Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Joann Albanese and John Addis

Real Name: John Patrick Addis
Aliases: John Edwards
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: August 1995


Details: Sgt. Jim McCann and John Addis worked together as detectives for the Alaska State Police in the 1970s. At the time, he was married to his first wife Jodi, who later divorced him because of domestic abuse. The couple lived in a cabin in the remote woods that didn't have running water or heat. Addis enjoyed hunting caribou in the Alaskan wilderness, but he was also a talented young detective with a mind for forensic science. He was so gifted that he instructed law enforcement from all over Alaska in crime scene analysis.
At the time, no one knew that he was also physically abusive and controlling towards Jodi. One day, Addis got into an argument with her. She said she wanted to leave him and jumped out of their car. He chased her down and threw her back into the truck. However, she was able to escape and was granted a divorce.
After the divorce, Addis quickly remarried, and his personality turned from bad to worse. He abandoned his wilderness lifestyle, became a middle class homemaker, and soon quit his job at the state patrol. He was extremely abusive towards his third wife. Then he abducted his four children from his first marriage and fled to Michigan, where he was involved in several robberies. He was eventually arrested and served one year in prison for parental child abduction.
Over the next decade, he jumped parole in Alaska and went throughout the United States posing as a fitness instructor, screen writer, and novelist. He was a master at changing his identity, which helped him keep above the law. In 1995, he obtained another identity: John Edwards. During that same time, he met divorcee Joann Albanese at a Las Vegas gym. He told her that he had no family and was never married. At first Joann and John seemed very happy together. However, cracks soon emerged in their relationship. John paid for nothing and lived off of Joann's earnings. Joann and her friends noticed that John had a hair-trigger temper. He was also controlling and abusive.
On August 19, 1995, Joanne vanished from her home in Las Vegas with "Edwards". Authorities soon learned that Joanne was planning to turn down his marriage proposal and end their relationship the same day that she vanished. Three days later, her car was found abandoned in a canyon near Prescott, Arizona, but no other trace of her was found.
Police discovered that a truck parked outside of Joann's home belonged to John. Strangely, there was no record of the license plate. When they searched his home, they found a wallet that was duct-taped shut. In it, they found Alaska identification for "John Addis" which they learned was his real name. They suspected that he had been angered because Joanne was breaking up with him, so he killed her and then disposed of her body and car.
On October 9, 1998, Joann's remains were discovered over three years after she disappeared about a mile from where her car had been abandoned. Addis has been charged with Joanne's murder, but he remains at large.
Extra Notes:

  • This case first aired on the April 19, 1996 episode as a special alert; it received a full segment in the July 30, 2001 episode.
  • Addis was profiled on America’s Most Wanted during the investigation and was documented on an episode of FBI: Criminal Pursuit after it was resolved. 

Results: Captured. In November of 2002, investigators learned that Addis had been living in Guadalajara, Mexico and had taken up with a twenty-six-year-old woman named Laura Liliana Padilla. Laura's family told detectives that she had fallen in love with the handsome American, "John Stone", and ran off with him in 1997. For the following nine years, her family and authorities in the United States feared that she might one day meet the same horrible fate as Joann Albanese.
Sadly, on October 18, 2006, those fears came true. Laura, along with her two children, who are believed to have been fathered by Addis, were found murdered in their home in Chiapas, Mexico. The children were ages four and seven. Mexican authorities found fake identification cards and documents belonging to John Addis in the home. The family had apparently been living there for some time. The family had been dead for several days when the bodies were discovered.
The FBI has learned that John Addis, using the alias J. Charles Peterson, had most recently passed himself off as a Canadian expatriate while living in Chiapas. Addis had been making a living there teaching English and tennis. Addis is believed to have checked into a hotel in Guatemala City, Guatemala on October 14. That city is south of the Mexican-Guatemalan border, a couple of hours drive from Chiapas, Mexico. Addis's body was found in the hotel room on the 16. His death was a suspected suicide pending further post-mortem reports and is being investigated by police in Guatemala City. Post-mortem results proved his death to be from a heart attack.
Officials from the U.S. State Department assisted the Mexican and Guatemalan authorities in their investigation of Addis and his new family. Addis's true identity in death was proven through a post-mortem fingerprint comparison. The case is now considered closed.