This week’s Flashback Friday case is David Robert Sampson, a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington who disappeared from Seattle on March 1, 1977. I don’t know his major, but he was interested in “botany, hiking and environmental issues,” so perhaps it was something like biology.
Indications are Sampson left of his own accord; he took several possessions, including survival gear, a Bible and other religious materials, but no ID or cash. He may have joined some kind of cult; his case reminds me a bit of Robert Spurlock‘s. (I ought to do a Make-a-List Monday of cases where the MP is thought to have joined a cult.) It’s worth noting that Sampson disappeared at the tail end of the hippie era, and it sounds like he might have found that lifestyle agreeable.
But if he did join a cult, where has he been since 1977? Canada maybe? But if he left the country, how’d he cross the border without any identification?
I was able to get Sampson’s date of birth today from the Washington State Missing Person Search database. The anonymous author of the excellent Whereabouts Still Unknown blog has an entry for him as well. I couldn’t find anything about his disappearance in the newspaper archives, though, which isn’t surprising giving it was 1977 and he was a college student and a man at that. That profile of missing person is rarely covered in the news even today.
If he is still alive, and he may very well be, David Sampson would be 62 today. There’s a good chance his parents would be dead by now, but perhaps he has siblings or cousins who are still hoping for resolution in his case.
Margret Dodd disappeared from Beckley, West Virginia on September 7, 1977 — nearly forty years ago (I won’t quibble over two months). She was 27 years old and was witnessed being dragged, screaming, into someone’s car. James Hendree subsequently demanding a $10k ransom for her safe return. An FBI agent posed as Margret’s dad to meet Hendree for the handoff, and wound up shooting him after an altercation.
Margret’s body was found on Bolt Mountain in 1993, but it wasn’t identified until now. According to this article, her family recognized the clothes and jewelry found with the body, and mitochondrial DNA confirmed the match.
I’m happy for her family. The police are still investigating the case and there might be prosecutions in the future, as it seems unlikely that Hendree acted alone.
For some reason a lot of people want to know about Russell Randall Thompson all of a sudden. They keep contacting me through various mediums to ask about him because they can’t find him listed anywhere else. I’ve heard about him, like, three or four times in the past week.
Well, he’s on CDOJ, and I don’t know anything more about him than what’s in the casefile. CDOJ, unfortunately, is PACKED with cases that aren’t available anywhere else.
This week’s featured MP is from the District of Columbia: radio personality Bobby Joe Horn, who vanished on August 31, 1977. He was possibly involved in some pretty sketchy stuff and after his disappearance he was indicted for nonpayment of income taxes.
Horn’s former business partner claimed he heard Horn had gone to the Netherlands, running from the law or from the sketchy people he’d been associating with or both, but the guy does not sound like a credible witness to me.
For what it’s worth, the police believe he was murdered.
You’ll recall my “let’s talk about it” post about the Guthrie family last month: Leslie and her children Julie and Timothy, who’ve been missing for forty years come February. Well, I wanted to draw your attention this comment that was posted today.
Boy, am I excited. I really, really hope this is the real deal. I mean, it’s terrible really to say “I hope it’s a car and I hope it has three bodies inside it” but after forty years this is really the best anyone can hope for.
Last night I was plugging the names of various old cases into Newspapers.com to see if I could find articles. My persistence yielded a bountiful harvest — I found out the ultimate ending to the Matory/Williams/Marshall murder-without-a-body case for one. One of the names I plugged in was the Guthrie kids, Julie and Timothy, and their mom, Leslie, who disappeared in February 1977 from Katonah, New York. I was able to get another picture of Leslie and a clothing description for her, and that’s on today’s updates.
Two details that I learned last night but did not include in the casefiles:
- Leslie’s mother lent her the too-small, borrowed boots she was wearing that day, and also gave her $10 for gas. Which would indicate that (A) The car was low on gas and (B) Leslie had no money.
- The police do not believe the car wound up in a lake somewhere. The winter had been a severe one and the ice was thick enough that a car could have driven on it without it breaking.
Usually, when a person or persons disappears under circumstances like this and their car never turns up, I tend to believe they wound up in the water. But now it seems that theory is no longer viable.
I’m stumped. It seems highly unlikely that Leslie took the kids and left on her own, with almost no money and shoes that didn’t even fit. Timothy Sr. seems to be in the clear. It’s like this young family and their car just vanished into thin air.
Let’s talk about it.
This week’s Flashback Friday is Carolyn Jeanne Holloway, a 32-year-old woman missing from Richardson, Texas since September 30, 1977. Richardson is in northern Texas; at last count, its population was just under 100k.
As for Carolyn, I’ve got almost nothing on her disappearance. No distinguishing characteristics and no details of her disappearance other than a note that she was probably taken against her will. Even her only photograph is not of the best quality. I checked online newspaper archives and turned up zilch.
Next September, Carolyn will have been missing for 40 years. She’d probably be a grandmother by now, maybe a great-grandmother.