Silenced Witnesses – Disgraced Cop – Ex-cop linked to two murdered women

5afb5fe99a4b4.image Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Progress

He pled guilty to tying his belt around her neck and trying to drag her to his van to keep her from testifying against him. The belt broke, and she escaped, but two other women witnesses against former cop Larry Pugh wound up dead. Why then is Pugh out of jail after eight years? What happened to Terri Reyes and Shunte Coleman?


These types of cases are the hardest ones for me to write. I bleed blue for the police officers who are gunned down in the line of duty, but it seems like the ones who deserve a bullet between the eyes get off scot-free. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean.

Larry Pugh joined the Jacksonville Police Department in January 2003 and was suspended in October 2005 after the accusations arose. In 2006, former Jacksonville Police Officer, Larry Pugh was arrested by the FBI and facing multiple charges of sexual assault. Eight women came forward accusing Pugh of rape and sexual assault. Larry Pugh was given bond and released. The Longview News-Journal reported on Wednesday, July 25, 2007, that during this time, two of the women on the witness list disappeared. To make matters even worse, he found one of the witnesses and bound his belt around her neck. Then he proceeded to drag her to his van. The belt snapped, and she was able to escape with her life. Pugh would plead guilty of this in September 2006.

53cbf15eb306e.image Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Progress

Terri Reyes, 38 of Athens was last seen on May 21, 2006. Like many others, she was scheduled to testify against the ex-lawman. Her body would be found later in a wooded area in San Augustine County, Texas. Reyes had three children.

59ef85123b896.image

Photo courtesy of Tyler Morning Telegraph

Shunte Coleman, 24 was last seen on July 2, 2006. Her grandmother was worried about her because of the case with Pugh. Coleman’s body wouldn’t be found until March 2014 and it wouldn’t be officially identified until June 2014. She was found by a forester in a heavily wooded area near San Augustine not too far from where Terri’s remains were found eight years earlier.

It seemed that officer Pugh had been targeting women who were in legal trouble and using that as leverage for his sexual gratification. When he was allowed to release a statement he adamantly denied the charges claiming they were unwarranted allegations made by “crack heads.”

When did someone with addiction problems suddenly deserve to be sexually assaulted? When did our laws change to say that a person with a minor criminal history deserved to be strangled to death?

Surely the strange disappearance of two witnesses, the testimony of the woman who escaped his wrath, and the other 25-30 witnesses against Larry Pugh would be enough to see this man spend the rest of his life behind bars. That’s not what happened. Larry Pugh was released in May 2018. Yes, I said RELEASED!

Even with all the circumstantial evidence, Pugh’s confessions, and the bodies found, law enforcement claims they have no evidence to link Larry Pugh to the corpses. What else do they need? This is one case where I found so much information online that I couldn’t put all the links within the text of my blog post. Scroll down and read the several articles sited below for more details on this disturbing case.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

Further Reading:

KTBS News

CBS News

Porchlight USA

Jacksonville Progress

Larry Pugh’s Statement

websleuths

Texas Public Corruption

KTRE Channel 9

Corruption In Cherokee County, Texas

KLTV

daily sentinel


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. I do not own the photos used in this post. All photos are used under the fair use act. No copyright infringement intended.©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.

IMG_20190316_075643_170.jpg

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.

VIPERTEK VTS-989 – 58 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun – Rechargeable with LED Flashlight

How To Be Your Own Bodyguard: Self Defense for men & women from a lifetime of protecting clients in hostile environments.

Synova’s True Crime books are also available on Amazon.com

Unorganized Crime: Journey to Redemption

Snatched: The FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes and more (Synova’s Case Files)


A Well Dressed Corpse

SomertonMan2 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A well-dressed corpse is found on the Somerton Beach in 1948 setting off a mystery of astounding proportions. A strange note was found sewn into a hidden pocket in the man’s pants. The words Tamam Shud were typed upon a scrap of paper. The translation is, “It is finished.” Seventy-one years later and no one can figure out who this man was or who killed him. Was he a spy? Who knows?


The Somerton Man: Seven Decades Later

Unless more evidence appears soon, the death of the Somerton man will forever remain a mystery. The issues surrounding his death were not the only mystery, but his identity and his killer’s identity remain unsolved by forensic science.

On the first day of December 1948, Neil Day was riding his horse on the Somerton beach when he discovered the body of a man. There wasn’t any form of identity on the Somerton man. The stand out features was that he was clean shaven, wearing a bespoke brown suit and staring into the sky while sitting in a gentleman position. The night before, people claimed to have seen a man that looked like the Somerton man. The assumption is that he’s either drunk or in a deep sleep.

For anyone hearing about the case of the Somerton man for the first time, the poser will be; how will a well-dressed man in a suit be sitting on the beach wall alone? Or is his death pre-mediated with the torn page of the book found in his pocket? This is one mystery that remains a hard nut to crack for the intelligence units of Australia, The United States, and Scotland.

Who is The Somerton Man?

In a case that went down as Australia’s most baffling cold case, the identity of the Somerton remains one of the biggest unanswered questions of the case.

It’s somewhat baffling that a man with such a display of means had no identification on him. A small amount of cash was found on the man, but his wallet was missing.

Since no one is aware of the identity of the Somerton man, the next will be to ascertain which nationality he is. It was confirmed that he was not a local man as no one knows him or have ever seen him before.

With his clothing and the items found on him, there was a strong indicator that the Somerton man had an American link. However, when his fingerprints were sent to the American authorities, it came back without any results. Investigators found on him; a railway ticket to Henley Beach, an American metal comb, and some other items that did little in revealing the identity of the Somerton man.

Where Is The Somerton Man Going: The Suitcase At The Adelaide Railway Station?

While the entire world was still grappling with the shock and mystery surrounding the news, investigators find his brown suitcase and hope it will lead to answers.

The contents of the bag were a modified knife, a screwdriver, pencils, scissors, clothes, and a stenciling brush.

What kind of job would require these types of things? He was a clean cut, well-built man with hands that looked as if he hadn’t done a day of manual labor in his life.

The Rubáiyát and The Tamam Shud: What’s The Somerton Man Trying To Say.

In less than a month when the mystery of the Somerton man caught everyone unaware, another piece of evidence was found. One of the items found in the pocket of the Somerton Man was a rolled piece of paper with “Tamam Shud” written on it. In Persian, it means “it is finished. What is finished? Another new question added to the numerous ones.

No one knows where the paper came from until a man walked into the police station with the book titled; The Rubáiyát. The back page of this book had been torn, and after investigating further, they found the scrap to fit the page perfectly.

Why did this man have the book?

The man claimed he was driving along the beach and parked his car there the night before the body was discovered. He went for a walk with his friend, and when they returned to the automobile, a book was on the floor of the car. The two men didn’t pay any attention to it until the story of the Somerton man broke on the news. In the book, there were two phone numbers; one was a dead end, and the other went through to a lady; Jestyn.

Jestyn and The Rubáiyát: A Twist to The Story

Interestingly, Jestyn lived nearby to the Somerton beach. Even though she claimed never to know the Somerton man, she was close to fainting when she saw the cast of his face. Jestyn never wanted to talk to the police. She later admitted that she gave a copy of The Rubáiyát to a man named Alfred Boxall. When that lead was followed, the man still had the copy of the book with the last page intact.

Recent Discoveries and Theories

The story of the Somerton man is still a subject of debate. Many are still wondering what could have killed the man. The theory of being a spy tops the list. Another angle is that he must have committed suicide or poisoned with an untraceable poison. So also, it was believed that the death of the man could have been natural due to the position he was sitting. More recently, DNA evidence traced the Somerton man to the US East coast, and he could have been related to Thomas Jefferson.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

Wikipedia 

ABC News

Buzzfeed Unsolved 


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.

IMG_20190316_075643_170.jpg

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.


SABRE Pepper Spray & Stun Gun Self-Defense Kit— Police Strength SABRE Red Pepper Spray, PLUS a Compact, Stylish & Powerful Purple SABRE Stun Gun with Flashlight


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


SomertonMan2

Missouri Missing – Luther O. Boyt

luther_o._boyt_3


In the middle of moving back home to care for his dying father, Luther Boyt disappears without a trace. He was last seen at a local gay bar having drinks with friends. Witnesses say he was happy and although he had a couple drinks, he wasn’t drunk. What happened after he left, and why did authorities find his car abandoned in a local park?


Luther Boyt, a Louisiana native had moved to the Kansas City area in 1966. He worked as the director of Vital Statistics at the city hall until retirement in 1989. Boyt lived in a beautiful home on Janseen Place and loved to throw lavish parties. His hobbies included buying antiques and traveling.

During the summer of 2000, Boyt sold his manson and planned to assist his mother who was caring for his ailing father. By the end of November the move was nearly complete. on November 25, 2000, Boyt was seen at the Buddies’ Bar having drinks with friends. He was happy and seemed fine. Around 2:30 am on the 26th, Boyt leaves the bar and is never seen again.

Later the same day, movers arrive at the house to finish moving the last of Mr. Boyt’s furniture, but the owner never arrives. Friends become worried and begin searching for Luther Boyt. His car is found in Penn Calley Park the next day. Everyone said there would be no reason for Boyt to drive to the well-known gay hookup spot.

Strangely, inside the car was $360 which Boyt had apparently stashed under the floor mat. A friend later recalled he had said something about stopping by an ATM and getting cash to pay the movers.

Sadly, three days after Boyt’s disappearance, his ailing father died. It was on what would be Boyt’s 60th birthday. Family and friends are adamant that Boyt would not have willing gone to that dangerous park alone at night, so what happened to him and why was his car abandoned there? Whatever the case, Mr. Boyt’s friends and family need answers and nineteen years later they are still searching.

If you have any information about this cold case, please contact the Kansas City Police Department at (816) 234-5136.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

Further Reading:

Reddit

Charley Project

Missouri Missing – Facebook 


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.

IMG_20190316_075643_170.jpg

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.


Self-Defense for Women: Fight Back


Fox Labs, 11FTK-PK 5.3 Million SHU – Pink (Flip Top) Keychain Pepper Spray (In Retail Packaging)


download (2)

Murdered Under The Christmas Tree – Cheryl Springfield

download (1)

Her body was found under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning 1980. Cheryl L. Springfield had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled with the cord from a clothing iron. When her ex showed up with presents for their child, he found the toddler crying in the other room and a horrid scene under the tree. Who would do such a thing to this young mother?


Cheryl Springfield, 21 was recently divorced and lived in a house with three other girls, her child, and one other baby. One of Cheryl’s roommates was a woman named Cindy who happened to be the sister of her ex-husband. On Christmas Eve, Cheryl attended a family Christmas party before returning home with her son. Her mother dropped them off at the house on Whitter street never knowing the horrors that lay ahead for the young mother.

Around 6 am Christmas morning, Scott Springfield arrived at the home with presents for his child. The couple had recently divorced but were on friendly terms. They had married at a very young age, and the strains of parenthood and financial woes were more than Scott could take. They divorced, and shortly after Scott would regret the decision to end their union. The couple were working on things and had planned to make Christmas morning special for their child.

As Scott entered the house, he noticed someone lying under the Christmas tree but thought one of the girls had just gotten drunk and passed out. What immediately drew his attention were the cries of his child from the bedroom. He entered the room to find his son sitting in bed alone and his ex-wife not there with him. Dread began to wash over the man as he walked back into the front room. Nearing the body his fears were realized. It wasn’t a drunken woman. It was the beaten corpse of his lovely Cheryl.

She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled with a cord from a clothes iron. Her nude body had been left near the foot of the Christmas tree. Sick with grief, Scott hurried back to the bedroom and called the police and family members. Friends came and took the toddler out of the house while the police conducted their search.

Of course, in these cases, the ex-husband is always a suspect, but Scott Springfield was quickly cleared. Who then, could have done such a thing? The family believes they know the answer. Barry Dean Kelly.

Barry was Cindy’s boyfriend and to say he was a predator would be an understatement. Barry and Cheryl couldn’t stand each other, and the family began to suspect the man rather quickly. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the man. No one could even place Barry Kelly at the scene of the crime. Standing for her man, Cindy found herself alienated from her own family when she chose to marry Barry a few years later. This mistake would eventually make Cindy question herself on many levels.

The marriage was built of turmoil and would end within a year of its beginning. During this time Cindy began to fear her husband and reports of one instance where he forced her to let him tattoo his initials on her hand. She claims he didn’t put the gun to her head, but it was sitting on the table next to him as he branded her with a homemade tattoo.

Shortly afterward, Cindy filed for divorce and ran to her mother for help. She then found herself hiding out in her mother’s house out of fear. One October day in 1987, Cindy makes a quick run to the store only to be followed by her ex. He grabs the poor woman and forces her into his car. Barry took her to a wooded area nearby and terrorized her for a few hours. When Cindy finally convinces him to let her go, she runs to the police.

Cindy was unaware of Barry’s recent activities when the police showed up on her door asking questions. She would later learn that Barry had kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered an elderly woman. Her name was Melva Teems. He had stolen her truck and drove it for a while. He also pawned some of her jewelry to get enough cash for a down payment on a vehicle. Later he abandoned her truck.

When the police found Melva Teems’ body, they found she had been strangled with a piece of cloth torn from her shirt. Investigators noted the knots used to kill Teems were the same type of knots used in the murder of Cheryl Springfield seven years earlier. Barry was seeing Melva’s daughter on the side, and Cindy wasn’t aware of the affair. It is unclear if this relationship was active during his short marriage, or if he had picked up an old flame after Cindy filed for divorce.

Barry Kelly was eventually convicted of the murder o Melva Teems and the kidnapping of Cindy. He would receive life in prison. Unfortunately, the police still couldn’t pin Cheryl’s murder on the known killer. Barry meanwhile vehemently declared his innocence in both cases despite overwhelming evidence in Melva’s murder. Strangely 37 years after Cheryl’s murder Barry reached out to cold case detectives saying he had information that would solve the case. Investigators traveled to his location to interrogate the inmate. Come to find out, Barry wanted a few jailhouse amenities, and when the officers couldn’t provide them, he refused to talk to them.

What was Berry Kelly going to tell the investigators? If he has proclaimed his innocence for nearly four decades, why would he re-insert himself into the murder investigation? What happened to Cheryl Springfield?

If you have any information that would help solve Cheryl Springfield’s case, please contact Fort Worth Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 817-469-8477.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

Further Reading:

Facebook

All photos were taken from Cheryl Springfield’s Facebook page with permission from the Administrator.

Out of the Cold – Deanna Boyd

Find A Case


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.

Ring Alarm – Home Security System with optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring – No contracts – 14 piece kit – Works with Alexa

SABRE Red Lipstick Pepper Spray for Women – Pink, Maximum Strength OC Spray Used by Police Globally, Fashionable and Small, Safe and Easy to Use, Great Gift for loved ones, 12 Bursts, 10 Foot Range

The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen – Self Defense Pen and Window Breaker – Used in Police and Military Gear – Best Defense Ballpoint Pens with Free Pouch and 2nd Ink Refill


27540646_1759439107411109_5525078891505943571_n

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

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

Missing Mother – Sarah Burton

5b9450fcb9343.image

 

Mother of two goes missing in America’s heartland, and the police still have no answers. What happened to Sarah Burton after visiting the Payless shoe store with a friend? Why did said friend stop by Sarah’s mother’s house to drop off Sarah’s purse and a shoe a short time later?

On July 16, 2018, Sarah Burton was dropped off near 10th Street and Rex Avenue. She never returned home from this trip leaving her two small boys behind. Sarah’s parents and grandparents are looking after 3-year-old Xander and 8-month-old Zane while police search for the young mom. Although Sarah had a troubled past, family members are adamant that she would not have left her boys.

Burton was battling an addiction to drugs at the time of her disappearance. It has been reported that this former high school cheerleader had been a victim of a violent crime and began using drugs as a way to cope. Whatever the reason, 2018 found a determined young mother battling her demons and struggling to make a better life for her sons. Burton was seeking long term drug treatments, attending all of her court dates and working with an attorney to help with her legal issues. She had held a job for a year, but somehow trouble with her sons’ father caused her to lose this position. I would love to have more information on this incident, but there isn’t much available online.

Sarah stayed at the Lafayette House in September and October of 2017. The Lafayette House is a sanctuary for domestic violence victims, sexual abuse victims, and for those recovering from substance abuse. It seemed Sarah was finally getting her life together, but strangely when things appeared to be going well, she vanished without leaving a trace. The Joplin Police Department has constantly chased leads and conducted two searches over the 2018 holiday season trying to find the missing woman. Captain Trevor Duncan graciously answered my questions for this post. He states the case is active and ongoing and hasn’t grown cold. Joplin investigators followed lead #66 last Friday and were working on #67 yesterday. These leads have included several surrounding counties and the states of Oklahoma and Kansas. Joplin P.D. is actively searching for answers for the Burton family.

If you have any information, please contact the Joplin Police Department at (417) 623-3131

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 ebook Grim Justice as a free gift.

Blog sign up

 

#SarahBurton – #BringSarahHome – #MissinginMissouri – #TrueCrime – #UnsolvedCase

0d51c7da776e72bfd679bd780f4d6c83

15 People Looked the Killer in the Eye – No Arrests

wolf rimann

 

After shooting down a prominent businessman, the killer looked up and gazed at the people in the factory windows. Why would a hitman do this? Was he confident, arrogant, or was he backed by the Mafia and knew he was untouchable? Whatever the case, Wolf Rimann lay dying in his car, and the killer got away. Seventy years later we have a full description of the killer, but no arrests.

Wolf Rimann, 43 was a marked man. He had been warned. Perhaps he thought he was too powerful in Kansas City to be taken out so easily. Rimann was a Deputy Sherriff in Jackson County. He was neck deep in corruption and thrived. Rimann was a golf professional and the manager of the Hillcrest Country Club. He also owned the Western Speciality Company which supplied jukeboxes and pinball machines to area businesses. Rimann was known to slip a few strategically placed slot machines in as well. It was a well-known fact that Rimann would use his badge to force tavern owners to install his slot machines. If the bar owner refused, Rimann would decide to enforce the county’s
“dry” laws and shut the bar down. At one point there were four other officers on Rimann’s payroll for this sole purpose.
The local Mafia kingpin, John Blando had exclusive rights to the Schenley Liquor products and was making a boat-load of money on the deal. Rimann decided he wanted a piece of the action and bypassed Blando. He went directly to New York and was given permission to sell Schenley liquor. This obviously upset Blando, so he sent word for Rimann to back off, but Rimann refused and continued to stock a warehouse full of the product.

On March 24, 1949, Wolf Rimann was walking towards his car on the corner of 14th & Chestnut when a black Ford peeled around the corner. One man stepped out and stood as a century. Another man stepped out firing a pistol. Rimann was riddled with bullets as he opened the car door. He slumped across the front seat of his car as the shooter approached. The hitman’s final bullet met its mark in Rimann’s skull. Then the killer did something very odd. He turned and looked at the factory windows full of witnesses exposing his face to the crowd. If this were a Hollywood film, he probably would have tipped his hat. After the strange moment passed, the two men jumped back into the Ford and raced away.

wolf rimann 2

 

The sketch above says the Ford was parked, but early reporting of this case say the Ford never stopped and the two men who exited the car had to jog to catch back up to it. The getaway car was found ten blocks north of the crime scene. The vehicle was traced back to a St. Louis car dealership. It was recently purchased by an Italian man claiming to be from Denver. He paid with cash and asked to borrow a couple of license plates. He never picked up the car title. He apparently had other plans for the car. The mysterious Italian was never found.

After his death, Rimann’s illegal business dealings came to light and exposed how deep the corruption had become in Kansas City. Although the case was never solved, the Kansas City Crime Commission was formed because of the murder of Wolf Rimann. Everyone knows the mob killed Rimann, but the triggerman was never found, and the crime boss of K.C. was never convicted of hiring the hit.

More Info:

Synova’s Youtube Video:

Youtube Video #2:

Kansas City Star

All photos used in this article are from the Kansas City archives. I do not own the copyright on any of these and no infringement is intended. This article is for informational purposes only,

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 for FREE.

Blog sign up

SIGN UP HERE

Murder Mystery – Room 1046 – Part 2

 

room-1046

 

Roland T. Owen walked into the Kansas City hotel carrying a comb, a brush, and a tube of toothpaste. After several strange encounters with hotel staff, Owen would be carried out on a gurney a few days later. Blood covered the walls and bed in room 1046, and investigators say it was already solidified leading them to assume Owen had been bleeding for over six hours. Who tortured and killed this man? Why was his door always locked from the outside? Who were the anonymous benefactors that paid for his burial?

 

Last week I quickly highlighted this Alfred Hitchcock style murder mystery for my readers. This story was so strange and mysterious; I knew it would take more than one post to cover it. If you haven’t seen that post, you can follow this link to read Part One of the mystery.

 

Strange Sighting: (Thursday, January 3, 1935 – 11 PM)

Robert Lane was driving down 13th Street when he saw a man dressed in trousers and an undershirt. The man’s attire seemed strange in the cold winter weather of January. He was running and waving frantically. Robert Lane pulled over, and the stranger ran up to the door. He looked surprised.

“I’m sorry. I thought this was a taxi. Can you take me to where I can find a cab?”

Lane agreed, and the man climbed into his back seat. The man looked as if he’d been in a scuffle and Lane made a remark about this. The man mumbled, “I’ll kill that__________ in the morning.”

While all the newspapers were too proper to write the actual word that was uttered, 84 years later it could have helped investigators if there was some sort of record of this remark. Was the stranger talking about a male or a female? Who knows?

Lane noticed the man had a large cut down his arm and was cupping his hands trying to catch the blood. As the car reached a nearby intersection, the passenger jumped out and ran across to a parked cab. Seeing the driver wasn’t with his car, the stranger honked the horn. Presently, the cab driver rushed out of a nearby, and that was the end of Robert Lane’s interaction with the stranger.

Police disputed this story since no one noticed Owen leaving his room. Police would discount this and take the investigation in different directions. I find this odd because no one ever saw Owen coming or going from his room. Who was locking the door from the outside if Owen was still sitting inside? At one point the housekeeping staff walked into the room thinking it was empty to find Owen laying across the bed fully clothed and staring into the darkness.

To understand this story, you must understand the hotel’s door locking mechanism. The door could be locked from the inside and could not be opened externally. It could also be locked from the outside with a key, and the hotel staff could use the passkey to open the door and clean. On more than one occasion this outer lock was used while Owen was still inside the room.

By Friday morning the staff noticed the phone was off the hook in Owen’s room. The first contact that was made by the hotel staff was around 7 am. Evidence would later show that Owen was already beaten, stabbed and bloody by this time. That’s when the bellboy heard a voice call through the door and say, “Come in. Turn on the light.” Was this Owen trying to get the man to come in and help him? We’ll never know.

To make the story, even more, perplexing the second time a bell boy was sent to the room that morning, he opened the door with the hotel passkey. This, of course, means that between the bell boy’s first contact and second contact someone had left that room and locked it from the outside. The attendant used his key and opened the darkened room. He noticed the side table was knocked over, and the phone was on the floor. A shadowy figure of a naked man lay sprawled across the bed. The bellboy would later note that there were dark shadows on the sheets around the man, but he didn’t turn on the light. Instead, the bellboy replaced the phone, closed the door, and reported that the guest was drunk on the bed. Could this man have saved Ronald T. Owen if he had taken a moment to check on him?

An hour and a half later the phone was still off the hook, and finally, the bellboy had lost his patience. He opened the door and switched on the lights to discover a horrific scene. Owen was two foot from the door and naked with a rope tied around his neck, wrists, and ankles. He was on his knees and elbows. His bloody head was in his hands. When police asked who did this Owen replied, “Nobody.” He would slip into a coma on the way to the hospital and die shortly after midnight on January 5th.

Strange Clues:

The police immediately began searching for evidence in Room 1046 but found it had been stripped. Owen’s clothes, all of his belongings, even the hotel’s shampoo and soap were missing. The only things found in the room were: a hairpin, a safety pin, a label from a tie, a bottle of undiluted sulfuric acid, and two glasses. One broken glass was in the bathroom sink and was missing a shard of glass. Four little fingerprints were found on the lampshade leading the investigators to believe they could have been from a woman.

Anonymous Benefactor:

Investigators quickly realized the name Roland T. Owen was an alias and began digging for the man’s identity. In the meantime, the body was transported to the local morgue where it was placed for public viewing in hopes of getting a definite identification on the man. Many people came forward thinking they knew the victim, but all were dismissed. This is when Robert Lane came forward and confirmed the man in the morgue was the man he had picked up on that Thursday night. Authorities claim they can’t prove this, but I find it the most credible. Owen didn’t look overly normal. With his height and scars, he was a rather imposing figure which would make him hard to forget.

After much ado, the papers announced the unknown victim with the alias Roland Owen would be buried in a pauper’s grave since no one claimed him. This prompted another series of strange events. Before the body could be buried the funeral director received an anonymous call from an unknown male. He asked them two wait a little longer in burying Owen and he would send money for a proper burial. A few days later the funeral home received an envelope filled with cash wrapped in newspaper. The donor requested the body to be buried in Memorial Park Cemetary so he could be next to the donor’s sister.

“Love Forever, Louise”:

The florist received an anonymous phone call around the same time from an unknown male. He requested 13 roses to be sent to the grave of Ronald T. Owen and the card should be signed, “Love forever, Louise.” The florist tried to ask a few questions, but the man simply stated that he was just doing this for his sister.

Another phone call:

After the newspaper article about this case was printed, the editor received a phone call from a woman. She said the report was wrong and Roland’s funeral arrangements were paid.

Searching for Don:

During one of the interchanges with the hotel staff, Owen was heard speaking on the phone to a man he called “Don.” Another time the housekeeper saw a note with the same name. Was Don a friend? Was he a Mafia Don? Investigators searched for years and couldn’t find the true identity of Don.

Artemus Ogletree:

Eighteen months after the newspaper article about this mystery a woman saw the pictures and claimed Roland T. Owen was her son Artemus Ogletree. Although original reports claimed he was in his mid-20’s, Ogletree was 17 at the time of his death. To make matters more mysterious, Mrs. Ogletree had received three separate letters from her son. They were all typewritten which she thought was strange since her son didn’t know how to type. Also, these notes used a lot of slang terms Mrs. Ogletree had never heard her son use. After researching this story, she realized those three letters could not have been from her son. Someone out there not only knew what happened Roland T. Owen in that hotel room, but they also knew his real name and his mother’s address.

One More Mysterious Caller:

If that wasn’t enough of a mystery for you, there was a new chapter to this tale that happened to a Kansas City Librarian in 2003. John Horner spent a lot of time researching this case and writing it up for the library’s blog. One day he too received a strange phone call. It was an out of state caller claiming to be going through a deceased relative’s belongings. They found a large box of newspaper articles from about the Roland T. Owen case and in the box was a specific object that had been referenced in the original newspaper article. Then, the line went dead. What was in the box? Who were the mysterious caller and their relative? Was it the woman Louise? Was it Don? Like all good mysteries. We may never know the truth in this strange tale.

Despite spreading this case across two blog posts, there are even more details I couldn’t include here. Below are some links for further reading on this strange tale.

Reddit
KC Library Archives

The Phantom Assassin

I-70sketches

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48155940

Is there really such a thing as the perfect crime? The Golden State Killer got away with murder but was still caught 44 years later. But what happens when there isn’t any DNA to link the killer to the icy cold case?


This is what happened in the 26-year-old cold case of the I-70 serial killer. Many people confuse this case with the I-70 Strangler, but that guy was caught. His name was Herb Baumeister and he targeted gay men.
This case is strange in the fact that the killer walked into a store, shot his weapon, and walked right back out leaving behind shell casings and the body of a petite brunette. That’s all. There weren’t any sexual assaults to leave DNA. He didn’t torture his victims. He simply wanted to kill.
April 8, 1992:
A 26-yr-old brunette woman opened the Payless Shoe Source shoe store in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her name was Robin Fuldauer. Register receipts show that sometime between 1:30 pm and 2 pm, a man walked into the store and shot Robin in the back of the head with a .22. A customer walks in around 2 pm and finds the place empty and calls the police. She hadn’t noticed Robin’s body face down in the back room. Strangely only a few dollars was stolen from the cash register. Police wonder if this was a botched robbery attempt. That theory would be dropped quickly when the Phantom Assassin found his next target.

April 11, 1992:
Three days later & 700 miles east along I-70 the killer strikes again. This time there were two victims. Both women are petite with shoulder length brown hair. They were busy closing the bridal shop and were waiting for a late customer to arrive.
Pat Majors and Patricia Smith had already shut off the lights and locked the door when a man knocked on the front glass. Patricia Smith unlocked the door with the customer’s order in hand. He had already paid so she expected to merely hand it out the door. Instead, she was pushed inside and ordered to the back by the Phantom Assassin. The two women were quickly shot in the head, but before the killer could leave the customer showed up.
The gunman tried to force the man into the back room, but instead, the witness entered a dialog with the killer. Somehow he was able to persuade the killer to let him go. The witness fled the scene and called the police. They arrived on site not knowing what to expect. The two women were quickly found in the back room. One was declared dead at the scene and the other died later in the hospital. The only clues left behind were the shell casings and the witness description. Surely that would be enough to catch the guy. Right? Wrong.

April 27, 1992:
Sixteen days later in Terre Haute, Indiana, the killer strikes yet another petite brunette working alone in Sylvia’s Ceramics. This time the killer gets sloppy. His victim was actually a man named Michael McCowan. The store was named after his mother Sylvia. He wore his brown hair in a long ponytail and wore earrings. Perhaps the deranged psychopath thought Michael was a female in his haste to appease his inner demons. Who knows? Whatever the case it was clear that a petite brunette wasn’t safe working alone in a storefront building along I-70.

May 3, 1992:
One week later the killer would find his next target. This time it was Nancy Kitzmiller. She was working in a western wear store in St. Charles, Missouri.

May 7, 1992:
Four days later the killer shoots Sarah Blessing in Raytown, Missouri. This time there were two witnesses. The suspect walked down the sidewalk looking in the windows and caught the gaze of a young man in an electronics store. The witness noticed the man was wearing a large heavy coat and thought it was odd in the warm weather. A few moments later the witness heard a loud pop next door. When he peered out the door he saw the stranger calmly walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. The man ran next door to find Sarah had been shot. She died on the scene.
A grocery store employee was out gathering shopping carts from the parking lot and noticed the suspect climbing the slight embankment towards I-70. Both witnesses gave the same descriptions that the police had heard before. He was a white man in his late 20’s – mid 30’s. He was small around 5’9” – 5’10” with sandy blondish hair. Some recall his hair having a dull red tint.

Suddenly the killings seemed to stop leaving the investigators wondering what happened. Maybe the killer had been arrested on an unrelated charge. Police poured over all the surrounding area’s arrest records. One by one they were all ruled out and the case was faltering on the brink of becoming a cold case.

September 25, 1993:
Sixteen months after Sarah Blessing’s murder, a killer surfaces in Texas off I-35. His MO is eerily similar to the I-70 killer and investigators wonder if they could be the work of one man. Mary Glasscock, another petite brunette, was murdered by a single gunshot to the back of the head with a .22. She had been working alone at the Emporium Antiques store in Fort Worth, Texas.

November 1, 1993:
Amy Vess was working alone in a dancewear shop when the killer shot her, stole some cash from the register and left behind a shell casing from a .22.

January 15, 1994:
Vicki Webb was shot by an unknown killer while she worked alone in a Houston gift shop. A spinal abnormality caused the bullet to ricochet off the vertebrae and lodge in her head. The bullet paralyzed her but didn’t kill her. At that moment she made a decision that would save her life. She chose to play dead. Webb could hear him rummaging through the cash register and then he returned to her. He rolled her over and looked at her for a moment. Then he pressed the barrel to her forehead and pulled the trigger. The gun misfired. Almost as an afterthought he pulled her pants down to her ankles and walked out of the store. Was he not buying her act? Was he planning to sexually assault her and was scared off by something? In later interviews, Webb said she really didn’t think he was aroused by pulling off her pants. It was almost as a last minute idea. Maybe he was trying to throw off the cops, or maybe his MO was changing. Was he becoming a sexual predator?
Vicki Webb lived and after many surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, she was able to walk again. She lived in fear that he would return to finish the job and for decades she kept her face out of the newspapers. It wasn’t until an episode of Dark Minds that she allowed an interview. She claims she wants to see her attacker in court just to show him that she won. I hope she gets the chance.

Some investigators have a hard time linking the I-70 slayings and the I-35 killings. Here are the facts as I have uncovered them. I personally believe they are the same man, but I will let you decide.

Location:
– All the hits were within easy access to a major interstate highway providing an easy escape
– All the targets were working alone in a small storefront type store

Victims:
– All the victims were shot execution-style in the back of the head
– No torture
– No sexual assault
– No major reconnaissance beforehand

Weapon: Here is where some investigators question the connection.
– The I-70 killer used a different .22 than the I-35 killer used

My explanations:
During the 16-month hiatus, there was a big media blitz. My theory is that he saw something on the news that scared him. So he changed weapons and location.
My researching continues on this case and I hope to write a book about this case. Hopefully, I can get it completed by the year’s end. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Below is a wanted poster to show the killer’s gun. If you have any information on this case please contact the St. Charles P.D. 1-800-800-3510 or contact your local police department.

wanted pic


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.


SABRE Red Lipstick Pepper Spray for Women – Pink, Maximum Strength OC Spray Used by Police Globally, Fashionable and Small, Safe and Easy to Use, Great Gift for loved ones, 12 Bursts, 10 Foot Range


The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen – Self Defense Pen and Window Breaker – Used in Police and Military Gear – Best Defense Ballpoint Pens with Free Pouch and 2nd Ink Refill


EDO 3 Pcs Cute Keychain Folding Pocket Knife, Self Defense Camping Outdoor Survival Folding Knife Mini Key Shaped Knife Gift(Multicolor, Gold, Silver)


I-70sketches