Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: The Chilling Last Phone Call by Joan Hansen

Joan Hansen
In early August in 1962, Joan Hansen of King County, Washington was in the middle of a bitter divorce from her husband Robert, who was verbally and physically abusive. On August 10th, Joan was talking with a friend on the phone when she was heard to scream “Oh my God! He’s in the basement! He’s coming!” The line then went dead. Joan was never heard from or seen again. Her vehicle was found several weeks later in Seattle.

Her husband Robert was the prime suspect. Only two days before Joan’s disappearance, he was forced to leave their shared home after Joan successfully acquired a restraining order of protection from him. With Joan missing, Robert was awarded custody of their four kids at a custody hearing that was held soon after her tragic disappearance. Robert would go on to be an abusive parent to his children. He verbally bashed their mother and told them she had run off and left them.

As the kids grew older, they began to start hearing the gossip and rumors that their mother had been murdered. Some people even told them their mother was buried under a barn that had since been taken down and replaced with a roadway. The children took action and got investigators involved. Ground penetrating radar, cadaver dogs and other methods were used to try and find the body in the 90’s and beyond, but all attempts failed.

Joan’s case was never solved, and the last best chance of anyone getting closure ended when in August of 2009 the elderly Robert committed suicide by asphyxiating himself in his car. In the years prior to his death, his children had accused him of killing their mother, which led to him removing them from his 5,000,000 dollar estate. The children ended up filing a wrongful death suit on behalf of their mother against their deceased father’s estate and were awarded $100,000 in damages.

Marlene Warren

On May 26th, 1990, forty-year-old Marlene Warren answered her front door at 10:45 am. A person in clown garb greeted her silently, handed her flowers and balloons, then shot her in the face. Her son Joe heard the shot and ran to his mother. He saw the clown from a ways away but was able to see it had brown eyes. The clown then climbed into a car and sped off. Marlene died from her wound two days later.

The prime suspect was determined to be her husband Michael and his mistress, Sheila Keen, whom he employed as a repo man. They both denied the affair, despite Keen’s neighbors telling authorities that they saw the pair together so often that they assumed they were man and wife.  With his wife gone, Michael stood to inherit a large life insurance payout, full ownership of the couple’s expensive house, and full ownership in their many businesses. These included car dealerships, a car rental agency and various rental properties. Marlene’s death would also allow he and Keen to become an official couple.

Michael had other legal matters to worry over as well as he was being charged with 66 counts of grand theft, racketeering, making false insurance claims, selling stolen goods and other car related felonies. He did have an alibi for his whereabouts at the time his wife was murdered, which placed the focus right on Keen.

A local costume store owner contacted police only hours into the investigation and identified Keen as the person who bought the clown costume. The flowers and balloons were sold at a Publix grocery store, which was located near Keen’s apartment. Keen had no solid alibi. Detectives located the getaway car four days later and found a bag from the Publix store and orange hair from the costume inside.

Despite all the circumstantial evidence, neither Michael or Sheila were charged in the murder of Marlene. As far as his other charges went, Michael never served time in jail, only receiving a long probation. Marlene’s murder remains unsolved.

Beth Doe
Carbon County, Pennsylvania was rocked in December of 1976 when three suitcases were found under a bridge along the Lehigh River. Each suitcase contains the mutilated remains of an unknown woman. Investigators were able to determine she was between 16 and 22 years old. The marks on her body showed signs of being strangled, and she had been shot in the neck. Her eyes had been removed from her skull, as well as her nose. Her breasts had been cut off. Worse yet, the woman was pregnant and a full-term baby girl was found deceased within the remains as well.

Among the remains was straw, packing foam, a New York newspaper dated September 26th, 1976, and a bedspread. The paper and bedspread had been used to wrap up parts of the body.

Two of the suitcases were found open and the police speculated that the killer had tried to toss them in the river from the bridge above and missed their intended mark. The victim was never identified and the only clue that might have cracked the case was a series of letters and numbers that were found on the woman’s hand. Some believed it to be possibly be a license plate number. Ultimately she was buried as “Beth Doe” and her brutal murder was never resolved. The case is still being investigated with new testing methods and the investigators have a list of 8 missing women they feel may in fact be “Beth Doe”. The answers to this mystery may yet come to light.

A few months ago I was contacted on the “After Dark Radio” Facebook page by Allyn Atadero, who told me of his son’s mysterious disappearance in the Colorado wilderness. This led to me writing about the case in this article. Since then I have been following Allyn’s ongoing investigation on his Facebook page “Missing: When the Son Sets”. He recently posted an intriguing tidbit that I wanted to share with my own audience.

Mr. Atadero shared this picture:

He then went on to explain that this was a close up of the scratches on the cranium from his son’s remains. He had some anthropologists look into them and they speculated that river rocks could have created marks such as those seen above. However, there is no evidence that Jaryd was ever in the river, as he was found above a high rocky incline. Plus when his shoes were located, they appeared to be in very good shape considering they were suppose to have been sitting out in the elements for several years. They showed no signs of water damage. He closed the post with simply, “The mystery continues!” So very true.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more cases soon!

I have written about nearly 100 other True Crime cases in the past, those can be found here.

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Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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