Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Larry Chism

Real Name: Larry Porter Chism
Aliases: Kenneth Lamar Brookins, Jack Coffman, Gary Joseph Buoni, Gary Joseph Buomi, Gerald Goleman, Douglas D. Baker, Charles Cox, Alan Barry, Warren Smith, Daniel Barry, Mark Anthony Baldwin, Theodore Lee Mason, Earl F. McClain, Carl McClair, James La Blanc, James M. Simpson, James F. Hedrick, Ralph Blair, Charles B. Purtie, Howard Smith III
Wanted For: Hijacking, Kidnapping, Attempted Murder, Escape
Missing Since: May 1980


Details: Larry Chism was a law student who organized a drug ring between classes. He and other students smuggled heroin in from Mexico. In 1974, he was arrested on armed robbery and narcotics charges. He was later convicted on those charges and sentenced to forty years in prison. While there, he appeared to be a model inmate. However, he secretly began planning an escape.
On September 13, 1978, Chism and several other inmates went on a bowling trip. While there, Chism went to the bathroom. Suspicious, one of the guards, Howard Talley, followed him. In the bathroom, Chism pulled out a shotgun that had been hidden in the ceiling by a friend. He fired at Talley, seriously wounding him. Talley returned fire, hitting him in the hand. Chism and three other inmates then took eighteen-year-old bowling alley employee Carolyn Fielder hostage. They fired at prison guards as they fled the scene in a stolen car. Eventually, they let her go without harming her.
Chism and the other inmates then took the owner of Dickson Municipal Airport hostage, forcing him to fly them in a plane to Arkansas. Three days later, he was arrested after kidnapping a civilian and being involved in a shootout with police. However, he escaped again in December of 1978. Another inmate climbed through the vents and stole a guard's keys. He let Chism out of his cell and the two overpowered a guard and stole his car. One month later, Chism resurfaced in Cincinnati, Ohio. He walked into the First National Bank, posing as a U.S. Treasury Officer. He showed the bank president a bomb and demanded $200,000. He then walked out with the money and disappeared.
In summer 1979, Chism arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. He worked several manual labor jobs and dated a woman there. In May 1980, he was discovered living in Mobile, Alabama with his girlfriend. However, he and his girlfriend vanished before he could be arrested. A week later, she returned and said that she had left him at a rest stop in Meridian, Mississippi. He has not been seen since. He may be in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He is 5'10", 160 pounds, has black hair, and brown eyes. He was born on December 19, 1948 and would now be in his early seventies.
Extra Notes: The original airdate for this case was January 3, 1990, it aired in an FBI Alert along with Wardell Ford. Chism was also profiled several times on America’s Most Wanted, most recently in the 2021 revival.

Age progression of Larry

Results: Wanted. In 1990, a tip led the FBI to Charlotte, North Carolina, where Chism was living under the alias "Kenneth Brookins" with a woman who called herself "Debra Brookins" and their alleged daughter, "Brenda". However, once again, he vanished before he could be caught. He reportedly had seen himself on Unsolved Mysteries and decided to flee with his wife and daughter. In his haste, he left behind several clues that showed how he was hiding from authorities, such as laminating machines, books about how to change one's identity/appearance, and a pay stub with the name "Kenneth Brookins".
The last confirmed sighting of Chism was in December of 1990 when he sold his van in Atlanta, Georgia. Authorities hope to locate "Debra and Brenda Brookins", as they may be able to help find Chism. However, authorities do not believe that these are their real names and their true identities are a mystery.
Chism is currently on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted list.