Katherine “Katie” Janness & Bowie

On July 28th, 2021, Katie Janness took her 3-year-old pit bull, Bowie, out for a walk. She entered a bar where her fiancee, Emma Clark, was working. She then left and entered Piedmont Park, in Atlanta.

When Emma got off work, she rode her bike back to the flat she shared with Katie. But neither Katie nor Bowie were home. Emma found this strange, as Katie didn’t normally take this long on her walks with Bowie. So, Emma checked Katie’s location on find my iPhone, and discovered that it was idle about 100 yards inside of Piedmont Park.

Emma called and texted Katie several times. As they all went unanswered, Emma decided to head to Piedmont Park to find Katie and Bowie herself.

When Emma reached the park, she discovered Bowie lying in the middle of the cement path. Bowie had been stabbed to death.

Emma then ran over to the spot where Katie’s phone had been pinging from. It was there she discovered Katie’s lifeless body.

Katie had been stabbed more than 50 times all over her body, including her face and neck. The letters “F” “A” and “T” had also been carved into her body whilst she was still alive.

The last image of Katie and Bowie. Credit: The Independent

Katie and Bowie’s death has been ruled homicides, and they are being thoroughly investigated by the Atlanta Police Department. The FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) has also been called to aid the investigation.

There were rumours that this had been a homophobic attack, not only due to Katie’s sexuality but also down to the fact that apparently a homophobic slur was carved into her body. There were also reports that a rainbow tattoo Katie had was violently stabbed, but these reports have not been confirmed or denied by the police, and still remains just a rumour.

Since Katie’s death, Emma started a GoFundMe and managed to raise over $79,000. Three-quarters of that were used on Katie’s funeral, with the leftover money she brought a new condo away from the midtown of Atlanta.

Some theorists have suggested that Emma was involved in Katie’s death, but there is no evidence to support this theory and Emma denies having any involvement with her death. Emma says she has been cooperative and helpful with the police and has asked them several times to publicly state that she is not a suspect.

Piedmont Park is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and whilst it was around 12am when Katie was attacked, police are certain that there are some witnesses who either saw Katie and Bowie, or the person(s) responsible for their deaths at around that time.

Atlanta Police and the FBI are urging anyone who was in the Piedmont Park area at around 11:45pm – 12:00am on the 28th of July 2021 to come forward with any information they may have. Even the slightest bit of evidence could help to arrest whoever is responsible for such a horrific attack.

There is a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in Katie and Bowie’s case.

Katie and Bowie. Credit: NY Times

Tags:

Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, Mystery, True Crime, Atlanta, FBI

Natalee Ann Holloway

Natalee Ann Holloway was an 18-year-old girl who went missing while on an unofficial high school graduation trip to Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean country.

Natalee was born on the 21st of October 1986 to her parents Dave and Elizabeth “Beth” Holloway, and she was the oldest of two children. In 1993, Natalee’s parents divorced and she and her younger brother Matthew lived with their mother. In 2000, Natalee’s mum married George “Jug” Twitty, a prominent Alabama businessman, and the family moved to Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Natalee attended Mountain Brook High School and graduated with honours in May 2005. Natalee was a member of the National Honor Society, the school’s dance squad and participated in other extracurricular activities. She was going to attend the University of Alabama on a full scholarship where she planned to study pre-med.

On the 26th of May 2005, Natalee and 124 other graduates of Mountain Brook High School departed America for a five-day trip to Aruba. The teenagers were accompanied by seven chaperones. The chaperones met with the students every day to ensure everything was fine, but according to Jodi Bearman, who organised the trip, the chaperones were not there to “keep up with the student’s every move”.

Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig has said that the students engaged in wild partying, excessive drinking and frequent room changes. The Holiday Inn they were staying at told them that they were not welcome next year.

Natalee is said to have drunk all day, every day whilst on the trip. She would often start her morning with cocktails and would drink so much that she missed breakfast twice. Some of Natalee’s classmates have agreed that her drinking was excessive.

Natalee was last seen at around 1:30am on Monday, the 30th of May by some classmates. Natalee was seen leaving the Oranjestad bar and Carlos’n Charlie’s nightclub in a car with 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot, 21-year-old Deepak Kalpoe (the owner of the car) and his brother 18-year-old Satish Kalpoe.

Natalee was scheduled to fly home later that day, but she never arrived at the airport. Her bags and passport were found in her hotel room. Searches were done for Natalee throughout the island and surrounding waters, but no sign of Natalee was ever found.

Natalee has not been seen or heard from since.

Natale Holloway. Credit: Wikipedia

Shortly following Natalee’s disappearance, her mum and step-father George, along with some of her friends, arrived in Aruba by private jet. Just hours after they arrived, Natalee’s family went to the Aruban police with the name and address of Joran van der Sloot, the man who Natalee was last seen with. Joran was identified by the manager of the Holiday Inn who recognised him on the videotape.

Natalee’s mum and stepfather, along with two police officers, went to Joran’s home. He initially denied knowing Natalee’s name, but he then told a story about what happened which was corroborated by Deepak Kalpoe, who was in the house at the same time.

They said that they took Natalee to the California Lighthouse area of Arashi Beach because she wanted to see the sharks. They then dropped Natalee off at the hotel at around 2:00am. According to Joran, Natalee fell as she got out of the car. He offered to help her, but she refused his help. Joran then says he saw Natalee be approached by a man in a dark black shirt, similar to those worn by security guards.

Hundreds of volunteers from both the US and Aruba started searching for Natalee. The Aruba government even gave civil servants a day off to participate in the searches, and over fifty Dutch marines conducted an extensive search of the shoreline. Aruban banks raised over $20,000 and provided support to the volunteer search teams.

Despite all of these efforts, no trace of Natalee was ever found.

Natalee did not appear in the hotel lobby’s surveillance on the night she went missing, according to reports. In 2006, Natalee’s mum Elizabeth made a statement that said that the two video cameras in the Holiday Inn were not working on the night Natalee went missing. However, in her book and several statements, she made she has indicated that the cameras were in fact working.

The police have said that Natalee did not have to pass through the hotel lobby in order to get to her room.

There were a few false leads in the search for Natalee, including a possible blood sample taken from Deepak Kalpoe’s car that turned out to not even be blood.

On the 5th of June, 2005, police detained security guards Nick John and Abraham Jones on suspicion of kidnapping and murder. The police have never released the reason as to why they were detained, but there are reports of statements made by Joran and the Kalpoe brothers which could have played a factor in their arrests. The former security guards were known for going to hotels to pick up women, and at least one of them had a past run-in with law enforcement. Both men were released on the 13th of June with no charges.

On the 9th of June 2005, Jaron and the two Kalpoe brothers were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering Natalee. Police commissioner Gerold Dompig has said that the investigation was focused on those three men since the get-go, and that police had been surveilling the three men (telephone wires and monitoring their emails, along with actually watching where they go) since three days after Natalee had gone missing. Pressure from Natalee’s family forced the police to end their surveillance early and arrest the men.

Joran’s Mugshot. Credit: Wikipedia

On the 11th of June, the Aruban Minister of Justice falsely said that Natalee was deceased and that the authorities knew the location of her body. The Minister quickly retracted his statement and claimed that he had been a victim of a “misinformation campaign”.

The same evening, Gerold Dompig admitted to the press that “something bad had happened” to Natalee after the three men took her to the beach, and that the suspect was leading the police to the scene. The next morning, the prosecution spokeswoman neither confirmed nor denied that statement, and instead said that the investigation was “at a very crucial, important moment.”

On the 17th of June, disc jockey Steve Gregory Croes was arrested. Police say that he was arrested based on the information given to the police by the three men in custody. He was later released with no charges on the 26th of June.

On the 22nd of June, Joran’s father, Paulus van der Sloot, was arrested for questioning. He was also released on the 26th of June with no charges.

During this time frame, the three men who had been detained had changed their stories. They all now claimed that Natalee had been dropped off at the Marriott Hotel with Joran, close to the fishermen’s huts. Joran then stated that he did not harm Natalee, but left her alone on the beach.

According to Satish Kalpoe’s attorney, Joran then called Deepak Kalpoe to tell the brothers that he was walking home and then sent them a text message forty minutes later.

At some other point during the investigation, Joran told investigators that he had actually been dropped off home and that Natalee was still in the car with the brothers when they drove off. Garold does not believe this account and thinks that Joran only said this account to try and place blame on the brothers.

On the 4th of July 2005, the brothers were ordered to be released, but Joran was able to remain detained for another sixty days.

A local gardener came forward with information. He claimed that a small pond close to the Aruba Racquet Club, which was in close proximity to the Marriott Hotel Beach, had been partly drained between July 27th and July 30th, 2005. Apparently, the gardener had seen Jaron try to hide his face as he drove into the Racquet Club with the Kalpoe brothers between 2:30-3:00am on the morning of Monday 30th May.

Another person, only known as “the jogger”, came forward having claimed to have seen men burying a blonde-haired woman in a landfill on the afternoon of the 30th of May.

The police had searched these areas in the days following Natalee’s disappearance, but they never returned any results. These confessions caused the landfill to be searched three more times, using FBI cadaver dogs to assist. These searches also brought no new results.

The FBI announced that the Aruban authorities had provided them with documents, interviews and evidence. One piece of evidence was a piece of duct tape with blonde hair attached to it. The hair was tested by the FBI twice, but it was confirmed not to have belonged to Natalee.

On the 26th of August, the Kalpoe brothers, along with a new suspect 21-year-old Freddy Arambatzis, were detained by the police. No public explanation was made for the arrests, but Gerold later admitted that it was an unsuccessful attempt at trying to make the boys admit more about what happened to Natalee.

On the 3rd of September, the boys were released by a judge on the condition that they remain available to police. On September the 14th, all restrictions on the boys were removed by the Combined Appeals Court of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

In the months following his release, Jaron spoke to several media outlets to recount his version of the night’s events. In March 2006, Jaron told Fox News that Natalee wanted to engage in sexual intercourse with him that night, but he declined because he did not have a condom. He also said that Natalee wanted to stay on the beach with him, but he had school the next morning so he got picked up at 3:00am by the Kalpoe brothers and left Natalee on the beach.

Jaron said that he did feel ashamed for leaving Natalee on the beach by herself, despite it being her own request, and that he wasn’t truthful at the start of the investigation because he believed that Natalee would just show up.

The FBI took part in several searches in January, March and April 2006 close to the Marriott Beach. These searches once again yielded no results.

Just before he left the case, Garold Dompig took part in an interview with CBS. During the interview, he said that he didn’t think Natalee was murdered, and instead succumbed to alcohol or drug poisoning and that someone hid her body. He said there were indications that pointed to possession, but not necessarily use, of illicit drugs of Natale. Natale’s family deny that she ever used drugs.

On the 15th of April 2006, Geoffrey van Cromvoirt was arrested by Aruban officials on suspicion of criminal offences related to narcotics, which may have been related to Natalee’s disappearance. He was released without charge on the 25th of April.

On the 17th of May 2006, Guido Wever, a son of a former Aruban politician, was arrested on suspicion of assisting in abducting, battering, and killing Natalee. He was later released following an agreement between his attorney and the prosecutor.

In April 2007, a combined Dutch-Aruban force took over Natalee’s case.

In that same month, Jaron released a book about Natalee’s case which gave his perspective of the night Natalee went missing. In the book, he admits he was not honest at the start of the investigation but maintains his innocence.

On the 27th of April 2007, 20 investigators searched Jaron’s family home. The investigators did not comment on what prompted the new search, but that it was not related to Jaron’s book. According to Jaron’s father, nothing suspicious was found, and all the police seized was diary entries of him and his wife and his personal computer. The computer was returned.

On the 12th of May 2007, the Kalpoe brother’s residence was searched by police. A statement from the police did not indicate what they were searching for but did clarify that nothing was taken. A statement was later given from the Aruban Prosecutors Office said that the reason for the search was “to get a better image of the place or circumstances where an offence may have been committed and to understand the chain of events leading to the offence.”

On November 21st 2007, Jaron and the Kalpoe brothers were arrested once more, with police saying that they had found new evidence. The three men were arrested on suspicion of involvement in “causing manslaughter and causing serious bodily harm which resulted in the death of Natalee.”

On December 1st, the Kalpoe brothers were released without charge. Jaron was released without charge on December 7th. The boys were all released due to lack of evidence implicating the boys in a violent crime, as well as lack of evidence that Natalee died as a result of a violent crime.

On December 18th, 2007, prosecutor Hans Mos officially declared Natalee’s case closed, and that no charges would be filed due to a lack of evidence.

Natalee was declared legally dead on the 12th of January 2012. Her body has never been found.

As of 2022, there have been no new arrests or suspects named in Natalee’s case.

Jaron was indicted in June 2010 with extortion and wire fraud, after telling Natalee’s family he would tell them where her body was located if they sent him an advance of $25,000, and then after he told them paid an additional $250,000. He received $15,000 through wire transfer, and then another $10,000 in cash.

Authorities then say Jaron provided false information as the house he said Natalee’s body was located in hadn’t been built at the time of her disappearance.

Jaron was also sentenced to 28 years in prison after shooting and killing Stephany Flores Ramirez, a 21-year-old business student in Peru.

It is unclear as to what the Kalpoe brothers are spending their days doing now, but it is thought that they still live in Aruba.

A jawbone that washed ashore in November 2010 in Aruba was thought to belong to Natalee, but several DNA tests have confirmed that it does not belong to her. The jawbone is believed to have come from a caucasian female, but it is unknown who it belongs to.

Hopefully one day Natalee’s family may get the answers, and justice, they deserve.

Natalee Holloway. Credit: Realscreen.com

As this case has a lot of detail, I have included some links to other articles that cover more details and information about Natalee’s case:

Wikipedia Article on Natalee’s case

Biography.com’s TimeLine on Natalee’s case

Journeyman Pictures: The Truth About Natalee Holloway Murder Mystery (2014)

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, Mystery, True Crime, Dissaperance

Haneul Oh

Haneul Oh is a Korean national who was living and studying in the US. She was last seen on December 20th, 2021, in Davie, Florida.

Haneul went missing under suspicious circumstances, but investigators and the FBI have refused to elaborate more.

Haneul is known to drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla, which is grey and has the New Jersey licence plate: L20NAZ.

Haneul would have turned 22 on January, 28th 2022. She is around 5″0′ and weighs around 105 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair.

Haneul has known ties to New Jersey, Baltimore, Maryland and Korea.

If you have any information, or if you’ve seen something/someone resembling Haneul or her car, please contact the FBI immediately.

Haneul Oh. Credit: FBI

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, True Crime, Mystery

Kendrick Johnson

On January 11th, 2013, the body of 18-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found inside of a vertical rolled-up mat in the gym at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia. Kendrick was a student at Lowndes High School.

The autopsy that was carried out by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) stated that Kendrick had died of positional asphyxia (where the position that someone is in causes them to not be able to breathe properly), and so investigators in Lowndes County ruled Kendrick’s death as an accident just 24 hours after his body had been found.

Investigators said that they believe Kendrick fell into the mat whilst he was looking for a shoe and died after getting trapped. Students at Lowndes High School said that it was common for students to store their shoes either behind or under the rolled-up mats. Kendrick was not wearing any shoes when he was found.

One student who shared a pair of Adidas trainers with Kendrick said that after gym class, Kendrick would always: “Go to the mats, jump up, and toss the shoes inside the middle of the hole.”

The mat in which Kendrick’s body was found. When he was found, the mat was stood upright. Credit: Wikipedia

Kendrick’s family were not happy with the outcome of the investigation and hired an independent medical examiner to conduct an autopsy. William R. Anderson conducted the autopsy on the 15th of June, 2013 in Heathrow, Florida.

Anderson found traces of blunt force trauma to the right neck and soft tissues and suggested that Kendrick did not die accidentally.

After the opinion of the private autopsy was released, Kendrick’s family announced that they believe Kendrick was murdered and retained the services of attorney Benjamin Crump.

On the 31st of October 2013, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore announced that his office would open a formal review into Kendrick’s case. After Benjamin Crump was not ruled to represent Kendrick’s parents in Georgia, he withdrew from representing the family and is no longer involved in Kendrick’s case.

Kendrick’s family then filed a legal action to open a coroner’s inquest into his death. However, the judge in the case delayed the outcome, stating that he was waiting for the conclusion of the U.S Attorney’s case. This then caused the family, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and other civil rights activists, to hold a rally at the Georgia State Capital in Atlanta.

The governor’s office then shortly released a statement saying that they would wait until the U.S. Attorney had finished their report on the case.

Kendrick Johnson. Credit: Oxygen.com

The independent autopsy also found that sometime between the autopsy by the GBI, and being transported through a funeral home, Kendrick’s body had been stuffed with newspapers.

The funeral home said that when they received Kendrick’s body, his organs had already been “destroyed through the natural process” and that they had been “discarded by the prosecutor before the body had been sent back to Valdosta.” The owner of the funeral home then stated that it was common practice to fill a void in a body using newspaper, sometimes even using cotton or sawdust as an alternative.

Kendrick’s family then filed a complaint against the funeral home, and an investigation by Georgia’s Secretary of State found that the funeral home did not follow “best practice” and that there was another material more acceptable than newspaper, but ultimately the funeral home was cleared of any wrongdoings.

Kendrick’s family then filed a civil lawsuit against the funeral home, seeking monetary damages.

Kendrick Johnson. Credit: Wikipedia

In November 2013, 290 hours of CCTV footage from 35 cameras that covered the gym area were released to the news broadcaster CNN following a court request.

A forensic analyst from CNN found that tapes from two cameras were missing 1 hour and 5 minutes of footage, and another set of tapes was missing 2 hours and 10 minutes of footage. Some of the missing footage was said to have been from camera systems that were not synchronised with each other.

Another reason for the missing footage is that the camera’s motion trigger wasn’t activated, therefore the cameras didn’t turn on.

The location in which Kendrick’s body was discovered was outside of the range of all of the cameras.

The missing footage made Kendrick’s family believe that parts of the footage had been purposefully edited by someone to remove whatever was on the tapes.

Kendrick Johnson was spotted on CCTV just a few moments before his death. Credit: NBC News

Kendrick’s family filed a “wrongful death” lawsuit against Lowndes County Board of Education, its superintendent and the principal of Lowndes High School. Their lawsuit said that Kendrick was: “violently assaulted, severely injured, suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, and subjected to insult and loss of life” on the 10th of January, 2013.

It is important to note that the lawsuit implied that there were racist undertones to Kendrick’s assault, but the suit never named the people or the races of the people who were allegedly involved in the January 10th assault.

The lawsuit said that the defendants ignored reports that Kendrick had been repeatedly attacked and harassed by a white student, and that the defendants were negligent and violated Kendrick’s constitutional right to equal protection based on race. It stated that Kendrick was attacked on a bus trip 14 months before he died and that another student at the school had a history of “provoking and attacking” Kendrick at school. It even stated that the provocations took place “in the presence of coaching staff and employees” after Kendrick’s mother had complained about the previous attacks.

The suit also alleged that the school officials “failed to properly maintain the activities of the students throughout all areas of the campus” and also “failed to maintain functioning video surveillance system.”

Unfortunately, this lawsuit was dismissed in court.

In August 2014, a $5 million lawsuit was launched against Ebony Magazine, after the magazine had published several articles that named the two students as the possible suspects in Kenrick’s death. Although they used fake names, the descriptions of the boys were incredibly accurate, down to the fact that their father was an FBI agent. In their lawsuit, the parents of the boys stated that their sons were not involved in Kendrick’s death, and they have not been considered suspects, but they have been harassed due to the articles being published.

The two brothers who were suspected to be involved in Kendrick’s death were spotted on CCTV in a different part of the school when Kendrick was in the gym, so while they may not be involved directly, it doesn’t exclude the possibility of them not being involved at all.

In January 2015, Kendrick’s family filed a $100 million lawsuit against 38 people, including; three of Kendrick’s school friends, local, state and federal officials, the school superintendent of Lowndes County, the Valdosta-Lowndes crime lab, the police chief of Valdosta, many sheriff’s deputies, the city of Valdosta, the state medical examiner, the GBI and five of its agents and one FBI agent.

This lawsuit alleged that the FBI agent ordered his two sons and a classmate to attack Kendrick, meaning that Kendrick’s death was a murder and that the other respondents engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the murder.

Kendrick’s mother and father. Credit: WTXL

In November 2015, Kendrick’s parents dismissed their own lawsuit, as the U.S Attorney’s Office was still investigating this case. They said that they hoped to reopen the lawsuit once the federal investigation had reached its conclusion.

Kendrick’s parents were then sued for more than $850,000 in attorney fees and $1,000,000 in defamation damages.

On the 20th of June, 2016, the Department of Justice announced that they would not be filing any criminal charges against anyone relating to Kendrick’s death. The Department of Justice stated that “there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone, or a group of people, willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights, or committed any other prosecutable federal crime.”

On August 10th, 2017, Georgia Judge Richard Porter ruled that the Kendrick family and their attorney had to pay $292,000 in legal fees to the dozens of people in their civil suit, saying that: “testimony shows that they had no evidence to support their claims that the brothers killed Johnson or that any of the other defendants engaged in a conspiracy to conceal the cause or manner of Johnson’s death.”

On the 10th of March, 2021, Kendrick’s case was officially reopened. Lowndes County Sheriff, Ashley Paulk, stated that the reopening of the case did not mean that he thought there was anything wrong with the original investigation, or that the original investigation conclusion of accidental death was wrong. The sheriff also noted that he does not think that Kendrick’s case is a homicide and that the two brothers who were originally accused of being involved in Kendrick’s case, are not considered suspects.

On February 1st, 2022, it was reported that Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk is offering $500,000 of his own money to anyone that comes forward with information that results in the arrest and conviction of a person for the alleged murder of Kendrick Johnson.

Paulk told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had been spurred to offer the reward after being accused by Kendrick’s family of being a liar.

After the release of my synopsis of the federal files on the Kendrick Johnson case, his parents have called me a liar and continue to state that Kendrick was murdered,” Paulk told Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ya’ll please know we’re not worried. We already knew that Paulk was gone lie.” Kendrick’s mother, Jackie, wrote according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Kendrick Johnson. Credit: Wikipedia

Whilst I usually like to report an unbiased account of what happened, with this case I feel compelled to share my thoughts that Kendrick Johnson was murdered, and most likely a victim of a racial-based crime. I have shared a petition below that is asking for Justice for Kendrick, which I highly recommend signing. I have also shared the Facebook Page “Justice for Kendrick Johnson” which is updated regularly by the family and supporters. I truly hope that whoever was responsible for Kendrick’s death gets brought to justice, and I for one will never stop fighting for Kendrick and his family.

Petition for Justice for Kendrick Johnson

Justice for Kendrick Johnson Facebook Page

Tags:

Unsolved, Injustice, Homicide, USA, True Crime, Investigation, FBI, Conspiracy

Sara Nicole Graham

18-year-old Sara Nicole Graham left her home at around 6:30am on Wednesday, the 4th of February 2015, to head to her job at the Wal-Mart in Pembroke, North Carolina. She was scheduled to start work at 7:00am, and her commute usually took around 20mins.

Sadly, Sara never made it to work that morning.

Sara Nicole Graham. Credit: womenadvance.org

Within fifteen minutes of her leaving for work, Sara’s Chevy Astro white van was found abandoned and locked in a wheat field, just a few minutes away from her home.

The people that discovered the van say that they did not see Sara, or anyone, in or around the van at that time.

The van itself was not damaged, nor was there any sign of a struggle from around the van (e.g. no broken dirt or track marks).

To add to this mystery, the van was found locked. Now, this type of van doesn’t just lock by itself. This means that somebody had to manually lock the van using the key.

The Fairmount Police Department started an extensive search for Sara, with the help of 140 volunteers and the K9 units, but unfortunately, they found no leads or no signs of Sara.

At the time of her disappearance, Sara lived with her father, Hubert, who was a Sergeant at the Fairmount Police Department, and her stepmother Connie, who was a deputy at the Fairmount Police Department.

After Sara went missing, Connie was fired from her job at the Fairmount Police Department, citing “Personal Issues” for the reason of her termination.

Sara is still considered a missing person. The FBI and Fairmount Police Department are urging anyone with information about Sara’s disappearance to come forward.

Sara’s Missing Poster. Credit: WMBF News

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, True Crime, FBI, Investigation, Mystery

Natasha “Alex” Carter

Natasha Carter was last seen in Beckley, West Virginia with her biological mother, Susan Gail Carter, on the 8th of August 2000.

Susan did not have custody of Natasha and was involved in an ongoing custody battle with Natasha’s father. Susan had told Natasha’s father that he would never see her again.

Natasha’s grandmother believed that she was afraid of her birth mother, and didn’t want to live with her.

It is thought that they could have travelled out of state, leaving West Virginia.

Natasha often went by her middle name of “Alex”.

Susan could be using the name “Susan Gail Carter Webb” or “Susan Gail Webb” and may have changed her appearance.

The FBI is offering up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the recovery of Natasha, and the identification/conviction of the people/person responsible for her disappearance.

Natasha at the time of her disappearance (left), and Natasha age-progressed to 29 years old. Credit: WOWKTV.com
Susan Gail Carter. The FBI has suggested that she may have changed her appearance. Credit: FBI

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, Missing Child, FBI, True Crime

JonBenet Patricia Ramsey

JonBenet Patricia Ramsey was born on the 6th of August 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Patricia (commonly known as Patsy) Ramsey and John Ramsey. She had one older brother, Burke, who was born in 1987.

In 1991, John, Patsy, Burke and JonBenet moved to Boulder, Colorado. Whilst living there, Patst enrolled JonBenet into lots of pageant contests. JonBenet won the pageant titles of America’s Royale Miss, Little Miss Charlevoix, Little Miss Colorado, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, and National Tiny Miss Beauty.

Jon Benet Ramsey. Credit: Wikipedia

On December 26th, 1996, Patsy realised that her daughter, JonBenet, was missing when she found a two-and-a-half page handwritten ransom note at the bottom of their staircase.

The ransom note demanded $118,000, which John would later tell police was almost the same amount of money that he got as a Christmas bonus the year before. This information suggested that someone who had access to that information was involved in the crime.

Investigators looked into possible employees at John’s business who would have had access to that information, whilst also considering the possibility that the number $118,000 may be a reference to Psalm 118: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, He is good! For His mercy endures forever!”

The FBI has said that the ransom note is unusually long, but also that it was very strange to find the note at the scene. Because of this, and the fact that the note had no fingerprints apart from Patsy’s and the authorities that handled it, the police believe that the note was staged. The note also used exclamation marks and initialisms a lot more than what is usual for ransom notes. The note, and a practice draft, were written using a notepad and pen from the family home.

A report from the Colorado Beaura of Investigation (CBI), there are “lots of indicators that the author of the ransom note is Patsy Ramsey”. However, a federal court ruled that it was highly unlikely that Patsy did write the note, citing six handwriting experts.

Board-certified forensic pathologist Michael Baden said that he had not seen anything like it in his 60-year career, and he believes that it was not an outside stranger who wrote the note.

The ransom note. Credit: The Guardian

Patsy called the police at 5:52am that morning. She also called other family members and friends to let them know what had happened.

Police officers arrived at Ramsey’s house within three minutes and conducted a search. They found no signs of forced entry. As JonBenet was still missing, John started to make arrangements to pay the $118,000.

A forensic team arrived, and as they believed that JonBenet had been kidnapped, they only cordoned off her room. The rest of the house was left open, and with family, friends, police officers and the family’s minister picking up items, touching furniture etc, a lot of potential evidence was destroyed.

Detective Linda Arndt arrived at 8:00am, with the intention of being there when the kidnappers sent more instructions – but they never did. There was also never any attempt to claim the money requested.

At 1:00pm, Detective Arndt asked John and their family friend Fleet White to search the house, to see if anything “seemed amiss.” They began their search in the basement, and within moments, John found his daughters body.

JonBenet with Patsy and John. Credit: The Sun

JonBenet was found with duct tape over her mouth and a nylon cord around her wrists and neck. Her torso was covered by a white blanket.

Despite being asked not to move her, John took the body and moved her upstairs. By moving her body, John had contaminated the crime scene and destroyed critical forensic evidence.

The autopsy revealed that JonBenet’s cause of death was strangulation and a skull fracture. There was no evidence of rape, however sexual assault could not be ruled out as there was evidence of a vaginal injury, and it appeared that her vaginal area had been wiped clean with a cloth. There was no semen present.

A length of nylon cord with the broken handle of a paintbrush had been used to strangle JonBenet. The bristle end of the paintbrush was found in a tub containing Patsy’s art supplies, but the other third of the paintbrush has never been found despite extensive police searches.

The autopsy also revealed a “vegetable or fruit material that may have represented pineapple” was found in her stomach. Photographs of the home taken on the day that JonBenet’s body was found showed a bowl of pineapple with a spoon in it on the kitchen table, but neither Patsy nor John remember putting the bowl on the table or serving pineapple to JonBenet.

Police did find fingerprints on the bowl that matched Burke, JonBenet’s older brother, but John and Patsy have always said that he was asleep throughout the night and did not wake up until several hours after the police had arrived.

JonBenet’s brother, Burke, spoke to Dr Phil in 2016. Credit: The Sun

The investigation focused primarily on John and Patsy, who were both interviewed for more than two hours during the preliminary investigation. Investigators also interviewed Burke within the first two weeks of the investigation.

By October 1997, the police department had over 1,600 people as persons of interest in this case.

In December 2003, forensic investigators extracted enough material from a mixed blood sample found in JonBenet’s underwear to establish a DNA profile. The DNA profile was tested against the DNA from the Ramsey’s, but it was no match to any of them. It was also tested against the FBI’s CODIS system, which has more than 1.6 million DNA profiles, but it was no match again.

As of now, all that is known about the DNA is that it belongs to an unknown male.

One theory, in this case, is that Patsy struck JonBenet in a moment of anger after a bedwetting accident, and then strangled her to cover the head injury up – thinking that she was already dead.

However, Patsy was never known to have had any “rage” moments. Burke even said that they were never spanked, or even that they laid a finger on them.

Another theory was that Burke had killed JonBenet, but police interviewed him three times, and there were never any concerns about him killing his sister. A child psychologist even stated that it appeared that the Ramseys had “healthy, caring family relationships.”

In 1998, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said that Burke was not a suspect in the case. In 1999, the Boulder County Distric Attorny’s office reiterated that Burke Ramsey was not a suspect in JonBenet’s murder.

A CBS show, The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey, used a group of experts to evaluate the case and the evidence. They came to the conclusion that Burke hit his sister in the head with a heavy object (potentially a flashlight that was found nearby) after she stole a piece of pineapple from his bowl, and that the ransom letter was an attempt to cover up her death.

On behalf of Burke, his counsel filed defamination lawsuits against CBS, the shows producers, and many of the people who were on the show due to the claims that the show had made.

The Ramsey Family. Credit: Hollywoodreporter.com

In 2013, previously sealed court documents brought to light that in 1999, a Colorado grand jury voted to indict the parents on “two counts of child abuse”, and said that the parents “did lawfully, knowingly, recklessly, and feniously permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health, which resulted in the death of JonBenet Ramsey, a child under the age of sixteen.”

However, the district attorney at the time refused to sign the indictment saying that the evidence provided was insufficient for prosecution. In 2002, the statute of limitations on the grand jury’s charges had expired.

Another theory, in this case, is the theory of an intruder breaking into the home and killing JonBenet.

Lou Smit, a detective in the case, came to this conclusion after assessing all the evidence.

On the night that JonBenet had been killed, two windows had been left slightly open to allow electrical cords outside for the Christmas lights, there was also a broken basement window and one unlocked door. Smit theorised that the intruder came through the broken window in the basement, subdued JonBenet using a stun gun, and took her down to the basement where she was killed. The intruder then left the ransom note and left. Former FBI agent John E Douglas agreed with his theory.

There was also an unidentified boot mark in the room where JonBenet’s body was discovered.

However, Smit’s theory has been criticised as there was an intact cobweb in the basement window. The steel grate that covered the window was also covered in cobwebs and the foilage outside of the windows had also been left undisturbed.

As of 2022, JonBenet’s killer still has not been found. Patsy passed away in 2006, at age 49, due to ovarian cancer. John and Burke Ramsey are still alive.

Hopefully, with the use of DNA technology, it won’t be long until the person who killed JonBenet is found.

Jon Benet. Credit: The Denver Channel

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Unsolved, Child, Murder, USA, True Crime, Investigation, Mystery, FBI

Christine Marie Eastin

19-year-old Christine Marie Eastin borrowed her ex-boyfriend’s car, a Ford Maverick, during the evening of the 18th January 1971. She planned to take a friend shopping and told her ex-boyfriend that she would take the car to a car wash before returning it to him later that evening.

Christine met her friend, and they went shopping where she purchased a pair of boots. Christine then dropped her friend off at her home and took the car to Charlie’s Car Wash, which was on Mission Boulevard in Hayward, California. The car wash was a self-service, and Christine cleaned the car with her hands.

In the early hours of January 19th, the car that Christine had been cleaning, was discovered abandoned at the car wash.

The car was locked, and it was evident that it had been cleaned by Christine. Papers that were originally located inside of the car, were found scattered on the pavement outside of the driver’s door.

Christine’s purse was found inside the vehicle, and there was no sign of her in or around the car. All of her personal belongings were at her house, and she had made no plans to travel.

No one has seen or heard from Christine since the 18th of January 1971.

Christine. Credit: California Department of Justice
What Christine would have looked like in 1999, aged 47. Credit: California Department of Justice

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Unsolved, Mystery, Missing, Missing Person, USA, True Crime, FBI, Investigation, California

Jennifer Joyce Kesse

Jennifer Joyce Kesse was born on the 20th May 1981 in New Jersey, USA. She studied at the University of Central Florida, and in 2003 she graduated with a degree in finance.

In January 2006, Jennifer is working as a finance manager at Central Florida Investments Timeshare Company in Ocoee, Florida.

On the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of January 2006, Jennifer and her boyfriend spent the weekend on holiday in Saint Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Isles.

They returned home on Sunday the 22nd of January, and Jennifer stayed at her boyfriend’s house that night.

On the morning of Monday, 23rd January, Jennifer headed straight from her boyfriend’s home to work.

At 6pm that evening, Jennifer left work and called her parents. She arrived home safely, and at around 10pm that same evening, she called her boyfriend to say goodnight.

This was the last time anyone would hear from Jennifer.

Jennifer Kesse. Credit: NBCNews.com

Between 8:00am and 9:00am, Jennifer’s boyfriend tries to call her on the way to work as he would usually have heard from her by then, but her phone goes straight to voicemail. He marks it down to a meeting that she mentioned. He did try to call her a few other times, but each attempt went straight to voicemail.

Within the same hour, Jennifer’s parents were informed that she had not shown up to work that day. They informed her boyfriend.

At 11:00am, Jennifer’s employer contacts her parents again to say that she still had not turned up at work that day. Jennifer’s parents begin driving from Tampa to Orlando. Her parents contact the manager of her condominium that she owned in Orlando, and ask the manager to check the apartment she had. The manager says that everything inside of the apartment looked normal and that her car was not parked outside.

Between 3:00-3:15pm, Jennifer’s parents and her brother arrive at her apartment. They find evidence that Jennifer had been home that morning, so they contact the police.

That evening, her family started distributing flyers in the area with her photo on, and police start searching her apartment.

Authorities have theorised that Jennifer was abducted between leaving her apartment and getting into her car, as there were no signs of forced entry at her apartment and no evidence that anyone besides Jennifer had been at her apartment that morning.

On Thursday, the 26th of January, just two days after Jennifer had been reported missing, her abandoned car was found parked at another apartment building just a mile away from her own apartment. Investigators found that there were several hidden security cameras at the parking lot where Jennifer’s car had been found.

After reviewing the footage, investigators identified a “person of interest” who dropped off Jennifer’s car at the parking lot at around 12pm on the day she disappeared. Unfortunately, whilst investigators were able to get photos of this person, the fencing from the apartment building has obscured their face in every shot.

The image of the person of interest. Credit: CBS News

None of Jennifer’s family or friends recognised this person, and the lack of being able to make out any distinctive physical features makes it incredibly hard to identify this person. The FBI did analyse this video and have managed to put the suspect at around 5″3′ and 5″5′. They were not able to determine the gender of the person.

Jennifer’s car was forensically examined, but all that was found was a fingerprint and a small DNA fibre. They suspect that her car had been wiped down. As some of Jennifer’s valuables had been left in the car, investigators were fairly certain that this wasn’t a robbery.

The items that are known to be missing are her mobile phone, her iPod, her briefcase and the clothes she was wearing. Attempts to try to ping her mobile phone have been unsuccessful, as her phone has been switched off the whole time. None of Jennifer’s bank accounts have been used since.

Investigators interviewed Jennifer’s close friends and family, to see if they knew anyone that was capable of hurting Jennifer. Jennifer’s boyfriend had a solid alibi and was ruled out as a suspect, as was her ex-boyfriend who had recently been trying to get back with her.

Her apartment at the condominium in Orlando had been undergoing major work at the time of her disappearance, and Jennifer had told several family members that the workers had been catcalling and harassing her. Due to a language barrier, detectives were unable to interview most of the workers. No other leads or investigations into the workers were found.

Jennifer’s work computer was also taken for forensic examination, from which detectives learnt that a manager at her workplace wanted a relationship with Jennifer, but that she denied him because she was uncomfortable with workplace relations. The manager was interviewed multiple times but was ultimately ruled out as a suspect.

Jennifer’s family and authorities are open to the theory that she may have fallen victim to human trafficking, but think that other possibilities are more likely.

As of June the 10th, 2010, the FBI are the lead investigators in this case. They are actively searching and pursuing any leads that come in.

Jennifer Kesse. Credit: News 13

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, True Crime, Investigation, USA, Florida, FBI

Brittanee Drexel

Brittanee Drexel was born in Rochester, New York, on the 7th of October 1991 to Dawn and a man of Turkish descent.

Shortly after Brittanee was born, her mother Dawn married Chad Drexel, who adopted Brittanee. Brittanee was described as enjoying soccer, and many family and friends say that she was very fast with the ball.

In 2008, Dawn and Chad separated. Brittanee took this hard, and it affected her performance at school. Brittanee also suffered from depression, and the separation of Dawn and Chad made her depression worse. Brittanee remained living with her mother, but also kept in close contact with Chad.

In April 2009, Brittanee asked her mom if she could go to Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, with her boyfriend and some other girlfriends for Spring Break. Dawn, her mom, refused. She said that she didn’t know any of the other teenagers who were going, and she had a feeling something bad would happen if Brittanee went on this trip. Myrtle Beach was also fourteen (14) hours away from their home in Rochester.

This decision led to several arguments between the pair.

That is, until the 22nd of April. Brittanee asked if she could go and stay at a friends house for a couple of days to calm down after the arguing, to which Dawn agreed. However, it was just a ruse.

Instead of staying at a friends house, seventeen (17) year old Brittanee left to go to Myrtle Beach with the other students.

Brittanee Drexel

On April 25th, Brittanee called Dawn from Myrtle Beach during the daytime. She told Dawn that she was at the beach, which didn’t alarm Dawn as she thought Brittanee was referring to a beach along the Lake Ontario shoreline. A trip to a beach along the shoreline made sense to Dawn as the temperatures were high that day.

At around 8pm on the 25th of April, Brittanee left her hotel, the Bar Harbor Hotel, and walked 1.5 miles (2.4km) south down South Ocean Boulevard to another hotel, the Blue Water Resort, to see a longtime friend who was staying there. Security cameras at the Blue Water Resort show Brittanee arriving, and then leaving at around 8:45pm.

Throughout her trip, Brittanee kept texting her boyfriend John Grieco, who had stayed in Rochester due to work commitments. At 9:15pm, when her texts suddenly stopped, John knew something was wrong.

John contacted her friends and the people she was staying with at Mrytle Beach to see if they knew where she was or what had happened, but no one knew anything.

John then immediately contacted Dawn, Brittanee’s mother, who had no idea her daughter was even at Mrytle Beach until John called.

Dawn then called Chad, and then the Rochester Police Department in hopes that they would establish communication with the South Carolina Police Force. Calls and messages to Brittanee’s phone remained unanswered.

Brittanee Drexel

Myrtle Beach Police began searching for Brittanee the next morning. They managed to identify that the last person who saw Brittanee was twenty-year-old nightclub promoter Peter Brozowitz. Brittanee and Peter knew each other from the Rochester area, and they had apparently met at a local nightclub the night before.

Interviews with Peter and the men with who he shared his room took place, but police said they had no persons of interest and that no one had been “ruled in or out.”

Brittanee’s phone pings were tracked on a path leading 50-60 miles (80-97km) south of Myrtle Beach, towards an area along the U.S. Route 17 near the Georgetown-Charleston county line. The pings had suddenly stopped on the morning of April 26th.

Authorities searched areas along this path and around Myrtle Beach for places where a body could have been dumped for eleven (11) days, but nothing was found. An apartment in Georgetown County was also searched, but this did not give any information to identify a suspect.

Brittanee’s mother Dawn, and nightclub promoter Peter, have had several confrontations on the TV show Dr Phil, where Peter has said he feels frustrated because his reputation has been ruined.

Dawn eventually relocated to Myrtle Beach to be closer to where Brittanee was last seen, and to keep an eye on the investigation. In 2014, on Brittanee’s cases’ 5th anniversary, Dawn gave a newspaper interview where she told her theory that Brittanee had gone against her wishes to go to Myrtle Beach because she had been “promised something” of interest, such as a modelling job.

Dawn believes that Brittanee had become a victim of trafficking, but the Myrtle Police doesn’t believe that this is a possibility due to their claim of “little or no trafficking” in their jurisdiction.

Brittanee Drexel. Credit: CBS News

In 2016, the FBI announced that they believed Brittanee had been murdered shortly after she had been abducted. They are offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to the case being solved.

FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz testified that earlier that year, he had been told by a South Carolina inmate, Taquan Brown, that he had gone to visit a stash house to give money to someone.

It was at this stash house that he saw another inmate, Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor, sexually abusing Brittanee with other people present. Taquan claimed that whilst he was there, Brittanee tried to escape, but got recaptured and pistol-whipped in the face. After Timothy and Brittanee were inside the house, Taquan heard two gunshots which he assumed were the sounds of Brittanee being killed.

Taquan then claims to have seen a wrapped body being removed from the house, which was then dumped in one of the alligator ponds in the area.

FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz said that Taquan’s statement was partially corroborated with information received from another informant, who remains unidentified but was an inmate at Georgetown County jail when he talked to the police.

According to the other inmate, Timothy Taylor had picked up Brittanee in Myrtle Beach and taken her to McClellanville, where he showed her off to his friends and intended to sell her to his friends for sex trafficking purposes. However, when the case started receiving heavy media attention, Timothy decided to kill Brittanee to avoid arrest.

This information came to light at a bond hearing for Timothy Taylor.

Timothy Taylor had been arrested for federal indictment for interfering in interstate commerce by threat or violence, which related to a 2011 robbery of a Mcdonald’s in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in which Timothy had been the getaway driver. He had already been convicted and sentenced to probation by the time the federal charges were brought against him.

In March 2018, Timothy took a lie detector test as part of his plea bargain negotiation. When asked if he had seen Brittanee after her disappearance, or if he knew that he was involved with her disappearance, the examiner concluded that Timothy was not being truthful.

After reviewing the results with Timothy’s lawyer, the examiner tried to continue the lie detector test, but Timothy was too angry to continue.

In December 2019, Timothy was sentenced to time served, 319 days.

Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor. Credit: WCIV

In February 2019, Taquan Brown gave a telephone interview to Rochester station WHEC-TV from the McCormick Correctional Institution.

In this interview, he claims that he saw Brittanee four (4) times after her disappearance. Whilst some of his claims can be backed up, some of the people he named could not be located.

Taquan has also filed a lawsuit against FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz and other federal officials who he said publicly identified him which has given him a reputation as a “snitch” that has put his life in danger. He also claims that Timothy has offered $15,000 to anyone that kills him, and that he has already been assaulted.

As of 2021, Brittanee is still considered a missing person, and no trace of her has ever been found.

On the 16th of May, 2022, the remains of Brittanee Drexel were found and positively identified through dental records and DNA.

Raymond Moody, 62 years old, has been charged with Brittanee’s murder, kidnapping and first-degree sexual misconduct (rape). Investigators believe that Brittanee was raped and murdered on the day she went missing, the 25th of April 2009. The arrest warrant for Raymond alleges that Brittanee was murdered by manual strangulation.

May Brittanee rest in peace.

Brittanee Drexel

Tags:

Missing, Unsolved, USA, South Carolina, Mystery, True Crime, Missing Child, Solved, Murder, Homicide, Missing Person