Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Lead surfaces in Housman killing; deathbed confession to nurse could be breakthrough

From the From the archives: Coverage of the Angie Housman case series
  • 0
Body of Angie Housman found in August A. Busch Wildlife area in St. Charles County

Police detectives and sheriff's deputies near the scene in the August A. Busch Wildlife area in St. Charles County, where a body believed to be Angie Housman's was found on Saturday, Nov. 27, 1993. St. Louis Post-Dispatch file photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

This story was published in the Post-Dispatch on Nov. 20, 1997

A promising new lead, based on a deathbed confession to a nurse, has surfaced on the fourth anniversary of the torture and death of 9-year-old Angie Housman, the Post-Dispatch has learned.

The possible breakthrough is the result of statements made by Bryant Squires who, just before he died of cancer last year, told his nurse a sordid tale about his involvement in several killings, police sources said.

One of those killings was of Angie Housman.

"He wanted to make his peace with God," said a source, explaining why Squires allegedly talked about his crimes.

Angie disappeared Nov. 18, 1993, after she got off her school bus up the street from her home, on Wright Avenue in St. Ann. Nine days later, her body was found tied to a tree in woods in St. Charles County. She had been raped, tortured and denied food and water during her captivity.

She was handcuffed, and duct tape had been wrapped around her head and covered her mouth. Angie died from exposure.

"Squires said he and another man kidnapped Angie and held her for several days," said an investigator close to the case. "They knew of the St. Ann neighborhood through previous drug dealings."

The source said that after the kidnappers tied Angie to the tree, "they were scared off by a passer-by."

Investigators do not know the identity of Squires' alleged accomplice but are confident of finding out.

The accomplice could not have been Squires' close friend, Nathan D. "Danny" Williams, 37, because Williams was in prison at the time, serving a lengthy sentence for raping a child.

Williams also is awaiting trial in the slaying of a volunteer social worker in St. Louis in 1975, and he is the prime suspect in the disappearance in 1989 of 13-year-old Gina Dawn Brooks of Fredericktown.

Gina's body has never been found.

Squires told two nurses that he and Williams kidnapped Gina. He also said that Williams fatally stabbed the social worker, Laura Michele Dinwiddie, the source said. Williams was 14 at the time of that killing.

"Much of what the nurses have related from Squires has proven accurate and true," said the police source.

Squires, who also was suffering from complications of AIDS, died Sept. 18, 1996, in St. Louis at the age of 37. His nurses didn't immediately go to authorities because the stories he told were so horrible, they thought they couldn't be true, the source said.

Police learned of Squires' conversations with the nurses when St. Louis homicide detectives reopened the Dinwiddie case last year.

Florissant Police Chief Robert Lowery Sr., head of the St. Louis area Major Case Squad, said he was encouraged by the new information.

"It's a promising lead," Lowery acknowledged. "It's just as promising as any of the others."

The squad has investigated hundreds of leads and eliminated hundreds of suspects in Angie's case.

Some empty leads include:

*The disappearance of Cassidy Senter, 10, two weeks after Angie's. Many investigators suspected that case was related to Angie's. It wasn't. Cassidy's body was found nine days later in an alley in St. Louis. She had been beaten. A man living in her north St. Louis County neighborhood, Thomas L. Brooks Jr., was convicted of Cassidy's murder and sentenced to death. He wasn't involved in Angie's death, authorities believe.

*A Texan, Gary Stufflebean, became a suspect in both cases after he was linked to the sexual abuse and attempted abduction of an 11-year-old girl in Maryland Heights on Nov. 8, 1993. He pleaded guilty in that case but was cleared of the two killings.

*A confessed child molester arrested in Bradenton, Fla., in March 1994, had newspaper clippings about Angie's death in his possession. But John Wayne Parsons was cleared of the killing.

*Another 9-year-old girl, was kidnapped and slain in Arlington, Texas, in January 1996. Again, no connection to Angie.

Investigators even checked out the eerie story of a young boy who said he was in a family of witches and witnessed Angie's death during a satanic ritual.

Each time, investigators came up empty.

"I still sincerely believe we'll solve the case," Lowery said. "I really do believe we'll eventually get the break we need."

0 Comments

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Trending

National News

News