The Boys on the Tracks – Part One

After a fun-filled Saturday evening of hanging with friends at a commuter parking lot and favorite teenage hangout near Little Rock, Arkansas, 17-year-old Kevin Ives and 16-year-old Don Henry returned to Don’s home near the small town of Alexander, approximately 15 miles southwest of Little Rock. Don told his father Curtis that he and Kevin were going “spotlighting” along the railroad tracks behind the Henry home. The boys set out at approximately 12:15 a.m. on the morning of August 23, 1987.

Though illegal in Arkansas, spotlighting is a widespread form of poaching wild game. One person transfixes an animal’s eyes by shining a light on it as another person fires at the animal. Kevin and Don had successfully avoided detection on other excursions. This night would have deadly consequences. When the sunlight came, the spotlight was on Kevin and Don. Their mangled bodies were strewn across the Union Pacific train tracks.

The cause of the boys’ deaths was initially ruled an accident but was later changed to “probable homicide” and then to “definite homicide.” The initial investigation suggested a cover-up; subsequent investigations found evidence of a “probable cover-up,” and later findings concluded a “definite cover-up.”

The scope of the cover-up was alleged to involve multiple Arkansas county and state servants, including, some contend, the state’s top elected official, who was relatively unknown outside Arkansas at the time but who assumed residence in the White House five-and-a-half years later.

A plethora of people are believed to be involved in the murders and the cover-up. No one, however, has been charged in connection with the crime.

Many believe the killers of “the boys on the tracks” are, thirty-three years later, still covering their tracks.

A Union Pacific train made its regular run to Little Rock in the early morning hours of August 23, 1987. Shortly after 4:00 a.m., when it was between Bryant and Alexander, engineer Stephen Shroyer noticed something on the tracks. As the train drew closer, his annoyance turned to horror when he realized the obstruction was two bodies.

Shroyer frantically placed the train into an emergency mode. He promptly blared the horn but received no response. The 75-car, 6,000-ton locomotive traveling at 52 miles-per-hour drug the bodies for a half-mile before coming to a stop.

Shroyer and three other crew members were sure a pale green tarp had been placed over the bodies. Responding local and state police arrived on the scene at 4:40 a.m. The officers say they never heard of the tarp. Yet, the train crew is adamant they repeatedly told the police.

The bodies lay parallel to each other across the tracks, their arms by their sides. A .22 rifle lay beside them.

Dental records later identified the bodies as Don and Kevin. The location where the train had run over them was approximately a half-mile from Don’s home in Alexander.

Neither Kevin nor Don’s parents owned a green tarp. Many believe the missing green cover seen by the railroad personnel is the first suggestion of a cover-up in the boys’ deaths.

The ruling of the state medical examiner as to the cause of death soon further fueled suspicions.

Arkansas State Medical Examiner Fahmy Malak ruled Kevin and Don’s deaths accidental, saying they were alive but unconscious when run over by the train. Malak determined each boy had smoked the equivalent of 20 marijuana cigarettes, rendering them into a deep state of unconsciousness. The boys, Malak contended, were so stoned from excessive consumption of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a component of marijuana, that they were unable to hear the repeated blares of the fast-approaching train.

The boys’ parents did not accept the ruling. Neither did the general public, questioning how the boys could be coherent enough to lie on the tracks in near-perfect symmetry but not hear the train’s repeated blares from a short distance.

Two toxicologists, Dr. James Garriot and Dr. Arthur McBray testified before a grand jury that they had never heard of anyone becoming unconscious from exposure to any amount of THC. They also criticized Dr. Malak for not performing a mass spectrometry, the most effective test for determining the amount of drugs in the boys’ systems.

Responding EMT officers also questioned the ruling, saying the blood found on the boys was dark, as though it lacked oxygen, an indication they were already dead when the train ran over them.

A private investigator hired by the Ives was stonewalled in questioning authorities over the supposedly stoned-boys deaths. The parents of both boys held a press conference in February 1988. They contended their sons had been murdered. The following day, the boys’ bodies were exhumed for a second autopsy to be performed by a different medical examiner, Dr. Joseph Burton of Atlanta.

Dr. Burton’s findings differed sharply from Dr. Malak’s. The former concluded that Kevin and Don had smoked only one to three marijuana cigarettes, far too few to render them unconscious. He also determined that both boys suffered wounds inflicted before being placed on the tracks; Don appeared to have been stabbed, and Kevin’s skull showed significant damage.

Dr. Burton’s autopsy also showed that Malak had mutilated Kevin’s skull by sawing it in several directions, making it virtually impossible to determine where the initial fractures occurred.

Based on Dr. Burton’s findings and the testimonies of Dr. Garriot and Dr. McBray, the grand jury reversed State Medical Examiner Dr. Malak’s finding of accidental death. In July 1988, Don Henry and Kevin Ives’ deaths were ruled as ‘undetermined.’ It was soon changed to ‘probable homicides.’

After learning of Dr. Burton’s conclusions, one of Malak’s assistants said he had discovered what appeared to be evidence of a stab wound during the boys’ original autopsy but was told: “not to worry about it.”

Five additional pathologists examined Don’s t-shirt and concurred with Dr. Burton’s findings. Cuts in the fabric indicated Don had been stabbed in his back before being run over by the train. Kevin’s skull was also confirmed to have been crushed, likely by his own rifle, before his body was placed on the tracks.

All of the additional pathologists concluded Kevin and Don had been killed before being run over by the train.

Based on the findings, the grand jury changed its ruling from ‘probable homicide’ to ‘definite homicide.’

The public called for the firing of Fahmy Malak as Arkansas State Medical Examiner. The doctor, however, was a close friend of Governor Bill Clinton, who resisted the calls to dismiss him.

Many believe, despite his obvious mistakes and incompetence, Malak continued to work in government because of Arkansas’ “good ol’ boy” system and his friendship with Governor Clinton.

Dr. Malak was later found to have falsified evidence in over 20 additional cases during his tenure as Arkansas State Medical Examiner. Among these rulings:

In one instance, he ruled a death an accidental drowning, but it was later discovered the man had been shot in the head. In his most infamous ruling, Malak concluded a man named James Milam had died of an ulcer, even though he had been shot five times, with four of the gunshots in his chest. Milam’s head had also been decapitated from his body. Malak claimed Milam’s dog had bitten off the head, eaten it, and then regurgitated it. He insisted he had tested the dog’s vomit and found traces of Milam’s brain and skull. Unfortunately for flaky Fahmy, Milam’s skull was later found and confirmed to have been cut from his body with a knife.

Members of Malak’s staff also accused him of incompetence. One assistant accused the State Medical Examiner of keeping outdated crime lab stationery on which he allegedly falsified findings in autopsy reports shortly before cases were tried. In another instance, Malak misread a medical chart leading him to wrongly accuse a deputy county coroner of committing murder. In another, he had based court testimony on tissue samples that DNA tests later determined had been mixed up with other tissue samples.

Despite the grand jury ruling, Saline County Sheriff James Steed insisted foul play was not involved in the boys’ deaths and refused to authorize any funds to aid in the investigation.

In addition to Dr. Malak, the Sheriff also proved derelict in his duty. He had not conducted a thorough investigation of the crime scene as Kevin Ives’s foot had been severed from his body and was not found until two days later.

The Sheriff was defeated in his re-election bid.

With the deaths of Kevin and Don ruled as homicides, investigators believed they might have been related to an incident occurring one week earlier.

A man clad in military fatigues was seen walking near the train tracks where the boys were found. When Bryant Patrolman Danny Allen attempted to question him, the man fired at him. Officer Allen was uninjured, but the assailant disappeared into the woods. Police were unable to locate or identify him.

On August 22, several hours before Kevin and Don were found, witnesses again reported seeing a man in military fatigues walking near the train tracks less than 200 yards from where the boys’ bodies would be found. He was sought for questioning after the discovery of the bodies, but the man again successfully stayed hidden.

No further sightings of the individual were reported.

The deaths of Don Henry and Kevin Ives bore a resemblance to those of two Oklahoma men three years earlier. We will dive into that case on our next True Crime Tuesday.


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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


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Recommended Reading:

Follow the heart-rending cases Synova first wrote about on her blog in 2018. Filled with missing persons’ cases, unsolved homicides, and even serial killer cases, this book will give you a greater insight into the shattered lives behind every story. Cases Included in this book: Jayme Closs, Haley Owens, Josh Robinson, Timothy Cunningham, Carol Blades, Pam Hupp, Arthur Ream, Angela Hammond, The Springfield Three, Jennifer Harris, Danny King, Angie Yarnell, Jack Robinson, Madelin Edman, Alexis Patterson, Amber Wilde, Sandra Bertolas, Jennifer Casper-Ross, Crystal Soulier, Jody Ricard, Carmen Owens, Brandon Tyree McCullough & The I-70 Serial Killer.

A portion of the profits of this book will go to support the Missouri Missing Organization.

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More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


No Choir Boy

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As a young priest in Woodstock, Illinois, one of the first couples the Reverend Michael Binsfield married were Ray Ritter and Ruth Ann Raycraft in 1969. Over the following 19 years, Reverend Binsfield became friends with the Ritters and baptized their three children.

In the summer of 1988, Reverend Binsfield left Woodstock when he accepted a position with the Elgin parish. With the two towns only 25 miles apart, he planned to return to Woodstock often. The Reverend didn’t expect to be called back so soon, however, and for such an awful occasion.

In August of 1988, at the same church where he had married the Ritters in 1969, Reverend Binsfield returned to conduct the couples’ funeral. Many of the people who attended the Ritters’ wedding 19 years prior were packed into the church on a muggy August afternoon to say goodbye to the beloved couple.

Ray and Ruth Ann Ritter were the victims of the first double murder in Woodstock’s history. The primary target of their killer, though, was their daughter, Colleen. The Ritters’ eldest child could not attend her parents’ funeral, as she was still in the hospital recovering from her wounds.

As the Ritters were laid to rest, a manhunt was in progress to find their killer. His name, ironically, was Church.

Ray and Ruth Ann Ritter were born and raised in Woodstock, Illinois, 60 miles northwest of Chicago. They were high school sweethearts and had three children, 17-year-old Colleen, 14-year-old Stephen, and 11-year-old Matthew.

Nineteen-year-old Rick Church attended the same high school as Colleen, and the two had been friends growing up. Rick was popular, a good athlete, and had never been in trouble. Colleen was attracted to the seemingly All-American boy, and the relationship blossomed during the 1987-88 school year when Rick was a senior and Colleen a sophomore. However, the romance cooled for Colleen when Church left for college that summer.

From college, Church called Colleen nearly every evening, even if he had nothing to say. Becoming increasingly annoyed, Colleen confided in her parents. Although they had been supportive of the relationship at first, they now encouraged her to end it.

In June of 1988, Church returned home from college an angry young man. He had not earned enough credits to qualify as a sophomore for the upcoming year. Also, his parents had informed him they were going to divorce. But the worst news was yet to come, and it pushed him over the edge.

Colleen told Church she was ending their relationship. Church’s devastation was apparent, but he kept the extent of his anger hidden.

Though Colleen no longer wanted a romantic relationship with Church, she still considered him a friend and regretted hurting his feelings. Church, on the other hand, was determined to hurt Colleen’s feelings and much more.

On August 20, two months after breaking up with Church, Colleen had a friend stay overnight, as was her youngest brother, Matthew. The middle sibling, Steven, was staying with one of his friends.

At 11:30 p.m., Church called Colleen, begging for one last date with her. Colleen declined, saying she was spending the night with one of her girlfriends and that she had begun a relationship with a classmate. Church, angry and depressed, slammed the phone on her.

Around 5:15 a.m. on the morning of August 21, while everyone in the Ritter house was sleeping, Church, armed with a knife, broke into the Ritter home.

The All-American boy was about to become a cold-blooded killer.

Upon gaining entry into the home, Church went to Ray and Ruth Ann’s ground-floor bedroom and began stabbing them as they slept. Upstairs, 11-year-old Matthew heard his parents’ screams and went into the hallway. There, he encountered Church, who stabbed him twice.

Colleen awoke, heard Matthew screaming, and attempted to call 911. At that point, Church broke into her bedroom and grabbed his primary prey. Colleen broke free and ran from the room, but Church caught her and began repeatedly stabbing her. Colleen eventually again broke away and ran out of the house screaming. Church chased after her and caught her in the street, where he stabbed her several more times. Two neighbors heard the commotion. When they came to Colleen’s aid, Church fled.

The injured Matthew had managed to call 911, and police and ambulance crews arrived quickly. Because a neighbor mistakenly believed Church had run back into the Ritter home, police concentrated their search there while medics attended to Colleen. Officers found the bloodied Matthew in shock, huddled with his friend, who was unharmed. Colleen’s friend was also unscathed.

However, in the downstairs bedroom, police found the bloodied and lifeless bodies of Ray and Ruth Ann. Each had been stabbed multiple times.

Church, however, was nowhere to be found.

Instead of running back into the Ritter home, however, Church had run the 12 blocks to his own house and hastily packed his things. At approximately 5:45 a.m., while his mother was sleeping, he threw his belongings into her truck and fled.

Church was spotted the next day at a motel in the Wisconsin Dells. Two days later, he was seen back in Illinois, near Woodstock.

One month later, Church’s mother’s truck was found abandoned 2,000 miles away in Los Angeles. An area search turned up no trace of him.

Matthew sustained minor wounds and was released from the hospital the following day. Colleen was in critical condition, having been stabbed 22 times, mostly in the back of her head.

Colleen’s wounds prevented her from attending her parents’ funeral. As she lay in intensive care, her parents were laid to rest.

Doctors feared Colleen would be permanently blinded and suffer irreversible brain damage. Fortunately, and perhaps miraculously, something good came from the awful incident in Woodstock, Illinois. Colleen was released from the hospital after two months, having made a full recovery.

Rick Church successfully covered his tracks for three years before his luck ran out when he was captured in Salt Lake City, Utah, on November 13, 1991.

Living under the name Danny Carson, Church worked at a fast-food restaurant where he served an off-duty police officer who recognized his picture from a fugitive bulletin. He was arrested the following day.

At the time of Church’s capture, Colleen was engaged. Her dreams of shopping for dresses with her mom and having her dad walk her down the aisle would not happen. Church’s capture, however, was a good wedding present.

Colleen tied the knot in May of 1992, seven months after Church’s capture. Though the pain of losing her parents in such a brutal manner would always be with her, Colleen was relieved of a tremendous burden knowing her attacker could not return to harm her and that he would pay for his crimes with a life behind bars.

In July 1992, Richard Church pleaded guilty to the murders of Ray and Ruth Ann Ritter to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Now 50-years-old, Church remains imprisoned in Dixon, Illinois. He still has a relatively youthful look. Perhaps a fellow inmate will make him his “church lady.”

SOURCES:
• America’s Most Wanted
• Chicago Sun-Times
• Chicago Tribune
• Deseret News
• Northern Star Media
Nwi (Northwest Illinois) .com
• Unsolved Mysteries


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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


More photos for this case can be found on Synova’s Patreon page! Check them using the button below Synova’s Patreon Page

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Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


Recommended Reading:

Follow the heart-rending cases Synova first wrote about on her blog in 2018. Filled with missing persons’ cases, unsolved homicides, and even serial killer cases, this book will give you a greater insight into the shattered lives behind every story. Cases Included in this book: Jayme Closs, Haley Owens, Josh Robinson, Timothy Cunningham, Carol Blades, Pam Hupp, Arthur Ream, Angela Hammond, The Springfield Three, Jennifer Harris, Danny King, Angie Yarnell, Jack Robinson, Madelin Edman, Alexis Patterson, Amber Wilde, Sandra Bertolas, Jennifer Casper-Ross, Crystal Soulier, Jody Ricard, Carmen Owens, Brandon Tyree McCullough & The I-70 Serial Killer.

A portion of the profits of this book will go to support the Missouri Missing Organization.

Get Your Copy Here


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


From Victim to Advocate To Published Author:

Now You Can share Your Story With The World Too

Today I spoke with a fellow victim’s advocate who is trying to outline her book. Her greatest desire is to reach the hearts of millions. I won’t say her name, but if she is a powerhouse. Her victim to vitality story will inspire anyone who reads it, and I know she will encourage victims. 

I’m honored to be her writing coach, her mentor, and her friend. I have many coaching clients. I have people who want to write fiction, people who want to write about true crime. I have people who want to write children’s books. But this woman is very near and dear to my heart because I know her story is true. She spent her entire young life a victim of violence and abuse. Now she has emerged as of victorious example for those around her.

Do you have a similar story that you wish you could get into a book? If so, I can help you get it in print. I can show you how to build an audience for it and make a career out of sharing your story with the world. That’s what the “Get Your Book Done Now” course is all about.

 As you know, I’m launching this new course this week, and I’m running specials from now until Valentine’s Day. Not only am I giving away free ebooks for those who sign up for my coaching services, but I’m also giving away free coaching calls. These calls usually cost $500 apiece, but I am giving them away because I want to help you find clarity with your writing.

By the end of our call, you will be inspired and motivated to write your book. I will help you outline a strategy for finishing your project and give you tips on starting your marketing campaign.

 If you would like to take that step and become a published author, follow the link below and sign up for your free coaching session. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” – Joseph Campbell.

30 Year Mystery Still Unsolved: The Disappearance of Cindy Anderson

Unholy Toledo

As the calendar turned to August in 1981, 20-year-old Cindy Anderson turned in her two-week notice to the Toledo, Ohio, law firm that employed her. A devout Christian fundamentalist, Cindy planned to attend Bible College with her boyfriend.

Cindy, the law firm’s secretary, usually worked alone in the office during the mornings as the lawyers were either in court or meetings. The morning of August 4 was no different. Several clients stopped at the office, and Cindy handled their administrative needs. All said she was in good spirits and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

When two of the lawyers arrived at the office just afternoon, they found Cindy had prepared their desks, as usual, with the mail and meeting schedules. However, they also found several things unusual, chiefly that Cindy was not at the office. When she left the building, Cindy always placed the phones on hold, but this time she had not done so.
Furthermore, Cindy also always left a note on the door telling her bosses where she was going and what time she would return. This time, however, no message was on the door.

Cindy’s car was parked in her usual spot in the firm’s parking lot. The doors were locked, but her keys and purse were missing. Thirty-eight years later, so is Cindy.

At 9:45 a.m., two clients saw Cindy at the office attorneys James Rabbit and Jay Feldstein in Toledo. By 10:00, however, clients calling the office were getting no answer.

Cindy’s disappearance was initially thought to be related to an incident that occurred ten months earlier. In October of 1980, the words “I love you, Cindy, by G.W.” had been spray-painted in large letters on the parking lot wall across the street from the law firm. The graffiti was in a direct line of vision from the law firm, and the incident spooked her. The words were painted over in April of 1981, but a few weeks later, the same message was spray-painted again in larger letters.

Suspicions fell on the law firm’s maintenance man, who had the initials “G.W.” However, he was cleared when police determined a teenage boy had written the message to his girlfriend. The youth had no connection to Cindy Anderson.

On August 3, the day before Cindy disappeared, Larry Mullins, a client at Cindy’s law firm, was in the office paying a bill. While doing so, Cindy answered a telephone call. Larry said she reacted as though the call was a prank and quickly hung up. Several seconds later, the phone rang again. Cindy again answered and, this time, she looked scared and hung up.

Cindy had been receiving a lot of crank calls within the last few days, and that some of them involved obscene language. She assured him, however, that everything was fine. She did not want to discuss the matter any further.

Police never determined who made the calls.

In September 1981, one month after Cindy disappeared, a woman called the Toledo Police Department, saying Cindy was being held prisoner in the basement of a white house in northern Toledo. The caller spoke in low whispers and sounded afraid. She hung up before the police officer could question her.

A few minutes later, she called again. This time, she was more forthcoming, saying Cindy was being held in a house beside another home owned by the same family. She said the family was out of town, but their son was home and that it was he who was holding Cindy prisoner in the basement. When the police officer asked for the caller’s name, however, she again hung up. Police were unable to determine the described adjacent houses and, despite repeated pleas, never heard from the caller again.

Since the anonymous woman’s phone calls in September of 1981, no solid leads have surfaced in Cindy Anderson’s disappearance.

Anthony and Nathaniel Cook are persons of interest in Cindy’s disappearance. From 1973-81, the brothers, both of whom were long-haul truck drivers, murdered at least nine people in and around Toledo. They have denied involvement in Cindy’s disappearance, and nothing has been found connecting them to her.

Anthony Cook is serving a life sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ross County, Ohio. His request for parole was denied in 2015; he will be eligible again in 2025.
Nathaniel Cook was granted parole in August 2018. Besides having to participate in sex offender rehabilitation programs, he must wear a GPS bracelet, and he is forbidden to approach places crowded by children.

Another murderer currently imprisoned in Ohio is also a suspect, but he has not been conclusively linked to Cindy. Authorities have not publicly identified him.

Perhaps the strongest lead to Cindy’s fate involves the law firm for which she worked.

In 1995, drug dealer Jose Rodriguez was convicted on federal drug trafficking charges. Also convicted was Richard Neller. At the time of Cindy’s disappearance, Neller was Rodriguez’s lawyer and worked with Cindy’s law firm.

Rodriguez’s prison cellmate testified Rodriguez told him he had killed Cindy with a 9 mm. handgun because she overheard conversations between Rodriguez and Neller about their drug trafficking. A judge, however, the prisoner’s testimony was unreliable.

Both Rodriguez and Neller remain imprisoned; neither has been charged in connection with Cindy’s disappearance, but both men are considered suspects. I could not find a picture of either man.

No source I found mentioned Cindy’s boyfriend ever being a suspect in her disappearance.

Thirty-eight years after her disappearance, Cindy Anderson is still missing.

Below are computer-aged images showing Cindy at approximately age 30. Further computer-aged photos have not been created because the evidence suggests she was murdered.

Cindy’s bank account and her social security card have had no activity since her disappearance. Both of her parents have since passed away. Her three siblings continue the search for answers.

If you have information relating to Cindy Anderson’s disappearance, please contact the Toledo, Ohio, Police Department at 419-245-3151 or 419-245-3111.

SOURCES:
• The Charley Project
• The Doe Network
• The Toledo Blade
• Unsolved Mysteries

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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


More photos for this case can be found on Synova’s Patreon page! Check them using the button below Synova’s Patreon Page

Synova’s Patreon

Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


Recommended Reading:

Follow the heart-rending cases Synova first wrote about on her blog in 2018. Filled with missing persons’ cases, unsolved homicides, and even serial killer cases, this book will give you a greater insight into the shattered lives behind every story. Cases Included in this book: Jayme Closs, Haley Owens, Josh Robinson, Timothy Cunningham, Carol Blades, Pam Hupp, Arthur Ream, Angela Hammond, The Springfield Three, Jennifer Harris, Danny King, Angie Yarnell, Jack Robinson, Madelin Edman, Alexis Patterson, Amber Wilde, Sandra Bertolas, Jennifer Casper-Ross, Crystal Soulier, Jody Ricard, Carmen Owens, Brandon Tyree McCullough & The I-70 Serial Killer.

A portion of the profits of this book will go to support the Missouri Missing Organization.

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If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


From Victim to Advocate To Published Author:

Now You Can share Your Story With The World Too

Today I spoke with a fellow victim’s advocate who is trying to outline her book. Her greatest desire is to reach the hearts of millions. I won’t say her name, but if she is a powerhouse. Her victim to vitality story will inspire anyone who reads it, and I know she will encourage victims. 

I’m honored to be her writing coach, her mentor, and her friend. I have many coaching clients. I have people who want to write fiction, people who want to write about true crime. I have people who want to write children’s books. But this woman is very near and dear to my heart because I know her story is true. She spent her entire young life a victim of violence and abuse. Now she has emerged as of victorious example for those around her.

Do you have a similar story that you wish you could get into a book? If so, I can help you get it in print. I can show you how to build an audience for it and make a career out of sharing your story with the world. That’s what the “Get Your Book Done Now” course is all about.

 As you know, I’m launching this new course this week, and I’m running specials from now until Valentine’s Day. Not only am I giving away free ebooks for those who sign up for my coaching services, but I’m also giving away free coaching calls. These calls usually cost $500 apiece, but I am giving them away because I want to help you find clarity with your writing.

By the end of our call, you will be inspired and motivated to write your book. I will help you outline a strategy for finishing your project and give you tips on starting your marketing campaign.

 If you would like to take that step and become a published author, follow the link below and sign up for your free coaching session. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” – Joseph Campbell.