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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    i wonder if Carlene's disappearance is any way related to any of the other shopping center abductions that took place in the 70s. it's so sad and disturbing that a human being can go missing and never be found. where are all these missing people?
    "Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another." Jesus

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanny2five View Post
    i wonder if Carlene's disappearance is any way related to any of the other shopping center abductions that took place in the 70s. it's so sad and disturbing that a human being can go missing and never be found. where are all these missing people?

    You are right: a lot of people seem to have disappeared from shopping malls. I went on Doe Network one day and just did a search for "mall" and was surprised how many there were.

    Carlene's disappearance is one of my pet cases, maybe my top pet case that I would like to see solved. There is practically NO info about her online other than pretty much just the links I posted when I started the thread. I really believe if she hadn't been treated as a runaway by the police, this could have been solved at the time. Her sister said in one of the articles that their dad had to beg the police to fingerprint the car.

    Carlene was apparently taken in broad daylight from the mall parking lot that afternoon, and evidently was taken away in her own car because it wasn't at the mall when her family started looking for her but turned up later that night in front of the Krispy Kreme at the mall. Somebody either carjacked her by using a weapon or some sort of force and made her drive them someplace where most likely she was assaulted and murdered, or else somebody she knew made a pretense of needing her to drop them off someplace while intending to assault and kill her. Whoever it was had the nerve to drive the car back to the mall and park it later that night, even though they had to have known her family would be looking for her by that time. He (I'm assuming it was a he) could easily have been spotted while driving or parking the car. (The details about the car remind me of Mary Shotwell Little's case, who was abducted from an Atlanta, GA mall, although I firmly believe Mary's case was a kidnapping and murder for hire.)

    I would love to see a cold case unit take another look at this. Maybe, after all these years, somebody would be willing to talk. It may not be too late to prosecute whoever did this, assuming he is still alive. If this was a stranger abduction then I'm wondering how likely it is that he only did this one time. Carlene's abductor may very well be the same person who abducted other young women during the time period.

  4. #4
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    Bumping for Carlene. It will be 40 years this summer.

  5. #5
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    I wonder if the boyfriend was ever questioned? I wonder if she met some kids at the mall who convinced her to go for a ride and things got out of hand. Since a body has never turned up I would say that who ever abducted or possibly killed her did not want her body to ever be found. Most random serial killers aren't as concerned with hiding a body. Many don't even bother to bury their victims. My guess is that she knew the person. This case is heartbreaking.

  6. #6
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    Is it true people heard her screaming? Odd how abductions from malls seem to have been more common in the 70s and 80s than now. Were there a lot of malls back then? Also, were there any construction sights or anything near the mall?

  7. #7
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    Bumping for Carlene. It will be 40 years in June that she's been missing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flightlevel View Post
    I wonder if the boyfriend was ever questioned? I wonder if she met some kids at the mall who convinced her to go for a ride and things got out of hand. Since a body has never turned up I would say that who ever abducted or possibly killed her did not want her body to ever be found. Most random serial killers aren't as concerned with hiding a body. Many don't even bother to bury their victims. My guess is that she knew the person. This case is heartbreaking.
    I too have wondered if it was somebody who knew her, someone who she would not have been afraid of if they asked her to drop them off on her way to pick up her sister. My understanding was that her boyfriend was working that day but have never seen any mention of who he was, whether he was questioned, or whether LE verified he was at work during the time Carlene disappeared. She also may have had a stalker who she may not have been aware was obsessed with her, such as a male from school or her neighborhood that secretly watched her. Maybe he saw her at the mall alone and seized his opportunity. Or even a very jealous female may have wanted to do away with Carlene.

    I've always wondered if any friend or acquaintance of Carlene's suddenly didn't have anything else to do with her family after her disappearance, someone who didn't help with anything that went on in trying to get the word out that she was missing, maybe because that person was the guilty one.

    Sadly, I've always suspected the perpetrator just dumped her body somewhere, possibly in the woods that summer day, and all these years of undergrowth in the woods would make it nearly impossible to find her. Terrible that her family has lived with this for 40 years.

  9. #9
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    I truly think this was either a serial killer or a random killer.

  10. #10
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    Still puzzling over why the perpetrator drove the car back to the mall & the only conclusion I come up with is that he had to. Somebody like a psychopath might be brazen enough to drive the car back & park it at the mall just to taunt the family or police, but the risk of discovery would be pretty high. So now I'm thinking one of two scenarios: 1. His own vehicle was still parked at or near the mall & he had to return for it, especially as its continued presence nearby where Carlene disappeared might have caused police to run his tags & maybe want to question him. 2. The scene where he murdered Carlene & left her body was so far out from town that walking back would be difficult and/or take too long for him to get back home. In this case it would appear he lived in or near the area.

    Both these scenarios to me imply more of a local person being the perpetrator, though not necessarily in the case of his car being parked near the mall. I also feel it makes it more likely that he was a grown man, not a teenage boy from school who might have been obsessed with Carlene. The reason being, if he had the use of his own car, he was more likely a grown man in that he evidently had the car all afternoon & late into the night. A young teen boy may or may not have been allowed that much freedom & someone likely could have been looking for him before Carlene's car reappeared at 1:30am. I don't know how much freedom teenage boys were given in the 70s. I was just 2 years old when this happened. Also, the fact that the police claimed to have found no fingerprints or evidence of interest on Carlene's vehicle shows he was thinking ahead. It sounds as if the perpetrator either wiped every surface his hands had touched or else had worn gloves to abduct Carlene. This shows maturity & pre-planning. Wearing gloves on that June day with temps in the 90s would have looked fairly suspicious unless he kept his hands in his pockets, so I'm leaning towards him wiping the surfaces he touched in the car.

    If he was a local, I think taking a hard look at adult male aquaintances, neighbors & possibly employees at the mall or even Carlene's school would have been a good place to start. The more I think about this case, I am leaning toward a more mature individual than a young man she might have known. He could either have been someone who knew her, someone who knew her only casually or just by sight in the area, or someone who was a predator & was lurking around in search of a victim. If he was a person known in the community, I would think he might have been afraid of being seen when he probably approached Carlene at her vehicle in broad daylight in the parking lot in case somebody remembered it after her disappearance. I'm thinking whoever did this got to her as she was getting back in her car at the mall, since some boys claimed they saw her at the mall. Plus, if she wasn't abducted from the mall, how else would the abductor know to bring her car back to the mall where she was last seen? So he either moved up close to her as she was getting into her car & pulled a weapon & carjacked her, or else he was somebody known to her who she felt she could trust. An adult authority figure known to her might have been able to get her to let them in her car.

    Also I keep thinking about serial killer Gerard Schaefer. Do we know whether he killed outside of the state of Florida? This doesn't exactly jive with his M.O. in some ways, but he was active during the 70s I believe & I think he claimed to have killed girls in other states.

    Still puzzling... any insights or suggestions are greatly welcomed!
    Last edited by dogperson; 04-16-2012 at 01:41 PM.


  11. #11
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    Bumping for Carlene. It will be 40 years next month.

  12. #12
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    This is just so heartbreaking for her family. Are LE in the area even still working on this?

  13. #13
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    Scriptgirl, I doubt LE are working on this anymore, especially since from the family's accounts LE didn't really work the case back when it happened. So sad. I wonder how a person could go about getting LE to take a look at this cold case.

    As far as suspects go, I am now wondering about serial killer John Paul Knowles. He is suspected to have been the killer of Ima Jean Sanders from Warner Robins, GA in 1974. Her remains were found in the Macon, GA area in 1976 but not identified until 2011. He had confessed to picking up a girl in August 1974, taking her to the woods, raping and strangling her but he mistakenly thought her name was Alma. Sadly, Ima's fate was what I suspect was Carlene's fate. I really think she was carjacked, made to drive to a wooded location, then raped and most likely strangled. Unfortunately, Knowles was killed in a struggle while trying to escape from a police car and cannot be questioned, although he claimed to have killed 35 people, only 18 of whom are known victims. He would have been 26 the year Carlene was presumably abducted and killed, young enough and possibly attractive enough that he could have approached Carlene in the parking lot without her feeling threatened until it was too late.

    I wonder if LE would find anything if they searched the area where Ima Jean Sanders' remains were found. Some serial killers used the same area multiple times to leave their victims (example: Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer; also Ted Bundy left multiple remains on Taylor Mountain). It might be worth them taking a look, possibly with cadaver dogs. I realize it's been 40 years but Carlene was wearing her boyfriend's class ring, a POW bracelet, and I believe also a watch. Even if her remains are too scattered to be recoverable, the jewelry items might still be there and findable with a metal detector.

    I welcome anyone's opinions. You guys know how it is, there are just certain cases that each one of us would dearly like to see solved, and this happens to be one of mine.

  14. #14
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    Is Carlene on Namus or the Charley Project?

  15. #15
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    She has been listed on Charley and Namus for quite a while now. I noted that Namus states that there is no DNA or dentals available. We know Carlene wore braces at the time of her disappearance so at one time there had to be dental records for her. Whether or not these were ever in the possession of the police, I don't know. She does have living siblings, and possibly her mother is still alive, so there are several close relatives that DNA could be obtained from. I have never seen a good match for her on any of the unidentified lists, but in case something should ever be found, having her dentals or DNA would be essential to identification.

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