Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: Randy Leach

Randy Leach

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Linwood, Kansas was home to a strange disappearance in April of 1988. Randy Leach was a high school senior when he decided to attend a party that was to take place in a rural homestead. Leach drank heavily once he arrived and was seen struggling to walk in the later stages of the evening. Somewhere around 2 a.m. his friends noticed he was no longer at the party. No one seemed to have seen him leave, but his car was gone. A friend had earlier offered to drive the very intoxicated young man home, but Leach couldn’t locate the keys to his mother’s car, which he was borrowing. Randy and the car have never been seen again.

The next morning, Leach’s parents noticed Steve Daugherty, a man in his thirties who they knew was with Randy at the party, twice drive by their house slowly. A few hours later, when Randy was reported as being missing, police visited the house where the party had occurred and found it to be remarkably clean. A few months later the house was burnt down in a fire. Whether that is a coincidence or part of a cover-up is subject to conjecture.

Crazy stories and rumors began to sweep the school and city at a whole. One man claimed to have been kidnapped by a Satanic cult and kept hostage in a cave for two weeks before escaping. He told the police that a body that looked like Leach’s was in the cave with him, chained to a wall. A search of the cave showed no proof to verify the man’s tale. The caves were eventually bulldozed shut.

Steve Daugherty reentered the story a year after Leach vanished when he led police to a severed foot he claimed to have found while walking along the Kansas river. After investigating, police did not believe the foot to be Leach’s.

Leach’s parents replaced the car that went missing with their son. Soon after they brought it home the car was found lit up in flames. An investigator ruled a faulty gas line caused it, but Leach’s parents believe it to have been arson. Four months after Leach vanished, his dog went missing and was never found. A few months after that the Leach’s and some nearby neighbors heard gunshots in the area and the Leach’s saw this as a threatening message to them. Police reports began to show up unsolicited in the Leach’s mailbox. The source was never discovered, but the Leach’s believe it was someone from inside the force who wanted to help them in the face of a failed investigation.

A man showed up in 1993 and claimed to be an investigative journalist. He offered to look into the case on behalf of the Leachs, free of charge. After several months of interviewing witnesses, the evidence provided was given to detective Dawn Weston. She in turn arrested three men for the murder of Randy Leach. The charges were dropped soon after when it became obvious the evidence wasn’t adding up to what was claimed in the investigator’s version of events.

A man from Topeka showed up and volunteered to help the Leach’s search for their son. He ended up dead, alongside his wife, in what was ruled to be a murder-suicide. Others think he was silenced for helping.

The FBI cast suspicion on a local man named Eric Montgomery, who was accused of aiding in killing two men only seven miles from the Leach’s home. In that case, the dead bodies were stuffed in barrels and sunk into the Missouri River, never to be found. Montgomery was sentenced to prison for being an accessory to the crimes. He has since died of cancer while still incarcerated. Leach’s parents were never told of this lead until years after the fact. Montgomery was asked about the Leach murder and denied being involved.

It is believed that the police followed a false lead about the Satanic cult very early in the case and this sent them down the wrong path for years. Therefore, by not offering up leads and evidence to Randy’s parents, the police force shielded itself from being exposed for their bungled investigation. Leach was declared legally dead in 2001.

Roland Tammen Jr.

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Roland Tammen Jr was enrolled at Miami University of Ohio in the early 1950’s. One evening he entered his dorm to study and found a dead fish in his bed. This was written off as a sophomoric fraternity prank and after requesting new sheets Tammen continued on his routine evening. A while later Tammen heard a noise outside of his room and went to investigate. His friends never saw him again.

Tammen left behind all his personal effects such as his wallet, car keys, jacket and other items. It was a very cold April evening, so if Roland had intended to leave, common sense dictates that he would have brought along protection from the elements. His car remained in the dorm’s lot.

A few hours later, a man matching Tammen’s description came up to a woman’s door. He seemed to be dazed and indicated he didn’t even know what town he was in. He asked for directions to a bus stop and walked away. This sighting occurred twelve miles from the school campus Tammen was staying at.

Prior to vanishing Tammen had shown no odd behavior patterns. The only thing he had done recently that raised alarms in retrospect was visiting a morgue to have his blood type tested. No evidence of what became of Ronald has ever been brought forth.

His disappearance became the stuff of legend of the school campus. Fisher Hall, where Tammen had worked, was previously a mental asylum which helped spring stories of it being haunted. Among the ghosts said to be occupying the building was Ronald’s. The Hall was torn down in 1978. A search of the rubble failed to turn up any remains.

Cindy James: UPDATE

During a previous article I brought you the story of Cindy James, a nurse who endured years of being harassed and stalked by persons unknown until she was found dead under strange circumstances in 1989. While researching other cases, I found a some new information on James’ case that made my hair stand on end and I decided I had to share it with you:

On June 25th of 1984, Cindy had a closed circuit TV camera installed on her garage that would record the back door of her home and the gate into her backyard. At the same time, the police had begun to patrol the area around James’ house more often in hopes to dissuade her stalker(s) from making further moves. The following day after the camera went up, James received two silent phone calls at work. The private investigator who was aiding her also received a silent phone call at James’ residence while she was at her job.

A week later, Cindy sprung from bed at 3 a.m. after hearing her dog barking and growling. A few minutes later her doorbell rang. James rushed to the door and peeked into the peephole as she flipped on the porchlight. She saw a man standing next to her door. He claimed he was a police officer and that a call went out about a prowler near James’ home. He wanted to come in and talk to her about it. Then she noticed a second man standing behind the person who was attempting to talk his way into her home.

Cindy told the men that she could not see them properly in order to trust them to come in. She asked them to go around to the back door. The man replied that he could not hear her. She then shouted again that the men should head to the back door. James then ran to her TV monitor but no one came around the house. Alarmed, Cindy tried to call for help. The line was dead. James used her radio to contact her private detective and he was able to contact the police. The men were gone by the time authorities arrived.

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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