Justice for Steven Teran, Valerie Teran,
Paula Holguin
and Amy Houser

After 12 years, the horrific events that took the lives of three members of one family cannot be let go. Steven Teran's family has had to live with the fact that Steven, Paula and Little Valerie were executed on February 10, 1990 for absolutely no logical reason in what has long since been dubbed the "Bowling Alley Massacre" in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Steven worked at Las Cruces Bowling Alley and his wife was attending classes. This Saturday was no different for the family, with Steven heading off to work around 8:00 am taking his two little girls along.  The bowling alley had a daycare center Valerie and Paula could stay in while he worked and their mother attended her Saturday class.

Already inside the Bowling Alley were the cook, Ida, Stephanie, the owner's daughter and manager, Stephanie's daughter Melissa, who was about 15 at the time and Melissa's friend Amy Houser, who was 13. The two young girls were there to supervise the daycare that day. Unknown to Steven, he was walking right into a massacre that would scar the very souls of families for years to come.

Steven walked through the door with his two little girls right into the middle of a supposed "Robbery" in progress. One of the two robbers met them as they walked in and led them into the office where the other four women were lying on the floor. They were ordered on the floor and within minutes the two robbers shot all seven people execution style.  They then started a fire on the desk and fled, leaving all seven people for dead.

Steven, Paula and Amy died instantly and Little Valerie died on the way to the hospital. Ida, Stephanie and Melissa survived. Despite being shot, Melissa was able to get up and call 911, then tried to put out the fire.

When emergency personnel arrived, they found the office full of smoke and seven bodies. They immediately removed all the bodies outside. Although emergency personnel were trying to save lives, in the process evidence was destroyed.

Las Cruces police had never encountered an incident such as this and were not prepared to handle it although they put in a tremendous effort when this tragedy occurred.

The suspects (at the time) were described as being of Hispanic or Latin race, the older one from his late 30's to early 40's, 5' 5", medium build about 160 to 180 pounds. The younger one was described in his mid to late 20's, 5'6" to 5'8" medium build, approx 190 pounds.

Ida stated that she "sensed" that the robbers did not have robbery as their primary motive, it was if they "were looking for something else before they went to the safe". Ida had also mentioned that some time before this incident, she (and others) thought she had seen people who looked exactly like them sitting at a table and just watching everyone, not bowling, playing pool, or anything else offered at the bowling alley.

The two suspects did not wear masks or gloves, and were seen by many running across a very busy street (Amador Ave) and alleyway. They were seen by another bowling alley employee before he left the parking area, prior to the incident, outside the building. LCPD believes that someone may have sheltered them after the incident.

This tragedy has been covered on Unsolved Mysteries, America's Most Wanted and Montel.  Despite numerous tips and possible suspects, nothing has ever been solved in this tragedy.

Steven had ask his brother long ago to take care of his daughters if anything ever happened to him, and although his daughters have passed on, he is still on a quest to "take care of them" and bring all of them justice.

Please if you have any information about this case, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, please contact Detective Mark Meyers with the Las Cruces Police Department.

News Articles

Worst murder in Las Cruces history still unsolved after 10 years

Click on image to view age-enhanced images,
rendered by the incredible forensic artist Lois Gibson.

Sun within horizon
Softly ends the day
Into twilight beauty
With glory on display

Rays of light upon us
Diffused light soft bouquet
Gloaming softly warming
In grandest soft array

Magic in this moment
For all our eyes to see
Gentle beads of twilight
Beckoning to me

Feel the peace in twilight
Soft the gentle ray
Feel the soothing calmness
Ending of our day

Universal masterpiece
Of beauty in our sky
Twilight's kiss upon the earth
With gratitude we sigh.

~ Francine Pucillo ~
Copyright January 2003





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