Let’s talk about it: Thomas Mixon

This week’s mysterious-case-up-for-discussion is Thomas James Mixon, a 26-year-old who disappeared from Buffalo, New York on May 4, 1998.

Mixon’s roommate, Vladimir Sokolov, was later charged with Mixon’s murder. The case against him, on the face of it, looks good: Sokolov wouldn’t tell Mixon’s mom what had happened to him, he put Mixon’s stuff on the street and even started wearing his clothes, he fled back to his native Bulgaria upon learning he was a suspect in Mixon’s disappearance, he allegedly bragged about the murder and his ex-girlfriend claimed to have seen Mixon’s body in the apartment.

However, Sokolov was eventually acquitted, and this is one of the few MWAB cases where I think there’s a distinct possibility the defendant was innocent. Other evidence indicated Mixon had some very good reasons to walk out of his life, including scary people who were mad at him, and had made extensive preparations to do just that.

An aside: it says Mixon wore a Georgetown University class ring, but it seems unlikely that he was an alumnus. If he was, he had certainly fallen far in the few years since graduation.

So do you think Mixon was murdered by his roommate? Do you think he’s even dead? Let’s talk about it.

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13 thoughts on “Let’s talk about it: Thomas Mixon

  1. Ana October 27, 2016 / 1:11 am

    According it the account, girlfriend saw the dismembered body, which was one of the proofs that demonstrated that Sokolov murdered him

  2. Fiona Pickles October 27, 2016 / 1:31 am

    There’s definitely a good deal of ambiguity with this one! Sokolov drew attention to himself by disposing of Mixon’s belongings and wearing his clothes, which he almost certainly wouldn’t have if he’d been guilty; it feels far more like Mixon just told him to get rid of everything, do whatever he wanted with it, because he wouldn’t be coming back. Seems to me like an intentional disappearance which maybe turned into an unintentional one, either due to an accident or because whatever Mixon was running from eventually caught up with him.

    • Meaghan October 27, 2016 / 8:31 am

      “Sokolov drew attention to himself by disposing of Mixon’s belongings and wearing his clothes, which he almost certainly wouldn’t have if he’d been guilty”

      You’d be surprised. I’ve got other MWAB cases where the suspect was definitely guilty and they did stupid stuff like that. A lot of criminals are really dumb that way.

      • Liza E October 27, 2016 / 11:40 pm

        I agree that it makes him seem more guilty to me, not less. It seems like some people who kill others do so with a certain detachment that engenders impunity.

      • Meaghan October 29, 2016 / 9:45 am

        I saw a true-crime TV show about a guy who murdered his wife. She died under mysterious but apparently accidental circumstances at home. Then the grieving widower surprised everyone by getting remarried almost immediately, like less than a month later — and the wedding invitations were mailed out BEFORE HIS FIRST WIFE DIED. *facepalm* The police were notified and they knew immediately this had to be a murder, and they just had to figure out how he did it.

  3. LM October 27, 2016 / 4:06 am

    I don’t think Sokolov knows what happened to Mixon, not the whole story at least. Getting rid of the belongings could be seen as a suspicious, but Sokolov would have to be ridiculously stupid to wear Mixons clothes if he had killed him.
    I understand why Sokolov was a suspect, but I’m glad he was acquitted, there really wasn’t enough evidence to convict him.

    • Meaghan October 27, 2016 / 8:36 am

      See my above comment re: Sokolov’s use of Mixon’s belongings.

      What I’d like to know is, if there was a dismembered corpse in that apartment, where’s the blood? When I was researching the case for my write-up I didn’t read anything about blood. I think if there was blood evidence, the articles I read would have mentioned it.

  4. 1lanonymous October 27, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Did the class ring have a year on it? The ring could have once belonged to a relative and Thomas wore it out of sentiment.

    • Meaghan October 27, 2016 / 10:53 am

      That’s my guess too — the ring was inherited. I don’t know anything about a date on it; if I did, I would have included it in the description.

  5. Becky October 27, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    I’m always fascinated by these cases of roommates who go missing toward the beginning of the mo ( when rent is traditionally due). It seems similar to the cases where witnesses for the prosecution go missing just before the trial. You could see how tensions would be high, whether you were the roommate requesting payment from the popper, or the one having money demanded of you when you cannot pay. Just my thoughts in general about roommate cases. I have no idea if any of these conditions applied in this particular case although drugs where mentioned and drug users often choose to buy drugs over paying the rent….

    • Meaghan October 29, 2016 / 9:41 am

      Years ago I read a news article about an elderly man on Social Security who died at home the same day the check arrived. His roommates couldn’t pay the rent without his portion, so they propped him up in a wheelchair, covered him with a blanket, put a hat and sunglasses on him and sort of “Weekended at Bernies” him to the bank to cash the check. They got caught, obviously.

  6. Amy October 27, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    I think he’s dead. I also think his roommate knew of the death. Whether he actually did it, participated in it, or just had knowledge of it, I’m not sure. Why would he tell Mixon’s mother he would tell her what happened in a couple of weeks. Why, the day after Mixon’s disappearance would he get rid of belongings? If he ONLY assumed he was missing, then there would be a chance Mixon would come back. It seems only if he KNEW Mixon wasn’t coming back then it was acceptable to get rid of stuff and wear his clothes.

    • Meaghan October 29, 2016 / 9:43 am

      I would be thoroughly creeped out by the prospect of wearing the clothes of a man I’d murdered. I think most people would be. But most people are not murderers, so…

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