A man who was found guilty of killing a 14-year-old girl and dumping her body just south of Greenville in 1990 pled guilty Monday, March 26, to two counts of capital murder.  According to a press release from the Crockett County Texas District Attorney, Robert Ben Rhoades, age 66, admitted to killing newlyweds Patricia Candice Walsh, age 24, and Douglas Scott Zyskowski, age 28.  The charges were filed in Crockett County with the case being tried in neighboring Sutton County.  The young couple were missionaries who were hitchhiking their way across Texas when they accepted a ride from Rhoades, who drives a semi-truck cross country.  Zyskowski’s body was found along Interstate 10 in Crockett County in January of 1990.  Walsh’s nude body was found in Millard County in Utah near Interstate 15 in 1990.  Family members of the two victims were present for the guilty pleas.

Rhoades is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of 14-year-old Regina K. Walters, whose body was found in an abandoned barn south of Greenville near Interstate 70, 22 years ago.  Reports indicated the body of Walter’s 18-year-old boyfriend, Ricky Lee Jones, had been found in Lamar County, Mississippi in 1990.  Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel told WGEL that skeletal remains were found in 1991, but at this time, neither the FBI nor the Texas Rangers have informed him as to the identity of the body.  The two teens had run away from their home in Pasadena, Texas and were heading to New Mexico when Rhoades picked them up.

WGEL spoke with retired Master Sergeant Michael Sheeley who led the 1990 investigation in Bond County about Rhoades.  Sheeley said he believed Rhoades will have most likely made some sort of deal with the prosecutors to avoid receiving the death sentence.  He went on to say he hopes Rhoades will divulge information regarding additional homicides in which he may have been involved.  This would bring closure to families who have missing loved ones.  According to Sheeley, there was a lot of information which indicated Rhoades may have been involved in several other homicides.  Sheeley said Rhoades is a vicious individual, who is now behind bars thanks to the hard work of Bond County Officers and Judge John Knight, who was the State’s Attorney at the time. The life sentence Rhoades received for the deaths of Walsh and Zyskowski will be served consecutively to the life sentence he is currently serving in Illinois.



The Greenville High School 2012 Prom Court includes senior queen candidates Shelby Barber, Cayla Bollinger, Kelly Faulkner, Carley Hall, Adrianna Kuhl, Katie Pollman, Elle Shaw, and Alex Willey. Senior king candidates are Dylan Bone, Kort Branscome, Dylan Carr, Alex Childerson, Kevin Foley, Adam Kalous, Teddy Langham, and Michael Schlemper.  This year’s prom is Saturday, May 5, beginning at 8:00 p.m.


One of America’s best-known, professional quilters will highlight a trunk show and lecture Thursday, May 31 at the Greenville Free Methodist Church.  Pat Speth, of St. Paul, Minnesota, began quilting in 1989 and turned her passion into a career in 2003.  Since then, Speth has traveled the country sharing her love of quilting at workshops and lectures. Speth will have more than 20 quilts on display and following her lecture will do a Nickel Quilts book signing.
The event, sponsored by the Creative Stitchers Guild, begins at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $20.00 in advance and may be purchased by calling Jane at 217-532-3721.


According to Secretary of State Jesse White, entry forms are available for the Eighth Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.  The competition is named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks.  Kevin Stein, who succeeded Brooks as Illinois Poet Laureate, will select the winners.  Winners will read their poems and receive awards at a ceremony at the Illinois State Library in Springfield. The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over and entries must be postmarked by June 30.  For more information, call 217-558-2065.



Evelyn E. Roniger

Evelyn E. Roniger, age 95, of Spendor, Texas, formerly of Highland, passed away Wednesday, April 4 at Regent Care Center, The Woodlands, Texas.  A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland.  Burial will be in Hug Cemetery in Millersburg, Illinois.  Friends may call Monday, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. at the Meridith Funeral Home in Highland.

Karen M. Jansen

Karen M. Jansen, age 49, of Breese, passed away Wednesday, April 4.  A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be Monday, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese.  Burial will be in St. Dominic/St. Augustine Cemetery.  Friends may call Monday, from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the church.  Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Southern Illinois or to the St. Augustine Building Fund.  Hempen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 



SATURDAY - mostly sunny, high 67, low 47

SUNDAY - sunny, high 67, low 43



Tune into Public Affairs this Sunday following the noon Bond County Area news on WGEL Radio.  Michelle’s guest this week is Mark Terry, Assistant Director of Consumer Education at the Illinois Department of Insurance.  They will discuss how the Department of Insurance has been helping the people of Harrisburg after the Leap Day tornadoes devastated the area, and they will talk about the US Supreme Court case being heard on healthcare reform.  That’s Public Affairs this Sunday following the noon Bond County Area news here at WGEL.

Wgel.com | Community Calendar | Daily Archive