Hello, everyone! How is everybody doing out there in Unfound land? When I start one of these I always feeling like saying, “Wow, it seems like I just wrote the last one.” Time is certainly flying. Summer will be here in no time.
In like two weeks I’ll be living in a new place. I didn’t really realize how much I was going to enjoy moving until I started packing stuff up around my current apartment. It’s time . . . time to move. Except for the house I grew up in, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in any house/apartment. In contrast, I lived in Las Vegas for over 13 years and I lived in 7 different apartments—yes, 7. So I’m not used to living in any one place too long.
What I’m also doing is giving away clothes and books and silverware and dishes, etc. while I clean everything up. I think I dumped about 1/3 of my wardrobe in a Goodwill bin last night—true story. Time to clean things out.
So, I’m great—I’ve lost about 5lbs since the last newsletter. I’ve lost about 11lbs since I got back from February. The personal trainer is really kicking my butt. But I needed it. I really let myself go in 2018.
Unfound is doing really well. I’ve talked to SO many people over the last few weeks. Also been working on some cases in the background—long term projects. I work on Unfound every single day and I love it.
Let’s get this started where we usually do . . .
April 19th: Lelia Faulkner
You can also look for these cases in April and May: Theresa Davidson-Murphy, Tionda and Diamond Bradley, Clark Rogers, Chandra Taylor, Kelly Gaskins, and Megan Lancaster
Like I said . . . I’ve been busy. Emily has been working hard finding these people.
Season 1, Volume 5
Finally!!! Can you believe it??? I really thought I was NEVER going to get another book done. The funny part is Volume 6 should actually be coming quite quickly—within the next month. That will complete Season 1 of Unfound. Season 2 Volume 1 will start with the disappearance of Kent Jacobs.
So, what took so long? Well, no good plan goes unpunished. The main issue was this: Episodes take precedent over everything else I do regarding Unfound. Of course that makes sense because without the episodes there is no Unfound.
If you want to imagine a wheel with the episodes being the hub in the middle, everything else is connected to that. The books. The YouTube show. Patreon. The Think Tank. Everything branches out from the episodes.
Well, what that means is none of those others things gets in the way. Nothing. So, if I was planning to work on Volume 5 of Season 1, and episode work needed to be done, then work on the book got pushed to the side—just the way it goes.
What entails episode work? Talking to a family member. Interviews. Doing my own research, which usually entails making sure I can back up what family members tell me during those initial conversations. Listening to the previous phone calls I’ve had with possible future guests.
All that and more takes up quite a bit of time. Thus, the books and other things can get pushed aside fairly easily.
And right around the time I’d think I blocked out some time to finish Volume 5 . . . nope . . . more episode work.
What changed? Well, it was actually a confluence of things. First, Emily found a bunch of possible future guests all at one time, which makes it easier to plan for future episodes. In contrast to having to scramble to line up an interview at the last second.
Also, doing the Update episode (which I’ll talk about in a bit) also allowed me to work on the episode AND Volume 5 because they both kind of cover the same information. Then, what also helped is I found a strong group of transcribers who REALLY stepped up—I cannot thank them enough.
And . . . Volume 5 was completed. And all the transcriptions are pretty much done for Volume 6, which means all I have to do is my own personal writing for the book and it will be done. You do not know how good that makes me feel. REALLY good.
I also have to mention that the transcriptions for Season 2 Volume 1 are also about done. So, I’m thinking that one will be out within the next few months too.
Of course all guests get their books for free. And the transcribers are being paid through a combination of Patreon perks, books, and cash—they are really doing the heavy lifting on this because turning these interviews into written words is not easy.
THE OTHER BOOKS
THE UPDATE EPISODE
I think I’ve stated this a few times since the episode came out 10 days ago: I greatly underestimated how much you the listeners like to hear about progress on cases. In order to correct my mistake, I have resolved to produce an update episode more frequently. You can look for the next one at the end of August. So, that would be a span of about 4 months. Whereas there were 8 months between the one last July and the one Unfound just released. Cutting down the span will most likely make the episode shorter and more timely.
What did I think about the Update Episode? I wish I could include more cases. Nothing makes me feel worse than knowing how many cases were not mention in either episode. Whereas, many were mentioned in both.
Why is that? Well, I’m glad you asked . . . well I asked . . . but I am sure you were thinking it too.
I don’t have a good answer for you. On the Patreon blog, I kind of did a very quick assessment and analysis of the cases that have been included and the ones that weren’t. There really doesn’t seem to be any specific correlation to the age of the case, whether the missing person is a man or woman, whether the case has been on Disappeared or any other prominent tv show, etc.
Distressingly, there also doesn’t seem to even be a correlation between how much work a family puts into their case and the progress being made. At least, not on the surface. This is probably one of the main reasons I find so many defunct websites that used to be for a missing person . . . who is still missing.
This is also the reason I feel I must mention all the missing people at the end of the episode—because I hate doing an Update Episode where everyone isn’t included in some way.
What does this mean? Unfound has to work harder. We have to find a way to get an update on every case we’ve covered.
How is that going to get done? Well, one of the other reasons the books got pushed back is because I’ve been trying to really get deeper into some of these cases where I think there is something REALLY wrong. Tom Brown’s case would probably be a good example. But better examples are the cases I can’t tell you about yet—the ones I’m doing in the background. These are cases where I believe there are cover-ups being committed at some level and the official on-the-record story doesn’t make any sense by those who have covered the case.
When I can talk about these cases, I will. In the meantime, I will be planning on another Update Episode in August. Hopefully some cases that haven’t been mentioned before will be included.
K101 IN WOODWARD, OK
As I write this I am waiting for a call back from the guy that runs the station, J. Douglas. I missed his call last Friday and ever since then I’ve been scrambling to reach him—MY fault, not his. The reason I’m trying to reach him is his station, K101 in Woodward, OK, spent quite a bit of time talking about Tom Brown’s case last . . . Tuesday? Wednesday? Someone posted the talk in the Unfound Podcast Discussion Group . . . maybe you heard it.
It sounded to me like J. Douglas was the only one of the three on the show that listened to my interview with Penny. In fact, at one point one of the other hosts thought J. Douglas was talking about Phil Klein and not Unfound. The confusion got sorted out eventually, although Unfound was never mentioned by name.
I hope to go on the program to sort out the information they got wrong. Hey, it’s a big case with a lot of permutations so I can perfectly understand how mistakes are made. They also did a little more speculating than I like to do in public. But the overall feeling was no surprise: Something is/was going on in the Sheriff’s office.
If you listened to the clip posted in the Group, there was then the attempt to dismiss some of what Lewis did as incompetence and not criminal negligence. J. Douglas leaned toward the criminal side—the other two hosts went in the other direction. I have to believe that topic will come up if/when I get to talk to them about the case.
I will let everyone know through Facebook/Instagram/etc. when I will appear because I believe it will happen this week.
Speaking of which . . .
Gotta talk about it because there’s been news since last time. More and more this has become “Unfound’s case”. I mean, in my mind, every case Unfound covers is “Unfound’s case”. But I also realize that Tom’s disappearance is in a category all its own in comparison to the other cases, as determined by the listeners.
Why? Well, I personally believe the videos are the reason—the ones I watched and saw something that no one else did. Maybe all of you have a different impression. Because from my POV, Unfound didn’t cover Tom’s disappearance any different than any other. Still, more people ask about that one than any other. What Unfound DID do, though, is give some credibility to, at least until then, a somewhat fringe theory that Sheriff Lewis and others could be involved.
Once I was able to determine Sheriff’s vehicles were in the area of Fronk’s at the time Tom disappeared, that changed everything. Which I don’t think has happened in hardly any other case Unfound has covered.
That’s why every single person in Hemphill County comes to the Discussion Group to find out the latest info on Tom’s case.
As for why I am talking about Tom in this newsletter, there was recent news. This is information that certainly will keep the rumor mill spinning in Canadian and elsewhere. First, Pyne Gregory’s cases are no longer being accepted by Hemphill County Attorney Kyle Miller due to Pyne’s “lack of sufficient probable cause in some cases” and “misapplication of the law.” In layman’s terms . . . and I say this at least half-jokingly . . . Pyne is now nothing more than a mall cop. Although Sheriff Lewis says Pyne is still investigating felonies in the county.
Why did Miller do this? We don’t know. There is nothing on the public record as to what Pyne specifically did to warrant Miller’s decision. Was this an ongoing issue or a something that just popped up? We don’t know. Do this accusations against Pyne have anything to do with Tom’s case? I doubt it.
The second part is that over the last two months Sheriff Lewis has also been under investigation. Lewis says, in the article that is linked at the bottom of this section, that this all stems from one claim that has been brought against him. The TX Rangers looked into this starting in February and they’ve completed their work. There is no public info as to what the claim was and what the results of the investigation are.
However, you will see in the article that this all allegedly has nothing to do with Tom’s case. Furthermore, Lewis states other Sheriffs are being investigated in Texas right now. He goes on to ask why those Sheriffs aren’t getting the negative attention that he is. You can read that all for yourself.
What do I make of all this? Well, in Pyne’s case, I’ve been told by credible people that he has been a horrible cop for a long time. I DO NOT necessarily mean a corrupt cop. But one that just doesn’t do his job very well. And that’s all I really want to say at this time.
As for Lewis, given all of the people who fear him in Hemphill County, I’m surprised anyone had the courage to bring a claim against him for anything. Because pretty much weekly I get at least one message from someone from the area—Canadian, Pampa, Perryton—who talk about how people in Hemphill live in fear of this guy. I am NOT making that up.
Is it rational? Well, seldom is fear rational. So, I don’t know. But some of their stories do stretch my imagination. Let’s put it this way . . . The fear that these predominantly white people express is very much how minorities in inner cities feel against city cops. I mean that. Stories of planted evidence, getting pulled over for no reason, conspiracies with certain criminals, etc. I think I’ve heard it all.
Given that, I’ll say it again: I give a lot of credit to whomever (whoever?) filed a complaint against Lewis.
Now, what the TX Rangers have said about this having nothing to do with Tom’s case, I’m not sure I believe them or not. What I will say is this: I think it’s possible that while they were looking into Tom’s case, they found anomalies that led to the new information regarding Pyne. I am also wondering that since the locals knew the TX Rangers were in town, could it be one of them finally thought he/she could bring charges against Lewis without Lewis being able to retaliate? THAT has gone through my mind. Who knows . . . Here’s the article:
MAYBE I NEED SAY SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT THE UPDATE EPISODE
Sometimes I REALLY need to watch how high I want to get up on my soap box regarding things I see that are done in the true crime community. The reason I think this has been on my mind lately in particular is because I’ve filmed some parts for a documentary about a person who you all know very well—no, not me. And the filmmaker allowed me to get on my soap box at least a little bit—maybe like a six inch high box—and say what I want.
This is relevant to the Update Episode because of what I said before I started into the list of updates: I stated that I would not scoop other people doing work on cases, that I would not say anything I knew about those cases because those people have the right to bring out the information when they want. And you should know, at least one of those people who I was specifically talking about in that statement thanked me afterward.
Because my impression is there is a lot of ripping off that goes on in the true crime community. Hosts rip off Wikipedia. They rip off Websleuths. They rip off other podcasts. They rip off Unfound . . . that has happened MULTIPLE times and Unfound has only been around for 2 ½ years.
There is a lot of plagiarism going on out there.
In fact, I will go as far as to say this: The reason most podcasters don’t get any credit for being journalists is because they aren’t journalists—they’re aggregators. All they’re doing is finding info that is publicly available, putting it together, then reading off a script to all of you, and most of the time not giving credit to the places where they got the “news” they’re telling you.
They aren’t doing any original work, which should be the real goal of any reporter. The goal is to tell the public relevant information they haven’t heard before. That goes for sports, politics, movies, science, engineering, etc. And certainly for news involving unsolved crimes.
Well, somebody might say: Well, they’re just podcasting for fun . . . you know . . . something to do. They always wanted to be on the radio, etc. And I would understand that in just about any other part of culture. But not when the topic involves people’s pain.
Are there any podcasts out there covering cancer . . . for entertainment?
Are there any podcasts out there covering heart attacks . . . for kicks?
Are there any podcasts out there covering car crashes . . . for sh*ts and giggles?
Of course not. But somehow people covering murder and missing persons and rape and serial killers, etc. and laughing and joking and everything else is somehow acceptable.
With our computers and our microphones and our cell phones we have the ability to change the trajectory of so many bad things in this world. But too many hosts out there just want to copy information and do podcasts for the attention that they themselves can get. In true crime we should be in a war against all of the bad people who are still walking free.
For example, had Unfound handled Tom Brown’s case the way everyone had to this point, nobody would know would the sheriff’s vehicles on the video. In my opinion, this is what you the public are missing when people are just content with the information that is already public.
All of this is the exact reason why I made it a point for that statement. Unfound doesn’t rip people off. Unfound doesn’t plagiarize. We are here to solve problems. Moreover, Unfound respects those people who are doing it the right way by conducting their own investigations independently and trying to find the information that the public still doesn’t know yet.
THE THINK TANK
This new creation is going very well. I think it’s becoming “must see” video for those eligible to watch it on Sunday evenings. The groups have been small—I think the most we’ve had so far is 9 viewers. Yep, that’s it. But that’s fine—I am totally cool with that number. However, I think if everyone who has tuned in at least once over the last two months were to watch all at the same time, we’d probably have about 15 viewers at once. Once again, a good number.
The Tank runs about an hour and we cover the most important questions from the case of the preceding Friday. So, on April 14th we talked about Keith Fetter’s case. Everything is geared toward coming to a consensus on what happened, why it happened, who did it (if applicable), and what can be done now in 2019. And the Patreon members who are eligible love knowing that their opinions and ideas could some day lead to a disappearance case being solved. Because everything we cover goes directly to the guest after.
T Shirts: https://unfound-podcast.myshopify.com/
That’s all I really have for this newsletter. Doing the Update Episode kind of took away some of the information that I would usually put in the newsletter. In addition, all the work on the book this past month took up some extra time. I am thinking next month’s newsletter will be longer. Either way, THANKS FOR READING!!! AND THANKS FOR LISTENING TO UNFOUND!!!