Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where is Carrie Lawson?

For years I have often wondered about the missing persons case of Carrie Smith Lawson. On September 11, 1991 Carrie (originally from Cleveland, Tennessee) was kidnapped from her home in Jasper, Alabama. The suspect, Jerry Bland, committed suicide before she could be rescued or located. Another suspect, Karen McPherson pleaded guilty to a kidnapping charge and was sentenced to life in prison. McPherson claims that she did see Lawson alive (at her home) but does not know anything further.
I find myself often thinking about Mrs. Lawson, what her life could've been. Sadly a day after Lawson vanished in the mail arrived notification that she had passed the law bar exam. She never had the opportunity to celebrate this event. There has been much speculation of where her remains could be but to date her body has not been located. There has been no new information to the case. I think that it is important to keep talking about cases such as this one. As a parent, it pains me to think that this family's only child remains missing. Until there is a break in the case, it will continue to haunt my mind.

88 comments:

Michelle said...

Weird!!! This case continues to haunt me too..When this happened, I was close to her age so I kind of "identified" with her..I always wonder what happened..Kind of wierd that everytime I hear of a body being found on the news, in the back of my mind I think "could that be Carrie's?"

Leigh said...

I do the same. I want this girl returned to her family. I dont know why this case will not leave my mind, but whatever reason, I think of her often.

MissBossyPants said...

I have a bizarre tie to this case. A boss I had in college that I was especially close to is from Jasper. His whole family, Walker Countians. When I moved to Birmingham from Montgomery, I started getting calls on my cell phone (which still had my Montgomery number) from a private investigator saying someone said I had information on this case. I was 15 and I don't even know that I lived in Alabama yet when she disappeared. Anyway, I called my boss immediately and asked about it, to see if he knew who might have given this PI my number, but he didn't.....weird, weird.

Leigh said...

Bossy Pants-That is weird!!

helen said...

This case means alot to me You see i personally looked for Carrie everyday for two weeks in northern Tuscaloosa Co.I just will never forget the girl who was snatched from her on home .I will never give up today i still look for Carrie and it is now 2008,You see i hope that someone would do the same for me >If we keep this story front and center Carrie will never be forgotten

Leigh said...

Helen-it is true, I would love to see Carrie brought home to her family. There are people out there like you and me-and folks leaving comments that still think about this girl and want to see her returned. As a arent, I would only hope that others would still be as passionate today as they once were in finding her. I hope she is found. Her family remains in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Read the book Presumption of Death soon to be published and you will know what happened to Carrie Lawson.

Leigh said...

Anon- I will do that. When is it to be published? Interesting...

Leigh said...

anon-What is the name of the author?

Anonymous said...

Carrie was my 7 years older than me. She went to my church. I knew her family well. Her mother just passed away of dementia. Her father and sister are still alive. She was the sweetest person. She and her sister went to Auburn the same time my brothers and sister were there. They did not hang out in the same crowds, but were friends.
There was lots of speculation about ransom. She was from a wealthy family as well as her husband. Lots of talk that he set it up. Buy, it is so sad that no one will ever know. My mom said her mom would just sit around and cry and cry "why me." It took a toll on her mom's health very quickly. In fact it took a huge toll on our town.
Cleveland is very small, or was much smaller then. And like I said, Carrie was that all around well liked girl....so it is still and eerie feeling today. Just because it happened so long ago, no one in Cleveland has forgotten about it. I mean her family was prominent, but more importantly down to earth and well liked. No matter where she is - I assure you - she has on angel wings. I can still see her smile. She looked so much like her mom and now they are finally together again.

Leigh said...

Anon 2- I appreciate your posting. My condolances. I am familair with Cleveland, I know that this must still sit like a fog within mountains of this town. I have heard all kinds of speculation as to what might have happened, how this beautiful young girls live, a life with hope and prospects ocould go so wrong. There is just something about this case I cannot get out of my mind. Honestly, I think about Carrie at least weekly.
I was so saddened to hear about Carrie's mother. At the same time, I get comfort in knowing they are together. If there were any peace in this case, to me (other than her safe return, which is beyond hope) would to see her returned to her parents and fmaily so that they could be at a better place. That being said, I cannot fathom what this family has been through. My thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to this family.
May God walk with them.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Birmingham at the time Carrie went missing. I was and still am a pilot. I flew into Jasper on numerious occasions.


I got to know many of the nice folks there and it is hard to believe something like this could happen. It still haunts me to this day.

Jim Howell

Leigh said...

Jim, I am sure that her fmaily are so touched by those that continue to remember Carrie, thus keeping her spirit alive. My hope is that one day she is returned to her loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I posted the info about Carrie's mother passing away. It's so weird, it happened when I was a freshmen in college. I was at the local community college. The nightmare is something that you always remember, but it is so surreal. Just like with Natalie Holloway, and the other victim's bodies who weren't found. The more I think about it, certain memeories about the entire sickening situation seem to surface. There was so much speculation. It was just such an unlikely happening. Like the last thing you would ever expect. I know I am still filled with anger, but we all know something must have gone wrong. My thought is something so minute went haywire. But at the pit of my stomach, I can't help in believing that somehow and someway her husband was involved. I mean like I said they were both from wealthy families....and we all know that people get in debt over their heads. Maybe my head is running away from me, but it is not like his family or her family was well known. I can just see her eyes, and she had the same hair cut and jaw line as her mother. She had a prominent jaw line. It just makes me seeth that someones own selfishness stold such a kind sole.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about carrie lawsons mother passing.We owned the store (tierce country store on hwy 69)where jerry bland made the ransom call.The call was made at around 4:10-4:15 am.I arrived at the store at 4:25,I just missed him.The search was launched from our store and I was fortunate enough to meet carrie's mom.She seemed like an exceptional lady.sorry to her of her passing.

Anonymous said...

Leigh, thank you for talking about Carrie Lawson's kidnapping. This case will be solved and hopefully in the near future. It is important to keep a spotlight on it. There are missing pieces to this puzzle that will be put together only if people come forward with any bit of information that they might have about Carrie's kidnapping. It doesn't matter how trivial or insignificant someone might think that their thought is. It might only be a hunch or a feeling that someone has about the case. These thoughts need to be communicated to others...I believe in my heart that others were involved with Carrie's kidnapping besides Mr. Bland and his cousin who is now in prison. These unknown people must not be allowed to get away with what they have done. They are walking around in their arrogant world thinking they can still terrorize those who get in their way.... As far as I know, David Smith, Carrie's father, still has private investigators working on finding his daughter. I'm sure that they would welcome any thoughts about what happened to Carrie. The Cleveland, TN police department would be able to help put someone in contact with Mr. Smith. Or the Auburn Alumni Association directory probably has Mr. Smith's address and phone number....I will continue to check your blog periodically for any information that someone might send to you. Thank you and God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Carrie was a year behind me at Alabama Law and I remember her as a very sweet and pretty young woman. Earl was in my class, but I did not know either him or Carrie very well. It was so strange seeing some of my classmates from law school on the news searching for her. I pray that this terrible mystery will be solved soon.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Carrie and a day doesn't go by that I don't think of her. I still have a picture of us at our first ballet recital on my dresser. It is comforting to know that she and her family are still in people's thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I was in the same law school class as Carrie in 91 and I still think of her which is how I came across this page. I remember her beautiful eyes, soft southern voice and to this day she was one of the sweetest persons I have ever met. It really bothers me that after all these years later, there is no closure to her case.

Anonymous said...

Carrie was my next door neighbor growing up. We played with Carrie and her sister Margaret everyday. She was a very special girl and I will never forget her. She was one of the sweetest and funniest person I have ever known. I went and searched for her twice. I hope to know some day what happened to her.

Leigh said...

All Anon-

It is evident that I am not the only one who still thinks about Carrie and that want to see her returned home to her family. I think that all of you, her friends, neighbors, classmates and family...and even people such as myself who had never before met Carrie, can find comfort in seeing the numbers of people who still think, pray and share of her spirit. I guess that her spirit somehow is alive in all of us. Her spirit will continue to live on in everyone she touched.
I can only hope that in some small way, perhaps through this post and comments that one can find solace and comfort in seeing that Carrie is very much remembered, and alive in all of us who still remember.
God bless to her family and to all she touched.
May she come home.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at this, starting page 53:

http://books.google.com/books?id=I9SN952mxpAC&pg=PA53&lpg=PA55&ots=7a3R9c2j2q&dq=%22Carrie+Lawson%22+Jasper&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html

Also, I went to high school with Earl and never trusted him. Still don't.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Anon- I read the excerpt from the book. It is very unfortunate, to say the least, that the investigation was full of so many mistakes as sited in the book.
I am careful to point out for the sake of innocent until proven guilty, that Jerry Bland and his cousin are the only ones who were ever charged with anything in the case.
That being said, I do hope that Carrie's family does recieve the justice that they so deserve. I hope Carrie can be brought home to her family. And I pray that anyone that was/is involved in the crime be held to justice by the system as well as an almighty power.
Thanks for sharing that, anon.Very interesting. I had no clue of any of the mistakes in the case. It certainly does shed some light on how it all went wrong towards the "end" of the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I just wanted to let everyone know that the people of Jasper, AL haven't forgotten Carrie. A friend of mine is a member in a local rescue squad that is currently involved in the "Road to Remebering Tour". Carrie is at the top of their list of people to pay tribute to so she will certainly be on everyone's mind and her name on their lips. The point of the tour is to let the families and friends of victims know that their loved one hasn't been forgotten. They want so much to bring missing people home and would love nothing more than to continue the search for Carrie and others.

Anonymous said...

Someone told me where he thought Carrie was buried. A relative of mine (deceased) worked for Jerry Bland. During the time of the disappearance, another relative of mine noticed someone on a bulldozer extraordinarily early on a strip mine that Bland's company was working. It was only one worker and my relative always thought that was weird. The strip mine is now completely covered and grown up. I went out there today and there have been so many things that have led me there lately. It has really been weird. I was a little boy during her disappearance. The other day it just popped into my mind and I started researching the case. I believe she could be 40 feet underground in this strip pit if she is there. My relative knew the police searched in the general vicinity and he never came forward because he didn't want people to have a bad opinion of him or think that he was crazy. My relative has just passed and I feel like he is trying to lead me in a direction to help Carrie. If you don't think I'm crazy or if you do let me know. If you are earnestly involved in the case and would like to contact me I would like to talk with someone if you leave your contact information.

Anonymous said...

i

Anonymous said...

One thing that always baffled me was why Bland would kill himself without revealing the location of her body or details of what happened. Some theories were that Bland was killed by someone trying to keep him quiet or maybe he didn't know the location of the body.

About 10 years ago, I met a member of Bland's immediate family to which I asked these questions. They assured me that he did kill himself based on the reading of his suicide note. They also stated that the Bland family had been threatened by law enforcement to keep quiet about the case. The threat used was to prosecute Bland's wife on charges of bugging her husband's telephone when she suspected him of cheating on her.

I wonder why they wanted the family to stay quiet?

Anonymous said...

Today is the 18th anniversary of Carrie's disappearance and I, like many of you, think of her often. Carrie and I went to Auburn together and she and my roommate were former roommates. I hung out with Carrie often during the first two years at school. We lost touch, but then met up again during law school, where she was in my husband's law school class. Carrie dated a wonderful guy in law school, and then came Earl. He seemed extremely pretentious and was just not a friendly guy. SO unlike Carrie. She was the sweetest girl on earth- I know people say that after people are gone, but Carrie was totally genuine and as we all know, that is so rare to find in a person. Carrie was engaged and married very quickly to Earl. They had not dated long at all, maybe four months. I was stunned when I received the invitation to the wedding. She had dated this other guy for a while and all of a sudden she was getting married to someone else!
Anyway, carrie was in a friend's wedding in June of '91 in Athens and I saw her again that summer the day the bar exam was over in Montgomery. I was picking my husband up to go on a trip and Carrie hung out with me in the parking lot and played with our dog until my husband came out. She was headed to the beach to celebrate and that was the last time I saw her.
The day she was kidnapped, they tried to keep it out of the media, but my husband had heard from someone in his firm that knew he and Carrie were friends. It was September 11, 1991- my mother-in-law's birthday. I remember seeing my husband's face when he met us for dinner and I knew something was horribly wrong. None of us could believe what had happened- it was totally surreal. There were so many glitches in the investigation, most of them had to do with Earl. A couple of months after the disappearrance, I had a dream that the family was being interviewed and they were all standing together. In my dream, Earl was standing with Carrie's parents looking at the camera and there was blood all over him. Everyone should know that Earl quickly remarried- not what I would consider the grieving young widower. The person responsible for Carrie's death is still walking around the streets of an Alabama city. That is what is so sad- this crime was not committed by the people accused and convicted of committing it!

What a joy to know that Carrie and her mother have finally found peace together in Heaven. Her mother's life became hell on earth due to the selfishness of another human being. I just hope that her father and sister can be at peace knowing that the person responsible will someday pay for his sins!

I remember waking up so sad on September 11,2001. It had been 10 years since Carrie's disappearance- and then came the terrorist attacks. Someone 10 years before had taken the life of a person many people thought the wold of, and now many lives were taken, again by terrorists. I will never forget this date and I will always try to keep Carrie's memory alive.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Anon 1, June 29th following my last response...RE: "Road to Remebering Tour", I think that is a wonderful idea. I think that it is important to keep the memory alive of those that have passed one, particuilarly in a situation such as this, where one was taken. We have to keep Carrie's name alive, and in doing that we keep her investigation in the forefront. I pray that her case will one day be solved and those involved left to a justise system that will see to it they pay for their involvment.

Anon 2 July 4, 2009 7:57 PM: No, I do not think you are crazy. I regret that your uncle did not come forward with the information that he had. I wonderf if you could make a call to those involved in the investigation? Though it is third person information, perhaos something will be pertinate to the investigation. Even something small. I recommend that you proceed with contacting investigators about the information you have,at the least, you will have peace of mid in knowing you did. Thanks!

Anon 3August 25, 2009 2:54 PM- I have not ever heard of this information so I cannot comment to it's validity. I do beleive that Mr. Bland realized he was up a creek, sort to speak, and didn't want to spend his life in prison. He failed to realize that the imprisonment he is now feeling has to be much harsher a wrath, which is a huge understatment. I do, however, agree to the fact that Mr. Bland did not act alone. I think there were others involved in the disappearance, those that were never brought to justice. It is my prayer that there is a break in the case and the family gets the answers they deserve.

anon 4September 11, 2009 9:32 AM- I truly appreciate you sharing your wonderful memories of Carrie on this day of tragidy (for numerous reasons). AS I mentioned before, I think it is important to keep those memories alive, and in doing so it keeps her memory alive. I was once told by a friend, who has lost her son, "Don't ever tip toe around his name to spare my feelings, that would be the greatest loss in all of this. It is important to keep his memory and spirit alive in all of us and the simiplist way of doing so is by speaking his name." I cannot think of a better way of putting it. I also think it important because it personifies Carrie's case, other than being a crime investigation, we remember her as the kind and caring person that so many of you knew her as. O think it is wonderful to share her locing spirit, and if this place on my blog is a way of doing so, I am most honored. I think it is comforting to know that so many people who have been touched by her case as I have, or who actually knew Carrie or her family can come to this virtual room and keep those memorie alive, her spirit is also alive.
Thank you so much for sharing those sweet rememberances. I know that others will appreciate it as well.
I think it also hopeful to see how many still remember and work and pray for a break in this case.
Thank you all. God bless Carrie and her family and her friends. May He see that justice is served.

Anonymous said...

I talked with the Jasper police, but the area I spoke of earlier is in Jefferson county. Nothing seemed to come it and I don't even know if they checked it out. Does anyone else no of any good contacts involving this case?

Anonymous said...

I grewup in walker county and am the same age as Carrie. I know the people of Jasper think of Carrie and have held on to the hope of finding her and returning her to her family. Also I wanted to say that I knew Earl very well and he was a funny, outgoing guy. he went out of his way to make sure the people around him were having a good time. I never saw him act "pretentious" as another person reported him to be. I don't believe that Earl was ever involved in any way in Carrie's kidnapping. He was a victim of the kidnapper. The mistakes in this case were not his but the police and the FBI's. Those closest to a kidnapping or murder are often looked at as potential collaborators and when there is no closure it's easy to blame these victims. It's a shame that Earl has to live with this cloud of suspicion and there is no definitive way for him to clear his name. I am happy for him that he was able to move on, remarry and have a family.

Anonymous said...

I have followed this case from day one, but certainly would never call myself an expert in investigation. I have no contact with the Smith family and did not know Carrie....she sounded like a wonderful woman.

I have known Earl for 4-5 years and only recently put 2 and 2 together to realize this terrible crime was perpetrated upon his young bride. I have not mentioned the case to him, nor have I ever heard him make mention of it.

I can only speak from my experience, but I know Earl as a loving father, husband and friend. I have never seen a cold or arrogant side as fore mentioned by others. I do not know him well, but it would be hard to imagine anyone guilty of this crime could lead a guilt-free, normal life. I hope and pray the man I know is a victim as well.

Incredible how this case has touched so many lives. I have thought of Carrie over the years...glad to know others have as well. Never knew that 9/11 was the date of the crime. What a sorrowful anniversary for sure.

I would like to speak to you if you are willing and able. I will include my contact info, but choose to remain anonymous in this posting.

Thank you for keeping Carrie's memory alive for the countless individuals effected by these events!

cam said...

Previous post: leave email. I would love to talk as well.

Anonymous said...

Cam,

I still wish to remain anonymous for now....If you want to give your e-mail that would work. Maybe meet in a chatroom somewhere or some other means of communication.

Anonymous said...

I was in college at UA when Carrie Lawson disappeared and I remember it well. I also remember hearing that there was suspicion surrounding the husband Earl. I ended up meeting Earl approximately 5 years ago. At first, I was suspicious of him from just the tiny bit that I knew but then I realized that I could not form an opinion without knowing the facts of the case. Now, 5 years after meeting Earl I am curious and have been doing a little research.
My question to those that have posted.....what would be Earl's motive if they were both from wealthy families? Is the case still open because the investigating agency believes that someone else is involved? Why would Karen McPherson not tell authorities if she knew Earl was involved? Is Earl having to pay for the inadequacies of the investigation as pointed out in the excerpt from the book above. Law enforcement does screw up...has Earl been a victim twice? I am interested to know your thoughts.

MaxShelby said...

I just stumbled on this blog and have read previous stories about Carrie.
Weren't both of the kidnappers Drummond employees? There is a mountain of intrigue and sordid activity that surrounds the Drummonds.
Is it possible Carrie may have been working on a case and gotten close to exposing something "someone" didn't want exposed? What I have heard is it involved a missing girl who was connected to powerful men.
There are too many things about this case that raise more questions than answers considering who the kidnappers were.
I would be interested in communicating with some of you on this case please.
Click my name to contact me from my site.

Erica said...

Harriet and Dave Smith are my Godparents, as well as great Aunt and Uncle. Carrie is greatly missed by our family, and we pray for a miracle everyday to hear any kind of news about her. Most of these posts are so sweet, and we thank everyone for praying with us.

Linda said...

Just thinking about Carrie today. Tommorrw will be the 20th anniversary of her disappearance. A very different 9-11 for the Law School Class of 1991.

A law school classmate, class of 1991

muffin said...

Just thinking about the 20 year anniversary of Carrie's disappearance. I know exactly where I was when they held the press conference(s).

I am from Walker County. This, along with the disappearance of Betty Ferguson, have been the biggest unsolved cases in my distant memory.

I've since moved to Birmingham, but I often wonder about this lady, who by all accounts, seemed the girl next door. A lovely lady who was just at home minding her own business.

My prayers go out to her family on this day.

muffin said...

It is the 20th anniversary of Carrie's disappearance today. My thoughts go out to the family.

I am from Walker County and I remember where I was when listening to the lengthy press conferences over the radio. I was in my 20s at the time, and had never been subjected to anything like that so close by.

Anyway, I've moved to Birmingham since then. I have my speculations, just like anyone else who's followed this case, but I'm not going to voice them.

Betty Ferguson, also from Walker County, is also still missing. These two cases stand out the most as unsolved cases.

Phil Donahue once said on one of his shows "if you want to have someone killed, go to Michigan or Jasper, Alabama." Not verbatim, as it's been years since I saw that show.

Anonymous said...

I did not know Carrie, but I went to high school with Earl Lawson and Jerry Bland's daughter. We graduated together. They were both popular, bright and involved in extra-curricular activities. Mr. Bland and his daughter had been estranged at the time of the kidnapping but the fact that they were related caused her life to be made a living hell by the local community. She received many threats and even had dead animals left at her home. I do not say this to lessen the tragic loss of a vibrant, loving and gifted person, but to make the point that there were many people victimized by this, innocent people, not just the Smith and Lawson families. Jasper is a small town and like many small towns, can have a cliquish and closed mentality. Bland's daughter was crucified, I guess as collateral damage, for the crime of being related to a kidnapper. I hope to this day that she has been able to move on and find a life outside the shadow of Carrie's disappearance. The thought of what happened to her has haunted me.

Anonymous said...

I did not know Carrie, but I went to high school with Earl Lawson and Jerry Bland's daughter. We graduated together. They were both popular, bright and involved in extra-curricular activities. Mr. Bland and his daughter had been estranged at the time of the kidnapping but the fact that they were related caused her life to be made a living hell by the local community. She received many threats and even had dead animals left at her home. I do not say this to lessen the tragic loss of a vibrant, loving and gifted person, but to make the point that there were many people victimized by this, innocent people, not just the Smith and Lawson families. Jasper is a small town and like many small towns, can have a cliquish and closed mentality. Bland's daughter was crucified, I guess as collateral damage, for the crime of being related to a kidnapper. I hope to this day that she has been able to move on and find a life outside the shadow of Carrie's disappearance. The thought of what happened to her has haunted me.

Anonymous said...

I think about Carrie Smith Lawson everytime I think about her father Dave Smith. During this time I worked for him in Cleveland Tennessee. I was just 20 at the time and I could not understand how something so tragic could happen to such a precious family. You could not ask for a better boss. He was very close to his daughters and loved Carrie very much. I still have the upmost respect for him. Carrie was a sweet person. I do not know the individuals who abducted her, I pray God has mercy on their souls. It is awful what happened to this family and I hope today they family has found peace.

Anonymous said...

It was rumored around Walker County that Carrie wanted to reopen a case upon passing the bar exam. this case involved the bombing death of a young lady in Jasper ... I have kept up with the case over the years but it seems that with Bland's death and the lady in prison staying quiet it will never be solved... Remember the family in your prayers..

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone that was living in Jasper at the time of this kidnapping that knew Some of the story that never went public for obvious reasons must think about Carrie Smith Lawson on a regular basis. The two main characters that everyone were so afraid of are no longer in power and have since retired,but I'm sure they are still observing and continue to have their contacts. I know their are several people who were here at the time that know of the situations surrounding the 911 call to some other activities related to that night.
If enough people would come forth and tell what they know and not just heresy or gossip eventually all the missing pieces will fit and we can finally put some closure on this open wound.
Walker county is like most small towns it has it's corruption and I believe we have had folks here and some are still here that would do whatever it took to keep their evolvement quiet.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone that is following these Carrie Smith Lawson blogs know any firsthand knowledge of the officer that stopped Jerry Bland in a van that night or the officer that took the 911 call? I think that if everyone would come forward with what they know about these details it would help solve this case or at least let the Smith family know who was responsible and why.

Anonymous said...

I am from walker county and was just 6 when this happened. I think it is a very strange case and several people know alot more than they will talk about. Anyhow, I grew up around the haley bottoms area in kansas alabama. Bout 6 to 8 years ago they was searching a spot where I played as a kid. The owner of the property allowed them to as long as media didnt get involved. If anyone knows anything about this I would love to hear.

Anonymous said...

Was wondering if anyone knew anything about the search that took place on haley bottoms road about 6 to 8 years ago. I heard they found jewelry that belonged to carrie but the land owner stopped the digging when news media got involved.

Anonymous said...

Carrie was my neighbor when she was abducted. I was only 13 years old. She and Earl were a sweet couple. The memory of that night has haunted me all of these years. The fact that, that could happen next door in our quiet neighborhood...Something I've never been able to forget. Being a parent now, I can't imagine what the Smith's must have gone through.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Bland went to the previous owners of the coal mine in haley bottoms just a day or two before he was shot and killed.he told them that he wanted to purchase the strip mine and assume all of the equipment leases. He spent two days on the property operating the equipment. once alone and once he had another man with him.
He had two barrels in the back of the truck with him.
This was told to me by the mine owner who said that the FBI contacted him and he relayed this information too them.
I was shocked that a search was never conducted til years later. but it was very limited. I am sure that the current owner would let them look anywhere on the property that would want. I believe that she is either in one of the barrels in the bottom of one of the ponds, or he possibly buried her while testing out the rental equipment.. I would have told someone about this but the contact number for someone to call with information is the walker county sheriffs dept. and I just dont think they would put much effort into looking unless you found a body.

Anonymous said...

I think about this case alot... I had just had my first born daughter. We came home from the hospital the day this happened. I can remember being glued to the tv hoping they would find her. As a mother, I just cannot imagine what this family went through. My prayers are with them still.

Anonymous said...

Carrie and her family have stayed on my mind all these years and I am comforted to know how many other people were touched by her and her family. I knew her in Cleveland through Warnie Finnell's Ocoee Players, a children's theater group. Carrie and her sister Margaret were so talented. Their mother and dad were so nice and so so undeserving of this pain. I just pray that eventually there will be a resolution and some closure.

Anonymous said...

I had a psychic vision: Carrie is buried in the basement of the old Swanhurst Mansion. It's all I can reveal without endangering myself.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Walker County a few years ago, and have heard of this case often. There is still quite a bit of corruption in this county, and from what I hear it was worse then. I can't believe that this case hasn't been solved and that there are people walking around in this community that know more. In several national news stories, Jasper Alabama has been dubbed the murder for hire capital, if you want somebody killed come here. People go missing here all the time, and a lot of this is well known, but not talked about it. My prayers go out to all the people involved in this case.

Anonymous said...

I was once told that she was working for the d.a. and a young girl came and talked to her about her involvement in a prostitution ring with some higher up men of walker county and a disbarred attorney now. and that she is buried in a pillar on corridor x. the disbarred attorney was also the holder of the ransom monies.....

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of Carrie's kidnapping and still we don't know what "really" happened or where she is. I'm from Cleveland, TN and knew Carrie since we were children. Her precious Mother, Harriet was my 5th grade teacher. There was an article in our local paper on sunday and many posts from Carrie's friends and her sister, Margaret on facebook this week because the woman involved in the kidnapping, Karen McPherson, is up for parole again next week. it is imperative that she remain in prison for the rest of her life, as the judge ordered! Unless she decides to come clean and tell WHO was involved in this besides her cousin, and where Carrie's body is, so she could be brought home to her sweet daddy and sister.

It's so nice to read all the sweet comments about Carrie from her law school classmates and others who knew her after she left Cleveland. Just as everyone who knew her has said, she truly was one of the sweetest, most genuine people you could ever meet and her family is as well. I hope they find answers one day, either in this life or the next....Rest in Peace, Carrie

Anonymous said...

I think it strange that my blog has been twice removed from this sight. I am Karen Mcpherson's daughter. I was twelve when this terrible tragedy was committed. While reading all your comments it seems so clear you , and everyone else realize that my mother was an accomplice and there was so much more going on. Earl had something to do with the disappearance of his wife. He had contact on a few different occasions reguarding deals about real estate. They lived not far from each other and Jerry' s wife Shelia was best friends with a woman named Glenda who was very close to Earl. Two beepers were given on the day of the last drop of money. One on Earl , one on the money. They followed Earl back to them instead of the money. The ransom amount is also wrong. There are MANY MANY more discrepancies that I could go on to say , but why waste my time . This will just get erased again . My mother deserves to be punished. She did a terrible thing that nearly destroyed 2 families , but she has told everything she knows, she was an accomplice not the master mind. By the way Jerry was murdered , he didn't kill himself. Kinda funny he supposedly pulled the trigger of a deer rifle with his big toe with a gun that had the serial number filed off. The gun wasnt his. Fact is Jerry had a gun case in the next room filled with hand guns, shotguns, pistols, 9 mils, rifles and they all belonged to him and had a serial number. Also , if they searched the truck, found evidence with the serial numbers that matched the ransom money, why didn't they arrest him. Instead they have no evidence other than tire marks and pick up my mom. Again she deserved to be punished , but my mother is just a scape goat. She has already done everything to prove she has told all she knows. She was just denied parole after 22 years. I understand the family is grieving , but it is time to let my mother come home. She served her time. Jerry's wife recorded all the conversations. Not because she thought he was cheating. It was so they had something to hold over moms head so she wouldn't chicken out. Which she tried several times. It also doesnt tell the truth about my mother sitting with Carrie. Jerry called after 2 failed attempts to retrieve the ransom and said she was on her cycle, and won't eat for me. My mother refused to come out there. He threatened her with killing me. She brought pads, baby wipes to clean with, food, and drinks. After sitting with her for a few hours she led Carrie to the back of the Bronco, untied her , and said leave on the blind till you hear me walk to the front of the truck then run.

Anonymous said...

I was just a kid when this happened but I remember hearing a conversation between some teachers at school that she was looking into the disappearance of Becky Ferguson and had found some new information. (Odd that both disappearances happened in September). I'm not sure how true that is, but it looks like I am not the only one who heard that it was related to that case or at the very least related to a case and not "random".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous....I was a neighbor of Carrie when she was kidnapped and also owned a beauty salon. Jerry's daughter was a friend and client and expressed how her father was so ill he could not have acted alone and was forced to do what he did; however, I also heard lots of "tales" about this crime right from my salon. One that I will never forget. A young woman sat in the salon one day talking about how she was going to write a book and had accumulated lots of evidence. Her sister was my client. Her story was that Carrie had uncovered a lot of information on the crime in Walker County. She had uncovered information relating to other women that had come up missing, one the Ferguson woman and the other other the woman who was blown up at the Walker Baptist Hospital. It seems, as she realted, that there's a huge undercover prostitution and drug ring in Walker County, run by a group if "powerful people." They continue to sit on the bench, and have state political ties. As she unfolded this story, her sister feared she too would go missing as with other women, like Carrie who "knew too much." It has long been said that women have to keep their mouth shut in Walker County. Lots of convenient mistakes were made during the search for Carrie, and many theories continue, but as is known, Jasper was known for hire to kill, leaving one to wonder why so much corruption continues in this small town of Alabama and yet never solved....Jerry Bland was a very small man and his daughter expressed that he did not kill himself. She told how he talked to the family and was very scared and knew that he would be killed. She waited two years before she came back to the salon and told me how she did not want to embarrass me. She said when she walked down the street people would walk up to her and curse her and spit in her face.... It is a known fact that powerful men run this little town. It was told there was a restaurant in Coke Oven that held a "back room" for gambling and prostition years ago.........it was told the Ferguson girl wanted out of this arena, but she instead came up missing from her Cadillac that was found on Airport Road. I am sure this case will never be solved unless the FBI cracks the gut of the involvement that surrounds these missing women. The new book that Joy Cagle has just released, "Presumption of Death," puts the blame on those she felt were directly involved with Carries unfortunate disappearance. And for Jerry's precious daughter, she was the one that was executed by the people. Everytime I see a case "reopened" I think of Carrie and hope that some day someone wil pick up on where she left off and solve this mystery......

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to talk to micky eargle ABC agent.

Anonymous said...

G ivy. Atty

Anonymous said...

I was actually at the dig in Haley Bottoms and nothing of any substance was found. No jewelry was found, but we were looking for her wedding/engagement ring that has never turned up. We did find remnants of old metal barrels, but thet were crushed and decaying, keep in mind this was several years after the abduction. Wwe had the use of cadavor dogs also to no availe.

Anonymous said...

Why Mickey Eargle?

Anonymous said...

J, What you went through is heart breaking. You were a child. And you are correct, anyone who followed the story or studied the facts know others were involved. One of the first things people should ask is who gets dropped off for a capital kidnapping for ransom? An abduction in which the kidnapper is recovering from open heart surgery, yet he must take a young woman captive and restrain her young husband. Gun or no gun, it isn't logical. People get 'dropped off' at the movies, not at a home or where hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved. In addition, Bland had to depend on an SUV that he wouldn't have the keys for..and trust it was full of gas...and trust the battery was working...etc etc

Anonymous said...

Who owned tricked out , fancy Town Cars in Walker County/Jasper in the late 80s? Who was known to own them?

Anonymous said...

I have recently read the Presumption of Death book. I am a resident of jasper al. And since I have know about this case it has freaked me out! There are so many ppl in walker county who know everything that happened and it's a shame they won't fess up to what they know for that poor woman's family. Her family at least needs closer. It's a shame that earl h lawson jr remarried not long after this happened. I saw that he is still married to that woman ,has 3 kids ,STILL a lawyer and living in the Birmingham area! I'm sure his wife now knows the truth. It's just a shame for someone to do that and live the life they have now. Some ppl just don't care. Like the book said I hope Carrie is still to this day haunting all the ppl that were involved especially her husband at the time! My thoughts and prayers are still with Carries dad and sister,I hope one day they will have closer before it's to late for them to know.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the name of the woman who went missing right after Carrie disappeared? It was near Walker/Winston.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how Mr. Eargle can be contacted? Is he in Walker County? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

He did have open heart surgery. As soon s he was able , he started doing laps in the pool. The entire family was blown away by how much he was doing right after surgery. He said he had to sty strong, that there was alot of good business coming his way, that he needed to be strong for. We swam laps in the pool, and he blowed us out of the water. He was also running on the treadmill, which we all used to get onto him for. He DID have surgery, but he was very strong. So the story goes, he made her at gunpoint tie up EARL. Then Jerry tied her hands, and led her to the vehicle. It was said there was no struggle, she didn't fight. So surgery or not, it was possible. Here was some info for ya. They asked Karen what she was wearing. It didn't match Carries clothing. The FBI kept asking over and over when, where, why they changed her. Was the woman my mom seen even her?

Anonymous said...

Also, from what Ive been told, Carrie was onto a big story about politicians, prostitutes, fraud, and money laundering. Who knows?! She was a smart woman, and someone hired Jerry to keep her quiet. My stupid mother played along. So many discrepancies, so many lies from everyone. I pray everyday that someone will find her. She had such a great life to lead, and was robbed of it. All families involved have been through too much. Every time she comes up for prole, we start getting harassed. I wish we knew anything so we could all have closure. Karen hs wrote a few letters about a few Jasper elites, which has made many very angry. The harassment is starting again. If they put half the effort asking the wrong people into asking the RIGHT people this would have been solved already.

Anonymous said...

'We" have let Carrie down. She fought against injustice, but didn't realize what, and who, she was up against. There has not yet been an ending to her story. She is still missing, twenty-three years later. Her family has no closure. The accomplice is in prison, and although she played a part, there are many others who never paid the price for their actions. They were protected, and that is a travesty. By the way-I don't believe that the convenient audio tape that was turned into police had been recorded in case Karen got cold feet, though it came in handy later, unfortunately for Karen. The reason they recorded her & Bland's conversation was in case they needed 'proof' later that Carrie was not the only target of the kidnappers. It was their get-out-of-jail-free card, and it worked. In the end, Bland was as much a pansy as Karen, and more than one family was torn apart in the process. I hope one day the feds do what they should have done twenty-three years ago, or twenty-six-actually- they could have stopped everything that happened when Becky Ferguson disappeared.

Anonymous said...

By the way (again), in response to one of the June 11 posts "They asked Karen what she was wearing. It didn't match Carries clothing. The FBI kept asking over and over when, where, why they changed her."...my assumption is this...the FBI would have received the description of her clothing from Earl-no one else knew what she left the house in-except the kidnapper, right? If the clothing that Carrie wore when Karen saw her didn't match the description that they had, it's not a big leap as to why!

Anonymous said...

i would love to talk to anonymous about your mom. i believe she was involved but mostly a fall person for the crime. i know she doesnt accept visitors but there is a name i would like to know what she has to say about it. i believe karen was threatened if she talked and its why she has stayed silent. i know jerry was murdered and others were involved.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sick to my stomach reading how people want to crucify earl in this! I read these comments and I've read the Carlisle book, and the portrayal of earl is so inaccurate. He was and is a very kind person who was raised right. He visited our home all his life. Most of the ppl who "say" they knew him or were friends with him weren't friends or even knew him at all. This boy ( cause that's what he was) loved EVERYBODY and especially his wife! He didn't have the capacity to plan such a scheme. Both came from affluent homes and were sheltered-- they just finished school and were naive. That is WHY they were chosen after a botched attempt on ANOTHER prominent coal figure and affluent family a few weeks before. He didn't NEED money, and in fact returned everything-- including insurance payouts-- to her parents. Ppl need to pray for him, for jerry blands family, and all touched by this instead of pointing fingers

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Walker County is very corrupt!! I wouldnt be suprised if someone of statute was getting back at her husband for somethkng he knew or she knew. This is a tragic story. Ive heard alot of rumors. If Blands wife was convicted of kidnapping getting life, why dont they offer a sentence reduction if she tells what she knows? They may be suprised at the info she knows. But with life she has nothing to lose. They do it for drug addicts. And I think Carrie's life is more important!!!

Anonymous said...

They should talk to Keith Sizemore

Anonymous said...

Why Keith Sizemore?

Sonya Cox said...

I went to school with her

Anonymous said...

I lived in Jasper at the time and met the chief administrator of the hospital at a party. I mentioned this case to him and told him something about the case that I had heard from an acquaintance from the DA's office. His response was to inform me that he knew a hit man and that I should stop asking questions. He was quite serious. I had heard of the women who mysteriously disappeared, so I left it alone. But have never forgotten about Carrie. I hope the truth comes out someday.

Anonymous said...

My uncle worked on Carrie Lawsons case. He was interviewed on Dateline NBC, & 48 hours. He actually found her, & knew what happened to her. He was threatened, at the time he announced he was going to have the mine dug out, & bring her home. His own son, was killed on vacation, & he was threatened. He told Carries parents, he had been to where she was, & the reason she was killed. She knew too much. She had evidence of underground crime rings in Walker county, that led to 3 other states. Suffice it to say, she will never be returned to her family. She was married to the mob, only she didn't know it when she married him.

Anonymous said...

Agree with what the last poster said about Carrie marrying the mob & about crime rings that led to other states. However, if 'the uncle' told Carrie's family where to find her, they would have done so. Their PI -Red- lost his grandson who had assisted Red with the investigation, but I don't know about Red's son. Red died of cancer quite a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

It's coming upon twenty-five years. People will not let this go. Where are her remains? It's time.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the administrator of the hospital who warned the person who posted anonymously to stay away from this case, can you provide his/her name? If you're not comfortable with that, can you provide his/ her initials? Anything would help. A lot about this case and others can be traced back to activities at that hospital.

Anonymous said...

This case as is with many divisions of corruption, has been allowed to go on in this country, because if the truth were to be exposed during the lifetime of the ones involved then the jails could not hold them all neither would there be any thing for the law enforcement to do. Those guilty of doing wrong in Alabama in this case would virtually empty the town and possibly many other towns or even state crimes elsewhere. This case is very interesting beings that there are too many people involved. Florida unlike Alabama,Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and other close related states have an excellent inside the Law way of covering up what they do not want exposed or resolved. If they all practiced legally like they should the politicians would not have nothing to do.

Anonymous said...

How long was Pat Willingham at the hospital?

Anonymous said...

Not sure but PW once worked for Drummond

Anonymous said...

Follow up to my comment - PW worked for Drummond in the 80s and that's how he got on the hospital board. After falling out with Drummond,he stayed on at the hospital and "worked" with Carrie's and Earl's (former) attorney bosses to sell the hospital - lots of money up for grabs...dirty dirty dirty business