Intro to KC mafia with Gary Jenkins

Synova interviews ex-Kansas City Intelligence Officer, Gary Jenkins. Gary has produced 4 documentary films, created the Kansas City Mob Tour app, authored 3 books, and currently produces and produces and hosts his own true-crime podcast, titled Gangland Wire Crime Stories. In this popular true-crime podcast Gary Jenkins tells many stories about the Kansas City mafia, interviews experts on mafia families in many other cities, and has found many former mafia members to tell their stories.

Gary’s Podcast – Gangland Wire: https://ganglandwire.com/category/blog/ganglandcrimestories/

Gary’s books: https://amzn.to/3bnteDo

Bowen on the River – The Murder of Brenda Bowen

Photo courtesy of our guest blogger, Ian

When Jerry Bowen asked Brenda Breckenridge to marry him in 1976, she eagerly said yes. When he asked her for a divorce 19 years later, a despondent Brenda, knowing the marriage had disintegrated, again said yes.

Two years later, Jerry asked Brenda to take him back, but this time her answer was no. Four days later, Brenda disappeared. Two months later, her body was found floating in the Coosa River, a few miles from the couple’s rural Westover, Alabama, home, approximately 20 miles southeast of Birmingham.

Jerry Bowen was convicted of his wife’s murder, and everyone in the tiny central Alabama town thought that was the end to the saga. On the day he was to be sentenced, Jerry was a no-show in court. He went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his identity, but in the end, he could not outwit forensic science.

Most of Jerry and Brenda’s 19-year-marriage was happy. They had two teenage children, a son Jason and a daughter Jinjer. (Yes, that is how she spelled her name.) The couple was well-off financially; Jerry worked as a contractor and Brenda as a real estate agent.

By 1995, the 42-year-old Brenda knew the marriage was falling apart as the 48-year-old Jerry was having an affair with a younger woman. It was the quintessential midlife crisis, and Jerry decided to quit the marriage. He asked Brenda for a divorce; though saddened, she agreed. The proceedings were finalized just over a year later.

The marriage ending was amicable, and Jerry agreed to give most of the couple’s joint assets to Brenda. They were still on good terms, so much so that they decided o an unusual living arrangement: Brenda would live in the main house while Jerry lived in the smaller guest house on the former couple’s property.

For six months, the arrangement worked out well. But then Jerry realized the young woman he had taken up with might not have been attracted to him for his looks or charisma. Jerry wished he had not been so generous in the divorce settlement as he was in severe financial trouble.

Just as quickly as Jerry Bowen had squandered his marriage, his lover had wasted his money.

Brenda, conversely, had no financial trouble as her real estate business continued to thrive. In desperation, Jerry turned for help to the woman he had turned away.

On January 24, 1997, Jerry asked Brenda that they re-marry to give him some financial relief. Brenda told friends of the request; her decision is not known for sure, but it most likely was no.

Four days later, two of Brenda’s friends came to her home, having not heard from her and concerned that she had not attended her regular prayer meeting. Not finding her there, they called the police.

Shelby County Deputies found some of Brenda’s clothes neatly folded and lying on her bed, her jewelry lying neatly on her dresser, and her curling iron turned on in the bathroom.

That evening, police found Brenda’s car, stuck in the mud, 43 miles away. Inside were her purse, cell phone, and checkbook. Police were struck that the driver’s seat was pushed to the back. Brenda was only 5’2″ tall, and it would have been impossible for her to have reached the car’s pedals with the seat in that position.

At 6’1″ tall, Jerry Bowen would have had the seat in that position to drive.

When questioned by police, Jerry showed no concern for Brenda’s well-being and gave evasive answers to detectives’ questions. The interview took place in the early morning hours, and he fell asleep at one point.

Nothing, however, linked Jerry to Brenda’s disappearance, and he was released.

Two months later, on March 29, 1997, three fishermen saw a body floating in the Coosa River. The Shelby County Coroner identified the remains as those of Brenda Bowen.

Her body was too decomposed for the cause of death to be determined.

A green bed sheet with a nylon rope tied around it covered Brenda’s body. The bedsheet was confirmed as having come from her home.

The rope around the sheet was tied with two specific knots, a bowline and a slip. The ends of the rope were burnt. Bowen’s son Jason recognized the unusual knots as the pattern used by his dad.

In addition, Jason said when his dad cut a piece of nylon rope, he always burned the ends.

Jerry Bowen had no alibi for the day Brenda disappeared. He was arrested and charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

The case against him was entirely circumstantial but strong enough for the jury to convict him. To everyone’s surprise, the judge allowed Bowen bail for $150,000 as he awaited sentencing.

On the day of his sentencing, in March 2000, Bowen emailed a letter to his sister. It read, in part: “This may be a dumb move on my part, sis [sic], but I don’t feel I should serve time for a crime that I didn’t commit. Therefore, I’m running.” Police believed he had fled the area six days before his scheduled sentencing.

On April 28, 2000, Jerry Bowen was sentenced in absentia to life in prison.

A search of Bowen’s home found thousands of violent and sadistic pornographic images on his computer. Among the images found were those of women being tied up, shackled, and tortured. Bowen seemed to have a particular fascination with naked pregnant women.

The disturbing images found on the computer showed that Bowen had disgusting fetishes, but they failed to provide clues to his whereabouts.

Jerry Bowen stayed off the radar for over four years before the public exposure of his flight led to his capture.

The fugitive had been profiled on Unsolved Mysteries twice, America’s Most Wanted three times, and several other national crime shows.

Following the Unsolved Mysteries re-broadcast on December 22, 2004, a viewer from North Charleston, South Carolina, believed she recognized him. A man she knew as Steven Starbuck had been dating her sister on and off for the previous three years.

When police went to the man’s home, he produced a birth certificate and driver’s license identifying him as Steven Starbuck. He agreed to come to the police department for questioning.

The police, confident they had their man, were surprised when his fingerprints did not appear to match Bowen’s. Upon closer examination, however, a crime scene technician saw that although the tips of the fingers did not look alike, the ridges above the first crease on the fingers were a match.

More extensive fingerprint tests were conducted, confirming Steven Starbuck was Jerry Bowen. Bowen confessed his identity and told police he had purposefully poured acid on his hands to alter his fingerprints.

Bowen then told of his life-on-the-run: He initially fled to Reno, Nevada, where he lived for several years before briefly relocating to Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in construction doing drywall in both cities before heading back east and settling in South Carolina.

Bowen also said he had been able to elude detection by befriending homeless people and assuming their identities; the real Stephen Starbuck was such a person and victim.

Jerry Bowen was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-wife Brenda. He was also convicted of identity theft.

In a 2010 interview for the show “I (Almost) Got Away with It,” Bowen again expressed his innocence in the murder of his wife. He said he fled because he was told police were going to kill him.

Several family members and friends support Bowen’s claims of innocence. No physical or forensic evidence linked him to Brenda’s murder; he was convicted entirely on circumstantial evidence.

Bowen’s children, however, are not among those who believe he is innocent.

Bowen became eligible for but was denied parole on December 1, 2019.

Now 73-years-old, Jerry Bowen is imprisoned at the Limestone Correctional Center in Harvest, Alabama.


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:

Shelby County (Alabama) Reporter
Unsolved Mysteries


Join Our GUEST BLOGGER’S FACEBOOK GROUP 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.”)


Each week Synova & her team of guest bloggers highlight an obscure cold case. Synova works directly with the victims’ families to give them a voice and to generate leads for law enforcement. The potential viewership currently sits at 500,000!

Help Synova’s team reach a million people with these cold cases. Together we can solve some of these cases.

As a way of saying “Thank You” when you sign up for Synova’s true crime newsletter, you will get her Grim Justice eBook as a free gift! Please help us reach out to more people in our search for truth.

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Chasing Justice is on PodbeanStitchergoogle podcasts, itunes, and spotify. Listen on you favorite app! Look for the logo above. There is another Chasing Justice podcast out there.


Everything Wrong With the Jon Benet Case Part 1&2

Synova’s Chasing Justice Podcast: Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell is joined by ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo. Together they discuss the details of the JonBenet Case.

Part 1: Introduction Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series.

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-9nbhh-109b719

Part 2: Crime Scene Destroyed – Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series.

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-v8jg6-109b83d

JonBenetRamsey #chasingjusticepodcast #synovainkpublishing #hootiessocialclub

Everything Wrong with the Jon Benet case – Part 2 – Crime Scene Destroyed

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-v8jg6-109b83d

Synova’s Chasing Justice Podcast: Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell is joined by ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo. Together they discuss the details of the JonBenet Case.
 
Part 2: Crime Scene Destroyed –  Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series. Hold on, it’s going to be a long ride!
 

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Follow Hootie’s Channel Here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtF9CGDw0zQQyjicH4sLPGA

 

Find more on Synova Here:

www.synovaink.com

Everything Wrong with the Jon Benet Case – Part one – Introduction

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-9nbhh-109b719

Synova’s Chasing Justice Podcast: Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell is joined by ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo. Together they discuss the details of the JonBenet Case.
 
Part 1: Introduction Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series. Hold on, it’s going to be a long ride!

One of the Real Few – The Brutal Murder of a Marine named David Cox


January 5, 1994

In cinematic crime capers, when people are murdered, the killer is usually identified, captured, tried, and convicted within 2-3 hours. When people are murdered in real life, it does not work quite as quickly. Sometimes there is no conclusion to the case at all.

David Cox, a 27-year-old former United States Marine, was shot to death on a cold winter day near Boston in January of 1994. Over a quarter of a century later, his murder is a hard case as no one has been charged, and no suspects have been named.

When movie critics pan a picture, they often hear the ire of those involved in the production. Some believe David Cox paid a more morbid price, contending the murdered Marine was gunned down for giving a thumbs down to the Hollywood blockbuster “A Few Good Men.”

David Cox had always wanted to be a Marine. After graduating from high school in 1985, his dream came true.

After completing his basic training in Parris Island, South Carolina, David was stationed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

In a letter dated June 30, 1986, PFC (Private First Class) William Alvarado, another marine stationed at Guantanamo Bay, wrote to his Senator, alleging marine misconduct at the base, specifically the illegal firing of weapons into Cuban territory.

David’s squad leader, Christopher Valdez, says the platoon commander gave his men an implied but not stated order to carry out a “hazing” against Alvarado. In military terminology, this is called a “Code Red.”

Approximately two weeks later, David and nine other marines entered Alvarado’s room while he was sleeping. For several minutes, the fellow marines hazed their cohort as they stuffed a rag into his mouth, blindfolded and pummeled him. David served as the hazing barber as he forcibly cut Alvarado’s hair.

After approximately five minutes with the shears, David’s expression turned to fear when he noticed Alvarado was no longer struggling or breathing. The hazing promptly ended, and the unconscious Alvarado was rushed off base to a Miami hospital. He recovered, and his fellow marines, including David, were condemned for the hazing.

The ten men were brought up on various charges.

Seven of the attackers accepted “other than honorable” discharges from the Marines. Of those, only Valdez succeeded in getting his discharge upgraded to honorable.

David and two other marines refused the Corps’ offer of a military plea bargain. They believed they had done nothing wrong and said they were following the orders of their superiors. They were willing to take their chances in a court, even though that meant the chance of a court-martial and a 20-year sentence at Leavenworth federal prison.

The “obedience to orders” defense had been tried without success in two major cases: by the defendants at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials following World War II and by Lt. William Calley for the murder of native civilians in the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. Adding to the difficulty was that the Colonel, who was said to have given the implied orders to attack Private Alvarado, denied he ever gave such an order, directly or implied.

At the end of the four-day court-martial hearing at Gitmo, however, David was convicted only of simple assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Because he had already served 38 days in the brig, the sentence was waived.

David completed his Marine career, serving out his final two years in North Carolina and overseas in South Korea and Panama. After he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of corporal in 1989, he moved into an apartment with his girlfriend, Elaine Tinsley, in Natick, Massachusetts, 20 miles southwest of Boston.

If you are a movie aficionado, the story of the hazing At Guantanamo Bay may sound familiar.

Playwright Aaron Sorkin learned of the incident from his sister Deborah, a member of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps who represented some of the marines who accepted the plea deals.

Sorkin developed the saga into the play “A Few Good Men” in 1989. Following the play’s successful 14-month run on Broadway, he began to adapt it into a film.

In 1992, six years after the incident at Gitmo, the movie “A Few Good Men” was released. The legal drama was directed by Rob Reiner and starred in a slate of Hollywood heavyweights led by Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, and Kevin Bacon.

“A Few Good Men” concerns the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers in defending them. Like the Broadway play, the film was a hit, grossing over $140 million and garnering four Academy Award nominations, including that of Best Picture.

A few people, however, were not fans of “A Few Good Men.”

The film is set in Guantanamo Bay. The victim is PFC William Santiago, who, like the real-life PFC William Alvarado, wrote a letter to officials complaining of illegal firing into Cuban territory. As in the real-life court-martial, the key defense element was that the Marines followed implied orders from their superiors.

The marines involved in the hazing of Private Alvarado were angered that Hollywood was making millions of dollars telling a fictionalized version of the events, which painted them in a negative light. The movie had an accidental murder and dishonorable discharge for the two fictional Marines. In reality, no one died, and no one was dishonorably discharged.

David, in particular, was angered by the portrayal of him and his fellow marines as villains.

Following the release of “A Few Good Men,” David and five fellow former Marines, including Squad Leader Christopher Valdez, sued Castle Rock Entertainment, the movie production company that produced “A Few Good Men.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, alleged, among other things: invasion of privacy, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Marines claimed the filmmakers “stole [their] real-life story, changed a few names, and passed it off as their own creation.”

David spoke about the lawsuit on radio talk shows and also spoke candidly and critically of United States Marines’ actions at Guantanamo Bay.

When David’s girlfriend Elaine returned home from work on January 5, 1994, she found the apartment empty.

David’s truck was still in the driveway, with the keys in the ignition. His un-cashed paycheck from his temporary job with UPS was on the dashboard, and his 9-millimeter gun was in the glove box.

After David had not returned home by evening, Elaine reported him as missing.

On April 2, three months later, David’s body was found by a canoeist in a wooded area on the banks of the Charles River in Medfield, approximately five miles from his apartment. He appeared to have been killed execution-style, having been shot four times, three times in his torso and once in the back of his neck. His cash and credit cards were still in his wallet, ruling out robbery as a motive.

Neither the murder scene nor David’s apartment showed any signs of a struggle. Police believe his murder was not a random attack and that he left his home willingly with someone he knew on January 4, the day he was last seen. This person is believed to have driven David to the remote locale where he and an unsuspecting David walked into the woods. Police believe at no point did David believe he was in any danger.

The location where David’s body was found was nearly a mile into the woods, which were a common hunting area in which the sound of gunshots would not have caused alarm.

David liked to gamble and owed thousands of dollars to several bookies. Police, however, do not believe his debts were large enough to be targeted for murder and have stated drugs were not a factor in his murder.

Many, including David’s military lawyer Donald Marcari, believe his murder is related to his lawsuit against Castle Rock Entertainment over the depiction of the marines in “A Few Good Men.” No evidence, however, has been found to support the theory.

David’s brother, Steve, however, has another theory.

David was hired as a driver for UPS for the 1993 Christmas season. As he had hoped, UPS was prepared to hire him permanently.

On April 2, the day he was last seen, his supervisor at UPS left two messages on his answering machine telling him they would hire him. Neither message had been played when Elaine came home that evening; it is not known if David heard either of them.

Steve Cox says a couple of months before his brother disappeared, he had told him that a supervisor and another driver were involved in some illegal activity, which he believed was theft. Steve believes David’s murder may be connected to the alleged shenanigans at UPS.

Similar to the military angle, however, investigators have found no proof to corroborate the belief that David’s death was related to UPS.

Twenty-seven years after he was found shot to death in the frigid Boston forest, David Cox’s murder remains unsolved.

If you have any information on the murder of David Cox, please contact the Massachusetts State Police 508-894-2584.


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
Boston 25 News
• Unsolved Mysteries
• Weird History


Join Our GUEST BLOGGER’S FACEBOOK GROUP 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.”)


Each week Synova & her team of guest bloggers highlight an obscure cold case. Synova works directly with the victims’ families to give them a voice and to generate leads for law enforcement. The potential viewership currently sits at 500,000!

Help Synova’s team reach a million people with these cold cases. Together we can solve some of these cases.

As a way of saying “Thank You” when you sign up for Synova’s true crime newsletter, you will get her Grim Justice eBook as a free gift! Please help us reach out to more people in our search for truth.

SIGN UP HERE


Check out Synova’s new Podcast, Chasing Justice

Chasing Justice is on PodbeanStitchergoogle podcasts, itunes, and spotify. Listen on you favorite app! Look for the logo above. There is another Chasing Justice podcast out there.


Latest Interview on the MAFIA podcast

Check out my latest interview on the Mafia podcast.

It’s the early 1970’s in Biloxi, Mississippi. Kirksey Nix, one of the leading members of the Dixie Mafia, had been convicted of murder and began a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Despite this, Nix would continue heading up his gang from prison, orchestrate a hit on a local judge and his wife, and even target and scam gay men out of their money over the phone.


Preorder – Dawn of the Dixie Mafia book

From their birth place in Phenix City, Alabama to the corruption of today, the Dixie Mafia’s tentacles stretch from coast to coast throughout the south. While most of the world denies their existence, this network of freelance criminals have flown under the radar for the most part since the 1950s. Their structure is completely different than that of La Cosa Nostra so people discount them as rogue bands of individual criminals. In reality it’s one massive web of corruption, lies, and murder.

Check out Synova’s latest book called Dawn of the Dixie Mafia to find out how all of these random crimes fit together.

I-70 Serial Killer Part 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-in5bc-1079835

Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell, and ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo discuss the disturbing case of the I-70 Serial Killer. 

Sign up for the Racketeer Here:

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Follow Hootie’s Channel Here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtF9CGDw0zQQyjicH4sLPGA

 

Find more on Synova Here:

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An Athlete Murdered Young – Death of Aimee Willard

Photo courtesy of guest blogger. Check out his FB group here: Ian’s Group

June 20, 1996

Aimee Willard‘s athletic accomplishments earned her a scholarship to play lacrosse and soccer at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. It was in lacrosse that the 22-year-old tomboy particularly excelled; by her junior year, she led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring and assists. She was designated as one of the top 25 female lacrosse players in the United States, but because of a man described as “pure evil,” she became an athlete who died young.

In the early morning hours of June 20, 1996, Aimee’s car was found abandoned along Interstate 476 near Philadelphia. That afternoon, her badly beaten body was found in the north part of the city.

Three people emerged as suspects in Aimee’s murder, but all were cleared after DNA identified the true culprit. Twenty-four years after Aimee’s murder, her killer remains on Pennsylvania’s death row, his appeals nearly exhausted.

The only mystery remaining in the murder of Aimee Willard is when will the man who took her life pay for the crime?

On June 19, eleven days after her 22nd birthday, Aimee met friends at Smokey Joe’s Tavern in Wayne, just north of Philadelphia. Conversing at the tavern for nearly three hours, the girls had a great time catching up with each other. Aimee drank only a small amount of alcohol and left the bar between 1:30-1:45 a.m. on June 20.

On the day before summer officially started, the warm Pennsylvania morning was about to be marred by a chilling crime.

Shortly after 2:00 a.m., off-duty paramedics found Aimee’s car parked along the shoulder of an Interstate 476 off-ramp. Its engine was running, the lights were on, and the radio was playing. The driver’s side door was open, and a trail of fresh bloodstains dotted the pavement. A bloody tire iron lay by the side of the car, which was later identified as Aimee’s.

Police were summoned and found more blood along the passenger side of the car and the nearby guardrail. Later that morning, they found underwear and tennis shoes at the top of the ramp, also determined to be Aimee’s. Her other clothes were never found.

That afternoon, 17 miles away in North Philadelphia, two children playing in a vacant lot discovered Aimee’s nude body. An autopsy determined she had been sexually assaulted and killed by blunt force trauma that crushed her skull. She had been killed at approximately 7:00 a.m. on June 20.

Three men became suspects in the murder of Aimee Willard. Disturbingly, two of them were in law enforcement, and the third had previously masqueraded as such. 

As police searched the ramp where Aimee’s abandoned car was found, 23-year-old Andrew Kobak approached them, saying he had been on the ramp early that morning and had seen the car. Kobak had once worked five blocks from where Aimee’s body was found. More interestingly, he had previously been arrested for impersonating a police officer.

Kobak allowed police to search his car. They found handcuffs and a flashlight similar to those used by law enforcement. A search of his home-produced police paraphernalia as well as a magazine that could be used to order police equipment. After the searches, Kobak stopped cooperating with authorities.

Police were convinced they had their man, believing he approached Aimee under the guise of a police officer. Two bona fide law enforcement officers, however, also emerged as suspects.

An off-duty Pennsylvania state trooper, who lived only a few blocks from Aimee’s home, claimed to have seen both Aimee’s car and a police officer parked in a squad car behind it. The trooper said he spoke briefly with the officer, offering his assistance. When told he was not needed, the trooper said he drove away.

All of the police officers who responded to the call of Aimee’s abandoned car, however, said no one identifying himself as a state trooper spoke to them. Furthermore, authorities determined the trooper was in a different location at the time. The trooper soon resigned from the Pennsylvania State Patrol.

One week later, a local police officer not involved in the investigation into Aimee’s murder came forward, saying he had come upon her car while the paramedics were on the scene but before the police arrived. The officer said he saw the paramedics parked behind her car and that he spoke with them. The paramedics, however, contradicted the officer’s account, saying they neither saw nor spoke with him. Like the state trooper, the police officer later admitted to lying to his fellow lawmen. He, too, resigned shortly thereafter.

Investigators had three suspects in the murder of Aimee Willard: Andrew Kobak, who pretended to be one of them, and two of their actual own; the Pennsylvania State Trooper and the local police officer. DNA tests, however, exonerated all three men.

The only connection Aimee’s killer had to law enforcement was his multiple arrests. 

In December 1997, one-and-a-half years after Aimee’s murder, semen found on her body was matched to 38-year-old Arthur Bomar, Jr.

Police were led to Bomar after nineteen-year-old Patty Jordan reported an attempted carjacking near Philadelphia. A man had tailed her after she left a local nightclub and purposely struck the back of her vehicle. He tried to get her to pull over, but she refused.

As Patty drove off, she memorized the car’s license plate number. The plate was traced to Bomar. In December 1997, one-and-a-half years after Aimee’s murder, semen found on her body was matched to 38-year-old Arthur Bomar, Jr.

Police were led to Bomar after nineteen-year-old Patty Jordan reported an attempted carjacking near Philadelphia. A man had tailed her after she left a local nightclub and purposely struck the back of her vehicle. He tried to get her to pull over, but she refused.

As Patty drove off, she memorized the car’s license plate number. The plate was traced to Bomar.

Bomar was no stranger to authorities. He had previously been convicted of several assaults on young women and the second-degree murder of a woman in Nevada in 1978. He had been sentenced to life in prison but was granted parole after serving only eleven years. The parole board evidently thought Bomar had been rehabilitated. They would soon be proven deadly wrong.

In 1990, less than a year after he was paroled, Bomar was charged with the attempted murder of a woman named Theresa Thompson; the charges were dropped after she died of a drug overdose in 1991 before the case was brought to trial. He was also believed to be connected to the rape of a Philadelphia college student, though the evidence was not sufficient to charge him.

The evidence, however, was more than sufficient to charge him with the murder of Aimee Willard.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on the evening of June 19, 1996, Philadelphia police had pulled Bomar over for a traffic infraction only six blocks from where Aimee’s car would be found in the early morning hours of June 20. Police sought to question him but could not initially locate him.

The following week, Bomar was arrested after trying to break into a woman’s apartment. As the three other men emerged as suspects, authorities turned their attention away from Bomar and did not question him then about Aimee’s murder.

After the DNA evidence linked Bomar to Aimee’s murder, his girlfriend told authorities he was at Smokey Joe’s Tavern on the evening of June 20, 1996. It is believed he noticed Aimee at the bar and followed her along Route 476 after she departed.

Due to the damage found on the front of Bomar’s car and the back of Aimee’s car, police believe he purposefully rammed the back of her car to get her to pull over. When Aimee exited her vehicle to exchange information, Bomar is believed to have struck her with the tire iron later found alongside her car.

After knocking Aimee unconscious, Bomar is believed to have taken her to north Philadelphia, where he raped her and killed her with three blows to her head from another large object. Afterward, he is believed to have run over her with his car. A burn pattern found on Aimee’s back was consistent with the oil pan on the bottom of Bomar’s Ford Escort, which was found in a junkyard with slight damage to the front bumper. Its tires matched the impressions found near Aimee’s car.

Furthermore, DNA testing showed blood found on the car’s door was Aimee’s.

In February 2003, six-and-half years after Aimee’s murder, Arthur Bomar, Jr. was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death. He was also convicted of rape, assault, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse.

At his sentencing, Bomar professed he was convicted only because he is black. He then flipped his middle finger at Aimee’s mother, Gail, and told her to f**k herself. He also threatened to kill her and her two other children.

When Bomar had been arrested for breaking into the woman’s apartment a few days after Aimee’s murder in June 1996, he had a set of keys for a Honda in his pocket. Police learned he had put his Ford Escort’s license plate on the Honda. It was the license plate Patty Jordan had memorized when the car rammed her.

The plate was registered to Bomar, but the Honda belonged to 25-year-old Maria Cabuenos, another Pennsylvania woman who had been reported missing in March 1996, three months before Aimee’s murder. Maria is also believed to have been abducted on Route 476, near where Aimee’s car was found. Dried blood was found in the trunk of her Honda, and both bumpers were slightly scraped, as were the bumpers on Aimee’s car. Moreover, Aimee’s blood and hair were found in Maria’s car.

In January 1998, three months after Bomar’s conviction for Aimee’s murder, Maria Cabuenos’ remains were found in nearby Bucks County. Like Aimee, she had died of blunt force trauma.

Bomar is the prime suspect in Maria’s murder, but he is not likely to be charged because of his death sentence. 

Over 17 years after his conviction for the murder of Aimee Willard, Arthur Bomar, Jr. remains on Pennsylvania’s death row, still exhausting his appeals. In 2014, his appeal was rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. His remaining options are few, but a date has still not been set for his execution.

Bomar maintains he did not kill Aimee and still insists he was convicted only because he is black. No one of any color is supporting his claim.

Authorities continue to investigate Bomar’s possible involvement in other homicides. They believe he may be a serial killer but have not yet been able to link him to any more murders.

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, AKA “Aimee’s Law,” was introduced by then-Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000.

The Act encourages states to keep murderers, rapists, and child molesters behind bars longer and holds a state financially accountable if it fails to do so. In addition, it allows interstate parole violators to be jailed in their state of residence at the expense of the state where the original offense was committed. Furthermore, it permits for offenders to be jailed in another state if circumstances allow it.

A small roadside memorial on the exit ramp from Interstate 476 to southbound U.S. Route 1 marks the site where Aimee Willard’s car was found.

US Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport in the United States, established the Aimee Willard Award. Created in conjunction with Aimee’s mother, her high school coach, and the Philadelphia Women’s Lacrosse Association, the award is given each year in recognition of the outstanding collegiate athlete participating in the USWLA National Tournament.

George Mason University honors Aimee with the yearly Aimee Willard Commemorative Award, presented to the Mason student-athlete who best exemplifies the standards of quality set by Aimee: intensity, consistency of purpose, achievement, and teamwork. 


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:

• Cold Case Files

• Philadelphia Inquirer

• Unsolved Mysteries

• Washington Post


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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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