The Sims Family Murders, and a Glimpse in the Mirrored Abyss

Posted: August 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

“He who fights monsters should take care that he too does not become a monster—for when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”

I ended a recent blog post with a snarky reference to this quote,
but as it turns out there’s nothing humorous about Friedrich Nietzsche’s warning at all.

Investigators at the Sims crime scene

Investigators at the Sims crime scene

If I may set the scene, last weekend I was scheduled to catch a 7am train out of the city to attend a friend’s nuptials in DC. I got into bed with my laptop around midnight,
intending to spend a few minutes online before lights out;
with five hours sleep I might not lead the Macarena at the reception but at least I wouldn’t pass out face-first into a plateful of wedding cake.

There are a spate of 1960s-era unsolved family murders with which I have an abiding fascination:

The Boles Family in Crestline, California (1965)
The Bricca Family in Cincinnati, Ohio (1966)
The Sims Family in Tallahassee, Florida (1966)
The Robinson Family in Good Hart, Michigan (1968)
The Arellano Family in Loma Alta, Texas (1968)
The Dumler Family in Cincinnati, Ohio (1969)

Although I’m always interested in new developments in these cases I disabled my Google alert for the Sims murders—the erroneous notifications about the Sims computer game cluttered my inbox.
Instead I periodically check the web for updates,
and with a few minutes to kill decided to conduct another quick search before drifting off to sleep.
The facts of the crime, which occurred in Tallahassee on October 22nd, 1966, are as follows:

Dr. Robert Sims

Dr. Robert Sims

Dr. Robert Wilson Sims, age forty-two, was the Director of Data Processing for the Florida Department of Education;
his wife, often described in newspaper accounts as “attractive, auburn-haired Helen Sims,”
age thirty-four, was a former
secretary at Tallahassee’s First Baptist Church.
On this quiet Saturday evening the couple
and their youngest daughter Joy Lynn,
age twelve, were home in their modest brick ranch house
at 641 Muriel Court Drive; their two older daughters Virginia
and Judith Ann were babysitting nearby.
The Sims were a close-knit, religious family;
even under the microscope of a homicide investigation
detectives never unearth any improprieties in the Sims’ lives or background.

“These are highly respected people. There are just not any finer folks in town.” Leon County Deputy William P. Smith, The Chicago Tribune, October 25th, 1966

At approximately 11:15pm the Sims’ seventeen-year-old daughter Virginia (misidentified in early newspaper articles as Norma Jeanette, shortened in subsequent accounts to Jenny or Jeannie) arrived home to an abattoir;
her parents and little sister had been herded into the master bedroom and slaughtered.

Dr. Sims, attired in trousers, a sport shirt, socks and shoes,
was lying atop a flowered bedspread on the couple’s king-sized bed; he’d been shot once in the head. His wife and daughter lay at an angle on the room’s beige carpet.
Mrs. Sims, SIMSHELENbarefoot in pink slacks and a blouse,
had been shot three times,
twice in the head and once in the leg;
Joy Lynn, clad in her nightie,
had been shot once in the head and stabbed six times in the torso
with a large hunting or butcher knife.
All three Sims had been trussed and gagged with household items—variously described as neckties, socks, hosiery or lingerie—and both Dr. and Mrs. Sims had been blindfolded. (Some newspaper accounts state Joy Lynn was blindfolded as well, others imply that she was not.)

“Something terrible has happened, please come.” Virginia Sims’ plea to the ambulance service, The Anniston Star, October 24th, 1966

When Virginia entered the master bedroom both Dr. and Mrs. Sims were still alive, although barely. She immediately called the Bevis Funeral Home
for an ambulance, as was the (distinctly odd) custom in
Tallahassee at the time; proprietor Russell Bevis raced
to the scene with his son Rocky, then age sixteen.
Dr. Sims expired shortly after the Bevises’ arrival, but Mrs. Sims was transported to the hospital where she was kept under guard. Little Joy Lynn had been killed instantly.

“There was money in the house. It had not been touched.” Leon County Sheriff William Joyce, The Holland Evening Sentinel, October 24th, 1966

SIMSJOYLYNNThere was no evidence of forced entry at the Sims residence
and nothing of value was missing—small sums of money were visible on the dresser and an expensive coin collection lay intact in a bedroom drawer.
The only neighbor who’d noticed anything amiss was a Muriel Court resident
who’d heard high-pitched screams at 10:45pm—attributing the clamor to frolicking children, the neighbor failed to contact police.

“Not so much as an ashtray had been moved as far as we can tell.” Leon County Sheriff William Joyce, Tucson Daily Citizen, October 24th, 1966

The first lawman on the scene was Larry Campbell, an investigator
whose fifty-year career in Florida law enforcement
would culminate in several terms as Leon County Sheriff;
at the time of the Sims murders
he was the twenty-four year old lead detective on the case. As was par for the course in the 1960s, Campbell failed to secure the crime scene—nearly a thousand people tromped through the Sims home in the hours after the family was slain.

“They went in and made coffee. It was probably textbook ‘what you shouldn’t do.’” Rocky Bevis, first responder at the Sims murder scene. WCTV Tallahassee, April 28th, 2015

At Tallahassee Memorial hospital Mrs. Sims’ prognosis was grim—one of the bullets in her brain was too deeply lodged SIMSJUDITHANNATHOMEto be extracted and she was placed on a respirator. As armed guards stood deathwatch local businesses did a brisk business in security accoutrements
and guns of every caliber; the seemingly random slaughter of the respectable,
well-liked family incited a community panic.
Though the sentiment may be trite, the substance is true:
to this day, many natives cite the Sims murders as the moment the city of Tallahassee lost its innocence.

“We woke up one morning and all of the sudden we were in an evil world.” Current Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood, describing the effect of the Sims murders on the community. WCTV Tallahassee, April 28th, 2015

Mrs. Sims lingered for nine days, never regaining consciousness; on October 31st, Halloween, she joined her husband and youngest daughter in death.
Unsettled by the killer in their midst,
city officials took the unprecedented step of canceling
trick-or-treating; in the aftermath of the Sims murders the holiday’s faux-fright was superfluous—genuine terror stalked the streets of Florida’s capital.

“This Halloween 1966, the night of spooks and goblins, will be one which the children and grown people of Tallahassee will not soon forget . . . one when the game of fear became a stark reality.” Reporter James Williams, Tuscaloosa News, October 30th, 1966

The investigation slogged onward. The Sims’ social circle was interviewed,
nearby woodlands searched and a pond behind the home drained—-nothing of evidentiary value was discovered. Grasping at straws,
detectives tracked down patrons
who’d borrowed In Cold Blood  from Tallahassee library,
theorizing the crime may have been inspired
by Capote’s masterpiece. All avenues of investigation, both literary and conventional, led nowhere.

“Everyone was identified and checked out including three men from Wyoming who had been here to see Sims, the piano tuner, the Fuller Brush man and the maid.” Leon County Sheriff William Joyce, The Anniston Star, November 12th, 1969

Crime scene model illustrating the position of the Sims' bodies

Crime scene model illustrating the position of the Sims’ bodies

The murders had occurred at a particularly inopportune juncture; an FSU football game and the North Florida Fair had summoned hundreds of strangers into the community in the hours before the crime.
This profusion of potential suspects slowed the investigation but local gossips—untroubled by such technicalities as evidence or probable cause—had already settled on a scapegoat of the homegrown variety:
Helen Sims’ former boss, Pastor Cecil Albert Roberts.
Mrs. Sims had resigned from her job at First Baptist only days before the crime
and C.A., as he was known, had a reputation as a ladies’ man.
To town gossipmongers the Pastor’s roving eye and the timing of Mrs. Sims’ resignation seemed portentous; when Pastor Roberts had the audacity to call Mrs. Sims by her first name while officiating at her memorial service the rumor mill began to churn apace.

Pastor C.A. Roberts

Pastor C.A. Roberts

C.A. Roberts, however, had an airtight alibi for the night of the murders:
as the FSU team chaplain his appearances in the game’s film coverage
were myriad—detectives calculated the Pastor lacked time between cameos to slip away and commit the crime.
Furthermore, investigators were unable to unearth any evidence
of an affair between the Pastor and Mrs. Sims—-by all accounts Dr. and Mrs. Sims were inseparable.
Not so easily cowed by facts and the laws of physics,
local busybodies continued their campaign of slander; Pastor Roberts soon resigned and left town, his career in shambles.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that C.A. had nothing whatsoever to do with (the murders); he was just a victim of circumstances and his own foibles.” Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, The Tallahassee Democrat, October 23rd, 2011

The day after the murders a woman attempting to place a phone call on a party line accidentally heard snippets of a stranger’s conversation.
“Mother, I have just done a horrible thing; I have killed three persons,”
a young man intoned with oddly precise diction.
With the rudimentary technology of the time the telephone company could only ascertain the call had originated
from one of two hundred lines in Brevard County, approximately a five hour drive south of Tallahassee.
Although some media accounts claim the inadvertent eavesdropper also heard information known only to the slayer
this detail is unconfirmed,
and the crossed party line is rarely mentioned in contemporary accounts of the crime.

“We’ve ruled out robbery. I’ve definitely ruled out actual robbery and sexual assault.” Leon County Sheriff William Joyce, St Petersburg Times, October 26th, 1966

Dr. Sims body removed

Dr. Sims’ body removed

A schism began to form within the investigation: Sheriff William Joyce was adamant lustmord played no role in the murders, but Ed Yarborough, director of the Florida Sheriff’s Bureau (now the FDLE) disagreed, telling The Palm Beach Post  the crime was “the work of a sexually deranged person, a sex maniac.” Interestingly, Leon County investigators maintained the murders lacked a sexual element for decades,
yet a 2006 article in the Ocala Star Banner  revealed Joy Lynn’s panties had been pulled down and (unspecified) indicia of molestation were present.
The reason for this discrepancy is unknown.

“There are many types of perverts.” Ed Yarborough, Florida Sheriff’s Bureau, The Palm Beach Post, October 25th, 1966

SIMSMOBILECRIMESCENEUNITWith financial and romantic entanglements eliminated as motives the investigation into the Sims’ murders stalled. The last investigatory lead of note occurred in 1980, when Leon County Sheriff Ken Katsaris announced he was reopening the case; acting on a tip, Sheriff Katsaris learned a death row convict in another state had Florida ties—the man was known to the Sims and the murder(s) for which he’d been condemned were akin to the Sims murders. “I saw similarities in the crimes, both of them seemingly senseless, without motive,” he told a reporter from The Sarasota Herald Tribune. The Sheriff declined to name the convict in question or give any other identifying information, however, and the lead apparently came to naught.
The Sims’ murders remain unsolved, a blight on the reputation of Tallahassee law enforcement.

“It still kind of depresses me after all these years; I didn’t feel like myself all day.” Tallahassee Police Chief Robert Maige upon revisiting the crime scene. Sarasota Herald Tribune, October 29th, 1973

And here the verifiable history of the Sims murder investigation ends,
yet our blog post is just beginning:
Come, dance with me on the edge of a libel lawsuit; I promise I won’t let you fall.

SIMSFAMILYLEAVESFUNERAL
In many ways the Sims murders are incestuously entwined with the career of Larry Campbell, first detective on the scene and subsequent long-term sheriff of Leon County.
A strident voice in all facets of Sims media coverage during his reign,
Sheriff Campbell claimed to be haunted by the murders and often cited his failure to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice as his greatest regret after five decades in law enforcement.

“I’ve seen some terrible things in 45-plus years of law enforcement, but I can see Joy’s eyes as clear today as I sit here talking to you.” Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, Sarasota Herald Tribune, November 13th, 2006

Though he lacked sufficient evidence for an arrest, over the years Sheriff Campbell made no secret of the fact he’d developed two prime suspects in the crime:
a local teenaged couple I shall not identify for reasons both legal and moral.
The Female Suspect, then nineteen, was the daughter of a janitor at Florida State University.
The then twenty-year old Male Suspect, son of a famous FSU criminology professor, dwelt on the street behind the Sims home.

The placement of Male Suspect’s residence is significant as investigators had long theorized
the assailants approached from the woods behind the Sims house—rear entry would explain why Muriel Court neighbors saw neither visitors nor unfamiliar vehicles the night the Sims were slain.
The existence of two perpetrators also comports with initial theories:
the identical granny knots which bound the victims were tied so tightly
investigators doubted the family had tied each other at gun point.
(Although it’s certainly possible the family was forced to bind each other and a lone assailant then retied the knots à la EAR/ONS.)

“There is no apparent reason why the Simses should have been targeted. It was a very middle-class, church-going family.” Henry Cabbage, Tallahassee author and historian, The Tallahassee Democrat, March 11th, 2015

SIMSHOMECROPPEDAccording to neighborhood scuttlebutt the suspect couple were odd,
although the depth
of this purported
deviance varies upon
the telling.
The pair reportedly
had an interest
in funeral homes
and necrophilia,
and Female Suspect
was said to
have closely followed
Sheriff Campbell
as he investigated the crime, dogging his every move.

“She had a fascination with death and funeral homes.” First responder Rocky Bevis describing Female Suspect, WCTV Tallahassee, April 28th, 2015

In Sheriff Campbell’s estimation the motive for the Sims murders was paraphilia—Male Suspect was sexually fixated on Joy Lynn, the Sheriff believed.
Several posters on various Tallahassee- and crime-related message boards
have further claimed Male Suspect was on the cusp of being arrested for molesting Joy Lynn shortly before the crime,
but these allegations lack supporting evidence
and no mention of prior sexual abuse is extant in any legitimate news source.

“[The circumstances of the crime] would lead you to believe it was pretty well thought out; it wasn’t something spur of the moment where someone said ‘Let’s go kill three people.'” First responder Rocky Bevis, Tampa Bay Times, November 12th, 2006

A curious state of affairs, certainly;
during the initial investigation Leon County authorities had vehemently denied any implication of sexual deviance,
and then nearly a half-century later we learn Joy Lynn had been assaulted
and a neighbor allegedly harbored a predilection for necrophilia.
To conspiracy-minded armchair sleuths this contradiction can mean only one thing:
a cover-up,
possibly at the behest of Male Suspect’s father,
a nationally renowned criminologist and FSU bigwig.

Although I’m generally not a proponent of conspiracy theories
I will say the investigation into the Sims murders was particularly abysmal,
and I’m not solely referring to the horde of looky-loos high-stepping
through the crime scene—as appalling as such gore tourism seems in hindsight, such behavior was common at the time.

Crime scene photo of the Sims living room

Crime scene photo of the Sims living room


“Neurosurgeon Says Attack Victim Has No Chance of Recovery.” Headline, The Palm Beach Post, October 29th, 1966

The nine days Helen Sims lingered on death’s doorstep were a wasted opportunity—from the moment she entered Tallahassee Memorial authorities broadcast the irreversible nature of her vegetative state.
Leaked erroneous reports of Mrs. Sims’ recovery would have furnished an effective pressure tactic
and interrogation tool—the belief Mrs. Sims was up and talking may have caused the assailant(s) to flee town
or confess in a bid for leniency.
Yet if such a strategy was employed I can find no evidence of it.

A mere three years after the crime, in 1969,
then-Leon County Sheriff William Joyce told a reporter from The Panama City News Herald  the crime would never be solved unless the perpetrator(s) confessed.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a law enforcement agency give up on solving a major crime so quickly—whether this premature surrender was prompted by incompetence or malfeasance is impossible to say.
I do know the perpetrator(s) had to be sleeping easier knowing the Sheriff’s Office had so readily admitted defeat.

Sims living room, alternate view

Sims living room, alternate view

Yet these tactical missteps pale beside the deathblow inflicted on the investigation in 1987; the power to solve the Sims murders was within Sheriff Campbell’s grasp
and he swatted away the opportunity like a Florida mosquito.
Male and Female Suspect married and left Tallahassee after the murders,
but after their subsequent divorce
Female Suspect contacted Sheriff Campbell and requested an interview.
During the interrogation, which was taped,
Female Suspect allegedly admitted visiting the Sims home the night of the murders
but claimed to have no memory of the event—she instead proffered a version of the crime that had come to her “in a dream.”

“He was very, very close to getting her to admit to something.” First Responder Rocky Bevis, speaking of Female Suspect. WCTV Tallahassee, April 28th, 2015

Author and historian Henry Cabbage procured a copy of the interrogation tape from Sheriff Campbell,
and earlier this year played excerpts
during a presentation on the Sims murders at the Tallahassee Historical Society.
On Tallahassee-O, a website dedicated to documenting corruption in Florida’s capital,
an attendee of the Historical Society event claims Female Suspect’s “dream” recollections include the following statements:

     “I went in there and looked at that body.”

     “My God that kid with her clothes off lying on that floor . . . my God!”

     “How could he be turned on by something like that?”

     “How could he be interested in that ugly little girl?”

     “I was looking at the kid lying on the floor.”

Then, after hours of foreplay, the investigatory version of coitus interruptus:
after the recitation of the “dream,”
Female Suspect asks Sheriff Campbell what will happen if she admits to being in the Sims home
during the commission of the crime
and the Sheriff—a man with more than two decades of law enforcement experience at that point—tells the suspect teetering on the edge of a confession she’ll go to jail.

“You only get one shot in this kind of a case; I’m certain I have talked with the perpetrator many times, and it’s just a case of who gives in first.” Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, The Tallahassee Democrat, November 21st, 1999

In my forty-plus years on this planet,
during my three years of law school,
after reading hundreds of true crime books and watching more episodes of Cops  than I care to admit
I have never, ever heard a law enforcement officer so blatantly scuttle an interrogation.

For the uninitiated, although police officers aren’t allowed to lie about offering immunity the constitutionally permissible answers in such situations are:

     a) I don’t know what will happen if you admit to being in the house; I’m a cop, not a lawyer. Besides, I don’t even know what you’re going to tell me—I’ll need more information before I can give you advice.

     b) I don’t know what will happen, but I do know that whoever participated in the crime needs serious psychological help, and the best way for you to get that help is to tell me everything.

     c) Criminal charges are within the purview of the DA’s office, not the police department; but if Male Suspect committed this crime he’s a homicidal maniac and you and your family are in grave danger. The best way for you to get the protection you need is to tell me exactly what happened.

Not only did Larry Campbell act like he’d never conducted an interrogation before,
he acted like he’d never even seen a police procedural on television.
Even if feeblemindedness prevented him from successfully skirting the constitutional issues
he should certainly have contacted the district attorney
and brokered a plea deal for reduced charges in exchange for Female Suspect’s testimony.
Such agreements are commonplace;
for Sheriff Campbell to imply leniency in exchange for cooperation is an impossibility is ludicrous.
If a conspiracy to protect Male Suspect from prosecution exists,
Sheriff Campbell’s inexplicable behavior during Female Suspect’s interrogation is the best supporting evidence.

“I’ve done everything I think I can do; the big frustration is that I feel very confident that I know who did it.” Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, Tampa Bay Times, November 12th, 2006

Virginia Sims' bedroom

Virginia Sims’ bedroom

Although the details of the crime and botched investigation have been known to me for some time the cursory search for new information I performed the night before my friend’s wedding
divulged a new fact—two new facts, actually.
For the first time ever certain message boards have published the suspects’ real names, and . . .I . . .was . . .off.

“My attorney said, ‘You gathered all this through public records; (the suspects) are named in public records.'” Author and historian Henry Cabbage on his rationale for publically naming the suspects, The Tallahassee Democrat, March 11th, 2015

My early morning obligations forgotten I began scouring the web,
snatching facts and minutiae like a grocery shopper prepping for a Panhandle hurricane.
I began my research with Male Suspect’s father Famous Criminologist,
curious as to whether an academic could possibly have had sufficient clout to quash a murder investigation.
A brilliant and progressive man,
Famous Criminologist is quoted extensively in mid-century court cases and penal publications;
the textbook he authored was the gold standard for an entire generation of law enforcement professionals.
As I pored over old court decisions and newspaper articles
I gleaned no insight into whether or why his son may have murdered the Sims,
but I did learn Famous Criminologist was a revered figure—having such an esteemed scholar at FSU must’ve been considered quite a coup for the University.
The existence of a conspiracy to shield Male Suspect from prosecution no longer seemed farfetched.

Famous Criminologist died in 2001, and the date of his death holds some significance:
in a 1999 Tallahassee Democrat  article journalist Rosanne Dunkelberger
describes Sheriff Campbell as being “coy” about the identity of the suspects,
but in the next chronologically available article—published in 2006—the Sheriff provides enough biographical details to make the suspects’ identities plain to Tallahassee natives.
There was no radical change in libel laws between 1999-2006;
I can’t help but believe this loosening of Sheriff Campbell’s lips was occasioned by Famous Criminologist’s passing.

As the minutes turned to hours I shifted my focus to the suspects themselves.
Both have since remarried and live in Florida, although neither resides in Tallahassee.
I secured Female Suspect’s new married name through Intelius
and then discovered her LinkedIn page and voter registration status.
Property records are public so I found her address and gawked at her home on Trulia.com.
I don’t know what I was looking for—no one confesses to murder on their LinkedIn page—-but by god I was looking.

Both Male and Female Suspect are in their dotage now,
and like many of their ilk their cyber-footprints are faint and far between.
Despite spirited digging I was unable to determine Male Suspect’s profession,
but I ogled his domicile on Trulia and found the obituary of his second wife, a factory worker.
As was the case with Female Suspect
I can find no evidence Male Suspect has ever been arrested;
the sole blot on his record is a $145 speeding ticket from 2004, which he promptly paid.
Further exploration led me to an obituary for his grandson, killed in a vehicular mishap at the age of twenty-two;
the two were apparently close—at the time of Grandson’s death they’re listed as residing at the same address.

According to The Tampa Tribune, Grandson was driving his motorcycle recklessly when he lost control
and crashed into the side of a pick-up truck—a very Florida death,
or so it struck me at the time.
Like Helen Sims, Grandson lingered long in the hospital, two weeks to Mrs. Sims’ nine days.
Unlike Male and Female Suspect information about Grandson is plentiful on the web,
and it’s here my digging took a decidedly unpleasant turn—Florida Sunshine laws are my crack cocaine, apparently.

Crime scene photo of the Sims' bedroom (apologies for the poor quality)

Crime scene photo of the Sims’ bedroom (apologies for the poor quality)


Grandson, described by friends as a “St. Pete legend,” had an extensive arrest record,
boasting three different mugshots and twenty-seven legal entanglements since 2003, beginning at age twelve.
Although most of the offenses are minor two of the arrests were domestic violence-related,
pertaining to two separate victims,
one nearly twice Grandson’s age.

At this point I have no idea what I was looking for—perhaps an indication Grandson’s criminality could somehow be linked to Male Suspect—but any concrete ties to the Sims murders had evaporated long ago.
And yet still I panned for data in cyberspace,
certain the next link I clicked would harbor the information I so desperately sought,
whatever that information might be.

A Facebook memorial page has been created in Grandson’s memory
and I read each and every comment, mentally correcting the posters’ spelling and grammar as I scanned the page.
I then unearthed a memorial YouTube video:
a fellow biker does nothing but rev his engine until it belches black smoke,
poisoning the ozone layer in Grandson’s memory.
As the video ended and I scrolled down to read the comments I remember thinking to myself,
“That’s the Florida effect for you—in three generations Male Suspect’s lineage went from esteemed Ph.D. to wife-beating hillbilly . . . .”

And as I completed that thought a noise outside my window startled me—it was birdsong, I realized.
Morning had dawned, and my 5am alarm was scheduled to go off any minute.
As I began to scramble out of bed a wave of revulsion washed over me:
what the holy hell had I been doing all night?

The Sims house in 1966

The Sims house in 1966

“In those days, we didn’t have the scientific capabilities (to examine evidence) we do now. If this happened now we’d have somebody in jail tomorrow.” Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell from a 2011 interview, Tallahassee Democrat, March 11th, 2015

Any big breakthrough in the Sims case will come courtesy of technicians in a forensic lab, not via a blogger gawking at the suspects’ houses on Trulia from a thousand miles away.
A spokesperson for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office claims the crime scene evidence is regularly resubmitted for testing,
and Sheriff Campbell died last year;
if a conspiracy to shield Male Suspect existed—and there is a fair amount of evidence to suggest one did—the Sheriff was the last remaining link.
Perhaps his passing will be the break the investigation needs.

“We’re not giving up on the case.” Sergeant James Tyson, head of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office’s Violent Crime Unit, speaking of the Sims murders. Tallahassee Magazine, May-June 2015 edition

Even if Male and Female Suspect are guilty—even if they went on to become the most prolific serial killer team in Florida history—I’m not going to see bodies buried in their basements on Google street view.
More importantly, regardless of his grandfather’s guilt or innocence
Grandson has no culpability in the Sims case whatsoever—-he was born twenty-six years after the crime.
To snigger at a dead twenty-two year old’s ill-chosen tattoos and extensive arrest record
is crass bordering on sociopathic.
I was horrified;
while I was looking into the Sims murders the abyss was looking into me,
and the elitism and malevolence I saw there appalled me.

“The worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself.” Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

I had a terrible time at my friend’s wedding, incidentally,
too exhausted from my long night violating the Suspects’ privacy to do anything but sit slumped on the sidelines.
Now every time I see a photo of myself at the ceremony
looking like hot buttered death
it will be a reminder of the ugliness I saw peeking back at me from the mirrored abyss.
Solving the Sims murders may be above my paygrade but being respectful of other people isn’t.
The monster I should be hunting is the one that lives in my own psyche.

The Sims house today

The Sims house today

Comments
  1. That initial fear passed, but I would imagine that the people who lived in the city when the Sims were murdered never looked at the world in quite the same way again. The perfect crime all done by removing the ladders out the pool.

  2. taffy550 says:

    LOL I came across this blog when I was google searching for new way to kill my sims. The article was intriguing, but this comment made my day. lmao/

  3. Pam Bohlen says:

    I was friends with Joy. My friend Veronica and I were going skating that night at the Armory. We invited Joy to go with us and spend the night afterwards. Her mom and dad said no because she had to go to Church the next morning. It is one of those “if only”. So sad, I still think about her every so often and wish things would have been different. It did truly change the way people in Tallahassee saw life and an event that will always be in our mind anbd hearts. I only pray that one day they will solve this horrible event and finally get the closure that the family deserves.

    • Anonymous Anonymous says:

      How old was the criminology professor in 2001 when he passed? 65? 70? 80?

      Has anyone entertained the thought that the renouned professor was the murdeter. That the cover up or conspiracy was to protect him? (Knowingly or unknowingly)

      If he was that smart perhaps he could 1) get away with murder, 2) know people mighr suspect his son – or even point in that direction if necessary (knowing evidence would never be found or linked to his son …legally), 3) have just enough clout and or pressure to intimidate anyone who would actually start investigating his son 4) intimidate others and their career advancements in Law Enforcement – knowingly or unknowingly; leaving them incapable of ever conducting a proper investigation of him or his son due to fear of ruining their careers if wrong OR just unable to PROVE anything prosecutable.

      Also, he would have known the Sims …board of education. He may of been allowed inside. No forced entry. As reported.

      Perhaps Joy’s clothes were only staged. In attempt to lead investigators to a pedoohile or …weird son.

      How old was the professor in 1978? Was he still teaching at FSU?

      The female’s so called half confession after a recent divorce …may have been nothing more than

      • I saw you under the street light says:

        Hi Vernell

      • Vernon Fox says:

        Mary Charles LaJoie was trying to use her Psychic powers to claim the reward. My scheduled alimoney payments had ended, and she needed money. It did not work because Larry knew that she and I were at a lovers lane at the time of the murders. She let me out of her car on Gibbs near Stiles at 11:07 PM on the night of Oct 22, 1966 (and I can testify to that in court because I looked at the clock just before I got out of the car). I started walking home, and a Dodge Valient with three white men in it stopped, opened the rear passinger door for me to get in, and then realized that i was not the man they were looking to pick up, and then drove towards Tharpe on Gibbs. I can testify to seeing that in a court of law, and there will be no evidence to the contrary because it is true. That happened at around 11:10 PM. Also I arrived home at 11:15 PM that night. I looked at the clock on our stove, so I can also testify to that. It is not possible to refute that in a court of law because it is true. These facts alone make it impossible to establish even the most basic case against either Mary Charles LaJoie or Vernon B Fox, Jr. let along both of us. Nobody reccalls that Dr. Fox was an assistant Warden and Prison Psychologist at the State Prison of Southern Michigan. He has no experience in law enforcement, crime scene investigation, or detective work. He was a Corrections and Treatment expert. People know he was a Criminologist, but do not remember his area of expertise.

      • Vernon Fox says:

        My dad did not have access yo s .38 and neither fid I. That alone makes it impossible for either of us.

    • Leilani Aletras says:

      My mother always talked about that “if only” fact.

  4. Always Connected says:

    I saw you under the street light – looking at the house. I know you remember.

    • Vernon B Fox, Jr. says:

      I had no idea of the meaning of this comment. It seems that Mary Charles made statements that I did such stuff. It is not true, and has no basis in fact. The undercover dog patrols would have caught anyone who roamed our neighborhood at night. Nobody was caught roaming our streets at night. Nobody stood under a street light. It is just made up nonsense. Perhaps a character in a TV show did such stuff. People treat this like I was a character on a TV show. I am not. I am a real person.

      If I could slip into your house at night through locked doors, murder everyone in the house, and slip away without a trace like a super criminal, then people would be more cautious about what they say, But their actions tell us that nobody believes that I am such a dangerous criminal.

      • Linda L. Lawrence says:

        I lived on the corner of Gibbs and Hagan, I was home that night with the maid and my baby sister. We all heard the gun shots. My father was Sgt. Perry R. Lawrence, Jr former Leon County Sheriff Department. I have compiled a list of interrogatories for you since you decided to open your big fat mouth after 50 *ucking years of silence. … and that is my “first” question Mr. Intelligent. What you running your mouth for now, where have you been for the past 50 years smart ass. What the hell do you know about the God Damn Mafia. Tell it , start talking, we hear ya@!

  5. Vernon Fox says:

    My grandson’s juvenile and reform school records were not very different from my dad’s records. It is just that Dr. Fox’s records are not readily available on the internet. Another thing that they had in common was Dr. Fox’s real father met him while Dr. Fox was in reform school, but my grandson’s father remained unknown in spite on multiple attempts at DNA matching. So it is more like things came full circie. Those who believe Dr Fox influenced the investigation are wrong. He couldn’t even save himself from DUI convictions.
    The night of Oct 22, 1966, MaryCharles (yes it is pronounced as if it was one name) picked me up at the nearby park (my parents did not allow me to see her). We went to a movie and then to a lover’s lane where we had sex in the front seat of her mother’s car. She drove up Tharpe Street and turned North on Gibbs. She let me off at Stiles at a little after 11:00 PM, and i started walking home.
    I had walked about a half of a block when i saw a car on Gibbs that was about 4 bloxks north from me. It came slowley towards me. When it got close to me, the 4-door Valient stopped and the right rear door was opened for me to get in. I saw 3 white men in the car, but it was dark and i was frightened. Someone said “Wrong one, not him.” The door closed and the car drove away. I could not have identified anyone. I walked on home.
    The next morning an investigater spoke to me in our livingroom. I told him my story and told him what clothes i was wearing that night. I offered to give him those clothes, but he declined. I was very afraid that my dad would find out that i was having sex with MaryCharles. A few days later i took a Polygraph test and i answered every question truthfully. Some of the test questions were about stealing goods from stores and others were about taking money that didn’t belong to me. I truthfully answered no to those questions. I did not know that these were supposed to be lies. But they were not. Because they could not see any differences among my answers, the lie detector could not tell that i told the truth to every question they asked. The test was invalid.
    Here’s what happened. A hit team of 3 killers and one driver drove north on Gibbs and at 10:30 PM let the 3 armed killers out of the 4-door Dodge Valient at the end of the back yard of 644 Voncile. The men walked across the grass to the Sims front door. The door was unlocked and they just burst in and gained control. They took Mr. Sims to the bedroom and killed him. Then they took the girl in there ans killed her. I bet it was a single shot behind the right ear pointed towards the center of the brain, the cerebellum. That would be the mark of a professional hit. A neighbor heard screams at about 10:45 PM. That would have been Mrs. Sims fighting for her life. Two shots subdued her and the final shot (behind the right ear towards the center of the brain).
    The fact that nobody heard shots says that the hit man used a .38 revolver with a silencer. The other men were armed with similar weapons. The 5 shots fired indicates that the hit man carried a 6-shot revolver with the hammer resting on an empty chamber while the weapon was holstered. Also, no brass was found at the scene, a sure clue that a revolver was used. No gun was found because the professional hit men took their weapons with them to whatever cith they came from.
    At 11:00 PM, two of the three hit men met the driver on Gibbs, as scheduled. The third man was staging the crime scene for the cops. It took more time than planned. They went north out of the neighborhood, and circled back, going south on Gibbs. They were looking to pick up the third killer, but they found me on Gibbs near Stiles by mistake. I was home before they circled back around and found the man who staged the scene.
    I am thankful to be a suspect. It saved my life by making it unnecessairy to hit me too. I am alive today because of it, and it has caused me no problems in finding jobs or ladied to love me. I couldn’t identify those men then, and i cannot identify them now. My dad never allowed guns in his house. I never had access to a gun. I was never at the Sims house, and they were never in mine. I do not know them, and they did not know us.

  6. Don Stock says:

    Henry Cabbage is a BS’er far as Im concerned. He doesn’t have enough knowledge to discredit other suspects. He is a person needing an identity and has sought it by being so bold as to settle on two suspects publicly. Bundy prosecutor Jack Poitenger who was present at Cabbage’s well advertised public meeting on the Sims murder (attended by a couple of hundred citizens) put Cabbage in his place by asking Cabbage if he had anything that would exclude a particular suspect in this case and Cabbage had none. Cabbage quickly shut down public discussion on his little presentation and as far as I am concerned, Cabbage was made a fool.

    Anyway, Law enforcement is still investigating the Sims murder, at least in 2015, through a mixed task force of new faces and opinions. And there are some conclusions by some that the new suspect in the case is a shocker. Stay tuned.

  7. Don Stock says:

    The piano tuner who was interviewed lived just a street away on Voncile. He once came to my house to tune my piamo and when I mentioned the Sims murder, he mumbled something to me that he was named a suspect and that pissed him off. He didn’t use those words but his disturbance was very clear.

  8. Don Stock says:

    three hitmen is crap.

    • Vernon Fox says:

      So you think one hit man and three friends to drop him off and pick him up?

      • Vernon Fox says:

        We know that the favorite weapon of a mob hit or murder for hire is the .22 short. This is because the .22 bullet bounces off the inside of the skull and is too distorted to be matched with a test firing from any weapon. We know that the.38 is a favorite of older Law Enforcement personnel. All .38’s belonging to LE who left fingerprints at the scene should have been test fired and compared to the bullets found in the victims. Only negative results would have cleared them in my mind.

      • Vernon Fox says:

        Or perhaps you believe that the 4-door Dodge Valient with three men in it which stopped as if to pick me up at about 11:10 PM on Oct 22, 1966 on Gibbs near Stiles was not related to the murders which occured between 10:30 PM and 11:15 PM on that night.

  9. Friendofsims says:

    Vernon,
    What kind of gangsters need three hit men to kill a regular, suburban couple and a twelve year old? Dr. Sims wasn’t a Navy SEAL. And how could these professional killers mistake you? They had their headlights on, you said so. So did your girlfriend. So they could see you weren’t their colleague. Explain why three hit men? One to drive, one to read a map, one to go in the house? Your “theory” makes no sense. You know you did it. You know you watched them from the banana tree between your back yard and the Sims.’ Not hit man would have known about that spot. You were the only person that could have hidden there. You were the only person who wouldn’t have worried about being seen by the occupants of 644 Voncille–your residence. You rode around with your girlfriend in her little white Chevy laughing at the cops when they drained Stiles pond. You knew the knife wouldn’t be there. You enjoyed making fools of the cops, didn’t you? You stalled taking the polygraph. You wouldn’t put the chest piece on. You were scared of the poly and you know it. I was in the Valiant that night. I saw you walking on the street that night. You weren’t home at 11:15 like you told the police. You were scared someone saw you. You were right. Why don’t you call FDLE and confess? Before they match DNA to your girlfriend.

    • Vernon B Fox says:

      I did not do it. Unlike you, I post using my real name. There was nothing but grass between my bedroom window and the Sims drivrway and front door. There was no bananna tree in our back yard. That was on the side yard next to the TV antenna. If I wished to look at the Sims house, I could look out the picture window of my bedroom. There was no place to hide in our back yard. Only grass.

      4 men were sent after Mr Sims. One driver to drop them off in my back yard and come back to pick them up at 11:00 PM, and 3 men to gain entrance quickly and overcome the loaded shotgun that Mr Sims kept because he was afraid of such an attack. Mr Sims was better prepared for an attack than most people are today. He would have been better prepared if he carried a pistol.

      If the third hitman wore dark clothes and was a new member of the team, then he could have resembled me enough to cause the mistaken identity. It was a dark night and I was in the shadow of that large tree between Gibbs and the sidewalk which I was on. I was not in the full light of the headlights. I was at the side of the car when they opened the passenger side back door for me. The missing team member needed more time to complete his task. The other 2 joined the driver at 11:00 PM on schedule, left the neighborhood, and returned 5 minuted later to pick him up. His job was to set the crime scene up to look like a sex crime. One man was a specialist on gaining entry quickly through locked doors. One man was an efficient killer who knew how to destroy a brain. And one man had studied the area, its roads, escape routes, and was the driver. He knew that we could not see a car on Gibbs dropping men off at the end of our back yard. Dark clothing would make it nearly impossible to see them approaching the Sims house through thr grass in our back yard. The car was probably a rented car from the airport. The game and fair would have given plenty of cover for that. Mary Charles had droppef me off and continued up Stiles towards her home, and I walked north on Gibbs towards my home. Mary Charles could not have seen that car or its headlights.

      I was slightly worried that they would find the jack knives that I had lost as a kid camping in the area of Stiles pond. I was worried that they might find the large hunting knife that I had lost there years earlier. But there could be no identifying marks on those knives. And certainly there would be nothing to connect them to the Sims murders because I had lost them years before the murders.

      You were almost right about the Polygraph. The chest strap was no problem. I could not stand the pain caused by the blood pressure sensor on my left arm. In 1963 I had an operation on my left arm to give me better use of my left hand. The nerve (sometimes called the funny bone) in my left elbow was moved to a position which came under the blood pressure cuff. I could not stand the pain, and I told them that I would not do the test with the arm cuff. Just as I was about to leave, they told me that they had a pressure cuff that worked on the hand. They put it on my hand and I was OK. Everything that I said while hooked up to the machine was true. They did not know me well enough to make up a question that I was required to lie on to say NO which would give them a baseline of my reaction to telling a lie. Since I never lied on the test, it was invalid. These tests cannot be used in court to support my claim that I do not lie, cheat, steal, or murder. They cannot be used against me either. The only purpose is to fish for statements that can be used against me. There are always witnesses to testify about your statements, but lie detector test results cannot be used in court by either side.

      The FDLE knows how to get on touch with me. They know that I have never fired a .38 handgun. They know that I was never in the Sims house. They know that I have never had any relationship with any of the Sims. They know that I spent my nights at tje Starlight, the Woodville Tavern, the American Legion in Quincy, Tallahassee, Thomasville, and other towns. I usually had sex with older women and bar maids, most of them not married. I had sex frequently with Mary Charles, and I married her. I was never sexually fixated on that ugly little Sims girl. I never paid any attention to her. I only know what she looked like from that ugly picture in the paper. Perhaps it didn’t do her justice. I don’t know. My DNA could have been found in Mary Charles that night, and in Odessa the night before.

      Larry Campbell was not interested in the truth about the Sims murder. He only wanted to see my body cramp, twist, jerk, and smoke as the electric current cooked my body alive. You are just like him. To hell with the truth, lets fry VBF Jr and not mention his name or pay attention to evidence which shows that he was NOT involved.

      I know that you lied about seeing me that night. Give me your real name and address. Some night we can sit down and talk about it.

      Sincerely,

      VBF Jr.

      • Linda L. Lawrence says:

        I did not write the comment you are “responding” to but, I would love for you to meet me at the Leon County Sheriff’s Department, its on! I have been waiting for an eye to eye interview with you for 50 years! I have a long list of interrogatories for you sweet heart, perhaps its time to set the record straight. We lived on the corner of Gibbs and Hagan (you know who I am!) and everybody in Park Side knows who you are. Tell me something, is it true your mother used to wake up screaming from the smell of dead bodies you would bring home from the morgue? Did you or did you not molest Joy Sims? Is there a reason why the warrant for your arrest was issued the day of the murders? Is it just chance that they were all murdered that night? Did you really think that the people living near the Sims (Mr. Halligan, FBI Agent), (Mr. George Thurston, Editor for the Tallahassee Democrat) could really keep a secret in this small town. Any secrets you wish to share with me, I’m listening!

      • JW says:

        Mr. Halligan was not a FBI agent he was an investigator with the Sheriff’s Bureau, which was the four runner to FDLE. Mr. Halligan was called in off another case to work the Sim’s crime. Mr. Halligan lived very near the crime and could not even park in his drive due to all the cop cars.

    • Don Stock says:

      Friend of Sims, who are you?

  10. friendofsims says:

    Vernon,
    You are the only person that has described Joy Sims as ugly. The only person. Well, I take that back. You’re the only person to say such a thing besides your former wife, Charlie.

    Did Joy not want to talk to you? Did she avoid you? Did she spurn you? Was she creeped out by you like the other little girls in the neighborhood that knew you watched them while they played outdoors? Because what you say about her is horrible. No normal person would say that about a child who was brutally murdered–stabbed and left exposed as she was. You must have really hated her. Either you hated her or you are very, very sick.

    No other suspect said anything hateful like that. I think that is very telling.

    Why would gangsters kill this family? Did Mrs Sims hit the wrong note on the piano at church one day? Did Dr Sims forget to give a waitress her tip? What did they do … to anyone? You and your girlfriend seem to be the only people that has a problem with the Sims. Charlie’s disdain for them is evident from her video interview. Yours is evident from your comments about an ugly girl not worthy of your interest.

    You say here you didn’t know the Sims. Yet you claimed Dr Sims ran over your dog. People remember you being upset about that. Do you remember that?

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      Fiendofsims,

      The fantastic lies that you believe are amazing. You are wrong. People do not remember me being upset that Mr. Sims ran over my dog. I never claimed that Mr. Sims ran over my dog. I never told anyone that I was upset or angry about Mr. Sims running over my dog. I was neither upset nor angry at Mr. Sims running over my dog. . I never thought that Mr. Sims ran over my dog. I know that Mr. Sims did not run over my dog. Do you know why? The answer is simple enough for you to understand. I never had a dog.

      It could be that Mr. Sims was killed because he was a witness in a secret NCIS investigation into a Navy cold case. It could be that professional gamblers caught him cheating them at blackjack by using his computer skills. It could be that Federal Witness Protection failed to conceal whatever he was about to reveal to them. Perhaps he accidently discovered come corruption in state government while doing his computer work. Maybe one of the law enforcement people who left there fingerprints at the scene killed him and came back to the scene later to cover his tracks. The Justice Department, the F.B.I. and N.C.I.S. were not involved in the investigation. None of them talked to me about it. Larry Campbell talked to me once, the day after the murders, and I offered to give him the clothes that I wore that night. He was not interested in checking my clothing for blood or other evidence. He refused my offer. There are a number of possibilities that were ignored in the effort to find evidence against me while ignoring the collection of actual physical evidence at the scene and in the neighborhood. Nobody asked a judge for a search warrant to find out if I had a .38 or a bloody knife in my house. After nearly 50 years of failing to find evidence against me, one could come to the reasonable conclusion that there is no such evidence because I was not involved.

      They have to find evidence that the suspect was at the scene. They have to find evidence that the suspect had a .38 handgun with which to shoot .38 slugs into the victims. It would be good if the slugs matched the gun. They have to find evidence that the suspect was not somewhere else. There is no such evidence because I was not involved..

      Sincerely,

      VBF, Jr.

  11. friendofsims says:

    Vernon,
    You make good points. It is clear you are very knowledgeable about this case and matters of forensics. I’m glad we can clear up the dog story. I’m sure that Dr Sims would never have done something like that intentionally. He was one of the finest men I have ever known. They don’t come any better than he.

    I think there is evidence. For one thing you just said there is no way your former wife saw the valiant or its headlights. Yet she told the police she did. She said it more than once. So there we have a discrepancy in your stories. “DA’s” like that sort of thing.

    But you have not addressed my point about the banana tree. The killer crouched there, trampling the lilies, the grass, getting beggar’s lice on himself, and slicing the banana leaves with his knife. He spent some time there. He would not be seen from the Sims’ home–neither from their kitchen, their dining room, nor from their living room windows. Yet, this man was able to watch his victims from this spot. This he did–he watched and observed. He wasn’t a hired killer. It was someone who wasn’t worried about being seen from your back yard or your back windows. I’ll let the reader draw his or her own conclusions from that. It was the perfect spot. The Sims’ couldn’t see this young man. Nor would the Shadduck’s, Clarkson’s, Raker’s, Hadaway’s, or anyone casually passing by on Gibbs Dr. or turning down Muriel.

    If it was a hired gun he risked being seen by your sister that night as she napped and watched a Saturday night movie. He risked being seen by you when you came back to your room which afforded a view of the Sims’ back yard and the back of their house. A hired killer carrying out this careful plan would not have taken such a risk, lingering there to watch and work up the nerve. He’d see who was home, then get in and get out fast. They were smart enough to make it look like a sex crime after all.

    No it wasn’t a hired killer or someone from state government that killed the Sims.’ They were worried about a neighbor who came in their house before. They were worried about a neighbor that was caught watching their daughter from the bushes a week before the murders. They were worried about a neighbor who was upset at his father for the way the old man treated the boy’s mother, and who was upset over the old man’s affairs. So much so the young man had to leave the military due to a mental health breakdown. The Sims were worried about a young man with a girlfriend that enjoyed making prank calls to the ambulance service. A girlfriend who liked panties and knives. A girlfriend that knew how to tie knots. A girl who liked to make out in cemeteries. I think we both know who I am talking about.

    And you have not addressed my point about your hatred for the little girl. You called her ugly. I think there’s a reason for that. You don’t want to admit your interest. Not to yourself. Not publicly. Your conscience bothers you about that. That is why you didn’t respond to that.

    • Vernon B Fox says:

      Dear Fiendofsims,

      Mary Charles quote from the Larry Campbell tape, “How could he be interested in that ugly little girl?” came from an unfortunate remark that I made to her in the student center at FSU. We saw that bad picture in the Democrat of her looking like an innocent virgin. It was a poor picture to be sure. My comment, “Now that’s an ugly little girl,” did not actually refer to the picture or her. It referred to the punch line of an insensitive joke about a hillbilly dad explaining to his son what a virgin was. There was a hillbilly family which practiced incest, but no family member would have sex with the ugly little 7 year old sister. So the dad explained that a virgin is an ugly little 7 year old girl like his sister. And then his son understood exactly what a virgin was.

      It began as a stupid uncaring remark between intimate people, and was expected to remain a private joke between us. It was never intended to be public, but Mary Charles used it in the interview with Larry Campbell. She used it as an attack on me, but most people did not understand that it was just more of her attack on me.

      Me repeating that foul insensitive remark is unjustifiable, and I appologize for it. It was stupid and irresponsible, I regret any hurt that this old joke has caused.

      When I left her, Mary Charles’s physical attacks on me stopped, but the verbal attacks did not. The last physical attack against me or my property happened at my workplace after I moved to an apartment by myself and started the petition for disolution of marriage. She did not know the location of my apartment, but she knew where I worked. She came to my work and broke all the windows out of my car with a heavy iron crowbar. Then she took my gas cap off and placed a lighted match in the gas filler neck. It was fortunate that the car did not explode. The match just burned out in the gas filler neck and left a chared image that remained for years. That was a one in a million stroke of luck. That interview with Larry Campbell was her last attack on me, but you and others maintain the attacks on me.

      I will reply again to some of your other commenrs at a later date. Enjoy your 4-th of July weekend.

      I had nothing to do with the Sims.

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      Ok. I will tell you again. There was no banana tree in the back yard of 644 Voncile Ave.

      I will attempt to reconstruct the details of Mary Charles Psychic visions of the killer lurking in the banana tree. First of all the banana is not a tree. it is a clump of plants which form a circle. the trunks of the “tree” are compact parts of the leaves. Here is my idea of the Psychic vision that Mary Charles had:

      RECONSTRUCTION OF MARY CHARLES’S PSYCHIC VISION:

      The killer hid in the circle of plants that formed the banana thicket. He trampled the small lilies and got the beggar lice stuck to his canvas shoes and pants legs. The killer went into the Sims house leaving a trail of beggar lice on the rug, the bedspread, and the clothes of the victims. He tied up the victims while holding a .38 gun on them. He killed them. He stabbed the little girl after she died (which explains why there was little blood in the rug under her) and tried to make the scene look like a sex crime. He went back to the banana hideout to watch for the arrival of the other sisters, and the arrival of the ambulance. He left the scene before the police arrived. K-9 dogs tracked the killer to his banana hideout and then could not track him any more of unknown reasons. The crime scene investigators collected the beggar lice from the crime scene in packets. They also collected beggar lice seeds from the banana hideout, and the clothes of all the suspects. DNA of the collected seeds from the crime scene matched the DNA of the seeds collected from the banana hideout. The DNA of the seeds from one suspects clothes also matched the DNA from the seeds at the crime scene which placed that suspect at the scene of the crime. Tests of gunshot residue from his hands and arms showed that the suspect had fired the murder weapon because it matched the gunshot residue from the hair of the victims near their fatal contact wounds. Please remember that this is a fictional reconstruction of what Mary Charles may have told Larry Campbell. I have not seen the video, and these are only guesses at what Mary Charles may have told Larry Campbell.

      WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THE ABOVE FANTASY IS NOT REALITY

      There are many problems with this idea. There was to banana thicket in the back yard of 644 Voncile. There were no beggar lice collected anywhere. There was no police report of K-9 dogs tracking the killer to a banana thicket. There are no investigative photos of the banana thicket.

      Let me tell you how I know that Mary Charles could not tell REALITY from her psychic visions, things she was told, and things she saw in TV shows, or things she just made up. There are other instances of police contact with Mary Charles including an arrest for attempting to hit a policeman with the car she was driving. But this one is relevant here. One of the times that the Jacksonville Police chased a naked Mary Charles down Myra Street in Jacksonville, caught her, and took her to a hospital for Baker Act evaluation she was found to have had an overdose of psycho-active drugs in her system. She had evidence of brain damage from repeated overdoses of drugs. And a C.A.T. scan of her brain showed a brain injury called frontal lobe atrophy. They saw no need to keep her in the mental ward after she recovered from the drug overdose. That is why Mary Charles believed the things that she said, and the things she talked about were frequently neither real nor true. The court would order these records to be submitted in evidence by the request of the defense if there were a trial. It would show her to be an unreliable witness.

      Her memory of the banana thicket came from the southeast corner of her residence at 2749 Myra Street in Jacksonville, FL. It was more than 10 years after the Sims murders and almost 200 miles away. The banana plants, the lilies, and the beggar lice were all there and it matched the description that you gave of the banana hideout except for location and time period.

      Mary Charles was a kind and loving person to me, and I continue to love that Mary Charles very much. When she would fly into a rage, then homicidal Charlie would come out, but only for a few minutes, then loving Mary Charles would return. As long as homicidal Charlie was dormant, I could live with and love Mary Charles. But Homicidal Charlie began to come out more and stay longer. It came to the point that my love for Mary Charles was not enough. I had to think of my personal safety. That is why I left Mary Charles, gave her our house (paid for), a car (paid for), and a year of alimony to give her time to learn how to get along without me. She held a Masters Degree from FSU, and should have been able to care for herself.

      I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SIMS MURDERS

      I had nothing to do with the Sims. I did not spy on little girls. There was never a report of me going into anyone’s house uninvited. Any person who does that should be arrested and jailed for at lease 90 days. In fact none of your list of neighbors you gave ever invited me to a back yard cookout much less to their dining room table for supper. None of them even talked to me at any time. We are peace loving people. We detest killing, even as a penalty for crimes. We believe that the people most likely to be shot by a gun is its owner or the owner’s family members. Guns present more danger than protection. Remember that Mr. Sims kept a loaded shotgun in his house. I could not have shot them because there was no .38 handgun that I could have used. I was not fixated on that little girl, but Larry Campbell was fixated on me. I was lucky that he was too honorable to fake evidence against me. I did not have anything to do with the Sims or their murders. If you paid attention, that you know that I lived more than 70 years without referring to this incident. I only looked it up on the internet in February of 2016. Prior to that time I had lived my life without any interest if finding out what people were saying. I did not suffer any bad consequences because of you talking and texting among yourselves, and the most a defamation lawsuit could get me would be a Cease and Desist Order. I chose instead to reply to the lies with the truth. I had nothing to do with the Sims Murder and I never knew anything about the Sims girls.

      VBF, Jr

    • Vernon B Fox, Jr says:

      You have never been in the Sims house. I was never in the Sims house, but years later I had supper with Bertie Nichols (she was the first person to purchase that house after the Sims). At that time it was the Nichols house. The description of living room, dining room, and kitchen does not apply to the lay-out of that house. Ask any of the many law enforcement people who sat in that house talking, drinking coffee, and getting their fingerprints on everything in the house. For the same reason, I know Mary Charles was never in that house.

      VBF, Jr.

  12. friendofsims says:

    Likewise, Vernon. Happy 4th of July.

  13. Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

    The banana thicket did not exist, but maybe a D.A. wanted to present it in court. In order to present in court the theory of the killer lurking in the banana thicket, the prosecution needs a witness to testify that they were there with the killer, or were in fact the killer. That story was either made up or came from a witness (or possibly made up by a potential witness). That witness either was the killer or was with the killer. If the witness was the killer, then they are facing 3 death sentences. If that witness was only at the scene with the killer, then they could escape the 3 death sentences, but Florida Law would mandate 3 life sentences (possibly consecutive) because they were at the scene of murders committed using a gun.

  14. friendofsims says:

    Well, there are photos of the yard that would show one way or another ….
    that will be easy to establish …

    It has been said that you “hated your father but loved your mother.”
    I note that you became a teacher after your mother’s example (a well-loved High School teacher at Leon)

    I can sympathize with you on that… Having an old man like that. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I lived in his shadow. Especially as a teenager and my early twenties. So I can see it must have been hard for you having a father who was the hero of the Michigan prison riots …. and hot shy about saying so.

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      In 1966, there was no banana tree in the back yard of 644 Voncile. Since you have looked at the photos, you know this is true.

      Whoever said that I hated my father was wrong. My father was as loving, as kind, and as forgiving as Jesus. He believed in, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Not in the vengeful sense, but in the literal sense. “Spare the rod,” meaning do not hit a child with anything, at any time, or for any excuse. “Spoil the child,” meaning treat children with love, forgiveness, kindness, acceptance, and help them to grow and learn. No, children are not perfect, and they do need guidance. But guidance is not punishment. There was never any punishment in our house. guidance took the form of discussion on what we should have done, what is right, and how all of us could do better. Yes, my autism and attention deficit disorder caused problems, but my dad helped me to be as successful as I was able to be. What I owe my dad could never be repaid. Yes, we disagreed on my going with Mary Charles, but he did accept her when we were married. Unfortunately for me, he was right about her. I would have done better to marry another girlfriend of mine, who just happened to be as old as my mother. He would have accepted Odessa without question. He was a very good prison psychologist, and he could see things about Mary Charles to which I was blind. My father loved me so much that is his dying days, with dementia having overcome his mind, he still knew me when the saw me, and he could still recite my address and phone number to his dying day. My mother did not know me for the last year of her life, but she would say to me, “I have a son about your age, but he is nowhere near as big as you.” We all know that I had to divorce Mary Charles because she became too dangerous to me. My wife Delaina went to Bayfront one December for a cough that she could not get rid of. They said it was bronchitis, and sent her to our family doctor. He had some blood tests done, and the results were bad. She went to the hospital for more extensive tests. A week later they did a liver biopsy and found small cell lung cancer. It is a type of cancer that does not form tumors but just sends cancer cells to every organ in the body. We had her on aggressive chemo therapy, and she improved some, but she died 6 weeks later. I loved my father, and he was very good and kind to me.

      The way our family tells the story of the Michigan State Prison riots of 1952 in Jackson Michigan, my father was the hero. The prison warden, other state officials, and the general public had the opinion that he caused the riot, which was the most costly prison riot in the world in 1952. The warden’s superiors in state government all the way up to the governor believed that he should have been prosecuted as an accomplice in the riots. After all, he was the only prison official who could walk out into the prison yard without an armed escort and without any weapons. He was the only one who could negotiate with the riot leaders to get them to agree to a list of demands (which he wrote in green ink on white paper–the school colors of Michigan State University). They did not capture him, he was allowed to return to his office in the prison. The prison officials wanted to blast a hole in the wall of the prison and storm in with automatic machine guns blazing. The guards would die, but they knew the danger of their job when they took it. Fortunately for my dad the Michigan State Trooper in charge of the planned attack was able to delay it until my dad concluded negotiations with the leaders of the riots. My dad was also fortunate that the officials did not realize that the trooper in charge was a relative of ours. The demands were things that the prison officials knew my dad supported. He also agreed to serve a steak and ice cream supper after the prisoners released the captured guards and returned to their assigned cells for count. Instead of charging him or dismissing him, they allowed my dad to resign. An employment agency found an job for him teaching Psychology and Sociology at F.S.U. at a time when it was still changing from Florida State College for Women to a University only a little less desirable than the University of Florida. He had to promise not to start classes in Criminology and Corrections, and he promised not to campaign for a School of Criminology. He also got a side job with the State Department of Health, but he expressed his opinion that long sentences for possession of pot were causing problems in the prison system, that pot was not a dangerous narcotic, and legalization of pot would help the prison system. And he expressed his opinion that the death penalty was inherently wrong. You know that got him fired from his non-academic job. All that was in the 50’s. When my father went back to Michigan for his 50-th high school reunion, his classmates would come up to him and talk to him about how awful that Deputy Warden Fox who caused the Jackson riots was. They did not even realize that they were talking to the man who sacrificed his ambition to become the Warden in charge of a prison in Michigan in order to negotiate a settlement and save the hostages at a time when “Hostage Negotiation” was unknown. He was a hero to his family and the hostages, but a scapegoat for the rest of Michigan.

    • NewEyes says:

      I’m going to jump in for what it’s worth.

      Friends of Sims I can understand your frustration at never having an answer to this murder. Especially, if they were your friends.

      You must have hung on to everything that was said that met your ears. And, wondered and speculated and dug for more answers until it sounded like “truth”.

      (I’ve been there. Still solving an unanswered homicide …going on 5 years. It feels like a life time …and then I’m reminded of others like the Sims and all of Tallahassee who have waited much, much longer. It doesn’t make it any easier ….but, reality reminds me to be patient …more patient than I already have been.)

      The case needs fresh eyes. And, here’s why. You keep describing things in this case from what you know, may have seen, may have heard, even psychological profiles of the person you “think” did this (could have done something like this) and even profiled their families. Can’t say I blame you. It’s human nature. But, here’s maybe something you don’t know. You’ve described ….ANOTHER …family in Tallahassee that fits that profile – you describe.

      A family I thought could be involved (after doing research on them because of a completely different crime …45 years later). And, I had never even heard of the Sims murder at this point. And, Vernon nor Mary Charlie lived in Tallahassee by that point. I accidently stumbled upon many, many peculiar similarities (not crime scene related) …that would make any person with today’s training at least wonder if ….THIS family …was ever looked into.

      The first time I heard about the Sims murder (via a Tallahassee – Ted Bundy blog stating that “wasn’t the murders that shook Tallahassee to the core” …I thought what in the world are they referring to) …I was born and raised in Tallahassee …?

      But, what captured my attention was all the details …that reminded me of another family in Tallahassee. Did they know each other? Were they friends? (Were they not?) Did their children grow up (play) together? Did this murder EXPLAIN why that family fell apart? Or, at least the kids.

      (I had never heard of Vernon Fox or Mary Charlie Jolie). And, they LIVED within walking distance to my house. No one close by brought up their names.

      I met an older female once ~ 1971 or 1972 (may or may not have been Mary Charlie; I wouldn’t know) …who YES was weirdly obsessed with bloody scenes or accidents. And, oddly mean or rude. But, that was ALL. And, she (nor no one else) had caused the accident. Like many presumed because of other “recent accidents due to bad pranks” in that area. Extremely curious …and insensitive (given her age).

      She kept loudly repeating “look at all the blood …look at all the blood (pointing down at the street)”. Not really wanting to (because it would be my blood and flesh etc) I did anyways.

      Hmmm…there wasn’t that much blood that I could see or find (but it had been a few days since the accident). I said so. This made the older female …slightly angry …that I would disagree with her bloody “findings”. But, it is what it is. I would have been the first person to say it was “a lot” of blood …if it had been. After all it would have been MY blood. I was actually amazed at how very little blood there was …given the nature and severity of the accident.

      I met (saw/spoke with) this person once after getting out of the hospital. Only time I saw her in 6 years.

      My friends wanted me to show them and tell them exactly what had happened. So I did.

      Not a big deal. I was 7 or 8 at the time.

      Could the strange female be Mary Charlie? I have no way of knowing. But, she certainly wasn’t dressed like Jacqueline Kennedy …like most young ladies were in the early 70’s. But, then she might have been single …and maybe single females dressed differently than married ladies???

      At 7 or 8 …one could make the mistake of guessing someone’s age by their clothes …instead of their face. She was the oldest “kid” (or perhaps young lady) I had ever seen out and about.

      And, as far as I know …can tell …it wasn’t Vernon or Mary Charlie who got sent to detention centers (or jail) …during that time period.

      The case needs to start over …

      • Vernon B Fox, Jr. says:

        Mary Charles would be easy to recognize. She had long straight blond hair, parted in the middle, covering her back, and flowing to her butt.

        VBF, Jr.

  15. […] Things are really heating up in the comment section of the Sims post; the alleged POI is now available for your own personal third degree. (LINK) […]

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      Yes, I considered a defamation lawsuit, but it would be costly and the best I could hope for would be a Cease and Desist Order to stop the comments. I decided to use my First Amendment rights to answer the lies with the truth.

      VBF, Jr.

  16. Chris says:

    Vernon, I have got to say that I’ve enjoyed reading over your comments here. I was 9 years old when these murders happened and remember it well, probably better than a lot my age due to my father working in law enforcement in Tallahassee at the time. I will tell you he never made mention of you or your girlfriend playing any part in this crime. I am sorry that people want to play judge and jury where you are concerned. I do hope you can enjoy your life and not let all of this get to you.

    Having lived in Tallahassee most of my life and knowing some of the major players in this investigation, I do believe if they thought you were involved you would have been arrested a long time ago.

    I do hope if the two children of the Sims are still living that this case is solved so they can have some closure.

    • Vernon B Fox Jr. says:

      Chris, thank you very much. Larry Campbell believed that I was his prime suspect, but he did not arrest me because there was no evidence against me. He refused to accept that the lack of evidence against me was caused by the fact that I did not do it. I have never fired a .38 handgun, I was never in the Sims house (except for years after the murders when it was the Nichols house), I was not fixated on the little girl (my taste in women is a preferance for women old enough to be my mother–not possible now, but my current girlfriend is 5 years older than me), I never prowled my neighborhood looking at little girls, I liked the older red-neck women at the Starlight Inn and pool hall, the Woodville Tavern, the American Legion next to Lake Ella, one in Quincy, and others in South Georgia and many other beer and pool halls. I was only in a few fights over barmaids and saloon girls. They liked me and were quick to have sex with me. And the sex was always great. I was fortunate to know a little more about fighting than any of my opponents.

      Someday someone will identify the killer by matching the bullets from the crime scene with evidence from another killing.

      Oh yes, your name is special to me. My grandson’s (killed because of a motorcycle accident) older brother, born in 1986, is Chris–and still alive and well.

      VBF, Jr.

  17. friendofsims says:

    This crime was committed by people smarter than most killers … Most cases you have an obvious motive, like robbing someone for drugs, or stealing shoes, or someone is just mad. Courtrooms stay busy with that kind of murder. But the killers in this case came very close to the perfect crime they set out to commit. They did their homework. In some ways it’s tough to solve because some elements are very simple, even sloppy. Like “The Postman Rings Twice,” the old movie. The motive was much more inscrutable.

    But the evidence is there. When you look at who went crazy in the Air Force over his father’s affair, when you look at who was prowling in that neighborhood, who was making prank ambulance calls, and who lurked around in those woods, it becomes clear who did it. And when you consider the prowling and prank calls stop while this young man is in the Air Force and UF and resume once he’s back in Tallahassee. And when you consider that same couple buried a box of love letters in those woods pledging heir love to the gates of hell and back, you can see what the motive was–they had each other and no one else. The boy had an old man that didn’t want them together. And there was this perfect all American family behind him that had everything the couple did not. And that family had caught the boy watching one of the gilrs from the bushes.

    If background isn’t enough then their actions afterwards says something. the young man’s girlfriend lied from her first contact with the police. She said they’d both seen a movie before and stayed for it, then seconds later she changed her story and said her boyfriend hadn’t seen it and so she wanted him to see it. Their alibi That night was each other.

    They both laughed at the deputies draining stiles pond. Why would that be amusing unless they knew there were no weapons there and the cops were miles off?

    • Vernon B Fox Jr. says:

      Dear Friend,

      The stories you tell about me are false. There is nothing real in the tales you tell about me. Fictional accounts of your imagination do not constitute evidence.

      VBF, Jr.

    • NewEyes says:

      “The crime was committed by people smarter than most people” ….?????

      Like someone smart enough to possibly “attempt” a Helter Skelter like scene (but, really didn’t know what they were doing) because the motive was completely different. Even perhaps opposite? [Or, like you say …just didn’t know what they were doing? And, perhaps “Joy” and or Helter Skelter was the motive.]

      I agree the investigation attention should have focused on “kids”. Why was Joy shot and stabbed? Redundant. [Not implying one way or another if kids were involved in committing the murder.]

      But, why was Joy both shot and stabbed? And, not the parents.

      (Did they simply run out of time?) Did they have to stage a scene to look like Helter Skelter? Is that why the parents were blind folded but, not the child …as not to witness the brutal stabbing?

      The killer or killers had a lot of time …took their time. (Came prepared with guns but, not rope.)
      My first impression would not be Helter Skelter like murder (or at the very least not a typical Helter Skelter murder). The child was attacked more brutally than the adults. And, Helter Skelter like murders …did not …stage scenes …OR …involve sexual – pedophile motives (staged or real).

      Thus, why would someone stage a scene to look like pedophile sexual assault and not rape (of Mrs. Sims)? I could be wrong …but, by now …DNA testing …could have/would have been available to rule out sexual assault ….MANY years ago. (Even if the perp was never identified.) It doesn’t appear that their was ever any (real) sexual assault …DNA has been around for a long, long time.

      Did someone perhaps want “kids” to be better protected? Was this staged to show that “kids” were not safe (in their warped opinion). Who felt kids were not safe? 1965 – 1966

      Just a thought.

      And, why the Sims?

      Or, did someone have something against the Sims for being the “PERFECT” All American Family?

      (Besides …some kids in the neighborhood …probably having sex.)

      Just a thought.

      And, why the Sims?

      [I have my thoughts to both/either…but, won’t share here …the investigation is open/active.]

      Most pedophiles REPEAT …and get caught….eventually. Doesn’t seem to be the motive. Anyone could have gained Vernon Fox’s DNA at any time. (And, probably DID …for all anyone knows.)

      But, the unsolved crime …probably did lure someone like Ted Bundy to this area. Especially, if he believed or got wind it was a “cover up”. (And, believed or thought like many that it was a sexual assault crime. When in fact it may or may not ever have been. *Staged …it appears so. But, LE or FDLE would have known if there was or was not semen …a long, long time ago. And, that was never reported on.) But, the cat was already out of the bag (about the possibility) and along came Theodore Bundy.

      I will NOT say the crime was ever “covered up”. I believe someone’s piano man tuner can attest to that. They were looking at other individuals. But, Vernon may be correct that people were fixated on him. Because the crime could have shared some resemblance to Helter Skelter racial crimes. AND ….Mary Charlie Lajoie ….could have been …for lack of a better word …just a strange character …that they couldn’t forget about (understand).

      Or, they got away with the perfect crime. Thank GOD …they didn’t repeat if that’s the case. Two years later my ALL American Family moved to the neighborhood (allegedly on the same street as Mary Charlie Lajoie). Possible I never met her …or met her only once; after a bloody accident. And, Vernon and or Mary Charlie would have possibly thought I too was (another) ugly little (7 year old) virgin with the All American Family.

      I just don’t see this as the motive. For now.

      Or, how they could have kept it a secret for 50 years. And, led normal lives.

      I would question the people …kids …who didn’t grow up to lead “normal” lives…first.

  18. Chris says:

    I don’t know weather Vernon is guilty or not, but what I will say is God and the person that did it know who it is. Unless you were a eye witness it’s pretty obvious to me that no one has a right to point a finger at someone. More cases have been ruined due to Media attention than due to law enforcement neglect. My dad use to say once the Media caught wind of information they would and could ruin a case.

    I personally would feel sorry for anyone that has had to spend there entire adult life dealing with this hanging over there head.

    I’ve know Larry Campbell my entire life up and until he passed away and from what I know of him he was a good law enforcement officer/Sheriff. He was one of my Dad’s pall bearers. I grew up in Tallahassee and still live here. I just don’t find any good that can come out of pointing a finger at someone until the evidence shows them guilty. Everyone has a right to walk this earth as a free person until that time.

    I have spoken to my brother who also worked for the Sheriff’s Department here for many years and he told me some things in reference to this case. My mother is still alive and she I’m sure knows what my dad knew and I will talk to her about it. What I won’t do is a trial by public opinion. That has and will ruin a case and cause a trial to have to be held elsewhere, if and when that day comes. My understanding at his point is that a lot of the evidence has been turned over to FDLE and that being said I will await there professional evaluation. Remember there is no statute of limitation on a murder case, so if and when they find the person that did this and they are still alive then they can and will be held accountable for it.

    • Vernon B Fox Jr. says:

      Larry Campbell was an honorable man, and he provided Leon County with quality law enforcement during his years of service.

      I had nothing to do with the Sims.

      VBF, Jr.

    • NewEyes says:

      A very over looked possible suspect died in 1994. Is that okay to say?

      But, one would have to believe a grow man (or men) were involved. And, no one does.

      • Chris says:

        New Eyes, I read your previous comments from July 21st which for some odd reason is out of date sequence. I’ve got to say you have brought a lot to the table here. I totally agree with you that this case just needs to be reworked. Today’s law enforcement and investigation procedures have come a long way in 50 years. I personally think they need to basically ignore anything they currently have in the way of notes and start fresh. Of course if there is any thing that DNA can be obtained from that needs to be done, but other than that this case just needs to be totally reworked.

        I won’t ever forget what this families death did to Tallahassee, just like I won’t forget what Ted Bundy did to this area. When he went on his rampage I was living out close to campus as my husband was in college at FSU at the time.

        When I was a kid here in Tallahassee me and my siblings use to wander around the neighborhood I grew up in. Now of course I won’t even let my grand daughter out of my site due to the fear of all the meanness that is out there. It’s truly sad what crime has done to this area, but I’m all to aware it’s that way just about every where.

        I do hope in my life time that this case does get solved. Of course whomever did this might not still be alive, but all the same I think the Sims girls and community would benefit from knowing who did this.

        Thanks for your insight on this case, you brought out some very good points.

  19. I saw you under the street light says:

    A few months after the murder – you were there. Across the street from my house. I was in the front yard. When you noticed me – you left hurriedly between the Sims and the Shadducks house. It was you.

    • Vernon B Fox, Jr. says:

      I wish you had shot whoever it was and killed them. Then we would know who it was. It was not me.

      VBF, Jr.

  20. Amanda Tally says:

    Vernon,

    You strike me as a very smart and knowledgeable person. I don’t know if you are still in the Tallahassee area or if you know this but the news sites are literally blowing up and people have named you and your girlfriend as the suspects in this family’s murder.

    I’m probably a little younger than you and I was in the Tampa area so never heard of these murders before. I’ve done lots of reading about them and then I read your posts. I will say you have what my dad used to call gumption for using your name and talking about these murders publicly the way you do. It seems you have nothing to hide.

    I don’t think you did this or you would have been arrested long ago. But your story about the hitmen seems way far fetched. It has too many holes that I won’t go into here so I don’t believe this happened.

    I have a different theory and I know it’s just a theory, but it’s the only one that makes sense to me. It seems that this was not a murder but a suicide murder. I know these are more common now and maybe not so much back then, but it makes perfect sense if you think it through objectively.

    This would leave the murder weapon at the scene I know but the police were in way over their heads on this one. Seeing the three dead bodies of a very respectabile family, they must have decided not to ruin this family’s reputation. All they had to do was get rid of the weapon–just one weapon. The first officer on the scene could have done this easily and no one would know. Just hide one gun and that’s it. He probably didn’t realize the effect this would have on the public and how everyone would be frightened by a crazed murderer at large.

    I don’t know if your girlfriend happened upon the bloody scene afterwards after hearing the gun shots, but if so, this would explain everything. Maybe you were covering for her. Apparently the detective told her she would be arrested if she said she was there.

    Maybe you are a circumstance of your own intellect. Like I said, you are a very smart person. But maybe also you seem a little dark and methodical. Not in a bad way but people might think of you as uncaring. I think you just like to get to the point. So I don’t say this to be negative. I’m the same way sometimes. My ex-husband used to tell me that I think like a man. Well that’s old news.

    I’m very interested to follow this case as you have done. Let me know if you like my theory. I know it may be dumb, but it seemed to fill in all the blanks for me. And it’s a lot better than hitmen if you ask me. But maybe I’m clueless though.

    Amanda

    • Vernon B Fox, Jr. says:

      My speculations about many possibilities for the murders are just me imagining what might have been. I have no personal knowledge of what happened. Yes, some of what I imagined is far-fetched. Just because 3 men in a car stopped to pick me up at Gibbs and Stiles at around 11:10 PM that night, it does not constitute evidence that they were even involved. It could be just coincidence. But I know that I did not do it. I know that there cannot be any evidence that I was at the scene. I was never in possession of any gun that could have been the murder weapon. I am lucky that nobody manufactured evidence against me. That speaks well of the integrity and quality of law enforcement in Leon County. Too bad that the investigation did not preserve evidence from the scene and track evidence to the killers. Instead of of careful scientific investigation, they treated it like a TV show. They gathered a list of local suspects and tried to solve it like a Sherlock Holmes or Perry Mason story. It’s a good thing that they learned from those mistakes, or Ted Bundy would still be loose today. Lesson learned the hard way. If this was still the old wild west days, then I would have been one more innocent person lynched from a tree.

      VBF, Jr.

      • PLH says:

        Vernon, you talk a good game but if I were you, I would probably quit while I was ahead. Just some thoughts…

        You talk about your timeline with MaryCharles that night and remark on how it wouldn’t be able to be disputed in court because it is “true,” but the fact of the matter is that it’s awful coincidental that two solid persons of interest in the case are each other’s alibis, and it doesn’t sound like a third party can verify anything about your movements that night. That leaves nothing BUT room for dispute.

        You said MaryCharles dropped you off at Gibbs and Stiles at 11:07 P.M. and that you got home to 644 Voncile at 11:15 P.M. Google Maps shows that to be a distance of 0.2 miles coverable in about 3 minutes by foot. Any particular reason it took you 8 minutes such that your arrival at home magically corresponds to when the crime was discovered? Around 11:15 P.M. is also the same time that the daughter, Virginia, arrived home to find the grisly murder scene. So coincidental.

        I’m leaning toward your “Valient” story being a fib to try to point suspicion elsewhere. Funny how no one else but you seemed to see this strange car roaming the neighborhood. And then your wildly speculative tale of professional hit men is absolutely ridiculous.

        For one, for a professional “hit,” it was super sloppy and theoretically they didn’t even really get the job done. The father and mother were still clinging to life when Virginia got home. Mr. Sims expired shortly thereafter, but Mrs. Sims survived in the hospital for a little while before dying. That would certainly leave some loose ends, don’t you think? I would think professional hit men would be fastidious enough to check for signs of life and then make sure the job was actually done – otherwise they were extremely sloppy with leaving potential witnesses alive.

        On a related note, why the random gunshot to Mrs. Sims’ leg? Was it someone who was inexperienced with using a gun and maybe missed the intended target? Or was the gunshot wound to the leg a “test shot” to gather up courage to apply the fatal head shot?

        Nothing about this murder reeks of a professional hit…it actually seems rather clumsy. Maybe even experimental. Maybe like something teenaged first-time killers would do.

        I find it interesting that on one hand you state that your back yard would not have sufficient coverage to hide anyone from view from the Sims’ house, yet you specify in your “hit man’” scenario that these people used your backyard to approach the Sims’ because moving across your yard in dark clothing would make them “impossible” to see? Which is it? How do you know this? Why would you believe your yard had anything to do with the crime?

        I also find it curious your statements about having lost knives “years” before near the area they had searched. That reads to me like a possible preemptive strike in case these knives were found and/or in case anyone were to notice that you no longer had known knives in your possession (because you discarded them after the crime) – “Oh, I lost those.” Right.

        Then there’s your obvious disdain for Joy Sims, bizarrely referring to her as an “ugly little girl.” Your later attempt to explain that terminology away as some type of reference to an obscure “joke” is weak. Your admittance that this was a private joke between you and MaryCharles to refer to Joy Sims is very telling, especially considering that she was the one shot AND stabbed, which signifies a special focus given to her.

        Then there was your whole characterization of MaryCharles as sometimes being “homicidal” and having violent tendencies.

        I know you’d never admit it at this point, but I am not convinced you are innocent.

    • Amanda
      I like your idea. A simple action causing years of chaos! I also like Vernon’s idea. My first thought about why 3 hit men? Maybe they were expecting all 5 family members to be home?

  21. A.H. says:

    Everything PLH says and also… Perhaps, the gun shot in the leg was a defensive wound. What I mean, is perhaps the killer shot her as she was attempting to flee, save her daughter/ husband, or stop the assailant. I would guess that something went wrong. The knife suggests that the murder was really centered around the little girl. As a mother, my bet is on the mom trying to save her girl or stop the killer from hurting her.

    Vernon, I can tell you are intelligent and have a great memory. You have autism? Aspirgers?

    Whoever did this was very angry at that little girl. There have been cases where people with aspirgers enter into a homicidal rage and commit murder. Very little is known about ASD and violence. I did find this article interesting though. – http://www.jaapl.org/content/33/3/390.full

    On a side note:
    Ididitforjodie – my mother was a nurse in the ICU at the time of the murders. She cared for Mrs Sims on her deathbed. Today, she told me that the police leaked a story to the press about Mrs Sims being alive in the hopes that it would put pressure on the assailant.

    • If these walls could talk says:

      When referring to “the ugly little girl” you said perhaps the photo didn’t do her justice.

      That isn’t about any weird story of an incest family… Which by the way, that isn’t a joke and is just creepy. That’s an expression of being sexually attracted to a child.

      Here is a possible story line:

      Male suspect became infatuated with little girl from the clear sight line from his bedroom to her house. Girlfriend finds out and becomes insanely jealous. The two plot to murder the family. Male suspect holds the family at gunpoint while the female ties them up. The wife tries to run and is shot in the leg. After the three have been shot the female suspect in a fit of passion continues to stab the girl out of jealousy.

      Was it you?

  22. TheMolecularScientist says:

    This case is interesting. And as PLH states Vernon really feels sinister, especially when he gives all this detailed version. I also think that the young girl was the main target. The knife wounds confirm this. Her parents were blind folded, presumably before being shot, a sign of weakness from the murderer as he didn’t want his eyes to meet theirs. The young child though, if we go with the reports that she wasn’t blind folded, had met his eyes. Furthermore a single shot in the head clearly wasn’t enough, she had to suffer even more, to experience the full rage and humiliation.

    I truly believe that anyone is innocent until proven guilty, but what strikes me as odd is the fact that Vernon writes this:

    “I was slightly worried that they would find the jack knives that I had lost as a kid camping in the area of Stiles pond. I was worried that they might find the large hunting knife that I had lost there years earlier. But there could be no identifying marks on those knives. And certainly there would be nothing to connect them to the Sims murders because I had lost them years before the murders.”

    Why would he do that? If there could not be any identifying marks on these knives that would link them to him, why even mention it here? Why even mention that he was afraid of something that has zero relevance to the case?

    There are several other things he write that fills me with an eerie feeling. How he ends one post by telling friendofsims to give him his adress and meet over one night and talk over it. It feels so strange and creepy, because, why chose a night to talk bout the crime?

    • Greg Destruction says:

      Because people work in the day, you dolt? There’s stuff to do. Night is when people do social things. VBF has to be at least 70, I’m sure he meant 5:30. Keep grasping at straws.

  23. UnansweredQuestions says:

    Vernon,

    Why after all this time are you feeling the need to engage? It feels as though “doth does protest too much.” If you had nothing to do with it, why add fuel to the fire? At that time of night, in a quiet neighborhood, you could of walked across your backyard and entered their home without anyone noticing. As a Tallahassee resident, I know that the residential areas can be very dark and extremely empty at night. There are also ways to muffle gunshots without a silencer. It could of sounded like thunder, florida has storms constantly. It could of sounded like a car backfiring. And you would of had time to get rid of the weapon.

    Here are some important questions:
    Why did you single out the young girl, calling her ugly like Mary Charles? An inside joke is more than crass to use while defending yourself. It seems as though you lost your temper and used a phrase that you and Mary had both done so. Men when rejected often lash out and insult a girl/woman’s looks. Especially men with violent tendencies.

    The crime was sloppy but special attention was given to the young girl. Stabbing someone when you have a gun is suspicious. Especially if she was already dead. It signals a special anger or hate for that victim. Who would be so angry at such a young girl but a pedophile that couldn’t have her or a girlfriend that was jealous of how you looked at her? Close family member would be the only other feasible option for such an act of aggression. There was an intimate reason she was stabbed.

    You were walking home around the same time as the daughter that found them, but didn’t see her, hear her scream or hear any commotion?

    I think you murdered them. The young girl humiliated you in some way. Maybe she rejected you, maybe you tried to molest her and couldn’t go through with it. That crime was not committed by a stranger to the family.

    I think you killed them, then you called your mother from somewhere other than your home, I think she told you to come home and your parents helped cover it up.

    Getting a gun isn’t that hard, people do it every day illegally. And I imagine with the bars and company you kept, it wasn’t impossible. With your father’s profession, you would have a basic knowledge on how to either build a DIY silencer or maybe you were also able to purchase one as well.

    Your desire for older women was maybe a mother complex. Maybe that provides you some comfort, but it doesn’t rule out pedophilia.

    • Greg Destruction says:

      Armchair detectives and psychoanalysts are out for blood. Dude’s trying to clear his name because y’all keep using it. He’s repeatedly poked holes in motive and location, the narrative he’s been accused of involved possible psychic dreams and descriptions of houses in other cities. It sounds like the lore and the desire to have closed a 50 year old case makes any of us willing to say “hey, autistic septuagenarian, you occasionally weird me out.” Despite nothing but a good story (not only no physical evidence, but refutable circumstancial evidence at LEAST as easily picked apart as VBFJr’s Dodge Valiant story – the location of the banana thicket, apparently crucial to providing cover, access to the weapon, motive), you’re so willing to hang this man. I can only hope one day you are accused of something you probably didn’t do for 50 years, if only to see how you respond when your real name is printed on a blog with a link to a reddit thread seen by thousands. Maybe you’ll overshare in hopes of establishing your innocence too.

      • JW says:

        Could not have been a dodge valiant, because did not make the Valiant. That cat was a Plymouth product, later on Dodge made a comparable car known as the Lancer later to be renamed as the Dodge Dart.

      • Mitchell says:

        I do not know Mr. Fox and have no dog in this fight. If it weren’t for his rather bizarre ramblings, I believe I would probably concur with your stated premise, which I understand to be that we should forgive any oddities displayed by Mr. Fox as a youth and leave the old man alone.

        As far as I see it, the only suspicions most of us have, specifically those of us whose only point of reference for this case may be a couple of articles, are largely due to the repellent nature of Mr. Fox’s comments he has recently contributed here and elsewhere.

        You, Greg of Destruction, seem to view Mr. Fox’s comments as statements of fact and those who suspect him of these heinous crimes as his untrustworthy antagonists. Mr. Fox has used this forum to spin his contradictory yarns and crassly insult a little murdered girl that many believe he may have been involved in killing. He has contributed nothing that is verifiable. It is a practiced fantasy.

        Fox casts himself as the Fonze, cruising on his motorbike and sticking it to ladies all over town. He views himself as the true victim here, not the murdered family or orphaned siblings. His plight was inflicted upon him by “that ugly little dead girl” and his “homicidal old lady”. The sweet hereafter also conspired to railroad him by using his old lady as it’s conduit. Fox himself is the only one who saw who the killers. The lone witness to their escape! He barely escaped with his life after coming face to face with souless contract killers!! They transmitted the details of their just completed scheme to Fox via osmosis so he could tell tale of their triumphs.

        It is a rather convoluted story, no? An exercise in the absurd. Keep in mind Mr. Fox’s own words have painted this vivid picture. Is he The Fonze, James Dean, or a gumptionless Charles Starkweather? He mayn’t be a murderer but one thing is certain; he is not a very bright man.

    • Bill Watrous says:

      UnansweredQuestions: What you said. One hundred percent. Especially being so defensive and repeatedly denying any involvement, plus the lame polygraph explanation. Then the knife story added to the hit man theory, that’s just plain crazy. If you didn’t do it, you surely wouldn’t make it look like you did, or would you?

    • UnansweredQuestions, I believe you have pretty much summed it up perfectly. Myself and several of my friends couldn’t agree with you more. And Mr. Fox, after reading your posts on here, it doesn’t take a moron to figure out what you are all about. Sad, so very sad for the family and sad the investigation after all these years has been mired in typical politics this state is well known for. Hopefully FDLE will come to a conclusion soon, but I doubt it. I don’t care how many years its been, NOBODY deserves to die like that.

  24. j.w. says:

    One big problem there was no Dodge Valiant in 1966, there was a Plymouth Valiant, Dodge did not make a companion car for the Valiant until later and it was known as a Lancer, and later became a Dodge Dart. I too lived in the neighborhood and I remember a banana type tree in the Fox yard back then. I also remember Fox and his girl friend yelling at the cars as they drove down Gibbs Drive in the days following the murder. Even back in the day people considered you and your girl friend had something to do with this crime.

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      Thanks for the correction. I’m too introverted to get out and yell at people driving by. It must have been someone else.

      VBF, Jr.

  25. Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

    Everywhere that I wrote “Dodge Valiant”, I should have written, “Plymouth Valiant.”

    VBF, Jr.

  26. Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

    For those of you who have not yet looked at the documentary of the Sims murders by FSU student Kyle Jones, go to your Facebook, click on the globe and search “641 Muriel Court”. Scan down the page and you will find the You Tube video. This is the older version, and has not yet been replaced with the video that includes my interview. Time is running out to see that version of Kyle Jones’s video. It will soon be replaced with another video which includes me talking to Kyle at Pass-a-Grill beach.

    The video revealed something to me that I did not know about. In the interview with 3 women who were young girls living near my house on Voncile at the time of the murders, they spoke of seeing Vernon looking out his kitchen window towards the front of the house (the Voncile Ave side). The window was actually our dinning room window on the Voncile side of our house. There is a solid brick wall that goes up to the height of my nose, and above that are glass windows without curtains or blinds (not needed because of the height of the windows). The person that they saw and thought was Vernon Jr. was a bit darker than I am, had no red spots of acne, had thicker lips than me, a larger nose, tufts of hair curling up from the ends of his eyebrows, was about 100 pounds heavier than me, and was 30 years older than me. It was my dad. Still, they were sure that it was Vernon Jr. looking at them, and he was there for hours. He would be there many different days. It was not me. That spot was my dads favorite drinking spot. Nobody else in the family would take his spot. He would fill a 12 ounce tumbler with whiskey, no ice, no water, and no mixer. He would look out the front window and finish off the 12 ounces of whiskey and then go fill it up again and drink some more. He was a happy drunk. He would continue until he passed out. I’m sure that he was too drunk to know what he was looking at, but he enjoyed getting drunk and looking out the window.

    When they talked about seeing his face from the nose up looking out that window, I knew that they did not recognize me on sight (since I know that I would not take my dad’s drinking spot). They thought that my dad was me (but we are quite different in looks). That made me realize that the prowler reported to be looking at the Sims girl was possibly not just a made up vicious lie (like I thought that it was), but possibly only a mistaken identity of some stranger who was never reported to the police in time to get caught. The undercover dog patrols just did not catch him. I wish the police had caught him. Then the mistake in identity would become obvious.

    VBF, Jr.

    • Sleuth says:

      Vernon,
      I have just a couple of questions.
      1. Per your previous writings, you grew up in the home located at 644 Voncile Ave, which as you stated is located at the southwest back corner of 641 Muriel Court, and not directly located behind the Sims’ home. However, per the Leon County Property Appraiser, your parents also owned 642 Voncile Ave up until 1980. This home IS located directly behind 641 Muriel. Is this correct?
      2. Why would your father stand all evening to peer out of a nose-high window inside of his home? And, HOW was he able to stand that long if he was downing tumblers of whiskey? One would think that after the first tumbler and a brief look out the window, he would have to, or want to sit down.

      Thank you for the clarification.

      • Chris says:

        Sleuth, you may want to go to Leon County Clerk of Courts and search the records on this. From what I’m looking at it appears his Mr. Vernon Fox did not purchase this property until 1980 from the neighbor that was residing in it and from what I can tell was or had moved to another state, since the address they listed was out of state. It also appears Mr. Fox turned around and sold this property to someone on July 17, 1981. So my guess on this would be that he was trying to help out a neighbor who had moved to another state and would not be around to deal with the sale of this property. Also appears the previous owners carried back a mortgage on the property, which to me is another sign Mr. Fox was trying to help them by assuming responsibility on this property until he could get it sold. You however can search these records yourself and decide what you think happened here, but it does not appear at all that the Fox’s owned this property at the time of the Sims murders.

      • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

        They bought the house next door after Herman Stretch (he was in the Austrian Army during WW II, and dad loved to get him to yodel for visitors) for my aunt Edith Chapman who died of cancer later.

        He drank a lot. When he was near passing out, he went to bed. It was amazing to see how much he could drink. Even when he was under house arrest for a DUI conviction he would drink and look out the dinning room window. He couldn’t take off the locked ankle tracking device, but would get mother to buy him two cases of bourbon whiskey so that he always had an open case and a full case on hand. I. W. Harper was his favorite, with Southern Comfort a close second. I don’t know why, but alcoholics have their favorite spots to drink, and they follow the same drinking rituals. Some have a favorite barstool, others have a favorite easy chair, dad had his favorite spot and favorite glass.

        VBF, Jr.

  27. friendofsims says:

    Vernon,

    Which lover’s lane did you go to with Charlie that night?

    F/O/S

  28. Friendofsims says:

    Was it the lover’s lane by Stiles Pond?

  29. friendofsims says:

    Why not stiles pond and the dirt road? It was closer. And very familiar to you and Charlie.

    The story about the lovers lane makes Charlie look like a liar. Because she said she drove from the movie to the drop off and straight home. And she said it was 10:55 when she got home. I wonder what Charlie thinks about what you’re saying and how it makes her look? And what she would say if she saw the quote about “homicidal Charlie”?

    Maybe Charlie needs to do her own interview and tell her side of this.

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      In the mid 60’s, the woods around Stiles pond was inhabited by homeless Viet Nam veterans with PTSD. It was a dangerous place, and never a lover’s lane.

      VBF, Jr.

  30. friendofsims says:

    But Charlie liked to go there, didn’t she? To birds woods?

    She buried that box of letters and poems there, right?

  31. friendofsims says:

    I wonder if Charlie will recall this one: you, her, sitting in her car, watching the deputies drain Stiles Pond. And sharing a private moment, a private joke at the deputies’ expense. It was pretty funny, wasn’t it?

    Then there were other silly details … like who checked “In Cold Blood” out of the library … They were looking in the wrong place. Again.

  32. Justice Is Coming says:

    Vernon,

    You stated earlier that you and Mary Charles were at Levy Park. Now it’s Dog Lake? Which is it?

    -JusticeIsComing

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      Both. Levy Park around 7:00 PM, then at the movie, then Dog Lake after the movie, and then arriving back in the neighborhood after the murders were committed.

      VBF, Jr.

      • #Justice4Joy says:

        Vernon, just to help clear your name, I was wondering if you could remember around what time you went to the movies? What movie? What movie theatre?

  33. New to Tallahassee says:

    Where was Stiles pond back then? I understand it no longer exists, but in relation to the street?

    • Justice Is Coming says:

      Stiles Pond is behind Trousdale, correct?

      • Interested Reader says:

        No. That area behind where Trousdell is now was called Stiles pasture; it included all the land the Tallahassee Mall/Centre of Tallahassee before that was built in 1971. I think Stiles pond was up there immediately behind where the Northwood Mall/Centre is now. Of course that building didn’t exist either at the time of the murders (built in 1969).

  34. Chris says:

    Oh my goodness, I was just wondering what branch of law enforcement you guys work for that continue to quiz this man about a crime that happened 50 years ago and I feel sure he has already answered plenty of these same questions all those years ago?

    I for one can’t even tell you what movie’s I watched 10 years ago, let alone 50 years ago.

    You guys need to leave this case to the proper authorities and stop with all of this. If you think for a minute your going to help solve this case then you need to think again. Even with a confession law enforcement needs evidence to prove a case. There has been numerous cases over the years of people confessing to crimes that later it was found there was no way that person could have done it, so not sure what you guys with all the questions are trying to prove. But from where I’m sitting this is harassment to continue this and really makes me wonder what your motives are.

    I really wonder if an when someone is arrested for this crime and it’s not who you guys think it is if all of you are going to be willing to apologize. I feel sure you’ll all be ready to proclaim you knew it all along if it is who you thought though. By the way I don’t know Vernon nor did I know the Sims.

    • Bonita Springs says:

      Hey Chris Fuck off. Leave this to the locals and mind your own business this is professional government work! Piss Off!

      • Chris says:

        Bonita Springs, you sure do have a potty mouth on you and if you don’t have anything better to say or add to this conversation, maybe you should look for a different topic to get involved in.

        I am local, born and raised here. My father worked in law enforcement his entire career here and if you had bothered to read some of the other comments you would know this. I also worked in law enforcement as well as two of my brothers, so as for your comment about me minding my own business well it is my business as well as anyone else that wants to make it there business. You must not realize this is a free country and anyone is allowed to take a interest in a crime, especially one I remember very well as well as remember my dad driving us over there to show us where it happened. And yes he was working in law enforcement at that time and we were living here at the time but not on that side of town. Not that this is any of your business.

        I won’t lower myself to use filthy language like you did, but take your own advice and apply it to yourself, if you don’t have something good to add to this conversation.

  35. JW says:

    Stiles had 2 pastures, the 1 where the mall sites, and one west of Monticello Dr and Voncile It ran from the dead end of Voncile to the other end at Joyner Dr. that dumped out onto Old Bainbridge Rd,.We use to cut through this pasture to get to Tharpe St. from the Town and Country subdivision. Always wondered why they never searched that area. You go either head west on Tharpe or go North on Old Bainbridge Rd.

  36. jin850x says:

    Mr. Fox, I have a question regarding the investigation that I was hoping you could shed some light on as I have been unable to find any useful information online. You state that the investigators became fixated on you and Mary Charles as suspects despite a distinct lack of evidence tying you to the scene. Admittedly, there is no physical proof and there are no witnesses implicating either of you. So what initially led the investigators to suspect the two of you? It can’t simply be due to the proximity of your houses. If that were the case, why not name the neighbors across the street or next door as suspects? Dozens of people were questioned and yet the investigators honed in on the two of you. I would be extremely interested to hear your thoughts on why you were singled out. With a lack of physical evidence and no witnesses than the next logical step would be to investigate those with a possible motive. Clearly, something led the detectives to believe one or both of you had some type of motive. Even if they were wrong in believing so I would like to know your opinion on what led them to your door, so to speak. What planted the seeds of suspicion in the first place?

  37. friendofsims says:

    Well, I will be really interested to see Vernon’s interview. Fascinating.

  38. friendofsims says:

    I wonder what Charlie will say when she sees it.

  39. […] (and was not) there at the crime scene. Especially worthy of examining with the M-Vac would be the identical granny knots. If you are not clear what a Granny knot is check this […]

  40. Kyle Jones says:

    Really great to see so much interest and passion about this case as we approach the 50th anniversary this year. I’d like to personally invite you all to the premiere of our documentary, 641 Muriel Court, on October 27th at the Moon Nightclub. Doors open at 7pm, and the film begins at 8pm. We’ve worked painstakingly for months to deliver the best telling of this tragic story to date, and we’re excited to share it with all of you. The film is one hour long and contains primary source material and interviews from key subjects related to the case. For more information you can go to our facebook page, 641 Muriel Court.

  41. Pam says:

    I was one of Joys close friends. I moved from tally several years after this happened. I have no way of watching the documentary since I live out of state now. I would love to be able to see it. This horrific act is one that so many of us that lived thru that time will never be able to forget. The pain of losing a good friend is almost as if it just happened. I do not know how anyone’s brain let’s you do what they did and still live with themselves. It is just beyond comprehension. I only pray that no one will allow someone to get away with such a cold blooded murder for the sake of politics. These people did not deserve to be butchered and have it be swept under the carpet. I think all of the family fiends and loved ones of this family deserve justice and closure

    • Vernon Fox says:

      No, they did not deserve to be murdered the way they were. No one should get away with murder because of political connections. There should never be a cover-up of known murder or child molester. I assure you that I am neither. I had nothing to do with the Sims murders. I did not know any of the Sims. I did not even know that Joy Sims existed until after the murders. I did not stalk or molest her. Vouyerism claims against me are false. Child molestation charges were never made, and claims of the issuing of an arrest warrant for me based on child molestation charges are false and without foundation. There would be official records of an investigation and warrant if either ever was made, and the warrant would still be enforceable. There is no motive for me to murder the Sims. Any stories about me that suggest anything like that are pure fiction or a mistaken identity. I was never in their house. I was on a date with my Gothic girlfriend at the time they were murdered. My fingerprints were not in their house. In 1989 the FDLE had an interview with me and took a palm print to go with the fingerprints. They never told me about the stories that Mary Charles gave to Larry Campbell in 1987. I did not know about that interview until 29 years after she spoke to Larry. I never had a .38 handgun like the one used on them. My DNA cannot be on anything found at the crime scene, and that is why I gave a voluntary DNA sample to Sgt. Dawn Dennis on this past September 12. The results of comparing my DNA to the DNA found on evidence at the scene will clear me when it comes in. It may take a few more months to finish the work, but I know my DNA cannot be there. Hopefully the murders will be found based on the new technology which has recovered DNA from the articles which were at the crime scene. I do not deserve the rumors, gossip, and hurtful claims which have been made about me these past 50 years.

      Vernon B. Fox, Jr.

      • Pam says:

        Vernon. In my post or reply I never mentioned your name. This horrific crime hurts as much today as it did when it happened 50 years ago for everyone that knew this loving family. It’s as fresh in our hearts as if it just was then. Something that will never be understood. I do not know you and I did not know Mary Charles. But if you decided to respond to it I’m going to tell you how I feel about it. My comment was about a friend and her parents. But somehow you felt compelled to turn it all around and make it about you. Shame on you. I didn’t care what you had to say. I have read and reread all these comments and posts over several times trying to understand some of them. Some of your comments and scenarios are almost laughable if it wasn’t such a serious subject. 3 Mafia hitmen in Tallahassee Florida in 1966. Are you serious??? Let me pick apart some of your other comments. Claim to have had a great childhood with a loving father butt you say that he was an alcoholic that stood at the back window every night getting drunk. In my book that is not a happy childhood. Been there done that and it certainly did not make me feel like I was in a loving family environment. One thing that has always baffled me is how to crazy people find each other. Because what you are saying and commenting on this site makes me think that you are batshit crazy. I agree with another comment that you do protest way too much.. you put your foot in your mouth so many times and change details so many times that it’s ridiculous. Trying to explain things to make you look innocent is certainly not what came across. You tried to explain the knife that they might have found in the pond were you worried they did find it so you had to justify it being there? But let me tell you the part that really pissed me off. You had the comment about Joy being the ugly little girl. Not once but several times. And then you turned around and tried to make it like it was a private joke with Mary Charles. That comment should never have been said as a private joke or not. Unforgivable. She was a beautiful girl on the inside and out and you have no right to talk about her like you did. I could sit here and write down some other things that are just ridiculous but that would take me a long time since there were so many. You and Mary Charles where are the prime suspects for a reason. And in my opinion you were involved. But again that is how I feel. Joy and her parents are a great loss to all of her friends family and loved ones. Whoever did this got to have 50 more years of their own memories to share with their family. Joy didn’t get the chance to grow up and go on dates, to her senior prom, or walk down the lane with all of us at graduation. Joy’s sisters were robbed of so many lifetime memories. So good luck with trying to make others feel sorry for you. The only reason that I can figure out that you all of a sudden had to try to explain your side of everything is maybe because you are laying out some of your defense in hopes that somebody might believe you. I hope this case gets solved for the families and loved ones peace of mind. And I pray that there is a special place in hell reserved for them also

      • lilladyj says:

        Vernon,
        Please answer the pervious question regarding why you and MaryCharles have been the PRIME suspects for 50yrs?

        Chris,
        Since you so diligently stand behind this man’s innocence, regardless of the fact that he has been the PRIME suspect for 50yrs…maybe you have some incite you’d care to share?

        I can’t imagine he and Charlie are the PRIME suspects with no supporting evidence for 50yrs. As we all know the police do NOT share all the evidence so they are able to confirm people’s stories/confessions ect…

        Lilladyj

  42. Chris says:

    Lilladyj, not sure where you get that I so diligently stand behind anyone. What I diligently stand behind is everyone has a right to be innocent until proven guilty and none of us have a right to point a finger and claim any different. As for me sharing anything you won’t see it happen. My incite is exactly that, it’s my incite and that won’t be posted for public opinion.

    I still have family in law enforcement and therefore I am not about to post information about solved or unsolved cases.

    There are many reasons why law enforcement does not divulge evidence. A lot of the evidence at that crime scene was probably contaminated due to the amount of traffic in and out of the crime scene. Evidence collection 50 years ago and evidence collection in today’s standards has changed considerably, but one thing today that is done that wasn’t done back then is the crime scene is more protected.

    I personally hope this case is solved one day and that whoever is responsible for it is alive to stand trial for it, but until that time I refuse to point a finger at anyone. I would feel awful to do that and find out I was wrong. And just so you know, I am not related to, nor do I know Vernon or Charlie and I would never defend someone who is guilty, but until that is proven I won’t be a party to pointing a finger at them either.

    • Vernon B. Fox, Jr. says:

      The DNA tests which will clear me were not available until recently. I gave my voluntary DNA sample to Sgt. Dawn Dennis of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office this past September 12. The results should be in within a few months. If I am telling the truth, then the results will clear me. If I am lying, then the results will get me three death sentences.

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