For the amateur sleuth, few things are more compelling than examining unsolved murders. You get the chance to test out your detective skills and comprise various scenarios before finally coming to a conclusion. Most people know about Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, and the murder of the Black Dahlia as many pages have been written about these cases. However, countless lesser known murders have yet to be solved, and in this article, I will cover 5 gripping mysteries.
1 – The Jamison Family Disappearance (2009)
Bobby Dale and Sherilyn Leighann Jamison disappeared on October 8, 2009, along with their 6-year-old daughter Madyson. Various theories ranging from violent cults to group suicide circulated until their bodies were finally found near Red Oak, Oklahoma on November 15-16, 2013. The remains were severely decomposed, so coroners were unable to ascertain a cause of death. The medical officer confirmed that the bodies belonged to the Jamison family on July 3, 2014.
The Jamisons lived in Eufaula, Oklahoma but wanted to purchase a plot of land 30 miles away near Red Oak. The 40-acre plot is located near the picturesque Sans Bois Mountains, and the idea was to relocate to a remote location far away from civilization. The family traveled to Red Oak to finalize the deal on October 8, 2009, but never returned. When no one heard from the family after eight days, relatives contacted the police, and a large search party combed the area.
They found the Jamison’s truck abandoned but locked at the side of a road. The family’s dog was inside and almost dead from starvation. Oddly enough, the vehicle also contained $32,000 in cash, cell phones, IDs and wallets, so robbery wasn’t the motive. The Latimer County Sheriff launched a huge search for the family but found nothing over the next eight months. In November 2013, hunters found the remains of two adults and a child lying side by side, face down on the ground almost 3 miles from the site of their abandoned truck.
Various theories about their deaths surfaced. For instance, there were suspicions that the Jamiso’s became drug addicts as they were unusually haggard and emaciated looking in the weeks leading to their deaths. Perhaps they died in a drug deal gone wrong? However, there was no trace of drug use in the truck, and surely a drug dealer would have stolen their cash? Another wild theory suggests the family was murdered by a violent cult.
A slightly more plausible theory relates to Bobby Dale’s bad relationship with his father, Bob. The son sued the father over profits from a gas station, and Bob allegedly had ties to the Mafia. Maybe he killed his son? The Jamisons supposedly had a tempestuous relationship; police found a nasty 11-page letter from Sherilyn to Bobby Dale in the truck, and her pistol was missing. This points to a potential murder-suicide.
Several oddities surround this case. First of all, how did over 100 searchers fail to find the bodies when they were less than 3 miles away? A murder-suicide is possible, but police surely would have found the gun near the bodies. The three bodies were found face down, side-by-side which would suggest an execution-style killing. This seems the most likely scenario, but the decomposed nature of the remains means the medical examiner couldn’t confirm any bullet wounds in the skulls of the victims. The murder of the Jamison family is officially a cold case and one unlikely to ever be solved.