Monday, October 09, 2017

Mystery Monday: Arlis Perry

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



In celebration of October, my favorite month, I'm tackling especially spooky mysteries. Today's mystery has a bit of a Satanic theme to it.




Arlis K. Perry was a 19-year-old newlywed who had recently moved to California to be with her husband, a pre-med student at Stanford. Just before midnight on October 12, 1974, Arlis and her husband got into an argument about their car's tire pressure. She exited the car and entered the nearby Stanford Memorial Church, saying she wanted alone time to pray.


Stanford Memorial Church

Arlis's husband, Bruce, became concerned when she hadn't come home by 3 a.m. He reported her missing to the police, who checked the church's doors and found everything locked. Just before 6 a.m., a church security guard found Arlis's body near the altar.


Arlis Perry
Her body was positioned in a way that led many to speculate her killing may have been related to Satanism. Her jeans were removed and placed over her legs in the below design:



According to the security guard, soon after Arlis entered the church, he locked the doors. He reported seven people having entered the church that night. One of those seven has never been identified. He was described as a young man, approximately 5'10" in height and medium in build.



Although Arlis's killer was never found, some believe the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) was responsible somehow. Berkowitz mentioned Arlis's murders in some letters. However, investigators interviewed him in prison and said he had nothing to contribute. Arlis's husband was also cleared. Unknown DNA was found near Arlis's body.



Arlis's husband has gone on to an esteemed career working with children who have suffered trauma. He has gained attention for saying ADHD is not a real disease.

Do you think the Son of Sam was connected to Arlis's murder? Or is there another explanation?

24 comments:

  1. First, what husband would just leave his wife at a church at midnight? And not report her missing until three in the morning? I wouldn't leave my wife anywhere alone at that time of night.

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    1. I guess it was the type of fight where pride won out over love? Not a good idea! Incidentally, I think that's what happened with Natalie Wood. He didn't murder her--but he was angry (and drunk) enough to leave her out there.

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    2. Ahhh..but I think he did contribute to her death. I think he may have pushed her and she went overboard. He panicked and left Natalie in the waters to die and there has been a coverup ever since.

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    3. Agree with you about Natalie Wood. He and Christopher Walken will never admit that they ignored her cries for help, but other people heard her.

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  2. Weird story. So sad that it started over a fight about tires. I agree with Alex on leaving a spouse alone that late at night.

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  3. I echo both comments above.

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  4. Hi Stephanie ... strange - and we'll never know ... but it does sound like the Son of Sam - but if you were newly wed - I'd have thought there'd be more care and concern ... as usual - not sure - cheers Hilary

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  5. That's weird. I have to admit, the diagram confuses me more than anything.

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  6. Willy Dunne Wooters and I had a disagreement about putting air in the tires of my car. If anything happens to me, tell the police it was WDW.

    Love,
    Janie

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  7. I don't know what to think about this one. What are your thoughts?
    Welcome back;)

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  8. How stupid for him to leave her alone there in the first place. Did they live close by? How was she supposed to get home? What kind of security guard would lock up the church with people inside?! Where was the security guard when all this happened? Was David Berkowitz in the area at the time? So many questions, eh? LOL!

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    1. I'm with Rita. How could the security guard lock up with people in the church and not find her body until morning? Too weird.

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  9. Who argues about tire pressure??? She was only 19? And went off to pray? And when was Sam in California? So many questions.

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  10. I'm going with the simple explanation and say that the husband had something to do with it.

    Love spooky stories for Halloween!

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  11. I'm betting on the husband. Tire pressure? Really?

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  12. That is really spooky. I haven't a clue. But the husband seems logical.

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  13. I bet they had one of those marriages where people may have had bets on how long they would stay married. I knew a few relationships where they argued pretty heatedly over something stupid and the man left her or she left him in the middle of the night. He thought she would be safe in a church, went home, cooled off and fell asleep...or not. This gave plenty of time for the murderer to do his deed. I wonder why the security officer would leave her in the church? I wonder if there were other murders similar to hers in the state or neighbouring states???

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  14. Definitely the husband and security guard in cahoots ;-)

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  15. I know that was a long time ago and before DNA, but can't they get Berkowitz's DNA from some of the evidence in his other cases to compare? If not him, my money would be on the husband.

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  16. This is so sad! Too bad the husband left her alone!

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  17. From what I know of Son of Sam, he was fond of using guns to kill, so this doesn't really seem like it fits his MO. Maybe he was just using it to spread more fear of himself.

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