Peckmand or some name similar.
3:10 PM Contact John Siems, whom advised that a Virgil Schantz or John Schantz had made the remark that on night of murder Cap had been playing shuffle board with one of above and about 10:00 PM night of 17th. Made the remark he had to leave as had an appointment he had promised to keep.
Also stated he had talked to Ervin Kaser prior to murder [EK_NOTE: let’s be thankful it wasn’t AFTER the murder!] and Ervin told him he was trying to get some land across the Hwy. from his place in order to build a machine shop and go into business for himself.
3:55 PM Contact Mrs. Steelhammer, said she had been in the beauty shop and heard some talk about Ervin Kaser, and Madras was mentioned. But other than that she didn’t know any thing. Was very vague about what, where, when, she heard this.
4:10 PM Contact beauty salon, South Water St. Silverton, no other information.
4:35 PM Contact Clarence and Clifford Schantz, Star Rt. Silverton, neither boy ever in Shorty’s tavern, had heard rumors only.
5:00 PM Contact JACK TOW, the bartender at Walts Tavern. Knows Melvin Lund and Cap, doesn’t know Jaeschke at all. Never saw Cap and Lund in the place together. The last time he saw Cap was 1:20 AM night of murder, coming out Town House, and
[He appears to have filed this report twice, as a second copy is in the file that is very similar, but slightly different, shown below.]
8:30 AM On duty
9:30 AM Discuss Case with Sheriff and State Police assigned to the case.
10:25 AM Talk with Bob Bolliger whom revealed the following information. (At Office)
Cliff Kuenzi—should be contacted reported to have seen Ethel & Ervin together.
Bolliger said he thought he had heard a noise around the house night of Murder however wasn’t sure.
Said he had noticed a light colored pick up and a 2 tone Sedan Green, park and talk. This has taken place several times in past, and meeting seems to be by pre-arangement between parties. Not known if it has any bearing on this case. Would hear Female voices and male voices, would meet around 11:30 PM by his house.
Reported that several months heard a vehicle coming south from Silverton and thought that some one was shooting a gun out of the Window of vehicle. Fired several shots and proceeded on past his place towards Ervin Kaser home. Between 11:00 PM and 11:30 PM. Stated he was going to report it to Police at the time but never.
11:10 AM Contact Mrs. Schaar. Said that she hasn’t seen Ervin Oveross [EK_NOTE: should be “Ervin Kaser”] to speak to for 15 years. They (Ervin & Schaar’s) used to visit back and forth until one time Ervin asked her to go to Portland alone with him, and she refused. This was about 18 years ago. Stated definitely Ervin never tried to take her by force. Ervin asked her not to mention the fact he wanted her to go to Portland with him however she did and that was when friendly relations broke off.
3:10 PM Contact John Siems, Stated that Virgil Schantz, or John Schantz Silverton was supposed to have seen Cap’ night of Murder and he had told them he couldn’t play shuffle board any longer as he had an appointment he had promised to keep.
3:55 PM Contact Mrs. Steelhammer, Very vague about information stated she had her hair put up at Beauty Salon, on South Water St. Silverton. Couldn’t remember any thing else.
4:10 PM Contact Beauty Salon in Silverton relative to Information being passed that Ervin had some trouble in Madras Oregon. No Information revealed here.
4:35 PM Contact Schantz Bros. Information was unfounded neither had been neer Shorty’s Tavern night of Murder.
5:00 PM Contact JACK TOWE, bar tender at Walts Tavern Silverton. Doesn’t know Jaeske at all. Never saw Cap’ in the Tavern with Lund. Last time saw Cap’ was night of Murder, at which time he met him coming out of Town House Tavern at 1:20 AM 2-18-55.
State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:
A contact with Mrs. George Steelhammer revealed that she was quite reluctant to talk as to the conversation that she had overheard. However, she did state she had heard a conversation relative to Mr. Kaser and some eastern Oregon interest. She would not reveal the name of the lady with whom she was talking. Stated she did not know the ladies name and she was not definite as to where or when this instant had occurred.
The beauty shop was contacted. Beauty operator was unable to give the names of ladies at the shop at the time of Mrs. Steelhammer. The book showed an appointment for Mrs. Steelhammer, however, it showed two hair washes and hair sets with no names given. The beauty operator stated that she had not overheard the conversation and had no knowledge as to whom either of the ladies could have been.
Relative to a phone call to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office from John Seims, Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Mr. Seims. He stated that he had overheard a Clarance Schantz make the statement that he had played shuffleboard with Cap Oveross after 10:00 P. M. 17 February 1955. Clarance and Clifford Schantz were contacted by the writer and Deputy Shaw. Both boys, age 17 and 19, denied having made this statement. They denied ever having played shuffleboard with Cap Oveross. They further denied having ever frequented Shorty’s Tavern or the Town House. Stating that they were both minors and were not permitted in either place of business.
Observing the clothes taken at the crime scene by the Crime Detection Department Identification Bureau, it was observed that in the front seat of the Kaser vehicle was a new un-opened package of Lucky Strikes and a book of matches. This gave the writer and Deputy Shaw the opinion that Mr. Kaser could have possibly purchased these cigarettes after letting Ethel Oveross out at approximately 10:00 to 10:10 17 February 1955. Starting at the point where the couple had separated from the Abiqua Creek, the writer and Deputy Shaw returned towards Salem checking all stores and taverns in effort to determine if Mr. Kaser could have stopped at any of these places and purchased cigarettes that evening. Three grocery stores and five taverns were checked with negative results.
State Police Captain R. G. Howard:
Mr. Paul Parson, Captain
Oregon State Police
At approximately 10:45 P.M. On 17 February 1955 Ervin Oren Kaser was murdered by rifle fire while parked in his driveway just south of Silverton, Oregon. We have been unable to locate the .30 caliber rifle that fired these shots. One of our prime suspects is Casper Oveross, a Silverton resident. We have determined that Casper Oveross was the owner of a late model Winchester 30-30 Sporter model 94, but we have been unable to locate this firearm and Casper Oveross declines to cooperate.
We have determined that Casper Oveross has a brother, Lloyd Oveross, who works for a logging company at Happy Camp, California, near Eureka, California. We have information that Lloyd Oveross purchased a .32 caliber Winchester model 94 carbine from Johnson’s Hardware Store in Silverton, Oregon, with serial number 1519912. We do not have the date of this purchase or any other details.
Rather than to communicate directly with the authorities at Eureka or Happy Camp, we believed it would be more advisable if you would personally discuss this matter with the California authorities and request them to cause a discreet investigation to be made to determine if Lloyd Oveross has recently received a rifle by express or other means and what rifles he now has in his possession. We have no reason to believe that Lloyd Oveross is connected with this crime but we hope that he might be able to tell us if Casper Oveross has shipped him a gun since the 17th of February and, if so, the caliber and other details. We would also like to determine if Lloyd Oveross will tell us the store and the approximate date when Casper Oveross purchased the 30-30 caliber Winchester. We believe this to have been from 1946 to 1948.
If the circumstances seem advisable, we can see no objection to an interview with Lloyd Oveross to obtain this information.
Yours very truly,
R. G. HOWARD, Captain
By [signed] Farley E. Mogan
Lieutenant, District Two
Tuesday, March 8, 1955
State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:
On 8 March 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer proceeded to Madras, Oregon, relative to the information from the telephone company that on 16 February 1955 Ervin Kaser had placed a telephone call at 11:42 A. M. to Madras phone 2930. That Ervin Kaser had talked two minutes and forty-two seconds to this number. Also remembering the information related by Mrs. Eastman. At Madras, Oregon, Keith Foster of the Foster Manufacturing Company was contacted. The phone number above given is to that of Keith Foster Manufacturing Company. Keither Foster stated that he did not know Ervin Kaser, had never met Ervin Kaser and to the best of his knowledge had never had an occasion to call or talk with Mr. Kaser. He did state that he had distributed by mail 150 to 170 pamphlets throughout the Willamette Valley to mint and hop growers advertising a large blower fan and other equipment that he had manufactured for these two type farmers. A check of the list to whom these circulars had been distributed failed to disclose that Ervin Kaser had received one of these folders however, Mr. Foster stated that some folders had been mailed to people whose name was not on this list. Mr. Foster also stated that he had run an add in the Portland papers for several days for a machinist and sheet metal worker and that he had received approximately 100 to 125 phone calls in reply to these adds and that it is entirely possible that Mr. Kaser may have answered his add for a machinist if he is interested in this type of work. Keith Foster was questioned as to the divorce of he and his wife approximately eight months ago. Foster stated the divorce had come about because of his poor management and his continued indebtedness in operating the business. Foster further stated that to the best of his knowledge his wife had never stepped out with another man and to the best of his knowledge she did not know Ervin Kaser. A check at the Jefferson County Courthouse revealed that the divorce was filed by Edna Foster, charging mental cruelty resulting from continued indebtedness and financial difficulty.
Edna Foster was contacted. She stated that she did not know Ervin Kaser and that she had never known of any Kaser’s in that area. She further stated that since her divorce she had gone with one boy, whose name she did not desire to divulge, and she said prior to her divorce she had never stepped out on her husband with anyone. She was further questioned as to her husbands friends or any partnership he may have had. She stated that the only partner that she had ever known of was Benjamin Miller and that he at the present time is part owner of the business.
Information was received that another body and welding shop which also manufactures farm machinery had a similar telephone number of 2730. A check was made with this company, the Hart Brothers Welding and Manufacturing Company. The Hart brothers stated they did not know Ervin Kaser and had never had any contact with Ervin Kaser. They further stated that to the best of their knowledge they had never manufactured any type of machinery or done any work for persons in the Willamette Valley or Salem-Silverton area.
The telephone company was contacted and a re-check was made with the Silverton office to determine whether the phone call previously made by Ervin Kaser on 16 February 1955 had been a person to person call or station to station call. It was determined that the call was a station to station call, no party had been asked for. A check with the other usual source of information failed to reveal any mail or mailing address for Ervin Kaser in the Madras area.
The Jefferson County Tax Accessor, Mr. P. R. Lewis, was contacted relative to any land in the Madras area or in Jefferson county to which taxes had been accessed to Ervin Kaser. Check of the tax receipts failed to disclose any property in the name of Ervin Kaser.
The County Recorder was contacted and at that time it was learned that a John and Robert Kaser presently live in the Ashwood area. Check of the probate of the Kaser family disclosed that 7,000 acres of land had been willed to John and Robert Kaser by their father Jake Kaser. A thorough check of the probate action from 1921 to date failed to disclose any name of Ervin Kaser or of Harvey and Melvin Kaser also of the Silverton area. [EK_NOTE: This was an entirely different family unrelated to Ervin’s family; like to different families named ‘Smith.’]
A check of the partnership agreements also registered at the Jefferson County Courthouse failed to disclose any partnership action by Ervin Kaser. Mr. John Chanook, attorney, also land sales and partnership attorney for the Madras-Jefferson county area was contacted. Mr. Chanook stated that he had no knowledge of an Ervin Kaser as he had never sold him land or has drawn any partnership agreements between Ervin Kaser and another man.
Mr. Jim Marsh, real estate and insurance agent in the Madras area, was also contacted. He stated that he had no knowledge of an Ervin Kaser and to the best of his memory and to his records no one by the name of Ervin Kaser had attempted to seeked any farm land or business property in that area. Mr. Marsh also checked with three other real estate agencies in the Madras-Redmond area they also had negative answers.
Mr. John Ricker, President of the First National Bank of Madras was contacted. Mr. Ricker stated that he had no knowledge of an Ervin Kaser and to the best of his memory had never been confronted for a loan on any type of property, business property, or any type of a partnership agreement involving an Ervin Kaser.
Howard Turner, Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, Madras, Oregon, stated that he believed that in some time in the late fall of 1954 an Ervin Kaser came to his office for information relative to land suitable for raising strawberries. He was particularly interested in getting in the irrigated section, however, Mr. Turner stated that he had no record of this and was unable to locate any letter or notes infile and he is quite sure that had such an instant happened that he would have referred Mr. Kaser to one of the real estate agencies or to Mr. Max Ricker at the First National Bank. As before mentioned the above subjects were contacted with no information.
Deputy Shaw and the writer then proceeded to the John and Robert Kaser ranch which is located approximately forty miles north and east of Madras. A more definite location is one mile west of Horse Haven Ranch on the Madras-Ashwood Road. Robert Kaser was contacted relative to any knowledge of Ervin Kaser. Robert Kaser stated that to the best of his knowledge Ervin Kaser was not related in any way to his family and that he had never heard of Ervin Kaser prior to his reading the Oregonian the latter part of February 1955 in which he noticed the incident in the Silverton area. Mr. Kaser further stated that he was not sure but he did not believe his father, Jake Kaser, had any relatives in the Salem-Silverton area.
All hotel registers, motel registers, several filling stations and eating establishments in the Madras area were checked relative to any knowledge of an Ervin Kaser. This check was made with a negative result.
In view of the above information it is the writers belief that if Ervin Kaser had any interests in this area that they would have been discovered through one of the checks made. However, it is possible that he may have had an interest in a spot distant to Madras. Possibly in the Redmond area, however, there is nothing to substantiate this belief.
Sheriff Denver Young:
9:40 AM Contacted Henry Annundson, brother-in-law of Casper Oveross on Powers Creek Road. Mrs. Annundson was also present. Stated that he hunted with Casper, Bill Specht & Ed. Schubert in the Prineville Mitchell area. States on the morning of February 18, 1955 Colleen and Danny came to their house and told them about the shooting. Danny told them that Casper had been out to see him about 11:30 and told him about Kaser being shot. Thinks Casper purchased his rifle from Ames Hardware store. He also stated again that he had not seen Casper at his house on night of 17-18. Stated that he purchased his rifle before Casper at the Salem Hardware store in Salem. Gun was submitted for ballistics check and receipt issued. Gun is Model 64 Winchester. Ser No 1410289. (puchased 2/14/48 for $79.75.)
Also submitted for test firing, one Remington Core-Lokt shell and two Winchester Super Speed. Shells marked on base DY
10:55 A.M. Contacted Ed. Schubert at residence, Rt. 2 Silverton. States that he, Casper O., Bill Specht and Henry Annundson all went hunting near Prineville about 3 years ago. Casper had a 30-30 rifle at that time. Casper was not at their home at any time on night of Feb. 17/18. Shubert submitted his 30-30 Cal rifle for ballistics test. Slide action Remington Ser. #61690, also 3 shells for test firing. 1 Peters Hollow point and 2 Western S.P. Marked on neck DY.
1:00 P.M. Contacted Denzel LeGard at Union Service station. H remembers Casper being in station on evening of 2/17/55 about 8:30. Casper bought $2.00 worth of gas. He did not notice anything in car. Did not know who it was until he asked Mr. Borte. Did not notice any signs of drinking.
2:00 P.M. Checked records of 30-30 sales at Marshall Wells store from June 21, 52 til 3/17/53. Contacted Mrs. Devinny.
3:00 P.M. Contacted Mrs. Jean Moon, daughter of Henry Oveross. Cap has been living with them since release from County Jail Feb. 28th. No information.
3:30 P.M. Contacted Mrs. Sarah Kaser, mother of Ervin Kaser. Rt. 3 Box 117. States she heard one shot just as she was getting ready for bed on 17th. Feb. She saw light on in front of Kellerhals res and did not think much of the one shot that she heard as she thought that some one was shooting at a dog, which quite often happens. States that up until about three weeks before death he always parked in front of the house, since then he has parked in back. Ervin has been searching for a job. About a week or two before shooting he had taken her to Sheridan in search of work, and had contacted the Chevrolet Garage there. Ervin was over for dinner a short while before death and stated, “that he and Cap sure were not good friends, that he had wanted to hit him but he had walked away instead!” Had never heard him mention any contacts in Madras.
Mrs. Calvin Kaser of Rt. 1 Box 198 was present. No information.
States that Ervin had been married once before. Ervin had dried hops for a Mr. Mosier near Rocky Four corners and the hops were stored in the hop house.
4:30 P.M. Kellerhals res. Re: close friends of Ethel Oveross. Checked Kellerhals rifle, a 30 Cal. LeBel Remington not taken as it only had 4 lands and grooves. Manny K. state that Ervin used to peek through the small windows on the side of his door and look out towards the street. Mrs. K. stated that about a year ago she was working for Kaser and that he had tried to get her to get into his car with him during a lunch hour. She refused.
5:40 P.M. Wayne Moore residence. Mr. Moore submitted a Western super X Silvertip cartridge box with 4 live cartridges in it. He states that shells and box were given him by Oveross because they were 170 Gr. Bullets and he did not think that 170 gr. were as effective as 150 gr.
State Police Officer Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:
On 21 Feb 55, Sheriff Young removed a Remington Corelock 30-30 live cartridge from 30-30 Winchester Model 94 rifle, Ser. 118533. This live cartridge was taken by Sheriff Young and forwarded to the Crime Laborartory by Railway Express on 2 Mar 55. This 30-30 cartridge was in the firing chamber when removed by Sheriff Young in presence of writer, and retained by Sheriff Young until forwarded to the Crime Laboratory.
Mr. Moore, owner of above described rifle, stated he had not cleaned the gun since the last time he had fired it, which was about 2 months previous when he shot at a dog at this place. He stated he replaced the gun in the woodshed without cleaning it as it was an old gun and of little value.
On March 8, 1955, Sheriff Young and writer contacted a Henry Anundson, Rt. 2, Silverton, Oregon, brother-in-law to Casper Oveross. He stated approximately two or three years ago he went hunting with Casper Oveross south of Mitchell in the Ochoco Mountains. He stated Edward Schubert, Bill Specht, Casper Oveross and himself was in the party. They camped there for two or three days and were never checked by any game men in that area.
He stated on February 17, 1955, he was home alone until his wife returned from lodge around 10:15 P.M. Stated they went to bed and were awakened around 4:00 A.M. On February 18, 1955, by Colene Oveross and Danny Gilham. He stated they informed him that Ervin Kaser had been shot and they were looking for Casper. He also stated that Danny Gilham had told him that Casper had been to his place that night around 11:00 or 11:30 P.M. and that Danny told him that Cap told him that Kaser had been shot but he did not remember the exact words used. He stated that Casper has brought his 30-30 rifle out at the ranch and they have target practiced in back of his place. He stated it was a 30-30 caliber Winchester, he believed, and had lever action. He believed that Casper had purchased this gun from Ames Hardware Company in Silverton. He stated he does not remember the last time he saw Casper with this gun but thought that he still owned it.
He stated that he owned a 30-30 Winchester model 64, lever action, rifle and his has at no time ever loaned it to Casper Overss. He stated he would be willing for this gun to be taken to the crime laboratory for ballistic tests. Sheriff Denver Young gave Henry Anundson a receipt for this weapon. It is described as a 30-30 Winchester model 64, serial #1410289, lever action, equipped with a peep sight. He stated this gun was sighted for a 150 grain bullet. He also supplied three rounds of ammunition for ballistic tests which have been retained by Sheriff Denver Young to be taken to the crime laboratory for testing.
Sheriff Young and writer contacted Edward Schubert, Rt. 2, Silverton, brother-in-law to Casper Oveross, who stated that he with Henry Anundson, Bill Specht and Casper Oveross went hunting in eastern Oregon. He stated he though this was about three years ago.
He stated they were near Mitchell, Oregon. Also that Casper Oveross had a 30-30 rifle at that time. It was a Winchester lever action and he believed it had open sights. He stated he did not know where this gun was purchased but he thought some place in Silverton. As far as to the time it was purchased he could supply no information. He stated he had a 30-30 Remington game master rifle which his wife uses to hunt and that he would be willing to supply it for ballistic tests if we needed it. He also stated that Casper on the night of February 17, 1955, did not come out to his house and he did not see him until February 18, 1955. Sheriff Young gave Mr. Schubert a receipt for the 30 Remington game master rifle, serial #61690, there were also three shells obtained for ballistic purposes, they were 170 grain hollow point with two Western corlocks. These will be taken to the crime laboratory for ballistic tests.
On this date Sheriff Young and writer contacted the First National Bank, Silverton, Oregon, and contacted the manager who stated they will search the bank records during the years 1947 and 1948, 1949, 1950 during the months of July, August and September for any checks written by Casper Oveross in the amount of $69.50 or $69 and that on conclusion they will advise the sheriff’s office if they have located any checks. They will also determine who accepted the checks with particular attention, it may have been any sporting goods store or hardware store.
Sheriff Young and writer contacted a Dennis Legard, operator of the Union Service Station, Silverton, Oregon, who stated the subject by the name of Casper Oveross came to his station on the night of February 17, 1955, around 8:30 or 9:00 P.M. and he ordered $2 worth of gas. He staed that Charles Borte was at the station and he though there may have been two others at the station at the time. He stated he serviced Casper Oveross’ car but at no time did he observe any guns in the back seat. He stated he was not particularly looking but thought he may have noticed one if it had been in the seat, as he cleaned the windows and the windshield of the vehicle. He stated he thought a Mervin Tegland and a Sam Chandler may have been at the service station at the time and that he would check and find out if they were there he would notify this office. He stated that Casper Oveross did not appear to be drinking altho he did not get close enough to him to be able to tell. He stated he was in the service station for about five or ten minutes then pulled out. He did not know in what direction he went after he left the station.
Sheriff Denver Young and writer contacted Mr. and Mrs. Kellerhal, neighbors of the victim, on March 8, 1955. Mr. Kellerhal showed Sheriff Denver Young and writer an 8mm Lebel French type rifle, bolt action. Gun is made by Remington Arms Company. He stated that the gun had never been out of his house to his knowledge. A check of the gun revealed to have four lands and grooves.
Mrs. Kellerhal stated that at one time, about a year and a half ago, while she was employed by Ervin Kaser and working in the hop fields training hops that he had driven up in his car along the road and had called her and wanted her to come over and get in the car and have a drink. She stated she refused and then continued to work that day and that she had seen him later, exact date not known, when she went to get the mail out of her mailbox. He was in his front yard and he called her “chicken” and made some other remarks that she did not pay any attention to. She does not remember what the remarks were at this time. She stated she quit working for him then, but did go to work for him last spring but he had made no other pass at her. She stated a Mrs. VanCleave was a boss at the cannery where Ethel Oveross was employed one time and she may have some information. She stated also that a Danny Potter was a foreman at the same cannery and he may have some information concerning Casper Oveross and Ethel Oveross.
Mr. Kellerhal, when again questioned concerning the description of the car he observed that night leave the scene of the crime, stated that the car appeared to be a Ford and that he seems to recall a round Ford type emblem on the front grill as it pulled out but he stated he could not be sure. He stated that the outline of the car as it went by reminded him of a 1949, 1950 or 1951 Ford model car but that he could not possibly testify to this as he could not be sure.
When Mrs. Kellerhal was questioned concerning the car, she stated that when she first saw the car it came to her mind instantly that it was one just like Schmidgall’s as they have a Ford. She also stated that Ervin Kaser use to look out the windows at their house quite a bit when she was in the front yard working. Also that she could see him at different times and from the position that he was at the window it looked as if he might be lying down in the living room and peeking over the lower window sill. She stated it made her nervous but she just ignored it. She stated that Ervin Kaser appeared to be quite interested in the Kellerhal house at different times, particularly after Mrs. Kaser had moved out.
Sheriff Young and writer contacted Wayne Moore, Rt. 3, Silverton, who lives south of Ervin Kaser’s home and near the Ethel Oveross residence. He stated that he usually kept six or seven shells in his 30-30 model 94 rifle and to his knowledge he has never had 150 grain bullet in that gun at any time. He stated that he normally uses 170 grain bullet, also that Casper Oveross gave him some 170 grain bullets as he did no like that type of bullet. He stated that he does not believe that he has a 150 grain 30-30 cartridge on his place, but he would check and advise if he did.