Real Name: Oliver Wendell Munson
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Date: February 13, 1984
Occupation: School Teacher
Date of Birth: 1945
Weight: 160 pounds
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes
Details: Oliver Munson was a schoolteacher and car enthusiast who purchased the car of his dreams, a fully-loaded Datsun 240Z from Dennis Watson in January of 1983. What Oliver didn't know was that Watson was the ringleader of a sophisticated car theft operation. In fact, Oliver's new 240Z had been stolen three months earlier. Watson's garage was actually a cover for his chop shop, where stolen cars were dismantled and sold for parts, or simply resold with fake ownership papers.
For weeks, investigators had been quietly gathering evidence against Watson. On March 16, 1983, they raided his garage and arrested him. Investigators also recovered illegal titles, partially dismantled autos, and stolen vehicle ID tags. All of this was used as evidence against Watson. One of the names found in the confiscated records was Oliver's. Investigators went to his home where they found the 240Z. When attempts to contact him were unsuccessful, they had his car taken as evidence.
A detective questioned Oliver about his car; at that point, Oliver learned that his car had previously been stolen by members of Watson's auto theft ring. The detective did not believe that Oliver was involved in Watson's criminal activities. He was, however, nervous when he was asked to testify in court against Watson. Oliver agreed, since he practically had no choice.
Oliver was scheduled to testify at Watson's trial on February 16, 1984. Three days before the trial, on February 13, he was seen leaving for work at around 8 AM. He turned onto Orpington Road and vanished. When he did not arrive at school, his co-workers and students were concerned. Oliver's brother James called him several times but received no response. The next day, he went to his home and found no trace of him.
Three days later, his car was found abandoned just a few blocks from his home. One tire was flat, and school papers and a bag lunch were on the front seat. However, there was no evidence to indicate what happened to him. Investigators were certain that he had met with foul play and that Dennis Watson was involved. They soon learned that two other witnesses died under suspicious circumstances prior to testifying against Watson.
A man named Hilton Solomon later came forward. Hilton's car had been stolen just hours before Oliver vanished. A few weeks later, he found his car abandoned on the side of a road. Inside the car, he found a hat that was identified as belonging to Oliver. Several days later, while cleaning the car, he found several receipts from a video store. On the receipts were Oliver's name. Red smudges were also found on the receipts. Tests revealed that the stains were human blood, type O+. However, records did not indicate Oliver's blood type. Under the front passenger seat, investigators found a spent cartridge case.
However, without a body, investigators felt that they would be unable to charge anyone with Oliver's murder. Ironically, Oliver's testimony would have had no effect in Watson's case. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was paroled in 1989 and was never charged in Oliver's case.
Oliver's friends and family are still hoping for a resolution to his case.
Suspects: Dennis Watson and his associates are considered prime suspects in Oliver's disappearance. Oliver vanished just three days before he was supposed to testify against Watson in court. Investigators learned that this was not the first time that something happened to a witness in a case against Watson.
In 1973, a twenty-nine-year-old Baltimore man named Clinton Glenn was found burned to death in a vehicle registered to Watson. Clinton had been scheduled to testify against Watson at an armed robbery trial the very next day. Based on the testimony of another witness, Watson was indicted for Clinton's murder. However, the case was dropped after the second witness died of a suspicious drug overdose.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 26, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved. In 1985, Oliver was legally declared dead, the victim of "presumptive homicide". His body has never been found; however, some believe that it is hidden somewhere in Leakin Park. Unfortunately, the blood found in Hilton's car was determined to be too deteriorated for DNA testing. Also, Watson's current whereabouts are unknown.
- Oliver Munson on Unsolved.com
- Oliver Munson on the Charley Project
- Oliver Munson on the Doe Network
- Oliver Munson on NamUs
- A Summary of Oliver's Disappearance
- Oliver Munson - Leakin Park Bodies
- Teacher's troubling disappearance remains unsolved
- We Need An Answer To Munson Mystery
- Missing man's family pins hopes on TV show Howard teacher disappeared in '84
- No new clues on Catonsville man missing since 1984