Archive for Monday, May 1, 2006

Officers investigate body in burning car

May 1, 2006


The Douglas County Sheriff's Department investigated a mysterious death Sunday after a body was found inside a burning car at Clinton Lake.

Police dispatchers received a call just before 11 a.m. Sunday reporting a four-door vehicle on fire near Rock Creek Boat Ramp on the south side of the lake.

But when sheriff's investigators arrived on the scene, they found a body inside the burning car and launched an investigation that continued at the scene until Sunday evening.

Police Lt. Doug Woods would not comment on the incident, except to say that the investigation was in the preliminary stages.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Kari Wempe said that investigators on the scene couldn't identify the charred body.

"We couldn't even identify what kind of vehicle it was," Wempe said.

The investigation spanned much of the area near the boat ramp Sunday, as officers were seen scanning the woods and fields near the car, which was parked on the edge of the woods away from the road leading up to the ramps.

A tow truck eventually removed the vehicle, transporting it to the Douglas County Law Enforcement Center for examination. There was no indication whether the body remained inside, although officers and other officials on the scene were careful to keep a large tarp draped over the car.

Sheriff's officers also interviewed neighbors in the area during the afternoon Sunday. No one living near the area reported hearing or seeing anything unusual during the morning hours.


Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago

It's just Vito. You will see it soon on TV.

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago

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neopolss 12 years, 1 month ago

Police here are not experienced enough to deal with a case like this. I expect to see much bungling.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if they were killed in Topeka and then dumped here, or if the person drove from Topeka and was killed here.

I bet they arrest someone within a week. This says "crime of passion with hasty disposal". Crimes of passion are easy to solve because you only have to find someone who was passionate about that person in order to have a short list of suspects (spouse, girlfriend, Topekan etc.).

Katie Van Blaricum 12 years, 1 month ago

It's not funny when someone dies, but I'll bet $100 that this case has something to do with someone from Topeka!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

No JPT, I don't think so. As volitile as a rolling meth lab can be, it doesn't explain why someone was found dead in the car. If I'm cooking speed in my van and it catches on fire, I can still get out. It was by a boat ramp. If the guy was alive, he'd just jump in the lake. The reason why the victim couldn't get out is because they were already dead. That's my theory.

formerlyKS 12 years, 1 month ago


Stop being so bitter because you were fired from your job in Topeka! We all know that pathetic little Lawrence couldn't afford to be so snobby if it weren't for the income Topeka provides to your community.

I would be all for your premise to "build a wall at the Shawnee county line." I can assure you most well-to-do Topekans are as sick as Lawrence residents as you are of us. I think it is a fair exchange: stop taking our jobs and we'll stop trashing your community. Of course, that probably means all those McMansions on the west side of town would go into foreclosure and the population of your town would drop back to 25,000 or so.

Also, weren't you the one who was "so sure" that the last bar fight was due to the no-good element from Topeka...when it turned out that the perpetrator was from...Olathe!!! What did JOCO do? Threaten someone with their credit card!

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years, 1 month ago

OK - question from the newbie...

I recently moved to Lawrence from out of state and now work in Topeka. I knew that Topeka was the armpit of Kansas, but what is all of the bad blood about? Reading various posts on LJW over the past few weeks I have learned that Topekans aren't very will liked in these parts. What gives? Is there something I need to know?

formerlyKS 12 years, 1 month ago


I'm not sure how it all got started. I personally think Wichita is the armpit of Kansas, as it is completely flat, all concrete, and very industrial, and polluted.

When I was a college student at KU, I learned real quickly that Lawrence residents hate Topeka, even though most of them are so hypocritical that they actually have the nerve to work there. I think it is a jealously both ways: Lawrence wishes it would have the high paying jobs/employment opportunities Topeka has, and Topeka wishes it had the cultural opportunities available in Lawrence. But, as people have pointed out, quite a bit of the crime in Lawrence has its origins in Topeka. What they fail to mention is that the overall economy of Lawrence is far more prosperous that it would otherwise be without Topeka's dollars.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years, 1 month ago


Understandable. I agree that Wichita is much worse. I know that Topeka is sort of blah (no offense) as far as culture goes, but Wichita is a dump. Thanks for the explanation of the rivalry. I guess I can understand both sides since I live in one of the west side McMansions in Lawrence but work in Topeka. I would apologize for taking a job away from a Topekan, but they couldn't fill the job locally and thus settled for me.

formerlyKS 12 years, 1 month ago


I lived in Kansas for 25 years before I moved to California, and had the opportunity to live in Lawrence, Topeka, and Wichita...and without a doubt Wichita was the worst.

A city of 350,000 which had so little to show for it. Plus, it is a dry climate much like western Kansas, with few lakes, no hills, lots of smokestacks, a bunch of rednecks in their pickup trucks. Let's just say I was really glad to be back in hilly and green Topeka after 2 years in Wichita!!!

So, between KCK and Wichita, I think they are truly the armpits of the larger cities. But in all defense, both Wichita and Topeka have some nice areas in them. I personally always liked the Lake Sherwood area of SW Topeka.

mlemiller 12 years, 1 month ago

So, there are a lot of people in Lawrence who just hate everybody? That's what it sounds like.

Topeka, here I come.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years, 1 month ago

totheright, Let's just say I'm not to the extreme west. I live in a home that is 35 years old and I live between a retired KU prof and a current KU prof. But I am in the westside school districts. Believe me, I'm not one for promoting the growth that is occuring in Lawrence right now. I moved here because I wanted the small college town atmosphere. I guess I should prefer to say I'm central.

formerlyKS 12 years, 1 month ago


I don't think Lawrence is growing that much anymore. The US Census estimates actually showed Topeka gaining more population than Lawrence in the last year or two. Maybe the higher gas prices are having an effect on the commuting contingent? Actually, I'm sure that isn't the case...Joe Sixpack and Jane Soccermom are still buying their HumScalades and boats. Octane 87 gas is now $3.49 here in CA.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes, gas is crazy. Must have been an expensive burn at Clinton Lake yesterday. Hopefully they were smart enough to cyphen the gas out before they burned the car. They could sell it and pay their bond when they get arrested.

formerlyKS 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm just waiting for the housing bubble to bust out here, then I can have all the gasoline (and repossessed vehicles) I want!!! :) After all, as the saying goes, there is no debt a home equity line of credit can't fix!!!

Confrontation 12 years, 1 month ago

A little off topic here...however, does anyknow know anything about the people who live in extreme poverty around the Clinton Lake area? One of my friends is dating a guy whose ex-wife lives in an old school bus in that area. She lives there with her new husband and a few kids. Is this yet another dirty little shame of Lawrence? Has the LJWorld ever done a story on this? Would the McMansion Soccermom's ever feel guilty about this? No likely.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

Valid Opinions:

As you keep reading the Lawrence news, you'll notice a pattern: nearly every murder in Lawrence involves someone from Topeka. That's why we keep bagging on "To-Puke-A". A story reads "Dead man found in street", then the next day the follow up story tells us all what we knew already: dude in street was from Topeka, or shot by someone from Topeka.

Lawrencians party a lot, but we do it without firearms. Topekans party while packing, so stuff happens.

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago

Manhattan is a vile place, the abode of Evil Purple Agriculturalists.

The thing to do is to buy a place out in the country, preferably around Vinland. or even Perry in Jefferson County, and become a rural cosmopolitan, in that you can bounce between Lawrence, Topeka, and all points in between.

The daily drive on 24 is very restful; it's a beautiful road, with pleasant scenery that underscores how sublime it is to live in this part of Kansas.

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago

Yaah! Earnhardt crashed at Talladega! C'mon, Jeff Gordon, baby!

Steve Jacob 12 years, 1 month ago

My question is, the web site was updated about the fire sunday morning, but a guy/gal found dead in a burning car was not? Even the fire story is above a possible murder on the web site now?

bambam 12 years, 1 month ago

I can't beleive most of these post someone died and they have family some of who might read this I can't beleive there is no consideration for family feelings.

I'd be ashamed of my self for such garbage as most of these post. To the family of who ever I am sorry for your loss.

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago


Thanks for reminding us of good manners.

Confrontation 12 years, 1 month ago

Okay, so nobody knows who died, but we should still show our sympathies? How does that work? Dear Whoever, I'm sorry about the loss of Whoever, and hope I haven't hurt Whoever's family's feelings. I hope that works.

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago


One night in '77, a dude next to me in B cellhouse (I was in 125; he must've been in 123) handed me back a stack of "Playboys" I had loaned him previously. He was going through hard times; his wife wrote and told him (he let me read the letter) that she had met a Negro with whom she was moving to Wichita, and that he would never see either her or their four children again in life.

Didn't think anything of it until, fifteen or twenty minutes later, a cop making rounds walked past my cell, then dashed back and demanded a razor blade (we had single-blade razor blades to shave with then). I dug out a blade for him; he called to have 123 opened, and a few minutes later eased my neighbor, dead, the corded sheet still around his neck, in front of my cell. His open eyes looked up at me.

That was just one incident of many that allows me, today, to resist any positive influences.

nitro 12 years, 1 month ago

wonder how the poor guys feel that fond the car

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