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  1. #1

    Default The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    The night before the Kennedy Assassination a mother, Margery Elston and her eighteen year old daughter from a previous marriage named Melinda Strain departed their home in Warr Acres in the evening to visit some friends in Nichols Hills. They were driving a brand new Cadillac.

    They disappeared, no trace of them or their vehicle. Due to the Kennedy Assassination the next afternoon the story got very little news coverage.

    In 1990 during construction of the Hefner Parkway or the Stars and Stripes Park at Lake Hefner, a dike and culvert surrounding a pond, referred to as "The Duck Pond" was disturbed allowing the pond to rapidly drain at which time the top of a vehicle was observed.

    It was found to be the Elston vehicle and the two missing women were still inside.

    A friend that does YouTube features regarding Oklahoma City area history and unusual incidents is preparing a video regarding this tragedy and is trying to locate the pond involved.

    All the old roadways have been changed or removed due to the construction of Hefner Parkway, but several of the ponds which were constructed to control overfill of Lake Hefner still remain and a man that passed away recently proclaimed the pond involved still exists.

    Anybody have knowledge of the exact location of the pond involved?

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Searching Google for "Margery Elston" came up with a few clues (one from OKCTalk, ironically) but I don't think an exact location.

    http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.ph...565#post146565 says the duck pond on the south side of hefner.

    https://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/...67980ec9e.html says the west side of the Lake Hefner duck pond.

    https://newsok.com/article/2314667/c...-year-old-case has a touch more info, mentioning that it was during construction of Lake Hefner parkway.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Thank you so much, all information helps. I have a friend that is a Retired OKC Police Accident Investigator and he informs us the officer that conducted the investigation upon discovery of the vehicle in 1990 has passed away, but there may have been other officers that assisted, he will try to find out any additional information. I am hoping possibly a retired OKC firefighter that assisted in the body recoveries may see this post and offer information as to the exact location. I remember there was a weekly newspaper in Bethany that covered the Bethany, Warr Acres and far Northwest OKC areas. They may have an article archive, my friend is checking that out now as well of the possibility that the Bethany Public Library may also have an archive. Being a Retired Dallas Police Detective, I find this a challenger, as it is stated, "THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES". The information you provided discloses the husband and step-father, Gentry Elston remarried and his second wife's daughter Carol Fisher was at the location where the vehicle was discovered and she arranged the funeral services for the victims which makes me believe she lives in OKC or nearby. Hoping somebody knows her and can provide contact information. Carol Fisher's mother was Jane, so prior to marrying Gentry Elston, I assume her name was Jane Fisher, another clue to work on.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    if i had to make a guess, it was here:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@35.5485...!3m1!1e3?hl=en


    here is an aerial from 1969... i doubt much changed between that and 1963.
    http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=29438

    going from warr acres to nichols hills, i don't know why somebody wouldn't just stay on grand blvd... but if they made a left at the baseball diamond and continued north, missing the curve would put a car right into that pond.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I had no idea there were so many small ponds in this area and we have received so many different as to which exact pond, some say it was on the east side of the roadway, some say the west side, but none say exactly what roadway, Grand Boulevard, Lake Hefner Drive. It is apparent the breaking of the dike which drained the pond disclosing the top of the vehicle occurred during the construction of Hefner Parkway as this is mentioned in several newspaper articles. I feel you have probably designated the pond in the Google Map Image you provided as it looks as it could have certainly been drained during the Hefner Parkway Construction. Thanks for the information, again all information helps.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    If you go southbound on May, from Britton Road, you'll see a sign at the Wilshire intersection saying "Kids Lake" with an arrow pointing west on Wilshire. That lake IS the old Duck Pond, which was on Wilshire just east of Grand Blvd (which vanished with construction of the Hefner Parkway). I used to go there and feed the ducks.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kyle View Post
    If you go southbound on May, from Britton Road, you'll see a sign at the Wilshire intersection saying "Kids Lake" with an arrow pointing west on Wilshire. That lake IS the old Duck Pond, which was on Wilshire just east of Grand Blvd (which vanished with construction of the Hefner Parkway). I used to go there and feed the ducks.
    the park labeled "kid's lake" is north of wilshire but i don't know for sure whether or not it includes the water south of wilshire. however, the portion of the pond north of wilshire and east of the lake did not exist in 1969 (and therefore not in '63)... at least from what i can tell from the aerials. that makes me think that the duck pond from your memory might have been the portion of "kid's lake" that is south of wilshire.

    here's a screenshot from google with the shoreline from the 1969 aerial superimposed...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (click on the thumbnail... unfortunately the site scaled the image down)

    edit: here's the full-res version

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I used to ride my dirt bike around that pond back in the 80's, just yards away from where the car and bodies were found. The location is between the west end of the Grand Boulevard bridge over the parkway and the curve in the jogging/bike trail where it turns from east/west direction to the north/south direction along the parkway. I rode by there countless times without a clue the they were resting only a few feet under the water the whole time. Sorry about the photo quality, but the red circle is pretty much where the Cadillac was pulled up. Keep in mind the layout of the land, the shape of the ponds and roads were quite a bit different.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I have studied about every old map and aerial photo of the area in the 1990 era and amazingly I thought the exact spot you circled would be the most favorable location. I have forwarded your reply and image to my friend and I can not thank you and the others that replied for their help and assistance and hope to hear from others, the more information the better the discovery.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Quote Originally Posted by rezman View Post
    I used to ride my dirt bike around that pond back in the 80's, just yards away from where the car and bodies were found. The location is between the west end of the Grand Boulevard bridge over the parkway and the curve in the jogging/bike trail where it turns from east/west direction to the north/south direction along the parkway. I rode by there countless times without a clue the they were resting only a few feet under the water the whole time. Sorry about the photo quality, but the red circle is pretty much where the Cadillac was pulled up. Keep in mind the layout of the land, the shape of the ponds and roads were quite a bit different.
    that location seems entirely plausible, too... especially given the part of the story where the car was discovered by joggers.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Quote Originally Posted by DallasCop2566 View Post
    I have studied about every old map and aerial photo of the area in the 1990 era and amazingly I thought the exact spot you circled would be the most favorable location. I have forwarded your reply and image to my friend and I can not thank you and the others that replied for their help and assistance and hope to hear from others, the more information the better the discovery.
    please let us know if you get a definitive answer!

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Will do, I am still hopeful we are able to locate a police officer or firefighter that was actually at the recovery, have several sources working on it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    There used to be a road where the jogging/bike path is now that went past the pond and curved up to Wilshire, so it makes perfect sense that they were on that east/west road and ran right off into the water. I remember when they pulled the car out and took it to the OCPD training center on N. Portland where the police forensics team went through it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I wonder what wrecker service the police utilized to transport the vehicle to the Training Center. They may still be in
    business and I can not imagine a better source of where the recovery was.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Back then on the north side it was probably Arrow or Metro wrecker service. They rotate around so no telling. Arrow is sill in business.

  16. Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    There should be archives on this. I remember reading about it back when they were clearing for the LHP and found the submerged car. It seems like the drivers remains were in the back seat if memory serves ?
    And yes, the kids pond was on the southeast corner of the lake.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    The Oklahoman should have archived articles on the subject. I remember they also ran a photo of the Cadillac sitting on the ground at the police training center.

    Yes the kids pond was and still is east of the pond where the car and remains were recovered.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I've never heard this story before. So did they suspect some sort of foul play or did the driver simply run off the road?

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    I believe foul play was suspected up to the day they were found, after which the conclusion was drawn that they failed to negotiate the curve coming back from Nichols Hills and shot off into the pond.

  20. Default Re: The Elston Mystery of November 1963

    Yep, that's it -- the little peninsula on the north side of the pond is where I fed the ducks. I've never actually driven out to see "Kids Lake" but was sure it was the old duck pond. Being sure is a perfect wayto be wrong!

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