FSC: The Abduction of Morgan Nick: Alma, Arkansas: June 9, 1995

Morgan Nick 1995 and artist rendition of Age Progression

Alma is a small town of about five thousand residents. It’s known for being the spinach capital of the world. The iconic cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man is the symbol of The Allen’s Canning Company “Popeye Spinach” brand.  

Alma is about 20 miles west from the Oklahoma state border and about 20 miles north of the Arkansas River which winds through the state. I-40, the 2,555 mile stretch of interstate which moves west from Barstow, California, through Arizona, New Mexico, and the Texas panhandle will take one all the way through the state of Arkansas and into Memphis and ends in North Carolina. Portions of 1-40 pass directly through the town of Alma.

Highway 64 also runs east-west and stretches for 2,326 miles and was once the primary road used by travelers prior to the construction of I-40 still exists and goes through downtown Alma.  

An hour north of Alma is the city of Fayetteville the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks and a popular destination for college sports fans. Prior to 1999 travelers coming in from I-40 would have had to take what was then recognized as one of the most dangerous highways in America—Highway 71.  The highway twists through the Boston Mountains and small rural towns and beautiful picturesque scenic views of the Ozark Mountains.

In 1999, the Bobby Hopper Tunnel opened up I-540 (now designated as I-49), allowing travelers to bypass Highway 71 to travel to Fayetteville, originating at its southern point just a couple miles west of Alma. 

Thousands of travelers moving along I-40 will pass through Alma daily, never stopping as they move through Arkansas to Oklahoma or vice versa or make their way to I-49 heading north to Fayetteville or Missouri.

If one does stop, they do so perhaps because they need fuel or food. Some, however, who love roadside attractions will stop and take their picture with the giant bronze statue of Popeye erected in 2007 at the “Popeye Gardens about 4 blocks south of Hwy 64 in historic downtown Alma on Fayetteville Avenue.

Popeye Gardens, Alma, Arkansas

Most of those visitors will take their photos to upload on social media and leave soon after never realizing that less than a block west from the statue is the site of a crime that has haunted Alma and the State of Arkansas since June 1995.  Those that do stop and remember the crime, may not realize that as they pose in front of the statue, in what was a ballpark and now a parking lot, just over their shoulder and a stone’s throw away is where a beautiful six year old Morgan Nick was abducted by an unknown person and she has not been seen since, now 24 years later.

The Abduction:

Abduction Site

On Friday June 9, 1995 in the small town of Alma, Arkansas, families and friends enjoyed an evening watching their kids playing one of America’s favorite past times—a Little League baseball game.

Several people were in attendance, and amongst those were Colleen Nick and her six-year old daughter Morgan.  The two had been invited to attend the game that evening and had driven from their home in Ozark, Arkansas, about thirty minutes east to the Alma ballpark. 

Around 1030PM, a restless Morgan, begged her mother to leave the stands and go out into the parking lot with friends and chase after lightning bugs.  Although, Colleen was reluctant, she eventually relented.  Besides, from where she was sitting, Colleen could see her daughter as she played by the clothes she was wearing—a green Girl Scouts t-shirt and white tennis shoes.

Fifteen minutes later, however, the baseball game ending, Morgan’s friends returned, but Morgan did not.  The friends informed Colleen that they had last seen Morgan near her mother’s Nissan Stanza removing sand from her shoes near a man with a red pickup truck and white camper shell. 

After searching the parking lot and finding no sign of Morgan or the man with the red truck, local law enforcement were contacted.  Local police arrived within six minutes after receiving the call and given the description of Morgan as being 4 foot tall, 55 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.  

Other witnesses came forward and confirm the eyewitness accounts of the children who had been playing with Morgan and described the suspect as being a white male, between the ages of 23-38 and spoke with “hillbilly” accent.  They stated he was around 180lbs, medium build, about 6’ tall with slick backed salt and pepper hair, moustache and one-inch thick beard.

Composite Sketch of Alleged Suspect

They also described the truck as a red Ford, low wheelbase, with paint that seemed to have dulled due to age.  The truck had a white camper shell over the bed of the truck, but noticed the shell was shorter than the bed.  Over the windows of the shell were curtains. Lastly, it was noticed there was damage on the rear passenger side of the vehicle. 

Similar to Suspect Vehicle Description

Police began searching for the red pickup and hoped to find Morgan Nick, but had no luck finding her or the vehicle.  More disturbing is police learned the same evening when Morgan was abducted, a mother witnessed an unknown male driving a red truck in Alma attempting to lure her 4 year old daughter into his vehicle.  The following day, June 10th, another report came into law enforcement from fifteen miles away about another attempted abduction of a 9 year old girl in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  According to the witnesses the man matched the description of Morgan’s abductor. 

Local, county, and state police, as well as federal agencies such as the FBI and the US Marshals converged on the small town of Alma to begin the investigation and follow up on leads, to which there were several thousand.  Fliers were made with pictures of Morgan, and the case made national news as the media, law enforcement, and volunteers, canvassed the area, and tracked leads that led nowhere and soon the days turned to weeks, and weeks into months and months into years, and the case went cold. 

The ballpark would soon be torn down and turned into a parking lot.  Morgan’s mother Colleen started the Morgan Nick Foundation that is headquartered in Alma a few blocks from where her daughter was abducted. The foundation “provides a support network to parents and families of all missing children focusing on: Intervention, Education, and Legislation.”

Colleen Nick has become a well-respected advocate for victims, while she too still searches for her own daughter 24 years later, never losing hope that Morgan will be found alive. 

Over the last 24 years Law Enforcement insists the case is active and still receive tips, and have over the years investigated promising leads.  In 2002, police were alerted to a possible burial location of Morgan in the small town of Booneville Arkansas 58 miles southeast from Alma.  Searchers dug for a few hours and found nothing.

In December 2018 investigators revisited a home they first searched in 2010 that had once belonged to a convicted child molester having learned from a tipster that Morgan may have been buried in the backyard or in the well at a residence in Spiro, Oklahoma.  Spiro is 35 minutes south west from Alma.  Investigators searched the property but found nothing and discontinued their search efforts.

 

Law Enforcement Search Oklahoma Residence in 2018 for Morgan Nick

Utilizing the Modified Schrodinger’s Cat Thought Experiment Methodology Model (MSCTEM) To Re-examine the Abduction of Morgan Nick:

The MCSTEM has been created to examine cases that have gone cold, have little or no evidence left behind by a suspect and attempt to create a forensic triad through deductive reasoning by utilizing forensic tools from analyzing psychological criminal profiles, examining the Victimology, the geography, by formulating hypothesis based on the known facts of the case to arrive at a functional operational theory to aid in identifying a suspect; locating the missing person (alive or deceased), if deceased create a grid system to be searched for a disposal site of a deceased person, and aiding in identifying deceased victims who have been discovered but have not been identified through forensic technology. 

The MSCTEM is based off of Erwin Schrodinger’s Thought Experiment in which he posed a scenario involving a “hypothetical” situation in which a cat is locked inside a box with a small amount of radiation inside the box; Schrodinger opined that the experimenter has no way of knowing before opening the box if the cat is still alive or has died due to the release of the radiation.  Thus, he postulated that the cat just prior to the box being opened was in two states at the same time: dead and alive, and only until after the box is opened will the experimenter know for fact whether the cat is alive or dead. Schrodinger used this thought experiment to explain the tribulations scientist face in regards to Quantum Mechanics. 

The MCSTEM utilizes this thought experiment to better understand criminal psychology, missing person’s cases, unsolved cases, and unidentified person’s cases. For example, the MCSTEM not only questions whether the “cat” is alive or dead, it also suggests the “cat” may not be in the box, and thus, the box may hold all the answers as to why the “cat” is alive, dead, or missing; furthermore, the MCSTEM infers that the “box” containing the evidence is also missing, and in order to complete the forensic triad of connecting the victim to the suspect and both to the crime scene one has to locate the “box” where in many cases the victim or suspect(s) have possession of the “box”.

In order to complete the forensic triad when there is little or no forensic evidence left behind, no body, or no identification of a body, the MCSTEM establishes a deductive reasoning based profile on the suspect(s) and victims to attempt to construct a psychological profile of the suspect(s), to create waypoints to locate a missing person (in most cases disposal areas) or a profile of the unidentified person by using methods and protocols established by the FBI, and Forensic Investigators, who have studied multiple disciplines in their respective fields. 

The Abduction of Morgan Nick:

Morgan Nick at Time of Abduction: 6 years old; 4’11’’, 55lbs; 5 visible silver caps on her molars; green Girl Scout T-shirt, blue denim shorts and white tennis shoes

Date: Friday June 9th 1995

Time: Approx 10:45PM

Location: Alma, Arkansas; Little League Ballpark at the intersection of Walnut, Hendricks and Main Street. (Ballpark demolished, parking lot constructed after 1995)

Primary Suspects: N/A

Eyewitness Description of Possible Suspect: White Caucasian Male; 23-38 years of age; 6’0”; slicked back Salt and Pepper hair; mustache; 1” thick beard; spoke in a “Hillbilly” Accent.

Eyewitness Description of Possible Suspect Vehicle: Year model Unknown (UK) Ford, low wheel-base truck; faded red paint; white camper shell with curtains affixed on the windows (Camper Shell a few inches short of the bed of the truck) Damage to the rear passenger side; Possible Arkansas License Plate (UK)

Alleged Attempted Abductions by the Possible Suspect: Evening of June 9th, Alma Arkansas, a few hours before Morgan Nick was abducted, a mother claims a man resembling the composite sketch of Nick’s abductor attempted to abduct her 4 year-old daughter but she was able to prevent the abduction

June 10th, a day after Nick’s abduction, a 9 year old female was approached by a man matching Nick’s abductor at a gas station restroom in FT. Smith a few miles west of Alma, but again the attempted abduction was thwarted.

Investigation as of 2019: Although Law Enforcement continues to get leads, and have investigated a few promising leads over the last few years, the case is active, but the trail has gone cold.

It has been 24 years since Morgan Nick was abducted, and there have been no credible sightings, and she has not been found alive or deceased. 

Morgan Nick would be 30 years of age as of 2019.

Known Facts about the Crime:

Morgan Nick was 6 years of age at the time of her abduction. She was from Ozark, Arkansas 20 miles East of Alma, and was attending a Little League baseball game in the center of the town of Alma, Arkansas with her mother. 

There has been no evidence to date connecting Morgan Nick’s abductor to anyone she may have known. 

Thus, this crime can be ruled as being “Opportunistic”.

The Speculative Crime Classification Code:

319.03 Abduction Rape of a Child

Per the Crime Classification Manual Classification Code 319.03 is defined as:

“In an abduction sexual offense, a person is moved forcibly from one location to another. The sexual assault occurs at the second location. Victims may be adult, adolescent, or child.

Abduction by nonfamily members is defined in the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrown-away Children (1989) as the coerced and unauthorized taking of a child into a building, a vehicle or a distance of more than 20 feet; the detention of a child for a period of more than one hour; or the luring of the child for the purpose of committing a crime. Included in this category are stereotypical kidnappings that require that the victim be missing overnight, be killed, be transported a distance of 50 miles or more, be ransomed, or that the perpetrator evidence an intent to keep the child permanently.”

In the abduction of Morgan Nick, the crime appears opportunistic and the suspect was not specifically targeting Nick personally.  The crime is most likely sexually motivated, but what is unknown is if the suspect’s intent was to murder the victim or intended to keep the victim permanently. 

Because the evidence in the abduction of Morgan Nick is sparse, one has to rely on eyewitness testimony and deductive reasoning to form an operational theory as to creating a profile of the suspect, and in so doing attempt to determine the suspects intent after abducting the victim. 

Utilizing the MSCTEM, the suspect is in possession of the “box” and only the suspect knows the reasoning behind his crime, and his intent after committing the crime.

Even so, one can hypothesize three profile types:

  1. Serial Killer-Geographically Stable w/Hedonistic or Power/Control-Oriented Type Personality
  2. Serial Killer-Geographically Transient w/Hedonistic or Power/Control-Oriented Type Personality
  3. Sexual Offender/Suspect Typology Unknown

Hypothesis A:

Examining crime statistics by analyzing data from the NCIC, UCR, and MAP, there is no indication of clusters of murders or missing person’s in the geographical areas in or near Alma, Arkansas.  Thus, the outcome is a failure to reject the null hypothesis.

Hypothesis B:

Examining the eyewitness accounts in regards to the alleged suspect in the abduction of Morgan Nick, because the means of transportation with the capacity to sleep in the bed of the vehicle, and no known sightings of the alleged suspect’s vehicle after the abduction, one cannot rule out the suspect is a geographically transient serial killer with hedonistic or power/control-oriented personality type.  Thus hypothesis B will be accepted and will be labeled as Hypothesis 1B.

Hypothesis C:

There are four sex offender typologies recognized by Law Enforcement:

  1. Power Reassurance Rapist
  2. Power Rapist (Power Assertive)
  3. Anger Rapist
  4. Sadistic Rapist/Ritualistic Rape

Because of the suspect’s predatory behaviorism exhibited by the alleged attempted abductions of at least two other juvenile females, and the known abduction of Morgan Nick, statistical data show 80.6% of child abductions by nonfamily members is sexually motivated.  Therefore one can deduce that the suspect is a known/unknown sex offender and thus hypothesis C will be accepted and will be labeled as Hypothesis 2C.

Hypothesis 1B (H1B)

H1B surmises that the suspect in the abduction of Morgan Nick is a geographically transient serial killer with hedonistic or power/control-oriented type personality. 

This report bases H1B in part on the means of transportation utilized by the suspect as alleged by eyewitnesses at the scene of Morgan Nick’s abduction is indicative of a suspect who is transient in nature and travels often utilizing the bed of the vehicle covered by a camper shell to sleep.  H1B is also based on the lack of leads in regards to the suspect after the abductions and opines this may be because the suspect left the state of Arkansas immediately after the abduction.

Because of the suspect’s transient nature his crimes will be difficult for law enforcement to detect his movements throughout the United States.

The suspect in H1B is between the ages of 35-45 years of age, avid hunter and outdoorsman who prefers to be isolated and being outdoors. 

The suspect may be a skilled laborer in construction type work, and finds work in his field that affords him the means to afford transportation allowing him to travel, where upon arrival he will look for and accept menial jobs, being paid under the table. 

The suspect does not target victims according to a particular look, but according to their age and prefers Caucasian females between the ages of five and twelve.

The suspect does not covet his victims and will most likely murder and dispose of the victim within thirty minutes to an hour after abduction, and his method of murder is strangulation.  It cannot be ruled out that after the suspect strangles the victim he does not mutilate his victims.

The suspect commits his crimes when the job has ended or once he has enough money to leave the area. 

The suspect prefers small urban towns versus rural areas or large urban areas.  He most likely prefers towns bordering rural areas that provide opportunities to hunt and fish and camp for short periods.  The suspect will familiarize himself with campgrounds and state parks and most likely disposes his victims at these locations across the country before leaving the state or the area for another location.

The suspect may in fact crisscross the country returning back to a state after a period of time to revisit the crime scene and the disposal site of his victims.

The suspect is of average intelligence, most likely “street smart” versus “book smart” and is skilled in bartering. 

If still alive, the suspect may now be in his late 50’s early 60’s and may still be active or has been incarcerated for unrelated crimes. 

Hypothesis 2C (H2C):

H2C theorizes the suspect is a known/unknown sexual offender. It is more likely that at some point the suspect has been arrested or accused of a sexual offense prior to 1995 or after 1995.

Statistical data suggests the target age of a suspect within the sex offender typology is 27 years of age, lives at home with a parent or parents, or lives alone.  Most often, the suspect is unemployed, or has a poor work history. 

Although H1B speculates the suspect may be transient, and has left the state of Arkansas based on the eyewitness description of the suspect’s vehicle and the fact the suspect’s vehicle has not been found in the general area, one cannot rule out the suspect discarded the vehicle soon after the crimes and yet lives in Arkansas or Oklahoma and for unknown reasons no one has tipped the police to the owner of the suspect’s vehicle. It also must be noted that eyewitnesses believed the truck had an Arkansas License Plate.

This report theorizes the suspect will be between the ages of 23-33 at the time of the abduction.

The suspect was unemployed or worked part time and most likely lived with family, perhaps a single parent home, most likely the suspect’s mother. It cannot however, be ruled out the suspect was married, divorced or dating at the time of the abduction.

The suspect most likely had a criminal record at the time of the abductions that made it difficult for him to find stable employment, but one cannot rule out the suspect had a juvenile record that had been expunged; however, this report theorizes the suspect has a troubled mental/criminal history that has caused him to be incarcerated or institutionalized prior to the abductions.

H2C theorizes the suspect may have been identified by a tipster to police, but police overwhelmed by the thousands of tips received in the aftermath of the abduction overlooked the suspect because he did not fit the description of eyewitnesses.

Bivariate Suspect Analysis:    

Examining H1B and H2B, this report theorizes that whether or not the suspect is a geographically transient serial killer or local sex offender with an unknown typology, the abduction was sexually motivated, opportunistic, and the suspect did not kidnap with the intent to hold the victim captive for a long period of time.

This report theorizes the suspect’s (whether the suspect is transient or local) intent was to abduct, rape, and murder the victim from the outset and not to abduct and afterwards hold the victim captive. 

This report theorizes the suspect calculated the risk/reward of his predatory behaviorism and proceeded to hunt for his victim with the intent to abduct, rape, and murder the victim and then dispose of the victim in a remote location in order to prevent the victim from being discovered afterwards. 

The suspect may have disposed of the victim in a remote location as opposed to an easily discoverable location for two reasons: avoid detection, and/or to revisit the scene afterwards. 

Thus, the report theorizes that whether or not the suspect is a geographically transient serial killer or local sex offender with an unknown typology the crime was premeditated in the sense that he had calculated the risk/reward of his actions based on his sexually motivated impulses, set out to prey upon an opportunistic suitable victim, and moved quickly to a remote location to avoid detection within a ten to fifteen mile radius (as the crow flies) and disposed of the victim’s body in a predetermined remote location.

As a result of the bivariate analysis H1B and H2C will be accepted and labeled as Operational Theory 1.

Operational Theory 1:

H1B and H2C have similar implications in which the suspect is a sexual offender with an unknown typology and the report is not necessarily dependant to qualify the results by identifying the suspect but to establish a profile based on the suspect’s behaviorism which suggests the suspect more than likely murdered and disposed of the victim’s body within 2 hours of the abduction.  Thus, the operational theory is the victim is more than likely in a remote location within a 10-15 mile radius as the crow flies from the site of the abduction.

This operational theory is primarily based on statistical data in regards to nonfamily member child abductions which are most likely sexually motivated. This report also takes into consideration the suspect’s calculated risk/reward factor that theorizes the suspect knew right from wrong, was aware of the risk in regards to being captured due to his predatory behaviorism, and therefore, at least in the suspect’s mind, reduced his risk of capture by preying on juvenile victims he assumed were not being looked after, and once he abducted the victim set forth to reduce the risk of capture by murdering the victim in a remote location and disposing of the body within two hours to further avoid detection and capture. 

Furthermore, if in fact the suspect attempted to abduct a child the following day, one can speculate that the suspect felt more empowered afterwards.

However, if one does take this attempted abduction into consideration it suggests that the suspect did not leave the area of Alma immediately.  Nevertheless, the validity of this second eyewitness account of attempted abduction is unknown and unverified, but cannot be ruled out. One may infer however if this account is accurate the suspect had by this time disposed of his victim and although empowered, once this attempted abduction was thwarted the suspect recalculated the risk/reward and aborted further attempts to abduct another victim and left the vicinity soon after.

Operational Theory 1 theorizes the suspect is sexually perverse, and fits the profile of a geographically transient serial killer, but this report cannot determine whether this particular abduction is part of a series of murders or if the suspect is a serial rapist/sex offender of an unknown typology that is not transient but lives locally but by examining the Bivariate suspect analysis can justifiably theorize regardless of the sexual offender’s typology the suspect’s intent to abduct was sexually motivated, the victim was murdered and disposed of in a remote location as opposed to stereotypical kidnappings with an intent to ransom, rage/homicide or keep the victim captive. 

Instead, Operational Theory 1 infers that the suspect most likely soon after the opportunistic sexually motivated abduction, murdered the victim and disposed of the body in an area within 10-15 miles from the epicenter (location of abduction).  The suspect then left the state soon after, or lived nearby within thirty miles from the epicenter.

The Intent to keep type of Stereotypical Kidnapping cannot be ruled out, but this report theorizes the suspect’s intent was sexually motivated with intent to murder. Statistics and data obtained from the DOJ, NCIC, UCR, and NISMART–3 show 8% of victims were kidnapped with the intent to keep and most if not all of the victims were infants. 

Nevertheless, this report takes into account cases in which sexually motivated abductions have resulted in victims being held captive after the abduction.  Even still, this report also recognizes that in many of these known cases of sexually motivated abductions in which the victim was held captive the suspect was a nonfamily member who had some slight acquaintance with the victim. “As defined in NISMART, a slight acquaintance is a nonfamily perpetrator who could be a person the child or family did not know well enough to speak to, a recent acquaintance whom the child or family knew for less than 6 months, or someone the child or family knew even longer but saw less than once a month.” In other cases defined as intent to keep stereotypical kidnappings the victim may not have known the suspect but the suspect targeted the victim prior to the kidnapping and planned the abduction and the crime was not opportunistic.  

Operational Theory 1 theorizes the suspect had no intention to keep the victim in this particular case and had not known the victim prior to the abduction or specifically targeted the victim prior to the abduction and proposes the abduction was opportunistic, random, and sexually motivated with intent to murder and then conceal the body to avoid detection.

Body Disposal Pathway:

It is important to note the various pathways the suspect may have utilized in order to dispose of the victim’s body.  Because the victim’s body has not been recovered, which also leaves open the “intent to keep” scenario, one has to assume the suspect:

  1. Murdered the victim at one location and afterwards transported the body to another location to conceal the body
  2. The body of the victim was left “as is” at the site of the murder with no attempt to conceal, but left in a remote location making attempts at locating the murder/disposal site difficult to find
  3. The body of the victim was left at the site of the murder and the suspect took the time to conceal the body after the murder.

*This report rules out the scenario in which the suspect “dumped” the victim’s body in a location in an open public area as opposed to “concealing” or leaving the body “as is” in a remote location.  

The three body disposal pathways are all plausible and cannot be ruled out.  The FBI Behavioral Science Unit states that pathway B, “The Body Left as is” as the most common body disposal scenario because attempting to conceal the body results in the suspect taking on additional risks:

The movement of the victims’ bodies by offenders increases the chances that an offender may be seen or identified in the vicinity of the murder site and/or disposal site. This movement is extremely risky for an offender, yet these offenders are compelled to move the victims. There are two main reasons offenders’ concealed victims’ bodies:

• To delay or prevent discovery

• In order to place time and distance between themselves and the victims

Complexities in Locating the Disposal Site:

Unfortunately, there is no empirical data utilizing spatial analysis to determine locations of disposal sites of abducted children by examining the geographical behavior of child abductors.

Although criminologists, sociologists, and behavioral scientist have made important strides in better understanding crime and criminal behavior (See Rational Choice, Crime Pattern, and Routine Activity Theories) that may be helpful in aiding law enforcement and communities to develop Situational Crime Prevention techniques, this data cannot predict the seemingly at random distance, or the methods used by a criminal in the case of child abductions to dispose a body.

In fact, the most practical solution is to begin at the epicenter, the place of abduction and expand outwards, and this makes investigating these crimes more difficult for law enforcement, unless the body of a victim is dumped in a public and easily accessible location.

For example, the surface area of the United States is 3.797 million square miles. Of those 3.79 million square miles, roughly 47% of this is not inhabited. 

To put this into perspective, the surface, excluding the depth, the Atlantic Ocean covers 41.1 million square miles. The maximum depth of the Atlantic Ocean is recorded as 5.273 miles.

The RMS Titanic is by far one of the most historically recognized tragic shipwrecks that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in April of 1912 after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Of the 2224 people on board, more than 1500 would perish at sea, some bodies were recovered after, but many people went down with the ship. 

In 1912, the news of the sinking of the Titanic made headlines worldwide, and there were tribunals held to hold those responsible for the mistakes made that led to the ship’s demise.

Technology did not exist in 1912 to locate the wreckage although proposals were made to attempt to salvage the ship in the immediate aftermath.  None of these attempts came to fruition due to the fact the depth of the sunken ship was near impossible for humans to dive. In later years, as technology advanced, multiple research teams sought to locate the missing ship and were unable to find it because although researchers were aware that the ship had gone down 350 miles from the coast of Newfoundland, the initial distress call made by the Titanic crew to report its location was inaccurate further complicating the search. 

The discovery of the Titanic by Robert Ballard and his team, with cooperation by the US Navy was not made until 1985 nearly 8 years after other teams including Ballard set out to locate the missing ship.  The ship was found at a depth of 2.37 miles underwater in the Atlantic Ocean which on its surface covers 41 million square miles. 

When examining factors in determining pathways in discovering a disposal site of a murder victim, the search for the Titanic demonstrates the difficulties law enforcement and search teams face. 

In the case of the search for the Titanic, researchers were never uncertain that the Titanic was missing, and had documented evidence to aid in their attempts to locate the sunken ship; however, it still took competent scientist and explorers nearly 8 years to find the missing ship. 

When attempting to find a logical pathway in locating a disposal site of a murder victim there are no certainties, and most discoveries are made by complete happenstance by hunters, or farmers or hikers, days, weeks or years after a victim has been murdered.

An attempt to hypothesize potential pathways to locate a disposal site of a murdered victim becomes more difficult because of multiple unknown variables the offender might have taken to dispose of the body. For instance, it is unknown if the victim was buried, and if so, did the burial take place in a remote, but public location or if the suspect buried the victim at their own personal property wherewith a probable cause search warrant would be needed in order to search the person’s private property. 

There have been multiple cases in which suspects have gone to great lengths to dispose of a body from cremating the remains, to placing the victim in a barrel, to taking those barrels and disposing of them in bodies of water. 

These unknowns are discouraging to law enforcement, volunteer search teams, and more importantly the families and loved ones of the victims. However, while understanding the difficulties this report will attempt to create a search grid in order to search a possible location(s) of a disposal site.

Locating Possible Disposal Sites by Analyzing the Geography, City and County Data:

Geography:

Location site of Abduction and Multiple Highways

The city limit of Alma, Arkansas is roughly 5.9 square miles with a population of 5,738 as of 2017.

The city of Alma is located in Crawford County, in the western region of Arkansas near the Oklahoma state line and is roughly 604 square miles. Of the 604 square miles 593 is land and 11 is water.

Alma, Arkansas is in a region known as the Arkansas River Valley, with the Arkansas River due south, and it borders the Ozark Mountains to the north.

 

5 major highways intersect or move directly through the city:

                I-40 and Highway 64 east-west

I-49 (previously I-540) and Highway 71 intersect in Alma in a north bound direction

Highway 162 south

Railroad tracks are located three blocks north of the Abduction site running east-west

Alma is surrounded by multiple rural communities.

Crime Rate:

“Overall the crime rate in Alma is 91% higher than in comparison to the state of Arkansas average; and is also 152% higher than compared to the national average.”

Although most reported crimes involve theft, and property crime, violent crimes, including assault and rape are not uncommon with 11 reported rapes and 37 reported assaults in 2017; however, there were zero murders reported.

As of July 2019 26 registered sex offenders lived in Alma. In Crawford County the County Sheriff’s office states there are approximately 150 registered sex offenders living in the county at anytime.

Weather:

On June 9th 1995 the mean temperature was 79.8 with a maximum of 91.0 and a mean dew point of 69.7, with zero precipitation; 9.5 MI visibility, Mean Wind Speed: 8.86MPH

Location of Abduction:

Little League Ball Park (which has since been torn down and now is a parking lot) located at North Main (east-west) Hendricks Street (north-south) and Walnut Street (east-west). The site is now adjacent to another ballpark south of the abduction site, and to the east of the abduction site is the Alma Water Department. The abduction site is approximately two blocks west from Fayetteville Avenue which serves as Alma’s main street, and the Alma City Police Department which is on the corner of Walnut, Fayetteville, and Main Street is three blocks from where Morgan Nick was abducted.

Due east of the Abduction site, within one mile is farmland and approximately three miles is a body of water known as Frog Bayou that winds its way south through Alma then turns east for a few miles approximately five miles south of the abduction site until it intersects with the Arkansas River.

Offender-Victim Contact Theory:

Morgan Nick and her mother Colleen had been invited to attend a local little league ball game in Alma Arkansas. 

It is unknown as to why the suspect was at the ballpark. 

One possible hypothesis according to the Routine Activity Theory is that the suspect was most likely not invited to the park, but was in Alma by chance hunting for a “suitable target” in which the guardian of the child was not present.  Therefore, it’s possible to surmise that the suspect was lured to the ballpark by the bright ballpark lights as he drove through the city. The Routine Activity Theory stipulates three necessary conditions for most crimes: a likely offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian, coming together in time and space. The lack of any of the three elements is sufficient to prevent a crime which requires offender-victim contact.

Based on eyewitness accounts of an alleged attempted abduction earlier in the evening in Alma that was thwarted by the child’s parent, apparently the suspect was not deterred by this, and continued to search for a suitable target and perhaps by happenstance was drawn to the ballpark by the bright lights and may have only arrived at the park within ten minutes before finding Nick alone and absent her mother or other adults who were at the time busy watching the final innings of the ballgame.

Direction of Travel by Suspect after Abduction Hypothesis:

The direction of travel taken by the suspect after abducting Morgan Nick is unknown. 

Although it has been reported that local police arrived on scene within six minutes after Morgan Nick was reported missing, it is unknown how much of a head start the suspect had before Law Enforcement arrived.  One could postulate that the suspect may have had at least a fifteen to twenty minute head start before Law Enforcement were contacted to report Morgan Nick as being missing.

If one assumes the suspect had at least a fifteen minute head start the suspect could have driven as far south past Westville towards the Arkansas River on Hwy 162. The suspect could have driven as far north as Mountainburg via Hwy 71. The suspect could have driven east to Mulberry, Arkansas via Hwy 64 or I-40. If traveling west the suspect would have been able to enter into Oklahoma via I-40. 

Nevertheless, even if one assumes the suspect had a fifteen to twenty minute lead time prior to Law Enforcement responding to the missing person call, it does not mean the suspect believed he wasn’t running against the clock and time was of the essence to get away from the site of the abduction to an isolated location. 

If one takes into consideration that the suspect believes he is running against the clock and is unaware of who might have actually witnessed the abduction, he may have felt impending pressure to move quickly out of site and off any major highways. Considering that it was night time and the suspect is unable to see if Law Enforcement vehicles are approaching or following him, the risk of traveling for an extended period of time versus the reward of being able to proceed with the sexually motivated abduction may have persuaded the suspect to move away from the city limits of Alma into the closest rural and remote location.  It is also plausible the suspect had one or more predetermined locations he had previously scouted out or had been familiar with prior to the abduction and drove directly to this location.

The Crime Pattern Theory postulates that criminals have typical spatiotemporal movement patterns and as a result, the most probable area for a criminal to break the law is not far from their normal activity and awareness space.  In other words, the abduction site, the crime of abduction and finding a suitable victim was opportunistic, but the rape/murder/body disposal site or sites were fixed locations the suspect may have been familiar with.

Examining the geography of Alma starting from the epicenter (the location of the ballpark Morgan Nick was abducted) and branching out it would seem the quickest route the suspect may have taken to reach a remote rural location would be to take Highway 162 towards Kibler, Arkansas or to head east towards Franklin County towards Mulberry and possibly as far as highway 23 known as the Pig Trail.

If the suspect leaves the site of the abduction and travels north to reach Highway 64, he would have driven through multiple stop signs and stop lights if his intention were to head north via 71, or west via 64 towards Fort Smith, and would have had to driven through a busy intersection to approach I-40. 

Although one cannot rule out these scenarios, it seems if the suspect were in a hurry and believed he were in a race against the clock to stay ahead of law enforcement, the direction to lead the suspect towards the quickest rural and isolated areas would have been to head due south towards the Arkansas River bottom lands, or southeast towards the river north of Frog Bayou or further southeast of Frog Bayou towards the Clear Creek Park Campground. Though it is also possible that the suspect went east towards Franklin County via 64 towards 23 in Ozark Arkansas.

The twenty mile radius is within Franklin County. However this report proposes searching areas due south and southeast then moving outwards from the epicenter at five mile increments expanding outwards in a 20 mile radius.

Searching these specific areas due sout however may be problematic due to flooding and if any of these particular sites had been used to dispose of a body, it’s possible all evidence would have been washed away 24 years later. 

After examining the satellite imagery of the geographical area within a ten mile radius “as the bird flies” from different periods in time from 1994 to present day, there are 10 “points of interest” that have remained undeveloped from 1995 to 2019, most of them due south or southeast of the abduction site.

Analysis of Plausible Disposal Site(s) Locations:

Plausible Disposal Site Locations within a 10 Mile Radius Moving Outward from Epicenter

This report theorizes that the suspect after abducting Morgan Nick most likely would have sought to drive to a remote rural location as opposed to attracting more attention to himself by driving through town and would have as a result been more inclined to travel south from the abduction site to avoid detection and complete the sexually motivated crime he set out on June 9th 1995 to commit.

After examining the geography of the city of Alma, Arkansas starting from the site of the abduction being the epicenter and branching outwards and reviewing satellite imagery that has shown areas of development and areas that have not been developed over the last 24 years 10 points of interest have been located in which may have been seen by the suspect as rural, remote, and afford him privacy and a pathway to dispose of a body either “as is” or take the time to “conceal”.

There are 2 possible search locations which may be on personal property in which permission or probable cause search warrants would be needed to conduct an extensive search. 

8 of these locations however are on public lands and a warrant or permission to search would not be necessary. 

Report Findings:

This report does not dispute the known facts of the case and finds that Morgan Nick was the victim of abduction by an unknown nonfamily member on Friday June 9th 1995 from a ballpark parking lot in the town of Alma, Arkansas at approximately 10:45PM CST.

This report does not dispute the eyewitness accounts of the description of the suspect’s vehicle as being a Ford pick-up truck, red, but faded due to exposure and time, and a white camper shell covering the bed of the truck a few inches short had been installed on the vehicle at the time of the abduction.

This report does not dispute the eyewitness accounts that a person matching Morgan Nick’s abductor attempted to, but was thwarted from abducting at least one young juvenile female prior to and on the night of Morgan Nick’s abduction. However, this report cannot rule out but does call into question whether or not the same suspect attempted to abduct another young juvenile female the following day is factual, coincidental or fabricated.

This report cannot dispute the descriptive details given to law enforcement by eyewitnesses about the suspect seen at the ballpark prior to abducting Morgan Nick.  Although, this report does not dispute the suspect is a white male, it does attempt to clarify the suspect’s age at the time of the abduction based on the criminal typology of the offender. 

This report has examined the known facts of the case, peer-reviewed reports, criminal profiles, case data, and statistical analysis reported by multiple agencies in an attempt to bring closure to the family of Morgan Nick by establishing an operational working theory that

  1. examined the offender typology
  2. Examined the offender motive
  3. demonstrated a plausible offender-victim contact theory
  4.  examined the geography of the abduction site and surrounding areas
  5. Examined stereotypical kidnapping data
  6. Examined pathways of potential body disposal scenarios
  7. Examined the most plausible direction of travel the offender would have taken after the abduction
  8. Examined and located 10 points of interest that have not been developed over the last 24 years as plausible body disposal sites.

Report Summary:

The Operational Working Theory established by this report examining the abduction of Morgan Nick on June 9th 1995 in Alma, Arkansas concludes:

  1. The suspect is a known sex offender; but cannot establish whether the suspect is a geographically transient serial killer, or a local sex offender with an unknown offender typology, but argues that the differing variable of the two types of offender is the age of the offender at the time of the abduction and the transient offender would have moved out of the area after the crime as opposed to staying in the area; but, either type of offender could have had the same motivation, acted impulsively after finding a suitable suspect, moved towards a remote rural location after the abduction for the purpose to avoid detection and to dispose of the body.
  2. The Criminal Classification Code for this specific crime would be 319.03 Abduction Rape of a Child (with intent to murder)
  3.  Although it cannot be ruled out, based on the empirical data the report theorizes the crime was sexually motivated, with intent to murder the victim as opposed to holding the victim captive.
  4. The victim was most likely murdered within two hours of being abducted.
  5. The victim was most likely disposed “as is” as opposed to being “dumped” or “concealed” in a remote rural location within a ten mile radius “as the crow flies” from the abduction site.
  6. The route taken by the suspect after the abduction was most likely in a southern or southeastern direction which would be the quickest route to a remote, rural location even if the suspect had a fifteen to twenty minute lead time before law enforcement were contacted. The suspect would have most likely behaved as if he were running against the clock and would have wanted to be off the highways and in a rural area as opposed to traveling a greater distance from the point of the abduction.
  7. The victim is most likely disposed of in a location south or southeast within a ten mile radius “as the crow flies” of the site of the abduction in a rural, remote, and undeveloped area.
  8. 10 points of interest have been designated as possible disposal areas that have not been developed over the last 24 years. 8 locations are accessible by the public and 2 locations may be on private property.
  9. Although, this report has designated multiple search areas south and southeast of the epicenter, it does not rule out the disposal site is further within a 20 mile radius “as the crow flies”.  There are multiple areas of interest within a 20 mile radius, but recommends to search these areas first as one branches out from the epicenter, and if after these areas are thoroughly searched recommends pushing the search grid further by moving out to a fifteen mile radius, searching within that grid, and branching out to 20 miles if there are no results in the recommended search areas. 

Report Conclusion:

It is recommended that the 10 points of interest designated as possible disposal areas be searched. After 24 years however, with many of the designated locations being near bodies of water, one has to conclude evidence may have been washed away by flooding if in fact these areas were used by the suspect.

The MSCTEM is no different than most experimental models in which the only way to test the legitimacy of the model and the methodology is to follow the steps in the Scientific Process. 

Thus, the conclusion of this report finds itself at step 3 in the scientific process, and the next step would be to test the hypothesis by conducting a search in the 10 points of interest designated as possible disposal sites.

Therefore, hopefully in August, I will begin searching these areas in Alma Arkansas personally. 

I will be reporting my progress as I search the designated areas, although it will take me a considerable amount of time to search each and every location. 

Weather permitting, and if financially able to afford the expenses, I hope to begin the search as early as the first week of August and continue through October or until I find closure for the victim and the victim’s family.

Disclaimer: I do not represent the family of Morgan Nick or any Law Enforcement Agency. All theories listed on this site are my own.

If you have any information in regards to the abduction of Morgan Nick please contact:

Investigating Agency

  • Alma Police Department 501-632-3930
  • Arkansas State Police 501-783-5195
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 202-324-3000

Data Utilized in this Report:

Morgan Nick Foundation

2017 NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics

Murder Accountability Project

Profiles in Terror: The Serial Murderer By RONALD M. HOLMES, ED.D., AND JAMES E. DEBuRGER, PH.D. University of Louisville

Serial Murder Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators Behavioral Analysis Unit-2 National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime Critical Incident Response Group Federal Bureau of Investigation

Investigative Case Management for Missing Children Homicides Christine O. Gregoire Attorney General of Washington & U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Child Abductors Who Have Killed Their Victims: A Theoretical Approach to Spatial Analysis Tonya M. DeSa Graduate Center, City University of New York

Child Victims of Stereotypical Kidnappings Known to Law Enforcement in 2011 Janis Wolak, David Finkelhor, and Andrea J. Sedlak

Case Management for Missing Child Homicide Invesitgation

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

THECHARLEYPROJECT

NAMUS CASE PROFILE Morgan Nick

Crime Classification Manual: John Douglas, Ann W. Burgess, and Robert Ressler isbn 9781118421536

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FSC: Darlie Routier: Capital Murder Case: June 6th 1996 Rowlett, Texas: Wrongful Conviction Theory

Darlie Routier and her son’s Devon, Damon & Drake
Darlie Routier 1996 Mugshot
Darlie Routier on Death Row
Devon and Damon Routier

Murderers will often stage crime scenes. There have been cases in which people have injured themselves to make it appear as though they were assaulted by an unknown intruder only for law enforcement to discover the wounds were self inflicted or created by an accomplice.  In most of these cases, due diligence by professional police and forensic examiners will examine the case effectively and find the “victim” premeditated the murders and caused their own injuries. The “victims” will go to great lengths to cover up their role and certainly one could argue that by creating a self inflicted injury is by far an extreme measure taken to create the illusion of their innocence. 

When these types of crimes occur, when a spouse or children are killed, motive is as important as forensic evidence.  The motive and the known facts of the case and forensic evidence often support the same operating theory allowing law enforcement to find evidence that supports the “victim’s” story is fabricated, and their wounds and the scene has been staged. 

As one examines these types of cases there is always a motive that will be the catalyst which will begin a chain reaction and set all other events into motion.

In the case against Darlie Routier there seems to be little evidence of motive to conclude she is guilty of the crime of murder.

Starting with the 911 call made by Routier on the morning of June 6 1996 at 231AM from her suburban home in Rowlett, Texas, a clearly distraught mother screams for help. Her two sons 6 year old Devon and 5 year old Damon have been attacked, stabbed, and are dying.  Police arrive in less than three minutes to find a bloody crime scene, Darlie’s husband Darrin attempting to do CPR on one of their children, the other son pronounced dead at the scene.  They find Darlie has also been stabbed, with wounds to her arms; her neck cut 2 millimeters from severing her carotid artery, bruising and abrasions on her arms all signs indicative of defensive wounds as she shielded herself from an unknown intruder.  Paramedics rush Darlie and her son to the hospital. He would not survive, but Darlie recovered.  Both boys were buried together a few days later. 

Darlie informed investigators that an unknown white male had broken into her home. Investigators found signs that a window leading into the garage where the screen was cut open.  75 feet away from the house a tube sock had been discarded near a drainage ditch leading into an alleyway and the sock had blood drops with both her sons DNA.

Still, investigators immediately began focusing on Darlie as the murderer.  Their forensic examiners could find no evidence of an intruder, and believed that Darlie caused her own wounds and believed her motive was because she and her husband were having financial difficulties. 

Eight days after the murders, the crime was still unsolved. The story made headlines across the country as the community grieved and worried about the safety of their own families, Routier and others in her family visited the gravesites of her two boys on what would have been Devon’s 7th birthday.  A television crew filmed the “birthday party”, the boys headstone decorated with colorful balloons, and Routier laughing as she and others sprayed “Silly String” onto the graves.  

The district attorney, as well as others viewed this news footage and were disgusted at what that believed was a lack of remorse by a “grieving mother” and a few days later Routier was arrested and charged with capital murder. 

 The state of Texas made a compelling case against Routier, from blood splatter experts, to evidence suggesting that a knife inside the home had forensic evidence showing it had been used to cut the screen outside.  This evidence pointed to the scene being staged, that Routier had cut the screen, then placed the knife back in the home, then stabbed her boys, ran 150 yards, 75 yards to dispose the sock, 75 yards back to the home, cut herself purposefully, then contacted 911 claiming an intruder had broken into the home.  They painted Routier as coldblooded, egotistical, and evil, and showed the jury the news footage of her celebrating her son’s birthday at his gravesite, and Routier was found guilty and sentenced to death row where she still sits to this day 22 years later. 

During those 22 years as Routier sits on death row, she has never changed her story, those closest to her, including her husband remain loyal to her, and they stayed married up until 2011 when they finally divorced. Even so, her husband still proclaims that Darlie is innocent. 

Legally, appeals have been made, and most have been denied, and although a federal court has concluded that the state should turn over evidence to the defense to test a bloodied fingerprint and reanalyze the DNA evidence since DNA testing has drastically improved since 1997, the state seems reluctant to comply with the orders. 

The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that has led to the freeing of more than 360 wrongfully convicted people involving those on death row like Darlie Routier are actively involved in the Routier case as of May 2019. 

Although it is difficult to fathom why any person would murder someone, it becomes more perplexing when a mother kills her own children.  In 1994, two years before Routier made that horrifying 911 call, another mother contacted 911 to report that while she was stopped in her car at a red light, an African-American man approached her, forcefully pulled her out of the vehicle and drove off into the night with her two sons sleeping in the back seat. 

The story made national headlines as a young, white mother, Susan Smith from South Carolina tearfully pleaded on television for the African-American man who had carjacked her to return her two boys.  There was a massive manhunt conducted by police, but from the outset certain parts of Smith’s story didn’t add up.  Smith had stated she had been stopped at a traffic light that had turned red although there were not cars moving through the intersection. Investigators knew that the light would not have turned red for her unless another vehicle had approached the intersection activating the sensor. 

For nine days Smith continued to plead with the abductor to bring back her boys on national television, while investigators began looking into the possibility that Smith had made up the story and knew where her son’s were.  Although polygraph tests are not always reliable, it can be an effective tool when interrogating a suspect, investigators asked Smith to take one and she failed and soon after failing she broke down and confessed to having made up the story, and had killed her two sons by taking them to a local lake, placing her car in neutral, releasing the parking brake and rolling the car into the waters.  The car was found soon after 120 feet from the ramp to the lake, her two boys inside the car drowned, and Smith was arrested for murder. 

Smith was convicted of the murders and incarcerated and will not be eligible for parole until the year 2024. However, in this particular case, when examining the motive, investigators learned that she had been involved in an affair with a man where she wanted a serious relationship but he refused because he did not want children.  However, one could also surmise that Smith intended to commit suicide but at the last moment got out of her car, and pushed the vehicle into the lake. 

Smith’s case is important to understand when examining the Routier case.  The Routier case happened on the heels of the national headlines where a mother pleaded innocence and for the life of her children while knowingly having murdered her children.  People felt betrayed by this deception and in Routier’s case one could surmise that investigators, the jurors, the city had made up their minds to never be made fools of again by another self-centered, vapid woman who wanted to free herself of her children who were making it difficult to live her lavish lifestyle.  They were not going to feel sorry for the bleached blond who’d had breast enhancements, and was living beyond her means, in debt to credit card companies, and behind on their mortgage, and thus, there would be no sympathy for Darlie Routier. 

Never mind the wound to Routier’s neck which was 2mm away from slicing her carotid artery. To prosecutors and to several who had examined her at the hospital, one would think by their reaction that it was just a flesh wound and that the 2mm difference was as far away as the sock that had been thrown 75 yards away from the house.   When in fact the 2mm difference is about the size of the head of a sharpened pencil, and had it been cut there’d be no trial for Routier because she would have most likely died while still lying on the couch. 

The lies and deception of Susan Smith, who could on command openly weep and plead for the return of her children and had duped an entire nation when she confessed meant there was no way this bubbly “bimbo” who had the audacity to smile and laugh and spray “silly string” at her dead son’s grave would ever receive a fair trial.  Her fate had been sealed, and even if the news crews had filmed her fainting and crying and wailing and gnashing her teeth instead of spraying “silly string” it wouldn’t have mattered it would have all been an act. 

So it’s no surprise that the forensic evidence supported the theory that Routier premeditated the crime, cut the screen to the window in the garage, then killed her children, disposed of a sock 75 yards from her home, returned, then cut her own neck, stabbed her arm and her chest, and caused bruising that covered her hands to her elbow on one arm, then proceeded to stage the crime scene to look like an intruder had broken in and called 911 while the crime scene was still fresh, and no blood had coagulated and one of her son’s still clinging to life and had he lived could have pointed out his mother as the person who stabbed him, again never minding the fact that a mere 2mm’s to the right Routier would have bled out and there’d be no need to write about this.

Therefore using the Modified Schrodinger’s Cat Thought Experiment Methodology (MSCTEM), the purpose of the examination is to reexamine the known facts of this particular case.   The MSCTEM has been established as a tool to examine missing persons, unsolved homicide, and unidentified body cases in attempt to create a profile of a possible suspect(s), identify a unclaimed body, or help determine how a person became missing and what steps may be utilized to locate the missing person. 

Although, the state of Texas considers the Darlie Routier case and the deaths of her two children as “solved” and the suspect, Routier, has been arrested, tried and convicted and sentenced to death, this report will re-examine the state’s evidence against Routier. This report will be non-biased and will rule out Routier as suspect if the facts substantiate this.  However, if the facts substantiate the case against Routier, this report will make that conclusion. 

Primary Suspects:

In the Routier case there are three primary suspects:

  1. Darlie Routier
  2. Darrin Routier
  3. Unknown male suspect(s)

Location: Rowlett, Texas middle class neighborhood (Suburb of Dallas) 2 story home end of cul-de-sac at 5801 Eagle Drive.

Date and Time: June 6, 1996 231AM

Brief Summary of Crime and Darlie Routier’s Conviction: On the night of Wednesday June 5th, 1996 Darlie Routier, her husband Darrin, and their three sons six year old Devon, five year old son Damon, and the youngest son 7 month old Drake were at home watching television.  They made popcorn and the two oldest boys retrieved their blankets from upstairs and stayed up with their mother to watch a movie.  Darrin took the youngest son upstairs and they fell asleep.  Darlie and her two eldest sons stayed in the living room and fell asleep. 

First floor of Routier Home
East View Back of Home as seen from Alley

According to Darlie at some point she was awakened by her son Devon pushing her shoulder and she witnessed a man in her home.  The man took off running and ran out of the house, dropping the murder weapon, and broke a glass. The house was dark and Darlie turned on the lights and only then realized that she was covered in blood and so were her two boys and she began screaming. 

Darrin, asleep upstairs, woke up to the sound of breaking glass, and then heard his wife screaming. He hurried downstairs.  Darrin states everything was happening so fast and he hadn’t noticed the injuries to Darlie, but realized his youngest son, although severely injured was still alive, and began doing CPR. As he did, blood gushed from the wounds.  Darlie called 911 around the same time and was on the phone with operators for about 6 minutes.  Officers arrived at the scene around three or four minutes after Darlie made the call to 911 and immediately secured the home in case the intruder was still inside. Finding no one in the house besides the family, the officers allowed paramedics to enter the home.  Devin was pronounced dead at the scene, while Damon and Darlie were rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, Damon was pronounced dead, and Darlie was rushed to surgery and would survive although she also had multiple injuries. 

Crime scene investigators began looking for evidence soon after.  Multiple investigators made statements that from the outset it appeared to them that the crime scene was staged.  Investigators noted that Darlie had made it known during the call to 911 that she had touched the knife prior to police arriving to explain why her prints would be on the weapon.  They also noticed that at the kitchen sink blood from Darlie had dripped down the cabinet doors and after utilizing Luminal on the sink the tests showed that the sink had been cleaned where blood had been present. This suggested to investigators that Darlie had most likely cut her neck and caused the other injuries to herself at the sink, and then attempted to clean up the blood. 

The murder weapon was a knife taken from inside the Routier home from a butcher’s block.  Investigators argued that if the intruder’s intent were to kill, the intruder would have most likely brought their own weapon as opposed to using what was inside the home.  They also noted that while there was jewelry and other valuables in plain sight, nothing appeared to have been stolen.  Blood spatter evidence also suggested that blood on the back of Darlie’s shirt was that of her two sons and they speculated that the only way the blood could have formed where it was on her shirt was if she were wielding the knife, stabbing her children, and the blood drops came from the knife as she lifted it over her head as she was swinging.

Darlie remained in the hospital for two days and after she was released she and her husband were interrogated on several occasions. The two came voluntarily and without a lawyer.  Investigators claim that Darlie changed her version of how the events unfolded at least three times during those interviews but never arrested her. 

On what would have been their eldest son’s Devon’s seventh birthday, the Routier family and several friends celebrated the boy’s birthday posthumously at his gravesite.  They decorated the gravestone with balloons. A local news channel filmed a portion of the event that showed Darlie smiling and laughing and singing Happy Birthday as she and another person sprayed “Silly String” on the graves of her two recently murdered boys  

This video was shown on the nightly news and many people, including the district attorney were “disgusted” by what they believed was an evil, self centered mother, behaving inappropriately just days after her sons’ were brutally murdered. 

A few days after the segment aired on television Darlie was arrested and charged with the murder of only her youngest son because in the state of Texas because of his age, it would allow the state to seek capital punishment. 

The trial lasted for about five weeks, and arguably one of the most crucial pieces of evidence examined by jurors was the news cast of the Routier family celebrating her son’s birthday at the cemetery.  After the jury deliberated for a day and a half, and having asked to review the video tape of the party several times, the jury elected to find Darlie Routier guilty and she was subsequently sentenced to die by lethal injection. 

Darlie remains on death row as of 22 years later, and only recently in the last few months after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Routier to test the evidence 8 years ago has the state of Texas allowed for new testing on DNA and fingerprint evidence to begin. 

Darlie and Darrin stayed married until 2011 when they divorced amicably according to several reports.  Darrin still supports his wife’s innocence.

The Motive According to the State of Texas:

Although the Routier’s appeared to be living the American Dream on the outside, law enforcement found evidence that the Routier’s were deeply in debt.  Darrin had started an electronics company in Texas and was doing quite well, allowing them to build a very nice home in an affluent suburb of Dallas near the lake.  They purchased expensive vehicles and a boat, and traveled often.  At some point however, Darrin’s business slowed, and they fell behind on credit card and mortgage payments and had been recently refused a loan. 

Investigators also found Darlie’s journal and discovered an entry made by her in May of 1995 in which she wrote about contemplating suicide.  Law enforcement believed that Darlie was an unhappy stay at home mom, and believed her son’s were preventing her from living a frivolous, carefree life, and overtime became angry blaming her sons for her predicament and concocted a plan to murder them and stage the crime as a burglary gone wrong. 

The state ruled Darlie’s husband out as a suspect knowing Darrin had been in bed during the crime, and there was no blood evidence showing he had been involved in the murder of his two eldest sons. 

The State’s Theory of Motive is Problematic:

One would be hard pressed to find another case in which a mother has been convicted of a capital murder utilizing a theory the state of Texas has established as Routier’s motive.  In fact one of the only cases that fit the state of Texas’s operating theory is the murder of 10 year old Joel Kirkpatrick in 1997. Kirkpatrick’s parents were divorced, and on the morning of October 13th, he was with his mother Julie Rea per the visitation arrangement at her home in Lawrenceville, Illinois.  Rea woke up when she heard screaming and as she went to her son’s room she encountered an intruder who began beating her. The intruder used a knife found inside the home and dropped it when confronted by Rea.

As in the Routier case, Rea was the primary suspect in the stabbing death of her 10 year old son.  Her case was also built on circumstantial evidence and blood spatter evidence in which an “expert” deemed Rea were wielding the knife. The state also assassinated her character, using the fact that at one time she had wanted to have an abortion. 

Rea was convicted by a jury of her peers, but was not sentenced to death.  When her case was profiled on television an author who had worked on a book about a serial killer named Tommy Lynn Sells recognized Sells MO and on a hunch she wrote the serial killer who was on death row in Texas for rape and murder and suspected of anywhere between 10 to 70 murders across the United States. Sells wrote the author back and informed her that he had killed a boy in Illinois and had been startled when his mother entered the room and dropped the knife, beat her and ran away. As a result, the state of Illinois overturned Rea’s conviction and she was freed from prison. 

The prosecution in Routier’s case has claimed that Routier has “selective amnesia” a sarcastic way of saying she chooses to forget specific details of the case when she is cornered about details of the crime.  In Rea’s case however, she did see her attacker and described him in detail and she was still convicted. Nevertheless if you review the case against Susan Smith, she also was able to identify the African-American man who took her car and kidnapped her two children, although in Smith’s case she fabricated the entire story. 

In Routier’s case it was not one specific piece of evidence that led to her conviction, but the totality of evidence put together that built a relatively strong circumstantial case.  However, most would argue it was the video of Routier celebrating her son’s birthday eight days after the murder that the DA claimed was as if Routier was “dancing on her son’s grave”, that sealed her fate. 

However, what prosecutors did not show the jury was where law enforcement had actually “bugged” the gravesite and videotaped the Routier’s earlier at the cemetery before the news media arrived and filmed the infamous “Silly String” footage.  The reason this was not shown in court is there had been no warrant given to bug the Routier’s. Law enforcement did so because they believed maybe they would catch the Routier’s confessing to the crime at the grave. That did not happen and instead what they filmed and what they heard was the exact opposite of a mother “dancing on her children’s graves and instead witnessed and heard a grieving family lamenting the loss of their child.  Video of police Surveillance not shown in court

In fact, one of the jurors has gone on record to say if they had viewed the video that was secretly taped by law enforcement they would have most likely voted to not convict Routier. 

Another crucial piece of evidence not heard by the jury was the testimony of one forensic expert who after reviewing Damon Routier’s autopsy stated that due to the severity of his wounds and the blood loss as a result, from the time he sustained his injuries he would have only lived 9 minutes.  The prosecution was aware this would have most likely gone against their theory because their argument is Routier, after stabbing Damon left her home, ran 75 yards to plant the sock, ran back 75 yards, caused the multiple injuries to herself, then contacted 911 which she was on the phone with for nearly 6 minutes.  During Routier’s call and at the time first responders arrived at the Routier home Devon was still alive.  This would mean that Routier would have had at the most three minutes to perform all these actions after she stabbed her son.

The financial motive also seems in question because although there was life insurance on both sons, the amount was $10,000 dollars and the funeral costs approximately $14,000 dollars.  However, the life insurance policy against Routier was nearly half a million dollars, so it would seem if this crime was financially motivated that Darrin Routier would have had a motivating factor to kill his wife, or Darlie Routier would have had motivation for killing her husband, but there’d be no motive to kill the children. 

The prosecution’s push to arrest Routier without further examining other aspects of the case was rushed, and the push to bring her to trial and convict was also done within 6 months from the day Routier called 911.  This does not mean the prosecution’s case is wrong, but what it does suggest, most especially in a capital punishment case, is that it begs the question as to if law enforcement and prosecution rushed to judgment focusing on Routier within minutes of arriving at the home in Rowlett, Texas and as a consequence created an environment of Group Think in which the case against Routier was nothing more than a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.  Although there is evidence to suggest something more sinister may have taken place at the home and Darlie Routier was a victim, by rushing the case to arrest and convict it gives the appearance that police and prosecutors purposefully overlooked any evidence that would show Routier is innocent.

The 911 Call:

Listen to 911 Call Here: 911 Call

Darlie Routier contacted 911 at approximately 231AM.  The case against Routier has postulated there is evidence in the taped conversation pointing towards Routier’s guilt by claiming the call is scripted.  Prosecutors point to the statement Routier makes about having found a knife and had picked it up then later states the police may have been able to get the prints off the knife if she hadn’t have picked it up. 

However, when reviewing the transcript it seems that when Routier makes this statement she is talking to police who have already entered the home and is making the police, not the 911 operator aware that the intruder had gone into the garage but had dropped the knife.  The 911 operator hears Routier make this statement and informs Routier not to touch anything, and only then does Routier make the statement she had already touched it and picked it up. This conversation between 911, Routier and what appears to be an officer who has already arrived in the house and begins searching the home for the intruder in the garage happens at 4 minutes into the conversation. 

When reading the transcript and listening to the recorded 911 call, it appears Routier is speaking at times to the operator, at other times to her husband who has come down stairs after waking up to her screaming, and then later to the first officers who arrived at the home, as well as speaking to her son Devon who at this time is still alive and she is telling him to “Hold on”. 

First responders on the scene did not allow paramedics into the home on arrival, because first responders were unsure if the intruder was still inside the home or not.  The scene is chaotic, and Routier wants paramedics tending to her son, while police need to secure the home and it seems that there is a miscommunication between Routier and the 911 operator.

The taped call is difficult to listen to as Darlie Routier is clearly hysterical, and how any person can conclude that anything Routier is saying is scripted, or that Routier is “acting” seems to be a matter of that person’s assumption of guilt or innocence. 

If one believes the call is being acted out by a cold-blooded killer and the call is scripted then that’s assumedly what they will hear.  On the flip side, if one assumes that Darlie is innocent then what they will hear assumedly is an hysterical mother begging for help after she’s been stabbed and beat up by an unknown intruder and is watching her babies dying right in front of her as she talks to the operator, her husband, comforts her child who is bleeding, speaking to the first officer on the scene, and all this while she is severely injured and bleeding all in the span of about 5 minutes. 

This report believes the call is subjective and is dependent on a person’s assumption of Routier’s guilt or innocence.

Also, it is important to note that while Darlie Routier is talking to 911 her youngest son is still alive.  This is an important detail especially for someone who the state of Texas claims just stabbed her son, but during the call is begging for an ambulance to save her son who had he lived could have pointed his own mother out as the person who stabbed him. 

It is important also not to forget that Darlie’s throat has been cut, she is bleeding profusely from several injuries, and most likely may be in shock from her wounds and from the trauma of witnessing her sons dying. 

Again, listening to this call from the perspective assuming Routier is guilty one may ask why is it important to note that she may have inadvertently tampered with evidence.  At the same time, listening to this call from the perspective that Routier is innocent, one may surmise that at the time she believes she is dying from her wounds and she wants to assist law enforcement with details of the crime to aid in their investigation in case she does not survive, but wants the person who committed this crime to be caught and arrested for killing her babies. 

This call is important because it may have directly influenced investigators from the outset in which they believed the call was scripted and then sought to qualify this by looking for evidence that would fit their predetermined belief that Routier was guilty. 

If in this case law enforcement are allowed to hypothesize that Routier stabbed her sons as a cold blooded killer, then one would be fair to test this hypothesis by asking if Routier’s goal was to murder her children, why would she contact 911 while her youngest son is still alive and beg 911 to hurry and bring an ambulance and save him?

The idea that the absence of evidence supporting an intruder entered the home is a nuanced debate that suggests if an intruder were in the house there’d be overwhelming evidence the intruder was there. 

This report supports there was evidence of an intruder because investigators were informed that an intruder had entered the home as a result of the call Darlie Routier made to 911.  Furthermore, Darlie qualifies this visual observation to police of her having witnessed this intruder with physical evidence of the multiple wounds and bruising on her body made by an unknown intruder.  These two facts alone are evidence supporting an intruder had entered the home.  The only way to disqualify this evidence is to make the argument that Routier not only lied about her visual observation of an intruder inside her home, but then for law enforcement to qualify this observation by discounting the extent of her injuries and opine that she inflicted the injuries to herself.

This report also suggests that once law enforcement committed to the theory that Routier lied about the intruder within a few minutes of arriving on scene to investigate the crime, any evidence that proved otherwise such as the injuries to Routier, the fact that had she stabbed her sons yet called 911 while one was still alive and could have pointed her out as the person who stabbed him when she could have waited until after her son was dead before making the call, the next leap for law enforcement once they’ve centered on Routier as the suspect most especially in a capital crime case is nothing more than a paint by the numbers lackadaisical investigation.

Furthermore, in 2008 a federal court ruled in favor of Routier in allowing her defense attorneys to test the fingerprint evidence, and DNA evidence due to the advances in DNA technology since 1996. However, the state of Texas waited another ten years to allow Routier’s defense team to begin analyzing the data under terms established by the state of Texas. 

If the state of Texas is absolutely certain that Routier is guilty, why would the state of Texas have any issues with any person testing their hypothesis that may or may not lead to another conclusion? 

In fact, as a result of this reluctance by the state of Texas to have their hypothesis tested independently further supports this reports finding that from the outset investigators and prosecutors failed to investigate the possibility of an unknown intruder, most likely made multiple missteps along their investigation that may have contaminated evidence that was used during the trial to convict Routier, and knowingly are obstructing justice in order to justify their self fulfilling prophecy that Routier and Routier alone is guilty. 

And if this is true, and as the DA has stated in multiple interviews that if in fact the courts were to overturn Routier’s conviction he would be prepared to prosecute her again, using the same evidence and would convict her again, why are they reluctant to allow the defense to retest the evidence if they are this confident in their case?

The argument this report is making is not that Routier did not receive a fair trial, but that she was the victim of a biased investigation from the outset and the prosecution rushed to arrest, rushed to trial, and used biased evidence to convict her. 

Unfortunately this report cannot sufficiently rule out Darlie Routier as a suspect in this particular case based on the fact that investigators did not examine other possibilities faithfully and judicially to examine the unknown intruder theory.  This report does however beseech the courts to overturn Darlie Routier’s conviction based on the fact that this being a capital punishment case, the state did not and could not have in the 6 months from the time Routier made the 911 call to her being convicted have exhausted all avenues to rule out Darrin Routier or an unknown intruder as being responsible for the murders of Devon and Damon Routier and the attempted murder of Darlie Routier. 

This report suggests that the case be re-opened and all the evidence reevaluated and after this is complete if prosecutors still believe they have a case against Routier, retry her and allow a jury to not only examine the new evidence allow them also to justify the original guilty verdict or admonish the prosecution in rushing to judgment in the original trial and allow Routier to go free by finding her not guilty.

Reasonable Doubt:

As a legal term the evidence against a defendant must be beyond a reasonable doubt to validate a criminal conviction.  If in the Routier case there were no reasonable doubt to suggest she is innocent of the crimes she was convicted of, this report suggests that the DA’s case was flawed from the outset and centered on Routier from the time she made the call to 911 and dismissed with extreme prejudice any evidence of Routier’s evidence by ignoring the possibility that Darrin Routier may have had a motive to murder his wife and kids because he had a financial motivation in which he would have collected life insurance against Darlie.  Investigators also dismissed the unknown intruder theory even though there had been multiple reports made my neighbors of someone in a black car that had been seen stalking the Routier residence in the days leading up to the murders, and on the day of the murder.    

Hypothesis 1: Unknown Intruder:

Examining the unknown intruder hypothesis, one has to examine possible motives.  It’s possible that the intruder entered the home to rob the house and was surprised to find the two children and Darlie asleep in the living room.  Still, if this is the case and the catalyst was to rob the home once the intruder encountered the Routier family in the home, the intruder could have turned around and left the scene.  Instead of leaving however, the intruder takes a knife from the kitchen and decides instead to murder the family. 

When examining the crime scene, the location of the home and other factors however, another hypothesis is that the victims, whether it is Darlie or the two boys were targeted and the motive was to assault, physically or sexually, and had premeditated the murder. 

Two possibilities emerge from examining this hypothesis:

  1. The intruder lived within walking distance of the home and knew the victims
  2. The intruder may have had other reasons for having been in the neighborhood when he spotted the Routier family and then targeted the home.

Several witnesses described seeing a suspicious person driving a black car stalking the neighborhood, and not just the neighborhood but the Routier home specifically in the days before the murder, and more importantly the car was spotted near the Routier home on the day of the murders and neighbors reported this to police. 

The Routier residence is in a subdivision with only a few ways into it and directly behind their home is a narrow paved ally that is primarily used by residence to enter their homes from the back way where the garages to the houses are located.  The Routier home is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, surrounded by homes and is not necessarily remote even if one could suggest that the neighborhood subdivision has few points of entry and the part of Rowlett Texas where the neighborhood is located appears as if on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Ray Hubbard. 

The city of Dallas is approximately 20 miles from the town of Rowlett. However, Garland Texas is five miles and has a population of over 200,000 residents as of 2016.  Although Dallas County and Rockwall County do have higher than average crime rates, and multiple of unsolved murder cases mostly in Dallas County, these statistics do not specifically relate to the crime rate in  Rowlett as being relevant to better understanding the events that unfolded in the Routier home in 1996.

There are no reported clusters of crimes in this particular area involving murder, but a possible 1-50 chance of home burglary.

It is difficult to arrive to a determination as to whether the unknown intruder lived near the Routier residence.  It is possible the unknown intruder lived in the neighborhood and only needed to walk a reasonable distance to the Routier home, but it is also possible the unknown intruder lived outside of the neighborhood, wherewith the person needed a vehicle to access the Routier home. 

In either example it is possible to hypothesize that the intruder could have been stalking the home for several days, if not weeks casing the house in and out of a vehicle.  The alley way behind the Routier home could have been used for an individual in a car to park perhaps in a driveway where no resident lived and then walked to the home. 

Nevertheless, the driver of this vehicle in doing so takes a risk of being spotted by parking a car in the area and not be reported as being suspicious.  However, it’s possible that the time of night, most residents were sleeping and would not have noticed if a car had parked at some point in the alley.  One cannot rule out the possibility that the suspect parked in the driveway of the Routier home also.

According to reports the Routier family had parked both of their vehicles inside the garage that particular night giving the intruder the ability to pull directly into the driveway that faces the alley. 

The reason this important to note is because 75 yards from the Routier home a sock belonging to Darrin Routier, that had blood on it belonging to Devon and Damon was left on the ground in the alleyway three houses away from the Routier home on the left hand side of the road. 

This would fit a scenario of a person driving and possibly throwing the sock out of the car as it left the scene from the driver’s side window as the intruder drove south away from the scene of the crime down the alley. However, it also suggests that a person on foot running away from the crime scene threw the sock attempting to throw it into the storm drain but missed and the sock landed on the grass instead.  If on foot, it’s possible the person lived in the neighborhood and ran back to their home, but one cannot rule out that the suspect had driven into the neighborhood and parked south of the Routier home in the alley at an abandoned lot. The suspect threw the sock, ran to the car, and then drove away leaving the neighborhood.

Another important factor is examining whether the crime was opportunistic or if the suspect had been stalking the home prior to the night of the murders.  Darlie Routier has stated that since her boys had been out of school they would often sit up at night and sleep in the family room by themselves.  On the night of the murders however, she decided to spend time with them and sleep downstairs.

If this is true, one could speculate that the intruder had previously targeted the home and had perhaps been in their backyard and viewed the two boys in the family room through the back window that faced the back yard and the alley.  The suspect would have either had to jump over a picket fence or go through a door at the north of the fence facing the driveway and enter. 

As the intruder looked through the window, the family room was situated with the television facing the south wall.  The couch that Darlie was sleeping on, the back of it faced the west wall meaning that if an intruder had looked into the window on the night of the murders he would not have seen Darlie in the room but only the boys. 

On the night of the murders, examining the scenario in which an unknown intruder had previously stalked the home and witnessed the two boys sleeping in the living room, the intruder enters the fence, looks into the room but does not see Darlie, only the boys as per usual. The intruder enters the home through the garage/laundry room, grabs the knife from the kitchen counter, enters the family room and goes directly to Devon who is lying closest to the television. 

The intruder turns to see Damon waking up Darlie on the couch and lunges towards them; Darlie struggles with the attacker leaving little blood evidence but becomes unconscious during the attack and blacks out. Believing Darlie is dead, the killer then goes after Damon. While attacking Damon, Darlie wakes up again in a haze and the killer hastily leaves the scene with Darlie in a state of shock and confused follows after him and she or the intruder breaks the glass and knocks over the vacuum in the dark.  The killer drops the knife and Darlie picks it up and places it on the counter.

Darlie turns on the light and realizes she is covered in blood and then notices her son’s have also been attacked.  She begins screaming, and grabs the phone to contact 911.  Darrin comes down the stairs and begins CPR on Devin. She moves to the sink and looks into the window to see her wounds and begins wetting towels for Darrin to use for Devin and Damon or for her to use on her own wounds. 

By this time, the intruder is out of the house, through the fence runs south down the alley or jumps in his car parked in the Routier driveway, drives south down the alleyway and tosses the sock and either returns to a house nearby or if on foot goes to his car and leaves the area immediately before police respond. 

This hypothesis will be labeled as Operational Theory 1 Unknown Intruder/Motive to Harm Routier Children.

Operational Theory 1: The Bloody Sock Evidence

Bloody Sock

This operational theory suggests that an unknown intruder, most likely a white male, had been targeting the Routier home and more importantly the children.

One of the most vital clues in understanding the validity of this operational theory is the sock disposed three houses away in the alley between homes on Eagle Drive and Willowbrook Drive. The sock was found near a drainage ditch and a trash can on the grass.  The sock had blood from Damon and Devon, and belonged to their father Darrin. 

The prosecution’s case made the argument that Darlie, after stabbing her children, ran out of her yard, 75 yards away, deposited the sock on the grass, then ran back 75 yards to the home and then created the injuries to herself. 

However, this goes against the blood spatter experts testimony that Darlie had been bleeding at the time she stabbed her boys, because he stated that their blood had mixed.  This also goes directly against the sock evidence that contains only Devon and Damon’s blood, because there is no blood evidence leading away from the home which Darlie would have left if she had been bleeding and made the 150 yard round trip, and her blood was not discovered on the sock. 

Location of Sock 3 Houses From Routier Home 75Yards South
Sock found in Grass by Storm Drain

To explain this, prosecutors opined Darlie stabbed both of her children, left the home with the sock containing their blood, ran back to the house, cut herself and realized that Damon was still alive and went back and stabbed him again and this is how the blood cross contaminated. 

Still, at the time Darlie contacts 911, and even after the first responders arrived at the home, Damon was still alive.  

Investigators have also gone on to state that just outside the window where Darlie stated the intruder exited the home, they found no evidence of anyone coming in through the window or out the window and stated there was mulch just outside the window that would have been disturbed if someone had entered or exited there. This evidence is contradicted by Darrin Routier when a few years later he showed reporters the window and how easy it was to step in and out of, and that there was no mulch for anyone to disturb.  Another point made by investigators that contradict their own theory is that if they found no evidence of an intruder leaving the home, but in doing so, how can they also find no evidence of Darlie leaving the home either? This poses a fundamental problem to the state of Texas’s case against Routier, because the sock had to be deposited from someone within the home after the attack.  

By using the MSCTEM which poses the hypothesis of there being a cat inside an enclosed box, if this hypothesis is correct, then one should find the cat inside the box.  If one opens the box and there is no cat inside the box, this leads to negative evidence relative to the hypothesis statement established by law enforcement as opposed to the hypothesis of the absence of evidence of there being no unknown intruder.

Darlie Routier’s statement to police was that an intruder broke into her home and attacked her and her children. However, when the police investigate the crime they state there is no evidence of an unknown intruder having been in the home.  Therefore, the sock should be inside the home and not 75 yards away.  If law enforcement states that there was no evidence that anyone in the house had left the home, this would have to include Darlie; as a result, the sock being out of the home becomes negative evidence relative to their own hypothesis. 

Because the sock is found outside of the home and with the blood from the two Routier children, this is evidence that someone from inside the home left the home and deposited the sock and as a consequence it no longer fits the hypothesis of the absence of evidence of an unknown intruder posited by law enforcement and the prosecution’s case against Darlie Routier.

Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect Theory:

Over time attorneys, journalists, and private investigators have investigated Darlie Routier’s case there has been growing speculation of Darrin Routier’s involvement in this crime because of his acknowledgement of attempting to procure someone to burglarize his home in order to commit insurance fraud.  Darlie Routier and Darrin Routier divorced in 2011 and in an interview Darlie Routier has stated that if she were released from prison she would not reunite with her husband based on learning of her husband having sought someone to break into their home. 

Also, one has to note that Darrin was losing money as his business suffered, and was behind on his bills, credit card payments and mortgage, while raising three children and supporting his wife who was a stay at home mom.  There are reports suggesting that Darrin had a life insurance policy on Darlie between the ranges of half a million to eight-hundred thousand dollars. 

In 1997, Darrin Routier volunteered to take a polygraph examination and failed the test miserably as to his involvement in the murders of his son’s and the attempted murder of his wife.  Although, Polygraph examinations are not conclusive in determining a person’s innocence or guilt, it is an invaluable tool law enforcement can use when interrogating a suspect. 

Darrin Routier has admitted to attempting to procure someone to fake a burglary into his home, he states that he never hired anyone. However, one has to suggest had this been known during his wife’s trial, it may have shown reasonable doubt to the jury. 

Over the years, Darlie Routier has been adamant that her husband was not the man that attacked her and killed their two eldest sons.  This information is somewhat contradictory if Darlie has suffered from dissociative amnesia and cannot remember vital details about the crime and attacker.

If Darlie was unaware of her husband’s attempt to procure someone to break into their home this shows that Darrin was keeping secrets from his wife showing his capacity and willingness to lie and commit a criminal act of insurance fraud. 

 Another piece of information that may prove vital is that on the night of the murders, first responders noted that both Darlie and Darrin were barefoot. However, when investigators asked to examine Darrin’s shoes they found Darlie’s blood on his shoes. 

Examining Darrin’s possible involvement in the murder of his two eldest son’s and the attempted murder of his wife does not necessarily imply he personally committed the crimes, but may have procured someone to commit the crime expecting a huge financial windfall had Darlie been killed. 

Even so, this report will examine whether or not Darrin would have been capable of committing the murders and the attempted murder of his wife the night of June 6th and been able to cover-up his involvement.

This will be labeled Hypothesis 2: Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect/Motive: Murder/Insurance Fraud.

There are multiple problematic issues to come to a conclusion that Darrin Routier would have been able to commit this crime.  If his motivation was to murder his wife in order to collect insurance on her life, one would surmise he would have been fully committed to making sure Darlie did not survive the attack. 

Thus, this hypothesis will be ruled out.

However, this does not eliminate Darrin Routier as being involved as a conspirator in a murder-for-hire scenario and this will be labeled as Hypothesis 3.

Hypothesis 3: Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect with Co-Conspirator/Motive: Murder-for-Hire/Insurance Fraud:

Based on information that Darrin Routier actively attempted to procure someone to break into his home to steal furniture and a car prior to the murders, and because he would have profited from the death of his wife one has to examine the hypothesis that Darrin Routier conspired with someone to commit the crimes on June 6th 1996.

Although Darrin Routier has admitted to his willingness to break the law due to his financial insecurities, and this fact may have contributed to their being divorced in 2011, it shows he is willing to commit a crime for financial gain and establishes a possible motive in conspiring with someone to murder his wife. 

As with hypothesis 2, hypothesis 3 is problematic.  If the motive were to kill Darlie Routier, and her husband conspired with an unknown person to murder her, one would have to speculate that on the evening of June 5th Darrin would have had to make contact with the co-conspirator and plan the crime.

According to Darlie’s own testimony she admitted it was her choice to sleep downstairs the night she and her family were attacked.  However it is possible that Darrin planted the idea and Darlie accepted.

Before going to bed, Darrin could have opened the window to the garage and cut the screen and given the co-conspirator information about the interior of the house and how to make entry. 

Even so, if Darrin and a co-conspirator had conspired to murder his wife and sons (one has to speculate that if this scenario is plausible then Darrin Routier would have known his sons would be sleeping downstairs also) had Darlie died as a result of her injuries one could argue that even though she lived, Darrin’s involvement should have been properly investigated by police as a primary suspect. 

However, Darrin Routier has been a leading advocate proclaiming Darlie’s innocence. At any point over the last 22 years he could have turned against Darlie and informed police that he believed his wife were responsible for the murders and testified against her.

Darlie Routier’s defense teams as well as her supporters have spent several thousand dollars over the last 22 years to find any evidence to support her innocence and in doing so have investigated Darrin Routier’s possible involvement and insofar have found little evidence to support hypothesis 3, besides learning of his attempts to procure someone to break into their home to commit insurance fraud.

Thus, this hypothesis cannot be ruled out and will be labeled as Operational Theory 2.

Final Report: Darlie Routier Convicted on Faulty Circumstantial Evidence:  

This report based on evidentiary facts known about the case of the State of Texas vs. Darlie Routier on the count of Capital Murder stipulates the state of Texas erred in its conclusion that Darlie Routier murdered her two children and then staged the crime to appear that she too was a victim of an unknown intruder. 

The report has based these conclusions on the fact that investigators failed to

A. investigate allegations her husband Darrin Routier’s attempted to conspire with others to commit insurance fraud prior to the crime.

B. completely discarded the evidence pointing to an unknown intruder although there is substantial evidence including unidentified fingerprints that did not match anyone in the home or investigators, shoe prints, and the sock discovered 75 yards from the Routier residence.

C. Darlie Routier’s was a victim of character assassination by prosecutors and relied on controversial footage of her celebrating her son’s birthday, but jurors were not made aware of surveillance footage filmed by police earlier in the day showing a somber and emotional gathering at her sons’ graves.

D. The blood evidence was contaminated by investigators who bagged clothing still wet with blood before allowing the shirt to dry and as a result the controversial blood spatter experts testimony as to how the blood of Devin and Damon Routier mixed with their mother’s blood on her shirt was biased.

E. the 911 call Routier made on the night of the murders is subjective.

F. Furthermore, the 911 call indicates that Routier was speaking to at least four people and statements she made are taken out of context, in which Routier did not script the call, but was speaking with two people being asked questions in a very chaotic crime scene.  It is clear that Routier is directing the first responder to the home about where the intruder had exited, and in doing so she pointed out the knife the unidentified suspect dropped. The 911 operator is unaware a police officer was already in the Routier residence and when the operator hears Routier make the statement about the knife informs Routier to not touch anything, and only then does Routier state she has already picked up the knife. 

G. The bloodied sock found 75 yards from the Routier home contradicts investigators and prosecutors who state there was no evidence of any person, unknown or even Routier from having left the house.  The sock is proof that someone within the Routier home left the home running away from the crime scene.

H. The bloodied sock found 75 yards from the Routier home contradicts the original timeline of events presented by investigators from the controversial blood spatter testimony that Darlie Routier first stabbed her sons, left the home and ran 75 yards, returned back to the home making a roundtrip of 150 yards, then stabbed herself. The controversial blood spatter expert determined that in order for Devin and Damon’s blood to have crossed contaminated with their mothers, she had to have created the injuries to herself prior to stabbing her children while the sock is found with blood from Devon and Damon only.

I. Expert testimony from a forensic examiner when questioned about the severity of Damon’s wounds speculated that as a result of the injuries and the loss of blood Damon would have most likely died within 9 minutes. However, this contradicts evidence by First Responders and collaborated by the 911 call that Damon Routier was still alive.  This also disputes the credibility of the prosecutor’s timeline because the 911 call lasted nearly six minutes, in which Devon was still alive, and it was another one or two minutes before first responders secured the home and allowed paramedics to enter.

J. During the 911 call Darlie Routier is clearly aware that her youngest son is still alive and is heard telling her son to “hold on” and she is also heard asking why an ambulance has not arrived and paramedics allowed to enter her home to treat her son’s wounds. If in fact Routier had committed these crimes, and had Devon survived his injuries he may have been able to collaborate his mother’s story that an unknown intruder had entered the home, or testified it was Darlie who had caused his injuries.  This behavior does not seem indicative of a person who has just committed a heinous crime and yet at the same time is attempting to administer help to the person she had injured. 

J. Darlie Routier’s wounds and bruises are indicative of someone attacking her and attempting to murder her as opposed to her creating the multiple injuries and bruising to herself.  The fact that prosecutors seemingly dismiss the throat wound which came within 2mm from severing her carotid artery and instead make it appear that 2mm is merely coincidental is an absurd argument. 

Darlie Routier in Hospital Post Surgery
Darlie Routier Bruising Indictive of Defensive Injuries

K. Darlie Routier had no motive to kill her son’s, no prior history of abuse, mental health issues, no financial motivation, and no criminal history.  In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a similar case involving filicide wherewith the main motives behind these types of crime are: altruistic, maltreatment, unwanted child, or spousal revenge. There were no reports or signs of physical abuse prior to the murders, and no indication that Routier felt trapped by her children.

This report concludes that the Rowlett Police Department was overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime and their investigation was not thorough, their investigation was incomplete, chaotic and incoherent.

Once Rowlett Police centered in on Routier, they ignored and failed to follow through on evidence that pointed towards Routier’s innocence.  Within thirty minutes of beginning the investigation it is clear that investigators had determined Routier was the primary suspect, and as a result their investigation was prejudiced from the outset. 

Their investigation failed to find evidence that Darrin Routier had previously sought to procure someone to aid him in committing insurance fraud by burglarizing the Routier home and other property.  

The investigation failed to investigate the various reports made by neighbors of a mysterious black car stalking the Routier home. 

The investigation failed to properly secure the crime scene and properly store evidence gathered from the scene of the crime in which the state’s case against Routier is primarily based on and as result this evidence should be inadmissible.

Furthermore, the state has failed to examine crucial evidence including fingerprint evidence that indicate an unknown intruder had left a bloody fingerprint behind at the crime scene. Even more incredible is that although in 2008 a federal judge sided with Routier’s defense to make the fingerprint as well as DNA evidence available to her defense for further testing that may point to her innocence and towards the unknown intruder.

In fact it has taken 9 years and another court order recently handed down that again sided with Routier’s defense team ordering the state of Texas to hand over the aforementioned evidence to be tested.  According to recent breaking news in the Routier case this evidence is finally close to being examined for the first time in 22 years since Darlie Routier was sentenced to death. Fingerprints in Routier case to be tested


Darlie Routier has always maintained her innocence and has even turned down a chance for clemency and have her sentence commuted to life when prosecutors attempted to grant her clemency only if she admitted to the crimes and she refused to do so. 

The state of Texas’s refusal to turn over evidence that may prove Darlie Routier is innocent is not uncommon in a high profile case, but tends to show that those involved in investigating and prosecuting this case have prospered as a result of the conviction. If Darlie Routier’s case is overturned the state made be found liable for a wrongful conviction, and it would confirm this reports conclusion that prosecutors and law enforcement professionals were overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime, did not complete a thorough investigation and instead zeroed in on Routier and created an environment of “group think” and their investigation nothing more than a “self-fulfilling prophecy” based on personal prejudices of Routier, and their circumstantial case against her based on contaminated forensic evidence and controversial blood spatter testimony.  Blood Spatter Faulty Science 1 Blood Spatter Faulty Science 2 Blood Spatter Faulty Science 3

It must also be noted that the blood spatter expert in Routier’s case has been involved in at least three other cases in which his testimony helped convict innocent people of crimes that were later overturned.  Moreover, in 2009 the National Academy of Sciences noted that faulty science was found to be responsible for several wrongful convictions and specifically pointed out that Bloodstain Pattern Analysis was subjective and there is no empirical evidence to support the findings. In fact, the state of Texas’s Forensic Science commission has made it a requirement starting in 2019 that in order to testify as an expert witness as a bloodstain pattern analyst one must have proper accreditation in Texas courts. Source: Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, The National Academies Press, Washington DC (2009), pp. 42, 177-179.

Thus, as a result of this report’s findings Darlie Routier’s case should be re-opened, and her sentence overturned most especially considering this is a capital murder conviction based on faulty contaminated circumstantial evidence and law enforcement’s reluctance to investigate Darrin Routier’s attempts to procure an unknown person(s) to commit insurance fraud or follow up on the information that several eyewitnesses observed prior to and on the day of the crime a person in black car stalking the Routier home. 

Operational Theory 1: Unknown Suspect

Crime Classification: 108.02 Situational Felony Murder—unplanned prior to commission of the felony. Homicide committed out of panic, confusion or impulse.

This report finds the evidence points towards an unknown suspect who acted impulsively having most likely stalked the Routier family and cased their home in the days leading up to the crime. 

This report however, does not believe that the suspect was organized, but investigators were overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime and overlooked evidence, did not properly store evidence and as a result the evidence was contaminated and failed to investigate this matter thoroughly instead centering on Darlie Routier from the outset.

The report suggests that the primary suspect at the time of the murders will be between the ages of 18-25, white male and will have lived near the Routier’s or had come in contact with them from someone who lived in the neighborhood or the suspect lived in the neighborhood. 

Operational Theory 2: Darrin Routier-Unknown Co-Conspirator:

Crime Classification 107.1: Individual Profit Murder

This report suggests that the individual profit murder is less likely when examining the evidence but cannot be ruled out because Darrin Routier has admitted to attempting to procure someone to stage a robbery for the purpose of insurance fraud prior to the crimes on June 6th 1996.

The individual profit murder is problematic because Darrin Routier would have most likely been in contact with the co-conspirator the day of the murder or the night of after his wife chose to sleep downstairs. 

This would suggest that the plan was improvised and the co-conspirator was on standby waiting for Routier to call. 

As in Operational Theory 1, this theory cannot be ruled out because law enforcement failed to investigate Darrin Routier’s involvement although investigators noted early on in the investigation Darrin Routier had a financial motivation, but failed to investigate further by centering on his wife.

In fact it was Darlie Routier’s defense team along with private investigators who learned that Darrin Routier had attempted to commit insurance fraud prior to the murders.  Had investigators completed a more thorough investigation into Darrin Routier’s activities and motivations they too would have had more incentive to suspect Darrin Routier as the primary suspect, but because they failed to do so this report cannot rule out Darrin Routier operating with a co-conspirator who together planned to murder Darlie Routier for profit.

Conclusion of Report:

Darlie Routier’s capital murder conviction is based on circumstantial evidence and proffered by faulty unaccredited scientific expert testimony.  The case against Routier is biased, prejudicial and subjective.

There is no obvious or apparent motive for Darlie Routier to have committed filicide and murder her two eldest sons and then stage the crime scene. In fact, when comparing this case to similar cases, this report finds zero evidence of motive in which a mother without a catalyst has committed such a heinous and cold-blooded murder.

However, there are multiple examples of wrongful convictions based on investigators being overwhelmed by the brutality of a crime and will make faulty assumptions, contaminate or lose important forensic evidence; assassinate the suspects character when cases are circumstantial, and utilize unaccredited “experts” to validate their highly subjective conclusions. Furthermore, investigators and prosecutors even when presented with evidence opposing their case become defensive; will move to obstruct all attempts by the defense to re-examine evidence, and stonewall all appeals, while maintaining the case against the defendant is solid. 

This report finds that the state of Texas’s case against Darlie Routier is more indicative of similar cases of wrongful conviction based on subjective assumptions and contaminated evidence, while discounting all evidence that pointed towards a Situational Felony Murder, or Individual Profit Murder.

This report shows that prosecutors have attempted to grant clemency to Darlie Routier if she confessed to the crime and she refused, stonewalling a federal court ruling to allow Routier’s defense team access to important forensic evidence for 10 years which again is indicative of similar wrongful convictions where prosecutors and investigators are in denial that their departments erred in its case against a defendant.

Furthermore this report believes that Darlie Routier’s case will most likely be overturned by new forensic testing of fingerprint and DNA evidence, but prosecutors will most likely reject this information and will attempt to procure an Alford Plea maintaining their case against Routier could be retried and she’d be found guilty, but will not want a protracted jury trial in which Routier may be found not guilty and the state be sued for wrongful conviction. Unless the forensic evidence directly points to a previously unknown suspect and the case is overturned and the DA moves to dismiss the charges against Routier altogether.

All theories on this page are my own and I do not represent law enforcement.

FSC: The Springfield Three: The Disappearance of Sherrill Levitt, Suzie Streeter, & Stacy McCall; ; June 7, 1992



The Springfield Three Missing Persons Case


Abduction:  47 Y/0 Sherrill Levitt; 19 y/o (daughter of Levitt) Suzie Streeter; 18 y/o (friend of Streeter) Stacy McCall

Crime scene contaminated by friends and family

No suspects

Multiple persons of interests

Date of Abduction: June 7, 1992

Location: 1717 E. Delmar Street, Springfield, MO

Time of Abductions: 300am-800AM

Sunrise: 553AM

Possible timeline 300am-600AM

Personal belongings of victims left in home; No signs of Struggle; Family pet (Yorkie) Left in Home; glass globe covering outside light on porch broken (but swept up by friend may have contained clues unknown where light broke if on porch or off porch)

Victim Levitt lived in the home from April 1992 until abduction; unknown if she were renting or buying.

Levitt was a cosmetologist and worked at a salon in Springfield. She was well-respected and had several clients.

Streeter, 19 y/o daughter graduated the night before, was not set to go to college but to go to school to become a cosmetologist. Had been in a relationship with a young man who broke into cemetery and vandalized it, and Streeter had cooperated with LE informing LE of her knowledge of the vandalism.

McCall graduated the night before also and had been with Streeter partying with friends and by happenstance ended up at Streeter’s house the morning they were abducted. McCall was preparing to start college in the fall after graduation.

Variable Timeline:

On June 6th after graduation, Streeter and McCall stayed out with friends in the Springfield, Missouri area celebrating their graduation.  The original plan was for the two girls and others to travel south to Branson, rent a hotel room, party, and then the next morning go to a nearby water park. These plans changed, most likely from having had too much to drink and they decided to stay in Springfield and go to Branson the next morning.

In the meantime, Levitt was at home and had contacted a friend around 11PM and informed the friend that she was painting an armoire.

Sometime around 2-230AM Streeter and McCall decided to leave the friend’s house because the home was crowded and there was no place for them to sleep and they decided to drive back in separate cars back to Streeter’s home on Delmar.  It is assumed they arrived sometime around 230-3am.

At around 8AM June 7th, friends of Streeter and McCall attempted to contact the two to meet up and travel to Branson, but were unable to reach them. The two friends then drove to the home and noticed nothing out of place besides a glass globe covering the outside patio light had been broken.

Streeter’s and McCall’s vehicles were both parked in the circular driveway and Levitt’s car parked beneath a carport.

The door to the house was unlocked and the friends entered but all three women were not in the house.  It was noted by one of the friends that all the victim’s purses were in the house, including cigarettes smoked by Levitt and Streeter.  It also appeared that Levitt’s bed had been slept in and that Streeter and McCall may have possibly gone to bed, because their makeup and jewelry had been removed.  It was also noted that the family dog appeared anxious and nervous.

While in the home, the phone rang, and the friend answered and stated that the caller made obscene comments and she hung up.  After hanging up, immediately after the phone rang again and it was assumedly the same person making the same lewd type of comments and the friend hung up again.

Later that afternoon, McCall’s mother arrived at the home looking for her daughter at the house on Delmar and also felt something was amiss, but again there was no evidence of a struggle having taken place in the home.  McCall’s mother reviewed a voice message left on Levitt’s answering machine and listened to a male caller who had left a “strange” message on the phone (police have gone on to state they do not believe the message left on the machine was linked to the two obscene calls made when the friend was in the home) however, McCall’s mother accidentally erased the message and it has never been heard by LE.

Another thing noted was that the television had been turned on, but was not on any channel, just a “fuzzy screen.”

Soon after McCall’s mother contacted Springfield Police, but she was informed to contact them the next morning. 

Once LE began their investigation there were tips, but nothing substantial. LE questioned several people of interest but to no avail. 

27 years later there is still no information on the whereabouts of Levitt, Streeter, and McCall, no suspects, and the case has gone cold.

There have been some intriguing developments (information that the three women may have been murdered and buried in concrete at a local hospital, but this information has been ruled out because records indicate the hospital parking lot where the information states the women to be buried began construction after the disappearance of the three women.)

Robert Craig Cox, a convicted Kidnapper and a suspect in a murder in Florida lived in Springfield during the time the three women were abducted.  His alibi proved to be falsified, but although he is imprisoned in TX and has made claims he may have knowledge of the case and possible involvement, he has not been connected to the abduction and refuses to cooperate with LE.

Another interesting side note is that the son of Levitt and the brother of Streeter has been recently arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment of a 15 year old girl. 

The brother at the time of the abduction of the three women in Springfield was no longer welcome at the house on Delmar because of his abusive, argumentative behavior and his heavy drinking.  Although, he has cooperated with LE, given an alibi and passed a lie detector, it is unclear if he is still a person of interest or has been ruled out as a suspect. 

Utilizing the MSCTEM to Examine the Case:

The absence of evidence is overwhelming, but the lack of evidence is not the absence of evidence altogether and it may be possible to not only rule out certain scenarios, it may help in creating a profile of the possible suspect(s) and the motivation behind the crime.

For example, it seems highly unlikely that the three women left the house on Delmar of their own volition.  All three of their vehicles, the family pet, and their personal items are left at the residence. 

1717 E Delmar St

Although there have been cases where families have disappeared and left their homes under “mysterious circumstances”, this particular case doesn’t seem to fit.  

To move this forward, the hypothesis that the three women left of their own volition will be ruled out.

In this particular case, one has to surmise that the three women were abducted while they slept in their home by an intruder and the motivation for doing so is also unknown. (See Graph)

The graph above represents that in these types of cases there are two types of suspects, Domestic, and Unknown. Commonly those labeled as Domestic, are individuals who know the victim such as a family member, a spouse, a relative, a boyfriend, girlfriend, prior, or current.

An unknown suspect has two sub-categories: Random and Outlier.  A random suspect would be someone who is opportunistic, and could be organized or disorganized, but prior to encountering the victim had either limited knowledge of the victim or no knowledge of the victim until the opportunity presented itself and the suspect seizes the moment to attack.

An outlier suspect is someone who may have had limited interaction with the victim to even a friendly business or social relationship with the victim prior to the crime, and may often be overlooked by investigators because the person is on the periphery of an investigation. 

To give an example of an outlier, it could be a person who has been in the home prior for business related reasons, or perhaps invited by a friend by a friend, a landlord, or a past or current client. 

In this particular case one could postulate that the suspect was organized, the crime was premeditated and this is why the crime scene contains little or no evidence linking back to the suspect.

Nevertheless, one cannot rule out the crime may seem organized, but that may not necessarily be the case and the crime was improvised and happened so quickly that the suspect by happenstance left little evidence behind giving it the appearance of being organized and premeditated.

However, we can move forward with three hypotheses:

  1. Victims abducted by Random/Opportunistic Suspect
  2. Victims abducted by Outlier/Non-Opportunistic Suspect
  3. Victims abducted by known/Non-Opportunistic Suspect

One of the key differentiating factors is the abduction of the three victims.  This factor could help understand the motivation of the suspect(s).

Abduction: Scenario 1 and Scenario 2:

Why would the suspect(s) abduct the victims if the suspect has already established control over the victims inside the home is relevant when it seems the suspect is taking a higher risk by abducting three victims, removing them from the home, then transporting them to another location? 

One could posit that the abductions were premeditated or argue that the abductions were improvised.

In scenario 1, if the abductions were in fact premeditated prior to the suspect entering the home, one could then hypothesize that the suspect also had prepared a location to take the victims afterwards.

In scenario 2, if the abductions were improvised the suspect may have also improvised the location as to where the victims would be taken. 

Neither scenario rules out hypothesis A, B and C, because the aforementioned scenarios could fit all three types of suspects.

However, by examining the two scenarios it could help in understanding the motivations of the suspect, and enable one to establish a profile of the suspect. 

Scenario 1 does pose an even greater challenge because if in fact the suspect(s) premeditated the abductions, was organized, and had a predetermined location to take the victims after abducting them this reduces the chances LE has in ever locating the victims or the suspect(s).

One could theorize that Scenario 1 fits best because of the lack of evidence and the fact that the victims have been missing for 27 years support this scenario as being most likely. 

Even so, Scenario 2 should not be ruled out because of the absence of evidence over the last 27 years, because even if the abductions were improvised and the location the victims were taken subsequently improvised, it does not mean that the suspect did not go to great lengths afterwards to cover up the crime, it only means that the location has been overlooked or never searched. 

Still, one could opine that both scenarios fit the actions of one suspect versus two or more suspects. 

The rationale behind this is that one suspect could in fact been able to enter the home on Delmar, control the victims, abduct them under scenario 1 or 2, but because the suspect acted alone and if the suspect remains quiet about the crime, the one suspect never has to worry about the accomplice breaking his or her silence to LE or to others. 

Although it cannot be ruled out that one or more suspects were responsible for the abductions of Levitt, Streeter, and McCall, this report is going to operate under the premise that the crime was carried out by one suspect. 

The rationale behind making this judgment is based on the fact that the lack of evidence supports one suspect, where if the crime were committed with two or more suspects they may have acted in two different pursuits and there’d be evidence suggesting that one suspect behaved differently than the other.

It would seem that the suspect’s motivation, operating under the theory of only one, was not robbery.  It is not uncommon for someone to break into a residential home while someone is in the home for the purpose of burglary, but in this particular case it seems more likely that the suspect entered into the home because the suspect targeted the victims and not the home.

This would fit scenario 2 if in fact the suspect targeted the home and in the act of committing the burglary was interrupted by the victims the crime shifted from burglary to kidnapping.  The problem with this scenario is that the suspect could have ran when confronted or could have murdered the victims or subdued the victims leaving them alive inside the home and then continued to burglarize the home afterwards as opposed to abducting them. 

However, for the purpose of this report, robbery will be ruled out as a motivating factor.

This report will instead operate under the presumption that the suspect targeted the victims prior to entering the home with the intent to abduct the women, or the suspect targeted the victims prior to entering the home and perhaps it wasn’t until after inside the home that the suspect decided to abduct the victims.

The Evidence; Timeline:

Because of the lack of evidence it is best to examine this case by looking at the evidence and examining the timeline of events leading up to the abductions.

For example, if it is presumed that the suspect targeted the victims but only Levitt and Streeter who occupied the house on Delmar, the suspect would not be expecting to enter the house and find McCall at the home. 

On the other hand, if the suspect targeted Levitt only, it’s possible that the suspect had already entered the home prior to Streeter and McCall’s arrival and was interrupted in the process of committing a crime. 

Even still, if the suspect targeted only Streeter, Streeter was not supposed to even be at the residence on Delmar that night. 

One could postulate that on the morning of the abductions the suspect had targeted the victims but arrived after Streeter and McCall and was unaware that Streeter and McCall had not been at the home earlier in the evening. 

It could also be argued that the suspect after encountering Streeter and McCall arrived at the home on Delmar after following the two women and had no knowledge that Levitt was in the home.   

Examining the Broken Globe:

It is unknown if the porch light was turned off or on at the time the suspect entered the home. 

If the light was on, one could argue that the suspect purposefully took the globe off to access the bulb to unscrew it disconnecting the light and hiding him from neighbors or people passing by the home. 

However, if the light were not on, there’d be no reason for the suspect to remove the globe and disconnect the bulb. 

This leads to different scenarios. If the light was on and the suspect purposefully removed the globe to access the bulb the suspect accidently dropped the glass globe and broke it or the suspect after taking off the globe set it on the porch and in the process of abducting the women in the dark someone accidentally broke the globe.

The other scenario is if the light were off and the globe were not removed, it is quite possible that while taking the women from inside the house, there may have been an attempt by one to escape and as the suspect and victim struggled the light was inadvertently broken by the suspect or the victim. 

The broken globe was swept up the next day allegedly as an innocuous good will gesture to clean up the broken glass by one of Streeter’s and McCall’s friends who came to the house looking for the two women. 

Even so, the person who cleaned the glass should have been able to inform LE as to where the glass was, whether it was on the porch below the light fixture or off the porch on the ground or steps.

The reason this information as to where the broken glass was found is important is that it might help investigators understand where the globe may have been when it was broken.

If the globe had been broken as a result of a victim struggling to escape and the suspect while trying to maintain their hold on the victim swung back with their arm and struck the globe with their elbow, it might give a clue as to the height of the suspect. 

Another reason to understand the relevance of this evidence is to show if the suspect removed the globe purposefully prior to entering the house to access the bulb to disconnect the light and prevent the suspect from being seen from neighbors or people passing by. 

Examining the globe and the style and how it was fixed to the fixture, might also determine how organized the suspect was before entering the house. If the fixture needed to be removed by some type of tool, it’s possible the suspect had the right type of tool on his person to remove the globe. 

This type of evidence when there is a lack of evidence becomes important in understanding because it might help investigators in theorizing the steps the suspect took prior to, during, or after the crime.

The Family Dog:

Although at first glance understanding the relevance of the family dog may seem unimportant, it is possible to suggest that the dog may have alerted the victims in the home of the presence of an intruder.  If the dog had started barking, this may have spooked the suspect and caught him off guard.  If the dog did not bark and the suspect went undetected it might suggest that the dog knew the suspect and it did not bark because the dog did not perceive the suspect as a threat. 

If for example the suspect targeted Streeter and McCall, entered the house after following them, approached their room and the family dog began barking the dog may have awakened Levitt causing her to get out of bed and encountering the suspect.  The suspect may have had no intention to harm anyone up until the point the dog began barking and woke up Levitt.  Once the dog barked and alerted Levitt, the suspect could have ran or if he hesitated and was seen by Levitt and recognized, the crime of breaking and entering for the purpose of possibly assaulting Streeter or McCall, may have escalated to abduction.

On the other hand, it’s possible the family dog was not overly protective and not prone to barking at noises at night and the dog may have slept through the entire abduction. 

Again, like the broken glass, the dog may have been inadvertently involved in effecting how the suspect behaved once inside the home and this information could prove vital in understanding the suspect and the suspect’s motivations. 

The Timeline:

Examining the timeline along with the lack of evidence is important because if the suspect were targeting only the occupants of the house, Levitt and Streeter, McCall was only abducted as a result of coincidence. At the same time, if Streeter and McCall had stuck to their plans to stay elsewhere other than returning to the house on Delmar, would the suspect passed on the home or attacked Levitt only?

The premise behind this is to understand if the suspect targeting the home on Delmar was dependent upon Levitt and Streeter only, and if Streeter had not been home would the suspect have moved on?

The issue with this is that Streeter and McCall did not arrive at the house on Delmar until after 230AM and it was a last minute decision.    When Levitt went to bed, one would assume she was not expecting for her daughter to come back to the house. 

It is also unknown that when Streeter and McCall left the home they had planned on staying how intoxicated they were and how far they would have to drive to arrive at the house on Delmar.

One would assume that if Streeter and McCall were intoxicated those in the home they had intended to stay would be reluctant to allow the two teenagers to leave the home unattended. Even so, it’s possible that Streeter and McCall were not inebriated and there was no conceived concern for their safety that would cause someone to be reluctant to allow them to leave. 

The rationale behind this is to examine whether it is possible that if Streeter and McCall felt compelled to leave the house they had planned on staying due to overcrowding, did anyone else make the same decision and leave the house at the same time or soon after Streeter or McCall decided to leave?

It could be speculated that each individual staying at the home Streeter and McCall left have been approached by LE and questioned.  If this is the case then, one would have to speculate that Streeter and McCall left the house, drove directly from that home to Delmar and made no stops on the way or were followed by someone at the house they left. 

This would lead to two scenarios: the abductor may have been in the home at the time Streeter and McCall arrived, or only after Streeter and McCall arrived at the house on Delmar the suspect arrived unaware that Streeter or McCall were not there earlier. 

It is important to note that the suspect had to have a vehicle.  The question is did the suspect come prepared to abduct the three women, targeted only Levitt and was surprised when Streeter and McCall arrived, the suspect had no intention to abduct anyone but something changed that escalated the crime from breaking and entering to abduction? 

Organized or Disorganized:

All signs point to the suspect being organized.  Whether the suspect premeditated the crimes for a lengthy period of time or acted spontaneously once he selected his target, the suspect’s motive may have not originated as a plan to abduct but was prepared to abduct. 

Victimology:

When examining this case we know that Levitt and Streeter, mother and daughter, lived in the house on Delmar alone.  Levitt was divorced, was working as a cosmetologist and had lived in the home since April 1992. 

Levitt did not date according to most facts, but was having issues with attempting to attain some support from her ex-husband. Levitt seemed to be well liked and had several clients at the salon she worked. 

Nevertheless, Levitt had a falling out with her son, due to his alcoholism and had cut ties with him prior to her abduction. 

Streeter had at one time moved out of the home with her mother and moved in with her older brother, and their relationship soon soured also because of the brother’s alcoholism and she soon moved back in with her mother on Delmar.

Streeter had also been involved in a relationship with a young man who had been recently charged with vandalism at a local cemetery and Streeter worked with LE essentially cooperating as a witness against her boyfriend and another young man who had vandalized the cemetery. 

At this time, the brother and the two men have not necessarily been ruled out as suspects, but they have cooperated with police in the aftermath of the abductions. 

Another factor to note is that Levitt and Streeter lived alone in the home on Delmar, and this could have contributed to them being targeted making them a high risk for abduction.

It is assumed that McCall may not have been targeted by the suspect but was by happenstance at the home on Delmar on the morning they were abducted, unless the suspect targeted Streeter and McCall and followed them back to the house on Delmar. 

Operational Theories:

In this particular case there are three operational theories.

Operational Theory 1: A suspect targeted Streeter and McCall the night of the abduction and followed them back to the house on Delmar

Operational Theory 2: A suspect targeted Levitt and Streeter between April 1992 and June 1992 and arrived after Streeter and McCall entered the house on Delmar.

Operational Theory 3: A suspect targeted Levitt and Streeter who was angry with them and wanted to punish them.

Operational Theory 1 suggests that on the night of graduation sometime soon after Streeter and McCall left the home they had intended to stay, the suspect left also and followed Streeter and McCall to the house on Delmar. 

Operational Theory 2 suggests that at some point between April 1992 and June 1992 someone targeted Levitt and Streeter. This could be anyone from someone Levitt and Streeter knew well, to someone who had met them possibly at the home and then contemplated abducting them. 

Operational Theory 3: suggests that the suspect had been angered by Levitt and Streeter and wants to punish them. 

Victims’ Purses & Porch Light

Examining Operational Theory 1:

On June 6th 1992, while out celebrating their graduation and partying with friends someone followed Streeter and McCall to the home on Delmar after they decided to leave because the house was overcrowded.  The suspect would have left under the same excuse or offered another excuse for leaving the home.  The suspect followed Streeter and McCall to the home on Delmar and most likely parked outside the home and waited for the lights to go off inside the home. 

The suspect may have been drinking also.  It is unknown if the suspect knocked and then was allowed entry into the home or perhaps broke into the house under the pretense as a voyeur.  It’s possible the suspect may have walked around the house peeping into the windows prior to going into the home contemplating whether or not he should leave or stay or making excuses to knock on the door to be allowed entry. 

It’s possible this suspect had a crush on either Streeter or McCall but he was rebuffed by them.  Under the influence of alcohol he now has the nerve to attempt to confront them.

This suspect has most likely never killed before and once inside the home under whatever pretense (voyeurism or knocked on the door under some false pretense that his vehicle broke down and needed to use the phone) the suspect is either caught inside the home when Levitt wakes up after the family dog begins barking or once he is asked to leave refuses and he becomes angry and lashes out. 

The suspect overpowers one of the women with some type of weapon and binds them and contemplates what to do moving forward, but also realizes he cannot leave them alive because they know his identity. 

Because the suspect has never murdered anyone but cannot leave them alive he decides to abduct them and take them out of the home to a secluded location where the suspect can make up his mind as to what to do next. 

After he has the women in his vehicle and drives further away from Delmar, his aggression towards the women intensifies, and he realizes he is in total control.  The suspect takes the women some place secluded within a ten to twenty mile radius of the home.  It is also possible that the suspect informs the victims that if they remain calm once he takes them to the isolated location he will set them free and then drive away.  After arriving at the location the suspect realizes he cannot leave them alive and yet at the same time is hesitant and only wants to undo what he has done. 

After murdering the three women, the suspect drives back towards the home on Delmar and perhaps notices that the friends have arrived so he stops at a payphone nearby and contacts the home disguising his voice and basically making a scripted call to the home.  The suspect does this to distance himself from the crime and act out the part of someone who would commit such a heinous act.  At this point he psychologically disassociates himself from the crime. 

The suspect will be between the ages of 18-27 years of age.  Perhaps he is also a recent graduate and is getting ready to leave Springfield for college or the military and is able to distance himself from the crimes by moving away or could possibly be in college and on summer break and leaves soon after to return to college.

Examining Operational Theory 2:

Assuming that the suspect is a male and examining the lack of evidence found at the home on Delmar, one could postulate that the suspect was organized, orderly, and methodical who enjoys the hunt and taunting the victims.  It seems the only misstep was removing the globe to switch off the light and leaving the globe in the path to be knocked over and broken upon entering and exiting the home.  The suspect’s motive is one of being in total control, and sexual sadism.

It would seem that the suspect lived nearby or was visiting nearby and more likely that the suspect had targeted the victims prior to June 7, 1992.

The suspect was prepared and brought his own weapons and tools utilized to enter into the home, subdue the victims, abduct them, leading them to his vehicle and taking them to a location he was familiar with.  

Also, it would seem the suspect has been in the home prior to the attack, knew the phone number, and may have broken into the home prior to the attack, knew the victims personally, or operating as a professional (e.g. service technician) entered the house and targeted it after. 

According to this theory the suspect is a professional type, technician, organized, methodical, and lives within the area.  The suspect wants total control and within the home is unable to do so. At the same time the suspect is aware of his physical presence and the evidence he sets out to maintain control of the crime scene by leaving no evidence behind.

This is someone who wants complete control. There is an underlying anger and the suspect is often able to suppress it, but when he commits to this crime, it’s about control, methodology, and organization. 

The location of the house on Delmar worked because it was not visible to nosy neighbors, and he may have picked the house with a mother and a daughter purposefully because of his own issues with interpersonal relationships.

He is a hunter, an outdoorsman and has a prime spot he hunts and knows the area well, using it to get away from problems at home by going hunting where he isolates himself but he bores easily from hunting game and it no longer satisfies him. He may have a cabin or land that he owns or has access to property that gives him privacy.

The suspect will between the ages of 24-35 at the time of the killings.  This suspect is most likely a sexual sadist.  The suspect may be respected in the community. He most likely owns his home or sizeable amount of land.  The suspect will have access to several vehicles and most likely a company vehicle and lives within 10-20 miles from the victims. 

Examining Operational Theory 3:

This theory operates under the assumption that someone targeted Levitt and Streeter out of anger and wanted to punish the women.  This suspect came prepared to abduct the women because the suspect knew they would be the first to be questioned about the crimes. 

This suspect has anger issues and most likely has been arrested prior to June 7th and after June 7th

This suspect will have gone out of his way to dispose of the bodies and is able to play the victim to dissociate himself from being capable of ever committing such a crime. 

Victims’ Bedrooms

Analysis of all Three Operational Theories:

In all three operational theories, the suspect is someone who knew the victims and is not considered to be a random/opportunistic suspect who targeted the home or targeted the victims by happenstance the day of the abductions. The suspect knew pertinent information about the victims.

Although Operational Theory 2 and 3 are plausible, the lack of rage or lack of evidence seems indicative of a suspect who was conflicted about what to do as the crime unfolded.

It’s as if the suspect had not committed to abduction or murder but was acting impulsively and had followed Streeter and McCall to the home on Delmar and then hesitated for a while before committing to entering the home. 

However, after the suspect was confronted by someone in the home and recognized only then did the crime escalate from what may have been a breaking and entering or voyeurism charge to one of self preservation and he felt as if he had no choice but to silence the victims. 

For example, once the suspect was encountered in the home and recognized he had two choices: run or commit to silencing the women his first choice was to bind the victims and leave the house. Once the suspect leaves the house and goes back to his vehicle he decides to take the women as opposed to killing them because even at this time the suspect is not committed to murder but is slowly realizing that murder may be the only solution.  Abducting the women buys the suspect more time to consider his options. 

This time the suspect pulls into the driveway and goes back inside the home and abducts the women. The suspect wants to get away from the home and the further he drives away and the more isolated of a location he finds the further he can psychologically dissociate himself from the crime he is committing. 

Perhaps even once the suspect finds an isolated location he is still hesitant on committing murder, but by this time the crime has escalated from breaking and entering to kidnapping and now the suspect sees no other recourse but to silence the ones who know the truth. 

Operational theories 2 and 3 are problematic because if the suspect had been targeting only Levitt and Streeter, Streeter was not home and not expected to be home that night.  Although it may appear the crime was premeditated and carefully planned, the suspect may have been apprehensive about approaching the home when he noticed an unfamiliar third car in the driveway.

Theory 3 also seems problematic because if the suspect were angry with the women in the home and acting impulsively out of anger, there is nothing about the crime scene that suggests any signs of struggle.

Therefore, moving forward, Operational Theory 1 will be examined as the most plausible theory because it answers more questions than it asks.

Victims’ Vehicles

Operational Theory 1: Suspect Targeted Streeter and McCall:

The most plausible theory is that the only thing different about June 6th-7th is that the two women had graduated and were out of the house celebrating with friends.  One has to argue that if a suspect had previously targeted Levitt and Streeter, this suspect could have acted anytime before June 7th, but on this particular night Streeter was not at home and not expected to be home. 

Something significant happened that set these events into motion.  This theory operates under the premise that the catalyst was the graduation.  The suspect was with the group after graduation having also just graduated, a friend of a friend of someone who graduated, or a person who had graduated and was already in college or military and had returned home for the graduation. 

It is this event that set all other events into motion.  Once Streeter and McCall changed plans to leave the overcrowded home and go back to the house on Delmar, the suspect also made an excuse to leave. 

The suspect is between the ages of 18-27.  He is likeable, a former Boy Scout maybe, who has issues with girls his age and is seen as a friend by the girls he knows and not datable.  It’s possible he is a virgin and was raised in a strict religious home and has been bullied by some at school.  He comes from a lower to middle class family.  Internally he struggles with this nice guy image. 

It is possible that this suspect worked mowing yards while in school to make extra money and had been employed by Levitt because the suspect was a friend of Streeter’s.  He possibly drives a van or a dual cab pickup truck. 

This suspect is on the periphery of the investigation because he is an outlier who like many other people knew Streeter and McCall, but does not fit the profile of someone who could commit such a heinous act. 

Once he left the place he buried the victims he disassociated himself from the crimes altogether as if it never happened.  If he has returned to the place he buried the victims it was only to ensure their graves have gone untouched, but it’s quite possible he has never been back and is at this time not concerned with anyone finding the victims because he believes any evidence concerning his involvement has over the passage of time been washed away. 

Re-opening the Investigation:

It is highly recommended that Springfield police along with the State Police and FBI re-open the investigation and proceed to re-interview all people from the home Streeter and McCall had been at the night of graduation.  It would also be recommended to investigate any person from the landlord who Levitt rented or bought the house from to anyone who may have worked at the home such as a landscaper who may have also been friends with Streeter from school. 

Information about previous search areas should be provided to allow volunteers to either search those locations again, and new locations established within a 10-20 mile radius from the home on Delmar.

The rationale behind the victims being east of Springfield is that the house on Delmar was right of center of the heart of the city and the closest rural area from Delmar would be to head east. 

It is also possible that by re-opening the investigation into the matter and re-interviewing those who knew the victims might rattle the suspect.  It’s possible that the suspect has been charged with crimes since 1992. 

It has to be a strong investigation one involving several agencies and possibly reexamining the home on Delmar and attempting to reenact the crime using different scenarios. 

These reenactments should be publicized to the local media. 

If the suspect has disassociated himself from the crime the only way perhaps to unnerve him would be to come at the case with every investigative tool Law Enforcement can bring by calling in volunteers to search new areas, to using drones to fly over locations looking for evidence, to increasing the reward.

If the operating theory is this crime was not random and the victims were targeted by someone they knew, the most difficult obstacle would be is if the victims were taken to private property where in order to search LE would need a warrant to do so.

Nevertheless, it must be noted that there may be less than 5 potential people of interest and some may be ruled out rather quickly and the ones that remain LE maybe able to provide PC to execute a search warrant. 

Conclusion of Report:

The most plausible operating theory is that the catalyst that set the events into motion the morning of June 7th 1992 and resulted in the abductions and possible murders of Sherrill Levitt, Suzie Streeter, and Stacey McCall was the high school graduation Saturday June 6th and the celebratory parties that followed. 

It is believed that the suspect was with the groups as an invited guest to the celebratory parties. The suspect is a white male between the ages of 18-27. He may have graduated also, or is a friend of someone who had graduated, or was a former student who has returned to visit with friends from the school and this person had a crush on Streeter or McCall. 

Around 230AM Streeter and McCall decide to leave the house they were staying because it was overcrowded and there was no place for them to sleep.  It is believed that the suspect also was in the house and soon after Streeter and McCall left the home, the suspect left also under a similar excuse.  However, the suspect follows Streeter and McCall back to the house on Delmar. 

The suspect has most likely been drinking, and parks his vehicle on the street and fantasizes about being with the girls in the home.  He may even exit his vehicle and walk around the property peering into windows which further excites him. 

After the lights go out in the house, the suspect takes a screwdriver or buck knife, something with a straight edge to use to wedge between the door and the lock to break in. It is also possible that the suspect decides to remove the globe using the knife to unbolt the screws holding the globe in place sets the globe on the porch and then disconnects the bulb preventing anyone who passes by from seeing him enter the home.

Once he does this he proceeds to break into the home, but finds the door unlocked.  The suspect enters the home and there maybe some light inside allowing him to find his way around and he looks for the room Streeter and McCall are in. 

It is possible that at some point he goes to Levitt’s room, or while roaming through the home the family dog begins barking and wakes up Levitt. Levitt leaves the room and finds the man in the home and confronts him. In doing so, he panics, and Streeter and McCall are also awakened and they all recognize the man. 

He reacts by taking the knife and taking Levitt hostage and threatening to kill if the women do not obey his instructions.  The suspect forces Streeter and McCall to turn over on their stomachs and hide their faces and the suspect proceeds to bind Levitt with items in the house most likely using clothing items from Streeter’s room.  With Levitt tied, the suspect proceeds to tie up Streeter and McCall. 

The suspect checks and double checks the knots he has used to bind the women and believing they are secure he exits the home and returns to his vehicle. 

Once in his vehicle he hesitates, a part of him wanting to drive away, but he knows that he cannot leave because the women recognize him.  He is still not committed to murdering them, so he drives to the house and backs into the driveway. 

Back inside the home, he begins taking the women out to his vehicle. During one of these trips he or one of the victims run into the globe the suspect had removed earlier and sat on the porch, and the globe breaks.  It is possible this happens after he is leaving with the last victim, because there is no blood indicating that the barefoot women stepped on the broken glass.

With the victims in his vehicle the suspect drives east to 65B then turns right or left, and proceeds north or south till he comes to the closest intersection that will take him east and out of the city into a rural area. 

After the suspect finds a suitable secluded location he stops and contemplates his next move.  Although he may still be hesitant to kill, he realizes there is no other alternative.  The suspect removes the victims one by one and murders them.  The suspect either has tools on hand to cover up the bodies or the suspect is forced to leave the area, go find the tools necessary and then return to the area. 

The suspect is able to leave the area after sunrise, perhaps some time around 840AM and drives back towards the house on Delmar.  However, once he arrives he recognizes that friends of Streeter and McCall are at the home. 

The suspect concocts a scripted call, and drives to a nearby payphone and calls the house.  The suspect disguises his voice and makes obscene statements purposefully in an attempt to psychologically disassociate himself from the crime by attempting to confuse the friends and make it sound as if Streeter and Levitt were being stalked.  He goes on to leave a voice mail but it is accidently erased. 

The suspect returns home, cleans up, and possibly even attends church with family thereby having an alibi for his whereabouts on the day of the abductions.

It is possible the suspect left Springfield in the next few days to return back to college, start college, or joined the military. 

The suspect is possibly a former Boy Scout, knows how to tie knots and is a hunter.  He is friendly, and a hard worker, liked by others, but is seen as a nice guy which he resents because he sees the boys with bad reputations get the girls he likes.  He comes from a lower class-middle class family, strict religious background, attends church regularly and is a decent student with average grades.  He has a job, probably outdoors work, and has access to a vehicle to carry his tools needed to perform his duties. 

He is most likely happily married with children and still attends church regularly and is considered an upstanding citizen who doesn’t fit the profile of someone who could commit such a heinous act. 

This suspect would be considered an outlier, someone who knew the girls from school or through other friends and acted impulsively, possibly also under the influence of alcohol on June 7th 1992.

The victims are most likely buried within ten to twenty miles from the house on Delmar just outside of Springfield, Missouri in a rural area.

All theories on this page are of my own and I do not represent Law Enforcement. If you have any information about the disappearance of the Springfield Three, please contact the Springfield Police Department: (417)-864-1810  

The Case for Moving to Indict the Primary Suspect in the Disappearance of Patti Adkins:

Patti Adkins Missing Person Case

It seems highly unusual in the case of the disappearance of Patti Adkins in July 2001 where a prosecutor would be unable to take this case to a Grand Jury, show probable cause to indict the Primary Suspect and proceed to bring charges against the Primary Suspect and move to trial.   

Defendants are convicted where the evidence is circumstantial every day.  But to continue to allow this Primary Suspect to walk free until the DA’s office has direct evidence is unjustifiable, when perhaps the only way to break this case is to indict rather than wait another nineteen years.

Of course having “Direct Evidence” would be best to proceed with any trial, but after nineteen years in spite of no body, or admission of guilt, it now rests in the hands of the DA to press the matter by making an indictment and perhaps in doing so, press the Primary Suspect to face a jury of his peers and allow them to decide upon the preponderance or circumstantial evidence if the Primary Suspect is guilty or not guilty.

There is enough evidence in the testimony, the supporting facts based on the testimony, and inference putting the testimony and the supporting facts together to not only indict the Primary Suspect, but to posssibly prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Primary Suspect can be proven guilty in a court of law as being responsible for the death of Patti Adkins. 

Testimony would show that Patti Adkins and the Primary Suspect were in a relationship prior to her disappearance in July.  The defense will argue against this evidence, but would find it near impossible to explain away how witnesses would have any knowledge including Ms. Adkins about the Primary Suspects purchase of the Tonneau Cover purchased by the Primary Suspect prior to June 29, 2001 and picked up the cover he ordered and installed the day Ms. Adkins disappeared if Ms. Adkins and the Primary Suspect were not in a “relationship”.   

The defense would find it difficult to refute the witness testimony that those closest to Ms. Adkins were aware that on the night of June 29th 2001 Ms. Adkins and the Primary Suspect were expected to leave for the week and that to keep their relationship secret Ms. Adkins was encouraged by the Primary Suspect to leave her work station early, exit the plant they both worked, proceed to his truck and hide in the bed, under the cover the Primary Suspect installed the day of the night she disappeared. 

The only defense that could be proffered is that Patti Adkins was stalking the Primary Suspect.  However, this evidence would be refuted by the testimony of the “banker” that Ms. Adkins had withdrawn several thousands of dollars to give to the Primary Suspect. 

The jury would be able to infer based on the witness testimony in regards to the relationship, the Tonneau Cover being on the vehicle, and the banker that the Primary Suspect was not being stalked by the victim, but the victim was being preyed upon by the Primary Suspect. 

The defense team would most likely attempt to infer that Ms. Adkins, a scorned woman, stalked the Primary Suspect and when the Primary Suspect rejected her she set forth to stage her own disappearance in an attempt to frame the Primary Suspect. 

Nevertheless, the DA has to trust the jury to surmise that Ms. Adkins could have taken the Primary Suspect to court and sue him for loans she had given him as opposed to staging her disappearance.   

If in fact the DA of Union County of the Great State of Ohio were to bring forth charges by first indicting the Primary Suspect with a Grand Jury, this would allow the DA to attempt to make a plea with the Primary Suspect on lesser charges of A) pleading guilty to a lesser offense B) enable the DA to stipulate that a plea bargain be accepted only if the Primary Suspect lead investigators to the body of Ms. Adkins. 

However, until the DA presses the matter by first indicting the Primary Suspect, it is reasonable to speculate that the Primary Suspect, unless pressed will ever admit to guilt, and only by pursuing the case in a court of law will the Primary Suspect ever be held accountable, or allow prosecutor’s after attaining an indictment to press the Primary Suspect to negotiate a plea and bring closure to this case. 

Allow the citizens of the great state of Ohio to examine the evidence against the Primary Suspect and allow them the opportunity to hold the Primary Suspect accountable or find the Primary Suspect Not Guilty. 

By not allowing the citizens to do so is a miscarriage of justice.  By waiting on “Direct Evidence” when there is enough evidence, albeit circumstantial, to indict is justice, even if the Jury finds the Primary Suspect  Not Guilty.

Doing nothing however, is wrong most especially since the District Attorney of Union County is the only governing body that can utilize its authority to bring an indictment against the defendant. 

How many more days, years, have to pass before the Primary Suspect is given a fair trial and allow a jury of the Primary Suspects peers to render a verdict and allow the jury to look at the evidence and hold the Primary Suspect accountable, or find the Primary Suspect not guilty? 

Patti Adkins is unable to speak for herself and the only governing body with the legal tools that can speak for her choose to stay silent and wait, and nineteen years of waiting for “Direct Evidence” when there is enough circumstantial evidence to convict is no longer justifiable when perhaps the only closure to this case is by indicting and pressing the Primary Suspect to face a jury and allow them, the jury, the opportunity to render a verdict.

Investigating Agency

  • Marysville Police Department 937-642-3900
  • Union County Sheriff’s Department 937-644-5010
  • Union County District Attorney:
  • Phone(937) 645-4190

Peggy McGuire Missing Person’s Case

Peggy McGuire Missing Person Case

BACKGROUND:

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at around 3-4 pm, Peggy McGuire (PM) was reported missing by family when she did not show up to pick up her son from school. At the time of her disappearance PM was 28 years old and the mother of a young son. She was living in the small town of Stidham, Oklahoma (SO) about 15 minutes northwest from Eufaula, OK (EO). She was living with the father of their young son in SO. The father is also considered a Person of Interest and most likely the Primary Suspect (PS) by Law Enforcement.

The two had known each other and had a tumultuous relationship since meeting during her sophomore year in High School. His immediate family and her immediate family live in the EO area. On prior occasions there were allegations of abuse PM suffered at the hands of the PS. She had pressed charges against him in the past and even placed a restraining order against him, but both were eventually dismissed. PM went to nursing school and after graduating was working at a nursing home in EO. She was also living with the PS and their son at his home, but according to friends and family PM and the PS were in a platonic relationship. During this time period, it has been stated that PM was “dating” other people and at the time of her disappearance had a boyfriend in Texas (BFTX).

It is assumed PM lived with the PS as opposed to living with family or finding her own apartment because PM and the PS believed it would be best to stay together for their son. PM was a “country girl” and on her property she took care of cattle and other livestock. It has been stated that this was the attraction she had with the PS in HS because he loved the country life as well. It should also be noted that the county in which they lived is the same as the last name of the PS and his family may have been prominent in the area.

3 years later, PM is still missing, her case has gone cold, and no arrests have been made in her disappearance. She is not believed to have left on her own volition and many in her family and in LE assume she is dead. There have been no suspects named; however, her son’s father is still assumedly the PS even though no evidence has shown Probable Cause (PC) to arrest him, yet no evidence has been shown to rule him out as a PS either.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PEGGY MCGUIRE?

TIMELINE:

PM was last seen on November 16th, 2015 after she dropped her son off at Canadian Elementary School (CES) at around 745am.

Her last phone conversation was with her BFTX that ended at approximately 10am on the day she went missing. After this conversation she has not been seen or heard from again.

KNOWN MOVEMENTS:

PM left her place of employment, picked up her son, drove him to school and then drove back to her home in SO. (At the beginning of this investigation there were reports that PM was spotted either at CES with someone in her truck with her; however, this information has been dismissed and hasn’t been discussed in follow-up reports). PM leaves work, picks up son and drops him off at approx.745am. CES is approximately 25-30 minute drive back to SO. ETA to home at 830am. (At around 815am PM calls her father and tells him she is heading home).

CANCELLED PLANS:

On 11/16/15, PM had informed her cousin and co-worker she was going to meet her BFTX on Monday (BFTX was supposed to drive from TX to OK to meet) and she was not coming into work Tuesday because she would be with him. She would however be back in time to pick up her son Tuesday afternoon. At some point before 10AM the BF in TX had to cancel their date. According to reports no one was aware of this change in plans besides the BFTX and PM.

At around 10am PM speaks with BF in TX.
After their call ends PM, according to LE her phone pings from her home, but after 10am her phone is turned off and is never turned on again.

REPORTED MISSING:

At approx 3pm 11/17 family becomes worried because PM is unreachable by phone and isn’t at CES to pick up her son. He is instead picked up by his Father the PS. At approx 330pm 11/17, family contact police to report PM as a MISSING PERSON.

PM vehicle is found abandoned at a local bar called the Ice House.

(Surveillance footage from the Ice House shows that PM vehicle being dropped off at TJ’s Ice House at approx 528am 9 miles from her home. An UK person is seen exiting the vehicle. This UK person is seen by a driver, and when spotted the UK person ducks into the woods.)

ANALYSIS OF TIMELINE:

According to PM relative and co-worker on 11/16/15, PM had made plans to meet her BFTX. This person was going to drive from TX to OK. PM had not informed other family members, but it is assumed she had made plans with someone other than family, including the PS to pick her son up from school Monday afternoon.

BFTX cancels plans to meet with PM, but is known as the last person to converse with her by telephone. This conversation ended around 10AM and it is at this time LE report that PM phone was turned off or disabled.

PM is not reported missing until Tuesday afternoon.

10am 11/16-300pm 11/17:

29 HOURS HAVE ELAPSED FROM LAST KNOWN COMMUNICATION AND BEING REPORTED MISSING

REVISED TIMELINE: Mon 10am 11/16-Tues 528am 11/17

PM truck was discovered later that day abandoned at the TJ’s Ice House (IH), a local bar in a desolate area off of Highway 9. This baffles her family because PM is not known to imbibe or frequent the IH.

A surveillance camera located at the IH is reviewed and PM truck is seen driving north, pulling into the IH, turns in the circular parking lot and is parked facing south. The time is 528am 11/17. It is raining, so the image is blurry, but a person is seen exiting the vehicle and walking away assumedly walking in a south-bound direction. The UK person is allegedly spotted by a driver who lived near the IH and was heading to work and as they approached the UK person, the UK person ducked into the woods as if attempting to evade being seen.

This evidence narrows the time from last time PM last communication to being reported missing from 29 hours to 19 hours.

PM truck being abandoned by an unknown person at the Ice House suggests that PM is a victim of foul play, ruling out leaving on her own volition, suicide, or having been involved in an accident, but impossible to rule out that PM has been abducted, or murdered.

PRIMARY SUSPECT(S):

OPERATIONAL HYPOTHETICAL THEORIES:

RANDOM UNKNOWN INTRUDER ANALYSIS:

The operational theory of a UK RI would suggest that PM and the RI had no known connection prior to 11/16/15. The possible motivation would most likely be residential burglary, not realizing anyone was home. Although these forms of random attacks make up 16% of crimes similar to the PM case, this operational theory poses several credible problems. There were no signs of anyone breaking into PM home, the RI does not need to abduct her, there are no reports of items being missing (besides a gun) the RI would have no need to abandon the truck at the IH versus dumping it elsewhere, PM home was not in a suburban area or in an apartment complex, and thus the RI would most likely have an accomplice(s) and need not take PM truck only to abandon it at the IH. There have been no reports of anyone attempting to use PM ATM or Credit Cards etc. Although a RI theory cannot be necessarily ruled out, it does not seem like the most plausible theory.

UNKNOWN OUTLIER INTRUDER ANALYSIS:

This suspect would be an outlier a person just close enough in proximity to the victim’s location or knew of her but not closely associated enough to be suspected. The motive for suspect 3 would most likely be sexual. This suspect would be aware that PM lives with someone and would have an incentive to abduct her. This suspect would have lived close by or was visiting close by. The problem with suspect 3, this suspect would have no rational reason for leaving PM truck at the IH versus leaving it anywhere else. It is also difficult to establish why suspect 3 would need 19 hours to commit this abduction and not only a couple of hours. One would also have difficulty in understanding why risk an abduction in daylight, and risk being seen in PM vehicle, yet also risk abandoning the vehicle at a location where the suspect risks being seen.

CURRENT OR FORMER BOYFRIEND ANALYSIS:

Although it is known that PM was “dating” other men, And it is possible that one of these men was someone PM kept secret for whatever reason, the motive behind this crime could be anything from robbery, to a crime of passion. One of the original reports soon after PM was reported missing was that on the day she was last seen someone reported seeing her with another UK person, not her son. Since that original report, it has not been heard of again, and its possible this witness was mistaken. However, it is possible that on the day she went missing she may have purposefully picked up someone and took this UK person to her home. However, because PM kept this relationship a secret this UK suspect may or may not have contacted her through SM or via phone. Even so, the problem with this theory as with the others is this suspect does take the risk of not knowing if others are aware of their relationship, risks being spotted in her vehicle and has no rational reason to leave the truck at the IH versus leaving it anywhere else.

LONG-TERM LIVE-IN SPOUSE ANALYSIS:

At the time of PM abduction the two were living together in a platonic relationship, and apparently in agreement to dating other people. However, the PS as an operating theory answers more questions than it asks and fills in blanks where other theories leave questionable and somewhat doubtful.

The PS as the most plausible operational theory gives a rational reason as to why 19 hours lapses between the last time PM has contact with anyone and when her truck is left at the IH. The PS has a rational reason to leave the vehicle at the IH to establish a motive to give the illusion that PM is engaging in scandalous relationships, that insofar have not been discovered by SW examining PM online SM activity or call and text logs. If in fact the crime scene is PM home, the PS would have the time and the motive to clean the home and know specifically he has until 3pm to complete this task before anyone will know PM is missing. This time allows him the opportunity to clean up the crime scene, the time to organize and dispose of PM body leaving it virtually impossible for her to be found, clean the vehicle and then dispose of it at the IH establishing the narrative that PM ran away or was taken by someone she had met while engaging in scandalous behavior and even walk the 9 miles back home (which without assistance may have taken about 2 hours to walk conservatively) and still give him 7 hours before PM would be considered missing by family.

Missing Persons and other Crime Statistics (National and Local):

“The CDC analyzed the murders of women in 18 states from 2003 to 2014, finding a total of 10,018 deaths. Of those, 55 percent were intimate partner violence-related, meaning they occurred at the hands of a former or current partner or the partner’s family or friends. In 93 percent of those cases, the culprit was a current or former romantic partner. The report also bucks the strangers-in-dark-alleys narrative common to televised crime dramas: Strangers perpetrated just 16 percent of all female homicides, fewer than acquaintances and just slightly more than parents.” https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/534306/

“A popular homicide myth says that most female homicide victims are killed by strangers. The reality is that the majority of homicide victims, particularly women, are killed by someone they know. The UCR data over the years completely debunk the myth about “stranger danger” and homicide…women are most likely to be killed at home by a current or former male intimate—that is, a husband, boyfriend, ex-husband or former boyfriend. Making this point, the UCR data from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s found that a female is more than 2.5 times as likely to be shot by her male intimate partner as to be shot, stabbed, strangled, bludgeoned, or killed in any other way by a stranger.” https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201510/white-females-are-rarely-murder-victims-or-perpetrators%3famp

FINAL ANALYSIS:

Although this report is hypothetical presenting multiple operating theories as to possible suspects and motives behind the abduction and probable murder of PM, all persons are legally innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This case has at this time no direct evidence and is based on circumstantial evidence that relies on inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact. In this particular case it is the absence of direct evidence whereby deductive reasoning establishes the most probable suspect as the PM long-time boyfriend and the father of her son as the Primary Suspect (PS) and the operational theory is that on 11/16/15 the PS motivated by jealousy assaults PM inside their home and the attack escalates and PM is murdered in her own home. Although the crime was most likely not premeditated, once PM is murdered, the PS, quickly moves to establish a plan to cover up the crime and dispose of PM body. The PS knows he has at least 29 hours to complete this coverup. One can theorize that the PS waits until after dark to remove PM body from the home and placing her into the back of her own truck. The PS has time to get rid of any incriminating evidence, retrace his steps and clean up any signs of the altercation.

The most compelling fact is that the person who committed this crime had motive, the means, and most importantly the time to organize how to elude LE and the motive to dispose of PM body in a location no one will find. In fact, while most reports suggest that family and friends and LE have searched 80 acres near the PS home and surrounding areas, the PS could have traveled up to 200 miles away to dispose of PM body and still have been able to return home again, and still have time to dispose of PM truck at the IH. Disposing of the truck at the IH was a huge risk, but at the same time, it is a risk that perhaps only the PS would have taken in order to divert LE attention away from him, but create the motive that PM was engaging in scandalous behavior that the facts and evidence do not seem to support.

No other possible suspect, would have motive to dispose the truck at the IH, nor any motive to abduct PM as opposed to killing her in her own home and attempting to pin the crime on the PS. It is the disposal of the truck at the IH in an attempt to divert LE that is indicative of the PS being the most plausible suspect, and although this evidence is circumstantial it could be enough PC to present to a Grand Jury

All theories listed on this site are of my own and I do not represent Law Enforcement. If you have any information concerning this crime, please contact Law Enforcement.

Investigating Agency:

  • McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office 918-689-2526
  • Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation 918-423-6672



FSC: Ali Lowitzer: Missing Person’s Case

Ali Lowitzer Missing Person Case

Part 1: Ali Lowitzer Missing Person’s Case:

Ali Lowitzer was 16-years-old when she disappeared. By all accounts, it was a typical day. Lowitzer went to school that morning. After school she boarded a school bus as do hundreds of thousands of school kids do during the school year. The bus stop was three houses away from where Lowitzer lived. The school bus was equipped with surveillance cameras and captured her departing the bus around 245PM.  Then Ali vanished.

Ali’s mother reported her daughter as missing to the Spring Texas Police, by 11PM Monday April 26, 2010. According to reports the Spring Texas Police did not consider Ali a victim of foul play but believed she had runaway.  It would take a week for Ali to be listed as Missing and Endangered and another month before Ali’s case was handed over to Homicide Detectives with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

In the meantime, during those first few weeks, a non-profit organization, The Laura Recovery Center, came to the aid of the Lowitzer family and conducted searches and handing out fliers to bring attention to Ali’s case. 

Nine years have passed since the day Ali went missing.  Ali’s mother continues to run a Facebook page, reportedly still lives in the same home and Ali’s room has been left the way it was the day Ali disappeared. 

Over the last nine years the Lowitzer family has worked with at least 2 separate Private Investigators to search for Ali. The first investigator found evidence that Ali may have been seen talking to someone in a white truck on the day she disappeared.  Around the same time, a man by the name of Brandon Lavergne had been arrested and convicted for murdering a young girl in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lavergne was found to have ties to the Spring, Texas community and many considered this a breakthrough in the case when it was learned that Lavergne’s white truck was found burned a few miles North of Spring, Texas.

However, detectives working the case soon cleared Lavergne of having any connection to Ali’s disappearance when they learned that Lavergne had been employed and was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. 

A few years later, the Lowitzer family hired another Private Investigator.  This investigator believed it was possible that Ali had been abducted and was being held captive by sex traffickers.  The investigator received a tip from someone in Ohio claiming they had seen Ali at a local church. Following this tip, the investigator went undercover and began speaking to prostitutes in the area, and after showing them the photo of Ali, the women stated they knew and had visually seen Ali and could direct the investigator to a brothel Ali was being held captive.

According to the investigator, she along with one of the prostitutes working as a police informant visited the brothel under the pretense of purchasing or selling illegal narcotics, and during the undercover operation as the investigator walked through the home, she too spotted Ali. 

Nevertheless, for unknown reasons, the investigator did not immediately seek to correspond with the missing girl, and instead flew back to Texas to speak with the Lowitzer family.  A month passed before the investigator would return to Ohio, and working with local police, the alleged brothel was stormed by police armed with a search warrant, but by this time Ali was gone.

Although it is impossible to rule out the investigator’s story she saw Ali alive and being held captive in Ohio, it is rather difficult to understand why it is it took a month for the Private Detective to return to Ohio and why she didn’t act the day she witnessed Ali in the alleged brothel. 

While it is possible that Ali Lowitzer was abducted against her will on April 26th 2010, and subsequently forced into sex trafficking, this review will attempt to go back to the day Ali Lowitzer disappeared and retrace the movements, and actions of those closely associated with Ali, and examine possible theories and motives that led to Ali’s disappearance.

Background; Spring Texas; Harris County; Suburb North of Houston:

Ali Lowitzer lived in Spring, Texas, in Harris County, a suburb north of Houston, Texas.  Her home was in a middle-class residential area on Low Ridge Road. The neighborhood was situated a few miles from major highways and two interstates, an international airport and to the north bordering her neighborhood is the Spring Creek Greenway.  According to an overview of the Greenway, “There are nearly 40 Miles of green space with hiking and biking trails.”

With a population of approximately 60,000, the crime rate statistics do seem to be above-average when compared to national crime-rate statistics.  However, when examining the FBI database it appears that Spring Texas does not report data of crimes to this database making it difficult to know actual real-time annual data. 

Ali’s Family:

Ali lived with her mother in Spring, Texas on Low Ridge Road. Ali’s mother and father had divorced 2 years earlier and her father was most likely living nearby, but not at the residence. Ali’s 18-year-old half-brother was also living at the residence on Low Ridge Road with Ali and his mother. Ali’s mother was at work, it is unknown if her father was at work at the time Ali exited the school bus, while Ali’s half-brother was at home, but apparently left the home to meet with friends a few minutes after he heard the school bus stopping just up the street from the house. 

Ali Lowitzer’s known Movements on 4/26/2010:

On Monday morning, Ali slept in late and woke up just in time to get dressed, and make it to the bus on time, and went to school. 

After school, Ali boarded the bus to take her back home. During the ride back to her neighborhood, according to Ali’s mother, Ali contacted her and informed her mother she did not have her keys to get into the house. The mother purportedly contacted Ali’s half-brother, who was 18, recently graduated and still living at home, and informed him to keep the door unlocked for Ali.

Then according to the mother, Ali contacted her mother again and asked for permission to walk to her place of employment to a) obtain her paycheck b) to attempt to work an afternoon shift.  Ali worked as a waitress at a local restaurant, (now closed) called “The Burger Barn”. The restaurant is approximately 0.7 miles from Ali’s home, and should take approximately 10-15 minutes to walk from Ali’s neighborhood to “The Burger Barn.”

Ali had worked at the restaurant for the last five weeks. But according to the mother, this was the first time Ali had asked permission to walk to the restaurant.  The mother has stated in interviews she denied Ali’s request stating that she didn’t feel it was safe to walk on Treaschwig Road, because there were no sidewalks on the heavily traveled road leading to Cypresswood Drive, where The Burger Barn was located in a shopping plaza. She also stated that Ali always had always relied on a family member to drive her to work over the last five weeks.

Ali pressed the matter, and the mother relented and gave Ali permission to walk.  Ali departed the bus at around 245PM. After she exited the bus two other neighborhood teens witnessed Ali and stated she appeared as she was “lagging behind” and perhaps was heading in the direction leading out of the subdivision Ali lived.

At approximately 257PM Ali sent a text message to a friend known as “Jay” and asked him if he wanted to come to her house and visit after school.  This would be the last text message Ali would send and by 3PM her phone either died, or Ali turned it off purposefully, and Ali would never been seen or heard from since.  

*There is some confusion as to where Ali may have been when her phone died or was purposefully turned off. If Ali had began walking to her work one could postulate if she exited the bus at 245PM, left her neighborhood and it takes approximately 10 minutes to walk to Cypresswood Road via Treaschwig Road, she could have been on Treaschwig Road at the time her phone went off and Ali went missing. Nevertheless, according to the mother after utilizing AT&T’s Family Locater Application, Ali’s phone last pinged near where Ali exited the bus placing her still being in her neighborhood.

Ali Lowitzer’s Route

Ali is Reported Missing; Harris County Homicide takes over Investigation:

After work, Ali’s mother arrived to the empty house, and realized Ali was not home, but did not panic. She stated she believed that Ali must have taken a shift at work, and would arrive home, or text soon to ask for a ride.  As time passed and Ali did not answer her mother’s texts, Ali’s mom drove to “The Burger Barn” and realized the restaurant had closed for the evening (apparently this was around 9PM).

Ali’s mother then called her estranged husband and he did not seem to panic believing that Ali may have been visiting with a friend and after the call Ali’s mother began calling Ali’s friends, but no one had seen her since school.  After driving around the neighborhood looking for her daughter, Ali’s father met his wife at her home on Low Ridge Road and at approximately 11PM contacted law enforcement.

The family claims that an officer arrived at around midnight and took a report, but apparently the officer believed Ali had runaway and would come home soon.  The parent’s were given instructions to contact the police in the morning if Ali did not arrive. 

When Ali did not arrive home, police were called again, but still refused to list Ali as a missing person. The father also visited the school and was able to obtain the video footage of Ali leaving the bus that Monday afternoon. He also visited “The Burger Barn” and learned from the owners that Ali did not show up that day and had not picked up her check.  To verify this, Ali’s father visited a local convenience store at the corner of Treaschwig Road and Cypresswood Road and asked to review their surveillance footage that overlooked the pathway Ali would have most likely taken from her neighborhood to “The Burger Barn.” Ali was not seen in those tapes confirming that she never made it to the “The Burger Barn” that day. 

A week later, Monday May 3rd, the Lowitzer family contacted local police and showed them the footage from the school bus and the store near the plaza Ali worked, and police determine that Ali should be listed as missing and endangered. Police search Ali’s room. While searching her room the police came across a journal and found where Ali had written about running away from home.  The parent’s dismissed this claiming that Ali’s writings were not a reflection of reality.   

At this point, the family reached out to the Laura Recovery Center, a non-profit organization that assists in searching for missing persons.  The Laura Recovery Center began organizing and searching the wooded Spring Creek Greenway woods that bordered the neighborhood Ali lived, canvassing the neighborhood and placing flyers with information about Ali around town.

With this information and the publicity garnered by the search for Ali by the Laura Recovery Center being covered by local news stations, Ali’s case was turned over to the Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Division.

Harris County Homicide Investigation:

Once Harris County Homicide Detectives took the lead on the case, they spoke with the young man “Jay” who Ali texted at around 257PM and learned that he had informed Ali he would not be able to visit due to prior obligations, and after the detectives checked out his alibi, ruled him out as a suspect. The detectives then focused on interviewing Ali’s father and Ali’s half-brother. While both men passed a polygraph test, only Ali’s father was ruled out as a person of interest.  It is unknown why detectives still consider the half-brother as a person of interest. 

9 years since Ali’s disappearance law enforcement still receive tips from the general public, and have looked into allegations stemming from investigations conducted by at least two Private Investigators hired by the Lowitzer family.  Detectives ruled out Brandon Lavergne’s involvement in Ali’s disappearance by confirming his alibi.  Detective’s also take note that although sex trafficking is rampant, they have found no credible evidence to suggest that Ali is a victim of sex trafficking believing that Ali would have most likely encountered Law Enforcement during the last nine years if she is engaged in prostitution against her will.  If so, her fingerprints would have been taken and would have been discovered through the national database. 

Re-examining the Investigation into the Disappearance of Ali Lowitzer:   

Using the methodology of the Modified Schrodinger’s Cat Thought Experiment (MSCTEM), in the case of the disappearance of Ali Lowitzer it appears that not only is the “cat” missing, but the “box” containing the answers and evidence is also missing.  It’s as if the cat and the box never existed and we only know of its existence because of the missing report filed with police.

The lack of evidence means that it is difficult but perhaps not impossible to rule out whether Ali Lowitzer:

  1. Left on her own volition/Left with someone on her own volition
  2. Left with the Intent to Commit Suicide
  3. Left due to an undiagnosed mental illness
  4. Left and subsequently died as a result of an accident
  5. Abducted Against Her Will 1. Unknown Random Opportunistic Suspect  2.Unknown Outlier/Non-Opportunistic Suspect
  6. Murdered and Body Disposed

Finding Ali means finding the Box:

By examining this case by looking for the box as opposed to looking for the cat using the modified thought experiment, the box, and who holds the box has the answers. 

Hypothesis A:  Ali Ran away of her own volition:

If Ali left on her own volition one would have to surmise being 16 years of age, she most likely would have had help in “running away.”  This scenario would suggest that “Running Away” was premeditated at least within 24 hours prior to her up and leaving, and that her phone was turned off purposefully to prevent her movements from being tracked. 

It would also suggest that the conversation with her mother asking permission to walk to “The Burger Barn” was a ruse concocted by Ali to give her time to not only leave but distance herself from home before her mother realized she was missing. 

Still, one would have to argue, why ask permission to go to work if the intention was to runaway and had been premeditated? If this were the case, why would Ali call anyone and not just turn off her phone and leave?

Ali Running Away of her own Volition is Problematic: 

One of the major hurdles in attempting to work the hypothesis that Ali ran away of her own volition is there was no apparent need for Ali to ask permission to walk to work as opposed to just meeting with someone during the time Ali arrived home from school and her mother returning from work. 

The second hurdle is the text made to her friend Jay at 257PM inviting him to come over and visit that same day. Again unless this was a ruse to throw investigators off Ali’s track, it suggests that Ali had no prior plans and were looking to make plans.

The third issue is that during the phone call with her mother Ali made her mother aware that she did not have her house keys.  If Ali were preparing to leave of her own volition, she would not need her house keys, unless she planned on returning to the house to gather her belongings before running away.  However, according to the known facts, Ali’s personal belongings were never retrieved before Ali’s disappearance.

Reasons for Ruling out Hypothesis A:

There appears to be no evidence to suggest that Ali ran away of her own volition. In fact the hypothesis asks more questions than it answers. One would argue that if Ali’s intent were to run away and had made this decision prior to April 26th, she would have just left without calling anyone, and would have packed ahead of time because she would be excited about leaving.  There is no evidence of this. Instead, Ali is making plans to meet with another person and informing her mother she did not have the house keys expressing a clear intent that Ali had no plans after school, began making plans with a friend, and would need the keys in order to go home.  This evidence is not indicative of a person considering running away from home.

Ruling out Hypothesis A also answers Hypothesis B, C and D:

If Ali Lowitzer had a vehicle and her own means of transportation it would be difficult to rule out hypothesis A, B, C, and D. If her means of transportation were by foot, and she had no money to secure other means of transportation and her intent were to leave in order to commit suicide, as result of an undiagnosed Mental Illness or wandered away and accidentally succumbed to injuries and died, one would assume that Lowitzer would not have wandered too far from the immediate area and she would have been discovered soon after when searches were conducted in the general vicinity where Ali lived.

Hypothesis EF 1: Ali Lowitzer was Abducted/Murdered (Unknown Random/Opportunistic Suspect):

Out of all hypothetical scenarios, Hypothesis EF1 is difficult to answer. Abductions can happen very quickly, in broad day light, and a victim subdued and taken to whereabouts unknown.

This hypothesis will be labeled as Theory 1A.

 Hypotheses EF 2: Ali Lowitzer was Abducted/Murdered (Outlier/Non-Opportunistic Suspect):

Hypothesis EF 2 operates under the assumption that Ali Lowitzer may have been using social media to communicate with individuals unbeknownst to family and friends. 

This is important to understand, because even if Ali had no intentions to run away from home, she may have been in contact with someone intending to harm her. 

*It is possible that Law Enforcement has been able to obtain access to Ali’s online profile and social media and ascertain that she was not engaging in communications with individuals who used information learned from the messages to locate her and then abduct her.

This scenario is real and cannot be ruled out.  One could argue that Ali may have been speaking with individuals online and inadvertently giving information to the person providing the person clues enabling them to find and stalk her. 

If for example Ali is having problems at home, she may be inclined to go to social media and speak with others about her problems. In doing so, it is not a stretch to hypothesize that while online she encountered a person using a fictitious identity, posing as someone Ali’s age, and gaining Ali’s trust. 

By gaining Ali’s trust the person may attempt to lure Ali into meeting and Ali accepts the invitation, or it’s possible the person does not attempt to lure her into meeting but are able to learn pertinent information enabling them to find Ali and begin stalking her.  For instance, if the perpetrator is aware of the school Ali attends, or her place of employment the perpetrator could be stalking Ali, following her from school to her home or from her work back to her home.  It’s possible in this scenario that Ali may have actually encountered the perpetrator not knowing this was the same person she was communicating with online. 

Following this hypothesis, if Ali has met the person prior to April 26th at work for instance, and the person were to appear on Low Ridge Drive after Ali exits the bus, the person would be familiar to Ali as a customer and seems non-threatening and Ali enters the person’s vehicle voluntarily. 

This scenario would be considered an Outlier type suspect, who knew Ali through some context whether it is from social media, to a person living in the neighborhood, or a person who has encountered her at her job. 

To better define the term Outlier/Non-Opportunistic Suspect the recent abduction of Jayme Closs would fit this profile.  On 10/15/2018 Jake Thomas Patterson abducted the thirteen year old girl from her home after murdering her mother and father. Patterson held Closs captive 88 days until Closs managed to escape captivity.  Prior to 10/15/18 there is no evidence that Closs or her abductor had ever known each other.  However, after Patterson was arrested he made investigators aware that while driving home one day after work he spotted Closs exiting her school bus.  Although later Patterson apologized for his crimes and admitted that the murders and abduction were made “mostly on impulse”, he also stated the moment he saw her step off the bus he “knew that she was the girl he wanted to take.”

Patterson may state his crimes were impulsive, the moment he saw Closs exit her bus in September he began making plans on how he would go about abducting her.  Although he may not have come across Law Enforcement’s list of suspects had it not been for Closs escaping captivity, Patterson was not acting impulsively and the abduction was not opportunistic. If Patterson had stopped the day he first noticed Closs exiting her bus and abducted her it be an example of the crime being classified as disorganized and opportunistic.

As a result it is impossible to rule out Hypothesis EF 2, but it may be more probable than Theory 1A, in which an unknown person abducted Ali Lowitzer. 

The box in this case using the MSCTEM could be accessing Ali Lowitzer’s social media activity (if applicable) and learning if she were speaking with someone who may have had intent to harm her by stalking her or luring her into meeting. 

Subsequently this hypothesis will be labeled as Theory 2A.

Hypothesis EF3: Ali Lowitzer Abducted/Murdered by Known Suspect:

Unfortunately, an all too familiar suspect is someone the victim knows personally/intimately.  Statistics confirm this scenario (read Part 1).  At the time Ali Lowitzer was abducted, she was not married, and although she had a “boyfriend” he has apparently been ruled out due to having a strong alibi. There are no known person’s of interest in which Ali had dated and the break up was not amicable.

An example of this scenario is the disappearance of Kara Kopetsky in 2007.  At the time Kopetsky disappeared she was 17-years-old and was last seen leaving the high school she attended in Missouri.  It took ten years to find Kopetsky’s body and a suspect arrested. However, the suspect had been a primary suspect since Kara’s disappearance because they had recently dated and Kopetsky had ended the relationship and filed a restraining order against the man.  In 2017 Kylr Yust was arrested and charged for Kopetsky’s murder and the murder of Jessica Runions, killed in 2016.  He is currently in jail and his trial date still pending. 

To date, there is no information or evidence suggesting that Ali had problematic issues with a former or current boyfriend or that anyone Ali may have dated or even known socially from school or the neighborhood had any motive to hurt Ali.

On Monday April 26th 2010 when Ali Lowitzer exited the school bus she was near her home.  Her mother was at work, and her father did not live at the residence. However, Ali’s 18-year-old half brother was at home.  According to reports, Ali’s brother heard the bus when it arrived in their subdivision, but left within minutes of the bus arriving to meet with a friend(s).

A month later when Harris County Homicide Detectives took over the investigation Ali’s father and her half-brother were interrogated.  Although the father and half-brother took and passed polygraph tests, Homicide Detectives ruled out Ali’s father as a suspect, but refused to rule out Ali’s half-brother. 

It has also been noted that Ali’s half-brother continues to refuse questioning by Law Enforcement and the press and has subsequently moved away from Texas to the Seattle, Washington area. 

When examining this hypothesis it is possible to surmise that something happened to Ali before she left her neighborhood.  According to Ali’s mother in the last five weeks Ali had been employed at The Burger Barn, there was always a family member available to take her to work. 

It begs the question if Ali’s half-brother was at home, and was supposedly going to leave soon after Ali arrived from school, why didn’t the mother ask him to take Ali to work? 

Another question one has to ask is why Ali uses her mother to speak to the brother instead of texting or calling him herself?

The mother never states that when Ali asks for permission to walk to work that she reached out to Ali’s half-brother to take her to work and he refused.  Instead, Ali’s mother states she only made sure that the brother kept the door unlocked so Ali could get into the house. 

Also, it has been stated that soon after the bus arrived Ali’s half-brother left the house, and if this is true, depending on his direction of travel it is possible that he may have encountered Ali.

As a result of these questionable circumstances that happened the day Ali Lowitzer disappeared, Ali’s half-brother was the only family member at home when Ali exited the school bus and because Law Enforcement are reluctant to eliminate Ali’s half-brother as a suspect, this hypothesis seems as likely a plausible scenario as Theory 1A.

Therefore this Hypothesis will be labeled as Theory 3A.

Theory 1A: Ali Lowitzer was abducted By Unknown/Opportunistic Suspect:

It is impossible without ruling out Theory 2A and Theory 2C to rule out a scenario in which Ali Lowitzer was possibly abducted by an opportunistic disorganized suspect.  This theory operates under the assumption that if Ali left her neighborhood she may have been abducted at some place along her route from Low Ridge Road or as she traveled up Old Pike Road and took a left turn on Treaschwig Road. 

However, there are problems with this theory.  One would assume that 3PM were peak hours for traffic along Treaschwig Road and someone would have seen Ali fending off the suspect attempting to abduct her.  Also, there are no reports that Ali’s belongings such as her phone or her book bag she carried were found along the route that may have been dropped by Ali if she were being attacked. 

This does not rule out that Ali voluntarily entered into an unknown person’s vehicle and was subsequently abducted.

Theory 1A operates under a similar assumption detailed in Theory 2B in regards to the suspect that the suspect lived near Spring Texas within 30-50 miles. The most significant change would be an assumption that the abductor may between the ages of 30-55 years of age, married, with children/step-children, disorganized, but respectable, disarming personality and most likely expressed concern for Ali’s well being and offered her a ride to which she volunteered to get into the suspect’s vehicle.

Even so, this does not explain why Ali’s cell phone data shows no evidence of this. The only way this could be explained is to surmise that Ali’s phone died or the suspect subdued Ali soon after she entered the vehicle and took possession of her phone.

The search perimeters in respects to this suspect’s location would seem to stay in the same 30-50 mile radius as defined in Theory 2B.

Theory 2B: Ali Lowitzer was Abducted/Murdered by an Unknown/Non-Opportunistic Outlier Suspect:

The rationale behind Theory 2B being a more plausible explanation then Theory 1A, is it seems more likely that due to the fact Ali Lowitzer had expressed thoughts of running away from home, was known to text 4000+ text messages per month, and there is doubt as to whether Ali even left her neighborhood, and if so was seen by no one as she walked down Treaschwig Road, Ali may have been stalked by someone she had met online, someone from work, school, and her abduction was premeditated by the unknown suspect.

Theory 2B is also dependant on a further explanation of Theory 3C to be analyzed in next chapter.  Because it cannot be ruled out that something happened to Ali by someone she knows such as a family member.

To understand Theory 2B, (Scenario 1) Ali may have been in communication with someone unbeknownst to her family and friends through social media.  Ali may have intended to meet this individual on the day she disappeared.  For example, Ali may have contacted her mother for permission to walk to work as opposed to asking her mother to ask her half-brother to drive her to work in order to meet with the person she has met on Social Media.  The person is running behind and as Ali waits she grows impatient and reaches out to her friend Jay to see if he wants to hang out later.  As she is sending this text the online “friend” arrives.  Ali gets into the person’s vehicle willingly and is abducted. 

It is possible as she enters the person’s vehicle she is subdued immediately and her phone taken and turned off or disabled. 

(Scenario 2) Another possibility is Ali had no intention to meet with anyone, but upon exiting the bus and walking towards work, she is met by a familiar face, perhaps someone who has met her through the place she works, and Ali enters the vehicle and then is subdued and her phone disabled. 

The difference between scenario 1 and 2 is that in the 1st scenario Ali intended to meet with the person versus, the person Ali was familiar and just so happened and without notice appeared in her neighborhood.

Scenario 1 and 2 of Theory 2B suggests that the suspect in Ali’s disappearance near Spring Texas. The suspect was organized and the abduction was premeditated. In both scenarios Ali entered into the suspect’s vehicle willingly because she had made prior arrangements to meet the person, or the person was familiar and she believed them to be non-threatening. 

The possibility of a chance encounter by someone who just happened to frequent the place she worked is possible, but it seems more plausible that in scenario 1 and 2, that the suspect may have had purposefully sought out Ali after meeting her through social media and a) lured her into meeting or b) began stalking the places Ali visited such as school or The Burger Barn using information learned during conversations Ali had with the suspect through social media to give the suspect vital clues as to how to find her.

Scenario 2 would imply that after gaining information vital to places Ali worked or visited, the suspect possibly approached her and met her at her work posing as a “polite” customer.  The suspect had visited the establishment on more than one occasion and becomes a familiar non-threatening face and on April 26th the suspect appears in Ali’s neighborhood under false pretenses (e.g. claims he too lives nearby) and offers Ali a ride and Ali enters the suspect’s vehicle willingly. 

Scenario 1 would imply that Ali accepted the suspect’s invitation to meet and subsequently entered the suspect’s vehicle willingly.

The suspect in Theory 2B is most likely between the ages of 20-35, and someone who spends a lot of time on the internet and social media, posing as a kind understanding, but depressed person who is able to hone in on vulnerable young girls and act as a kind mediator allowing the victim to vent and by doing so establishing a level of trust with the victim. 

The suspect lives near Spring Texas, within a 30-50 mile radius.

This suspect most likely has a criminal record and has been cited for this type of predatory behavior, but never has gone as far as actually abducting someone, but the thought of doing so becomes overwhelming and the suspect becomes more obsessed by the idea and begins stalking Ali over a two-three week period of their initial conversation.  This suspect is organized, and is sure to not send messages through text or give out his number and prefers to speak through some type of encrypted social media application. 

The suspect does not necessarily have to be tech savvy but clever enough to not use any personal information and is able to hide in the shadows on the internet. 

If this suspect has murdered Ali, it is quite possible that the suspect did not go to great lengths to dispose of her body, but placed her in a location off the beaten path, but in a location the suspect can return too and visit.

The suspect most likely lives outside Harris County, but uses the major interstates to travel quickly to and from their home to Spring Texas. 

The suspect is familiar with police procedure and technology and perhaps has considered working in Law Enforcement, but is aware that Law Enforcement uses Cell Phone data to track victims.  On the day Ali disappears, the suspect most likely subdued Ali quickly, using some type of weapon such as a stun gun, taking her phone and removing the battery immediately before leaving the area. 

Scenario 1 of Theory 2B seems to answer more questions than it asks.  It operates under the premise that Ali Lowitzer had known the suspect prior to April 26th, 2010, and on the day of had agreed to meet with the person she most likely met online, but believed it would be a short encounter, possibly one in which she believed the suspect would take her to her work to pick up her check and then maybe go on a date.  This would explain Ali’s behavior and asking her mom to walk to work, giving her an alibi as to where she would be, without informing her mother that she was meeting a stranger she had met online. 

This scenario operates under the premise that the suspect and Ali were to meet on Old Pike Road, which explains why Ali according to witnesses who exited the school bus with her states she seemed to be lagging, but also why her phone’s last ping seems to come from somewhere close to her residence.

As Ali waits for the suspect to arrive she grows impatient and texts her friend Jay to make other arrangements believing she had been stood up, but perhaps the suspect was running behind, and the suspect was running behind because of traffic issues or it’s possible the suspect drove around the neighborhood scoping it out ahead of the abduction.

It’s also possible that the suspect does not immediately subdue Ali, but does ask her to turn off her phone, and she does so willingly under some false pretense and the suspect after picking up Ali on Old Pike Road, turns right on Treaschwig Road, heading towards The Burger Barn, and then left on Cypresswood Road, and only then does Ali realize something is wrong as the suspect continues to I-69 or passes by Cypresswood Road via Treaschwig Road, to I-45. 

This theory will be expanded and labeled as Operational Theory 1AS1.

Theory 3C: Ali Lowitzer was a victim of someone she Knew (Domestic/Relative):

NOTE: OPERRATIONAL THEORY 1AS1 OPERATES UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT ALI LOWITZER WAS MANIPULATED BY A PREDATORIAL UNKNOWN OUTLIER SUSPECT SHE MET MOST LIKELY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND WAS BEING DECIVIOUS WHEN SPEAKING WITH HER MOTHER TO ASK HER PERMISSION TO WALK TO WORK TO HIDE THE FACT HER INTENT TO MEET THE UNKNOWN SUSPECT.

THEORY 3C OPERATES UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE FAMILY IS BEING DECIVIOUS IN THEIR COMMUNICATIONS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT ABOUT THEIR CONVERSATIONS THEY HAD WITH ALI ON THE DAY SHE WENT MISSING.

Although surveillance footage shows Ali Lowitzer exiting the school bus at around 245PM, prior to exiting the bus, Ali spoke with her mother.  Because Ali cannot verify the conversations she had with her mother we have to accept the mother’s version of the events that day as fact. 

Following the MSCTEM, everyone is considered a suspect and maybe even statistically, it is an absolute necessity to investigate those closest to the victim. One must also reiterate that Harris County Law Enforcement has not ruled out Ali’s half-brother as a person of interest even if her half-brother passed a polygraph test.

Theory 3C operates under the assumption that on the day Ali went missing there is no evidence to rule out that although Ali was seen “lingering” in the neighborhood on Low Ridge Road, that she ever left the neighborhood and instead didn’t turn around and go back to her home. 

If Ali did not leave the neighborhood and returned home she would have most likely encountered her half-brother.  And if Ali did return home everything that is known about this case changes dramatically.

According to Ali’s mother, prior to exiting the bus Ali contacted her and informed her mother that she did not have her house keys.  After this conversation, the mother contacts Ali’s half-brother to make him aware to keep the doors unlocked to the house. 

Ali’s mother then states Ali contacted her mother to ask permission to walk to work.  However, Ali’s request was declined because the mother did not think it was safe for Ali to walk down Treaschwig Road which had no sidewalk.  Also, in the past five weeks Ali had been employed Ali’s mother confirmed that there was always a family member available to take Ali to work. 

If this were the case, and the mother knew her son was home Ali’s mother never states she asked Ali’s half-brother to take Ali to work which again is only 0.7 miles from where Ali lived meaning it would have taken about 4 to 7 minutes for the half-brother to drive Ali to work. 

When the mother comes home a couple hours later the house is empty.  She states she texts Ali to make sure she made it to work and states she assumes that Ali didn’t text back because Ali was able to pick up a shift and was busy working. 

Ali’s mother does not contact Ali’s place of employment or drive the 0.7 miles to check in on her daughter, who only a couple hours earlier was worried about her daughter walking down Treaschwig Road.  Instead, at 9PM she drives to The Burger Barn and finds the restaurant closed. 

This is a perplexing and problematic issue: if the mother is reluctant to grant her daughter permission to walk to work at 245PM because she feared for Ali’s safety, when the mother returns home and has not heard from Ali in 2 hours, she assumes her daughter must have made it to work safely instead of verifying that her daughter made it to work safely by calling the restaurant she worked, or drive the 0.7 miles to the restaurant to verify her daughter made it safely to work. 

Perhaps even more perplexing is that Ali’s mother was not aware of the hours of operation of the restaurant her daughter worked and instead of being at the restaurant a few minutes early to pick up her daughter who she believed had made it safely to work, she arrives after the restaurant has closed for the day. 

Six hours have passed from the time Ali last spoke with her mother and Ali’s mother drives the 0.7 miles to the restaurant only to find it is closed.

Further complicating matters is Ali’s mother has claimed that Ali is never without her phone and on average sends 4000 texts per month.  If Ali’s mother had feared for her daughter’s safety walking down Treaschwig Road, and has not heard from her daughter in 6 hours, it would be safe to assume that Ali may have been involved in an accident confirming Ali’s mother’s worst fears, but Ali’s mother reportedly does not contact local hospitals or police to inquire as to whether her daughter may have been injured is disconcerting.  Instead, Ali’s mother contacts Ali’s father.  Again, instead of contacting hospitals or local police, they choose to contact Ali’s friends. 

To put this into perspective, according to Ali’s mother, Ali has never walked to work, tends to stay close at home in her room and on her phone texting on average 4000 texts per month, she does not know when the place Ali has worked for the last five weeks closes, and although her residence is less than one mile away does not call or drive there to verify that Ali made it to work safely.  Another troubling factor to consider is that Ali’s parents are adamant that she has never run away before, yet on a school night by 9PM Ali has not come home, is not at work, and yet they wait until 11PM to contact police to report Ali missing.  By this time 8 hours have elapsed since the last known communication between Ali and her mother, and the time the parent’s decide to contact police. 

Police arrive around midnight and give the parent’s the impression that Ali may have run away, and give instructions for the parents to contact the police in the morning if Ali doesn’t return home.  Another interesting fact is that although the police are seemingly under the impression that Ali has run away, and the parents are equally convinced Ali has not run away, 24 hours pass before Ali’s mother enables the AT&T Family Map GPS locator.  Once the application is activated, the data reports that Ali’s last pinged location was near the bus stop.

*In defense of Ali in regards to Law Enforcement: it is difficult to not admonish the local Law Enforcement in not classifying Ali’s disappearance as a “missing person’s case” immediately on April 16, 2010.  It is unknown if although Ali wasn’t classified as a missing person, that police were not actively looking for her.  It is also disturbing that it took an entire week for Law Enforcement to re-classify Ali as a missing and endangered person. 

**In defense of Ali in regards to the parents: it is plausible that the parent’s actions in the first 6 hours were appropriate, in which they too were holding out for hope that Ali would return home and were attempting to not overreact. Even so, it is difficult not to admonish the family as well as Law Enforcement for not acting more quickly to alert authorities that Ali was missing.  To wait 8 hours to contact police it is hard to argue that you know your daughter would not runaway, and at the same time not call police immediately once Ali was not found to be at her place of employment. 

The reason Theory 3C cannot be ruled out is that the parent’s statements seem contradictory.  If the argument is there is no way Ali has runaway, yet at the same time Ali is not where she stated she would be and has not communicated to anyone otherwise of a change in plans, and the mother was worried about Ali walking down Treaschwig Road, yet instead of calling The Burger Barn when Ali does not confirm her arrival at the restaurant or dive the 0.7 miles to visually confirm Ali arrived safely, if in fact Ali has never gone missing, or failed to communicate her plans and if those plans change, then it makes it difficult to understand how they behaved in the 8 hours between the time Ali last communicated with her mother and the time the parents contacted police.

In other words, if the mother is reluctant to allow her daughter to walk to work, it shows that the mother is aware of the safety hazards and expresses this concern to her daughter.  However, she also asks her daughter to make her aware that she arrived to work safely.  When Ali’s mother arrives home and has not been contacted by Ali, one could argue panic would set in at that point, and the mother would be prompted to make a call to the restaurant or drive and verify that her daughter did arrive safely. 

Another problematic issue is that Ali’s phone when viewed through AT&T’s Family Map Application shows Ali last known location 24 hours after her last communication with her mother as still being in the subdivision they lived. 

Even so, the mother becomes the most important witness in the disappearance of her daughter, because she is the last person known to speak to her, and her final conversations with her daughter are unverified because only Ali and her mother know the truth of what they discussed.  Therefore, one can either accept Ali’s mother’s version as fact, and if Ali’s mother’s version of events cannot be accepted as fact then Ali’s mother’s version of events needs to be dissected further by Law Enforcement.

Because there is no proof showing that Ali Lowitzer left her neighborhood, no evidence she was abducted,  evidence she had arranged to meet with anyone, no evidence reporting any eyewitnesses noticing Ali on Treaschwig Road, one has to point out that Ali may have never had intentions to walk to work that day and instead went home.  The only evidence pointing to Ali leaving her neighborhood to walk to work comes from one source that cannot be verified by any other source. 

If Ali went home minutes after exiting the bus, but did not runaway, then one has to make an argument that something malicious happened to Ali at home.  Nevertheless it is unknown if Harris County Homicide has ever searched the Lowitzer residence for forensic evidence or if Ali Lowitzer’s mother has ever been interrogated by police the same as Ali’s father and half-brother or if she’s ever taken a polygraph. 

Theory 3C operates under the assumption that Ali Lowitzer’s movements on April 26, 2010 have possibly been fabricated by family members in order to provide cover for someone within the Lowitzer household. Theory 2B also answers more questions than it asks similar to Operational Theory 1AS1, but in one Ali Lowitzer is engaging in deceptive behavior and Theory 2B the family is engaging in deceptive behavior.

Thus, Theory 3B cannot be ruled out and will be labeled as Operational Theory 2BHB.

Summary of Part 1:

Hypotheses A, B, C and D have been ruled out because there is no evidence supporting that Ali Lowitzer left of her own volition on April 26, 2010.  In fact, Ali had reached out to a friend through a text message inviting him to come over to visit with her that day.  This message has been confirmed and unlike the communications with Ali’s mother if they cannot be verified through text and were conversations made through telephone, one has to take Ali’s mother’s version of events at face value, or question their validity altogether.

Theory 1A has also been ruled out because there is little evidence suggesting that Ali Lowitzer was abducted by an opportunistic unknown suspect.  Although it’s possible, when one examines the geographical location as to where Ali Lowitzer lived, the time she disappeared being around 3pm after school, on a heavily traveled road during peak hours and no one witnessed Ali being abducted or witnessed her being on Treaschwig Road, this hypothesis does not merit inclusion to be labeled as an operational theory.

Part 2: Operational Theory 1AS1:

This theory operates under the assumption that before April 26 2010 Ali Lowitzer had met an unknown individual through social media that she was able to vent to about problems she felt unable to talk about with friends or relatives.  Ali and the unknown suspect had a secretive relationship that for Ali was exciting because the suspect possibly posed as someone Ali found not only relatable but lived a unique interesting life that appealed to Ali. 

The suspect is highly manipulative and predatory and exploits Ali’s curiosities and vulnerabilities he learns through their conversations.  Ali may be the first to actually initiate the meeting, although the idea was planted by the suspect, he waits for Ali to actually make the suggestion. 

It’s possible that within 24-48 hours prior to meeting, the suspect has driven the neighborhood Ali lives or has viewed it online through a map application and chooses the location, somewhere near, but relatively secluded to meet.  The suspect chooses Old Pike Road and Ali accepts. 

On the day of April 26th 2010, Ali contacts her mother to ask about the house keys perhaps under the pretense of seeing if her half-brother is home because she wants to ensure the half-brother does not see her getting into the vehicle with a stranger.  She also asks her mother’s permission to walk to work, and when her mother refuses Ali presses the issue further until the mother relents.  This gives Ali an alibi as to where she is going, and if the meeting goes well also gives Ali time to prolong the date with the person she is meeting by suggesting she may pick up a shift and work that day.  Either way if the meeting goes well or doesn’t go well, Ali has created an alibi to her whereabouts for that afternoon that will enable her to stay out longer, or return early. 

After exiting the bus, Ali lingers near Low Ridge Road and the intersection of Knotty Pine Lane, slowly making her way to Old Pike Road as she waits on the suspect.  Impatient, because the suspect is not answering her, because the suspect cannot answer her because the suspect is driving, Ali believes she has been stood up. Aggravated and having look forward to the planned meeting she makes other plans.  Soon after sending this text the suspect arrives on Old Pike Road and Ali enters the vehicle voluntarily. 

The suspect either asks Ali to power off her phone under some false pretense and she does so purposefully or he subdues her soon after Ali enters the suspect’s vehicle and the suspect takes her phone, and removes the battery. 

With Ali subdued the suspect forces Ali down into the floorboard, and continues driving and drives to the interstate.  From there, the suspect drives home, or quite possibly to a remote location somewhere outside of Spring and within 30 to 50 miles from the spot the suspect abducted Ali Lowitzer.

Operational Theory 1AS1 assumes the suspect to be between the ages of 20-35, possibly a white male that has some experience in computer technology enabling him to mask his IP address or lurk online using assumed identities for the sole purpose of meeting young girls online.  The suspect is a misanthrope, not social, and prefers the anonymity of being online, and suppresses his impulses and fantasies, but overtime becomes overwhelmed by these impulses and takes advantage of Ali’s insecurities establishing trust with her and they begin an online relationship that evolves to them making plans to meet.  The suspect may inform her that he is older than her, and as a result they have to maintain secrecy, but this also intrigues Ali that an older man is attracted to her so she keeps this relationship secret. 

This operational theory answers more questions than it asks, and assumes that Ali “knew” the suspect but the suspect had preyed on her insecurities and posed as someone who made Ali feel special and desired. 

This operational theory may answer why Ali pressed for permission to walk work, showing that Ali did not want her mother to worry, but at the same time Ali was not being truthful in order to establish an alibi, but also to reassure her mom she knew what she was doing. 

Using the MSCTEM to Find Ali or the Suspect:

The “box” in this particular operational theory would be in accessing Ali’s social media accounts.  Nevertheless, without access to Ali’s phone, it may be impossible to know what applications she was utilizing. 

Another way to access the “box” in this operational theory is to look for suspects who may have been involved in similar altercations with law enforcement for offenses classified as crimes of moral turpitude.

The suspect may live on the outskirts of Harris County, most likely in a rural area, within 30-50 miles from Spring Texas (See Map).

 A: Dayton

B: Moss Hill

C: Cleveland

D: Conroe

E: Navasota

F: Prairie View

With the “epicenter” represented as G: Spring, Texas.

To locate this individual the best practical approach is to speak with Law Enforcement in these jurisdictions and ask them to create a list of possible suspects who may fit this profile in order to cast a wider net within these geographical perimeters. (Theory 1A which has been ruled out as being a less probable theory, cannot be ruled out but operates under the same search perimeters but suggests the suspect may be between the ages of 30-55.)

Operational Theory 2BHB:

This theory operates under the assumption that on April 26th 2010, Ali Lowitzer exited the school bus and went home.  What is unclear is what happened once Ali made it home. 

In order to move forward with this theory, Ali’s mother’s version of the last conversations she had with her daughter before Ali exited the school bus need to be scrutinized further by Law Enforcement.  It operates under the opposite assumption of Operational Theory 1AS1 where Ali was being duplicitous and surmises that the family is being is being duplicitous in order to cover up a crime most likely committed within the Lowitzer home perpetrated by a family member. 

Harris County Homicide Detectives investigating this case have been unable to rule out Ali’s half-brother as being a person of interest.  It is unknown if the Lowitzer home has ever been forensically examined for evidence, it also unknown if Ali’s mother has been interrogated and administered a polygraph test. 

Furthermore, the version of events made known by Ali’s mother seem to demonstrate duplicitous statements in which on one hand Ali’s mother is reluctant to allow Ali permission to walk to her place of employment, but relents after Ali presses the matter with the caveat that Ali were to contact her once she arrived to work safely. 

However, once Ali’s mother returns home after work and has not received a confirmation from her daughter verifying she was safe, her mother does not contact Ali’s place of employment nor does she drive the 0.7 miles to her daughter’s place of employment to verify her daughter is safe.  In fact, Ali’s mother allows two hours to pass from the time she returns home from work and four hours from the last time she spoke to her daughter before she makes the decision to drive to Ali’s place of employment at 9PM only to find it closed.

Ali’s mother does not contact police or local hospitals to see if her daughter has been involved in an accident, which was one of the mother’s concerns causing her to originally forbid her daughter from walking to work.  She contacts Ali’s father instead who makes the case that Ali may be with a friend, so they contact Ali’s friends and another two hours pass before Ali’s parents make the decision to contact police at 11PM meaning that 8 hours have passed since the last time Ali communicated with her family. 

The reason these statements come across as duplicitous is it is known that Ali on average makes 4000 texts per month and is always with her phone.  Also, the mother has stated that during the last five weeks Ali has been an employee at The Burger Barn she always had a family member available to drive her to work.  However, on April 26th 2010 although Ali’s half-brother is at home at the time Ali exits the school bus, Ali’s mother does not ask him to take Ali to her place of employment, but she does ask him to make sure to keep the door unlocked because Ali forgot her key to the house when she left home that morning. 

This begs the question why Ali’s mother is seemingly playing the part of the go-between with Ali and Ali’s half-brother and why Ali isn’t communicating with her half-brother. 

In addition to this Ali’s parents have been adamant from the outset that Ali did not run away from home of her own volition, and it also begs the question that if they were never convinced Ali would run away, but at the same time feared for her safety when Ali asked to walk to work, when Ali is given permission and does not contact her parents to verify she is safe, why it takes 8 hours to contact police. 

If the parent’s are adamant she didn’t run away, and yet she is not home and is not communicating her whereabouts, then the only other explanation would be something is wrong and Ali may be in danger.  This seems to be a major contradiction with the statements made when measured against the actions taken when Ali does not confirm her whereabouts on the day she went missing. 

As a result, one cannot rule out the theory that there may have been troubles within the Lowitzer household that involved problems between Ali and her half-brother, that led to Ali’s journal entries expressing thoughts of running away from home, and that on April 26, 2010 the troubles between Ali and her half-brother worsened and the subsequent events that followed involved a cover up in which Ali’s last known movements as told by Ali’s mother were crafted in order to misdirect law enforcement away from home and only until after the cover up complete and the story misdirecting law enforcement concocted and rehearsed 8 hours after Ali exits her school bus the Lowitzer family contacts police. 

Using the MSCTEM to Find Ali:

The “Box” in this operational theory is by officially ruling out Ali’s mother and half-brother by scrutinizing Ali’s mother’s version of events through interrogation and forensically examining the home, and vehicles owned at the time of Ali’s disappearance. 

Although Operational Theory 1AS1 is plausible and most likely, in order to move forward it may be necessary to rule out Operational Theory 2BHB. 

All theories listed on this site are of my own and I do not represent Law Enforcement. If you have any information concerning this case please contact Law Enforcement.

Investigating Agency

  • Harris County Sheriff’s Office 713-221-6000

Finding Schrodinger’s Cat: A Modified Thought Experiment to Help Understand Why People Go Missing, and How to Solve Missing Person Cases: Part ONE

When someone goes missing, in most cases, no matter the victim, no matter their age or gender, there seems to be more questions than answers.  Even as technology has advanced over the last 20 years from DNA to cell phone usage being used as tools to aid in investigations, thousands of cases are still unsolved.

In 1935 Erwin Schrodinger devised a thought experiment known as “Schrodinger’s Cat.”  His thought experiment was designed to show problems in understanding quantum mechanics when applied to everyday objects. 

In Schrodinger’s thought experiment the “cat” is locked in a box.  Inside the box is a small amount of radiation that may or may not be released at anytime. The box is closed meaning the observer cannot see inside the box, and only after opening the box will the observer know if in fact the cat is alive, or if the cat is dead upon the release of radiation.  Before the box is opened Schrodinger opined that the cat hypothetically is both alive and dead.  To resolve this requires a direct observation.  One could surmise that the cat is an observer and knows whether or not it is alive or dead, or could argue that the cat is not an observer because it is unable to know without an independent observer whether it has died and the cat is in both states both alive and dead at the same time, until the independent observer opens the box. 

What if however Schrodinger opened the box and there was no cat? Unless the box were a portal into another world, Schrodinger would have to surmise that the cat escaped, someone took the cat when he wasn’t looking, Schrodinger as a result of some psychological or physiological abnormality misremembered whether or not he placed the cat inside the box, or perhaps, Schrodinger is lying about placing the cat in the box. 

From an investigative standpoint, in this case of the missing cat until it is found one could surmise that the cat is both alive and dead also.  Once the cat is found then only will the observer know for a fact that the cat is either alive or has died, and if it has died, one can then attempt to determine the cause of death.

For example, using a cat as did Schrodinger; let’s investigate the case where a beloved family pet in a house of a family of four goes missing. The family lives in a rural area on five acres of land. Their closest neighbor is less than four-hundred yards away in a dilapidated mobile home; they have a dog that has been known to chase after the family cat in the past.  The cat however, is known to venture into the neighbor’s unkempt yard to chase after field mice but this only aggravates the neighbors because a member of the family is allergic to cats and the neighbors complain and it causes a rift between both families.

 On a Monday in July, the family of four does not realize the cat is missing until late in the evening when the family is settling down and preparing for bed.  One could suggest that the cat isn’t missing, because the cat knows where it is, so the cat being declared missing is dependent on someone within the household noticing that their beloved cat is missing. 

One member of the family is adamant the cat is missing and should be searched for immediately. Another person in the family states the cat has a habit of hiding or running off and has done this before on several occasions and believes the cat will turn up as it has done in the past. The third family member who has been at home most of the day states it is possible that while they stepped outside to check the mail the cat may have scurried out of the door, but they do not remember the time nor do they remember seeing the cat after coming back inside.  Meanwhile the family member that first realized the cat is missing blames the fourth person in the household of harboring the cat as a mean-spirited prank, because this fourth member of the household has threatened to hide the cat to anger the person just two days earlier. 

Where is the cat?

The family member who declares the cat missing goes outside and calls for the cat, and even searches the yard, but the cat does not return.

The second family member goes back to bed assuming the cat will return. 

The third family member who opened the door and believes they may be responsible for the cat exiting the house begins their own search and approach the neighbors who claim they haven’t seen the cat, but also go onto state that they won’t allow the family member to search the yard, because they had warned the neighbor to keep the cat out of their yard.   

The first and fourth family member argues and the first family member without consent of the fourth goes into the fourth family members room to search it and finds nothing. 

However, what makes this thought experiment compelling is that in the case of the missing cat there are multiple variables unlike Schrodinger’s experiment where the cat is knowingly in the box and can be opened at anytime by the observer.  Instead, it poses more questions and operates under multiple theories and assumptions and perhaps even suggests that the cat is missing and at the same time is not missing. 

If for example the cat is alive, and is lost, perhaps the cat does not consider itself being lost or missing, just considers itself as being here as opposed to being there.  To take it a step further if the cat is dead, the cat does not know that it is dead. 

However, at the same time, although the cat is “missing” let’s theorize that the cat was discovered wandering near the road a few yards from the owner’s home.  A passerby notices the cat, and stops and takes the cat.  Although the original owners still classify the cat as missing, the passerby now has the cat at their own home, and yet the cat is considered missing by the family and not missing by the passerby who found the cat. 

Although this is a possible theory, what if on the day the cat went missing early that Monday morning in July, family member # two on their way to work upon backing up accidentally runs over the cat in the driveway.  The family member believing the best course is to bury the cat in secret rather than upsetting the family with the knowledge that the cat is dead. 

In this case, the cat is knowingly dead, as observed by family member two, knows where the cat is buried, but keeps this a secret from the rest of the family.  Again, one can theorize that the cat is “missing” to the uninformed family members and not “missing” to the informed family member and at the same time theoretically the cat is in two states “alive” and “dead.”

In other words, although in Schrodinger’s experiment the cat is knowingly inside the box in both states of being alive and dead until one opens the box and the cat is observed, in a missing person’s case one could argue that the box is missing and to solve the case one needs to first find the box and the problem is determining who is in possession of the box that holds the secrets in solving the case. 

Reasons People Go Missing:

Because in these types of cases it sometimes can seem as if a person has fallen off the planet, we have to rule out these types of fallacies, and narrow our search in order to rule out the absurd (e.g. abducted by aliens). We can accomplish this by determining that in most cases in which a person is labeled as “missing” there are in fact six factors that we can apply to any “missing person’s” case to examine and investigate: (see graph)

Not all cases involving a person’s disappearance involve “foul play.”  There have been many cases in which a “missing person” case has been investigated to find the victim disappeared as a result of:

  1. accidental death
  2.  intentional suicide
  3. suffering from a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness
  4. Runaway on their own volition; absconded. 

Even though foul play is not always related to a person’s disappearance, the investigation cannot necessarily rule out foul play, because again, unlike Schrodinger’s Cat experiment, there is no box to open and observe.  Until observed or discovered, one can surmise that the “missing person” is alive and dead because the “missing person” is in possession of the theoretical “box”.  

When one is a victim of “foul play,” however, there are essentially two common scenarios:

  • Abduction
  • Murder

The perpetrator(s) of these crimes would be in possession of the “theoretical box”.  In the case of foul play, we can also deduce that there are two types of suspects: (see graph)

In the graph above suspects are either:

  1. Known by the victim (e.g. domestic partner)
  2. Unknown by the victim

In the matter of domestic this could include a current or former spouse, someone they’ve been in a relationship with, (past or present) a friend, or a family member, or someone they work with.

In most cases these individuals are the first persons investigated and scrutinized by law enforcement.  Even so, many cases have gone cold only to learn later during the initial investigation, one of those persons was responsible, but because law enforcement was unable to find enough probable cause to arrest the suspect they were powerless to make an arrest.

When a person is a victim of an unknown perpetrator, there are often two subcategories:

  1. Random
  2. Outlier

To better understand the definition of a random perpetrator one can include serial killers and opportunistic predators, to perhaps a robbery gone wrong scenario.

An outlier on the other hand, is someone who perhaps has met the victim, lives near the victim, a friend of a friend of a friend, to someone who has been stalking the victim for a period of time, but is hard to detect and apprehend, because they are on the periphery of the investigation.

Nevertheless, in all cases involving foul play there is always a motive and the two most common motives are: (See Graph)

  1. Sexual
  2. Murder

Everyone is a Suspect; Even the Cat

In 2013, famous illusionist David Copperfield entertaining an audience at a hotel owned by the MGM Grand made a group of volunteer members disappear.  The group reappeared at the back of the studio a few minutes later.  Copperfield had been performing this vanishing act for years as well as greater acts of illusion such as making the Statue of Liberty disappear.

No harm no foul, right? The audience members volunteered to be part of Copperfield’s illusion, vanished, and reappeared, the audience is amazed by the amazing trick, the show ends and everyone leaves the auditorium satisfied and happy.

But that’s not what happened, during the illusion one of the volunteers was injured during the trick. The injured person filed a civil suit against Copperfield, the suit went to trial, and during the trial Copperfield was obligated under oath to reluctantly explain to jurors how the illusion worked.   Essentially the volunteers were co-conspirators to the illusion by playing along with Copperfield’s act. After being called up on stage, then a burst of lights distracting the audience members, stagehands led the volunteers to stairs below the stage where they followed a tunnel hidden beneath the auditorium leading to the back. The light’s come on, and the vanished audience members reappear. Unfortunately, in this particular show, a volunteer fell while traversing through the tunnel and was injured. 

In a missing person’s case, it often times appears the victim vanished into thin air.  Because of this everyone is a suspect until they can be ruled out even the missing person’s life, lifestyle, and movements are scrutinized.    

Imagine if you will that during an illusionist’s act the magician called forth 10 random volunteers, and after the burst of lights 9 volunteers reappear at the end of the show but the 10th one does not.  In a perfect world, one would assume the auditorium lights would be turned on, the theater sealed, and each and every person would be interrogated by law enforcement.  As audience members and employees are being interrogated, another team of officers searched and cleared the theater, and the audience member is still missing, but everyone who attended the show from audience members to employees and the illusionist are still in the building.  One would have to surmise that the missing person in this scenario is no longer in the building, and left the theater on their own volition, or somehow were taken by someone who snuck in from outside the theater and abducted the audience member against their will. 

We do not live in a perfect world however.  In most cases the clock is against law enforcement especially if the crime was premeditated.  By the time law enforcement become involved, hours, not minutes will have passed providing the suspect opportunity to distance themselves as far away from the crime scene, cover up the crime scene, or create an alibi.

To give an example, on March 24th 1998 while on a Caribbean cruise with her family, 23 year old Amy Lynn Bradley disappeared just before sunrise and the ship docked on the island of Curacao, Antilles. 

Bradley’s family alerted the ship’s Captain soon after realizing Amy was missing, and purportedly asked him to not allow the ship to dock, thereby preventing people from leaving the ship so it could be searched. The Captain of the ship refused, the ship docked, and only after passengers and several employees left the ship was a search conducted.  The Bradley family approached the American Embassy and was able to get the Coast Guard to search the vast ocean in case Bradley had accidentally fallen off the ship, and the FBI became involved and soon after began collecting evidence and questioning passengers and employees.  

Twenty-one years later, Amy Lynn Bradley is still missing, there have been unverified reports suggesting that Bradley was abducted and subsequently forced into sex trafficking. Although, the FBI cannot prove or disprove this theory, one would argue if the Captain of the ship had not docked the ship allowing the opportunity for someone to possibly abduct and smuggle Bradley off the ship, Bradley would have been found as the ship was searched.  Then again, it’s possible even if the Captain had ordered the ship to be anchored and searched prior to docking, Bradley would not have been found because it cannot be ruled out that Bradley accidently fell from her tenth floor ocean view balcony either.

The disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley illustrates the complications, the confusion, one faces when investigating a missing person’s case.  When a person disappears it creates a paradoxical conundrum similar to Schrodinger’s thought experiment.  Without actually observing or having closure by either finding the missing person or arresting the person responsible, the “missing person” seems to be in a state of being both alive and dead or “missing” and “not missing”.  Because her disappearance happened on a cruise ship in open waters, one would surmise the ship to be a safe environment, or finding her would be less complicated, the fact it did happen demonstrates the difficulties law enforcement faces when a person goes missing in cities and small towns across the country. 

Missing Persons Diagnosed with Mental Illness:

Missing person cases also prove difficult especially when it concerns a legal adult, because the person has autonomy and is under no obligation to inform loved ones of their intentions to leave without notice. The challenge then is to designate whether the missing adult is endangered or victim of foul play.   

It is not a crime to go missing.  In 2009, a married man left his home in NW Arkansas to travel to California to work as a photographer.  A few days later his car was found abandoned on the side of a highway in Texas.  The man’s ID and his phone were found with the vehicle.  The man’s wife knew that her husband had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and in the weeks before he left home had been showing signs of paranoia and was most likely not taking his medications.  The man’s wife filed a missing person’s report and within a few days the man was found walking a highway at night by local law enforcement.  The officer spoke with the man, determined that the man was not in violation of any laws and let the man go. 

After leaving the officer the man went missing, and was not heard from again until six months later when the wife received a letter in the mail from her husband.  He had been placed into a mental health facility using an assumed identity. 

Upon his return home and back on medications, the man shared his story with his wife and explained that he abandoned his car because he believed he were being chased by the CIA.  For six months, he lived on the streets, and had somehow made his way a hundred miles south from where he had abandoned his car to Dallas where he lived under an overpass near the downtown area.  He told of stories in which he would be detained by police for his abnormal behavior and taken to hospitals but without identification or insurance the hospitals would release him back on the streets. 

It wasn’t until he was admitted into a hospital and doctors began treating him for schizophrenia and once stable on the medicine the man became aware of his situation and reached out to his wife. 

Although there is a happy ending to this man’s story, it illustrates how a person on their own volition can go missing, and even if they have been diagnosed with a mental illness Law Enforcement are under no obligation to take the missing person into custody if when found the person has not committed a crime or considered to be in danger to himself or others.

The man in this case made a choice to abandon his car, even if the reason for doing so was based on an irrational belief that he was being chased by the CIA and believed his life was in danger.  One could argue that the man did not leave on his own volition, and instead was abducted by his own paranoid ideation and as a result should have been considered as “endangered”; nevertheless, the man had discontinued taking his medications, which most likely caused the paranoia and although his loved one’s believed he was endangered and should have been taken into custody and taken to a hospital for evaluation, the man was under no legal obligation to take his medications and therefore law enforcement was under no legal obligation to consider the man as missing or endangered and instead believed he had chosen to leave of his own volition even if the paranoia was irrational and set off by his preexisting schizophrenia. 

If in this particular case if the man’s family had gone to court and filed for guardianship they may have been able to give Law Enforcement leverage to take the man into custody based on a courts order, but not necessarily. For example, in 2017, another man also diagnosed with schizophrenia was dropped off by his family at a local homeless shelter.  During the investigation by shelter officials to help find the man housing, it was learned that the family members had legal guardianship over the man making it impossible for social workers to get the man assistance because the man was unable to make decisions on his own without the consent of his legal guardian.  Adult Protective Services were contacted and APS, made the social worker’s aware that they would be in contact with the legal guardian, but the process of taking the legal guardian to court would be difficult. 

After social workers learned the man had a court ordered legal guardian they contacted local police to determine if the man could be taken back to the home by police, but police refused to assist without a court order ruling that the legal guardians were obligated to take the family member back into the home.

However, after reaching out to the legal guardians shelter officials were able to establish that the legal guardians had no intentions to assist the family member in finding suitable housing, this gave social workers more leverage to press APS to take custody of the man, and as a consequence within a few weeks, APS were able to find housing for the man. It took over three months for this to happen.  Fortunately, during that time period the man did not leave the shelter or was asked to leave the facility because he may have gone missing as a result. 

Both these examples have happy endings, but this isn’t always the case as in the disappearance of Sarah Rogers a 29 year old artist from Barrington, New Hampshire. She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. In December 2004, after an argument with her husband, the husband attempted to take the keys from her, but was unable to do so, and Sarah left the house in her vehicle leaving her 2 year old son behind. 

The husband contacted Rogers’ family and they reported her as missing and endangered.  Her car was found by State Police a few days after she went missing and she had left her cell phone inside. Two days after Sarah left home the police entered her information in the National Crime Information Center. 

Three months later Sarah’s body was discovered in the woods not far from where her car was discovered with the engine still running, the driver’s side door open, Sarah’s purse found in a snow bank near the car, and footprints leading away from the car.  Sarah Roger’s most likely died from hypothermia.

Unlike the two aforementioned cases where both persons were found alive and found housing, cases like Sarah’s are more common when a person suffering from mental illness goes missing. Statistics verify this, and show that 75% of missing adults who are located are deceased when found. 

This statistic does beg the question as to whether or not person’s who go missing who have been diagnosed with a mental illness are not theoretically victims of “foul play.”  If the missing person is motivated to run as a result of being paranoid caused by mental illness, if they are provoked to react by running during a manic episode, they believe their lives are in danger, causing them to put their own lives in danger by running from what they believe is a real threat and the threat should be taken seriously.

 The argument must be made that in these particular cases if someone is reported missing that has a pre-existing mental illness they should be treated as if they are victims of foul play and an alert issued the same as a “Silver Alert” for those over the age of 65 who are considered endangered.   

To take this a step forward, if at a bar, a bartender is obligated by law in most cases to take steps to cut the person off from drinking and attempting to take the person’s keys preventing them from leaving their facility and driving while intoxicated. 

By taking steps to prevent a person with a pre-existing mental illness from leaving or apprehending a person and holding them until they can be seen by a doctor is similar to a bartender or a friend taking the keys from someone who is intoxicated and preventing them from hurting themselves or others. 

Missing Person with Intent to Commit Suicide & Accidental Deaths:

It seems an impossible task to determine that a person is suicidal. One can assume that a person is at risk for suicide, but even in cases where a person has attempted suicide or expressed suicidal ideation, a family can alert authorities. However, in most cases, it is up to a doctor to determine whether or not to detain an individual “against their will” by placing them under psychiatric care under a 5150 order. Nonetheless, even in these cases, within 72 hours, the person will most likely be released, unless the doctor’s evaluate the patient and determine the patient is still at risk. Even then, the doctor most likely will have to take the matter to court to seek the court’s permission to keep the person detained and prove the person is still at risk.  If the court agrees with the doctor’s it is under tight restrictions, meaning that only in the most severe cases will hospitals actually take the matter to court, and the stay may only be granted for a short period. With that said, the courts nor can the hospital forcefully make the patient comply with the treatment, in order to hold that person against their will and comply with treatment the patient would have to be declared incompetent.

If a person goes missing with intent to commit suicide, these cases are problematic because the individual may go to great lengths to distance themselves from being discovered making it impossible to find the decedents remains. 

Because of this, it is difficult to rule out “foul play”, because the missing person has created the distance and gone to great lengths to go undetected, and in many cases will not express their intent to commit suicide prior to their disappearance. 

Cases like this often go unsolved until someone unintentionally finds the missing person’s body and  only then can the case can be resolved.

Accidental deaths are similar to those who go missing with the intent to commit suicide.  The cases involving missing persons who died accidentally are often not resolved until a body is recovered, and in many cases they such as missing persons with intent to commit suicide the decedent’s body may never be recovered. 

Missing Persons: Their Own Volition VS Absconded:

People who go missing on their own volition do so for various reasons; whereas a person who has absconded may do so due to warrants for their arrests most likely disappears in order to evade capture. 

 Those who have absconded to evade capture are going to go to great lengths to avoid being found, yet at the same time although a person has warrants for their arrests still may be victims of foul play. 

The same analogy can be noted with individuals who leave on their own volition. Although they may have disappeared intentionally, it does not mean they were not at the same time being lured to leave by someone with the purpose of harming them. 

Determining if a Missing Person is a Victim of Foul Play:

In cases in which a crime scene is known and a body is found, cases still go unsolved.  However, with a crime scene and the body, investigators are able to determine cause of death, the possible motive of the suspect, whether the suspect was organized or unorganized and create a forensic profile of the suspect.  Whereas in a missing person’s case investigators are tasked with having to determine if the missing person is a victim of foul play often times without a crime scene.

Unfortunately, it seems only when working a case backwards can we explain the motives and movements that led to the circumstances of someone being reported as a missing person. Even with advancements in technology, law enforcement is still bound by rules and procedures that can in some respects drag the case down while they wait for evidence to be examined, track down false leads, or even if they have a credible lead, it does not meet the standard of probable cause to execute a search warrant or make an arrest. 

In examining this statistically, according to the FBI in 2017 out of 651,226 missing person reports made during the year, 587,711 were cancelled or cleared.  As of 2017, the FBI reports that 88,089 missing person’s cases remain active. https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/2017-ncic-missing-person-and-unidentified-person-statistics.pdf/view

the 88,089, 35% of those active cases are juveniles under the age of 18 that percentage moves to 46.6% when the definition of juvenile includes anyone under the age of 21. Utilizing the 2nd set of statistics, we find that missing adults over the age of 21 make up 53.4% of active cases.

During a 2012 interview on NPR with Todd Matthews, the director of communications for National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS) he stated: “In 2012, we had 661,000 cases of missing persons; and that’s just from that one year. Very quickly, 659,000 of those were canceled. So that means those persons either come back; in some cases, located as deceased persons, maybe never an unidentified person; or just a total misunderstanding. So at the end of 2012, of those 661,000 minus the canceled, we had 2,079 cases that remained at the end of the year as unresolved.” https://www.npr.org/2013/05/07/182000622/majority-of-missing-persons-cases-are-resolved

These statistics seem to confirm that in most cases when a missing report is filed it is quickly resolved and dismissed. This adds to the difficulty in determining whether a person has gone missing of their own volition or is a victim of foul play.

The fact that 88,089 cases remain active is troubling.

Each and every number represents one person who is missing and may or may not be a victim of foul play.  As mentioned in the beginning of this section, when investigators have an active crime scene and a body, the case may go unsolved but they are able to collect evidence, data such as DNA and fingerprints, and perhaps create a profile of the suspect and identify whether or not the killer was organized or unorganized. 

When there is no crime scene, it is difficult to then operate under the assumption that one case involving a missing person can be utilized to better understand the motives behind a similar missing person’s case.  For instance, if several missing persons are reported from one geographical location, law enforcement may recognize a pattern. However, when a person goes missing from one geographical location, the case may seem similar to another missing person case that happened in another geographical location, this may give insight for investigators working the case.  It does not mean however, that for example in:

Hypothetical Case 1: A woman from the east coast goes missing; the husband is the primary suspect; after investigating, the husband is arrested and found guilty is relevant in understanding a similar case such as:

Hypothetical Case 2: A woman from the west coast goes missing; the husband is the primary suspect; after investigating the woman is found to have been abducted and murdered by unknown male, and husband is cleared as a suspect.

In 2017 the CDC reported: Over half of the killings of American women are related to intimate partner violence, with the vast majority of the victims dying at the hands of a current or former romantic partner, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today… About a third of the time, the couple had argued right before the homicide took place, and about 12 percent of the deaths were associated with jealousy. The majority of the victims were under the age of 40, and 15 percent were pregnant. About 54 percent were gun deaths. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/07/homicides-women/534306/

The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) also seems to support the CDC statistics:

…Women are most likely to be killed at home by a current or former male intimate—that is, a husband, boyfriend, ex-husband or former boyfriend. Making this point, the UCR data from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s found that a female is more than 2.5 times as likely to be shot by her male intimate partner as to be shot, stabbed, strangled, bludgeoned, or killed in any other way by a stranger…More recent UCR data for the years 1980 to 2008 reveal that less than 12 percent of all female victims were murdered by strangers… The data reveal that females are almost six times more likely than males to be killed by an intimate partner… The same data reveal that female victims were involved in nearly 64 percent of all intimate killings and 82percent of all sex-related killings. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201510/white-females-are-rarely-murder-victims-or-perpetrators

While this data does suggest that there is a distinctive pattern in regards to women who are murdered are most likely killed by an intimate partner, we know that abductions by unknown individuals and abductions by outliers not only happen, we know that the abductions are not only disturbing but can happen in broad daylight, in public places, and within a few seconds a person can be subdued, taken and never seen again. 

One of the most disturbing cases of the aforementioned scenario happened in 2007 when 18 year old Kelsey Smith disappeared from a Target parking lot at a mall in Overland Park, Kansas. Investigators reviewed surveillance footage and were able to confirm Kelsey Smith had been in the store shopping, and watched her check out and leave the store, get in her car and drive away. A couple of hours later however, her car was viewed returning to the mall, dropped off outside of Macy’s and a person seen leaving the vehicle and heading out of the parking lot.

As investigators focused on Kelsey’s movements once departing the store and walking to her car, they slowed the speed of the camera and noticed a flash darting towards Kelsey as she opened the door to her car.  The video is horrifying to watch, but proved that Kelsey was most likely abducted and a victim of foul play. Once investigators had this evidence they were able to go back and track the teenager’s movements through the store and noticed a white male, around 20 years of age, stalking her as she shopped for a present for her boyfriend.

Minutes before Kelsey checked out of the store, the man left the store ahead of her. It was speculated that he had most likely went outside and either back to his truck to obtain a gun, and then lay in wait to subdue the young girl as she entered her car. 

It did not take long for investigators to identify the truck the young man was driving and broadcast it on local television.  Four days later, after receiving a tip from a neighbor who recognized the truck, 26-year-old Edwin Roy “Jack” Hall was arrested. 

On the same day Hall was arrested, after a legal battle with Verizon Wireless to obtain cell phone records, Verizon using cellular data were able to triangulate the last location Kelsey’s phone “pinged” and lead authorities to the location of her body.

The case is a terrifying reminder that apex predators exists and can and will attack a person without premeditation, without prejudice, without empathy, and take someone’s life for their own personal gratification.

Hall had no adult criminal record. Although as a juvenile he had been charged with assault, there is no evidence suggesting he was capable of committing this heinous act.  He was married and a father of a four year old son at the time of the crime. 

Examining the murder of Kelsey Smith, one must accept that there are in fact more suspects involved in missing person’s cases that fit the profile of someone like Edwin Hall–A person that kills because the opportunity presents itself. Or in Hall’s case, became so engrossed mentally to hurt someone for his own personal gratification he did not care if there were camera’s watching, he did not care if anyone caught him in the act, and this makes a person like Hall extremely dangerous because they do not necessarily seem to fit the profile of a predatory killer.

How then do we better understand the mind of predatory killers that are seemingly opportunistic, but in most circumstances do not fit the profile of predatory killers such as infamous serial killers?

The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a serial killing as: involving the killing of several victims in three or more separate events. Psychologists have been able to examine and study serial killers and determine that not all but many serial killers have certain traits that often times start in childhood.

To better understand missing person’s cases, especially those involving foul play, if we follow the modified Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment in which one opens the box and the cat has vanished, one cannot rule out that the missing cat has been abducted from the box.  If Schrodinger were to investigate and learn that several cats have gone missing from the area, he may be inclined to believe that a serial cat burglar is living in the vicinity.  However, if no cats are reported missing, his only clue may be to examine the box and look for evidence.

Schrodinger is able to swab the box and find DNA, fingerprints, and outside the box he finds footprints leading away. When Schrodinger examines the evidence he finds no matches. 

With the evidence placed in a database, years go by and still there are no matches leading to the suspect.  Schrodinger may opine that the suspect has died, or perhaps the suspect has never committed a crime afterwards wherewith the suspect’s prints or DNA may be placed into the database. 

Then imagine when Schrodinger examines the box there is no DNA, no fingerprints inside the box, or no footprints leading away from the box.  If this happens to be the case, Schrodinger would be hard-pressed to prove that a crime had occurred and would have to consider that the cat somehow was able to escape the box on its own without assistance or worse, had been abducted.

Out of all circumstances in which a person may go missing, they all seem to share a common thread:

  1. If a person goes missing on their own volition whether as a result of intent to harm themselves, mental health, they go to great lengths to distance themselves from those who have reported them missing.
  2. If a person has gone missing as a result of foul play the abductor/murderer will go to great lengths to distance themselves from authorities.
  3. Even in the case of where the victim has gone missing as a result of an accident, it can appear that the victim is going to great lengths to stay hidden, however, they may be unable to communicate to others they’ve been in an accident and a perfect example of this is the disappearance of Tanya Rider.

After Tanya Rider went missing after leaving work in September 2007, her husband reported her missing but according to the husband when he reached out to police one department stated it was out of their jurisdiction and referred him to another department who informed Mr. Ryder they could not classify his wife as a missing person because she was an adult and was not considered suicidal. 

Tom Rider asked police to to track her through her cell phone but according to Mr. Rider his request was denied because she was not considered missing. Investigators had noticed activity from Mrs. Ryder’s bank account after she was reported missing giving them the false impression that Mrs. Ryder had gone missing on her own volition and the husband had to prove that they had a joint account and it was he using the bank account.  He then offered to take a polygraph and only after his adamant insistence that something was amiss did police determine that his wife may in fact be missing and endangered.

By analyzing her cell phone data, they were able to determine that her signal was coming from a tower less than five miles from where she was last seen.  Investigators searched the area and found Mrs. Ryder’s car had wrecked twenty feet off the road into a ravine, the car concealed by shrubbery.  8 days after she was reported missing, within a few hours of investigators tracking Mrs. Ryder’s cell phone they found her alive, but in critical condition. 

Therefore, even in a case like that of Mrs. Ryder’s in which she was involved in an accident, it appeared from the investigators standpoint she had purposefully gone missing, and if they hadn’t acted on the cell phone evidence she would have succumbed to her injuries. 

One could argue that in the case of Mrs. Ryder police may have believed Mrs. Ryder was escaping a bad relationship, and her husband was using the police to track her when she didn’t want to be found.  Nevertheless, at the same time, one could argue that whether or not, they could have still tracked her down, and if they were correct and she did in fact leave on her own volition were not obligated to inform her husband.

But this seems to be the rub, if all missing persons cases have a common thread in which it appears that when one goes missing of their own volition, with intent to commit suicide, as a result of an accident, or mental health issues mirrors the actions of perpetrator who has abducted or murdered a person reported missing, that all missing persons cases should be viewed as a result of “foul play” until proven otherwise.

Still, it must be noted that the rationale behind the previous statement is in response to the lack of data explaining the circumstances behind the missing person’s cases that are resolved and subsequently purged from the database.  Perhaps the statistics should show data as to how the missing person’s case was resolved (e.g. percentage of those who came back on their own volition, found alive, found deceased, etc) and the investigative steps taken to find the missing person once a person is listed in the national database.

Closure:

Another common thread when investigating a missing person’s case is finding closure.  As in Schrodinger’s thought experiment until the box is opened and the contents inside observed, the observer cannot know, but only theorize if the cat is alive or dead, and until the observation is made one can hypothesize that the cat is simultaneously both alive and dead.

Families, friends, loved one’s looking for closure cling to hope that their loved one is alive and well, and many will never give up looking or lose hope and will come to the end of own their lives never knowing and never having the closure of bringing their sons or daughters,  mothers or fathers,  husbands or wifes, or sisters or brothers home.

The answers are out there.  Whether the loved one has disappeared of their own volition, or has been a victim of foul play, someone knows the answers, and holds the vital clues to resolving the case and bringing closure to these families.  Someone is in possession of the “box”, that holds the clues in resolving the mystery.

Advancements in Technology:

One of the latest advancements in technology being utilized by police is Genealogy DNA.  This new type of DNA analysis has been used to solve several cold cases by entering DNA from an individual into a database and comparing it to the DNA from a crime, and linking the DNA sample to a person through their family tree. 

It has already been used to solve several cold cases and hold murderers accountable in a court of law:  https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/22/us/cold-case-killing-1986/index.html https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/26/us/christy-mirack-slaying-update-trnd/index.html

In both of these cases however, there was a crime scene or a body in which DNA and evidence was collected. In missing person’s cases, often times this evidence does not exist until after, at least in the cases of foul play, a body is discovered. 

Regrettably if a missing person is a victim of foul play, the person’s responsible have no intentions of providing the answers.  Most missing person’s cases often times are resolved to this day when someone happens to come across a body partially hidden in a wooded area.  In rare occasions the case is resolved as a result of someone coming forward with information years later after overhearing a conversation by the suspect.

Just recently, 12 years after a missing person’s case stunned the small town of Ocilla, Georgia in 2005 a tip to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations led to the arrest of two individuals.  In 2005, 30 year old Tara Grinstead a beloved high school teacher, and beauty pageant coach, vanished from her home.  Local police were baffled and had little evidence to provide answers, except for a latex glove that was found in Grinstead’s yard. 

Although Law Enforcement was able to extract DNA from the glove, they were unable to match it to anyone in their database.  Investigators interviewed several individuals acquainted with Grinstead and took DNA samples but none were a match. 

In 2017, all that changed when investigators received a tip from a female who claimed her boyfriend confessed to playing a part in Grinstead’s disappearance.  After interviewing the boyfriend, Bo Dukes, he confessed to the GBI and informed them that his friend and former roommate Ryan Duke had killed Grinstead after she walked in on him trying to break into her house.  Bo Dukes assisted Ryan Duke in disposing of Grinstead’s body on an orchard farm Bo Dukes’ family owned and operated.   

With this evidence Bo Duke was arrested and charged with attempting to conceal a death, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence and soon after, they arrested Ryan Duke for murder, and collected his DNA and made a match to the DNA found in the latex glove. They also learned that Ryan Duke knew Tara Grinstead when he was a student at the high school she worked. 

Ryan Duke went undetected as a suspect because he was an outlier and evaded arrest until his co-conspirator made a tearful confession to his girlfriend who then in turn alerted authorities.

One could argue that if Ryan Duke had not involved another party to assist him in covering up the crime scene who would later implicate him, this crime may have never been solved or it would have taken even longer than 12 years for the DNA evidence to catch up to him. 

Otherwise, it seems that in most cases, unless a body is discovered, or guilt overwhelms a suspect into confessing to a crime, it all comes back to old fashioned detective work, working the streets, analyzing data, interviewing potential suspects, and attempting to find probable cause to obtain search warrants.  Yet, in most cases Law Enforcement are forced into an almost impossible predicament of being one step behind the suspect who always seems to have the advantage because they lack empathy for the victim and they have had time on their side to cover up evidence and conceal a body.

In part 2 of this modified thought experiment individual cases will be examined by attempting to find the missing person by finding the box.

The Voice of Reason: Preface

When I lived in Washington DC, one of the things I loved to do was to get out late at night and walk around the city. I had not lived there for too long and was living in Alexandria near the Pentagon and would rely on the Metro to get me around the city. One night, I made a huge mistake. I decided to start at the Capital, walking west from there through the National Mall to the Washington Monument and from there past the Vietnam War Memorial to the Lincoln Monument. I made my way around the backside of the monument and crossed over the Arlington Bridge crossing the Potomac where at night I could just make out the eternal flame where John Kennedy is buried, and just on the opposite side of the bridge is a metro entrance. Unbeknownst to me, is the Metro closes after a certain time.

The place I stayed was only two stops away if I had been able to hop onto the Metro. But to walk there would have taken another hour or so perhaps. I was exhausted, and I knew that I would have to either find a cab, or walk all the way back to the Smithsonian and hope the Metro station was still open there, or I could attempt to find a closer Metro by going North towards Rosslyn.

So I decided to travel North, but I didn’t follow the roads, I somehow ended up in Arlington Cemetery at night wandering around in the darkness. I was able to use certain markers such as the Washington Monument and the Freeway to my right to keep my bearings as I walked through the pitch black cemetery.

At some point the cemetery came to an end causing me to cross over the freeway, not really sure where I was at until I crossed and looked to my left and spotted the Iwo Jima Memorial. I knew I was heading in the right direction and within fifteen minutes or so I had found the Metro and soon would be back at Pentagon City.

My feet, my legs, my body hurt from walking that long of distance, but it is a night I’ll never forget. Although I was lost and tired, by knowing where I was, by being able to use markers such as the Washington Monument and then the Iwo Jima Memorial I knew I was heading in the right direction even if it was pitch black and quiet and no directional signs pointing me towards the metro I made it.

When I think about this little adventure of mine metaphorically, it does sadden me. These memorials and statues that have been erected in memory of our history as a country, from our first president, to Lincoln to the men and women buried at Arlington Cemetery, land once owned by Robert E. Lee’s family, to the Iwo Jima Memorial, are reminders of our past and wars we’ve fought, and lessons learned, and even more importantly I suppose I wonder how it is through all this we still seem torn and divided as a nation at times. Especially when we have these memorials to remind us of where we’ve been, what it took to get here and the lessons we should learn from these moments in our history.

Why is it I wonder that we as a country are seemingly so divided and I wonder what causes the divisions? Does the division come from the top, from those in power, the lobbyist, using wedge issues as a way to sow dissension and division? Or does it begin at a grassroots level, the voice of the people being heard and we elect the people into office who hear the message and run on a platform to bring about change? Could it be a little bit of both?
In the next few weeks I plan on writing about this conundrum and will attempt to answer these questions. I hope to be a voice of reason, and tackle these tough subjects as Thomas Paine once did in his pamphlet titled “Common Sense” and attempt to, if possible to better understand these divisions and what we can do to bring closure to the issues that divide us.

Game of Thrones Theory: Sansa Stark is the True Winner of the Game of Thrones

I am convinced that Dany’s total war attack on King’s Landing was not an act of madness but a necessary strategy. I believe her murder on the otherhand was a conspiracy concocted by Sansa, Arya, Bran and Tyrion to use Jon Snow to murder Dany giving the throne to Bran and the North to Sansa.

Dany’s refusal to accept the surrender of King’s Landing was not an act of madness.

Dany having learned from her experiences with previous occupations of cities, understood that occupying a city is more difficult than taking the city through force.

Cersai’s approach to defend the city by using its citizens as human sheilds was an act of “madness” and one Dany has to surmise will be the approach other cities she intends on ruling will take in the future.

With two dragons killed, leaving her with Drogon, a small force of Dotraki and Unsullied, her war powers have diminished exponentially. If she were to lose Drogon, her main threat, this would leave her vulnerable and as a consequence she would no longer be a threat.

By continuing her attack on King’s Landing after the city surrendered while seen as an act of madness, one could argue that by doing so it would send a message to other kingdoms that using their people as human shields would not work as a strategy.

This would allow Dany to keep Drogon safe from being killed, and give her an opportunity to act diplomatically under the threat of war and total destruction if other kingdom’s did not remain loyal to her.

On to Jon Snow and his motivations to murder his Queen. Up until his conversation with his sister Arya on the steps of the recently destroyed Red Keep, and Lord Tyron while imprisoned for treason, Jon remains loyal to Dany–up until the point that he believes his family, the Starks are in danger.

However, one has to understand that Jon himself informed Sansa and Arya of his true lineage after being asked not to by Dany. Even so, Snow made his sister’s swear to keep his lineage secret, maintaining his desire to remain loyal to Dany despite his being the rightful heir to the throne.

It is here where I believe Sansa saw a moment to take advantage of this information by using the lessons she learned from Little Finger and Cersai.

One has to argue that Sansa learned to become a master of manipulation from Little Finger and Cersai. After escaping Winterfell where she had been held captive by her masochist husband Ramsay Bolton and arrived at the Wall she was obviously upset when her ideas were dismissed. When Snow gathered forces to attack and retake Winterfell, Sansa advised against Snow’s strategy and again was ignored.

Snow, in the Battle of the Bastards was losing and was essentially doomed until he was rescued by Sansa’s quick thinking by bringing in reinforcements from the Vale. Sansa was the true hero of the Battle of the Bastards and even so, Snow was named the King of the North.

Regardless of their familial relationship and love for Jon, he like Dany was an outsider to the Stark family. When Jon left Winterfell to meet with Dany to obtain dragonglass and her forces, Sansa ordered the execution of Little Finger and displayed that the student had become the teacher. However, Little Finger had been correct in assuming that Sansa did not like being overlooked while her “Bastard” brother took all the credit, and he needed to be eliminated. In this moment it also brought Bran, Sansa, and Arya closer as a family as all three stood in judgment against Little Finger.

Although Sansa disliked Jon having bent the knee to Dany she realized with the threat of the Night King looming cooperating with Dany was necessary. After the Night King was killed, Sansa again was ignored when she advised Dany to allow the troops to rest before attacking King’s Landing. Again, Sansa, was correct and Dany ended up losing more troops, her best friend and another dragon.

As this was happening, Sansa learned of Jon’s true heritage and against Jon’s request to never tell she sought out Tyrion. I believe it was at this time Sansa teamed up with Tyrion to plan a conspiracy to kill Dany. I believe Arya was sent along to King’s Landing as a back up plan to kill Dany if Jon did not complete the mission.

In other words, whether or not Dany had accepted the surrender of King’s Landing when the bells rang or not she was going to be murdered and her murder was orchestrated by Sansa Stark and Bran, and they used Arya and Tyrion as co-conspirators to turn Jon against Dany, and had Jon failed to be convinced to turn against and kill Dany, Arya would have killed Jon, used his face to gain access to Dany and murder her.

Varys death was hand delivered to Dany by Tyrion, although it was Tyrion who had learned of Snow’s true heritage and informed Varys. Sansa and Tyrion used this to their advantage. They knew Varys would act on this information. They also knew how Dany would respond to Varys treasonous act. By turning in Varys this would show Dany that Tyrion was loyal to his Queen, while covering up it was he and Sansa working against her. They also knew this would help turn Jon against her if he felt Sansa’s life were in danger for having informed Tyrion of Jon’s true heritage.

Another lesson Sansa had learned from Cersai was to allow others to do the fighting while she waited in the wings to take control when the fighting was over. Without Drogon, had the forces outside of King’s landing had breeched the walls and fought their way through to the Red Keep, it would have again cost Dany losses she could not afford.

However, without Drogon, one could argue that the battle between the Dothraki, Unsullied, and Northmen, against the Gold Company and the Lannister forces would have been a protracted battle and it’s possible Dany’s forces would have been forced to retreat the same as Stannis Baratheon’s forces.

Dany again was a used as a means to an end leaving the Starks on the throne. It did not matter that Dany murdered innocent civilians, it mattered that Dany took down King’s Landing and without her and Drogon, it may have been impossible for the Starks and their northern bannerman to take down Cersai.

In my opinion, Dany wasn’t murdered or vilified by her actions at King’s Landings, but was the victim of a conspiracy because she was seen as an outsider and she was conspired against by the Starks to use Jon Snow to murder her, and give them two thrones. This was a lesson the Starks have learned over the last 7 seasons, that to win the Game of Thrones one has to win or die, and to win means to not be masters of war or combat but be smarter than those that oppose them. The remaining pack that survived had become powerful. Sansa had become a Queen, having learned from two of the best players in the GOT, Arya an assassin, and Bran the Three-Eyed Raven. In order to survive Dany had to go, and who better to than Jon Snow to carry it out, by turning him against Dany.

This conspiracy theory suggests why it is Arya does not take the white horse and leave King’s Landing and instead stays around lurking, sneaking up on Jon and warning him that she knows a killer when she sees one.

It explains why Tyrion turns on Varys, his trusted friend, to show to Dany that Tyrion remained a trusted friend to Dany who was isolating herself and watching her loyal friends die as she sought the Iron Throne.

This may also explain why Jon was sent back to the Wall, when there was no need for a Wall. In order to complete their objective, it wasn’t the Unsullied that needed justice, because they were leaving King’s Landing and the nobles could have knowing Jon was the rightful heir to the throne voted him to be the King, or could have at least waited for the Unsullied to leave and let Jon return to Winterfell at least. But to sentence him to the Night’s Watch was the final phase, to get Jon to renounce all claims to the throne and allow Sansa to take the North and Bran the six kingdoms where his first act was to make Tyrion his hand. It was a ruse to suggest his being the hand as punishment, it was reward for his part he played in the conspiracy to turn against Dany and support the Starks.

If one remembers, it was Tyrion, unchallenged who immediatly when called upon by the Lords and Ladies to make his case to be the new King that could have made the case for Jon Snow, but instead without hesitation made a passionate speech for Bran. And when Bran was asked if he would be willing to take on the responsibility responded, “Why else would I be here.” Meaning he too was part of the conspiracy all along and once made King, he could grant independence to the North allowing Sansa to rule the North.

Throughout the show, its been said of Jon Snow that “he knew nothing.” Just as Dany was a threat to the Starks, they saw Jon as an outsider too, and for Sansa, Tyrion, Bran and Arya to take total control it was necessary to turn Jon against Dany, murder her, then once they took control of the North and the six kingdoms, send Jon back to the Wall.

This takes us back to the origins of GOT, when a plot to kill Dany was planned by King Robert, and to be carried out by Ned who refused. With Mormont gone, Dany had lost the one person who stood in the way of a successful assassination attempt.

Sansa learned from the mistakes her father made, lessons she learned from her time at King’s Landing, the lessons she learned from Little Finger, and Cersai. It is my belief that Sansa is the winner of the Game of Thrones by conspiring with Tyrion, Bran and Arya to see the Starks survive and avenge the North and the deaths of their family.

Game of Thrones: How will it end? My Theory

My wife and I watched EP 4 of the final season of GOT last night. Knowing that there are only two more episodes to go in this amazing series, and I argue one of the best television shows of all time, I do feel as if I have a theory as to how the story will end.

I will warn you now of SPOILER’S from previous episodes that have led me to my conclusions.

To begin, I just want to say that my two favorite characters are Arya and the Hound. To see these two back together on the road to King’s Landing was awesome.

With that said, let’s dig in.

What chance does Cersai have of winning by going up against the same group of people who won the Battle of Winterfell against the White Walkers? We already know that way back when she was a child she was informed by a witch that her reign as queen would be short lived.

It would seem that Cersai’s death is somewhat inevitable. But we’ll come back to that.

Although the writer’s of GOT have done a great job at creating suspense, when one moves past the tension purposefully created for suspense, at the end of each episode or season you find there is a logical methodology of foreshadowing that has followed throughout the series and I believe this may hold theories as to how the epic saga will end.

With only two episodes to go, the writer’s could give most of us or perhaps all of us who expect Cersai to lose, give us the moment of watching her die a most painful death, and give Daenerys the throne and that’s it: The End.

Simple, and easy, and everyone happy…but not so fast.

Then there’s the dread each viewer has knowing that at anytime one of our favorite character’s could die. In fact people are placing bets each week and the odds change after each episode as who’s going to die and at this point, although several beloved character’s have died, the main players in the GOT are still with us with two episodes to go.

My theory is logical, and I believe has been set up many moons ago and is right before our very eyes.

Cersai’s reign will end. I feel quite confident of this. Everything and everyone still alive outside of her own circle of loyalists want her gone. One could even argue how loyal are the Gold Company to her if they like Sir Bronn can be bought and or change sides without hesitation if Cersai is on the way out. (in fact this is talked about in earlier seasons by the current Queen of King’s Landing during the Battle of Blackwater)

How Cersai’s reign will end is still in question, but not if it will end.

If the logical argument is Cersai is out, the next question is who ends up with the Iron Throne. As EP 4 ended, with the true heritage of Jon Snow being uncovered it does add to the suspense and a possible feud tearing those who love the Queen of Dragons and those who follow The King of the North apart and thereby allowing Cersai to win the throne as the two factions outside King’s Landing fight each other.

Although the writer’s have shown great skill in creating suspense and tension, in the end, it is for dramatic effect and that only, because Cersai is out.

To end GOT with Cersai still sitting on the Iron Throne would not be a surprise, it would be an insult to almost every fan of the show.

Even so, the writer’s also know how to hold an audience to the very end. It wasn’t until the final moment’s of EP 3 we saw Arya leaping into the air and winning the battle of Winterfell. So it’s possible that the writer’s will draw this out until the final episode and keep us on edge in our seats until the credit’s role. But there is no Season 9 so pretty much everything has to happen within two and half hours over the next two Sundays.

We know (at least we think we know) that only one dragon remains alive. We know that Daenerys once again jumped headfirst into battle against the advice of those around her. We know Jon Snow is traveling to Kings Landing with troops. We know the Hound and Arya are close behind. We know Jaimie has also left Winterfell and is on the same road to King’s Landing. Sansa and Lady Brienne are at Winterfell, along with the Free Folk.

How this plays out over the next two episodes I do not know. What I do believe however is that again Cersai is out, possibly as early at the end of EP 5. This allows for the entirety of Ep 6 to figure out what to do with her and who shall sit on the Iron Throne. In fact the last episode could be a fast forward to years after the events depicted over the last 8 seasons as a final farewell to those who died and those who survived.

So here is my theory:

I believe Daenerys is becoming too much like her brother and her ancestors. She believes her right to the throne is divine but yet her brother felt the same. Dany will either grow to understand this and realize she can end tyranny without the throne by helping overthrow Cersai and put someone in the throne who will be the best ruler for the realm. If she does not come to this understanding not only does she stand to lose the support of those loyal to her, but perhaps even worse lose Jon Snow. When Khal Drogo died, and afterwards Lord Mormont, it had a tremendous impact on Dany, to the point that she begged Jon to swear to secrecy his true lineage. Even when Jon vowed he did not want the throne and would remain loyal to her, her having to beg was similar to the scene in which her brother lost his mind and his life in his vain attempt to force Khal Drogo to give him his Army. Is Dany going to be forced to kill Jon Snow in order to protect her quest to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Will Jon Snow sacrifice his life as did Ned Stark to give Dany what she wants because he truly believes she is the rightful heir to the throne?

Since we’re on the subject of Jon Snow…it is true he is willing to make sacrifices. He pledged his allegiance to the Men of the Watch. He then went against the powers that be to break bread with the Free Folk and it cost him his life, only to be revived by the Red Witch. At the Battle of Hardholme he was forced to retreat. At the Battle of the Bastards he would have lost had it not been for Sansa. After being declared the King of the North, he travels to meet Dany only to bend the knee, another sacrifice to gain access to the dragonglass and dragons in order to fight the White Walkers. He sacrificed himself in the battle against the White Walkers and was saved by his Uncle Benjin, at great cost of losing a dragon. Then in the Battle of Winterfell, again it was Arya who saved the day as Dany and Snow fought for their lives in a battle they under most circumstances would have lost. And now, knowing his true lineage, he still bends the knee to Dany even if he has a stronger claim to the throne than her.

No one can deny Jon and Dany’s heroism, their passion, their honor, or even their lineage. Still one could argue that despite this and the loyalty and love of those they have inspired, they may not be best suited to rule the Seven Kingdoms together or separately.

If not Jon and Dany, than who?

I think the answer is quite simple: Sansa Stark.

When watching the last few episodes of GOT, it seems quite obvious to me that Sansa has outgrown her role as Lady of Winterfell. The prophecy told to Cersai as a teenager stated that her reign as queen would not be long, and she would be replaced by someone more beautiful. One could argue that Marjorie the queen to Renley, Goffery, and Tommin fulfilled this part of the prophecy, but I disagree. Cersai did not become the Queen until her youngest son’s death after the loss of his beloved Marjorie. So her reign begins after the death of Marjorie, meaning that there is still another.

So this is my belief: Cersai is out. The Mountain is out. I do not know how either go, but I have a feeling Arya and the Hound will be responsible in the epic battle against The Mountain. I believe that it is quite possible that Jamie now on his way to King’s Landing will encounter the Hound and Arya and hatch a plan which will allow Jamie to slide past the Mountain and the King’s Guard.

Uncle Greyjoy is out. Yara is on her way to King’s Landing. After the “heroic” death of Theon, her hatred for her uncle, and her sworn allegiance to Dany, she will arrive with a greater fleet, and Uncle Greyjoy will either flee once he learns of the Queen’s betrayal concerning his being the father of her child, or by the sight of Dragon fire destroying his fleet. I do not think he will escape Yara’s wrath even if he escapes the Dragon fire and Blackwater.

Once this happen the Gold Company of Bravos will turn against Cersai as foreshadowed in earlier seasons.

At some point, and I know all of us have been waiting for it, there has to be a moment where Jon Snow’s true lineage will exposed. I do not think it will be as a result of the talking heads and little birds, but by fire. One has to assume that since wild fire has been the weapon of choice by the Mad King, to Cersai using it to destroy the church, it’s being produced in greater quantities. Imagine if you will that Jon Snow is seen by the inhabitants of the Red Keep be struck by wild fire and survive the flames. This would surely act as a way to show not only Dany and all the soldiers loyal to Dany and Snow, as well as the city of King’s Landing Jon Snow is more than the bastard son of Ned Stark. It will also show Dany that Snow is a true Dragon.

Speaking of Dragons: we all watched in horror as Greyjoy struck the mighty Dragon several times and it crash into the sea. Problem is, in GOT there are Drowned Gods and Red Witches and well I think you see where I’m going. It’s quite possible this Dragon is not dead, or won’t be revived through some ancient God we’ve yet to be introduced too. Or perhaps Bran, will resurrect the dragon?

But what if Dany and Jon have an even greater secret. No one knows for certain how Dragon’s mate, or if it is even necessary for them to mate to birth Dragons. It is quite possible that there are more Dragons that only Dany and Jon know of. It would be a great strategy for them to keep this a secret.

OK, so where was I? How does this end with Sansa on the throne?

Foreshadowing throughout GOT provides us many theories. We know that someone more beautiful will take the Iron Throne from Cersai. It also well known however, that a Stark must always remain at Winterfell. Bran, or the Three-Eyed-Raven, no longer considers himself a Stark, Arya is now a Faceless Man, and it essentially leaves only Sansa to be the Stark left behind to be at Winterfell.

But again, not so fast. What was it Tormund told Jon before they parted ways in the EP4. You are the North. Jon is also a Stark.

If you will indulge me for a moment, after Mormont’s death, Dany knew Mormont loved her, but she could never love him back. Her rush to King’s Landing after defeating the Night King resulted in losing another Dragon, and the death of another loyal friend Missandei. We know her love for Drogo, and now she is close to losing Jon. Either Dany is going to turn into the Mad Queen and become everything she despises in order to take down Cersai, or, and I believe this to be the case, is after watching how the people not only are loyal to Jon but their love and affection towards him will come to realize the Iron Throne is not worth the cost of losing Jon. Therefore, I believe she will come full-circle to the Dany we met in Season 1. She will acquiesce and bend the knee to Jon, which Jon will refuse.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but wouldn’t it be nice to end the GOT in the way it started. Children in the courtyard of Winterfell, looking up as Dany and Jon stare down lovingly at their children, same as Ned and Catilyn had done?

Then I see Sansa and Lord Tyrion ending up married, as Sansa sits on the Iron Throne. But instead of being the King of the Seven Realms they propose a more democratic society with Jon and Dany in the North, Yara in the Iron Islands, Gendry as Lord of Storm’s End, and so forth and so forth. And maybe perhaps, and what if, a merciful Sansa is allows Jamie and Cersai to live out their lives together happily at Casterly Rock? Whether one hates Cersai or not, she too protested the beheading of Ned Stark. She too, did everything she did to protect her children. And if Theon can redeem himself and the Lady of Winterfell shed tears over his death, she can certainly be merciful to the oft times, spiteful, Queen Cersai.

Lady Brienne will remain head of the King’s Guard alongside Sansa, Sam becomes the Grand Meister of the Citadel changing the rules allowing women to join the ancient order, and Arya travels back to Bravos to continue the ancient order of the Faceless men.

There is no need for the Men of the Watch. There is no wall, there is no threat from the Night King, and all live happily ever after.

Again, what happens is unpredictable I will admit, but there is a way for no more deaths, no more fire and brimstone, no more need for little birds and spies, just peace and what better way to end the bloodshed and undo the wrongs put into play by Littlefinger and others who put the events into motion that would be played out over the last seven seasons?

I guess we’ll see. I don’t mind if my theory is wrong. There are so many predictions out there, all I know is I have loved watching the series, and look forward to seeing how this amazing story ends.