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Published:January 27th, 2015 13:17 EST
Sidney and Billie Shelton, Along with Music Teacher Kathy Blair, Victims of the Same Criminals! How So?

Sidney and Billie Shelton, Along with Music Teacher Kathy Blair, Victims of the Same Criminals! How So?

By John G. Kays


As I watched and listened to Austin Police Chief, Art Acevedo`s news conference from last Friday, regarding the very disturbing double homicide of a most pleasant seeming, (and consciously old Austin-like), elderly couple, Sidney and Billie Shelton, I thought to myself, I guess it`s solved now!  


And it`s even linked to a not so earlier homicide, of an equally adored music teacher, Kathy Blair (Director of the Christian Choral Society of Austin). So, I thought, so many questions have been answered, but still...


At the same time, quite a few questions came up in my mind, especially with regards to the two suspects, Timothy Parlin and Shawn Gant-Benalcazar, as far as how their MO worked. I suspect most of you feel the same way, and even the police chief mentioned the investigation is still in progress.


Specifically, APD is still trying to locate the people and/or businesses who accepted stolen items of the Sheltons from the suspects. The totality of these developments, breaking last Friday, really floored me! As such, I waited a few days to write something, hoping I could tie-up a few more loose ends; unfortunately, that never happened.


Particularly, I`ve been obsessed with the personality dynamics or psychology of these two petty criminals, and how they evolved into major criminals. How`d they move from small-time burglaries to a much more serious category; of course, I mean murderers? 


For example, why was Gant-Benalcazar designated to go inside, while Parlin staid in the car as the lookout man? Shawn, we`re hearing, is the one who actually did the killing of all three of these precious citizens from our community; why did he agree to go inside, or how did Parlin con him into doing so? 


We`d like to know, because it doesn`t make a whole heck of a lot of sense to me yet (until I can learn more). Tim had a lengthy record already and Shawn didn`t; perhaps it`s just that simple, but I kind of doubt it. Quite a few other questions pop-up, as I run by what we know for certain, so far, and it really bothers me. 


How did Parlin (or was it Gant-Benalcazar?) get the notion to hit the Shelton residence? This is one thing I don`t get; how much did they get away with? What did they get away with? For that matter, how much and what did they steal from Kathy Blair`s rented house on Tamarack Trail? 


What`s really scary, is, once they`d killed Kathy Blair on December 6th, they went out once again, on the evening of December 14th (the time may`ve been the wee hours of the 15th), repeating a heinous crime of 9 days prior; only this time, two nice, elderly people get killed, just so they could purloin a small amount of these senior`s personal property!


They had to`ve known the Sheltons would be home that night! I believe this. Therefore, am I going too far in saying that burglary wasn`t their only motive? I dare say, the twosome had discussed this issue before the deeds were done. Leave no witnesses behind!, I fancy, was said. So petty burglary morphs to homicide. 


This phenomenon was addressed by Art Acevedo; Parlin doesn`t want to have to go back to prison, so he`s willing to kill, but he does it the coward`s way,  he gets somebody else to do the dirty work for him. Unbelievable! 


When thinking about both these harrowing cases, I did suspect early on they were connected, and I`ll tell you why I was thinking that way. I first moved to Austin in the Spring of 1972 to attend UT, and have been here off and on (had some long stints in Dallas also) ever since then. Austin was much more innocent back then (an obvious, safe general statement). 


In those days, we never experienced these types of crimes, inflicted on good, honest, innocent folks, stalwarts of our community. Parlin and G-B are the new kids on the block; take either of these guys on their lonesome, I don`t sense you`d have the same outcome. 


Together, the chemistry turned them quite a bit worse, as far as how far they`d go. A third, darker personality is created out of their mutual interaction with one and another. This idea occurred to me instantly upon their apprehension!


Looking at the one published photo of Shawn, you`d never, upon a first impression, consider him to be a bad guy. Parlin does look mean and bad, however. How did Tim change Shawn, I`d like to know? Was Parlin the mastermind? 


Why did Shawn kill for Tim, if that`s the case? Why do I keep conjuring Dick and Perry as Tim and Shawn, when idle speculation drifts through my mind? Don`t you break my train of thought too quickly, friend! History can repeat itself, even in the world of crime.