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Murders and Geocaching...what do other states do?

guinea gal

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Not sure if this was the best place to post, but have seen similar posts here.

Our area has had a murder recently, and a body was left along a popular bike path. Bless the geocache owners who had caches along the bike path who quickly disabled them out of saftey for future geocachers and also to let the police investigate unhindered. It looked to be an open and shut case, as the main suspect in the murder was, as typical in these cases, the spouse of the victim. The bike path was closed to the public for awhile, then reopened. Last report I read said it was being patrolled by undercover police. I believe the caches along the path are still disabled (I know who is going to correct me on that!)

Boy, I could have sworn the reports said there was no DNA evidence left at the crime scene. However, it has been announced in the last dew days that there was, in fact, DNA evidence collected. Worse still, it connected this murder with a series of murders occurring on the same bike path, I believe 19 years ago. So the guy is still out there, and this may be the beginning of another spree.

I know these caches won't be disabled forever, nor do I think they should be. I know this situation isn't unique to our area...murders happen every day, and other crimes of course. Has something like this ever happened in your area, along a high cache volume area? How did the geocachers handle it, and what eventually happened? Personally, I hope our situation is like the BTK murders in that the guy is ready to be caught. But he isn't yet and I am nervous for cachers, hikers, joggers, dog walkers who use this path alone. I especially fear for people who are not from our area coming in to do a little caching and not knowing the potential danger.

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Hey Lady,

Am I the one you thought was going to reply to this thread?

The cache that is nearest to the crime scene is one of my clue caches. I have been out to check on it and the rest of my caches in the area. I found the cache in the open, neatly placed in a clear spot on the ground, top up and square to the path. It looked like someone had placed it carefully in this position. I have no way of knowing what had happened but it looks to me like it was found in the search and inspected then discounted as irrelevant to the case. Possibly thought to be something left by a child as it has nothing but cheap toys left in it for swag. A geocacher would not leave it in the open like that.

At this point I have that whole series disabled. I am going to find a new place for that clue cache today. I think that it would be unwise to have people poking around that close to the crime scene with the high state of awareness and public interest in the situation. I can just see the local LEO's swooping in enforce to question some poor geocacher seen "lurking" around the crime scene. After the cache has been moved I will reopen the whole series.

The fact that this crime has occurred in no way changes geocaching. The risks are exactly the same as they have always been. The creep that did this has been out there all along. His crimes are not limited to the Clarence Newstead bike paths. He has been connected to crimes throughout the area. the crimes he has committed go back two decades.

This one criminal aside it is important for people to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Know what is going on around you. When traveling these paths do so with a friend. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason leave.

Many people seem to think that these crimes are a new occurrence, they are not. They have been going on since the dawn of time. The difference is that we now have the "instant media". We hear of these things immediately and world wide.

I will not let it change my life. I will still hunt for caches the same as I ever have. I will still look for places off the beaten path to sit and enjoy nature. I know the risks but will not give up the rewards to the fear of crime. If we start avoiding every hazard in life we will lock ourselves in the house and stop living.

I know you usually cache with others and this fact alone reduces your risk immensely. The type of scum that does these things is afraid of groups. He wants a lone victim. He is a coward at heart and will not risk himself against a group.

Remember GG, you are always welcome to cache along with us.


Edit to add, this cache is the one closest to the crime scene.

Edited by gof1
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I searched 10 pages of traditional caches in your area and did not find the ones you mention - only 2 muggled ones. So, perhaps they were all micro caches? A few less film canisters?


Ouch. As a local to the OP, that hurts. :anicute: But if you used what she lists as her home town under her avatar, you probably wouldn't see them. Zip Code 14031 would bring up all the disabled ones, generally all along bike trails.


That was very unfortunate on the archived Cache Ninja cache in Manhattan, linked to by Harry Dolphin.

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'This should be no big problem.


Just increase the difficulty by one level.....


and under the notes section add something like......"psychotic killer may or may not be in the area

during certain periods of the day.....life insurance and a working Uzzi recommended....poison ivy

light in spring and summer."'


People do list that. I was looking for some caches in an area I was visiting but quickly passed over the one that said if I was going to look for the cache in that park I should probably be packing.


I tend to be a little paranoid and even going to a state park can get to me when I think that's where Ted Bundy used to pick up his victims. Be careful...have pepper spray and a big dog.

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The rails to trails type bike path in question is normally considered to be quite safe. Located in one of the more "desirable" townships in the area. As I said, I am going to move the cache in the immediate vicinity of the murder, but will reopen the rest of my caches on this trail system. The risks have not changed. If it has brought more awareness of those risks to some then good. We should all be aware that there are risks in everything we do. The trick is to know what the risks are and how to manage them.

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January 2006, I was out caching in George Bush Park here in Houston. There was a search going on for a missing college student at the time. He apparently went out into the park and committed suicide. If I remember the description properly, his body was found less than 1/2 mile from a cache that I had found that day.

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Yes, Gof, of course I mean you! But it's nice to see Urk, too! And I know I can always go caching with you and Bacall, I never get out alone these days anyway. But that wasn't the point. My biggest fear is out of towners who come in to cache and have no idea is is going on. And yes, while I am fully aware that this happens all the time (again, read my first post) I think that to say the danger isn't increased by the fact that yes-there is now a serial killer in the neighborhood- is more than a little erroneous?

Also, I agree, everyone should be aware 100% every time they go caching/hiking/walking/shopping/whatever of what possible risks they may face. But remember that the person standing outside the ashes that was their home almost always says they never imagined it would happen to them. I think many victims of many crimes have probably said that at one point.

I have greatly enjoyed the responses, and believe me if I could fashionable fit an oozi in my little green backpack, I would! :) I don't expect the caches in our area to be archived, not do I want them to be. (Get real, someone else will just place new ones there!) I just wanted to see how a situation like this is handled/has been handled in other areas, maybe to give us an idea of what to expect. AND I'm not interested in spreading a panic (that's what you're afraid of, isn't it, Gof?) However, I can say there is one fellow geocacher that I have spoken to about this who had absolutely no idea it was going on. That's what I was hoping to do with the other post...bring about awareness.

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I agree, getting the word out is not a bad thing.


The risk still has not changed, this dirt bag has been out there for two decades. What has changed is the public awareness of the situation. This is a good thing in that people who are aware of the risk will tend to be more prepared. Forwarned is forarmed. It is sad that a woman had to die to get people to think about it, and that they will forget soon.


I did not mean to imply that you were being an alarmist. My only intention was to expand on the information that you brought up. Some times I tend to over do it. Sorry.


If anyone wats to know about the case in question there is a news story here.

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If the case is unsolved, with a possible serial killer in the area, as an out of towner (or local for that fact) I would certainly appreciate a note on the cache pages in the area letting me know this. Keep them active, just give us a heads up, who knows, it could be a cacher that spots something/someone suspicious and calls 911 to get the creep caught.

Edited by Hula Bum
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I found a body while out geocaching earlier this week AT THIS CACHE


As far as I know its the first time a geocacher ever came across a body in Canada. It was a bad part, of a bad city, at a bad time in the morning.. some would argue that me NOT finding a body would be more of a story


I know of some other Canadian cachers who found a body this spring. To respect their privacy I won't mention their handles or the cache which was located nearby. However, this was out in the woods and it was a natural death not a murder.


Going back to the topic, I think once the investigation is over it's back to business as usual.

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