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What Happened at 924 East Mexico Avenue?

DenverColoradoUnited States

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  • February 12th, 1982

    By Jim Kirksey Denver Post Staff Writer Nov. 27, 2000 - Carol Davis Elvin had a lot going for her in early 1982. She was single, an accomplished and respected artist, still young at 36 with a wide circle of friends, lots of boyfriends and an adventurous spirit. She was described by those who knew her as outgoing, vivacious and articulate. Elvin liked a "good time," remembers a friend and one-time housemate. But there was also a suggestion that she like to put herself in "dangerous situations," and there were hints of drug use, and even drug dealing, after police found her dead at the bottom of the basement stairs of her Platt Park neighborhood home, south of Washington Park, on Feb. 12, 1982. Her head was bashed in and she had been stabbed several times. The 18-year-old murder hasn't been solved, but that doesn't mean the police have stopped looking for her killer. "She was fairly fearless" Joan Bondy, a friend of Elvin's, recently wondered whatever happened to the investigation. Bondy met Elvin in 1978 and they became fast friends because they had so much in common - both were raised in New York state as only children, although Elvin was adopted, both were artists, educated at women's colleges and both were single. Soon Bondy moved into Elvin's home and began learning the art of scrimshaw - the decorating and carving of bones, shells and ivory. "She was more familiar with it and known in the field," Bondy recalled. "She showed me how to do it. It was easy and fun, and we could sell it. She also made prints of work she had done (for sale). "She was a lot of fun to be with because she had a real zest for life. She sometimes liked to get into dangerous situations, which, maybe, was her downfall. But at the time it was fun to hang out with her," Bondy said. "She was fairly fearless." Bondy moved out after about a year, but the two women remained friends. A mutual friend telephoned Bondy at work that February and told here Elvin's body had been found in her home. "Then her friends just sort of got together and we were just stunned. We just stared at each other and asked, "Who could have done such a thing?'- " They had no good answers. Elvin knew so many people, and she dated a lot of men. But, Bondy described them all as "pretty solid characters." Case under investigation Bondy has an interest in forensics and murder mysteries, and stories of murders solved years later always catch her eye. "I just kept coming across the clippings of her murder. I kept thinking one of these days I'm going to call the police department," Bondy said. So she did contact the police about Elvin's case. She got a form letter reply saying that new evidence had been found and the case was "currently being investigated." It turns out the expression "new evidence" was something of an overstatement, but investigators reviewing the case file did discover a rock that hadn't been looked under, a man they wanted Elvin to question. According to newspaper accounts, Elvin's clothed body had been found face down at the foot of her basement steps by a friend. She had suffered multiple stab wounds, but she died from a blow to the head. The murder weapon apparently was a bloodstained cinder block found near her body. It appeared that nothing of value was missing from the home. Valuable pieces of ivory, which Elvin used in her artworks, and appliances such as a television set hadn't been taken. There was no sign of forced entry into the home, and Elvin's dog, a shepherd-mix named Moses, was inside the house with the body. Investigators found $10,000 worth of cocaine and a large amount of cash, said to be $12,000, in a safe-deposit box under Elvin's name. Former Denver police chief David Michaud, then a sergeant heading the investigation, thought the slaying was likely drug-related. Carol Elvin's killer has never been brought to justice. But police haven't stopped trying to solve her murder. Inactive cases reviewed Homicide detectives routinely take inactive cases off the shelf for review, said Lt. Jon Priest, who now oversees the unit. They look for anything that might not have been done in the original investigation, anything that looks like it might be worth doing again, or for pieces of evidence in police possession that might bear a closer inspection with the use of modern technology or techniques - items such as DNA or fibers. "Did we do everything we could have in this case?" is the question the reviews seek to answer, Priest said. "We probably clear two to six cases a year from previous years," he said. A couple of years ago, two old homicide cases - one drug-related and the other a traffic altercation - were cleared as a result of a suicide. A man killed himself with the same gun used to kill the two victims, Priest explained. "A computer system that checks shell casings was able to match the shell casing (from the suicide) with casings from two other homicide cases, one where the dead guy was a named suspect and in the second he was a complete stranger to the case," the lieutenant said. Acquaintance sought in Fla. Detectives conduct these routine reviews by the year. Recently, 1982 came up in the rotation, and Elvin's case file was reopened, Priest said. In the file was the name of an acquaintance that detectives had wanted to question, but couldn't find, 18 years ago. Detectives still want to question him, and they still can't find him. But they've traced him to Florida, and have alerted authorities there in case any contact is made. "He is somebody we certainly want to talk to. His status as a suspect is yet to be determined. In any investigation, until we eliminate somebody, everyone is a suspect," Priest said. "We never close an unsolved case," he said. "There is no statute of limitation on homicide cases." Copyright 2000 The Denver Post. All rights reserved.


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