Today I added the case of Shirley Clift, who disappeared from Oklahoma in 1980. Her ex-husband said she died after she jumped out of his moving car. His story is eerily similar to the one told by Kirk Lankford after he was accused of murdering Masumi Watanabe. It’s almost as if Kirk Lankford copied from Gary Clift. That’s not likely, though. I wonder if either of the men even expected anyone to believe their stories? If someone jumps from your moving car and dies, you call the cops. You don’t bury the body in a riverbank or dump it in the ocean.
Masumi Watanabe got justice, at least. Kirk Lankford will never see the light of day again. Justice is a small, weak and pale thing, but it’s better than what Shirley Clift got. Gary is still walking around free, probably married again to some poor woman, and his and Shirley’s daughter has to live with the knowledge that her father killed her mother. Here’s to hoping that something comes up in the Clift case — not necessarily her body, though of course that would be great — so her killer can go to prison where he belongs.