Not Innocent: Undated Police Documents – Investigation, Grand Jury, and Trial Preparation

Below are two undated documents from the police file.

This first one was probably created in late February or the 1st of March.  The second item on the list refers to taking a statement from Mary Kaser, which was done on March 3rd (at least, the recorded statement/interview of which we have a transcript).  Item #10 refers to contacting “Lena Stefeen” which was done on March 2nd (Lena Clark, née Steffen).  Also, there’s a long list of stores to check for purchases of a rifle.  So this first document had to be an early road-map for the investigation.


1. Contact & question ROY HAGGE, lives near Eureka (Oveross has hunted on his place at night).
2. Take statement from MARY KASER, wife of victim, any info on women in Kaser’s life.
3. Check with husband & friends of LENORA JAESCHKE, (suicide victim on 2-18-55. Information that she had known ERVIN KASER).
4. Contact DONALD DAVIS, Capitol Fuel. Has info on woman in Madras, Oregon, who has supposedly been out with KASER.
5. Take Statement of R.D. METHANY, is friend of Casper Oveross.
6. Re-contact ERMA MOORE, (wife of Wayne Moore). Check with her away from her husband, any info she might supply on Oveross using Moore gun.
7. Re-contact Mr. BAILEY, former clerk at Hande’s Hdwe, he is to check for gun book sales.
8. Re-check COAST TO COAST STORES, Silverton, Old gun records.
9. Contact and secure statement from MRS. BURNS, formerly TOKSTAD, Silverton, supposedly girl-friend of Oversoss.
10. Contact and secure statement from LENA STEFEEN, Silverton, supposedly girl friend of Cap Oveross.
11. Check where Mrs. Oveross is to have parked her car, check time it would take her to drive home over route she stated she took.
12. Check FERES’ LBR. CO., Sublimity, re possible gun purchases by Oveross.
13. Contact William Roberts, Stout Creek Lbr. Co, Lyons, re Any guns bought by Oveross.
14. Check with HENRY AMUNDSON, EDWARD SCHUBERT, ROBERT MOON and EMIL WOOLFORD, borthers-in-law of Casper Oveross, as to type of guns they have, also secure same for ballistic tests.
15. Contact a lady that is 4-H leader in Silverton area, who is supposed to have seen 2 cars on 2-17-55, after shooting pass something between the cars on back road south of scene of crime. Thinks lady’s name is MRS LENSMAN. Check with 4-H club for name of leaders.
16. Check for Light grey late model Ford coach or sedan, 49 or 50 model, this car at Cabin #6, car left and gone about 15 min. there was also 2 other cars there, one a late model Chev. Salmon colored, and a pre-war model grey Ford. This was on 23 Feb 55, about 5:30 PM.
17. Check with DUANE HOPKINS and his girl-friend, they were at Cabin #5, on 2-17-55, they were visiting Mrs. HOPKINS, that night, heard car drive up to cabin about 8:40 PM, (Cabine 6), and it was there about 5 minutes and motor of car left running while some one went into cabin 6 and then left in car. (thought to be Oveross.) Watching TV.
18. Check Stayton for a young fellow, described as 21, nice looking, curly dark hair, does Carpenter work and has worked with Oveross. Has associated with Oveross considerable.
19. Check with Verna TAGLAND, mother-in-law, Mrs. Seward, 212 W. Center St, Silverton supposedly with Casper Oveross about 15 minutes after the shooting, talked to him.
21. Check with 1st Nat. Bank, Silverton, re Statements of Cap. Overss, if there is a $69.00 check written, date and etc.
22. Check PAWN SHOPS, Salem, Portland, for possible sale of 30-30 rifles since 17 Feb 55.
23. Check with D.C. MAULDING, near Silverton, supposedly has 30-30 rifle, determine if is a friend of Oveross, or still has gun.
24. Contact Mr & Mrs. Haberley, lives south Kaser’s residence. Re-statements made by Cap Oveross.
25. Check ZIMMERMAN BROS, Sublimity, they do work on guns, may know Oveross.
26. Check with GUY GRAHAM, does work on guns, Reserve Deputy, Marion County at present.
27. Send TWX to Humbolt County, for a check to be made with LLOYD OVEROSS, who is working Logging company near Happy Camp, California. Determine if he still has 32 Win mod 94, Ser. 1519912, which he purchased at Johnson’s Hdwe Co., Silverton, also if he knows type of gun owned by CAP OVEROSS, also where purchased, how long he has owned.

This second document was probably prepared by the police for the District Attorney in preparation for going to the Grand Jury and for the (hopefully) eventual trial.  Since it includes the rifle that was found in the Pudding River, the list was definitely created between then and when the Grand Jury was called the second time.  This document provides a very nice summary of the prosecution’s case.

Evidence collected and information that can be proven.

VICTIM: Ervin Oren Kaser, Rt 3 Box 115W, Silverton Oregon

DEATH CAUSED BY: Report by Dr. Harris, Oregon State Police Crime Lab.

The bullet from a 30 Cal. gun caused the death of Ervin Kaser. A portion of this bullet, the copper jacked was left in the body. This was removed and taken to the Crime Lab for comparison by Lab. technicians. This could have happened sometime between 10:10 PM and 10:50 PM 17 February 1955.

BULLET: Report by Ralph Prouty, Oregon State Police Crime Lab.

The bullet was a 30 Cal. bullet, copper Jacket, core missing. The copper jacket showed 6 lands and 6 grooves with a right hand twist.

NUMBER OF SHOTS FIRED: Photography taken by Sgt Johnson, Oregon State Police Bureau of Identification.

Photographs show two holes in the left door post, one in the left front window, one in the left front door chrome stripping.

EVIDENCE COLLECTED: Dr. Harris, Oregon State Police Crime Lab., Denver Young Sheriff Marion County.

1. One copper jacket from a 30 Cal. Bullet found in the body of Ervin Kaser.
2. One copper jacket, some lead core, found in the front seat of the Ervin Kaser vehicle.
3. One copper jacket found in the field just south of the Ervin Kaser driveway.

EXPOSURE TO THE CRIME: Statement of Ethel Oveross:

That she and Ervin Kaser met on the evening of 17 February 1955 at appx 7:45 PM. Place of meeting was the covered bridge over Abiqua Creek. They departed from this place in separate vehicles in time for Ethel Oveross to arrive at her home at appx 10:30 PM 17 February 1955. Ervin Kaser followed her from this place in towards Silverton.

* (Time run from this spot to the Ethel Oveross residence showed to be 5.9 Miles taking 9 minutes normal driving)

SUSPECT: Casper Oveross, Cabin 6 Hollin Cabins, 2nd and D st Silverton, Oregon.

MOTIVE: Ervin Kaser was the principle cause of the divorce between Casper Oveross and Ethel Oveross in October 1954.


Information from Charles Hopkins:

a. That Casper Oveross told Mr. Hopkins about 1st Sept. 1954 that he and another man had laid in the field and watched Ervin Kaser go to the Oveross residence and spend the night. Casper Oveross stated “I should have shot him right then, but I didn’t but I still thihnk I will shoot him, further, I have a friend in the pne for shooting his wifes lover and I sometimes wonder if it is worth it but after thinking it over I believe I still should shoot Ervin Kaser.”

b. Information From Robert Barnes, (Statement)

Casper Oveross was working for the Barnes Brothers and took the day off to sign his divorce papers. When he came to the Barnes place on that day he stated “Today I am a free man as I have signed my divorce papers, but if I ever catch that son-of-a-bitch under a roof I built I’ll kill him.” Robert Barnes spoke to Casper saying that he shouldn’t talk like that and Casper Oveross stated, “By God Robert I mean it.”

c. Information from Edith Kaser. (Statement)

About themiddle of September 1954 Casper Oveross came to the Harvey Kaser residence and talked with Harvey Kaser for some time about 11:00 PM. When Edith Kaser came to the door she heard Casper Oveross saying to Harvey Kaser “I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him, I don’t care if he is your brother.” With this Casper Oveross left the Kaser place.

OPPORTUNITY: Casper Oveross was well acquainted with the area surrounding the Ervin Kaser residence and various places that a subject could conceal himself and still observe the activities around the Kaser residence. Further it can be proven that he was in the vicinity on the date of the shooting and at close time to the shooting.

1. STATEMENT of Daniel Gilham: Casper Oveross came to the Oveross residence to visit his daughter shortly before 8:00 PM 17 February 1955 and left about 8:30 PM 17 February 1955.
2. STATEMENT Robert Burns: That he, while driving from his home to Silverton Oregon seen Casper Oveross back from the drive at the Oveross home and proceed towards Silverton. This was placed at appx 8:10 PM 17 February 1955.
3. STATEMENT Rose Mary Seward: That on the evening of 17 February 1955 at appx 8:15 PM she seen and spoke to Casper Oveross at Franks Grocery on west main street Silverton, Oregon.
4. INFORMATION Dennis Legard: That on the evening of 17 February 1955 appx 8:30 PM Casper Oveross came to the service station and purchased gasoline. While washing the windows and windshield of the vehicle no rifle was noticed in the vehicle.
5. INFORMATION Shirley Hopkins: That at appx 8:40PM to 8:50 PM a vehicle drove up in front of cabin No. 6 Hollin Cabins and a man got out and entered the cabin. It sounded like Casper Oveross, and subject stayed only a few minutes.
6. INFORMATION Duane Mattox: That while operating the TV at his sisters, Shirley Hopkins he heard a car drive up and he is sure that he looked out and noticed it to be Casper Oveross and he was alone, Duane Mattox believed this to be about 8:40 PM 17 February 1955.
7. INFORMATION Ray Ruscher: That he had been at Shorties Tavern on the evening of 17 Feb. 1955. That he came to the tavern about 9:00 PM and that Casper Oveross was there then or entered shortly after. Further that Casper Oveross had left the tavern by the time he left at 10:30 PM 17 Feb. 1955.
8. INFORMATION Rodney Oster: That he had arrived at Shorties Tavern about 9:35PM 17 Feb 1955 and had remained at the tavern until appx 10:15 PM 17 Feb 1955. During this time he had talked with Casper Oveross about 15 minutes. Casper had talked of his home problems and money problems. He did state to Rodney Oster that “My wife should be at lodge tonight but I suppose they are out together again.” He also mentioned his friend in the pen doing time for shooting his wifes lover.
9. STATEMENT Daniel Gilham: That while backing from the Oveross driveway at 10:30 PM 17 February 1955 Casper Oveross was traveling north on the Silverton Sublimity Hwy and that he honked at him as he passed.
10. STATEMENT Daniel Gilham: That at 11:00 PM 17 February 1955 Casper Oveross came to his home and stated that “Ervin Kaser has three slugs in him and that I was his witness and that he was tih me last night.”
11. INFORMATION Jenny Gilham: Information to verify the statement of Daniel Gilham and that she seen Casper Oveross in her driveway at 11:00 PM 17 Feb 1955.
12. INFORMATION Jerry Hoyt: That at appx 12:45 AM 18 February 1955 that Casper Oveross came into the Town House and drank a 7-up highball and a cup of coffee and left the Town House at about 1:20 AM 18 Feb 1955.
13. INFORMATION Silverton City Police Officer Painter: That Casper Oveross came to his cabin, cabin #6 Hollin Cabins at appx 1:20 AM 18 February 1955.
14. INFORMATION from Sheriff Young and State Police Officer Dunn: That Casper Oveross was talked to with his permission and was picked up at this address, Silverton Oregon.


a. STATEMENT of the E. Kellerhals: That they while in bed, heard the Ervin Kaser vehicle drive in the driveway of his home and they heard a second vehicle drive up and stop. They heard one shot and seen the flashes from three shots. They observed a vehicle pull out south on the Silverton Sublimity highway which appeared to them to be a Ford. They placed this time at 10:45 PM 17 February 1955.

b. STATEMENT from Ted Finlay: That he heard four shots and observed a vehicle heading south on the Silverton Sublimity highway almost by the time the shots echo had stopped. This was placed at 10:55 PM 17 February 1955.

c. INFORMATION form various other persons who heard the shots: Monroe Hanson, Wayne Moore, Mrs. Kaser, Julius Gehring, Jerome Gehring.

d. STATEMENT of Betty Hollin: That she heard two shots and heard a car going south on the Silverton Sublimity highway in a very shot time after the shots. Placed the time at 10:50 PM 17 February 1955.

ALIBI: During the questioning period by Sheriff Young and Officer Dunn, Casper Oveross denied that he was in the area of the Ervin Kaser residence any time during the day of 17 February 1955. He further denied that he owns any rifle at this time and that the last one was a 32-20 he sold about three years ago.

That he further accounts for his evening as being at Shortie’s Tavern and the Town House. However, he will not give the names of persons who might have seen him in these places of business.


RECORDS AT AMES HARDWARE: From a ledger sheet information was obtained that on 5 March 1949 Casper Oveross charged a 30-30 Winchester rifle, amount $62.45. Also the sales slip was located showing the sale on 5 March 1949 of a 30-30 Winchester rifle $62.45 and this information has been verified by the sales personnel Marian Zahler, Eugene, Oregon.


a. Information from Frank Dedrick, State Police: That about one week before hunting season, 1 October 1954, he and Casper Oveross did some target shooting. At that time Casper Oveross was using a 30-30 carbine.

b. Information from Clifford Kuenzi: That during the Elk hunting season, Novermber 1954, Noah Winger borrowed a 30-30 Winchester Carbine from Casper Oveross for this hunting season. This weapon was taken on a trip with Clifford and Lee Kuenzi, Alvin and Melvin Lund and Aflord Von Flue and Noah Winger. All except Winger has been contacted and verified the fact the weapon was borrowed and that it was a 30-30 Carbine.

* Test runs were made from the Ervin Kaser Residence to the Gilham residence and found to be 5 miles and normal driving time to be 5 minutes and 45 seconds.

* A check with gun experts and Prouty Oregon State Police Crime Lab reveals that a 30-30 Winchester Carbine has the 6 lands and 6 gooves as found on the copper jackets recovered.



A. Can testify to the fact that he heard four shots.
B. That he saw the flash from three shots.
C. As to the time that he saw these shots.
D. That he saw the vehicle from which the shots came.
E. Description of the front of the vehicle, also the side view of the vehicle, and sound of vehicle leaving the scene.
F. Give location of the vehicle from which the shot was fired and the location of the Ervin Kaser vehicle.
G. That he observed Edith Kaser’s pickup go by shortly after the vehicle left south on the Silverton-Stayton Highway.
H. That he went to bed at 10:30 P.M., after the above incident and was talking to Melvin Kaser, heard the clock chimes strike 11:00 P.M.
I. That it was an exceptionally light night and the vehicle from which the shots were fired was a dark color.


A. Can testify to the body style of the vehicle from which the shots were fired.
B. That she saw the flashes from the gun.
C. That they had gone to bed at 10:30 P.M., after the above incident had occurred and her husband was talking to Melvin Kaser on the phone she looked at the clock and it was 11:00 P.M.
D. That she was awake at the time of the first shot, that she immediately jumped up and looked out of the window.
E. That she heard two cars, one of which pulled into the Kaswer driveway, the other just came to a stop on the road shortly after the first vehicle pulled into the driveway.
F. That she saw the color of the vehicle form which the shots were fired, and it was either a dark blue or black as it headed south on the highway immediately after the shots were fired.
G. That the vehicle from which the shots were fired had two tail lights and that both lights were burning.
H. That the vehicle from which the shots were fired had its headlights on when it pulled from the scene.


A. That he was called by the Kellerhalls and advised that they believed someone was shooting at Ervin Kaser.
B. That he phoned Harley DePeel, constable in Silverton.
C. That he arrived at the scene and observed his brother, Ervin Kaser, lying in the front seat of the vehicle.
D. As to information regarding his brother, Ervin Kaser.


A. That he heard of the shooting over the police radio and went to the scene immediately and met Deputy DePeel at the scene, returned to Silverton and advised Chief of Police Rel Main at approximately 11:10 P.M., 17 February 1955.
B. At 11:15 P.M. checked taverns for Casper Oveross, was unable to locate him in any of the taverns.
C. Went to Cabin #6, Holland Auto Court at 11:20 P.M. and found no one in the cabin. Newspapers were over the windows. Watched cabin for a while, knowing that the cabins were equipped with gas stoves decided to investigate.
D. Cabin door not locked, checked the interior of the cabin, found it unoccupied, checked for firearms, none observed, observed box on drainboard of sink containing three live 30-30 Cal. Shells. Searched the cabin thoroughly for firearms, none found. Left the cabin and went back up town. Returned to cabin again when the sheriff and the officers picked up Casper Oveross. Observed at this time a shotgun in the bedroom of the cabin, which was not there at time of first entry into the cabin at 11:20 P.M. The box on the drainboard had been placed in the cupboard.


A. Can testify to the statements of the suspect not owning a 30-30 rifle.
B. Can testify that Casper Oveross gave the alibi that he was in two taverns all evening and that he had not been at the Oveross home, and that he had not been within miles of the scene of the crime during the evening or the entire day of 17 February 1955, and that he had spent the entire evening from 6:30 P.M. to 1:30 A.M. In two taverns in Silverton.
C. That he refused to take the lie detector test.
D. Can testify to what was found in the Oveross cabin at 1:45 A.M. 18 February 1955, at the time he was picked up.
E. That Casper Oveross denied seeing his daughter on the evening of 17 February 1955.
F. That he denied killing Ervin Kaser.
G. That Casper Oveross knew Ervin Kaser was running with his wife, and that three years ago he was angry at Ervin Kaser and if he had wanted to kill him he would have done so then.
H. Can testify to the picking up and forwarding to the Crime Laboratory a series of rifles belonging to relatives of Oveross.


A. Can testify to the fact that she has been running around with Ervin Kaser for a period of about three years.
B. Can testify to the fact that she has received a divorce from Casper Oveross and that Ervin Kaser was the basis for the divorce.
C. Can testify that Casper Oveross owned a rifle and that it set in the kitchen of the home most of the time; further, that he took the rifle when he left at the time of the divorce.
D. Can testify to the fact that Casper Oveross made threats to her about her and Ervin Kaser.
E. Can testify that she was out with Ervin Kaser on the evening of 17 February 1955, as to the time she left the house and the time she returned, and as to where they went.
F. That she heard four shots shortly after she arrived hom efrom being with Ervin Kaser and that shortly there-after she heard a vehicle go by, going south, followed by a second vehicle which she recognized as her sister’s pickup.
G. That Casper Oveross target practiced with his rifle behind the Oveross home.


A. Can testify that he was tending bar at the Town Tavern on 17 February 1955.
B. Can testify that Casper Oveross was not in the Town Tavern on the evening of 17 February 1955.
C. Can testify that Casper Oveross showed at the Town Tavern at 12:45 A.M. 18 February 1955.
D. That a little before midnight the city police officers came to the tavern and asked whether or not he had seen Casper Oveross and that they had told him of Ervin Kaser being shot.
E. Can testify to the actions of Casper Oveross when he did come to the tavern. Ordered a 7-Up highball, seemed nervous and laughed at almost everything said.
F. Can testify to the time Rodney Oster and his wife left the Town Tavern.
G. Can testify to the time that Casper Oveross left the Town Tavern at 1:20 A.M. 18 February 1955.


A. Can testify to the time he arrived at Shortie’s Tavern which was 9:35 P.M. 17 February 1955.
B. Can testify that Casper Oveross was at this tavern at this time.
C. Can testify to statements made by Casper Oveross, “My wife is supposed to be at lodge but I suppose they are out together”; “ I dont think I will do anything about it as it isn’t worth it”; also, “Have a friend in the pen doing 99 years for killing his wife and boy friend.”
D. Can testify to the time that he left the tavern, which was about 10:20 to 10:25 P.M. and that Casper Oveross was still at the tavern at that time.
E. Can testify to him being at the Town Tavern between 10:30 P.M. 17 February 1955 and 12:30 to 1:00 A.M. 18 February 1955 and that Casper Oveross did not come into the Town Tavern during this time.
F. Can testify to the fact that Casper Oveross told him about his family troubles.


A. Can testify to the number of years that he has known Casper Oveross.
B. Can testify to the type of gun that Casper Oveross has hor had.
C. Can testify to threats made by Casper Oveross against Ervin Kaser.
D. Can testify to following Casper Oveross’ vehicle at 8:10 P.M. 17 February 1955 north from the Oveross residence past the Ervin Kaser residence, and the actions of the driver, whom he recognised as Casper Oveross.


A. Can testify to the fact that he was at the Ethel Oveross residence on the evening of 17 February 1955 and that Casper Oveross came to the residence and left during the time he was at the Ethel Oveross residence.
B. Can testify that he stayed at the residence, leaving there about 10:30 P.M. 17 February 1955 and that he went home.
C. Can testify that upon leaving the Ethel Oveross residence he observed a vehicle headed north on the highway which he recognized as Casper Oveross’ vehicle.
D. Can testify to his stepmother waking him up and telling him that someone wanted to see him, and that he went to the driveway of his home and that it was Casper Oveross.
E. Can testify that he was awakened again that night to answer a call from Coleen Oveross and that he went to her home.
F. Can testify that Casper Oveross had a 30-30 rifle, lever action, and that it was a Winchester, and that he had seen this rifle at Casper Oveross’ cabin #6 after last hunting season, and around about Christmas time.
G. Can testify that he took Casper Oveross and Coleen Oveross to Salem to see an attorney on 18 February 1955.
H. Can testify that Casper Oveross inquired as to where he ex-wife was on the night of 17 February 1955, this was during the time Casper Oveross was visiting at the Ethel Oveross residence.


A. Can testify to the time that her son Daniel came home on the evening of 17 February 1955, approximately 10:30 P.M.
B. Can testify that she and her busband were in bed in an upstairs bedroom overlooking the driveway.
C. Can testify to the fact that she heard a vehicle come into the driveway and saw someone standing in the driveway yelling “Danny”.
D. Can testify that she awakened Danny and that he went downstairs to see who was in the driveway.
E. Can testify to the man’s actions.
F. Can testify to the identity of the subject.
G. Can testify to the time, as her husband asked her the time, and the clock is set fifteen minutes fast; the clock showed it to be 11:15 P.M. on 17 February 1955.
H. Can testify that the vehicle in the driveway was a dark color vehicle, that the dome light in the vehicle was burning, and that she observed the subject cover something in the back of the vehicle.
I. Can testify as to the location of the vehicle in the driveway.
J. Can testify that Daniel Gilham told her that he had just talked with Casper Oveross.


A. Can testify to threats made against his brother Ervin Kaser by Casper Oveross.
B. Can testify that Casper Oveross brought to his home a new 30-30 Carbine, still in the box.
C. Can testify that he has seen Casper Oveross target practicing in the pasture to the rear of his home.
D. Can testify to his son Jeffery Kaser bringing home from the Oveross pasture several shell casings.
E. Can testify that he turned these casings over to the State Police, Officer Riegel.


A. Can testify to the type of gun owned by Casper Oveross.
B. Can testify to the type of shells Casper Oveross used.
C. Can testify that Casper Oveross is a good shot and can shoot quick.
D. Can testify that Casper Oveross has done target practice on his place.
E. Can testify that Casper Oveross told him that if he did not cease friendship with Ervin Kaser he would drop friendship with him.


A. Can testify of threats made by Casper Oveross of shooting Ervin Kaser.
B. Can testify that Casper Oveross told him that he had laid in a field and watched Ervin Kaser go to his house and that he should have shot him then but he didn’t but he though he would yet.


A. Can testify that he purchased a 32.20 rifle from Casper Oveross.
B. Can testify that he borrowed Casper Oveross’ new 30-30 rifle to take elk hunting in November of 1949.


A. Can testify to the time run from the Ervin Kaser residence to the Daniel Gilham residence.
B. Can testify to the taking various shells and guns to the Crime Laboratory for test.
C. Can testify to taking the murder weapon to the Crime Laboratory for test.
D. Can testify to the finding of the sales slip at Hande’s Hardware, showing the sale of a 30-30 rifle to Casper Oveross.
E. Can testify to the finding of the invoice at Hande’s Hardware showing the purchase of two 30-30 rifles by Ames Hardware from Hibbard-Spencer-Bartlett and Co.
F. Can testify to the finding of the ledger sheet showing Casper Oveross’ account at the Ames Hardware for this 30-30 rifle.
G. Can testify to the statement of Casper Oveross to Lt. Mogan that he would not talk without his attorney being present, and on his permission.


A. Can testify selling Casper Oveross a new 30-30 rifle and identify sales slip.
B. Can testify to invoice order on two 30-30 rifles.


A. Can testify to the fact that at that time he was in the sport section of Ames Hardware and that at that time rifles were very scarce and the possibility of there being a stock of rifles is almost an impossibility.


A. Can testify to the photographs of the crime scene.
B. Can testify to the ballistic tests of the various rifles, also of the murder weapon.
C. Can testify to the comparative data on the various shells found on the Casper Oveross property.


A. Can testify to the cause of death and laboratory analysis.

The above is a compilation of the witnesses and their testimony, which witnesses the District Attorney has subpoenaed for Grand Jury appearance.

The police reports and the above list of evidence and witnesses seem to make a pretty solid case.  But you have to keep in mind that all bets are off when you get into a courtroom, and that a trial is not about “finding the truth.”  It’s an adversarial process, and each side is trying to shape the evidence and testimony to suit their own goals.  A trial’s process and its outcome rarely have much to do with ‘truth’ or ‘justice,’ it’s just portrayed that way on TV (sometimes…).

Next up: Jury Selection

Blogically yours,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 13)

This brings us to the close of the investigation with the discovery of the rifle and the arrest and indictment of Casper Oveross.  It’s pretty obvious that the investigation had been winding down, with all the leads running out.  But then came Sunday, May 8th, two and a half months after the murder, and three young boys were, well, being boys…

May 5, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

GUNS: Writer on 5 May 1955 returned the following 30 Cal. Rifles to owners after completion of Ballistics, and having been released by Oregon State Crime Lab.

1- Calvin Kaser, Silveront (Obtained Receipt)
2- Melvin Kaser, Silverton (Obtained original rec.)
3- Wayne Moore, Silverton (Obtained Original Rec.)

ADD’T INFO.: Writer contacted Mrs. Wayne Moore, Silverton and received the following information relative to the Ervin Kaser, case.

Ervin was planning on Subpoena’ing Cap Oveross into Court to testify at his Divorce proceedings. Casper Oveross supposedly knew this thru Ethel. (It has been rumored that Ervin was going to use some of the information that Cap had supposedly dug up inferring that Ethel was aloose woman morally.)

Writer contacted HARVEY KASER, Silverton relative to a conversation between Harvey and Emanuel Kellerhals.

On 5-2-55 Harvey was helping Emanuel Kellerhals @ Manny, in the cultivations and exterminating of some Ragweed. Manny K. asked Harvey, have you heard any thing new on the case yet? (Reference to the Ervin Homicide)

Harvey said Nothing since Ethel took the Lie Detector Test.

Manny said I am surprised the Police hadn’t asked me to take the Test.

Harvey said. Well if you did it would make you out a Liar wouldn’t it Manny?

Manny Replied. I told Connie that if we ever took it, that would be the biggest lie if we said no we didn’t recognize the car.

Harvey said. Manny you know in your own mind whose car it was.

Manny replied. I knew immediately in my own mind whose car it was. I just couldn’t Testify as to whose car it was and maybe stretch an innocent mans neck.

Harvey said. Well how can he be innocent if he went up to Gilhams at 11:00 Oclock.

Manny Replied. I cant understand what he went up there for?

Harvey said. He went up to establish and Alibi, they always make one mistake some place.

Note; This conversation is Verbatum and as accurate as Harvey can recall at this time. He stated there may have been additional words or some thing that he cant recall at this time. But believed this to be a correct version.

May 8, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

DESCRIPTION OF ARTICLE FOUND: One 30-30 Caliber Winchester Carbine, Model 94, serial 1538797, the gun upon being handed to Officer was unloaded. Gun had appearances of mud, and rust in various places around Barrell and Breech. Gun was turned over to Writer at 3:44PM May 8, 1955. Turned over to Writer by LARRY WACKER, Age 12 yrs.

DATE FOUND: Gun was found as nearly as can be remembered at about 3:00 PM Sunday May 8 1955, Found by LARRY WACKER, Age 12 yrs., and Neil Beutler 11 yrs., and Ralph Beutler 8 yrs.

Other ITEMS: RECEIVED: Also turned over to Writer was a Live Kore Lock type 30-30 Cartridge, that the boys stated they had found in the Gun. (Writer Marked this and Identified it for future.)

Writer also received a Tape Recording made at Emmanuel Mennonite Church, at Pratum, Recording is voluntarily given by Boys finding the Rifle, Writers comments, and the Comments of Reverand Frank Harder.

PLACE FOUND: According to Statements of Boys the gun was found in what is called the Little Pudding River. This Stream runs between the Cornelius Bateson residence at Rt 5 Box 382, and neighbor on East, Albert Scharer, Rt 5 Box 383. Bridge according to Automobile speedometer is 6 tenths of a Mile East of Pratum School, District 50. Gun was found closest to East Bank, and about 24 feet North from base of bridge. According to boy the Butt of the rifle was sticking out of the Water about ten inches.

STATEMENTS: Neil Beutler, 11 yrs., Ralph Beutler, 8 yrs., Larry Wacker 12 yrs. all were with the parents over to John Rother residence at Rt 6 Box 520. About 3 pm. May 8th. the boys were on their bikes riding East. They were crossing a bridge over little pudding river and Larry Wacker said he was going under the bridge to see if he could find some fish. Neil, and Ralph Beutler waited for him on the bridge. Larry said he saw the butt of the gun sticking out of the water and thought it was a piece of an old toy rifle. He pulled it out, and took the gun up on the bridge. Worked the breech and extracted an empty cartridge, and a live cartridge jammed in the breech. One of the boys took the empty and threw it back over into the creek. The boys then took the rifle over to the Roth residence and with the help of their Father extracted the live cartridge. One of the parties there stated the Sheriff Office was looking for a rifle like that, on the Murder of Kaser. So the Sheriff Office was called and a deputy requested.

Larry Wacker did state to this Officer that he looked at the make of the Gun and it was a 30 30 Winchester, this was done prior to taking the gun up on the bridge.

SUMMARY: The rifle was given to Writer along with a Live Cartridge. A Tape recording was made and several pictures was taken of the scene. Cartridge, and Rifle was marked and identified for evidence. On May 9th writer and Officer (State Police) Lloyd Riegel took the gun and Cartridge into the Crime Lab. And turned them over to Ralph Proudy Technician. A receipt for Rifle with serial Number written on it was given Wacker.

Pudding River Bridge

Pudding River Bridge, looking west towards Pratum (so north is to the right), April 27, 2014.  Whether this is the bridge that was there in 1955, or whether the bridge has been rebuilt since then, I don’t know.  Cloreta Kaser told me once that this was the road she used to take most of the time when she went to Salem, and for decades after the murder, every time she crossed this bridge she thought about the rifle having been thrown off there into the water.

Pudding River Bridge

North side of Pudding River bridge, April 27, 2014. It’s probably about 40 feet vertically from the roadway down to the water.

Pudding River

Pudding River north of the bridge, April 27, 2014. The rifle was found about 24 feet north of the bridge, towards the right-hand (eastern) bank.

Pudding River

Pudding River, north of the bridge, April 27, 2014. The gazebo and road probably were not there in 1955, and undoubtedly the amount and type of brush along the banks was different.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

At 7:00 AM 8 May 1955 [EK_NOTE: Must have been PM not AM] the writer contacted Deputy Shaw, Marion County Sheriffs Office and first observed a 30-30 Winchester Carbine, Serial number 1538797. This weapon is the same number as one of the two weapons found to have been sold to the Ames Hardware, Silverton, Oregon. The writer accompanied Deputy Shaw in taking this weapon to the Crime Labitory in Portland, Oregon where Ralph Prouty conducted a series of tests and reported that the test shots from this weapon and the bullet from the body of Ervin Kaser were fired by the same weapon. Ralph Prouty stated that a letter would follow.

The writer and Deputy Shaw then contacted Mr. Norris Ames at Hande’s Hardware in Silverton, Oregon relative to the book in which he recorded serial numbers of guns that he sold while owner of the hardware. A search for the third time was made of the old records stored at the Hande’s Store. The record of a gun sale to Casper Oveross showing the gun by serial number could not be located. Mr. Ames was questioned regarding the invoice found at the store and to the possibility of the two guns shown on this invoice being the only guns in the store at that time. Mr. Ames stated that it would be impossible to determine that at this time. Mr. Ames stated that he not only handled new guns but that he would purchase second handed guns of which there was no record kept until they were sold. He further stated that the actual recording of serial numbers of sold weapons was left up to the bookkeeper, Marion Zahler, now in Eugene. A search was also made of some records that Mr. Ames had taken to his home upon selling the business to Carl Hande. There was no record found that shows the serial number of the weapon.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Denver Young, Marion County Sheriff’s office, called writer on 8 May 55 at 6:55 PM and advised that three young kids had found a 30-30 rifle in Pudding River just east of Pratum where the county road crosses Pudding river. He advised the gun bore Serial number #1538797 and was one of the two listed in Officer Riegel’s report dated 1 Apr 55. He advised the gun was found about 3:00 PM on 8 May 55 and that his Deputy Amos Shaw had checked weapon and interviewed the three kids, one of who was, Larry Wacker, 853 Gaines Street, Salem, Oregon, and 12 years of age.

On 8 May 55 Officer Riegel and writer checked sales slips that had been picked up from Ames Hardware Store, Silverton, for any possible sales of rifles and writer found a sales slip to John ZOLOTOFF, Silverton, dated 3-26-49, showing purchase of 30-30 Winchester rifle, no serial number listed, with a price of $62.45. This was a charge sale and it was signed “STEVE ZOLOTOFF”. Writer caused a check be made with Steve Zolotoff, Silverton, who advised that he had purchased a 30-30 rifle from Ames Hardware store in Silverton, in March, 1949 and that the gun has since been in his constant possession and has never at any time been loaned to anyone. He stated he would gladly let the Police check the gun on Ballistics.

Statesman Newspaper, Salem, Monday, May 9, 1955:

PRATUM — The lengthy, discouraging search for the weapon used in the slaying of Ervin Kaser near Silverton last Feb. 17 may have ended Sunday when a 12-year-old boy pulled a .30-.30 rifle from Pudding River about a mile east of here.

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young, after examining the gun found by Larry Wacker, 853 Gaines St., Salem, said “There is a good possibility this is the murder weapon.”  Slugs found after Kaser was shot to death in his car by an unknown assailant indicated the weapon used was a .30-.30 rifle.

Site where the gun, a Winchester model, was found is approximately five miles by road from Kaser’s Silverton area farm home, scene of the slaying. Young said the rifle pulled from the river was “in pretty good condition” though indications were that it had been in the water for a considerable time.

The gun and cartridge were to be sent to the state crime laboratory at Portland for a check, Young said.

What might be a major break in the Kaser case came because young Wacker and two companions chose to make a playful trek from Pratum Road to the river in the vicinity of Pudding River bridge.  The companions were Neil Beutler, 11, and Roger Beutler, 8, both of Salem Route 6, Box 517.

The Wacker boy reportedly pulled the rifle from the river about 4 p.m. Sunday after spotting it sticking above the ebbed waters.  he told Young he ejected one empty cartridge.  One live cartridge was still in the chamber when authorities examined the rifle.

After making the find, Wacker and his companions ran back to the John Ross home, Salem Route 6, Box 520, where their parents were visiting.  Authorities then were notified.

Failure to find the murder weapon has been a major handicap in investigation of the case.  The sheriff’s office and state police, in efforts to find the weapon, had combed the countryside in a wide radius about the murder site.

Spot where the gun was found is about three miles west of Pratum Road’s juncture with the Silverton-Sublimity Road.  The site where Kaser was shot is on the Silverton-Sublimity route some two miles north of the junction.

Shortly after the Feb. 17 slaying one suspect was charged with the crime but a grand jury failed to indict for lack of evidence.

May 9, 1955

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

Received from Officer Riegel and Deputy Sheriff Shaw Marion County, one 30-30 carbine, Model 94 serial no. 1538797 in connection with the above case at 8:45 A.M., May 9, 1955. (2) 1 ENVELOPE CONTAINING A LOADED 30-30-Rem-??? cartridge from gun.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

On 9 May 55 Officer Riegel and Deputy Sheriff A. Shaw delivered the above weapon to Mr Ralph Prouty, University of Oregon Medical School, Crime Laboratory, and learned that it was definitely identified by the Laboratory as being the weapon used in killing above victim.

On 9 May 55, Sheriff Young and writer picked up 30-30 Winchester rifle, Model 94, Serial number #1541417, which was in possession of STEVEN J. ZOLOTOFF, Silverton, Oregon. He was shown the Purchase slip dated 3-26-49 and identified his signature thereon and stated he could testify to that being his signature, also that Mr Ames sold him the gun and wrote the sales slip out and at the time the gun was purchased on his father’s account, who was JOHN ZOLOTOFF.

A search was made where gun was found in Pudding river for possible 30-30 casings with negative results, a more concerted effort will be made in near future and if any are found it will be reported.

Sheriff Young and writer contacted Manny Kellerhall, who stated when he heard the shooting and looked out his bedroom window on night of 17 Feb 55, that his first impression of the vehicle parked in back of his truck and near his driveway and from which the shooting was coming from, was a Ford make vehicle and sedan type body. He stated after this first impression then he thought it was Cap’s car and wondered if that was him shooting at Kaser. He stated he remembers the round emblem on the front of the vehicle which is the type on a 50 or 51 Ford.

May 10, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 10 May 1955 the writer conducted a neighborhood check along the entension of Market Street. The check was conducted from Pratum east to the Silverton Stayton road, then across the cross roads from the Market Street extension to the State Street Extension then east along the State Street extension to the Silverton-Stayton road. This check was conducted in effort to obtain additional information relative to the 30-30 Winchester Carbine, serial 1538797, found in Puddin River near Pratum on 8 May 1955. There was no information obtained that could be connected with the person who might have thrown the rivle in the river. The name JACK HANSON was developed as being a possible subject that might have been travling this road at the time of night which is felt that the gun was disposed of. This subject will be contacted for any information that he may have.

[EK_NOTE: In the following paragraph, references to “JACK KASER” should be “JEFF KASER.”]

The writer then contacted HARVEY KASER, brother of the deceased, relative to his statement that he could find expended bullets in the field behind the OVEROSS residence. The writer and Mr. KASER spent considerable time digging for these bullets without success. The writer was given five shell casings, 30-30 Cal., that had been picked up in the OVEROSS field by HARBEY KASER’S son JACK KASER, age 10 years, during a time when CASPER OVEROSS was doing target practice. These shell casings have been in the possession of JACK KASER since they were found in 1954.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Young and writer on 10 May 55, delivered to Ralph Prouty, Crime Laboratory, one (1) 30-30 Winchester rifle, Model 94, Ser.1541417, which is the property of STEVEN J. ZOLOTOFF, Silverton, Oregon. This weapon is one of the two listed on INVOICE #M93738, from HIBBARD-SPENCER-BARTLETT Co, Evanston, Illinois, and directed to AMES Hardware Co, Silverton, Oregon, and dated Feb 23, 1949.

Mr Prouty advised he would compare the two empty 30-30 casings found on Casper Oveross’s property, refer to report by Officer Riegel, 19 Mar 55, with 30-30 Winchester Rifle, Ser.1538797, which was found in Pudding River and has been identified as the Murder weapon.

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

Received May 10, 1955 at 11:00 A.M. From Sheriff Young, Marion County and Sgt. Huffman, Oregon State Police a rifle, Model 94 Winchester, Serial no. 1541417 in connection with the above case.

May 11, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 11 May 1955 the Writer and Sheriffs Deputy Amos Shaw took these shell casings [EK_NOTE: the shell casings received from Harvey and Jeff Kaser] to the Crime Labitory. Ralph Prouty compared these casings with known casings from the gun found in the Puddin river and stated that four of the casings were fired in the gun in question and the fifth from a different gun. Mr. Prouty stated that additional checks would be made before the time they would be entered as evidence.

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

Received May 11, 1955 at 2:15 P.M. from the Crime Detection Laboratory a rifle, Model 94 Winchester, Serial no. 1541417 in connection with the above named case.

[Signed] Lloyd T. Riegel
[Signed] Amos O Shaw

Received from Marion County Sheriff Office 1-Rifle 30-30 Cal. Serial 1541417

[Signed] Mrs Steve Zolotoff

[EK_NOTE: These are receipts, for the trail of evidence, of Steve Zolotoff’s rifle being returned by the Crime Lab to the police and then from the police to Mrs. Zolotoff.]

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

*List of witnesses on above case and what they can testify to.

CONNIE KELLERHALL, Rte.3,Bx.115,Silverton, Both can testify as to Murder suspect’s car, type of vehicle, sound and general style of car and what they thought was make of vehicle, number of shots fired, position of victim’s car and Murderer’s car, also approx.time of murder, and their actions, calling of Kaser’s brother, Melvin.

MELVIN KASER, Rte.3,Silverton, Identify deceased, what he found when he went to deceased home, location of deceased’s car in driveway and also deceased’s background.

JAMES PAINTER, City PD, Silverton, Can testify to what he observed in Oveross’s cabin #6, no guns on first trip and shotgun last trip at Time suspect picked up for questioning (Sheriff Young, Officer Dunn, Chief Main, present) (Huffman’s report, 3-1-55)

ROBERT DUNN, State Police, Testify to statement of Oveross when first questioned, about him not owning a 30-30 rifle and selling 32-20 rifle, and denying being in area of crime scene anytime that night and being in taverns in Silverton that night. (Dunn’s report, 20 & 24 Feb,55)

DENVER YOUNG, Sheriff, What was found at scene of crime, statement of suspect, verifying Officer Dunn’s testimony, taking of Zolotoff’s gun to Lab, finding of spent bullett in Strawberry patch.

DANIEL J. GILHAM, Testify to suspects visit at 11:00 PM, 2-17-55, statement of suspect, “There was 3 slugs in Kaser”, “I want you for my witness” also observed suspect at Ethel Oveross residence at 8:00 PM and again drive by at 10:30 PM headed north toward victim’s house. (Huffman’s reports, 23 Feb 55 & 23 Mar 55)

MRS JENNIE GILHAM, Testify to time suspect arrived at Gilham’s residence, at 11:00 PM, 2-17-55, his actions, type of car driven, seen him cover something up in back seat, also subjects actions, (Huffman’s report 23 Feb 55.)

GERALD HOYT, Bartender at Townhouse Tavern, testify to suspect not being in Tavern until 12:45 AM, 2-18-55, also that witness OSTER & wife had left Tavern before suspect entered. (Huffman’s report,23FEB55)

RODNEY OSTER, Bartender, Mac’s Tavern, knows suspect, saw him at 9:35 PM, 2-17-55, at Shorty’s Tavern and talked to him about family troubles and can testify he was not in Townhouse tavern. (Huffman’s report, 23 Feb 55)

ETHEL OVEROSS, Her activities with deceased, suspects knowledge of these activities, suspects threats, when she left home 2-17-55 and time she arrived home, hearing the shots and hearing car go by that sounded like suspects. Suspects guns, when last seen, in Aug,54, where he kept them in house, also buying new gun and selling his other gun. (Huffman’s report,23 Feb 55 and 1 Mar 55, and Capt. Howard’s report,26 Apr 55)

ROBERT BARNES, Testify to threats suspect made against victim, also suspects movements at 8:15 PM, 2-17-55 and his actions when driving by victim’s house, also target shooting with suspect, (Huffmans report 23 Feb 55)

WAYNE MOORE, Type of gun owned by suspect, type of shells suspect used, knows suspect is good shot and quick in shooting. Was hunting with suspect about 2 years ago and had 30-30 rifle then, also knows suspect did some target shooting on his place, (Huffman report 23 Feb 55)

NOAH WENGER, Bought 32-20 from Cap, also borrowed Cap’s 30-30 rifle (new) to take elk hunting with him. This was in November, 1949.

CLIFFORD KUENZI, Can verify this hunting trip and Wenger borrowing gun and where.

FRANK DEDERICK, State Police, Eugene did some target shooting with Cap Oveross and also shot his rifle, a 30-30 Winchester similar to Sate Police rifles, around 1 Oct. 54.

HOMER BAILEY, Former clerk at Ames Hdwe. Co. can testify to scarcity of guns in 1946-47-48-49.

CHARLES HOPKINS, Threats by suspect as to shooting Kaser, the deceased – this was around 1 Sept. 54.

HARVEY KASER, Threats made by suspect- shooting Kaser (victim) (around middle of September 1954). Edith Kaser present. Empty 30-30 casings found by his son when Cap and Harvey were target shooting.

MARIAN ZAHLER, Sold 30-30 Win. Rifle to Casper Oveross. Can identify sales slip Ames Hdwe Store also account slip and invoice order for 2 30-30 rifles.

OFFICER RIEGERL AND DEPUTY SHAW, (1) Time of run from deceased home to David Gilham’s house, 5 miles – 5 min. 45 sec. (2) Shells to crime lab found on Cap Oveross’ place. (3) Murder weapon to crime lab. Found in Pudding River. (verify Larry Wacker’s testimony). (4) Shells, 30-30 casings from Harvey Kaser’s son to crime lab. 11 May 55. (5) Finding of sales slip at Harde’s Hdwe Co. – to Cap Oveross – purchase of gun. (6) Finding of invoice showing 2 30-30 Win rifles. Serial # 1538797 and #1541417. (7) Finding of ledger sheet – Oveross’ account.

SHERIFF YOUNG and SGT.HUFFMAN, Rifle Ser. #1541417 to Crime Lab. Huffman – finding of sales slip of purchase of above gun by John Zolotoff, 3-26-49. Young – What statements suspect made and what was found at crime scene.

DR. H. H. HARRIS, Medical testimony – cause of death and laboratory analysis.

MR. RALPH PROUTY, Photographs of crime scene- Ballistic tests of various rifles and murder weapon – Extractor marks fixing pin impressions of guns.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE RIEGEL’S list, Sales slip to Cap Oveross invoice record-to Ames Hdwe Co. Ledger sheet – payment records of suspect’s account.

LARRY WACKER, 12 yrs. – Finding of 30-30 rifle in Pudding River by bridge near Pratum & 2 other boys with him.

May 13, 1955

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

At 8:45 A.M., March 9, 1955 there is received from officer Riegel, Department of State Police and Deputy Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s office the following items of evidence:

Item E-17 is a 30-30 carbine, Winchester model 94, serial #1538797. This item bears a Sheriff’s Office official evidence tag with the notation “May 8, 1955 Ervin Kaser homicide, Marion County Sheriff and State Police, serial no. 1538797. 30-30 caliber rifle Winchester.” On the opposite side of the tag is the signature of Amos O Shaw. Examination of this rifle reveals a heavy encrustation of rust around the muzzle and forward end of the magazine. Examination of the bore reveals the presence of much soft, red rust which extends for a distance of approximately 4 inches down the bore. This rust is removed by soaking with oil and gentle brushing. The remainder of the firearm is pitted with indications of rust. This item has the appearance compatible with that of a firearm submerged in water for an extended period of time. The action is operated, and found to perform in a satisfactory manner. Upon completion of the cleaning process, this item is test-fired in the laboratory, and found to function in a satisfactory manner. The test-fired bullets are compared with Items E-1 and E-2 of laboratory report dated March 2, 1955, and it is noted that the bore details consist of six lands and grooves of right hand twist. Further examination reveals that the microscopic details of the test-fired bullets are similar to those on Items E-1 and E-2, indicating that both items were fired through the bore of Item E-17. The test-fired cartridges fired in the chamber of this rifle are compared with Items E-20, E-22, E-23, and E-24, and found to be similar in microscopic details, which indicates that they were fired in this firearm. Removal of the butt plate and close inspection of other portions of this rifle fails to reveal any identifying marks other than the serial number, 1538797.

Item E-18 is a loaded 30-30 cartridge enclosed in a white envelope which bears the notation “May 8, 1955 AOS. Shaw. IKH. Live cartridge from 30-30 Winchester found by Larry Walker.” Examination of this loaded cartridge reveals that it is a Remington 30-30 170 grain soft point, Kor-lockt type bullet. The extracter marks on the rim of the cartridge are compared with those on test-fired cartridges from Item E-17 and are found to be similar, indicating that this cartridge has been worked through the action of Item E-17. The construction of the bullet is compared with Item E-1 and Item E-2, and Item E-14 (see report dated April 21), and found to be of similar construction.

At 11:00 A.M., May 10, 1955 there was received from Sheriff Young of Marion County and Sgt. Huffman, Oregon State Police, Item E-19. This item is a 30-30 model 94 Winchester carbine serial #1541417. This item is test-fired in the laboratory and it is noted that the test-fired bullets have six lands and grooves of right hand twist. However, the lands are considerably more narrow than the land impressions of test-fired bullets made in Item E-17 and the land impressions on Item E1, E-2, and E-14. This clearly indicates that this rifle could not have been used to fire Items E-1, E-2, and E-14. Nothing else remarkable is noted.

At 2:15 P.M., May 11, 1955 there was received from Officer Riegel, Oregon State Plice and Deputy Sheriff Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Items E-20, E-21, E-22, E-23, and E-24.

Item E-20 is a 30-30 Winchester Super-X fired cartridge which has a spherical indentation in one side of the case between the neck and the rim. Comparison of the firing pin impression and breech block marking on the base of this cartridge with test-fired cartridges fired in Item E-17 reveals that they are similar, indicating that they were fired in the chamber of the same firearm. This item reportedly was found on the Oveross property.

Item E-21 is a 30-30 Winchester Super-X fired cartridge reportedly found on the Oveross property. Examination of the firing pin impression and breech block markings reveals they are clearly dissimilar to those on test-fired cartridges made in Item 17, therefore could not have been fired in that weapon.

Items E-22, E-23, and E-24 are 30-30 Remington fired cartridges reportedly found on the Oveross property which are compared with test fired cartridges made in Item E-17, and it is noted that the firing pin impressions and microscopic breech block markings are similar, indicating that they are fired in Item E-17.

At the request of Sheriff Young and Sgt. Huffman, a comparison was made of the microscopic markings on the 30-30 cartridges reportedly removed from the house and person of Kasper Oveross on February 18, 1955. Extended examination of these items fails to reveal any markings that would indicate that they had been placed in Item E-17.


We are of the opinion that

(1) Item E-17 was used to fire the bullets listed as E-1 and E-2 and could have fired Item E-14

(2) The bullet in Item E-18 is similar in construction to E-1, E-2, and E-14. The loaded cartridge has been worked through the action of Item E-17.

(3) Item E-19 could not have fired E-1, E-2, and E-14

(4) Items E-20, E-22, E-23, and E-24 were fired in the action of E-17

(5) Item E-21 was not fired in the action of E-17.

Sheriff’s Deputy Richard C. Boehringer:

I stopped one car just as you were leaving, the party lives just east of Pratum but does not travel that road only very seldom at night.

I left at 12:10 A.M. To resume patrol.

May 14, 1955

Sheriff’s Officer Doney:

At about 10:15 AM, 5-14-55, Chief Main of Silverton called this office by radio and asked if Deputy Shaw would be in the Silverton area today. That he had some information regarding the Kaser case.

The writer called Shaw at his home and Shaw said that he would go over and see what it was.

Upon Shaw’s return he called the writer by phone and asked that the following information be relayed to Sheriff Young:

FLOYD KASER reported to Chief Main that he overheard a conversation between FRANK SCHROEDER of Stayton, Oregon and JIM RIPP of Sublimity. They were all in a Tavern at the time. FLOYD KASER told Chief Main that he overheard SCHROEDER say that “he hoped they didn’t make too much of a thing over the rifle that was found in the creek as he had owned it at one time”. Shaw said that he contacted JIM RIPP and was advised that SCHROEDER had not made such a statement. Said that he and SCHROEDER had been talking about the rifle and that SCHROEDER had said that he had owned one like it at one time. Shaw did not contact SCHROEDER as he was up above Mill City some where.

After the conversation with RIPP, Shaw was of the opinion that FLOYD KASER had been drinking quite a bit and had misinterpreted the conversation between SCHROEDER and RIPP.

Oregonian newspaper, May 17, 1955
Grand Jury Eyes Death
Probe Reopened In Rancher Slaying

SALEM (AP) — The Marion county grand jury met Monday for reconsideration of the murder of Ervin Kaser, Silverton hop rancher who was cut down by four rifle bullets as he returned home the night of February 17.

District Attorney Kenneth Brown said he would call about 25 witnesses before the jury in an effort to get an indictment.  Casper Oveross, 44, a former neighbor of Kaser, was charged with the murder, but was freed when the grand jury failed to indict him.

The rifle used in the slaying was found in the Pudding river near here a week ago, Brown said.  Brown added that he has traced the ownership of the rifle.  On the basis of this new evidence, Brown went before the grand jury again.

Relatives of Kaser asked Brown to withdraw from the case and appoint a special prosecutor.  They said they believe that fact that Brown’s home is in Silverton would make it desirable to have somebody else prosecute the case.

[EK_NOTE: From what I’ve been told by family members, it wasn’t that Brown lived in Silverton, but rather they felt he had NO experience with a murder trial, and he’d just been a small-town (Silverton) lawyer before being elected D.A.  The family didn’t feel that he had what was needed to put on a good prosecution.]

May 17, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

The following is a list of those who testified before the Grand Jury on 16 May 1955, and the times they testified.

1. Sheriff Denver Young 10:00 AM to 10:40 AM
2. Dr. Harris 10:45 AM to 11:05 AM
3. Connie Kellerhal 11:07 AM to 11:21 AM
4. Emmanuel Kellerhal 11:24 AM to 11:36 AM
5. Silverton City Officer Painter 11:37 AM to 11:47 AM
6. Rodney Oster 1:10 PM to 1:15 PM
7. Gerald Hoyt 1:17 PM to 1:25 PM
8. Melvin Kaser 1:27 PM to 1:35 PM
9. Mrs. Jennie Gilham 1:35 PM to 1:40 PM
10. Daniel Gilham 1:42 PM to 1:50 PM
11. Robert Barnes 2:00 PM to 2:08 PM
12. Ethel Oveross 2:10 PM to 2:25 PM
13. Harvey Kaser 2:27 PM to 2:48 PM
14. Jeffery Kaser 2:48 PM to 2:50 PM
15. Charles Hopkins 2:52 PM to 2:58 PM
16. Wayne Moore 3:00 PM to 3:08 PM
17. Marion Zahler 3:08 PM to 3:30 PM
18. Officer Riegel 3:35 PM to 3:42 PM
19. Ralph Prouty 3:42 PM to 3:58 PM
20. Ohmar Bailey 4:08 PM to 4:12 PM

Noah Winiger did not appear before the Grand Jury, neither did the boys that found the rifle in Pudding River.

Statesman newspaper, Tuesday, May 17, 1955
D.A. Mulls Plea to Leave Murder Case

District Attorney Kenneth O. Brown said Monday he did not feel he would be justified in stepping aside as prosecutor of Casper Oveross, indicted for the rifle slaying of Ervin Kaser.

Brown admitted that members of the Kaser family had suggested he turn the case over to a special prosecutor presumably because all principals in the case including Brown are from the Silverton area.
I feel I am qualified to try the case.  I do not feel that I am in anyway prejudiced because I live in Silverton inasmuch as I have never to my knowledge so much as met the accused or the victim,” Brown stated.  “I have been elected by the people to presecute criminal actions in Marion County, including Silverton.  I hesitate to ask the county court to incur the expense of hiring a special prosecutor.  However, the feeling of the relatives creates a difficult situation and I wish to consider the matter at greater length.  At present time, my general feeling is that I would not be justified in stepping out of the case simply because I am from Silverton.”

Once in recent history has a district attorney of the county disqualified himself as prosecutor.  During the term of office of Lyle J. (Barney) Page 17 years ago in the case involving the county treasurer, sheriff and county court offices, Page disqualified himself on the grounds he was the legal advisor for those offices.  The county court then appointed a special prosecutor to conduct the case.

Brown said the only ways he could be superceded in the case would be for him to voluntarily step aside, or for the governor to ask the attorney general’s office to intercede as it did in last year’s Lincoln County vice probes.

May 16-18, 1955

[EK_NOTE: Oregon State Police sent numerous TWXs and telegrams to various police agencies around the area, notifying them of an arrest warrant for Casper Oveross, searching high and low. One example follows.]







May 19, 1955

United States Post Office, Silverton, Oregon:

Air mail letter
To Henry Oveross no return add. Postmark Fairbanks, Alaska. May 17, 1955, 9PM

Air Mail letter
To Miss Colleen Oveross R3 no return add. Postmark Fairbanks, Alaska, May 17, 9PM

Air Mail pkg
To Miss Colleen Oveross, R3 from 1563 Noble St Fairbanks Alaska, Postmark Fairbanks Alaska May 16, 1955

May 20, 1955

State Police Captain R. G. Howard:

Vern Davis, Special Agent, F. B. I., advises that federal warrant of arrest charging Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution for Murder, issued in Federal District Court, Portland, is now outstanding for Casper Oveross, recently indicted on a charge of Murder in the First Degree by the Marion county grand jury. The F. B. I. will check out of state leads and will keep this office informed of results.

R. G. HOWARD, Captain

[EK_NOTE: later added in handwriting…] Now OK – arrested Fairbanks, Alaska 5-20-55. RGH

May 25, 1955

State Police Captain R. G. Howard:

Memorandum to Mr. H. G. Maison, Superintendent

Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman have been designated as state agents to return Casper Oveross from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Salem to stand trial on an indictment charging first degree murder. The entire cost of returning the prisoner to Salem will be paid by the state and no expense will be charged to the department.

The two officers will depart from Salem early Thursday morning, May 26, and are scheduled to return to Salem on Sunday morning, May 28.

Sergeant Huffman has been authorized to accompany Sheriff Young in accordance with our conversation of May 21.

May 26, 1955

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

On May 26, 1955 the writer and Sgt. Wayne Huffman left the Portland Airport atc 4:00 A.M. For Fairbanks Alaska to return Casper Oveross to answer to the charge of Murder in the First Degree based on an indictment by the Grand Jury.

Arrived in Fairbanks 12:00 noon 2/26/55

May 27, 1955

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

10:45 A.M. Contact Lt. Wm. Trafton of the Alaskan Territorial Police.

4:00 P.M. Accompanied Officer Goodfellow who arrested Oveross to the office of United States Commissioner who dismissed the Federal charge of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, and then arraigned him on our warrant and had him sign waivers of Extradition, two copies were furnished me. Oveross was then returned to the Feral jail until the following morning when we picked up his car and possessions.

4:30 P.M.

Made special contact with agent of the Carpenters Union to attempt to get refund for Oveross on $75.00 payment on initiation. Agent promised that he would take it before the board at their next meeting and felt that they would make a refund.

May 28, 1955

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

Oveross and Denver Young return from Alaska

Silverton Appeal, June 3, 1955 — Casper Oveross, Silverton carpenter and farmer, is shown alighting from a United Airliner at Salem Sunday back of Sheriff Denver Young who flew to Fairbanks, Alaska, to return him to Marion county to answer a grand jury indictment for the murder of Ervin O. Kaser, Silverton hop farmer, who died Feb. 17 from a rifle blast as he sat in his car in his driveway.

8:30 A.M. Contacted Officer Goodfellow at Federal Jaiol and picked up Oveross. Drove him out to lot where he had been living to pick up his car and other things. No restraint used on trip. Stood by while Officer Goodfellow took several pictures of Oveross car. Brought Oveross car into Fairbanks and left it at the residence of John Slentz 1563 Noble St. Fairbanks Alaska.

10:00 P.M.

Left Fairbanks for Seattle & Salem.

May 29, 1955

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

10:00 A.M. Arrived in Salem.

Booked prisoner at County Jail

Capital Journal newspaper, Tuesday, May 31, 1955
Oveross Trial Set June 21

“Not guilty,” said Casper Arnold Oveross in a clear calm tone Tuesday forenoon in Marion County circuit court when asked by Judge George R. Duncan for his plea to an indictment that charges him with the first degree murder of Ervin O. Kaser.  He will go to trial June 21.

Dressed in a black and white checked soft shirt and grey trousers, Oveross appeared earnest in manner but grave.  Other than his reply concerning his guilt, he had nothing to say, although he conferred at times with his attorney, Bruce Williams.

Attorney Williams and District Attorney Kenneth Brown immediately went into conference with Judge Duncan to arrange a trial date that is agreeable to all. Both the district attorney and defense counsel expressed the belief that the trial would consume from two to two and a half weeks.  Brown asked two weeks to prepare for the trial and Williams requested a trial as “early as possible.”

Oveross accused of killing Kaser by shooting him with a rifle the night of February 17, 1955, as Kaser drove up to his farm residence south of Silverton, was returned to Salem Sunday by Sheriff Denver Young from Fairbanks, Alaska, where Oveross said he had gone in search of work.

Oveross drove his automobile over the Alcan highway to Fairbanks, taking some eight days for the trip, reported Sheriff Denver Young.  Oveross had found employment as a construction worker at a age of approximately $30 a day.  The high wage is reflected in the fact that rent for a two room shack costs $125 a month.

June 2, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

LOCATION: CREEK, approximately 1/2 Mile East of Pratum Grade School, Pudding Creek (Little Pudding). Approximately 15 feet from base of bridge on North side in estimate 15 inches of water.

SUBJECT: Writer searched the bottom of the creek looking for Cartridges that may be in the water. Writer found numerous cartridges, empty and live cartridges in the creek of various calibers. Most of them seemed to be of a Foreign make. However found one only, 30-30 Caliber empty cartridge. This cartridge was marked for identification as follows. AOS 6-2-55 2:00 PM. The Cartridge was bent and split on the end which projectile would normally be.

Writer contacted Neil Beutler, whom was present when a 30 Cal. Rifle was found close to where the empty cartridge was located and subject was unable to Identify the Cartridge I showed him.

DISPOSITION OF SHELL: On June 6, 1955 Writer handed the Cartridge mentioned in above para. To Ralph Proudy of the State Crime Lab. for comparison with other Cartridges known to have been fired from the Gun found at this spot. A Receipt for same will be mailed to this Office. Cartridge was given to Mr. Proudy at 4:00 PM on June 6th.

SUMMARY: It is possible that other 30 Cal. Cartridges are lodged on the Creek bottom however at this time it will be very difficult to locate them due to the Milky discoloration of the water, and the rocky formation of the bottom.

June 2, 1955

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

There was received from Deputy Sheriff Amos Shaw of Marion County June 6, 1955 at 4:00 P.M., one 30-30 cartridge in connection with the above case.

June 8, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

At 4:55 PM this date Writer and Sheriff Denver Young interviewed Casper Oveross, at the Marion County Jail, Salem Oregon.

Sheriff Young, asked Casper during the Interview following questions.

Casper you have maintained your innocence right along, that you didn’t have any thing to do with the shooting out there, and I wondered if you would submit to a Lie Detector test, with the consent of your Attorney.

Casper replied I am innocent and I have nothing to say, you can talk to my attorney if you want.

Sheriff Young replied well Casper will you submit to the test with your attorney’s Consent.

Casper replied, If that is all your going to talk about, you might as well take me back to the Cell.

Sheriff Young asked him again if he would submit to the test if it was all right with his Attorney, to which Casper stated I am not going to say any more just talk to my Attorney, and started remarking about some books in the shelves.

June 14, 1955

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

At 4:00 P.M., June 6, 1955 there is received from Deputy Sheriff Amos Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the following item of evidence:

Item E-25 is a fired 30-30 caliber cartridge reportedly found in the Little Pudding River near the location where Item E-17 was found. Examination of this fired cartridge reveals that it is manufactured by the Remington Arms Company. This item bears the notation “AOS 6-2-55 2:00 P.M.” An area extending approximately 1/4 of an inch down the neck of the cartridge is the site of considerable mutilation. The firing pin impression and the breech block markings of this item are compared with test-fired cartridges fired in Item E-17, the 30-30 carbine Winchester model 94, serial number 1538797, and it is noted that the impressions are dissimilar. Examination of the rim for extractor marks reveals the extractor marks are dissimilar to those on test-fired cartridges. Nothing else remarkable is noted.

SUMMARY: In our opinion, Item E-25 was not fired in the chamber of Item E-17.


And that’s pretty much the end of the investigation, other than a few things that were looked into during the trial.  Next time, a couple of documents that were probably put together by the police for the prosecution, leading up to the trial, and maybe the beginnings of the trial.

Blogically yours,

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

2201 W Howard St.
Evanston Illinois
Date Shipped Feb 22 1949

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,

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,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 10)

Ever since the murder on the night of February 17, 1955, the police have been searching for the murder weapon, believed to be a 30-caliber hunting rifle. They’ve hunted for the rifle itself and have done ballistics tests on a number of 30-caliber hunting rifles belonging to men in the Kaser family, in the Oveross family, and belonging to neighbors and others related to the homicide.  Their prime suspect, Casper Oveross, has denied ever having owned a 30-caliber hunting rifle, even though he had some shells in his cabin and others have claimed that he had a hunting rifle.  The police have searched every sporting goods store, lumber yard, hardware store, gunsmith, and any place that might deal in guns anywhere within reasonable range of Silverton where Oveross may have purchased a gun.

At last, after three weeks, on March 10, progress…

Wednesday, March 9, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 9 March 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw proceeded to the Crime Lab, Portland, Oregon, with two weapons and several specimens of ammunition for these weapons. While at the crime lab these weapons were tested and a 30 Remington belonging to Edward Schubert was returned. Test shots were fired of other weapons then on hand at the crime lab and all weapons have been eliminated with the exception of the Wayne Moore 30-30 model 94 Winchester. The writer and Deputy Shaw returned the 30 Remington pump, 30-30 Savage model 340 and the 30-30 Marlin lever action and several rounds of ammunition. These weapons are returned to their rightful owners by Sergeant Huffman. See receipts for these weapons.

The writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Mr. Kenneth Setness, foreman for the B & R Lumber Company, Silverton, Oregon. Mr. Setness stated that he had known Casper Oveross and Ervin Kaser for many years. He stated that approximately two weeks ago Casper Oveross came to his place attempting to purchase lumber at a discount. He stated that he had a contract job building some farm buildings for Bill DeLang. The company was unable to give Oveross the discount he desired so business was not transacted. Mr. Setness further stated that approximately two months ago Ervin Kaser came to the B & R Lumber Company requesting a position as a machinist and mechanic. Setness stated that he knew Kaser was a good machinist and mechanic but that he was unable to employe him at that time. Kaser then offered to sell him some 4 x 4 16 feet long planks that he had at his hop yard, stating that since he had purchased his hop picking machine he had lost considerable amount of money and that he was in bad need for some ready cash. Mr. Setness stated that these planks were purchased by the B & R Lumber Company. All the planks have not been removed from the Kaser property.

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

Contacted Mr. E.L. Montgomery 734 S Water St., Worked in Marshall-Well’s store in 1952. No pertinent information.

1:45 P.M. Contacted Mrs. Smith at Rockey Four Corners to located Mosier family.

2:00 P.M. Contacted Mrs. Mosier at Scotts Mills school.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Writer contacted the Marion County sheriff’s office on March 9, 1955 to check the radio log of station KOG233, Marion county sheriff’s office, and learned that on February 17, 1955 Deputy Sheriff Frankum was on radio duty that night. The log shows at 11:20 P.M. he dispatched car #4, Officer Boehringer, to check the Evergreen School area regarding a dead man. Radio log was checked for other times for the thought to check on the movements of car #30 which is the Silverton city police department to ascertain the time they arrived at Casper Oveross’ cabin that particular night. The only entry of car #30 was at 11:47 P.M. The only notation on the radio log was the word “Info”. In checking with Deputy Frankum, was unable to determine what their radio message was at that time or their location. They again reported in by radio after midnight some time between 12:45 and 2:30 A.M., no time was noted at the time they called in. Writer was unable to definitely ascertain the location of car #30 the time they radioed to the Marion County sheriff’s office.

University of Oregon Medical School, Crime Detection Laboratory:

At 1:30 P.M., March 9, 1955 there is received from the Crime Detection Laboratory the following items:

1 Marlin 30-30 rifle, Model 336 R C, Serial No. J 4465
1 Savage 30-30 rifle, Model 340, no serial number


Lloyd T. Reigel
Amos O. Shaw

Prior owner of Ames Hardware, Norris Ames: (letter to State Police)


In reply to your inquiry on the Oveross rifle, beg to say that I have no recollection of ever having discussed a rifle sale with him personally, altho some of the other clerks may have done so. And about the only thing I can suggest is for you to go to Carl Hande of the Hande Hdw. and have him show you to the balcony, and look thru my books and records, which were stored there in 1949. I think the bookkeeper kept serial numbers of guns, revolvers, outboard motors, etc., in her regular “time book” (app. 4 x 6” – brown cover regulation time book) (and probably several of them) of our clerks, so feel free to search thoroly for them.

I doubt very much if any Winchester guns were delivered to dealers in 46 or 7, but Marlin did make a very few deliveries on their 30 Carbine along at the close of the war period.

I will be home by April 15, and will be glad to help you in any way that I can, and feel free to write me at this address if you wish anything more from me.

Norris Ames (sd)
Box 153
Cathedral City

Thursday, March 10, 1955

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 10 March 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw located at Hande’s Hardware Store in Silverton, previously owned by Norris Ames, a ledger sheet from the hardware store when owned by Norris Ames. This ledger sheet showed that on 5 March 1949 a 30-30 Winchester rifle for $62.45 was purchased by Casper Oveross. The rifle was charged. Further check disclosed that the sales slip to Casper Oveross on 5 March 1949 had been signed or initialed by M. Z. A check revealed that the M. Z. was Marian Zahler presently of Eugene, however at that time was a bookkeeper for the Ames Hardware. These articles were obtained for photographing, see attached photostats made by the State Police Bureau of Identification in Salem. A search was made throught the building for the time book referred to by Norris Ames in his letter. This search was with negative results. Mr. Carl Hande who presently owns the hardware stated that he had seen the book when he first purchased the store in October 1949, but he has no knowledge of where the book could be at the present time.

Floyd Steiger was contacted and a picture of he and Casper Oveross and a large deer against which was leaning two rifles was taken for further photographing and enlarging by the identification bureau. This photograph has been copied and enlargement made, which is presently held at the Salem patrol office for further use.

Marian Zahler was contacted by the writer and a sample hand writing was taken from Mrs. Zahler for comparison by Captain Alford. Marian Zahler further stated that she remembered selling the rifle to Casper Oveross, but she was unable to say exactly what model rifle it was. However, as she remembered it it was a deer rifle. She further stated that Casper had the rifle layed away several months before he had actually purchased the gun and that she had actually sold the gun, as at that time the sales personnel was on a percentage basis.

Ames Hardware receipt for Oveross gun purchase

Photocopy of receipt found in old records of Ames Hardware showing purchase of 30-30 Winchester rifle by Casper Oveross on March 5, 1949, after having been on “Lay Away” since February 1949.

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

10:35 A.M. J.C.Penney store Silverton. No information.

11:30 A.M. Contacted Mrs. Helen Schmidgall who owned logging truck parked in front of Kellerhals on night of Feb. 17th, 1955. They went up there about 8:00 to put anti freeze in it. Stayed until about 10:00 P.M. then went home via Brush Creek School. Saw no cars parked on the road.

1:45 P.M. Contacted Omer Bailey who worked in Ames store 1949.

2:10 P.M. Ames Hardware store, assisted in search of records. Shaw & Reigel found sales slip to Casper Oveross.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

On March 10, 1955, Sheriff Denver Young and writer contacted Mrs. Helen Schmidgall, Rt. 2, Box 53 A, Silverton. Mrs. Schmidgall advised that they visited the Kellerhals on the night of February 17, 1955. She stated her husband has a logging truck and that Kellerhal works for her husband on and off driving the logging truck. She stated their visit to the Kellerhals was on business and was to put antifreeze in the truck. The truck at that time was parked at the Kellerhal’s place. She states they arrived at the Kellerhals around 8:00 or 8:15 P. M. She was in the house visiting with Mrs. Kellerhal while the men worked on the truck outside. She stated they left around 10:00 or 10:15 P. M. and went back home by way of the Evergreen School Road and the Brush Creek School Road. This would take them past Lawrence Gerhings place and out near their home. She stated she does not remember seeing anyone or any cars near the Kaser place when they left. She does not remember if there were any cars parked at the Evergreen School or on that road and she did not remember meeting any cars on the back road before they got home. She stated she does not know Casper Oveross and would not know anything concerning any guns that he may have had.

Friday, March 11, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:30 AM Make out Reports Etc. on Kaser Murder.

10:30 AM Work with Sargeant Huffman, and Sheriff

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Contact Informant in Silverton

2:15 PM Receive information that a Tavern in Gervais has been a meeting place between Ervin Kaser, and some of his Lady friends. Will go to Gervais and check.

2:30 PM Contact Tavern in Gervais, John Hurdle interviewed, Stated he doesn’t know Ervin Kaser at all, however may know Casper Oveross but isn’t sure. Doesn’t think that any Silverton people have been in the Tavern of late.

Hurdle was born and raised up above Scotts Mill and and has known Informant for several years. Hurdle stated he will try to relay any information regarding the Murder if he hears any.

2:40 PM Contact Barber, in Gervais (Writer has known this subject for several years and he has been a reliable source of information. Also works as part time Bar-Tender in Gervais Pool hall and Tavern.) Subject couldn’t shed any light on Murder and stated all he has heard was Vague rumors. Nothing of value. Will relay any information of Value.

3:30 PM Stayton Oregon, contacted Mr. Henry Lou Lay, stated he had worked for Cap’ Oveross for several years, however doesn’t know if Cap’ owns a gun or not. Stated he did know that Cap’ owned a Shot gun.

3:40 PM Contact Sullivan Electric shop in Stayton unable to contact J. Sullivan.

5:00 PM Off duty

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

11:30 A.M. Contacted Russ Pratt Landlord of Mrs. Mary Kaser. Called her to telephone about 6:15 A.M 2/18/55. She was pretty well broken up over news. States she had no men callers at apartment.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Contacted a Mr. Russell Pratt, employee of the Marshall-Wells Store, Hollywood District, Salem, Oregon, who has a home address of 2054 N. Capitol Street, Salem. He stated he is acquainted with a Mary Kaser as she lives in the apartment near his. He also stated a Mrs. Morrison called for a Mary Kaser around 6:15 A. M. February 17, 1955 and that he went to her apartment to call her. He stated that there was a light on in her apartment and she was up. He stated he did not think anything wrong with this as she normally gets up early so as to get down to the state capitol building in order to find a place to park. He stated she came in and answered the phone and the news she received over the phone caused quite some concern. She stated she broke down completely and that he and his wife had to put her on the bed and put a blanket over her in his apartment. He stated that he called her daughter and son-in-law and they came over. They had to give her some pills as she was completely broken up over receiving the news of her husbands death. He further stated that he did not know of any men friends or any callers that she may have had at her apartment as he had never noticed any and had seen that she had always came and left her apartment alone.

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.

Oregon State Police Sergeant Frank J. Beers:

The following places were checked by the writer with negative results: – March 11, ’55.


MARSHALL – WELLS, Canby, Oregon

91” STORE at Needy – No knowledge of any attempt to sell a 30 Calibre rifle as described in Sergeant Huffman’s report, in the area, but suggested the name of OTTO WELLMAN, Richfield Oil Company Distributor, at Mt. Angel, who is reported to be a gun fancier, and collector. Mr. Wellman is well known in the area of Marion and Clackamas Countys, as a caller on the farmers buying meat, hops, etc., and selling gasoline and oil.


MILL’S HARDWARE – Aurora, Oregon – Sells only new guns – records kept and learned nothing of any sale to any of the names furnished. (note) Mr. Mills remarked, “I suppose you are checking on the KASER murder, and he could get hungary for money and try to sell the gun in this area as you probable know he is working within three miles of here.” Meaning the SUSPECT and the Aurora area.

WHISKEY HILL STORE – Clackamas County Near Marion Co. line.

(Note) Mr. Wellman was mentioned to the writer twice March 11th., as a possible outlet or buyer of the gun in question.

Also nothing further was pushed at this time as to the exact place of employment of the suspect CASPER ARNOLD OVEROSS.

Saturday, March 12, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

9:45 AM Leave Office for Salem Oregon, and make contacts.

10:30 AM At Stayton contact Sullivan’s Electric shop, Mr. Sullivan not here at this time.

10:50 AM Contact Claude Hastings, Barber in Stayton. Doesn’t know Casper Oveross to well. Cap come in once in a while to get hair cut is all.

12:00 PM Contact CLIFF KUENZI, (Lives 3-4 miles west of Evergreen School.) said that he, and Alvin Lund, and Melvin Lund, Lee Kuenzi, D.D. Von Flue, NOAH WENGER, all went elk hunting 1949 or 1950, and Noah Wenger had borrowed a brand new, Winchester 30-30 Winchester. Noah Wenger was using a 8MM Mouser and it jammed on him so he discontinued using the gun and used the 30-30 Winchester borrowed from Casper Oveross.

Also stated that several years ago Cliff had taken his Beagle hounds and gone out in back of Harvey Kaser’s coon hunting. The hounds took off after a rabbit, and Cliff Kuenzi went down and stood by some sheep that were penned up so the dogs wouldn’t get at them. Melvin Kaser, Harvey Kaser, and Casper Oveross come over to where he was, all carried guns (believed to be shot guns not sure) Harvey Kaser remarked that he had shot at one of the dogs but missed, but it wasn’t his fault as he had tried to hit it.

Cliff also stated that he remembers reading in the Silverton Paper an article where Harvey Kaser had gone deer hunting last season, (or elk hunting not sure) (Harvey told me writer of this report that he never went hunting and didn’t know any thing about guns.) D.D. Kuenzi knows Harvey well, and may give info.

Also stated that Fred Stadeli, should know all about Ervin Kaser personal life and Ervin had shown his black eye and bruises to him right after the fight with Harvey Kaser. Fred Stadeli lives about 1 mile east of Cliff Kuenzi.

[EK_note: even at this late date, with so much evidence pointing at Casper Oveross, the police are still examining possible evidence against other suspects, such as Ervin’s brother Harvey Kaser.  They didn’t just “lock onto” their first suspect, Casper Oveross, and then ignore all other possibilities.]

2:40 PM Contacted Mr. DeLanch, Casper had laid out some plans for him in building a cabin and said that Cap didn’t do the killing. Couldn’t base his opinion on anything except the fact that Cap is a good boy. Did state that it may be well to contact a ARCHIE THOMAS Silverton, as Thomas knows something about E Kaser 1st. wife and the trouble at that time.

This Witness was very reluctant to talk, and after giving the information on A. Thomas tried to talk me out of going and seeing him.

3:30 PM Contact Clarence Moser, Scotts Mills, known Ervin Kaser and worked for him past 3-4 years.

Stated that Ervin Kaser had fired a BOB LANCE, whom lives up old Golf Course Rd. by Harvey Kaser’s and some hard feeling may have resulted.

Gave some family history on Kaser, and family.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 12 March 1955 the writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Clifford Kunzie. Mr. Kunzie stated that during elk season in 1949 that he, Lloyd Kunzie, Melvin Lund, Alvin Lund, Alfred Bonflue and Noah Winiger had gone on an elk hunting trip to eastern Oregon. Prior to departing on this elk hunting trip some discussion was made relative to taking additional rifles in case of a rifle failure. Noah Winiger borrowed a new 30-30 rifle from Casper Oveross. Mr. Kunzie stated that he was sure that this was a model 94 Winchester carbine. He stated that Oveross had loaded the rifle to Winiger with the understanding that it would not be used unless absolutely necessary. When the gun, a 8mm Mauser, used by Winiger had failed to function, Winiger had continued hunting with the Oveross rifle. Clifford Kunzie further stated that he had compared his rifle a 30-30 Marlin with the 30-30 Winchester belonging to Casper Oveross and that he was sure that the gun was new and had only been fired a few times.

Clifford Kunzie stated that he had known both Ervin Kaser and Harvey Kaser for quite some time and that he had actually transacted business with Ervin Kaser. He stated that he was quite sure that there was some hard feelings between Harvey and Ervin Kaser over the land settlement of the old Kaser home place. He stated that when he first knew Ervin Kaser, Ervin was farming approximately forty acres of his mother’s land. But within the last two years Harvey had been successful in persuading his mother to let him farm the land and to take it away from Ervin. To the best of his knowledge when the 1954 crop of hops had been harvested Ervin Kaser was out of land, as his mother had declined to let him farm any of her land further. Mr. Kunzie feels that this matter should be checked into as Fred Staidlie, a friend of Ervin Kaser, had told him that Henry and Ervin had a violent fight over this land situation and that Ervin had come to his place with a black eye and several bruises and scratches resulting from the fight.

An attempt to contact Mr. Fred Staidlie was unsuccessful, however, a contact will be made at a latter date.

On 12 March 1955 Deputy Shaw, Marion county sheriff’s office, and the writer contacted Clarance Moser, Scotts Mills. Mr. Moser stated that he had known Ervin Kaser for the past three years and that they had traded work in connection with drying hops at Ervin Kaser’s hop drying machine. Mr. Moser stated that he felt that Ervin Kaser was a fine man, that he had always been truthful and honest in all business dealings. He further stated that Kaser had never mentioned his family problems other than that his present wife, Mary Kaser, was suing for a divorce. Kaser stated that to the best of his knowledge she had no grounds for the divorce and that he would file a counter suit in order to protect his interests and land. Mr. Moser stated that on 12 March 1955 he had been advised by Melvin Kaser that Mary Kaser had placed an attachment on his hops that had been stored in the hop dryer belonging to Ervin Kaser. He stated that he did not know why this action had been taken and that he had not had time to contact an attorney and determine what counter action he could take.

Virgil Huddleston:

Received of Sheriff Denver Young and Sergeant Wayne Huffman, State Police, one (1) 30-30 Savage, Model 340, bolt action, no serial number, which was submitted for ballistic tests in above referred to case.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Re: Casper Arnold Oveross, suspect

On March 12, 1955, the following articles removed from suspect’s vehicle were returned to him and a receipt obtained.

One (1) pair of work shoes.
One (1) pair of wool socks.
One (1) Green jacket, (white stag)
One (1) Pair white carpenter overalls.
One (1) Blue print
One (1) Carpenter Hammer
One (1) Empty manila envelope, contained car license plates at one time, 1-A-118.
Four (4) 12 guage shot gun shells and one empty shell.
One (1) Package Herbert-Tarrington Cigarettes.
One (1) Blue wear-ever ball point pen
One (1) Tube of Camphor Ice.
One (1) Carpenter pencil
One (1) Pair of leather dress gloves
One (1) Pair of leather work gloves
One (1) Fishing tackle book.
One (1) Blue Plaid Jacket
One (1) Red & Blue auto robe
One (1) Blue Auto Robe.

Receipt copy attached to this report.

Silverton City Police Officer Yates:

Time: 4:30 P.M.
Date: 3/12/55

1. At the above time and date the writer was talking to Shorty the owner of Shorty’s tavern. We were talking about the Kaiser killing and who done it. Shorty stated that Overross didn’t do it, that he would bet money that Kaiser brother done the killing. Other people has told him the same thing.

2. H. C. Scheidegger 592 W. Lincoln St. Woodburn was ownwer of the Red Top tavern up till 3 years ago. He stated Kaiser was in his tavern with different women than and every one wondered how he kept from getting into trouble. He was also seen by Scheidegger at Larry’s tavern in the past, with women.

3. Ed Crosby Rt 1 Woodburn well known hop grower stated he knew Kaiser and one brother well. Crosby stated the two hated each other and told him that they did.

Ed Schubert:

Received of Sheriff Denver Young and Sergeant Wayne Huffman, one (1) 30 Calibre Remington Rifle, Ser.61690, and 3 live rounds of shells.

Signed – Ed Schubert

Wayne G. Huffman, Sergeant

Sunday, March 13, 1955

[day off]

Monday, March 14, 1955

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

8:00 AM Contact Office to type up daily reports etc.

10:00 AM With District Attorney Ken Brown

12:00 PM Lunch

1:14 PM Contact Cap’ Towe, Silverton, worked for Ames Hardware 1946 and 1947, in appliance section. Doesn’t know any thing about Casper Oveross buying a gun. Was also working there in 1948-1949.

1:50 PM Contact Mrs. Arthur Andresen, on Golf Course Road, stated that on 17th. Day of February, 1955, the family had gone to Mrs. Andresen Fathers house for a Birthday dinner. And had left there about 10:00 PM to return home. It is a 20 to 25 minute drive from there to home. She believed they arrived home around 10:30 PM, 17th. And had been home about one half hour when they heard a car drive by going on East past the house. One of them in the house remarked that the neighbor must be getting home. Every one in the house heard the car, and the next day remarked that it must have been the Murderer’s vehicle because of the time element. Also heard later that there wasn’t supposed to have been any vehicles turn up the road bu she knows better since they heard the car going by. Didn’t get a look at the car and unable to describe it. Car didn’t seem to be traveling at an excessive rate of speed.

2:10 PM Contact Sarg. Huffman and Sheriff Young, search for Bulletts in back of Ethel Oveross home. Using a Shovel and Mine Detector.

4:40 PM Pick up 30-30 Rifle from Melvin Kaser Serial No. 361221 Sheriff Young found a piece of a fragment of bullett in Straw berry patch approximately middle of the patch. In line with path of bullett after having passed thru the E. Kaser vehicle.

[EK_note: This is another instance where Amos Shaw appears to have forgotten that he’d already written up a day’s report and wrote it again, shown below.]

8:00 AM Contact Office and type up reports on previous day activities

10:00 AM With District Attorney Ken Brown discuss case and what we need.

12:00 PM Lunch

1:13 PM Contact Cap Towe, Silverton. Worked for Ames Hardware in 1946 to 1949 mostly in the Electric Appliance section. Doesn’t recall any Rifle sales to Casper Oveross.

1:50 PM Contact Mrs. Arthur Andresen, residing on Golf Course Rd. Whom stated that on 17th. Of February, the Family had gone to her Father’s home to a Birthday Dinner, And left for home about 10:00 PM. Arrived home about 10:30 PM. They were home about one half hour when they heard a car proceeding East along the Gravel road in front of the house. One of the Children remarked Mr. Lanch (Whom is a Neighbor) must be getting home. Mrs. Andresen said that every one in their house heard the car and is certain about the Time and date. Stated it could have been a very few minutes prior to 11:00 PM or a few minutes after 11:00 PM. 2-17-55.

NOTE: This is the only family on this road that would admit to having heard a car at that time of evening.

2:10 PM Contact Sargeant Huffman, and Sheriff Young and proceed to the rear of Oveross Farm and search for slugs in Field. Used a Mine Detector. Found nothing.

4:40 PM Pick up 30-30 Caliber Rifle belonging to Melvin Kaser. Serial No. 361221, to be sent in for Ballistics.

Was present when Sheriff found a Fragment of bullett in Straw berry patch in the approximate line a bullett would have traveled after passing thru Ervin Kaser’s vehicle.

5:30 PM Off duty home

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 14 March 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Casper Towe, Silverton, Oregon, employee of the Hubb’s Insurance Agency. Mr. Towe stated that he had worked at Ames Hardware in the years 1947 and 1948 then he had taken the managership of a second hand furniture operated by Norris Ames. Mr. Towe stated that he knew Casper Oveross quite well but that he had never talked guns with Mr. Oveross. He further stated that while working at the store he had no connection with the sporting goods section as he was an appliance salesman.

Deputy Shaw and the writer then conducted a house to house check of the Eureka Road, commonly known as the Golf Course Road. This road proceeds east from the Silverton-Sublimity highway, approximately 2 1/2 miles turns north and comes in to Silverton on Eureka Road by the water tower over the south hill of Silverton. A check of this road failed to disclose any information other than from Authur Andresen. Mr. Andresen stated that on 17 February 1955 that he and his family had been at a birthday party and had returned home at approximately 10:30 P. M. On making preparations for bed their daughter commented that a car has just passed the house. At that time both he and his wife remember hearing the car pass. They estimate the time at 10:50 to 10:55. They did not see the car and could not recognize from the sound of the vehicle whose car it could have been. It was their impression that it was their neighbor, R. L. Simpson, coming home, however, they could not be sure. The Simpson place could not be seen from their residence. A check with Mr. Simpson revealed that he had not returned home at that time on 17 February since he and his family had been home the entire evening.

Approximately 1/4 mile east of the junction of the Silverton-Sublimity and Golf Course Road, Casper Oveross had previously owned approximately 20 acres of land. On this land are several piles of old boards, sheet metal roofing and an old trailer house.

This property was thoroughly searched by Deputy Shaw and the writer for the possible weapon or any other thing that may be used as a piece of evidence in connection with this case. Nothing was found other than a tin can which appeared to have been shot through with a large caliber rifle but there was no indication as to where these bullets may have gone after passing through the can. Trees and boards on the place were also checked for possible bullets and bullet holes. There was no indication that there had been any firing on this property.

Deputy Shaw and the writer then contacted Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman and assisted in a search and check of the area to the rear or to the east of the Casper Oveross property. This was an open field in which there was indication that target practise had taken place. Three boards were found lying on the ground which appeared to have at one time been setting up and used as targets. These boards had bullet holes through them appearing to be from a large caliber rifle. The use of a National Guard mine detector failed to uncover any bullets in this area. Several places were checked by actually digging into the ground with negative results. The area was also checked for casings which could have been discarded after firing. There were no casings located.

The above four mentioned officers then checked the strawberry field which lays to the east of the Stayton-Sublimity-Silverton highway and between the Ervin Kaser and Melvin Kaser residence. The mine detector was used in this field with negative results. However, the remains of a bullet was found by Sheriff Young. This bullet was laying approximately half way across the field and in apparent line from the believed spot of shooting the Ervin Kaser car and the corner post as the Melvin Kaser residence. This bullet was taken by Denver Young and later transmitted to the State Police Crime Laboratory for check by ballistic experts. Two brass casings from a 30-30 caliber previously found by the writer on the Casper Oveross property were also marked and sent to the crime laboratory for what ever value they may be.

Marion County Sheriff Denver Young:

1:45 P.M. Pick up mine detector at Silverton Armory. Buddy Groah of Silverton assisted.

2:10 P.M. Oveross residence with mine detector to try and locate bullets and shells. Present Shaw, Reigel, Huffman and self, also Buddy Groah. No success.

3:00 P.M. Melvin Kaser residence. Others picked up his rifle to test. It was a 30-30 Winchester, long barrel # 361221. Use of mine detector was of no value on shells and lead bullets. I picked up a bullet fragment of what appeared to me to be part of a copper jacketed bullet of 30 Cal. This was located about half way across the strawberry field between the Ervin Kaser home and Melvin Kaser home. It was laying on top of the soil. I marked the fragment with D on upper portion.

State Police Sergeant Thomas N. Eaton:

Refer to letter by Lieutenant Farley Mogan, directed to Captain Parson, dated March 7, 1955.

On March 14, 1955, traveled to Yreka, California and from there accompanied Sheriff Al Cotter, Siskiyou county, to Happy Camp California. Inquiry was made at Happy Camp regarding LLOYD OVEROSS, as requested in Lieutenant Mogans’ letter.

The post mistress was contacted and advised that to her knowledge, no packages had been received in the mail addressed to Lloyd Oveross. It was learned from this same person that a MR. and MRS ALVA BROYLES picked up all mail at that point for Oveross. Both Mr. and Mrs Broyles were contacted and advised that Lloyd Oveross rented a small trailer house from them, which was located in a wooded lot near the main part of Happy Camp, and that they picked up the mail at the post office for Oveross. Their reason for this was because of the post office being closed at the time Oveross got off work at a local mill.

The Broyles appeared to be honest and truthful young people, and advised that to their knowledge, Lloyd Oveross had received no packages in the mail. Mr. Broyles displayed to the writer and Sheriff Cotter, two letters that had been received in the days mail, for Oveross. The letters of course were un-open, and both hnad a return address of 339 Welch St., Silverton, Oregon, the Silverton address of Lloyd Oveross, where his wife and daughter now reside. Alva Broyles and wife reside next to the Oveross trailer house and advised that they had never seen a gun in subjects’ possession or in the trailer house.

Lloyd Oveross was then conteacted at his trailer house, when he returned from his employment as a lumber grader at the Terk Lumber Co., Happy Camp. This subject had no knowledge as to whether or not his brother, Casper Oveross, owned or had owned a 30-30 caliber rifle. Stated that although he and his brother had resided in the same area, has not hunted with him for four of five years, and therefore had no knowledge of any rifles his brother may have owned or had in his possession. Subject advised that he himself owned two .32 Caliber rifles, a .22 rifle and a shotgun, which were stored in a closet at his Silverton address.

Sheriff Cotter, his Happy Camp Deputy, John Reagan and the writer questioned Lloyd Oveross for approximately two hours. Oveross advised that all he knew about the Kaser murder was what he had read in the Silverton newspapers that had been forwarded to him, however; would then discuss the reaction among the Silverton populace, because of his brothers’ unjustified arrest. It was quite evident that Lloyd had discussed the case with relatives and others but would not elaborate.

Lloyd Oveross informed that he left Silverton for Happy Camp on February 11, 1955. Then remained at Happy Camp until March 5th, at which time he traveled to Silverton, and returned again to Happy Camp on March 7th, 1955. While in Silverton, advises that he went to Caspers’ residence at one time, and at that time Casper supposedly was out for a drive, and that he did not see him.

It may have been a natural reaction, but while Lloyd was being questioned regarding any information on the rifle, he obviously was under a strain and beads of perspiration were noted on his forehead. This subject freely consented to a search of his trailer house and automobile, which was done without results. The automobile mentioned is a 1951 Ford sedan, Oregon 775-833 and blue in color.

While in Yreka, the writer and Sheriff Cotter, checked with the local Railway Express Agency, for any possible gun shipment to Lloyd Oveross. The Express Agency advised that at the end of each month their shipment record is forwarded to their San Francisco office and therefore would have no record of such a shipment for the month of February, but informed that there had been no such shipment up to that date during the month of March. If it is thought to be necessary the San Francisco records can be checked for any possible shipment for the month of February.

State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

There was received from Melvin Kaser, brother of victim, one (1) 30-30 Winchester rifle, model 94, Ser.#361221, which is being taken direct to Crime Laboratory this date by Officer Riegel and Deputy Sheriff Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s office.

There was received from Calvin Kaser, brother of victim, one (1) 30-30 Winchester rifle, Model 94, Carbine style, Ser.#1306368, which is also being taken direct to Crime Lab this date by same two officers.

On 14 Mar 55, a search was conducted in the field south of the victim’s house and a metal jacket of a bullet was found in approximately the center of the field and halfway between victim’s house and Melvin Kaser’s house. Bullet was found by Sheriff Young and marked by him for identification and is being taken to Crime Lab by above two officers for possible comparison with bullet removed from victim’s body.

On 14 March, 1955, Sheriff Young, Deputy Sheriff Amos Shaw, State Officer Riegel and writer checked the Ervin Kaser’s place and searched the area south of the house with the use of a mine detector secured from the Silverton armory and assisted by a Buddy Groah, 932 S. Water Street. The mine detector was of little use in searching for any bullets or shell cases in that area but in the search Sheriff Young found, approximately in the center of the strawberry patch between Melvin Kaser’s place and Ervin Kaser’s residence, a metal jacket which contained rifle markings and which is considerably mashed up. It is presumed that this is one of the shell casings that went through Ervin Kaser’s car on the night of 17 February 1955. Sheriff Young marked the fragment for identification and Deputy Sheriff Shaw and State Officer Riegel took the same to the crime laboratory on 17 March 1955. There were no other shell casings or bullets found near the Melvin Kaser place.

A search was made of the Casper Oveross residence in the back was reportedly that he had target practised also with the aid of a mine detector but it was of little value. Found near an oak tree near the back of Casper Oveross’ residence were two empty 30-30 caliber shell casings which showed they had been fired. It could not be determined how long they had been there but this was the area where it was reported that Casper Oveross had practised target shooting with his 30-30 rifle. These were marked for identification and taken to the crime laboratory by Deputy Sheriff Shaw and Officer Riegel on 18 March 1955.


Unfortunately, some of the records and photographs mentioned in the police reports are no longer in the police file.  They were probably transferred to the District Attorney, and that file has not been found, if it even still exists.

Blogically yours,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 9)

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
Portland, Oregon

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.

Sincerely yours,

Kenneth E. Brown
District Attorney

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.

Evergreen map

Police map of area of the murder

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
Medford, Oregon

Dear Sir:

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.


Blogically yours,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 8)

After the grand jury failed to indict Casper Oveross for the murder, the newspaper reporting of the murder dropped to almost nothing, with only rare small articles reporting some small item that they scavenged from a police source.  But the police continued their investigation.

Wednesday, March 2, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty.

8:45 AM Conference with Sheriff and investigating officers.

9:40 AM Clear of office enroute to Silverton.

10:15 AM At Roy Hage residence. Casper hunted on Hage place during hunting season doesn’t know what kind of gun used.

10:35 AM Contact District Attorney Ken Brown, get address of Lena Steffen.

10:45 AM At 1st. Nat. Bank Silverton, Casper O. has had a bank account back to 1945, Will attempt to check books after discussing it with legal department.

11:30 AM Contact Sheriff and Sarg. Huffman

11:55 AM Contact Lena Clark was Steffen, never knew Casper Oveross.

12:05 PM Lunch at Silverton

1:15 PM Contact Rosemary Seward, 212 West Center St. Silverton. Told us that at 8:15 PM on Feb. 17th. 1955, she had left home to go to Frank’s Grocery. Remembered the time because she had listened to television program and had to rush down before the store closed. While in the store she saw and talked to Casper Oveross whom was purchasing some articles. Stated that at the time he didn’t appear to be intoxicated. She stated she didn’t see him after that.

1:25 PM Check at Frank’s Grocery established fact that Casper was in the store on night of murder or the night before. Butcher wasn’t quite sure. However established fact that Casper did buy groceries there.

1:30 PM Contact Shirley Hopkins, regarding name of brother. Duane Mattox 19 yrs. 936 So. Water. Girl friend is Peggy Manson.

1:45 PM Contact Duane Mattox 936 So. Water reg night of 2-17-55. Duane was at cabin watching T.V. Not sure of time, 8:30 PM or 8:40 PM 2-17-55, looked out window and seems like he saw Cap’s car drive up. Heard car motor stop and heard car door slam, also heard some one go in Cap’s cabin. Was in about 10 minutes or less and heard the party leave.

2:25 PM Contact Mrs. Erma Moore.

Ethel Oveross and Mrs. Moore are very good friends and have been together almost every day since the murder of Mr. Kaser.

Ethel Oveross said that she got home on night of 17th. Of Feb. and went to bed, she laid awake for quite a while and heard the shots. She laid there awake and worried about the shots until notified that Ervin Kaser had been shot. Also right after the shots she heard a car speed away, (was indefinite car may have slowed down in front of her house.) Then she heard Edith Kaser drive by and recognized the sound of vehicle.

Also Ethel had been told Mrs. Moore she didn’t know how Casper had got the opportunity to shoot Ervin, as Ervin was mortally afraid of Casper and afraid he would shoot him. Ervin according to Ethel always was on the alert watching his rear view mirror and watching side roads for Casper. She said if he had noticed any headlights in his rear view mirror that night she knows he would have gone on by and it would have been just a matter of which one ran out of gas first.

Ethel also told Erma that on Saturday night Feb. 5th. Ervin and Ethel were out together, and Colleen knew it and hurried right down and told Casper about it.

One occasion since murder, Ethel and Erma was discussing the case at Oveross house and Colleen told her mother to shut up as she may have a mike hid in the house.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

Mr. Roy Hage, Rt. 3, Silverton, was checked relative to Casper Oveross having hunted on his property. It was learned that Casper Oveross has hunted on the Hage property various times, however, as to the type of weapon used by Oveross was questionable. Mr. Hage was quite definite that Casper had not hunted on his property for two or possibly three years and that he had no idea as to whether the weapon that Casper was using was his or a borrowed one.

Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted J. Carey Moore, manager of the First National Bank, Silverton, Oregon, with reference to a possibility that Casper Oveross had written a check amounting to $69 for payment of a rifle supposedly purchased in year 1949. Mr. Moore stated that he had no knowledge of this check and that only the bank account sheets would remain on file at the bank. Mr. Moore further stated that the odd amount of $69 could very easily be checked and it could also be determined to whom deposited the check if it was deposited in the Silverton area. Mr. Moore stated that this would entail quite a lot of work and considerable checking, however, that he would be glad to do this if it became necessary to check this. However, before the information would be divulged that he would be required to check and receive permission from the bank’s legal department but he was quite sure this would be permissable.

Deputy Shaw and the writer then contacted Rosemary Seward, 212 Center Street, Silverton. Rosemary Seward stated that she and her husband were purchasing groceries on 17 February 1955 at 8:15 P.M. at Frank’s Grocery, West Main Street. She stated that while they were purchasing groceries she had observed Casper Oveross also purchasing groceries and that Oveross had made some comment and that she had spoken to him. She further stated that at that time Casper Oveross was not drunk and that he did not appear to have been drinking. She stated that Oveross was till in the store when they left at approximately 8:20 and she did not know where he went after leaving the store. She further stated that she definitely did not see Casper Oveross at 11:15 P.M. on 17 February 1955 nor has she seen him at any time since the 8:15 meeting referred to above. Frank’s Grocery was contacted and the above information was verified by the manager at Frank’s Grocery.

Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Erma Moore for additional information. The Moore residence is about 500 feet north and east of the Oveross residence. Mrs. Moore stated that she and Ethel Oveross had been very good friends for seven years and that they visited each other daily. Mrs. Moore further stated that she had visited every day with Ethel Oveross since the shooting of Ervin Kaser and the topic has been of conversation most. Mrs. Moore stated that Ethel said that she got home about 10:30 P.M. on 17 February and that she was in bed when she heard the shots. She said she heard a car go by very slow and then she heard Edith Kaser’s old pickup come along almost instantaneously after the first vehicle. Ethel stated after hearing this she was just sure that Cap had shot Ervin. This had worried Ethel so much that she was unable to go to sleep and was still awake when Harvey Kaser came at 2:30 to get her. Mrs. Moore further stated that Ethel had repeated time after time that she is sure that Cap is the one that shot Ervin, but she cannot understand just how he was successful in getting at him. She related to Mrs. Moore that Ervin had been afraid of Cap and was also afraid that Cap would shoot him and had watched very closely and that if he had observed any vehicle following him on his way home that he would have not stopped at home. Ehtel said that she was sure that Ervin had seen the headlights that he would have kept driving until one of the two cars ran out of gas. She further stated that Ervin had been quite cautious to always keep his tank full of gas as he had suspected that he might be followed. She further stated that he had been cautious to watch his rearview mirror and that he had become accustomed to parking his car at the rear of his home so that he could get out and go in the back door without being seen. She does not think that he would have parked his car in the driveway unless he would have seen someone in the yard or in the field near his house. Ethel further stated to Mrs. Moore that on 5 February 1955 she and Ervin Kaser had gone to a dance and Colene and Danny had found out and had run and told Casper Oveross. She also said that Danny Gilham and Colene, her daughter, had followed her and Ervin several times and had reported to Casper Oveross.

Ethel stated that the fact that she told Colene that she was intending to attend lodge on the night of 17 February 1955 was almost a dead give away to Colene that she was going out with Ervin Kaser. She stated that this had been a common practice for her to tell Colene she was going to lodge and then go out with Ervin. Cap had also known that this was taking place. Mrs. Moore said that Colene had given her mother the devil about talking to the officers and the people in general about the shooting and has threatened her with the fact that a mike and recorder has been planted in the house and that everything she tells to any officer or to any person, Mr. Williams will also know about it. It is supposed by this that Mr. Williams referred to is Bruce Williams the attorney for Casper Oveross.

On 26 February 1955 when Deputy Shaw and this officer picked up Danny Gilham at the Oveross residence, Mrs. Moore’s daughter, Shirley, was at the house. When the above mentioned officers left with Mr. Gilham for the Salem office Colene phoned Bruce Williams and he came to the house immediately. Colene and Mr. Williams went over to the the Gilham residence. When they returned to the house Colene Oveross was very mad and stated that the old bitty is on the side of the law and has made Danny tell the law that Cap came to him and told him he had pumped three shots in Ervin Kaser, however Mr. Williams found out about it now.

Mrs. Moore was questioned about the relationship between Edith Kaser and Ethel Oveross, her sister. Mrs. Moore stated that they were as close as two thiefs and she was sure that Edith would cover for Ethel. Edith further stated that when she went by the house on the night of the shooting that she had looked to see if Ethel’s car was in the driveway and that she had not seen anything. Mrs. Moore was further questioned about Connie Kellerhal and how well she had knew the Kellerhals. She state that she had known Connie Kellerhal very well and that she was almost sure that there was nothing between Connie and Ervin Kaser. She stated that Ervin had made a pass or two at Connie several years ago while working in the hop dryer and this had made Connie very mad and that she had told Ervin Kaser off, after which he had left her alone.

Sheriff Denver Young:

9:30 A.M. Sheriffs Office. Prepare cartridge from Moore gun for laboratory.

10:00 A.M. Courthouse. Check county clerk records for divorce of Mary Kaser vs Ervin Kaser. Check records on divorce of Oveross vs. Oveross.

12:00 Noon Courthouse. Check records of Clarence Huntley vs. Mary Huntley.

1:45 P.M. Rhotens office. Interview with Mary Kaser in presence of Mr. Ray Rhoten. Recording made. Disc in custody of State Police.

3:15 P.M. Contact Chief Main and Harvey Kaser that Myrtle Schar had received a letter from Ervin Kaser, also similar information from Mrs. Ida Brady of J.C. Penny Co. Harvey also suggests checking on incident happening last October where Casper tried to run Ethel off the road near Pratum. Harvey also states that after he built his new home, he and his wife were in Casper Oveross home and while they were on the davenport, Casper went into the kitchen and returned with a new gun, lever action, Casper stated that it was a new gun and that he had just purchased it.

Oregon State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Checked with the Marion County Clerk’s office on divorce case of MARY LOUISA KASER, wife of victim. It was their file #41278, showing Mary Louisa Kaser, plaintiff versus Ervin Oren Kaser, defendant. It showed they were married October 21, 1939 in Salem, Oregon. In the divorce complaint she had charged him with Mental Cruelty, and listed following acts.

Stays out late at night, never says where he has been, also stays away from home for several days at a time.”

Compells plaintiff to support herself.”

Refuses to buy food for her and makes her buy her own food and clothing.”

Fails to take plaintiff anywhere to visit her friends or acquaintances.”

At times defendant has locked plaintiff and her daughter out of their house.”

Defendant does associate with and keep company with another woman or other women from time to time, and is now associating with another woman.”

Defendant is sullen and has a mean disposition.”

Defendant refuses to have plaintiff know any of the family business or finances.”

Defendant has struck and beat plaintiff, that he has pulled handfulls of hair form her head at times.”

Complaint alleges real and cash property with a total value of $30,000.00, and that plaintiff be awarded one-half the property or $15,000.00, plus $250.00 attorney fees if not contested, otherwise $500.00. Defendant’s counter-complaint acknowledges the value of the property, but denies above listed allegations. The divorce action was still pending at time of victim’s death.

Check with the Marion County Clerk’s office, Salem, on the Divorce case of CAPSER OVEROSS versus ETHEL OVEROSS, their case #41335, filed August 20, 1954, shows basis of complaint that Defendant, Ethel Oveross, was associating with men, and one in particular. There were no names mentioned in the complaint. The Counter-complaint denied all allegations, but asked for Separate maintenance as she had no money and plaintiff was employed at rate of $2.00 an hour at Corvallis, Oregon, doing carpenter work. The final divorce decree awarded her one car and the house and 8 acre property on which it stood, custody of the two children with $80.00 a month support money.

Additional check with the Marion County Clerk’s office, revealed that MARY LOUISA KASER had been previously married to a CLARENCE M. HUNTLEY. A check on that divorce showed MARY L. HUNTLEY versus CLARENCE M HUNTLEY, filed December 5, 1938, their file #27709. Complaint alleges defendant cruel and inhuman and accused plaintiff falsely of going with other men. It never asked for support money for the minor child. Divorce decree was uncontested.

On March 2, 1955, Sheriff Young and writer secured statement from Mrs. Mary Louisa Kaser, which was arranged by her attorney J. Ray Rhoten at his office. Recording was made and has been transcribed and accompanies this report.

Statement of Mary Kaser, wife of Ervin Kaser:

[XXXXX is used in this transcript to denote where the State Police have blacked out the names of minors and medical information. I’ll restore, in square brackets, those names that I can from other sources]


ATTORNEY J. R. RHOTEN: At this time it is quarter till two, March 3, 1955, on the afternoon of that day. J. R. Rhoten one of the attorneys in the firm of Rhoten, Rhoten & Speerstra has consented to taking the voluntary statement of Edna – er Mary Kaser with respect to the death of Ervin Kaser and we are making this recording with the understanding that the recording will not be used in evidence in any matter that might come before the courts in Oregon with respect to the death of Ervin Kaser. And with the understanding that at any time any member of our firm desires to re-hear this recording we will be afforded that opportunity and with a further understanding that some questions may be objected to in which case Mrs. Kaser may refuse to answer those questions without regard to whether or not the questions might be pertinent to the investigation and also with the understanding that if there are any questions that need explanation she may give such explanation at any time. With respect to the statement can’t be used in any court Sergeant Huffman, is it, of the State Police and I have discussed that matter and that is to particular reference to any case in which Mary Kaser might be a defendant and also for the purpose of not permitting the recording to be used for impeachment purposes. There are present at this time Sergeant Huffman of the State Police,k Denver Young, Sheriff of Marion County Oregon, Mary Kaser and myself.

SERGEANT WAYNE HUFFMAN: This is Sergeant Huffman, State Police. This interview is conducted in Mr. Rhoten’s office on March 2, 1955. Starting the interrogation of Mrs. Mary Kaser is at 1:57 P. M. First I would like for you to identify yourself, Mrs. Kaser. Your name is Mary Kaser?


HUFFMAN: What is your middle name?

KASER: Louisa.

HUFFMAN: Louisa. And your address at the present time is what?

KASER: Rt. 3, Box 115 A, Silverton.

HUFFMAN: At the time Ervin Kaser was shot, where were you living?

KASER:2054 North Capitol, Salem.

HUFFMAN: And that was on February 17, 1955?


HUFFMAN: What time did you learn of his death?

KASER: About 6:00 Friday morning on the 18th.

HUFFMAN: On February the 18th?

KASER It was the Friday morning following the –

HUFFMAN: Friday morning following shooting?


HUFFMAN: And how were you notified?

KASER: His sister called the manager, not really the manager but the man that takes care of the apartment house there. Called him because I didn’t have a phone and he came down and told me there was an emergency call and I went up to his phone and they told me over the phone.

HUFFMAN: This address in Salem is that an apartment house?

KASER: There are three – four apartments that I know of and a doctor and a dentist have their offices upstairs.

HUFFMAN: Is there any specific name for those apartments?

KASER: Not that I know of.

HUFFMAN: When were you and Ervin Kaser married?

KASER: October 21, 1939.

HUFFMAN: Had you ever been married previous to that?


HUFFMAN: What was your other husbands name before Mr. Kaser?

KASER: Clarence Huntley.

HUFFMAN: Clarence Huntley?


HUFFMAN: Is he still living?


HUFFMAN: Where does he live?

KASER: I believe that he lives at Goldhill, I couldn’t say for sure.

HUFFMAN: Goldhill, Oregon?


HUFFMAN: How long were you married to Mr. Huntley?

KASER: We were married in 1932, divorced in 1938.

HUFFMAN: 1938, thats about six years. I understand your daughter now is the daughter of Mr. Huntley?


HUFFMAN: What is her name?

KASER: Phyllis Boyd, er Mrs. Ervin – excuse me, Mrs. Virgil Boyd.

HUFFMAN: Mrs. Virgil Boyd?


HUFFMAN: Where do they reside?

KASER: 4810 Rymon Road, Salem.

HUFFMAN: You and Ervin were in the proceedings of getting a divorce, is that correct?


HUFFMAN: Was there something in the divorce proceedings concerning Ervin Kaser going with another woman?


HUFFMAN: Would you name this other woman in the divorce proceedings?


HUFFMAN: I understand that you sued Ervin for the divorce?


HUFFMAN: The divorce hadn’t been final is that right?

KASER: Hadn’t been.

HUFFMAN: Hadn’t been consummated, the divorce?


HUFFMAN: Do you know who this other woman was who Ervin was suppose to be going with? Do you mind stating her name?

KASER: Ethel Oveross.

HUFFMAN: How long had you known that Ervin might be going with Ethel Oveross?

KASER: To actually know that it was her, since the 4th of July 1954.

HUFFMAN: 4th of July 1954? How did – do you attribute that date? Was there something happen that you learned of it?


HUFFMAN: Would you mind explaining?

KASER: I had suspicioned another woman for some time but I didn’t know who and on this particular day Mr. Oveross came to my door – came to the door of my home in tears and told me that they were out together that day.

SHERIFF DENVER YOUNG: That is who was out together that day?

KASER: That my husband, Ervin Kaser was out with his wife Ethel Oveross.

HUFFMAN: And you say Mr. Oveross came to your house, which Oveross is that?

KASER: Casper.

HUFFMAN: Casper Oveross?


HUFFMAN: Did he mention anything else other than they were out together?

KASER: I can’t recall his exact words. I was shocked to learn that it was her ’cause I had considered her a friend of mine. He said, as nearly as I can remember, that he had had all he could stand and that he was going to sue for divorce.

HUFFMAN: That’s the first time you of it, is that right?

KASER: That’s the first time that I knew it was her, yes. It was a shock to me.

HUFFMAN: There may have been other times then that you suspected him of being out with some woman?


HUFFMAN: Is there any other women that you might think he was out with?

KASER: I have no idea. I had no idea at that time and I know of no other woman that he would be interested in.

HUFFMAN: Have you heard since of any other women that he may have been interested in?


HUFFMAN: What caused you to become first suspicious, this conversation with Oveross or Mr. Kaser’s actions?

KASER: Mr. Kaser’s actions.

HUFFMAN: What was that?

KASER: Oh, quite sometime previous to that he became very indifferent. Do I have to name all these? Most of them are on the divorce proceedings.

HUFFMAN: If you recall them I would like to know.

KASER: He began staying out late, he began wanting to sleep alone, he refused to support me, locked me out of the home, in fact I had threatened the police several times even to get in my home. That is threaten to go to the police and I actually did talk to them once.

HUFFMAN: Did he ever beat on you? Or beat you up?

KASER: He shoved me around a great deal, yes.

HUFFMAN: But you never heard of any other women by name that he might have been with?


HUFFMAN: You moved back into his place at this address Rt. 3, Box 115 A, Silverton, what date?

KASER: Sunday, February 20th.

HUFFMAN: Was that the day following the time that I and two other officers contacted you?

KASER: The day you were at my home?


KASER: That was the day before. You were there on a Monday that was the night of the funeral and we moved in the day before on Sunday.

HUFFMAN: Day before?


ATTORNEY J. R. RHOTEN: And I might add that that was with our instructions.

KASER: Yes, not to my liking, in particular.

HUFFMAN: Your attorney instructed you to do this?

KASER: Yes. It was very difficult I assure you.

HUFFMAN: Is that in order to protect the estate?


HUFFMAN: Do you know any close friends or associates of Ervin Kaser?

KASER: Businssmen with whom he had business is about all. He went fishing with our neighbor and I should I name him, and as far as having close friends I don’t – I can’t say as he had close friends. He was not a friendly man, that is he was friendly to everyone but had no particular friend. He was – he like to be alone a lot. It’s hard to tell anybody.

HUFFMAN: He more or less put himself into a shell and did not associate with people is that –

KASER: Yes, we – I never could quite understand him.

HUFFMAN: I understand that your husband stayed out overnight at nights?


HUFFMAN: Did you tell me that earlier?


HUFFMAN: Did he ever give any explanation as to where he had been?

KASER: No. I heard that – afterwards where he might have been in a certain place but – he had never told me himself.

HUFFMAN: And where would this certain place be?

KASER: Once at the coast with whom I don’t know and another time he received a bills shortly after from a Rhinehart Clinic, I think its at Wheeler, and I just supposed thats where he had been. And at another time that he was gone, well, these were weekends he was gone about the time that the hop convention was on in Portland, but to prove I don’t know. But he never explained and didn’t tell me he was leaving, in fact I was very upset because he didn’t come home.

HUFFMAN: This place on the coast did you know exactly where it was, now?

KASER: Unless he went to his relatives I don’t know. He has relatives at Otis.


KASER: Rose Lodge and around in there, but I couldn’t say for sure, I just guessed he might have been at these places.

HUFFMAN: Did you just name, specifically state one woman in your divorce decree?

KASER: I didn’t name anyone.

HUFFMAN: Was it one woman or many women?

KASER: Women – I don’t really remember I believe it was women and one specific woman specified but that was just put on there when –

HUFFMAN: You could only state then against the one woman?

KASER: To my knowledge, yes, that’s all I know.

HUFFMAN: We understand he had quite a background for women. I thought possibly you might have heard since this happened or may have known before. Do you know of any other women that may be involved?

KASER: I know of no other women except I heard that there were other women in the past before I married him, but I don’t know their names.

HUFFMAN: Did you ever hear of any after you married him?

KASER: No. I trusted him and I probably, if I had been looking for it, I might have seen or heard but

HUFFMAN: Your – Was Clarence Huntley your first husband?


HUFFMAN: You say he – you last heard from him in Goldhill?

KASER: I didn’t hear from him, I heard of him and that he was living in Goldhill.

HUFFMAN: How long ago has that been?

KASER: I couldn’t say. I see his brother and wife occasionally and probably during the conversation sometime it was mentioned, but I couldn’t say when.

HUFFMAN: Does he have a brother and sister-in-law living here?

KASER: In Scio, inside of Scio.

HUFFMAN: What are their names?

KASER: Haskal Huntley.

HUFFMAN: Haskal Huntley?


HUFFMAN: Have you ever heard of any woman he may have been connected with who might have lived around Madras?

KASER: That Mr. – that Clarence Huntley had been connected with?

HUFFMAN: No that Ervin Kaser – excuse me. Ever heard anyone over there?


HUFFMAN: Do you know if he ever made any trips over to Madras to Eastern Oregon?

KASER: No, I don’t. He could have, I don’t know. He went by himself a great deal.

HUFFMAN: I understand that you inherit the property?

KASER: I inherit the debts.

HUFFMAN: The debts. Considerable debts on the property?


HUFFMAN: How well have you known Casper Oveross?

KASER: I’ve known him ever since I married Ervin and a few days after I met him and we have lived neighbors – he lived down the road a few houses.

HUFFMAN: Has Casper and his wife ever visited in your home?

KASER: They have, yes.

HUFFMAN: Had your husband, Ervin Kaser, ever gone hunting with Casper Oveross?

KASER: I don’t recall that he had. They were never – he may have but not to my knowledge.

HUFFMAN: Do you know if Casper Oveross has a rifle?

KASER: I don’t know. I don’t know what kind of guns he has, he has gone hunting lots. I imagine he has guns but I wouldn’t say what they were – I don’t know one gun from another.

HUFFMAN: Have you ever seen him with a rifle?


HUFFMAN: I understand that the time you married Clarence Huntley you were living in Stayton?


HUFFMAN: Your folks live in Stayton yet? Have you heard anything – any discussions relative to the case whether or not Casper Oveross may have shot your husband?

KASER: Say that again please.

HUFFMAN: Have you ever heard any discussions since your husbands death of whether or not Casper Oveross shot him?

KASER: I’ve heard various remarks, they were usually that they couldn’t believe that he would do it because if he was going to do it he would have done it a long time ago or if he was going to shoot anyone he would have shot his wife. That was about all I heard.

HUFFMAN: Did Casper ever tell you that he didn’t want a divorce?


HUFFMAN: What was the reason that you moved out of the house at the time you filed for a divorce?

KASER: I was instructed to by my lawyer. I saw him before I moved out.

HUFFMAN: He advised you to move?


HUFFMAN: Do you have any questions, Denver?

SHERIFF DENVER YOUNG: There are two there that you might clarify. We might find some of the rumors that we heard by mouth.

HUFFMAN: Do you know of – or ever heard of Casper Oveross lying in wait in a field for your husband?


HUFFMAN: Going to shoot him if he was over to his wife’s house?


HUFFMAN: You never heard that story?


HUFFMAN: Have you ever made any statements to anyone that you knew considerable about this case?


HUFFMAN: Have you talked to this case – er talked about this case to anyone other than your attorney?

KASER: Perhaps I’ve said a thing or two to members of the family but not anything –

HUFFMAN: Did you form any opinions on it as to who shot your husband?

KASER: No. In fact I couldn’t believe that it would be Casper Oveross. Even tho he perhaps had a motive still it didn’t seem like he would do a thing like that.

HUFFMAN: Have you heard of any threats that Casper Oveross may have made towards your husband?

KASER: I heard him make no threats.

HUFFMAN: Did you hear of any threats made?

KASER: I’ve heard a little gossip but I have never heard him make a threat.

HUFFMAN: Who did you hear this gossip from?

KASER: I couldn’t say for sure, perhaps brothers –

HUFFMAN: Brothers?

KASER: I really can’t say that I can remember them – There has been so much.

HUFFMAN: Do you know of any relationship between your husband and Mrs. Kellerhall?

KASER: Absolutely not.

HUFFMAN: Have you ever heard of any?


HUFFMAN: Since this – since your husbands death has anyone ever contacted you and stated about Casp – er about your husband had been out with considerable number of women throughout Silverton?


HUFFMAN: You stated of having considerable debts. You mean to say that estate of Kaser’s is burdened with debts?

KASER: I’d say that, yes.

ATTORNEY J. R. RHOTEN: I might say that there has been no appraisal yet and the amount of the estate has not been determined at all or the amount of the mortgage or obligations yet.

HUFFMAN: Do you have any estiment of the amount of the estate?

RHOTEN: No, we don’t yet, because the appraisers haven’t made a termination at all. That is there is the farm place that is the place where he was er no –


RHOTEN: The farm place and then the place where he lived is the only real property that we know of. We haven’t heard from the banks at all as to what the assets might be or his obligations might be.

HUFFMAN: What are some of these debts that you referred to Mrs. Kaser?

KASER: Just by checking the papers that are around as near as I could, there is a large mortgage on our home and a large payment due on tractor and hop supply bill, a terrific one, hop storage bills, labor bills, very. Nothing is exact, I have just a veg idea.

HUFFMAN: How long were you married to Ervin?

KASER: Almost fifteen years we were married.

HUFFMAN: Do you have any children by him?


HUFFMAN: Is there any reason for that?


HUFFMAN: Did that cause any family discord?


HUFFMAN: Do you mind stating what the reasons were?

KASER: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [medical information removed by State Police; most likely she’d had a hysterectomy or had her tubes tied]

HUFFMAN: Was Mr. Kaser aware of that? When married?

KASER: I told him, I don’t believe he checked with the doctors, but I told him.

HUFFMAN: That didn’t cause any family strive?

KASER: No, I think it rather pleased him.

HUFFMAN: Was there any reason in his family life that he should seek other women?

KASER: No. That’s the part I can’t understand either. That part of our life was harmonious.

HUFFMAN: Normal?


HUFFMAN: You had never heard of the story that he may have been keeping company with Mrs. Kellerhall?


HUFFMAN: How long have you known Mrs. Kellerhall? This is the end of side one it will be continued on side two. This is Sergeant Huffman side two continuing the interview with Mrs. Mary Kaser, presence of her attorney Mr. Rhoten, Sheriff Denver Young of Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Huffman of the State Police. There hasn’t been a full settlement on the estate as far as the indebtedness against it?


HUFFMAN: The allocations set forth in the divorce decree lists approximately $30,000. Is that just a rough estimate?

KASER: Yes. Exaggerated I guess.

ATTORNEY J. R. RHOTEN: You might correct that – divorce complaint not decree. Decree has never been taken as the case was never heard. It was set for trial on March 17.

HUFFMAN: Did Ervin Kaser leave a will?

KASER: Not to my knowledge.

HUFFMAN: We understand that he was suppose to have left a will with some property to Ethel Oveross.

KASER: That’s the first time I ever heard that.

HUFFMAN: You never heard of anything like that?

KASER: No I haven’t.

HUFFMAN: Does your husband, Ervin Kaser, and Casper Oveross ever gone hunting together?

KASER: Not that I now of. They may have, I don’t know.

HUFFMAN: Do you ever – while you were married to Mr. Huntley did you ever go out with Ervin prior to your divorce with Mr. Huntley?

KASER: Do I have to answer that question?

RHOTEN: No you don’t have to answer that question.

KASER: I don’t want to. [EK_note: Since Mary seemed willing to answer everything else, only refused to answer this question, and if the answer were “no” she’d probably have answered it, I would guess that Ervin and Mary did have a relationship while she was still married to Mr. Huntley.  It doesn’t really matter, but it does cast further light upon Ervin and his relationships with women, married or otherwise.]

HUFFMAN: You don’t wish to answer that question?


HUFFMAN: Getting back to property. I believe I said a divorce decree I meant that as complaint.

RHOTEN: That’s right.

HUFFMAN: That’s right. The estimated value in that complaint was just a rough estimate and not an appraisal?


HUFFMAN: And I understand thats the vicinity of $10,000 for one piece of property and $20,000 for another piece of property?

KASER: I don’t recall the exact figures, I believe one was $21,000 which is highly valued as uknown. The other perhaps was $10,000, I just don’t recall.

HUFFMAN: Who did Ervin Kaser buy that place from, where your living?

KASER: He bought the land and then built the house later, but I don’t remember who the owners were.

HUFFMAN: Who holds the mortgage on that property?

KASER: Winderoff. Ed Rostie was the man who came to me – I can’t remember if Winderoff’s

HUFFMAN: And where do they live?

KASER: In Salem, but I can’t say where.

HUFFMAN: Do you know how much the mortgage balance is?

KASER: $5,000.

HUFFMAN: $5,000?


HUFFMAN: Is that the only mortgage against the property?

KASER: To my knowledge.

HUFFMAN: Your daughter at the time of your first divorce, how old was she?

KASER: Five I believe.

HUFFMAN: Did you receive any support money from your divorce decree?


HUFFMAN: Did you ask for any?

KASER: I didn’t ask.

HUFFMAN: Was there some reason you didn’t ask?

RHOTEN: I don’t think that would be material in this investigation.

HUFFMAN: Do you object Mr. Rhoten?

RHOTEN: Yes, I think we’ll leave that out.

HUFFMAN: Can you think of any other questions, Denver?


HUFFMAN: Is there any statement that you wish to make right now Mr. Rhoten?

RHOTEN: No, I don’t believe there is anything at the present time I might say that when and if the appraisal is made on the estate why it is a matter of public record and if you would like we would be glad to furnish you a copy. Also the records with respect to the obligations when they are determined will be available to you here if you like.

HUFFMAN: I think that would be kind of nice to have a copy of that don’t you Denver?

YOUNG: For a matter of complete information?


YOUNG: It might be well if we could get a copy.

HUFFMAN: We could get a copy of that and for the Sheriff’s Office.

RHOTEN: Yes, we don’t know when that wil be of course because we haven’t any idea yet as to what those assets might be. Its all outside of the real property.

HUFFMAN: Mrs. Oveross with permission of your attorney, Mr. Rhoten –

KASER Oveross?

HUFFMAN: Correction! Mrs. Kaser with the permission of your attorney, Mr. Rhoten I would like to ask you were you ever out with Casper Oveross prior to your husbands death?


HUFFMAN: Or at any other time?


HUFFMAN: Had you – were you with some other party instrumental to your husbands death?


HUFFMAN: Did you kill your husband?


HUFFMAN: Do you know who may have killed your husband?


HUFFMAN: Do you have any questions, Denver?

YOUNG: No, not right now.

HUFFMAN: This ends the interview with Mrs. Kaser, 2:31 P.M., March 2, 1955. Present were her attorney Mr. Rhoten, Sheriff Denver Young, Sergeant Wayne Huffman.

[signed] Wayne G. Huffman Sgt

State Police Lieutenant Farley E. Mogan: (letter to Norris Ames)

March 2, 1955

Mr. Norris Ames
Greener Apartments
Cathedral City, California

Dear Sir:

On the night of February 17, 1955 Mr. Ervin Kaser was murdered near Silverton by someone who shot him with a high caliber rifle. We are attempting to ascertain the identity of the individiual who committed this crime. We are checking on several firearms that might have been used in this case and one of these is a model 94 Winchester 30-30 rifle which we believe you may have sold to Mr. Casper A. (Cap) Oveross of Silverton in 1946 or 1947. We would greatly appreciate it if you would advise us if you have any recollection or records regarding the sale of this gun to Mr. Oveross.

Very truly yours,

H. G. MAISON, Superintendent
By [signed] Farley E. Mogan
Farley E. Mogan, Lieutenant

Thursday, March 3, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

10:20 AM Check out Gervais Hardware. Sells rifles on order only. Doesn’t recall any sales to Casper Oveross.

10:30 AM Check Scarboroughs Hardware Woodburn. In business 14 yrs. never sold to Casper Oveross.

10:40 AM Check Ahrens Hardware, Woodburn. Books go back to 1950. Never sold to Casper Oveross.

10:50 AM Check with Roy’s gun & Repair Shop, Woodburn. Sold since 1944. Never to Casper Oveross.

11:00 AM Check with J. Nathans Hardware, Woodburn. Since 1930, Never to Casper Oveross.

11:15 AM Check with Guy Graham, Gunsmith, Woodburn. Never sold to Casper Oveross, never done any work on Oveross gun.

11:50 AM Contact Hardware Store in Hubbard, 6 yrs. in bus. Never sold to Casper Oveross.

11:55 AM Contact Mr. Duncan, gun smith at Hubbard, Never done any work for Casper Oveross.

12:15 PM Contact Sma Matheney. Stated that Dunn of State Police had all info. he might have.

Stated he has known Casper only since Cap has been working for him, about 2 or 3 weeks.

Stated he was all for Casper, and would help him out financially, or in any way he could regardless if Casper was guilty or not. However in the next breath says we had to find the guilty person.

Sam asked Cap upon his return to work after the Grand Jury released him, about his alibi, and why he didn’t clear himself. Cap told Sam he wasn’t talking about it to any one, that the police could drag him right back in any time we wanted to.

Sam said he didn’t know if Casper O. had a rifle or not but presumed that he did and that confidentially he had heard that Cap owned a rifle but wouldn’t reveal whom it was that told him.

Stated that Sam’s son Bob Matheney has known Cap for some time and thinks a lot of Cap. That Bob was pretty badly broken up and bitter about the police locking Cap up for the Grand Jury. Stated that he (Sam) didn’t think that Bob Matheney knew if Cap had a gun or not, and stated that if Bob did know he wouldn’t tell us. Wasn’t sure if State Officer Dunn had talked to Bob or not.

3:15 PM Check out William Roberts at Stout Lmbr. Co. Mehama, (prior clerk for Aumsville

4:20 PM Contact Harold Whitley, doesn’t know Casper Oveross.

4:45 PM Contact Frank Pfaff, Mill Town Tavern, Silverton, reg. possibility of Ervin Kaser or Casper Oveross having been in the Tavern night of murder. Stated he knows both well and they never was in the Tavern. Closed at 10:30 PM on 2-17-55.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

Deputy Shaw and the writer following assigned leads checked the hardware, sporting goods stores and other places selling guns in the Brooks, Gervais, Woodburn, West Woodburn, Donald, Aurora and Hubbard area. There was no record shown that would indicate that any rifle had been sold to Casper Oveross. Gunsmiths, Ray Dugan of Hubbard and Guy Graham of Woodburn, were also checked. Neither gunsmith has done repair work for Casper Oveross.

Deputy Shaw and the writer then contacted Sam Mathany relative to Casper Oveross’ working at his place on 17 February 1955. Mr. Mathany verified the fact that Casper had worked until noon on 17 February 1955 and that he had left giving the excuse that he needed to go to the bank in the afternoon. Mr. Mathany was quite cooperative, however he had no information of any value. He was also quite forward with the fact that he was willing to assist Casper Oveross in any way if he was picked up again by the officers. Stated that he would be willing to furnish money to hire an attorney even though he was sure that a considerable amount of money from other sources was available. Mr. Mathany stated it made no difference to him whether Casper had shot Ervin Kaser or not, that he was still a friend of Caspers and would remain a friend. Mr. Mathany stated that he did not know whether Casper Oveross had a rifle or not. Stated that he had heard that Casper had a rifle but that he had not actually seen the gun. He was also questioned about his son, R. D. Mathany. Sam Mathany stated that his son did not know too much about Casper Oveross and he was quite sure that it would do us no good to talk to him about Casper Oveross as his son was quite bitter about the fact that Casper had been picked up by the police and that he had refused to talk to his father about the situation. Mr. Mathany stated that when Casper returned to work on Tuesday, 1 March 1955, that he had tried to talk to Cap some about the situation. Cap had replied that he had been instructed by his attorney Bruce Williams that he could be picked up again at any time by the officers and that he should not say anything about what had taken place previously or what he had been told by Bruce Williams or what he had told Bruce Williams and to make no comments to anyone relative to anything in connection with the shooting of Ervin Kaser. Mr. Mathany stated with that he had given up attempting to talk to Casper Oveross.

The writer and Deputy Shaw then contacted Mrs. W. J. Haverly, Rt. 3, Box 87, Silverton. Mrs. Haverly stated that she was a very good friend of Cap Oveross and that she felt he had done the community a great favor by shooting Ervin Kaser. She did not say directly but more or less implied that if she had any information that she would not be willing to give it if it would be on injurious nature to Cap Oveross. She further stated that she did not know anything about Cap’s guns and that she had never seen a gun. She stated that Casper had worked for her considerable painting the house, painting various buildings and doing carpenter work. That he at one time stated that he was having some family trouble and that Ervin Kaser was the cause of it. Mrs. Haverly stated that Cap at that time had told her that he was sueing for divorce and that he would like to receive custody of the children as he did not want Ervin Kaser to raise his children that he felt Ervin Kaser would take advantage of the young girls as soon as they were large enough.

The writer contacted William Roberts, owner of the Aumsville Hardware since 1947. Mr. Roberts stated that it was very doubtful that Cap Oveross had ever purchased a gun in his store. He further stated that he did not handle guns until 1950 and that the first gun they received in 1950, just at hunting season time, he had himself taken. They had received very few guns in 1951 of which were sold to his friends and people in the Aumsville area. Stated that he did not have an actual record of where the guns were sold but he is quite sure that all guns sold were sold to friends or people that he knew.

A Mr. Harold Whitley, reportedly to have worked with Casper Oveross in the Stayton area as an apprentice carpenter, was contacted relative to any knowledge he may have of Casper Oveross. Mr. Whitley stated that he did not Casper Oveross and he had not worked with him. He stated that he was an apprentice carpenter, that he had done some work in the Silverton, however, it had been with large contstruction company and that he was sure that Casper Oveross had not been a member of the crew. Mr. Whitley further stated that he is now working with his brother in the upholstery business in Stayton and that he does not remember Cap Oveross ever coming to their place of business.

Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman requested Deputy Shaw and the writer to contact the tavern in Mill Town, Silverton, Oregon. This tavern known as Frank and Mauds Tavern on Lincoln Street was contacted by Deputy Shaw and the writer. Frank Pfaff, the owner and bartender, was contacted relative to Casper Oveross having been in his place of business on 17 February 1955. Mr. Pfaff stated that he was quite well acquainted with Casper Oveross and that he is sure that he would have noticed Casper if he was in his place on 17 February 1955. He further stated that he had not seen Casper for over four months. He was questioned relative to Ervin Kaser having been in his place of business. Mr. Pfaff stated that he knew Ervin Kaser quite well and to the best of his knowledge Ervin Kaser had never been in his place of business and that he was definitely not in his place on 17 February 1955.

Sheriff Denver Young:

Highway fuel, contact Don Davis re rumor of Ervin having an affair with a woman in Madras Ore. States that it was only hearsay.

11:00 AM. Contacted Mrs. Ida Brady at J.C. Penny store in Salem. She was raised in Silverton. Went to Evergreen school. She had heard that Ervin Kaser had written a letter to Myrtle Schar so had written a letter to Mrs. Harvey Kaser about it. Doesn’t know when it was written.

1:00 P.M. Contacted Ethel Oveross re: incident where Casper was supposed to have run her off the road. States that in October or November Casper followed her towards Salem and at Pratum he forced her to stop and that he tried to tear the wires out of her car. She was able to drive off and leave him but he followed her for a while before he left.

5:25 P.M. Silverton. Contacted C.G. Grainger taxi driver for address of Chas. Bordie. States he works for Pacific Handle Co. 200 Center St. Silverton.

5:30 P.M. Marshall Wells store for locate on Chas. Hopkins.

5:40 P.M. Contact res. Of Chas. Borte. 200 Center St. Silverton.

States he saw Casper at LeGards service station bet. 8:30 & 9:00 P.M. Did not see inside of car.

Oregon State Police Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman:

Sheriff Young and writer contacted Mrs. Ethel Oveross on 3 March 1955 and additional information was obtained to the effect that Casper Oveross had sold a 32-20 rifle to a Noah Wenger, Silverton, Oregon, just a few weeks or a couple of months before he purchased his new 30-30 rifle. She also stated Ervin Kaser had remarked that night when they were together, if he hadn’t received a phone call that night he would have been in Madras, Oregon. She stated he implied the phone call came from Madras but he did not state what the phone call was about. She stated she never inquired as to what it might have been. There was nothing additional that she could add.

Sheriff Young and writer on 3 Mar 55 contacted ETHEL OVEROSS again for any additional information she might have, but met with no new information. She did state she heard another car that night on 17 Feb 55, go by the house but it appeared to be driving slow, this was just shortly before she heard her sister’s pickup go by. She stated she couldn’t tell if it was CAP’S car or not. She stated she has heard CAP’S car come into the driveway considerable times and she could recognize it by the sound, but she couldn’t be sure if it was the car she heard go by on the night of Feb 17, 1955. She did stated that she and ERVIN KASER had talked over the threats that CAP had made, at least the ones she heard about and they were always careful when they were out together so as not to be seen. She stated if they thought a car was following them that ERVIN would always speed up or let the car pass to see if it was CAP. Also sometimes they would drive in a round-about way on back roads if they thought anyone was following them. She stated that night of the 17th when she was with ERVIN that he mentioned if he hadn’t received a telephone call he would have gone to MADRAS, OREGON that night. She stated he implied the call was from there.

She also stated that a few weeks or possibly 2 months before CAP bought his 30-30 rifle that he had a 32-20 rifle and had left it at the Marshal-Wells store in Silverton for the manager to sell for him. She stated it wasn’t sold so he brought it home and had both guns there at the house for about 2 weeks or a month and then he sold the 32-20 to a NOEL WANER (phonetic) [EK_note: Noah Wenger] and kept the 30-30 rifle. She stated she believed the gun to be a new gun when he brought it home and she doesn’t remember if it was in a box or not. She stated her daughter, Coleen, and she had talked about the shooting and her daughter, Coleen, and she had talked about the shooting and her daughter believed her father hadn’t shot ERVIN. She stated there was a strained relationship between she and her daughter since the shooting and there has been arguments, but only over the fact that it was her fault that ERVIN was shot and CAP suspected. She stated if at anytime there is anything she remembers concerning the rifle or other information she may get that she will either contact Sheriff Young or writer.

Contacted a Charles Borte, 201 Center St, Silverton, Oregon, who stated he has known CASPER OVEROSS for several years and that on the night of 17 Feb 55, he saw CAP at LEGARDS Union Service State, sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 PM. He stated CAP pulled into the service station in his car and up to the gasoline pumps and they had a new Hydraulic jack there, so to see how it worked they jacked up the front end of CAP’S car. He stated CAP got out of the car and he didn’t appear to be drinking, although he didn’t get close enough to smell anything. He stated he didn’t look in the car for any rifles and that CAP was supposed to have bought some gas after he (Borte) had left. He stated he remembered the time as he had to be at Frank’s store before it closed that night. He stated there was nothing he heard in the way of remarks made by CAP. He stated he didn’t know what kind of gun CAP owned.

The Salem City Police Department, Detective Division, checked all pawn shops and second hand stores for possible sale of gun to CASPER OVEROSS and all other relatives listed in writer’s report as of 1 March 55. They reported negative results.

U of O Med School, Crime Detection Laboratory, Ralph W. Prouty:

On February 18, 1955 the writer examined a 1949 Plymouth sedan, Oregon license 569-497 at the Kaser residence located on Route 3, Box 115-W, Silverton, Oregon. At 5:35 A.M., the writer removed a fired rifle bullet from the front seat of this vehicle. This item is listed as Item E-1. Examination of this item reveals that it is of 30 caliber, and was fired from a weapon having six lands and grooves of right-hand twist. The entire core has been expelled from this item, and only the jacket portion remains. This bullet is too badly distorted to be able to ascertain the pitch of the rifling. The construction of the jacket is compared with known standards in the laboratory, and found to be similar to a Remington Core-lokt bullet. The rifling details are compared with Item E-2, and are found to be grossly and microscopically similar.

At 7:15 A.M, February 18, 1955 there was received from D. Home H. Harris the following item which was removed from the body of Ervin Oren Kaser at the time of autopsy:

Item E-2 is a 30 caliber bullet with six lands and grooves of right-hand twist. Examination of this item reveals that the core has been expelled from the outer casing. Comparison of the remaining jacket portion with known laboratory standards reveals that it has a construction similar to Remington Core-lokt type bullet. The bore details are compared with Items 1, and it is noted that it is similar. This bullet is badly distorted, and it is impossible to ascertain the rate of twist. The mutilation of the rifling microscopic details makes it impossible at this time to definitely associate it with any particular bore. However, the class characteristics of lands and grooves in their width, number, and direction of twist is similar to that of the Model 94 Winchester, Item 4.

Item E-3 is a number of envelopes containing fragments removed from the body of Ervin Oren Kaser. These are studied, and it is observed that they are composed of numerous lead and copper particles similar to the construction of a high powered rifle bullet. Further examination is being made of these particles to determine more accurately the type of ammunition from which they came.

At 10:30 A.M., February 24, 1955 there is received from Officer Riegal, Oregon State Police and Deputy Shaw, Marion County Sheriff’s office, the following items of evidence.

Item E-4 is a 30-30 caliber Winchester model 94 rifle, serial #118533. Examination of this item reveals it has a sheriff’s office official evidence tag dated February 22, 1955 “Homicide of E. O. Kaser, property of Wayne Moore. Picked up by Hoffman and Young, serial #118533, 30-30 rifle, to be used for ballistics comparison. D.Y.” Examination of this item reveals that it is marked on the forearm with the initial “D” and the date 2-22-55. The bore of this weapon is examined, and it is noted that near the muzzle is a small patch of bright rust. A patch is forced through the bore, and it is noted that it has a black, greasy residue adhering to it indicating that this weapon has been fired since it was last thoroughly cleaned. Examination of the magazine reveals that it contains six loaded 30-30 caliber cartridges. These are listed as “4-A, 4-B, 4-C, 4-D, 4-E, and 4-F” in the order in which they were removed from the magazine. Examination of Items 4-A, B, C, and D reveals that they are Western Super-X 30-30 Winchester cartridges loaded with a 150 grain silver-tip bullet. Examination of the markings on these cartridges reveals that all four have been worked through the chamber of Item E-4 once, and have been placed in the magazine two times as evidenced by the characteristic magazine marks of Item 4. Item 4-E is a Remington 30-30 cartridge of 170 grain soft point Core-Lokt type cartridge which, upon examination, reveals that it has been worked through the action of the Model 94 Winchester, and placed in the magazine many times. Item 4-F is a Remington 30-30 cartridge of 170 grain soft point Core-Lokt type cartridge which, upon examination reveals that it has not been worked through the mechanism of the Model 94 Winchester, and has been placed in the magazine only one time.

Item E-5 is a Savage 30-30 caliber rifle, Model 340 with no serial number. This weapon is a bolt-action, clip-type rifle. It bears the tag “Seized from Virgil Huddleston, Rt. 3-B 123 A, Silverton Date seized 18 February, 1955. County in which seized, Marion; seized by Sheriff Young to be compared with slug removed from body of Ervin Kaser by Dr. Harris.” Examination of the bore reveals black, greasy residue indicating that this weapon has been fired since it was last thoroughly cleaned. The bore details consist of six lands and grooves of right hand twist. Test fires are made, using this item and compared with Item E-2 and Item E-3, and it is found that the land impressions are more narrow than in the evidence bullets, indicating that this weapon could not have been used to fire Items E-1 and E-2. No further examinations are made of this item.

Item E-6 is a Marlin 30-30 caliber carbine, Model 336-RC, serial number J 4465 which bears a tag with the notation “Seized from J. W. Gillham, Route 5, Box 417, Salem, Oregon. Seized Feb. 21, 1955.” Examination of the bore of this weapon reveals that it has four lands and grooves clearly indicating that it could not have fired Items E1 and E-2. No other examinations are made.

Item E-7 is small box with the notation “To State Crime Laboratory. Contents two rifle cartidges Remington 30-30 caliber Core-Lokt removed from the cabin of Kasper Oveross 2-18-55, one empty shell case 30-30 Remington removed from shirt pocket of Kasper Oveross 2-189-55 to be used in checking in case of homicide of Ervin Kaser 2-17-55. D. Young, Sheriff Marion County, Oregon. All cases marked ‘D’”. Examination of the contents of this item reveals there are three loaded cartridges rather than two, two of which are Remington 30-30 caliber Core-Lokt type bullets, and one Remington 30-30 cartridge loaded with a plain lead hollow-point bullet. There is a fired Remington 30-30 cartridge contained in this box. It was reportedly removed from the shirt pocket of Kasper Oveross. This item was reportedly fired in the 30-30 Savage, Item E-5. The microscopic details of the firing pin impression and breach block markings are compared with the test-fires prepared in Item E-5, and found to be similar. Examination of the two Remington Core-Lokt type cartridges reveals that one of them has been worked through the chamber of the Model 94 Winchester, Item E-4. The cartridge case of the other Remington 30-30 cartiridge appears to have no markings that it has been placed in any type of firearm. The plain lead 30-30 Remington cartridge is examined, and no microscopic details are noted on the rim. This has the appearance of having been polished smooth as one may expect from a cartridge which has been carried in a pocket for a considerable length of time. Nothing else remarkable is noted about it.

SUMMARY: In our opinion,

1. Item E-1 and Item E-2 were fired from the bore of the same weapon, and may possibly have been fired in Item e-4, the 30-30 caliber Winchester Model 94. Additional studies are being made of these items to determine if a positive identification or elimination can be made.

2. The bullet fragments of Item C-3 are being studied to determine if it is possible to identify them as parts of any particular type of bullet.

3. The fired 30-30 caliber cartridge removed from Item E-7 was fired in the chamber of the 30-30 Savage, Item E-5. One of the loaded Remington 30-30 cartridges reportedly removed from the cabin of Kasper Oveross has been chambered in the Model 94 Winchester, Item E-4.


And that’s enough for this week, I think.

Blogically yours,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 7)

Now ten days after the murder, everyone seems to have taken a day off on Sunday, February 27, 1955.  The hunt for the weapon continues, especially the hunt for witnesses or records of Casper Oveross buying a 30-caliber rifle.  The police have a number of witnesses stating that Oveross did have a hunting rifle, knew that he had hunted with it, but Oveross denied ever having it.  So, the hunt for the purchase goes on, as well as continuing to check all 30-caliber rifles that Oveross (or anyone else in the area) might have had access to.

Monday, February 28, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:30 AM Sheriff Office plan activity for the day

10:30 AM At Hardware store in Aumsville regarding rifle sales. Mr. Roberts is previous owner of store sold out in 1951. At present at Lyons Oregon. Talked with Mr. M.C. Franklin had place for 4 yrs. No information of value.

10:50 AM Stayton Oregon contact Mr. Powell has had sporting goods store since 1954, Jacks Sporting Goods Store. No gun sales recorded. Doesn’t believe that he ever sold a gun to Oveross. Following gun smiths in Stayton: Lloyd Schenauer (Moved to California), Mat Frost (Works for Philippi), Gun smith in Turner

11:00 AM Contact Marshall Wells Store in Stayton, Clifford Likes, Owner. Kenneth Gar and checked books since 1947 no gun sales listed to any Oveross.

Wayne Huffman checked Santiam Hardware. Nothing of value. Lloyd Riegel checked Western Auto. Nothing of value.

11:27 AM At Philippi’s to check with Mat Frost, no information of value, does mostly stock work.

11:30 AM Check with Chief of Police Norfleet. No information of value.

11:45 AM Check with Ferres at Sublimity Lumber Yard. Cap hangs out around there and they sell rifles. (Info. From Norfleet Stayton) Also advised to check with a Wick, Body and Fender man at Ford Garage. Stated he was with Oveross 2 weeks ago, and is a personal friend of Oveross.

12:10 PM At Dolph Heater residence to talk with Ronald Heater. Wrong house will attempt to locate home.

12:15 PM Sarg. Huffman learned that Ronald Heater is in Silverton, will contact there.

12:36 PM Contact Frank Shepherd, Silverton P.D. Frank reports that Mrs. Frank Wolfe had been talking to him and had heard her neighbor say that a car had followed her home, or pulled around her on evening of 17th. She saw them pull down a lane by her home and saw 2 cars exchange something. (Frank will try to gain additional information Mrs. Wolfe reluctant to talk to police.) Received additional information of importance, will check on this information thru other sources available.

1:00 PM Contact Ronald Heater. No information.

1:10 PM Lunch Silverton

2:00 PM State Patrol Office

3:30 PM Contact Wayne Moore at District Attorney Office. Wayne says he has owned gun for 15 yrs. was formerly property of father.

Gun has been kept in the woodshed and garage at Moore residence for considerable length of time. Been in the woodshed for at least on month prior to being picked up by Sheriff. Stated he had never taken very good care of the gun. And that Casper knew he kept it in the woodshed and had easy access to it.

Wayne stated that the last time he used the gun he shot at a dog bothering some sheep on his place. This was about 1 month ago. Gun is always left fully loaded. Stated he hadn’t cleaned the gun for a month or more.

Doesn’t know how many shells were in gun. Could have been hollow points or Remington Kleen Bores.

Stated that Casper never used the gun to his knowledge. Nor has ever borrowed the gun for target practice or other purposes to the knowledge of Mr. Moore.

2 years ago Casper Oveross had gone hunting with Mr. W. Moore and it is possible that he could have ejected one of the shells from Mr. Moore’s gun without the knowledge of Mr. Moore. Casper never used the gun on that trip. Wayne Moore stated Casper had a 30-30 rifle he used on the trip. Wayne further stated he didn’t use reloads, nor had he ever given Casper any ammo. to the best of his knowledge.

Wayne stated it is possible that Casper could have gotten his rifle on the 17th. Or prior to the 17th. And used it in killing Mr. Kaser. And that this possibility had occurred to Mr. Moore and worried him to the extent that he immediately upon arriving home from work on 18th. went and checked the gun. He stated he found it in approximately the same place he had left it, and gun was loaded. Gun was checked at about 5:35 PM 2-18-55.

There has been hard feelings by Casper toward’s Wayne Moore, and has implied to Mr. Moore that Casper felt he was chasing around with his wife.

4:30PM Mr. Moore further stated that Casper was shrewd enough and capable of using Mr. Moore’s rifle for the shooting.

5:00 PM Contact State Patrol office.

5:30 PM Contact Frank Shepherd, he contacted Mrs. Wolfe whom stated as follows:

A lady that is a 4-H leader is supposed to have seen 2 cars pass some thing between them on lane by their place. Mrs. Wolfe was reluctant to give the name of party that observed this transaction. It is felt by Shepherd that the most logical party whom observed this is Mrs. Lensman. (A check with 4-H club is advisable to gain parties name.)

6:40 PM Check with Charley Hopkins, 208 Mill St. Silverton whom advised that Mrs. George Hopkins, cabin #5 Hollan Court, has some information for us.

7:00 PM Contact Shirley Hopkins, cabin #5 Hollan Court, whom revealed the following information:

Stated that some one had a wrapped object and put it in a car. Car was described as a light gray colored late model Ford Coach or Sedan. 1949 or 1950 model. That was the first thing removed from the cabin and the only thing loaded into this particular car. The car left immediately and was gone about 15 minutes then returned to the cabin. Subject in the vehicle was described as 20 yrs., tall slender. (Knows Danny Gilham and stated it was not him.) Other people at Oveross cabin during this time was an older man and an older heavy-set woman, and Colleen Oveross. 3 cars was there the one mentioned above, and a late model Salmon colored Ford, and another vehicle believed to be a pre-war model gray vehicle. This occurred Wednesday 23rd. About 5:30 PM.

Also Shirley stated that a girl friend of her’s VERNA TEGLUND, mother in law of Mrs. Seward 212 W Center Street, stated she saw and talked to Casper Oveross approximately 15 minutes after the shooting. [EK_note: See the end of Riegel’s report below for clarification of this, it was earlier in the evening, not after the shooting.]

Also on night of murder Mrs. Hopkins, cabin #5 Hollan Court, and her brother Duane Hopkins, and his girl friend heard a car drive up and stop in front of Casper Oveross cabin #6 Hollan Court. This took place at 8:40 PM 2-17-55. She heard some one go in the house was in about 10 minutes at most, and left. She didn’t look out to see whom it was and took for granted it was Casper.

Also stated that Casper had worked with a young man, and associated with him considerably. Man described as 21 yrs. nice looking, curly hair dark colored. Subject does carpenter work and resides in Stayton. Was last seen about 2 months ago.

Also stated that on Friday 2-18-55, two young men had come up and knocked on Cap’s door and had enquired if she knew Casper, and enquired as to his age, etc. Stated they would leave a note in his mail box for him. However she watched them and they didn’t leave any note. [EK_note: Reporters?  Hard to say.]

Concludes activities of 2-28-55

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 28 February 1955 Sgt Huffman, Deputy Shaw and the writer proceeded to Aumsville Oregon and checked the Roberts Hardware Store for any record of guns purchased by Casper Oveross. The records present at the store were checked with negative result but an additional check is to be made with a former bookkeeper. Results in later report. The above officers checked the Jack’s Sporting Goods, Santiam Hardware, Western Auto, and Coast to Coast stores in Stayton, Oregon. All stores were checked with negative results. Mathew Frost, gunsmith in Stayton, was checked for sale or repair work on any guns belonging to Casper Oveross, this also was with negative results.

Dolph Heater was contacted relative to his knowledge of guns owned by Casper Oveross. Mr. Heater stated that he knew Casper Oveross only to speak to and to have a drink with. Stated that he has never hunted with Casper Oveross and had no idea about as to what type or kind of gun Oveross owns.

The writer and Deputy Shaw contact Wayne More relative to Casper Oveross having borrowed shells or guns from Mr. Moore. Mr. Moore stated that the gun, now in possession of Sheriff Young, had belonged to his father before him and that he had never loaned the gun to anyone. Mr. Moore stated that he had hunted in Eastern Oregon two years ago with Casper Oveross but Oveross had not used his gun and to the best of his knowledge had not loaded or ejected shells from the gun. Mr. Moore was questioned regarding his having shot on the Oveross residence. Mr. Moore state that he had never practiced shooting on Oveross’s place and that to the best of his knowledge his gun has never been used to shoot at any targets on Oveross’s place. Mr. Moore further stated that he has never loaned shells to Oveross nor has he borrowed shells from Oveross. He further stated that for the last year he and Oveross have not been on the best of terms, as Oveross had warned him against being friends with ERVIN KASER. Oveross told Mr. Moore that he would not remain a friend of his as long as Mr. Moore remained friendly with ERVIN KASER. Mr. Moore said he paid little or no attention to this because it only came up when Oveross had been drinking. Mr. Moore was questioned regarding where he normally leaves his gun and as to whether or not the gun is left loaded or unloaded. Mr. Moore stated that he always leaves the gun setting in the wood shed and the gun is always loaded. Mr. Moore further stated that he last noticed the gun about thirty days ago when he shot a dog on his place and he was quite sure the four shells left in the gun were either silver tip or core lock or some of each. Moore was questioned about the type and size of shell he uses. He stated that he has never used re-loads and has always bought the 170 grain bullet. The writer questioned Mr. Moore regarding his activity on the night of 17 February 1955 and to the possibility that Oveross could have taken his gun from the woodshed and returned it without the Moore family knowledge. Mr. Moore stated that he arrived home about 6:10 PM, had supper and watched television until about 10:30 PM then retired. Mrs. Moore, Erma Moore, stayed up after 10-:30 PM waiting from their daughters return from a skating party in Salem, Oregon. Wayne Moore further stated that Oveross has been at his home many times and would know that the rifle is always kept in the woodshed. He further stated that from the living room of his home it would be impossible for either he or his wife to see or hear anyone enter the place from the south and into the woodshed. The Moore lies about 500 ft to the north and east of the Casper Oveross residence. Mr. Moore stated that he became quite worried about this gun after he left for work on 18 February 1955. Upon return to his home he checked and found the gun setting in its usual place and the gun was still loaded as he had left it. Mr. Moore stated that there is no definate manner in which the gun is placed in the corner of the woodshed.

The writer and Deputy Shaw then contacted a Shirley Hopkins who lives in cabin 5, Hollin Auto Court, Silverton. Mrs. Hopkins stated Verna Tagelands mother-in-law, a Mrs. Rose Mary Seward, 212 West Center St. Silverton, Oregon, had seen and talked with Casper Oveross about 11:15 PM 17 February 1955. Mrs. Hopkins further stated that on the day following Oveross’s arrest a light, almost white, 49 or 50 Ford came to the Oveross cabin and took one object from the cabin. This was wrapped in a quilt and appeared to be either a broom or gun from the shape of the object. This man was described as slender, dark hair and appeared to be about 21 years of age. The man left and returned in just a few minutes. At this time there was another couple at the house in another car. Mrs. Hopkins stated that she had never seen either of the three before. One of the three was a woman, partly gray hair, short and rather heavy build. Mrs. Hopkins further stated that on the evening of 17 February 1955 she and her brother Duane Mattox, 936 So. Water St. Silverton, were watching television when they heard a car drive up to the Oveross cabin. Someone got out of the vehicle and went into the house and stayed about 10 minutes. From the way the vehicle drove up and the manner the subject went inside the cabin Mrs. Hopkins go the idea it was Oveross, however she did not actually get up and see either the vehicle or the man. Mrs. Hopkins was rather sure that this was between 8:30 PM and 8:40 PM, however she was unable to attach this to any program or other incident to be sure of the time. Mrs. Hopkins heard no talking and assumed that Oveross was alone.

Duane Mattox was contacted and related the same story with the fact added that he thinks he looked outside and noticed that the vehicle that drove up was Casper Oveross’s vehicle and that who ever was driving the vehicle was alone.

The writer and Deputy Shaw contacted Rose Mary Seward. She stated that she and her husband were shopping at Franks Grocery about 8:15 PM 17 February 1955, and that they had seen Casper Oveross in the store buying groceries. She further stated that she and Casper had spoke to each other while shopping. Mrs. Seward said that this is the last time she had seen Casper Oveross and that she had definitely not seen him at 11:15 PM 17 February 1955.

Capital Journal, Monday, February 28, 1955 (afternoon newspaper)
Marion Grand Jury Hears Witnesses in Probe of Slaying of Ervin Kaser

Eleven of the approximately 15 witnesses to be questioned by the grand jury in the investigation of Casper (Cap) Oveross, charged with the murder of Ervin O. Kaser, had been quizzed when the grand jury adjourned at noon Monday.

The grand jury swung into action on the case promptly at 9:30 Monday morning, and indications were that its questioning of witnesses would easily be completed before the end of the day.  A grand jury report today is possible.

Witnesses questioned Monday before noon were: Denver Young, Marion County sheriff, who was in charge of the investigation that resulted in Oveross’ arrest; Edward A. Finley, a relative of Kaser, the murder victim [EK_note: only distantly by marriage.  More notably he was a neighbor]; Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Kellherhals, Jr., neighbors of Kaser; Melvin Kaser and Harvey Kaser, brothers of Ervin, and Mrs. Harvey Kaser;  Mrs. Betty Hollin, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Anundson, and William Specht.  All are of Silverton or vicinity except the sheriff.

It was believed others to be called by the jury might include: Ethel Oveross, former wife of the accused man; Wayne Moore, Virgil Huddleston, and a Mr. and Mrs. Gillian.

Members of the grand jury investigating the case are Clarence M. Byrd, Salem, foreman; Ruth D. Teter, Silverton; Anna Adams, Silverton; Durward V. Balweber, Woodburn; Alvin E. Hollin, Silverton; Lester C. Davidson, Salem; and Harvey C. Epping, Salem.

If an indictment is returned against Oveross by the grand jury Bruce Williams, the accused man’s attorney, said Monday that he would move to have him appear for plea before the circuit court at the earliest possible time, and would follow up with an effort to bring the case to trial at an early date.

Kaser was shot and killed in his automobile the night of February 17 just as he had stopped at his garage door at his home near Silverton.  Oveross was arrested after an investigation of several days.

The Statesman, Tuesday, March 1, 1955 (morning paper)
Murder Charge Dismissed; Oveross Released
Jurors Decline To Indict
By Vinita Howard, Staff Writer, The Statesman

A jeans-clad Casper Oveross walked out of the Marion County Courthouse late Monday afternoon freed from the first degree murder charge which had been lodged against him nearly a week ago.

Oveross was released when the grand jury refused to indict him on the first degree murder charge for the Feb. 17 rifle-slaying of a Silverton hop-grower, Ervin O. Kaser.  Oveross, a 44-year-old carpenter, accepted the news calmly. His only comment, made to his attorney, Bruce Williams, when he was brought into the sheriff’s office from his cell was, “Is it true?”

Not Considered Sufficient

District Attorney Kenneth Brown said he had presented all evidence available at this time, but the grand jury had not considered it sufficient for indictment.  “If we get additional evidence later,” he said, “I’ll call in the grand jury again.” Oveross could be indicted at a later date.

The grand jury made its report to Circuit Judge George R. Duncan shortly before 4 p.m. In less than an hour, Oveross had been brought into district court before Judge E. O. Stadter Jr., who allowed a motion for dismissal. Oveross appeared unexcited as he listened to the brief proceedings. His only remark was a quick, “Thank you, Judge,” before he left with his attorneys, George Jones and Williams.

Effects Returned

Cap Oveross and daughter Colleen

Casper A. (Cap) Oveross, as calm upon his release from jail as he was when arrested nearly a week ago, is shown with his daughter, Colleen Oveross, shortly after a first degree murder charge against him was dismissed. A grand jury earlier Monday had refused to indict him on the charge. Oveross was greeted by his daughter at the office of his attorney, Bruce Williams, Salem.

A few minutes later, Oveross checked out of the Marion County jail after receiving his personal effects, including about $4 in cash, which he had with him when arrested.  In his arms he carried the clothing which he was wearing at the time of his arrest last Tuesday night.  Not until he met his daughter later at the office of his attorneys did he show any sign of happiness or relief over developments which led to his release.

The grand jury, which had been called for a special session by District Attorney Brown, heard evidence from 9:30 Monday morning until mid-afternoon. Since Oveross had not been bound over to the grand jury by a preliminary hearing, the jurors did not have to bring in either a true or not true bill on the matter.

Testimony Given

Sheriff Denver Young, who with state police conducted the investigation that led to Oveross’ arrest, said later that witnesses before the grand jury had cast doubt on Oveross’ story for the time of the shooting, and that others testified he had threatened Kaser’s life.  Oveross, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, refused to take a lie detector test, Young said.

Other evidence offered to the grand jury attempted to show that Oveross had been at his former home, located near Kaser’s home, the night of the shooting, testimony was introduced attempting to place him in an area close enough to the scene, Young said, so that he could have gone there an returned.

Reports Not In

Cap Oveross and attorney

Casper (Cap) Oveross, left, held a conference with his attorney, Bruce Williams, following his release from the county jail Monday. Oveross was given his freedom when the Marion County Grand Jury after hearing evidence throughout the day refused to return an indictment charging him with the murder of Ervin O. Kaser, Silverton farmer. A complaint charging first degree murder was dismissed after the grand jury report was made. (Capital Journal photo)

Ballistics reports and other crime laboratory tests are still being made in Portland, according to Young. Another missing piece of evidence in the slaying is the rifle with which the shots were fired.

Kaser was shot to death Feb. 17 just outside his hop farm on the Silverton-Stayton highway, two miles south of Silverton.  Four shots, one of which lodged near his heart killing him almost immediately, were fired while he was sitting in his car in his driveway.

Oveross, who police say had blamed Kaser for the break-up of his marriage, was charged with first degree murder five days after the starlight slaying.

Sheriff Young Friday night would say only that his office will “continue investigation of the crime.” Meanwhile, the Ford car belonging to Oveross, which officers impounded when he was arrested, is scheduled to be returned to him today.

Seventeen persons were called Monday to testify before the grand jury investigating the first degree murder charge against Casper A. (Cap) Oveross, a Silverton carpenter. Oveross was released when the grand jury refused to indict him on the charge.  Testimony taken Monday by the jurors came from Silverton-area people with the exception of Marion County Sheriff Denver Young and Dr. Homer Harris of the state crime laboratory, Portland.

Others subpoenaed to tell what they knew of the Feb. 17 rifle-slaying of Ervin O. Kaser, Silverton hop grower, were: Edward Finley, a cousin of Mrs. Oveross; Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Kellerhals, who live across from the Kaser home; Melvin and Harvey Kaser, brothers of the murdered man; Mrs. Edith Kaser, wife of Harvey Kaser and a sister of Mrs. Oveross; Mrs. Betty Hollin, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Amundson, William Specht, Daniel Gilham, Mrs. Jennie Gilham, Ethel Oveross, Rodney Oster and Robert Barnes.

Members of the grand jury called-in by District Attorney Kenneth Brown in a surprise legal move Friday were: Clarence M. Byrd, Salem, foreman; Ruth D. Teter, Silverton; Anna Adams, Silverton; Durward V. Balweber, Woodburn; Alvin E. Hollin, Silverton;  Lester C. Davidson, Salem; and Harvey C. Epping, Salem.  The grand jury made its report shortly before 4 p.m. before Circuit Judge George R. Duncan. It had been hearing testimony gathered by the state since 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 1, 1955

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw:

8:00 AM On duty and discuss Homicide case, and contacts with Sheriff and Sarg. W. Huffman and State Officer Riegel.

11:05 AM Contact Bob Evans, 5th. & C street, Hubbard, subject offered theory on murder, however no substantiating facts.

2:30 PM Contact Roy Hage, residence Silverton. Daughter says he knows Casper Oveross however not home now. Will attempt to contact tomorrow.

2:45 PM Contact Omer Bailey, felt it may be advisable to check with Clyde Ramsby, Cutler City Oregon. As Ramsby had sold second hand guns right after the War.

3:00 PM Contact Mr. Craig, Coast to Coast Store, checked back thru his books since 1945, and found no recorded sales to Oveross.

3:15 PM Check books at Hande’s Hardware store again, Larry Oveross has several sales of shot guns recorded. (Found out Larry Oveross is in Air force and family lives in Silverton up by Hospital.)

4:00 PM Check on mileage and time of Ethel Oveross on approximately the same route she used upon leaving Ervin Kaser, night of 17th. Feb. 1955. (Speed was approximately 45 MPH.)

Start Abiqua Creek road at Bridge Mileage 53711.0 Time 3:40 PM No seconds

Finish E. Oveross home Mileage 53718.0 Time 3:51 PM 30 seconds

Total Mileage 7.0 Time 11 min. 30 secs.

4:00 PM Check at W. Moore residence, no one home.

4:15 PM Contact 410 Silver St. Mrs. Opal Burns, was Burns now Nuison, has known Casper Oveross for approximately 1 Yr. Never been on a date with him. Made one trip to Stayton with him approx. 1st. Of Yr. 1955. Hasn’t seen Casper for at least 2 wks. prior to murder.

State Police Private Lloyd T. Riegel:

On 1 March, 1955 Deputy Shaw and the writer contacted Omer Bailey, Silverton, Oregon, relative to his locating the book at Hande’s Hardware which showed the registration of weapons sold prior to 1 Januarary 1950. Mr. Bailey stated that he had looked in the records left by Mr. Ames when he sold the store and that he had been unable to locate the book in which the sale of weapons was registered. Deputy Shaw and the writer checked at Hande’s Hardware and found that on 11 November 1954 that Larry Oveross had purchased a used model 94 Winchester 32 special, serial 1519912. A check was conducted to determine who Larry Oveross was and it was found that he is the son of Lloyd Oveross who is presently in California. Larry Oveross is a member of the United States Air Force and has been for the past year. Deputy Shaw and the writer were unable to determine where the weapon referred to is at the present time or whether the weapon has been sold or traded. It was also determined that the previous owner of Hande’s Hardware, a Mr. Norris Ames is presently living at the Greener Apartments, Cathedral City, California. A letter has been written Mr. Ames requesting any information he may have relative to the sale of a weapon to Casper Oveross.

Opal Burns, reportedly to have been a girlfriend of Casper Oveross, was checked by Deputy Shaw and the writer. It was learned that Opal Burns, now Opal Nuison, has never gone with Casper Oveross. Stated that she has known Casper for several years and their friendship was developed at Shorty’s Tavern during shuffleboard games and tournaments. She stated that she had made one trip to Stayton about the first of the year, that Casper had gone to Stayton one afternoon with reference to a carpenter job that he was attempting to obtain in the Scio area. Opal stated that she knew nothing of Casper’s home trouble and that he had never spoken of any difficulties he was having with his wife and Ervin Kaser.

[Author unknown, almost certainly someone with the State Police]


Signed statements have been taken from the following people.

Mrs. Ethel Oveross, Rt 3 Box 110, Silverton, Oregon
Mrs. Edith Kaser, Rt 3 Box 109, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Robert Barnes, Rt 3 Box 96, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Waldo Rue, Rt 3 Box 93, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Robert Richie, Rt 3 Box 89, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Daniel James Gilham, Rt 5, Box 417, Salem, Oregon
Mr. James W. Gilham, Rt 5 Box 417, Salem, Oregon
Jennie Gilham, Rt 5, Box 417, Salem, Oregon
Mr. Gerald Hoyt, 119 Fiske St. Silverton, Oregon (Bartender Town House)
Rodney R. Oster, 115 James St., Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Edward Finlay, Rt 3 Box 112, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Emanuel Kellerhal, Rt 3 Box 115, Silverton, Oregon
Connie Kellerhal, Rt 3, Box 115, Silverton, Oregon
Betty Hollin, Rt 3 Box 108, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Julius Gehring, Rt 3 Box 107, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Charles Hopkins, 208 Main St, Silverton
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Moore, Rt 3 Box 111, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. Floyd Staiger, Rt 1 Box 301A, Silverton, Oregon
Mr. William Specht, Rt 1, Silverton, Oregon

Leads Checked.

Time element from Ervin Kaser’s residence to the Daniel Gilham residence.
Gun stores in Salem, Oregon- negative results.
Obtained Ervin Kaser’s hat, forwarded to Crime Lab.
Three guns forwarded to the Crime Lab.(Moore, Gilham, Hudelson)
Restaurants in Silverton (For evidence of Ervin Kaser eating late 2-17-55). Negative.
Gun Stores in Stayton, Oregon – Negative results.
Contacted Ronald Heater, Friend of Oveross, negative results.
Contacted Mat Frost, does gun work, mostly stock finishing, negative.
Hardware store in Aumsville, Oregon – negative results.
Gun store in Mt. Angel, negative result.
Checked Earnie Crowder, James Fornier and Willie Bean in Mt. Angel (Negative).
Search of Cabin #6, Hollan Auto Court, Silverton 2nd and D st
Checked Cemetery Hill Road, Waldo Hills Grange Hall and bridges over Drift creek, in that area. Negative results.
Took measurements of markings on door casing at the Ethel Oveross place. (indicated as markings left by rifle owned by Casper Oveross) 2 markings, 1 – 38 ¼” from floor. 1 – 49 ½” from floor.
Caused a check with the Game Commission on resident hunting license #297104, Casper Oveross. Results unknown.
Checked the Budget Locker and Montgomery Locker for evidence of deer meat and calibre of gun used to shoot deer. Negative results.
Check with Rusty Hudelson relative to Casper Oveross shooting four practice shots at his place.
Safeway Store Silverton, relative to Ervin Kaser purchasing groceries.
Frank Sexton, relative to the time the Gilham boy returned home 2-17-55.
Checked Al Foster, gunsmith Silverton.
Contacted Roy Phillippi, cousin of Ethel Oveross, no information.
Shorties Tavern relative to times Casper Oveross was there and left.
Checked John Seems, relative to Ervin Kaser offering farm machinery for sale.
Drug pond near the Harvey Kaser Residence for possible rifle. Negative results.
Checked residents along road from Silverton to Ervin Kaser residence.
Checked with Anna Kinsey, student nurse who travels this road at 11:00 PM daily.
Check bridges across Drift Creek on the Larden Road. Negative results.
Olson Drug Store, Silverton relative to shells purchased by Oveross.
Check Ray Ruscher and Charles Ertitle, supposedly seen Oveross 2-17-55, 10:00 PM.
Search Henry Oveross Residence 514 So. Water St. Silverton, Oregon. Negative
Check Floyd McMullin, reportedly to have seen Oveross 2-17-55, 12:30 PM.
Checked behind Oveross residence for possible target area and bullets. Negative.
Search residence of Ethel Oveross, and houses behind the Oveross residence. Negative.
Contact Merle G. Eisenhart, statement taken. Gunsmith, 335 Mill St. Silverton. Supposedly had sold Oveross shells and talked guns, seen two guns owned by Oveross.
Check Henry Wellman 3120 Widows Lane, re guns owned by Oveross.


I have to wonder why D.A. Kenneth Brown decided to have Oveross arrested so quickly.  Public relations?  The murder was high-profile in the news, and he was undoubtedly feeling pressure to make an arrest, and I’m sure that he and the police were convinced that Oveross was the guilty person.  But still, time was on their side, as they were still hunting for the murder weapon, and it had been less than a week.

Once arrested, Oveross’ defense attorney, Bruce Williams, pressed for a speedy hearing, and claimed that if Oveross was indicted that he would push for a speedy trial.  I’m sure he would, as nothing would be gained for the defense by giving the police more time to find further evidence (such as the weapon or records of Oveross buying such a weapon or more witnesses).

The media, as always, intentionally or not, was doing their part to sway public opinion, and both the D.A. and the defense attorneys were taking full advantage of it.  The papers seemed to favor Oveross’ innocence, playing him as a simple family man, calm, claiming everyone in the community disbelieved he could have done such a thing, and reporting his supporting family and friends.  Attorney Williams obviously let reporters into his office (the photo of him and Oveross at his desk), taking full advantage of a little free publicity.  But that’s the nature of newspapers: they’re in business to make money.  If it bleeds, it leads.  They like the drama, they like a good story, because drama and stories sell papers.


Silverton Appeal, March 4, 1955 (weekly newspaper)OVEROSS IS FREED; AVERS INNOCENCE
Thanks His Friends for Confidence

A fast-moving kaleidoscope of events starting Friday and ending Monday resulted in freeing Casper Oveross from the first degree murder charge lodged against him Feb. 22 for the Feb. 17 “ambush slaying” of Ervin O. Kaser, 49-year-old Evergreen district hop man.

The 44 year old Oveross returned to Silverton ready to take up his vocation of part time farming and carpentering that had been interrupted with his arrest in connection with the killing.  This week he was working on a building job near Oregon City.

Oveross, other than reiterating his innocence, referred all other questions to his attorney, Bruce Williams, in Salem, and said he personally had nothing to add to what had already been said and done. He said he wanted to thank all of his friends and acquaintances in Silverton for maintaining their confidence in him despite the circumstances that brought about his arrest.

The prevailing sentiment in Silverton from the time of his jailing was that he was innocent of the crime of which he was accused and many openly voiced the hope that he would not be held. Oveross was given his freedom late Monday afternoon when the Marion county grand jury, reporting to Circuit Judge Geo. R. Duncan, refused to indict him on the basis of the evidence presented.  And Judge F. O. Stadter allowed motion for dismissal. Oveross received the news with the same calm that he had shown during his incarceration, and displayed joy later when joined by his daughter.

District Attorney Kenneth Brown, commenting on the grand jury action, said his office had presented all facts available and the grand jury had not deemed it sufficient for indictment.  The district attorney called attention to Oregon revised statutes “Who the grand jury may indict or present,” and “When the grand jury should indict.”  (1)–The grand jury may indict or present a person for a crime when it believes him guilty thereof, whether such person has been held to answer for such crime or not.  (2)–The grand jury ought to find an indictment when all the evidence before it, taken together, is such as in its judgment would, if unexplained or uncontradicted, warrant a conviction by the trial jury.

Brown said the grand jury would be reconvened if his office receives additional evidence at a later date.  The district attorney pointed out that a “preliminary hearing was not the right of a defendant held on a felony charge.  Such hearings originated in early days to provide a defendant with a speedy hearing and not subject him to unnecessary time in jail awaiting grand jury action.”  The district attorney stressed the importance of being sure of each step in such a case.

The district attorney last Friday summoned the grand jury for Monday of this week bypassing the scheduled preliminary hearing set for Wednesday.  The action took principals in the case by surprise.  It was explained that grand jury testimony is secret whereas that of a preliminary hearing is open to the public and forces the state to reveal the kind of evidence it has against the accused. Brown said it was not uncommon to do this and he took the step to speed up the case. Defense counsel opposed the move but was overruled by Judge Edward O. Stadter who said the district attorney was acting legally.  An attempt had been made to get the preliminary hearing set for Saturday.

Witnesses appearing before the grand jury reportedly testified about coincidences of time and place of the defendant on the night of the shooting; about threats made on Kaser’s life; and offered other testimony which purported to show that Oveross had been at his former home in the neighborhood of the Kaser place on the night in question.  Doubt was cast, it was said, on Oveross’ story for the time of the shooting.  Oveross had allegedly blamed Kaser for breakup of his marriage.

Kaser was shot in the back February 17 while he was preparing to get out of his car in the driveway of his home near Evergreen on the Silverton-Salem highway [EK_note: no, the Silverton-Stayton highway].  Four shots were fired, one of which lodged near his heart, killing him instantly.  The time of the slaying was set at 10:55 p.m.

Witnesses called before the grand jury included Denver Young, sheriff of Marion county, who led the investigation, E. A. Finlay, a relative of the deceased Kaser, Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Kellerhals, Harvey Kaser and Melvin Kaser, brothers of the slain man, Mrs. Harvey Kaser, Mrs. Betty Hollin, henry Anundson and Mrs. Anundson, Daniel Gilham, Mrs. Jennie Gilham, Ethel Oveross, Rodney Oster, Bob Barnes and Dr. Homer Harris of the state crime laboratory of Portland.

The grand jury was composed of Clarence M. Byrd of Salem, who served as foreman, Ruth D. Teter of Silverton, wife of the late Dr. E. A. Teter, Mrs. Ralph Adams of Silverton, Durward V. Balweber of Woodburn, Alvin E. Hollin of Silverton, Lester C. Davidson of Salem and Harvey C. Epping of Salem.

Blogically yours,

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 6)

The Jaeske Suicide

On Tuesday, February 22, 1955, the Marion County Sheriff’s office became aware of the suicide of an ex-Silverton woman in Salem around the time of Ervin Kaser’s murder, and investigated it to discover whether it might have any relationship to the murder.  I’ve collected here all of the snippets from the police reports regarding this.

Sheriff Denver Young, Tuesday, February 22, 1955:

9:00 A.M. Received information from John Zabinski that an ex-Silverton woman by the name of Jaeske, had committed suicide and had been investigated by the City. She may have known Kaser. Instructed Deputy Sheriff Zabinski to check for any possible connection with Kaser case.

Sheriff Denver Young, Thursday, February 24, 1955:

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

Sheriff’s Deputy John T. Zabinski, Saturday, February 26, 1955:

RE: Lanora Jaeschke

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

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

Sheriff’s Deputy John T. Zabinski, Tuesday, March 1, 1955:

RE: Mrs. Lanora Jaeschke, suicide

4:20 P.M. the writer contacted Mrs. Martha Thompson, 1795 Market Street, Salem, Oregon, who is the landlady of the Jaeschke residence. Mrs. Thompson stated that Mr. and Mrs. Jaeschke began renting from her in June, 1954. She considered Mr. and Mrs. Jaeschke very pleasant people. She stated that she never entered the house during this renting period, however, they did keep a neat yard. They would go for walks on occasion, they would be neat in appearance and seemed to appear pleasant. Mrs. Thompson stated that Mr. Jaeschke did not seem to have any outsdie activities, he enjoyed listening to baseball games over the radio. When paying his rent on Saturday, February 26, 1955, Mr. Jaeschke broke in to tears, stating he did not know how to dispose of some of the furniture. He stated that it was quite a problem after being married for thirty years. Mrs. Thompson stated that she has never seen Mrs. Jaeschke drive a car, however she believes that Mrs. Jaeschke may have driven in the past. Mrs. Thompson stated that Mr. Jaeschke is employed at Tillamook, Oregon, either as a lumber grader or checker.

Mr. Noonchester, realtor, 1595 N. Cottage Street, Salem, Oregon, recommended the Jaeschke’s as good renters to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.

Sheriff’s Deputy John T. Zabinski (Badge #6), Thursday, March 3, 1955:

Re: Lanora Jaeschke suicide

At approximately 11:00 A.M. This date the writer contacted Ralfe Bentson, Goldie’s Tavern, 211 Main St., Silverton, Oregon, in regard to Mrs. Lanora Jaeschke. Mr. Bentson stated that he knew Mrs. Jaeschke approximately 25 years. He considered Mrs. Jaeschke an odd person. At times she would appear very friendly then again she would pass him by as if she did not recognize him. At times she had complained to Mr. Benston regarding Mr. Jaeschke’s drinking, however when they did come into his place of business she would order a soft drink, while her husband purchased beer. Mr. Bentson stated that he had never seen Mrs. Jaeschke drink any alcoholic beverages, but he felt certain that she did at her home. Mr. Bentson stated that it was common gossip that Mrs. Jaeschke held wild parties while her husband was working, as he came home only on weekends. Mr. Bentson believes that Mrs. Jaeschke may just be odd enough to be a little crazy. He referred to Mr. Jaeschke as a man who enjoyed his “bottle.”

Mr. Bentson referred the writer to Alice Lund, Tony’s Cafe, 213 Main St., Silverton Oregon, as he thought if anyone knew anything about Mrs. Jaeschke, Mrs. Lund would.

11:30 A.M. This date the writer contacted Mrs. Lund at Tony’s Cafe, in regard to Mrs. Jaeschke. Mrs. Lund stated that she knew Mrs. Jaeschke for about 20 years. She felt that she may have been Mrs. Jaeschke’s only real friend. She considered Mrs. Jaeschke very odd and moody, otherwise Mrs. Jaeschke was very nice and pleasant. After World War II, Mr. Jaeschke was in the habit of bringing friends home from Camp Adair, when coming home for the weekend, from his job in Tillamook, Oregon. This may be what people referred to as wild parties. Mrs. Lund considered Mr. Jaeschke an alcoholic. She does not recall, at any time, when Mr. Jaeschke mistreated his wife in any way.

Due to Mrs. Jaeschke’s odd nature, Mr. Jaeschke talked the matter over with Mrs. Lund and offered to pay Mrs. Jaeschke’s salary if Mrs. Lund would employ her in her cafe, as he felt this might help to keep her mind occupied. It seemed that Mrs. Jaeschke felt better if she was occupied. Mrs. Lund employed Mrs. Jaeschke on regular salary basis and not to terms mentioned by Mr. Jaeschke.

After a short period, Mrs. Lund had to dismiss Mrs. Jaeschke, as it reached the point where Mrs. Jaeschke was a hinderance to her business. Mrs. Lund stated that Mrs. Jaeschke felt very lost after the death of her mother, several years ago. Mrs. Lund stated that she was not surprised when she read about Mrs. Jaeschke committing suicide and thought that probably Mr. Jaeschke would do the same thing within a few months.

Mrs. Lund stated that Mr. Jaeschke was in her cafe Saturday, February 19, 1955, in an intoxicated condition. She tried to get Mr. Jaeschke to go home. She believes that Orrin Buell, brother-in-law, his wife and daughter took him home.

Mrs. Lund stated that Mrs. Jaeschke had driven a car several years ago, but since her accident, which occurred about two years ago, she has never seen her drive a car since.

The writer will make an effort to contact Mr. Jaeschke during the coming weekend, when he returns from Tillamook, Oregon, where he has been employed as a timber grader for several years.

Additional Information Re: Mr. Jaeschke and Casper Oveross

Mrs. Lund stated that her brother-in-law, Alvin Lund remarked that he had seen Mr. Jaeschke and Casper Oveross drinking together in Walt’s Tavern in Silverton during the evening of Saturday, February 19, 1955. Mrs. Lund also states that Melvin Lund is quite a “sportsman” and that she believes that Melvin and Casper Oveross have done some targtet shooting together. She feels that the answer to the Kaser case may be found within the area known as “Dutch Flats”, which is located between the Kaser residence and “Little Switzerland.”

Alvin and Melvin Lund reside at Route 3, Box 125, Silverton, Oregon. Alvin is considered quite a drinker. Melvin Lund is believed to be a hunter and fisherman.

Mrs. Lund requests that her namne be kept confidential.

This information was given to Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman, State Police, at Silverton City Hall, this date.

State Police Officer Sergeant Wayne G. Huffman, Friday, March 4, 1955:

Alvin Lund, brother to Melvin Lund, same address was contacted. 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.

Sheriff’s Deputy Amos O. Shaw, Monday, March 7, 1955:

5:00 PM Contact JACK TOWE, bar tender at Walts Tavern Silverton. Doesn’t know Jaeske at all.

 Salem City Police Reports pertaining to Jaeske suicide:

DATE: 2-19-55  TIME: 12-15 AM
ADDRESS: 1735 Market St., Salem

At the above time DR. REYNOLDS of 1737 Market St. called the station and reported that MR. JAESCHKE could be seen through the front window of his home at 1735 Market St. lying on the floor in the front room. DR. REYNOLDS thought perhaps MR. JAESCHKE had harmed himself following the suicide of his wife (refer to report on Investigation on 2-18-55 by HALBLACK, EDWARDS and ROCQUE).

The writers, OFFICER STEWARD and the 1st Aid Car went to the JAESCHKE home where he could be seen lying on the floor of the front room. We gained entrance to the house through the garage door. Mr. JAESCHKE was aroused, appeared to be alright except that he was very intoxicated. He was eventually put to bed and immediately went to sleep. A relative, RALPH SEARS, was contacted. MR. SEARS came to the house and the situation explained to him. He agreed to spend the night with MR. JAESCHKE.

Calvin J. Steward S.K. Friese, Capt. J. J. Schuetz, Sgt.


RE: Missing man

NAME: George Jaeschke TIME: 10-50 PM
ADDRESS: 1735 Market St., Salem DATE: 2-20-55

At the above time JUNE ARNOLD of 2555 Cherry Ave. Salem Ph. 3-8857 reported that JAESCHKE was missing and she feels that he may go on an extended drinking spree. He is the husband of the Mrs. Jaeschke who committed suicide last week.

JAESCHKE is desc. As about 50 yrs, 5’6” 130 lbs, slight build, has left hand amputated. Wearing dark trousers, green cruiser type jacket and dark brown hat.

W. Esplin


So, no connections were found, and apparently that’s as far as this avenue of investigation was explored.

Blogically yours,Everett

Not Innocent: The Investigation (part 5)

XXXXX is used in this transcript to denote where the State Police have blacked out the names of minors and medical information. I’ll restore, in square brackets, those names that I can from other sources.  There are several times where Mr. Gilham’s response is blank, so I assume that he answered with a nod or shake of the head, and in those places I’ve indicated it with “[blank].”


SHERIFF DENVER YOUNG: The following recording was made at the District Headquarters of the Oregon State Police of Salem, Oregon, on the 22nd of February, 1955, starting at 5:40 P. M. Those who are in the room at this time are Lieutenant Farley Mogan, Sheriff Denver Young and Sergeant Wayne Huffman. My name is Sheriff Young and I am speaking to Daniel James Gilham. Daniel we want you to understand before we start this recording anything that we say here or is recorded on this machine may be played back at any time later. That – you understand that? Say yes.


YOUNG: Now, is it your desire at this time, you indicated this afternoon and the previous ineterviews that we had with you, that you are willing and so desire to tell what you know about the matter at hand so that we can have all the information available?


YOUNG: Very well, we will start the statement and if you will speak loudly and rather than shake your head well say yes or no or answer the question is that correct?


YOUNG: Ok. Now Danny, I would like to go back and call your attention to the events that took place on the night and early evening of February 17 this year. Will you tell me, if you can recall, that was last Thursday night, what time did you leave home after dinner that evening?

GILHAM: About 6:30, I think.

YOUNG: And where were you going?

GILHAM: To band practise in Silverton.

YOUNG: And did you go directly to band practise?

GILHAM: No, I stopped on the way at my girls house.

YOUNG: Who is your girlfriend, Dan?

GILHAM: Colene Oveross.

YOUNG: Colene Oveross?


YOUNG: And she lived between your house and Silverton?


YOUNG: Alright, and what time did you arrive at her house?

GILHAM: Oh, I judge about fifteen minutes after I left home, be about quarter till seven, I believe I said 6:30 at first, I did not know for sure what time break – er supper was through.

YOUNG: Who was at Colene’s home when you arrived there?

GILHAM: Colene was home.

YOUNG: Just Colene and yourself?


YOUNG: And did anyone else arrive shortly after that?

GILHAM: Yes, her mother came and brought her daughter XXXXX [Karen] Colene’s sister.

YOUNG: Her mother and daughter came right afterward?


YOUNG: How long did they stay?

GILHAM: About fifteen minutes.

YOUNG: And did they both leave together?

GILHAM: I can’t remember for sure now.

YOUNG: I see, well at least they were both gone within ten or fifteen minutes?


YOUNG: And did anyone else stop and see you that evening?

GILHAM: Yes, Colene’s dad stopped about five minutes till eight.

YOUNG: Who is her dad? What is his name?

GILHAM: CAP Oveross.

YOUNG: Is Cap his name or is that a nickname?

GILHAM: Nickname.

YOUNG: What is his real name?

GILHAM: Casper.

YOUNG: Just call him Cap?


YOUNG:How long was Cap at the house?

GILHAM: About thirtyfive minutes or so.

YOUNG: What did he discuss while he was there?

GILHAM: Nothing in particular, just more or less a social call. You know what I mean. He was glad to see his daughter.

YOUNG: Does he make quite regular calls?


YOUNG: Does he visit the youngsters out there at the house quite regularly?


YOUNG: And as I understand it he and his wife are divorced?


YOUNG: What time would you say Cap or Mr. Oveross left the house?

GILHAM: Cap, did you say?

YOUNG: Yes. What time did he–

GILHAM: About 8:30.

YOUNG: And what did you do? After that?

GILHAM: We stayed there.

YOUNG: You did not go to band practise?

GILHAM: No, cause it was late and I figured I’d rather stay and not go at all.

YOUNG: I see, let me ask you then how late did you stay at Colene’s house?

GILHAM: I left at 10:30.

YOUNG: You left at 10:30 and had anyone else came into the house before you left?

GILHAM: Not that I can remember.

YOUNG: Did you go directly home? Did you see any cars or anyone else at the time—from the time you left Colene’s house yourself until you got home? I think you said earlier that you had seen some car pass?

GILHAM: Yes sir, as I was backing down the driveway a car went by.

YOUNG: Did it make any sign of recognizition to you.

GILHAM: Yea, it honked it’s horn.

YOUNG: And did you see what kind of car it was?

GILHAM: I think it was a Ford.

YOUNG: Did you have any idea whose car it was?

GILHAM: Well, I don’t for sure unless it was Cap’s. That was the only one that I know that had a car like that, unless it was just someone going by and thought I was going to back out in front of them or something.

YOUNG: Had Cap indicated later—er earlier rather in the evening that he might be going on towards Stayton?


YOUNG: That is the direction this car was coming from was it not, that honked at you?

GILHAM: Going towards Silverton?

YOUNG: Yes, from the Stayton direction or from the south. And you think it might possibly have been Cap’s car?

GILHAM: Well I wouldn’t swear to it, but I judged it was.

YOUNG: You were not out far enough in the road were you that you would have had to honk to stop you from backing in front of him?

GILHAM: Well, he’s coming up the road and I was just backing down the driveway and as far—well, if I’d been—if it just had been the other way around and I was going up the road I would have honked because I would know if this car was stopped or not.

YOUNG: I see, well, then did you proceed home?


YOUNG: And do you know about what time you got home?

GILHAM: About ten or fifteen minutes later.

YOUNG: Tell me what you did after you got home.

GILHAM: I went to bed.

YOUNG: Immediately?


YOUNG: And did you go right to sleep?


YOUNG: What happened shortly after that, that you can tell me about?

GILHAM: Well, I–

YOUNG: Were you awakened?


YOUNG: By whom?

GILHAM: My stepmother or step – or dad I don’t know which now.

YOUNG: And what is their names?

GILHAM: James Gilham is my dad, Jenny Gilham is my stepmother.

YOUNG: What is their address?

GILHAM: Rt. 5, Box 417, Salem.

YOUNG: That’s a Salem route?


YOUNG: Don’t you know whether it was your stepmother or your father that awakened you?

GILHAM: Well, I couldn’t say for sure. I just heard somebody talking then I woke up and my stepmother was talking. I don’t know if it was dad that hollered and awk – woke me up or not.

YOUNG: Was your stepmother in the room when you awakened?

GILHAM: It seems like she was in the hall.

YOUNG: I see, and after you were awakened what did you do?

GILHAM: I went outside – she said there was someone outside to – who wanted to talk to me and I went on out.

YOUNG: You dressed?


YOUNG: And what did you wear outside?

GILHAM: My pajamas.

YOUNG: And where did you go when you went out the door? Which door did you go out?

GILHAM: Front door.

YOUNG: And what did you do after you got outside?

GILHAM: Walked down the steps.

YOUNG: Now as I recall seeing that house there are two sets of steps?


YOUNG: One directly in front of the front door and then another short flight directly down to the driveway about eight or ten feet from the front door, is that correct?


YOUNG: And did you go to the driveway?

GILHAM: I only went down to the bottom of the second steps.

YOUNG: Alright, now was there a car in that driveway?

GILHAM: Yes, about thirty feet out I would say.

YOUNG: And was there anyone in the car when you got out or in sight?

GILHAM: There standing beside the car.

YOUNG: And who was that person?


YOUNG: You mean Casper Oveross?


YOUNG: What did he do?

GILHAM: He came up towards me and said that Ervin had three slugs in him.

YOUNG: Was he right up to you when he – before he spoke? Did he speak before he got up to you?

GILHAM: Well, as I remember he said it as he came up to me.

YOUNG: Was that that Ervin has three slugs in him?

GILHAM: He didn’t seem excited and he wasn’t drunk or anything.

YOUNG: And what else did he say?

GILHAM: He daid that I was his witness and that he was with me last night.

YOUNG: By last night do you think he meant earlier that same night was that what he indicated?

GILHAM: I suppose, I don’t know.

YOUNG: Was there anything else said at that time?

GILHAM: Not that I can remember right now.

YOUNG: What did Cap Oveross do after he spoke to you?

GILHAM: Well, we both turned around and he went to his car and I went back in the house.

YOUNG: Did you talk to anyone later that evening about the conversation?

GILHAM: You mean right at the time, I mean after he left?

YOUNG: Oh, during the night, Any time during the night after you went back in the house did you speak to your stepmother or your father.

GILHAM: When I went back into the house?



YOUNG: Did you speak to them later that night?


YOUNG: Now what time was that?

GILHAM: About a quarter till three I think. She said there was a telephone call for me.

YOUNG: And did you answer the phone?


YOUNG: Who was it on the phone?

GILHAM: Colene.

YOUNG: What did she want?

GILHAM: She wanted me to come down.

YOUNG: Did she say why?

GILHAM: She said that something had happened.

YOUNG: She didn’t say what?


YOUNG: I see, and did you go down?


YOUNG: You went down to the Oveross residence?

GILHAM: No to – she was down at her aunts. Harvey – Mrs. Harvey Kaser.

YOUNG: Oh, she was at Harvey Kaser’s residence. Was Mrs. Oveross there at that time?

GILHAM: I didn’t see her.

YOUNG: You didn’t see her. How long have you known Cap, Danny?

GILHAM: Since I’ve been going with Colene.

YOUNG: How long has that been approximately?

GILHAM: Just two years I think.

YOUNG: Have you hunted with Cap?


YOUNG: Do you have a rifle yourself?


YOUNG: What kind is it?

GILHAM: Marlin 30-30.

YOUNG: And when did you hunt with Cap?

GILHAM: Last fall.

YOUNG: What type of gun did he have to hunt with?

GILHAM: Lever action.

YOUNG: Rifle?


YOUNG: Do you know the caliber, Danny?

GILHAM: It was 30-30 or 32.

YOUNG: Your not sure which?

GILHAM: I’m no sure.

YOUNG: And, do you know the make?

GILHAM: I think it was a Winchester.

YOUNG: When did you see this gun last? I’m speaking of Cap’s rifle.

GILHAM: Well, that’s kind of hard to say ’cause I’ve been down to his cabin since deer hunting season and I’ve seen the rifle there along with his shotgun. But then I haven’t seen it for a long time. I just know while after hunting season I remember seeing it last.

YOUNG: I see. Have you seen Cap since Thursday night?


YOUNG: Where did you see him?

GILHAM: First? First you mean?

YOUNG: First time after the shooting took place and –

GILHAM: Out at Colene’s house.

YOUNG: What time of day was that?

GILHAM: Oh, when you came out there whatever time that was, I guess it was about – what time was it?

YOUNG: Oh, you mean that’s when Cap was with me in my car?


YOUNG: With the other officers. And when was the next time you saw him?

GILHAM: That was, lets see, Friday afternoon, after you guys turned him loose.

YOUNG: Where did you see him then?

GILHAM: Up at his brothers.

YOUNG: I think his name is Henry Oveross, is that correct?

GILHAM: I think that’s it yes.

YOUNG: You call him Hank?


YOUNG: And how did you happen to see him did he send word to you some way?

GILHAM: He hadn’t. I don’t think. No.

YOUNG: Who – how did you get the word, let me put it that way?

GILHAM: Colene and I were out where she lives and her cousin, Hanks daughter and husband came out and said that he would like – wondered if we would like to see him.

YOUNG: And you took Colene and her mother, XXXXX [probably Karen], and yourself and went in to see him is that correct?

GILHAM: No just Colene and I went in.

YOUNG: Oh, I see. I understood her mother went. Just the two of you went in?

GILHAM: [blank]

YOUNG: Where did you – you found him at Henry Oveross’ residence is that correct?


YOUNG: Was he awake?


YOUNG: He was asleep and did he awaken, did he get up?

GILHAM: I didn’t see him get up, no.

YOUNG: Did you talk to him yourself at that time?

GILHAM: Not at first.

YOUNG: Did Colene talk to him?


YOUNG: How long about, do you remember, Danny, how long she talked to him?

GILHAM: I don’t remember ’cause I was talking to his sister-in-law. It wasn’t very long.

YOUNG: Then you did later talk to him?

GILHAM: A little, yes.

YOUNG: What did he want to see you about.

GILHAM: Well, he wasn’t the one that wanted to see us they just wondered if we’d like to go down and see him and see how he was etc. and we just tried to ease his mind ’cause he seemed to in sort of – real nervous you know, and we tried to ease his mind try to change his mind from the subject.

YOUNG: Did you discuss at all the shooting?


YOUNG: And Ervin Kaser?


YOUNG: And did he mention it in any way?

GILHAM: Not that I can remember.

YOUNG: Later that afternoon what did you do?

GILHAM: What do you mean?

YOUNG: What did – what was your action, where did you go from there?

GILHAM: Well, Colene works over here in Salem and we came over here to her bosses.

YOUNG: I think her boss is Ralph Emmons, is that correct?


YOUNG: And did you talk to Mr. Emmons.

GILHAM: I didn’t talk to him I just sat there.

YOUNG: At that meeting with Mr. Emmons there was Colene, yourself and Cap Oveross?


YOUNG: In the journey over to Salem from Silverton what was the general topic of discussion.

GILHAM: Well, we just tried to – just like we first saw him that afternoon we just tried to on a subject to ease his mind. We tired to get him away that nervousness that he seemed to –

YOUNG: Did you tell him not to worry or they didn’t have any case or did you say they didn’t have any evidence or –

GILHAM: No, he didn’t say anything like that and we didn’t either.

YOUNG: But sometime did you not discuss the fact that Oveross had been or Ervin had been shot?

GILHAM: Well, we just – we didn’t – it was mentioned but then we didn’t say anything about it we just tried to pass it over so that he won’t worry about it, I mean try to work up his mind so he’d be more nervous or anything.

YOUNG: Did Cap in your discussions, Danny, talking to him regardless if you were trying to ease his mind or what, did he tell you that he did not shoot Ervin?


YOUNG: Later?


YOUNG: When was that?

GILHAM: Sunday.

YOUNG: What was the occasion for your talking to him Sunday?

GILHAM: Well we just thought maybe that he’d like to see his place – said he would like to see his daughter XXXXX [Karen] cause he hadn’t seen her for awhile, and so we went down to his cabin then, Colene and Mrs. Oveross.

YOUNG: Has Cap ever said anything to you about how he felt about Ervin Kaser?

GILHAM: Well, he didn’t like the way he was, at all of how he butted into their family affairs, he was the one who broke them up and caused their divorce and I know that myself.

YOUNG: How many times has he told you that speaking about Kaser that threatened to kill – that he would kill Kaser if he caught him with his wife or daughter or any other time?

GILHAM: Well, I didn’t count them or anything like that, just once or twice that he has mentioned that I can remember.

YOUNG: In connection with his wife or daughter or both?

GILHAM: Well, as I remember of – the last time that I can remember was with his daughter.

YOUNG: Did he feel that Kaser was trying to make a play for Colene?

GILHAM: Well, Colene thought so herself, and I guess, and so I don’t know if she told her dad or not anything about that.

YOUNG: And you don’t know if she had told her father?

GILHAM: No, I don’t. I suppose that she did but then I didn’t ever hear her say so.

YOUNG: Was it shortly after one of these times when Colene thought Ervin Kaser was making a pass at her that Cap told you that he would kill him if he bothered his daughter?

GILHAM: Well, he didn’t really tell me that he would kill him if he bothered my – er his daughter, he just didn’t like the whole situation of Ervin butting out with his wife and then just his family, main family affairs was the main –

YOUNG: Well, Danny, can’t you tell us a little more clearly and approximately what words he used in making those threats?

GILHAM: Well, he said I’ll shoot the sun-of-a-gun if he sticks his nose around my family affairs and tries to go out with Ethel and everything and bothers my daughter.

YOUNG: Who is Ethel?

GILHAM: That is Colene’s mother.

YOUNG: And the former Mrs. Oveross?


YOUNG: Did you, talking to your stepmother and father, did they ask you who had called you, who was down stairs that you were talking to on the night of February 17.

GILHAM: Well, I don’t think that they asked me, but dad said when they called me at first when his car was there that he thought it was Cap.

YOUNG: Do you remember him asking you later if, what Cap wanted?

GILHAM: Well, later on, when Colene called.

YOUNG: And what did you tell him?

GILHAM: Well, I told him that he was going somewhere, but I forgot where I said now where he was going, cause I just didn’t want to say anything then cause I didn’t know what was – you know if it was all – if he was just having a fit or what – I didn’t know if he knew what he was talking about cause I didn’t want to make an issue of it at the time or anything.

YOUNG: Danny, do you think that Mrs. Ethel Oveross believes that Cap shot Ervin Kaser?

GILHAM: I don’t know, but she just hoping that he didn’t, she doesn’t know or anything.

YOUNG: How does Colene feel?

GILHAM: About the same.

YOUNG: Is Cap a pretty good shot with a rifle?

GILHAM: Well, I never have been target practising with him or anything, so I couldn’t tell you how good a shot he is or anything like that.

YOUNG: Did Cap ever find Ervin Kaser hiding in the basement of his house, that is the new house that he is building in back of the old one?

GILHAM: I don’t know, that is the first time I have ever heard anything like that, I never heard anything about that.

YOUNG: You never heard anything about that?

GILHAM: No, I never have.

YOUNG: Kaser hiding in the basement, Cap finding him?


YOUNG: Have you known for some time that Kaser had been – and Mrs. Oveross have been going together?

GILHAM: Well, we didn’t – I didn’t know for sure, but I just, well everything sort of looked like they were.

YOUNG: Had you and Colene discussed it?

GILHAM: Yes, some.

YOUNG: How long back, how long ago did you talk it over with her?

GILHAM: With Colene?

YOUNG: Colene.

GILHAM: Well, first time I knew anything about it was, I think it was before their divorce.

YOUNG: Did Ervin Kaser, to your knowledge, ever call Ethel Oveross on the telephone?

GILHAM: Well, at times when I have been down visiting Colene the phone has rung and Colene has answered and no one just didn’t seem to answer and then they just hang up. She didn’t know who it was or anything, but she just kind of imagined that it was him. Has a suspicion I guess.

YOUNG: Does she make any remark to that effect at the time?

GILHAM: Oh, she just said it made her kind of sick the way that this Ervin kind of sneaks around.

YOUNG: On Friday evening of the 18th, Danny, did – as I understand it Cap Oveross and yourself and Colene visited an attorney in Salem?

GILHAM: In the afternoon.

YOUNG: And who was that attorney?

GILHAM: Bruce Williams.

YOUNG: Did Mr. Williams take a statement from Cap Oveross and yourself?

GILHAM: He just talked to us.

YOUNG: He didn’t make a recording of it or did he take a signed statement?

GILHAM: Well, he – no he didn’t take any signed statement, no.

YOUNG: What was the – I believe we’ll have to hesitate here for a little bit, Danny, and change our record, we’ll turn it over and proceed with the interview on the other side. This is the second side of the recording taken at State Police Headquarters in an interview with Daniel James Gilham and Lieutenant Farley Mogan, Oregon State Police, Sergeant Huffman of State Police, and Sheriff Young. Danny, lets refer back for a moment to the night of February 17 about short after you’d gone to bed and had been awakened. You said you went out your front door of your house and found Cap Oveross out there and near his car and he came over and had some conversation with you, is that correct?

GILHAM: A short one, yes.

YOUNG: What appeared to be Cap’s physical condition? Did he appear to be drunk or sober?

GILHAM: He was not drunk, I know that, because well, you can just tell the way a person acts when their drunk, you know, and he seemed real quiet and I couldn’t smell any alcohol. I would have, and any intoxicating liquor or anything on him.

YOUNG: Was he nervous?

GILHAM: No he seemed to be real quiet.

YOUNG: Calm and talked quietly?


YOUNG: And, you said, I believe, that his first statement was that Ervin had three slugs in him?


YOUNG: And, you would be his witness, is that correct?


YOUNG: Did he also say “I was with you last night”, are those his own words?

GILHAM: Well, as near as I can remember them, yes.

YOUNG: You knew Ervin Kaser, did you not?

GILHAM: Yes, but I never seen him much, never talked to him or anything.

YOUNG: And you didn’t attempt to ask who shot Ervin Kaser when he told you he had three slugs in him?


YOUNG: Well, did it – was that because you assumed that Cap had shot him?

GILHAM: No, I just didn’t know who – er who had at all, because I don’t know it just seems like a bad dream or nightmare, I just didn’t know –

YOUNG: What was your thought when he said that you would be his witness?

GILHAM: Well, it just sort of had me puzzled, you know, I couldn’t figure it out or anything, I didn’t know hardly what to think then.

YOUNG: Did you think that he was wanting you to supply an alibi for his whereabouts?

GILHAM: At the time, I didn’t think anything about it, but then I went to bed and layed there a long time, it seemed like a week or so, before I could go to sleep. I kept thinking about it and I don’t know I just couldn’t keep my mind functioning or anything, it just didn’t seem to function.

YOUNG: What did you finally determine he meant by it?

GILHAM: Well by the time – well, I thought maybe he just wanted me to help him out or something, I didn’t know for sure what his idea was. If he wanted me to lie for him or –

YOUNG: You had not been with him that night or the previous night had you, other than a half hour at Colene’s house?

GILHAM: What, will you repeat that again please?

YOUNG: I say, you had not been with him at any time that night or any of the time earlier other than the half hour that he spent with you at Colene’s?

GILHAM: Well, that afternoon I was with him in town.

YOUNG: Was he nervous then or had he been drinking?

GILHAM: No, about a month and a half ago he quit drinking and he didn’t seem to drink or anything at all.

YOUNG: Did he discuss Ervin Kaser that afternoon when you saw him in town?


YOUNG: Did you tell Colene and her mother of Cap’s visit to you at your home that night?

GILHAM: I told Colene, but I don’t know if her mother knew about it.

YOUNG: Where did you see Cap when you were in Silverton that afternoon of the 17th?

GILHAM: Downtown.

YOUNG: Whereabouts?

GILHAM:My directions are kind of mixed up in Silverton, but then it was right on up the street, up towards Copeland’s from that first bank there. We stopped and talked.

YOUNG: Were you on the street, both of you, or in your car?

GILHAM: In the car. He came up and parked by me and he honked and came up there and parked and he got out and stood and talked with me. We talked on a job for Dault, up here that we earlier, about Christmas time had framed for him and he was dickering on the job so that he could try and get it so he could finish it.

YOUNG: Do you know where Cap is working now, tonight I mean, today?

GILHAM: No, I don’t.

YOUNG: Do you know whether or not Cap ever had a rifle repaired anywhere around Silverton or Salem?

GILHAM: No, I don’t.

YOUNG: Do you know what kind of ammunition Cap shoots?

GILHAM: No, I can’t say for sure that I do know.

YOUNG: Earlier that evening about 8:00, when Cap visited you and Colene did he ask about Mrs. Kaser or Mrs. Oveross, pardon me?

GILHAM: Well, he left some money but I don’t know what that was for. $10.00 he said to Colene to give it to her – I don’t have any idea what it was for.

YOUNG: Did he ask where she was?

GILHAM: I think she did – er I think he did.

YOUNG: Did Colene tell him or did she know where her mother was?

GILHAM: I don’t think she knew for sure. She said where she was going, but then I just can’t remember where she said now. I think she was out in the kitchen, she was going out the back door and I was standing in the living room.

YOUNG: Was it some kind of a club meeting or lodge meeting or something?

GILHAM: It seemed like it was something like that, but I didn’t hear close or anything to make it out too clear.

YOUNG: You don’t – you do think that Cap inquired about where his ex-wife was, did he not?

GILHAM: I think he did, yes.

YOUNG: Do you think Cap had a rifle in his car when he came to see you the night of the 17th?

GILHAM: I have no idea. I seen his car just drive up outside.

YOUNG: You weren’t up to his car?


YOUNG: What lights did he have on his car when they were parked?

GILHAM: Just headlights.

YOUNG: Do you recall if the dome light was on or not?

GILHAM: No I don’t. Fact is I can’t remember if he even had his headlights on when he came outside himself. Well, I can’t say if he turned them off or not.

YOUNG: Do you recall whether Cap got back again on the paved road, whether he went to the right or left?

GILHAM: I didn’t pay any attention.

YOUNG: Did he stop between your house and the road?

GILHAM: Between my house and the road? Do you mean –

YOUNG: Between your –

GILHAM: That night?


GILHAM: I don’t know I went back into the house and right up to my room.

YOUNG: Did Cap by any chance leave a gun at your house for you to hide for him?


YOUNG: Has he ever mentioned since then his rifle in anyway?

GILHAM: Since then?



YOUNG: Did Cap also used to have a smaller rifle and a smaller bore, 25-20 or 32-20 or something like that?

GILHAM: I never knew of it if he did.

YOUNG: Did Cap ever tell you about observing or watching Ervin Kaser’s house from a field out back?


YOUNG: Or near by?


YOUNG: You’ve never heard him mention that?

GILHAM: Well he’s never told me to watch or to observe it or anything.

YOUNG: Has he ever told you that he had watched Ervin from the field?


YOUNG: Did Cap ever tell you – mention anything to you about actions of his wife and Kaser at the time Mrs. Oveross was driving tractor for Kaser?


YOUNG: Did Cap do considerable shooting and target practising with a rifle?

GILHAM: Well, I just never have seen him target practise or anything.

YOUNG: You went hunting with him last fall as I understand did you not?


YOUNG: Did he get a deer?


YOUNG: Did you see him when he killed the deer?


YOUNG: Doesn’t he have general reputation around Silverton as being a pretty fair shot with a rifle?

GILHAM: I don’t know if it’s all around or anything or if he is but I guess he’s pretty good shot, I don’t know. I never have seen him shoot or anything.

YOUNG: Would you consider him a pretty good hunter? See a lot of horns around his place.

GILHAM: Well, I didn’t – I suppose he must be a pretty good hunter in order to get deer and everything.

YOUNG: Did Colene ever mention to you what kind of a gun her father had?


YOUNG: Do you think, Danny, that there is anything else at all that you can add to this interview or information that will help us in clearing up this matter?

GILHAM: I don’t know unless it would be about time – I guess it was about two or three weeks ago, I don’t know for sure when it was, that this Ervin bothered Colene on top of West Hill in Silverton.

YOUNG: Can you tell me about that?

GILHAM: Well of course I wasn’t there or anything but then, I guess Colene was coming home from work she stopped at the top of west hill to talk to one of her girlfriends and this Ervin, well it was just dusk but you could see faces yet and everything, I guess. And anyway this Ervin pulled up side and rolled down the window and stuck his head in and gave her a funny look and she tried just to ignore him then he just stayed there so she told him to gone on – go over the hill and get out of here or something like that I guess, I don’t know what it was. He just stayed there and finally he left.

YOUNG: Who told you about this incident, Danny?

GILHAM: Colene did.

YOUNG: Colene?


YOUNG: Did Cap know about it?

GILHAM: I presume that he did, I don’t know, I couldn’t say. I – She didn’t unless Colene had mentioned to him. I didn’t mention it to him or anything to him about it.

YOUNG: He was not present when she told you about it?

GILHAM: No, I don’t believe so.

LIEUTENANT FARLEY MOGAN: Well Sheriff I think this has covered just about everything here. Can you think of anything else we should know about this?

GILHAM: Right now I can’t think of anything, no.

MOGAN: Alright this statement that you making here this evening, is it the truth?

GILHAM: [blank]

MOGAN: And admitted by your own free will?


MOGAN: Because you wanted to make a statement?

GILHAM: Well, I just didn’t just come in – they came out and asked me.

MOGAN: Well, sure, but I mean no one has threatened you or mistreated you or anyting like that so that you would make this statement is that right?

GILHAM: Well, they said something about if I didn’t make a statement or something like that I could – what was it $15,000 to $20,000 for bail or soemthing like that or not – or be upheld for withholding material evidence or something like that.

YOUNG: Danny, isn’t what I said – This is Sheriff Young – didn’t say that if you withheld or covered up evidence you might become a party to this matter and that you could be held as a material witness?

GILHAM: Well, the way I understood was the way I stated.

YOUNG: Have I in anyway threatened you in anyway involving harm or –


YOUNG: Done anything to force you to make a statement?

GILHAM: [blank]

YOUNG: You agreeded, I believe, earlier in a written statement given to us verbally out at Mr. Richard’s farm that you were willing to tell us what you knew, voluntarily and give us all the help you could, is that correct?


MOGAN: Danny, this is Lieutenant Mogan speaking now, and this statement is the truth isn’t it?

GILHAM: As straight as I can tell it.

MOGAN: And don’t you want to tell the truth?


MOGAN: Do you have any objection then to telling the truth?

GILHAM: [blank]

MOGAN: Do you have any changes you want to make in this statement?


MOGAN: Have you told us anything that isn’t the truth?

GILHAM: Not that I know of – unless I just – something I mislooked or something – I mean you know just made a slip or something like that?

MOGAN: But your intention was to tell the truth in this statement is that right?


MOGAN: Do you have any hesitation about telling the truth?


MOGAN: Would you testify in court what you told us here this evening?

GILHAM: Well, what did I –

MOGAN: If your placed on the stand and sworn to tell the truth would you tell the same story that you told us here this evening?

GILHAM: Straight as I could.

MOGAN: There wouldn’t be a different story at that time?

GILHAM: No there wouldn’t be a different story unless I just – have to – it kind of racks a persons brain you know to have to slip up or anything like that.

MOGAN: And this is the truth as you remember it?


MOGAN: Well, that’s all I have to say, sheriff.

YOUNG: Well, I think that will conclude this interview then between Lieutenant Mogan, Sheriff Young and Sergeant Huffman. Interview with Daniel James Gilham and the time is now 6:38.


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