MD MD - Oliver Wendell Munson, 39, Catonsville, 13 Feb 1984

Richard

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Oliver Wendell Munson
Missing since February 13, 1984 from Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: circa 1945
Age at Time of Disappearance: 39 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black male.

Circumstances of Disappearance

Munson, a bachelor and somewhat of a recluse, was last seen in 600 block of Orpington Road in Catonsville, Maryland on February 13, 1984. At 7:50 a.m., a neighbor saw Munson leaving his home, alone apparently heading to work.

Wendell was a industrial arts high school teacher in Howard County, MD, and never arrived at school.

He had an occasional girlfriend, but on weekends he often left town to visit his mother and two brothers on the Eastern Shore.

His family reported him missing the next day, February. 14, after checking his home. On February 16, the 1980 Ford Pinto belonging to Munson is found parked on Braeside Road in Catonsville, about two blocks from his home. The right front tire is flat, apparently due to a slow leak. In it was his touring cap, he usually wore, and had his lunch bag and school notebook on the front seat. Munson hobby was working on the old cars that littered his yard.

Investigators believe that he may have been murdered in retaliation of testifying against an auto theft ring. Mr. Munson had unknowingly bought a blue 1973 Datsun 240Z car from a ring member the year before he disappeared. This car had been stollen the on the morning of Munson's disappearance.

On February 27, the blue 1973 Datsun 240Z that had been stolen was recovered at the edge of Leakin Park in West Baltimore.

In the car were two business receipts with Munson's name, traces of unidentified blood, and a small-caliber shell casing. His body may have been dumped or buried somewhere, perhaps in Leakin Park, near where the stolen car was later found.

February 28, 1984 City police searched Leakin Park without success. ON May 28, 1985 Munson was legally declared dead, the victim of "presumptive homicide," his body was never found.

Investigators

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Baltimore County Police Department
410-887-3943

Source Information:

Maryland Missing Persons Network
Baltimore Sun 10/7/1993
The Doe Network: Case File 2006DMMD

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2006dmmd.html
 

Kat

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http://www.explorebaltimorecounty.com/news/98275/no-new-clues-man-missing-since-1984/

By Luke Broadwater

Posted 4/15/09

On Feb. 13, 1984, Oliver Munson walked out the door of his house and left for work. As far as anyone knows, he was never seen again.

His car was found a few blocks from his house in the 600 block of Orpington Avenue. The right front tire was flat.

Two weeks later, a stolen car was found at the edge of Leakin Park in West Baltimore.

Inside were two receipts bearing Munson's name, a shell casing and traces of unidentified blood. Police searched Leakin Park but could find no trace of Munson's body.

Gick said there was no way to test the blood found in the car for DNA back in 1984, and today that sample has deteriorated too much to be tested.

More at link
 

hoppyfrog

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http://www.explorebaltimorecounty.com/news/98275/no-new-clues-man-missing-since-1984/

15 April 09

Harold Munson hasn't seen his older brother in a quarter century. But the 61-year-old still holds out hope.


"I always think one of these days he's going to drive up my driveway," Harold Munson said. "It might be a dream. But I still have faith he's still alive."

It has been 25 years since Oliver Wendell Munson was supposed to show up to teach his shop class at the now-closed Ellicott City Middle School.
He never arrived, and now, a quarter century later, after his missing persons case has been combed through by many investigators, police and Munson's family still do not know what happened to the 39-year-old Catonsville resident that winter morning.

"We're still trying to find out what happened to Mr. Munson," said Det. Larry Gick, supervisor of Baltimore County police's cold case unit. "He disappeared under suspicious circumstances and he was never located. We've received no further information or leads in a long time."

and

Baltimore County police are now working with the University of North Texas and its unidentified human remains database to see if Munson's body has been recovered anywhere. Police recently took a voluntary DNA sample from Harold Munson to see if they can get a family match.

much, much more at link
 

Richard

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Bumping case up. It has been over 30 years since Oliver Wendell Munson went missing.
 

Hulagirl29

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I remember seeing this case on unsolved mysteries. Very sad he hasn't been found
 

ADVrider303

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Mr. Munson was my shop teacher at ECMS. I was watching the series "The Keepers" about Sister Catherine Cesnik, and about half way through the first episode his name just came to me.

Hard to believe that the blood found in the stolen car was not able to be linked to Mr. Munson.
 

SurrealisticSlumbers

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I disagree with the term "recluse" being used to describe Mr. Munson; he seemed to have kept in close contact with his family and held down a job. I wonder if the woman he had been seeing remembers his behavior changing in any way prior to his disappearance. I really believe that the gang who he testified against had it out for him, remembered his name and tracked him down.

A personal theory: the gang deliberately punctured his tire the night before. They knew in advance where he worked, and then when he began commuting to work that morning, he (being knowledgeable about cars) noticed that one of the tires had uneven pressure. A tire pressure light could have come on, if they even had those on the dashboards for older Fords like the one he was driving. The gang was aware of approximately what route he was going to take, and had likely been tracking his movements in the days leading up to the murder - so they also would have known what time he usually left for work.

As Mr. Munson stopped the vehicle to check on the tire (where the car was later located, just a couple blocks from where he lived) the gang pulled up, accosted him at gunpoint and ordered him into their vehicle. They may have assured him that they just wanted the Datsun, and then they'd release him. He would've needed to have the keys to the Datsun either in his possession / on his person, or they were back at his residence. Not sure if anyone observed people returning to the home, or if Munson was seen with others in the vicinity of the home - seems the last time anyone ever saw him was when he initially departed the residence. Either way, he somehow supplied them the keys to the Datsun.

Once one of the gang had control of the Datsun, Mr. Munson may have been handed over to that gang member. The person may have communicated that he was going to leave Munson in a deserted place to buy time to get away with the stolen vehicle / reunite with his associates. I've watched enough true crime shows to know that a common tactic, in lieu of actually killing a kidnapped person, is to blindfold the victim, drop them off in a remote area and then speed off. I'm not necessarily implying he was blindfolded. However, to calm him down and keep him compliant, they may have told him that no harm would come to him. However, when the gang member parked in a quiet part of Leakin Park, he didn't just let Munson out - a confrontation may have ensued in which Munson was fatally shot.

Then, due to the blood, a decision could have been made to abandon the vehicle. The other gang members could have planned all along to rendezvous at Leakin Park and leave the Datsun there; when they showed up, the gang member operating the Datsun may have then gotten into the car, stuffing Munson's body into the trunk or something. Either they didn't think the crime through in terms of not being able to re-sell a car with a bloody interior, OR, they used the theft of the Datsun as a "cover" to throw Munson off - make him believe that their motive was to just steal the car, not kill him. I speculate that they pulled away from the crime scene, transporting the body to some other area to bury or conceal in some way.

Now, I'm not ruling out that his remains are somewhere in the park. Could be that it just wasn't thoroughly searched as it should have been. I am just suggesting that there are multiple possibilities for where his remains could be. There are some really messed up people out there with grudges. Maybe he had cash on him that they stole as well, but I think this was primarily a revenge killing.
 

Sonny Crockett

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Horrible case. It's unfortunate that OM didn't have any idea that he was buying a stolen car from DW; he was completely innocent of any wrong-doing here, but was still negatively affected by the aftermath of buying the car.

Sad that he was going to be forced to testify in court against DW - even though he obviously didn't want to, for justifiable fear of retaliation.

It seems evident that OM did meet with foul play (on his way to work, probably) so that he wouldn't testify.

Or, another extremely unlikely possibility is that he skipped town/disappeared because he didn't want to go through with testifying. But, if that had occurred - I suspect he would have tried to contact his family members at some point afterwards - and, there is no indication that he did.
 

aobrien1970

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Mr. Munson was my shop teacher at ECMS. I was watching the series "The Keepers" about Sister Catherine Cesnik, and about half way through the first episode his name just came to me.

Hard to believe that the blood found in the stolen car was not able to be linked to Mr. Munson.
Mine too. He had a kind and gentle demeanor. The very first thing I ever made/created was a wooden rack to hang keys on. I made it for my father and whenever I see it, I cant help but wonder what happened to Mr. Munson. He is not forgotten.
 
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