Police: Toddler only witness in cold case double murder - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Toddler only witness in cold case double murder

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

For the Thompson family, photos mean everything. 

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."

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