State To Aid Investigation In Taylor Murder Probe

Springfield police were offered the services of the state's finest crime laboratories Monday in their attempt to solve the baffling rape-slaying of 20-year-old Anita Taylor of 415 Ludlow av.

The offer was made by State Attorney General William B. Saxbe, who said the crime facilities at London's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the facilities at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus were available to local authorities.

Detective Capt. Francis Shaffer said Monday that possible clues in the killing had been sent to the departments and that "it can take from two hours to two weeks" to get the results.

Mrs. Taylor was fatally assaulted either late Friday or early Saturday by an unknown assailant who also beat her 18-month-old son, Aaron Lee. He was "progressing satisfactorily" Monday in Community Hospital, recuperating from bruises and a leg injury.

Questioning and checking leads continued by police Monday as their efforts to solve the killing entered its third day. Capt. Shaffer said several persons have been questioned and police are checking to see where they were Friday night.

"In a case like this, we get a lot of phone calls. Most of the people are trying to be helpful and we check out all possibilites.

"We have questioned neighbors, we have questioned suspicious characters who might be connected—we check out everything—but thus far we haven't come up with a solid lead.

"One such 'suspicious' character, Capt. Shaffer said, "was reportedly at a party Friday night—we're checking his story to make sure he was at the party."

"So far in questioning neighbors, we have turned up no unusual activity in the area, such as a prowler, that would possibly give us a lead."

Clark County Coronor Dr. George P. Anderson reported that Mrs. Taylor's death was caused by aspiration of the blood into the lungs.

Capt. Francis Shaffer said that the death blow was inflicted when the rapist-killer stepped on Mrs. Taylor's neck. A shoe sole mark was found on the neck and the face of the severely beaten woman.

Her husband, W. Larry Taylor, 21, returned home from work at the Robbins and Myers, Inc., plant on Lagonda av. at 1:50 a.m. Saturday. The lights and television were on. He knocked but got no answer. He forced the aluminum storm door and then found his wife lying on her back on the bedroom floor. His son was in a crib in the nursery in another section of the six-room one story house. Mrs. Taylor was dead on arrival at Community Hospital.

Sgt. Marvin Titer and Patrolman Richard Powell of the Bureau of Identification spent Saturday and Sunday collecting material in and around the Taylor home. Much of the material was taken to the police laboratory to be checked for fingerprints. Some items too large to be moved were worked on in the house and photographed.

The next step, Capt. Shaffer explained, is a process of elimination. Each print will be checked against those of persons known to have been in the house as long as two weeks before the murder.

The means by which the murderer entered the house has been a question of discussion. Capt. Shaffer admitted that they did not know yet whether Mrs. Taylor admitted her killer but he pointed out that the killer could have gained entrance to the house the same way Mr. Taylor did.

He went on to explain that the door leading to the living room was a wooden one to which the Taylors had no key, hence it was always open. Only the storm door was locked. The same thing was true of the doors which opened into the bedroom.

When Mr. Taylor forced the door by turning the knob hard and pulling, he did not damage the door, in fact it closed and locked again. The killer could have done the same thing, Capt. Shaffer theorized.

A motive seemed to be lacking, according to the captain.

The house did not show signs of a struggle, Capt. Shaffer said. It was possible, he said, that either the woman became too alarmed to fight or that she may have bargained with her attacker in an effort to save her son. This might be the reason no one heard her scream, Capt. Shaffer said.

Capt. Shaffer said he assumed that Mrs. Taylor and Aaron were both awake when the killer entered the house.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Jackson, Lytle and Coffman Funeral Home with the Rev. Lawrence T. Rugh, pastor of the First Lutheran Church, in charge.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday.

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