In contemporary society, phone messages and voice mails are more annoying than helpful. Since cell phones with call displays became prevalent, messages are usually left only in emergencies or when your parents call. Still, there are cases of messages becoming integral clues in some truly disturbing unsolved mysteries.
10 The Murder Of John Masegian
In February 1983, John Masegian, a millionaire mortgage executive from Reno, was visiting the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami Beach with his fourth wife, 38-year-old Carol. It was a working vacation for John, who had been at a weeklong convention.
On February 11 at about 10:30 AM, Carol went to the pool. When John didn’t join her at noon as promised, she called their room twice. At 2:00 PM, Carol got the front desk to let her into their room. She didn’t have her key because she was expecting John to join her.
But John wasn’t in the room. He hadn’t left a note, either. Around 6:20 PM, the hotel discovered John’s dead body blocking the stairwell door on the fifth floor, about 2 meters (6 ft) from the Masegians’ room.
He had been garroted with an 80-centimeter (32 in) piece of nylon with wooden knobs on the ends. According to the police, the murder had been committed in the couple’s room by an expert between 10:45 AM and 1:15 PM. Then John was dragged facedown by his boots to the stairwell.
Police believe that the killer moved the body either to use the trash compactor five floors below or to ensure that Carol didn’t find the body. Robbery did not appear to be the motive.
When Carol was told about her husband’s murder, she was taken to the hospital in shock. But even though Carol could not have committed the murder, police suspected her involvement because she had received a suspicious telephone message at 10:45 AM the previous day.
A hotel operator had taken the message: “Dick and Jeanie will be arriving in Miami tomorrow at 12:30.” The police interviewed Carol and gave her a polygraph test.
Carol, who had previously been arrested for shoplifting and prostitution, admitted to drug use and stealing a purse while staying at the hotel. But she denied any involvement in the murder. The polygraph test suggested that she was telling the truth.
Carol and five of John’s children sued the hotel for $1 million. They claimed that John would not have been murdered if the hotel’s security had been better. But the jury sided with the hotel.
Carol received $857 a month from John’s workers’ compensation and $140,000 from the settlement of his estate. We could find no record of anyone being charged with the murder of John Masegian.
9 The Murders Of Albert Alain Chalem And Maier Lehmann
Throughout the day on October 25, 1999, two friends had been in contact with 41-year-old Albert Alain Chalem. But by 8:30 PM, he had stopped answering his phone.
At 1:30 AM, the friends went to the $1.1 million mansion in Colts Neck Township, New Jersey, where Chalem lived. Inside, they found the dead bodies of Chalem and his fellow penny stockbroker, 37-year-old Maier Lehmann.
The victims were lying facedown on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. Chalem had been shot once in the chest and five times in the neck and head. Lehmann had been shot once in the leg and three times in the head.
Both Chalem and Lehmann had a long history of shady business deals. At the time of their deaths, they were running a website that advertised high-risk, low-priced stocks known as penny stocks. Penny stocks trade below $5 per share.
Penny stock investors are often victims of pump-and-dump schemes. In this fraudulent activity, stock promoters recommend that potential investors buy shares of a low-priced penny stock, which “pumps” up its price. Then the promoters “dump” (sell) their shares at the inflated price, right before the stock loses value for the new investors.
At the time of the murders, the authorities were looking into mob connections with penny stocks. The double murder had all the hallmarks of a mob hit. However, it is unclear if the American or Russian Mafia performed the hit or if they were involved at all.
One possible clue is a voice mail found on Chalem’s answering machine. The call was made around the time of the murders, and the message simply said, “Call me back. Emergency.” Police speculated that the caller knew that the murderers were on their way to execute Chalem and Lehmann.
Joe Logan, an associate of the two victims, may have known the identity of the caller. Logan was one of the two friends in contact with Chalem the day of his murder. Logan was also one of the people who found the bodies.
Weeks earlier, Russian mobsters Boris and Michael Vax had visited Logan at his office to talk about Chalem. After the meeting, Chalem punched Logan in the face. Police believe that Logan may have lost the Russians’ money and blamed Chalem, and that Chalem found out about it.
Logan was brought in front of a grand jury but refused to testify. To date, the two murders remain unsolved.
8 The Death Of Luie Fields
On Valentine’s Day 2014, Kristina Fields of Colorado Springs got the most heartbreaking news anyone could receive. Her 13-year-old son, Luie, had hanged himself with his belt in his school’s washroom just after lunch.
Immediately, everyone thought that it was suicide and that Luie had been bullied. Kristina was obviously devastated by the news. But the more she thought about it, the less it made sense. For example, the previous night, Luie had been grounded and told not to move while he sat at the dinner table.
His family even recorded him with a camera. As soon as no one was watching, he would act silly. It was not behavior consistent with someone who would commit suicide less than 24 hours later.
After his death, Kristina was going through her voice mail and noticed a message from Luie on January 14, one month before his untimely death. On the voice mail, which was a butt dial, Luie was talking with a friend. Luie mentions “choking him again,” and later, Kristina heard the words “passed out.”
This led Kristina to believe that Luie died playing the choking game, a popular and incredibly dangerous activity among children and teens where they purposely choke themselves or their friends to get a brief high.
School officials maintain that the choking game is not being played at the school. But Kristina believes that they are in denial and that her son died as a result of the game.
7 The Abandonment Of Jesus Perez Florez
On May 18, 2003, a male toddler was found wandering around a modest neighborhood in Bakersfield, California. No one in the neighborhood recognized the child, so the police were called. They quickly realized that the boy had been abandoned.
He only spoke Spanish, and the police thought that the boy called himself Mateo. Unlike many children who are abandoned, Mateo was wearing new, clean clothes, and his hair was freshly cut. He was healthy and well fed. But Mateo didn’t know where he lived. He said that he was two years old, that he had two brothers and a dog, and that his mother’s name was Xochitl.
News that the boy had been found reached international audiences in the hopes that someone would come forward with knowledge about the child. On May 23, five days after Mateo was found, a voice mail was left for the lead detective on the case.
The woman claimed to be the mother of the boy, but she said that his name was Jesus Perez Florez. The confusion about the boy’s name occurred because the man who found Jesus was named Mateo. The caller said that she was dying of cancer and that her husband was abusive.
She wanted someone to adopt Jesus so that no one would hurt him if anything happened to her. The police were confident that the caller was the mother because she gave some information about the boy that wasn’t made public.
Nearly a month after Jesus was found, the police released the audio of the message. However, there are no reports of any family members coming forward to claim Jesus.
6 Deborah Wolfe
On December 26, 1985, 28-year-old Deborah Wolfe called her mother to say that she was leaving the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Deborah had been working there for 18 months as a registered nurse. When she didn’t show up for work the next day, her friends and family started searching for her.
After finding no trace of her, they called the police. Two days after being notified, which was five days since anyone had heard from Wolfe, the police looked into her disappearance.
At the same time, Wolfe’s friends, who were experienced scuba divers, searched the pond near her house. In 1.5 meters (5 ft) of water, they found Wolfe’s body stuffed into a barrel.
An autopsy was performed, and it was determined that Wolfe had drowned. Despite her body being found inside a barrel in a body of water, there were no signs of foul play, and the death was ruled an accident.
Authorities believe that Wolfe was walking her dogs and simply fell into the pond. The police denied that there was a barrel, even though the person who found the body swears he saw the body in a barrel.
Wolfe’s mother said that there was a barrel on Wolfe’s property that was missing. There was even an indentation in the ground where the barrel had been. Strangely, Wolfe was wearing clothes that her mother and stepfather didn’t recognize, and the clothes were all the wrong sizes.
Another possible clue was a phone message found on Wolfe’s answering machine. The message, recorded the first morning that Wolfe was missing, was from a man at the medical center where Wolfe worked. He said that he was calling to check on Wolfe because she had missed a few days of work.
But Wolfe had only missed work after she went missing. Wolfe’s mother believes that the caller, a volunteer at the hospital, was the murderer. The unidentified man wanted to become romantically involved with Wolfe, but she had turned him down.
The police investigated the man. He provided an alibi but declined to take a polygraph. A few days after Wolfe’s death was made public, the man moved out of state. The police felt no need to follow up with him.
Due to a lack of evidence, police are unsure if Wolfe’s death was a suicide, an accident, or a murder.
5 Segun Farquharson
In the minutes leading up to midnight on May 18, 2001, 24-year-old Segun Farquharson was in the backseat of a car that had three other men in it. The car was parked in a housing complex near his home in Toronto.
Either by accident or on purpose, Farquharson called his own voice mail. Over the next two minutes, it recorded the conversation between Farquharson and the three men.
The man in the front passenger seat was his friend. But the other two men believed that Farquharson was carrying a lot of money, and they wanted it.
Apparently, the man in the backseat with Farquharson was brandishing a gun. Farquharson said that he didn’t have any money on him, but he could get money if they wanted it. As the man in the backseat threatened him, Farquharson pleaded for his life. Then the voice mail cut off as it reached its two-minute warning.
At 12:01 AM, minutes after the voice mail was recorded, a call came into 911 to report gunshots. Police and emergency workers responded to the scene and found Farquharson dead, shot once in the back. Hoping for leads, the police released the voice mail. But the crime remains unsolved.
4 Nara Pech
In early 2015, 28-year-old Nara Pech from Edmonton was traveling through Southeast Asia with friends. First, they arrived in Cambodia, the homeland of Pech’s parents. Years before, his parents had fled from the Khmer Rouge. In 1986, they ended up in Edmonton, where Pech was born.
After visiting Cambodia, Pech and his friends went to Thailand and then on to Laos. By this point in the trip, Pech was feeling homesick and decided to head home. He spent the night with his friends in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Then his friends went with him to the airport and watched him clear customs.
After that, Pech made three phone calls—one to his parents, one to his fiancee’s parents, and one to a friend. But he got each person’s voice mail. In each message, Pech said that he was having problems boarding and that they had taken away his boarding pass.
He said that they had accused him of saying something bad about Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and that the situation was getting bad. Sadly, those distressed messages were the last time that any of Pech’s friends and family heard from him.
According to the Laotian government, Pech committed suicide in the airport. A private autopsy was performed in Thailand. It showed that Pech had many wounds, including a stab wound to the right side of his chest that had lacerated his lung. His neck had also been stabbed multiple times, and his right arm had been stabbed once. Finally, there were multiple cuts on his left hand and arm and contusions on both of his hands and his right knee.
Due to the gruesome nature of his death, the disturbing voice mails, and the fact that Pech had no history of mental illness, his family believes that he met with foul play in the communist country.
3 Bryan Dos Santos
On the afternoon of December 1, 2006, Maria de Fatima Ramos Dos Santos was waiting for a bus in Fort Myers, Florida, with her friend and her three-week-old son, Bryan. As they were waiting, a Hispanic woman in a black, two-door Ford Explorer SUV pulled alongside them and asked for directions to Pine Manor.
Maria and her friend talked to the woman until the bus came. Then Maria and her friend boarded the bus. The woman in the SUV followed them. Once they got off the bus, the woman pulled up beside them again. The woman said she was completely lost.
She offered to give Maria and her friend money if they would get in the car and help her find where she was going. They agreed and got into the SUV. Once inside the SUV, Maria noticed that it was equipped with a car seat and that the woman had a diaper bag.
After a few minutes of driving, the woman took out a knife and ordered Maria and her friend out of the car. Obeying the armed woman, they got out. The car took off with baby Bryan still inside, never to be seen again.
Before pulling the knife, the kidnapper used Maria’s cell phone to call a local business. She left a message saying that someone was directing her toward Pine Manor and talked for about 30 seconds. The FBI tracked the call and got a copy of the voice mail from the business.
The police and the FBI believe that Bryan was either taken by a woman who wanted her own baby or by human smugglers. Maria and her husband had owed money to human smugglers for recently transporting them from Brazil to the US. But they do not think that smugglers would kidnap a baby over such a small debt.
2 The Death Of Henry McCabe
In the early morning hours of September 6, 2015, 32-year-old Henry McCabe was at a club in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. His friend William Kennedy said that he was going to drive McCabe to his home in Mounds View. But McCabe wanted to be dropped off around 2:00 AM at a gas station in the nearby city of Fridley, which is in the opposite direction of Mounds View.
When McCabe didn’t show up for work, the police were contacted, and search teams scoured the area. The police looked into Kennedy’s story, but they couldn’t find surveillance footage of Kennedy at the gas station.
Kennedy said that it may have been a different gas station, so police checked surveillance videos from nearby service stations. None of them had footage of Kennedy’s car or McCabe.
One clue in the disappearance was McCabe’s cell phone. He made three calls after being dropped off. One call pinged off a tower in Fridley. But his last call pinged off a tower in New Brighton, a city that is 10 kilometers (7 mi) away from Fridley, where he had supposedly been dropped off.
That last call went to the voice mail of McCabe’s wife at 2:28 AM. The two-minute voice mail is mostly bizarre, with growling noises, moaning, and screams. Then there is silence. Just before the voice mail ends, someone says, “Stop it!”
On November 2, 2015, a kayaker found McCabe’s body floating in Rush Lake in New Brighton. An autopsy was performed, and it appeared that McCabe had drowned in freshwater. The police say the death is still an open investigation. They are unsure if McCabe committed suicide or if he was the victim of foul play.
1 Original Night Stalker
One of the most terrifying, unidentified serial killers in US history is the Original Night Stalker (aka the Golden State Killer), who is not to be confused with the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez. Active between 1979 and 1986 in Southern California, the Original Night Stalker was described as an athletic white male in his twenties who killed at least 10 people.
His modus operandi was to break into a house where a woman or a couple lived and tie them up with twine. Although he shot one couple, he beat the rest of them to death. All the women were sexually assaulted. Then, for no apparent reason, he stopped killing after May 1986.
In 2001, DNA tests showed that the Original Night Stalker and a terrifying serial rapist called the East Area Rapist were the same person. The East Area Rapist was responsible for at least 40 rapes between June 1976 and July 1979, just before the Original Night Stalker began his spree.
After breaking into a house, he would bind both victims using an unusual diamond knot. Then he would sexually assault the wife while the husband watched. He even played sadistic games, like balancing plates on the man’s back and threatening to murder the couple if one of the plates broke.
He also had a habit of calling his victims before and after the crimes. Many survivors said that they received calls from a wrong number before the attacks. The police believe that this was the Original Night Stalker’s way of determining if the victims were home.
So the police set up wiretaps. They captured a male caller asking, “Is Ray there?” Other times, he would call after the attack to threaten his rape victims. One of these calls went to a victim’s answering machine. In the message, the caller breathes heavily before repeatedly whispering, “Gonna kill you.”
Police believe that the Original Night Stalker may be dead or in prison. However, in 2001, a detective on the case said that one of the victims had received a phone call in 1990 or 1991 from a man claiming to be the Original Night Stalker. She spoke with him for a minute. In the background, she heard a woman and children talking, suggesting that he may still be alive and on the loose.