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.

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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



Scoville Skips: Guest Post Thursday

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All Photos Provided by Guest Blogger

In the 1970s, Raymond Scoville was transitioning from hippie to businessman. As the editor of an underground Chicago newspaper in 1970, he had penned an article entitled “How to Get a New Identity,” geared toward those sought by law enforcement.

In the 1980s, Scoville personally tested his work, as he made another transition, from businessman to murderer. Unfortunately, he has aced the test.

Scoville knew about what he wrote, and, evidently, practiced what he preached as he has been on the lam for over 37 years.

By the latter part of the 1970s, as the counterculture movement was coming to a close, Raymond Scoville was remodeling his Chicago drug paraphernalia shop into a record and videotape shop.

Scoville’s new store was a success, and the hippie-turned-businessman soon opened five more stores in the Joliet, Illinois, area.

Colleen Racich was a bubbly teen hired by Scoville as a part-time clerk at one of his stores. She proved herself a good worker, but Scoville was evaluating more than her job performance. The former deadhead had a thing for redheads. Colleen was flattered by the attention of the “hip” business owner. Soon, the 31-year-old Scoville and his 14-year-old employee were having an affair.

The two continued their romantic relationship as Colleen grew into adulthood. By 1982, as she proved herself a good businesswoman, Scoville made his now 22-year-old trophy girlfriend the part-owner of three of his businesses. Colleen was on the fast track, but she soon discovered her lover and business partner had been off track for several years.

Colleen, the astute young businesswoman, examined the company books and was startled at what she found. For several years, Scoville had been skimping on his responsibilities. Colleen’s lover-partner was heavily in debt, had defaulted on several bank loans, and had not paid taxes for
several years. Colleen immediately ended the romantic partnership and took the first steps toward dissolving the business partnership.

After Colleen alerted the authorities, several of Scoville’s stores were shut down. The former lovers and partners became bitter of enemies as each filed civil suits against each other.

On August 3, 1982, Scoville and Colleen met in one of the record stores to discuss the state of their businesses and partnerships. Several people saw the two engaged in heated arguments. These were the last sightings of Colleen Racich.

Colleen’s family reported her missing the following day. Four days later, police found her car at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital parking lot. Beneath a pile of newspapers in the back seat lay Colleen’s body. She had been shot eight times.

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All Photos Provided by Guest Blogger

When police questioned Scoville, he admitted killing Colleen but claimed it was self-defense, saying she had attacked him with a knife. Under interrogation, however, Scoville broke down, admitting he had struck his former lover on her head with a mallet before shooting her to death. Afterward, he took Colleen’s keys, wrapped her body in a bag and blanket, put it into her car and drove to the hospital parking lot.

Raymond Scoville was arrested on August 10, 1982, and charged with the murder of his former lover and business partner, Colleen Racich. In a written confession to police, he stated he had shot Colleen after she accused him of embezzling funds from their businesses.

Scoville’s mother posted his $50,000 bond. On April 12, 1983, four days after his trial began, a motion to suppress his confession to Chicago police was denied. The following day, Scoville was a no-show in court.

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On June 20, 1983, nine weeks after fleeing, Scoville was seen by a former employee at a Chicago restaurant. This is the last confirmed sighting of Raymond Scoville.

Scoville’s trial continued without him and in September of 1983, he was convicted in absentia of Colleen’s murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Instead of sitting in a prison cell, however, Scoville has been in hiding for nearly that amount of time.

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All Photos Provided by Guest Blogger

Scoville is also suspected of killing two former girlfriends, one of them being Jill Clark. Soon after Scoville began his affair with Colleen, Jill was found shot to death. Although it was determined the gun that killed Jill belonged to Scoville, her death was ruled a suicide.

I was not able to find a source naming the other ex-girlfriend Scoville is suspected of killing. I also could not find a picture of Jill Clark.

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All Photos Provided by Guest Blogger

In recent years, retro stores have become increasingly popular, and vinyl records have been making a comeback.

Not so, Raymond Scoville. He remains in hiding over 37 years after killing Colleen. Scoville spoke fluent Spanish, and authorities believe he may have fled to central or South America. He may be using the names David Shaw, Robert Branch or Harvey Lnu. Scoville would today be 68-years-old.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Raymond Scoville, please contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 746-6000 or the Chicago FBI office at (312) 421-6700.

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


SOURCES:
• America’s Most Wanted
• Chicago Sun-Times
• Chicago Tribune
The Herald News (Joliet, IL.)
• New Lenox Patch

Recommended Reading:

Read about more cold cases in

The Killer Book of Cold Cases: Incredible Stories, Facts, and Trivia from the Most Baffling True Crime Cases of All Time (The Killer Books)

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.

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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.


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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


Awful Irony – The Death of Angela Maher

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In July of 1994, 21-year-old Angel Maher was about to begin her senior year at Creighton University. Before doing so, however, she made the 1,300 mile drive from Omaha, Nebraska, to her Scottsdale, Arizona, home to celebrate her mom’s birthday. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but instead it became one of tragic and awful irony.

Around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of July 29, a friend phoned Angela, asking for a ride home from a neighborhood bar. Angela had told her friend to call her if she had had too much to drink. As Angela left to pick up her friend, she told her mother not to wait up for her.

Half an hour later Rose Maher heard a knock on her door. She at first thought Angela had returned and had forgotten her house key. When she answered the door, however, her heart sank.

Standing on the doorstep was a policeman with a look of dread on his face. He informed Rose that her daughter had been killed in a car accident.

The awful irony of Angela’s death was soon learned. The young woman who took it upon herself to be the designated driver had, tragically, been killed by a drunk driver. The ultimate injustice, however, is that her killer remains in hiding over a quarter of a century later.

As Angela departed her home, 31-year-old Gloria Schulze stumbled out of a local bar, egregiously inebriated. Moments later, the two women’s vehicles engaged in a violent crash.

Paramedics arrived quickly on the scene, but by the time they were able to cut Angela from her car, it was too late. She was dead from massive blunt force trauma to her head resulting from the injuries sustained in the accident.

Schulze, however, survived the accident relatively unscathed, suffering only a broken jaw.

When police arrived at the scene, she was lucid enough to be questioned and admitted to having drunk alcohol. Later tests showed her blood-alcohol level to be nearly double the legal limit for driving in Arizona. A urinalysis also detected traces of marijuana, although it could not show definitively whether Schulze had been stoned at the time of the accident.

As inebriated as Schulze was, she had had the sense to put on her seat belt. Angela had not been wearing hers. 

In high school, one of Angela’s friends had been killed while driving drunk. Afterward, Angela established her high school’s S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving) program. She organized several fundraisers and presentations at which she talked about drunk driving accidents.

Furthermore, Angela resolved to be a “designated driver.” When she and her friends painted the town, Angela always refrained from drinking to ensure that everyone would get home safely. She also insisted her friends promise her that if they had had too much to drink, they would call her to give them a ride home. 

The phone call Angela received on the evening of July 29, 1994, was from a friend who knew she had had too much to drink. She remembered Angela’s order and called her.

Gloria Schulze didn’t have much sense. In a bitterly “sad” irony, Angela, the crusader against drunk driving, had become a drunk driving victim.

 On May 13, 1995, the day Angela would have graduated from college, Creighton University awarded her a posthumous honorary diploma. Her mother Rose accepted the diploma on her behalf.

Gloria Schulze was charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment. At her arraignment, she was represented by a prominent attorney experienced in handling drunk driving cases. The attorney persuaded the judge to release Schulze under her own recognizance. The judge stipulated that Schulze was to submit to pretrial drug testing three times a week and report to the court by telephone once a week. Schulze, did not, however, have to post bond or surrender her driver’s license.

Schulze’s attorney asked, and was granted, six postponements for her trial over the next eight months. In addition, the prosecutor and judge originally given the case were reassigned.

In August of 1995, just over a year after Angela’s death, Schulze was offered a plea bargain. If she waived her right to a trial and plead guilty to reckless endangerment and manslaughter, she would serve a reduced sentence. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for September 15, 1995.

But Gloria Schulze had other plans.

Because of the drunken Gloria Schulze’s decision to get behind the wheel of her car, Angela Maher is now only ashes. Even the sobered Schulze’s decisions, however, stayed shameful.

Schulze was a no-show for her court date in September of 1995 and has been a no-show for nearly a quarter-century. In 2001, she was convicted in absentia of manslaughter with sentencing to be imposed upon her capture. Eighteen years later, the sentence has still not been enforced.

Schulze comes from a family of means, and police believe relatives have helped her elude capture. Authorities believe Schulze lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for several years after fleeing. In the last 17 years, reports have placed her with family in California, Michigan and even abroad in Turkey. Despite the sightings, Schulze has managed to stay one step ahead of the police.

Gloria Schulze remains at large a quarter-of-a-century after claiming the life of Angela Maher. She is now 55-years-old.

If you believe you have any information on the whereabouts of Gloria Schulze, please contact the Scottsdale, Arizona, Police Department at 480-312-5000.

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The obvious lesson of this awful story is to not drink and drive. The secondary lesson is that a motorist should always wear a seat belt. As inebriated as Gloria Schulze was, she had the wherewithal to put on her seat belt and it probably saved her life.

Angela was not wearing her seat belt; wearing it may have saved her life.

SOURCES:
America’s Most Wanted
Phoenix New Times


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


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

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Support Synova’s Cause:

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


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.

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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.


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


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Guest Post Thursday: Bishop’s Sins

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Brad Bishop seemed to have a life most people would envy, having lived in three different continents, he was Yale-educated and had a high-paying job as a United States Foreign Service officer. Married with three sons, and living in a beautiful home in Bethesda, Maryland, Bishop appeared to be living the American dream. But appearances are all too often deceiving.

Brad Bishop was a ticking time bomb and he exploded on March 1, 1976. That evening, the respected government employee committed an act that would make him one of the government’s most wanted. The man who seemed to have it all traded his life of envy for a life on the lam. In some respects, the horrific crime Bishop is said to have committed has been overshadowed by his eluding capture. Bishop is one of the FBI’s most frustrating cases as a global manhunt now into its fourth decade has failed to produce his capture.

William Bradford Bishop II grew up in Pasadena, California. After graduating with a history degree from Yale University in 1959, he married his high school sweetheart Annette Weis. Three years later, Bishop earned a Master’s Degree in African Studies from UCLA.

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Bishop then joined the Army and spent four years working in counterintelligence. He also learned to speak four foreign languages fluently: Italian, French, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.

After leaving the Army, Bishop joined the U.S. State Department and served in the Foreign Service. He received his Master’s degree in History while stationed in Italy, and he also served overseas in Ethiopia and Botswana. In 1974, somewhat to his disappointment as he loved living abroad, Bishop was brought back home to work at the State Department Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as an Assistant Chief in the Division of Special Activities and Commercial Treaties.

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By 1976, life seemed complete as the 39-year-old Brad and 37-year-old Annette had three sons; 14-year-old Bradford III, 10-year-old Brenton and 5-year-old Geoffrey.

Brad’s 68-year-old mother Lobelia lived with them as she had helped them purchase their upscale home in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Bishop had become the State Department’s Director of Commercial Practices and Trade. He worked as an assistant chief in the Division of Special Activities and Commercial Treaties. He was rising through the state department ranks but not, in his opinion, quickly enough.

On the afternoon of March 1, 1976, Bishop’s colleague Roy Harrell encountered him outside of the State Department. Bishop was upset over not getting a promotion he had sought. He told Roy he was not feeling well and was leaving work early. As Roy hailed Bishop a taxi, he told him to get some rest and to return only when he was healthy. Bishop nodded in agreement.

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On the following day, March 2, a State Park Ranger in Columbia, North Carolina, 282 miles south of Bethesda, Maryland, responded to a report of a brush fire in a remote wooded area. As the flames were suppressed, he saw the calling cards of an arsonist—an empty gas can and a shovel. Those discoveries, however, were only the beginning.

As the smoke cleared and the heat subsided, the Ranger made a chilling discovery. Interred in the ashes were the remains of five partially charred bodies buried in a shallow grave. The bodies were those of three young boys and two women. Two articles of the victims’ clothing bore the labels of department stores in Bethesda, Maryland. The shovel was also shown to have been purchased at a hardware store in Bethesda.

The Bethesda Police Department were baffled as they had no reports of missing persons report of which they could link to the bodies. Six days later, however, a gruesome discovery would provide the answers.

On March 8, Bethesda police responded to call from one of the Bishops’ neighbors. She was worried because she had not seen any member of the family for over a week. The Bishops traveled frequently and often for extended periods of time. When doing so, they told the neighbor so she could pick up their newspapers, mail, and water their plants. This time, though, they had not contacted her.

When police arrived at the home, the neighbor gave them the key to gain entrance. As a detective approached the home, he saw no signs of forced entry. However, he did see several newspapers lying outside of the door, some nearly a week old. Upon seeing several blood drops leading out of the door and into the driveway, he realized this was not going to be a routine check on a missing person. Several blood drops leading out of the door and into the driveway suggested that bodies had been dragged out of the house.

Upon entering the home, the detective saw more blood drops leading from the doorway through the foyer to the stairs leading to the upper bedroom. The upstairs wall and ceiling were also coated with blood. Bloodstains of all members of the Bishop family were found. The detective described the house as the most gruesome crime scene he had ever seen.

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On March 18, almost three weeks after the murders, a Ranger at Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains National Park discovered an abandoned station wagon. The ranger saw what appeared to be dried blood in the back of a car parked at the Elkmont Campground near Jakes Creek Trailhead. It appeared as though the car had been abandoned for several days. A check on the license plate showed the car was registered to Brad Bishop of Bethesda, Maryland.

When police searched the car, they found a blanket and spare-tire well in the trunk. Each was covered in blood. They also found dog biscuits. Bishop’s dog Theo had disappeared along with his master.

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Bethesda police now knew the identities of the charred remains. The five bodies found the previous week in North Carolina were those of Annette, William III, Brenton, Geoffrey, and Lobelia Bishop. Noticeably missing among the discovered bodies was one William Bradford Bishop II.

The following day, a grand jury indicted Bishop on five counts of first-degree murder, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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Investigators believe they have pieced together Bishop’s activities leading to the murders. On March 1, after leaving the State Department saying he was not feeling well, Bishop withdrew several hundred dollars from his bank account in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C., the neighborhood where he worked at the U.S. State Department Headquarters. Bishop is then believed to have gone to a local hardware store where he purchased a small sledgehammer, shovel and gasoline can. His next stop was a gas station where he filled the can.

Police believed he returned to his home, arriving between 7:30-8:00 p.m. Probably around 9-10 p.m., after the children had gone to bed, police believe Bishop began committing familicide. Annette was probably killed first as she was bludgeoned to death with the sledgehammer as she was reading a book. Bishop then proceeded upstairs to slaughter his children as they slept. Last on the killing list was his mother Lobelia, who was beaten to death when she returned home from walking the dog. All five victims were beaten to death with the sledgehammer and none had an opportunity to defend themselves. The dog’s life was the only one spared by Bishop.

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After slaughtering his family, police believe Bishop loaded the bodies into the back of his Chevy station wagon and drove the 282 miles south to the sparsely populated countryside of Columbia, North Carolina, where he dug a shallow grave, tossed the remains inside and set them on fire.

Using his credit card, Bishop then purchased a pair of tennis shoes at a sporting goods store in Jacksonville, North Carolina, 145 miles southwest of Columbia. A witness said he had his dog with him and may have been accompanied by a woman he described as “dark-skinned.”

Brad Bishop was not seen for two years. In July of 1978, a Swedish who had collaborated with Bishop while he was stationed in Ethiopia, reported she had spotted him twice in a public park in Stockholm during a span of one week. However, the sightings were not reported until several months afterward because she did not know at the time that he was wanted for murder in the United States.

The following year, a nearly surreal chance encounter occurred. Roy Harrell, the last person to see Bishop before the murders, was vacationing there was vacationing in the tourist town of Sorrento, Italy. He had gone to the Piazza Tasso Square to board a train bound for Rome but first went to the men’s room. As he was washing his hands, he saw a bearded, disheveled looking man enter the restroom. He is certain the man was his former State Department colleague, Brad Bishop.

Upon seeing Roy, the man he believed to be Bishop ran from the restroom and disappeared in the landing where the boats went to Capri. As unlikely as the chance encounter seems, the FBI believes the sighting is credible because Bishop and Annette had previously visited Sorrento and he was known to be very fond of the area and had spoken of wanting to live there.

The next and last sighting deemed credible of Bishop was 15 years later in 1994, when a former neighbor vacationing in Basel, Switzerland, believes he saw a clean-shaven Bishop getting into a car.

Bishop had a week’s head start from the time the murders were committed to when the bodies were identified. Police believe he may have had one or more false identities secured before the murders enabling him to get out of America and travel between countries. As a State Department employee, he would have known how to create false papers. Obtaining and using fabricated documents to hop from country to country was a lot easier in the 1970s that it is today.

Approximately a month before the murders, in early February of 1976, Bishop traveled to northern Italy on business. Several people reported seeing him at a ski lodge in the company of a dark-skinned, possibly Caribbean woman. Shortly after the murders, a similarly-described woman was seen with Bishop in a Jacksonville, North Carolina, clothing goods store and several other sightings of Bishop and the woman were reported in the Jacksonville area in the days after the murders but before the bodies were identified.

Whether the woman seen with Bishop in Italy and North Carolina are one and the same is not known. She has never been identified.

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In 2010, the FBI announced that prior to the murders, Bishop had been corresponding with Kenneth Bankston, a federal prison inmate in Marion, Illinois. In total, police believe there six letters exchanged between Bishop and Bankston. In the last letter, dated March 15, 1976, two weeks after the murders, Bankston references a woman about Bishop had apparently inquired. Bankston says he is almost positive the woman is in the North Carolina state prison system but he does not name her. Investigators believe the woman mentioned in the letter could be the same unidentified woman seen with Bishop on two separate occasions on two different continents. However, a check of the women incarcerated in North Carolina at the time has failed to produce any legitimate possibilities.

The FBI does not know how Bishop and Bankston knew each other. Bankston worked in the oil industry prior to his incarceration. Bishop’s father had owned an oil company, but police have not been able to find any evidence that Bankston worked for him.

Both Bankston and Bishop served in the military, but in different branches; Bankston served in the Air Force and Bishop served in the Army. The two men were never stationed near each other.

The letter also mentions a second inmate named David Allen. His involvement, as well, is a mystery. Both Bankston and Allen had died before the discovery of the letters.

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In October of 2014, authorities received a tip that an unidentified man killed in a hit-and-run accident in Alabama in 1981 bore a strong resemblance to Bishop. DNA testing determined the man was not the long-sought fugitive. The Alabama man remains a John Doe.

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In April of 2014, the FBI placed Brad Bishop on their Ten Most Wanted List. It was an unusual move to place a fugitive on the Top Ten list so many years after the crime had been committed. Bishop was removed from the list in June of 2018 to make room for a “dangerous fugitive.” Despite the removal, the FBI considers the apprehension of Bishop to still be a “major priority.”

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Brad Bishop’s motive for murdering his family has been debated almost as much as where he may be hiding. Some State Department workers, including Roy Harrell, said Bishop was constantly chastised by Annette and Lobelia as being inadequate and not advancing fast enough in his career.

Friends of the couple say Bishop was unhappy with his desk job and wanted another foreign post but that Annette did not want to live abroad again. She had begun to study art at the University of Maryland and was seeking work despite, friends say, for her husband’s desire for her to remain a stay-at-home mom.

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In the 43 years since the slaughter of his family, sporadic sightings of Brad Bishop have been reported across Europe. Among the countries believed to have been visited by one of America’s longest and most infamous fugitives are Belgium, England, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Spain, and the three most credible sightings mentioned earlier in Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland. His fluency in four languages would allow him to blend into any of those countries.

The FBI says they have no evidence that Bishop is dead and they are continuing the global search for him. William Bradford Bishop II would today be 82-years-old.


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.

Further Reading:

America’s Most Wanted

Baltimore Sun
Bethesda Beat
FBI


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.”)

Recommended Reading: 


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Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

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Order your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


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Come Quick!

The Fisher Family Murders

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The “Man of the House” is supposed to protect his family not slaughter them and torch the family home.


Guest Post By Ian Granstra

April 10, 2001

When William and Jan Fisher divorced in 1976, their 15-year-old son Robert was devastated. The split was far from amicable and young Robert struggled through his high school years. As he became a young adult, he always believed his life would have been better if his parents had stayed together.

Eleven years later, when Robert married his high school sweetheart, Mary Cooper, he made her two promises: to always be faithful and to never divorce. The first promise he would break; the second he would keep in an extraordinarily heinous fashion.

Robert Fisher is wanted for the murder of his family, but for the past 18 years, he has been a ghost. Even after so much time, his crime is considered so brutal that he still occupies a spot, as the senior member, of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

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Photo courtesy of Murderpedia.org

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

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Several months before the fire, Mary told friends she discovered Robert had had sex with a prostitute and with the massage therapist who was treating him for a back injury. Already disillusioned with her marriage, Mary confided she was considering leaving him.

On the evening before the fire neighbors heard Robert and Mary engaged in a loud argument. Investigators theorize it was related to Mary’s wanting a divorce and they believe she told Robert of her intentions to leave him. For Robert, the prospect of reliving his troubled teen years all over again was too much and, authorities believe, he snapped.

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It is believed that several hours before the fire, Robert slashed the throats of his wife and children because he did not want them, but primarily him, to go through the trauma of a divorce. He then doused the home with the flammable fluid and disconnected the line leading to the gas furnace. As a source of ignition, investigators believed he used a candle and a candle holder as a timing device providing him time to leave. Once a sufficient amount of gas had built up, the candle triggered the explosion and ignited the fire. Investigators believe Robert committed the arson in an attempt to cover up the murders, believing the bodies would be burned beyond recognition. However, the fire did not hide his crime as he hoped.

Robert Fisher was last seen on a Scottsdale ATM machine approximately 1 1/2 hours before his home erupted in fire.

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On April 20, ten days after the fire, Mary’s SUV was found by a hiker 100 miles north of Scottsdale in the Tonto National Forest. The vehicle was clean and underneath pine trees; however, few pine needles were found atop the vehicle, indicating it had been left there within 24 hours of being discovered. The car was in the vicinity of a favorite hunting area of Robert’s but two weeks of searching turned up no trace of him.

The area terrain where the car was found was surrounded by hundreds of caves. Area spelunkers believe the police did not search the subterrane sufficiently, positing that the survivalist Fisher could have hidden there, before either escaping, killing himself, or succumbing to low oxygen levels.

The police, however, believe Fisher left his wife’s SUV in the forest in an effort to divert them. The vehicle was found about ¼ of a mile off a heavily trafficked service road and near several facilities where he could have used a phone or gotten a ride.

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The police were certain they had captured their man in February of 2004. An individual described as a “dead ringer” to Fisher was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Despite the uncanny resemblance and strikingly similar fingerprints, the man was confirmed not to be the fugitive.

In October of 2014, police raided a house in Commerce City, Colorado, after receiving a tip that Fisher was hiding there. They found two people wanted by law enforcement but failed to reel in their prize catch of Robert Fisher.

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Fisher was featured several times on America’s Most Wanted. Over its twenty-five season run the show helped in the capture of nearly 1,200 fugitives. AMW host John Walsh called Fisher his personal most wanted fugitive. Upon AMW’s ending in 2012, Walsh said his biggest disappointment was not capturing Fisher.

In 2016, Fisher was profiled on Walsh’s new show “The Hunt” on CNN. The FBI said they received several new tips relating to Fisher as a result of the broadcast. They have not commented on the nature of the tips but the information, so far, has not led Fisher’s apprehension.

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Not even the FBI’s famed Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List has produced Fisher’s capture. A $100,000 reward is still offered for information leading to his arrest or confirmation of his remains.

The $100,000 question; is Robert Fisher dead or alive?

The 18 years since the murders have not produced a confirmed sighting of Fisher, leading many to believe he committed suicide in the vast Arizona mountains.

Psychologists generally agree Fisher exhibited suicidal tendencies. However, he was also a loner and an outdoorsman– two attributes useful for someone needing to drop off the radar.

Altered images of Robert Fisher.

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In 2016 the FBI and Scottsdale police released new computer-aged images of Robert Fisher, who would now be 58-years-old. The FBI describes the fugitive as “arrogant. He’s cocky. He’s a know-it-all…and a loner.”

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Authorities have recently sought the medical community’s aid in locating Fisher. When last seen, he was often walking in an odd, erect manner with his chest out due to back pain. If he is still alive, the back problems have likely continued to plague him and he would probably need treatment from a medical doctor and/or chiropractor or massage therapist.

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SOURCES:

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:

ABC News
America’s Most Wanted
AZ Central
Fox News
Phoenix New Times
The Hunt


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

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.”)

Recommended Reading:

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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.


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

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“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
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Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

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It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
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Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!


Committed to Kill – Tatjana “Tanya” Kopric

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Guest Post by Ian Granstra

September 18, 1980

Thirty-five-year-old Tatjana “Tanya” Kopric had accomplished a lot during her short time in America. Five years after emigrating from the former Yugoslavia to study medicine, she was a practicing resident at the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Kopric was dedicated to her profession and was greatly liked and respected by patients and colleagues. They, along with friends, believed the intelligent and attractive career woman had only one flaw: her choice of suitors.
Tanya fell in love with Richard Bocklage, a college student ten years her junior. The couple was a study in contrast. Whereas Tanya worked hard and was dedicated to her profession, Richard had little ambition and was barely making the grade.
Richard Bocklage could not accept responsibility for his failures, nor could he commit himself to his studies. Instead, the struggling collegiate became committed to killing.

A gynecologist who worked with Tanya introduced her to his cousin Richard, a University of Missouri Pharmacy student, in March of 1980.
A whirlwind romance ensued during which Richard lavished Tanya with gifts and compliments. Within a month, he moved into Tanya’s apartment; two months later, the doctor and the pharmacy student were engaged.
Tanya was bubbling with excitement at the prospect of spending her life with the dashing younger man and future pharmacist.

Many of Tanya’s friends, however, had misgivings about Bocklage. Though he showered her with praise, those closest to Tanya believed he was sponging off her financially. Tanya was making a good living, and Bocklage was the proverbial “starving college student.” He was using Tanya’s credit cards more for purchasing toys such as hunting and fishing gear instead of buying college materials. Bocklage told Tanya he was committed to her, but he was clearly not as committed to his education. As he was spent more time with Tanya, he spent less time in class. Unbeknownst to Tanya, midway through his sophomore year at Missouri, her beau was on the brink of flunking out.

The skipping of classes finally caught up to Bockalge on July 19, 1980. That afternoon, he opened a letter from University of Missouri officials informing him that he was academically ineligible.
A desperate Bocklage pleaded for Tanya to use her connections in the admissions department to get him re-admitted. She refused, saying the matter was his responsibility.
Tanya tolerated Bockage’s mood swings for three weeks, hoping her fiance would get his life in order. When it became apparent that that was only wishful thinking, Tanya finally conceded defeat. She knew she had made a mistake and realized her friends and colleagues were right when they said that she could do better in her choice of men.
Part of what had attracted Tanya to Richard was what she thought was a shared love of the medical field and of helping others. She looked forward to her fiance, working in a field related to her chosen profession. It was now clear, however, that Richard did not have the work ethic to be a pharmacist.
On September 2, 1980, Tanya broke off the engagement and ordered Bocklage out of her apartment.

Increasingly desperate, Bocklage wrote a letter to University of Missouri administrative officials, begging them for one more chance. On September 18, however, the admissions committee unanimously denied his appeal. The committee’s secretary called to tell him of the decision shortly after 3:00 p.m.  At 3:45 p.m., two professors saw Bocklage driving toward the Dean’s office. He was then seen by several people inside of the building, carrying a large manila folder as he anxiously roamed the hallway. Although he was told that the Dean was out and likely would not be returning that day, Bocklage insisted on waiting for him. He did so for nearly an hour before leaving.

Three hours later, Tanya returned to her apartment after work. A woman saw Bocklage walk up to her as she exited her car and shoot her point-blank in the head three times. By the time police and paramedics arrived, she was dead. The witness had taken cover behind a parked car, and Bocklage did not see her. She recognized him as the man who had dated Dr. Kopric. The gun used to kill Tanya was determined to be a .45 automatic. Police found that Bocklage had purchased such a gun several days earlier, but it was not found in his apartment. Some believe the gun was the object which Bocklage concealed under the manila folder, and that he had planned to kill the University of Missouri Dean of Admissions as well.

A warrant was issued for Bocklage’s arrest, charging him with the first-degree murder of his former fiance. Six days later, on September 24, Royal Canadian Mounted Police found Bocklage’s car in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, over 2,000 miles from Kansas City and over 1,100 from International Falls, the northernmost point of Minnesota. Two area residents saw Bocklage before he dropped out of sight. In the ensuing 39 years, there have been few leads to his whereabouts.

Two months after Tanya was murdered, her parents in Yugoslavia received a letter postmarked September 16, 1980, two days before their daughter’s murder. The letter was typed, but the address had been written in Bocklage’s handwriting. The letter was a vengeful diatribe written in the tone of a manifesto. It read in part, “Dear. Kopric family. Your daughter Tanya Kopric has been executed in Kansas City, Missouri. She has caused so much grief, anguish, and turmoil to so many Americans that this act was necessary. Her execution was inevitable.”

Some believe Bocklage may have committed suicide in the rugged terrain near where his car was found in Canada, but searches failed to find any evidence. Bocklage is a native of St. Louis and his parents have both died. A person on “Websleuths” says the FBI was at both of his parents’ funerals to see if he would show, but with no luck. The Websleuth writer also says Bocklage has a sister who still lives in St. Louis.

Richard Bocklage has eluded detection for nearly 40 years and remains one of Kansas City’s longest sought fugitives. Richard Bocklage would today be 63-years-old. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Kansas City at 816-234-5000 or the Kansas City FBI office at 816-512-8200.



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:

Unsolved Mysteries

Websleuths

America’s Most Wanted


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

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.”)

This week’s Recommended Reading:


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Exploding the Phone


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.


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

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Come Quick!


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