murder in 1976 ???
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debie

Plattsburg, MO

#21 Jul 3, 2012
i lived in weaubleau, went to school with hazel,knew her parents. they were also stabbed. i heard at the time, the knife was at the scene, but no finger prints. the gunshots wee the cause of death and the actual murder weapon wasn't found. there was a girl from flemington who was friends of both the girls. her mother gave the name of the man she believed was responsible. if she was wright, he is alive and very much still here in town. so is the one he was trying to kill the girls to "protect". sadly, the only good evidence was lost, and there is no one here who is smart enough to re-open or investigate this. SAD, SAD.
conspiracy in humansville

Hartville, MO

#22 Feb 20, 2013
I am sure there was some cover up involved. This has to be the most shady town I have ever seen. I thought I had just grown to this but obviously this kinda stuff has been going on for a long time now! Its sad this school system here is just as bad too! I think this whole town and most of the people in it needs to be investigated starting with our law inforcement then our schools. There is noways these girls, their families and stories should have been forgotten! Just sad!!!!
Joseph Snow

Shawnee, KS

#23 Apr 2, 2013
conspiracy in humansville wrote:
I am sure there was some cover up involved. This has to be the most shady town I have ever seen. I thought I had just grown to this but obviously this kinda stuff has been going on for a long time now! Its sad this school system here is just as bad too! I think this whole town and most of the people in it needs to be investigated starting with our law inforcement then our schools. There is noways these girls, their families and stories should have been forgotten! Just sad!!!!
I've been reading though these posts and several mention that the evidence was "lost". How does that happen? My family lived in Humansville for a few years and Hazel babysat one of my brothers and I. We moved to Osceola before the murders and I didn't learn of it until many years later due to the fact my family shielded the info from me since I was so young. I'm under the impression that my two older brothers new Hazel and Cynthia quite well. I've always wanted to know more and was shocked when I stumbled upon these posts. If anyone would like to share any info feel free to email me. [email protected]
weird

Canton, GA

#24 Aug 8, 2013
My brother in law just moved to humansville and has never heard of this story. Well he has these weird dreams that he was talking to a girl named hanna and the girl said that she was killed in town and a friend was killed too. Said the one girl was mad because she did not want to be with the friend. Weird dream, but the one girl said that her killer lived in humansville. and again he had never heard the story before he had the dream.
Anonymous

Kansas City, KS

#25 Mar 2, 2014
I've heard a name that was involved. He's past away now but his wife is still living and sells insurance in Humansville.
Terry Eads

Overland Park, KS

#26 Aug 4, 2014
I am Cynthia Bell's Niece and I have the whole news article that my mom, her sister, left to me when she died. I am currently trying to contact the Polk County Detective office to see if they will hand this case over to Cold Justice to re-open this case, They are currently looking for cold cases to try to solve. Everyone please cross your fingers that they will re-open the case and send to Cold Justice.
jun mit

United States

#27 Oct 19, 2014
I have tried to log in numerous times and tried to register and feel defeated as I did in1976 when my friends were murdered. ....

Since: Apr 13

Shawnee, KS

#28 Nov 19, 2014
Terry Eads wrote:
I am Cynthia Bell's Niece and I have the whole news article that my mom, her sister, left to me when she died. I am currently trying to contact the Polk County Detective office to see if they will hand this case over to Cold Justice to re-open this case, They are currently looking for cold cases to try to solve. Everyone please cross your fingers that they will re-open the case and send to Cold Justice.
Fingers crossed here, good luck to you Terry.
jess

Lake Worth, FL

#29 Nov 3, 2015
Anonymous wrote:
I've heard a name that was involved. He's past away now but his wife is still living and sells insurance in Humansville.
You really think Lionel was involved?
Sharrell

Independence, MO

#30 Nov 8, 2015
Another Resident wrote:
I have lived in Humansville since 1984 & had not heard of this terrible incident until this past weekend @ the Fall Festival when Bob told me about it!! How is it that I know/have heard all about Lou's daughter & her murder, the lady that was riding her horse out @ the City park, fell, broke her neck & died, Jeff Sprowls terrible accident, & the Painter boy's horrible accident but these 2 girls & their stories have been lost!? I think our current police chief needs to look into this/re-open this case. I, too, am curious as to who the 2 suspects are. Crazy that I have lived near these 2 men most my life & they very well could have killed 2 teenagers!!! TERRIBLE!! I pray that the Hannas & Bells find peace & these girls get the justice they deserve!! How were they killed? Unfortunately the police probably did not properly collect DNA so we could find out who did this.
I just happened upon this site. I lived in the area at the time the girls were killed... rumors have abounded from day one. I don't know that it will ever be solved, somebody KNOWS something but nobody is talking.(Oh, and if you meant Lou Sawyers daughter, Karen, that was a horrible accident, not a murder........ we were in the same class)
greg1969

Mount Ida, AR

#31 Feb 28, 2016
From the Kansas City Times, August 12, 1976:

Humansville, MO -- Two young women whose decomposed bodies were found in a heavily wooded area near here were identified as Miss Hazel Juanita Hanna, 15 and Cynthia Bell, 16, both of Humansville.

Glen Carson, Polk County sheriff, said Miss Hanna had been shot once in the head and Miss Bell shot twice. The two victims had been reported missing from their foster home last week.
He said the victims had been gagged and their hands bound with a belt. They were apparently shot sometime last week.

Carson said Miss Hanna was identified through a check of her dental records and Miss Bell was identified by the remains of her clothing.

No weapon or motive had yet been discovered, Carson said. The bodies, which had been left at the scene through most of yesterday afternoon, have been moved to a local funeral home for an autopsy.

Carson said that Miss Hanna's body was found nude from the waist down and that most of the clothing was taken off Miss Bell. A 25 officer major case squad from a 7-county area has been activated to investigate the slayings.

Carson said he thought the bullets came from a handgun. The bodies were discovered in a large cedar thicket 4 miles west of here on the farm of Frank E. Whitlock, whose wife apparently discovered the bodies, Carson said. Whitlock said he heard no voices or shots in the area Thursday or Friday.

Authorities said the girls were apparently shot 15 feet from where they were found. Carson said the victims apparently had been dragged into heavier cover after they had been shot.
A hunting knife was found at the scene but Carson said he did not know whether it was related to the incident. Carson said a white car with a black top was seen several days ago where the bodies were found.

Carson said the two girls had run away from their homes last month and had been found July 30. Both were placed in foster homes, but they fled again on July 31.
Humansville, a community of 800, is located about 30 miles northwest of Springfield.
greg1969

Mount Ida, AR

#32 Feb 28, 2016
From the Cedar Republican, December 2015 (PART 1)
By Mary Morris | 0 comments
It’s been nearly 40 years since two teenage runaway girls from Humansville disappeared — and soon after were found tied up, partially disrobed and shot dead in a brush thicket near the Cedar- Polk county line. According to Polk County sheriff Kay Williams, there hasn’t been a new lead on the case for nearly four decades. After Helen Whitlock, a farmer’s wife, found the badly decomposed bodies of Hazel Hanna, 15, and Cynthia Bell, 16, on her property in the summer heat of Aug. 10, 1976, former Polk County Sheriff Glenn Carson and a regional task force investigated hundreds of leads. The investigation continued when a new sheriff, Charlie Simmons, took office in January 1977.“We done a pretty good investigation after I was elected,” Simmons said. Simmons took office as sheriff a few months after Hanna and Bell were murdered, and held office until 1993. By the time he was elected, the regional task force investigating the murders had evaporated, and leads nearly had halted. He put together his own investigative team, which included highway patrol officers helping his bare-bones staff, which he said consisted of himself, two deputies and a dispatcher. Despite limited resources, the investigative file on the Hanna/Bell homicide is thick. Although as an unsolved homicide the investigation still is considered open, the Cedar County Republican was granted access to the investigative report on the condition no names previously unreleased be released in this article, to protect the integrity of the investigation.
greg1969

Mount Ida, AR

#33 Feb 28, 2016
From the Cedar Republican, December 2015 (PART 2)
BY MARY MORRIS
Hazel Hanna and Cynthia Bell
Hanna and Bell, Humansville, were known as troubled girls. Witness statements after the homicide point to particular vulnerabilities the girls experienced. Bell, described as a tough girl who got into fights, told friends she endured physical abuse. Hanna, known as “having a big mouth with smart remarks,” said she had become pregnant and planned to leave town quickly. At one time, according to subjects interviewed, Bell, too, had become pregnant. She fled to Texas, where, according to friends, she gave birth to a child and gave the baby away before returning to the Humansville area. A relative of Hanna told investigators both girls “had a very hard life.” By the summer of 1976, both were runaways. The girls lived a transient life, and were spotted together throughout the summer of 1976 with various circles of people in different towns. They stayed with friends, and were said to sometimes sleep in vacant houses or in a shed on an acquaintance’s property, but they made plans to leave. The girls had a male friend, who was moving to Joplin for work. Hanna and the friend made a plan for the girls to go with him to get away from their living situation, but the arrangement fizzled out. Fearing he would get in trouble for taking the girls, Hanna’s friend left for Joplin without them — but Hanna and Bell, wanting badly to get out of the Humansville area, followed. They took a bus and attempted to locate the man to no avail, and ended up hitchhiking back to Humansville. Friends told investigators the girls had been picked up by a pair of truck drivers who “gave them a hard time.” Uncomfortable with the truckers, the girls asked to be let out and were dropped off on a highway, where they continued the long hitchhike home. A Polk County deputy spotted Hanna and Bell, picked them up and took them to the county’s juvenile office July 30, 1976. That night, they were placed in foster care. Disappearance Hanna and Bell went to a foster home in Morrisville together, but it didn’t last. They took off July 31, and were reported missing Aug. 1. For the next few days, witnesses saw them on the streets of Humansville, and the pair was seen hitchhiking on Mo. 13 at about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 4, 1976. Nobody would admit to seeing them again until six days later, when Helen Whitlock, investigating a foul odor of decay on her property, found their bodies.
greg1969

Mount Ida, AR

#34 Feb 28, 2016
From the Cedar Republican (Part 3)

Gunshots heard

Whitlock told investigators she was at her home near Humansville, off Mo. 123, doing dishes around 10:15 p.m. Aug. 4, 1976. The weather report was on TV, and it forecast a storm rolling in the next day. Then, she said, four gunshots rang out over a timeframe of 30-60 seconds. Her husband, Frank, was out watering cows and moving his trucks about the same time when he heard a girl giggle in the distance. About 15 minutes later, he heard gunshots. He said the four shots were fired over a duration of 1-2 minutes. He finished his chores, grabbed a shotgun, got in his truck and went to investigate. Frank told investigators he came upon a car parked up in a hayfield near a brushy area — the area where Hanna and Bell later would be found — by his gate. He assumed it was a group of kids partying, as the area was a known parking spot for teenagers. He drove on a ways, turned around and found the car gone when he went back by the spot. The couple didn’t revisit the area until Aug. 10, when neighbors complained about the sickening smell of decay. Investigation Law enforcement began a search and assessment of the crime scene after the Whitlocks notified the sheriff’s office of their finding. The two bodies, at the time unidentified, apparently had been dragged from another location into the brush. Their hands were tied, and each victim had been shot twice. They lay on the ground, one across the other. Investigators canvassed the area and began conducting dozens of interviews over the next few days. They found a spent .25 caliber shell casing at the scene, among several personal artifacts belonging to the victims. A relative of Hanna’s approached investigators, willing to identify personal belongings and clothing of Hanna, as the girl had been missing for several days by the time the bodies were found. Dental records confirmed Bell’s identity.“They were in pretty bad shape when they were found,” Simmons said. For days, deputies and investigators with the regional task force conducted scores of interviews, and administered a polygraph test to one witness. Still, none of the leads added up to an answer. A lead sheet in the case’s investigative report file includes notes on interviews and witness statements after the murders, but these tips come to a stop with the last lead sheet entry date Aug. 27, 1976. Then, abruptly, the lead sheet starts again with new entries starting over a year later, Sept. 27, 1977 — under the lead of then-sheriff Simmons.

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