I'd still like to know how they absolved Norman Wilhelm of this? The only thing that I know about Norman Wilhelm not being more of a suspect, and he was suspected along with Officer Truman Haley quite seriously until the microscope focused on Ken Botham, is that he had passed a lie detector test. It is noteworthy to point out that Ken Botham also passed two lie detector tests, but that fact was never mentioned in any way. Beyond that, I would be guessing and speculating. ~Thayer Botham
So, are you suggesting that this was a random act? That someone broke into the house, discovered the wire by chance and decided it would work nicely with the railroad ties piled up at Bridgeport? Whether or not the murders were random has no bearing on the guilt of a person committing such murders, but it might help establish the background or circumstances. The fact that the wire probably came from Ken's shed and that two (out of eight) ends matched his wire cutters is definitely suspicious. It would be incriminating, even proof that Ken Botham did it, if there were some sort of evidence that placed Ken and the wire together with the bodies, like fingerprints, DNA on the wire, etc. But the sheer fact that the wire was owned by Ken, and then was found on the bodies doesn't prove who put it there. It could have been already at or in Linda's house or her car. Linda could have borrowed or taken some to use for any of a thousand uses, or Pat Botham could have brought it over to Linda's house for some reason, and that could have been anytime before the murders. The point is, that there is no way to tell who used the wire and how it ended up where it was found. I personally think the wire was grabbed by the murderer(s), but for what, why, and when, I don't know. Did he want to tie the hands of his prisoners, and then used it for the weights? Did he take it knowing he would need it to tie weights? Who knows. ~Thayer Botham
What kind(s) of abuse, and how long had it been going on? Was it an ongoing thing over many years? The abuse referred to here is based allegations by the District Attorney, Terry Farina, that Ken Botham abuse his wife before the murders and tried to establish that by medical records from the Botham's family physician, Dr. Doell. But to the contrary, Ken Botham maintains that he never in any way hit or abused his wife. To back this up, there is the fact that there was not one record of any abuse, bruise, or injury found in any medical records of any doctor. Also, Pat Botham had many friends at church, in her singing group, the Sweet Adelines, and personal acquaintances. Never did any of those people notice or mention any bruises or abuse. But, in the interest of fairness, Ken Botham did at times embarrass his wife, treating her with less respect than would be proper, as evidenced by several witness testimonies used by the prosecution to help establish the condition of the Botham marriage. ~Thayer Botham
What was the actual weather in Ouray? There were conflicting reports, correct? Ken Botham testified that the weather in Ouray, where he was the night of the murders, was raining and stormy. This was claimed to be a lie by the prosecution, but the defense had high quality, enlarged satellite photographs from the National Weather Service of the area in question as well as two separate couples (four people) who testified that while they were in Ouray on the night of August 22, 1975, that it was indeed raining and generally very bad weather. Interesting enough, the enlarged Weather Service photo mysteriously disappeared before it was used in trial. ~Thayer Botham
Did he usually wash his vehicle frequently? Ken Botham used his Toyota Land Cruiser for all kinds of work. He used it to drive into the mountains to observe nature, to photograph scenic areas, for personal enjoyment, for hauling firewood, and to spend time on the various rivers in the state of Colorado. His large dog, a St. Bernard, frequently accompanied him into the mountains. All this necessitated frequent washes like any person would do if they wanted to keep their vehicle in a good, working condition. In my own personal life growing up in the same household as Ken Botham did, with my grandfather, I was taught to meticulously take care of my own belongings just the same way as my father was. ~Thayer Botham
How much did Ken dislike Linda Miracle? Did he just not want his kids around her kids, or did he resent Patricia's getting her out of jams? Ken Botham's "dislike" of Linda Miracle consisted of the not so unusual annoying-neighbor type of dislike. Her two sons played continuously with Ken's two sons, (I personally remember playing with Troy), and he did not resent the "jams" that his wife, Pat Botham, often shared with their neighbor, Linda. In fact, both Ken and Pat saw it as help, as a positive thing, although it was sometimes frustrating and annoying. For instance on the afternoon of the murders, Ken went over to Linda's to help with her car which wouldn't start. He told her it was likely a dead battery and hurriedly left to make his appointment at 6:00 p.m. Ken in no way hated or felt any animosity towards the Miracles. ~Thayer Botham
does the evidence indicate on the ballistics referred to
in this case, and what is the story behind the stolen
gun? The ballistics, in total,
are several scrapings of the first bullet (just the lead part)
that went through and exited, which were collected from
around the entry wound of the skull. The second bullet
fragmented and was recovered in pieces, but I am not sure how
many. No ballistics evidence was, or ever has been
released on those pieces of bullets. If there was
ballistic evidence on those bullet pieces, it would
definitely have been used. Either there is no ballistic
evidence or there is, and it doesn't match any
of Ken's guns. The prosecution said that they had/have ballistic
evidence, but in reality they submitted, nor have, none.
no shells (or bullets for that matter) recovered in
either house. (There were rumors at one time that there
were bullet(s) recovered from a wall of the Miracle
house, but there is no mention of it anywhere that I can
find in any records.) There was a mention of the stolen revolver being
tested, but nothing after that about those tests, and
it seems that there was nothing to test on that gun,
other than to see if it was in working condition.
Ken Botham’s .22 revolver in question was stolen and sold to Ken eight years before the murders in 1975. (Not stolen to prepare for a crime.) Ken maintains that an employee with whom he worked with at a sporting goods store, stole the weapon and then Ken bought it. The point is, that Ken had a gun that he knew wasn’t registered, and was in fact, stolen property. He freely admits that this was wrong. He, like any other young teenage boy, did do wrong things. He was born in 1949, in 1975 he was 26, eight years before that places him in high school at 18 when he bought the stolen gun.
He hid the stolen gun under the house, placing it up out of sight because he knew it was stolen, before he was arrested as he was under a rather large investigation involving a significant portion of both the police department and sheriff’s office.
How many people do you know, that if they had a stolen gun and were under such a large investigation, wouldn’t hide that gun? Especially in the days before the advances in ballistic technology that we have today, or more pertinent, didn’t have back then. Today, lab technicians can tell precisely whether a gun and a bullet or shell matches. Back then, all they could do is look at the gun and spent ammunition under a microscope.
Ken’s testimony in court included the name of the individual who stole and sold the gun to him, so that it could be verified. So, it was definitely wrong to have and to hide that gun. Does that make him a murderer? It may be something that a murderer might do, but it doesn’t mean that Ken Botham is a murderer because he did those things. Yes, it does look bad. But the issue of that revolver being stolen means nothing towards proving it was the murder weapon in a court of law, where actual, physical, logical evidence is required. ~Thayer Botham
Why did Ken Botham not give all his guns to the police when he was asked for them? The prosecution used this to argue that Botham somehow knew before it was made public, that the murder weapon was a .22-caliber gun. Officer Vig testified that the day after the boys’ bodies were found Oct. 3, 1975, that he had asked Botham by telephone to turn over all of his guns for inspection. Botham agreed, but Vig’s detectives returned to the sheriff’s office with only Botham’s .22-caliber guns. Vig testified that he told his detectives to gather them all. But the court transcripts prove that the detectives themselves said they were not told to get them all, and that they only asked Ken Botham for, and then took, his .22 caliber weapons. The officers that actually went to Ken's house to retrieve the guns testified that they only asked Ken for his .22 guns. ~Thayer Botham
the defense attorney refute Sheriff Vig's testimony
about the guns with facts, or did it
only appear at the appeal? Did Wilhelm or Haley own a
.22? The defense team was clearly lacking, no
matter which side you are on. The had a tough time with
the massive amounts of information and didn't use half
of it. A much better job could have been done.
second trial was worse. The appellate team did a pretty
good job gathering and presenting their points.
Officer Truman Haley did have a .22 revolver. I believe in those days, Grand Junction Police Department personnel were issued .22 caliber revolvers. Coincidentally, Haley sold his .22 revolver when he was asked to leave the department in October, 1975, as reported in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. ~Thayer Botham
All that aside, the gun in question was presented to both juries (in both trials) as the murder weapon. Why didn't the defense do more to prove that wrong? Could it be proven now if there was another trial? The defense didn't try to win. They were there because they had to be. They were assigned to the case by the state. They had no motivation. If another trial was to happen, the best thing to do is to simply tell it like it was. The jury can then make an informed decision. If those bullet fragments can be tested, so much the better. ~Thayer Botham
Did the sporting good's store employee who sold Ken Botham the stolen gun ever testify? The sporting goods store employee was named by Ken Botham in his testimony in the first trial. Botham did not testify in the second trial under the advice of his counsel. There was a comment from the Judge at the time (in the first trial during Ken's testimony) that it is illegal to consider a crime other than the one for which the current trial is about. So, that employee never appeared in either trial, but could have been located and interviewed by authorities to ascertain the truthfulness of Ken's testimony. The court records simple state "Botham had paid thirty dollars for it from an employee of the Steven's Sporting Goods store. The man's name was Mike Tell, and he verified Botham's allegations. Mr. Botham bought the gun in September, 1967 in Grand Junction, eight years before the murders." ~Thayer Botham
What precisely did the jury hear about Ken's .22 gun? Did they hear that Botham knew it was stolen about eight years before the murders? This is such a good question. I am now planning to research just what the jury actually heard while in the courtroom against what the known, submitted evidence was in the discoveries and transcripts. I will definitely post what I find. It will be interesting to find out how much of the total evidence the jury actually heard and knew about. ~Thayer Botham
At what time did Mr. Tell verify the the allegations, when questioned by the police? I am supposing that it would have been in the questioning by the police, but I don't have the interviews or witness's remarks while being questioned by the police. Those would be police records unless submitted to the DA for evidence and added to the discovery. All the police data was assimilated into a cohesive form and made into the witness lists and crime scenarios by the attorneys who worked the case. ~Thayer Botham
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