Retired Fireman Vanished in Texas

This week we have a guest post by blogger Giselle M. For those of you who don’t know, Synova suffered a serious injury and landed in the hospital. She appreciates all the support she has received during her recovery. Thank you, Giselle, for providing this story. 

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Retired Firefighter vanishes. Locals wonder if his wife’s affairs could have pushed him over the edge. Blood in the workshop proves otherwise. Where is Michael Chambers?

Michael Chambers, 70, disappeared in 2017 from his Hunt County home in Quinlan, about 40 miles east of Dallas. Deputies said they believe he may have been taken against his will after they found blood in his shop outside his home. A short time later they say he may have committed suicide.

Deputies say whatever happened to him most likely occurred between noon and 3 p.m. that Friday. His truck was at the house along with his keys and wallet. But police say Chambers and his cell phone and drivers’ license disappeared.

Chambers was last seen March 10 entering and then leaving the Quinlan Walmart alone. Surveillance video shows Chambers entering the store, paying for a couple of items, walking out to his truck and driving away.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks says Chambers and his family have been close friends for many years. He stated it his opinion Meeks committed suicide. The evidence shows a different story.

“I was his Sunday school teacher for several years,” the sheriff said. “I’ve never known a more devout Christian man than Michael Chambers. I trust him with my life.”

“This is absolutely unlike him. He’s not a person that just disappears,” said Cherri Hanes, Chambers’ daughter. “Someone knows something, and we plead and entreat you if that person is here, call the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department.”

The suicide theory states that this man with bad knees rode his bike twenty miles to a bridge on 9’ above the water and jumped off. No one has found the bike. No one can prove he had another bike besides the old one that still hangs in the garage.

Chambers is 6 feet 3 inches tall with balding gray hair. He has surgical scars on his right knee and both shoulders. He often wears a Dallas Fire & Rescue t-shirt. There is a $25,000 reward for specific information leading to his whereabouts.

The family has suspicions regarding his disappearance. A petition was started asking the Texas Rangers Company B to take over the investigation into the disappearance of Michael Chambers.

Simple Timeline:

– Mr. Chambers was last seen at Walmart in Quinlan at approximately 11:00 am.
– Neighbors came home around 3 PM and spent the entire afternoon working outside in the yard. (Noticed nothing unusual at the Chambers’ house)
– Later that evening Mrs. Chambers returns home to find her husband missing

Strangely, Mrs. Chambers left work around 2 PM, and her phone went off for over an hour after speaking to her boyfriend.
Some wonder if her husband found out about her affair and committed suicide. This is not the case. His wife’s infidelity was known to him for a long time.

Mrs. Chambers alleges to have arrived home from work and found her husband gone. His truck was parked at their house. The workshop on the property was found locked with Mr. Chambers’ keys, and wallet inside. Missing were his cell phone, and his Texas driver’s license. It is unconfirmed whether a small amount of cash was missing from his wallet. A large amount of money was still in the workshop, so robbery couldn’t be the motive.

Mrs. Chambers claims to have observed several “quarter” sized blood droplets on the floor of the workshop where he housed his classic cars. She stated to a family friend that she “thought it was transmission fluid.” (Samples of the blood were collected, and DNA analysis later confirmed that the blood belonged to Mr. Chambers. The Private Investigator claims there was a large amount of blood)

Mrs. Chambers called Suzy Losoya, daughter of Mr. Chambers, who told her to contact law enforcement. Mrs. Chambers called 911 at approximately 6:55 pm and reported to dispatch that she was unable to find Mr. Chambers at their home.

Mrs. Chambers then contacted a family friend, Penny Edwards, and asked her to come over to the residence because Mr. Chambers was missing. Mrs. Chambers called the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 7:45 pm. Before police arrived, Mrs. Chambers told Ms. Edwards that she needs her to “be on my side.”

Hunt County Sheriff’s Office initially dispatched a single deputy. Two others joined him after it was apparent that Mr. Chambers was in fact missing. The deputies and neighbors searched the 10 acres of the Chambers property but did not find any trace of Mr. Chambers.

Mr. Chambers’ phone was last pinged near Lake Tawokoni shortly after he disappeared.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office searched a five-acre area near the Chambers’ property. They had the help of more than 75 volunteers. Despite the search, investigators found zero evidence.

On or around March 20, 2017, Rebecca Chambers canceled/suspended the cell phone service for two of the lines on the Chambers’ family account with Verizon. She dropped the phone numbers and turned off the service that belonged to her husband’s phone, and her son’s phone, leaving only her phone service active.

Mrs. Chambers sold Mr. Chambers’ pickup truck soon after his disappearance. It is unknown if Mr. Chambers’ vehicle financing included a credit life option which would have paid off the truck in the event of his death. On June 28, 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation issued a new title on the 2014 Dodge Ram truck that had belonged to Mr. Chambers. Rather than the new owner’s name, the title listed “Michael Chambers Rebecca Lynn Chambers” as the vehicle owner. There was no lien holder listed on the new title.

According to the Will filed, Mrs. Chambers is the sole heir to Mr. Chambers’ property at this time. Per the proceedings, Mrs. Chambers is required to deposit 50% of any proceeds she receives as a result of all community property assets sold into an escrow account to be left untouched for at least three years. Any assets that are not community property, Mrs. Chambers is allowed to keep 100% of the proceeds. A Notice to Creditors on Mr. Chambers apparent death was published in area newspapers on June 26, 2017. Also, on June 26, 2017, the Hunt County District Clerk received an Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims from Mrs. Chambers. (Many items appear to be undervalued in this Appraisement compared to the current market values.)
Why was this allowed? Why would she hurry to have her husband declared deceased?

On June 8, 2017, Texas EquuSearch conducted a ground search in the area of the 7000 block of FM 2101 in Quinlan. Although the search was thorough, no sign of Michael Chambers was found.

Mrs. Chambers obtained a Protective Order against her son, Justin Chambers, through the Hunt County District Court system on July 13, 2017. The exact reason is unknown. The Protective Order is in place for the next two years.

During a birthday party celebration on June 27th, Mrs. Chambers was at the home of family friend, Penny Edwards. She stated to Ms. Edwards that Mr. Chambers “was not coming back.” Ms. Edwards claims that Becca Chambers was stoic and adamant about her statement.

A red 1966 Mustang red convertible was sold to an out of state buyer on July 7, 2017. Mr. Chambers had given it to his wife as a gift at the end of 2016. The vehicle was in the name of a Chambers family member.

Mrs. Chambers expressed financial hardship soon after Michael’s disappearance. After a family discussion, it was decided that Mrs. Chambers would sell the 1966 Mustang. The other alternative was for Mrs. Chambers to file for a Death Certificate through the court system, and probate Mr. Chambers’ Will.

The family was made aware of the Death Certificate filing when Suzy Losoya, Mr. Chambers’ daughter, received a call from one of his former Dallas Fire Department coworkers asking about Chambers being deceased. When the Death Certificate was filed, the Dallas Fire Department pension board was notified. Until that time, the family had no idea that Mrs. Chambers had filed for the Death Certificate. They were under the impression that selling the Mustang was the route that she was going to take.

In the days previous to July 14, 2017, a local resident, Bradley Marion Dunn, made claims on social media that he had information on the Chambers’ case. Chambers family members spoke with Mr. Dunn during this time. He was encouraged to contact the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.

On July 14th, Bradley Dunn met with deputies from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office at a location near the intersection of Farm to Market Road 2101 and Rancho Road in Quinlan. Mr. Dunn, a career criminal, was said to be jittery and under the influence of some mind-altering substance. Mr. Dunn was arrested on scene by Hunt County Sheriff’s Office for having a handgun on his person. He was booked into the Hunt County Detention Center. He was also charged with a Motion to Revoke Probation. Mr. Dunn is currently in the custody of the Hunt County Detention Center, awaiting disposition of his charges.

The afternoon of August 25, 2017, law enforcement retrieved swabs from the floor of Mr. Chambers’ shop for control sample analysis processing at an independent lab. The results have not yet come back.

A realtor was observed taking photographs of the Chambers home on August 26th. The house is presumed to be on the market for sale.

Several searches for Mr. Chambers have been held since his disappearance. The Texas Department of Public Safety conducted an aerial helicopter search of the Chambers property and surrounding areas. Also, dogs were brought in from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Bonham. The dogs picked up Mr. Chambers’ scent, and trailed it to the roadway, but were unable to follow it any farther. Also, a sonar search was used on the pond across the road from the Chambers house, and even at Lake Tawakoni by TEQ.

At least two male subjects who acquaintances of Mrs. Chambers have been questioned by area law enforcement.

The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office has only responded to phone calls or emails from Mr. Chambers’ family sparingly. Despite numerous inquiries by family members, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office has failed to request the iMessages for Mr. Chambers’ phone account from Apple. The call logs were previously given to HCSO by the family soon after Chambers’ disappearance. HCSO is refusing to deem the case as criminal, saying that no criminal acts have been committed. A private investigator was hired by the Chambers children soon after he went missing.

This retired fireman needs justice. It is unfathomable that this man was injured in his garage, then found a bike that no one can verify he owned and ride the grueling 20 miles to the bridge to commit suicide. He knew about his wife’s affairs, and there’s documented proof of it. What happened to Michael Chambers?

If you have any informtion about this case please contact the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department at 903-453-6800.

Further Information:

Reddit

Interview with P.I.

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.

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Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Finale

Last week we left wondering who in the world owns Janice Willhelm’s 7-acre farm just outside of Centerville, Texas. Her husband, Gerald Willhelm, had died mysteriously less than a week after he gave an interview to the media. While there is no one left to contest his sudden heart attack and cremation, Janice’s family still fights for justice in this greedy land grab.

Although, the lawsuits were still pending Gerald’s will was quickly probated and pushed through the system. He left his wife’s farm to a blond banker from town and one of the witnesses that signed off on Janice’s forged will. While the banker’s mother swears her daughter just had a “Father/Daughter” type relationship with Gerald Wilhelm, Janice’s family refuse to believe such a thing. It will be proven in court one way or another, but in the meantime, Janice’s children are still fighting.

Janice Willhelm’s will was a blatant forgery, and this has been verified by two different handwriting experts. The will was pushed through without the children’s knowledge. This is one battle for the Robeson family, but sadly, there is more.

Morris and his wife Mable raised their grandson as their own child and treated him accordingly. Unfortunately, this seems to have driven a wedge between their eldest son and their unofficially adopted one. Before Morris’ murder, the uncle began to wage war on the grandson, and it continues to this day. After the death, Mable sold her grandson a part of the property on the contingency that she could live out her days in the home. Of course, he agreed. This, unfortunately, drove the wedge deeper causing the uncle to file lawsuit after lawsuit trying to pry the property from his nephew’s hands. The vindictive man even used his own mother’s name to file a lawsuit. When contacted, however, Mable was shocked by it and demanded that it be dropped. If I went into every detail of this family feud, this blog series would last for another year. After reviewing all the evidence, I am left with one question that I will relate to you.

Was this uncle so greedy that he would cause, or allow the murders of his own father and his sister?

When his daughter was caught talking, she was suddenly found dead in her home from an overdose. Yes, she was an addict, but it seems strange nonetheless. Everyone that crosses the uncle seems to end up in endless litigation or six feet under the Texas dirt.

This case continues and continues to fight for justice. This case has been appealed all the way up to the Texas Rangers only to hit a brick wall there as well. The only hope at this point may be the FBI and the media. If you have been a victim of corruption in Leon County, Texas, you can visit http://texaspubliccorruption.com/ and submit your story anonymously.

Don’t let the saying “Texas Justice” stand for bullying by corrupt officials. Let Texas Justice stand for truth and the good ole’ American way. 

Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Part 4

Janice Willhelm

Part four of this saga leads us back to the beginning of this tragic tale; the strange death of disabled, Janice Robeson Wilhelm. Just to recap, Janice was found dead from a gunshot wound to her neck. She was sitting up in her recliner with her hands tucked neatly under her lap blanket.

The .45 caliber bullet entered the back left-hand side of her neck and traveled downward passing into her lungs and severing her spinal cord. This caused instant paralysis. Despite this, the authorities would have you believe that she threw the gun six foot away from her chair, and tucked her hands back under her blanket.

Below are two pictures of the crime scene. The only changes that were made to these photos are the addition of the blacked out portions hiding the graphic details of the deceased’s wounds.

Notice the following:

  • The gun is laying 6 – 8 feet away from the deceased. If this had been a suicide, then the weapon would have fallen directly beside the chair, not six foot away in front of the couch.
  • The shell casing is found several feet away behind the couch. Again, this wouldn’t be the case in a suicide. The casing would have landed in the chair or amongst the blankets.
  • It has been reported that the blood under the recliner was already coagulated. Why? If this happened as Gerald claimed, then the police arrived 12 – 15 minutes later then there is no way that blood would be in such a state.
  • A gunshot residue test was done on Janice Wilhelm’s hands but was somehow lost in transit between the Dallas Medical Examiner’s office and the Leon County Sherriff’s office.

Blatant Lies:

Gerald claims in the 911 call that Jan killed herself because she was out of pain medication and they couldn’t afford more. This was proven false. The crime scene photos clearly showed Janice’s medication sitting on the table beside her chair, and the toxicology reports state she had pain meds in her system at the time of her death. Also, the children were able to prove that not only were Janice’s medicines mostly covered by Medicare, and the small remainder only amounted to a $5/month copayment.

The report states that Janice left a suicide note. It was later determined that the so-called note was nothing more than a diary of her symptoms and the medications she had taken. These standard nursing notes were what they claimed to be a suicide note.

Final Proof of Homicide:

July 2001:

Janice Wilhelm was admitted to the Baylor Richardson Medical Center surgery. A large tumor measuring 4″ x 4 3/4″ x 3″ was removed from the upper portion of her left arm leaving the muscular tissue and tendons severely damaged. This surgery saved her life but left her dominant arm nearly useless. Janice would no longer be able to lift her arm above her chest.

June 2015:

Vincent J.M. Di Maio, M.D. a forensic pathologist out of Dallas, reviewed Janice Wilhelm’s medical records and determined that it would be impossible for her to have committed suicide in such a manner. 

Aftermath & Motives Revealed:

The family waited for word of a will but were repeatedly told that Janice didn’t leave one. Then, suddenly within a couple months of her death, Janice’s will was quietly pushed through probate court.

After fighting to get a copy of her mother’s will, Janice’s daughter was surprised at the supposed signature of her mother. It wasn’t even close to her mother’s signature, and yet there it was, and two people had witnessed it.

Finally, it was determined that both so-called witnesses had not seen Janice sign the documents at all. They were pre-signed before being presented for a witness signature. 

Why would anyone want seven acres of farmland in this area? Oil

Despite the will being a blatant forgery and the lawsuits pending, Gerald Wilhelm signed off, and the oil companies came in. An oil well and a gas well were fully functioning within a year of Janice Wilhelm’s death. The Clayton #1H well generated $400,000 worth of royalties within the first eight months of its existence. Can we say motive?

Cold Case did a segment on this case in 2010, and Gerald Wilhelm actually agreed to an interview but refused to let it be recorded because of the pending lawsuits. Strangely, he was dead within a week after the show aired. He supposedly died of a heart attack, but there was no autopsy, and he was cremated before anyone could request one.

I wish I could say that was the end, but there are a few more twists in this homicidal tale. I will leave you with one question.

Who owns that land and oil wells now?

I will give you a hint. It’s a toss-up between a blond banker, a ranch hand, and a false witness. Mix that with an extramarital affair, a vindictive family member, and big oil, and you will have the tale coming next week.


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. 

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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.


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Janice Willhelm

Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Part 1

 

you are lovely

Janice Willhelm

One suspicious suicide in a small town may not be unusual, but five deaths within a square mile of each other? Within a year an oil boom hits Centerville, Texas and the deaths are all swept under the rug. While a hand full of people get rich, the family members of the murder victims are left with nothing but questions. Usually, when someone writes a story they start at the beginning of the tale. This bloody tale starts in the middle and expands exponentially in every direction. This case will take a few weeks to tell, so hold on for this Texas-sized tale of murder, forged wills, and oil wells.

December 8, 2010:

911 dispatch receives a call from Gerald Willhelm of Centerville, Texas. A strangely calm husband reports that he believes his wife has shot herself and that blood is pouring from her neck. One article states a distraught husband calls 911. I have listened to the call and he does not sound upset at all. He says they were asleep in their recliners and at some point, she woke up and shot herself in the neck. The authorities arrive and quickly rule the death as a suicide. Case closed. Investigation complete. Not really.

 

The .45 caliber bullet traveled into the neck at a downward trajectory, passing through the lungs, and immediately severing the spinal cord through the 7th vertebrae. This would cause instant paralysis, so why do the crime scene photos show Mrs. Willhelm’s hands neatly tucked under her lap blanket? Where did the gun land? Six feet away the gun was laying on the floor pointing away from her chair. The spent casing landed behind the sofa.

 

If Janice was a physically capable woman, she would have to hold the gun upside down, press it to her neck with her elbow wrenched out above her head. This might be possible IF you omit one very important fact. Janice Willhelm had a tumor on her left arm the size of an orange removed. This surgery took much of her muscle tissue and damaged the nerves in her arm making it impossible for her to hold her arm above her chest, much less over her head. This is not conjectured on the part of grieving family members. This fact is corroborated by medical documentation. Janice could not have held that gun. Her daughter claims that Janice had a life-long fear of guns and wouldn’t be holding one at all.

 

Gerald Willhelm claims his wife was out of pain meds and killed herself because they couldn’t afford to get more. Crime scene photos show her medications are clearly sitting within arms reach of the deceased. To further dispel this accusation, UPS had recently billed the couple for their prescription delivery service. She was on disability and this covered most of her medications and she had worked out a co-pay deal with the drug companies for the remainder of the fees. Janice Willhelm was not out of pain medication and if anyone doubts this, they can refer to the toxicology reports that clearly shows medications in her system at the time of death.

 

Black Gold:

Almost immediately after his wife’s murder, Gerald Willhelm quickly pushes his wife’s will through probate and quickly leases his wife’s land to a large oil company for drilling. Reports state the royalties of this well accounted for nearly half a million dollars within the first eight months. Strange, but not necessary a crime, right? Wrong!

Janice had two children; a daughter, and a son. Both children had been suddenly written out of their mother’s will several months before her death. After fighting to get a copy of this will, the kids were surprised to see their mother’s name. It was nothing like her signature. A child could see the differences. They send this document and several handwriting samples to two different specialists. Both adamantly claim this will to be a forgery. Not only do they claim Janice did not sign this document, they say the handwriting looks like Gerald’s.

 

If that isn’t enough to make you wonder about this case, then next week I will jump into the suspicious death of Janice’s father and the money Gerald conned from his first wife before she died. See you next week. In the meantime, I will be wading neck deep in this case of greedy oil men and corrupt officials.