The Springfield Three refers to a triple missing persons case that started on 7th June, 1992. The three missing people are Sherrill Levitt, a cosmetologist and a single mother to Suzanne “Suzie” Streeter. Suzanne’s friend, Stacy McCall, was also with them when they vanished.
Suzanne and Stacy had just graduated from Kickapoo High School on 6th June, 1992. They were last seen walking home from a party at around 2am, but they were also seen at Battlefield at some point during the night. Suzanne and Stacy had planned to stay at their friends house, Janelle Kirby, but they decided that it was too crowded and decided to head to Suzanne’s house instead. Sherrill was at the house that night, and she was last heard from at around 11:15pm, when she had called a friend about painting a wardrobe. It is accepted that Suzanne and Stacy arrived at the house, as the next morning their clothing, jewellery, purses and vehicles were all at the house.
At 9am on the 7th June, Janelle Kirby and her boyfriend visited the house because Suzanne and Stacy had planned to go to the waterpark with her, but had failed to show up. Janelle found the front door unlocked, but there was no sign of the three women. Janelle also reported to police that the glass lamp shade on the porch had been shattered, but the light bulb itself was fully intact. With innocent intentions, Janelle’s boyfriend swept up the broken glass, and police think that by doing this, he accidently disposed of evidence. Inside of the house, Janelle found the family’s Yorkshire Terrier, Cinnamon, who reportedly seemed agitated. Also whilst inside, Janelle answered a “strange and disturbing” call from an unknown male who kept making “sexual innuendos”. She hung up, before receiving another phone call of “sexual nature” and hung up again.
Several hours after Janelle went to the house, Stacy McCall’s mother, Janis, visited the house after being unable to reach Stacy on the phone. Inside of the house, Janis noticed that all three women’s purses were in the living room, and Stacy’s clothes that she had been wearing the night before were neatly folded. Suzanne and Sherrill’s cigarettes were also left inside the house. Janis called the police from the house, to report the three missing, but after placing the call and checking the phone’s answering machine, Janis said she listened to a “strange message.” Police were really interested in listening to the message, and think that it “contained a clue”, but the message was inadvertently deleted before they could listen.
Stacy’s parents contacted the police more 16 hours after the women were last seen about their daughters disappearance. Worried friends and family called and visited the house the following day, which led to police believing that the crime scene had been corrupted by 10 to 20 people who visited the house. Officers noted that the house showed no sign of a struggle, except for the broken porch light, and saw that Sherrill’s bed had been slept in. All personal belongings of the women; cars, purses, the dog, had been left behind.
On December 31st, 1992, an unknown man called America’s Most Wanted hotline with information regarding the case. Police said that the man had “prime knowledge of the abductions”, but the call was lost after the operator tried to connect the line to Springfield investigators. Police have urged the man to contact them again, but he has never reached out.
Investigators reported a tip that the women’s bodies were buried in the foundations of the south parking garage at Cox Hospital, and in 2007 a mechanical engineer scanned a corner of the garage with ground-penetrating radar, and found three anomalies “roughly the same size” that he said were consistent with a “grave site location.” Two of the anomalies were straight, one was perpendicular. A police spokesperson then said that the person who gave the tip “provided no logical reasoning or evidence behind this theory” and they did not dig up the parking garage.
Robert Craig Cox, a convicted kidnapper and robber, as well as a suspect in a Florida murder, told journalists in 1997 that he knew the three women had been murdered and buried and he claimed that their bodies would never be found. It was then revealed that Cox had been living in Springfield in 1992, and when he was interviewed at the time of the disappearance he told police he had been with his girlfriend at church the morning after the women had vanished. At the time, his girlfriend backed up his claim, but she later recounted her statements and said that Cox made her say it. Police are unsure if there is any truth behind his claims, as they were able to confirm his alibi of being at home with his parents on the night of the triple disappearances. Cox has stated that he will reveal to authorities and journalists he will reveal what happened to the three women after his mother has died.
Despite receiving over 5,000 tips, as of 2021, this case still remains unsolved. Sherrill and Suzanne were declared legally dead in 1997, but their files are still under “missing.” A lot of questions come to mind with this case, including – what was on that answering machine? Did the message have any clues as to the disappearance, or was it simply just a hoax? And why was it deleted? Was it just some bad accident, or was someone trying to cover their tracks? Another question, is who was the unknown man that rang the tip line, and how did he know so much? If he was genuinely trying to help, why did he not call back?
Will we ever find out the truth about what happened that night?
True crime, unsolved, missing, group, teenager, USA