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TV Show Takes the Mystery Out of Unsolved Murder

February 07, 1988|DAVE JOHNSON

It was no mystery to Jerry Strickland and Melissa K. Munday when police showed up at their door in Moses Lake, Wash. Hours earlier they had been watching television as the show "Unsolved Mysteries" mentioned them in connection with the unsolved robbery and slaying of a gas station worker near Pontiac, Mich. Police got about 15 calls from area residents after the program aired, and Officer John Mays and Sgt. Dennis Duke arrived to find the couple waiting for them, Mays said. Warrants charge Strickland, 26, with homicide, armed robbery and fraud, and Munday, 17, was wanted for investigation of a homicide in the 9-month-old slaying. They were held in the Grant County Jail, awaiting extradition. Mays said the couple had been in the Moses Lake area since June, he working at K mart and she at a card shop. The crime victim, gas station courier Elmer DeBoer, was kidnaped and shot twice in the back of the head, and more than $10,000 was taken in the robbery, said Waterford Township, Mich., Sgt. Don Bailey. Munday had been assistant manager at the gas station and Strickland worked at another station, he said.

--Internal Revenue Service agents seized two buses from the entourage of country singer Merle Haggard as it arrived in Santa Rosa, Calif., for two sold-out concerts. But the show went on as scheduled after the IRS released the buses and their contents, which have an estimated worth of $600,000 and were seized for allegedly unpaid payroll taxes. "I didn't even know I was behind," Haggard told a cheering audience. His publicist, Steve Van Stralen, said $81,000 Haggard owed because of an accountant's error arrived by wire.

--Retired Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland addressed about 300 Vietnam veterans in Richmond, Va. The crowd stood and cheered as the former commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam walked onto the stage in the chapel of the Virginia War Memorial, where thousands of veterans were expected for a weekend reunion called "Tet '68: 20 Years, Richmond Remembers." The 3-month Tet campaign by Communist forces pushing into South Vietnam began Jan. 31, 1968. Lt. Gov. Douglas Wilder, a decorated Korean War veteran, introduced the general. "I didn't realize I'd see so many old soldiers," Westmoreland said. "You weren't so old 20 years ago." Participants also released yellow balloons bearing the names of 59 Virginians still listed as missing in action.

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