Dallas Morning News
December 13, 1969 - front page
Death Quiz Leads
To Hippie Colony
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) An investigation spread to a "hippie colony" here Friday as officers sought a killer who stabbed a tall, pretty coed in the neck 26 times and left her body in the Blanco River.
The victim was brunette Martha Sue Thompson, 21, a Southwest Texas State University junior who acquaintances say preferred hippies and "weirdos" as friends.
The daughter of a former Corpus Christi Boy Scout executive, she was found Thursday among brambles in a foot of water.
She had been missing since Dec. 5 and authorities said she apparently died at least five days ago.
The body was discovered by a Highway Department employee under a bridge about 1.5 miles north of here at a favorite parking spot for young people.
More than a dozen lawmen, including a Texas Ranger, joined the investigation as they pressed for leads and a murder weapon.
HAYS COUNTY Sheriff Bobby Kinser said several students and other persons had been questioned and that the interviews had led to market progress in the case.
The investigation extended to a "hippie colony" here, he said, without elaborating.
Described as an "extremely pretty girl" with long, dark hair, Miss Thompson preferred to associate with "hippie" types, friends told newsmen.
"She didn't seem the type herself, but her friends were," said one acquaintance who asked that she not be named. "She seemed to let her apartment become a hangout for the hippies, for the weirdos."
Miss Thompson, a junior who graduated from Dubuque, Iowae, High School in 1966, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Owen (Scotty) Thompson. Recently a Boy Scout executive in Corpus Christi, Thompson resigned only Wednesday to take a position in San Marcos.
DR. COLEMAN DE CHANAR, chief pathologist at the state hospital in Austin, said the victim's skull bore a fracture the size of a quarter and 26 stab wounds were found in the neck area. She apparently died at least five days ago, he said.
The murder weapon, Dr. De Chanar said, apparently was of extremely hard, sharp, pointed metal with a blade at least 2 1/2 inches long.
"Whether it was a knife or a bayonet or a homemade device, there's no telling," he said.
The pathologist said the body was clad in a coat, maroon sweater and maroon skirt but no underclothing. The victim was wearing knee-high black boots when found and the dress had been pulled over her head.
Dr. De Chanar said Miss Thompson also suffered abrasions about the nose and a blow to the forehead, apparently with a blunt object.
HE SAID it had not been immediately determined whether she had been sexually molested or whether she was placed in the river before or after death.
A team of experts in the Department of Public Safety laboratory at Austin was conducting tests to determine this, he said. He indicated results would be available as early as Saturday morning.
SWT sophmore Doris Davis of San Antonio, who knew Miss Thompson, described the coed as "extremely pretty," about 5-foot-5 with shoulder-length hair. Another friend described her as much taller, possibly 5-foot-9.
Friends said Miss Thomspson lived alone off-campus and worked at a hamburger stand in addition to attending classes.
Friends contacted Thompson after his daughter failed to keep a luncheon date Dec. 5.
Miss Thompson was described by classmates as a good athlete and a fencing enthusiast.