This podcast series revisits the life and very tragic death of a Redmond, Oregon woman whose gruesome murder has gone unsolved for 40 years.
Can you help bring a killer to justice?
That Damn Harry Wall
On October 2nd, 1978, Mary Jo was at the Pastime Tavern in Redmond, in the company of two men.
On this particular Monday night, the trio attracted the ire of the establishment’s resident blackjack dealer, Harry Wall. Wall claimed that Mary Jo and her companions owed him money.
After reading the report, which contained details of Harry’s threats, it seemed that his anger could be enough to implicate him as her killer...or at least make him a strong candidate.
Bob Gilbert was accustomed to pulling up leaves and dead fish during his raking, but on this day, he found something that would set in motion one of the biggest shocks of Bend, Oregon's short history.
It took one month from the time the first body parts were discovered at the dam until police – through dental records, like Leo had hoped – were able to positively ID the victim as 49-year-old Mary Jo Templeton.
When first looking at suspects, police will always start with the innermost circle of a victim’s family and work their way out to an ever-widening circle of ex-lovers, friends, and then acquaintances.
And sure enough, after the dismembered body in Mirror Pond was identified as Mary Jo Templeton, lead detective Larson’s notebooks reveal that he too was beginning with the inner-circle – in particular, with two of Templeton’s four ex-husbands: Elmer Kohler and Chuck Blaylock.
The Serial Killer?
Joseph Fischer told police that he would drink two quarts of whiskey a day, then find people to kill who reminded him of his mother. He despised her, of course, and once said if he could dig her up, he’d make soup out of her.
While on his self-professed killing spree, Fischer stated to authorities that he had committed murders in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Washington, and Oregon.
Mary Jo Templeton
There’s endless laughter, tears, and affection from Templeton’s family and friends. And then – from police reports – there are the accounts of domestic disturbances, public intoxication, and criminal mischief.