MP of the week (a day late, sorry): Lavorn Frye

This week’s featured missing person is Lavorn Frye, a twenty-year-old man who disappeared from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 30, 1991. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything more to report on his case.

I have another Executed Today entry that ran today: Sheyna Gram and the Jews of Preiļi. Preiļi being a small Latvian town whose Jewish population was almost entirely wiped out on this day in 1941. Sheyna Gram was a sixteen-year-old girl who kept a diary from the day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union until her death.

Unfortunately I’m really not doing very well at the moment. The last week or so has kicked my butt and I’m barely functioning. I’m sorry.

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Hrmm…

I’ve been up all night doing this and that and have been combing over the under-eighteens on NamUs that have no photos, looking to see if I can find some photos. I found one for Tebble Anita Garrett, but it’s several years out of date; I found an archived article on Newspapers.com from when she ran away in 1985. She got found two and a half weeks later.

More interestingly, I found a 2001 obituary for a Mildred Armstrong of Greenville, South Carolina — Tebble disappeared from Pickens — that mentions one of her survivors as “a daughter, Tebble Garrett, who disappeared in 1991.”

NamUs says Tebble disappeared in 1988. I wonder if perhaps her family heard from her or saw her at some point in 1991? Or did they merely report her missing in 1991, when in fact she dropped out of sight years earlier?

She definitely disappeared more than once, and the NamUs profile indicates Tebble had some serious difficulties by 1988: she was seventeen, pregnant, had needle marks on her arms and four street names. By that point I wouldn’t be at all surprised in her family quite wasn’t sure when they’d seen her last, poor girl.

Select It Sunday: Robin Kerry

Chosen by Anka, this week’s Select It Sunday case is Robin Ann Kerry, who disappeared with her sister Julie from St. Louis, Missouri on April 5, 1991. Unlike with many of my cases, it’s perfectly obvious what happened to Robin: she and her sister were gang-raped and thrown off the Chain of Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River. Julie’s body turned up several weeks later but Robin was never found.

I wrote about this case in 2009. It was a horrific crime, made all the more so by the fact that the four perpetrators were complete strangers who just had a random encounter with Robin and Julie and their cousin Tom Cummins that night, and the fact that Tom Cummins was wrongfully arrested and charged with his cousins’ murders before the situation got sorted and the cops caught the real killers.

I will quote part of my earlier entry:

There are still some people online who think Cummins killed his cousins and framed the four suspects, but the evidence against the defendants is pretty strong. One of them had Cummins’s wallet either on his person or in his house (I forget which) when he was arrested. All four suspects confessed at one point or another, although three of them later retracted their statements. One defendant pleaded guilty and testified against the others. Cummins’s sister Jeanine wrote a wonderful book about the case called A Rip in Heaven. Many news accounts say Cummins confessed to the crime. According to his sister’s book, after the police told him their theory about him being the killer he said something like, “If that’s what you said, then that’s what I did.” That’s hardly a confession.

I Googled the case again for today’s entry and discovered that Reginald Clemons, who spent over twenty years on death row for the Kerry sisters’ murders, had his conviction overturned and is awaiting a second trial. I don’t think he has much of a chance, though, even though it appears his confession has been ruled coerced and cast out of evidence. This article says they’ve got “a match consistent with Clemons’ DNA to a degree of one in 16,690 individuals in the African-American population,” something they didn’t have in 1991. I’ll have to update Robin’s casefile, I guess.

One of the four defendants, Daniel Winfrey, was released from prison in 2007. He was the only one who didn’t take part in the rapes, and he only fifteen years at the time of the crime, too young for the death penalty, and he took a plea deal: thirty years in exchange for testifying against the others.

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.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Some MP news highlights while I was gone:

  • Mark Duane Woodard has been found. Or rather, he was found in 1977, 23 months after his disappearance, but not identified till now. The aforementioned news link uses his Charley Project pic, and asked me permission first. (Thanks!) This link has another photo of him, a much better quality one, as well as more details about his disappearance. He was murdered, shot to death. His sister is the only surviving member of the immediate family.
  • In the state of Thuringia in central Germany they have found a missing girl, Peggy No-Last-Name-Released [edit: per a UK article supplied by a commenter, it’s Knobloch], who disappeared mysteriously fifteen years ago, at the age of nine. A mushroom picker found her bones in the forest nine miles from Peggy’s hometown of Lichtenberg. According to this article and one other I found about the case, this had been a murder-without-a-body (MWAB) case: In 2004, a mentally disabled man was convicted of Peggy’s murder. He was later acquitted in a retrial due to lack of evidence after a key witness retracted his statement.
  • Corry Ehlers, a guy who disappeared while hiking in Utah in 2012, has also been found deceased. His skeletal remains, found “in a steep, rocky spot near Alta Ski Resort” last summer, were identified in late June. They think Corry fell off a cliff.
  • Three days ago it was fifteen years since sisters Diamond and Tionda Bradley vanished mysteriously from Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has done an anniversary article about it, with quotes from Diamond and Tionda’s two other sisters, Rita and Victoria: The girls disappeared just a day before Victoria Bradley’s ninth birthday. Until recent years, Bradley, who turns 24 on Thursday, said she was unable to celebrate her birthday because of her depression over the anniversary of their disappearance. I have not updated the girls’ casefiles in over a decade, and last time was just to add some more pics. I will give a look and see if I can find any developments that have taken place in the intervening years.
  • Two more recent anniversaries: eleven years since Stacy Ann Aragon and her boyfriend Steven Bishop disappeared from Arizona (see article; Stacy has been reported missing but it appears Steven has not been), and ten years since Roxanne Paltauf disappeared (article) from Texas.
  • The NCMEC reports that two of my oldest family abduction cases have been resolved, with the children located alive. One was Jacquelina Ann Gomez, who was abducted from Illinois by her father in 1992 at the age of 3. She would be 27 now, 28 in September.
  • The other case involves two brothers who disappeared with their mother and stepfather from Blairsville, Georgia in 1996, when the boys were 2 and 3. A day or so before I left for Minneapolis I got contacted by a very excited reporter who ran a story on Rick Tyler, a man who’s running for Congress under the odious slogan “Make America White Again.” She said after she ran the story she was deluged with emails from people who believed Rick Tyler was probably the same Rick Tyler who was listed as the missing Blairsville kids’ stepfather. She also said the police were now claiming that the boys’ mom DID have custody of them when they disappeared, after all. Well, then the day I left Minneapolis I got an NCMEC notice saying the boys were recovered. I’m not going to say their names on here or put them on the resolved page because I’m not sure about the custody issue, but it should be easy enough to determine who they are from the info I just provided.
  • The state of Arkansas has a brand shiny new MP database with 510 people on it, many whose names I don’t recognize. I am very happy about this. I believe every state should have their own publicly searchable online database, as large and comprehensive as possible. Many of the people listed in this new database have no pics though. I hope this situation improves.
  • Morgan Keyanna Martin, a pregnant teenager who disappeared in 2012, is now considered a MWAB case. Jacobee Flowers, the father of the unborn child, has been charged with her murder. Homicide is the most common non-natural cause of death for pregnant women in the US and from what I have read, all around the world, the murder of pregnant women — usually by their baby’s father — is a universal problem.
  • HuffPo has published a photo essay about the 1998 disappearance of SUNY-Albany student Suzanne Lyall. It’s a mysterious case; no obvious suspects, no answers. 19 years old, promising future, and then gone.
  • Kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard has been in the news again, going on TV and talking about how her life’s going and how she’s raising the two daughters she had with her kidnapper Philip Garrido. The link I just gave provides lots of news articles to read, more than I can summarize here. But here’s one quote from this article to show what a resilient woman and amazing mother Jaycee was and still is: As she and her daughters grew older, Dugard said she planted a flower in front of the shed and set up a little school to teach them as much as she could with only her fifth-grade education. “They’re so resilient, and they’re beautiful and loving, and I’m really lucky,” she said. Dugard has protected her daughters’ privacy and said some of their friends don’t even know of their past. She said the three of them are able to talk about what happened with each other.

MP of the week: Jennie Fisher

This week’s featured missing person is Jennie Lee Fisher, who disappeared from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on January 14, 1991. She was 37 at the time and would be 63 today.

I don’t have much on her. The only details I have come from Jennie’s husband, who said she simply left him and their two kids one day, getting into a beat-up van with two men who looked like biker types. Jennie does have a somewhat troubled past, though, with a history of drug abuse and violent tendencies. She also has epilepsy and may have been suicidal at the time of her disappearance.

Looking at all that put together, it seems unlikely that Jennie is still alive after 25 years. I’d love to hear from someone who knew her, a friend or a family member. Shoot me an email at administrator@charleyproject.org or post something in the comments section below. Even if you don’t know anything about her actual disappearance, I’d like to learn about Jennie herself and what sort of person she was.