Unidentified White Male Amnesia Victim
The Amnesia victim was discovered on August 31, 2004 in Richmond Hill, Georgia
Estimated age: 50-60's
Approximate Height and Weight: 5'11"; 240 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Graying hair with receding hairline. Blue-green eyes. Above-average intelligence. Well-spoken. Professional demeanor.
Marks, Scars: Two parallel surgical scars on left elbow (from reparative surgery for broken elbow that may involve pins/plates implantation). Surgical scar on front of neck appears to be from cervical discectomy. Small round scar on left side of face near chin appears to be a puncture-type wound but believes it may be related to former tooth abscess. No tattoos. No body piercings.
Medical: Blinding cataracts in both eyes may have resulted from prolonged exposure to sun while unconscious prior to being found and brought to hospital.
Fingerprints: On file with the FBI in Savannah, Georgia.
Dentals: Three teeth missing from upper front and one tooth missing from upper right side of mouth. Not known whether dental problems occurred after or as result of mugging in August of 2004.
The victim was located naked, beaten and covered in fire ant bites beside a dumpster behind a Burger King in Richmond Hill, GA on August 31, 2004. No identification was recovered from his person. To date, he has been unable to remember his name and where he comes from. The Burger King where he was found is located on Highway 17 directly across from U.S. Interstate 95 (exit 87). May have been traveling on I-95 or in Georgia on business. Skill sets seem to be intact with loss of factual data. Cannot remember his name, where he comes from, or other pertinent factual data. Believes he may come from Indiana or Colorado. In exceptionally good health, has no chronic illnesses and requires no medications for the maintenance of good health. Has regional accent. He is willing to undergo hypnosis, submit DNA, undergo x-rays for dental or other purposes. He has since adopted the pseudonym "Benjaman Kyle" until he can learn his true name and identity.
If you have any information about this case please contact:
FBI - Savannah, GA
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Psychic Seek Whereabouts Of Missing Ohio Med Student
I was sitting at a missing person's conference this spring when I got an e-mail from a TV producer with Psychic Kid. He was looking for the family of a missing person in Ohio -- and starting to get a bit discouraged. The thing was, he was working on a segment for a paranormal show. It's easy to refer someone to any exposure possible...but this time it was a psychic event -- and I wanted to take care of who I referred. My answer smiled at me from across the table at the conference. Debra Culberson, an Ohio resident and mother of Carrie Culberson who vanished in August of 1996. I knew Debra to be an incredibly strong person and victim's advocate. I knew she would be able to handle this request.
Passing Debra the contact info...at the very least I knew it was exposure. It sounded very tasteful in approach and I didn't have to worry about Debra...she's tougher than nails.
Debra later spoke to producer and though they did not use Carrie's case, she did point them to a mutual friend. I smiled when she told me that she had sent them to Randy Shaffer, father of missing Brian Shaffer. I myself had interviewed Randy for an episode of my online radio show -- Missing Pieces.
Like me, he also works a "day job" outside the realm of the missing. But the rest of his time is spent in relentless search for his 27 year old son - last seen at the Ugly Tuna Saloona in Columbus, Ohio on the night of Friday, March 31st 2006.
Brian Shaffer, a 2nd year medical student at Ohio State University went out to have a few drinks with friends. The last time Brian is seen was captured on surveillance cameras. He was outside the Ugly Tuna with two ladies near the escalator. He bid them goodbye and appears to return to the bar. He walks off camera and seems to have completely vanished - and was not seen ever leaving the bar.
As a parent Randy is on his own in the search for Brian as his wife, Renee, passed away just 25 days prior to the disappearance of their son. Incredibly, he seems to manage it all so well. I have to wonder if the strength comes from not only the parental need to find his son, but also the need to escape all of the pain piled on him at once.
Randy told me that he had previously worked with psychics in an attempt to find some direction to turn. Some of psychics said that his son Brian is alive, others say he isn't alive. It doesn't take a psychic to know it is one way or the other.
It can be tough consulting with psychics. I truly believe that some people do indeed have a gift, but I also know that there are those that are frauds set to take advantage of the desperate. Nothing told me this show was the latter, and Randy was willing to give it a try.
I already knew of the shows host, Chip Coffey, through a mutual friend, Patti Starr. Patti is a Kentucky based Paranormal Researcher. That connection gave me quite a bit of comfort.
I did get to see the program featuring Brian's case this week and was pleased to see the exposure. I could also see that it was difficult for Randy and he was emotional at times. The psychics did their best to unravel the mystery of Brain Shaffer's disappearance, but at the end of the program - the case remains unsolved.
I hope that maybe they can try again one day.
Brian Shaffer's Vitals:
- DOB: 02-11-1979 (27 y/o at time of disappearance)
- Body Art: Pearl Jam Symbol Tattooed on upper right arm
Someone somewhere knows more about what happened to Brian. A reward of up to $25,000 is currently being offered for information leading to the whereabouts of Brian R. Shaffer.
If you, or someone you know, have any information that could be helpful in our search for Brian, please call toll free at 1-877-645-TIPS (8477)
Anyone who is familiar with the name Todd Matthews knows this is a man who needs more than 24 hours in a day. Todd Matthews is the man who found out the identity of The Tent Girl, he is a huge part of the Doe Network and he also runs a radio show every tuesday called Missing Pieces.
This is one of the best sites out there.
Trial of the Century?
Pig Farm Killings Will Shock the World
The Green River Killer case in Seattle will pale in
comparison...once the facts come out in this case.
- Wayne Leng / www.MissingPeople.net
Federal Mandate v/s Moral Obligation
By: Todd Matthews
Missing & Unidentified Persons Submission into FBI-NCIC
My usual report, there are over 100,000 missing and over 6,000 unidentified bodies in the NCIC (National Crime Information Center)
Severely underused, the FBI - NCIC is thought to only have only 10 - 50% of the actual numbers of the missing and unidentified.
So many cases are NOT yet entered into the NCIC...if it were fully utilized to it's potential...imagine the results? Would it overwhelm the system? Would it make a difference? Would it spark improvement in the system? Would it prove a point? Would anyone care?
California has mandated the use of the FBI-NCIC databases for missing and unidentified persons. So the numbers generated by that state are of the highest percentage. That's good for the cases that fall within the state itself. But no matter how much is entered into the system by California, if the missing link is outside their state, and not in the system, it won't work. Only a true central system will be effective.
Another attempt by the federal government offers new hope.
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons Initiative, NamUs, was launched in July 2007. NamUs is the first national online repository for missing persons and unidentified dead cases.
I have had the honor to consult with officials on this project. I feel a great deal of promise for the future. To see the issues at long last recognized by the national government is a long time dream.
There were times I felt this day might never come. This day will not be tomorrow however. Though was launched in July of 2007, it will be phased in over the next two years.
When fully operational (2009), NamUs will provide a powerful tool for families, law enforcement agencies, medical examiners and coroners, victim advocates, and the general public. It will allow searches for matches between missing persons and unidentified human remains records. For more information on NamUs, check the web-site for updates. www.NamUs.gov
For this full featured article:
LIVINGSTON, Tenn.- More than 100 agencies have contacted Metro police about suspected serial killer Bruce Mendenhall.
The 56-year-old truck driver is charged with one homicide and a suspect in at least five others. A lot of people are looking at him in other cases including a group of volunteers who are not police detectives. One of the volunteers lives in Overton County. He and others help police on the Internet, looking at other unsolved homicides. But these cases are different. The victims are Jane and John Does. For Todd Mathews holding an unidentified skull is nothing new. In fact, he's been helping families and police try to identify Jane and John Does for nearly ten years. "It came from a need," Mathews said. He got involved nearly a dozen years ago when he started using the Internet to research the identity of human remains discovered by his father-in-law in Kentucky "Tent Girl". "I was just opened up to this whole world," Mathews said. "I had no idea that there were so many other Jane Does or John Does." The research and contacts with others created what is called the Doe Network. "There were state Web sites, local Web sites with missing persons, but nothing really central," Mathews said. It's a public website listing thousands of missing and unidentified persons throughout North America, Australia and Europe. "We have 21 unidentified bodies listed for Tennessee," Mathews said. Mathews has found a couple of Jane Doe cases in East Tennessee and Kentucky that are similar to the murders allegedly committed by Bruce Mendenhall. Police said Mendenhall has implicated himself in the killings of six prostitutes, but there could be others. There's a case in Campbell County. "She was stabbed and dumped along I-75 and she was thought to be have been a prostitute," Mathews said. The Doe Network shares information with police all over the world. For Mathews, it all started with the bones discovered by his father-in-law. It took awhile but he found the victim's name. "Ten years, it took a decade to identify her," Mathews said.
Clews The Historic True Crime Blog
CLEWS is a weblog devoted to the discovery and
dissemination of the fascinating stories to be found where
murder, history, and journalism overlap.
Click here for transcript of Interview
An off the air interview with
Patty Beeken, President of 4 the kids.
(Previous guest on Missing Pieces Episode 1, September 05, 2006)
A look in to Stockholm Syndrome.
Author of "Snow Bodies"
I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Hudson
on my Radio show "Missing Pieces" in
Elizabeth was also kind enough to write the below commentary explaining
why women who work the streets carry little or no identification.
"The Sex Trade and Identity Loss"
-By: Todd Matthews
Published April 04, 2007
Near the Tent Girl is the grave
where another unidentified body rests.
In it, during the spring of 1921, was buried the body of a young man found dead outside Georgetown, Kentucky.
Townspeople joined to buy a grave marker which reads
- Some Mother's Son -
His body was found on April 1st, 1921 and was buried on April 14th, 1921.
More than 80 years have passed since this boy was found. The most likely clues to his identity lie with the science of genealogy.
I have visited his grave now for almost 20 years. His stone so covered with moss that a clear image of the epitaph is impossible. I recently took and image of the grave, printed it out and touched up the lettering with a lead pencil so that it can be read.
Like the Tent Girl, my main reference to him was the 1969 issue of Master Detective. The article led me right to his final resting place, the only evidence that he ever existed.
His stone so covered with moss that a clear image of the epitaph is impossible. I recently took an image of the grave, printed it out and touched up the lettering with a lead pencil so that it can be read.
~Some Mother's Boy~
Townspeople joined to
Buy a grave marker
BBC Presents - Internet Sleuths
Tuesday 24 April, 11.00-11.30am BBC RADIO 4
....More than a thousand miles away in Tennessee, Todd Matthews searches the Internet for links between missing people and unidentified bodies. He is just one of a network of amateur sleuths trying to help the authorities solve these Cold Cases - not only across the States but elsewhere in the world. Todd regards himself as an advocate not only for all those unidentified victims but also for the 100,000 children and adults listed as missing in the States.
The catalyst for this was discovering his future father-in-law had found the body of a murdered girl in 1968. After hearing she had never been identified, Todd became obsessed with succeeding where the authorities had failed. He visited libraries and checked newspaper reports across the States, but it wasn't until he started using the Internet in the Nineties that he struck lucky. The victim's sister, in an attempt to find her missing relative, listed her description on a missing persons website and Todd made the match.
Internet Sleuths documents the work of a growing band of amateur detectives that crosses countries and continents in the virtual world of website leads and information.
Internet Sleuths examines the growing use of the worldwide web by amateur detectives seeking to crack unsolved missing person and murder cases.
Todd Matthews, internet sleuth from Tennessee, USA,
used the internet to find the identity of
and went on to inspire others to assist in other unsolved cases.
Network Helps Identify Unnamed Victims
for Women in Crime Ink:
Every Day You Wait ... Is One Day Longer
If you have a missing loved one, not knowing what you can do about it is a huge challenge. Dealing with the situation on the usual day-to-day basis is overwhelming in itself. But not knowing what you can do to make sure all paths are being followed is another issue.
One thing you can do is to make sure your missing persons data is being properly reviewed.
The Historic True Crime Blog:
True Crime Genre Notes
And on the Radio The same fellow, Todd Matthews, is also pioneering a radio program called Missing Pieces. The show is on Tuesdays at 8 pm Eastern, ...
Search for missing brother in cyberspace
by KENNETH FRY, Press Argus-Courier Editor
Friday, October 20, 2006 12:45 PM CDT
Laura Hood continues to take the search for her missing brother to the Internet.
Anthony Ross Allen of Fort Smith, then 16, went missing on Oct. 1, 1978. He had been staying with friends in Cedarville before he went missing after traveling to Hartshorne, Okla., a small town near McAlester.
Hood appeared on the Internet radio program called
on Oct. 10. For those who missed the show...
"Who knows, maybe it will generate a lead," Hood said. "Our fingers are crossed."
Web searches spin threads of hope
Do-it-yourselfers use Internet to discover missing persons
by Ed Koch - Las Vegas Sun
November 14, 2006 at 7:36:11 PST
When her husband failed to come home in mid-October from a security job he said he had lined up in Florida, Tara Mulleneaux filed a missing persons report with Metro Police. But she knew she had to do more.
Mulleneaux, a 32-year-old mother of four - none older than 3 1/2 years - began surfing the Internet seeking his whereabouts.
She discovered a number of Web sites that help people find missing persons - dead or alive - and found her 38-year-old husband Michael's profile on three Web sites.
Mulleneaux's comments reflect those of tens of thousands of others in her situation, said national missing persons expert Todd Matthews, who represents the Web site www.TheLostAndTheFound.com, a nonprofit global resource group for locating missing, murdered or unidentified people.
"At one time, the Internet was thought of as this dark, evil place, but in the last eight years, its resources for finding missing people have tripled or quadrupled
each year," he said. "More and more people are turning to the Internet to
share a wealth of information for locating people."
One of Matthews' other Web sites
lists hundreds of nationwide links to missing persons
organizations that have sprung up in recent years.
The Tennessee-based Matthews recommends www.DoeNetwork.us as a good start for people looking for missing persons because of its strong ties to police agencies and the National Center for Missing Adults. Matthews said another good site is www.OutpostForHope.org. whose founder located a loved one after a five-year search.
Five years, still no arrests in double Lincoln homicide
by STEPHANIE SCHELL, The Advocate-Messenger, Danville, KY
Thursday, February 01, 2007
HUBBLE - Four days before the anniversary of his son's murder, Rick Shangraw received a text message from his cellular phone company. It was a password for Internet billings that Shangraw was told he could not set himself. He was told the phone company would set it, then text it to him. The new password read "RYAN25."
Shangraw's son, Ryan Keith Shangraw, 20, and his friend, Harold "Bo" Upton III, 18, were gunned down five years ago today in Ryan's trailer in Hubble. The case remains unsolved.
Ryan would have turned 25 this year, making the text message that Shangraw received even more peculiar.
"It gave me chill bumps from head to toe," he said. "I don't know if it's a sign."
He believes it could be a message letting him know Ryan's OK. Or, he said, possibly a message from Ryan saying "'Dad, look, I would have been 25 this year.'"
One of Ryan's sisters, 20-year-old Jennifer Shangraw, said "It tripped me out," and she believes a sign like that has to mean something.
"It's something to remind us that Ryan's still with us," she said. "We all miss him terribly."
Smith was recently featured on a radio talk show designed to raise public awareness and encourage communication in cases that are unsolved or involve missing or unidentified victims.
Her segment still can be heard at
She wants to reach as many people as possible in hopes they will come forward with tips - big or small.
ColdCases member - and advisor to many amateur sleuths - Sam Pokey Gipson. Sam is retired
from long time role as Senior Detective
Many thanks to Sam for continuing to share his experience and knowledge beyond his official retirement.