Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre

On the 10th of February 1990, Ida Holgun was in the kitchen of the Las Cruces Bowling Alley, located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, preparing for the day’s lunch. In the main office of the bowling alley were day manager Stephanie Senac, Stephanie’s twelve-year-old daughter Melissa Repass, and Melissa’s friend Amy Houser.

At around 8:20am, a man with a gun forced Ida into the office where the other three women were already being held hostage by a second man with a gun. The men then asked Stephanie to get them all of the money from the office. The men also took $4,000 from the safe.

After receiving the money, the men then proceeded to shoot all four women in the head.

Just as the men were leaving, an employee of the bowling alley, Steve Teran, arrived with his two-year-old daughter Valarie and his seven-year-old stepdaughter Paula.

The men forced Steven, Valarie and Paula into the office with the other victims before shooting them in the head as well.

After that, the men set fire to part of the bowling alley before leaving.

Melissa managed to call 911. Within minutes, police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Steve, Paula and Amy were all pronounced dead on the scene. Valarie sadly passed away at the hospital later the same day.

Stephanie, Ida, and Melissa all managed to survive the brutal attack. However, Stephanie passed away 9 years later in 1999 due to complications from the injuries she sustained because of the attack.

The bowling alley office after the attack. Credit: CNN

Police managed to talk to several witnesses in the case. One of the witnesses was Steve, Stephanie’s brother.

Steve said he was driving past the bowling alley just a few moments before the shootings. He saw two Hispanic men walk towards the front doors of the bowling alley. The older Hispanic man handed the younger one a briefcase, and then the older man squatted down and watched Steve as he drove past.

The suspects are described as being Mexican, but being able to speak English perfectly.

One suspect is described as being a Hispanic male, who stood at around 5’10” and weighed approximately 160-170lbs. He had brown hair, brown eyes and a moustache. He has no identifying accent in his speech. He was said to be around 28 – 34 at the time of the shootings.

The other suspect is described as being a Hispanic male, standing at 5’6″ and weighing around 140lbs. He had grey/white hair, and brown eyes, and spoke English but did have a slight Spanish accent. This suspect was thought to be around 48-54 years old at the time of the shootings.

Despite the eye witnesses and composite sketches, no suspects have ever been identified in the case. There have been no arrests or charges made.

The composite sketches of the suspects. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

The police are also confused as to what the motive of the crime could have been. Some say it was a robbery that went wrong, whilst others think it could be drug-related.

Ida, the chef at the bowling alley, is sure that had she seen the two men at the bowling alley before analysing the customers and the way the bowling alley was run.

Ida is also certain that there are people out there who know who committed this awful crime, and they need to come forward with information.

In 2016, a brother of Steve Teran, who passed away due to the shooting, was interviewed by the Las Cruces Sun-News Newspaper. He said: “In this day and age, things like this don’t go unsolved. How did we not get these guys? That’s the question I ask myself every day.”

The victims of the bowling alley attack. Credit:


Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, Murders, Mystery, True Crime, Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1990, Homicides, Unsolved Crime, Unsolved Murders, Unsolved Mystery

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