The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in New Mexico
In today’s world of technology and forensic science, we don’t expect murders or missing persons to remain mysteries for long. We can even solve riddles from the depths of history, finding out who committed what crimes, what battles were fought and why, and where missing persons have gone. So, how do we explain the following four unsolved mysteries in New Mexico?
Who Was Responsible for the 1990 Bowling Alley Massacre?
The first entry on this list of New Mexico’s unsolved mysteries is among the most disturbing. We know what happened, but not who did it. What happened was tragic and traumatic, with multiple senseless deaths to people who had long lives ahead of them. It wasn’t just any murder, but the murder and attempted murder of seven innocent people, including four children and two adults under the age of 35. Three of these victims survived their injuries, and four – including two young children – did not.
The incident occurred in early February of 1990 at Las Cruces Bowl. The victims who were killed included 13 year old Amy Houser, 26 year old Steven Teran, and his two daughters, two year old Valerie and six year old Paula. The victims who survived multiple gunshot wounds and arson included 34 year old Stephanie Senac, her twelve year old daughter, Melissa Repass, and the bowling alley cook, Ida Holguin.
It was twelve year old Melissa, shot five times, who managed to save the lives of herself, her mother, and the cook by calling 911 after the shooters left. Without her quick action, everyone would have died from the gunshot wounds or the fire that the murderers set before leaving the scene. The motive of the massacre was robbery; about $5,000 was stolen. Twenty-seven years later, the case is still open and remains unsolved.
Who Killed Arthur Manby – Or Who Did Arthur Manby Kill?
Our next unsolved mystery in New Mexico is even more baffling and will likely never be solved since it occurred nearly 88 years ago in 1929. The case left so many unresolved questions that it is impossible to even state for certain which mystery we’re trying to solve. Is it a question of who killed Arthur Manby, or is it a question of who Arthur Manby killed? Arthur Manby was a strange man with many enemies. He was a land speculator who came to New Mexico in the early 1880’s. He was the center of much controversy and had a lot of debt. Many considered him to be dishonest and immoral. Plenty of people had a motive to kill him, yet he also had a motive to kill.
The mystery surrounds the headless body that was found in Manby’s Taos home in July of 1929. Was the body Manby’s or did he fake his own death by murdering someone else? Or, did he use the body of someone who had died in some other way? There were so many potential suspects, if the body was Manby’s, that it was impossible to narrow it down. Some claimed to have seen him in Europe, indicating that he was still alive. Others remained convinced that he was killed by one of his enemies in Taos, New Mexico. Meanwhile, there have been plenty of reports of paranormal activity in the restaurant next to Manby’s old home.
What Ever Happened to 19 Year Old Tara Calico?
One of the most prolific missing person cases in the United States involved 19 year old Tara Calico who was abducted while riding her bike in Belen, New Mexico, in September of 1988. Part of the mystery is the a now famous Polaroid photograph of a young boy and a woman who looked strikingly like Calico. It was discovered nine months after her abduction in a parking lot in Florida. The witness who found the photo claimed that a mysterious vehicle had been parked there. Many believe that Tara was intentionally trying to leave a trail for the police to follow, as pieces of her Walkman were found near the abduction site. The woman and boy in the photo both had duct tape over their mouths, and while their identities have been suspected, they have never been confirmed.
Who Killed the 11+ Women Found in a Mass Grave in West Mesa?
The most recent of New Mexico’s unsolved murder mysteries came to light in February of 2009. This is when a mass grave was discovered in West Mesa, near Albuquerque, at a construction site. In all, 11+ victims were found and identified over the following year. The identified victims included two 15 year olds, Jamie Barela and Syllania Edwards; two 22 year olds, Michelle Valdez (four months pregnant) and Monica Candelaria; three 24 year olds, Virginia Cloven, Doreen Marquez, and Julie Nieto; 26 year old, Victoria Chavez; 27 year old, Evelyn Salazar; 28 year old Veronica Romero; and 32 year old, Cinnamon Elks. All of the girls and women were killed between 2001 and 2005. How they died is part of the mystery, and there’s still a $100K reward for information leading to an arrest.
Do you recall any of these New Mexico mysteries or know of any others that are still unsolved?