Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Dan Short

Real Name: Daniel Lee Short
Nicknames: Dan
Location: Noel, Missouri
Date: October 6, 1989


Details: Fifty-one-year-old Dan Short was the president of the local bank in Noel, Missouri. At 8am on the morning of October 6, 1989, one of his employees came to work and found the vault open and $70,000 stolen. The FBI and two separate police agencies investigated. They found two .45 caliber shell casings on the floor. When they tried to contact Dan, they were unsuccessful. As a result, he became the first suspect in this case.
However, the investigation changed on October 11 after Dan's body was found taped to a chair and floating in Grand Lake, twenty miles from the bank. He had apparently been dropped in the water while he was still alive. The state police were now not only searching for bank thieves but also cold-blooded killers.
Investigators found that when Dan became bank president in 1983, the local economy was in bad shape. He had to balance the needs of the local people with the bank's need to turn a profit. In the process, he alienated a few people. Some individuals had their belongings repossessed and their credit denied. However, he was friendly with most of his customers and appeared to have no known enemies.
Dan lived in an isolated home eight miles from town. On the night of the robbery, October 5, he had a guest over to his house, who left at around 11pm. Investigators believe that the killers abducted him between 11pm and 1:30am from his house, most likely at gunpoint. They believe that he and the killers arrived at the bank at around 2am, and that they forced him to turn off the alarm and unlock the doors. They damaged the security cameras and then forced him to open the vault. In the end, they took the $70,000 in there; however, they left behind at least $100,000 that Dan was also aware of, which they apparently did not know about. Witnesses heard one of the assailants shooting at one of the cameras at around 3am.
A few minutes later, a caravan of three vehicles was seen by a trucker. The first vehicle was believed to have been Dan's red pickup truck. The second vehicle was a blue one that later passed the trucker.
At a certain point, they ditched Dan's pickup truck and placed him in a van and in a chair with weights attached. Authorities believe that he was unconscious but alive at the time he was thrown into the river, due to the fact that he was not gagged. The chair was also fragile, with him held in it by duct tape, which showed no apparent signs of an attempt to break free even though he could have if he was conscious. Witnesses saw a dark van on the bridge which they believe he was thrown from at around 6am, but it sped off before they could obtain a license plate number. The killers remain at large.
Suspects: There were none at the time of the broadcast, although some people believed that the killers may have been people who were angered with the bank and had taken it out on Dan. He had denied several people credit, so it was theorized that one of these people were involved in the murder.
Another theory was that Dan stumbled on something suspicious at the bank, either money laundering or some other illegal activity, and was silenced, with the robbery as a coverup.
A witness spotted a medium blue Chevy LUV pickup truck near Dan's red one around the time of the murder. Inside it was a heavyset white male, with long brown hair and a beard. One week before the murder, the LUV and its driver were sighted at a local gas station by the same witness that would later see them on the night of the murder. The witness noticed that the truck had a white toolbox on the back and had an Oklahoma license plate.
The Chevy LUV was seen again near Dan's home just four days before his murder. He had told his brother that he felt that he was being staked out, and on one occasion his home was actually broken into. Because of this information, investigators believe his killers planned everything in advance.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the March 21, 1990 episode. It was also documented on Forensic FilesThe FBI FilesSwamp Murders, and Killer Siblings. In Forensic Files, Unsolved Mysteries was given an indirect mention as one of the two programs to profile it.

Shannon and Joseph Agofsky

Results: Solved. In March 1992, brothers Shannon Wayne and Joseph Anthony Agofsky were arrested and charged with robbery and Dan's murder. They had been suspected since the beginning of the investigation. Shortly after the murder, Shannon had allegedly bragged to friends that he was "the richest teenager in the county" presumably due to the robbery. Investigators discovered that they owned .45 caliber firearms. However, their parents claimed that they were at home at the time of the murder so they were not considered suspects.
A few days after the murder, a wad of duct tape was found on the shore of the river that Dan's body was found in. Forensic and chemical testing determined that it came from the same roll that was used to tie him to the chair. Four fingerprints found on it were matched to Shannon.
Investigators looked further into the Agofsky brothers and discovered that they had been spending large amounts of money in the months following the murder, even though they were unemployed. A witness also identified a chain hoist found with Dan's body as one he had left at the Agofsky home. Their mother, Sheila, also owned a brown van, similar to the one seen on the bridge on the night of the murder. They had talked to friends about abducting a banker and asked for blueprints of the bank. Furthermore, inmates claimed that they had confessed to robbing the bank and murdering Dan.
In September of 1992, Shannon and Joseph were convicted in federal court of robbery and sentenced to life in prison. In 1997, Shannon was convicted of Dan's murder and given another life sentence. Joseph's murder trial ended in a hung jury; prosecutors decided not to retry him since he was already serving a life sentence for the robbery.
In March 2013, Joseph died in prison from unknown causes at the age of forty-six. Shannon is now on death row for the 2001 murder of a fellow prison inmate.