Has everybody recovered from Thanksgiving? Or, is your belly still hurting? I’ve recovered. Certainly recovered. In fact, the day after, I woke up and my stomach was growling. How is that possible?
But now it’s on to Christmas. And no, I haven’t started my shopping yet.
November was a great month for me. I got to play in disc golf tournaments on every weekend but one. I was up in Floral City and Ocala. But I also played locally here in Clearwater. How did I play? Actually pretty well considering the struggles I’ve had over the last 4 years. I think my mind is finally back in the game again, forgive the pun.
Also, the weather has been beautiful. My dad isn’t here yet, but should be in a few weeks. His football team–Slippery Rock–is playing very well and is still in the Div. 2 playoffs. So he is loving that. And today, Dec. 1, is his birthday.
Let’s get started . . .
Dec. 6: Tammy Arthur and Chad Peters.
Others in the works: Paula Waid, Robert Helphrey, Crishtian Hughes, Jackson Miller, Shawn Dickerson, Tina Williamson.
I’m not going to write very long about his case. The 4 hour episode on everything Unfound has done concerning his disappearance is plenty for now. But I wanted to reiterate that what myself and my assistants did for Valerie and her family is nothing “special”. Anybody could’ve done what we did, if the person is willing to put in the time and effort. Neither myself nor my assistants have any special powers. However, we do have perseverance and we don’t like it when people avoid us.
And our work isn’t done concerning Cameron’s case. In fact, just since Friday, there have been new developments that I will reveal at the appropriate time.
But my point is doing work on cases is more important than theorizing and talking about them. Families don’t need theories–they need answers. Friends of missing people don’t need the public’s opinions–they need the public’s help. My insight is it seems too often people who take an interest in true crime would rather let a mystery be a mystery just so they can talk about it, instead of actually trying to do things that resolve the mystery.
At Unfound, as much as I may talk, I am a doer. And so are my assistants. And those kinds of people are always welcome on the team.
YOU can change a family’s life. But you must work, not talk.
Never did I think I would see the day. I’m being totally honest. Never did I think I would see the day when there would be movement in Aundria’s case. I write that not meaning to offend her mother Cathy or the investigators or anyone else who has worked on this little girl’s disappearance. But after 30 years, hopes are very, very slim.
Then, it happened. As I type this, Dennis Bowman–adopted father of Aundria–is in custody for the murder of a woman in Virginia in 1980. I’m not sure what eventually led police to him but my best guess is it was DNA–no proof of that, though.
And now, Aundria’s case is back on the front burner. It’s getting national news. It’s at the top of Google searches now. Something I never could’ve anticipated. I fully expected to leave this earth without there being any new information. So, I’m so happy to report all of this.
The best part is now investigators can go on to Dennis’ property in Michigan to see if Aundria’s remains are there. Back in late 2016 when Cathy was on Unfound, we brainstormed quite a bit on how she could legally get on to the land. Because Cathy firmly believes Aundria is there. She believes Dennis killed Aundria and buried her. And I have no reason to doubt her.
However, I think we must also keep our expectations in this case at a reasonable level. If we get too hopeful that it will be solved, we will feel let down if nothing of note transpires. The fact is the case is 30 years old and even if Aundria was buried on the property back in 1989, that doesn’t mean she is still there. Dennis could’ve moved her for many different reasons.
Nevertheless, I am so happy Aundria’s disappearance is now getting the national attention it deserves. Cathy has known Dennis was an evil man for a long time, ever since she found out about Aundria’s disappearance in 2010. Cathy knew about the other charges against him. But not even she knew that Dennis was a suspect in a murder in Virginia in 1980. So, she’s been right all along and I hope she is correct that Aundria’s remains will be found on the property. Of course, I’m still holding out hope that Aundria is still alive–as is Cathy. But the odds are slim.
Another update I am very happy to write about in this newsletter. However, Teresa’s case is one in which I had a strong belief there would be breaking news before long. Little did I know the news would include the charging of a suspect.
Yep, it happened, just within the past two weeks. Melvin Hufford, aka Cricket, has been charged with, among other things, 1st degree manslaughter of Teresa Butler for the night she disappeared. If you will remember, Melvin’s name came up earlier this year when a house he used to live in was searched by investigators. As far as the public could tell, law enforcement removed many things from the home, including pieces of the floor.
Now we know why.
Because Melvin told the following story once the police had him in custody. For the record, I am NOT saying I believe this story. I’m just writing what Melvin seemingly told police. I will analyze afterwards.
Anyway . . . Melvin says he and another guy went over to Teresa’s the night she disappeared. He says they went over there to shoot meth with Teresa. Yes, really. Teresa started to complain she was having chest pains. That’s when she ended up collapsing and dying.
Melvin and the other guy freaked out. So, in an effort to make it look like a robbery gone wrong, they took all the stuff we know about–video games, the camera, the Jeep radio, etc. They also took Teresa’s body with them.
Then, Melvin stuffed her body beneath the sink or some kind of tank in that house that was searched earlier this year. Not long after that, he got sent to jail. So, allegedly, Teresa’s body remained in that location for a couple years. When Melvin got out, he removed the body, crushed it up into little pieces, then deposited the remains in a ditch near Tallapoosa, which is close to Risco.
How did police finally get enough information to feel comfortable charging Melvin? I don’t know. My best guess is something panned out from the search earlier this year. Or, it could be something else. I don’t know.
What’s my opinion on Melvin’s story? Frankly, I don’t believe a word. Don’t get me wrong–Melvin surely knows what happened. But his story is very self-serving. He’s not taking any responsibility for the death of Teresa. In fact, he’s saying she was a meth head and should’ve known what she was getting into.
Then Melvin tells this fantastical story about keeping her in that house, then disposing her remains the way he did.
None of it is believable. And I should note that Amy Lacey, the guest for Teresa’s episode, not once has ever suspected that her best friend ever did any drugs, let alone would ever do them with a guy like Melvin Hufford who is a true piece of crap. In fact, Amy has told me since all this came out that if Teresa was doing meth, then Amy feels she didn’t know Teresa at all–and they were lifelong friends.
Instead, I choose to believe, and I think this makes way more sense, that Melvin knew Teresa was alone with her children at home on certain nights. Melvin, being the criminal and drug user he is, needed money. So he went to the Butler residence looking to get what he could.
I think everything started with the radio in the Jeep. Teresa heard something going on. She came outside. Melvin got caught, forced himself inside, took the other stuff, then killed Teresa there or somewhere else.
Because what makes no sense in my mind regarding Melvin’s story isthat he is actually saying that AFTER Teresa had died in her own house, he took the time to get a radio out of a Jeep. That is totally contradictory to most behavior in most unexpected deaths.
Really, Melvin would’ve been out of there as soon as Teresa was dead. But he’s saying he just had to get that Jeep radio before leaving. Yeah, I don’t believe it for a second.
Hopefully, prosecutors will see the flaw in his story and be able to prove he outright murdered Teresa and that she didn’t die from a drug overdose. Of course, there is still the issue of finding her remains. Here’s one thing I have to believe: They aren’t where Melvin says they are.
LINKS FOR BOOKS
Here are the links for all 6 for Season 1:
Volume 6 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1077115520
By this time you now know that my secret interview was with Steve Pankey, POI in the disappearance and murder of Jonelle Matthews. To recap, Steve contacted me some time in September and I decided to interview him, with the stipulation that I would get to ask any questions I want. Steve agreed. And we talked. I thought the interview was pretty good, given that I don’t have a lot of experience speaking with suspects.
What came from the interview? Well, the main point is that a large majority of the listeners have decided that Steve is innocent in Jonelle’s murder. Why? Well, I think all of them come to their conclusions different ways, so I don’t want to put them all in the same category.
However, I’ll tell you my thinking and I happen to agree that Steve didn’t kill Jonelle. For me, it’s simply that nothing puts Steve on Jonelle’s street at the particular time on that particular date. There is no proof he was following Russell Ross. There is no proof Steve knew the Matthews family. And he lived two miles away at the time. Moreover, I know of no physical or forensic evidence that was found on Jonelle’s remains that connects her to Steve.
Now, I should say: I think Steve is a strange cat. Yes, he was perfectly cordial with me. Our exchanges before and after the interview have been perfectly fine. I think he thinks the interview went well–Steve’s not given me any complaints regarding it. And I would have no problem talking to him again in regards to Jonelle’s case.
But, to me, as a non-psychologist, Steve does have his issues. He seems to be paranoid, especially in regards to the police and to people connected to his job at 7Up. For some reason everything that has ever happened regarding Jonelle’s case, Steve seems to think it all revolves around him . . . for no reason.
Whereas, my interpretation is that the reason Steve is the #1 suspect to this day, is because he thrust himself into the investigation by going to police in early 1985, where he detailed that conversation with his father-in-law. This is the reason police continue to hound him–it’s NOT because the police just chose Steve out of a hat.
You may ask: Ed, if it’s so clear to you Steve isn’t the perpetrator, why are the police still looking at him almost 35 years later? My opinion is it’s simply because the police have nowhere else to turn. They have no other suspects. No leads. But they gotta look like they’re doing something now that Jonelle’s remains have been found. Thus, they serve warrants on Steve to appease the public. Simple as that.
And that happens more than the public will ever understand.
What do I think happened? I think this is a case that starts with the people who lived on the same street where Jonelle lived. Easy as that. Now, in 2019/2020, I’d check to see if anyone on that street is now considered a sexual predator. What has everybody on that street done with their lives since 1984? That’s where I’d start.
The issue of DNA testing taking way longer than it should has now popped up a couple times in the last couple months in regards to Unfound cases. If you will remember, remains were found on the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho back in late September. The belief is they are of Austin Pevo, a disappearance we covered this past summer. As of the writing of this newsletter–Dec. 1, 2019, Austin’s mother, Susan, still has no word whose remains they are. I check in with her every couple weeks to see what the progress is. And frankly, there has been none.
More recently, we covered the disappearance of Ronald McNutt. A skull was found in his truck over two years ago and still his family has no idea if the skull is Ronald or not.
I ask you, in both situations, how is this possible? Because in both cases, the family already had DNA on file. In both cases, there are strong reasons to believe both remains are who we think they are–it’s not like the police have to fish around to figure out what family to alert. Most importantly, both families are eager participants. They are both highly interested to know what happened to their loved ones.
But still, no results.
In the meantime, though, in California where Ronald disappeared, somehow the DNA of the Original Night Stalker was checked within days of them getting it off trash and that guy is now in custody. How is that possible? Why does that happen?
I don’t have a solid answer for you. But I have my suspicions.
The fact is solving well-known cases is big business for media, politicians, and the police. They love the attention. They love to make it look like they’re doing stuff. They love getting up in front of the cameras and patting each other on the back.
Likewise, even in podcasting, well-known cases are big business. If all a host cares about is downloads, then the host should just cover Jon Benet Ramsey, Maura Murray, Jennifer Kesse, the assassination of JFK, and Madelaine McCann. I mean, there’s a reason among the people who listen to true crime podcasts that it seems that the same 20 disappearances get covered over and over and over and over. Why? Because those cases already have a built-in audience.
So, I think the Stalker and other prominent cases get pushed to the front of the DNA because they’re so well-known. Public figures want the opportunity to bask in the glory. Hey, you think I’m lying? The one guy who worked on the case now has his own tv show . . . and any one of you know more about disappearances than he does!!!
Really, if wanted to get really cynical, because we know the average DNA test does take a while, I think powers-that-be push prominent DNA tests through quickly because they’re afraid they’ll be out of power, out of office or dead before the results come back. And that won’t allow them to take credit. I’m totally serious.
Whereas, solving the disappearance of Austin Pevo or Ronald McNutt isn’t on anybody’s agenda. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. Yes, if there were crimes committed in both these cases, and if the perpetrator in each were to walk into the nearest police station and confess, the staff would write it all down, put the person in handcuffs, and lead him off to jail. But other than that, the cops aren’t doing anything regarding cases as old as Austin’s and certainly not as old as Ronald’s.
We’re trying to change all of that at Unfound.
So, it’s not a money or staff or technology or lab problem that backs this all up, it’s a “concern” issue. Because trust me, if every case that was in the DNA line was connected to the Clinton’s or the Obama’s or the Kennedy’s or the Trump’s or the Bush’s, there would be NO line–every one of those DNA vials would be tested within days.
Just how I see it. Hey, it’s not news: Lady Justice truly isn’t blind.
FORMER GUEST DONAJEAN KAPP
I found out a couple weeks ago that the sister of missing person, Dori Ann Myers, died at the end of October. I was so sad and shocked to hear of Donajean’s passing. And I am mad at myself for not keeping in touch with her more, because it took 3 weeks for me to find out. I am very disgusted with myself.
How Donajean got on Unfound is a very unique story. I actually spoke to her the first time in late 2016. I had only completed maybe 6 episodes at that time. Donajean and I had a long conversation. She sent me pictures of Dori’s burned house. We talked different theories. She told me her suspicions. I was sure she’d be on the program within a few weeks.
Then nothing. I couldn’t get her to respond to any of my messages–either thru calls or texts or Messenger. I began to think I offended her in some way. But then, Donajean finally did respond but would make no commitment as to when she would come on Unfound.
So, for like the next 2 1/2 years I would occasionally check in on her. Not even every month. Maybe every other month. See how she’s doing. But I wouldn’t bring up Unfound at all. I didn’t want her to feel I was only interested in keeping in touch with her for that reason. Because that’s not how I thought of it at all. And, in fact, if Donajean had never come on Unfound, I would’ve been okay with it even though I would think she missed a great opportunity for us to help her. But I can’t make people appear on the program–they have to make that choice themselves.
Then, this past summer, Donajean said she was ready. I could tell she wasn’t in the best of health. And really, it was tough getting her audio to the proper level for the final mix of the interview. Yet, we got it done.
What I’m saying is Donajean was unique because more than anyone else, she took the longest to make it on Unfound.
Looking back at the interview now, and combining that with her death, I think the reason Donajean chose to finally come on was because she suspected she might not be on this earth much longer. Granted, there is nothing that she ever said to me that would’ve led me to think that. In fact, in the conversations I had with her about her health, Donajean seemed fairly confident she’d get it all figured out. I even offered to travel to her place in Live Oak to help her look through all of her Donajean material.
Then, she was gone.
But my suspicion is Donajean did the interview because she thought she might not get another chance.
So that’s two former guests who are now deceased. The other being Jessica Curtis, the sister of Tyler Stice. It pains me that both of these women lived a portion lives in a deep depression and that we couldn’t cure their pain before they died. I’m serious, it bugs me to no end. And I think it always will. In fact, in Jessica’s case, I am convinced had we been able to solve Tyler’s disappearance, then she wouldn’t have killed herself in October 2018. I am very very convinced of that. And that makes it even tougher for me as the guy who takes on the responsibility for these cases once they’re covered on Unfound. I take it all very personally.
Donajean Kapp RIP
The trial has not yet started regarding the theft of the Bobcat that is kinda connected to Jonathan’s disappearance. Cindy, his wife, sold the machinery even though it wasn’t hers to sell. At the time of the episode, we had no idea where it was. Then, some time in . . . September? . . . the Bobcat was found.
The trial was supposed to start a couple weeks ago. Instead, there was a continuance. Melissa, Jonathan’s sister, believes Cindy may be trying to work out some sort of deal. But Melissa has no proof of that. However, I think she is probably correct.
Overall, I’m still not sure how this will affect the investigation of Jonathan’s disappearance.
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If you are a member of the Discussion Group or you closely follow all of Unfound’s cases, you know that Devin’s remains were found a couple weeks ago. Yes, another sad story. My heart goes out to his mother, Heather, and the rest of the Bond family.
The way I understand it, a search was organized, starting in the general area of where Devin’s phone last pinged. And I don’t think it was too long before someone happened upon bones. This would be in the area of Barfield. You can find it on a Google Map.
This does bring a question: If Devin’s remains were found so close to where the last ping happened, why weren’t his remains found back at the time he disappeared? I don’t have an answer to that question. Although I think it’s a worthy one. This is very much like the Zoe Campos case: How did investigators miss that slab of concrete in Carlos’ backyard right after she disappeared?
If I talk to Heather, I will ask her. I’ve not spoken to her since the discovery.
Some other issues come to my mind, though. Where Devin was found brings into question the video gotten from the school the morning of his disappearance. At the time, the figure on it was believed to be Devin. And he was walking east toward one of the major highways.
However, the searchers found Devin’s remains in the opposite direction–west of the camera. Could he have doubled back? Or, was that not Devin on the video? I really don’t know. However, I will say that the person walking was never positively identified as Devin. Instead, people just took for granted the figure was Devin.
Maybe somebody has an answer to this. I do not at this time.
The other point is that there has not been any mention of foul play. Does that mean there wasn’t foul play? No. But the feeling I get is that Devin killed himself, although I don’t believe there has been any public recognition of that.
On that topic, though, you will remember that Devin seemed to be having problems with a girl at the time. Their relationship they had was on the rocks. I also remember the girl’s father not wanting her to be with Devin.
Did Devin commit suicide over a girl? Is that we are to believe? I guess that is a possibility. I know of no other bad things going on in Devin’s life that could’ve been connected to his disappearance.
As long as I host Unfound, and that will be for a long time, I don’t think I’ll ever understand these suicides. Don’t get me wrong, I GET suicide. People with terminal cancer. People on the run from the law. People with drug issues. People who have uncontrollable and untreatable depression. I can even understand parents who’ve committed suicide due to the loss of children. As I mentioned before, Jessica Curtis . . . I hate that she did it. I hate that I couldn’t save her. But I understand her grief was unfixable.
Yet, my perception is most suicides are difficult for the rest of the public to understand. There seems to be no logical reason for the choices these people made. And even when they leave notes, these letters still do not cause the rest of us to nod our heads in agreement.
Will we ever understand it? Will we ever understand why a boy possibly takes his life over a girl? Honestly, I don’t think so. My belief is the mind will always be somewhat of a puzzle. There will always be functions of the brain that will remain a mystery. And humans will always live with this phenomena, not knowing if it will affect ourselves or someone we love.
Now, could it be the girl wasn’t the cause? Possible. But I’d like to believe there is never any good reason for a young person to take his own life.
Devin Bond RIP
Yep, I can’t do a newsletter without mentioning Unfound listeners’ favorite county. Lots has gone on since the last newsletter. However, since I’ve talked about Canadian on every YouTube show since the last newsletter, I am only going to do a short summation of events.
First, Sheriff Lewis is no longer sheriff. He resigned just over two weeks ago. Although we’d all like to think this happened because of Tom’s case, this is not the truth. The truth is that it’s surely connected to Lewis fabricating training information. Yes, he lost his job due to paperwork problems.
Yet, that takes us to point #2 regarding Canadian, TX. During TECOLE’s interview with Brent Clapp, who is now the sheriff, Clapp mentioned he believed it was surely possible Lewis fabricated training records because Clapp knew Lewis did it for “a missing persons case”–Clapp doesn’t mention which one. Well, there has only been one missing persons case in Canadian since Lewis became sheriff: Tom Brown.
So, what Clapp was saying is that 18 months after Tom’s disappearance, Lewis created a piece of paperwork and back dated it, making it look like it had been done in November 2016. That alone is enough to get everyone’s attention. However, what’s important to understand is what the paperwork was related to. It had to do with the video tape from Dollar General, the store next to Fronk’s.
Why is this important? Because what that fabricated report said was that Lewis looked at the DG video and there was nothing helpful on it. Now, being that we know that report wasn’t made until 18 months later, it calls into question whether Lewis looked at the video at all. Yes, the cameras at DG didn’t point toward Fronk’s. However, one of them does point toward the main road. It might’ve caught someone following Tom into Fronk’s . . . possibly. Now we’ll never know.
Third, and this comes from Clapp’s interview with TECOLE as well, and this was also in regards to the training issues and NOT Tom’s case, in passing Clapp mentioned that Lewis told him that there WAS video from Fronk’s the night Tom disappeared. Whereas, until now, the public has been told that Fronk’s video system wasn’t working that night, and hadn’t been working for a long time.
This didn’t surprise me as much as you might think. Why? Well, some time this year–early this year–I learned that the Fronk’s video had been working the month before Tom disappeared, October of 2016. I also eventually learned that the video at Fronk’s was working in December of 2016.
Meaning, it just so happened, allegedly, that the video wasn’t working in November 2016. What are the odds of that? What are the odds that the video wasn’t working at the most important time it should’ve been working? Yeah, I hate information like that. So, after hearing that info from early this year, I began to think that the video WAS working in November because I just couldn’t buy into the coincidence.
Thus, when I heard Clapp say that during his TECOLE interview, I was like, “I knew it!”
Now, what does it mean? I don’t know. I will admit that I have a source who told me that the video at Fronk’s was working on the diesel side of the property in November but not working on the gas side where Tom would’ve stopped. Is this true? I have no idea. I have no corroboration at this time.
What all this means to me is the owner of Fronk’s should be nicely asked to prove what the exact status of his video equipment was on the night of November 23, 2016. Because there are now too many conflicting stories in the public sphere. And only he can resolve these issues. Proof could be in the form of receipts for new video equipment, work orders for someone who came out to fix the malfunctioning system, or anything else along these lines.
Overall, I am quite sure Unfound will be bringing new information to the public regarding Tom’s case, even though there are many out there who seem to think Unfound has lost interest or even is getting paid off to NOT cover Tom’s death anymore. That last point is laughable and totally untrue. Neither myself nor my assistants would ever or will ever compromise our integrity in any way.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Just this past Friday Unfound released an episode with the title, Behind The Scenes. Cameron Remmer’s disappearance is one I’ve been working on for most of 2019. It’s a very good example of what I’ve been telling you about what Unfound has been doing . . . behind the scenes.
And our work continues. I hope to be able to bring to the public more episodes like this–ones in which we really go back to the sources, the original material, etc. to see if anything new can be uncovered.
Thanks for reading!!!