Evil can be just around the corner, and sadly, sometimes, the evil doers walk away without being punished for their crimes. On the morning of February 10, 1990, the staff at Las Cruces Bowl were busy getting ready for the Saturday bowling crowd, when two armed men walked in through an unlocked door. The men were there to rob the place. They could have worn masks, or they could have just robbed the place and fled the scene, but they had no intention of being caught, and that meant that they couldn’t leave witnesses.
Stephanie C Senac, 34, who was the bowling alley manager, was in her office preparing to open the for the day. Her 12-year-old daughter Melissa Repass and Melissa’s 13-year-old friend Amy Houser were there to supervise the alley’s day care. The gunmen took them into the office, where they robbed them of a mere $4,000 to $5,000. As robberies go, it was practically nothing. When bowling alley mechanic Steven Teran came in with his two young daughters, Paula Holguin and Valerie Teran, they were totally unprepared for what faced them. Teran was unable to find a babysitter for his daughters that day, so he had decided that he would drop them at the bowling alley daycare for the Melissa and Amy to watch. As the robbers took cash from the safe, the seven unfortunate people, including Teran and his daughters; cook Ida Holguin (no relation to Paula); manager Stephanie Senac, her daughter, and her daughter’s friend tried to be cooperative in the hope of making it out alive, but the men told them to get down on the ground. Then they shot all of the victims multiple times at close range, aiming mostly for their heads. When the shooting was over, they were still not satisfied with how things stood, so they set fire to some papers in the office of the bowling alley and left.
Miraculously, Ida, Senac, and Melissa all survived. Melissa, despite being shot five times, was able to call 911. Unfortunately, the fire and subsequent efforts to put out the fire destroyed most of the evidence. In those days, forensics mostly involved fingerprints, which were in abundance in the bowling alley. DNA was not really as developed at that time. Investigators were unable to discern which fingerprints were meaningful. There were witnesses, of course, who identified the suspects as two Hispanic men, in their 30s or 40s. Roadblocks were quickly set up by the police, to screen anyone leaving town. Still, the suspects were never found. Despite a frequent stream of tips, authorities are no closer to identifying and arresting the suspects today than they were 32 years ago…even with age enhanced pictures. The murders have been shown on multiple crime solving programs, including on Unsolved Mysteries two and a half months after the murders, and on America’s Most Wanted twice, once in November 2004 and again in March 2010. In the end, the crime also took the life of Stephanie Senac, who died in 1999…nine years later, due to complications from her injuries. The men got away with just $4,000 to $5,000, but the victims paid dearly.
Leave a Reply