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Murdering Ex-Marine Undergoing Brain Tests in Jersey

June 25, 1962 - James H. Vance Jr., the 18-year-old former Marine who confessed to the killing of two teenage girls, began a series of psychiatric and brain tests today. Vance is accused of killing Noreen Buckley, 17, and Margaret Ann Kennedy, 16, with a tire wrench. Vance confessed early yesterday after calling a detective to his cell. He was said to have told the following story: On Wednesday night, he met the girls, former schoolmates of his, at a Morristown luncheonette, and they asked him to drive them to their homes in Morris Plains. He was driving his father’s car. He told the girls he had wrecked his own while racing it on a dirt lane in the woods. The girls scoffed at his story but agreed to drive out to see the wreck. When they got to the scene, the car was gone [the police having towed it away]. Vance and Miss Kennedy walked into the woods to look for it. Miss Buckley said she did not believe there had been a wreck, and went back to the car. Miss Kennedy asked Vance to go back and get Miss Buckley because she did not want to be alone with him. Vance went back, opened the car trunk, and took out the tire wrench. Miss Buckley got out of the car and saw Vance with the wrench. “Something snapped” at that moment, according to the police report of Vance’s story, and he hit the girl with the wrench. Then he went back along the path to the Kennedy girl. She screamed and he hit her too. Vance then drove away, throwing the tire wrench out of the window. It was found the next day. Vance will be tested at Greystone Park State Hospital in Morris Plains, N.J., for the next few days. He will be returned to jail in Morristown each night.

#crime #OTD #police #criminal #murder