I wrote about another, long standing, El Paso mystery that involved an El Paso couples mysterious disappearance. Here's another one for you ...

All we know about that story is that 2 people vanished and some circumstantial evidence indicated possible foul play and/or espionage.

As strange as that one was, this one is even stranger.

The Frome's ... Mother Hazel and daughter Nancy ... were traveling from Berkeley, California to South Carolina in 1938 when they passed through El Paso. They never went any farther.

Both ladies were murdered, in the middle of nowhere, and the lingering questions are who did it and why?

All that is known is that the ladies developed car trouble in El Paso and spent a few days here. Once it was repaired, they left only to be found later in the desert near Van Horn, face down, partially naked, badly beaten and shot in the head.

Robbery doesn't seem to be a motive as all their jewelry was still with them however  their luggage was missing. Things get really crazy with regard to their next moves, witnesses who saw the car being followed and what led to the discovery of the bodies.

One theory involves The Frome's being the victims to a Nazi spy ring operating in El Paso. Rumors of espionage also played into the disappearance of The Patterson's.

Other theories included:

  • A jealous/vengeful woman who may have been following The Frome's.
  • A California based friend of Nancy's who was said to have been in El Paso recently was also looked at.
  • 2 other women, driving the same model car made it possible that it was a case of mistaken identity, with the wrong ladies being killed.
  • Marital problems between Hazel and her husband sparked theories of him being involved.
  • A local iron-worker who had some nice feminine items that he really shouldn't have had also came under suspicion.
  • A con artist who posed as a doctor and performed secret abortions was suspected at one point. The article I read didn't say how his name got in the mix.

Statesman.com says that the investigation was further complicated by infighting among the different law enforcement agencies that were involved.

Finally, what little info was in the case file was shredded and no record of who did it or why exists.

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