Real Names: Robert Leroy Dozier and John Paul Russell
Aliases: Bob Dozier, Michael Hayes (Dozier); John Farrell (Russell)
Wanted For: Suspicion of Fraud, Drug Trafficking, and Murder
Missing Since: November 1981
Details: On November 12, 1981, thirty-four-year-old Bob Dozier and forty-four-year-old John Russell set sail from Sausalito, California on John's fifty-foot yacht, "The Freedom Two," with Bob's alleged girlfriend, Kristen Tomlin, and John's wife of ten years, Suzanne. Their destination was Tahiti. Early the next morning, Bob and John washed up alone on Stinson Beach, California. They claimed that their boat had been struck by a freighter in tough waters. They said that they had gotten into a life raft which was later torn apart by sharp rocks. They claimed that Kristen and Suzanne were lost at sea. A search was made for the boat, Kristen, and Suzanne which was unsuccessful. However, inconsistencies of their stories and analysis of the little wreckage afloat started to cast doubt upon their credibility.
Bob and John claimed that they had fired flares and sent radio messages from their boat after the accident. However, they were not noticed by a Coast Guard monitoring boat that was only three miles away. No records of them were found. Also, the direction that the boat was apparently headed did not match an expected travel path to Tahiti. There was also no large vessel traffic in the area where they claimed that their boat was struck.
One man, a gun shop owner who was friends with Bob and John had sold them a firearm in order to protect themselves from pirates. John ordered an assault rifle, a twelve-gauge shotgun, and 1200 rounds of ammunition. The owner was invited to tag along with them on the trip but declined due to high work demands. He agreed to be interrogated on the basis he has now mistrusted their statements and intent to travel.
Other inconsistent facts were the lack of wreckage from the supposedly lost boat. The small bits of wreckage that did wash ashore were determined not to have been destroyed due to acts of nature, but man made damage. Hammer marks and other evidence was found on them. Also, they was insufficient to conclude that it was of proper size and/or importance to sink the boat; strongly suggesting non-vital parts of it were destroyed and intentionally cast overboard to throw the authorities off the track.
Medical examinations of Bob and John were suspicious. Neither suffered from hypothermia, which is a common symptom of prolonged exposure to cold seawater. The U.S. Coast Guard has also cast doubt on the verity of their reports on the basis of their behavior. As soon as they were released from the hospital, both immediately left town. Normally survivors of shipwrecks who are missing friends, family, or colleagues stay in one place and work closely with authorities until sound evidence has been given that the missing people have died or have been recovered.
Another mismatch in this case is that Bob, complaining of disorientation and memory loss at the time of rescue, later reported a third woman lost at sea by the name of Sherry Ann Dozier. That is in fact an alias of Suzanne, whom had illegally married Bob to go into ownership of their Nevada saloon. John had wanted to open it up, however, his criminal record would not allow him to do so. He convinced Suzanne to commit bigamy with Bob in order to gain the needed liquor license, and the saloon went along successfully. This is another factor that has led authorities to believe foul play was involved in this case.
On November 14, a life preserver from the boat floated ashore and was discovered by the Coast Guard. Several faint letters were noticed on the back. Testing later revealed the word Monicai. Investigators suspected that the boat's name was actually the Monicai which had been reportedly lost at sea. They also thought it might be another boat, the Inspiration, which had been reported stolen and looked exactly like the Freedom Two.
During the week of November 15, plastic bags and drug paraphernalia washed ashore near the place where Bob and John had surfaced. The Coast Guard speculated that they were involved in transporting drugs overseas. They believe that they faked the accident to make it appear to the drug owners that the boat crashed and the drugs lost, when they stole it instead. They believe that Suzanne, who was a good sailor, took it to another port, where she later met with Bob and John.
However, it is not known what involvement Kristen may have had in this case. She was an employee at the saloon and had been asked to go on the trip just a few days before they left. She had only known Bob, John, and Suzanne for a few months. Her family does not believe that she would be involved in a fraud or drug scheme. They fear that she has met with foul play.
Bob and John have been charged with grand theft insurance fraud. They were reportedly sighted in Hawaii. Rumors have placed John in Oregon and Florida. Sightings of a boat resembling the Freedom Two have been reported in Hawaii and Acapulco. To date, no trace of them, Kristen, or Suzanne have been found.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 9, 1988 episode and later updated on the November 23, 1988 one. It was excluded from Amazon Prime episodes.
Results: Captured. Bill and Betty Rauchert of Ontario, Canada watched the broadcast and recognized Bob, John, and Suzanne as three people who stole their boat in 1982. Bob was using the name "Bob Johnson", John was using the name "John Smith", and Suzanne was using the name "Ann Christine Smith". In 1982, they sold their boat to "Ann". She, Bob, and John allegedly stole it after paying just 10% of the purchase price.
For six months, Bill and Betty tracked their boat from port to port. They finally caught up with it in Fort Myers, Florida. A court ordered that it be returned to them and issued a judgement of nearly $48,000 against "Ann". However, it did not help them because Bob, John, and Suzanne had vanished again. In 1983, Bob and John were reportedly seen in Keymont, Texas. In 1986, they were rumored to be in Hawaii. John was also reportedly seen in New Westminster, British Columbia. His father reportedly worked there at a branch of Bank of Montreal.
Bob was captured in April 1991 as a result of a viewer's tip. The viewer placed him in Hilo, Hawaii; the FBI was able to trace him to his location. John was captured in June 1993. Both served time for theft and fraud charges. However, they were never charged in connection with Kristen and Suzanne's disappearances.
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