FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted – #10: The Murderous Missionary

#10: The Murderous Missionary

preview
November 29, 2004:

It was a quiet Monday morning at a local mall in Phoenix, Arizona. The employees were recovering from the mad rush of Black Friday events, and the busy shopping season was well underway. An armored truck was busy making its rounds picking up the weekend’s receipts when it pulled into the parking lot of the AMC movie theater. Robert “Keith” Palomares, 24 was the truck’s “hopper” so he jumped from the vehicle and headed inside never realizing this would be his last day on Earth.
As the guard exited the theater a hooded thief pulled out a .45 semi-automatic Glock and shot six times hitting the unsuspecting guard in the head with five of the six rounds. He was down immediately without a chance to defend himself. As the young man lay bleeding to death the thief mounted a blue and silver mountain bike and took off down the alleyway. Palomares died on the scene. He was a newlywed of only 15 months.

The police had little to go on in this case in the way of forensic evidence until the gunman’s bike was found stashed under a bush only half a mile away. The man had forgotten to wipe the handles for fingerprints, but this evidence would bring even more questions.
Witnesses had described the shooter as a Hispanic male in his mid-twenties, but the evidence showed a 35-year-old Mormon surfer boy. Jason Derek Brown wasn’t your typical street thug. By all accounts, he was raised in a good, financially stable, family in Laguna Beach. His family was active Mormons. Brown spent two years as a missionary in France after high school. He got married and then enrolled in the master’s program at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies. It seemed like he had a good life ahead of him, but somewhere in the 1990’s, he changed.
Brown divorced his wife and took his party life on the road. He collected lavish cars, ATVs, and toys, but no one ever seen him go to work. Somehow, he always had a boatload of cash. Over the next ten years, Brown traveled around the U.S. creating various scams to fund his lavish lifestyle. Still, how does a Mormon missionary turn into a scheming conman and then into a cold-blooded killer? Perhaps it was his financial troubles. We may never know, but in Phoenix, Arizona Brown had morphed into a murderous killer stalking his prey. He went out and purchased a handgun and took his conceal and carry course that day. He stayed at a friend’s house for a week and stalked the armored truck to learn its routes. The day before the murder, Brown left his friend without explanation and rented a hotel room. The day before the murder, Brown took his gun out to the desert for some target practice.
During this practice session, he inadvertently shot a man’s vehicle and promised to pay for the damages. Brown gave Max Newton his name, address, and phone number and promised to send a check if Newton would get an estimate of the damage. Fast forward within a few hours of the shooting and Brown gets the phone call from Newton. Again, Brown calmly promised to send Newton a cashier’s check. The price of the repairs was $1300.
Before the robbery, Brown parks his BMW a mile from the movie theater and pulls out his mountain bike. Witnesses at his hotel remember him trying to fit the large bike into the two-seater. Brown takes out across the alleyway and ends up at the theater and waits. He kills the guard, takes the money, hops on his bike and is well out of the area before the police arrive on the scene.
With all the evidence one would think Jason Brown would be rotting in a jail cell somewhere, but that’s not the case. After his picture is seen on the news, Brown takes off towards Mexico leaving an electronic trail of credit card purchases along the way. The FBI is in hot pursuit until the trail goes cold. Somehow his Cadillac Escalade is found abandoned not at the Mexican border, but in Portland Oregon. The FBI believes he crossed over into Canada and no one has seen him since. Strangely, Max Newman received a cashier’s check in the mail for $1,300 just as promised.
It’s been almost 14 years. Brown speaks fluent French, and some speculate that he could have returned to Paris. Others wonder if he is hiding in the Mormon community. Whatever the case, Jason Brown has not paid for his crimes and was placed on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on December 8, 2007. As always if you have any information regarding Jason Derek Brown please contact your local FBI office. 1-800- CALLFBI

 

Unsolved Cold Case: No answers after nearly half a century.

carol blades
1969 would change the face of rural Nixa, Missouri forever. Nixa was a small town in Christian County that boasted a low crime rate. The county sheriff was known as an enforcer and no one wanted to be caught breaking the law in Buff Lamb’s territory. So, when a quiet little housewife disappeared from the local laundromat it really caused a stir. Nearly fifty years later and the case is still unsolved.
December 15, 1969, Carol Blades was on her way to do some laundry at the laundromat in Nixa. Her husband came home from his night shift and went straight to bed never knowing that he wouldn’t see his lovely blond-headed wife again. The 20-yr-old woman dropped her clothes off and had a habit of visiting her cousin, Sue Horton who lived nearby. Today Sue wouldn’t see her cousin and when Larry Blades called to ask about his wife that evening, Sue knew something had gone terribly wrong.
The police were called in and Sherriff Lamb was the lead investigator. His team of three men looked around the laundromat. Their search extended a mere five miles before Lamb came to the conclusion that Carol had simply run off. Her car was later found on the side of HWY 160 a mere quarter of a mile away. The car had been driven hard. There was mud on the windshield, scrapes down the side of the doors, and oil was splashed all over the oil pan. Carol was nowhere around, and the car keys were missing. They would be found later in the large field that separated the highway from the laundromat.
Much to the aggravation of family members, the car was left unlocked by the side of the road for days before taken to the police station. Then it was again left unlocked in the parking lot. It sat there so long that passersby would leave “wash me” notes on it not realizing they were tainting evidence in a murder case.
Three people saw a man park the car and run across the field towards the laundromat. They claim he had his jacket up over his head but ran into some bushes and dropped the covering allowing the witnesses to get a good look at him. In a small rural community of approximately 800, they claimed they hadn’t seen the man before.
It would be over a year before the remains of Carol Blades were found. A farmer was out looking for his cattle on Christmas day 1970 when he stumbled upon the skeletal remains of the once vibrant young woman. His 200-acre farm was just south of Nixa in Ponce. The Stone County sheriff and his team were called to the scene and the Christian County team was brought in to assist.
Lamb began to immediately blame Larry Blades, but the distraught husband passed two lie detector tests and was eventually cleared as a suspect. The shenanigans would continue to the point that some people wondered if Buff Lamb knew more about the case than he let on. At one point the sheriff was even named a suspect.
Buff Lamb died in 2001 amid controversy. His tough tactics earned him a ruthless reputation from some and a no-nonsense lawman from others. It has been almost 50 years since Carol Blades went missing and we still have no answers. Perhaps someone will come forward with a tip, but as a long-time resident told me, “Be careful with this one sis. There’s snakes in them woods.”
If you have any information regarding this case no matter how big or small, please contact the Christian County Sherriff’s office at (417) 582-5350. Don’t let past intimidations keep you from doing the right thing. I have been reassured that this case is still being actively investigated even though it’s been cold a long time. Christian County hasn’t forgotten Carol Blades.

 

UPDATE: Missing CDC employee found

drcunninghampolice-700x420 - atlanta police dept
The body of Missing CDC worker, Timothy Cunningham was found on April 3rd in the Chattahoochee River. The manner of death has not been determined at this time, but the preliminary cause of death is drowning.
Cunningham has been missing since February 12, 2018. After leaving work early due to illness, Cunningham was never heard from again. Family members found his house locked with all of his belongings, including his keys and phone inside the home. His beloved pet was left to fend for himself.
Toxicology reports are pending and the investigation into this strange disappearance continues.

The Austin Bomber’s Reign of Terror

Three weeks of terror comes to a close when the Austin bombing suspect, Mark Conditt commits suicide by detonating one of his own creations in his vehicle as the swat team approached. This should be the end, right? No. Along with the bomber’s death comes more questions. Why? How? Are there more bombs waiting to detonate?

Austin is known for the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” but now this saying seems inappropriate. Nails tearing through human beings is not the definition of weird Austin was looking for. Random targets ranging from fathers to teens, to elderly women was not the definition of weird. One victim’s grandfather described how nails were embedded in his grandson’s kneecaps. This is not weird. It’s sick. How can someone slaughter a 39-year-old father on his front porch? Neighbors say they have never seen so much blood. What about his daughter? I hope to God she wasn’t there to witness her father torn to shreds by this monster. No. This isn’t the end of the terror.
After researching online, I have assembled a crude timeline of these events. I will try to relate the facts and minimize my emotions, but I will not guarantee anything.

 

March 2, 2018 – 6:50 am – 1100 Block of Haverford Dr. Austin, Texas:

Anthony House, a 39-yr-old father, steps out of his front door and notices a package left overnight on his porch. It’s a beautiful Friday morning in Austin. He doesn’t know the moment he leans over to pick up the package that his life is over.
A loud explosion rocks the neighborhood and rattles the windows across the area. Nails shoot everywhere. Neighbors rush to help the man but to no avail. Paramedics arrive on the scene, but Mr. House dies shortly afterward. He leaves behind an 8-year-old daughter and a legacy of a loving father.
House was the stepson of Rev. Freddie Dixon, former pastor of the United Methodist Church for over 22 years. At first, police think of this as an isolated event.

March 12, 2018 – 4800 Block of Old Fort Hill Dr. Austin, Texas:

Draylen Mason, 17 and his mother stood over their kitchen table as they opened a package that had been left on their porch. No thoughts of death entered their minds. Moments later the bomb exploded killing the teenager and severely wounding his mother.
Mason was an accomplished bass guitarist with the Austin Youth Orchestra. He traveled with his music and competed with his oversized instrument. His conductor was quoted as saying, “Draylen could have accomplished anything.” The talented musician was set to attend the University of Texas in the fall. His mother is in bad shape, but doctors believe she will survive.

 

 

March 12, 2018 – 6700 Block of Galindo St. Austin, Texas:

A press conference is held to relate the events of the murder of Draylen Mason. Within moments of the conference, another package explodes wounding Esperanza Herrera, 75.
Herrera was visiting her mother who required care daily. Without a thought, she picked up the package as she entered the house. Nails exploded through the poor woman in an instant. She would survive the terror, but without several fingers and a leg. It was later discovered the package was intended for another address and had been delivered to the house by mistake.
By this point, police are wondering if the bombings are a hate crime. The first two victims were African American, and Herrera was of Hispanic descent.

March 18, 2018 – 4800 Block of Dawn Song Dr. Austin, Texas:

Two unidentified white males in an affluent part of town are walking along Dawn Song Dr. and accidentally crossed a tripwire. The bomb detonated sending the two men to the hospital, but they will survive. The officials told everyone to stay inside their homes and kept the neighborhood under lockdown until 10 am. Even school buses weren’t allowed in.

This bombing occurred six hours after the authorities held a press conference pleading with the public for tips and information. Some wonder if this was a response to the police.

March 20, 2018 – FedEx bombs:

Two separate packages were left at separate FedEx facilities one in San Antonio and the other in Austin. As a package traveled along a conveyer belt it detonated and wounded a FedEx employee. The package had been addressed to Austin.
The second package was discovered in an Austin facility but was removed by a HazMat team without incident.
This is when the bomber made a critical error. He was not only seen on surveillance videos delivering the packages, an outdoor surveillance camera recorded his license plate.

March 21, 2018 – Red Roof Inn, Round Rock, Texas:

As authorities close in upon the 24-yr-old suspect, Mark Conditt he jumps in his vehicle and takes off down the road a short way. As the police box in his vehicle and the SWAT team move in, he detonates yet another bomb and takes his own life.

This should be the end, but as more information becomes public, the more questions are raised. Conditt seemed to be raised in a normal Christian family. He was homeschooled then attended a local community college. His family is in shock upon hearing the news. Police found a 25-minute confession video Conditt recorded the night before his death. It seemed he was more interested in detailing his bomb-making skills than he was about his motives. He professed to be a psychopath and said, “I wish I was sorry, but I’m not.”

Another disturbing twist:

Conditt graduated in 2013 and his proud mother posted it on Facebook like any mother would. She also stated he was considering going on a Missions trip before attending college.

How does a boy go from a mission trip mentality to slaughtering people with bombs? I will keep you posted on this case as it progresses.

Conspiracy, lies, and strange clues surround the missing CDC worker, but everything leads to more questions.

 

Usually, I would start with the facts of the case, and then throw down a timeline of the last known moments of the missing person. Unfortunately, that is impossible in this case. Very few facts are available, and those are clouded in conspiracy theories, outright lies, and fake news. While everyone is jumping down the rabbit hole of conspiracy, I will try to relate the facts as I have found them. I will leave the conspiracy theories to you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for a good conspiracy. They are intriguing, and make good television, but at the heart of this we need to remember that there is a real man missing.

Timothy J. Cunningham (35) was a Harvard educated epidemiologist who worked as a commander f or U.S. Public Health and Service division at the CDC (Center of Disease Control). His job was in the Chronic Disease Unit. He had recently been passed over for a promotion and was given the reasons behind this decision on February 12, 2018. Sources state that Cunningham called in sick the two days prior to his disappearance, but on the 12th he tried to come in. He only stayed a short while before leaving due to illness. During this time, he had a conference with his superior and received the reasoning behind his missed promotion.

Here is the timeline as we have it:
7 am – Cunningham called his sister. She remembers that he sounded odd but couldn’t give a reason behind her instinct.
9:12 am – Cunningham tries to call his mother, but the call goes to voicemail. He doesn’t leave a message.

 
These calls were standard for Cunningham. He lived alone but kept in contact with his family daily. After not hearing from their son for two days, the concerned parents drove the 900-mile trip from Maryland to Georgia to their son’s home. His door was locked, but inside were all of Timothy’s belongings including his phone, wallet, and his keys. Tim was nowhere to be found. The police combed through the wooded areas near his home but found nothing. All of his personal possessions and his vehicle were at home. Nothing was missing.

 
After searching phone records, they confirmed that Tim hadn’t used a taxi service or Uber. Where did he go? Why were his keys in the house if the door was locked? What the family found even more disturbing was the fact that he had left his beloved Mr. Bojangles. Tim loved his dog and would go out of his way to see that he was taken care of if Tim was going out of town. But now the dog had been left unattended for two days.

 
The house held no signs of a struggle, but two upstairs windows were left open. Terrell Cunningham found this odd but couldn’t give a reason why his son would refrain from opening the window. This wasn’t the final odd clue to turn up in this case.

 
Viviana Tori was Timothy’s next-door neighbor and she quickly came forward and gave a startling interview with CBS.

 
The day before the disappearance, she claimed her husband told her that Tim had told him to have his wife erase his phone number from her phone.

Wow that’s hard to even type in a grammatical way. So basically, she said that he said to her husband who said. Yeah, you get my point.

I watched her interview clip online and found it rather odd. It felt more like she wanted attention, than anything else, but that is merely my opinion. I would love to have a psychologist review her video. To me it seems her facial expressions, her body language, and the overall manner of her interview seem strange to me. I won’t claim that she is lying, but I will say it is unusual.

 
So, if Cunningham had asked his neighbor to delete his phone number, what does it mean? People online jump to the conspiracy theory which I will get into shortly. Some have indicated that they believe this meant he knew that he was leaving. I find my instincts lead me in another direction entirely. Could Timothy Cunningham have had row with his neighbors? Was Mrs. Tori harassing him? Could there have been a fight that escalated to the point of his disappearance? Who knows?

 
Atlanta Police Major, Michael O’Conner said, “There’s no evidence suggesting anything.”

 

That is the problem. There are too many holes in this case. We don’t have a clear timeline of his movements. We don’t have any details into his relationship with his neighbors. All we have are a few scattered clues and one giant conspiracy theory.

As promised, here is the conspiracy:
I’ll be honest the conspiracy was the reason I first became interested in this case, however after researching it further, the conspiracy falls apart.
YourNewsWire.com ran this headline on February 22, 2018

CDC Doctor, Who Claimed Flu Shot Caused Outbreak, Missing, Feared Dead

Afterwards they use this quote and claimed that it came from Timothy Cunningham back in January.

 
“Some of the patients I’ve administered the flu shot to this year have died. I don’t care who you are, this scares the crap out of me.”

 
Ok, now this sensational headline coupled with this quote would sound like every American should be worried, but after researching it there is no way this quote came from Timothy Cunningham. Below I have copied his bio straight from the CDC website.

Timothy J. Cunningham, ScD
Team Lead, Division of Population Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Timothy J. Cunningham, ScD, is a team lead with CDC’s Division of Population Health. Dr. Cunningham trained with CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer. His research has been oriented towards understanding health differences related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and geography. Dr. Cunningham has also deployed for numerous public health emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy, Ebola, and Zika. He is an active member of the American Public Health Association and the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Cunningham received his S.M. and Sc.D. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

 

Cunningham was a scientist, his doctorate degree was not a medical doctorate. He hadn’t administered flu shots to anyone. He was research scientist making a six-figure income with the CDC. This quote was also debunked by Snopes.com and Timothy’s own father.

 
Now I’m not validating the flu shot in any way, I personally don’t get one. However, if someone from the CDC wanted to warn the media why would they go to a disreputable site that has a history of fake news? Why didn’t they bring some sort of evidence with them? Where are the statics, and the research studies?

Final thoughts:
Although conspiracy theories are fun, and sometimes real, this one seems unlikely. And while everyone is running about claiming the government is killing us with flu shots, there is a very real case here. A 35-year old man is gone. No one knows why, or where. This man was a high achieving individual that set goals and accomplished them. He was a son, a friend, and was working to make the world a better place. Shouldn’t we be concerned in his disappearance?

How can you help?
Share. His story needs to be spread everywhere in hopes of generating leads for the Atlanta Police Department. Yes, Cunningham was upset about missing a promotion, but was he taken from his home against his will? We won’t know until he is found. Please share his story.

 
A $10,000 reward is being offered in hopes of generating leads, and the family has set up a GoFundMe page to help. If you would like to donate, I have included the link.

https://www.gofundme.com/Dr-Tim-Cunningham