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Slain Girl's Last Hour Theorized By Police

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Slain Girl's Last Hour Theorized By Police

(March 25, 1969)

(March 21, 1969)


(July 5, 1968)


(Aug. 7, 1967)

Theorized By Police
By William B. Treml

(News Police Reporter)

A frantic hour of terror may
have precedt ' S' brutal mur-
der of a 1 id Ypsilanti
girl whose nearly nude body
was found yesterday morning
on a lonely dirt road in Superi-
or Township.

Sheriff Douglas J. Harvey,
who has assigned 20 of his men
to the Dawn Basom murder
investigation, admits he is now
only "grasping at .straws" in
the search for the killer.

B i '!i , •rfnrts of detectives
fru: police agencies
have o; isrned up a theo-
ry on t; .'instances of the
Basom girl's cic'ii''

"Now we thini ow how
and where she died, Harvey
says."Now we're putting little
pieces together."

Dawn Basom spent her last
few hours alive as many teen-
age girls do—visiting friends,
talking, walking, making plans.
This is the chronology of her
last day as compiled by detec-

Dawn throughout .: l
Junior High bcnooi at 1U5 N.
Mansfield St. in Ypsilanti. An
initial ' ' orovided to sher-
iff >s f; ;idicated she did
not return Home fr , hool
but later informaU- lied
that she returned to tne home
of her widowed mother, Mrs.
Cleo Basom, at 1312 LeForge
Rd.. when the school day cnd-

ate supper with her
iTiomcr and older brother and
about 6 p.m. Tuesday she went
next door to 1314 LeForge Rd.
where her sister and brother-in"
law, Mr. and Mrs; Robert He^j
live. ^

"She said she was bored, thai
she wanted to do something,"
Mrs. T? '"'or told detectives.
She a.-- brother-in-law to
drive her iu the corner of N.
River and E. Cross Sts. at the
near north side of Ypsilanti
where she wanted to visit

"Bob drove her there and she
lold him she'd have to hurry up
if she was going to do anything
because she had to get home
before dark," Mrs. Hess said.

Dawn visited with a 17-year-
old friend. Earl K. Kidd, and
talked with Kidd and several
other youngsters tor about an
hour as the spring twilight
began to fall Tuesday night.

The "Depot Town" area

e she was visiting is exact-
i.v i.l miles from the Basom
home on LeForge Rd. But
Dawn liked to walk and started
for home with Kidd about 7

Kidd walked her most of the
way home but left her when
they reached a point about five
blocks from her home. He last
saw her walking down New
York Central Railroad tracks in
a "factory" section of Ypsilan-
ti's north side.

"I should have walked her all
the way home," Kidd said qui-
etly yesterday.

Somewhere in those five
blocks, detectives theorize,
Dawn Basom was approached
by her killer who either lured
her or dragged her into a car.

"Maybe it was someone she
knew and trusted," Sheriff Har-
vey said. "Maybe he asked her
to show him directions to a
street and she rode along with
him. There's no real evidence
how she got into the vehicle."

However. Dawn entered the
car, she apparently was given
less than ? mile by her killer.
HP "iay have had the aban-
d ^ n c d , partially burned-out
farm house on the hill on
LeForge Rd. " spotted" i-'-tewg""
before the murd«-r.

jt"~ apparently managed to get
l3y ictim out of his car and
', |,There a struggi; may ' "T.
''sued. Glass was broke: .'I
apparently broke away, fled the
house and reached the farm
»?-yard, perhaps trying to reach
-lithe barn.

Where Detectiiw Think Girl Died

This desolate farmyard on LeForge
Rd., one-half mile south of Geddes Rd. in
Superior Township, is believed by sheriff's
detectives to be the place where 13-year-
old Dawn Basom was strangled and muti-
lated. Officers say the youngster may have
escaped momentarily from the cellar of the

'• '"• '••• <';"h^ and fled across the yard

(left) where she was
cai girl's orange sweater was later found near
the ramshackle buildings in the center of
photo. The girl's blue slacks are still miss-
ing, according to police.

There the murderer could
have caught her. He wrapped
an electrical wire, torn from
the old house, around her neck
and strangled her.

What happened may never be
known unless the killer is
caught. Dawn's orange mohair
sweater was found 14 hours la-
ter by Sheriff's Deputy Thomas
Kelly as he and a dozen fellow
officers scoured the farm yard.
The sweatp.r was near a shat-
tered »>
old farn; -:,'-..; : - ^'- "."''i

Her blue slacks are still miss-

At 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, a

truck driver was driving north
on Gale Rd. north of Vreeland
Rd. about two miles northwest
of the old farm.

He braked to a halt when he
saw Dawn's body at the east
edge of Gale Rd.

The man leaped out

truck and bolted to the home of
Hugo Ristow at 2580 Gale Rd.
There he blurted out news of the
grisly find and I '-ailed
the Sheriff's Depa.

The next four hours saw every
foot of ground, every "lover's
lane," every abandoned house
searched by a massive police

Sheriff's Cpl. Leo Wiest found
one of the victim's' shoes al-
most a mile south of the body
on Gale Rd. Deputy Kelly found
the sweater. Except for those
two items—nothing.

An autopsy performed at Uni-
versity Hospital and witnessed
by Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Har-
< " ••• showed Dawn died of

,i length of wire around her neck.
The examination also showed
she was stabbed twice on the
left side of the chest and five
times below the hips. She had

also been slashed numerous

The handkerchief found stuffed
in her mouth was "not meant
as a gag", one detective said.

"It was just a sadistic touch,"
he said.

Dawn apparently had not been
criminally assaulted although;.
further ire to be made. ;;

Daw fifth young wom-
an to die brutally under a mur-|
derer's attack in the past 22:|.
months. With a new reward of-'
fer of $1,000 for the arrest and
conviction of the killer an-
nounced today, the person who
turns key evidence over to po-
lice could collect as much as
$20,000. ?

But the 100 police officers!
working the cases at this mo";

ment do not have that key evi-|

They have only five unsolved
murders. •