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Episode 85

The Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre

April 12, 2021   Tags: , ,
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This week Paul and Billy look into the unsolved murders at the Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre. Two armed gunman entered the bowling alley on February 10th, 1990. The gunmen took the seven people present hostage in the office before shooting them and setting the place on fire. Despite over a thousand tips, the case remains unsolved today. 

The Morning of the Murders:
On February 10th, 1990, at 8 AM Stephanie Senac arrived at the Las Cruces Bowling Alley with her daughter Melissa and her boyfriend's daughter Amy. Stephanie went to the office to go through the previous nights receipts. 12-year-old Melissa and 13-year-old Amy grabbed snacks at the vending machine before opening the day care center. 

Cook Ida Holguin was prepping the restaurant for the day before the 9 AM youth league bowlers showed up. Stephanie's brother Steve came by to pick up his backpack. Before he left, he told his sister to lock the doors before opening time.  

Melissa and Amy ran into two men at the vending machines. The girls asked if the men needed help. But instead of answering the girls, the men pulled two guns and took them to the office. Once inside the office, the second gunmen went and got Ida from the kitchen.  

The gunmen took $5000 out of the safe, then began searching cabinets. While they were searching, the bowling alley's mechanic showed up. Steven Teran had brought his daughter 2-year-old Valerie and his stepdaughter 6-year-old Paula with him. The three were added to the hostages in the office. 

After the gunmen finished searching the office, they ordered all seven victims to kneel with their heads on the floor. They then shot each of them at least once in the head. Before fleeing the scene, they set fire to the papers on the desk. 

12-year-old Melissa was able to get to the phone and dial 911. When the first responders arrived, Steven, Paula and Amy were pronounced dead at the scene. Valerie died 45 minutes later. Stephanie survived but died nine years later due to injuries suffered that morning. Melissa spent 11 days in the hospital but survived. Ida spent six months in the hospital. She survived.

Tips and Leads:
Stephanie's brother Steve had seen two hispanic men near the bowling alley when he picked up his backpack. He was able to give the police a description (see above). The police set up roadblocks around the entire area. The men were not identified.

Authorities received a slew of tips. One was from a woman who said the men had stayed with her after the murders. She told the police the killings were over drugs. The woman was a drug user. Once she was sober, she recanted her statement. The men were not found.

But the drug angle brought another employee into the authorities view. RJ, Steve and Stephanie's brother, tended bar at the bowling alley. According to friends and family, he abused drugs--specifically cocaine. Witnesses said many of his drug deals happened at the bowling alley. But RJ gave authorities no information that could lead to capturing the gunmen.

Las Cruces Police Department also looked into the bowling alley owner Ron Senac. Ron had money problems. He had been living at the bowling alley, but was out of town the morning of the murders. His behavior was suspicious. He re-opened the lanes six days after the massacre. Ron then sold the bowling in December of 1990. The business was reportedly in 1.5 million dollars of debt. Police searched him down, but he was also unable to provide answers. 

Authorities have made public appeals throughout the 30 years. They've updated the sketches but are still no closer to identifying the gunmen of that morning. 

ASSIGNMENT:
Steven Teran’s brother has expressed frustration to the media, wondering why they haven’t caught these men. It’s a frustration we are hoping the Murder Squad can help with. We want to give you the description of the two suspects again.

It was two hispanic gunmen. One was about 30 years old. He had dark, wavy hair and light-colored eyes. He was about 5’10”, 170 pounds. The victims said he didn’t have an accent.

The second man was older, somewhere around 45 to 50 years old. His salt-and-pepper hair was thinning. He had a dark complexion. He was 5’7”, 140 pounds. He had a slight Spanish accent.

These sketches have been seen far and wide. So we also want to talk about dates and times. Anyone who fits the description who might have gotten out of prison in the year prior. Anyone who left town in early 1990s for a while, perhaps never to return. And remember, don’t always think of them as a pair. Look at each of them separately. Sometimes when you have two sketches, it can get in people’s heads--well, it looks like him, but I’ve never seen him with the other guy, so they don’t call it in.  

These two men shot seven people. Stephanie Senac, Melissa Repass and Ida Holguin all survived that morning’s massacre. Although Stephanie eventually died due to complications from her injuries nine years later. The men killed Amy Hauser, Steven Teran, Paula Holguin and Valerie Teran. 

All seven deserve justice. If you have any information, please contact us.Or you can send a tip into Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or text a tip at 274637. When you text, include LCTIPS. You can remain anonymous. 


CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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