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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha
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    19,873

    IN - Mary Ann Higginbotham murder, Clayton, 1978

    Dear Everyone,

    The Higginbotham thread has been pulled from Websleuths for over a year.

    It got totally out of control. To the point that it was causing problems on and off the forum.

    I have been asked to put it back.

    Rather than try and figure out who said what about whom and what is true and what is not I decided we should try and start over.

    Please read over our rules if you are not sure what you can or cannot post. Here they are

    The Rules - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Here is the first post from Celine in April 17, 2009 that started our discussion about Mary Ann.

    Mary Ann Higgbotham was my friend in high school. She went missing in 1978 and her body was found in a welded shut barrel in 1979 in a creek. Mary's boyfriend Tim also was missing. For 4 years, it was suspected that he killed Mary (Tim has never been found dead or alive) until an informant with burden heart called Indiana State Police Detective York saying they could not live with the secret any longer. This lead to an arrest of 2 men but there was not enough evidence to satisfy the prosecutor to bring them to trial. Charges were dropped.

    This is where it gets complicated. A fellow classmate told me details about the case that were never published in any of the newspaper reports. She said she knew this from an other girl we went to school with that was talking to a newspaper reporter. She told me this sometime around 1982-84 and again in 2000.

    I found the class mate that was supposed to have this information. She did not know the detail that other person said they got from her talking to the reporter.

    I believe that the first classmate is the burdened informant.

    I don't know if this classmate called the ISP anonymously or not.
    Does anyone have a suggestions of what I should do?
    Last edited by OkieGranny; 04-12-2015 at 05:34 PM. Reason: fixed broken link
    Help our Administrator Bessie
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    803

    From a person with a missing sister....

    I think you should tell the authorities what you suspect. Sometimes police officers can get information from those who are hesitant. Even if the third party decides to remain quiet......your mind is cleared because you have done all you can. Most important is that you know you are not helping anyone withhold information from the police that could help solve this murder. Honestly, I think you already know the answer, you know in your heart what is the right thing to do....follow that and you won't go wrong. Naturally, this is JMO.....
    Debora Sue Lowe - Age 13, missing from Pompano, FL since February 29, 1972 (Leap Year)
    Missing Child Haunts Family Nearly 40 Years Later - 9/19/2011
    White Female
    Hair: Brown
    Eyes: Brown
    Height: 56″
    Weight: 125 lbs
    Debbie is believed to have been a victim of the serial killer Gerard John Schaefer Jr. He was convicted of only two murders in the 1970s but is believed to be responsible for the murders and disappearances of many other girls and young women in the 60s and 70s, including Wendy Stevenson, Peggy Rahn ,Carmen Hallock, Pamela Nater and Nancy Leichner in 1966.


    • Everything I write is JMHO and NO OFFENSE is INTENDED

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    120

    A Fresh Start

    I want to thank Tricia for opening this thread back up. I regret that some information and suggestions have been lost from the original thread that was started in 2009. My original question "Was my friend the confidential informant?" took me on a journey of discovery through court documents, newspaper articles and also meeting with people that have ties to this case.

    I did find out for sure that my high school friend was not the confidential informant that called Indiana State Police in 1982.

    I will be going back through my notes and posting what has been saved from the original thread, newspaper articles and court documents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    120

    August 1983

    The Banner Knightstown Indiana 1983
    Column published August 6, 2008

    This week in 1983
    Acting on a tip received from a caller in Connersville, Knightstown Police Department members arrested an Indiana man sought since may in connection with a double-murder that occurred in 1979. Law enforcement officers arrested James. L. Kellams, 37, as he drove on U.S. Hwy. 40 just east of Knightstown. Kellams had been charged with murder in the deaths of Mary Ann Higginbotham and Timothy Willoughby, of Clayton, IN. Assisting in the arrest was KPD Marshal Robert Bitler and deputies Danny Baker and Tom Nelson.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    June 11, 1979


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    June 14, 1979


  7. #7
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    Jun 2010
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    52

    Plainfield Messenger 1979


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    52

    May 22, 1983


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    52

    May 23, 1983


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    October 26, 1983



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52
    Thank god there are no statute of limitations for murder.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    Unhappy

    Happy Birthday Tim, We really thought by now, your remains would be found, its been 34 years and we still have no Justice. Gone but not forgotten, we will never give up, love you always.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney View Post
    State Police Sgt.Frank Love, God rest his sole worked so hard to get indictments against these two men, ( James Kellams and Ronald Tomasik) Frank Love had a reliable informant that was very close to the situation, that could have only known the killers. The men asked for a speedy trial so the prosecutor needed more time , so it was handed off to the ISP and through the years different Detectives from the cold case units worked on it here and there, its been 34 years and there is still these two men(murderers) just living there lives like nothing ever happened, they murder two people , stuff them in barrels and just go on with life, like its nothing.
    Last edited by Sidney; 02-15-2012 at 08:34 PM. Reason: forgot to put a name and some peroids in places

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney View Post
    I hope people wont judge Tim ( Willoughby) by his involvement in this Auto Theft Ring, he was pretty young I believe 17 when he got involved with these people that he thought to be his friends. There is no excuse for doing illegal things , but Tim and Mary didn't deserve to pay with there lives for it.
    Last edited by Sidney; 02-16-2012 at 03:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney View Post
    Never in a millon years did we think these two men Ronald Tomasik and James Kellams would NEVER go to trial for there crimes, but 34 years later they are still free as birds. Sometimes it makes you want to give up on the Justice System, why did it fail so badly.

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