New Mexico family hopes to reopen site of unsolved ‘Budville murders’

New Mexico

BUDVILLE, N.M. (KRQE) – Fifty-two years ago, a small New Mexico town made headlines for a gruesome double murder. Now, the owners of the trading post where the killings happened want to reopen the store and make it a tourist stop.

About 50 miles west of Albuquerque lies the sleepy town of Budville, named after its founder Howard Neal ‘Bud’ Rice. He and his wife Flossie oversaw the Budville Trading Company, an old gas station that was also a general store.

“It was a neat place,” said local Lucy Peterson. “It was really fun.”

Budville Trading Company in Budville, New Mexico. This is the infamous site of the murders of Howard Neal ‘Bud’ Rice and his employee, Blanche Brown.

It was soon known as ‘Bloodville’ after the night of November 18, 1967. Bud and an employee were found shot to death inside the store. Flossie was tied up, but alive. The killer got away with cash.

Peterson’s family lived in the area and now, she owns the general store. She still recalls that night.

“And then I see the commotion, so I came down to see what was going on and it was really awful,” said Peterson.

Peterson said she helped Flossie, freeing her from the ropes the murderer used to tie her.

“That was pretty gruesome,” said Peterson.

Police eventually arrested Billy Ray White, who was passing through the area, for the murders. White stood trial but was acquitted.

Billy Ray White was arrested for the Budville murders but was acquitted when he stood for trial.

“They definitely wouldn’t treat it like they do nowadays, and now they have all this kinds of science,” said Peterson.

The store closed down after Flossie’s death in the ’70s and has sat empty ever since. The Peterson’s family said they want to reopen the store, hoping it becomes a popular spot for people traveling along Route 66.

“It’s got a lot of possibilities,” said Peterson.

So far, no set plans for the infamous site.

White died in prison where he was serving time in a similar robbery-murder case in Louisiana. There are reports he confessed to the Budville murders while in prison, but the case remains unsolved.

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