Let’s Talk About It: John Iverson

This week’s “let’s talk about it” is John Gordon Iverson, who may or may not have been kidnapped from his Lake Havasu City, Arizona home on January 4, 1991.

Iverson’s live-in girlfriend (who was also his ex-wife) claims he was abducted at gunpoint by a man they knew. The kidnapping suspect turned up four months later, sans Iverson, claiming there had been no kidnapping and Iverson and his girlfriend had tried to set him up. With no other witnesses or additional evidence, charges against the suspect were dropped.

Iverson himself was a bit of an eccentric, to put it mildly, and there’s some suspicion that the “kidnapping” was staged so he could walk out of his life and his responsibilities. Among other things, he was on probation for theft, he was in trouble for nonpayment of taxes, he was reportedly having problems with his girlfriend and was thinking of leaving her, and he may have had a drinking problem also. I should note that Iverson was a genius with electronics but according to his associates, he had violent prejudices and liked to tell tall tales about his imaginary accomplishments. If Iverson is still alive, he’d be 68 today.

EDIT: My friend Sean Munger is a published author and, years ago, I asked him how he would answer the many questions in the Iverson case if it were fiction. He sent a very entertaining response and has given me permission to share it. You should read the casefile I wrote first or Sean’s story isn’t going to make much sense. I do want to emphasize that this story is just the fruit of Sean’s imagination and not his theory as to what actually happened:

Kathy Munro [the girlfriend] and Jack Weber [the kidnap suspect] were secretly having an affair. Weber kept pressuring her to leave Iverson, but she felt he was too good a meal ticket to give up and she wanted a piece of his money. They decided to murder him together, but each would blame the other; the inconsistency between their stories would keep the police guessing and also lull people into thinking they were adversaries instead of allies.

The story about the super-gun is obviously false. Instead of a gun, let’s say it’s some sort of electronic program — maybe one that can hack encrypted files or something like that, something that would be profitable if sold to the right buyer but would get its creators in serious legal trouble. Iverson is hoping to sell the program to someone who has connections with Chinese intelligence.

Unbeknownst to Munro or Weber, Iverson discovers that they are plotting to murder him. He pretends to go along with Munro to meet the Chinese buyer in the desert, and they drive there in Weber’s van. Iverson knows that the plan is that Weber will kill him and bury his body somewhere in the desert. Before this can happen, Iverson takes the program and runs away. He lays low in a place (a cave or something) where he stashed some food and supplies earlier.

Weber panics, fearing that the Chinese buyer will kill him if he shows up at the drop empty-handed. Hurriedly he drives back to Lake Havasu City. He and Munro cook up the kidnapping story, and Weber comes up with the clunky story about the super-gun.

In the meantime Iverson leaves his desert hideout and goes to Mexico. He eventually makes contact with the Chinese buyer to rearrange the deal for the program. At the drop, the Chinese buyer double-crosses Iverson, takes the program, shoots him and leaves his body in a dumpster in a slum in Mexico City. The Chinese buyer gets away, figuring that if the body is ever found and identified, the police will blame it on either Munro or Weber.

Today in previous years

I can’t sleep tonight so I wound up checking my blog entries for June 29 on previous years. I began the blog in late 2008. There’s nothing from this day in 2009, 2010 or 2011, but on June 29, 2012 I (tongue in cheek) threatened to commit suicide after I counted my backlog and realized it was 987 cases. (The total is a lot higher now.)

On this date in 2013 I directed readers to Sean Munger’s coverage of Scott Hilbert‘s disappearance, and also noted that I was in the process of purging casefiles.

A year ago today was a Make-a-List Monday and a short commentary on a presumed-dead MP who basically died of stupidity. In the latter entry, questions were raised in the comments section about whether one of the photos I posted for Zulma Pabon was really her. (It turned out it wasn’t. Not my fault; the Virginia State Police posted the wrong pic. I think they might have pulled the picture from a driver’s license database and it was a different person with the same name.) I also griped about a case where the Alabama MP database made it look like James Aaron Toole disappeared 19 YEARS after he actually went missing.

Carry on.

Disappeared: William Gu, missing one year.

www.seanmunger.com

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About a year and a half ago, on March 7, 2013,  a 22-year-old man named William Gu, a student at CUNY and a resident of Brooklyn, was expected to meet a friend at Rutger’s University in New Jersey, or possibly Staten Island in New York. Wherever it was supposed to be, never made it to this meeting. Whatever happened to William is completely unknown, as are the exact boundaries of the geographical area from which he vanished. He frequently drove between his apartment in Brooklyn and the residence of his girlfriend in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. From the reports I was able to find on this case, it’s unclear where he was last seen.

What is known is that at 7:30 PM on the same day Gu’s car, a silver 1998 Lexus, was found crashed into the sign in front of the Somerset Diner in Somerset, NJ, not far from Rutgers…

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Disappeared: Nathan Edberg, missing 15 years.

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On April 14, 1999, at about 7:30 PM, a tall, powerfully-built young man walked into Decoy’s Bar and Grill on 4th Street in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, ordered a beer and chatted briefly with the bartender. The bartender, who knew this young man, noted he was unusually cheerful. It’s not known exactly how long he stayed, but at some point in the evening he left and got in his truck, but he left his wallet on the bar at Decoy’s. He then vanished off the face of the earth.

Nathan Edberg, age 21, was remembered as a cheerful, active young man who loved to play basketball. He was also devoted to his three younger siblings. He was going through a rough time in the spring of 1999, having just broken up with a girlfriend of 4 years, and his parents were divorcing. Friends and family had noticed he was depressed…

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Disappeared: Lee Cutler, missing 7 years.

www.seanmunger.com

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The disappearance of Lee Sterling Cutler, age 18, from Buffalo Grove, Illinois is one of the more famous missing persons cases of the past decade, having been profiled on an episode of the Disappeared show on Investigative Discovery. I find it interesting not simply because of the mysterious circumstances of his case, but because Lee himself seems to have been a very interesting person; he is the first missing person I’ve profiled on my site that is also filed under the category Interesting People.

First, the case itself. Lee, age 18, was a senior at Adlai Stevenson High School in  Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He was quite contemplative and religious, very active in a local Jewish synagogue and a Jewish youth organization of which he was one of the leaders. The Disappeared show highlighted his introspective nature, journal-writing and his relatively intense, but friendly, personality. On October 20, 2007, he left…

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Select It Sunday: German Machuca

Selected by my friend Sean Munger, German Machuca‘s disappearance is, as Sean puts it, “one of the most baffling cases I’ve ever seen on the site. In the top 5.” Given that Mr. Machuca’s circumstances of disappearance section on Charley is only four sentences long, that’s a pretty impressive claim. But Sean may be right.

German Machuca, a smallish Hispanic teenager, only 5’7 tall and of average build, vanished without a trace from Laredo, Texas on March 31, 1990. He was washing his car, and then he was gone. Just like that. Leaving the soap bucket, leaving the water running, for crying out loud.

And that’s all, folks, all I can find on him. No articles, nothing. I haven’t updated his case even once since I started Charley in 2004.

Who walks away while in the middle of washing their car? If something or somebody had distracted him — perhaps someone calling his name — why didn’t he at least turn the hose/faucet off before he went to investigate? Other questions arise: was German wearing rubber gloves or other waterproof gear like galoshes or a rain poncho when he was washing his car? If so, did they find those things? Was the soap bucket found sitting upright, or was it tipped over, spilled, as if in a struggle? Did anyone see anything? Hear anything?

I only know that German Machuca, eighteen and a half years old, chose some very unusual circumstances in which to go missing. It’s almost enough to make a person believe in alien abductions. (I think I did have aliens abduct my Sim in the Sims 3 game while he was working on restoring his classic car one night. But that is neither here nor there.)

German must have family and friends out there still waiting, still wondering. I’d love it if one of them contact me, either by email or in the comments section, to shed some light on the strange circumstances of his disappearance.