August 2019 | Newsletter

This past month had to be the fastest in recorded history. July 2019 only had like 15 days, right? Right?!?!?!?!?!?! It seems like yesterday we were all getting ready for July 4th. And now here we are: It’s August 1st. Crazy. I hope all of you had as good a July as I did.

As always, we start in a familiar place: Possible Probable Upcoming Episodes

Aug. 1st: Tammy McKittrick.

Aug. 8th: Julie Seay

Also: Typhenie Johnson, Andy Chapman, Trevor Nichols, Irene Larosa, Robert Helphrey and several others.

ANOTHER UNFOUND UPDATE EPISODE

As I hope you heard during last Friday’s episode—Lisa Wallace, the plan is to have another Update Episode come out the first Friday of September. That will make it a little over 4 months since the last one. Due to the short time span, I’m not sure how many cases will be included. However, I can guarantee that right now these will be a part of that episode:

–Tom Brown.

–Peggy and Patty McDaniel.

–Camisha Hollis.

–Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman.

–Kelly Rothwell.

–Mary Lands.

–Janson Brewer/Daniel Braden.

–Amanda Fravel.

There’s a lot to talk about. And we still have a month to go, so I’m hoping some other updates will pop up.

DOCUMENTARY

On July 15th I was filmed and interviewed by David Fine. He flew down here to FL and I got to meet him for the first time. In addition, while he was here, David got together with many of Unfound’s guests from the Tampa area—Lesa Kissoon, Deanna Riley, Diane Rice, Cyndee Fox. I deeply appreciate him talking to them and including them in the film. 

I think I can now talk about the film a little bit more since I see that there is now public information on the project. The documentary is about Meaghan Good from The Charley Project. When I was told about the project, I thought she was the PERFECT person to be covered for a film like David is doing.

How did I get involved? Well, Meaghan told David that I should be interviewed. I can’t thank her enough for including me. David and I had spoken on the phone a few times since January 2019. Then he decided he needed to come to FL. So I arranged for us to do an interview in the clubhouse of the building I live in. I think it went very well. I have to admit being the interviewee instead of the interviewer was a bit weird, but I gave it my best shot.

We talked about Meaghan as a person. The Charley Project as a major source of information. The effect she and the site have had on the missing persons community. And we also talked about the positives and negatives of true crime programs and podcasts, and how everything could be improved.

I’m not sure when the project will be completed. However, I don’t believe that will happen this year. So be looking for it in 2020 some time. I can’t wait to see the final product.

I’m hoping to work with David on some other things too . . . .

THE SHIRTS

https://unfound-podcast.myshopify.com/

TV PROJECT

By my count Unfound is about two months into its contract with Steve Rotfeld Productions. One of their producers, DJ Dodd, contacted me—I’m thinking back in April 2019—and we started talking about putting together a non-fiction, syndicated missing persons program. We threw around a few different ideas but I believe DJ finally settled on one in particular that he is now pursuing.

Frankly, I’m not sure how much I will have to do with the program actually getting “produced”. What I mean by that is I am providing the knowledge, the experience, the insight, the guests and their missing persons cases, etc. And I will probably appear on screen. However, I’m not having any part of getting it financed or anything else that has to do with the mechanics of what it takes to put the production together. They can stick to what they know, and I’ll stick to what I know.

But I can assure all of you that all of the principles that I’ve talked about regarding the kinds of tv productions I would be involved in will apply. I will not be involved in anything that doesn’t represent the missing persons community in a truthful way. I will not be involved in anything that sensationalizes or “plays up” certain aspects so as to entertain instead of inform. I will not allow information to be construed so as to make the disappearance seem like something it is not. You have my word.

I certainly hope we can be successful at this. But if it isn’t, I am sure there will be other opportunities as Unfound increases its audience and influence.

BOOKS

The Season 1 book series has been completed. All guests have received theirs. As have Patreon supporters at the $20/month level. Next, I’ll be shipping the series to those transcribers who assisted in getting the first season completed.

I anticipate Volume 1 of Season 2 will be out before the end of this month. That book will contain the following cases:

–Kent Jacobs

–Erin Gilbert

–Tammy Leppert

–Crystal Morrison

–Chris Turner

–Linda Kay Carroll

–Niqui McCown

I’m thinking the cover design will change. However, I’m not totally sure about that right now. I may just keep the same design to make it easier on . . . myself.

THE DALLAS MEETUP

On July 14th, 5 or 6 of Unfound’s listeners met in Dallas. Emily, along with some help from Dee, arranged it. I had a chance to call in for a few moments and speak to everyone there. My understanding is they met for about an hour and a half, and they all had a great time. And from it, Emily got some suggestions on cases the listeners would like Unfound to cover. She and I are trying to turn those disappearances into episodes right now. I thank everyone for attending.

THE UPCOMING HOUSTON MEETUP

This one will be on August 24th. It is being organized by Cheree—you can find her in the Unfound Podcast Discussion Group on Facebook if you’re interested in attending. I’m not sure how many people will be there but I would expect at least as many as were at the Dallas one. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll consider showing up.

LINKS FOR BOOKS

Here are the links for all 6 for Season 1:

Volume 1 — https://www.amazon.com/Unfound-Season-1-Cases-ebook/dp/B076G5VMYP/

Volume 2 — https://www.amazon.com/Unfound-Season-1-Cases-2-ebook/dp/B079JN5TQT/

Volume 3 — https://www.amazon.com/Unfound-Season-1-Cases-3-ebook/dp/B07CQT6NW7/

Volume 4 — https://www.amazon.com/Unfound-Season-1-Cases-4-ebook/dp/B07F74KNZQ/

Volume 5 – https://www.amazon.com/Unfound-Season-1-Cases-5/dp/1093389133/

Volume 6 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1077115520

THE AMARILLO MEETUP (AND THIS WILL LEAD TO OTHER TOPICS)

By now you know I surprised everyone at the Amarillo meetup on July 24th. I made the decision to drive there as soon as I found out the meetup was happening. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, the meetup was the second one Sharmin had organized—she did one last summer that was well-attended. It’s a lot of work and coordinating to put these events together, and Shamrin was now doing her second one. So, I really thought I owed her something. I wanted to show my appreciation for her work that she was doing all on her own.

Second, that area of Texas has given Unfound a lot. There is no doubt that Unfound’s coverage of Tom Brown’s case has raised the profile of the program. And from that, ALL of Unfound’s episodes have gotten more attention. Trust me, I know Unfound’s stats. Unfound’s listenership went up by at least 30 percent in 2018, much of it due to new people coming to Unfound because of Tom’s disappearance. I wanted to show up and personally tell those people “Thank you.”

Third, I realize I can’t always be the hermit that I am. And yes, I am one. It’s not easy being both a podcaster AND a person who spends a lot of time around others. All of the work is done alone, except for the interviews I do, and those are all done over the phone. So, going to Amarillo and going table to table talking to the attendees, allowed me to get out and be around really great people.

What went on at the meetup? Tom’s mom did an interview with a couple Amarillo tv stations. After she was done, they spoke to me as well—a clip from that interview was posted in the Discussion Group. I conducted the YouTube Live show from there. I stood the entire time with no notes, kinda just talking off the top of my head, while Sharmin filmed it. Toward the end, when Sharmin got a bit tired, Heather—another very engaged Unfound listener—took over. Way to save the day, Heather!

Overall, the meetup went 3 hours and I don’t think there was a dull moment. A very nice place. A private room. Great food. Excellent conversation. And I’m glad I was there to be a part of it.

That meetup takes us to other related topics . . .

THE SIGN VANDALISM IN CANADIAN, TX

I don’t want to write a whole dissertation on this because I’ve spoken about it so much already at the meetup and on the YouTube Live show. I’ll just write what I’ve said before: It’s horrible. Yes, we’ve heard several times on Unfound about fliers being ripped off of windows and telephone poles. Yep, those are bad too.

But there is just something . . . over the top . . . about someone surgically cutting the signs to remove “There is a killer amongst us”. Don’t get me wrong, if there was no proof Tom was murdered, then I would find that statement on the sign to be misleading and nothing but rumorizing. And I would be highly critical of Penny and others to claim Tom was murdered when there were no proof of it.

HOWEVER . . . Tom’s death is being investigated as a murder. There are factual reasons to believe it was a murder. Penny’s own PI, Phil Klein, has said Tom’s death was a murder.

Thus, there must be a murderer in the Canadian, TX area. So, the signs are factual . . . not theoretical. And still, someone cut them up.

Who do I believe did it? Well, I gave my opinion back at the time when it happened. You can go back and watch the July 10th Unfound Live show on YouTube to hear what I said. But I should tell you: My opinion has changed.

Why did it change? I can’t go into that at this time. All I will say is being in Canadian, standing on that street, right next to the new signs, gave me a new perspective. And NO, my new opinion is not based on the Sheriff’s office being across the street. My new thought is based on something totally different. But I can’t say what that is at this time.

That brings me to the next topic . . .

MY TRIP TO CANADIAN, TX

This is another topic where I’ve probably said enough with all the videos and pictures I posted on YouTube and Facebook, and the YouTube Live show I did on July 31st. However, I do want to give you all a kind of “wrap up” of everything I saw while I was there.

First, Canadian is a beautiful town. I say that with all sincerity. Outside of what’s gone on the last couple of years, I am sure Canadian has been a spectacular place to live. It’s one of those places where it’s like, “If you didn’t know you were in Texas, you’d still know you were in Texas.”

The cattle. The windfarms. The rolling hills. The trains. The cowboy hats. The pickup trucks. All very cool. What was the coolest is while Penny was driving, she waved to the driver of every car that passed going the opposite direction. Every. Single. Car. That. Passed. I told her, “That’s so cute.” And Penny does that even though she knows she and her family have become a polarizing group in Canadian.

As I expressed during the Live Show, I’d compare Canadian to Girdwood, AK where Erin Gilbert disappeared. Both Girdwood and Canadian are two towns where you’d never expect anyone to disappear. But we know both towns now have scars on their records.

Second, the Durango was found so much closer to Canadian than I realized. I estimate the distance to be 500 feet from the Durango to a paved road of Canadian. That’s it. I thought the Durango had been ditched much farther to the northeast, past the water filtration plant. But nope, I was wrong.

Third, in going to the locations of where the phone and backpack were found, there is NO WAY Thomas left them there. And there is no way his death should ever be considered a suicide, because there is no way he could’ve walked from where the Durango was to the location of his remains. You can view the following video where I can explain that:

Finally, having looked at the Durango for myself, I am almost 100% sure there is now no new clues or evidence that can be gathered from it. Even if a bullet hole were to be found in it now, I’m not sure that would prove anything. Why? Because we already know Thomas was murdered. If he were still missing, a bullet hole would mean something. Now? Not so much. Likewise, all of the theorizing about how much gas was used and whether the Durango was idling or moving all night, I’m not sure any of that matters now. Why? Once again, because Thomas has been found.

The only thing that matters now is proving who murdered him. On that note, I do find it interesting that 3 of the people who’ve popped up most in Tom’s case live within a 3 minute walk of where the Durango was. THAT’S a fact, not a rumor.

PLAYING CARDS

https://www.makeplayingcards.com/sell/unfoundpodcast

CAMISHA HOLLIS

Yep, already an update on her case. On July 23rd, a hearing was conducted in Omaha, NE regarding Marvin Young and Camisha’s disappearance. I am very happy to report that the prosecutor does have more information than Caprice and I covered during the interview. In fact, Caprice was at the hearing and heard the new info for the first time herself—Caprice did not know some of these things beforehand.

What is that information?

–Marvin had a plastic bag, in addition to Camisha’s purse, when he got out of her car.

–there was a phone ping in Plattsmouth, NE, a half hour north of Omaha. This is in addition to the alleged ping in Walnut, IA. Police are searching an area near Plattsmouth right now.

–Camisha had started seeing another man.

Caprice has said there is additional new information but she wants to go over that with me privately. I anticipate us talking soon. If there is anything I can release to all of you, I will do so. Or, I will get Caprice to post it herself.

Do I think Unfound had any effect on what has happened recently concerning Camisha’s case? Uh, I doubt it. I think the episode played too close to the hearing to believe there is any correlation. However, as this all continues from now until Marvin goes on trial, I believe Unfound’s coverage could have an impact.

PATREON

Are you a Patreon yet? If not, please consider it.

https://www.patreon.com/unfoundpodcast

You can also support the program on Paypal. Unfound’s account is unfoundpodcast@gmail.com.

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman

As I write this, there is digging going on in Picher, OK for the remains of Lauria and Ashley. The center of this search is near a mobile home where Warren Welch used to live—he is one of three men implicated in the murders of the Freeman’s and the disappearances of the girls. Warren, however, is deceased. As is one of the other men. The only suspect who is still alive is Ronnie Busick and he denies any involvement, so he also claims he has no idea where the girls were left.

Reports say investigators are digging in mineshafts and also checking the abandoned basements of houses in the area. Their belief is the girls were kidnapped, raped, then strangled to death only a few days after the murders of the Freeman’s. Witnesses at the time—presumed to be women in the these men’s lives—claim they saw the girls and know what happened to them.

Why didn’t these women come forward sooner? Yep, that’s a good question.

What do I make of all this? Well, my main problem is witnesses who come forward this long after a disappearance do not have a track record of being very reliable. In fact, there is a general rule: The longer a witness waits to come forward, the less likely he/she is telling the truth.

Also, my understanding is these women are no treats themselves, with criminal records and horrible reputations. It very well could be they are telling police these stories in attempt to get leniency for the law problems they have now in 2019. I would also add that the odds are very very slim that these women were there when the men disposed of Lauria and Ashley. So really, all these women would be doing is taking the men’s words regarding where the girls are.

Finally, the Bible/Freeman case was just on national tv within the last month. I can’t help but think the only reason investigators are now out is due to a bunch of tips coming in that SEEM believable, but aren’t. Yes, national attention for a disappearance is great. But, it also brings out all the kooks. It’s a double-edged sword.

I hate to be a downer and cynic in situations like this. I know everyone wants to be hopeful. And I should say that I got the Zoe Campos situation wrong: I doubted she would be found in Carlos’ backyard. But, she was.

The difference, though, is that Carlos pointed police to the exact location, despite it having been searched before (still no explanation for how police missed her the first time around). Whereas, with Lauria and Ashley, without other evidence, this feels like a shot in the dark. Hey, if Ronnie Busick is going to still insist he had nothing to do with any of it, despite proof otherwise, then the men certainly could’ve lied to those women back then and the girls could be miles and miles away.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Dr. Eric Grabowsky continues to work on the project I mentioned last month. This is in connection with a disappearance Unfound has already covered.

I am continue to work on a series of disappearances in a large city in the US. But I have been concentrating on one in particular. Slowly I am getting toward the end of my research.

Cheree, within the last couple weeks, has started on something that I asked her to look into. This is on a case that Unfound has not covered yet. She has been tasked with tracking down roommates of a missing woman, then interviewing them. She’s doing great so far.

That’s it. Have a great August 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!