LA LA - Audrey Moate, 31, Laplace, 24 Nov 1956

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by anthrobones, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    Audrey Moate
    Missing since November 24, 1956 from near Laplace, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana
    Classification: Endangered Missing


    Vital Statistics
    • Date Of Birth: November 24, 1925
    • Age at Time of Disappearance: 31 years old
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; grey eyes.
    • Clothing: Possibly a bra and a slip. Her purse was also missing from the scene.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Audrey Moate was last seen at Frenier Beach, near Laplace, Louisiana on November 24, 1956.
    In the morning of November 24, 1956 a hunter and his son, were hunting in the woods along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, when they saw a blue four sedan parked five yards from the water. They spotted a man and a woman in the backseat. 3 hours later, another hunter noticed the sedan, with a man in a strange position in the back seat. The hunter did not stop to investigate. At 10.30 the next day, the first hunters came across the car in the same position, and found the man they had surprised the day before shot dead in the car. The woman was nowhere to be seen. On the ground were the partial contents of a woman's purse; female clothing and shoes were found on the floor of the car. The car keys were still in the ignition.
    The man was identified as Thomas Hotard, 46. There was a small hole in the rear window of the car, indicating that a shotgun was pressed against the glass when it was fired. Hotard had been shot in the back. Leading from the car, toward the woods were prints of bare feet, small enough to be a woman's. The prints were spaced far apart, indicating the woman had been running. Mingled with these were the tracks of a man's boots. Five feet away from the scene of the crime, was a place where it looked like a scuffle had taken place, on the ground another set of car keys were found. The footprints ended at a road that leads to the main highway, and there investigators found a single tiretrack, possibly from a motorcycle. There were no other physical evidence.
    10 hours after the initial discovery, Investigators found out that the woman who had been in the car was divorced mother of three, Audrey Moate, from Baton Rouge. She has not been seen since.
    At the time Audrey Moate worked as a clerk with the Kaiser Construction Company in Gramercy. She was described as an independant woman, ahead of her time, being a single parent in 1956. Hotard and Audrey had been good friends, and romantically involved for two years, even though Hotard was married. They reportedly met every saturday at the same time and place, telling their families, who thought they were just friends, that they had to work.
    Audrey's car was later located at the cafe where she had met up with Hotard. The keys found at the crime scene fit the ignition.
    On December 6, Audrey's ex-mother-in-law recieved a phone call, supposedly from Audrey, saying she was in trouble and needed help, then hung up. Audrey spoke with a California accent, and the mother-in-law was certain the call was from Audrey. There was also a possible sighting of Audrey in New Orleans. A witness described a haggard, disheveled woman, whose resemblence to Audrey was striking. The woman was never identified, and was never confirmed to be Audrey.
    There has been many rumors, speculations and even confessions in the case. However, Audrey has never been located, and Thomas Hotard's killer never identified.


    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2323dfla.html
     
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  3. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    You have the state wrong in the thread title ;)
     
  4. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    This sounds like it might have been a completely random crime. It reminds me of Caryl Chessman, actually. He would go up to people in cars in lovers' lanes at night, threaten and rob the men, and rape the women. I don't think he ever killed anyone though.

    Not saying the guy who did this was Chessman, though. I think Chessman was incarcerated, maybe dead, by 1956. But he can't have been the only person to have thought of this.
     
  5. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    Indeed he did not kill anyone, and very likely didn't rape anyone either. While certainly not a saint Chessman was a petty criminal known to flee store clerks who wouldn't hand out the money rather than shoot them. People who knew him all say he simply didn't have it in him to commit the crimes he was executed for. His major mistake was to defend himself rather than have an attorney. He was smart, but poorly educated and gullible. He was probably the victim of a judicial error, partially through his own fault.
     
  6. absinthe

    absinthe Former Member

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    I just ran across this case on Doe Network and it intrigued me. I can't find any updates anywhere on the internet...I did read on the Unsolved Mysteries forum that there was a confession?
     
  7. HollywoodBound

    HollywoodBound New Member

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    Was this the same case that was on Unsolved Mysteries years ago or was that just a real similar one? I remember something just like this.
     
  8. absinthe

    absinthe Former Member

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    I believe the case was featured on Unsolved Mysteries, but I haven't seen the episode. I wish I could find more info.
     
  9. wichapiska

    wichapiska New Member

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    First off she was not a clerk at Kaiser, she was a buyer and Kaiser was involved in chemical warfare development in 56… I am her daughter.

    Also, she told my grandmother who was living with us, approximately 3 months before she disappeared, that if anything happens to her to take the kids and get as far away as possible… something that has never been published… along with a few other things that I am aware of but the police have held back for help with identification.

    Unsolved mysteries based a lot of their show on a script I wrote about the case, but changed a lot of it… so don’t believe everything on it..

    Since I have several terminal illnesses, I am sending a dna sample to the lsu missing persons project. Since the relatively near future I will be placed in a paupers grave with 3 coffins stacked in one plot and no identification on the graves, this will facilitate identification. So nobody will be able to find my body later.
     
  10. Redwood146

    Redwood146 New Member

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    I am sorry that you have spend a life time without knowing what happened to your mother. I further saddened about your comment about being placed in a paupers grave in the relative near future...... I sincerely wish that would not happen.
     
  11. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I remember hearing about this case as a child in the 60's. I didn't see the Unsolved Mysteries episode, and haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere until just now. My grandmother -- who would have been a terrific websleuther, btw -- kept up with all of the local area mysteries, which were few compared to today. When I was growing up, she'd tell me the stories, often repeating them, and this one stuck. I wish I could remember if my grandmother had any particular insights about the case, but I don't. I only remember that the lady worked at Kaiser and the other basic details.

    Wichapiska, I'm so sorry this happened to your mother, and to you and your family. I'd like to get to up to speed on this case. If there's anything you'd like to share with us, I'm all ears. I find it interesting that your mother worked at Kaiser, and as you say, was involved in chemical warfare development. Do you happen to know if there were any other mysterious deaths or accidents involving other Kaiser employees around the same time? Anything at all that could be linked to your mother's case?
     
  12. Redwood146

    Redwood146 New Member

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    bumping
     
  13. momtolil

    momtolil New Member

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    I just watched the Unsolved Mysteries segment. Seems there may have been a confession of some sorts from a local gun crazy recluse.
    Sounds rather fishy to me considering the source, but there maybe a shred of truth to it.

    Then again, this confession does not tie in with what the mother in law states about Audrey's statements about something posibly happening to her and the phone call she recieved. Not to mention the siting in the diner.

    WICHAPISKA: What part of the segment do believe not to be true or posibly exagerated??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRkNByEn8cc
     
  14. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I came across this article recently. Four hundred searchers were involved, including National Guard troops and Wildlife and Fisheries officers. If Acosta is the perp, as Deputy Norwood believes, his house was only about a mile from the car. I wonder if his land was searched, or if LE spoke to him.

    There is confusion about the dates. UM states Saturday, November 25 as the day the hunter first spotted the couple in the car. The L'Oservateur article notes the day as the 26th, but November 26, 1956, was a Monday The preceding Saturday would have been November 24.

    http://www.lobservateur.com/articles/2010/10/30/lifestyle/doc4cbdf1240defc416540108.txt

    I would love to hear more of Wichapiska's thoughts, and I am so sorry that her health might not allow her to communicate with us.
     
  15. momtolil

    momtolil New Member

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    Was Audrey's ex-husband ever a suspect? I wonder how their relationship was? were there problems with custody or money? Isn't the ex usually the first person questioned in these cases.

    Or possibly, I know a stretch but it could have been someone hired by the jealous wife of Thomas Hotard.

    It seems odd to me that either one of these possible suspects are ever mentioned in any of the articles. I'm sure they were ruled out. But nobody ever mentions that angle at all.
     
  16. taramarie

    taramarie Member

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    Below is a link to a recent article about Audrey and her daughter's quest to find her. Her daughter recently submitted DNA (as mentioned above) for testing against several unidentified women.

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/26703870/detail.html

    Wichapiska, I truly hope you find answers. You are in my thoughts.
     
  17. parakeet

    parakeet Member

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    Just my opinion, but I don't see the point in the daughter nor investigators in not revealing all what Audrey told her mother before she disappeared. I mean, most likely whoever was responsible is now dead. Unless of course, that information has more to do with the possibility she's alive and in an embarrasing situation. But anybody who may have thought ill of her is most likely dead.
    It's a 50 plus year old investigation. I think its time new details are released in the chance somebody who was around memory can be jogged.
     
  18. melodyl

    melodyl Member

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    What were the results of the DNA testing on the remains? Has she been found?
     
  19. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Yes, the first time I heard of this case was on the original run of Unsolved Mysteries. I consider it the best thing they ever did and they did a lot of good stuff.
     
  20. youshouldveknown

    youshouldveknown New Member

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    When I first read this, I immediately thought that perhaps Thomas Hotard's wife could be involved. Does she have any brothers? If she knew the two were more than friends, she could have confided in a male friend, brother or even her father who took matters into his own hands. I'm not suggesting she was involved, although she may have been. I'd like to know more about the investigation - who was questioned, persons of interest, etc.
     
  21. momtolil

    momtolil New Member

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    Does anyone know what became of Audreys daughter? Her first and only post was so sad. What a horrible thing to happen to a little girl.
    I'm hoping she got some answers. I wonder if dna has been put into CODIS?
     

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