In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Brian Neil Hooks, who was addressed by his middle name, a 21-year-old gay man who disappeared from Florence, South Carolina on September 24, 1988.
Domestic violence may be behind Hooks’s disappearance; he told people he was afraid of his live-in boyfriend. When Hooks disappeared, the boyfriend said he had “run off.” Foul play is suspected.
In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Martha Ann Dicks, aka Clyde, who disappeared from Sumter, South Carolina on March 29, 1972.
Said to be a lesbian who sometimes dated men, I wonder if Martha wasn’t actually transgender. She had a man’s name for her nickname and she liked to wear men’s clothes.
Martha/Clyde is thought to have been a victim of the serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins. She was 19 and possibly pregnant at the time of her disappearance.
So I re-posted all the Corpus Delicti lists last night and today (it’s been forever I know) and I took the chance to go through Not Concluded/Unknown Outcomes again to find out some of those outcomes.
The result is fifteen updated cases.
- Cynthia Linda Alonzo: Eric Mora pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, got eleven years.
- Abigail Estrada: Ruben Torres pleaded guilty to murder, got eighteen years but could be out in ten.
- Cari Lea Farver: Shanna Golyer was found guilty, got life without parole plus 18 to 20 years for an unrelated arson.
- Jarrod Devlin Green: Brandon Wheeler’s charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
- Alice Kristina Wehr Hummel: Bruce Hummel was tried and convicted of the murder a second time, but an appeals court overturned his second conviction and he cannot be retried.
- Charles Edward “Mississippi” Johnson: David Lint pleaded no contest to criminal homicide, got seven to fifteen years.
- Zachary Matthew Malinowski: No conclusion yet, but suspect Javon Gibbs (allegedly) murdered someone else while out on bail in Malinowski’s murder.
- Bernadine M. Montgomery: Tracie Naffziger pleaded no contest to being an accessory second-degree murder after the fact. She will testify against David Mariotti, whose trial is supposed to be early next month.
- Sara Jo Mowrey: After alleged misconduct by the prosecution, Michael Baker pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and being an accessory after the fact to murder, and got three years instead of the life sentence he’d have gotten if convicted of the original charges.
- Catherine E. Nelson and Charles Martin Russell: Brian Ferry’s trial was early this year. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict and there was a mistrial.
- Heath Riley Reams: Amanda Sanders-Bolstad pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got 25 years, with 20 suspended, but the prosecution is trying to get her suspended sentence revoked because she moved without telling the police.
- Bret R. Snow: More details have been released about the crime and two additional suspects have been charged. Alvaro Guajardo is charged with murder, and Cheryl Sutton with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and leading organized crime.
- Aaron Lamar Turner: One suspect, Bryan Byrd pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and got 20 to 40 years. (Also found an article about how Bryan was an academic star in high school and seen as a really great kid who had risen above his poverty and single-parent childhood, then he ruined his life in one weekend.) The second suspect, LaQuanta Chapman, was convicted and sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned four years later and he got life instead. A third suspect has been identified, but has never faced charges. I think it’s because Chapman isn’t saying boo and they only have Byrd’s testimony to put the man at the scene. Also, not-very-fun fact: Chapman shot one of his dogs dead and dismembered the body in his attempt to cover up Aaron’s murder.
- Rebecca Ann Ware: Timothy Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got nineteen years, with credit for three years’ time served.
In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Brandon Rodrigues Graves, who disappeared after a night on the town in Sumter, South Carolina on January 30, 2010.
Brandon, 24, seems to have had it together: he had gotten a college degree, he’d never been in trouble with the law, and he didn’t use drugs or associate with drug dealers.
The night of his disappearance, however, he got so drunk that he got thrown out of a nightclub and subsequently left unintelligible voice mails on two people’s phones, probably wanting a ride. Whether he found one, no one seems to know, but those two messages were the last time anyone heard from him.
As recently as last January, on the seven-year anniversary of Brandon’s disappearance, his family appealed for information and had a balloon release for him. They’ve founded a college scholarship in his memory as well.
In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Herman J. Caldwell Jr. (And yes, the clothing description is correct.) Caldwell was 32 years old when he disappeared from Columbia, South Carolina on March 3, 1982.
The cops believe he was murdered and Leroy Nolan is a suspect in his case. Nolan and some other people had robbed and beaten Caldwell in 1978, and Nolan served some time in prison as a result. After his release in 1982 he started threatening Caldwell.
Then Caldwell disappeared, and on the same day Nolan and two other guys kidnapped and killed a woman and her two-year-old son. They weren’t charged until 2004, though, and Nolan died in 2010 without ever being charged in Caldwell’s case.
This week’s featured missing person is Kevin Lamont McClam, who disappeared from Goose Creek, South Carolina on March 30, 1997, just days before his fifteenth birthday.
The circumstances of his disappearance are a bit strange to say the least. His clothes were found scattered along the road near a construction site, and a witness reported seeing him walking nearby, wearing only sneakers and boxers, “alone and not under duress.”
As in the Wojciech Fudali case, I just don’t understand this. If I saw a man or a teenage boy walking down the street almost naked, I think I’d call the police or at least ask him if he was okay. But I haven’t found any evidence that the witness actually interacted with Kevin.
There are two suspects in Kevin’s disappearance, both of whom would have been in their teens at the time. The police are pretty sure Kevin was murdered, but no one has ever been charged in his case.
Preston Winfrey, my new web guru, was given the honor of selecting my Sunday case this week, and he chose Brittanee Marie Drexel. Her case has been relatively high profile and bears similarities to Natalee Holloway’s: a beautiful high school student with everything going for her goes off to a resort town and is never seen again. She was seventeen and a junior when she disappeared from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 25, 2009. She was from New York and had gone to Myrtle Beach (without parental permission) for spring break.
In 2016, investigators announced they thought they knew what happened to her. The theory is that she was abducted, held against her will and gang-raped for several days. Her abductors planned to sell her into prostitution, but because her disappearance received such widespread publicity, they decided to kill her instead.
This theory is short on evidence, though, and although suspects have been named in the alleged kidnapping, rape and murder, no one has been charged and Brittanee has never been found.