Forty-year-old Diane Augat left her Florida home on April 10th of 1988 and never returned. Three days after her disappearance, her mother was checking on her answering machine and was disturbed to hear a voice that she believed was her daughter’s saying “Help, help, let me out!” with a second voice replying “Hey gimmie that” as sounds of a struggle ensued. Her mother attempted to call the number back but no one answered. The caller ID read “Starlight”. The police looked into the call and determined it was from a local business but considered it a dead end.
Five days after Augat’s disappearance, a severed finger tip was found in the area she was last officially seen. Fingerprint tests confirmed it was indeed from the missing woman. Two weeks after that a bag was found in a gas station’s freezer that contained Diane’s neatly folded clothes. Her case went cold after that until a newspaper article was written on Augat’s disappearance two and a half years after she vanished. The next day following the printing of the story a final revelation occurred as Augat’s brother’s girlfriend went to a gas station and discovered a bag that had “Diane” written on it and inside of the bag was several of Augat’s personal effects. Diane had struggled with bipolar disorder in the past and was hospitalized for treatment. She also was believed to dabble in alcohol and drugs to an extreme.
After the police interviewed over one hundred people, the main suspect ended up being a local motel manager. That same man was later arrested for a murder in 2001. He has since died and with him may have went any hope of resolving Augat’s case.
In late April of 1980 Laureen Rahn was hosting a sleep over with several friends, which is not uncommon for a fourteen year old girl to do. Things took a turn for the tragic though when Rahn’s mother Judith came home to their New Hampshire apartment in the dark of night and found the building’s hallway light had been unscrewed. Judy checked on her daughter and found her to be asleep in bed. However in the morning she discovered that it was actually Laureen’s friend in her bed and Laureen was unexpectedly gone.
The police figured she was a runaway. Judy discovered a strange clue that October when she found three calls made to California numbers on her phone bill. One of the calls was to a teen sexual assistance hotline and the other two were made to a pair of motels. The hotline was run by a couple who was known to take in runaways. That was the encouraging news. The motels were linked to a child porn creator who the police dubbed “Dr. Z”. The authorities tried to tie Rahn to either of these possible leads but were unsuccessful. Judy would go on to receive strange phone calls from a someone who remained silent on the other end of the line. The calls went on sporadically for years. They never led to any new leads and Rahn’s case remains cold.
Royal Air Force ace Peter Gibbs ended up being in the middle of a mystery that lingers to this day. On Christmas Eve of 1975, Gibbs was flying around Scotland’s Isle of Mull. In between flights, he enjoyed some social time as he ate dinner while ingesting both whiskey and wine with a friend. After dinner he then continued with a previous plan to prove that he could land his airplane in the dark on a nearby land strip that was not equip with runway lights. Ultimately he wanted to prove this deed was possible in order to turn the land into a profitable hotel area. In order to do that, he needed to verify night access was possible. He knew his flight plan was illegal and very dangerous. Gibbs intended on having his dinner companion use torches as a pair of makeshift landing lights for him to use as a guide.
Gibbs made the trip successfully, but then took off in order to practice the landing again. The second trip would prove to be unsuccessful as the plane never returned. Two hours later police were called in. The weather by now was pelting those outside with freezing rain and snow. The small police force did their best to search for the plane and pilot but they located no wreckage that night. The next day helicopters and Air Force fighters also failed to spot the plane. Sonar equiptment was next used, but again no plane was to be found. Hundreds of volunteers scoured the island to no avail.
By now conspiracy theories were spreading that Gibbs was not actually on the plane when his friend watched it land in the dark and return to the skies. Some speculated Gibbs faked the plane crash in order to escape business debts. A “mystery person” was rumored to have been on the runway with Gibbs’ companion. The hearsay went on and on. Four months after his disappearance, a local Shepard named Donald MacKinnon came across Gibb’s body up on a hillside. The area had been previously searched and this left authorities baffled. The plane remained completely missing. The conspiracy cries were renewed when it was revealed that Gibbs’ body was unhurt and he had clearly not been in a plane crash. His clothes and skin appeared clear of salt water residue and tests confirmed this to be true. This caused more theories to spring up that Gibbs was part of a secret agency, which led to him having been kidnapped by terrorists, killed and then dropped back off in the area he had been snatched from.
A full decade later, two fisherman were diving in the area and claimed to have discovered a plane that was sitting on the seabed. They saw no human remains inside. This led to speculation that Gibbs had made a low fly over of the sea while trying to find his dark airstrip. He then is assumed to have crashed into the sea and swam back to shore in the icy waters, only to die of exposure up on the hill he was found at. The aircraft was never recovered but photos taken by the fishermen seem to show a seriously damaged plane, one that did not match the scenario of Gibbs managing to land soft enough to swim back to land. A Navy investigation could not confirm that the plane found was or wasn’t Gibbs. The fate of his plane and the answers to how he went from flying over water to dead on a hillside remain unanswered to this day.
Virginia Jane Doe
On December 18th, 1996 a groundskeeper at Pleasant Valley Memorial Cemetery came across a horrible find: An older woman’s body with a plastic bag over her head, fastened tight with duct tape. A paper was on the body that stated she wished to have no autopsy. The note added that she planned to commit suicide and wished to be cremated. Blood tests revealed traces of brandy and Valium in her system. The body was found in an area where infants were buried, but not on any particular grave. She left $1oo dollars on herself to cover the coroner and cemetery costs.
She had no identification, was not thought to be a drifter, carried no receipts and had little else with her other than three comedy cassette tapes, a mini-Christmas tree and the items needed for her suicide. Her identity remains unknown.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more macabre cases soon.