MS MS - Shondra May, 17, Forest, 4 Feb 1986

Quill, I am a podcaster and have been working on writing up a story on Shondra's murder for a little over a year. I check here frequently and have sent in a public information request twice for which I have been denied (most probably as this is an active investigation). I am from the southern part of the state, but my podcast is based around murders in Mississippi, both solved and unsolved. I have been captivated by this case since the moment I read Wayne Brown's write-up on the case.

Some things that I have found odd about this are that in my independent studies, there are several women in the state that went missing around the same time. Within the same year and the year after Shondra, women from Ellisville and Petal went missing. Their cars were found with all items still inside. I know that a man was arrested for one of the crimes and the other is still unsolved with no body ever being recovered.

As for your comments on Betty Jones and Katherine Criglar, I think it would be in the best interest of Starkville PD to test the DNA in this case for familial matches--after all, that is exactly how The Golden State Killer was captured this week after more than 40 years!

I believe wholeheartedly that Shondra's murder will be solved. Keep her story seen and heard! As soon as I feel that I have gotten this story covered well enough for a podcast recording, I will let you know.

Hello,
Any updates on your attempts to do a podcast on Shondra's case? I know its not nearly as old, but Culpable podcast about the Christian Andreacchio case sure has rattled a lot of cages in Mississippi.
 
Wow!! So many potential suspects. Wonder why the cop said one of the killers had red hair? What DNA was left behind? MOO

I would love to know the answer to the DNA question, especially since we are seeing a lot of cold cases being solved based on DNA. However, given the way she was found, I do wonder about the viability of a solid sample being available. I do pray I am wrong and this horrible crime will one day be solved.
 
I was finally able to read over the archived newspaper articles that jokie7348 sent me.
Let me say that the police have been diligent in trying to find the murderer of Shondra for all these years.
Here is what I gleaned from the first reading.
Shondra was found naked and I hate to use the term they used, but it is what happened. She was 'hog tied.'
Two autopsies done.
But the second was done, it says, on a US Forest Service Rd.
First autopsy, no cause of death found. Second autopsy, cause of
death was strangulation.
There was no mention of sexual assault.
First questions:
How much forensic evidence was saved from the two autopsies?
Would there be any value to a third autopsy all these years later?
Was there any dna left to save after Shondra was in the water for that length of time?
Was Shondra sexually assaulted? I am presuming yes.
Any forensic value to how the knots were tied?

Shondra was abducted 75 yds from her home. The car door was ajar. And only her driver's license was missing.
One theory was that a 'blue light' car... someone pretending to be a police officer pulled her over. That would explain the driver's license not there.
Second questions:
Was her car stored? With the police or by the parents?
Is there a possibility of current forensic evidence being used on
the car?

There have been at least 3 suspects over the years.
Two of them seemed to be real possibilities. One passed a lie detector test.
A woman witness reported a similar incident, but then recanted and left town, moved to Texas.
Third questions:
Was her boy friend investigated and cleared?
Do the police know where the woman witness is now?
Are the two suspects still living?

I really think these articles should be posted and have asked one of the mods if we can do that.

More later.
Perhaps the "blue light" theory has some validity after all...wonder where the cop mentioned here is today? Small town, probably was never even looked at.


Here is some interesting data on the case: The Shondra May Mystery
A statement from a former Shondra coworker: Muddy Mississippi Justice: Former Shondra May Co-worker Speaks Out!

EBM MOO BBM
 
I'm gonna kindly ask that you leave my families names out of this. I am the daughter of Karl Strahan. And yes what he did do is horrible enough, but he has been cleared of the Shondra May case years ago. I do hope that the family finds justice. But my family had nothing to do with Shondra Mays murder. I've done my own digging even in the Mariah smith abduction for answers to questions I still have. Please respect my wishes. That's all I ask. And H. Rabideau needs to stop obsessing over my family as well as M. Jeffries.

Has This Man Been Looked at as a Suspect?
This man has ties within the community Cartage,MS/Hattiesburg,MS/ Collins,MS
Related Family
Jenkins/Jefferies/Strahan

Two Weeks ago I learned of the 1986 Abduction and Murder of Shondra May from The Shondra May Mystery by Wayne Brown. This Case immediately made me think of Case on ffrf.org I read a month or so earlier; "Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children" by Annie Laurie Gaylor. In the Book it references a case and that occurred in Hattiesburg, MS on July 9,1986:

The grandmother of a minister who abducted an 18 year old woman for 24 days and raped and molested her, could only comment, "If you had seen him when . . . he preached, his face was just shining like an angel." This diabolical crime involved kidnapping Maria C. Smith from a shopping mail in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on July 9, beating her with belts and raping her, and imprisoning her bound-and-gagged in the trunk of a car for what a judge later termed a 24-day reign of "terrorism." On August 2, the assailant Rev. Karl Strahan and his father purported to discover the missing teenager, and were touted as heroes. Two days later police realized Strahan was the abductor. He had threatened Smith's life if she had not backed up his story. On February 6, 1987 he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and armed robbery in Forrest County, where he received a 25-year concurrent sentence. The same day in bordering Covington County where he had taken his victim, Strahan pleaded guilty to rape and sexual battery. He received a sentence of life imprisonment on the rape charges and 30 years on sexual battery to run consecutively. Strahan was a licensed Mississippi Baptist minister. (Sources: Jackson Mississippi Daily, 8/6/86; 8/8/86; Hattiesburg American, 2/6/87)

Could Only Find limited information on this case but managed to find
Southern Herald Newspaper: Hattiesburg Girl Missing The Southern Herald July 24 Page 6
Southern Hearld Newspaper: Helen Comments: article says she was found in a shack and was locked in a freezer
The Southern Herald August 7 Page 1

Karl Strahan D.O.B. 12/15/1960 - 25yrs old at the Time of Crime
Crime occurred 5 months after Shondra May.

Karl Strahan was located in Jackson MS,
HRS (Karl's Father) had a place in Covington County, Collins, MS and also in Forest County Hattiesburg, MS
AS (Karls Uncle)
Look up HR under comments for Muddy Mississippi Justice and also Comments for the article Unsolved Murder Spotlight She Mentions Karl Strahan I found these on Saturday 1/25/14 I learned she is in a civil union with a M Jefferies(strahan Cousin)?. She posted on two different articles the same day this woman knows the family and knows something.

Look at <modsnip> Collins, MS owned by Karls Father H. Is that where Maria was held possibly Shrondra? <modsnip>
 
There were rumors of a van but nothing was ever proven about a van. Her body was found in a creek in Bolton MS (between Vicksburg and Jackson) about 80 miles from her house. She was found in the creek close to a bridge on Champion Hill Road by a single man not a couple of hunters because we paid him a $5000.00 reward for finding Shondra. See, I have a special connection to this case, Shondra is my sister.
I am so sorry for your loss. My own sister died of illness years ago and I will never be over it. I hope you find out the truth.
 
Interesting comment on this. Wilson Stribling is media with the local NBC affiliate, WLBT in Jackson, MS. I really hope someone is looking into it.

Like others, I would really like to see this case taken to Cold Justice, but I would settle for a podcast. Any news on that potential podcast? Crickets last time I asked. If still interested, you might find the comment sections interesting @bdmurdersippipod .

Wilson Stribling WLBT
 
Am I correct that her drivers license was missing when she was found? MOO
 
Am I correct that her drivers license was missing when she was found? MOO

Yes. Her driver's license and the large Valentine's card she had purchased were missing from her other belongings that were found in her car.
 
Yes. Her driver's license and the large Valentine's card she had purchased were missing from her other belongings that were found in her car.
The license missing suggests that she could have been “pulled over” and given it to an “officer”. VDay card? Not so sure. MOO
 
Thirty-four years and counting. Would have been fifty-two today.
So very sorry for your loss...happy belated bday Shondra, we will do whatever we can to bring you justice so you can finally Rest In Peace...MOO EBM
 
Thirty-four years and counting. Would have been fifty-two today.

Tough day for you, I am sure. So very sorry for your loss and your family's pain. I hope there is some small comfort in knowing that she is not forgotten. I pray that someone will pay the price while they walk this earth, and if not on this earth, then surely when they meet their maker.

Would you like to see a show such as Cold Justice or a podcast such as Up and Vanished take on her story?

The license missing suggests that she could have been “pulled over” and given it to an “officer”. VDay card? Not so sure. MOO

That missing card has always intrigued me. Why leave everything else but take that? Probably not important but still.
 
Tough day for you, I am sure. So very sorry for your loss and your family's pain. I hope there is some small comfort in knowing that she is not forgotten. I pray that someone will pay the price while they walk this earth, and if not on this earth, then surely when they meet their maker.

Would you like to see a show such as Cold Justice or a podcast such as Up and Vanished take on her story?
 
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Quill,
I'm for anything that keeps her murder case active and on the forefront of people's minds. My belief is her murder will only be solved as more of the public knows about her murder and push for it to be solved or public opinion puts enough pressure on someone to tell what they know.

I did receive a phone call from the Scott County Sheriff (Mike Lee) last week about Shondra's case. He is currently pursuing new suspects that have not been previously considered and he is also trying to match DNA evidence to his suspects and former suspects. Mr. Lee's has said previously that one of his priorities was to try his best to solve Shondra's murder case and with him reaching out to my family about her case and him sharing what he is doing and pursuing helps keep the hope alive...
 
Quill,
I'm for anything that keeps her murder case active and on the forefront of people's minds. My belief is her murder will only be solved as more of the public knows about her murder and push for it to be solved or public opinion puts enough pressure on someone to tell what they know.

I did receive a phone call from the Scott County Sheriff (Mike Lee) last week about Shondra's case. He is currently pursuing new suspects that have not been previously considered and he is also trying to match DNA evidence to his suspects and former suspects. Mr. Lee's has said previously that one of his priorities was to try his best to solve Shondra's murder case and with him reaching out to my family about her case and him sharing what he is doing and pursuing helps keep the hope alive...


I am so glad to hear that the case is so active. I remember Sheriff Lee saying in the media that he is committed to solving this case and am reassured by your news that he is still working it. I don't personally know him, but do know of the family and feel that he is a good man.

I have sent a few dm's to some social media accounts of Up*and*Vanished and the guy who did the Cu1pable podcast. I only got one response but at least I dropped her name in their inboxes. I think a few cases have been stirred up because it causes people who have become comfortable thinking that the case has been forgotten to become nervous when it all comes back up. Nervous people make mistakes.

I never knew your sister. I was close in age and lived a county or two away. I had so much in common with her and I guess I felt like if that could happen to her it could also happen to me. It was a very haunting time and very much an innocence lost moment for me. I think this horrible crime took away a certain innocence or insulation that those of us who grew up in small, tight-knit communities had. All I know is that I have never forgotten her. I pray this person has to pay the earthly price for what he has done.

Thank you for keeping us updated.
 
Yes. Her driver's license and the large Valentine's card she had purchased were missing from her other belongings that were found in her car.
Without mentioning names. Is it known whom the card was for?.......ADD ON. Did she smoke cigarettes? Today I dont know about back then, or there. But the clerk cashier would as k for id. To check to make sure you were old enough to purchase smokes. And if she did smoke, did they find a new pack or a pack with maybe no more than one missing. Newports perhaps. Menthol
 
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Without mentioning names. Is it known whom the card was for?.......ADD ON. Did she smoke cigarettes? Today I dont know about back then, or there. But the clerk cashier would as k for id. To check to make sure you were old enough to purchase smokes. And if she did smoke, did they find a new pack or a pack with maybe no more than one missing. Newports perhaps. Menthol
Had to reply to my own comment. Time to edit had expired. There is a chance the card was delivered before hand. Do we know for a fact whom the card was. Did anyone see a name on the card, or is it a assumption whom the card was for
 
Without mentioning names. Is it known whom the card was for?.......ADD ON. Did she smoke cigarettes? Today I dont know about back then, or there. But the clerk cashier would as k for id. To check to make sure you were old enough to purchase smokes. And if she did smoke, did they find a new pack or a pack with maybe no more than one missing. Newports perhaps. Menthol

If I recall, there was a receipt found in her car from the card purchase, which is how they knew there was a card to begin with. I don't recall there being another purchase other than the card but I would have to look that up.

I think she had a boyfriend who was cleared and if I recall correctly he was never given the card.

I have answered these questions based on memory without looking back at the official details so any corrections needed are welcomed.
 
If I recall, there was a receipt found in her car from the card purchase, which is how they knew there was a card to begin with. I don't recall there being another purchase other than the card but I would have to look that up.

I think she had a boyfriend who was cleared and if I recall correctly he was never given the card.

I have answered these questions based on memory without looking back at the official details so any corrections needed are welcomed.
I went back and read the thread, and all links that are still available. Car found 75 yards or so from house, she found around 80 miles away. Thats at least an hour or two from where the car was found. Thats a long way to travel. Someone had a predetermined place in mind after the abduction. A place they were comfortable with but getting there had to be stressful do to the long distance. She called home, to tell mom she was leaving work and would be home soon. I am wondering if perhaps someone was already parked where her car was found, and she pulled up behind them or in front of them and got out because she recongined the vehicle stopped there. Was there someone band from coming to the house? Someone the family did not want coming to the home any longer? Where she was found she was probably thrown off the bridge into the water with the intent of being washed down river but got caught in some debris. I believe she was killed after getting the 80 miles away, and not soon after abduction. To kill her say at her car and then travel with her 80 miles away is wayyyyy to risky. Her license could have been on her person, hip pocket whatever, that is why i ask about the purchasing of cigs. They asked for id then she just put it in her pocket. But that card missing. I think she gave it to someone. I think this was no stranger abduction, or some serial killer that happened to follow her home and had her stopped 75 yards from her house to kidnap and kill her and leave her 80 miles from her abandoned car. Someone had planned on this premeditated for whatever reason. Was she at one time involved with an older man, much older then she at some time.
 

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