OH - Brian Shaffer, 27, Columbus, 1 April 2006 - #3

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by dotr, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Would Brian's photo ID have been useful to anyone, perhaps to stay in or get out of the country, or to get medical certification of some kind?
    Wild speculation, imo.
    Re post
    rbbm.
    https://melmagazine.com/a-guy-walks-into-a-bar-53c784e7369b

    [​IMG]


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  3. Brainy

    Brainy Member

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    Dotr - I honesty doubt it. His ID picture is meaningless without other relevant data such as his name, DOB, etc.


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  4. Brainy

    Brainy Member

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    As for the questions raised about businesses and the construction that was going on in 2006... I have seen some locals making comments in various forums but I haven't seen anything consistent in their comments that stood out to me in any way.

    How could existence of types of businesses be linked to Brian's disappearance?

    LE claims there is no footage of Brian but we are not aware the level and depth of their investigation anyway. We have no idea if they ever checked cameras in the surrounding areas as opposed to mainly focusing on the bar and its immediate vicinities. Keep in mind that investigation didn't really start until few days later, and by the time LE realized that Brian was actually a missing person... precious time was lost in the investigation. Whoever harmed Brian could have had plenty of time to go back and clean their tracks. I believe that's exactly what happened or that person was very smooth not to leave any evidence behind.

    I do completely abandon the theory that something happened to Brian in the bar. That leaves us with the only possible option, that whatever happened to him happened OUT of the bar. I don't care so much about why he wasn't seen on camera or how he left, if he did indeed left, cameras in the surrounding area should have captured him. There is no way he could have missed ALL of them by accident. Sure, some of them, but not ALL of them. This leaves us with the answer that yes, there should have been a footage of Brian Shaffer somewhere in the area from that night. People don't just vanish like that or suddenly turn invisible.


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  5. BessDrew

    BessDrew Well-Known Member

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    If he or someone else using his ID left via a regional airport by plane, the police would have been able to uncover that, I would think.

    The odds are incredibly, incredibly low someone else killed him in order to use his ID. Did he leave of his own freewill using his ID? The odds there are higher of course. But I still (and I hope I'm wrong) think his body may turn up someday and his ID will be discovered...and perhaps it will be the thing that makes identifying him easier.

    I check back here periodically hoping someone (Clint, Brian's brother, even Brian himself) will post some sort of undisclosed information that sheds some light. Or hoping they've found him, dead or alive.

    If it was ever discovered that Brian is--perhaps against all odds--still alive, and say he somehow contacted his brother but asked for secrecy, there's a chance it wouldn't even be made public. I hope someday we know...but maybe we never will.
     
  6. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    A long-shot,

    But Brian could have had an interest in a hobby or activity relating to one of those businesses. The building itself seems to resemble a shopping mall. The podcaster believes strongly that Brian did not go back into the bar, but instead left via exit outside or through one of those construction site areas. We can't get straight answers on so many things. Not only other businesses in that area that have no record of seeing Brian that night, but also was their a construction site elevator, and was it operational at that time?

    What steps would one have to take to get to that construction site area, or use this alleged elevator? It seems that those areas, if applicable should have been sealed off well for safety reasons. Could Brian have befriended an Ugly Tuna, or other business area employee, who was able to get him to that construction area, where he met an accidental death, and is buried over at the construction site? Search dogs are not perfect. They could have missed his scent easier than some might think.

    Satch
     
  7. Brainy

    Brainy Member

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    I don't know... My thoughts turn in many directions when considering what the possibilities are... There has got to be a way to solve this case. I wonder if any camera footage has survived from that time. I seriously doubt that anything has survived. It just isn't possible that no camera in the area captured Brian. The right footage could have not been checked. I think LE should have checked all the cameras that were on Brian's route to his apartment. There is no mention anywhere that any of these were investigated. I think what could have happened is Brian heading home and then someone who wanted to harm him offered him a ride and they disappeared into the night. If this happened, they could have gone anywhere. If Brian was heavily intoxicated and wasn't able to make a good decision, I think it would have been easy to subdue and hurt him.




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  8. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the new thread, Sillybilly! :)
     
  9. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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  10. george14

    george14 Member

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    Why do you abandon that? To be honest, that is the only scenario that logically makes sense. Sure we have no idea, no one really does. But to me, that seems like the one possibility that is impossible to abandon.
     
  11. Brainy

    Brainy Member

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    It's just a gut feeling. If he was killed and hidden in the construction site, I think cops would find his body... unless he was killed, dumped there and cemented over. But again, it would require someone who knew what they were doing and be very familiar with the setting. Some folks have also mentioned here that Brian would have slipped and ended up in the area and that his body remained there, unnoticed, which I find absolutely preposterous and very hard to believe.
     
  12. snowleopard

    snowleopard Active Member

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  13. MistyM

    MistyM Active Member

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    could brian have possibly, maybe traded clothing with someone in the bar? and people are looking for the wrong color clothing in the security cams?
     
  14. BessDrew

    BessDrew Well-Known Member

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    That's a great question, but I do remember a police officer saying that they double, triple, quadruple checked the camera footage. Like they literally sat there and paused the tape, identified every person who went in, and paused and paused and paused again to account for who went out.

    One less person went out than came in (on camera).

    They also specifically said they looked for anyone of Brian's build that could've been Brian in other clothes, even considering the possibility he could be wearing a wig or completely different clothing.

    They couldn't find an "extra" not-Brian person who wasn't recorded coming in either.

    I've been following this case for a long time and have read all the posts on these 3 threads, but one of the problems so many years later, is that a lot of the original articles are no longer live online and you really have to do some digging to find them. I'll try to go back and find a summary I did a while back in case it helps anyone...
     
  15. BessDrew

    BessDrew Well-Known Member

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    Okay, just in case it helps any new people coming in...or helps refresh anyone's memory...here's a copy and paste from my old review post from 1-22 at 8:29. You can find the original linked here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...ian-Shaffer-27-Columbus-1-April-2006-2/page54

    Okay, I reviewed Brian's first thread on Websleuths. I was surprised that no one had made a timeline at the time, as that seems to be standard on this forum these days when someone goes missing. It's trickier trying to make a timeline 10 years later, but I've scraped up what I found so far and welcome all of you to copy and paste this "draft" of a timeline to your posts to add more events or details.

    Please note, some of the original articles from 8-10 years ago are no longer on the web, so secondary sources that referenced those or, in some cases, web archives had to be used.

    Bio: Brian was born February 25, 1979. He graduated in 1997 from Pickerington High, went to Ohio State for his undergrad in microbiology, and then to OSU's med school. His mother, Renee--who he admired deeply, by all accounts--passed away from cancer in March of 2006.

    March 28, 2016: Alexis reported Brian jokingly suggested they should skip class the next day and runaway together. She also, however, acknowledged that he had also once suggested recently that Alexis should move on from him due to his grief.

    April 1 : Brian goes out to dinner with his dad, Randy. His dad says Brian was tired and it seemed like poor timing for Brian to engage a night out with friends. But Brian wanted to celebrate the beginning of Spring Break with the guys. Brian invited his brother, Derek--whom by all accounts, he had gotten closer to during the last days of their mother's life--to come along with him. However, his brother had plans to see a comedy show with his girlfriend.

    6:21 p.m.: Brian left a message on Alexis' MySpace page saying he was looking forward to their trip to Miami.

    9:30 p.m.: Brian and some male friends headed to Ugly Toona Saloona, a bar located near the OSU campus.

    9:56: Brian and Alexis talked on the phone, he told her he was out with "the guys" and this was his chance to talk about her. He also told her he loved her. The person he seemed to be hanging out with throughout the night was his former roommate, Clint.

    After the call to Alexis, Brian and his friends walked to the Arena District in Columbus and visited two bars called North Shore Tavern and Brother's. They were said to meet up with other friends at Brother's. They met up with another known girl, Meredith, there and she gave them a ride back to Ugly Tuna.

    1:15 a.m.:Security footage shows Brian, Clint, and Meredith riding the escalator up the Ugly Tuna building.

    1:55 a.m.: Brian was seen on security footage talking to two women, outside the bar but still in the building. He does not appear excessively drunk in any of the footage. I.e. He is not faltering, wobbling etc. He then walks off camera, seemingly toward the entrance of the Ugly Tuna.

    2:00 a.m.: Clint and Meredith said Brian walked away from them at some point, to talk to other people--which was not unusual for him, but they could not locate him at 2:00 a.m. when the bar closed. Some said he went to talk to the band. Since he was a big Pearl Jam fan, and had a Pearl Jam album cover inspired tattoo, this seems plausible. They called Brian, but could not locate him and eventually assumed he left for home on his own. By 2:00 a.m. Brian's phone was said to be going straight to voicemail.

    Randy, Alexis, and police all pored over surveillance footage. The police said they were able to determine that every person that came in also left, EXCEPT for Brian.

    The following theories have been offered for why Brian's exit didn't appear on camera:

    1. He may have gone into a movie theater that used the same building and sometimes showed midnight movies. It has not been confirmed there was a movie showing that night that I am aware of.If this was the case, he would've still used the same escalator/exit that was monitored by cameras.

    2. Apparently the movie theater had an emergency exit which triggered a camera when used.

    3. Ugly Tuna had a staff exit in the back that, at the time, went out to a construction area. The detective on the case didn't think using this exit was likely. The door was chained. It would've been hard to squeeze through and hard to maneuver. Cadaver dogs were later brought to this area and they did not find any scent of Brian. No articles at the time suggested there were areas where Brian could've fallen undetected or which were later sealed by cement, although this has been speculated.

    4. Brian was said to have gone and talked to the band. Some have speculated he left with the band or a worker out the back entrance.

    5. It has also been said that at least one of the security cameras was the type that panned the room and could be adjusted by security guards watching. It is, then, possible that the panning camera simply missed Brian's exit.

    6. The police did find footage on Saturday morning of a tall white man leaving Ugly Tuna, followed by two black men. When they froze the frame and blew up the photo, however, Brian's friends and family did not think the image was of Brian.

    7. He purposefully changed his appearance and escaped detection. However, police have said they examined the video for this and couldn't find any other person who exited who could've been Brian.

    8. The girls Brian was last seen talking to on camera and a man seen repeatedly riding on the escalator (apparently trying to re-connect with his own ride) were both questioned and cleared.

    Note: Brian lived on King Ave. less than a mile from the bar. But Brian's car was at his apartment and all his belongings were undisturbed. He didn't use his phone or credit cards after disappearing and his phone, wallet, and keys were never found.

    At one point, it was rumored that a homeless person reported seeing Brian 4 days later. I couldn't confirm this source as the original article was no longer there.

    The friends Brian hung out with that night took lie detectors, except for Clint who refused and hired a lawyer. Meredith also hired a lawyer, but later said she had taken and passed a lie detector test. This was difficult to verify. By all accounts, Clint refused to take the lie detector test. It was also said on the WS forum that he asked for immunity if he did so and was denied.

    April 3/4: Police with cadaver dogs, as well as Brian's dad and Alexis, searched the area. It was searched multiple times since then.

    May 11, 2006: Someone kicked in Brian's apartment door and stole some electronics. The police had Alexis help determine what was missing. A TV and DVD player were reported missing. It is of course possible that other things were missing, but went unnoticed.

    September, 2006: Alexis said she paid Brian's cell phone and called it every night. His brother and father also reported calling it regularly. It always went to voicemail. One night in September, 2006, however, it rang out of nowhere, but no one answered. Alexis notified Brian's father and the police. When called again, it rang for several hours. Cingular, the company, said it could be the phone was charged or it was glitching and the actual device never rang. The phone was said to have pinged in Hilliard, which according to one posted, is a small city/community west of Columbus about 15-20 minutes away from Campus where he disappeared from.

    March 28, 2007: A vigil was held. Brian's father had 1,000 green balloons released to represent hope for his son.

    June 23, 2007: A sick commenter left an offensive message on findbrianshaffer.com's message board, which seemed blatantly like cruelty, suggesting Brian was attacked and harmed/burned. It was so outrageous and purposefully offensive, it was deemed a hoax.

    August, 2007: Texase Eqqsearch searched the area and did not find anything. They had intended to come back in December, but canceled due to the illness of a member of their team.

    September 15, 2008: Brian's father, Randy, was tragically killed by a falling tree branch during a severe storm. He had gone out to retrieve supplies from the shed. He was discovered by neighbors the next day.

    October 2, 2008: Someone claiming to be Brian, and claiming to be in the Virgin Islands, left a message on the obituary/funeral page for Brian's father. It was a short message that said he loved him. It was later determined the message was sent from a public computer in Franklin County, Ohio, but the exact sender was never determined.

    April 2009: The Lantern, OSU's student newspaper, quoted Clint's lawyer Rosenberg.

    "...'It is Brian, and not Clint who is causing his family pain and hardship," Rosenberg wrote. "Brian should come forward and end this.' Florence, he said, did not have anything to hide, he had merely told everything he knew from the beginning and did not see the value of doing so again...."

    2011: Extended family members were still leaving Brian family updates on his MySpace page, but mentioned they didn't know if he was alive to see them, but were leaving them just in case. They asked him to contact family members if he was still alive.

    2014: Crime Stoppers said they were receiving around 2 tips a month about Brian's case still.

    ***

    Again, please feel free to copy and paste and add more details to this in your posts here on WS.

    Most Probable Scenario?:Also, some of the commenters here have discussed this and suggested the most likely scenario is he somehow left the bar, but met with an accident or attacker...possibly in part due to being under the influence and alone at night in a neighborhood where crimes were commonplace.

    Scenario Mentioned By Those Closest To The Case: Brian's father, brother, Alexis, Clint (via his lawyer), and the main detective all--at least at one point--though it plausible that Brian could have fled out of grief/breakdown. People have speculated because of things he wrote on his MySpace or said that he always idealized living on an island and being in a band. He said on his MySpace profile description: "Um...I really love music and this whole doctor thing is really just a job (only temporary) until I get my band together and put out a record. I want to own an island someday, or at least a beach so I can listen to Buffett all day and drink margaritas with my senorita."

    Other Possible Rumors/Scenarios Thrown Out on WS in the last 10 years Brian left with the band, an employee, went to reunite with an ex in Texas, left to start a new life, was leading a double life, things went bad with Clint, Clint and/or Meredith had come onto/liked Brian in past. It was also examined whether he could be a victim of theorized serial killers, called the Smiley Face Killers, but the FBI and police both discredited this due to lack of graffiti, lack of a body, and the fact that the existence of such a killer hasn't been proven.There were other similar aged male victims who died around bars or around the river in the surrounding years however.

    Note: An email password "AlexisLoveMarry" was found on an index card in Brian's apartment. By all accounts, he loved and intended to marry Alexis.

    Questions I still have:
    1. Did security cameras run all night? After hours? 24 hours a day? And was it verified that the video's timestamp was accurate?
    2. What other friends interacted with Brian that night?
    3. Were Clint and Meredith's cars, phone records, and credit card records searched?
    4. What band played that night? Was there gear or vehicle searched? What about the vehicles of workers at the bar?
    5. What about Brian's credit cards? Did he use cash (his dad said he usually carried it) at the bars earlier that night?
     
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  16. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the awesome timeline and case summary, BessDrew!
    :hero:
     
  17. apriori

    apriori New Member

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    I'm new here and while I fully intended for my first post to be about the infamous Lawson or Swanson cases, I got stuck on this one instead.

    Most cold cases seem to rest not on a complete lack of evidence, but of a lack of public dissemination of evidence or conflicting information. Even a simple timeline of events can take hours to procure from forums and public documents.

    Thank you BessDrew for the synopsis. I would add that Clint - according to an Ohio Missing Dispatch article - spent 6 hours in Brian's apartment the following day. This raises obvious questions, like "Why?" and, "How did he get a key?".
    I've listed several questions below that I feel could be important. I may have also made a minor discovery that I haven't seen pointed out on other forums, below.


    • How long was the security footage viewed -- until the bar closed? An hour after? If there is no video evidence of Brian leaving the bar, maybe he didn't. It would be crucial to know how long the footage was viewed if he happened to leave later in the A.M or afternoon.
    • The police report is clear that there is no video evidence that establishes Brian re-entered the bar. He simply walked in the direction of it. If he did re-enter the bar, wouldn't there be video evidence of him ascending the escalator?
    • Finally, can the report about a 'tall white male' leaving the Ugly Tuna while being trailed by two black men be confirmed? This is raising red flags for me and I hope it was investigated thoroughly.



    I don't put much into the fact that Brian eluded security footage. You have to keep in mind, this building his huge. It also has multiple exits, rooms, doors, stairwells etc.

    Here's the entrance to the Ugly Tuna.
    [​IMG]


    Here's the view outside of the Ugly Tuna.
    [​IMG]


    And finally, here is the view from the camera.
    [​IMG]

    (This is not the last known image of Brian, I can't seem to find original footage. Were all of the videos ever released in their entirety?)
    Notice anything? Count how many yellow bars there are on the floor from the top of the steps to the wall. Now look at how many bars the camera can observe in its field of view. This should illustrate how easy it would have been for someone to walk out of one of the doors, down the commons of the theatre entrance and never caught on camera -- even though he's directly beneath one.
     

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  18. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Ws apriori, thanks for joining us with a great first post!
     
  19. BessDrew

    BessDrew Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for your additions. What date are the photos you posted from? Just curious as the site is much different now than back then.

    I remember seeing for myself interviews that stated the police did check the footage the next day. This is how they came to ask Brian's family about the guy who came out some time the next morning. I will see if I can find links to that, but a lot of the original articles aren't around online anymore so someone in Columbus might need to go to the library and take a photo of the originals to verify this for you.

    Secondly, to answer your other question: the bar is inside the building on the second floor, to the right of the top of the elevator. So when Brian was last seen, he was already on the second floor, and appears to move toward the direction of the bar. If he re-entered the bar from the place where he was last seen, he would just need to walk a few steps...he would not have to change floors. Hope that helps!
     
  20. BessDrew

    BessDrew Well-Known Member

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    I found one article that cited this fact. It was originally viewable at: http://www.nbc4i.com/news/8474636/detail.html

    You can still find the web archives here: https://web.archive.org/web/20060409081737/http://www.nbc4i.com/news/8474636/detail.html

    It said..."Columbus police thought they might have had a break in the case with a surveillance video taken early Saturday morning outside of the Ugly Tuna Saloona, where Brian Shaffer was last seen. They thought a man seen on the video getting onto an escalator outside of the bar, followed by two men in black shirts, was Brian Shaffer.

    Late Tuesday, however, police determined that the man was not Brian Shaffer after blowing up the video and showing it to family and friends."

    Personally, I think it must have been someone other than Brian. If you showed me a video of my brother walking down the stairs of a building, even if the video was fuzzy, I would never eliminate the possibility for police unless I could be 100% sure it wasn't him. I'm guessing they showed it to several friends and family and it was obvious it wasn't him.
     
  21. PrinceofPop

    PrinceofPop New Member

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    I cannot thank you enough for posting this. These are the first images actually showing this and where the construction exit was in 06. As far as what we have known publically, this blows the case wide open. Many of us were at the end of the case with the public information and not being able to go further because it was not known where the construction entrance was. Also the options for the last time Brian being seen on video were only that he could have reentered the bar without being on camera. Here this opens the possibility he went that way even if four eyewitnesses did say he went back into the bar after that. Wow! This is a huge break that I don't think many who have not studied all of the information will appreciate. Thank you so much!

    You can find the video of him talking to the girls on the video does for John Lorden's Brain Scratch. It shows him more heading toward the construction entrance area than the bar but it is still inconclusive. Prior to this the idea was that the camera made it look like he was either heading into the Tuna or the bar, this breaks that wide open.

    I am not sure I see what you are saying about him getting out of the doors. I can see him slinking along the wall, but remember there are two cops standing right there. Plus if he turned to the doors then he is back on camera. If he slinks along the wall and the cops have left, the emergency exit was through where the theater is but its camera would have to malfunction as well. Then he either disappears on his own accord or is murdered. Unless he has someone disable that camera as well and why would he slink along the wall if not to disappear on his own accord.

    I wonder if Clint and Meridith know he did not go back into the bar and the girls just assumed and he somehow got into the construction entrance. Which raises a new question, how was that entrance secured? Police seem to think he could have gotten in there.

    You seem to know the Tuna and say it has multiple exits. But police have always held the front door, the emergency exit by the theater, and the construction exit. I do think its possible he could have hidden or been lost until the police were gone. We do not know if the cameras ever turned off there. Police did check other footage but I'm not sure if they ran 24/7 either.
     

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