Fear Creeps Over Shock Of Springfield Slaying

Young Wife Beaten

A swelling sense of fear has replaced the reaction of shock in this southeast neighborhood at the slaying of Mrs. Anita Taylor.

"I'm scared to death," said a young woman as she stood on the sidewalk glancing at the Taylor home, 415 Ludlow Ave.

"I'm scared, too," said a young girl.

In a market across the street, a woman who lives three doors from the house said she was moving.

Larry Taylor, 21, found his attractive, 20-year-old wife in their bedroom early yesterday when he returned home from work on the night shift at Robbins & Myers, Inc., a manufacturing firm this morning.

Her clothing had been ripped and she was barely breathing. Her face had been severely beaten. Marks on her head and neck showed the outline of a shoe sole. Police said she had been raped.

In another room, the young husband found his 17-month-old son, Aaron Lee, lying in his crib. The boy also had been beaten. He is in satisfactory condition, an aide at Community Hospital said, with a broken hip and severe bruises.

Police Capt. Francis Shaffer said the girl's mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Huffenberg, had been visiting Friday evening and left about 7 p.m.

Capt. Shaffer said the condition of the pool of blood in which Mrs. Taylor was lying suggested the attack had occurred only a short time before the husband arrived home.

He said that questioning of people in the neighborhood had turned up no one who had heard or seen anything unusual. A fire station is two doors from the house.

Capt. Shaffer said the rear door of the small, one-story frame home was ajar. It is now padlocked.

Capt. Shaffer said a co-worker drove Taylor to his house about 1:30 a.m. The husband, finding the front storm door locked, forced the one leading into the bedroom.

On discovering his wife, he ran to a nearby cafe where his fellow worker and another had stopped to cash their pay checks. They returned together and called police to the home.

Only the storm doors to the house were locked. Police surmise the killer found the screen at the back porch open or forced it to get in.

A newspaperboy, Charles Herring, said he frequently had chatted with Mrs. Taylor.

The 14-year-old student at Schaefer junior high said that while collecting last week, he had asked her why the door was locked. He said she told him she was concerned by the strangulation murders in Cincinnati.

He called the couple, "My best customers. They had me paid up three weeks in advance. She was a nice woman. I can't believe it."

"They were real nice kids," said Mrs. Martha Garey, who owns the market across the street with her husband.

"She was over here every day to shop. She would put her boy in the cart and wheel him around. She had just started work in a finance company. She was in her second week."

Outside the market a cluster of women were huddled on the sidewalk peering at the home and talking in subdued tones.

Police recall that 15 years ago, a 20-year-old night switchboard operator was attacked as she waited for a bus at Lexington St., one-half block from the Taylor home.