The Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre Has Remained Unsolved For Over 30 Years

Around 8:30 am on Saturday, February 10, 1990, a 911 call was made from a bowling alley in Las Cruces, NM, where a mass shooting had reportedly taken place. First responders arrived in only a minute, but they discovered a grisly scene. Seven people, including four children, had been shot in the head execution-style, and a fire had been set in the bowling alley's office.

Over three decades later, the Las Cruces bowling alley massacre remains unsolved. Although multiple witnesses saw the alleged killers, the two men believed to be responsible for the crime have never been found. Even after more than 30 years, law enforcement and family members of the victims hold out hope that the case can be closed and the culprits brought to justice.

  • On The Morning Of February 10, 1990, Two Armed Men Entered A Bowling Alley Demanding Money

    Twelve-year-old Melissa Repass and 13-year-old Amy Houser were standing at the vending machines of the Las Cruces Bowl bowling alley when two men entered the building through a set of unlocked doors. The men reportedly drew guns and led the girls towards the back office, where Repass's mother, Stephanie Senac, was counting receipts from the previous evening. Along the way, they took the bowling alley's cook, Ida Holguin, as an additional hostage.

    The two gunmen demanded money, and Senac opened the safe for them. The men took between $4,000 and $5,000 from the safe and seemed ready to leave, but the robbery soon took an even darker turn.

  • Employees And Family Members Were Opening The Bowling Alley When The Men Arrived

    The bowling alley was scheduled to open at 9 am for a youth bowling league the day of the murders. The bowling alley's manager, 34-year-old Stephanie Senac, had arrived there around 8 am with her daughter, Melissa Repass, and Repass's friend, Amy Houser. Repass and Houser were going to look after some of the other employees' children and had been helping Senac open the building. In the kitchen, Ida Holguin was preparing food for the bowling league.

    Shortly before the men arrived, Stephanie Senac's brother, Steve Senac, had stopped by to pick up his backpack from the night before. He reportedly told Senac to lock the doors to the bowling alley after he left, but she didn't get a chance to do so.

  • Three More Victims Entered The Bowling Alley During The Robbery

    As the gunmen were emptying the bowling alley's safe, 26-year-old Steven Teran and his daughters, 6-year-old Paula Holguin (no relation to Ida Holguin) and 2-year-old Valerie Teran entered the building. Teran was the bowling alley's technician and had brought his daughters to work after being unable to find childcare for the day.

    Seeing no one in the building, Teran headed to the office where he came upon the hostage scene. Teran reportedly attempted to fight the men but was overpowered. This was when the two gunmen began shooting.

  • The Gunmen Shot All Seven Victims And Started A Fire

    The survivors of the Las Cruces bowling alley massacre would later recall that the gunmen made the seven victims lay down on the floor before shooting them each in the head execution-style. In fact, all of the victims were shot multiple times, including the children. 

    The men proceeded to gather up papers and stack them on a desk before setting everything on fire. Police believed that the men were attempting to dispose of any evidence and likely believed all of the victims were dead, which was not actually the case.

  • After Being Shot Five Times, Melissa Repass Called 911

    Despite being shot five times, Melissa Repass was able to crawl to a phone and dial 911, which she had learned about only a few weeks earlier. In Repass's harrowing 911 call, she calmly explained to a dispatcher that she and the six other victims had all been shot, and that the office was on fire. 

    At the end of the call, Repass said to the dispatcher, "Please hurry. There's a bullet in my head."

  • Three Victims Were Pronounced Dead At The Scene

    Although first responders arrived at the bowling alley within minutes of Repass's 911 call, Steven Teran, Paula Holguin, and Amy Houser were all pronounced dead at the scene. Two-year-old Valerie Teran was rushed to the hospital along with the other surviving victims, but she died in less than an hour. 

    Stephanie Senac spent 11 days in the hospital and survived, though she died several years later due to complications from the shooting. Ida Holguin also survived but spent six months recovering in the hospital.