Since everyone is talking about Robert Durst…

Since everyone is talking about Robert Durst, I thought I’d throw my two cents into the mix. I’ve been following the Durst case for years. I even wrote about his missing wife, Kathie, and the decades that followed in which his family and friends began to suspect that he had something to do with her 1982 disappearance. You can read about Kathie and Robert’s case, along with the cases of twenty-nine other missing women, in my book, Missing Wives, Missing Lives. When Robert’s longtime companion, Susan Berman, was shot execution style in her Los Angeles home in 2000, and then his Galveston, Texas neighbor turned up dismembered in 2001, the coincidences became too large to ignore. I think it’s clear to most people who have followed the case for decades that Mr. Durst has been a murderer walking free for years. If it wasn’t, the HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” has made it abundantly clear.
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Cold Case: Where is Angela “Cherice” Gwinn Stephens?

Photo of Angela Cherice Gwinn Stephens

cherice

Twenty-three-year-old Angela “Cherice” Gwinn Stephens has been missing since October 1, 1993. Today, nearly twenty-one years after she was last seen, Raleigh County Commissioners in West Virginia signed a petition declaring her legally dead. Her husband, Norman E. Stephens II, claims that Cherice dropped him off at work that Friday, and never returned to pick him up at the end of his shift. Instead of reporting her missing, Norman waited twenty-seven days and then filed for divorce. Cherice’s family reported her missing eleven months after she was last seen. Norman reportedly told the police that his wife had called him from out of town, letting him know she was not coming back. He hired a lawyer and refused to take a lie detector test.
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Cold Case: Missing since 1977, Mary Stuart and her two young daughters have never been found

Where are they?

Photo of Mary Elizabeth Stuart Photo of Jessie Stuart Image of Fannie Stewart
Mary Elizabeth (Danckert) Stuart was born on April 25, 1945. She was married to Byron McCray Stuart, who reportedly was quick to anger and not afraid to resort to violence. Mary left her home in Honeydew, California around 10:00 in the morning on Saturday, December 10, 1977. She and her two young daughters, two-year-old Jessie Flo and one-year-old Fannie Fawn, left in the family’s red Opel station wagon to run some errands. They planned to visit a television repair shop in a neighboring town, the optometrist, and a grocery store. The trio never returned home that evening.
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Remains found in Minnesota ID’d as missing woman Carrie Olson

Photo of Carrie OlsonTwenty-nine-year-old Carrie Olson went missing from Rock Island, Iowa on December 28, 2013. Now, more than three months later, remains found over 300 miles away in Hastings, Minnesota have been identified as hers. A property owner stumbled across the remains on his land in an isolated, wooded area on April 5. Investigators are working on determining how long the body has been in the area, as well as the time and manner of death.
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Skeletal remains found in 1997 identified as missing Phoenix mother Susan Cook

Photo of Susan Denise CookThis is an odd story. Susan Cook went missing from Phoenix, Arizona on December 14, 1996. I can’t find very much information on the case, but what we do know is that she was last seen by her husband in her apartment at 8130 W. Indian School Road. Female skeletal remains were found approximately six months after Susan’s disappearance in the area of 87th Ave and West Dobbins Road. Despite the fact the remains were discovered in an area less than eleven miles away from her apartment, they weren’t tested against Susan’s DNA until recently. In January 2014, the tests confirmed that the remains are Susan’s. At the time of her disappearance, Susan was thirty-two years old and married with two children. Police have confirmed they are treating Susan’s death as a homicide.
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Police digging in backyard of missing mom Patty Vaughan’s husband

Image of Patty VaughanI haven’t written the chapter on Patty Vaughan in my book, Missing Wives, Missing Lives, just yet, but her case is one of the next on my list to write about. Turns out the police have been digging at her husband’s former property in Texas this week in search of the missing mother of three. I’m so glad to see some action taking place on some of these cold cases!
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Karla Villagra-Garzon’s body found; husband charged with murder

Photo of Karla Villagra-GarzonIn a sad update to the case of missing NJ mom Karla Villagra-Garzon, Elizabeth Police have announced that they have discovered her remains in a Chatham Township residence that has been vacant since Superstorm Sandy. Reported missing on February 24 by her husband, there have been few details available about an ongoing search. Originally investigators said that Karla’s husband, Abayuba Rivas, was cooperating with the investigation, but word comes tonight that he has been arrested for first-degree murder. Bail has been set at 2 million dollars.