Facts suggesting that the boys were killed on both ditch banks:
1. The Clothing
From the crime scene notes:
“Near #1 Body – 3 – pair of Jeans were located.
[the word “Boy” is crossed out] Cub Scout – Blue / Yellow
also three pairs of tennis Shoes located by #1 Body.
Left Shoe – Tennis (CUGA – Shoe) – Black / Purple Shoe /
Black lace is still there.
Rest of the tennis Shoes located do not have shoe strings in
Cub Scouts of america Shirt Located in Creek Close to Body
– 1 Pair of Jeans found is a Rustler Brand – 7 – Slim Turned
Cub Scout Shirt – Size 8
1-Pair of Nientendo Super Mario Underwear – Located Size 6
Located Close to Body #1
1 – Under Shirt – Blk / White – White designs – turned
Located Close to #1 Body
1 – Size 8 – Coast Highway Brand – Stripped Shirt –
Surfboard design – turned inside out.
Located Close to Body #1”
The clothing was all mainly found near Michael Moore’s body which was right in front of a ditch bank located on the other side of the water.
(The ditch bank near where Moore’s body was located.)
(The general location of where Moore’s body was recovered from the ditch.)
This could suggest that Moore had been on the near-by ditch bank with his killer prior to death.
2. The Location of the Bodies
Moore’s body was found near a ditch bank, referred to often as the “slicked off” ditch bank.
(Another photo of the “slicked off” ditch bank.)
(A diagram of the crime scene made by police.)
Moore died from drowning. If he died of drowning, his body had to have been located near-by the ditch prior to it’s being placed into the water, because he was beaten and tied up prior to being placed into the water. This fact would suggest, much like the location of the clothing being by his body, that the slicked off ditch bank was where his body was prior to being placed into the water.
Moore’s body was found 27ft away from the bodies of his friends.
The notes citing the distance:
“#2 Body 27’ South of #1 Body
#3 Body 32’ South of Body #1
4’2” – is the Width of the [the word “Stream” is crossed
out] Creek Where body #1 Was found.”
“dictated by Lieutenant Diane Hester:
Body #2 was found 27 feet south of body #1
Body #3 was found approximately 32 feet south of body #1
The width of the stream where body #1 was found is 4 feet 3 inches – 2 inches, 3 inches? 4 feet – correction, 4 feet 2 inches – and what? The width is consistant to where the other – body #2 and body #3 were found also.”
The bodies of Chris and Stevie were located next to a different ditch bank, which was nearer to the path you would take to enter and exit the crime scene.
(Location of the bodies of Chris Byers and Stevie Branch.)
(The near-by trail located near the bodies of Byers and Branch.)
If Moore was being attacked and murdered near Chris and Stevie, then he likely should have been found near the same ditch bank then as Chris and Stevie. However Moore was found near the slicked off ditch bank.
The bodies of Chris and Stevie were found 27ft away from Moore and were in front of a different ditch bank. Stevie, much like Moore had died of drowning. If he drowned, he had to have been subdued near-by to where his body was found, and the likely location then for that would be the ditch bank which was near to the bodies.
3. The Fact that Two of the Victims Drowned
This can’t be emphasized enough, that if two of the victims drowned their bodies had to have sat tied up near-by to wherever their bodies were found. It seems unlikely that the killer was going to just arbitrarily carry Moore’s body 27ft away from his friends for no apparent reason what so ever, when it would have been simpler for them to place the body near to where Chris and Stevie were found.
4. The Location of the Luminol
Luminol reactions were located on both sides of the ditch, located on both ditch banks.
(Locations of luminol reactions as shown in police diagrams.)
However photos were only taken from one ditch bank, likely because the bodies had been placed on the ditch banks by police near to where the bodies were located in the water and could have resulted from this and not from the crime. Lighting conditions were also cited for not photographing those locations.
Only two spots were ever really looked at as possibly being crime related from the murder itself. And these two spots were located on the slicked off ditch bank.
In total there were three spots that registered for luminol reactions on the slicked off ditch bank. The first spot, described as a “V” shaped pattern was looked at at one point as a possible spot that Chris Byers could have initially been castrated.
(Photo of the “V” pattern.)
The second spot was where Michael Moore’s body had been set by police.
(Photo of this location.)
And the third spot was a large spot, said to be 3ft in diameter by police.
They were concerned from the apparent heavy blood loss that this was where one of the bodies sat during the commission of the crime and was not from the police setting Moore’s body on the ditch bank.
(Location of the three luminol reactions)
Notes on the luminol:
“Photo #1 was shot at a point 7’0” from the mark on the large oak tree, where the paint
spot had been sprayed as a reference point to measure from, this was in a straight line
between the huge oak and the other tree that had another paint spot on it for a second
reference point. This area had a spot that illuminated
to the naked eye that appeared to be about three feet in diameter indicating a heavy blood
Photo #2 is an area of illumination that is directly over the spot where victim number 1
was lain upon the bank when he was pulled from the water. This spot is 3’8” from the
spot on the large oak tree in a direct line between that spot and location the body was
found in the water.
Photo #3 was taken on a root of the oak tree with the reference spot, the root is 6’0”
from the reference point in a straight line from that point heading straight into the water.
The fluoresced area in front of this large root indicated an area that was down sloping
toward the water, the illuminate spot formed a ‘V’ like shape!”
As to the “V” pattern, it could have been caused by clothing from the victims being set on the ditch bank.
(Photo of victim clothing sitting in spot where luminol reaction was made.)
But the third spot, the one that is 3ft in diameter can’t really be explained away. The spot could possibly either be blood from Chris Byers or Michael Moore. And given that Byers’ body was found near a different ditch bank and Moore’s body found near the slicked off ditch bank, it would seem more likely that this spot was related to Moore’s murder, and thus more likely his blood and not Chris Byers’.
This luminol reaction would again suggest that Moore’s body sat near-by on the ditch bank prior to being placed into the water.
(Photo showing both ditch banks. The slicked off ditch bank is on the left side and the Branch and Byers one located on the right, behind the three trees in the middle of the photo.)
It would seem to be the simplest solution to the situation that Moore was beaten and tied up on the slicked off ditch bank, and that most likely the blood present there was from his murder.
Second the next most logical solution is that Chris Byers and Stevie Branch were murdered on the ditch bank where their bodies were set by the investigators who recovered the bodies.
A third conclusion is that this does not discredit any argument of blood on the slicked off ditch bank or even blood on any of the ditch banks. The reason being, is that the blood on the slicked off ditch bank would have more likely been as a result of the head injuries to Moore and not of a possible castration of Chris Byers. While Chirs Byers certainly can’t be eliminated as a source for the blood on the slicked off ditch bank, it would seem less likely. And as to the other ditch bank, while luminol reactions were detected on it, no photos were ever taken of the location. Additionally the spot was trampled on by investigators and was muddy and the bodies were soon set on it by investigaters and visible blood could have been left by the still bleeding bodies after they were recovered. The whole argument then on the blood then becomes moot, at least as to the castration of Byers and visible blood, since it was something that was not really documented as to the second ditch bank and because the bank had been compromised by investigators walking on it and laying the bodies on it.