Ronda Ellen Manley

By

Bonnie M. Wells

www.starlightinnerprizes.com

That February Night

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I still remember the night Judy and I met with Georgia Rudolph and Mary Dye to discuss Mary's dream that she was convinced was about Terri Roach.

And I remember as we were leaving the restaurant how Rudolph had indicated a car that was leaving the parking lot and said that the woman driving it would be dead within a short time. It had scared me that night, and I'd wondered why she had not said something in time to warn the woman.

It would be the first of many questions about Georgia Rudolph and her "abilities."

Anger Without Reason

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I brought Mary Dye to Wild Bill's property at four o'clock in the morning. She failed to agree that the property and house were those that she had described from her dream.

I was slightly surprised in the evening of that same day, when Wild Bill seemed agitated with me. After a few minutes of questioning, he blurted out that he'd seen me on his property at four o'clock that morning.

Well, it was true, but, I wasn't doing anything wrong; never even got out of my vehicle....and how did he know I was there?

He said he got up to go to the rest room and peeked out the window and saw me.

That's odd. The bathroom light never came on while I was there.

I wondered if he had not followed me to Marietta and sat somewhere watching me inside the restaurant, and raced back to his house just ahead of me.

That sounded more like his style. After all, I'd already caught the man following me around and watching me through binoculars on two occasions!

A Honda Motorcycle For Wild Bill

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In April of 1992, my husband and I sold Wild Bill a wine colored Honda motor cycle and purchased a new one for ourselves. We were all planning on attending the Gold Wing Road Riders Convention in Wisconsin later that summer.

As soon as he got his hands on the motor cycle, I noticed a change in his attitude. It started with little lies and time lapses. He'd run down to the post office, which was a five minute trip and he'd be gone for an hour or more. Or maybe he'd go to the grocery store and be gone for two hours.....unless I was with him, in which case it was a half hour trip! Something wasn't right.

I don't know how many times I called his house in the middle of the night.....two or three o'clock in the morning and he wouldn't be there. Where was he?

And there were those times that I'd hear the washing machine or the clothes dryer running in the background of our phone conversation, and I'd ask why he was doing laundry in the middle of the night. Only to be told he was doing his work clothes that he'd forgot to wash or dry before going to bed.

He had plenty of work clothes ... enough to get him through an entire week without having to do any laundry. Besides that, I did most of his housework, laundry, grocery shopping, etc back in those days, and his laundry was never piled up. Too many things didn't make any sense.

I remembered a few times that I'd spoke to him during the night and heard the dryer running, and had been told he was drying his cover-all's for work the next day. There again, he had several pair of cover-all's. And I remember how surprised I was a time or two when I went to his house the next day and discovered dirty clothes in the hamper. Why hadn't he washed those clothes along with the cover-all's? If I dared ask the question, the only "answer" I ever got was sudden anger.


Still Naive

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Judy and I were still conducting our "background search and investigation" on Mr. A, and Wild Bill was still helping us.

My husband had a birthday coming up on August 25th, and if my hunch was right, we were up for another murder.

I'd predicted the "disappearance" of Patsy Sparks and hit the date right on the nose. Of course I had not known "who" would be abducted {and ultimately murdered} but had said it would be a Washington County female. Now, I feared there was yet another murder fast approaching.

Surveillance Intensifies

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Judy and I began our surveillance of Mr. "A" several nights ahead of August 25th, just like we'd done before Patsy disappeared, and once again Wild Bill was "helping." He was supposed to take the night shift on August 24th, 1992....but as usual, he threw one of his little tantrums and got out of it.

In fact, he threw his tantrum on August 22nd. We had attended a Connie Smith concert at a local high school along with his son. The boy had been rude and ill-mannered the entire evening. I finally made a comment about his attitude and said that had I known how he was going to act, I would never have bought him a ticket! Ticked old Wild Bill off again. No one was allowed to say anything about that hoodlum he was raising. Well, that wasn't my style. If I had something to say, then I was going to say it. If the boy was that bored then he should have stayed home ...... simple as that.

We were supposed to go to a cook out on August 23rd, but I knew when we parted on the 22nd that he wouldn't be around to attend the cook-out. I was right. He didn't show up on the twenty-third, didn't call the entire day or night.

Didn't really matter to me. I was busy anyway.

He even missed work on August 24th. He told me later that he went motor cycle riding down around Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia. The man missed a day of work so he could go motor cycle riding? Didn't make any sense.

I pulled a double watch alone, and stuck to my "suspect" like glue. I moved on homeward as the sun was peeking through the morning of August 25th, and although I was tired, I returned home with a satisfied mind. Judy and I could probably relax after today because the man in question had made no moves against anyone. I was quite relieved.

Little did I realize that the "man in question" would shortly change from Mr. A, to my old friend Wild Bill! Nor did I realize that more than a dozen years later those questions would remain unanswered .....

2003 Note: To anyone working the Tammy Zywicki case in LaSalle, Illinois:

I have no record of Wild Bill's whereabouts from the time he dropped me off at my house on the evening of August 22nd, 1992, until approximately 4:30 pm on August 25th, 1992: He was not home during any of this time period, and although he later told me he was riding his motor cycle during the daylight hours of August 24th, it could not be proven by me, as his truck was nowhere to be found. For some reason he didn't want me to know he was driving the truck. Perhaps he had a very good reason for this.

August 25th, 1992

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The news paper said that Ronda Ellen Manley was eighteen years old, had been stabbed 21 times and left lying in a storm drain along the road that ran through Oak Grove Cemetery in Marietta, Ohio.

Friends said she was afraid of the cemetery after dark, and I wondered who she had gone there with and why... and from somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, I could hear Wild Bill laughing and talking about the Honda motor cycle he'd bought from Mike and me. Sometimes we'd let him ride our new bike while we rode the old one ... he'd laugh and call it "our honda" meaning it still belonged to all three of us. There was only one thing that bothered me now though. When he'd said "our honda," it had sounded more like "R- and Honda," instead of "our". Did it mean anything? Was my imagination running away with me?

The newspapers said Ronda worked at Shoney's Restaurant in Marietta and I thought of Terri Roach and how she had worked in a restaurant also. And I thought of the meeting with Georgia Rudolph and Mary Dye and how strangely Wild Bill had acted later that day .... and how strangely he'd acted the day and night of Ronda's murder .... but .... I didn't know if that was important or if it was just a coincidence.

August 25th was not only my husband's birthday but was also the anniversary of the day that Wild Bill's second wife had finally had enough and walked away for the last time. Was it a coincidence that Ronda had been stabbed 21 times and that my "birth number" was 21.....birthday is January - 21st, or was it a "message?"

During my interviews into Ronda's case, one man told me that she worked night shift ... and I thought back to that early February night at Shoney's and wondered if Ronda was our dark haired waitress that night? I would never know for sure, but had the strangest feeling that she was.

Terri Roach had been murdered in July of 1990. Patsy Sparks had disappeared in April of 1992, just within a day or so of being precisely four months ahead of Ronda's murder. Some said Patsy ran away but I didn't believe that for one second.

Terri Roach, Patsy Sparks and now Ronda Manley .... and this on top of Anna Marie Brown, Deputy Ray Clark, Jill Bohl, Marie Blough and Janet Miller! Seemed like an awful lot of unsolved murders for such a small area.

Did any of it make any sense at all? I didn't know......nor did I know where Wild Bill had been all day and all night..... and for about 36 hours total! And for the very first time, I began to seriously wonder about a man who I thought was my friend.

Honey I'm Home!

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Wild Bill called me in the late evening of August 25th, but we only talked a few minutes. It seemed he wanted me to know that he'd taken the motor cycle to the Charleston and Huntington areas of West Virginia on August 24th, and when I tried to tell him about Ronda he didn't have time to listen.

I checked the Huntington and Charleston area news. A 17 year old girl by the name of R. Cottrell had disappeared from the area that day. I never obtained any more information about the Cottrell girl......but since she is not listed on the West Virginia's State Police Missing Person File, I assume she showed up. To this day, I'd like to know if she went for a motor cycle ride that day with an "older man." And down the road just a few years after Ronda's murder, I'd love to ask the Cottrell girl if she had a younger sister or a cousin or anyone named Cottrell that she introduced the older man to that August day, because on my mother's "birthday" in 1996 a fifteen year old Charleston girl was brutally murdered and left lying behind a dumpster. Her name was Chastity (Dawn) Cottrell, and her case remains unsolved.

Interest In Cold Cases

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My interest in the Manley case continues, just as in all the other cases. I talk to whoever will talk to me and maintain my own files on the cases.

And every once in a while.....when time allows, I go back through my notes and news clippings.

The last time I went through Ronda's file I re-read the notes I'd written when I spoke to a person who had worked with Ronda and that person had told me about a white or light colored vehicle....a truck or a van.... they were not certain which....that had come and backed into a dark parking spot beside the restaurant several times before Ronda was murdered.....but which had never returned since then. Since the vehicle had been "sort of dolled-up....the witness had thought it was one of the girls' boyfriends who was waiting for his girlfriend to get off work so he could give her a ride home.

I'd like to think that too.

And perhaps if another person had not told me that the inside word was that... "Ronda's killer was a Lee Greenwood....look-a-like" .......

Wild Bill Lee Greenwood

and if Wild Bill had not fit that description in August of 1992.....then perhaps I could have completely ignored the piece in the local news paper that quoted an eyewitness who had seen a "dolled-up, white Chevy S-10....or Toyota truck leaving the Oak Grove Cemetery in the early morning hours of August 25th, 1992!

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In 1992, Wild Bill drove a white, dolled up, Toyota truck. He was not home at the time Ronda Manley was murdered.

The above photo was taken in 1992 or 1993. It shows my Thunderbird sitting in front of Wild Bill's garage, and a portion of the white, dolled-up Toyota truck can be seen in the rear of the garage.

Attention FBI:

2003: I have just learned of the murder of Tammy Zywicki on August 23rd, 1992, and according to some "inside information" that I will not reveal here on this web site, it is my opinion that someone should investigate the possibility that this man was not even within a 200 mile radius of this area on August 23rd, 1992. Personally I would love to know where he called from when he phoned himself off from work on the morning of August 24th, 1992!

Please see the following for more info and details .....

Button Synopsis - Pennsylvania & Illinois

Next

A Suspect Is Named

Bonnie M. Wells

Lookin' For A Killer Series

Dreams Panned-Out Series

Without A Trace Series

The Symbolic Cases

The Pure Coincidence Book Series