Daisy Powerline 880 Air Rifle & Sight / Adjuster Ramp

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The pellet gun (Daisy Powerline 880)

Postby dawghouse » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:00 am

Does anyone know whether Johnny's pellet gun was a pistol or a rifle? Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I did a search on "pellet gun" and couldn't find an answer.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby SGRider » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:13 pm

Interesting...according to Sheila's phone interview in 1981 Johnny didn't own a pellet gun. Here's the post:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=345

It's found in the second of those three pages.
I'm of the opinion that the killers possibly brought the pellet gun with them and waved it at Sue, Johnny and Dana (maybe Tina too) to make them believe it was an actual firearm. If that's the case, that could possibly explain why none of them could make a run for it.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby SecretAgentHolly » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:01 pm

hmm. I'm thinking that may also explain the irregular shapes of the wounds in the autopsy reports. The ramp from the gun was broken off and laying on the floor that next morning, could it have been used to subdue someone with? In the images i have in my head i can see this perfectly (although we've never been told if there was any blood or biological material on the ramp itself.)

If you'll go read my other post about Tina, I think the gun may possibly have been what was used to strike Tina. After which Bo took off his jacket and wrapped up her body and carried her out the back door.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby not sure » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:29 am

SGRider wrote:Interesting...according to Sheila's phone interview in 1981 Johnny didn't own a pellet gun. Here's the post:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=345

It's found in the second of those three pages.
I'm of the opinion that the killers possibly brought the pellet gun with them and waved it at Sue, Johnny and Dana (maybe Tina too) to make them believe it was an actual firearm. If that's the case, that could possibly explain why none of them could make a run for it.


Sheila has since said Johnny got a pellet gun for Xmas from their aunt. Gotta remember, Sheila was absent from Keddie for a while. The gift Johnny got for Xmas may have arrived while she was gone so she wouldn't have known about it at the time of the interview.

The thing I find interesting is where did the pellet gun go after the crimes and why isn't it listed as one of the items missing from the house?
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby krazykat » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:29 am

I find it interesting too that if Johnny had a pellet gun how would it be used to subdue him or anyone else that had been around it? I had a pellet gun when I was Johnny's age and it looked like a Colt 1911. But it wouldn't have fooled me nor anyone in my family. It wasn't like my Mom or Sisters never saw it. I've been shot with a pellet gun too and I think if someone was holding one on my Mom and Sister I'd jump them.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby meankitty » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:06 am

KrazyKat, this could well be the point at which all hell broke loose in the cabin, when the boys realized it wasn't a real gun the perps had. I have wondered if the ribbon like wounds on Sue's head were from the pellet gun.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby SGRider » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:03 pm

I stand corrected, I wasn't aware Johnny had a pellet gun after all. So now I'll back away from my theory that the killers waved it at them to make them believe it was a firearm. In my mind I was thinking that's what they were using to initially control everyone. But I'm sure everyone in the family would have recognized Johnny's pellet gun. I guess it could have still been used to "pistol whip" them.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby not sure » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:04 pm

I was wondering if the pellet gun could have been used by one of the victims to try to intimidate the perps...like Johnny maybe coming in with it in hand thinking it would scare them off and having that tactic backfire on him? All speculation. Still doesn't explain it's absence from the scene minus it's broken siting.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby Eastern » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:53 pm

not sure wrote:I was wondering if the pellet gun could have been used by one of the victims to try to intimidate the perps...like Johnny maybe coming in with it in hand thinking it would scare them off and having that tactic backfire on him? All speculation. Still doesn't explain it's absence from the scene minus it's broken siting.


I think it's a good possibility, not sure. The boys downstairs in Johnny's room when they heard a commotion or Sue scream; Johnny grabs his gun and they bolt upstairs only to have Marty and Bo realize it's an air gun and they turn it back on the victims. However, Justin did say no one had a gun. Maybe he didn't see that part of what happened?
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby dmac » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:32 am

I'm not at all sold on the idea Johnny officially owned a pellet gun. It's clear that LE continuously asked Sheila about it, multiple times, with the clear answer being "no". She's been peppered with questions about the gun here and on other boards and, from documents related to the case, it's clear LE were also drawing conclusions about the use of a gun, based on the ramp and pellet. How else can we understand the conversation from the "phone interview" (June 4 1981) with Rick and Sheila

Q: Are you sure Johnny didn't have a pellet gun?
A: (Sheila) He didn't have a pellet gun. Mom might have put one on layaway for Johnny, but she didn't pick one up


From my conversations with Sheila, I'm assuming the layaway reference concerned the recent holidays, when Sue and Sheila went to extraordinary lengths securing so many gifts for all the kids- including bicycles for Tina, Rick, and Greg. I've scoured the photos taken at Christmas, and there is no pellet gun to be seen. Johnny, in fact, was glued to his new hand-held video football game. I was, too, that year.

Image
Johnny playing
video football,
Christmas 1980




Sheila has also recently stated that maybe Johnny got one for Christmas from an aunt. To me, it seems logical that Sheila can't recall Johnny having a pellet gun, yet LE badgered her to the point she's no longer sure what she remembers. I believe Sheila simply does not recall Johnny getting a pellet gun or owning one, full stop.

Boys will be boys. Who's to say Johnny didn't have a pellet gun that nobody knew about? I did a fair bit of schoolyard trading as a kid- who hasn't? I'm sure most kids have a few belongings nobody in the family knows of. Johnny could easily have had an air pistol, even through recent acquisition. It may have been Dana's, but I don't see Dana lugging a pistol around Quincy for 8 straight that day.

And was it a pellet rifle or pistol? [note: while I was recently scouring through posts relevant to the Marty Timeline, I thought I saw an LE document claiming they'd determined the broken sight came from an air pistol, and they even determined the brand. As I was delirious from exhaustion at the time, it was likely a dream] I'm not delirious- they determined it came from a Daisy pellet gun (I still can't find a document stating it was a pistol, so consider it a GUN). Keep in mind, from my experience growing up on a ranch with my own Daisy Red Ryder, I must have seen 10 Daisy rifles for every Daisy pistol back in those days. Anyway, the ramp was found in the middle of the floor, between the jacket and Sue and Dana, as far as I can tell. Middle of the living room floor, between the front door and kitchen, the most travelled spot in the entire cabin. No way that was laying there for days. No damned way.



[This photo] again shows another picture of Glenna Sharp. There's a little black object laying on the floor, right underneath the yellow identification board and just to the right of a blue jacket. That object turned out to be a broken front sight off of a pellet gun, a Daisy pellet gun. We've identified the site as being from a Daisy pellet gun, but we haven't found the pellet gun.


[note: I've never seen the photo being described in the above clip. The only shots I have of the area described were taken after the bodies were removed and chunks of blood-stained carpet cut out and taken into evidence. While I see an object that may pass for a gun ramp, my assumption is that the ramp had also already been taken into evidence. Then again, there is plenty of things mentioned as in evidence that are clearly in view in shots taken at the same time. As the clip says, they "later determined", so maybe they hadn't even processed the scene enough to notice the elephant in the room. For the sake of argument and the fact it closely resembles the area I've deduced the ramp was found, here's a shot of the scene, with what may be the ramp circled in yellow:]

Image

It would be far easier to control- much less keep possession of- a pistol in a struggle, particularly in the confined spaces of that tiny cabin. A rifle? Yet there's the continuous uncovering of lies by Dee about the rifle in the car he loaned to Marty- Dee showed LE a rifle he says was in the car, but since when would you trust Dee when he's lied about every damned thing, including the car, rifle, and "attempts" to recover the rifle from Boubede and Marty? Dee says he got the rifle back the morning of the 11th, after directly asking Marty (who denied seeing it), then (days later) Bo, who said he found it and slipped it under his couch/bed so kids wouldn't steal it. That's DEE's version of bullshit. Marilyn said Dee's wife implored her directly for the recovery of the gun, implying Marty and Bo were lying to Dee. Nice bunch of assholes.

I believe the pellet gun played a role in this crime, perhaps even pivotal to the escalation of violence. I cannot believe that the pellet and broken site ramp had been on the floor prior to the murders- Sue was simply too tidy, and with six people running around that cabin- often barefoot- the sight ramp would have been like stepping on shrapnel. It does not fit in the scenario prior to the murders simply because logic dictates it cannot.

All the VICAP summaries state
"There was possibly a pellet gun used as a weapon due to the discover of a broken pellet gun site ramp and a .117 cal. pellet on the living room floor".


Also, there's this, quoted from the document sent by Sacramento to the Director of the FBI on May 13, 1981, re: Tina's kidnapping:

Regarding the .22 caliber pellet found at the crime scene, this was determined to be a true pellet fired from a pellet gun. The pellet is round in shape and does not appear to be obviously misshapen from striking an object, although the possibility exists that it may be slightly out of round indicating it may have struck a soft object which did not leave a hard impression on the pellet. The pellet has actually been determined to be a .177 caliber pellet.


Yes, I believe a pellet gun was used in this crime. If it was brought into play by the boys, it likely helped lead to the escalation of violence- and goes ten miles towards proving the boys were already home, chilling out downstairs in Johnny's room when they heard a struggle upstairs, grabbed the gun, and ran to help. If it was brought by the perps, it not only shows a new level of believable premed (they already had a felony in mind, due to the fact they brought tape to the scene) but a desire to threaten and need to control the scene. Name another possible scenario, because that's all I see at present.

I have not found any wounds in the autopsy reports or diagrams that account for the broken ramp. The Weapon #4 wounds on Dana's head and buttocks were not caused by any firearm barrel. I haven't looked over the files with the gun specifically in mind yet, but Weapon #4 still has nothing to do with a pellet gun. Just thought I'd toss that in since it's come into play.

To assume the ramp and pellet played a part in the crime is very logical. To say they didn't play a part is far closer to wild speculation than saying they did. The perps clearly brought things to the scene, and went both ways with it: they left all (??) weapons they utilized from the cabin behind, yet removed the weapons they brought with them- including the tape and spent core(s). Marty left behind his bloody fingerprints on a glass which Tina had likely washed just hours before. Logic dictates the bloody box, pocket knife, and other evidence seized from the trash can behind the Gen Store likely came from the crime scene, so it seems they were not concerned with HIDING evidence so much as confusing the scene. So many other factors, including the positioning of bodies (including Tina's), indicate muddying the waters was a key objective. Let's look at the pellet gun again: would they take it or leave it at the scene? They left the pellet and ramp, so they were not shifting the scenario either way, just again muddying the waters between actions, intent, and coverup.

The Camels left on the couch where the cushion was taken, and the ashtray on the kitchen floor, indicate the killers were spending time there, not at all concerned with interruption. Not that they were going to take a shower and bake a cake, but time was not a major concern in how this crime went down or played out. The younger boys were under control in the bedroom, everyone else was dead or about to be killed. The configuration / re-positioning / staging of the bodies (particularly Dana who, despite lividity and shifting after the onset of lividity, had clear blood droplets on his pants: which indicate someone was stationary and directly above him, bleeding on him AFTER he'd already had lividity onset and was repositioned... wrap your heads around that one, folks. They had control over this crime scene, and spent considerable time there- and likely away to temporarily hide Tina's body- and then back to do more staging and child control.

OK, sorry, in wrapping up I spewed out a few other things that I needed to say that don't belong on this thread yet have no other home. Too many angles. But, if I forget, remind me to post on how many blood droplets I've found indicating someone was bleeding on, stationary and directly above, the victims. Time for a major blood map overhaul.

Full circle: Until clear evidence dictates the source of the gun, arguing where it came from is moot. You either believe it wasn't involved in the crime or, if it was, you have to assign ownership: did the killers bring it, or did the boys? Proving how it went down and how the gun came into play is a long, hard road. The pellet gun seemingly answers so many questions but, in reality, it's just another piece in the puzzle that directly interacts with thousands of others.

In this puzzle, we barely have a few of the pieces forced together- we're probably all guilty of using scissors to make some fit. We don't even know the size of the puzzle, where the corners or sides are, and we don't have the picture from the box as a guide. Almost every piece of this puzzle changes shape at will. We have no clue how many pieces there are in this puzzle, and we're lucky if we have 10% of the important ones. If we're lucky, we have 50% of that 10% pieced together. Yet we see a pretty uniform roadmap as to how to solve the rest.

Not too shabby, folks. Not too shabby.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby krazykat » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:49 am

See now you've gone and made me even more curious about the pellet gun.

If the killers brought it, I start wondering. They brought a non lethal weapon to a murder? That speaks more of an intent to intimidate, than to kill. And that changes the whole puzzle for me. If your intent was to kill all along why the medical tape and a pellet gun. Why not duct tape and a 45? Or rope and a 22? But medical tape and a pellet gun? That's something you'd bring to scare a couple of kids who saw or did something they shouldn't have and wouldn't go to the police about.

Then too I find it strange that we don't know if Johnny had a pellet gun or not. How could PCSO not know? Boys shoot things, people remember that because they inevitably shoot something they shouldn't.

Plus there had to be like two places to buy a pellet gun in Quincy so if Sue bought it for him wouldn't there be a record of the sale and if his Aunt did, why wouldn't PCSO have asked her. They thought it important enough to ask Shiela about it later why wouldn't they ask the Aunt. Even if it wasn't purchased in Quincy by Sue it would still have to not be impossible find out where it was purchased. 10 rifles to 1 pistol? I grew up in a rural area too and never saw a daisy pistol ever. Everyone I know had Crossman pistols if they had a pellet pistol. You could order a daisy pistol from the local gun shop or coast to coast store but they didn't carry them in stock.

How could they not know where if came from? Unless they did and it was one more loose end that was covered up.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby dmac » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:35 am

There was a gun, it's a moot point. Your bigger question:

Who brought an air pistol to a tape fight?

The killers came with tape and premed, a felony. Why would they bring a gun? Intimidation.
Johnny and Dana didn't walk into this situation mindlessly, did they? just reacting by hearing a struggle, or by walking in accidentally. Unless they knew they were walking in on a problem, why bring an air pistol to what they believed was a struggle upstairs of unkown origin with mom yelling and likely a male voice heard? A struggle isn't just mindless grunts, it's words and screams and hollers.

It still speaks to control by intimidation. Why bring an air pistol to a tape fight? I think your post was half joking, but...

because the air pistol looked kinda real, and a Daisy air rifle ALWAYS looks like a toy that could "shoot your eye out" (Christmas Story). A Daisy air rifle, back then looked like a black tube with a piece of wood stuck to one end, not like a rifle.

As for why PCSO didn't know if Johnny had a gun? I'm not too sure they read that booklet. My sheriff's office certainly didn't ask me to register my Daisy Red Ryder in 1973, when I got it. I was about 7 then, as most kids. You got a pistol if you were much older. Daisy pistols were far more elaborate and costly. I think a rifle cost about half what a pistol did back then. So rifles were kids toys and Johnny had probably outgrown any latent interest in an air rifle.

I absolve PCSO and all stores nationwide of requirements to find the origin of a Daisy pellet gun because a ramp was found at the scene. What I do recall about MY daisy is that the sight ramp was held on by one, maybe two, spot welds about the size of a pinhead. On the higher-end rifle models, it was far more elaborate. And I never saw a Daisy pistol that could make the inexpensive rifles look more pathetic. The pistols were a crude work of art, compared to the pipe/wood/spring configuration of the standard rifle. In other words, the pistols were far more elaborate and well designed.

Even with my cheap Red Ryder rifle, I could not imagine it possible to rip the sight off the barrel by hitting it against anything alive. Yet there it is, on the floor, a Daisy sight belonging either to a pistol or rifle. Were the site dislodged by contact with a body, there would be flesh on it. The sight literally had to be ripped from the barrel. It was knocked and dragged against a hard object, harder than flesh or skull or blue jeans or down vest.

Thankfully, I gave up my life on the wicked ranch, put away my spurs, and used my Daisy Red Ryder rifle to hold up a tomato plant in my garden. I now only have memories of those dusty days, and the never-ending solace of Andy Taylor whispering, "...but don't the trees sound nice and full..."
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby Eastern » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:32 am

I thought Josh mentioned that he verified with Johnny's aunt that she had given him an air gun for Christmas. Josh, what say ye? :-)

My guess is the boys brought the gun to the scene. No way would the dynamic killing duo bring an air gun imo.

It's possible one of the killers thought they were going to cabin 28 to just harass/shake up Sue and the other killer had killing in mind regardless of what they brought along - reason why they only brought medical tape?

Don't forget there was a bloody twisted tissue (like it was used to stop a nose bleed) also found in the trash bin at the store along with the knife and other things. Maybe one of the victims did strike one of the perps or perhaps one of the perps struck the other one. The blood droplets on Dana may be from one of the killers.

It's probably bs that all the blood evidence in the cabin/all of the victims had the same blood type.

-Edited for grammar.
Last edited by Eastern on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby not sure » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:03 am

Sorry to prolong the agony but in looking at pictures of Daisy pellet pistols the majority don't have siting scopes and those that do, look expensive...too expensive for an aunt with a bunch of kids of her own to be able to afford to give a nephew?

Plus, a lot of the 70s models I looked at look like real guns to me. I probably wouldn't have known the difference without touching it or holding it. They actually look rather intimidating. I would have been fooled.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby dcheryl83 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:27 am

If Shelia could verify whether or not their aunt gave Johnny the pellet gun then I we'd have something to work with.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby tinkerbell » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:04 pm

You know I can not remember if my aunt gave it to him or not..
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby dcheryl83 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:12 pm

tinkerbell wrote:You know I can not remember if my aunt gave it to him or not..


Is it something you can ask her?
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby tinkerbell » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:21 pm

yes I will try to ask her
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby dcheryl83 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:17 am

tinkerbell wrote:yes I will try to ask her



Thank you Sheila. I'm sure she's tired of answering question but it would be helpful to know for sure. The Viacap Summaries all say Weapon Recovery: On Premises Weapon: .17 cal.

I know a .17 caliber pellet was found, but now I'm curious as to why the Summaries don't say Pellet. I realize they were done years later and they all are pretty much carbon copies of each other. It's possible they were just being lazy when they wrote them up.
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Re: The pellet gun

Postby Chichibcc » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:24 pm

Yeah, I think it was an error-because I've only heard of a pellet having been found at the scene, not the actual weapon itself.

Doesn't surprise me-not the first time there's been sloppy paperwork as far as this case is concerned.
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