Article about MPs from Alaska: and, my take on each of them

I found this three-page article about missing persons in Alaska. It talks about MPs in general, and in particular Scott and Amy Fandel, Megan Emerick and John Wipert. There are presently 78 missing persons profiled on Alaska’s Department of Safety website. Most of those are on Charley too. The woman from Alaska who was in the I-Match program with me, I asked her about Alaskan disappearances and she said people there vanish all the time. Not only are the climate and terrain rather rough (to say the least), but there are high rates of crime, alcohol and depression.

The Fandel children are probably the most famous missing persons case in Alaskan history. There’s been speculation that Amy’s biological father, Roger, had something to do with it. Roger wasn’t Scott’s father, but he had raised him since Scott was two years old. He and the children’s mother were in the process of a divorce, I guess; Roger had left Margaret in January 1978 and moved to Arizona. He was considered a suspect for years, but the police don’t seem to think he was involved anymore. I’m not sure if he is still alive.

My own theory is that the children were victims of a random or semi-random predator. Perhaps a pedophile saw Amy at the restaurant that evening and decided he wanted to hurt her. He could have followed the family back to their house, then lay in wait until the children were alone. Scott might have gotten in the way and been injured or killed in the abduction attempt, or perhaps he was the abductor’s target instead of Amy. From the photo, and his size — less than five feet tall — it seems like he would have looked younger than his age. It’s just a hypothesis, but it seems to make as much sense as anything else.

Megan Emerick is a bit of a tough call. The police think she could have been a victim of Robert Hansen, a serial killer who murdered at least 17 young women and was sentenced to 461 years in prison for his crimes. But, although he confessed to the 17 homicides, he said he didn’t have anything to do with Megan’s disappearance. Also, I don’t know if the cops have any actual evidence against him for Megan, other than the fact that she fits the profile. I’m a bit leery of just assuming a missing person was killed by a serial killer just because the MP fit the profile and the killer was operating in that area at the time. As was pointed out in my comments section, for decades the police thought Katherine Merry Devine had been killed by Ted Bundy, although he always denied it. DNA testing eventually proved she was murdered by William E. Cosden.

Megan COULD have been one of Robert Hansen’s victims. She could also have run away, although that doesn’t make much sense; not only did she leave all her stuff behind, but she was already living away from home by the time of her disappearance, living in student housing at a tech school. So it’s not like she would have had to run away to escape curfews or some other form of parental oppression. It also seems unlikely that Alaska ate her, as it tends to do with hikers, mountain climbers etc. on a regular basis. Seward, the town she disappeared from, is in southern Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, and it’s relatively settled. Hardly a tropical paradise, but it’s not some teeny fishing village about the Arctic Circle, a hundred miles north of anywhere. And for what it’s worth, Megan also disappeared in midsummer. So…I am out of ideas.

As for John Wipert, the cause of his disappearance is pretty obvious: he was taking care of someone else’s lodge all by himself in the summer of 2009, and at some point in June he left, taking two horses and leaving a note saying he was going to “check the cabin” and be back “tomorrow night.” Problem was, there wasn’t any cabin, or much of anything, within a day’s ride of the lodge. Wipert left all his clothes behind, and left the lodge unattended. The remaining horse had nearly died of starvation and dehydration by the time the owner showed up in July. There was rotting food on the counter and in the sink, and some odd vandalism. The usual extensive search turned up no sign of man or beasts. The authorities had a very cold trail; Wipert had been missing for about three weeks or maybe longer before his disappearance was even noticed.

Authorities don’t seem to think Wipert stole the horses and made off somewhere, at least not deliberately. One theory is that he kind of went crazy from the isolation (living for months in that kind of isolation will try anyone’s soul) and left the lodge for reasons only he could understand. There were some indications that he didn’t plan on being gone long. Possibly he was trying to get to Canada; the border was about 35 miles away. Since he didn’t have his clothes, wasn’t familiar with the area and probably didn’t have any survival skills or equipment, chances are he didn’t last long.

14 thoughts on “Article about MPs from Alaska: and, my take on each of them

  1. Princess Shantae March 25, 2012 / 6:38 pm

    Do you suppose somebody might of showed up to the lodge and told Wipert about some cabin? If he wasn’t familiar with the area he might not know there wasn’t any cabin. Like somebody lured him away and did something to him? But yeah, him losing his marbles is a pretty good guess too.
    They’re going to make a movie about Robert Hanson. Nicholas Cage is going to be one of the detectives. I don’t who will play Hanson, but they’ll have a hard time finding anybody looks like him. Robert Hanson is just as ugly as homemade sin.

    • Meaghan March 25, 2012 / 6:46 pm

      I’m sure they’ll be able to find an ugly actor — or just make someone ugly. They did an excellent job with Charlize Theron turning her into Aileen Wuornos in the movie Monster.

      • Melissa March 27, 2012 / 6:00 am

        How good was that movie? Charlize Theron sooooo deserved that Oscar

  2. Peter Henderson March 27, 2012 / 1:14 pm

    FYI over the weekend I got a message from a friend about, “Eklutna Annie,” one of Hansen’s victims

    My friend lives in Oregon but grew up in Palmer, Alaska. She has been trying to locate a long ago childhood friend.

    Many of her old friends still live in the Wasilla, Palmer, Anchorage area, but none of them have seen their old friend since the late ‘70’s. At the time she was somewhat estranged from her family. She married very young, so young that she needed to get her parents approval to legally marry. While they did give consent they did not support her choice of a husband. In part because he was into drugs.

    She was last seen in Wasilla, living with what one friend described as her “Drug Head” husband in 78 or early 79.

    Its far to early to mention her name. There is a very good chance she just moved and did not keep in contact with old friends. But a group of women are going to try to fine her or her parents to verify she is ok. If not they are going to contact the Alaska State Troopers and ask them to do a SS and motor vehicle search using her maiden and married names.

    The thing is she fits that age, height and hair color for Eklutna Annie and one of the women remembers hearing a radio broadcast in the late 70’s that listed their friend as missing, although she currently does not show up as missing in any of the public databases.

  3. Peter Henderson April 17, 2012 / 8:43 am

    A update on “Eklutna Annie.”

    Hi Peter…this is regarding the Eklutna Annie case.

    I found Marcia (redacted) step father Ralph and he emailed me information that Marcia is living in Vancouver Washington last time he heard. Her married name is (redacted).

    He is getting me contact info for her. I would like to talk to her personally. I won’t let this go until I know she is still alive.

    It is a relief, but at the same time it saddens me that the unidentified girl may never get to go home.

    Thank you for taking an interest in this case and for all the work you do for the missing and unidentified…there should be an award for what you do.

    Have a great day. Sherry

  4. Cheryl Wipert April 25, 2012 / 3:02 pm

    Message to John Wipert from your sister Cheryl – Mom has passed – now residing in Bourneville family cemetery. Sorry you couldn’t be here – she had your “Missing” picture up and said she always loved you. And she did – and we all do. Hope you are well. – Cheryl

    • karl oberlitner June 4, 2021 / 11:02 pm

      my name is Karl Oberlitner. John was a roomate of my brother and I when we were in college.there are people in Kenton Oh who called him friend. we hope he is found

  5. Clumsatron July 10, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    Scott and Amy are my 2nd cousins (their mom is my great aunt) I was only 4 months old when they wet missing but I’ve been drawn to their story since I first heared about it.

  6. Clumsatron July 10, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    Heard* not heared.

  7. Linda Wade April 12, 2013 / 12:39 pm

    I still think it’s strange that the missing poster,along with the drivers license said John Wipert has blue eyes anyone looking at that poster can clearly see the man on the poster has very dark brown eyes.

    • Meaghan April 12, 2013 / 2:32 pm

      It’s hard to tell from photographs what a person’s eye color is. A lot of photos make my eyes look green, hazel or even brown, when in fact they’re blue.

      • Linda Wade April 12, 2013 / 3:49 pm

        Hi Meagan ! pleased to get a quick reply, I know there are rules about mentioning names, but if you care to google the Most Wanted
        Man in Canada’s history….interesting likeness anyway! I would like you to reply again Thanks!

  8. Linda Wade April 12, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    Sorry didn’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase !
    Better to google child murder in Jean Sibelious Park Toronto Canada

  9. Constance August 12, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    The dad of Scott and Amy has a Facebook page and he has a friend name Amy who is the same age as the missing child and IMO, the resemblance is remarkable…I’m thinking it’s her.

    It’s uncanny..

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