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The Triple Homicide of the Sisneros Family (January 1979)

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Posted By Travis Uresk| June 5th, 2022|

The downstairs neighbor was supposed to watch Yvonne Sisneros two children Carlos and Benjamin but they never showed up.

The downstairs neighbor was supposed to watch Yvonne Sisneros two children Carlos and Benjamin but they never showed up. She was concerned and went to check on them but when she knocked on the door to the apartment, there was no answer. Yvonne, 22, and the two children were found dead with multiple stab wounds by Ben Sisneros (the husband) in their Colorado Springs apartment on January 12, 1979. Lt. Joe Kenda of the Colo. Springs PD was called to investigate the triple homicide. Yvonne was strangled and stabbed 60 times in the chest, back and abdomen; there was evidence of a sexual assault.

Two-year-old Benjamin had been stabbed 22 times. And 4-year-old Carlos was stabbed 19 times; he also had crushing injuries to the head made with a barbell. This was a vicious frenzied attack. They were stabbed with some kind of tool; and a ball point pen with paint specks was left behind by the killer, the evidence lead to one perpetrator.

Ben Sisneros was the number one suspect initially. Ben was in the military and met Yvonne when she was 16. They were planning on having another child. Yvonne was 3 months pregnant when she was murdered. Ben was assigned to the Butts Army Air Field at Fort Carson; he was an air traffic controller. Ben Sisneros was at work at the time of the crime and was quickly ruled out by Lt. Kenda.

Ben was concerned when Yvonne didn’t answer the phone so when his shift ended he went straight home. The Army could back up his alibi. The coroner determined the deaths were between 9 and 11 a.m. There was no forced entry so the killer had the key or was let into the apartment. Then a witness reported to Lt. Kenda that he saw the maintenance man enter Ben and Yvonne Sisneros’ apartment the morning of the homicides.

Lt. Kenda got a warrant to search the premises of James Joseph Perry. His common law wife said he was not home at the time of the crime. She was employed as a cleaner at the apartment building and had a master key but when she went to retrieve it, it was missing. In the laundry room, Lt. Kenda found a bottle of bleach and the clothes that matched the description provided by the witness. Lt. Kenda took the clothes for analysis at the crime lab but he knew it most likely would not show anything because bleach destroys evidence.

Kenda needed to directly connect Perry to the crime. They found a pen with paint splatter at the scene of the crime. Kenda wanted to compare the paint Perry used on his last job to the paint on the pen they found. Kenda confiscated the paint cans from the maintenance building as evidence.

When investigators met up with Jimmy, Chief of Investigations, DA's Office Larry Martin noticed paint on his watch too. Perry was arrested and immediately asked for an attorney. Kenda believed Perry took the master key, quietly entered the Sisneros apartment, and then attacked Evonne first. Perry raped her, attacked her with a weapon, and killed her. He then attacked and killed the children because they witnessed what he did. He went home, bleached his clothes and went back to work.

The lab results supported the prosecutions theory. The paint from the pen and watch matched the paint Perry last used. At Perry’s trial, the jury reached a verdict and found the defendant not guilty on all counts. The investigators were shocked and felt like they let Ben, Yvonne and the children down. The case was closed, there were no one else to look at. All the evidence pointed towards Perry. After the trial, James Perry moved back to New York City. Several months later, Kenda received a phone call from the NYPD saying someone threw James Joseph Perry out of a 10th floor apartment window in the Bronx “and he didn’t bounce so good, well, my, my, my.”

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph (Newspaper) - January 14, 1979,

Colorado Springs, Perry the Only slaying suspect a maintenance worker arrested Friday night on suspicion of first degree murder is believed to be the Only person involved in the triple murder of a Colorado Springs Mother and her preschool sons police detectives said Saturday.

James Joseph Perry 34, is the Only suspect in the grisly slayings of Yvonne Sisneros 22, and her sons Carlos 4, and Benjamin jr., 2. Army spec. 4 Benjamin Sisneros sr., 22, found the bodies of his pregnant wife and two sons Friday in their dwelling 2610 e. Fountain Blvd., Apt. 210, police said. Perry was arrested Friday after he was questioned by detectives for 30 minutes said Chuck Davis chief of the police departments investigative division. Perry lives with his common Law wife and seven children at 1209 Houston Ave., Davis said. When Sisneros returned from his fort Carson Job shortly after noon Friday he discovered his sons bodies one in each of the bedrooms and that of his wife who was three months pregnant on the bathroom floor.

After covering his wife's body with a Blanket Sisneros called police. Preliminary results of autopsies performed Saturday indicate Mrs. Sisneros was sexually assaulted with a mop handle which penetrated her Vagina and injured her Abdomen. While dying from 60 Stab wounds to the upper Chest and upper Abdomen she was strangled. El Paso county Coroner Raoul Urich said.

Urich said the 4-year-old was struck six times on the head with a Blunt instrument and died of multiple Skull fractures. He also had been stabbed 19 times after he was dead Urich said. The 2-year-old died from 22 Stab wounds in the upper Chest and was gagged with tissues Urich said. He speculated that the children were killed before the woman. Urich also said some Stab wounds were inflicted with a knife others by an instrument such As a screwdriver.

Police armed with a search warrant searched Perry a House after his arrest. Detectives said there were no signs of forced entry or robbery or of a struggle. Perry probably will be advised of his rights Monday in fourth judicial District court Davis said. He is being held without Bond in the El Paso county jail facing charges of first degree murder. Davis said the Case probably will be presented to a grand jury. The Case probably will be handled by the Colorado Springs Branch of the states Public defenders office because of Perry a poor financial state but those lawyers have not been appointed.

Witnesses told police a Man Matching Perry a description was seen entering the Sine Roses apartment about to ., Davis said. Urich said the three were killed Between to . And la a Davis said the murder investigation is continuing. He said although detectives questioned Perry for Only a Short time the department has enough a Good evidence to keep him in jail.

Perry came to Colorado Springs shortly after he was paroled in 1976 from a new York state Penitentiary. He had been convicted of first degree manslaughter in Fishkill N.Y., in 1962. Perry then 17, and Edward Clifton Davis broke into an apartment said Ron Truax Perry a parole officer Here. Truax said in that incident the prosecutions Case was that the two men surprised the tenant then beat him to death with an Iron pipe.

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