Powerful false arrests, false accusations, derogatory incidences involving my husband, an assistant vice president for Norfolk Southern Railroad, lowered my chances for being taken seriously or getting any help from authorities. The arrests and accusations were insurance to lower the chances that my husband's activities would ever be investigated.
Ten years later, shady inaccurate journalism created with the help of the investigating deputy (now sheriff) helped legitimize fraudulent tale. Alabama's Sheriff Hoss Mack was deputy-in-charge when my son disappeared. His father was coroner. Now he's either a dirty sheriff or one with a bad memory and inaccurate facts regarding the dead. His reports listed Dr. Julia Goodin as attending the death scene and she denied it saying,
"It isn't our job to attend crime scenes."
I found myself afraid not only of authorities but of stalking criminal gangs and lived in total fear for years. I was afraid to go to sleep at nights and afraid of what I might find if I awakened each day. I believe it was all a part of the plan of terror initiated in Georgia and carried out in other states. My main goal was to endure the harassment, get free of each trap whether arrest or incarceration, stay sane, healthy and alive for as long as I could.
The continuing legal and police problems spanned beyond 2000 in Kentucky after I had fled the state of Georgia in fear. Before 1998, my "criminal record" was one speeding ticket. I was driving ten miles over the speed limit, late for a child's dentist appointment.
With my divorce, my husband learned that he could successfully use state and local agencies to accomplish his goals. I believe that fact coupled with his power, family and fraternity connections and connections as a Norfolk Southern executive and his ability to be dishonest with authorities in distorting the truth has been the secrets behind his success.
For all of his discrediting, there was no way I could convince authorities that I was telling the truth, no way I could get them to realize something was desperately wrong with my son's disappearance. It seemed to be a very well planned strategy - and powerfully executed.
Instead I was getting cited for a campfire violation in Kentucky, picked up for P.I., cited for animal abuse in Georgia, accused of damaging landlord's property, accused of harassing phone calls.
I had been a successful breeder of champion Wire Fox Terriers, had been named Golf Mom for Harrison High School golf team and had been a successful, supportive corporate wife and mother for 23 years. In 1998 with my divorce everything changed, and my world was painted black. After fleeing Georgia's false accusations and arrests literally in fear for my life, I sought haven for a while in Kentucky and remained there where my dogs began to be killed. A litter had been poisoned in Warner Robins, and the death continued. It was enough trauma to lose a child under such suspicious circumstances, but losing the animals was so very painful. They hadn't done anything to anybody and to this day I have nightmares about them.
The list went on, but when it was time for my divorce trial I had less than 24 hours notice to be in Georgia. My husband knew where I was in Kentucky then, and every minute and had the connections to have the law breathing down my neck no matter where I went. How did they do it? How did they know where I was? How did they know when to arrange the divorce trial when they knew it was a most difficult time for me to attend? How did they arrange for a different judge than the one appointed to seat the trial?
Another example, when I finally was able to go to Georgia to retrieve my belongings he had removed several pieces and placed them in a rear room of the house away from the rest. When I mentioned those were mine, and proceeded to get the list made by the courts he went straight to the phone and called Cobb County police. I nearly had to laugh when they refused to come. So when they didn't, he phoned Acworth police. There was no cause whatsoever for the police to be telephoned, but it had been a part of his game for two years, and it had worked quite well.
My family was told untruths by my husband and my landlord Nell Stumpff to have me incarcerated in a state hospital. Later an old friend from N.C. tried to contact me and my husband told another lie saying my brother had moved me to another hospital when actually, I had been released. I believe my husband's motive was to distance me from any support network I might have that could help me survive his tactics and the finalization of the divorce.
With that diagnosis came my first blog and the diagnosis and surgeries actually took me beyond fears of publishing the story and naming names. With the blog's exposure of the facts, the documents, the names–– and the truth as best I could tell it, my days of terror began to subside.
I had spoken with police, written politicians and community leaders. I had contacted the Justice Department in Washington D.C. Nothing helped and nobody seemed interested. With that it was obvious the only way I would ever expose these tactics, and hope to get any resolution to the disappearance of my son was to go public with the story.
Because two lawyers had said there was "too much money" against me, it was a coverup and money had purchased the players. One attorney went so far as to say I and my two remaining children would be killed if my son, who is in hiding and living under threats, came forward.
It angered me more than words will ever express. I would rather die than live in fear. If this is a First Class Country then our Justice System should not allow Third World Tactics to be practiced at the
convenience of those who can afford to purchase it.
In 2003, a man named Tommy Schlette, who said he was connected to Sicilians in New Jersey, told me my son was still alive. He'd said he had once moved illegal fireworks across state lines for Sicilians. At some point in New Jersey he had been selling perfumes. For 3 years Tommy continued his convincing story that my son was still alive, via telephone until 2006. Then, according to his landlord, Deb Rickard, Tommy's badly decomposed body was found behind her home she was renting to him in Grant, Fl. Tommy had contacted me through the internet after seeing my posts, and was trying to get me to stop posting the information publicly. Tommy must have known about the scars on the victim's legs, and encouraged me to look closer at the autopsy report. "See?" he said, "I told you it wasn't your son who died." He went on to ask the question, "Did your son ever have knee surgery?"
Finding the line in the autopsy report where two identical three inch scars were on the body was surprising and baffling. How in the world would someone have identical injuries on each knee? Tommy seemed to know immediately that the body's knee scars were the result of surgery.
Before he passed away his life went awry and I was very worried about him. He said he had nowhere to go and was being evicted from the house he lived in. A man had moved in and built a house next door and he'd become acquaintances with him. He said he had met a woman - a truck driver's wife who "had long black hair and was part Cherokee Indian." Tommy had been jailed. He had contacted the suicide hotline and was incarcerated for observation for 72 hours. He also mentioned that he golfed with Mark Foley. It was not long after Tommy passed away that Congressman Foley's name was common knowledge. When he said he golfed, I knew something was wrong but had no idea who Mark Foley was at that time. Tommy had hurt his shoulder severely in an accident in the Navy. He'd never mentioned golf at all before that statement. A shoulder injury could greatly affect a golf swing so I wondered exactly what he was trying to tell me, if anything at all.
All we ever did was chat on the phone. I had never met Tommy in person but did recognize that he seemed to be very interested in music and had a band named "Remember When" when he was younger. Later I discovered he had never sung with The Duprees, and it was the only story I could verify that he had told that was actually untrue. The other tales panned out to be honest.
Weeks before he died Tommy spoke of a man surnamed "Crocker" who had offered him a cabin, a place to live. He also spoke of having been taken inside a limousine and beaten with baseball bats, told by the captors to keep his mouth shut.
My main purpose was to find out more about what Tommy knew about my son's disappearance. Tommy said he'd seen and met my son. When Tommy passed away his landlord, Deb said she thought I was his girlfriend. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The woman Tommy was planning to marry was to be released from prison. He spoke of her more than once.
Tommy at some point lived in the same home town as my former father in law, Gerard J. Sniffen, Sr. was born. They were both in Floral Park on Long Island in N.Y. I suspect both may have been native to the area.
Tommy had encouraged me to contact an attorney who would "take on" bigger cases and he mentioned Attorney Willie Gary of Stuart, Florida. Tommy had met him as he was a security guard at the airport where Gary landed his plane. I contacted Mr. Gary and sent him documents and his firm refused my case. It was surprising a few years later to find that my divorce attorney, Kenneth Schatten, was handling Mr. Gary's paternity suit in Atlanta.
In 2008, ten years after my son's disappearance, the Mobile Press Register newspaper had decided to write a story about this, and featured Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack, who had been the chief deputy in charge of my son's "suicide" investigation. The story was an insult to honest journalism and investigative reporting. In 2010, my (now former) attorney, Kenneth Schatten said "they have your son somewhere and they've told him if he tries to contact you, his brother or sister they're going to kill all of you." Schatten was telling me to "take down your blog" because, he said, "You're making 'them' angry."
Them? Who's they? He wouldn't answer. But he told me the people have "so much money you're never going to get the truth." I told him nobody has that much money that they could pay off so many people. He said, "Are you kidding? Do you know how much money is OUT THERE?"
I do not have a copy of the Cobb County, Georgia temporary order for when I was ordered out of my home and followed around my home told to pack my bags by Cobb County police on 10/16/1998. I was accused of having abused my daughter, which was untrue. My missing son knew his father had lied to police regarding my daughter.
On being ordered out of my home, I moved to the Warner Robins, Georgia area where a so-called friend had an apartment/kennel so I could have a place to keep my show dogs. (wire fox terriers) Looking back, I heavily suspect that "friend" in the dog world, Nell Stumpff, was colluding with my husband and his associates. An older dog-show friend, Bud Samples, had also rented a place from Nell and collapsed and died on her property while she watched. I was told she watched him lie on the ground for 5-10 minutes before she picked up the cell phone to dial "911." I was also told she entered the residence and removed his belongings, moved a boat he owned and fencing before his wife could get there to retrieve his belongings.
The stories of Nell and my own experience began to wear on my nerves and I knew I had to leave her control for my own safety. She had commented she'd left a pan of ammonia in the oven to "soften the dirt on the sides" so it would make it easier to clean. When I'd gone to take the pan out, I found the pan was attached to the heating element above it with a wire. I had to detach the wire to remove the pan and clean out the green, jelly-like substance that must have been dried, jelly-like ammonia, I thought.
Later I told my attorney, George C. Childs about it and he asked, "Did you get a picture of it?" Of course not. But later some people had said if I would have cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, the pan would have exploded. I wondered why the ceiling of the kennel beneath the apartment was covered with metal, and will always wonder why such an expensive ceiling was installed in an apartment by such a cheap skinflint as Nell Stumpff. It was strange to see Nell's former husband, Colonel George Stumpff, who was remarried and living in Florida, come back to her home, visit with her whispering on the front porch. They had words quietly, but he never entered her home. I couldn't imagine at the time what kind of business they might have together. Their children were grown. It was rumored their divorce occurred because of tax troubles.
The first sign of police harassment was when I was stopped by an officer in the Houston County territory for "no seat belt." The law at that time as I understood it required that a person could not be stopped only for that offense, but the person could be ticketed only if after stopped, it was found the person was without a seat belt. In my situation, the officer pulled me over for no other reason and gave me a ticket. That is when I began to realize the "law" was not on my side, even though I was innocent. Later the law would be chasing me down so often I left Georgia suspecting I would eventually be framed and incarcerated long term if I didn't flee the state.
The second incident was when Nell Stumpff's son continued to have frequent night time traffick in and out of the apartment all hours of the night. Steve was a known drug dealer in the area. I was missing a necklace and reported it to police.
Becoming afraid of the constant traffic of incoming criminals, and because my dogs began to act as though they were drugged, and because Nell Stumpff would not stop dropping in with frequent uninvited visits, I sensed danger and decided to move away as quickly as possible. While I was moving furniture out upstairs, she and her son were in the kennel beneath the apartment. I discovered later belongings were missing from the kennel area and reported them missing to Peach County police.
|NOTE: the officer wrote "from outside the apartment." She should have written, "from the apartment" because I was also renting the kennel beneath the apartment and the belongings were inside the rented kennel/apartment building.|
I signed a lease with Michael Livingston of "Livingston Properties" in Warner Robins on 12/7/1998. (Two days later my son disappeared in Cobb County, GA)
Georgia's incarcerations prevented the Mother's identification of the boy's body.
|Note the name misspelled "Sniffin" and the date is 1999 instead of 1998|