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  1. #1
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    GA - Mary Shotwell Little, 25, Atlanta, 14 Oct 1965

    Mary Shotwell Little, 25, Missing 14 October 1965 from Atlanta, GA

    Mary Shotwell Little
    Missing since October 14, 1965 from Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: 1940
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 25 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6", 120 pounds.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown hair; hazel-green eyes.
    Clothing: A set of keys, a "John Romain" handbag, flats, a white London Fog raincoat and a olive-green sheath dress printed with white flowers.

    Circumstances of Disapearance
    Little was employed as a secretary at the C&S Bank who had been married to a bank examiner for six weeks at the time of her disappearance. She was close to her family and had no enemies, making her case a baffling one. Little was reportedly in good spirits the night of her 1965 disappearance. Her husband, Roy, was out of town on bank business, but he was due back the next day, and they planned to see friends the following evening.

    Little purchased groceries and then shared dinner at the Piccadilly Cafeteria with a bank co-worker; she was never seen again. The co-worker who had dined with Little alerted their supervisor about Little's absence from work the following morning and recalled that Little had mentioned the area where she was parked. With that information, the boss phoned security at Lenox Square, asking them to look for a 1965 metallic pearl gray Mercury Comet. Security soon notified them that no such car could be found.

    Little's husband was notified of her disappearance and he headed home. Her boss drove to Lenox Square for his own search of the parking lot. He located her car in the parking area. Police found a fine coat of red dust on the exterior of the car, as if it had been on a dirt road. They also found blood in several places. The blood was on the driver's door near the handle, on the inside window of the passenger's side and smeared over the vinyl of the front seats. A few grass clippings were stuck in dried blood where the passenger's head would have rested. Also found in the car, carefully rolled together and placed between the seats, was a set of women's undergarments, a girdle, slip, and panties that had tiny drops of blood on them. On the floorboard lay a black bra and a section of stocking that had been cut neatly. Tests indicated the blood probably was Little's. The undergarments definitely were hers and had been worn recently. The car was also littered with dozens of other items, including Coke bottles, a package of Kent cigarettes (Little's brand) and four bags of groceries.
    One of her friends told investigators that Little had expressed fear of being home alone and of being alone in her car several days before she disappeared. Authorities also learned that Little had received roses from an unidentified "secret admirer" shortly before she vanished. The flowers were traced to a florist near Little's home, but police were unable to identify the purchaser. Co-workers remembered that Little was disturbed by phone calls she received at work. She never discussed the conversations with anyone.

    A key piece of evidence was discovered one month after Little's disappearance. Investigators learned that Little's gasoline credit card had been used in North Carolina. A gas station in Charlotte showed Little's card had been used in the early morning of October 15, just a few hours after she was last seen at Lenox Square. The card was used again several hours later in Raleigh with what appeared to be Little's signature.

    The gas station attendant in Charlotte recalled a woman with a cut on her head, trying to hide her face, traveling in the company of a man who seemed to be giving her orders. In Raleigh, the attendant told of a "bloody woman," with blood even on her legs, traveling with two men. No further leads were found about her disappearance and Little has never been found.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Atlanta Police Department 404-853-3434

    Source Information:
    Buckhead Enterprises
    The Doe Network: Case File 556DFGA

    Links:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/556dfga.html

    http://ads.cimedia.com/RICH/Cox_AdBa...orkaround.html
    Last edited by Kimster; 04-03-2011 at 11:24 AM. Reason: updated doe network link

  2. #2
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    Wow. What a sad and very creepy story. How come security couldn't find the car, yet her boss found it right away? It sounds like they didn't even look, which is a shame. I wonder what happened to her. It definitely sounds like she had a stalker.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masterj
    Wow. What a sad and very creepy story. How come security couldn't find the car, yet her boss found it right away? It sounds like they didn't even look, which is a shame. I wonder what happened to her. It definitely sounds like she had a stalker.
    It does sound like a stalker. Since she had only been married a short time, I wonder if she had an ex-boyfriend who wasn't willing to give her up?

    I also wonder if anyone tried to track down who sent the roses to her shortly before her disappearance? The florist might have had the name of the person sending them.

    A very sad story.

  4. #4
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    If you'll read the story at the second link, LE thinks that the car was not in the parking lot when the police looked (confirmed by others) but that it was parked back there by the time the boss went to look for it.

    The police were unable to find out anything about the purchaser of the flowers. It sounds as if they did try.

  5. #5
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    Two different people saw a woman with blood on her head/legs, possibly with a man who was "ordering" her around, and they didn't say anything???? A simple "Ma'am, are you all right" might have saved her life.

  6. #6
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    What happened to Mary Shotwell Little?

    I included a link to the following article in my origional post. This was sent to me by Upallnite.

    -------------------------------------------
    What happened to Mary Shotwell Little?
    Newlywed's disappearance shocked Atlantans in 1965
    By JIM AUCHMUTEY, GERDEEN DYER and PAT KOESTER
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 03/20/04

    When Jim Ponder retired from the FBI after three decades as an agent, he took home a piece of unfinished business: File No. 79-159.

    THE VICTIM
    On a warm October evening in 1965, newlywed Mary Shotwell Little said goodby to a friend and walked across the Lenox Square parking lot to her car. She was never seen in Atlanta after that night.

    THE CAR
    Mary's 1965 Mercury Comet was found at Lenox the next day. Blood was smeared around the interior, and later evidence indicated it had been driven elsewhere and returned.

    THE FBI AGENT
    For almost 40 years, Jim Ponder has kept the file on the only case he never solved. Now retired, he has a theory about what happened -- but it's just a theory.

    "That's the only case I worked on that we never solved," he says, laying a brown folder on a coffee table in his DeKalb County home. "I copied this because I figured something would come up and I'd be called."

    The call never came. The disappearance of Mary Shotwell Little — the most famous missing persons case in Atlanta history — seems as baffling today as it did when Ponder saw her blood-smeared car on a warm autumn afternoon in 1965.

    He opens the folder, and Little's face stares out from a black-and-white snapshot stapled to the inside. The bouffant hairdo and penciled eyebrows belong to another time. Leafing through the yellowed reports held by rusted paper clips, he pauses when he comes to a form the young woman filled out in a neat cursive script. It's an application to volunteer at the Red Cross. She enjoyed working with children.

    "I have a personal interest in this case," Ponder says. "I got to know Mary's family. We never gave them an answer, and that bothered me. It still does."

    Now 83, Ponder is one of the last law enforcement officers living who worked on the Little disappearance. For a dwindling band of detectives, it is the mystery of a lifetime, the case they couldn't crack. The clues are so fragmentary and contradictory, the investigators can't agree on what happened. Some think it was a random sex crime. Others believe she knew her abductor.

    Some wonder if she's even dead.

    While witnesses still could come forward and remains still could be found and identified, solving the puzzle gets more difficult with each passing year. All local police files on the case have inexplicably vanished. No physical evidence survives, making a DNA conviction highly unlikely. The only remaining record of the investigation is the FBI's, and it's incomplete.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined hundreds of pages of those files, through a freedom of information request, and interviewed nearly 200 people involved in various aspects of the case. Those documents and candid recollections do not answer the riddle, but they do reveal an exhaustive and frustrating search that was mostly hidden from public view. It is the untold story of a trauma that deeply affected Atlanta as it was on the verge of becoming a big city with big city fears.

    News reports suggested police were looking for a stray predator. Behind the scenes, however, cops hounded Little's former roommates. They turned her husband's life inside out. They delved into a sex scandal at the bank where she worked. They even thought a "rose killer" might be sending women flowers as he stalked them.

    In 1967, the trail took a gruesome turn as a woman who had worked in Little's office and lived with Little's friends was found beaten and strangled in East Point. Police at first thought the cases were linked — some of them still do — but what looked like a break faded into a footnote mystery of its own.

    Little was 25 and had been married only six weeks when she vanished into the darkness outside Lenox Square on the evening of Oct. 14, 1965. The fate of the "missing bride" quickly became an obsession, leading Atlanta newscasts and front pages and prompting massive searches. Atlanta wouldn't see its like again until the child murders of the early 1980s.

    In an era when the ghostly faces of the missing routinely appear on bulk mail and milk cartons, it might seem a bit strange that one woman's disappearance could stir such an overwhelming response. But Atlanta was a much smaller town in 1965. The metro area had less than a third of today's population. There was no major league sports team, no completed Perimeter, no international flights at an airport that boosters were proud to say was the nation's fourth-busiest.

    "Atlanta was just beginning to outgrow its britches," says writer Paul Hemphill, who covered the Little case as a Journal columnist. "When something like this happened, it was almost like a warning shot. You wondered: My God, is this the price we're going to pay for being a big city?"

    A more innocent time

    Only later would it seem ironic that the Journal of Oct. 14 contained an editorial decrying the rising number of sex crimes in Atlanta.

    One of the many young people who flocked to the city from around the South during the early '60s was Mary Shotwell.

    She came from a middle-class family in Charlotte, where she was known as an outgoing, fun-loving student — the kind of girl who volunteered to wear a papier-mβchι horse head as her high school's mascot, Millie Mustang. She went on to study secretarial science at what became the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She wanted to relocate to New York after graduation, but her parents felt it might be unsafe, so she settled on Atlanta instead.

    Shotwell moved into a triplex near Emory University with some college friends and found a job downtown with Citizens & Southern, the bank that was financing much of Atlanta's construction boom. Colleagues considered her reliable, hardworking, fastidious in dress and manners. Like many young women of her time, the slender secretary with the neat brown hair and hazel eyes wanted nothing so much as to get married and start a family.

    In 1964, she met Roy Little, a 24-year-old Citadel graduate who recently had finished active duty as an Army lieutenant. They attended a Georgia Tech-Alabama football game and went on to date for 10 months.

    Married over Labor Day weekend 1965, they moved into the Belvedere Apartments in south Decatur. During the second week of October, Roy was in LaGrange training to be an auditor with the state Banking Department. Mary was lonesome and arranged to meet a friend from the bank at Lenox Square after work that Thursday.

    Compared to the mega-mall of today, Lenox then was an almost quaint open-air shopping center with stone sculptures of "Uncle Remus" characters in the plaza. Little met her friend Isla Stack at the S&S Cafeteria on the Lenox Road side and chatted happily about married life. After dinner, they shopped for an hour and a half. They parted around 8, Little striding into the parking lot with a cheery "I'll see you tomorrow."

    When the punctual secretary didn't show up Friday morning, co-workers phoned her apartment. No answer. They called her landlady and learned that Little had not retrieved her morning newspaper.

    The bank notified Lenox security to be on the lookout for the car, a 1965 silver Mercury Comet. A few minutes past noon, a guard spotted it in the yellow parking area. He noticed blood on the bucket seats and called police.

    Things 'never made sense'

    Jim Ponder, the FBI's liaison with local law enforcement, was at Atlanta police headquarters downtown when a wrecker hauled in the car.

    "Jop," as his friends called him (after his initials), was a South Carolinian who had served in the Navy during World War II and been wounded in the D-Day invasion. He had been a special agent since 1947, matching wits with Klansmen, Soviet spies and mob bosses. Given the possibility of an interstate kidnapping, he unofficially joined the investigation and sent a teletype to Washington reporting what was known. He was puzzled from the start. "There were a lot of things about this case that never made sense," he says.

    The car was full of them.

    Two members of the Atlanta Police Department's identification unit inspected the vehicle. They found a fine coat of red dust on the exterior, as if the Comet had been on a dirt road. They also found blood in several places: on the driver's door near the handle, on the inside window of the passenger's side, smeared over the vinyl of the front seats. A few grass clippings were stuck in dried blood where the passenger's head would have rested.

    Carefully rolled together and placed between the seats was a set of women's undergarments — girdle, slip, panties — speckled with tiny drops of crimson. On the floorboard lay a black brassiere and a section of stocking that had been cut neatly, as if by a knife.

    Tests indicated the blood probably was Little's. The undergarments definitely were hers and had been worn recently.

    There was something about the scene that didn't add up, the crime technicians thought. Bill Moore of the identification unit wondered if the smearing hadn't been a ploy to exaggerate the amount of blood. Larry Howard of the state crime lab seemed to agree, telling Moore that despite the gory display, there was no more blood than you'd get from a nosebleed.

    The odd assortment of clues led some investigators to speculate that the scene had been staged to confuse police. A few cops suspected Little of doing the staging.

    The car was littered with dozens of other items, including Coke bottles, a package of Kent cigarettes (Little's brand) and four sacks of groceries she had bought the evening before at the Colonial store that anchored the southern end of Lenox.

    Other items were missing: Her car keys. Her John Romain handbag. Her flats, white London Fog raincoat and olive-green sheath dress printed with white flowers.

    There was no shortage of fingerprints. One would tantalize investigators for years: an unidentified partial print smudged in blood on the steering wheel.

    Public pitches in

    In the days ahead, thousands of people enlisted in the largest search Atlanta had ever seen.

    Pilots scanned the area looking for signs of a body. Military reservists scoured the woods around Lenox. Even jail inmates were pressed into the hunt.

    Reward posters offering $1,000 and then $3,000 went up around the state.

    The city's top-ranked radio stations, WSB and WQXI ("Quixie in Dixie"), asked residents within a 20-mile radius of Lenox to check their property for the personal items missing from Little's car. A corner of police headquarters soon resembled a thrift shop, with piles of clothing, purses and other items of female apparel.

    Ponder spent days exploring the woods and side roads along I-85, a relatively new four-lane then known as the Northeast Expressway. "We searched old abandoned wells and everything you could think of," he says.

    None of the efforts paid off. In fact, publicity became something of a burden as police had to check out all leads, well-intentioned and otherwise. A tipster claimed Little's killer was trying to flee on a bus bound for Chicago, and authorities had it pulled over in Cobb County. It was a hoax. A wedding ring that resembled Little's was found beside the Chattahoochee River. It wasn't hers. A dollar bill surfaced with the scribbled words: "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a Chinese cookie factory. Mary Shotwell Little." It was a bad joke.

    Little's parents, Margaret and Nathan Shotwell, came from Charlotte to keep vigil with their son-in-law at the couple's apartment in Decatur. They saw the brown lounge chair and ottoman Mary had recently picked out for Roy. While the Shotwells waited for word of their daughter's whereabouts, the phone rang repeatedly and a voice would whisper, "It's Mary, help me." Police traced the calls to a young prankster and made sure they stopped.

    Detectives decided that the movements of Little's car were a key to unlocking the mystery. Based on the odometer and her husband's mileage log, they estimated the Comet had been driven 41 miles that couldn't be accounted for. They theorized that Little's abductor had taken her somewhere, assaulted her and returned to Lenox.

    There was just one problem with the theory: No one remembered seeing the Comet in the parking lot overnight or before the start of business the next morning. Police interviewed scores of people who had been at Lenox in the off hours, including guards who patrolled the lot. Other cars had been noticed and even ticketed, but no one saw the Comet. Investigators concluded it must have been driven back later that morning, a daring return in broad daylight.

    Another possibility received little credence. Margaret Fargason, an Atlantan who had been shopping at Lenox the night Little disappeared, told her husband she had seen a silver Comet leave the mall about 8 with a woman fitting Little's description at the wheel. She was alone. Fargason noticed the car, she explained when the Journal-Constitution contacted her recently, because she drove a Comet, too.

    Her husband reported the sighting to police. They never talked to Fargason, even though her story called into question whether Little had been abducted elsewhere — or been abducted at all.... (much more, including photos, in the below link)

    Link:

    http://ads.cimedia.com/RICH/Cox_AdBa...orkaround.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Her husband reported the sighting to police. They never talked to Fargason, even though her story called into question whether Little had been abducted elsewhere — or been abducted at all.... (much more, including photos, in the below link)

    Link:

    http://ads.cimedia.com/RICH/Cox_AdBa...orkaround.html
    I don't know if it's just me but this link as well as the second link in your initial post only lead to an ad.

  8. #8
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    Here's a link to a story with photos:


    http://www.buckhead.org/history/myst..._a.html#msl_a2

  9. #9
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    This case was very similar to another case from Atlanta, I have a whole bunch of newspaper articles about Diane Marie Shields and a couple about Mary Shotwell Little (surprisingly there is next to nothing in the papers on newspaperarchive about Mary, I'm not sure if the Atlanta papers aren't archived back that far or what). But anyway, here's the links to the articles I got:

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...srecorder1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...oyganPress.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...wsJournal1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...eLimaNews2.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...eLimaNews1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...gSentinal1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...teJournal1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...ngJournal1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...lyTribune2.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...lyTribune1.jpg

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...ailyTimes1.jpg


    Happiness...consists in giving, and in serving others.
    - Henry Drummond

  10. #10
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    I wonder, if the gas attendent actually changes his story. In the first article Richard posted above, it says the woman at gas station was seen with two men. The Burlington Daily Times article from November 20th only mentions one man and the woman lying down on the seat with a road map covering her face. That article also mentions a note having been found.


  11. #11
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    A key piece of evidence was discovered one month after Little's disappearance. Investigators learned that Little's gasoline credit card had been used in North Carolina. A gas station in Charlotte showed Little's card had been used in the early morning of October 15, just a few hours after she was last seen at Lenox Square. The card was used again several hours later in Raleigh with what appeared to be Little's signature.
    Her gas card was used twice, on two seperate occasions. The descriptions could possibly have come from two different gas station attendents.


    Happiness...consists in giving, and in serving others.
    - Henry Drummond

  12. #12
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    Somebody once wrote me to claim Mary's disappearance was the result of an improperly designed work desk. I'm not kidding. They have a website linking improperly designed desks to disappearances, murders, suicides and nervous breakdowns around the globe.
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/l/little_mary.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by meggilyweggily
    Somebody once wrote me to claim Mary's disappearance was the result of an improperly designed work desk. I'm not kidding. They have a website linking improperly designed desks to disappearances, murders, suicides and nervous breakdowns around the globe.
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/l/little_mary.html
    Thanks for the charley project link, I hadn't seen this before!!!

  14. #14
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    6 degrees of seperation in Atlanta?

    they say we're all connected by a short list of 6 people. Don't know the other 4 people that were in Atlanta that day that seperates me and Mary but she was abducted only blocks from where my mother and I were meeting for the first time at Crawford Long Hospital on my birthday. Being an Atlanta native i have memories of that beautiful city long ago and have watched it transform. Especially this 'buckhead' area near Lenox Mall. I even worked there at a restaurant in '86. I can visualize the area from mems and pics in the 70's.
    THe neighborhoods, train station and hotels have been shoved into every nook. Of course the mall doesn't even resemble its earlier layout at all.
    this case will hold a special place for me now, since i found it yesterday.
    The date, 0ct 14, 65 caught my eye. lo and behold it happened blocks away.
    Well, I've unfortunately got nothing to offer on this case but will watch it close. Another irony is that my father's brother and my cousins lived in Raleigh and we frequently made the trip to visit. My aunt and cousins still live in Smithfield. I guess the best avenue would be to start backward from where she grew up and find that old flame that may have drove to ATL to 'take back what was his'. However the evidence that points to physical wounding and battery makes you question the abductors mental stability.
    Perry, the det on case is a legend around ATL. This one even baffled him.
    Anyone with related articles and docs please email them to me.
    Otherwise, see ya'll back here soon. Because i'm in Lake Co FL now, anyone with needs for a local sleuth for this area feel free to contact me.
    OH my gosh, i just thot of another connection. My grandmother worked at C&S bank downtown atlanta too but i think years later. If she was still alive i'd ask her. maybe mom can help. Makes you go Hm.....
    kk

  15. #15
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    Fingerprints available

    The Doenetwork has now indicated in their summary that Mary Shotwell Little's fingerprints are available.

    This is an interesting case with a lot of information. Unfortunately, it is still unsolved 42 years after her disappearance.

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