Theories on what happened to the Jamisons include cults, drugs, and murder.
Photo by Ethan Dow on Unsplash
Bobby Dale Jamison (44), Sherilyn Leighann Jamison (40), their daughter Madyson Stormy Star Jamison (6) and her beloved dog Maisy, went missing on October 8, 2009, from Eufaula, Oklahoma.
Eight days later, their pickup truck was found in Red Oak, a one-hour drive from their Eufaula home.
The Jamisons and their abandoned pickup truck / Daily Mail
In the back seat of the car, Maisy was found barely alive ? she had survived by solely eating her own feces.
Also in the pickup was Bobby?s wallet, Sherilyn?s purse, a GPS, clothing, a cell phone, and $32.000 in cash under the driver?s seat. On Bobby?s phone, the last known picture of Madyson was found, believed to have been taken on the day the family went missing. However, no one can explain how this photo was taken with Bobby?s phone that was later found inside the abandoned car.
Madyson and Maisy (left) Madyson?s last photo (right) / Daily Mail
Based on the position of the vehicle and its contents, authorities lean towards the idea that the family was forced to exit the truck. A large search of the area was conducted with the help of volunteers, horses, cadaver dogs, and helicopters. Sadly, no clues to the location of the missing family of three were found.
On November 16, 2013, four years after the Jamisons went missing, their remains were found. Two deer hunters were scouting in Red Oak, three miles from where the Jamisons? pickup truck was found when they discovered bone fragments, bits of clothing, shoes, and teeth.
The bodies of Bobby, Sherilyn, and Madyson had been lying side by side, face down. Unfortunately, the environment in which the corpses had been in made it impossible to identify their causes of death. However, despite the advanced state of decomposition, the coroner was able to identify a hole in Bobby?s skull, possibly from a bullet.
Noteworthy aspects of the Jamisons? lives leading up to their disappearance and subsequent deaths:
- Neither Bobby nor Sherilyn had a job and were both receiving disability checks. In 2003, Bobby was in a car accident leaving him with chronic back pain for which he took medication. Both Bobby and Sherilyn reportedly suffered from bouts of depression. Sherilyn?s had deepened after the death of her sister Marla, two years prior to their disappearance ? she died from a bee sting on her tongue, leaving Sherilyn devastated. Sherilyn was also bipolar and was regularly off her medication.
- According to Sherilyn?s mother, Connie Kokotan, Bobby and Sherilyn were struggling financially. On one occasion, while Kokotan was at her daughter?s house, she overheard Bobby telling his wife he knew how to get more money, however, he didn?t want to involve her in it. Furthermore, Sherilyn?s son from a previous relationship, Colton Mangum, went to live with his father in Oklahoma City weeks before their disappearance. This reportedly worsened their finances because Sherilyn stopped receiving child support.
- During the initial investigation, a detective working on the case characterized Bobby and Sherilyn as ?scammers?. Bobby had worked for many years at his father?s gas station for free. His father had promised to make him half owner when he was older but did not fulfill the promise. Months before his disappearance, Bobby sued his father, Bob Dean Jamison, for $10.000. Bobby Dale had also filed for a restraining order against his father, claiming the 67-year-old man was a danger to his family. On the request, Bobby also claimed to be constantly threatened by his father and that he had tried to kill him twice ? on November 1, 2008, by hitting him with his car and again in late April 2009. Moreover, Bob Dean was accused of being involved with ?prostitutes, gangs, and meth?. Starlet Jamison, Bob Dean?s wife who he had recently divorced after 40 years of marriage, stayed with her son and Sherilyn shortly before they went missing. She attested to the fact that Bob Dean was threatening the family so much that she installed security cameras in their home. The court ended up dismissing the request. Bob Dean died two months after the family went missing.Apart from Bobby suing his father, the Jamisons were also suing three people over a car accident in 2005. Additionally, Madyson had been taken out of kindergarten and the parents were taking legal action against the school.
- During the investigation, Pastor Gary Brandon came forward and revealed the Jamisons believed their house was haunted. Apparently, there were three to four spirits living in their home, including two children, Emily and Michael ? Madyson was said to regularly speak to Emily?s sister, who had wings.Bobby also reported to the pastor that he had seen two to four spirits on the roof. As a result, he wanted desperately to remove them from his home, so sought help from Pastor Brandon. He asked him if there were any special bullets that would kill the spirits. Sherilyn, on the other hand, didn?t mind them as the believed she could exorcize demons. While authorities searched the home, they found a satanic bible. Sherilyn?s friend, Niki Shenold, claimed they both liked witches but bought the bibles as a joke.
- In the months leading up to the family?s disappearance, Bobby and Sherilyn?s behavior was a bit unusual. According to acquaintances, the two adults seemed to look emaciated. Some people also claimed that they would regularly carry large amounts of cash on them.
- At the Jamisons? Eufaula home, they had a large storage container sitting on their property. Written on it were various odd phrases, including, ? 3 cats killed to date buy [sic] people in this area?Witches don?t like there [sic] black cat killed?. Sherilyn had written this in response to her neighbors poisoning her cats. Reportedly, the Jamison family had been planning to buy a 40-acre plot of land in Red Oak, move the container there, and live in it. Oddly, Sherilyn?s son Colton, who had been with the family just weeks before their disappearance, had no idea that they were planning on moving.
Despite the many clues in the Jamisons? case, they all point in different directions. Some people believe that the answer is quite simple, despite it being one of the most famous unsolved cases in the US. However, their family members and many theorists are certain that the case is much more complex, maintaining that they were murdered.
The isolated mountains of Sans Bois are known for being a problematic area in Oklahoma. It is particularly known for drug-related activities, namely having many meth labs.
The last known person to have seen the Jamisons alive was a man who lived in the mountains, about a quarter of a mile from where the pickup truck was found. He claimed he saw the family looking at the land, however, he did not see them after that or anyone else in the area.
#1 Lost in the Woods
Some people believe the Jamisons? deaths are an unfortunate case of dying from exposure after getting lost in the woods. However, a lot of the evidence doesn?t line up with this theory.
Not only do authorities believe they were forced out of the truck, but the Jamisons also left everything in their vehicle ? including a GPS and cellphone, which is not something most people would leave behind before going into the woods for a walk. Reportedly, Bobby would get back pain while walking around his house, making it unlikely that he would go on a three-mile walk.
Family members are also adamant the Madyson would never leave Maisy behind and that for them not to take their dog while wandering through the woods is unusual.
Moreover, experts don?t believe the downfall on the day they went missing was enough to kill three people and the temperature was merely 40 degrees.
During the investigation, some of the Jamisons? acquaintances claimed Bobby and Sherilyn were meth users.
To corroborate this theory, authorities found a bizarre video of the couple on their video surveillance system from the day they went missing. Bobby and Sherilyn are shown to be in a trance-like state packing their pickup truck. They appear to not be talking, but stop and stare at each other various times.
Interestingly, Sherilyn is seen putting a brown briefcase in the truck ? this briefcase has never been found. Authorities believe it contained a large amount of money.
Despite all this, authorities found no evidence of either Bobby or Sherilyn taking or dealing any kind of drugs.
However, it has also been speculated, since the area was known for drugs, that the family accidentally witnessed a drug deal and were killed.
#3 Double murder-suicide
A detective working on the case characterized the family as being ?obsessed with death?.
In the abandoned pickup truck, authorities discovered an 11-page ?hate letter? written by Sherilyn addressed to Bobby. Another letter that mentions death was found at their Eufaula home. It is speculated that one of the adult Jamisons shot the other and her/his daughter, then committed suicide.
Given that the coroner found a hole in Bobby?s skull, it seems most likely that Sherilyn was the one to shoot her family. She also owned a 22. caliber pistol that she kept under the driver?s seat ?the gun has never been found.
It has also been pondered that the family committed group suicide.
One of the first suspects was Kenneth Bellows. Bellows had lived with the Jamisons months before they went missing and was quickly ruled a suspect due to having a motive.
While at the house, he offended Sherilyn by speaking badly about Indian people, claiming white people were superior. Sherilyn did not take this well, as she had Indian blood. She threatened Bellows by pointing her gun at him and forcing him to leave their home. Bellows was investigated but was soon cleared.
Niki Shenold, a family friend, believes the Jamisons may have upset someone in the mountains. Apparently, Sherilyn had written love and peace messages over satanic worshipping ones on a car wreck, near the place they went missing, used for shooting practice.
Car wreck / Daily Mail
Another murder scenario is that Bobby?s father, Bobby Dean, killed the family. Bobby Dean?s brother does not believe he is guilty, as he was sick at the time and always in a hospital or a rest home. Plus, authorities could not find any connection.
However, some people think the father may have hired someone to kill the family, as it was rumored he had connections to the Mexican Mafia.
#5 Religious Cult
Sherilyn?s mother, Connie Kokotan, still believes the family was murdered by a religious cult.
Interestingly, Niki Shenold received an anonymous call from a woman claiming to have seen Sherilyn?s name on a cult?s hit list ? the United White Knights, a Southeast Oklahoma cult.
#6 Still Alive
After years of investigation, widespread media coverage, and numerous people interviewed by authorities, there are some theorists that are not convinced the family is dead.
Some speculate that Bobby, Sherilyn, and Madyson are now apart of the US Federal Witness Protection Program.
Nine years after the Jamisons went missing and five years after their remains were found, there are still no answers to what actually happened.
Sheriff Israel Beauchamp, the lead investigator at the time, quit his job in 2011. Reportedly, he felt guilty about not finding Madyson?s killer. Pastor Gary Brandon has moved away from Eufaula and has never spoken about the incident again.
Maisy, Madyson?s beloved dog who miraculously survived eight days with no food, was adopted by Bobby?s mother.
Bobby, Sherilyn, Colton, and Madyson / Daily Mail