GA GA - Mary Shotwell Little, 25, Atlanta, 14 Oct 1965

T rex

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It is entirely possible.

The key thing we know for sure about this case is that while Mary’s Comet was being parked by someone at Lenox Square on Friday morning, someone else, described by a witness as an unshaven middle-aged male, had pulled into a gas station a few hours earlier with a woman, described as bruised and bloody, in Charlotte, NC, some 260 miles from Atlanta. It is irrefutable that this woman authorized the use of Mary Shotwell Little’s gasoline credit card. A similarity described bruised and bloody woman, accompanied by a similarly described unshaven middle aged man, or two unshaven middle-aged men by some accounts, would irrefutably authorize the use of that same card several hours later in Raleigh, NC, some four hundred and twenty miles away from Atlanta.

There had to be least two, or three, abductors involved in Mary’s kidnapping, thus a criminal conspiracy.

For me, this reality takes away any theory based on a single perpetrator.

After some more consideration I have to agree with you this most likely had something to do with Mary's job at the bank.i dont't think it was any coincidence that her husband was in training to be a bank examiner, the very person whose job it is to report misconduct at a bank. Could someone have not wanted him to complete that training?
I think it is unlikely that Mary was abducted from the mall but probably met someone that night. I feel like she was gonna use the groceries as an excuse to not stay long. Now these are just some thoughts but neatly folded clothes makes me think of doing laundry (money laundering) and a half cut stocking makes me think of a bank robber with it over his head. The stolen tag and purchase in Charlotte could have been a warning to the Shotwell family just in case Mary had said anything to them about something. The tag was probably only used during the purchases and then switched back to the rightful one. The receipts were signed in the husbands name and I wonder if Mary always did this. Maybe she did but if not could this be a warning shot at him?
I believe Mary was murdered shortly after signing the receipt in Raleigh. The perps mission was complete and I think they headed straight back to the Atlanta area. No need to chance bringing Mary back, I believe she was disposed of somewhere just south of Raleigh probably not far off the southbound lane of 85. If her disposal was as well planned as the rest the site was most likely prepared and waiting.
I also have some questions about Marys car being returned to the mall and the way her boss acted that morning and then there's the fact that whoever returned the car took the keys. Now taking the keys could just possibly have been habit or to make sure the car wasn't moved or stolen before it was discovered but for some reason I get the feeling there may have been something else on a key chain that someone really wanted.
And I do think the Diane Shields case is connected. She told at least one person that she was working as an informant and I tend to believe it but it doesn't neccesarily matter if it was true because if she was telling this to people then that could be enough to get her killed. Her car was found in the parking lot of a dry cleaners (more laundry) and then there's the cookbook in the trunk. Cooking the books anyone? There is a picture back on this thread of the car and it was placed directly beneath a no parking sign. Could that also have a meaning? I don't know but that's enough thoughts and feelings for now.

JMO
 

Frank Smith

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After some more consideration I have to agree with you this most likely had something to do with Mary's job at the bank.i dont't think it was any coincidence that her husband was in training to be a bank examiner, the very person whose job it is to report misconduct at a bank. Could someone have not wanted him to complete that training?
I think it is unlikely that Mary was abducted from the mall but probably met someone that night. I feel like she was gonna use the groceries as an excuse to not stay long. Now these are just some thoughts but neatly folded clothes makes me think of doing laundry (money laundering) and a half cut stocking makes me think of a bank robber with it over his head. The stolen tag and purchase in Charlotte could have been a warning to the Shotwell family just in case Mary had said anything to them about something. The tag was probably only used during the purchases and then switched back to the rightful one. The receipts were signed in the husbands name and I wonder if Mary always did this. Maybe she did but if not could this be a warning shot at him?
I believe Mary was murdered shortly after signing the receipt in Raleigh. The perps mission was complete and I think they headed straight back to the Atlanta area. No need to chance bringing Mary back, I believe she was disposed of somewhere just south of Raleigh probably not far off the southbound lane of 85. If her disposal was as well planned as the rest the site was most likely prepared and waiting.
I also have some questions about Marys car being returned to the mall and the way her boss acted that morning and then there's the fact that whoever returned the car took the keys. Now taking the keys could just possibly have been habit or to make sure the car wasn't moved or stolen before it was discovered but for some reason I get the feeling there may have been something else on a key chain that someone really wanted.
And I do think the Diane Shields case is connected. She told at least one person that she was working as an informant and I tend to believe it but it doesn't neccesarily matter if it was true because if she was telling this to people then that could be enough to get her killed. Her car was found in the parking lot of a dry cleaners (more laundry) and then there's the cookbook in the trunk. Cooking the books anyone? There is a picture back on this thread of the car and it was placed directly beneath a no parking sign. Could that also have a meaning? I don't know but that's enough thoughts and feelings for now.

JMO

Agree there is likely a connection between Mary's disappearance, and Diane's subsequent murder, to some person (or persons) employed at the Citizens & Southern Bank, possibly a higher up or senior executive and/or a client or business associate of the bank. I also strongly suspect the involvement of the highest levels of organized crime.

I believe the gasoline credit card was in the name of Mary's husband, so it would not have been unusual for her to sign the charge slips as "Mrs. Roy H. Little, Jr."

You make a number of interesting points worth further consideration, especially about the possiblity of Mary meeting someone after she had left Lenox Square. Furthermore, it's interesting to think about possible hidden meanings to the physical evidence found in and around both Mary's and Diane's cars. And if there were such messages, what were they and to whom were they intended?

As far as Mary being abducted in Atlanta and then driven 260 miles to Charlotte, I wonder if she was immediately taken back to her hometown by her abductors as a means of terrorizing her in order to ensure her absolute compliance during whatever time they intended to keep her alive.

Although the gas station attendant in Charlotte claimed to have seen a bruised and bloody woman - her face covered with a road map - sprawled out on the front seat next to the man who was behind the steering wheel, he did not say that she was physically restrained in any way. For obvious reasons, Mary's abductors would not have driven into that gas station with her bound and restrained in the front seat. However, I also highly doubt that Mary would have been allowed to sit unrestrained for several hours on the journey from Atlanta to Charlotte, especially if only one of her abductors was with her. Presumably, he would been focused on driving at highway/freeway speeds for several hours and could not have been watching Mary all the time, let alone be in a position to physically control her. Her abductors wouldn't have likely taken the chance of a panicked Mary, rightfully scared for her life, either jumping from the vehicle to escape or attempting to seize control of the car to gain notice from other motorists. On the journey from Atanta to Charlotte, I think it's probable that either at least one other person was in the car, perhaps sitting in the backseat (with Mary?) and/or Mary had been effectively restrained and possibly locked in the trunk or shoved down on the floor of the backseat.

In Charlotte, the attendant said there was only one man in the car. In Raleigh, some accounts claim the attendant saw two men in the car. In any event, Mary's abductors must have had a high degree of confidence in both places that she wouldn't try to escape or somehow get the attention of the gas station attendant. She merely signed the credit card slip and did nothing to draw further attention to herself.

How could Mary's abductors have been so sure that she would not try to escape or draw attention while they were filling up for gas?

I strongly suspect Mary's abductors took the opportunity to demonstrate to their victim how vulnerable her family would be in the event she did not comply with all of their demands or dared to escape. Perhaps Mary's abductors drove their victim past the Shotwell home when they arrived in Charlotte. Perhaps one of the abductors even got out of the car and waited there while the other abductor drove with Mary to the gas station. Or perhaps Mary saw that her parents' house was being watched by accomplices of her abductors. Perhaps Mary was told that her family would be killed immediately if she caused any problem whatsoever. This might explain why Mary would have made no attempt to draw the attention of the gas station attendant in either Charlotte or Raleigh.
 
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Frank Smith

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Any chance that when Mary was seen in the car stopped at the gas station, she was already deceased or close to it? speculation.

Although the FBI couldn't confirm the signatures on both gasoline credit card charge slips were Mary Shotwell Little's, neither could they rule it out. I think it's almost certain the woman in the car was Mary Shotwell Little. Mary was a newlywed probably still unused to signing her name "Mrs. Roy H. Little, Jr." and, in any event, had to be under extreme duress given that she had been abducted and apparently assaulted.

Mary couldn't have been deceased at the gas station in either Charlotte or Raleigh. In both places she was seen by the attendant signing the charge slip for her husband's gasoline credit card. How badly she was injured, however, is an open question, although apparently not badly enough for either gas station attendant to alert authorities about encountering a woman at risk.

Although Mary was observed as bruised and bloody in both places, neither attendant bothered to report their observation to law enforcement. Of course, back in the 1960's, violence towards women was - sadly and tragically - much more tolerated than it is today. It's quite plausible that both attendants decided not to interfere in what they thought was a domestic situation. They likely assumed that Mary's blood and bruises were the result of being punched or slapped around by her husband or boyfriend due to some domestic dispute.
 
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Psychosoup

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Noting in case we one day figure out why the perps returned cars belonging to each of their victims..
Unrelated to this case, but there is an unsolved murder of a nurse in Ontario and one of the most baffling elements of that crime, is the perp's treatment of her car.
He moved the dead or dying woman (Sonia Varaschin) out of her house, dripping blood on her front staircase and into her car, which he then drove to ''dump'' the body.
The burning question besides who did this is - why did the perp, drive her visibly bloody car back to the center of town and leave it there.
I don’t know why, but this has always been my theory. In my mind, it only makes sense that the killers car was parked where Sonia’s car was abandoned. They walked through the ravine behind Tim Hortons (which is way quicker to get to her home than using the streets). Entered her home, killed Sonia, put her into her own vehicle. Drove to their parked vehicle where they would transfer Sonia from her car to theirs. This would allow for the killer not to have to come back after disposing of her. Not sure what is captured on the town cameras, but this theory has always bothered me.
 

Richard

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Who knows what logic a violent criminal dreams up in his crazed imagination?

There definitely is some sort of "logic" but not what any normal person would understand.

Back in the 1960's there weren't any surveillance cameras like today. And DNA was completely unknown. Without a body, murder charges and conviction would likely not occur. So, a killer in that era might very well consider disposing of a body, regardless of the risk of being caught doing so.
 
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