Real Name: Gary Ross Simmons
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Independence, Missouri
Date: October 15, 1974
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: On October 16, 1991, a Missouri bus driver named Tyrone Rollins discovered Gary Simmon's remains in a cave near the bus garage where he worked. For several years prior, he would have strange feelings about the cave. When he found the remains, he contacted the police, who determined that Gary had been shot in the head.
Police re-opened the investigation and discovered that Gary, who had vanished in October of 1974, may have been murdered by Tom Dixon. During the 1970s, Gary had owned and operated a lucrative chain of gas stations in the Kansas City area. His main hobby was horse trading. On October 14, the day before he vanished, he learned that Dixon had a pure-bred horse to sell. The next day, the two met at Gary's office. At 10:15AM, they left and Gary told his secretary that they will return shortly. However, he did not say where they were going.
Fifteen minutes later, Gary called his secretary and told her to write a check to Dixon for $30,000. At 11AM, Dixon arrived and picked up the check; he later met with Gary to get his signature, although nobody knows where this meeting took place. Gary was last seen alive at 11:30AM at a truck stop ten miles from his office. He was apparently looking out the window, waiting for someone.
Just before noon, Dixon showed up at Gary's bank. Gary called the president of the bank, claiming that Dixon was coming to cash the check. The bank manager, of whom Gary was one of his best customers, approved the check and also suggested if Dixon was interested in opening an account with him as well. Dixon declined, claiming he was in debt and needed the cash to retire said debts.
Around five hours later, Dixon arrived at a salvage yard eleven miles from the bank, driving Gary's Lincoln Continental car. He asked if it could be flattened to avoid all traces of identification, but the salvage man suggested that Dixon put the car in the Missouri river.
The next day, Tom Dixon was dropped off by a friend at a truck stop and was never seen again. Six months later, on April 25, 1975, Gary's car was pulled from the river. Police had no idea what happened to the two men until Gary's skeletal remains were located in 1991. Authorities now believe that Dixon murdered Gary over a bogus horse deal.
Suspects: Tom Dixon is considered the prime suspect in Gary's disappearance and death. However, he has never officially been charged with his murder.
A private investigator hired by Gary's family stated that Gary disappeared just before he was to testify in a federal investigation about black-market gasoline sales. The investigator also suggests that Dixon was used to lure Gary and kill him. However, investigators did not believe this theory as Gary was not involved in the purchase of illegal gasoline.
Extra Notes: The original airdate for this episode was April 8, 1992.
Results: Unresolved. As Unsolved Mysteries was still filming this story, a new witness named Roy Hylton came forward. Roy knew both Gary and Tom, and claims that the horse deal was not bogus and that Gary had actually shown him the horse. He also claims that Gary had made phone calls to his bank and to his office from the Whispering Downs Horse Ranch on the day of his disappearance.
Roy believes that Gary may have been killed over black market gasoline, because Gary's gas station business had been failing, as many in the oil and gas station business had been hit hard by the 1973 oil crisis. However, his brother claims that he was not involved in black market gasoline.
The case is now considered even more complicated than before. Police believe that Tom Dixon may know who killed Gary Simmons, or may actually be the killer, but police only have enough evidence to have an arrest warrant for auto theft, in the stealing and subsequent destruction of Gary's vehicle. Dixon is 5'8", with brown or graying hair and green eyes. He is likely now in his 80s and authorities believe that he is now deceased. Some investigators now believe that he was killed along with Gary. However, this has not been confirmed.
Sadly, Gary's brother Jerry passed away in 2016 at the age of sixty-seven.
- Petroleum Co. President Disappears In Kansas City
- Offer reward for missing oil executive
- Missing Man’s Wife Appeals For Help
- Stop reward
- Missing man's vehicle found
- Oilman's car found in river
- Find car owned by Simmons
- Divers find car belonging to missing man
- 'Coincidence' to Be Probed In Case of Missing Oilman
- Skeleton of slain executive found in cave
- Police Say Skeleton That Of Executive Killed 17 Years Ago
- Skeleton Of Man Missing 17 Years Found In Cave
- Amateur explorer uncovers skeleton
- Remains of service station operator found 17 years after he disappeared
- Man Missing Since 1974 Found Dead
- Gary Simmons at Find a Grave