April 9, 1954 Denver Post, Slaying Recalls Sensational Cases

Discovery of the nude, battered body of a girl about 17 in Boulder Canyon confronted Boulder county authorities Friday with their third murder case in six years involving a young victim.

The first and most sensational was touched off Nov. 9, 1948, when Theresa Catherine Foster, 18, a University of Colorado coed failed to return to her campus rooming house after a night meeting of a college club. Two days later her body, clad only in pants and bobby sox, was found under a bridge along the Boulder-Golden road.

She had been beaten, strangled and raped and her body dumped over the bridge railing to the dry stream bed.

For more than a week police and sheriff's men sifted hundreds of clues and talked to scores of persons, including a dozen suspects, without finding the slayer.

The case broke suddenly. Mrs. Eleanor Walker, who lived in Eldorado Springs southwest of Boulder, told police she suspected her husband of being the slayer. Officers arrested Joe Sam Walker, 31, a metal worker.

Walker admitted he had picked up Theresa Catherine Foster the night of Nov. 9, but insisted she was with a "stocky blond youth." He said they drove to a lover's lane spot north of Boulder where the blond youth slugged him and the girl.

When he came to, Walker said, he found the girl dead beside the car. He said he became panicky, loaded her body into the trunk of his car, and drove to [the] bridge where he dumped it over the railing.

Walker, still maintaining his innocence, was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 80 years to life in the Colorado penitentiary.

The second case came just seven months after the first. The victim was Roy G. Spore, 19, of Denver, a sophomore at C. U. The night of June 9, 1949, Spore had a date with Doris Ann Weaver, a freshman student from Idaho Falls.

He and the girl walked a wooded spot along Boulder Creek, which flows through the campus. While they were seated on the bank a tall figure crept from the shadows and struck Miss Weaver on the head with a piece of pipe. As Miss Weaver lost consciousness she saw Spore backing away and screaming "Don't hit me!"

Spore's body was found next morning in Boulder Creek. A dozen suspects were arrested and questioned but the murderer was never found.

A week ago a mental hospital patient in Los Angeles "confessed" the Spore slaying, but authorities believe his story is false.

A state highway that set the scene for one of Colorado's most gruesome slayings - the Blackhawk funeral pyre mystery - threaded its way Friday through another murder.

The highway is Colorado 119 which winds along Boulder Canyon where the savagely-beaten body of a young girl was found Thursday night. The body of the murder victim, believed to be about 17, was discovered near the edge of Boulder Creek some 25 feet from the road.

In September, 1952, the charred remains of a woman were found beside the highway six miles east of Blackhawk. The victim had apparently been brought to the scene in a car and her body cremated on a pyre of logs left from a picnic fire.

The Blackhawk case was never solved and the identity of the victim was never learned. Two Denver men, Dr. Charles G. Grover, a dentist, and Patrolman Dexter F. Landau, reconstructed the victim's head from strands of black hair, bits of bone and a few teeth and the head was shown on television across the nation.

Sheriff Art Everson and other Boulder authorities said they believed a reconstruction of the Boulder Canyon victim's head would help identify her and planned to contact Dr. Grover and Landau.
The girl's long strawberry-blond hair and an appendectomy scar were all authorities had to aid them in identifying her. Her features had been made almost unrecognizable by the ravages of animals.