Mobster Monday: Joe Profaci

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Giuseppe Profaci “Joe” was born on October 2, 1897 in Sicily. His early life included a brief stint in a Sicilian prison for theft. In 1921, Joe immigrated to the United States. Making his way to Chicago, he tried to make a living on its tough streets. Finding no success, he ventured into New York, where he found himself prosperous as an “Olive Oil King”. Having the fortuitous friendship of Gambino family boss Vincent Mangano, he began to delve into the counterfeit currency enterprise. By 1928, Profaci was head of one of the largest crime rings in New York. Even after an arrest in 1928 for bootlegging, Profaci pushed forward with his business dealings.
Although Profaci was a hard crime boss, he did provide much needed employment in desperate communities with his success in the olive oil industry. However, he was known to evade taxes whenever possible in order to keep more than his share. In 1950, he was sued by the IRS but was never punished for his crimes. Profaci was also implicated in drug smuggling, but was never indicted due to lack of evidence. It seems as though Joe had a knack for slipping through the cracks.

In 1959, Joe was mixed up in a nasty murder hit that ended up in his own men revolting against him. A friend of Profaci, Frank Abbatemarco, was murdered under Profaci’s
direction. He then ordered the man’s son murdered in order to not face the music, but Profaci was faced with a mutiny of sorts. His men, including Joe Gallo and brothers, ended up trying to take over the organization by refusing to do the job. After many murders and much mayhem, Gallo was sentenced to prison for ten years. Although Joe Profaci escaped being murdered and doing hard time, he soon had to face his maker. He died on June 7, 1962, following a very short stint with cancer. He is buried in Queens, New York.


Sources:
https://americanmafiahistory.com/giuseppe-joe-profaci/

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.


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


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.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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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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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Vanished – The Kyle Clinkscales Mystery

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup, text that says 'KYLE CLINKSCALES'
Photo courtesy guest blogger

College dropout tries to go back a year later and finish but this time when he doesn’t show up it’s for a more dreadful reason. 44 years later, Kyle Clinkscales still hasn’t been seen.


John and Louise Clinkscales were frustrated but not overly concerned when their son Kyle did not attend his classes at Auburn University during the week of January 27, 1976. A familiar pattern was unfolding as the 22-year-old was trying collegiate life again. Kyle had dropped out the previous year after the academic demands proved too much. His second attempt was being met with similar results as his grades were still far below par.

It appeared Kyle was not college material. The elder Clinkscales believed their son had again become discouraged at not making the grade and had gone into seclusion to reflect on his life. When Kyle came out of his shell, whenever that was, John and Louise would be there to support their only child in whatever he chose to do. That day, however, never came.

Kyle Clinkscales has not been seen or heard from in 44 years. He had more significant problems than his academic struggles and is believed to have become entwined with an unsavory character.

His remains have not been found, but it appears that Kyle Clinkscales met a violent end.

Kyle was a student at Auburn University in Alabama and worked part-time as a bartender at the Moose Club in his hometown of LaGrange, Georgia, in the west-central part of the state, only a few miles from the Alabama border. He left the bar after finishing his shift at approximately 11:00 p.m. on January 27, 1976.

Kyle planned to drive the 35 miles to Auburn, but he did not attend classes for the week. On February 3, with still no word from Kyle, his parents reported him missing. The police investigation yielded few clues suggesting what happened to him.

In 1981, a man named Danny Moore contacted John and Louise Clinkscales, saying he believed he was Kyle. Danny told them he had gotten into a car accident in 1976, the year of Kyle’s disappearance. He claimed he was unable to remember any of his life before the accident.

Danny appeared to be the same age as Kyle and bore a physical resemblance to him. Dental records, however, confirmed he was not Kyle. A doctor said studies of Danny’s brain showed he had suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in his life. Police believed Danny was sincere in his belief that he could have been Kyle.

In 1987, 11 years after his disappearance, Kyle’s Exxon credit card was found on a kayaking and canoe trail along Flat Shoal Creek, 11 miles south of LaGrange. No new evidence, however, surfaced from the finding.

Nearly three decades passed before police received a major break in the disappearance of Kyle Clinkscales.

In 2005, a man contacted Georgia State Police, saying Kyle had been murdered by Ray Hyde, the owner of a salvage yard in Kyle’s home county of Troup, Georgia.

When he was seven years old, the caller had witnessed Kyle’s body’s disposal, saying it was covered with concrete, stuffed into a barrel, and dumped in a private pond. The caller, whose identity has not been revealed, told police that his grandfather helped dispose of the barrel under Hyde’s orders. The caller said Hyde threatened to kill both his grandfather and him if either said anything.

Through information provided by the tipster, investigators learned Ray Hyde was a member of the Moose Club, where Kyle worked. They believe Kyle was murdered because of his knowledge of Hyde’s criminal activities, which involved car theft and drug dealing. Hyde died in 2001.

Information provided by the caller also led to the arrest of Jimmy Jones and Jeanne Johnson. Jones was charged with concealing a death, hindering a criminal’s arrest, and two counts of making false statements. Johnson was charged with concealing a death, making false statements, and obstructing justice.

Jones ultimately admitted to helping dispose of Kyle’s body, but he denied taking part in his murder. He told police he found Kyle shot to death upon arriving at Hyde’s home in the early hours of January 28, 1976. Jones admitted helping Hyde drag Kyle’s body into his shop but says Hyde later told him he moved the remains into the nearby pond and then to another location, which he refused to reveal, saying it would never be found. Hyde’s prophecy has proven true as drainage of the pond turned up no sign of the barrel or any remains. Investigators also dug up Hyde’s property, but that too produced no evidence. Kyle’s car, a white 1974 Ford Pinto, has also never been found.

Jimmy Jones was sentenced to nine years in prison for hindering the police investigation into Kyle’s disappearance. He has since been released, and authorities say there is no proof that he took part in Kyle’s murder.

Jeanne Johnson was confirmed as being at Hyde’s home on the evening of Kyle’s disappearance, but she was cleared of any involvement in Kyle’s probable murder. I could not find what sentenced she received.

Kyle’s father John wrote the book “Kyle’s Story: Friday Never Came” about his son’s disappearance and several other missing persons. The book was written in 1981, five years after Kyle vanished and is available on Amazon.

Sadly, Friday never came for Mr. Clinkscales as he died in 2007 without learning his son’s fate. Kyle’s mom, Louise, is now in her nineties and hopes her son’s remains will be found before she dies.

Kyle Wade Clinkscales has been missing since January 27, 1976, when he was 22-years-old. At the time of his disappearance, he was 5’11” inches tall and weighed approximately 155 lbs. He had brown hair, hazel eyes and had earlier fractured his ring finger.

Kyle’s car, a white two-door 1974 Pinto Runabout with the Georgia license plate number CEF-717 and the VIN 4T11Y207954, has never been recovered.

Kyle would today be 66-years-old.

If you have any information on the disappearance of Kyle Clinkscales, please contact the Troup County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Department at 706-883-1746 or 706-883-1616.

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'AGE PROGRESSION'

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.


Further Reading:
Associated Press
Charley Project
“Kyle Story: Friday Never Came”; by John Dixon Clinkscales


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.”)


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.


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


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page


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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Poisoned Son


In rural Chester County, Tennessee, in the town of Mifflin, lies the New Friendship Cemetery. It is the final resting place for those who lived as long ago as the early 1800s. I have always found cemeteries interesting, but there are five graves there that hold a mystery. Five young siblings are buried there, all with tombstones with a one-word, ominous message, poisoned

In 1840, before Chester County was created, Silas Vestal and his son, Enos, made a round trip, on foot, to a settlement called Mifflin. At that time, it was a part of Henderson County. Plans were made for the family to resettle in this area, and gradually, over the next several years, members of the Vestal family began relocating. Silas moved before Enos and his family and, unfortunately, died in the Spring of 1846, just before their arrival. Enos had sold his farm in Chatham County, North Carolina, and he and his family started their journey to their new home on Christmas Day 1845. They had one wagon, pulled by three horses, Dowdy, Nell, and Mack. Enos was less than enthusiastic about the journey and wanted to turn back. One can understand why he might have wanted to do so. It was an arduous journey that included crossing the Appalachian Mountains during the winter’s cold and snow. His wife, Milly, encouraged him to proceed and reminded him that they had family expecting them. They arrived in Mifflin in late April 1846, and Enos purchased a 400-acre farm about three miles south of Mifflin.

According to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Enos and his family lived in District 3, Henderson County, Tennessee.

According to family folklore, in 1857, Enos had a dispute over a land purchase with a Widow Brower. Soon after, the children became sick. Solomon died at the age of 20, Jesse at 19, and John succumbed at the age of 16. Their sister, Catherine, was only 15 at the time of her death. Brother Daniel also became sick, but lingered on for some time, joining them in death in 1858. Allegedly, a local doctor diagnosed the problem as arsenic poisoning. Widow Brower was accused of poisoning their water source.

Who was Widow Brower? Why did the family think that she poisoned the children? Did she ever pay for her crimes?

I recently began doing some research and discovered that there was only one Brower family in this area during that time. Leander Brower and wife, Barbary Ward, originally came from North Carolina and settled in Henderson County in the early 1820s. Leander Brower, born in 1808 in Randolph County, North Carolina, and married to Barbary Ward, who was born in 1810 in Randolph County.

They moved from North Carolina to the unsettled area of West Tennessee very early in their young marriage. By the time of the U.S. Federal Census of 1830, we find them in Henderson County, Tennessee. The Leander household consists of two males, ages 15-20, one male, age 20-30, one female, age 15-20, and one female, age 50-60. So, we can deduce that other family members settled with them.

According to the 1837 Henderson County, Tennessee tax list, three Browers are listed in District 4, Leander, Jacob, and John.

By the time of the 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Leander’s family consists of two males, ages 0-5, one male, age 5-10, one male, age 30-40, one female, age 0-5, one female, age 5-10 and one female, age 20-30. So it appears that the Browers have three sons and two daughters.

By 1850, Leander and Barbary had ten children and, according to the U.S. Federal Census, were residing adjacent to a couple, Enos and Milly Vestal, and their ten children.

According to family records, Leander died in 1855, at the age of 47. (The alleged poisoning occurred in 1857). Perhaps the dispute was over property left to the widow?

As if we did not have enough questions, in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, five years after her husband’s death, we find Barbary has married Francis A. Hite (born in Indiana and seventeen years her junior). They are residing on the property that presumably passed to her upon her husband’s death. Also in the household live Wesley, age 15, Mary Ellen, age 13, James; age 11, Leander Columbus, age 6, John Hite, age 5, and Franklin .J. Hite, age 3.

Enos Vestal and his family are still living on the adjacent property, although his wife, Milly, may be deceased.

The next ten years bring many changes, though we can only hypothesize about all of the details. By the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, we find Barbary (age 59) living with her daughter, Elizabeth, son-in-law, Hayden Bailey, and eighth-month-old grandson, Prentice, in Dublin, Graves County, Kentucky. Her husband, presumably, her ex-husband, Francis, is residing in District 13, Gibson County, Tennessee, with his two sons, John and Franklin.

In 1877, Francis Hite married Sallie C. Reeves. He did not pass until 1915. Barbary died on December 4, 1882, at the age of 72, in Dent County, Missouri.

In 1870 and 1880, Enos was still residing with his family in Henderson County. He did not pass until 1885.

So, we have a partly solved mystery, with many questions left unanswered. What happened to Enos’ wife, Milly? What was the cause of death for Mr. Brower? What was the dispute between Widow Brower and Enos? Why would she kill the children? Why was she never brought to justice? Who is this Mr. Hite from Indiana? Where is the mother of his children? Why did they divorce? (Were they ever actually legally married?) Most interestingly, why can we find no recorded information about these deaths?

There will be information to come if my research reveals any new details.

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.


Recommended Reading:


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger, Revonda Kirby. Kirby was raised among the State Line Mob and the Dixie Mafia. She is currently working on a book about her life.

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.


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


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page


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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Justice Still Bare


On the night of January 15, 1984, Sherry Hart, a 24-year-old single mother, was stood up for a date. It would be the last time she would be stood up because she never made it home. Thirty-six years later, her killer still walks free.

A witness came forward, claiming to have seen Hart joyriding with two former schoolmates on the night of her disappearance, Richard Bare and Jeffrey Burgess. Both men had several brushes with the law and were known as local troublemakers.

Police questioned Bare and Burgess separately about the events of the evening. Bare was evasive and provided little information, but not Burgess. He spilled the story, and it didn’t match Bare’s account.

Based on eyewitness accounts, as well as what Burgess told police, the death of Sherry Hart was ruled a homicide. Police now believed they knew how the young mother died on that chilly evening in January 1984.

Burgess told police he and Bare encountered Sherry at the restaurant. Because she was upset over being stood up, they offered to take her for a night of drinking to forget about it. It seemed like a nice thing to do.

While the three were riding through the rural countryside, Sherry needed to stop and go to the bathroom. They pulled to the side of the road, approximately a quarter of a mile from the “Jumping Off Place,” where she went into the woods to relieve herself.

According to Burgess, he remained in the car as Bare followed Sherry into the woods, where he attempted to have sex with her. Bare became irate as Sherry rejected his repeated attempts. When he became violent, Sherry fought him off and, screaming and crying, ran back to the car. Burgess said Bare followed Sherry and struck her on her head with the back of a handgun, leaving her bleeding and semi-conscious. Burgess said Bare then shoved Sherry into the car and ordered him into the car. Bare drove to the “Jumping Off Place,” where he forced Sherry from the vehicle, and ordered Burgess to drive away but to return in five minutes.

Burgess contended he was afraid for Sherry and at first refused to leave. However, he claimed Bare threatened to kill his family if Burgess didn’t comply. Burgess said he drove away because he feared Bare would make good on his threats.

Police believe Bare dragged Sherry to the edge of the “Jumping Off Place” and pushed her over the cliff. When Burgess returned, he asked Bare where Sherry was. Bare said she was gone and again warned Burgess to say nothing.

On March 29, 1985, Richard Bare and Jeffrey Burgess were both arrested and charged with the murder of Sherry Hart. Both were denied bail and were held in the Wilkes County Jail awaiting trial.

On July 18, deputies found the cell bare of one of the prisoners. Police subsequently discovered Richard Bare’s sister Linda was in a relationship with one of the department’s deputies. It is believed she convinced the deputy, who had gone to high school with Bare, to help her brother escape.

Over thirty-four-years later, Richard Bare remains at large.

After several months passed without Bare’s being captured and thus delaying the trial, an arrangement was made in which Jeffrey Burgess was released on bail, pending Bare’s re-capture. That day never came.

Jeffrey Burgess died at age 47 in 2012, without ever standing trial for the murder of Sherry Hart. It may be challenging to make a case against Bare if he is captured because what Burgess told police might now be considered hearsay.

Some people believe Burgess understated his involvement in the crime and could have been the one who pushed Sherry off the cliff. Unfortunately, it is likely impossible to tell which man did the actual act.

Richard Bare was nearly captured in Delaware in 1993, but good fortune, unfortunately, was on his side. He left only hours before FBI agents converged on the home of a relative where he had been hiding.

In June of 2002, Bare was believed to be living under the name Richard Presnell. The real Richard Presnell was located and determined not to be Bare. Bare may have stolen his identity and lived under the name for several years before changing identities again.

Over approximately the last 15 years, Bare has been rumored to have returned, incognito, several times to North Carolina to attend the funerals of friends and relatives. Police have also received reports that Bare is living similarly to another notorious North Carolina fugitive, Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph. He eluded capture for six-and-a-half years by living in the area’s vast mountainous terrain.

Some sources say Bare is disguising himself by dressing as a woman. The computer-aged image of Bare below was done in 1996 when he would have been 32-years-old. I have not been able to find any more aged-enhanced images.

Richard Lynn Bare is wanted on a charge of murder. He is 5’8″ tall. When he escaped from jail in 1985, he weighed 175 pounds and had shoulder-length brown hair. He may have a tattoo of a panther on his right forearm. Bare hated the smell of smoke and refused to be in the company of people who lit up.

Richard Bare would today be 56-years-old. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Ashe County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Department at 336-846-5633 or the FBI’s Charlotte, North Carolina, Field Office at 704-672-6100.


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 Info
America’s Most Wanted
• Unsolved Mysteries
Wilkes Journal-Patriot, Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Winston-Salem Journal


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.”)


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.



If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



Capital Murder


Before the infamous murder of Chandra Levy, another intern disappeared from the same area. Are they linked? Authorities don’t think so, but both cases are eerily similar. Read more to find out what happened to Joyce Chiang.


It had been a great evening as several girlfriends working in Washington, D.C. enjoyed a night on the town. On January 9, 1999, the group of young women watched a movie before eating dinner at a nearby restaurant.

One of the women, 28-year-old Joyce Chiang, did not have a car, so her friend Kathy offered to give her a ride home. En route, Joyce asked Kathy to stop at a Starbucks. Despite the cold weather, Joyce told Kathy she would walk the remaining four blocks from the coffee shop to her apartment. Kathy tried to persuade Joyce to let her drive her home, insisting it was no problem. Joyce assured her she would be fine. Kathy relented and went on her way as Joyce entered the coffee shop. Twenty-one years later, Kathy still wishes she had been more assertive. A chilling crime was about to occur on that evening in the nation’s capital. 

While attending college, Joyce Chiang had worked as an intern for Howard Berman, who, from 1983-2003, was the representative of California’s 28th congressional district, which encompassed parts of central Los Angeles. After college and the internship, Joyce graduated from Georgetown Law School and became a lawyer for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

Joyce lived with her brother Roger in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C., a popular residential neighborhood noted for its nightlife. Soon, however, the area would be known for a more sinister reason. Joyce never arrived at her apartment after Kathy dropped her at the Starbucks.

Roger reported her missing the following day, January 10. On that day, a couple walking through Anacostia Park, approximately five miles southeast of the Starbucks, found a billfold containing Joyce’s government credit card along a riverbank. They gave it to the Park Police.

Four days later, the couple saw TV news reports of Joyce’s disappearance and realized she was the person on the government credit card they had found. This time, they contacted the Washington, D.C. police. Because Joyce was a federal employee, the FBI assumed jurisdiction in the investigation into her disappearance.

Along the Anacostia River, a search and rescue team found Joyce’s apartment keys, video store rental, and grocery cards, as well as her gloves and the jacket she was last seen wearing. Investigators were unable to determine what had caused a tear running down the back of the coat.

Three months later, a canoeist paddling more than eight miles downstream from where Joyce’s items had been found saw a body along the shore. DNA tests confirmed it was Joyce Chiang. Due to the pronounced decomposition of her body, the cause of death was listed as undetermined.

The case stalled for two years until an eerily similar but much more profiled murder brought the death of Joyce Chiang back into the limelight.

On May 1, 2001, another congressional intern, Chandra Levy, was reported missing. Chandra was an intern in the office of California Congressman Gary Condit, and it was learned that she and the Congressman were having an affair.

In June of 2002, a hiker’s dog in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, found a human skull far from the commonly used paths. When police arrived on the scene, they found additional bones, a jogger’s bra, and a cassette player in the foliage. Dental records confirmed the remains were those of Chandra. Her death was ruled a homicide, but an autopsy was unable to determine the cause.

Chandra’s disappearance and murder brought renewed interest in the death of Joyce Chiang because of several similarities in the women’s cases:

• Joyce and Chandra had both served as interns for Democratic Congressmen from California

• The two Congressmen’s offices were adjacent to each other

• Both were petite brunettes

• They lived within a few blocks from one another

• Both frequented the Starbucks coffee shop

• Both had the same types of friends involved in the political arena

Despite the numerous similarities, police were unable to find any evidence that the women knew each other or had any common friends in common.

In March of 2009, nearly seven years after Chandra Levy’s remains were found, Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) member from El Salvador, were charged with her murder.

Guandique had been convicted of assaulting two other women in Rock Creek Park, the area where Chandra’s body was found. Those assaults occurred in March and April of 2001, only 3-4 weeks after Chandra’s disappearance.

A jail informant told police Guandique had confessed to killing Chandra. Investigators determined Guandique had not gone to work on the day Chandra vanished. Evidence found with Chandra’s remains suggested she was attacked in a virtually identical way to Guandique’s assault victims. Investigators also found a photograph of Chandra among his belongings.

Police believe Guandique attacked and tied up Chandra in the park’s remote area and left her to die of dehydration and exposure. In November of 2010, Guandique was convicted of the murder of Chandra Levy and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

In 2015, however, Guandique’s conviction was overturned after evidence surfaced that the jail informant was lying. In July of 2016, prosecutors announced they would not re-try Guandique for Chandra’s murder after a woman came forward with an audiotape on which the jail informant is heard saying he lied about Guandique’s confession.

Guandique was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and has since been deported to his native El Salvador. Police say nothing connects him to the death of Joyce Chiang.

Congressman Gary Condit was considered a person of interest in Chandra Levy’s disappearance and subsequent murder after authorities discovered he was having an affair with his intern. He was eventually cleared of any involvement.

Nevertheless, the overturning of Ingmar Guandique’s conviction brought renewed suspicion on the now-former Congressman. However, investigators say no new evidence has surfaced, suggesting his involvement and that they still do not consider him a suspect.

In January of 2011, police stated they believe two men, Steve Allen and Neil Joaquin, abducted Joyce Chiang while she was walking home from the Starbucks. They took her to the banks of the Anacostia River to rob her. Once there, investigators believe, Joyce tried to flee, only to slip on the ice and fall into the river, where she succumbed to the frigid temperature.

Allen is serving a life sentence in federal prison for an unrelated crime, while Joaquin was deported to Guyana in 2006. Police believe a third man was also involved, but they do not have enough evidence to arrest him.

Joyce Chiang’s death has now officially been ruled a murder. But neither Allen nor Joaquin have been charged in connection with the crime, and her case is formally closed. If the men were to be charged, it is unlikely Joaquin would be returned to the United States because Guyana does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. I could not find a picture of either man.

Police have also officially determined there is no connection between the murders of Chandra Levy and Joyce Chiang.

The murder of another petite brunette in Washington, D.C., was also, for a time, thought to be connected to the murders of Joyce Chiang and Chandra Levy.

In August of 1998, five months before the murder of Joyce Chiang, 28-year-old Christine Mirzayan, a Fellow in the second year of the Policy Fellowship Program with the Center of Education in Washington, D.C., was raped and murdered while walking home from a barbecue in the Georgetown neighborhood. However, just as Joyce and Chandra’s cases are unrelated, Christine’s murder has been shown another separate act.

DNA testing connected Christine’s murder to eight other rapes committed in the Georgetown area from 1991 to 1998. The perpetrator was dubbed the “Potomac River Rapist.”

In November of 2019, 60-year-old Giles Warrick was arrested and charged with the rapes and murder committed in the Georgetown area. Parabon Nabalos, a Reston, Virginia, company that provides DNA phenotyping services for law enforcement, used DNA from the crime scenes to create a family tree for the perpetrator. The profile led to five possible suspects and detective work led to the Warrick’s arrest.

Warrick was working as a landscaper in Maryland at the time of the rapes and murder. At the time of his arrest, he was living in Conway, South Carolina.

So far, Warrick has been charged with ten rapes and one murder, that of Christine Mirzayan. Authorities believe he has committed more rapes and possibly more murders. However, they do not think he committed the murders of Joyce Chiang and Chandra Levy.

The legal procedures are just beginning in Warwick’s case, and a trial date has yet to be set.


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 Information:

• Unsolved Mysteries

• Washington Post


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.”)


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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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Dallas Devastated


Christmas was always an especially special time for 30-year-old Roxann Jeeves of Dallas, Texas. Her five-year-old son, Kristopher, had been born on December 23, and the celebration of the two special days so close together was her favorite time of year. Kristopher’s first four birthdays and Christmases had been excellent, and mom again had a fun-filled day planned for the birthday boy on December 23, 1981.

Kristopher’s fifth birthday became a day of horror when he and his mom were both brutally murdered. To make it even worse, investigators believe Roxann had been forced to watch her son’s murder.

A man was seen fleeing the scene where the lifeless bodies of mother and son were found. In his haste, he left behind a bag of clues, which would eventually lead to his identity.

Roxann Korper moved from Oklahoma to Dallas following her divorce and took back her maiden name, Jeeves. She was engaged to be remarried in June of 1982 to a man named Jimmy Hoskins.

Some sources list Kristopher’s name as Kristopher Jeeves, others as Kristopher Korper, and still others as Kristopher Korper-Jeeves.

Roxann and Kristopher lived in the Sussex Place complex, a relatively nice set of apartments in the northeast part of Dallas. She worked for an insurance company, but she had the Christmas week off and planned to devote the time to her son. The birthday docket included touring the Kraft food plant in nearby Garland, where Louise Hoskins, Roxann’s mother-in-law-to-be, worked. Afterward, they planned to have lunch and then see a movie. They would then hit the road, traveling to visit relatives in Kansas for the usual dual celebration of Kristopher’s birthday and the Christmas holiday.

At around 10:00 a.m., Roxann was seen loading Kristopher’s birthday, and Christmas presents into her car. The presents, however, were never opened, and the Jeeves never made it out of Dallas.

Concerned that her car, a 1978 Ford Thunderbird, might break down during the trip, Roxann had told her friend Daniel Binion that she planned to take her toolbox with her.

At around 10:15 a.m. on the morning of December 23, Roxann’s neighbor, Patricia McAvey, heard a determined Kristopher “dragging” the toolbox down the steps from their second-story apartment. Mommy was smiling as her big boy slowly but surely made progress.

Patricia then went inside for a few minutes. When she returned at approximately 10:30 a.m., she saw no sign of Roxann. However, she did see Kristopher in the company of a black man and a woman who appeared to be either Hispanic or Native American. The man was carrying the toolbox in one hand and holding Kristopher’s hand with his other. The three were seen turning a corner and walking in the direction of where Patricia believed Roxann’s car was parked.

Patricia did not recognize the man and woman and described them as rough looking. Both acted nervously.

Half an hour later, the man was seen again with Roxann and Kristopher in their car at a gas station off Interstate 635, near the LBJ Freeway, which forms a partial loop around the north, east, and southern sectors of the city of Dallas. Roxann was driving, the man was in the passenger seat, and Kristopher was in the back seat. The woman Patricia McAvey had seen earlier was not with them.

Gas station attendant Don Crawford filled their tank. As he washed the windows, he said both the man and Roxann looked nervous. The man never looked at him or said anything to him. Other than telling him to fill the car, Roxann did not speak either. Kristopher appeared unnerved as he smiled at Don while playing with his toys in the back seat.

Though she did not say anything to him, Roxann stared at Don as he washed the car’s front windshield. In hindsight, Don recalls the look like one of fear, as if she wanted, but was afraid to ask him for help.

Forty-five minutes later, at 11:45 a.m., Dallas County Deputy Roy Baird was patrolling an area in southeast Dallas County, ten miles from the city. He came upon a 1978 Ford Thunderbird parked on the wrong side of a dirt road.

The driver’s front door was open, and the hood was still warm. Unwrapped Christmas gifts sat in the back seat while on the front seat were a toboggan hat, a blue sports bag, a pair of woman’s gloves, and a purse.

All indications suggested to Deputy Baird that something was amiss, and he cautiously entered a field on the north side of the road. As he made his way across the field, he came upon, even for a seasoned officer, a horrific scene. Lying in the field next to each other, he found the lifeless bodies of a young woman and a small boy.

The victims were identified as Roxann and Kristopher. Mom lay covered in a blanket and had been shot once in the cheek and once in her temple. Kristopher lay beside her, having been killed by a .38 caliber bullet to his forehead.

The Thunderbird was registered to Roxann. Robbery was ruled out as a motive for the murder as multiple items of jewelry were on her body, and money was found in her purse in her car. Both she and Kristopher were found fully clothed, and neither had been sexually assaulted.

Roxann’s fiancee, Jimmy Hoskins, and her ex-husband were quickly cleared of any involvement.

As additional police officers raced to the area, a black man matching the description of the man seen earlier with Roxanne and Kristopher at their apartment complex was seen by at least eight people either running away from the scene or hitchhiking along the Interstate.

Approximately half an hour later, as investigators were at the crime scene, the man burst into a gas station five miles away, demanding to use the telephone. The cashier, Katie Christian, told him he had to use the payphone outside. Angered, the man stormed outside and used the payphone for a few minutes. After he hung up, he lingered at the gas station for nearly half an hour and, at one point, returned inside for a drink of water. Katie last saw him walking toward Interstate 635 toward the LBJ Freeway.

Another witness saw the man running down the hill from the gas station toward the Interstate. He then saw a 1955 Buick, driven by a heavyset black man, pull alongside him, pick him up, and then it drove away. The sighting led police to believe the suspect may have had an accomplice in the crime, whom he had called from the gas station payphone to pick him up.

A composite of the man believed to have murdered Roxann, and Kristopher Jeeves was made based on the descriptions of the multiple witnesses. The composite of the female seen with the man at Roxann’s apartment complex was made based on Patricia McAvey’s description.

The witness who saw the man in the 1955 Buick picking up the alleged killer did not get a good enough look at him to develop a composite sketch.

Investigators found a cornucopia of other clues in Roxann’s car. The bag’s contents included a pre-World War II holster, a set of burglary tools, duct tape, knives, and, perhaps most significantly, a bottle of formaldehyde. This evidence suggests the murders may have been drug-related.

At the time, it was a popular practice among drug users to lace marijuana cigarettes with formaldehyde. The practice was sometimes referred to as a “Sherman Stick.”

The suggestions of drugs as having involvement in Roxann and Kristopher’s murder led to a prime suspect: her brother Kurt.

Kurt had lived with Roxann and Kristopher for a few months before joining the Army in August of 1981, four months before the murders. Several people told police Roxann was relieved when Kurt left her apartment. Although she said her brother was good to her and her son, Kurt had a shady past, as he was known to be dealing in marijuana and owed many of his “associates” substantial amounts of money.

Interestingly, Kurt’s inner circle of friends consisted exclusively of black men. Shortly after he had moved out of Roxann’s apartment, an angry black man pounded on Roxann’s apartment door in the late evening. The man was angrily looking for Kurt, saying he owed him money.

A neighbor who saw the man believed he bore a resemblance to the composite sketch of the killer.

Kurt insisted he had no involvement in the murders of his sister and nephew and that their deaths were not related to his drug activities. He was shipped by the Army to Germany, where he was convicted of dealing drugs. The Army then returned Kurt to the United States in 1984 to serve time in the Louisville, Kentucky, stockade before being dishonorably discharged.

Kurt’s nefarious past caught up with him shortly after his release as he was murdered in an attempted drug buy in April of 1984. A group of black men was convicted of his murder, but police could not link any of them to Roxann and Kristopher’s murders.

No evidence has been found suggesting Kurt had any involvement in his sister and nephew’s murder, or that his murder was related to theirs.

The toboggan hat and blue sports bag left by the killer in Roxann’s car’s back seat ultimately proved to be his undoing.

In 2003, over 21 years after the murder of Roxanne and Kristopher Jeeves, DNA testing identified George Hicks, a former sanitation worker, as the murderer.

Two hairs found in the toboggan cap were matched to Hicks, and his former wife also identified the items found in the bag as belonging to her former partner. After the matches were made, a witness who saw the man running through the field picked Hicks out of a photo lineup.

Hicks had an extensive criminal record dating back 35 years. In 1968, he was given probation for theft, but two years later, he received a three-year prison sentence for burglary. Paroled after serving one year, Hicks was convicted of sexual assault in the following year of 1972. He then served seven years in prison.

At the time of Roxann and Kristopher’s murders in 1981, Hicks worked as a janitor in Dallas. In 1984, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for another sexual assault. He was paroled after serving eight years, but he was soon convicted of another sexual assault. The courts had finally had enough, sentencing him to 80 years in prison.

Hicks’s DNA was matched to the cap found in Roxann Jeeves’s car, and he was imprisoned in Rosharon, Texas. Concurrent with the 80-year sentence, he served two 15-year sentences for aggravated sexual assault and robbery.

In 2007, George Hicks was convicted of the murders of Roxann Jeeves and received an additional life sentence. Prosecutors put Hicks on trial for Kristopher’s murder in 2014 to ensure that he will never be paroled from prison. He was convicted of Kristopher’s murder and given another life sentence.

The death penalty could not be imposed for crimes committed as far back as 1981.

George Hicks has refused to answer any questions about the murder of Roxann and Kristopher Jeeves. Investigators are divided on whether he was the man seen arguing with Roxann about Kurt owing him money in the months before the murders. They have not been able to establish any connection between Hicks and Kurt Jeeves or any of his associates. A few investigators believe Kurt’s case was connected to Roxann and Kristopher’s, but most believe they are separate incidents.

The identity of the man in the 1955 Buick who picked up Hicks along Interstate 635 remains unknown, as does that of the woman seen with Hicks at Roxann’s apartment complex on the day of the murders. The woman may have been an accomplice, but she may not have any involvement. She is still sought for questioning in the deaths of Roxann and Kristopher Jeeves, but only as a material witness.

The woman is believed to be of either Hispanic or Native American origin. In 1991, she was approximately 5’5″, with long dark hair and a medium build. She was believed to be 25-30-years-old, making her in her mid-to-late fifties today.

SOURCES:
• Dallas Morning News
• Galveston Daily
• “Murderers Among Us” by Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesorth
• Texas Tribune
• Unsolved Mysteries
• UPI

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 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.”)


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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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SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


No Justice for Nona Dirksmeyer


Three times the state of Arkansas has tried a man for Nona Dirksmeyer’s murder and three times they have failed to get justice for the beloved beauty queen. Will the family ever find answers?


Nineteen-year-old Nona Dirksmeyer both sounded and looked exquisite. The college student had a beautiful soprano voice and a body that turned all the boys’ heads. She parlayed her talent and looks into competing in, and winning, several beauty pageants. The teen queen was only 11 days from turning twenty, but the disputed events of one awful evening prevented that occurrence.

On the evening of December 15, 2005, emergency workers responded to a frantic call for help at Russellville, Arkansas’s Inglewood Apartment complex. Inside Apartment 12, they encountered a gruesome scene. There lay the lifeless body of Pope County’s Beauty Queen. Nona had been stabbed and beaten to death.

Fourteen years after the bombshell’s brutal slaying, Nona Dirksmeyer’s case remains rife with aftershocks, marked by allegations of police incompetence, lawsuits, and three costly and emotionally draining trials resulting in no convictions.

Nona Dirksmeyer’s short life ended brutally, and no ending to her story can yet be written. After Nona Dirksmeyer graduated from Dover High school in 2004, she entered Arkansas Tech University in nearby Russellville. At the time of her murder, she was a sophomore majoring in music education and living off-campus.

Nona had taken the crowns in several beauty pageants: Pope County Beauty Queen, Miss Teen Nebo, and Miss Petit Jean Valley for 2005. That same year, she had also competed in the Miss Arkansas Pageant.

Nona and Kevin Jones had been high school sweethearts. The two continued their relationship while attending Arkansas Tech and even after Kevin transferred to the University of Arkansas.

Kevin had returned to Russellville on the evening of December 15, 2005, and planned to spend time with his girl. He expected to hear from her after she had completed a final exam, but several calls and texts were unanswered. As he had plans to attend a party with his mother, Kevin asked his friend, pizza delivery driver Ryan Whiteside, to go to Nona’s apartment to check on her. Kevin expected Ryan to call him, saying something to the effect that she had dozed off. But when Ryan did call, Kevin’s concern grew.

Ryan rang Nona’s doorbell and received no answer even though her car was in the parking lot, and the lights in her apartment were on. En route to the party, Kevin and his mom, Janice, made a detour to Nona’s place.

Kevin and Ryan went to the apartment’s sliding glass door. As he peered in, Ryan saw Nona lying naked on the floor. The door was unlocked, and the two men rushed inside. Nona did not answer Kevin’s repeated cries. He attempted to give her CPR, but Nona still did not move.

When paramedics arrived at the apartment, they too attempted to revive Nona, but their efforts were in vain as well. Nona Dirksmeyer was pronounced dead at the scene, having been stabbed and beaten to death.

Kevin described the sight of finding the woman he loved as a nightmare. And it was only beginning. After the police were called and conducted their investigation of the crime scene, a distraught Kevin agreed to be questioned at the police station. After a couple of hours, he was told he could leave.

In questioning Nona’s friends, police learned she had been casually seeing several other people since Kevin had left Russellville for Fayetteville. All of the young men were questioned, their alibis were confirmed, and they were eliminated as suspects in Nona’s murder.

Afterward, the investigators’ focus returned to Kevin as they believed the crime scene looked staged. The medical examiner determined Nona had been stabbed and beaten repeatedly on her head, neck, and chest, all signs of personal attack. Police were certain Nona’s murder was a crime of passion. Crimes of passion are usually committed by those closest to the victim. Investigators asked Kevin Jones if he would take a polygraph test. He agreed and, according to one investigator, failed worse than anyone to whom he had ever administered the test in his twenty years in law enforcement.

On March 31, 2006, Kevin Jones was charged with the murder of his girlfriend. The prosecution believed Kevin murdered Nona in a jealous rage. A used condom wrapper was found on Nona’s kitchen counter, but although Nona was found nude, there was no physical evidence she had been raped.

Prosecutors contended that upon seeing the condom wrapper, an enraged Kevin grabbed a knife and began repeatedly stabbing Nona. His bloody palm print was found on the bulb of a lamp, and the prosecution claimed he had used it to crush his girlfriend’s skull. When questioned, Kevin said he had not touched the lamp.

Nona’s autopsy showed she had been killed several hours before her body was found. The prosecution contends that after murdering her, Kevin left the apartment and later made the phone calls and sent the text messages to appear concerned. He also waited until the evening, the state contended, to return with his mother and friend to “find” her body. Kevin’s defense team, however, had an answer to all of the state’s contentions. First, an independent expert found the questions administered during Kevin’s polygraph examination were skewed to ensure his failure. The determination was a good start, but it was not of great help because polygraph test results are not admissible as evidence in court. Fortunately for Kevin, the finding was only the beginning.

The defense refuted the relevance of Kevin’s bloody palm print being on the lamp’s light bulb. The lamp was presumed to be the murder weapon because an EMT recalled it was within a foot of the body. The defense argued he had likely touched it without realizing it in his panic to revive Nona. Another weapon in the defense arsenal proved to be those in uniform: the Russellville Police. They declared the crime scene investigators, headed by first-time homicide detective Mark Frost, mucked up the investigation into Nona’s murder from the moment they arrived.

The defense emphasized that the only area investigators fingerprinted was around Nona’s body even though blood was near the front door and on the Venetian blinds. The front door was locked, but the back glass sliding door was unlocked, suggesting the route the killer had exited. The back door had not been fingerprinted. Although the killer would have walked across the kitchen floor to exit the apartment through the back door, the floor was not checked for footprints.

While prosecutors acknowledged mistakes had been made by police, they still felt the empty condom wrapper was a critical piece of evidence against Kevin Jones. They claimed upon finding the condom and believing his girlfriend had been with another man, Kevin killed Nona. Again, however, Kevin’s defense team was ready.

Kevin said he never noticed the condom wrapper, and his lawyers argued if he had, he would have picked it up and would have left his fingerprints on it. The prosecution did not have the wrapper tested; the defense did. Fingerprints and DNA were found on the condom wrapper, but they were not Kevin’s. They belonged to another male whose profile did not match any on file in the database. Kevin’s grandmother also testified he was with her in Dover at the time of the murder. After eight hours of deliberation, Kevin was found not guilty of Nona’s death in July of 2007.

Many agreed with the jury’s verdict, but some believed Kevin had gotten away with murder. Three months later, the arrest of another man for another crime led to his arrest for Nona’s murder, seemingly vindicating Kevin. He was, however, in for a rude awakening. Although another would be charged with the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer, Kevin Jones would, in a sense, be put on trial again.

In September of 2007, two months after Kevin’s acquittal, Gary Dunn was arrested for burglary. Dunn had lived in the same apartment complex as Nona and had been questioned and cleared by police. He agreed to submit his fingerprints and a DNA sample. After the tests were completed several weeks later, they suggested the DNA on the condom wrapper found in Nona’s apartment was Dunn’s. The fingerprints found on the wrapper were also consistent with Dunn’s but were not sufficient to be deemed a legal match.

When questioned again by police, Dunn said he had an alibi for December 15, 2005, the day Nona was murdered. He told them he was shopping with his mother, and she backed up his story. They told investigators the items they had purchased and from which stores. Investigators found receipts from the stores showing the items were purchased on December 13, not the 15th.

A new prosecutor found the DNA evidence and faulty alibi enough to charge Gary Dunn with the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer. His trial began in April of 2010. The new prosecution team argued the same theory as their predecessors that Nona was killed in a crime of passion. The accused man was now Gary Dunn, whom the state painted as a sexually violent man who had his eyes set on Nona.

Dunn’s former wife, Jennifer, testified against him at the trial. She was married to Dunn and lived with him in the apartment across the small parking lot from Nona’s at the time of the murder. By the time of Dunn’s trial, she had divorced him. Jennifer testified her former husband was often violent toward her and that in the weeks before Nona’s murder, she had caught lurking at Nona’s front door and looking in her bedroom window in the middle of the night.

The prosecution contended that Dunn, whom Jennifer also said had violent sexual habits, entered Nona’s apartment with the intent of forcing a sexual encounter and that he brought a condom which he disposed of but had left the wrapper behind. He forced all of her clothes off but killed her without raping her. Like the prosecutors in Kevin Jones’s trial, the state attorney’s evidence was attacked vigorously by Gary Dunn’s lawyers. They argued the DNA on that condom wrapper was only a mixed partial match to Dunn, and that it could also partially match thousands of other people.

Dunn’s attorneys conceded their client was not shopping with his mother on the day of Nona’s murder, but that he had not lied to the police. On the contrary, he cooperated fully by telling investigators where he had shopped and what he had purchased. Dunn’s lawyers argued he had simply forgotten the day he had gone shopping since he was questioned two weeks after the fact. He was in his apartment at the time of Nona’s murder.

The Double Jeopardy clause prohibits a person from being tried a second time for a crime for which he or she has been acquitted. At least officially. Despite Kevin Jones’s acquittal of Nona’s murder three years earlier, he was unofficially put on trial again and became the focus of Gary Dunn’s defense team. Dunn’s counsel argued Jones, his mother, grandmother, and friend, all gave conflicting statements to the 911 operator, the paramedics, and the police. They offered that Kevin, who admitted to using Marijuana, Xanax, and Adderall, may have killed Nona while high on the drugs.

In an ironic twist, Gary Dunn’s defense team also used the same argument as Kevin’s prosecutors in that Kevin knew of Nona’s seeing other boys and, upon finding the condom wrapper, killed her in a state of fury. The attacks on Kevin Jones were enough to dent the prosecution’s case against Gary Dunn. After three weeks of deliberation with the jury deadlocked, a mistrial was declared. Undeterred, prosecutors immediately filed charges to try Dunn again.

The state felt confident this time would be different, mainly because the testimony of Kelly Jo Harris was allowed to be admitted as evidence. In 2002, three years before Nona’s murder, Dunn had attacked her as she jogged along an isolated trail. He approached her from behind and hit her over the head with a large stick, knocking her down. Dunn pinned her to the ground and threatened to kill her, but Kelly was able to break free and summon help. When police arrived at the scene, they found Dunn hiding in the water.

Dunn was convicted of the attack and served 18 months in jail. After being released, he moved into the apartment across from Nona’s. Dunn’s lawyers, however, again successfully offered the same arguments they had used in his first trial. Despite the admission of his criminal past as evidence in his second trial, prosecutors were again unable to get a conviction. The second trial of Gary Dunn resulted in another hung jury.

In 2017, Dunn was sentenced to ten years in prison for a firearms offense. He was paroled in August of 2018 after serving only one year. Four months later, however, Dunn was in trouble again and was arrested on two counts of attempted kidnapping and one count of indecent exposure. Each of the incidents occurred in Russellville, Arkansas.

In November of 2019, Dunn accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with ten years suspended. He will have to serve 70 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole. The state of Arkansas could charge Gary Dunn for the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer again but has not given any indications of plans to do so. Many feel the state, after three strikes, has struck out in its attempt to get a conviction in the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer.

Kevin Jones sued former Detective Mark Frost, former Police Chief James Bacon, Gary Dunn, and the City of Russellville, claiming all had conspired to conceal evidence and deprive him of his constitutional right to a fair trial. The actions, he claimed, resulted in his malicious prosecution under federal and state law. In October 2014, the Eighth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s rule that the claims were time-barred by statute limits.

Nona Dirksmeyer, the Dover beauty, was killed by a beast. Fourteen years later, no one has been convicted of the crime. Her story is ended with a question instead of an answer: Will there be no justice for Nona?


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.


Further Reading:
• Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

KATV Channel 7 ABC Affiliate Little Rock


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.”)


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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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SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



A Fatal Favor: The Murders of Nancy Hyer & Billy Fischer


An idiom dating back to the 15th century holds that one good deed deserves another. When someone does a kind act when you are in need, you are expected to perform a similar action when that person is in need.

On the evening of December 11, 1986, twenty-one-year-old Nancy Hyer of Long Island, New York, performed such a deed for 19-year-old Billy Fischer, whom she had met only three weeks earlier. Billy had helped Nancy when she was in distress, and Nancy, though it was inconvenient for her, was now returning the favor. That favor, however, proved fatal.

Nancy Hyer arrived at the address given to her by Billy Fischer, who had asked her for a ride. When she left, she lay lifeless in the trunk of her car.

The converse of the 15th-century idiom also holds that one bad turn deserves another. Nancy Hyer had no way of knowing it, but she had a made a figurative bad turn when she drove to the address Billy Fischer gave her. Another lousy turn followed in that enough evidence was gathered to charge her killer, but he had fled and, over 33 years later, remains at large.

Billy Fischer and Nancy Hyer met in November of 1986 while on a train heading into New York City. Nancy, a novice passenger, became lost and was soon panicking. Billy noticed her in distress and helped get her to her destination. Once she departed the train, Nancy was unsure how to get to her home in Hicksville on Long Island, 50 miles away. Although Billy lived in Central Islip, twenty miles from Hicksville, he again came to her aid by offering to accompany her to her home. A grateful Nancy accepted.

Billy helped Nancy get home that evening. Afterward, the two began a friendship.

Three weeks later, on December 10, Billy called Nancy at her home, where she lived with her mother, Joan, and sister Debra. Nancy told Debra that Billy had asked her for a ride home from his father’s house in Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, 65 miles away.

Nancy did want to go out as she did not like to drive at night, and the weather was terrible. She felt obligated, however, to help Billy as he had earlier helped her.

Nancy left for Southampton early that evening. She never returned.

Billy suffered from cystic fibrosis, a terminal degenerative disease that weakens the lungs. He was growing increasingly ill and was overwhelmed with medical bills.

In arrears and with nowhere else to turn, Billy is believed to have sought financial help from his estranged father, William. It is not known how he made it to his father’s Southampton home as his condition rendered him unable to drive.

Forty-two-year-old William Fischer had left his wife, Billy, and their other son Jayson 15 years earlier. The task of raising two children on her own was too much for their mother, and Billy and Jayson were split up and put into foster homes.

When the elder Fischer remarried in 1982, his new wife Joan convinced him to let the boys live with him. Fischer, however, still had no interest in being a father and soon returned his sons to their foster homes.

It seems Billy asked his father for help even though the two had not spoken for over a year. William Fischer, however, invited Billy to his home on the evening of December 10, 1986, to discuss the situation.

Fischer worked at a well-to-do car dealership in Manhattan and was paid handsomely. By outward appearances, he was doing well, as he lived in a fashionable home in the Hamptons and drove a Mercedes.

Father Fisher, however, had his share of money woes as well. He had an extensive mortgage on his home and was behind on the payments for his fancy car. Fischer also had a growing cocaine habit, which was affecting his work performance.

When Nancy had not returned home by the following morning of December 12, her mother Joan called the police. However, they could do nothing because Nancy had not been gone long enough to be declared missing.

In searching through Nancy’s room, Debra found a sheet with the directions to Fischer’s home as well as his phone number. When Joan called him, Fischer told her that he had dinner with Billy and Nancy, who left shortly after that. Fischer seemed sympathetic and assured Joan he would call her that if he heard anything.

Another day passed with still no sign of Nancy or Billy, meaning Joan could now file a missing person’s report. Police questioned William Fischer. He was cooperative, telling them the same story he had told Joan. With no evidence of any wrongdoing on his part, the authorities could do little.

Growing more panicked, however, Joan called Fischer several more times. With each phone call, her suspicions grew as Fischer became more hostile, telling Joan he had no idea where her daughter was and expressing little concern that his own son was missing.

On December 21, police responded to a report of an abandoned car in the parking lot of the Southampton Elks Club two miles from Fischer’s home. The car was a 1981 Pontiac registered to Nancy Hyer, and a stench was emanating from the trunk.

When police opened the trunk, they found two bodies inside. They were identified as those of Billy Fischer and Nancy Hyer.

Their autopsies showed that Billy and Nancy had been killed in brutal, but different manners. Billy had been shot 18 times, mostly in the head at close range.

Nancy was wrapped in a blanket, nude, but not having been raped. She had been stabbed twice with a long, sharp instrument, perhaps a butcher knife.

After finding the bodies, police again attempted to question William Fischer. The car salesman, however, had taken flight, and they were unable to locate him.

In questioning Fischer’s neighbors, authorities learned that in the days following Billy and Nancy’s disappearance, William Fischer seemed to have developed an obsession with cleanliness. He was seen painting the walls in his master bedroom at 3:00 a.m. and continuously cleaning his home throughout the day.

A warrant was issued to search Fischer’s home. Slight indentations were observed in a section of the wall in the newly painted master bedroom. When they were removed, two .22 caliber bullets were recovered. A strand of hair identified as Billy’s was fused to one of the rounds.

Additional tests showed large amounts of blood splattered throughout the hallway. The blood was consistent with Nancy’s, and it seemed she was stabbed outside of the master bedroom.

Luminal tests showed blood on several walls throughout the house. Blood-stained fibers matching Billy and Nancy’s blood types were also found in the vacuum cleaner.

Billy and Nancy had met their brutal ends in the Fischer home. Now the search for William Fischer began. Thirty-three years later, it is without an end.

Police surmised that an argument ensued between Fischer and his son over Billy’s asking his father for money. In a fit of rage, the elder Fischer killed his son by shooting him 18 times. Because Fischer’s home was in a secluded area, no one heard the shots.

Fischer then had to kill Nancy. Perhaps because he had emptied all of his bullets into his son, he instead stabbed her to death. He may have had thoughts of raping her, which would explain why she was found nude.

Investigators learned that after Billy and Nancy’s disappearance, Fischer had taken out a second mortgage on his house in excess of $150,000. Authorities refer to this as a “credit bust out,” in which a person cashes out as much credit into currency as possible in preparation for a life on the lam. Fischer knew the net was closing in and that he had to flee quickly.

Fischer’s Mercedes was found abandoned at JFK Airport on February 27, 1987. It is believed to have been there for at least two weeks. He did not register for a flight in his name, but at the time, identifications weren’t always checked, and some investigators believe he simply gave a fake name.

This theory was bolstered with several subsequent reported sightings of Fischer in Europe. Although none could be confirmed, many were deemed credible. Soon, however, Fischer’s trail went cold, and today it is frigid as investigators say they are receiving few leads in the search for the fugitive.

William Peter Fischer is charged with two counts of second-degree murder. He is 5’11 and weighed between 185-200 lbs. Fischer smoked Salem Menthol cigarettes and was a heavy drinker, favoring Red Label and Johnny Walker Scotch. He also used cocaine regularly. 

Fischer has blue eyes, and his hair was brown when he was last seen. As he has aged, his hair has likely turned gray, and his hairline is probably receding.

Fischer generally wore expensive and trendy clothes and spoke with a heavy New York accent. He enjoyed playing racquetball, was flirtatious, and was said to like kinky sex with multiple partners.

Because of Fischer’s unhealthy lifestyle and lack of sightings, many investigators believe he is deceased. Until positive confirmation of his death is determined, however, they will continue to search for him.

William Fischer would today be 75-years-old. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the New York State Police at 631-756-3300.


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.


Further Reading:

New York Daily News

Unsolved Mysteries


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.”)


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Ozark’s Mystery Still Unsolved


It’s been over a year since a couple went missing from Ozark, Missouri and the family is left without answers. Quincey Hill, 23, and Stephen Webb, Jr.,29 were last seen at the Hilltop Vista Mobile Home Park on May 1, 2019. Webb Sr. saw the couple at the home they shared that morning before he left for work and they were gone by the time he returned. 

Two things are vitally important to solving a missing person case and unfortunately, Hill and Webb have neither a cell phone nor a vehicle. The couple had lived with Stephen’s dad in Ozark for less than a year before they vanished, but they had to walk everywhere or get a ride from someone. To make matters worse, Stephen’s phone was recently destroyed and this left them without wheels or a phone. 

The couple had recently gotten into a little trouble and some of the family thought they had just gone camping to hide out, but as the days turned into months and the warm summer days became long winter nights everyone began to wonder what happened Stephen and Quincey? Were they really running from the law for a somewhat minor offense or was something more sinister at play?

Whatever the case, local law enforcement officials have spent countless hours running down leads and chasing dead ends. Could this young couple have really vanished? Now a year has gone by and there’s a vicious rumor that tears at the heart. Word on the street claims the pair were killed over a drug deal gone bad. Who knows? 

Quincey would be 24 now. She is 5’5” with bleached blond hair and weighs approximately 115 lbs. She has a tattoo on her right arm above her elbow.

Stephen, who goes by “Stevo” is approximately 6’ and weight 270 lbs. He has brown hair and eyes. Webb has several scars from a motorcycle accident. His ears and tongue are pierced and he has numerous tattoos.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of these two please contact the Ozark Police Department at 417-581-6600.


More Info:

Charley project

Missouri HWY Patrol


No Justice in Justice: Guest post by Ian

Lacey Gaines had not always made the best decisions as a teenager. She had been through a series of rocky relationships, one of which resulted in pregnancy. As she turned 20-years-old on December 1, 2009, however, she appeared to be getting her life in order. She had moved into an apartment, had a steady job, and was dating a man who treated her well.

Lacey was growing up and her twenties promised to be better than her often troubled teenage years. If she had only been able to live them.

On December 7, 2009, six days after turning 20-years-old, Lacey’s boyfriend, Juan Valasquez, encountered a horrific scene as he entered their apartment in Justice, Illinois, 20 miles southwest of Chicago. Juan found his girlfriend’s blood-soaked body lying on the floor. Lacey had been repeatedly stabbed and strangled to death. A 4-inch gash crossed her throat and an electrical cord was wrapped around her neck.

Over a decade after Lacey Gaines’s brutal murder, there is still no justice in Justice.

Lacey had recently graduated from high school and was working full time as a waitress. She had a 23-month-old son, Conor, with her former boyfriend, Daniel Sanchez. Lacey’s parents, Jeff and Gilda, were babysitting Conor at the time of Lacey’s murder.

After a stormy three years, Lacey ended the relationship with Daniel. In addition to being verbally abusive, he is believed to have physically abused her, as co-workers said Lacey often came to work with bruises on her.

After Lacey moved into an apartment with her new boyfriend, Juan Valadez, Daniel is alleged to have harassed her and possibly even sent her death threats.

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on the evening of December 7, 2009, Juan and a friend found Lacey murdered in their apartment.

An autopsy determined that Lacey been strangled with an electrical cord, and ultimately killed by the 4-inch gash on the left side of her throat. A kitchen knife with a 10-inch blade found in the apartment was confirmed to be the murder weapon.

Lacey had not been sexually assaulted and she showed no defensive wounds, meaning her killer had likely taken her by surprise, quickly overpowered her, and rendered her unconscious.

Lacey lived in a crime-infested neighborhood in which drug-dealing was rampant, and several maintenance workers at her apartment complex had been caught peeping into women’s bedrooms. Police, however, do not believe her murder was drug-related and have cleared all of the maintenance men of involvement in the crime.

A robbery was ruled out as a motive as nothing was missing from the apartment.

Because there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment, investigators are certain Lacey was killed by someone she knew and felt comfortable letting into her home.

Daniel Sanchez was initially the prime suspect in the murder of his former girlfriend. After hours of interviews, however, police are confident he did not commit the murder.

Juan Valadez and all of Lacey’s family members were also cleared of any involvement.

Lacey Gaines was murdered ten years ago today, on December 7, 2009. She was stabbed to death between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. by a person who was probably right-handed.

Police say a person Lacey knew is a suspect in her murder, but the District Attorney says there is not enough evidence to prosecute. Despite Daniel Sanchez is an obvious suspect, police say he did not murder Lacey.

If you have any information on the murder of Lacey Gaines, please contact the Justice, Illinois, Police Department at 708-458-2192 or the Cook County Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-535-7867. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification of her killer.


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.


Furhter Reading:

• America’s Most Wanted
• Chicago Tribune


This Week’s True Crime Bestsellers on Amazon:

If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

The Pale-Faced Lie: A True Story


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.”)


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.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for 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.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

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©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED