The Josiah and Sara Moore family home at 508 East 2nd Street in Villisca, Iowa became a crime scene sometime between 11:00 p.m. on Children's Day, Sunday June 9th, and 2:00 a.m Monday morning June 10, 1912.  The entire family of two adults and four children, along with two visiting children, were murdered with an axe while they slept. Local law enforcement lost control of the crime scene the next morning and dozens, perhaps hundreds, of townspeople entered the home to view the carnage.  As a result, evidence was moved, destroyed, and altered making the crime impossible to solve.
But what if we could turn back the hands of time and take a second look?  Would new clues emerge?  For our documentary feature film Villisca: Living With a Mystery, Randy and Deannelle Sheppard have created a computer-animated walk-through based on 500 pages of grand jury testimony related to the crime scene, period and contemporary photographs, and dimensions provided by the current owner of the house, Darwin Linn.

We have attempted to return the house to the state in which it was discovered by the first person to view the entire crime scene, Villisca Marshall Hank Horton.  This walk-through has a dual purpose.  First, it allows us to visualize the crime scene within the documentary.  Second, it may provide important insight to forensic experts who are assessing the criminal psychology behind the 89-year-old case.

For the purposes of this preview, still-frames* from the animation will not reveal crime scene details.  Instead they allow us to turn back the clock to the afternoon of June 9, 1912 and step, if only for a moment, into the distant past.

*All images are preliminary and the final animated walk-through in the film will have even greater detail.


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