On February 10, 1990 two cowards walked into the Las Cruces Bowl and changed the lives of many people. Seven people inside the bowling alley were forced at gunpoint to the floor and told to... See full summary »
On February 10, 1990 two cowards walked into the Las Cruces Bowl and changed the lives of many people. Seven people inside the bowling alley were forced at gunpoint to the floor and told to put their heads down. After stealing thousands of dollars from the safe, the killers shot all seven multiple times at close range, execution-style. The shooters then started a fire on the desk and fled. Dead at the scene were Amy Houser, Steven Teran, his step-daughter Paula, and Valerie Teran. Incredibly, Melissia Repass, Stephanie C. Senac, and Ida Holguin survived the brutal attack. Repass, just twelve at the time, made the heroic 911 call -despite being shot in the head- which saved three lives at the time. Four out of the seven shot were children, including a two and six year old. For almost twenty years, the two remaining survivors(Senac died in 1999), family members, and friends have had to live with this unspeakable event. The case is unsolved after twenty years and the Las Cruces Police ... Written by
Charlie Minn (director)
If you like Dateline ID & 48 Hours, you'll like this documentary
The documentary begins in pitch black with the chilling 911 call made by 12 year old Melissa Repass, conscious after being shot five times. As she counts the bodies on the floor for the dispatcher, three of them children, you realize the murders at the Las Cruces Bowl in New Mexico are truly a nightmare. Minutes before the call, two men stole money from the safe and then shot seven people, execution style in their heads; the youngest of the victims, two year old Valerie Teran, who later died at the hospital. Miraculously, two others survived, Stephanie Senac and Ida Holguin. The cold-blooded killers have never been found.
The film includes interviews with detectives, the 911 dispatcher who took Melissa's call, the survivors, and the dead victims' families that will have grown men weeping. Midway, there is an attempt at detective work by questioning the owner of the bowling alley, Ronald Senac, who was out of town during the incident. It's a notable effort but the interviewer often stumbles over the questions - slightly annoying. A completely unnecessary part of the film is a short blurb of the director, Charlie Minn, and crew, which has some people questioning his motives.
At an hour and 43 minutes, the film stretches on an hour too long. A Nightmare in Las Cruces packs its punch in the first half hour. About mid-point, it starts losing steam and you can sense the desperate attempts to keep the filler going with questions aimed at evoking waterworks, at which point you're hopeful that the provocation ends soon. How long do these poor people need to be tortured? And are the questions being asked bringing anyone any closer to catching the monsters who looked a two year old baby in the eyes and then shot her in the forehead?
If you watch investigative shows like Dateline and 48 Hours, you'll like this documentary. It's an emotional roller coaster ride and, ultimately, there is no closure for the audience or the victims and victims' families. It's very depressing.
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