Real Name: Amy Billig
Nicknames: Last name sometimes misspelled "Billing"
Location: Coconut Grove, Florida
Date: March 5, 1974
Bio[edit | edit source]
Occupation: High school student
Date of Birth: January 9, 1957
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 110 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes, possible tattoo
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: At around 12pm on March 5, 1974, seventeen-year-old Amy Billig came home from school for lunch. She planned to go out with friends later and called her father, Ned, asking to borrow some money. She vanished while hitchhiking to his office. A few days later, sixteen-year-old twins Charles and Larry Glasser claimed to have kidnapped her and asked for a $30,000 ransom, but the police discovered this was a ruse and arrested them for extortion.
Investigators interviewed Amy's family, friends, and neighbors, but could find no trace of her. They did not think that she vanished voluntarily. Shortly after she vanished, her camera was found at the Wildwood exit on the Florida Turnpike and surrendered to the police. Many of its photos were overexposed, and the few decent ones had no further clue to her whereabouts.
Twelve days later, Amy's mother, Susan, received tips that she might have been kidnapped by a motorcycle gang called "The Outlaws" and taken cross-country. She learned that a chapter of them had come through Coconut Grove at the time of Amy's disappearance.
A family friend who had done legal work for the Outlaws arranged a meeting between Susan, Ned, and two of the gang members. Although the men claimed to have not seen Amy personally, they confirmed that other gang members have kidnapped and sold young women in the past. Surprisingly, some women (called "old ladies") would be sold merely for a credit card or a bike. The men promised to ask other members about Amy, but they never were able to provide any information. Susan soon heard from a woman named Gina Andrew who had been abducted by a biker gang at the age of twelve; she escaped five years later. She claimed that she had been sold for money, motorcycles, and even leather chaps.
Three months after Amy's disappearance, Susan tracked the Outlaws to Orlando, 160 miles away. She questioned dozens of people in the area. A convenience store manager remembered seeing Amy being escorted by at least two bikers. The manager remembered that she always bought vegetarian vegetable soup. This was important because she had been a committed vegetarian. Susan was certain that that was her.
However, a year-and-a-half would pass before Susan received another lead. On January 9, 1976, a biker named "Dave" contacted her after seeing a picture of Amy in the newspaper. He claimed that he had actually owned Amy at one time. He agreed to talk to her, but only at his house. He acted nervous while she was there, believing that they had been followed. When shown a clearer picture of Amy, he was certain that the girl he owned was her. He described her as quiet, like a "mute". He also described a hidden scar on her body, which Susan had never divulged publicly. This made her certain that the abducted girl was Amy.
Dave agreed to try and contact the person who he believed had Amy. A few weeks later, he contacted Susan and claimed that she was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They met there and tried to search for her. In June 1976, they arrived at a tavern where he claimed Amy would be delivered to them. While there, a fight broke out and he was injured. Susan was whisked away and placed in a cab by one of the other bikers. She never saw Dave again. He did tell her attorney that Amy was in Seattle.
In November 1977, Susan traveled to Seattle, even though she had suffered a heart attack a few months earlier. She frequented bars, tattoo parlors, and motorcycle shops. Several people recognized photographs of Amy, describing her as "always quiet" and "like mute". However, she once again could not find her daughter.
Eighteen months later, in the winter of 1979, an anonymous male caller told Susan that Amy was at a remote truck stop outside of Reno, Nevada, and that she desperately needed help. FBI agents learned that a biker gang had been there briefly, but there was no way to verify if Amy was with them.
Years passed; then in 1992, Susan was contacted by private investigator Virginia Snyder. She and a British investigator were working on a case when they received a tip about Amy. The investigator was in a post office in Falmouth, England, when he was approached by an American biker. He said that he had a girl that he wanted to sell to him. He said that she was American, from Oyster Bay, and was "mute". The description seemed to match Amy. However, he left without showing a picture of her. Susan felt certain that that was Amy. However, she was unable to find any trace of her. Tragically, the British investigator passed away a year later.
Virginia believes that Amy is still alive, if she was able to survive the first few years. However, investigators do not believe that she is alive after all of this time. Susan would like to know what happened to her. Sadly, Ned died of lung cancer in 1992. To date, no trace of Amy has ever been found.
Suspects: For years, Susan believed that a biker gang was responsible for Amy's disappearance. She followed up on hundreds of leads, which took her to various parts of the United States and even England. Unfortunately, she was never able to find Amy or the people who may have been responsible.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 26, 1994 episode. It was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted. Susan wrote a book called Without A Trace: The Disappearance of Amy Billig with Greg Aunapu in 2001.
Results: Unresolved. Following Amy's disappearance, her family received multiple harassing phone calls from a man who claimed that she was being held captive by members of a sex ring. He tormented Susan for over twenty years, often calling her through pay phones. However, in 1995, he used a cell phone to make the harassing calls. FBI agents were finally able to trace the call to a man named Henry Johnson Blair, who worked for the U.S. Customs Department. He claimed that his obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcoholism caused him to harass Susan. He later claimed to never know Amy. He was sentenced to a two-year prison term for harassment and lost a suit to Susan, who received a five-million-dollar settlement.
However, despite claiming to not know Amy, he is considered a person of interest in the case. In one of Amy's photos, there is a white van that is identical in color and model to one that he owned in 1974. Also, in her diary, she described a man named Hank who wanted to take her to South America at the same time Blair's job as a customs agent was sending him to Argentina. Interestingly, his nickname is Hank. Officially, he has not been positively linked to her disappearance and he proclaims his innocence.
In a death bed confession in December 1997, Paul Branch, a former member of the Outlaws, claimed that she had been drugged, raped, and killed at a "party" within hours of being abducted. He claimed that her body was then thrown into the Florida Everglades. Police were able to verify several details of his account. Her camera was found near Wildwood, which would have been on the route the Outlaws took traveling north. Despite the confession, her remains have yet to be found. Some, however, believe that the confession was made up by Branch's wife for publicity and money. Amy's brother, Josh, has also doubted the story's credibility.
Sadly, Susan passed away on June 7, 2005, at the age of eighty. She had searched for Amy for over thirty-one years.
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- The Night Caller
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- Gang member’s deathbed confession holds key to teen missing since 1974
- Amy Billig (2013 Article)
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- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Amy Billig
- Amy Billig on Find a Grave
- Susan Billig on Find a Grave