From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 26, 1973:
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was called in today to help local law enforcement officials in the case of another mysterious slaying in the Ottawa area. 80-year-old farmer J. W. Schoonover had been found shot to death while sitting on a tractor in the machine shed on his farm about five miles southwest of Ottawa. Schoonover and his son in August had discovered and reported a decomposed body in one of the farm's hayfields; the victim in that case had turned out to be a nurse, Mrs. Wilma Jean Willoughby, who had been missing since July 19 and whose car had been found burning in a field in Lenexa. That slaying was still unsolved, as was the earlier triple homicide of Mrs. Hazel Avery of Lawrence, her son Steven Avery of Iola, and Gary Longfellow of Lawrence, whose bodies had been found on March 29 shot to death in a car parked about three miles from the Schoonover farm. Another body had been discovered on April 18 near Garnett in Anderson County, about 25 miles south of Ottawa; the investigation in that case had stalled when authorities had received no response to their publicized description of the victim, a young man of about 18. Authorities were still considering the possibility that a hitchhiker might have been responsible for the various deaths, as I-35 and U.S. Hwy. 59 connected all the points involved.