Show Notes: Bobby Dunbar Cold Case Solved, JZ Knight Ramtha School of Enlightenment, H.H. Holmes Highlights

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Episode 32: Bobby Dunbar Solved, JZ Knight, H.H. Holmes Highlights

Click Here to Listen to Episode 32

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

Today we have a guest podcaster here for a return visit, Melina!  Jenn has a subject that was suggested by Jake.  Jenn’s new slogan, “It’s a cult. Run.” Melina is taking on H.H. Holmes highlights.  Ali looked into the disappearance of Bobby Dunbar.

Jenn brought up a case in which a man pretended to be a lost child.  DNA proved it wasn’t true. Ali was unhappy.  There are millions of DNA backlog cases for rape kits. She wanted that DNA to get in line behind the untested kits.

Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar

In the summer of 1912, in Louisiana, the Dunbar family decided to escape the summer heat by camping near Swayze lake.  Lessie and Percy Dunbar brought their two children with them, Bobby, the oldest at 4-years-old and their youngest, baby Alonzo.  Swayze lake is part of the bayou and was know to be home to alligators.

August 23, 1912, Paul Mizzi, a family friend, took a group of boys down to the lake to hunt gar fish. After they all walk back, the group realizes that Bobby is missing. Bobby’s parents begin searching for him with local help. They were able to track Bobby to Swayze lake, but they couldn’t find a body and didn’t believe that he had drown.

I’ve read that Bobby had a distinctive had on, a straw hat with a broken strap and that his hat was never found. The reason why people speculate about the hat, is because it was believed if Bobby had fallen into the water or had been drug into the water by an alligator, his hat would had been floating on top of the water. The second theory is that someone lured him into the woods away from the group.  Those people state that the hat was found a little distance from the lake about a day later.

Authorities and locals searched for the boy for eight months. It became national news. People were giving up hope as they kept meeting dead ends. Percy was offering a $1,000 reward (equal to $25,000 today) for information leading to his child.

On April 13, 1913, a man was arrested as a suspect.  William Cantwell Walters, who was from North Carolina, was a traveling tinker moving through Columbia, Mississippi. William was traveling with a boy around four or five years old. The boy had blond hair and blue eyes, like Bobby Dunbar. William was seen whipping the boy by some local women.

William tells authorities a couple stories, landing on the one that said the little boy is his nephew, Charles Bruce Anderson. The child went by the name of Bruce and he was born to William’s brother and his brother’s servant, Julia Anderson.  The child was illegitimate. William let them know that Julia had given him permission to travel with the boy. Authorities, unconvinced that he was telling the truth, placed the boy on a train and the boy went to the Dunbars.

Newspaper articles about the boy arriving at the train station to meet with Lessie and Percy. Some newspaper articles state that Lessie and Percy did not immediately recognize the child that arrived on the train. The stated that the boy who arrived didn’t recognize his little brother, Alonzo. According to some resources, that during their first meeting, the newly arrived Bobby was cold towards Lessie.

Other newspaper articles state that it was a loving reunion. That the little boy called to them and embraced them warmly. The differing accounts are said to be due to people being emotionally invested in the story, wanting it to be Bobby.

Truly, Lessie wasn’t completely sure the little boy was Bobby. During a second meeting with the child, Lessie looked for identifying marks, like a mole on the front of the child’s neck and a scar on his toe.  He didn’t answer to the name Bobby, or to any name at all. The child was standoffish.  The boy had a mole and a scar, and they warmed up to each other was she bathed him. While Lessie was giving the boy a bath, she declared the young boy was their son, Bobby.

It gets out that the Dunbar family found Bobby, and everyone was celebrating.  There was a brass band that played when they arrived home and a parade was held in their honor.

Meanwhile, back in jail, William Walters is still pleading his innocence.  At the time, kidnapping was an offense punishable by death in Louisiana. William was convicted of kidnapping by a jury of his peers. Soon after his conviction, Julia Anderson, the boy’s mother arrives in town. Julia’s information about the little boy, Bruce, matches William’s testimony. However, Julia said she gave him permission to take him on a short trip, just a couple days, not for months. With Julia’s arrival, the case is looking shaky against William. The state of Louisiana does not release William for two years but found it too expensive to retry him in court and he is let go. Bobby is still considered a Dunbar.

When shown five little boys, Julia, like the Dunbars, couldn’t immediately picking out which one was supposed to her child. However, on inspection, she picked the same child that Percy and Lessie had. Unfortunately, the press was able to bias public opinion.  They reported Julia’s initial hesitation, and in an effort to discredit her, used the fact that she was illiterate against her, that her son was illegitimate. They discerned her to be a woman of loose morals and poor judgment.

Hopeless, Julia returned home, leaving who she believed was her son with the Dunbar family. Bobby was raised by the Dunbars, but the mystery always swirled around the family.

Cut to 1999.  Margaret Dunbar Cutright, Bobby Dunbar’s granddaughter, is given a photo album by her father that contained newspaper clippings about her granddad.  It triggered her to start digging into her family’s history. She investigated the kidnapping through old news clippings at libraries, online, and even in the Library of Congress.

Margaret reached out the Anderson family.  She came into contact with Julia Anderson’s granddaughter, Linda Taver. The Anderson family lore spoke of one of their uncles being kidnapped by the Dunbars to be raised by them.  Both women set out to prove their family’s history as the true one.

There is friction between the two women as they comb through legal documents but one letter changes everything for Margaret. The letter had been written by a person who only identified themselves as “The Christian Woman” and was published in a newspaper. The letter writer believes the Dunbar family has the wrong child and questions as to why other people have not been able to view Bobby privately.  It questions why two parents couldn’t identify a child that has only been gone to them for eight months. That, mixed with the differing newspaper accounts, makes truly question her grandfather’s lineage.

Suddenly Margaret believes the Andersons might be right, the child that was identified as Bobby could really Bruce Anderson.  In 2003, Margaret’s dad, Bobby Dunbar Jr., finally relents to Margaret’s request to take a DNA test. His DNA was compared to Alonzo, Bobby’s younger brother. They did not come back a match. Bobby Dunbar Jr.’s father was not the little boy who was lost at a swamp. Oddly, the family didn’t test his DNA against the Andersons. It proved he was not Bobby Dunbar, but it didn’t prove he was Charles Bruce Anderson.

Naturally, this has caused a lot of tension in the Dunbar family, with Margaret.  Their family has to adjust to a new narrative in their history and what the definition of family is for them, nature versus nurture.

In 2008, Angelina Jolie starred in a movie called Changeling, based on the story.

JZ Knight (Judy Zebra Knight)

JZ Knight is known as a new age teacher and author.  She worked in the cable industry in Washington state. One day JZ went to a psychic who told her that in the future the enlightened one will come to her. In 1977, JZ was in her kitchen when she was first visited by Ramtha.

Ramtha was an ancient human who lived on the ancient content of Lemuria.  (Ali had an epiphany; Lemuria was part of Richard Sharpe Shavers story.  This is the story Jake commented on.) Ramtha lived 35,000 years ago. He had conquered two thirds of the known world.  During his life, he learned how to project out of his body and into someone else. (Ali and Melina guessed at astral projection, but it was more like possession.) Ramtha speaks through people.

JZ claims to channel Ramtha. She appeared on TV in the 1980’s and wrote a book called “A State of Mind”. JZ created the Ramtha school of enlightenment. Jenn pulled a lot of videos to put out for our continuing conversation.

JZ had channeling Ramtha copywritten.  No one else can channel him.  She sued another woman for channeling him for $800. She also sued people who distributed information on Ramtha.

The school JZ created has some controversy. The enlightenment school is located in Yelm, Washington on her 80-acre estate.  In 2007, her estimated income was $2.5 million dollars. Her teachings are available in 20 countries. Her school includes the use of drinking wine, smoking tobacco, and rock ‘n’ roll. JZ and her followers say the school is not a religion or a cult, it is a school. The students are working towards being an enlightened one and altering their personal reality on command.

To become enlightened, they work on meditation techniques, breathing techniques, energy healing, and blindfolded archery. They work to learn how to heal themselves and others.

One of JZ’s ex-husbands, a former body guard, and some past students refer to the school as a cult. Past students say the school practices brain washing, mind control, intimidating and fear techniques.  They called JZ a spiritual predator. She would tell students that if they left lizard people and Jehovah will come back to Earth via spaceship.

There is an online community for students who did leave.  It provides them support to cope with their new lives. In 2011, JZ was quoted as saying, “F*** God’s chosen people. I think they have earned enough cash to have paid their way out of the God d***** gas chamber by now.” Another quote attributed to JZ says Mexican people breed like rabbits and are poison.  She also has something to say about gay men, claiming they were once Catholic priests.  She also throws a jab at organic farmers, claiming that they have bad hygiene.

Just wait for the continuing conversation videos of JZ Knight.

H.H. Holmes Highlights

Melina said that Chicago newspapers, in the late 1800’s sensationalized the killings of H.H. Holmes. They put his potential murder number at 200, while Holmes originally claimed 27. He did later give a number around 120 victims.

A book by Adam Selzer wrote “H.H. Holmes, The True Story of the White City Devil” after reading a book about H.H. Holmes called “Devil in the White City”. Adam wanted there to be an H.H. Holmes story with more facts and less fiction.

H.H. Holmes had created a murder house for the Chicago World’s Fair.  He was only there for three years. They called a room a hanging room because it had rope in it, it was speculation. H.H. Holmes called the structure the Chicago World’s Fair Hotel, but the hotel portion was never opened to the public. Holmes was basically a con artist.

Holmes has a Michigan connection.  He went to University of Michigan Medical School to become a physician.  He did receive a degree even not being the best student. He became a pharmacist and also sold life insurance.

Holmes was living in Philadelphia and had swindled so many people that when he moved to Chicago, he changed his name from Herman Webster Mudgett to Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. He didn’t want to be found for his former crimes.

In Chicago, Holmes started working at a drug store. A woman owned the store after her husband died. He convinces her to sign him as the main beneficiary of her estate, swindles her money, and buys a lot across the street. He was conning other people the same way during this time.

What is called his murder house, started as two-building multi-story mixed use building.  The bottom floor was for retail, his pharmacy.  He required that his employees have life insurance with him listed as the beneficiary. The second story was to be apartment buildings. After receiving more money from investors, Holmes said he would create a third story as a hotel.

The people the worked at Holmes retail shop were comprised of female clerks. He would often have affairs with the clerks in the above apartments. He also murdered some of them for the insurance.

Holmes took the bodies and stripped them of their muscles and flesh, selling their skeletons to medical schools. He was trusted since he was a doctor.

The murder house took up an entire street block. There were sound proof rooms, secret passages, disorienting maze-like halls, hatches in the floor that had chutes directly to the basement. There was an incinerator, a kiln, acid vats and lime pits. There were rooms that had doors that only locked on the outside, and inside the room were gas jets to asphyxiate people. Holmes also had a vault in his office that he would use to suffocate someone.

Holmes also used to violently beat his first wife, Clara, when he lived with her in Pennsylvania.  He left her but didn’t sign divorce papers when he married Myrta. She was swindled out her money before he left, and again no divorce papers.  Georgiana, his third wife, didn’t know about the others.

Holmes doesn’t get caught because of the murder house.

He was caught November 17, 1894.

Holmes had a scheme with an associate named Benjamin Pitezel. They were going to try to perform insurance fraud. Holmes first tried to take insurance on himself for $20,000 but the insurance company didn’t believe them. Next, he convinces Benjamin to take out a life insurance policy for $10,000.  Holmes then kills Benjamin and lies to Benjamin’s wife, saying he was out of the country, either in England or South America.

Holmes gave Benjamin’s widow $500 of the insurance money, but Benjamin’s kids were still suspicious of him. Holmes left he widow, her oldest and her youngest child at home but took her three other children with him. He said he would take care of them.

Holmes killed two of the female children by placing them in a trunk, drilling a hole, and putting a hose attached to a gas line into the hole. The young boy was chopped up and burned.

When Benjamin was still alive, he met Mary Hedgepeth, another scam artist. She is the one that had hooked up Benjamin and Holmes with an attorney for the insurance scams. Mary is the one that turns Holmes in because she didn’t get her cut of the money.

Holmes, while in jail, starts confessing about his crimes in the murder house.  He received the death penalty for killing Ben. Serial killers like to brag. Holmes sold his story to the news for $10,000. He went to his death calmly.

Holmes wanted his coffin buried 10 feet deep and covered with cement so that  it wouldn’t be upset by grave robbers.

At the gallows, Holmes neck did not snap.  It was 15 minutes before he was declared dead. He had a slow painful death.

There are several books, tv shows, VR games, documentaries and a graphic novel about H.H. Holmes. The newest show is going to have Leonardo Dicaprio playing H.H. Holmes.

https://www.britannica.com/biography/H-H-Holmes

 http://murderpedia.org/male.H/h/holmes.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Holmes#In_popular_culture

https://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/serial-killers/hh-holmes/

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Bobby Dunbar Cold Case Solved, JZ Knight Ramtha School of Enlightenment, H.H. Holmes Highlights

Today’s topics the solved case of a missing boy, Bobby Dunbar, the enlightenment school of JZ Knight, and H.H. Holmes Highlights.  Find out more by listening to our podcast or reading the full show notes at http://www.MichiganandotherMayhem.com

Click Here to Listen to Episode 32

Continuing Conversation: Motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield, American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame

Earlier we talked about the Motorcyclist Bessie String field.  She is the only black woman in the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame. We gathered a couple videos so you can become familiar with her awesomeness.

In 2017, Timeline made a short film about her life called “Meet Bessie Stringfield, the Black Motorcycle Queen”

Bessie Stringfield is part of The Heroine Collective:  Click here to read more

 

Bessie Stringfield Iron Motorcycle Club song check it out below.

Continuing the Conversation Beth Ann Alsup-Sudz Murder

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about the murder of Beth Ann Alsup-Sudz.

Read the Oakland Press news article Waterford man arraigned for murder of wife, Beth Ann Alsup-Sudz here

It has been ordered that Thomas Sudz have a Psychiatric evaluation. Read the Oakland Press news article Psych evaluation ordered for Waterford man charged with killing his wife, Beth Ann Alsup-Sudz

 

 

Continuing the Conversation Tina Talbot kills husband

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about Tina Talbot who killed her husband in their backyard.

Read this article Waterford Woman Charged In Husband’s Murder Released From Jail by Radio.com to get more information on how Tina Talbot killed her husband.

 

Beth Ann Alsup-Sudz Murder, Tina Talbot kills husband, Bessie Stringfield Motorcycle Queen

Today’s topics are a teen being pushed from a bridge, an un-quenched sense of justice, two murders in Waterford, Michigan, and a motorcycle queen.  Find out more by listening to our podcast or reading the full show notes at http://www.MichiganandotherMayhem.com

Click Here for Episode 31

 

Continuing the Conversation: Ax Murder of Ammar Al-Yasari

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about Ammar Al-Yasari. Ingram County, MI is prosecuting the ax murder of Ammar Al-Yasari.  On trial is his wife, Bdour, and her lover, Jacob Ficher.

 

Check out Fox47 Youtube video Documents shed light on Holt murder case

Continuing the Conversation Battle Axe Throwing Novi Michigan

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about Battle Axe Throwing in Novi Michigan where Ali and Jenn tried their hand at throwing the axe!

Click Here to Check out Battle Axe in Novi Michigan

Here you can see a 360 Degree tour of the place!

Watch us here trying our hand at Axe Throwing!

 

 

Show Notes: Tyree Smith, Victor Licata – Ax Murderers, Hatchet death of Al-Yasari

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 30: Tyree Smith, Victor Licata Ax Murderers, Hatchet death of Al-Yasari

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

Today we are talking about ax murderers and throwing axes.

BATL in Novi

BATL is short of Backyard Axe Throwing League. The one we went to is located in Novi, MI. Jenn would like to now join a league because we had fun. Both Ali and Jenn had moments of ax throwing brilliance and ax throwing failures. They had no coffee but they did have alcohol. You can order food to be delivered to the building.

Anyone can throw an ax.  The hard part comes in making it stick to the target. Mike (Ali’s husband and Jenn’s brother) and Jenn caught on right away.  Ali was slower to catch on but more consistent at the end.

You need to call in advance if you want time on the weekends, but we found out that we couldn’t call too far in advance.  (We think) It is about $40 an hour for a private axe throwing lesson (highly recommended by this podcast) and about $20 an hour for a lane once you’re ready on your own. Ali and Jenn are willing to go again and get private lessons. They have eight-week leagues if you are looking for a challenge.

Jenn is now willing to set up ax throwing in her backyard.

https://batlgrounds.com/axe-throwing-novi/

Only non-ax-related issue

In October 2018, two students at DaVinci Charter Academy in California brought sugar cookies to school.  They shared the cookies with around nine other children. They had a secret ingredient.  (Ali guessed it was weed.) One of the kids had put their grandfather’s ashes into the cookies. Unknown as to why. The students were cooperating with the police. The kids that ate the cookies said they tasted sandy. Police can’t figure out what law they broke.

Jenn’s Ax Murders

Jenn had found 34 ax murders online. She was surprised on how popular it was to kill someone with an ax.

In Connecticut, in  2012, Tyree Smith murdered a homeless man with a hatchet. He then ate parts of his body. Ali guesses mental illness and… he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Tyree received a sentence of 60 years in a mental hospital.

Victor Licata killed his father, mother, two brothers, and his sister with an ax in 1933 in Tampa, Florida. Jenn couldn’t find information on how the murdered occurred.  Victor was also found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental hospital.  In 1950, Victor committed suicide.

Hatchet Death of Al-Yasari

On February 4, 2019, Ammar Al-Yasari was found dead in his home in mid-Michigan. He was 35-years-old. It was his wife, Bdour Al-Yasari, who was 28 years old at the time, that dialed 911. When police arrived at the Al-Yasari home, Bdour was screaming “help me, help me” to the police.  She told them that her husband was inside and needed their help. Bdour told the police she wasn’t sure if her husband was breathing. When police officers entered the home, they found Ammar lying in a pool of blood. To the officers, he was obviously deceased.

When medical examiners searched his body, they found 24 individual chop wounds caused by an ax on his head, face, and neck. The injuries were so harsh that the roof of his mouth was broken off from the rest of his skull. His skull itself was in pieces, kept together by his soft tissues.

Bdour told the Ingram County Sheriff’s Office that she was having an affair in her first interview but would not tell who her lover was. Bdour and her lover had been seeing each other since the summer of 2018 and broke up once in November before restarting their relationship. Bdour had told her lover that she was going to get a divorce.

When Bdour wouldn’t name her lover, her phone was then confiscated, and detectives discovered calls from 27-year-old Jacob Ficher. The police officer also received multiple calls from other resources who confirmed the affair between Bdour and Jacob. The detectives found a text message from Bdour to Jacob that read “I love you, Jacob Ficher”. Jacob had also sent texts to Bdour that said things like, “This mother f—er needs to die”.

On February 6th, two days after the murder was committed, Jacob Ficher went out to eat at Rocky’s Roadhouse in Holt, MI with his roommate, Levi Thomason. Witnesses in the restaurant overheard Jacob telling Levi that he had committed a homicide and that he was the devil. Levi later testified that he had thought Bdour was single as Jacob had purchased a wedding ring and they wrote notes to each other about being together forever.

The police were able to use Jacob’s bus card as evidence.  He rode the Number 8 bus from his home to the Al-Yasari home on the day of the murder. He also no-call/no-showed at work during the time of the attack. In a search of Jacob’s apartment, police found packaging for an ax, whose size and shape matched Ammar’s wounds. There was also surveillance tape of Jacob purchasing an ax at a Kroger, several days before the attack on Ammar. Levi also later admitted that he had overheard Bdour and Jacob talk about killing Ammar.

Jacob Ficher had been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder less than a week after Ammar’s murder. A few days later, Bdour Al-Yasari was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Bdour waived her right to a preliminary hearing, but Jacob is pushing forward. Both were due back in court April 4, 2019  but I wasn’t able to find an update.

Ali was confused when different articles about Ammar Al-Yasari’s death referred to the ax as a ‘camp ax’.  There is no such thing.  Yes, there are axes. Yes, you can take them camping.  No, there are not any axes that are specific to campers.

Axe Facts:

  • The axe is one of the oldest tools used by humans. The oldest ones are called hand axes and do not have handles.
  • Modern axes are made of two parts. There is the axe head, the metal part that does the actual chopping, and the axe haft, also called the shaft or the handle.
  • Felling axes cut across the grain, like when you chop down a tree.
  • Splitting axes cut with the grain, like when you are chopping cords of wood.

Viking Axe Museum in Denmak: https://en.natmus.dk/historical-knowledge/denmark/prehistoric-period-until-1050-ad/the-viking-age/weapons/axes/

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Continuing the Conversation Student Made Cookies with Her Grandparent’s Ashes

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about a student who made cookies with her Grandparent’s ashes and passed them out at her school DaVinci Charter Academy in California.

Here is an article from Fox40 News: Outraged Parents Say Davis Student Shared Cookies Made with Her Grandparent’s ashes.

How bad for your health to eat cremated ashes? LiveScience.com talks about this in their article: There’s No Medical Reason Not to Bake Your Grandpa’s Ashes into a Sugar Cookie and Eat It.

Check out RomeageddonTV Youtube video where Jim Rome’s talks about the sugar cookies made from grandpa’s ashes.

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