Austin Yogurt Shop Murders /// 81 & 82

Austin Yogurt Shop Murders /// 81 & 82 
   
www.TrueCrimeGarage.com 

In 1991- Austin,Texas 4 teenage girls were bound and killed in a small yogurt shop. The store of course was robbed. Four teenage boys would later be arrested and two of them found guilty of the murders. These convicted killers were eventually released when new evidence showed that the state's case was wrong. Now over 25 years later this case remains unsolved. Who killed these girls? Some still argue police had it right years ago, when they questioned the four boys and later arrested them. Some investigators suggest the killer or killers are unknown to law enforcement. Some point toward an insurance fraud scheme reaching high levels of the local judicial system.  
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28 comments

  • Amber

    Amber Nevada

    Yay just saw Part 2 is now released! Thanks for all the hard work & dedication you guys. I'm almost finished with all the free episodes, soon to buy the older ones! P.S. for anyone interested in hearing interviews with the investigators and with the suspects, 48 Hours released an episode on their podcast only a few weeks ago called Innocence Lost about this case. So good and gave me the chills after only hearing it a week ago and seeing TCG made it their case this week.

    Yay just saw Part 2 is now released!
    Thanks for all the hard work & dedication you guys. I'm almost finished with all the free episodes, soon to buy the older ones!
    P.S. for anyone interested in hearing interviews with the investigators and with the suspects, 48 Hours released an episode on their podcast only a few weeks ago called Innocence Lost about this case. So good and gave me the chills after only hearing it a week ago and seeing TCG made it their case this week.

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Thanks Amber.... This is truly a fascinating case and I could spend weeks looking into it. I feel like a got a good handle on it but there is so much here. Strange how 60 minutes can cause some much tragedy and so many questions. Cheers, Nic

    Thanks Amber....
    This is truly a fascinating case and I could spend weeks looking into it. I feel like a got a good handle on it but there is so much here. Strange how 60 minutes can cause some much tragedy and so many questions.
    Cheers,
    Nic

  • Taylor

    Taylor Louisiana

    I'm with you on the neighbor idea, Nic! I would love to know if there is a 911 call from him after he saw the fire next door.

    I'm with you on the neighbor idea, Nic! I would love to know if there is a 911 call from him after he saw the fire next door.

  • Kelly

    Kelly Los Angeles, CA

    Nic had a great point about the guy in the shop next door.

    Nic had a great point about the guy in the shop next door.

  • Jane

    Jane North Carolina

    I heard that can open at 1:00:52. Well played, gentleman of the jib.

    I heard that can open at 1:00:52. Well played, gentleman of the jib.

  • Amy

    Amy Austin, Tx

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for covering this case! This one is particularly fascinating to me. I'm from Austin and was 15 at the time of these murders. They went to a different school so I didn't know them, but some of my drama friends did. I now live in the neighborhood of the crime scene and walk by the memorial plaque all the time. There is a great book about this case called Who Killed These Girls by Beverly Lowry if you interested I can send y'all a copy. Thanks again & love the podcast & your jib! Take care y'all!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for covering this case! This one is particularly fascinating to me. I'm from Austin and was 15 at the time of these murders. They went to a different school so I didn't know them, but some of my drama friends did. I now live in the neighborhood of the crime scene and walk by the memorial plaque all the time. There is a great book about this case called Who Killed These Girls by Beverly Lowry if you interested I can send y'all a copy. Thanks again & love the podcast & your jib! Take care y'all!

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    If anyone can find the neighboring business owners official statement to police please post here. He would have had an accomplice as well. The business was a party supply store. Cheers, Nic

    If anyone can find the neighboring business owners official statement to police please post here. He would have had an accomplice as well. The business was a party supply store.
    Cheers,
    Nic

  • Beth

    Beth Baltimore

    Nic, I think your true calling is to be a detective. You seem to do a lot better than the police!

    Nic, I think your true calling is to be a detective. You seem to do a lot better than the police!

  • Brittany

    Brittany Austin, Texas

    I listened while working so I may have just accidentally missed it, but did they ever have the ex-cop who was there the night of the murders do a line-up to identify if any of the four male teenagers were the guy in the military jacket that night?

    I listened while working so I may have just accidentally missed it, but did they ever have the ex-cop who was there the night of the murders do a line-up to identify if any of the four male teenagers were the guy in the military jacket that night?

  • Kelly

    Kelly Detroit, Michigan

    Hi, love this podcast!!! Two things: 1. What was the recommended reading on this episode? Think it was something about a kid growing up in a gang. I'd like to check it out. 2. Have you guys ever covered the Jon Benet case? Asking b/c noticed pic if her on your page. I've purchesed/listened to all archived shows, want to make sure I didn't miss one. Cheers from Kelly in downtown Detroit

    Hi, love this podcast!!! Two things:
    1. What was the recommended reading on this episode? Think it was something about a kid growing up in a gang. I'd like to check it out.
    2. Have you guys ever covered the Jon Benet case? Asking b/c noticed pic if her on your page. I've purchesed/listened to all archived shows, want to make sure I didn't miss one.
    Cheers from Kelly in downtown Detroit

  • Kelly

    Kelly Detroit, Michigan

    Sooo, just noticed the "recommended " drop down on your page. Wolf Boys, thanks:/

    Sooo, just noticed the "recommended " drop down on your page. Wolf Boys, thanks:/

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Brittany, Great question. We failed to talk about that. Yes he was shown a photo line up. We can't say who's photos were included but it has been reported as an extensive photo line up. It's assumed the four teenage boy's photos were apart of this line up. My guess would be the Forrest's would not have been included as it was part of the confessions that he never entered the store. Thanks, Nic

    Brittany,
    Great question. We failed to talk about that. Yes he was shown a photo line up. We can't say who's photos were included but it has been reported as an extensive photo line up. It's assumed the four teenage boy's photos were apart of this line up. My guess would be the Forrest's would not have been included as it was part of the confessions that he never entered the store.
    Thanks,
    Nic

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Kelly, We would like to cover Jon Benet's case at some point. Not sure when this will happen as our list is very long. Thanks, Nic

    Kelly,
    We would like to cover Jon Benet's case at some point. Not sure when this will happen as our list is very long.
    Thanks,
    Nic

  • Tim

    Tim Chino Hills, Ca

    Very sad episode. I tend to believe that the motivation for this crime was robbery and turned to rape. I say this because I believe all of the girls would have been raped if that were the motive. The visit by the individual in the fatigues was may have been to see if he could unlock the back door, a common technique of robbers, or to simply get a look into the register. Lingering for a few customers would give him the opportunity to see if the clerk dropped money in an under counter safe or slid large bills under the register tray. Note that $500 was a lot more money in 1991 than it is today. He may have actually intended to commit the robbery at the time, but was not comfortable with the conditions. My initial thought is that this was a robbery committed by one or two individuals passing through which is why similar crimes in the area were not identified. I tend to think two individuals which would explain why only two of the girls were gagged. A single individual would have needed to gag three of the girls while controlling the fourth. However, the thing that bugs me most about this incident is the fire. In my mind, attempting to cover up the crime with fire leads me to believe that the suspects would have been someone local. Someone fearing evidence in a time before forensics and DNA were well know. I can see why some of the investigators would want to lock in on the local boys. I just have trouble believing that someone local could have kept this quiet for this long. Then I had another thought that would explain the fire. The heinous nature of this crime immediately leads us to believe that this was committed by a vicious killer or killers. What if it were not, but rather committed by people not wanting to get caught for murder. What if, the two men take the girls into the back room, have them disrobe mostly to control them and then get the idea or already had the idea to rape them. Securing them, each takes a girl. One of them moving to the other room area. However, Amy refuses to submit and resists. During the assault, a ligature is applied, perhaps a struggle and Amy is eventually shot. Once Amy has been shot the determination is made that no witnesses can be left. Note that the order could be reversed and Amy may have been shot twice and then the ligature applied when she refused to succumb. The idea that the bodies were stacked seems off to me. From the diagrams it appears to me that the two girls were next to each other when they were shot and one fell on the other with the third falling nearby. Going based simply on the fatigues the one individual was described as wearing I would want to take a hard look at individuals on leave from Fort Hood that weekend. If you look at a map, it is easy to see that Austin is not the type of place you would travel through traveling coast to coast. However, if you were based at Fort Hood and wanted to go to say Corpus Christi for the weekend, you would pass through Austin. The same would be true if you wanted to go south of the border through Laredo into Juarez. Perhaps a long shot, but I could imagine a number of scenarios where a couple of young trouble makers in the military could be responsible.

    Very sad episode.

    I tend to believe that the motivation for this crime was robbery and turned to rape. I say this because I believe all of the girls would have been raped if that were the motive. The visit by the individual in the fatigues was may have been to see if he could unlock the back door, a common technique of robbers, or to simply get a look into the register. Lingering for a few customers would give him the opportunity to see if the clerk dropped money in an under counter safe or slid large bills under the register tray. Note that $500 was a lot more money in 1991 than it is today. He may have actually intended to commit the robbery at the time, but was not comfortable with the conditions.

    My initial thought is that this was a robbery committed by one or two individuals passing through which is why similar crimes in the area were not identified. I tend to think two individuals which would explain why only two of the girls were gagged. A single individual would have needed to gag three of the girls while controlling the fourth.

    However, the thing that bugs me most about this incident is the fire. In my mind, attempting to cover up the crime with fire leads me to believe that the suspects would have been someone local. Someone fearing evidence in a time before forensics and DNA were well know. I can see why some of the investigators would want to lock in on the local boys. I just have trouble believing that someone local could have kept this quiet for this long.

    Then I had another thought that would explain the fire.

    The heinous nature of this crime immediately leads us to believe that this was committed by a vicious killer or killers. What if it were not, but rather committed by people not wanting to get caught for murder.

    What if, the two men take the girls into the back room, have them disrobe mostly to control them and then get the idea or already had the idea to rape them. Securing them, each takes a girl. One of them moving to the other room area. However, Amy refuses to submit and resists. During the assault, a ligature is applied, perhaps a struggle and Amy is eventually shot. Once Amy has been shot the determination is made that no witnesses can be left. Note that the order could be reversed and Amy may have been shot twice and then the ligature applied when she refused to succumb.

    The idea that the bodies were stacked seems off to me. From the diagrams it appears to me that the two girls were next to each other when they were shot and one fell on the other with the third falling nearby.

    Going based simply on the fatigues the one individual was described as wearing I would want to take a hard look at individuals on leave from Fort Hood that weekend. If you look at a map, it is easy to see that Austin is not the type of place you would travel through traveling coast to coast. However, if you were based at Fort Hood and wanted to go to say Corpus Christi for the weekend, you would pass through Austin. The same would be true if you wanted to go south of the border through Laredo into Juarez.

    Perhaps a long shot, but I could imagine a number of scenarios where a couple of young trouble makers in the military could be responsible.

  • Dave Young

    Dave Young Northern California

    Great podcast. You pretty well nailed it. On point,, that you may have omitted because the information was not officially released by the prosecution, was that two additional male DNA profiles were found in Jennifer and Sarah that did not come from any of the Four or the unknown taken from Amy. One was only a partial that may not have been adequate for checking on CODIS but the other belonged to Jennifer's boyfriend and it is assumed it was transfer to Sarah when she was assaulted after this unknown assaulted Jennifer. This information was given to the Defense as part of required discovery but it has not been officially disclosed to the press. If the Defense had been untruthful, I can't imagine them not responding.

    Great podcast. You pretty well nailed it. On point,, that you may have omitted because the information was not officially released by the prosecution, was that two additional male DNA profiles were found in Jennifer and Sarah that did not come from any of the Four or the unknown taken from Amy. One was only a partial that may not have been adequate for checking on CODIS but the other belonged to Jennifer's boyfriend and it is assumed it was transfer to Sarah when she was assaulted after this unknown assaulted Jennifer. This information was given to the Defense as part of required discovery but it has not been officially disclosed to the press. If the Defense had been untruthful, I can't imagine them not responding.

  • Mark

    Mark Austin

    The definition of a coerced confession. "No, try again." Then provide clues when they don't know. "What were they wearing? Not a lot, right?"

    The definition of a coerced confession. "No, try again." Then provide clues when they don't know. "What were they wearing? Not a lot, right?"

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Mark • Austin Dave Young • Northern California Tim • Chino Hills, Ca Thanks for the comments and support. Much love and cheers. Captain

    Mark • Austin
    Dave Young • Northern California
    Tim • Chino Hills, Ca

    Thanks for the comments and support. Much love and cheers.

    Captain

  • James S

    James S Austin

    I live 5 miles north of this I took updated photos of location if anyone would like to see. I also have the memorial.

    I live 5 miles north of this I took updated photos of location if anyone would like to see. I also have the memorial.

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Yes James. Could you post them here? Thanks Nic

    Yes James. Could you post them here?
    Thanks Nic

  • Kim Nedz

    Kim Nedz North Huntingdon, PA

    As I am listening to this podcast, I do not recollect hearing if they talked to the X cop/detective that was in the shop the day of the murders. Did anyone talk to that gentleman? Did that Gentleman ever return or notify the police of the strange man who bought a soda and went to use the restroom without returning? What about the couple sitting there that left because the wife felt uncomfortable. Any information regarding those men? I will continue to listen to see if anything has been said about this.

    As I am listening to this podcast, I do not recollect hearing if they talked to the X cop/detective that was in the shop the day of the murders. Did anyone talk to that gentleman? Did that Gentleman ever return or notify the police of the strange man who bought a soda and went to use the restroom without returning? What about the couple sitting there that left because the wife felt uncomfortable. Any information regarding those men? I will continue to listen to see if anything has been said about this.

  • AB

    AB London, UK

    Does anybody have a description of the 2 men in the booth? Where is the full statement from the couple who described observing the 2 men in the refection of the plate glass window? Surely the police asked for a description...I just find it baffling that this freakin' important detail is not referred to anywhere 😖 Also, does a description of the 2 men match the camo jacket guy described by the security officer (former cop). Were there any descriptions from other customers? These are all obvious questions....just as obvious that the 4 young guys are not guilty!!

    Does anybody have a description of the 2 men in the booth? Where is the full statement from the couple who described observing the 2 men in the refection of the plate glass window? Surely the police asked for a description...I just find it baffling that this freakin' important detail is not referred to anywhere 😖 Also, does a description of the 2 men match the camo jacket guy described by the security officer (former cop). Were there any descriptions from other customers? These are all obvious questions....just as obvious that the 4 young guys are not guilty!!

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    AB unfortunately I think the vague description we gave is the best you'll find. I don't think the old couple gave a great description of the two men. We do know at least one of the f the two men described does not match the description of any of the four accused. I do think the camo jacket guy is one of the two men described by the old couple. Police have activist been looking for a r these two for a long time now. Nic

    AB unfortunately I think the vague description we gave is the best you'll find. I don't think the old couple gave a great description of the two men. We do know at least one of the f the two men described does not match the description of any of the four accused. I do think the camo jacket guy is one of the two men described by the old couple. Police have activist been looking for a r these two for a long time now.
    Nic

  • AB

    AB London, UK

    Thanks Nic for the response, would be interested to see all of the original statements from the time...! 5 out of 5 bottle tops, by the way, love the podcast !!

    Thanks Nic for the response, would be interested to see all of the original statements from the time...!

    5 out of 5 bottle tops, by the way, love the podcast !!

  • Mark

    Mark Austin

    I will admit that in retrospect, the cases against the four look weak. However, you have to keep in mind, that since the confessions and convictions, every single conspiracist and historian has gone about refuting these convictions. There has been little in the way of confirming the convictions or going into transcripts of the actual case and appeals. The fact of the matter is that Springsteen's confession was recorded and there was nothing in the way of evidence presented to him about what caliber the second gun was. In fact, the investigator told him it was a large caliber gun. Springsteen told the investigator it was a .380, a small caliber gun. Two eyewtinesses gave sworn testimony that Springsteen had such a gun. Springsteen was all over the place on whether he owned a gun or was familiar with them. He was also shaky on an alibi. He also corroborated a lot of the things Scott said in his statement, even though the tape reveals none of these things Scott said were revealed to Springsteen. There was credible testimony and the confessions were damming. But of course the DNA really blows things up. I have never completely dismissed the original four original suspects as being guilty. They were in the area and some of their behavior after the events was suspect. Of course I don't buy the "fifth suspect" leaving DNA behind. HOWEVER, it is possible that sperm/DNA can reside in a female for several days after intercourse. Amy might have been sexually active, who knows. And the fact is, she was 13, so the guy she had sex with (allegedly) would be guilty of rape, good reason not to come forward.

    I will admit that in retrospect, the cases against the four look weak. However, you have to keep in mind, that since the confessions and convictions, every single conspiracist and historian has gone about refuting these convictions. There has been little in the way of confirming the convictions or going into transcripts of the actual case and appeals. The fact of the matter is that Springsteen's confession was recorded and there was nothing in the way of evidence presented to him about what caliber the second gun was. In fact, the investigator told him it was a large caliber gun. Springsteen told the investigator it was a .380, a small caliber gun. Two eyewtinesses gave sworn testimony that Springsteen had such a gun. Springsteen was all over the place on whether he owned a gun or was familiar with them. He was also shaky on an alibi. He also corroborated a lot of the things Scott said in his statement, even though the tape reveals none of these things Scott said were revealed to Springsteen. There was credible testimony and the confessions were damming. But of course the DNA really blows things up. I have never completely dismissed the original four original suspects as being guilty. They were in the area and some of their behavior after the events was suspect. Of course I don't buy the "fifth suspect" leaving DNA behind. HOWEVER, it is possible that sperm/DNA can reside in a female for several days after intercourse. Amy might have been sexually active, who knows. And the fact is, she was 13, so the guy she had sex with (allegedly) would be guilty of rape, good reason not to come forward.

  • Mark

    Mark Austin

    The Austin Chronicle posted an article called "The Scene of the Crime." Pretty interesting. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2011-12-16/scene-of-the-crime/

    The Austin Chronicle posted an article called "The Scene of the Crime." Pretty interesting. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2011-12-16/scene-of-the-crime/

  • Yasmin

    Yasmin Dundee, Scotland

    "Don't do bullshit and you won't have a bullshit life" is my new favourite inspirational quote. Thanks, Captain!

    "Don't do bullshit and you won't have a bullshit life" is my new favourite inspirational quote. Thanks, Captain!

  • B

    B Parts Unknown

    This is a very tiny point but I listened to these episodes again after reading the book 'Who Killed the Girls?' The security guard found the guy suspicious who asked if he was a cop, let him go in front of him and then ordered a single soda. At the crime scene, they find an unopened soda and cup on the counter. We know that the register was accessed with a no-sale shortly after everyone left and before the fire. I'm thinking that the guy(s) planned on robbing the place and was doing a little run through when he bought the first soda- does she turn around, does she ring up the payment before or after she grabs the soda? The security guard put him on edge a little, especially because he was doing a run-through, which is why he stood out. He may have ordered another soda and when the girl was turned around, pulled a gun or attacked her and asked her to open the register. What happens next reminds me of the Cheshire case. Perhaps it was meant to be a robbery and escalated, or one of the men involved actually had other intentions.

    This is a very tiny point but I listened to these episodes again after reading the book 'Who Killed the Girls?' The security guard found the guy suspicious who asked if he was a cop, let him go in front of him and then ordered a single soda. At the crime scene, they find an unopened soda and cup on the counter. We know that the register was accessed with a no-sale shortly after everyone left and before the fire. I'm thinking that the guy(s) planned on robbing the place and was doing a little run through when he bought the first soda- does she turn around, does she ring up the payment before or after she grabs the soda? The security guard put him on edge a little, especially because he was doing a run-through, which is why he stood out. He may have ordered another soda and when the girl was turned around, pulled a gun or attacked her and asked her to open the register.

    What happens next reminds me of the Cheshire case. Perhaps it was meant to be a robbery and escalated, or one of the men involved actually had other intentions.

  • B

    B Parts Unknown

    From Mark "HOWEVER, it is possible that sperm/DNA can reside in a female for several days after intercourse. Amy might have been sexually active, who knows. And the fact is, she was 13, so the guy she had sex with (allegedly) would be guilty of rape, good reason not to come forward." -Unless both the girls had the same multiple partners (one being Jennifer's boyfriend), they were raped. There were definite signs that Amy was raped- her body wasn't as badly burned and the injuries were obvious. I believe that there were also obvious signs of rape on Jennifer as well.

    From Mark "HOWEVER, it is possible that sperm/DNA can reside in a female for several days after intercourse. Amy might have been sexually active, who knows. And the fact is, she was 13, so the guy she had sex with (allegedly) would be guilty of rape, good reason not to come forward."

    -Unless both the girls had the same multiple partners (one being Jennifer's boyfriend), they were raped. There were definite signs that Amy was raped- her body wasn't as badly burned and the injuries were obvious. I believe that there were also obvious signs of rape on Jennifer as well.

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