On February 10, 1990, two men staged a vicious execution in a bowling alley in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They shot seven people, killed four, and vanished without a trace. Employees of the bowling alley (two of whom had brought their children) had gathered to open up that Saturday morning when two men burst into the alley intent on robbery. The seven were herded into the bowling alley’s office and shot at close range. The gunmen stole some $4,000 to $5,000, set fire to the office, and left. One of the victims, 12-year-old Melissia Repass, managed to call the police for help even though she had been shot five times. The dead included 26-year-old Steve Teran, the bowling alley mechanic, his two-year-old daughter Valerie, Melissia’s 12-year-old friend Amy Houser, and six-year-old Paula Hoguin.
The killers were described as Hispanic men, one around 30, and another around 45 or 50. They were never caught. Whether the killings were motivated by revenge or were merely an attempt to eliminate witnesses of the robbery remains unknown. A civil suit was brought against the bowling alley’s owner by the mother of Amy Houser, but jurors eventually found he was not liable. A documentary, called A Nightmare in Las Cruces, was released in 2010.