Filed under: disappearance

The Search For Kaelin Rose Glazier Ends

(New True Crime Weblog contributor Tamar Silverman is a writer and sleuth residing in the Pacific Northwest. ~ Steve Huff)

Kaelin Rose Glazier vanished from tiny Ruch, Oregon on November 6th, 1996. The 15-year-old sophomore at South Medford High left a friend’s house that Wednesday to go to a church youth function. She was never seen alive again.

On Thursday, April 8th, 2008 Kaelin’s remains were discovered in an open field less than 100ft from the one time residence of her friend and the last person to see her alive, William (Billy) Frank Simmons.

Kaelin had stayed the previous night at a friend’s house and was expected to walk from there to a youth meeting at Applegate Christian Fellowship on Route 238. Simmons claims she dropped by and watched a video at his grandparents’ house instead. The movie they watched, Heat is a violent police thriller, which runs 159 minutes (two and half hours). Kaelin left after the movie and was last seen on Haven Road headed toward the church around 7:40 pm. Youth groups do not meet late on a school night, so it is likely she was only going to catch the end of the meeting. Kaelin’s mother was waiting for her at the church that night, but Kaelin never showed up.

Simmons, a former classmate of Kaelin’s, lived with his grandparents at the 100 block of Johnson Road. A high school drop out at 15 who was later arrested for identity theft and probation violation, Simmons led a troubled life. Police have always considered Simmons a suspect. In fact, he is the only suspect named in the investigation. It was reported, however, that another male friend left Simmons’s residence minutes before Kaelin. Could this friend have been lying in wait? Could the neighbor (on whose property Kaelin’s body was found) have kidnapped and killed her? The fact that she was found so close to the last place she was seen points to a killer who knew Kaelin, but why was Billy Simmons singled out?

When Jackson County Sheriff’s Department officially named him, “a person of interest” Simmons complained that he was being harassed by police who were, “just not smart enough to go anywhere else and find other leads.” Kaelin’s friends and neighbors have also accused the local authorities of bungling this case and questions linger regarding the 5 day delay in an organized search.

Kaelin’s disappearance has haunted the Jacksonville area for nearly 12 year now. Though statistics say the murder may not be solved or a perpetrator brought to justice, the discovery of Kaelin’s body has brought some closure to the community and to her long suffering family.

  • Missing in Arkansas: Keaton Renee Byrd, Age 23 *UPDATED*

    No one has seen Camden, Arkansas resident Keaton Renee Byrd, age 23, since February 28, 2008. The last time anyone spoke with Keaton was around 1:30 a.m. that morning, and she sounded fine.

    The last person to speak with Keaton told police that Keaton said she had to drop someone off before heading home that night. Keaton never said who her passenger was.

    She never made it home. Keaton didn’t show for work the next day, and she didn’t call in sick.

    Sources close to Keaton and her family have told The True Crime Weblog that Keaton had “been hanging around some pretty ‘unsavory’ characters” who were allegedly into drugs.

    One of those “characters” was a 32-year-old “convicted sex offender” who may have been supplying Keaton Byrd with “Ecstasy and other drugs.”

    Keaton Renee Byrd is 5’3″ and weighs 100 lbs. She has brown hair and brown eyes and piercings in her nose, ears, and belly. She was last known to be wearing gray pajama bottoms, a black shirt, and a pink hooded sweatshirt.

    Keaton drives a white, four-door 2008 Nissan Maxima, Arkansas license number 159-MNZ.

    If you think you know something about the disappearance of Keaton Byrd on February 28, 2008, you can call the Camden, Arkansas Police Department at 870-836-5755, or the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department at 870-837-2200.

    No news sources are linked because this information is exclusive to The True Crime Weblog.

    This entry will be expanded, updated, and revised.

    UPDATE, 3/03/08 (CORRECTED)

    Keaton Renee Byrd’s vehicle was found today in Camden, Arkansas, in the general area where Keaton was supposed to let her passenger off last Thursday night. No further details are available, at the moment.

    This update has been corrected from the previous version, which reported that Keaton herself had been found. She has not. This information was received from the source who provided much of the info for the original post above, and that source has been reliable and accurate up till now.

    The comment made below (in bold) still stands — anonymous comments without any e-mail addresses will be deleted or “Anonymous” changed to “Anonymous Coward.” If you’re going to make a public correction, own it. Either that, or contact the blog owner.

    UPDATE 2, 9:51 p.m. ET

    Keaton Byrd was found this evening in Two Bayou Creek. At this time police don’t think she met with foul play, but her remains will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for autopsy.

    Murdered: Kathleen Savio (An Open Thread About the Peterson Case)

    The AP is reporting that ex-cop Drew Peterson’s ex-wife Kathleen Savio was murdered. A coroner originally ruled that Savio’s death in 2004 was an accident.

    A second autopsy was done on Savio’s remains after the October 28, 2007 disappearance of Drew Peterson’s 4th wife Stacy. According to that examination, Savio was drowned. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

    The AP report on this development quoted a statement from Will County, Illinois States Attorney James Glasgow. Glasgow said, “We have been investigating this as a murder since reopening the case in November of last year,” he continued, “We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such.”

    Drew Peterson has denied involvement in the disappearance of wife Stacy and any connection with the death of Kathleen Savio. Read this True Crime Weblog entry for some background on Savio, and some of what she may have had to say about Peterson.

    I consider this post an open thread about the Peterson case, so if you’re inclined, comment away. Please confine the discussion to the subject at hand, and please keep it civil and sane.

    Additional link:

    Theresa Parker Disappearance: Sam Parker Arrested

    Sam Parker, long a person of interest in the March 21, 2007 disappearance of his wife, 911 dispatcher Theresa Parker, has been arrested in Walker County, Georgia.

    The Parkers had domestic issues prior to Theresa’s disappearance, and police had been called to the Parker residence after disputes got out of hand in 2002 and 2004. After Theresa vanished it became obvious that Sam was the focus of police attention. Suspicions about the Lafayette GA police sergeant grew more intense when he was fired from his job after his wife vanished. Parker had been keeping explosives in his locker at the police station.

    Sam Parker’s family stood by him when the press attention on his wife’s disappearance became intense. One of his siblings even blogged about the case from time to time. On March 26, 5 days after Theresa was last heard from, Sam Parker’s sister (not linking her blog at this time) posted a cut & paste of a news article about the disappearance and addressed her readers, writing, “This is not a joke. This is my brother’s wife […] She has simply vanished. We don’t know why she is gone…but it is devistating. You see posters with photos and captions that ask for you to help find someone. It’s just another face, just another person who is missing. This one hits home. This is my sister-in-law. This is someone I love.”

    Parker’s sister gave a naturally sympathetic portrait of her brother. In a post made in January, 2006, she related a heart-to-heart she’d had with him around Christmas, 2005, where Parker addressed issues he seemed to know he had. Parker sounded penitent, to hear his sister tell the story, and ready to start over. His sister explained some of what Sam Parker had been through:

    He has carried too much baggage. The weight has often been more than he could bear […] We clung together and faced these trials as a family. [My brother] just handled it differently. He kept his anger inside. He let hate build a nest in his heart. He was not in control and he couldn’t accept that. Alcohol didn’t take away the pain, it seemed to intensify it and add to the problem…

    Later in the post, Parker’s sister wrote hopefully about the change she felt she saw in the man: “Since October 1996 I have asked God to take away the self-destructive person that moved inside [my brother’s] body. Finally, finally…Christmas 2005 the answer came. It slipped in quietly and provided peace in a war-torn heart. It gave strength to fight a battle and win a war to a weakened soldier…”

    It is hard to read what Sam Parker’s sister has written and not feel great sympathy for her and his family in general. Posts made in the blog after Theresa’s disappearance in general indicated nothing but faith in Parker’s innocence and dismay that he was a suspect.

    Though Theresa Parker’s remains have not been found, Sam Parker has been charged with one count of murder.

    (Thanks to Eyes for Lies for the heads-up about this case.)

    Natalee Holloway: It Ain’t Over? (OPEN THREAD, Y’ALL)

    Radio Netherlands is telling the world that the mystery of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway from the island of Aruba has been solved. Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch TV journalist, seems to think that his hidden camera investigations in Aruba have uncovered what really happened the night of May 31, 2005.

    The journalist has turned his info over to the Aruban prosecutors, and he plans to tell the story during a TV special airing on Sunday in the Netherlands. While de Vries has not made a public statement about the past suspects in the case, it is interesting to note that he recently had a televised run-in with the former prime suspect in the Holloway disappearance, Joran van der Sloot. The video of the incident is at the bottom of this post. It took place on a Dutch news program after van der Sloot underwent what he apparently thought was some pretty rough questioning by de Vries.

    This is an open thread. So anyone out there not tired of discussing the Holloway disappearance, start yer yakkin’ in the comments on this post.

    UPDATE, 02/01/08, 11:44 a.m. ET

    MSNBC is reporting that Joran van der Sloot has been re-arrested. Aruban prosecutors will neither confirm nor deny the report.

    UPDATE, 02/02/08, 10:33 a.m. ET

    CNN corrects the record here. Joran van der Sloot’s arrest has been requested by Aruban prosecutors.

    UPDATE, 02/03/08, 11:23 a.m. ET

    This blog outlines what it says are the basics of Joran’s alleged confession. Essentially, Joran supposedly told an acquaintance that Natalee died on the beach that night, after sex with Joran. A panicked van der Sloot called his buddy, former party boat DJ Steve Croes. The pair then allegedly took Natalee’s body out to sea on this very boat, where they dumped her, presumably in deep water.

    Who is Gary Michael Hilton? *UPDATED*

    The first entry about the disappearance of Meredith Emerson can be read here.

    Gary Hilton led the GBI to Meredith Emerson’s body in the Dawson Forest on Monday night. The same forest where Levi Frady was found a decade ago.

    Frady, age 11, was last seen alive on October 22, 1997.

    Levi was murdered after he disappeared from Forsyth County, GA. His body was found the day after he vanished in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in Dawson County.

    Levi’s killer has never been caught.

    However, a look at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s page about Levi’s unsolved homicide reveals two sketches. One is a man the GBI calls a potential witness in the case. He looks like the classic hobo or tramp, wearing a slouchy ball cap.

    The other sketch is the one seen above, beside a photo of Gary Hilton, whom authorities believe may have kidnapped and killed 24-year-old Meredith Emerson as she was hiking with her dog Ella on January 1, 2008, on Blood Mountain in Union County, GA. According to the GBI, the ‘potential witness’ on the right was in the Dawson Forest around the same time Levi vanished. From the GBI web page:

    He is described as a white male, 45 to 55 years of age, clean shaven, 6′ 0″ to 6′ 1″ tall, slim build with white or gray hair. He was driving a 1980 to 1985 medium blue Toyota, 2 wheel drive, pick-up truck with a white camper shell over the bed of the vehicle…

    Perhaps it is pure coincidence that Gary Hilton looks so much like Frady witness number 2. Perhaps it is a coincidence that Hilton is about the age witness number 2 was said to be. And it may be a coincidence that Hilton is near the height given for the mysterious man sought in connection with Levi’s murder.

    Then there’s this, from the Gainesville, (GA) Times: “GBI: Emerson’s body found in Dawson Forest.”

    A quote from the article, written by Harris Blackwood:

    The prime suspect in the case of a missing Buford woman led investigators from Dawson County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to the woman’s remains in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, south of Dawsonville, Monday night.

    John Cagle, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Cleveland office, announced the discovery of Meredith Hope Emerson’s body Monday at a 10 p.m. news conference at a Dawson County middle school…

    Authorities already want to know about any connection Gary Hilton might have to other cases. Two of those still-unsolved mysteries are listed below:

    John and Irene Bryant — the elderly couple were hiking in the mountains in North Carolina when they disappeared last October. Irene was found dead later. John has never been found. A mysterious figure in a yellow slicker on an ATM surveillance video is all investigators have to go on where suspects in the Bryant case are concerned.

    Patrice Endres — Hairdresser Patrice Endres disappeared from Forsyth County in April, 2004. She was abducted from her beauty salon in Cumming. The search for Endres lasted more than a year. Her body was recovered in Dawsonville in December, 2005. Serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones has long been a suspect in the Endres case ( pages on Patrice Endres).

    Another young woman who, like Meredith Emerson, had connections to the University of Georgia has also been missing from Athens since December 29, 2007. Cayle Bywater, age 29, left the door to her residence standing open, her dog running free. Bywater’s car, wallet, and cell phone were all still in her home. There is some suspicion that Gary Hilton may have had something to do with Bywater’s disappearance, but Bywater’s past struggles with bipolar disorder have clouded the investigation into her vanishing. Her family insists she would never leave with no contact whatsoever.

    Is Gary Michael Hilton an aging petty criminal who finally stopped caring whether or not his victims lived or died? Or is he a crafty serial killer?

    Were it not for the locations in the Frady murder and the apparent resemblance between Hilton and the second witness sketch, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to suspect that Hilton had anything to do with the little boy’s murder. Serial criminals do tend to go for a certain type of victim, and too often that type is a young female.

    Then again, the same type of reasoning would also lead one to believe Hilton had nothing to do with the Bryants’ disappearance in North Carolina last fall.

    So it may be time to leave that line of reasoning.

    This blog post was titled “Who is Gary Michael Hilton?”

    At this point it might be appropriate to ask just what he is, as well.

    Many thanks to commentator “Tammy” for pointing out Hilton’s resemblance to the sketch related to the Frady case.

    UPDATE, 1/08/08, 3:45 p.m. ET

    CNN has an update on this case. It is not recommended reading for the faint-of-heart. Meredith Emerson died of blunt force trauma, and her head was removed after her death.

    Just as chilling: Hilton held Meredith Emerson hostage for three days after he allegedly kidnapped her.

    In a comment left on this post, “thefirstdiane” stated that a Florida crime possibly tied to Hilton, the murder and robbery of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap, involved the removal of body parts as well.

    I can’t believe a first-time killer would remove a victim’s head after death. That seems like the work of a person who is quite comfortable with death. Few first time killers would hold an intelligent, alert, physically fit young woman captive for 3 days.

    Local news outlets here in the Atlanta area report that the charges against Gary Hilton have been upgraded to first-degree murder. The AP has reported that Hilton said he’d help investigators so long as they agreed to not seek the death penalty against him.

    What was Gary Michael Hilton? At the moment, it appears as though he was pure evil.

    UPDATE, 1/09/08

    Gary Hilton is now officially a suspect in the murder of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap. Dunlap was slain and her body found in December in a North Florida national forest.

    Like Meredith Emerson, Cheryl Dunlap was decapitated.

    Mysteriously Missing from Blood Mountain: Meredith Emerson **UPDATED**

    1/07/08: Final update on this entry at bottom of post. Post time and date changed to move entry to top of blog index page.


    A girl took her dog to Blood Mountain. Folks saw her speaking to a silver-haired, grizzled stranger with a mysterious sheath attached to his belt. The girl disappeared, as did the silver-haired stranger. Now the cops want to talk to the man.

    Those are the basic details of the story of the disappearance of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, so far. The 5’4″, 120-lb UGA grad decided to go hiking the Freeman Trail on Blood Mountain in Blairsville, GA on New Year’s Day. Meredith had no reason to worry for her safety. She was a Colorado native with plenty of hiking experience. With Meredith was her black lab, Ella. If Ella wasn’t enough of a safety precaution, Meredith also was a blue belt-level martial artist, capable of defending herself against attackers twice her size.

    Several people saw Emerson on the trail that day. Some saw her speaking with a man they described as about 5’10”, 160 lbs, carrying a large yellow backpack, the kind you wear if you are doing several days’ worth of hiking. One witness said the man was toothless and ‘weathered,’ and looked as if he’d been hiking for a while. He may have been accompanied by a large dog with a red coat that he called either “Dandy” or “Danny.”

    Police are treating Meredith’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but there are troubling hints that something happened to the young woman. A water bottle and Ella’s collar have been found on the trail, and the mysterious man, who may have been driving a white minivan, has been referred to as a “person of interest” to cops and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

    Even if the circumstances of her disappearance didn’t involve foul play, time is of the essence in finding Meredith and, for that matter, Ella. Georgia has experienced a rare cold snap, with temperatures in the Atlanta area dipping into the teens at night and below zero in the mountains.

    Anyone who thinks they have information relevant to the disappearance of Meredith Emerson from the trail on Blood Mountain on New Year’s Day should call 706-439-6038.

    This entry will be updated and revised.

    UPDATE, 6:42 p.m.

    Atlanta’s Fox affiliate has reported that police in Union County, GA are seeking 60-year-old Gary Michael Hilton in connection with Meredith Emerson’s disappearance. They want to question Hilton as to his whereabouts on New Year’s Day. A photo of Hilton, a resident of DeKalb County, GA, was shown on the news, and he fit the description of the man seen talking to Meredith Emerson on the trail New Years Day. According to Fox 5, Hilton also drives at least one white minivan.

    UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.

    A source close to the investigation spoke with an employee at the Mountain Crossing shop yesterday. A baton was definitely turned in by a hiker to that shop, along with the water bottles, dog leash, and men’s sunglasses.

    This person, a friend Meredith Emerson’s, also said that as far as she knew there were 5 people who saw Meredith either speaking with or near someone fitting Hilton’s description. Meredith’s friend said another, mutual acquaintance was also hiking in the same area around 10 on the morning of January 1st and saw Hilton “hanging around with his dog in the trailhead parking lot…”

    Meredith Emerson practiced a martial art called kyuki-do, and had been involved with it for about a year.

    As for Ella, the only signs of her found in the area were dog treats and her leash.

    Additionally, a poster in the discussion thread about Meredith’s disappearance at Websleuths came up with Gary Hilton’s solicitation raps from Cobb County, GA.

    UPDATE, 1/04/08, 11:15 a.m.

    Not only has the Atlanta Journal-Constitution drawn a possible connection between person-of-interest Gary Michael Hilton and a double murder that took place in North Carolina last year, but Hilton’s record in Georgia and Florida continues to be revealed.

    He’s faced felony arson charges in the past, and a 35-year-old theft charge against Hilton in Miami was only cleared up in 2007. Save for the arson, none of Hilton’s criminal history so far seems violent so much as it shows evidence of persistent criminal behavior.

    Hilton’s choice in clothing was one thing that made investigators wonder about the double murder in North Carolina. Rather than a yellow backpack, Hilton was actually wearing a yellow coat when he was seen speaking with missing hiker Meredith Emerson.

    In October, 2007, elderly hikers John and Irene Bryant disappeared while hiking in the Mt. Pisgah National Forest. Irene Bryant was found dead, but her husband John is still missing. Shortly after they vanished, authorities turned up ATM surveillance footage from Ducktown, TN of an unknown person in a yellow jacket using the couple’s debit card.

    UPDATE, 11:48 a.m.

    This just got a little closer to personal for me. I am the tenor section leader and soloist for a large Presbyterian Church choir in Roswell, GA. We have a pretty efficient system of spreading info among choir members via e-mail. Ten minutes ago I received an e-mail from Beth, the main distributor of those messages. It was titled, “Urgent prayer request…” The following is the message text, with some names redacted for privacy reasons:

    [Redacted] just called from the mountains of North Georgia where they are in their second day of joining in the search of close family friend Meredith Hope Emerson hiker who has been missing since New Years Day. [Meredith] is a special friend of their son…

    [Redacted] asked for prayers for Meredith’s safety and that searchers will find her quickly. She said there is concern that there might be foul play involved but nothing to prove that…

    The person who called from the mountains is a soprano in the choir, her husband a bass. Their son who is friends with Meredith often comes during the Christmas season to add a strong, youthful tenor sound to my section.

    They’ve got my prayers, that’s for sure.

    UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.

    CNN is reporting that Ella, Meredith’s dog, has been found alive and ok. Additionally, Gary Michael Hilton has been picked up for questioning after a cop spotted him at a convenience store.

    Ella reportedly walked into a grocery store “30 miles north” of Atlanta. That’s only 10 miles further from the city center than my location, which feels basically as if I’m living in the Atlanta metro. In other words — not as far from Atlanta as it sounds, and a good distance from where Ella and her owner, Meredith, disappeared.

    UPDATE, 1/07/08, 8:45 p.m. ET

    According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Meredith Emerson’s body was found this evening in one of the search areas. Authorities had been focusing on parts of several counties as well as the area where Meredith vanished on January 1 in the North Georgia Mountains.

    As of 8:30 this evening authorities were not divulging the exact location of Meredith’s remains. Reannan, writing in the comments on this post, quoted a message board post indicating that Meredith was found “in the Dawson Forest.” I added the link in the preceding quote.

    Any further blogging about this case will be done in a new entry. Keep checking the comments, as certain commentators are often well ahead of me in tracking new developments in the story.

    Sources, links:

    Marcia Trimble’s Murder… Solved **UPDATED, 12/06**

    (NOTE: This was first posted 12/03/07 at 6:04 p.m. ET. On 12/06 it was updated and the post date altered to place it at the top of the blog’s index page. If you’ve already read the entry you can scroll down for the update.)

    Thirty-two years later, it appears that Marcia Trimble’s murder may be solved.

    Nashville’s NBC affiliate, WSMV, is reporting the following:

    Sources confirm to Channel 4 that prosecutors plan to charge Jerome Barrett, 60, with the 1975 kidnapping, raping and killing of 9-year-old Marcia Trimble.


    After hundreds of people were questioned over the years, several sources confirm to tChannel 4 News that investigators made a DNA match to Barrett that could solve the case.

    I wrote about Jerome Sydney Barrett’s arrest and his possible connection to the Trimble case here. His DNA was likely tested against samples found on Marcia’s body when she was discovered on Easter Sunday, 1975, in a shed 200 yards from her home in Green Hills, West Nashville, TN.

    One of the first girls I ever had a real crush on as a teen, Meredith Harris, was one of Marcia’s neighbors and a fellow girl scout. Julia Hatcher, the first girl I ever seriously dated, was in the same Girl Scout Troop with Meredith and Marcia, and all three girls attended Julia Greene elementary school together.

    My friend Missy, whom I’ve known since kindergarten, called me to tell me she’d heard this on the news.

    That was so appropriate. She was one of the girls in 1st grade advanced reading group with me the year Marcia Trimble disappeared. She was spunky, skinny, blond, and freckled. Probably a lot like Marcia Trimble. I always liked Missy, and was happy when she looked me up again on MySpace a year or so ago. Missy was one of the girls I would see at school while Marcia was missing, and imagine with dread some “prevert” taking her, too.

    Thanks, Missy.

    Here is another entry I wrote about Marcia Trimble, and my connection to her long-unsolved disappearance and murder:

    Marcia Trimble, Meredith Harris, and Me.

    Imagine you heard they made a match to DNA in the JonBenet Ramsey murder. For long-time or native Middle Tennesseans this news is that big.

    This entry will be revised and updated. I have some phone calls to make.

    UPDATE, 12/06/07

    The following piece on WSMV’s website, reported by Demetria Kalodimos, is an important read:

    Ex-Detective’s Hunch Could Prove True In Trimble Case.”

    Highlights, comments:

    A dedicated rape detective said he had a 30-year gut feeling about the Marcia Trimble case.

    Sgt. Ralph Langston was the first to put Jerome Barrett in jail in Nashville.

    He said he was putting the pieces together back in 1975, but no one would listen…

    Langston wasn’t listened to because the Trimble case may have been sabotaged by investigators forming a theory of what happened to Marcia, and then trying to shoehorn the facts into their theory. Everyone was convinced that Marcia had been murdered by someone in her neighborhood, someone known to her. More:

    Langston said he was convinced Barrett had done much more, and all on foot.

    “He was the truest predator you’ll ever see,” he said.

    Langston said Barrett would walk the streets and knew every alley and shortcut.

    “He’s watching for these opportunities and he got them,” he said.

    After a long interrogation, he said, Barrett cried while he confessed, but only to crimes police knew about.

    Then Barrett had a strange reaction, Langston said.“I didn’t bring up the case, I brought up the street. … ‘What about the street, Estes Street, right up there?’ And I remember him hitting (the table), ‘You’re not going to pin that on me.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about? I’m just talking about the area where you worked.’ ‘That little girl, you’re not going to pin that on me.’ He wouldn’t open his mouth again,” he said.

    Langston talked a lot through the years by asking different colleagues to consider Barrett as a suspect in the unsolved slaying of Vanderbilt student Sarah Des Prez and in the Trimble case.

    “Have you all still not thought this might be an unknown, random suspect? And I was made to feel like an idiot anytime I brought it up. … I said, ‘Why do you know it’s a known suspect when nobody knows nothing?’ So would put it on the back burner, because every time I would bring it up, I would feel like an idiot. So, I let that go and let it go. … I never forgot it. I said, when we get back to Nashville…I want to see justice is done for those families because they deserve that,” he said…

    I’m just talking about the area where you worked.” So… Barrett had reason to be in the area. If he worked there, as Langston said, he was a familiar enough face for others to not pay undue attention to his presence there.

    Langston felt stupid, but now it appears he may have been the ultimate voice in the wilderness. A voice that could have saved years of grief for many, many people, if it had only been heard.

    Solving Marcia Trimble’s murder is a great thing. But it doesn’t erase questions as to why it took so long. It doesn’t alter the fact that in the process, many innocent lives were damaged in the hunt for the little girl’s killer.

    UPDATE, 12/07/07

    Writing in the Nashville Post, Tom Wood and Ken Whitehouse address some things that I’ve discussed with others privately quite a bit over the last year or so. I’ve added emphasis to a part of the quote:

    [Many] Nashvillians say the Trimble case changed forever the sense of security they felt in a city that previously had still felt in many ways like a small town. And the cloud it cast over the lives of several men who grew up with Marcia as a neighbor has lasted for decades. Police repeatedly floated their names as potential suspects, and to this day the authorities have said nothing to allay they suspicions they raised.

    The suspicion cast on some of these men was undoubtedly devastating. The stories I’ve learned of how the police handled some of their suspects over the years are appalling — jackbooted thug appalling, in a couple of instances.

    This piece on WSMV’s website about the contemporary reporting on Jerome Sydney Barrett is eye-opening, to say the least. The now-defunct Nashville Banner had devoted a good deal of coverage to the rapes and murders attributed to the convicted pedophile and rapist:

    [Barrett’s] name wasn’t hard to find in the old Nashville Banner archives. There was an envelope, packed with yellowed clippings from the 1970s all about him.

    The clippings mentioned the Belmont student, how the school was criticized for a shocking lapse in security, how a housewife was raped and how Barrett was indicted.

    ADDITIONAL LINK: A post I originally wrote for Corey Mitchell’s In Cold Blog:

    “Dead Girls, and the Boys Who…”

    The Mysterious Missing King of Hearts (Roger Lee Dillon) **UPDATED**

    The King of Hearts is missing. His status on his MySpace profile says he was “tired of waiting.”

    Roger Lee Dillon, a 22-year-old resident of Youngstown, Ohio, and his 24-year-old girlfriend Nicole N. Boyd have not been seen since it was discovered on November 27 that more than $7 million was missing from Dillon’s place of employment, AT Systems International in Liberty, OH. Dillon’s vehicle, a purple pickup truck, was found late Thursday, but he, his girl and the $7.4 million are still in the wind.

    The FBI says that neither Dillon nor his girlfriend are considered fugitives. Possibly armed and dangerous, and information leading to their whereabouts is worth $100,000.00 to Dillon’s (no doubt former) employer, but… they’re not fugitives.

    Alarms that could only be disabled by employees were off when the money was taken, as was video surveillance, but still — neither Dillon nor Nicole Boyd are fugitives, at the moment.

    An FBI Agent spoke to Fox News about the case, and indicated that the Feds were indeed reviewing Dillon’s MySpace profile for clues about the crime.

    Could clues be found in Roger Dillon’s “About Me” statement?

    I am not for this world; I enjoy every moment for what it is and not what it could be. I find great amusement in consequences for my actions. I don’t care what you think about it. Understanding it is not as important as enjoying it. Nothing makes me truly angry, there is no more room in this world for true anger. Nothing makes me truly sad, there are people out there who have a much better reason to be sad, I don’t insult them by pretending I have it bad. True happiness is going for it, to hell with what society says. I am always striving now, though in secret and only one person knows; but she’ll keep our secret. I am in love, I have always been. I wake up every morning with a smile, till I realize that I have to go to work. I am not you, I could never be. I am not for this world, this world is for me.

    Well… yeah, maybe. The “she’ll keep our secret” statement is rather hard to ignore. As are the final three sentences, beginning with “I wake up every morning with a smile, till I realize I have to go to work…”

    Then there is the silly online quiz result Roger chose to post below his blurb quoted above. The quiz asked, “which deadly sin do you represent?” Roger’s was “Greed.”

    Quizzes like that reveal nothing about a person’s internal workings. When posted on a profile, they sometimes reveal conscious intent. Such quizzes are usually a few generic questions long, and anyone with a reasonable amount of intuition can skew the results towards what they want. Roger’s quiz result could have been posted as a consciously chosen message. A bit of a middle finger to the world. If he indeed had something to do with all that missing money, that is.

    In the article about this robbery posted on, FBI Agent Scott Wilson was quoted in reference to Dillon’s MySpace: “We’re certainly looking at some of the comments on that MySpace page to see if we can develop further leads from that…”

    Comments left by others for Roger Dillon do, at first blush, look strange. All the comments from Nicole Boyd are odd, consisting sometimes of bizarre little cartoons that come from a so-called “emo” collection. They are funny in an Edward Gorey-ish way, but strange choices considering what Roger Dillon said on his profile about “emo” music. Dillon wrote that he liked “Anything you can throw at me really. Jazz, hiphop, trance, and rock are what I listen to with regularity,” but, “I do my best to hate emo and it’s entire subculture…”

    Then there were comments left by other friends. Particularly cryptic comments from a friend named Jared to Roger might raise suspicion. A quote from one left by Jared on September 25 this year might set digital tongues on a true crime message board a-wagging:

    Hey: the operation we discussed last week is a go. I know you hate me but alas, there is no recourse. Not lightly do I make this decision. So I imagine I can give you the mental materials necessary and you can make it happen next Friday, sound good?

    I can imagine the questions — an abortive plot to rob Roger’s employer as early as September? Is Jared in custody right now?

    No. Probably not.

    Jared and Roger, and most of their MySpace friends, were into the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Roger said as much on his profile in his “General Interests”:

    Life and all things in it. I enjoy Dnd and always appreciate the chance to slay my friends in some Halo, or any other game which involves moderate-obscene amounts of violence.

    At one point, Jared ran a MySpace Group (a message board hosted by MySpace) for an ongoing session among the friends titled “White Gate Campaign.” On October 1 he posted a message titled “Farewell my dear storytellers,” in which he said, “So if you didn’t know, you should by now, that Roger is taking over the game. He’ll be taking it in a new and exciting direction and I’m sure you’ll all love it. All 4 of you…”

    This may have been Roger Dillon’s idea of a “new and exciting direction” — “Golden Muses.” He’d originally called it “Love of Death Campaign,” but apparently had a change of heart.

    A look at most of Dillon’s posts on “Golden Muses” might be indecipherable to someone with no knowledge of D & D, but you could still tell that he’d done a lot of work, put a lot of thought into the endeavor.

    All of Dillon’s posts still on the board were made in November — on the 15th, several on the 17th, and one on the 20th. His first short bulletin posted on the 15th was potentially interesting because it mentioned a date — emphasis has been added:

    Okee, sat nov 24, 3pm-3pm, 21st lvl start.
    240k gold. more for good backstories posted on here
    world is new acadia,10 months after Vol’s ascension into divinity.
    Any character you wanna play is fine, just be aware of no faction or gestalt…

    It seems a little odd that Dillon might be committed enough to his game and his friends playing the game with him to run a 12-hour session just 3 days before allegedly stealing more than 7 million dollars.

    It’s the sort of seemingly inconsequential thing that actually could raise some big questions. If Roger Dillon and Nicole Boyd had a plan for the 27th and afterwards, were they just keeping up appearances until then? If Dillon and Ms. Boyd are innocent of wrongdoing (like the FBI said, they are not fugitives) then what did Dillon confront at work that day, and how did Nicole become involved? Reports indicate she didn’t work at the same place.

    Another post by Dillon to the same group could feed into the true crime/cyber-sleuthing enthusiast’s tendency to make connections sometimes where none actually exist. We attribute genius qualities to criminals who are actually pretty shallow and stupid, much of the time. Dillon’s “Afterstory” for his new campaign might read like an allegory, if you look at it just so. This passage, for example, could easily be interpreted as some sort of subconscious reference to Dillon and his girlfriend (redacted for length):

    Calypso[, a] shadeling of little known origin […] was the creator of an entirely new school of magic, Mimicry […] In order to grant this girl the power to destroy the threat she was given the locations of the most ancient of Acadian artifacts, the Golden Muses. These four golden spheres, when gathered would grant one wish, no matter how powerful to the bearer, so the legends claimed.
    Only one known mortal was ever known to use them; a shadeling rake known as Shadelo. A former lover of Hexis and rival to her lover Dav, he desired the power to win her over to himself, and thought the best way to do this was to murder his rival. […]
    so he spent three years gathering the information and tracking down these orbs and slaying thier gaurdians. His wish, to be the most powerful mortal alive…

    In spite of that “most powerful mortal alive” bit (money = power) Dillon’s story was probably exactly what it looked like, though — just a framework for the next D & D campaign.

    That’s the trickiest part about “cyber-sleuthing” anything. Knowing when your imagination has taken over “the story” and wandered away from what you actually see in front of you.

    Roger Dillon was 22, working at a low-end job, from the sound of it. He was a reasonably smart guy who had his D & D and his girlfriend, but otherwise, it seems like there wasn’t much more for him out there. Did he see golden sunlight and a fantasy of leisurely freedom being locked away in those safes at work one too many times? Or were the circumstances surrounding his disappearance much more complicated, still unfathomable to anyone on the outside looking in?

    If he and Nicole took the money and ran with it, did they have a plan, or are they even now trying to find a safe place to land? A place where they can sit on a bed stuffed with money and watch the surf come in?

    Chances are, the answer will come sooner rather than later. And then for Roger — and maybe Nicole — the fantasy dragons will be gone. There will only be the echo of the dungeon.

    UPDATE, 11/30/07

    It’s official — Roger Lee Dillon and Nicole Boyd are fugitives, now. From the FBI:

    Nicole Boyd and Roger Lee Dillon are wanted for their alleged involvement in the theft of approximately $7 million in cash and checks from an armored carrier facility in Liberty, Ohio, on November 26, 2007. Dillon was an employee of the business at the time of the robbery and has not shown up for work since the robbery. On November 30, 2007, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, after Boyd was charged with aiding and abetting the commission of bank larceny…

    Roger and Nicole will never earn all the experience points they’d need to dodge federal prison if they are caught with the missing money in their hands.

    UPDATE, 12/01/07

    Now that he and his girlfriend have been arrested, Roger Lee Dillon may not be too amused with the consequences of his actions. A quote from the AP:

    Roger Lee Dillon, 22, and his girlfriend, Nicole N. Boyd, 24, were arrested early Saturday morning outside Beckley [West Virginia], FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson said.

    Agents recovered “a large sum of money” at the time of the arrests, Wilson said. The FBI planned to hold a news conference on Monday, Wilson said…


    The AP.

    Natalee Holloway: Here we go again…

    The circus has come back to town.

    Natalee Holloway is in the news again.

    The three original suspects in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway from the island of Aruba on May 30, 2005, have been arrested again in connection with the case. From ABC News:
    Dutch teenager Joran van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in manslaughter and causing seriously bodily harm that caused the death of the 18-year-old American, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

    Van der Sloot was arrested in the Netherlands, where he is attending a university, and is expected to be extradited to this Dutch Caribbean island. The Kalpoe brothers were arrested in Aruba…
    Talk about news coming out of the blue in a case that had gone decidedly cold. At least in the minds of many here in the U.S.A. who covered the case — on weblogs and in the mainstream media.

    I had not planned to do much on the computer today or tomorrow, but I felt obligated to note this development in a missing persons case that galvanized bloggers in particular, whether they specifically covered crime or not.

    Some of my original coverage of the case can only be read if you follow this link: — “The Vanishing of Natalee Holloway.”

    This may be all I post for a day or so, but I’ll be interested to see what readers have to say.