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.

17 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.

      • Gwendolyn Mixon Babb July 14, 2020 / 11:46 pm

        Hi Meagan,
        I’m Thomas’s sister Gwen Mixon Bab
        Is there anyway that I could read your write up or any information you can share on my brothers case? I was just made aware of the site today but my brother Brian Mixon

  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.

    • Gwendolyn Mixon Babb July 14, 2020 / 11:48 pm

      No,that’s not the case here.
      lm his sister.

  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…

  7. Nancy February 20, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    He was my cousin who I loved very much please give us answers so his mother can rest

  8. Brian Mixon May 3, 2019 / 4:04 pm

    There is a lot of information missing in this case. Tom was my brother and I am befuddled that this case can’t be solved so that our family most importantly my mother, father and nephew can get some kind of closure. I did not see anything about the fact that before the police eventually got around to searching the residence it had been painted and all carpets had been removed. My parents and I actually confronted Vladimir Sokolov and his older brother Lou (who I had known from high school) about a week after Tom went missing. Vladimer sat in his car giving us smug and disrespectful answers while his older brother sat there shaking like a leaf. There was and is no doubt in my mind that they both knew something about what happened to Tom or at least where he was. Another thing missing here is that Vladimer was actually extradited from Bulgaria to stand trial. As I recall this was the first time in NY state history that someone was extradited without a body. They obviously had some solid evidence that Sokolov was involved in Toms murder. I don’t recall if any reasons were ever given as to why he was acquitted but can only guess that it had something to do with botched police work. Tom was not a stellar citizen and had his share of run-ins with the Buffalo PD (mostly petty stuff like drug dealing). I’m sure that most of them knew him by name. Maybe they figured he got what was coming to him or something like that. I know that my mother pressed the Buffalo PD over the years to find him or find his body and they haven’t done anything to my knowledge. I’ve called the Buffalo PD a few times over the years to inquire about any updates. Every time I’ve called I’ve gotten a runaround and eventually gave up. Tom definitely was not a Georgetown graduate. He actually wasn’t a HS graduate. It’s because of that I feel he had to hustle to make ends meet. It seamed like every time I was in town he was trying some knew business venture and was planning to make it big. He likely found the Georgetown ring or purchased it at a pawn shop. I’m fairly confident that the ring has nothing to do with has disappearance though. As for him intentionally disappearing.. I actually thought that could have been the case at first, like maybe he’d show up after a month or so laughing at how worried he made everybody. I can tell you that he adored his son and he was a mommas boy thru and thru. He was the only one of her 3 boys that stayed close to home. If he had intentionally disappeared it wouldn’t have lasted long. Definitely not 20+ years. He was a son, father, brother, etc. to a lot of people and he was loved. Although he was in and out of trouble frequently he was kind hearted and willing to help anyone that he could. At this point I am just praying that some day we can put him to rest and give our mother some sort of closure. Whether the PD think he was a bad person and got what he deserved or not is irrelevant now. I can tell you that nobodies family deserves this! Nobodies mother deserves to not know what happened to their child. Any assistance in reinvigorating this “Cold Case” would be greatly appreciated by our entire family.

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