Wanted: John Dillinger

A 1933 WANTED poster for Indianapolis native and notorious bank robber John Dillinger.

The reward for his capture would double by the following year.

Cold Case: Jerry Michael “Mike” Bayles Jr.

In the early hours of a chilly October morning in 1970, a ten-year-old Indianapolis boy left home to deliver newspapers to his neighbors. Three hours later, his nude body was found discarded along a rural road fifteen miles from his home. He had been stabbed to death.

The events surrounding the murder are as strange as they are tragic. For one thing, the paper route actually belonged to one of Mike’s brothers. Gordon “Bud” Bayles, fifteen, was a delivery boy for the Star but had been employed only about five weeks. According to a statement Bud gave at the time, Mike had volunteered to run the route for him that Saturday. It was a decision that quite possibly cost the younger boy his life.

Shortly before six, a customer toward the start of the route heard the soft smack of a newspaper hitting her porch and then a scream. She looked out her window but saw only the passing headlights of a car. Another customer, William H. Johnson, found the boy’s bicycle and bag when he stepped outside for his paper about half an hour later. A later count of the newspapers in the bag revealed only two were missing, indicating that whatever had happened to Mike must have occurred just after he began the route. The following day, a third witness came forward claiming he’d seen a man dragging a boy into a car at knifepoint in the same location where the bike and bag were later found. The witness said he’d called out to the man, questioning him, but the knife-wielding man had claimed to be the boy’s father. Mike apparently had not contradicted this claim, and the witness did not report what he’d seen until he heard about the murderered child the next day. A polygraph test indicated the witness was telling the truth. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide a good description of either the man he’d spoken to or another, smaller man he thought he’d seen waiting in the car.

Mike’s body was found by a Knightstown farmer later that same morning. Wearing only in socks and left alongside a gravel road, the fifth-grader had been stabbed eight times in the back and abdomen. Although an autopsy would eventually determine he had not been sexually assaulted, police refused to rule it out as a motive. The rest of Mike’s clothes and the weapon used to commit the crime were never found. Since DNA fingerprinting had not yet been discovered at the time, neither the child’s corpse nor the newspaper bag could be tested for trace evidence. (It is unknown whether any forensic evidence was preserved for potential testing in the future.) When a grand jury declined to indict an escaped psychiatric patient for the crime despite a history of sex crimes against minors, Prosecutor Nobel R. Pearcy cited a lack of evidence for the failure.

Anyone with information concerning the murder of Jerry “Mike” Bayles is strongly encouraged to contact Indiana State Police @ 1-765-778-2121 or 1-800-527-4752.

Set Up and Murdered: Dusty Lawrence

Dusty Lawrence, 30, with his wife and child, who were also present at the shooting.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.

On March 28th, Dusty Lawrence, his pregnant wife Betsy, and their daughter, five-year-old Madisyn, left their home in Anderson for a trip to Indianapolis. Dusty intended to meet a potential buyer for some items he’d offered for sale on Facebook Marketplace and took his family along for the ride, hoping to share a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive.

He would never make it home again.

Shortly after they arrived at the 3700 block of Rinehall Drive on Indy’s far East side, Dusty was shot at least once while his family watched helplessly from inside the car. Although he was still alive when police arrived on the scene, the young father later died at a local hospital. Neither Betsy or Madisyn were injured in the attack.

Anyone with information on the murder of Dusty Shane Lawrence is urged to contact IMPD (317-327-3475) or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

This Day in Infamy: 13-yr-old Found Strangled Near Pogue’s Run

March 18, 1986, the body of Dawn Stuard, an eighth-grader at Forest Manor Junior High, was found facedown in the mud along the banks of Pogues Run on the east side of Indianapolis. The location was just seven blocks from her home.

More than twenty-five years later, Paul Reese, Sr. was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering the girl after witnesses and DNA evidence tied him to her killing. At the time of his murder trial, Reese was already incarcerated in connection with a crime spree which had resulted in the shooting of IMPD Officer Jason Fishburn. He was sentenced to an additional sixy years for taking Dawn’s life.

The Suitcase Murder: Who Killed Larry Terry?

Larry Terry was well-liked among his neighbors on the southeast side of Indianapolis. Often seen around the neighborhood where he rented a room, Larry always seemed to have a smile for the people he encountered. It wasn’t until he went missing in March of 2019 that the rumors started. Terry, people claimed, had said someone wanted him dead.

Two months later, his body was found stuffed inside a suitcase less three miles from his home.

On Memorial Day, May 27th, a group of people were walking along the banks of the city’s Bean Creek when they spotted a suitcase in the water. Curious, they opened it and made a horrific discovery — Larry’s remains. The Marion County coroner ruled the 56-year-old had been killed by strangulation.

To this day, his killer remains unknown.

If you have any information about this case, please call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

In Their Own Words: Ricky Hobbs

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“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know Sylvia that well. It was just a casual relationship.”

– Ricky Hobbs describing his “relationship” with Sylvia Likens, the girl he helped torture to death. Among other sadistic acts, Ricky helped brand the words “I’m a prostitute and proud of it” into the girl’s stomach with a needle.

Just The Facts: Larry Eyler

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Name: Larry William Eyler

Known Aliases: (none)

Murder Moniker: The Highway Killer

Date of Birth: December 21, 1952

Claim to Infamy: While in prison for the dismemberment and murder of Chicago teenager Danny Bridges, Eyler confessed to 21 other murders.

Indiana Connection: Born in Crawfordsville, Eyler later lived in Lebanon, Fort Wayne, and Terre Haute. Among other jobs he held, he was a Pinkerton guard at Marion County General Hospital and the manager of a public assistance program in Vigo County. Though he never earned a degree, he attended Indiana State University. Eyler hunted his victims and disposed of their mutilated bodies in several places in the state, as well as in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Current Status: On March 6, 1994, Larry Eyler died in prison of complications from AIDS.

Random Disturbing Fact: In his confession, Eyler named at least two accomplices. They were never brought to justice.

Just The Facts: Herb Baumeister

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Name: Herbert Richard “Herb” Baumeister

Known Aliases: Brian Smart, Brian Stats

Date of Birth: April 7, 1947

Claim to Infamy: Eleven bodies were found on Baumeister’s estate. He also suspected of being the I-70 Strangler.

Indiana Connection: Herb was born and raised in Indiana, where he continued to live and hunt humans until shortly before his death.

Current Status: Killed himself with a single shot to the forehead July 3, 1996

Random Disturbing Fact: Baumeister was fired from a position he held with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for repeatedly urinating in his boss’s desk.

Just The Facts: Charlie Manson

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Name: Charles Milles Manson

Birth Name: No Name Maddox

Date of Birth: 11/12/1934

Claim to Infamy: In the summer of 1969, Manson orchestrated a series of horrific murders intended to bring about “Helter Skelter” – Charlie’s version of the end of the world.

Indiana Connection: While living in an Indianapolis boarding house, fourteen-year-old Charlie was arrested for car theft and was sentenced to Indiana School for Boys.

Current Status: Serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole in Corcoran State Prison in California

Random Disturbing Fact: Manson was sent to his first day of school dressed as a girl because his uncle thought the ridicule it would prompt from other children would force Charlie to become more aggressive.