This is the introduction to this blog. Detailed reports can be found by linking to the other post entries. For instance, for those interested in Baldwin County police reports, look out to the side and you will see the link and listing there. For Cobb County, the link is there, and so on....
I believe it was also a way with which he could torment me, as the order to put me out of our home brought two Cobb County police to my front door as a "happy birthday" gift. Two months later, he arranged our son's funeral for Christmas Eve, and for New Years, I found myself in Central State Hospital, being held illegally against my will. After all that I endured following those incidents, I suspected none of this was coincidental. It appeared to be a plan that fell together.
My husband had masterminded the marital separation and the investigation of his son's disappearance and death. With the separation he provided Cobb County, Ga. police with untrue information to attain his goals, and with his son's disappearance, he provided police with two key witnesses whose names I had never heard before. Although there were two grown siblings living in the house, neither was interviewed at all, nor was I, the mother, until a week after the disappearance when another police district realized the boy had a mother. It was bizarre that the same police force that had ordered me out of the home, accused me of having a gun (which I had never owned one in my life,) would handle our son's disappearance investigation and not immediately question me when our son disappeared.
My husband's position as a powerful Norfolk Southern Railroad executive as Assistant Vice President in charge of Communications and Signals never appeared on any police report regarding our son's disappearance and subsequent reported death. Available police records show that his office telephone numbers and railroad contact numbers were never given to police during the two-week period of time our son was missing. Had other executives known, had the railroad known, or had police known that this missing person was the child of an executive, would the handling of his investigations or search have been handled any differently?
Every railroad executive in the country would have been alarmed to know if even one railroad executive's son had mysteriously disappeared.The same Cobb County, Georgia police who had followed me through our home telling me to gather my things and accusing me of having a gun on October 16, 1998, were the police that investigated our son's disappearance. During their investigation, they called me for an interview more than a week after our son had disappeared. They were fully cooperative with the father, and they interviewed the witnesses the father provided. They did not interview the grown siblings who also lived in the home with our missing son. Cobb County's police performance was surprising in this divorce, missing person and death case.
Our son's truthful testimony would have affected the ruling in divorce court. If there were other things he knew, he couldn't tell me the last time I saw him alive at Cobb County, Georgia divorce court, October 21, 1998. My son came to me in the hallway and whispered, "Mom, I don't want to do this." He was afraid, looking over his shoulder to be sure no one was listening. I said, "Don't worry, just go in the court room and tell the truth." He continued, "I don't want to do this." He wanted to tell me more but there wasn't time and he was fearful of being overheard. We never made it to the court room, and to this day I don't know why. The next few months were a living nightmare that no one would believe could happen in the United States of America.
It would be more than a year before my divorce was final, January, 2000. By that time I had fled the state of Georgia in fear of more incarcerations and police harassment, and met with much the same police harassment in the state of Kentucky. The power my husband accessed spanned state lines–– from Georgia to Alabama where our son was said to have died, and from Georgia to Kentucky where I had fled to find safe haven until the finality of the divorce. Whether the powerful network was business, political, or underworld, the folks he had working to his favor was absolutely incredible.
This is my true, well-documented story of the struggle to survive a Georgia divorce and cope with incarcerations, false accusations, corruption, deception, betrayal and lies in the midst of the reported death of my child.
With hopes of exposing criminal activity and someday gaining justice, and in finding my son, this blog's intention is that these things can never happen to another mother or father, family or child, court system or police department–– anywhere.My son's body did not match the body found in Alabama.
The NCIC database information mentioned in both Cobb County, Ga. and Baldwin County, Al. is questionable and my son's records were removed even before a body known to be found.
The Forensics Examiner who signed the autopsy report, contrary to Alabama police reports, did not attend the scene. Details of forensics are here.
The Baldwin County police stonewalled the mother's attempts to get police records. Notes taken by the mother in 2001 suggest Baldwin County police reports were misleading, even false.
A newspaper article was written in the Mobile Press-Register in cooperation where Alabama Sheriff Hoss Mack, who was investigating deputy in charge of my son's case, was featured. The article was written to discredit and disparage the mother and son.
Courts, agencies, systems in several states were used against the mother to intimidate, silence, discredit, terrorize and destroy the mother's chances of ever gaining justice or unraveling the truth.
Georgia lawyers were involved and in many instances worked against the mother.
This case links to the infamous Fred Tokars case, with Private Detective, Billy Carter.
Police reports show that in Cobb County, Georgia; Baldwin County, Alabama; and Coweta County, Georgia, there was little or no cooperation among the entities and state agencies were either not involved or involved minimally.
Because of a 1996 prior arrest, my son's fingerprints should have already been in the NCIC system and the unidentified body should have been identified within minutes of comparing fingerprints.
Georgia fingerprint identification card notes a male 5- ft., 10-inch white male, weighing 160 lbs. Two years later, the Alabama Forensics Department recorded details of an unidentified 5-ft., 8-in. white male, weighing 144 lbs. These are just a few of the factors that prove something is very wrong in Alabama and Georgia in this case.
The "sawblade" tattoo at the base of the leg is recorded by Alabama forensics as six inches in diameter. "Sawblade" had been my own words describing the tattoo on first notice, and so was it a coincidence that Alabama authorities used my same words to describe it? The tattoo on my son's leg was not 6 inches in diameter, else it would have wrapped around his ankle in the front and back, which is yet another error found in Alabama Forensics reports.
The Alabama forensics report was written "first person" by Dr. Julia Goodin, who, in the report mentioned physically being present with Kevin Putnam at the crime scene. She was director at the Mobile lab. Deputies John Garner and Huey A. Mack, Jr. both mentioned Julia Goodin in reports as attending the crime scene. In a phone conversation with Julia Goodin, she advised me she did not perform the autopsy and she did not attend the crime scene. She explained that forensics employees do not attend crime scenes. She said I may have trouble finding the woman who performed the autopsy because she no longer worked at the Alabama Forensics Department.
My initial attempts to get police records about my son's death were stonewalled by Baldwin County deputies, Huey A. Mack, Jr. and John Garner. I was told I would have to "get a court order and subpoena" to get my son's police records. I was told the same thing by the Coroner, with regards to the funeral home and body storage records. The Coroner, Huey A. Mack, Sr. was Huey A. Mack, Jr., the investigating deputy in charge's, father.
During the week-long period of time my son's body was in storage at Mayes Ward Dobbins Funeral Home in Georgia, I was arrested and incarcerated by Georgia agencies and held against my will. It was that time I could have identified the body and I believe that's why they used Georgia systems to have me arrested with charges that later disappeared or were dismissed.
The car was found on I-85 four days after my son's disappearance and a search managed by Coweta County, Georgia police. The car was processed with two flat rear tires. How could that happen? Were the tires checked to see how it happened? According to Alabama police reports the father went and found the vehicle the day after his son disappeared. If that was so, why did it take Coweta County police four days to find the car?
In none of the police reports was it recorded to contact the father at work, nor on his cell phone which was provided by the railroad. The only numbers given to officers were home telephone numbers. During the week, he was home and awake between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The fact that the father was an Assistant Vice President for Norfolk Southern Railroad or a railroad employee was never mentioned. Did he miss any work? Did his co-workers know his son was missing? Could his son have been abducted? Would all railroad and corporate executives be concerned to know an executive's son was found with flat tires and sat on interstate for four days without police finding it?
Gerard J. Sniffen, III records were entered into the Cobb County, Georgia records on 12/9/98 when he was reported missing by his father. The records indicate his file disappeared from Cobb County, Georgia police computers on 12/16/1998 - by "mistake." On 12/21/1998 fingerprints provided by the G.B.I were examined by Alabama officers and it was determined that the John Doe was a match with my son.
The Cobb County police appear to have been directed by the father, who gave them the names of witnesses Mary Rose, and D.J. Call. He gave them the name of the Bell South employee who would trace the call, and who they should contact with the subpoena. He also gave them the name of the banker to contact to subpoena bank statements. He did not give them the names of two siblings, ages 23 and 17 who lived in the same home as the victim. He did not give them the name or contact information for the mother, who Cobb County police and courts had ordered out of the home two months earlier, also at his request.
On 12/21/98, after hearing the news from relatives, I contacted Cobb County police to verify my son was dead, and they knew nothing about it. In fact that's when they discovered the records were missing from the computers.
Like a caring husband, my husband, Gerard J. Sniffen, Jr. had phoned that October 1998 week saying, "I will be home Friday and we'll celebrate your birthday." He was being apologetic that he had to work on my birthday. Traveling quite often, and giving the railroad sometimes more than 12 hours per day of his at-home time, this particular week he was at Brosnan Forest, a railroad-owned resort in South Carolina. The railroad treated him well. Vendors entertained him generously, and he was able to meet celebrities and enjoy many very fine trips, free sports tickets, dinners and perks.
When a knock came at the door that Friday, it wasn't my husband with any birthday gift. Instead, the Cobb County, Georgia police entered our home, followed me around our home saying I should pack my bags and even asked if I had a gun. It was bizarre and quite shocking. I had never owned a gun in my life, but I had purchased him one years before for Christmas for hunting outings with his old fraternity brother friends.
This was my "Happy Birthday" present.
Christmas that same year, 1998, would be worst. On Christmas Eve, a memorial service was held for our son and I didn't attend knowing my husband was behaving erratically, and had the temporary order intact.
My son had disappeared December 8, 1998, notifying his father from a phone booth at a convenience store that he had a flat tire and was in distress. About two weeks after he'd disappeared, I was told my son's dead body was identified in Alabama. I was kept away from the family (and funeral) by the Cobb County temporary order.
Something was very wrong and I had known it immediately. I was so sure of it that on the day before his funeral I drove to Alabama to make a positive identification and was told the Mobile morgue had closed at 5:00 p.m. I must have known the body had remained in Alabama, even though the funeral would be in Marietta, Georgia the next day. Several things had happened that weren't standard in the loss of a child that increased suspicions and interrupted my ability to sleep.
Later, after I'd fled the state of Georgia for fear of further problems, I settled and began to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Alabama police refused to give me police reports and it was 6 years, 2004, on discovering inadvertently that neither Huey A, Mack, Jr. nor John Garner who had monopolized the investigation, was sheriff in charge. James B. Johnson was sheriff and when I spoke with him directly I had the papers within a week.
I initially was told by Baldwin County authorities John Garner and Huey A. Mack, Jr. I could only get the reports with a "court order and subpoena." Later, the coroner, Huey A. Mack, Sr. who owned Mack Funeral Home, and who was father of the investigating deputy, Hoss Mack said the same thing about the funeral home records.
I had contacted the G.B.I., even the Governor of Georgia, and the GBI responded that my problems were in Alabama. Yet Alabama was unwilling to supply me with the records and in fact one officer, John Garner, who along with the Coroner's son, Huey Mack, Jr. who wrote most of the reports was extraordinarily rude. Why?
I am not a writer, have no desire nor talents to create such an incredible story, but my determination to expose it as fraud, conspiracy, corruption and lies is beyond measure.
I didn't have the money and they knew it. They knew the Cobb County courts had not settled the divorce. Yet in 2006 I hired Carter to see what information he had collected. He kept my $5500 and it's what I expected. He delivered nothing other than the fact that two bullets were seldom discharged in a suicide case. So he did know something.
Five years later I would learn that Billy Carter was a business partner of the infamous Frederic Tokars, and stood federal trial in the notorious Cobb County Fred Tokars case. Atlanta Attorney Fred Tokars had laundered drug money and hidden money for wealthy men who were preparing to divorce their wives. He also was convicted of contract murder of his wife, when Sara Tokars was shot point-blank in the head with a shotgun in front of her two young sons. Carter had been Tokar's friend, a business partner in involved businesses, and his detective.
And my incarcerations coincided with the body release and storage in Cobb County. Locked away in a state hospital there was no way I could identify our son's dead body before the actual burial.
My landlord, Nell Stumpff, who had pretended to be a friend, had another warrant she could act on should I try and make any more moves. They were pros at using the State of Georgia and its systems to fulfill their criminal plans. I have always believed Nell Stumpff colluded with my husband. Without proper justice and investigations, I may never know the truth.
Cobb County police had participated in the temporary order when they ordered me out of the house 10/16/1998. They had investigated my son's disappearance 12/8/1998 - 12/21/1998, and nearly (I believe intentionally) omitted my insight from the investigation altogether. Had George Childs, my attorney at that point in time, not spoken with Coweta County police, I wonder whether Cobb County would have interviewed me at all. Then they had arrested me and put me in jail 12/28/1998 the day the body was released in Alabama by Judge Lyn Stuart.
Because the harassment was ongoing in Georgia, eventually I left the state after being told by an arresting Magistrate Judge, Laurens Lee of Peach County, "If you will just sign your divorce papers your problems will disappear." I knew then no good would come to me in the state of Georgia. I had already been arrested and incarcerated in four counties: Peach, Cobb, Houston, Baldwin and by 2000 when the harassment continued, I could add Paulding County to the list of bad places.
Within a period of 39 days in Georgia, 12/9/1998 to 1/16/1999, I had been told my son was dead, his death, funeral and burial spanned three states. Between 12/28/1998 and 1/6/1999 I was incarcerated in three jails and a state hospital. During that 9 day period, the body was released by an Alabama judge and said to be moved to Atlanta and then to Virginia for burial. Because of my incarcerations and the distances of the death and burial, and because of the temporary order knowing my husband's intentions, I was never able to identify his body.
These are notes taken by me in 2001 and Coroner Huey Mack, Sr. kindly gave me the airline flight numbers and body movement over the telephone. A few years later, he was less cooperative when asked to supply the funeral home, body storage records, spewing the same statements as I had heard from the Baldwin County police, "I'll have to have a subpoena and a court order."
My Happy Birthday present in 1998 was being ordered to the streets. My Merry Christmas gift that year was a funeral for my son at Mayes Ward Dobbins Funeral Home in Marietta, Georgia. Oddly, the memorial service was held in Georgia on Christmas Eve while the body was still somewhere in Alabama to be released by Judge Lyn Stuart four days after the Georgia funeral.
This is the story, focusing mainly on all the documents that prove the story.
I have been called "crazy" suffered all manner of rejection, harassment from police and others, even rejection and alienation from my own family. The Baldwin County investigating deputy-in-charge, Hoss Mack, the coroner's son who is now sheriff participated in an obviously slanted, partially untruthful and very distasteful article about my inability to accept my son's death. I have had slashed tires, my animals killed, sabotage to my property. I've been robbed, and lost most of my divorce settlement money in trying to get to the bottom of it while trying to survive and find a home. I have been up against both, criminals and law enforcement in many instances have been against me.
My family finally realized they were wrong and recently my mother said, "You didn't have a chance. He is a railroad executive and your words meant nothing." Still, police records show that my husband never once mentioned the railroad nor his position. There were no phone numbers for the railroad office, nor did he give law enforcement officers his railroad provided cell phone number.
He had mentioned to one family member that he HAD to be at work the next day, and on time the night his son had disappeared. In the two weeks of his son's missing status, the hours he could have been contacted by police were slim, because if in town, he was ALWAYS home and awake 3 hours each night - between 6:00 and 9:30.
I have record that my son was linked to the railroad coordinator system in that he had their telephone number in case he needed to contact his father. Yet when he went missing it appears the railroad was unaware.
In 2006, Tommy Schlette's decomposed body was found behind the home he was renting in Grant, Florida.
Summer, 2010 my Atlanta divorce attorney began to withhold my alimony checks and told me to remove my blog from the internet. He said I was "making people angry." I asked him who and he would not say. He said, "Think of it this way they have your son somewhere and they've told him if he tries to contact you or his brother or sister they're going to kill all of you."
I told my attorney to tell them to please come ahead and do what they will, because I was no longer going to live with fear and intimidation. He continued to say there was so much money against me in keeping all of this covered up that I will never, ever get the truth.
In 2000, a Lexington, Kentucky attorney, Gatewood Galbraith, had also said there was "too much money" against me.
Below is a chart that details the storage and movement of the body from Alabama to Georgia to Virginia, and the situation I was dealing with in Georgia. I had driven to Alabama to identify the body and was told the morgue was closed. I was afraid to stay in a motel alone so drove home, as I have always suspected organized crime is involved in this situation. Note, Baldwin sheriff deputies had stonewalled my attempts to get records, the father has stonewalled attempts to get funeral home records.
I also realized that I would eventually be in poverty if I continued to hire people to fight the battle in three states, and I believe this was also a part of the plan. We have a justice system where quite often, money wins above all else.
The truth is this: Georgia state law requires a 30-day waiting period before uncontested divorces become final, but a judge may grant an immediate divorce after finding circumstances such as spousal abuse, incurable mental illness or adultery. After the attempt at "incurable mental illness" failed, thirty days in my case became 15 months living in terror in and out of the streets, and from all I've read, I was one of the lucky ones. Some of these divorcees suffer for years. The full settlement took six months longer.
I knew the day I was ordered out of my home that my husband was a criminal who had lied to police. Each day became more frightening at what he was capable of doing. In 2004, I visited a psychiatrist in Kentucky who advised me that my husband was an extremely dangerous man. She confirmed there was nothing wrong with me at all, only that I had an obsession "OCD" for the truth regarding my son, that any concerned parent would have under the circumstances. She said it she were in my place she would be in Alabama, speaking to the Alabama coroner. She also suggested organized crime may be involved.
Comments and questions are welcomed.
I corresponded in vain with many in power for help.
Senator Paul Coverdell is the only real help I found and a year later he was dead.