An entire wall in Bambi Thompson's living room is covered with photographs of aunts, grandsons, cousins and one sister, who has been gone for 38 years.
"She didn't even get a chance to know her own kids, you know," Bambi Thompson said, remembering her sister, Delores Thompson.
"This is her wedding day with grandfather right there," said Delores' son, Clark Thompson, as he pointed out a faded photo on the mantle.
Clark Thompson was only 7 years old when his mother was murdered. He has few concrete memories of his mother with him and his siblings.
"The last memory I have of her was two caskets," he said.
Two caskets for two young women; their lives snuffed out on a tree-lined street in north Portland
Investigators say 27-year-old Delores Thompson and 21-year-old Gwendolyn Fulce were best friends.
On Sept. 8, 1973, the father of Delores Thompson's 2-1/2-year-old son came to her rented home on north Ivy Street to pick up the boy. Portland police cold case investigators said the father found the women bludgeoned to death.
The then-child had been left with the bodies -- the toddler was the only witness.
"He was laying on a couch near one of the victims. The victims were in different rooms and unfortunately, the father had to search for his son because his concern was if his son was also a victim," said Portland Police Cold Case Detective Meredith Hopper.
The killer or killers had spared the child, but the Thompson family said their emotional wounds run deep.
"I go through my little, you know, during their anniversaries and Mother's Day and her birthday. I go through little withdrawals from family," said Teresa Tigner, Delores Thompson's daughter.
Police said both women had drug issues, but they don't know if it relates to the murders. Forensic evidence is now being re-examined with new technology. But such an old case presents unique investigative challenges for Hopper, who hadn't been born yet when the crime happened.
"It's also interesting. It's like a history-type of lesson because you kind of get a feel for what was going on at the time and what was going on in their lives at the time," she said.
Hopper said she needs to talk to someone who had a theory about the crime or heard a rumor about the murders that lead detectives haven't followed before.
Delores Thompson's family said they're still haunted by the brutality of the crime.
"How would you feel if your momma didn't make it to 30? Your mother didn't make it to 30," said Clark Thompson. "I just want justice to be served, you know what I'm saying? They took my mother away from me."
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at (503) 823-HELP (4357).
Next week on Fox 12's Most Wanted Cold Case Unit: A 42-year-old Portland man vanishes. Police find evidence of a murder, but no body. That's next Thursday on the "10 O'Clock News."
Friday, May 24 2013 7:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:29:33 GMT
A Fox 12 viewer helped police catch a suspected hit-and-run driver accused of leaving a jackknifed trailer and an injured 72-year-old woman on the side of Interstate 5. Washington State Patrol releasedMore >
A Fox 12 viewer helped police catch a suspected hit-and-run driver accused of leaving a jackknifed trailer and an injured 72-year-old woman on the side of Interstate 5.More >
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:52 AM EDT2013-05-25 05:52:05 GMT
A West Albany High School student is accused of building a bomb with the intent of detonating it at school. The 17-year-old was arrested Thursday night and taken to the Linn Benton Juvenile Detention FacilityMore >
The 17-year-old West Albany High School student was arrested on charges of possession and manufacture of a destructive device.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:33 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:33:41 GMT
A boy was flown to a Bend hospital after investigators said he was accidentally shot by a family member. It happened at 10:40 a.m. Friday on Thicket Lane in the Crooked River Ranch community of centralMore >
A boy was flown to a Bend hospital after investigators said he was accidentally shot by a family member.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:26 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:26:14 GMT
A bridge on Interstate 5 in northern Washington collapsed Thursday evening, sending people and cars into the water. Washington State Patrol troopers confirmed both lanes of the Skagit River Bridge collapsedMore >
Cars crawled through detours Friday afternoon, a day after an Interstate 5 bridge collapsed in northern Washington. PHOTOS l VIDEO | RELATED: Bridge history More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:53 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:53:19 GMT
An historic statue of President Abraham Lincoln was beheaded at Lincoln High School on Thursday night. School principal Peyton Chapman said a few students apparently tried to move the statue from the foreignMore >
An historic statue of President Abraham Lincoln was beheaded at Lincoln High School on Thursday night.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:58 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:58:23 GMT
Unclaimed evidence is among the things you'll find in a huge warehouse in Salem called State Surplus Property. Law enforcement and other state agencies send their stuff there to be sold. "A good majorityMore >
Unclaimed evidence is among the things you'll find in a huge warehouse in Salem called State Surplus Property. Law enforcement and other state agencies send their stuff there to be sold.More >
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denied Friday that he smokes crack cocaine and said he is not an addict after a video purported to show him using the drug. Ford did not say whether he has ever used crack.More >
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denied that he smokes crack cocaine and said he is not an addict, breaking a week of silence over reports of a video purportedly showing him using the drug. Critics were not appeased, with one city...More >