“I killed the wrong Sharon Jones” – A Murderer’s Phone call

ECSU dorm.jpg

On the day of the funeral, a grieving sister received the worst of phone calls.

“I’m sorry. I killed the wrong Sharon Jones,” the caller hung up before she could get more information. What happened to the ECSU student in dorm room #125 on March 4, 1984? How did she end up strangled with a belt and tied to her own bedpost? Thirty-five years and still no one knows why.

 


 

Sharon B. Jones, 21 returned to the ECSU campus early from spring break to prepare for her student teaching job. She arrived around 9:30 pm and spoke to the Assistant Housing Director, Herbert Williams to gain entry into the Mitchell Lewis Dorm on the S.E. side of the campus. Williams and his cousin Adrian Douglas escorted the woman to her room.

Monday morning Sharon’s body was discovered in the room. She was naked and lying face down. She had been strangled with a white belt tied to a bedpost. There was evidence of blunt force trauma above the right eye and bruising above the left ear. Strangely the window was broken from the inside of the room leaving glass outside on the ground. A small amount of blood was found on the windowsill. Detectives found a bloody dumbell under one of the beds when searching the room.

It seemed like the case was doomed from the beginning. Williams and Douglas told investigators that Jones was nervous walking to her room alone when she noticed a light above her dorm room when no one was supposed to be there. Investigators researched the light and found there was one other woman who had stayed on campus during spring break. Her name was Angela Jones. (No Relation)

Angela was dating a 31-yr-old man by the name of Delantry Terrial Tafton. Tafton was somewhat of a campus troublemaker and had recently received a 14-week suspension. Although he wasn’t supposed to be on campus, he had spent the night with Angela and left around 7 am the next morning. Both Angela and “Tee” claimed a stranger had knocked on their door around 11 pm asking for their names.

The police chief stated within days that the motive must have been malice or jealousy since they couldn’t find evidence of a robbery and the sexual assault tests were inconclusive. They dialed in on Tafton and refused to look elsewhere. This hasty rush to a motive effectively eliminated other possible suspects and is most likely the reason why this case is still cold 35 years later.

During the chaos that engulfed the campus after the brutal murder, the funeral arrangements were made for Sharon Beatrice Jones. On the day of the funeral, Sharon’s sister Lisa gets a phone call from a stranger. The man sounded young. Before she could say anything, the man pleaded his case.

“I’m sorry. I killed the wrong Sharon Jones.”

Before the confused woman could respond the line went dead. Lisa didn’t know what to think and now three decades later no one knows why Sharon died or who killed her. I realize Tafton shouldn’t have been on campus, but I’m wondering why no one thought it was suspicious for two men to escort one girl to her dorm room all because of a light. Did anyone investigate Williams and his cousin? Why was his cousin there anyways? Did he work there?

If you have any information on this case, please contact the Elizabeth City Police Department at (252) 335-4321


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. 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. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


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. 

Blog sign up

SIGN UP HERE


Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of 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. Thank you.


Stun Master® Red Lipstick Stun Gun Women’s Home Self Defense Weapon

 


ECSU dorm

Halloween Horror – The Karen Swift Murder Mystery

swift3

A mother of four goes missing after attending a Halloween party. Her car was found abandoned with a flat tire. Inside was a Catwoman costume and a cooler of beer with a few cans missing. A month later the body of Karen Swift was found in a shallow grave a mere three miles from her car. Seven years have past and still no answers in this case. Who killed Karen Swift?


Karen Swift, 44 was a fitness instructor living in Dyersburg, Tennessee on the night of Halloween 2011. Karen was attending a party at a local country club when she received a call from her child who was spending the night with a friend. The child wanted to go home, so the mother left the party, picked up the child, and returned to her home on Willie Johnson Rd around 1:30 am on Sunday morning. Karen’s soon-to-be ex-husband was the last person to see her. He claimed she left home after putting the child to bed.

Karen and David were going through the divorce process, and Karen had confided in a friend about an affair. During this conversation, she also mentioned an anonymous donor had given her $10,000 for a divorce.

At the party, Karen had gotten into a verbal altercation with another woman. I haven’t found the woman’s name mentioned publicly, nor have we been told what the argument was about. All we know is a few hours later the mother had vanished. Karen’s 2004 Nissan Murano was found on Millsfield Highway near the intersection of Harness Rd. The vehicle had a flat tire and inside the investigators found the Halloween costume, Karen had worn earlier in the evening along with a cooler of beer. Reports state a few cans were missing. The car had been spotted by a hunter around 5 am.

Ten days after the disappearance the country club was robbed. The only thing stolen was the security cameras. This tells me that Karen’s killer was likely on those videos and was trying to cover his or her tracks. Of course, the husband came under scrutiny, but after seven years the investigators still don’t have any real evidence to pin this on him.

Karen’s body would be found a month later dumped at the Bledsoe Cemetery only three miles from where her car was abandoned. Investigators had searched the area previously and aren’t sure if the body in the ditch was somehow missed or if it had been dumped there at a later date.

At first, the local judge sealed the autopsy reports to shield the investigation, so Karen’s manner of death was not released. In November 2018, a reporter filed an FOIA request and was surprised to receive the autopsy report. The media jumped on it and ramped up the media coverage for this case once again. Sadly, some online trolls have bashed the reporter and all media in general for digging up things just for a story. They claim the media has destroyed the investigation.

There will always be haters online ready to pounce on the hating bandwagon, but this time I have to interject. Please forgive me as I digress into a bit of a rant. Let me explain to all of you that don’t realize how an FOIA request works. The request is sent by an American who by law has the right to ask for the documents. The request is then sent to the department in charge of the investigation. It is up to them what will be sent to the requesting party. If the judge wanted something sealed, then those parts of the document would be redacted. The investigators will not send out anything that will hinder their case, so all of you out there screaming at the media need to do your homework.

Seven years have passed, and this case is still unsolved. If you have any information concerning the murder of Karen Swift, please contact the Dyer County Sheriff’s Department at (731) 285-2802.


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. 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. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


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. 

Blog sign up

SIGN UP HERE


Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of 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. Thank you.


Security Umbrella”City-Safe”, shorter self defense umbrella, tactical umbrella assembled in the US, German woodhandle


The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen


 

swift3

True Crime Case Files Magazine – Spring, 2019 Issue

spring2019cover

The True Crime Case Files Magazine editorial staff has given me permission to give my readers a sneak peek inside this thrilling issue.

This case includes an exclusive interview, Gloria Allred discusses celebrity justice, legal revisions for crime victims, and why she can’t slow down – unless behind the wheel. Allred is the founding partner of one of the leading women’s rights firms in the United States, and the most famous woman attorney practicing law in the nation today

TCCF Magazine is hosting an exclusive contest:

lavelle-giveaway

Win a glossy black & white copy of the iconic photograph of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald. This is a Pulitzer Prize winning photo by Bob Jackson taken Nov. 24, 1963.  This photo is hand-signed by Dallas, Texas Detective (Ret.) James Leavelle (“the man in the tan suit”) who was escorting Oswald that day. See the Spring 2019 issue for details – CLICK HERE

On November 22, 1963, Law enforcement officials in Dallas, Texas were escorting President John F. Kennedy’s suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas County Jail when Jack Ruby shot Oswald. Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Oswald and the last to speak to him. R. H. Jackson photographed Oswald’s being shot; he won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize. Win a copy of the famous photo signed by Detective Leavelle.

A Serial Killer’s Little Black Book – The Tiffany Sessions Murder Mystery

tiffany_louise_sessions_1
The daughter of a powerful real estate mogul was snatched on her evening powerwalk just a short distance from her apartment. Twenty-five years later cold case investigators find a clue in a serial killer’s tattered black address book. Five years have passed since the discovery, and still, Tiffany Sessions’ body hasn’t been found. What happened to this college student?


Tiffany Louise Sessions, 20 was a finance/economics major at the University of Florida in 1989. Her roommate said she returned from the holiday break on a fitness craze trying to lose a goal of 14lbs. She had a trip planned and like many other coeds wanted to look great for the summer. This had prompted the young blond to start power walking in the evenings near her apartment complex. On the night of February 9, 1989, she set off promising the roommate she would return within the hour. She left behind her keys, wallet, and jewelry.

When Tiffany hadn’t shown up within the hour, the concerned roommate jumped in her car and drove along Tiffany’s usual route. Perhaps she had fallen and needed medical attention. Tiffany was nowhere in sight, and the police were called in. That phone call would set off a thirty-year investigation that is still unsolved today.

Tiffany’s parents divorced when she was three months old, but both parents vowed to find their daughter whatever it took. Tiffany was Hillary Sessions only child. She set out trying to find every way possible to distribute flyers and posters. Patrick Sessions was the President of a major real estate corporation, and that’s how he handled the case. Instantly, he took charge and began pouring resources and manpower into the search. While there is much animosity between the two parents, and it’s easy to start blaming each other, both of them were doing everything in their power to find Tiffany.

A thousand volunteers joined to search for the missing coed, but her body was never located. Police plowed through false leads, false confessions, and pranksters preying on the victim’s families. Twenty-five years passed without answers. In 2014, the authorities finally found an obscure connection that pointed to an incarcerated serial killer. Paul Rowles was convicted in a case that had a ton of eerie similarities. The astute detective began to research Rowles movements at the time of Tiffany’s disappearance and found everything lined up. Rowles not only lived in the area, but he also worked delivering scaffolding to a construction site along Tiffany’s jogging route. Rowles had missed work on the very day of Tiffany’s abduction and moved from the area a short time afterward.

Investigators visited the prison to interrogate Rowles but found he was dying of cancer in the prison hospital. The convicted serial killer was in a coma. Time had run out. After the monster’s death, investigators raided his cell for any clues. There they found a tattered black address book. In this book, he had documented many illicit things including the date of Tiffany’s disappearance. Beside the fateful date was written, “#2.”

52f47d067cfe1.image.png

According to the timeline of murders, Tiffany Sessions would have been his second killing. Although the investigators and the family agree that Paul Rowles killed Tiffany, there hasn’t been enough evidence to prove it without a doubt, and Tiffany’s body has never been recovered. The eerie clue was found five years ago, and investigators are still running down leads.

Do you have any information that would help solve this mystery? If so, please contact the Alachua County Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit at (352) 367-4161.

All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. 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. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.

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. 

Blog sign up

SIGN UP HERE

Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of 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. Thank you.

Where’S My Tiffany?

VIPERTEK VTS-T03 – Aluminum Series 53 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun – Rechargeable with LED Tactical Flashlight, Pink

 

tiffany_louise_sessions_1

Writing on the Wall – The John Hill Murder Mystery

ottumwa-launderette-john-hill
Courtesy of Google

After a brutal, prolonged attack, John Hill was found dead in his laundromat. He had been stabbed 21 times and shot. Other than the bloody corpse, the most disturbing clue was written across the wall. The ink was John’s blood.

 


 

On Monday, November 22, 1976, two men entered the Ottumwa laundromat just after 5 am. Inside they found the owner sprawled across the floor in a pool of blood. He’d been stabbed 21 times. Evidence told authorities that John Hill had put up a prolonged fight for his life.

Near his right hand lay a .25 caliber pistol. It had been fired five times, and five bullet holes were discovered near the front door. Only four bullets were found on the scene, and reports don’t mention what type of bullet or gun was used to shoot the victim.

Hill’s pockets were left inside out, and it appeared that he had been robbed of a few hundred dollars. Was money the motive for such a long and frenzied attack? I doubt it. Twenty-one stab wounds sound pretty personal to me. I have a feeling that the money was stolen to disguise the real motive behind the murder of Mr. Hill.

At some point, a message was written in blood. The clue contained two words. The first word was hard to read, but it either said “black” or “lack.” The second word was “older.” Who wrote these words? Did John write them with his dying breath, or did the killer leave this ominous message?

I would like to know the exact location of the message. I think this would clear up a lot of speculation in this case. Was the message close enough to the body that a dying man could have written it? If it were written on a wall, were measurements taken? How tall was John Hill? A few of these basic details would go a long way to determine who wrote these words. Most people write at eye level, so it would be easy to determine if the words were written above the man’s head. Also, were the words written low on the wall as if a man were slouched on the floor as he wrote? 

To make this case more perplexing, the public reports don’t explicitly state how or where the victim was shot. We know a .25 caliber handgun was near his right hand, but there is no information on what type of bullet entered Hill’s body. We know the gun was fired five times. We also know there were five holes in the wall near the front door.

Strangely only four bullets were found. I must point out that these reports state that four bullets were found on site. They do not say bullet casings. That makes me think that four bullets were most likely embedded in the wall near the door, but where’s number 5?

Some armchair sleuths say the fifth bullet was the one that killed the victim, but I must disagree. Here’s my reasoning. I doubt John stood himself up against the door jam and shot himself. It is conceivable that he was held against the wall and shot, but I don’t agree with that theory either. There would be only two options if John were shot while standing near the door.

  • #1: The bullet didn’t exit the body – This wouldn’t have left a hole in the wall
  • #2: The bullet exited the body leaving a hole in the wall – Where’s the bullet then?

I could write an entire story titled the mystery of the extra bullet hole, but I won’t. Hey, that sounds like one of those old Nancy Drew mysteries. I digress.

Within days of the murder, the local police had two suspects on their radar. Their identities were never publicly revealed however and without enough evidence no charges were ever made. Forty-three years have passed, and police are no closer to solving this heinous crime.

If you have any information in the death of John Robert Hill from Ottumwa, Iowa, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010.


If you enjoy these type of stories don’t forget to join Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter and get a free ebook as a gift.

Blog sign up

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE GIFT

1976-11-30-cdth-john-hill-littleprogress


More Info:

Reddit Post about this Case: 

Synova’s YouTube Video About this Case:

 


Below are some hand-picked self defense products available on Amazon. Synova chose the products that might be of most interest to her readers. By using one of the affiliate links below you will be supporting Synova’s continued work on cold cases. Thank you in advance.

SABRE RED Pink Pepper Spray Keychain for Women with Quick Release for Easy Access, Maximum Police Strength OC Spray, Finger Grip for Accuracy, 10-Foot Range with 25 Bursts, Helps Fight Breast Cancer

100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation

Ring Alarm – Home Security System with optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring – No contracts – 5 piece kit – Works with Alexa

The Strange Disappearance of Marshall “Andy” Priestley

andy priestley

Father of four disappears from Cross Lanes, WV, no one’s talking, and then the house burns down a few months later. Marshall “Andy” Priestley has been missing for three years, and the police still have no answers for the family.

Andy Priestley was four days shy of turning forty, and his mother expected to hear from him on the big day. When his birthday passed without a call, she began to worry. She tried to visit his home and was greeted by his significant other. Although her name will not be mentioned the woman wasn’t eager to file a missing person’s report on Andy. Pam filed the report on March 16, 2016, but after a little research, it was discovered that Andy hadn’t been seen since February 29th. Disturbingly, the activity on his cell phone ended on that day as well. What happened to this father of four?

Several months into the missing person’s investigation, the house on Christian Drive burned down mysteriously. If that isn’t suspicious enough for you, there’s more. Although there isn’t much information available online, the jailhouse rumor mill has been churning out stories. Tales range from confessions to dismemberments, but nothing has been verified publicly.

Sadly, Andy had his first grandchild on the way when he went missing, and now it seems he will never know the joys of being a grandpa. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Kanawha County Sheriff at (304) 357-0560.

All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. 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. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.

Don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter and receive her Grim Justice ebook as a free gift.

Blog sign up

Marshall “Andy” Priestley

46491739_1186864444798654_4231469537423261696_n