A first look at the case of a young couple who were slain in Ohio provides clarity. But with a second or third look, confusion begins to creep in. A good starting place is the phone call between an unidentified girl and Johnny S. Clarke, at around 11 P.M. Sunday (January 30th). Johnny was interrupted by someone. The mystery girl heard him say: “Who are you? What do you want? What are you doing here?”
Maggie Cromer, an aunt to Johnny, believes Johnny and Lisa knew their killers or killer. But this line “Who are you?” suggests that Johnny didn’t know the person who surprised him. This is not to say, however, that an acquaintance of Johnny or Lisa didn’t tip this criminal off about the pot of gold available for him.
Two stories posted in the Toledo Blade (Father finds young couple slain, by Jennifer Feehan and David Yonke and Springfield Township slaying were linked to robbery, police think, by Jennifer Feehan) have been valuable and are my primary sources. However, Jane Velez Mitchell’s Issues extended coverage of the case by interviewing Maytee La Cubana Vazquez, Johnny’s mother.
Maytee believes this mystery girl knows more than she is letting on. Her behavior is a little peculiar. That is, from that Sunday night, January 30th. Why didn’t she call the cops immediately, right after she heard Johnny’s confrontation with the intruder? Instead, she drives by Lisa’s house to see if she notices anything out of place.
She? calls a friend to call Johnny’s mother, Maytee Vazquez. When the police did arrive (at Lisa’s house), they interviewed her, and she said the house had been ransacked. Still the police didn’t see probable cause enough to break into the house. How could this girl know the house was ransacked, unless she had been inside? Maytee told Jane, also, the cabinets were opened.
This is proof she had been inside. Who is she? Is she more a friend to Johnny or one of Lisa’s? I heard she was suppose to meet the couple that night. I heard some people were suppose to come over to play some pool. I heard this had already happened a few nights before. Play some pool or do something else?
“Investigators seized a variety of items from the home after the victims’ bodies were found about 3:50 A.M. Monday – cell phones, wallets, articles of clothing, computers, and other items from which they hoped to lift fingerprints.”
This quote from the Toledo Blade fails to mention a few other items that were found on the scene. There were broken cell phone parts strewn around the house. Foreign currency also. The oddest clue of all, a key with the number 544 was beneath Lisa’s body. In the kitchen there were zip-lock bags and other small bags. And scales were found in the kitchen.
These are clues of some kind of drug activity. Not proof of drug activity, of course. The killers must have broke up the cell phones and tossed them around the house, but why? This signals some kind of rage to me. And was robbery their only motive? Not much, if anything, was taken from the house. It appears as if they were searching for cash. Maybe drugs as well.
And what about the manner of the young couple’s death? This has the earmarks (to me) of a very professional and vindictive type of crime. Maytee believes it was premeditated. It looks that way to me as well. Robbery was a cover motive, not the real motive. Hatred and jealousy hits the mark better (for me)!
This case requires careful reconstructions of the timeline. The phones calls, the three police visits, the behavior of the ‘mystery girl,’ the activity of these supposed friends, who came by to shoot pool a few nights before the double murder of January 30th. And why is her identity being sequestered from the public? Getting a good grilling from the police, no doubt!
“Whoever did this was trying to make a statement of some kind.” “These people are demons who did this.” Words said by Maytee Vazquez to Jane Monday night. Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub look like nice kids to me. But, and I speculate, it seems as if they were associated, perhaps indirectly (I don’t know), with some NOT SO NICE KIDS. In my mind, only a career criminal (or criminals) could do this type of thing.