Urlifestyle Magazine October 2016 October 2016 - Page 10

Arlis quickly found a job as a receptionist at the law firm of Spaeth, Blase, Valentine and Klein in Palo Alto and used the car to drive to and from work. The two had been in California just six weeks when, late on the evening of Saturday, October 12, they went out for a walk and to mail a letter. Around 11:50 p.m., Bruce complained that Arlis needed to check the air pressure in the tires on the car more often because the air was low in one of them. This prompted an angry retort from his wife, who was likely feeling homesick. She walked away indicating she was going to Stanford Memorial Church to pray. This wasn’t unusual for Arlis and as she made her way to the lovely Romanesque place of worship on Main Quad, Bruce headed back to the dormitory to study. Several people saw Arlis inside the cruciform church that night and when Stephen Blake Crawford announced it was almost midnight and the church was closing, she did not leave immediately. As the final few visitors were making their way outside, some of them recalled seeing a sandy-haired man. When his wife did not return, Bruce went out and searched for her and around 3 a.m., called the Stanford police and reported her missing. Officers reportedly were sent to the church where she was last seen and found the doors locked. Bruce waited anxiously, but it was almost dawn when police knocked on his door. By this time, he was a wreck and the officers insisted he accompany them to the station to complete a missing-person report. However, once they arrived, Bruce wasn’t given a form to complete, but instead was taken to an interrogation room where an officer began by growling: "We know your wife was having an affair and you found out!" They also insinuated: “She told you she was pregnant and you got angry!" At first, Bruce was perplexed, but as the statements and questions continued, he became terrified. When the police knocked at his door, he was wearing shorts and a tee-shirt and wasn’t allowed to pull on a pair of pants or grab a sweater; they did not even allow him to put on shoes. “You want a cigarette?” a detective inquired again, even though he had already told them he did not smoke. “Where’s my wife?” he asked over and over 10 again, but the men declined to answer. Finally, after more than two hours of intense grilling, a technician taking his fingerprints told him Arlis was dead. Later, Bruce Perry was administered a polygraph test and cleared of his wife’s murder. At approximately 5:40 that morning, Crawford, the night watchman, discovered the body of a young woman in the church. He immediately called police and they proceeded to examine the body and the gruesome scene. She was on her back with her legs spreadeagled, partially concealed beneath a pew, where she had, apparently, been praying a few hours before. Her head lolled to the left and her right arm was palm-down beneath her waist. There were deep purple bruises on her neck matching the pattern of her brown wood-andglass bead necklace. Her dark brown, double- breasted jacket was open and the tan sweater she wore underneath was pushed several inches above her waist and a 24-inch-long yellow beeswax candle had been shoved upward between her breasts with such force both straps of her brassiere had broken. Her blue Levis and panties had been removed and the jeans draped across her body. A second, identical candle had been rammed into her vagina so violently that it snapped in the process. Initially, it was assumed Arlis Perry had been strangled to death, however, during the autopsy, a 5½-inch icepick was discovered jammed into the base of her skull, tearing upward at a 45-degree angle into her right brain. Police had not seen the icepick because the attack was so intense the wooden handle of the instrument had broken off. The wooden attachment was not found at the scene, meaning the killer had taken it with him. The medical examiner determined Perry had not been raped, but there was a semen deposit on a nearby kneeling cushion left by a man who could have had type O blood. A partial hand print was lifted from one of the candles, but because 101 other prints were found, it was virtually useless. Noteworthy is the fact Arlis Perry had terrible eyesight and always wore glasses or contact lenses, yet neither was found at the scene. A door on the west side of the church was ajar, suggesting the killer had broken out after Steve Crawford locked the church around midnight and after the doors were checked by both Crawford and Bruce Perry. Law enforcement officers received the descriptions of seven late visitors to the church that night, one of whom was a man described as approximately 5'10"-tall, of me- dium buil d with sandy brown hair. No one knew the man, or had seen him before, and he was never found. During the investigation, Guy Blase, an attorney at the law firm where Arlis worked, revealed he had seen Arlis engaged in an intense conversation with a man on the afternoon of Friday, October 11. Assuming the man was her husband, he thought nothing of it. His description of the white male was early 20s with curly, sandy blond hair, of medium build and approximately 5'10" in height. Her co-workers said the visitor was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt and recalled that Arlis seemed upset following her confrontation with the person whom everyone thought was Bruce Perry. As soon as Arlis Perry's corpse was released by the medical examiner, her parents had their daughter’s body shipped home to Bismarck for burial. She was laid to rest Friday, October 18, at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Less than two weeks later, on Halloween, her temporary grave marker was stolen and there are those who believe it was taken by local Satanists as a victory memento. Three years later, in August 1977, David Berkowitz, a 24-year-old postal employee, was arrested and charged with the “Son of Sam” murders which had begun in July 1976. Berkowitz confessed, but many – including Maury Terry – considered his confession scripted and contradictory and Terry started his own investigation. He finally convinced the Queens district attorney and Yonkers police that Berkowitz had not acted alone and Berkowitz himself claimed he committed just two of the Son of Sam attacks while other members of a Satanic cult, of which he was a member, did the others. During his 10-year investigation, Terry discovered a link between the Son of Sam killings and the murder of Arlis Perry and that link was the Process Church of the Final Judgment, which was formed in England in the 1960s by renegade Scientologists Robert and Mary Ann De Grimston. Shortly after the De Grimston’s founded their church, they were branded Satanists because their new Bismarck native Arlis Perry was killed in CA in 1974 as part of the Son of Sam cult killings. 11