View Full Version : Don Kemp


Pages : [1] 2

LaToyaBoy
10-09-2008, 05:02 PM
I’m not sure how many remember this case, I did and advance search of the forum and found no one thread for it.
Personally speaking I think the case is a bit bizarre, but after watching the episode several times I think that in all rational Don simply was mentally unbalanced and knowingly wondered off into the wild. I also suspect that Kemp was a closet case, thus explaining the meeting with the guy that Don’s mother insisted had something to do with her son’s disappearance and apparent death. That was also one thing that really unnerved me, the idea that the mother didn’t really see the connection between the stranger and her son (even after she uncovered the calls to the sex hotlines), she really did believe that her son was sexually assaulted. I do recall that Don was involved in a serious accident, where he was practically killed. After much physical therapy he decided to change his course (he lived in NYC) and wanted to write the next great American novel. This in itself was a huge change for him that added to the stress of being disabled, a great mixture for a mental breakdown. I also think that Don wondered around for at least two days on the Wyoming prairie, this explaining the odd things that were found (the socks in the abandoned cabin/house and then tracking out backwards in the footsteps). I wouldn’t be surprised if Don has purposely hid from the search parties. If the mother was so sure that the man in the trailer had did something to her son, did she take any notion to search the trailer for physical evidence after the man had moved? I mean really simple things.


Crystaldawn I saw that you, too, were intersted in this case. Post what you think please. I would like to get some more insight.

crystaldawn
10-09-2008, 05:30 PM
I’m not sure how many remember this case, I did and advance search of the forum and found no one thread for it.
Personally speaking I think the case is a bit bizarre, but after watching the episode several times I think that in all rational Don simply was mentally unbalanced and knowingly wondered off into the wild. I also suspect that Kemp was a closet case, thus explaining the meeting with the guy that Don’s mother insisted had something to do with her son’s disappearance and apparent death. That was also one thing that really unnerved me, the idea that the mother didn’t really see the connection between the stranger and her son (even after she uncovered the calls to the sex hotlines), she really did believe that her son was sexually assaulted. I do recall that Don was involved in a serious accident, where he was practically killed. After much physical therapy he decided to change his course (he lived in NYC) and wanted to write the next great American novel. This in itself was a huge change for him that added to the stress of being disabled, a great mixture for a mental breakdown. I also think that Don wondered around for at least two days on the Wyoming prairie, this explaining the odd things that were found (the socks in the abandoned cabin/house and then tracking out backwards in the footsteps). I wouldn’t be surprised if Don has purposely hid from the search parties. If the mother was so sure that the man in the trailer had did something to her son, did she take any notion to search the trailer for physical evidence after the man had moved? I mean really simple things.


Crystaldawn I saw that you, too, were intersted in this case. Post what you think please. I would like to get some more insight.

Yes this case is so baffling. I agree with you in that I think Don Kemp suffered some sort of mental break. He leaves his car, engine running, at an intersection and the police said the vehicle was so packed only one person could have fit in the car. I agree with the police that he died of exposure and if he were in some sort of paranoid state he would have hidden from the helicopters that were searching for him. I can also discount the sighting of him in that bar as a lookalike. What is the hardest part to figure out is the phone call that was made to that friend of his from the trailer. If Don had been in that guys trailer and made the phone call, why would the friend be afraid to admit that Don had used his phone? If it wasn't Don who made the call and it was done as some sort of a prank, who around there would know this girls name and number to call her? I don't necessarily think the guy in the trailer knows anything, I mean I think Don died of exposure so there is no crime imo. It would make sense that after Don's mother kept harassing him and even came to his house, he would want to move away. I guess the strangest thing to me is the calls from Don but aside from that everything else points to mental illness and dying in the elements.

LaToyaBoy
10-09-2008, 08:59 PM
Crystaldawn as far as they guy not admitting that Don was there...I have a theory on that. I, personally, think that Don and this mystery guy got into an argument or something. Perhaps the guy beat up Don or vice versa, whatever the case, the guy could have feared that charges would be pressed. I really feel that if Don's mother had met with the guy and attempted to have a civilized conversation with him...he would have told her what he knew (if anything). Im also pretty sure the guy called Don's friends also. Its just all so eerie. :mad:
Don must have suffered some sort of serious break after he left the Lincoln musuem thing...I think he left some of his personal info there, whatever the case, he must have really lost sense of reality.

ididn'tdoit
10-11-2008, 04:46 PM
I just rewatched this case. I think it's possible that Don and that guy in the trailer had a relationship of some sort and he was living with him for a while (during which he also made those phone calls), maybe they got into an argument possibly because of Don's mental problems. Don then left the trailer in a rage, had a breakdown and then wondered off into the prairie and later died of exposure.

One reason the guy wasn't speaking could be because he hadn't come out yet and was afraid of the attention he would get.

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, it's just speculations on my part.

LaToyaBoy
10-11-2008, 06:01 PM
I just rewatched this case. I think it's possible that Don and that guy in the trailer had a relationship of some sort and he was living with him for a while (during which he also made those phone calls), maybe they got into an argument possibly because of Don's mental problems. Don then left the trailer in a rage, had a breakdown and then wondered off into the prairie and later died of exposure.

One reason the guy wasn't speaking could be because he hadn't come out yet and was afraid of the attention he would get.

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, it's just speculations on my part.

ididn'tdoit-thanks for your take on the case. I agree with you. I am almost certain that the guy in the trailer was gay...and wasnt out. It didnt help with the badggering that Don's mother put him through. (Which is understandable...she wanted to know what happened to her son).
Interesting case...perhaps my favorite.

MegtheEgg86
10-11-2008, 09:52 PM
I also think that Don wondered around for at least two days on the Wyoming prairie, this explaining the odd things that were found (the socks in the abandoned cabin/house and then tracking out backwards in the footsteps).

That's an excellent point. I sort of got that idea myself when I first watched the segment. He had to have been wandering around dazedly for an extended period of time. I'm of the opinion that's what got him.

DP1
10-12-2008, 12:12 AM
I think Don just wondered off and died of exposure. When you suffer serious injuries like Don did in his past, sometimes you never truly recover. I think that's what happened here.

justins5256
10-12-2008, 01:51 AM
The phone calls came after Don disappeared/wandered off, yet before his body was found. His body was found in close proximity to where his truck was abandoned. Also, considering the weather conditions at the time it seems unlikely he lived for very long beyond that first day or so that he wandered off. Forget about going to another state and making phone calls.

The guy in the trailer was gay? Please. What facts do we have to base this off of? The fact that he moved? The fact that he called sex lines? The guy didn't even appear on the segment to be interviewed, yet we can make these assumptions about his sexuality? This is a classic case of coming up with a theory and then twisting and inventing the facts to fit it.

sdb4884
02-25-2009, 12:00 AM
Yeah I think that Don just wandered off. Maybe before he left he was looking for something in his truck and threw everything out which might explain the clothes on the road. He probably brought the bag with him which had some food in it. He probably stayed in that hut for a night or too and after he left it he lost his way and died of exposure. All these theories by his Mother and so fourth are just outlandish.

soilentgreen
02-25-2009, 02:08 PM
Possibly Don lost an address book or other papers with the phone numbers on it, the same way he forgot his briefcase at the museum. Someone found it and crank called the numbers.

Less viable is that a hitchhiker stole from him, because Don's truck was so filled up with junk it would have been difficult for anyone else to ride in it. Or someone came across the truck abandoned along the road, notices no one is around and rifles through his possessions. I think it's improbable, but not impossible that Don and the guy in the trailer (or someone else who lived there) came across each other at some point.

I think Don died of exposure and he never left the area after abandoning his vehicle. Who had access to the phone numbers is the real mystery.

justins5256
02-26-2009, 12:25 PM
Possibly Don lost an address book or other papers with the phone numbers on it, the same way he forgot his briefcase at the museum. Someone found it and crank called the numbers.

Less viable is that a hitchhiker stole from him, because Don's truck was so filled up with junk it would have been difficult for anyone else to ride in it. Or someone came across the truck abandoned along the road, notices no one is around and rifles through his possessions. I think it's improbable, but not impossible that Don and the guy in the trailer (or someone else who lived there) came across each other at some point.

I think Don died of exposure and he never left the area after abandoning his vehicle. Who had access to the phone numbers is the real mystery.

I've got to give you props. This is the best explanation for the phone calls I have heard of. Kemp's stuff was strewn all over the place. I wonder if the guy at the trailer could have come across Kemp's address/phone book at some point. Maybe he thought he would have a little fun pranking the numbers in the phone book (maybe he knew Kemp was a missing person) and it just got out of hand.

dawnfla6aa2
02-26-2009, 05:51 PM
I just can't seem to grasp the idea that the phone company made a mistake as the guy in the trailer said. So I think he may have made the calls.

klavkhalash
03-04-2009, 05:32 PM
How old would Don Kemp be today?
I found it funny that, being UM mentioned Dom Kemp was interested in Lincoln, a google search of his name generated this:

The Gettysburg Times > Archives > Obituaries > Don B. Kemp
Don B. Kemp, 75, of Carlisle, died Sunday, February 15, 2009. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. from Camp Hill Presbyterian Church ...

mattc
09-25-2009, 09:25 AM
I also agree that Don simply died of exposure, probably due to a psychological imbalance/crisis. I can certainly understand why his mother feels that there was foul play involved, as it's difficult to have closure when there is no logical explanation for how one's loved one ends up dead.

What I remember most about the episode was that beautiful, yet eerie image of Don wandering, alone, through the Wyoming museum, "speaking to no one."

SMART67
12-19-2009, 05:30 AM
ididn'tdoit-thanks for your take on the case. I agree with you. I am almost certain that the guy in the trailer was gay...and wasnt out. It didnt help with the badggering that Don's mother put him through. (Which is understandable...she wanted to know what happened to her son).
Interesting case...perhaps my favorite.

Hi - I just learned of this forum. I knew Donald Kemp personally and for a short time. I knew him when he was living with his mother, Mary, in Salisbury, Maryland before he headed West to Wyoming. I helped Donnie find the Chevy Blazer he wanted for this trip to Jackson Hole to write a book on Abe Lincoln. Donnie was a big Abe Lincoln enthusiast and president of the Lincoln club. We had lots of time to talk about life while I was getting his Blazer ready for the trip. He was big into spiritual awareness and I learned a lot from him. He headed off to Wyoming and we never saw him again.

Donnie was a fiercely intelligent man who was deep. He was intoxicating because he held your attention. He was a perfectionist. He was a good looking man. He was sincere.

I remember when we got the call from Mary indicating Donnie had vanished. She was very upset and learning what happened to him became her sole focus. I haven't talked to Mary in 25 years and don't know where she is. But, I've long wondered what she ultimately did about her son's disappearance. I presume it remains an unsolved mystery.

Mary flew me to Wyoming early in 1983 to get Donnie's Blazer and bring it home to Maryland. During the trip back - his Blazer was broken into at Urbana, Illinois and a lot of his belongings were taken. Donnie had a CB in his Blazer. It was stolen too. This was April of 1983.

Donnie had a theory about pennies. If you found one face up - good luck. Face down - bad luck. When I arrived home with his '79 Chevy Blazer, there were two pennies in my front yard. One face up - 1948 - his birth year. One face down - 1982 - the year he vanished. Through the years, I have continually found pennies in my travels from Maryland to Alaska - 1982 pennies. I cannot explain this. Not all of them 1982 pennies - but most of them. How can anyone explain that? If anyone would like to chat with me about this unsolved mystery, I invite your contact.

hostedbyrobertstack
12-19-2009, 11:15 AM
Hi - I just learned of this forum. I knew Donald Kemp personally and for a short time. I knew him when he was living with his mother, Mary, in Salisbury, Maryland before he headed West to Wyoming. I helped Donnie find the Chevy Blazer he wanted for this trip to Jackson Hole to write a book on Abe Lincoln. Donnie was a big Abe Lincoln enthusiast and president of the Lincoln club. We had lots of time to talk about life while I was getting his Blazer ready for the trip. He was big into spiritual awareness and I learned a lot from him. He headed off to Wyoming and we never saw him again.

Donnie was a fiercely intelligent man who was deep. He was intoxicating because he held your attention. He was a perfectionist. He was a good looking man. He was sincere.

I remember when we got the call from Mary indicating Donnie had vanished. She was very upset and learning what happened to him became her sole focus. I haven't talked to Mary in 25 years and don't know where she is. But, I've long wondered what she ultimately did about her son's disappearance. I presume it remains an unsolved mystery.

Mary flew me to Wyoming early in 1983 to get Donnie's Blazer and bring it home to Maryland. During the trip back - his Blazer was broken into at Urbana, Illinois and a lot of his belongings were taken. Donnie had a CB in his Blazer. It was stolen too. This was April of 1983.

Donnie had a theory about pennies. If you found one face up - good luck. Face down - bad luck. When I arrived home with his '79 Chevy Blazer, there were two pennies in my front yard. One face up - 1948 - his birth year. One face down - 1982 - the year he vanished. Through the years, I have continually found pennies in my travels from Maryland to Alaska - 1982 pennies. I cannot explain this. Not all of them 1982 pennies - but most of them. How can anyone explain that? If anyone would like to chat with me about this unsolved mystery, I invite your contact.

I think we would all love to hear more about Don from what you know of him. It is always very interesting when someone who actually knows the victims of these unsolved mysteries joins. The mysteries can sometimes lose the feeling of "reality" when you watch them over and over on a tv show...they just become that, a tv show that you forget was an event that actually took place.

I am interested to know his state of mind when he left, if he were depressed or anything regarding the accident he had had a few years prior. Please keep in touch with this thread. And the pennies incident, that is very interesting. I have had some friends pass and some things happen sometimes that are really beyond coincidence.

justins5256
12-19-2009, 11:16 AM
Thanks so much for posting, SMART67! This has always been one of my favorite cases and one I have thought about a lot over the years since seeing the Unsolved Mysteries episode for the first time in 2004.

Do you have any theories about what may have happened to Don? Do you believe that he made those phone calls? Is there any possible way Don's family could have been mistaken about the dates the calls were placed?

Based on what the show presented, I find it very hard to believe that Don made those calls or was murdered, but I'm willing to hear different views on the subject if you know of evidence to the contrary.

Hambone2421
12-21-2009, 11:26 AM
The phone calls came after Don disappeared/wandered off, yet before his body was found. His body was found in close proximity to where his truck was abandoned. Also, considering the weather conditions at the time it seems unlikely he lived for very long beyond that first day or so that he wandered off. Forget about going to another state and making phone calls.

The guy in the trailer was gay? Please. What facts do we have to base this off of? The fact that he moved? The fact that he called sex lines? The guy didn't even appear on the segment to be interviewed, yet we can make these assumptions about his sexuality? This is a classic case of coming up with a theory and then twisting and inventing the facts to fit it.

I agree, the whole gay thing is just absurd. I think if anything, this mystery guy in the trailer probably heard about Don's case and called pretending to be Don. I think the fact that Don's car was pulled off to the side of the road and still on, tells you that no one kidnapped/abducted him. If so, it seems like they would want to get rid of the vehicle. I think Don simply wandered out into the wilderness and died of exposure.

JGpiper
02-09-2010, 12:09 AM
Hi - I just learned of this forum. I knew Donald Kemp personally and for a short time. I knew him when he was living with his mother, Mary, in Salisbury, Maryland before he headed West to Wyoming. I helped Donnie find the Chevy Blazer he wanted for this trip to Jackson Hole to write a book on Abe Lincoln. Donnie was a big Abe Lincoln enthusiast and president of the Lincoln club. We had lots of time to talk about life while I was getting his Blazer ready for the trip. He was big into spiritual awareness and I learned a lot from him. He headed off to Wyoming and we never saw him again.

Donnie was a fiercely intelligent man who was deep. He was intoxicating because he held your attention. He was a perfectionist. He was a good looking man. He was sincere.

I remember when we got the call from Mary indicating Donnie had vanished. She was very upset and learning what happened to him became her sole focus. I haven't talked to Mary in 25 years and don't know where she is. But, I've long wondered what she ultimately did about her son's disappearance. I presume it remains an unsolved mystery.

Mary flew me to Wyoming early in 1983 to get Donnie's Blazer and bring it home to Maryland. During the trip back - his Blazer was broken into at Urbana, Illinois and a lot of his belongings were taken. Donnie had a CB in his Blazer. It was stolen too. This was April of 1983.

Donnie had a theory about pennies. If you found one face up - good luck. Face down - bad luck. When I arrived home with his '79 Chevy Blazer, there were two pennies in my front yard. One face up - 1948 - his birth year. One face down - 1982 - the year he vanished. Through the years, I have continually found pennies in my travels from Maryland to Alaska - 1982 pennies. I cannot explain this. Not all of them 1982 pennies - but most of them. How can anyone explain that? If anyone would like to chat with me about this unsolved mystery, I invite your contact.

Thank you for your kind words about Don, I know who you are, and want to thank you for your help.

Don was most certainly not gay. Very much a ladies man, he was engaged at the time of his disappearance. He was extremely magnetic, a natural leader, extremely intelligent and very attractive.

The woman's phone number in New York was an unlisted and unpublished number. Don had it with him on the trip. The woman in New York is a well known artist in New York. It's possible this person in Casper came across Don's body in the prarie, took his money and his phone book, and placed a call for fun, as Don's address book was missing as well as his money. Mary Kemp tried to enlist the help of the Casper police, they did question this person, but shortly after, this person left the area. The police said they didn't have enough proof of anything to search his trailer. He refused a lie detector test. This person in Casper and Don's high school pictures looked very, very similar, strange.

An expert at an important government facility in Washington D.C. called and asked for Don's remains. Don was sent there. This doctor said he was in perfect condition, untouched, and there was no way he was laying in the prairie for 3 years. I am not at liberty to reveal what else was found but it is beyond bizarre.

So much occurred that wasn't on the show, some happened before his death, and some after.

By the way, Don's Blazer was broken into a second time in Salisbury, and some papers were taken, then Mary Kemp's storage locker was broken into and the rest of Don's things were stolen. Does anyone else think this is more than coincidence?

I wasn't going to write any of this, but some of the things being conjectured bothered me, and I wanted to set some of the record straight. We still are not certain what happened to Don. The family is still hopeful someone will come forward. Mary Kemp is now in a nursing home, still asking what happened to her little boy.

sdb4884
02-09-2010, 12:21 AM
I'm sure this case got a lot of people interested in the show and was a good one to start off with.

Apostapler
02-09-2010, 03:15 AM
Thank you for posting, JGpiper. Honestly, I have always felt that Don died of exposure soon after he went missing. The information that you posted makes me think otherwise, and the fact that the phone number of the woman in NY was among Don's things makes the phone call more ominous. I still don't have any ideas about what happened.

SMART67
02-11-2010, 10:49 AM
I never thought for a minute that Don was gay. And it wouldn't have mattered if he was. He was a terrific friend, deep, spiritual, extraordinary - a life changer for me personally. Donnie taught me spiritual awareness. He taught me the value of looking deeper into who we are. I would have given anything for him to still be with us because he would have been a lifelong friend. I know he liked the ladies, was good looking, tremendous personality. I am sure he never had trouble finding good company.

I continue to have experiences where I feel like Don is trying to tell us all something from the hereafter.

Don had a theory that if you found a penny face up, it meant good things. Face down - bad things. When I returned from Wyoming in 1983 with his Blazer, there were two pennies in my front yard - a 1948 penny face up and a 1982 penny face down. Don was born in 1948 and vanished in 1982. Can anyone explain this? Did he place them in my yard knowing something bad was going to happen to him? Or, were they placed another way?

In my travels in the years since, I continue to find pennies. Several times - they have been 1982 pennies.

Thoughts and prayers have been with Mary for the 28 years Don has been gone. I've often thought of her and wondered how she was. My email is thesmart67@msn.com if anyone wants to discuss this.

sdb4884
07-02-2010, 01:10 PM
This had all the earmarks of a car-jacking but who the heck would have been out there to rob him?

DJ_Foxx
07-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Wow....the thing with the pennies is creepy :eek:


From watching the segment, I had figured he either died of exposure or possibl even committed suicide. Now I'm not so sure...

mungo park
11-17-2010, 06:00 PM
As you all know, this case happened 28 years ago today. What most disturbs me about this case was that the cop in Casper who questioned the young man in the trailer where the telephone calls were made did not consider him a "person of interest". This cop believed this guy when he said that he just paid these phone bills even though he denied ever making those phone calls to New York. IMO, he held the key to what actually happened to Don. The cops should have never let this man leave and should not have been so naive as to believe him. This was a missed opportunity to solve this case and this detective should have been punished for very sloppy police work.

mungo park
11-17-2010, 06:19 PM
Thank you for your kind words about Don, I know who you are, and want to thank you for your help.

Don was most certainly not gay. Very much a ladies man, he was engaged at the time of his disappearance. He was extremely magnetic, a natural leader, extremely intelligent and very attractive.

The woman's phone number in New York was an unlisted and unpublished number. Don had it with him on the trip. The woman in New York is a well known artist in New York. It's possible this person in Casper came across Don's body in the prarie, took his money and his phone book, and placed a call for fun, as Don's address book was missing as well as his money. Mary Kemp tried to enlist the help of the Casper police, they did question this person, but shortly after, this person left the area. The police said they didn't have enough proof of anything to search his trailer. He refused a lie detector test. This person in Casper and Don's high school pictures looked very, very similar, strange.

An expert at an important government facility in Washington D.C. called and asked for Don's remains. Don was sent there. This doctor said he was in perfect condition, untouched, and there was no way he was laying in the prairie for 3 years. I am not at liberty to reveal what else was found but it is beyond bizarre.

So much occurred that wasn't on the show, some happened before his death, and some after.

By the way, Don's Blazer was broken into a second time in Salisbury, and some papers were taken, then Mary Kemp's storage locker was broken into and the rest of Don's things were stolen. Does anyone else think this is more than coincidence?

I wasn't going to write any of this, but some of the things being conjectured bothered me, and I wanted to set some of the record straight. We still are not certain what happened to Don. The family is still hopeful someone will come forward. Mary Kemp is now in a nursing home, still asking what happened to her little boy.

I still insist this man in Casper should have been investigated more thoroughly and that his trailer should have been searched. He is the only hope of solving this case. But the Washington connection you mentioned really sounds bizarre. I don't know if UM runs the same case twice but a new episode of this case should have been aired and revealing all the things you mention.

Thanks for the info about Mary. I have always wondered whatever happened to her.

cocytus
11-17-2010, 08:41 PM
Sorry to say, but this appears to have been a death by misadventure.

Here's why:

1) The condition of the vehicle. If they were going to kidnap him (for whatever reason) why didn't they also take the vehicle? Or try to destroy it?
2) The scattering of personal items between his vehicle and the cabin. Why would kidnappers do that? A lost,disturbed person would.
3) The scene at the cabin. Why would experienced person assemble wood on a wooden floor to start a fire? And then leave the victim's clothes at the cabin?
4) When his body was eventually found, it was found in an area between the cabin and his car. Again, if you are going to kidnap and murder someone,why return the body to the area where you took them from originally?
5) Signs of foul play were found on the body.

Some people are intrigued by the caller in Casper. There are two relatively simple explanations for the calls:

1) Kemp briefly stayed w/ this person and during that time used his phone to make the calls. This man and Kemp may have had a intimate relations and that, being in Wyoming, the man was unwilling to admit that was the case.
2) The man found the friend's name and address either on the road near the vehicle or in the items that Kemp left in the Lincoln Museum before he disappeared and decided to play "games" and call that person.

I sympathize w/ Kemp's family but this appears to be nothing more than the accidental death of a very troubled man.

n8riley
11-17-2010, 09:31 PM
What ever happened the police seemed to say they started out think he wondered off and while most likely correct the investigation should have started off thinking the worse possible just in case it was. Another thing I wonder is when was the SUV moved like in John Cheek case it seems the cars were moved and in the areas both were that moved there transport out. Pilot/Cop says "And on the third day I think he wanted to get out but it was too late" I mean where does this theory come from. As for the phone records it seem the police were content it was just some error that Don left messages from the phone # phone companies don't make mistakes like this then the Sex-line caller say its a mistake and the police are content with this explanation when someone explains the phone calls I'll believe there was no foul play otherwise something happened on that desolate Wyoming prairie. And as for the mom in this case harassing the guy in the trailer can you blame her its like Mrs. Sova and Susan while in neither case was it productive (maybe even counter productive) I think its easy to understand why they did it and they shouldn't be faulted for it.

justins5256
11-17-2010, 09:41 PM
1) Kemp briefly stayed w/ this person and during that time used his phone to make the calls. This man and Kemp may have had a intimate relations and that, being in Wyoming, the man was unwilling to admit that was the case.

Only problem I see with this is that I believe the calls were made after Kemp disappeared but before his body was found.

cocytus
11-17-2010, 10:09 PM
Only problem I see with this is that I believe the calls were made after Kemp disappeared but before his body was found.

I'm not certain.
I'll have to watch the segment again.
It's odd that his friend didn't save any of the messages or apparently the the message tape, as a sound engineer could have probably identified the voice.

Here's another one: What type of accident was Kemp in? Was there a head injury involved? If so, that could explain his irrational behavior prior to his disappearance.

zack007attack
05-28-2011, 11:52 PM
As you all know, this case happened 28 years ago today. What most disturbs me about this case was that the cop in Casper who questioned the young man in the trailer where the telephone calls were made did not consider him a "person of interest". This cop believed this guy when he said that he just paid these phone bills even though he denied ever making those phone calls to New York. IMO, he held the key to what actually happened to Don. The cops should have never let this man leave and should not have been so naive as to believe him. This was a missed opportunity to solve this case and this detective should have been punished for very sloppy police work.

Maybe those phone calls were made from the trailer BEFORE this man moved in there. The detective even indicated he pressured this man but he would not give in. The man probably moved away because he was afraid that the badgering he recieved might escalate, or he just found a better home.

Let's pretend the phone calls were made by Don, if they truly were. Those messages could have been left before Don disappeared, maybe Don rented out that trailer for a short amount of time as he made ideas for his book (the segment information at unsolved.com said he left New York in September of 1982, and his truck was found two months later), so perhaps he wanted to settle down somewhere for a short amount of time before he ventured out to where he might find a more comfortable home. Maybe he had roommates and they were unaware he was declared a missing person and were expecting him back sometime so they said he wasn't there at the moment when his friend called back.

Those phone messages could have been made months before they were recieved by his friend.

I think Don stopped at an intersection in the highway to stretch his legs or dig through his possessions for something he needed (like a music cassette or mapbook). It was cold, he couldn't find it, then he had a nervous breakdown and wandered off. Maybe he noticed aircraft searching for him and tried to hide in that hut because he mistook it for something that was trying to hurt him or something, then tried to get back to his car but couldn't beat the blizzard.

crystaldawn
05-30-2011, 07:11 AM
I watched this case again recently and am leaning towards Don having a stroke. That would explain his bizarre behavior and being disoriented wandering out there in the middle of nowhere. Remember he did sustain a pretty significant head injury years earlier in that car accident. The phone calls just never fit in. I wonder if its possible if Don had stopped by that guys trailer and asked to use the phone. Maybe the guy living in the trailer didn't remember it when he was questioned.

justins5256
08-19-2011, 08:32 PM
I watched this case again recently and am leaning towards Don having a stroke. That would explain his bizarre behavior and being disoriented wandering out there in the middle of nowhere. Remember he did sustain a pretty significant head injury years earlier in that car accident. The phone calls just never fit in. I wonder if its possible if Don had stopped by that guys trailer and asked to use the phone. Maybe the guy living in the trailer didn't remember it when he was questioned.

I watched this again a few nights ago (along with the other PSS), and noticed a couple things that I hadn't paid as much attention to in the past. On the segment, Kemp's family and Burr speak about how Don was a successful business man living in New York and had a "taste for the good life" until he got into a car accident that left him disabled. After the accident, Don seemingly rejected his previous lifestyle. He sold nearly all of his possessions and went on this road trip to Jackson Hole presumably to write about Abraham Lincoln. I took from his sister's comments that this change in Don's lifestyle was both radical and unexpected.

I also keyed in on a comment the state trooper made about the state of Kemp's car and the thought that perhaps someone "was out of a medication". The subject of medication wasn't addressed again in the segment and I find the trooper's mention of it here odd, like perhaps they were told, knew, or had reason to believe Don was taking something.

Given these clues, I think there may be more to this and I think Don was perhaps suffering from some possibly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental illness, possibly brought on by his earlier accident. I also wonder if something he saw or experienced on the road triggered memories of that earlier accident and caused him to have some sort of breakdown.

Maybe others have touched on this (I admit I didn't re-read this thread, I just looked for the most recent Don Kemp discussion) but I think the fact that Don seemingly had problems where and when he did (on the road) is telling considering his previous accident.

I think the possibility of mental illness wasn't considered or was written off by Kemp's family, which is understandable. It also makes the murder theory that much more attractive.

The phone calls came a few months after Don's car was found abandoned. If Don did die in the blizzard, as police suspect, then it would have been obviously impossible for him to have made the calls.

My gut feeling about the calls was and still is that they were a prank. I think this individual may have found Don's address book - either at the museum or possibly in Don's car while it was unattended and made the calls as some sort of joke.

DarkDante
08-19-2011, 10:28 PM
I watched this again a few nights ago (along with the other PSS), and noticed a couple things that I hadn't paid as much attention to in the past. On the segment, Kemp's family and Burr speak about how Don was a successful business man living in New York and had a "taste for the good life" until he got into a car accident that left him disabled. After the accident, Don seemingly rejected his previous lifestyle. He sold nearly all of his possessions and went on this road trip to Jackson Hole presumably to write about Abraham Lincoln. I took from his sister's comments that this change in Don's lifestyle was both radical and unexpected.

I also keyed in on a comment the state trooper made about the state of Kemp's car and the thought that perhaps someone "was out of a medication". The subject of medication wasn't addressed again in the segment and I find the trooper's mention of it here odd, like perhaps they were told, knew, or had reason to believe Don was taking something.

Given these clues, I think there may be more to this and I think Don was perhaps suffering from some possibly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental illness, possibly brought on by his earlier accident. I also wonder if something he saw or experienced on the road triggered memories of that earlier accident and caused him to have some sort of breakdown.

Maybe others have touched on this (I admit I didn't re-read this thread, I just looked for the most recent Don Kemp discussion) but I think the fact that Don seemingly had problems where and when he did (on the road) is telling considering his previous accident.

I think the possibility of mental illness wasn't considered or was written off by Kemp's family, which is understandable. It also makes the murder theory that much more attractive.

The phone calls came a few months after Don's car was found abandoned. If Don did die in the blizzard, as police suspect, then it would have been obviously impossible for him to have made the calls.

My gut feeling about the calls was and still is that they were a prank. I think this individual may have found Don's address book - either at the museum or possibly in Don's car while it was unattended and made the calls as some sort of joke.

I always assumed that the medication Don was on (if any) would have been prescription pain pills. Being that Don Kemp had gone through a traumatic car accident it would not be at all unusual for him to have to deal with residual and recurring pain as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. Therefore painkillers could've been an everyday part of his life.

As far as mental illness goes, it's possible but again it's just too hard for me to make a judgment call on that just from the segment. There are a lot of people who after having gone through a traumatic event feel the desire to change their life in some notable way and that really doesn't necessarily correlate with mental illness. Just think of all those people who had near death experiences that were profiled on the show and subsequently moved their lives in a very different direction than the path they were on before the accident. I believe one guy became a preacher, another began to work heavily with local charity organizations in his area.

The phone calls baffle me. Yes they could be a prank but I have a hard time writing off Don's friend recognizing his voice. To me voice recognition is a little more credible than a brief eyewitness sighting of a missing person (which we've seen on UM many times are off the mark). In the case of Kemp this was a woman who would've have been familiar with Don's voice, heard the man on her answering machine identify himself as Don and she obviously believed the man on the tape to be Don Kemp. One question about the woman and her ability to being able to recognize Kemp's voice is whether or not she immediately discarded the message after receiving it. It would be interesting to know whether or not she based her judgment on whether or not it was Don Kemp on her answering machine based on just a brief cursory listen or something more substantial than that.

Edit: There is also something else we need to consider in this case and that is the possibility that Don Kemp committed suicide. There are a few cases like Don's that have been profiled on UM and one of them involved a man named Daniel Wilson who I believe also may have committed suicide. Both Don and Daniel had suffered through traumatic events in their lives with Dan Wilson having gone through a divorce and Don Kemp his automobile accident. There are life changing events that many people do not deal with all that well. In Don's case it's possible that he may have told his family that he was going to head out west to write a book on Abraham Lincoln but that could've all have been an elaborate ruse to allow him to get away from his friends, family and familiar surroundings to a place where he could give up the ghost. In my opinion that in enough of itself wouldn't be that uncommon.

I also feel that if Kemp's death was a suicide that it was a suicide in which the victim wanted an audience of some type. He made sure to leave several markers (for lack of a better term) so that his body would eventually be identified. He abandoned his car in a way that it would look extremely conspicuous to law enforcement who would have happened upon it. He left his belongings strewn out on the highway and also discarded further items as he continued walking into the prairie. He made a phone call to the Abe Lincoln Museum which could be an indication that he wanted someone to know he was in the general area where he more or less intended on taking his life. I think it's possible that Don Kemp did commit suicide possibly via drug overdose. He could've made the phone call to the museum, wandered off into the prairie, left some clues to where his body would be found behind and then took a lethal amount of pills and collapsed where his body was found several years later.

zack007attack
08-19-2011, 10:29 PM
I watched this again a few nights ago (along with the other PSS), and noticed a couple things that I hadn't paid as much attention to in the past. On the segment, Kemp's family and Burr speak about how Don was a successful business man living in New York and had a "taste for the good life" until he got into a car accident that left him disabled. After the accident, Don seemingly rejected his previous lifestyle. He sold nearly all of his possessions and went on this road trip to Jackson Hole presumably to write about Abraham Lincoln. I took from his sister's comments that this change in Don's lifestyle was both radical and unexpected.

I also keyed in on a comment the state trooper made about the state of Kemp's car and the thought that perhaps someone "was out of a medication". The subject of medication wasn't addressed again in the segment and I find the trooper's mention of it here odd, like perhaps they were told, knew, or had reason to believe Don was taking something.

Given these clues, I think there may be more to this and I think Don was perhaps suffering from some possibly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental illness, possibly brought on by his earlier accident. I also wonder if something he saw or experienced on the road triggered memories of that earlier accident and caused him to have some sort of breakdown.

Maybe others have touched on this (I admit I didn't re-read this thread, I just looked for the most recent Don Kemp discussion) but I think the fact that Don seemingly had problems where and when he did (on the road) is telling considering his previous accident.

I think the possibility of mental illness wasn't considered or was written off by Kemp's family, which is understandable. It also makes the murder theory that much more attractive.

The phone calls came a few months after Don's car was found abandoned. If Don did die in the blizzard, as police suspect, then it would have been obviously impossible for him to have made the calls.

My gut feeling about the calls was and still is that they were a prank. I think this individual may have found Don's address book - either at the museum or possibly in Don's car while it was unattended and made the calls as some sort of joke.

That makes sense. The calls could have been a prank too. The friend of Don claims she is certain it was his voice on the messages, but she could have been mistaken; especially since this was back in 1982, maybe phones weren't as high quality back then, maybe that could explain for it. Either that or she simply misjudged because the caller sounded like Don.

Mistaken identity like this happens all too often today even in the investigation of crimes. Photo lineups and witness and/or victim identification of suspects is a perfect example. Many victims swear the police have the right person when they have them line up in person for identification, but other evidence such as fingerprints or DNA prove otherwise. I've seen examples like this on Forensic Files.

justins5256
08-19-2011, 10:58 PM
Wow, I was just doing some Googling with regard to Don Kemp and came across this series of posts at the forbidden site.

I have pasted them chronologically, but not altered them otherwise. The author claims to be Don's sister. This is some story...

I am Don Kemp's sister . Don had done extensive research on Lincoln's death and uncovered some troubling information. He felt the information was sensitive and I was afraid for his welfare. When Don's remains were found I was called by the head of Smithsonian in Washington, they wanted me to send them Don's remains. Don's body was totally untouched, unheard of, except something very very strange. Why did Washington want Don's remains? How did they hear of our case? Too little space to expain.

Dr. Angel, head anthropoligist at Smithsonian, said there was no way Don could have been out in the prarie for 3 years. He was untouched, which is unheard of with wolves, bears, etc.. The hyoid bone was missing, and there was a perfectly small round hole in Don's head, which, he insisted, nothing he was aware of could have caused the hole, he had never seen anything like it. Don had given me a book, before leaving, and said I "may need this later", he turned to a page on the Pleiades.

There was a UFO group in the same area as Don's disappearance. They were there due to the cattle mutilations. One of Dr. Springer's group ( a UFO group) called me and told me they believed "they" (UFO's?) had taken Don. At this point I thought things just couldn't get any more insane, but, three years later, after receiving Dr. Angel's report, and speaking with him, and his puzzlement over Don's appearance and the hole, I didn't know what to believe anymore. Why give me the book?

Please read this from my first post bottom up. The Doctor's name was Dr. Angel, Not Angle. The calls were placed from Casper to a very close friend of Don's in New York. She is a well known artist there, was in Europe at the time of the calls. She had an unlisted, unpublished number. Don was the only one who had her number. The person who lived in the trailer in Casper from where the calls were placed, was physically my brother's double. I looked at year book pictures, could have been twins.

Did this person kill Don, take his phone numbers and make the calls? I believed this person worked in the field for oil company, could he have just come across Don's body taken the numbers off his body and called for some kind of joke? Since it appears they looked alike, could Don have been killed due to mistaken identity? Was Don killed because someone thought he knew something? Did UFO's have something to do with all this, crazy, but I have to look at all the known facts.

Did Don have some sort of breakdown and just walk out into the prarie? Possibly, but how do you account for Dr. Angle's findings. There is also a paranormal aspect to this story, which played a part in this story. Don had already done years of research when he and I went to the Surratt House in Clinton, Maryland. When we signed in, a woman at the front desk asked if he was the Don Kemp writing the book on Lincoln. He said he was, and she said she was told to give him the name of a woman. 

Before I go on about the paranormal, I want to mention something else. We hired a friend to drive the Chevy Blazer back from Wyoming. He stayed in a motel the first night before starting back. While he slept, the Blazer was broken into and many thing were taken. When we got the Blazer back to Salisbury, it was broken into again. Then, shortly after, my mother's storage area was broken into where she had put Don's research papers, and they were stolen.

We had salvaged a few tapes of Don's that weren't stolen, not in storage or Blazer, we sent them to a Mr. Carrington in Virginia who offered to help us. Shortly after receiving the tapes, his house burned to the ground and Mr Carrington was killed in the fire. I had given some things and papers of Don's to a Civil War store in Bel Air Maryland, I told him to donate the papers to Tudor Manor, home of the Booths in Bel Air. The owner of the store died in an accident, and the papers are lost.

A few words about the "search". We asked the sheriff if he had search dogs, he said no," sage brush stops up their noses", I looked anyway and on the second day found a group in the next county over from Carbon County. They asked to come in but the sheriff told them he wouldn't allow them to search. I then contacted the Civil Air Patrol, they were wonderful and had men and planes ready to go at dawn. They called the sheriff, he said it was his county and no one was going to tell him what to do.

The sheriff told them to stay the hell out of his county and he didn't want a bunch of 14 year olds running around seeing every bush as a person. They weren't allowed to search. My mother and I flew out to Wy., no one would meet, or talk with us. We rented a car and went to the museum to retrieve the pouch Don left, then to the motel where he spent the last night. We found all of these ourselves. I called all the hotels until I found the right one. We stopped everywhere we could think of.

Before we started to search, we were told, by the sheriff's office, if we went out there we may end up like my brother. We serched anyway . We walked out into the fields, I used a stick to go through large receptacles and dug through the snow, we crawled into these pyramid things in the middle of no where, they had little openings, big enough for a man, it was scary, bitter cold and the area was desolate, I couldn't save him, there was no help, I had let my brother down.

Please excuse all the misspellings, I tend not to proof read. It's very hard to tell this story in this format. So much happened, I'm leaving most things out and just telling some of the story. I hesitate to relate the paranormal aspect, as it still unsettles me, and is difficult to talk about. Don contacted the young lady who left her number at the Surratt House. They set up a night to have a seance, as this young lady claimed to be a psychic.

Please read this from my first post backwards. I told Don about the Surratt House being a chapter in a book I had bought about Hauntings in Balt. and Wash.. He thought it would be fun to go, so he flew down from NY and we drove to the Surratt House in Clinton, Maryland. There, the lady at the front desk gave Don the number and name of a young lady who lived just a few houses down from the Surratt House and had claimed to have been "contacted" about Lincoln's assassination and Mary Surratt.

Don couldn't pass this up, so he contacted her and we arranged a night to have a seance at her house. We drove separately, Don drove there with his long time friend, and I drove from Western Maryland. There were six of us present. Besides Don, his friend and myself, there was this young lady, (very attractive and surprisingly young), her husband ( a policeman), and a young man who worked for them caring for their kennel of dogs. We moved to a table which held, in the center, an ouija board. 

I was very apprehensive, but curious as to what would transpire. We sat around the table, Don placed a tape recorder in the middle of the table and set up a camera with light to record the session. We placed our fingertips on the planchette. The young lady, I'll call her Jane, started to ask questions and the planchette started to move. She began to speak in a strange voice, using antiquated words for items, words used in the 1800's. She mentioned Don's friend's cats then mentioned their names.

Please read from my first post up. It amazed me she knew the names of the cats as the names were very unusual, and I didn't even know them. Then she turned to me and told me she could see my little son sleeping in his crib, ( which frightened me), she didn't know I had a young son as I had just met her. She started to choke, I was sitting next to her, and I saw a red line starting to form around her neck in a circle, ending higher in the back of her neck, it was getting darker,

the room became very cold and the light on the camera Don set up across from me started to strobe, on, off, on off. Glancing up at the strobing light, I saw the shadow of a woman turned sideways, on the wall behind the camera, I knew she was sideways because I could see a bustle kind of thing and a long skirt. The light and camera came crashing to the floor the room became colder still. I felt as if evil had entered the room.

It seemed there was a lot of noise in the room because Don had to yell to be heard, he obviously felt as I did, this was pure chaos, he yelled to move away from the table, we gathered together, held hands, and recited the Lords Prayer, (not knowing what else to do), things gradually quieted down. I never went to another seance, but Don did. He kept in touch with Jane. It's, perhaps, easy to laugh at all of this, but I was there, and this is what happened. Mass hysteria, I don't think so

of course anything is possible, but I know what I saw and felt, and I never want to go through something like that again. So much happened after this, but I removed myself from this paranormal atmosphere, I didn't like thinking about it, the wrongness, ( or evil?) was palpable. Whatever it was, I felt it brought with it a terrible foreboding, and I was, unfortunately, correct to be worried for my brother.

Please read from my first post up. I was in the Harford County Historical Society, signing in to do some genealogical research. The lady at the front desk saw my name and said " You don't happen to know Don Kemp do you?" I was amazed and told her I was his sister. She said the Mudd people from Washington who were trying to exonerate Dr. Mudd had heard about my brother's research. They had been told Tudor Manor ( the Booth home in Bel Air Md.) was given some of Don's papers.

Please read from my first post up. I told her that was correct, I had asked the Civil War store to donate the papers to the Manor. She said there was a problem. They had thoroughly searched the house and there was no sign of my brother's papers anywhere. She asked if I knew of any other papers of my brother's, I told her all his papers and belongings had either been stolen or destroyed so we had nothing left. This was the last incident, and since everything is now gone, nothing has happened.

Please from my first post up. In summation, Don had done years of research, much in Washington D.C. and various archives, he said he had uncovered something very disturbing, but wasn't specific, did he, in fact find something, or is it possible someone thought he found something. I don't know how to explain all the break-ins, robberies and deaths, perhaps all of this is merely a coincidence. Why the phone calls 6 months after Don's "death" from Casper Wyoming to an unlisted, unpublished

phone in New York? Did the fact that the person who lived in the trailer from which the calls were placed looked exactly like my brother ( at least in the year book), again, maybe a coincidence and of no consequence. Don went missing in the same area of the Cattle mutilations. Three years later, Dr. Angel told me it was impossible, but Don was perfectly in tact, mummified, and no evident of any animal activity. Nothing had touched him. Dr. Angel said this was impossible and Don couldn't have

(please read from my first post up) been in the prairie for three years. He also said the small, tiny round hole through Don's skull was not caused by any animal, nor any instrument of which he was aware, he said he was totally mystified, and had never seen anything like it. I, (of course), dismissed all the calls we received from various UFO people when Don was first missing, totally crazy, but Dr. Angel's findings are, to use his words, mystifying. How did Washington know about Don's case?

(please read from my first post up) Where did they hear about Don and how did they know to contact me? ( I had moved to Chicago at the time) What was their interest and why? This is the gist of the story, there, of course are many, many other things, but this should give people an idea of our worry and confusion. No, my mother was not a "nut" as someone here said, but a mother, desperate for some answers. This is the first time I've told this story, people can make their own conclusions.

REAL curious to know everyone's thoughts. -J

crystaldawn
08-20-2011, 08:47 AM
That was a great find Justin. Honestly though it just seems so out there to me. Possible UFO abduction and Lincoln assassination research retribution. I feel for his sister and trying to find out what happened to her brother as it is such a bizarre case, but don't you think she could be trying to read something into everything to try and find some answers? I did forward the info on to a friend of Don's I had communicated with a few times in the past so it will be interesting to see what his thoughts are on all of this seemingly new (to us anyway) information. I wonder if the person who is supposed to be writing a book on his death has spoken with her and will be putting any of these theories in there. Very interesting.

justins5256
08-20-2011, 12:59 PM
That was a great find Justin. Honestly though it just seems so out there to me. Possible UFO abduction and Lincoln assassination research retribution. I feel for his sister and trying to find out what happened to her brother as it is such a bizarre case, but don't you think she could be trying to read something into everything to try and find some answers? I did forward the info on to a friend of Don's I had communicated with a few times in the past so it will be interesting to see what his thoughts are on all of this seemingly new (to us anyway) information. I wonder if the person who is supposed to be writing a book on his death has spoken with her and will be putting any of these theories in there. Very interesting.

While I feel a great deal of sympathy for Don Kemp and his family, I have a difficult time taking all of this seriously.

Over the years, we have been introduced to numerous families on UM who are desperately trying to ascertain the truth about a loved one's unusual death. In many of these cases, such as Norman Ladner and Tommy Burkett, the family presents plausible and logically sound theories that on the surface are difficult to discredit and many of us have actually come to believe to be true. I honestly can't say the same of this case, and this post really drives that point home. For some reason, the Kemp family seems fixated on finding a supernatural or conspiratorial explanation for Don's death and such theories, in my opinion, are the hardest to swallow.

That post aside, going back to the case as presented in 1987, we aren't given any plausible alternate explanations for the evidence that was found. Mary Kemp insists that her son wouldn't leave his car running in the middle of nowhere and march out into that prairie, dropping random possessions along as he went. Yet she also fails to explain who else would do so, and what the motive may have been.

The strongest evidence that something nefarious did happen to Don are those phone calls. However, that doesn't even really "fit" the murder theory if you think about it. Mary Kemp believes that Don was abducted from the area his Chevy Blazer was found in. Yet his abductors seemingly allowed him to live, presumably for several months in a trailer in Casper and make jovial phone calls to a friend in New York and even leave a call back number that was traceable to them. It doesn't add up. Also, re-reading her post, she concedes it possible that this man in Casper came upon Don's address book on Don's corpse in the prairie and made those calls. So, they did consider that a possibility at least, and I think that settles it.

Getting back to the post, what she has suggested sounds like something out of "National Treasure" or the "X Files". I just don't think the world works that way. Personally, as I have stated here before I'm a big fan of Occam's razor and try to let it guide me to a conclusion when one isn't readily available, and explanations about UFOs, cattle mutilations, and uncovered truths about the Lincoln assassination just don't fit.

Gelatinous Goo
08-20-2011, 01:32 PM
I too tend to gravitate toward as simple a scenario as is possible in this case. Somebody presented a suicide theory in an earlier post. I would venture this to be the most plausible of all the explanations brought forth so far. Discounting the reasons why he chose to end his life, it makes such perfect sense that Don would "drop" his money belt at a Lincoln exhibit. He felt at home with the subject matter. In the pre-cell phone era, there was no way for Don's family to contact him. Perhaps he wanted to get the money to the family and felt he could trust his fellow historians to ensure that this would be taken care of properly. Then again, the segment made him out to be a man of means in his earlier life, so however much money was in the belt could very well have been a paltry sum compared to what was in his bank accounts.

crystaldawn
08-20-2011, 01:51 PM
You also have to consider Don's mental state at the time he went missing. He just didn't appear to be acting normal. To leave your vehicle on and the door open at an intersection and just go. It makes me wonder if Don may have had some paranoia. Maybe he did think (possibly in his confused mind) that someone was after him which was why he gave his sister the book. Perhaps that would explain why he left his vehicle so abruptly and also why he may have been hiding from the rescue helicopters that were sent to search for him. It makes you wonder if his paranoia (if he indeed had any, just speculation on my part) may have contributed to his death since I do still believe he died of exposure in the blizzard that came a few days after he went missing.

TheCars1986
08-20-2011, 02:29 PM
I took from his sister's comments that this change in Don's lifestyle was both radical and unexpected.

Sounds to me like either Kemp was depressed or suffering from some sort of mental illness. This case was always cut and dry to me, IMHO. Something biological happened to Kemp on his trip (stroke, mental illness, heart attack, not taking medication, etc.) that caused him to freak out and bail from his car. Shortly after abandoning his car I think he froze to death (just like the sheriff theorized), and his body was initially overlooked in the search for him. And those mysterious phone calls from Casper could have simply been a prank, plain and simple.

DarkDante
08-20-2011, 04:26 PM
That was a great find Justin. Honestly though it just seems so out there to me. Possible UFO abduction and Lincoln assassination research retribution. I feel for his sister and trying to find out what happened to her brother as it is such a bizarre case, but don't you think she could be trying to read something into everything to try and find some answers? I did forward the info on to a friend of Don's I had communicated with a few times in the past so it will be interesting to see what his thoughts are on all of this seemingly new (to us anyway) information. I wonder if the person who is supposed to be writing a book on his death has spoken with her and will be putting any of these theories in there. Very interesting.

I personally stopped reading when I heard UFOs were being brought up. I still contend there is a far simpler explanation regarding Don's disappearance and death.

justins5256
08-22-2011, 09:27 AM
The phone calls baffle me. Yes they could be a prank but I have a hard time writing off Don's friend recognizing his voice. To me voice recognition is a little more credible than a brief eyewitness sighting of a missing person (which we've seen on UM many times are off the mark). In the case of Kemp this was a woman who would've have been familiar with Don's voice, heard the man on her answering machine identify himself as Don and she obviously believed the man on the tape to be Don Kemp. One question about the woman and her ability to being able to recognize Kemp's voice is whether or not she immediately discarded the message after receiving it. It would be interesting to know whether or not she based her judgment on whether or not it was Don Kemp on her answering machine based on just a brief cursory listen or something more substantial than that.

While I lean toward the calls being a prank, the explanation is by no means problem free. For instance, Burr said there were six different messages allegedly left by Kemp. That seems kind of excessive.

Also, if the calls were a prank, I don't understand why the prankster would presumably leave a callback number that could be traced back to him.

I wonder if the woman saved the messages. I would also be curious to know the nature of them. Did Kemp sound distressed, for example.

The thought had occurred to me that since this woman was on a European vacation, she may have been gone for an extended period of time and the messages may have been old and actually left by Kemp BEFORE he went missing. I'm not sure if answer machines back then left a time and date stamp, but I doubt it. However, the segment alluded that the dates of the calls were firmly established by phone company records. Had they not been, then this whole issue might be moot.

Only scenario I can see then is Kemp staged his disappearance for an unknown reason, and perhaps did live with this man in Casper. Then this man or someone else murdered Kemp (or Kemp died for some reason) and returned his body to the prairie near the location Kemp's Chevy was abandoned. It seems far fetched to say the least.

Edit: There is also something else we need to consider in this case and that is the possibility that Don Kemp committed suicide. There are a few cases like Don's that have been profiled on UM and one of them involved a man named Daniel Wilson who I believe also may have committed suicide. Both Don and Daniel had suffered through traumatic events in their lives with Dan Wilson having gone through a divorce and Don Kemp his automobile accident. There are life changing events that many people do not deal with all that well. In Don's case it's possible that he may have told his family that he was going to head out west to write a book on Abraham Lincoln but that could've all have been an elaborate ruse to allow him to get away from his friends, family and familiar surroundings to a place where he could give up the ghost. In my opinion that in enough of itself wouldn't be that uncommon.

I also feel that if Kemp's death was a suicide that it was a suicide in which the victim wanted an audience of some type. He made sure to leave several markers (for lack of a better term) so that his body would eventually be identified. He abandoned his car in a way that it would look extremely conspicuous to law enforcement who would have happened upon it. He left his belongings strewn out on the highway and also discarded further items as he continued walking into the prairie. He made a phone call to the Abe Lincoln Museum which could be an indication that he wanted someone to know he was in the general area where he more or less intended on taking his life. I think it's possible that Don Kemp did commit suicide possibly via drug overdose. He could've made the phone call to the museum, wandered off into the prairie, left some clues to where his body would be found behind and then took a lethal amount of pills and collapsed where his body was found several years later.

While I don't think suicide can or should be written off, like my earlier "undiagnosed mental problem" theory, it's difficult to ascertain given the paucity of information on Kemp's mindset as presented in the segment.

There are some points that may suggest suicide; among the most obvious Kemp seemingly ridding himself of all of his possessions - behavior often seen in people who plan on ending their life. However, there could be alternate and equally logical explanations for this. For instance, Kemp may have needed to save up money for this trip.

One point not mentioned was the fact that searchers found evidence that Kemp tried to hide his trail. According to one member of the search party, Kemp had actually walked backwards in an attempt to hide his footprints in the snow. I find this behavior unlikely if suicide was his goal. That almost seems like paranoid behavior, which would bring us back into the realm of a mental problem or breakdown.

EDIT: Was Dan Wilson's death declared a suicide? I don't recall. I just remember the "aqua screen with white text" type update about his remains being recovered in 1997(?) Seems to me he may have had some mental problems brought on by carbon monoxide poisoning.

DarkDante
08-22-2011, 10:27 AM
EDIT: Was Dan Wilson's death declared a suicide? I don't recall. I just remember the "aqua screen with white text" type update about his remains being recovered in 1997(?) Seems to me he may have had some mental problems brought on by carbon monoxide poisoning.

No Daniel's cause of death could not be determined upon the location of his remains. The carbon monoxide poisoning theory is also viable in my eyes just due to the evidence they found in the car.

betterdayz2k12
11-04-2011, 10:48 PM
This is probably my favorite case from the entire Unsolved Mysteries series. I wish I could go out to Wyoming and solve it but it is probably too late...

justins5256
11-04-2011, 11:00 PM
This is probably my favorite case from the entire Unsolved Mysteries series. I wish I could go out to Wyoming and solve it but it is probably too late...

I wouldn't say it's entirely out of the question. Someone is (or at least was) writing a book about the case.

betterdayz2k12
11-05-2011, 11:05 AM
Wow really?

Do you have any more information on this? I have tried researching this case but haven't found anything at all on Google outside of the Unsolved site.

betterdayz2k12
11-17-2011, 12:53 AM
Do you have any more information on the book to be written on this case? I can't find much on an Internet search

StolenHail
01-23-2012, 03:07 PM
I hate to revive an old thread but somethings are just not adding up to me. First off how can a body lie in a prairie unnoticed for such an extended period of time. I understand the vastness of it but someone owns those fields and in a 3 year span had to of gone over his/her property. I guess it is possible that land is not owned or owned by the government but the land would still be checked on in a 3 year span. Another thing that puzzles me is how the body was so preserved. I'm pretty sure we can agree that the body was unmarked (I'm not going to go off of the sister's post sense it doesn't have much credibility in my eyes.) and unscathed for sitting in a a prairie for 3 years. The body would of been altered by the elements. Honestly that is what puts most of the holes in the theory that he wandered off on his own. On the note of suicide, that does make a lot of sense. There were indicated markers that just seemed set up by him so that way it would get noticed. Now here is my theory. Donald Kemp was abducted. Now this may seem improbable but hear me out. Donald Kemp was driving down the road and saw a car with warning lights flashing on the side of the road. He pulls over to see the issue and to help the man. The man (in my opinion) was the guy from the trailer. In my mind I want to believe it was battery trouble since Kemp's car was left on. Also it would explain the clothes on the ground. Kemp would have to look for the jumper cables inside the car but due to his belongings in the way he would haphazardly throw them on the ground. This is when the Man (i will refer to the trailer guys as the Man from now on.) either held him at gun point or with some other weapon. The Man then forced Kemp to walk in the prairie with his dufflebag. I'm not sure how they lose the dufflebag but either in a slight altercation he loses the dufflebag before removing 4 socks. You may remember during the UM episode that in the barn there were 3 socks, i mention 4 for some credibility to my theory but i'll touch on that soon. Now you maybe wondering how two people walk through the snow in one set of tracks. The simple is they walked single file with the Man pointing a gun at Kemp's back. The Man was careful to put his shoe in to Kemp's track. This maybe improbable but its the only explanation i can think of of how they got there and it would explain the walking backwards out of the barn theory presented by the police officer during the episode. Once they reach the barn they both enter and the Man tells Kemp to sit down. He then takes out the socks he retrieved from the dufflebag. He forces one into Kemp's mouth in order to silence him and then lays the other 3 on the ground. This kind of explains the socks found in the barn. Honestly i do not believe Kemp as smart as he was would only grab 3 socks. Now you may ask yourself where the fourth sock is but i will touch on that in a minute. The man attempts to start a fire out of sticks and fails. This explains the stick pile since it was cold. Kemp eventually falls asleep and this is when the Man removes his wallet (I'm not sure it was a wallet he had on his person or not, or if it was left at the museum pure speculation on my part) and the address book. I'm going to touch on the address book in a minute as you can kind of see where this is going. During the course of the night Kemp wakes up to see the Man either sleeping or distracted with trying to start the fire. I want to say he was sleeping since him not noticing his hostage leaving while awake seems implausible. It's at this moment that Kemp tries to escape the barn. This is where Kemp removes the sock from his mouth and backs out the door slowly. Now I know i eluded to the footprints to being two pairs in the same track however if Kemp walked back through the tracks to cover his trail his new foot prints would override the Man's giving the illusion that Kemp was the only one to enter the barn. This is merely speculation on my part. This is when Kemp passes away due to the elements. No foul play. I want to emphasize that. The Man wakes up freaks when he see's that Kemp is gone and sets out to find him. He leaves in hurry so he leaves the 3 socks behind but see's the 4th sock on the ground. He picks it up and stuffs it into his pocket. Seems kind of illogical but in theory it does make sense. Now here is where my theory hits a slight rut. I cannot decide if the Man ends up finding Kemp's body or not. As I previously stated i doubt his body was left out there for 3 years without being noticed or untouched so I'm leaning to the Man finding Kemp's dead body some distance away from the barn. MY theory is that The man picks up Kemp's body and brings to his car and drives off. Local authorities cannot locate the body since the Man has moved it. Everything fits into to place nicely. At least in my head. After the "kidnapping" everything gets hazy for me. For the body to be that preserved the Man would of had to of taken care of the body. Which could be possible. The man could of been sick in the head or been planning. He could of been planning to dump the body back in the prairie at some point so he was preserving the body until he felt enough time had passed. Five months pass. The Man is feeling guilty for what he has done. In essence he has murdered Kemp. Out of guilt, he picks a number in the address book he stole from Kemp and calls the number portraying Kemp. The woman in NY not being there is unable to pick up the phone. This causes the Man to call back multiple times in hope that she does pick up. This is when the Man realizes what he has done (calling the number wise) and waits for the inevitable call. The woman calls back and the man says Kemp isnt back yet hoping to draw away suspicion. Not the greatest theory but its better than a prank call. Honestly, if you're going to prank call someone you don't leave 5 voice mail then deny everything once they call back. A prank call as some humor in it for the person that is doing the pranking. In my eyes the way the calls were placed no humor was seen. Just my opinion. The calls are the oddest part of this whole case and despite my theory I cannot fully explain it. At some point the mother finds the Man and begins to question him along with local police. The Man begins to worry and panics. He grabs the body and shortly after flees town. He dumps the body a few miles in the prairie and drives off never to be heard from again. Some time later the body is found and the police right it off as death due to cold or whatever the official diagnosis was. The briefcase that was left at the museum by accident and doesn't have anything to do with the case at hand. There are some obvious holes in my theory but it seems logical to me.

TheCars1986
01-23-2012, 05:27 PM
I wish we could know more about the traffic accident that left Kemp "severly disabled". Was it disabled to the point where he could no longer work, did it have an affect on his mental health , etc.? His sister said that as he recovered he became "disillusioned" with the NY scene and wanted to go out West. I think Kemp was obviously suffering from some sort of depression which may have been brought on by the fact that he was disabled, maybe not even being able to do the things he liked doing as a result. I believe that Don Kemp was not in the right state of mind as he traveled out West. I think that's the reason why his attache case was left at the museum. I think the Sheriff interviewed in the segment hit the nail on the head when he said that Kemp had mental problems and couldn't cope with them which is why he just up and out of the blue wandered off into the prairie, where he unfortunately died from exposure to the elements. There was no evidence of any other person on the trail or at the barn, and his autopsy revealed no signs of foul play. I think the sighting of Don in Wyoming 5 months after he was alleged to have died was either someone remembering the wrong date, or seeing someone who resembled Don who coincidentally also held an interest in Lincoln's assassination. As to the phone calls, I have no viable explanation for them. I don't think anyone can come up with one, unless it was an honest-to-God mistake by the phone company like the man from the trailer said. That really would be the only plausible explanation for them.

There simlpy is no evidence that there was any foul play involved. If Kemp was murdered, why were their only one set of prints in the snow leading from his car? Why would his killer/s target Kemp in the middle of such a desolate area? What are the odds that a killer would be waiting out in the middle of nowhere near the Wyoming prairie when a potential victim just so happens to drive by? What would the killers motive be in killing Kemp? Why not simply rob him and leave the area (since it was so desolate, an escape would have been easy)? To believe Kemp was murdered, we must also believe that his killers flagged him down on the side of the road, ordered him from his car (presumeably at gunpoint), marched him out into the snow, but the killer/s in an attempt to conceal their tracks walked where Don's tracks lay. Then, the killer/s marched Don to a barn, where a fire was started for some odd reason, and then killed Don in a way that fooled a coroner into concluding his death was from exposure. The killer/s then trudged back to Don's car and scattered Don's clothing around the area for another odd, unknown reason and then left. That's asking way too much to believe into the murder theory. It just makes absolutely no sense at all. The phone calls are the only thing that adds an heir of mystery to this case and actually hint (albeit slightly) that there was foul play involved. If you take away the calls you have an open and shut case.

On a side note about the calls to Don's friend, did she receive them while Don was supposed to still be alive, or was it the 5 months after he was supposed to have been dead? I don't remember if they specified in the UM segment.

betterdayz2k12
01-28-2012, 11:45 PM
Great posts.

This remains my favorite segment from Unsolved Mysteries.

Justins5256, is there any more information on that book to be written about this case?

kane7474
01-31-2012, 04:52 AM
I believe in the episode it was stated that Don had basically sold off everything and decided to move to write the book. I wonder if any money was recovered in his vehicle? Wonder if his bank account or credit cards where looked into. If Don was wandering around all this time then wouldnt he need money to live on? If foul play was involved then could it have been because he had a large sum of money on him??

It does seem odd that his body could sit in the middle of a prarie for three years without being seen but also there isnt much evidence of fair play besides the odd phone messages

TheCars1986
01-31-2012, 09:17 AM
I believe in the episode it was stated that Don had basically sold off everything and decided to move to write the book. I wonder if any money was recovered in his vehicle? Wonder if his bank account or credit cards where looked into. If Don was wandering around all this time then wouldnt he need money to live on? If foul play was involved then could it have been because he had a large sum of money on him??

It does seem odd that his body could sit in the middle of a prarie for three years without being seen but also there isnt much evidence of fair play besides the odd phone messages

The segment made mention of an attache case that Don left behind at a museum. IIRC, it held several personal items including checks inside. He called the museum to say he'd be back to retrieve it, but never showed up. If he was on medication for something, maybe his meds were in the attache case which could have been the reason for his bizarre behavior. I can see him frantically searching for his medication (which is why his clothes were strewn all over the highway), and ultimately losing all control and just hiking into the priarie where he unfortunately died.

kane7474
02-01-2012, 04:16 AM
The segment made mention of an attache case that Don left behind at a museum. IIRC, it held several personal items including checks inside. He called the museum to say he'd be back to retrieve it, but never showed up. If he was on medication for something, maybe his meds were in the attache case which could have been the reason for his bizarre behavior.

I can see him frantically searching for his medication (which is why his clothes were strewn all over the highway), and ultimately losing all control and just hiking into the priarie where he unfortunately died.
Well if thats what happened then this should be an open and shut case. But there is no mention of medication in the briefcase in the episode.

His mother is obvioulsy convinced that he was murdered. Surely if he had left medecine he needed behind she would know this and not be so dead set on foul play. Alteast I would think. I just wonder if he had a brain injury that simply caused him to go a little crazy and wonder out of his vehicle then die in the blizzard. Like I said before though its just crazy that his body sat out in that open prairie for so long without being seen.

TheCars1986
02-01-2012, 09:38 AM
I just wonder if he had a brain injury that simply caused him to go a little crazy and wonder out of his vehicle then die in the blizzard. Like I said before though its just crazy that his body sat out in that open prairie for so long without being seen.

His mother's only real reason given as to why she thought Don was murdered was because her son would "never" wander off into the prairie and do the odd things that he did. That and the phone calls coming from that trailer. I really thought the mother came off as quite delusional in the segment. Especially when she confronted the man basically accusing him of murder.

kane7474
02-02-2012, 04:49 AM
His mother's only real reason given as to why she thought Don was murdered was because her son would "never" wander off into the prairie and do the odd things that he did. That and the phone calls coming from that trailer. I really thought the mother came off as quite delusional in the segment. Especially when she confronted the man basically accusing him of murder.
How did she get ahold of his phone bill?? She said there was all kinds of calls to sex parlors. And I think the sightings of him or alleged sightings are also something she fed off of

TheCars1986
02-02-2012, 09:29 AM
How did she get ahold of his phone bill?? She said there was all kinds of calls to sex parlors. And I think the sightings of him or alleged sightings are also something she fed off of

I believe she hired a PI who somehow gained access to the phone bills. But I could be wrong about that.

Francium
08-19-2012, 02:08 AM
The segment made mention of an attache case that Don left behind at a museum. IIRC, it held several personal items including checks inside. He called the museum to say he'd be back to retrieve it, but never showed up. If he was on medication for something, maybe his meds were in the attache case which could have been the reason for his bizarre behavior. I can see him frantically searching for his medication (which is why his clothes were strewn all over the highway), and ultimately losing all control and just hiking into the priarie where he unfortunately died.

This makes the most sense. A few notes. . .

(i) Not finding a body in a prairie is not that unusual. We're talking about the wilderness of Wyoming. People don't frequent those lands often.

(ii) Police speculate he was off his medication, and I don't know why they are speculating such things if they had no reason to believe it. It's hard to say. Whatever the case was, evidence points that he had a paranoid personality. In the right environment or after a period of time, that paranoid personality will manifest into a serious episode. The circumstances that led to Kemp's body being found can best be described by a paranoid episode. So there you go. No one can say for sure if his medication was in the back, but no one can deny that evidence points to Kemp needing medication at the time of his death.

(iii) People have to realize that this Unsolved Mysteries segment is being told from the mother's point of view, so evidence that would point toward a more natural explanation won't be considered as much given time limitation. If she wasn't so fixated on the angle of murder, there is little evidence pointing to foul play.

(iii') Don Kemp's sister has no credibility whatsoever. Spooks don't kill non-historians for writing a history (probably a conspiratorial one) on the assassination of Abe Lincoln 120 years after the fact. Let's be serious. Add in UFOs, cattle mutilations, seances, psychics, and other nonsense, and she comes off as either a liar or as unintentionally misrepresenting what actually happened. If Kemp's mother is anything like his sister, she also would have no credibility.

Simply put, it seems certain that Kemp, for whatever reason, wandered off into the prairie, tried to hide from some x, and died in the process. Why did he wander off into the prairie is one question. That x was probably the helicopter. And that his body was discovered years later isn't that remarkable. Speculation past that requires grasping at straws. I mean, surely if a PI did an investigation, he would have found some tangible evidence that Kemp and that Casper guy knew each other. . .they would have lived in a trailer park after all.

MegtheEgg86
08-20-2012, 04:03 PM
I wish we could know more about the traffic accident that left Kemp "severly disabled". Was it disabled to the point where he could no longer work, did it have an affect on his mental health , etc.? His sister said that as he recovered he became "disillusioned" with the NY scene and wanted to go out West. I think Kemp was obviously suffering from some sort of depression which may have been brought on by the fact that he was disabled, maybe not even being able to do the things he liked doing as a result.

What I think would be other useful things to know about the traffic accident are A) who was responsible for it, and B) did it leave anyone else disabled or even dead?

If Don was suffering from some sort of great guilt from the circumstances of the accident (in addition to the probable physical pain he had to cope with), I think there's definitely a strong likelihood he committed suicide.

Shakou
05-23-2013, 11:54 AM
Ressurecting an old thread to ask kind of an odd question. Does anyone know what road or highway Don's blazer was found on?

betterdayz2k12
05-31-2013, 09:01 AM
I am wondering this too about the highway.

Thanks

SheRaaa
05-31-2013, 10:49 AM
What I think would be other useful things to know about the traffic accident are A) who was responsible for it, and B) did it leave anyone else disabled or even dead?

If Don was suffering from some sort of great guilt from the circumstances of the accident (in addition to the probable physical pain he had to cope with), I think there's definitely a strong likelihood he committed suicide.

I agree that more information on the initial traffic accident would be very helpful.

I still think this is one of the more mysterious UM cases, a true classic for which there is no immediate, easy explanation.

soilentgreen
05-31-2013, 02:18 PM
Ressurecting an old thread to ask kind of an odd question. Does anyone know what road or highway Don's blazer was found on?

It was found idling on an entrance ramp of I-80 in Carbon County, WY; I'm curious which entrance ramp it was on. Apparently, Don had been planning on staying at a retreat in Jackson (which is south of Yellowstone - he
would have then had to travel on one of the highways to head north to Jackson).

The article below mentions more about the strange phone calls that Kemp's friend was receiving:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2519&dat=19840412&id=E6ldAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U10NAAAAIBAJ&pg=1204,1824272

I can't blame the family for being upset about the trailer guy's behavior, but neither do I believe that anyone harmed Don.

DarkDante
05-31-2013, 04:18 PM
It was found idling on an entrance ramp of I-80 in Carbon County, WY; I'm curious which entrance ramp it was on. Apparently, Don had been planning on staying at a retreat in Jackson (which is south of Yellowstone - he
would have then had to travel on one of the highways to head north to Jackson).

The article below mentions more about the strange phone calls that Kemp's friend was receiving:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2519&dat=19840412&id=E6ldAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U10NAAAAIBAJ&pg=1204,1824272

I can't blame the family for being upset about the trailer guy's behavior, but neither do I believe that anyone harmed Don.

Thanks for the article. It does seem to add another layer of credibility to those mysterious phone calls. To me it has to be one heck of a coincidence if the person who made those phone calls has no connection to the case. The chances of them dialing the number of one of Don's friends, communicating with her and stating that Don was present at their residence and then quickly denying speaks to me of someone who in some way was involved with this case.

One possibility is that they may have stumbled upon Don Kemp's body, somehow gained access to his friend's phone number from information that may have been on Kemp's person and then made those phone calls. It doesn't explain why the woman recognized the man's voice on the answering machine as being that of Donald Kemp himself but I'm pretty much now unwilling to accept any other explanation other than the mysterious phone calls were in some way traced back to the disappearance of Donald Kemp.

The chance for them to be random dialings in my opinion is just very remote.

TheCars1986
06-01-2013, 10:04 AM
I can't explain the phone calls to Kemp's friend, but I wouldn't rule out someone who saw one of the numbers on the missing poster who was trying to seek some sort of reward for leading the family on.

betterdayz2k12
06-01-2013, 01:56 PM
Great article - thanks.

Curious that the New York lady's name is mentioned in the article. I remember from the UM segment that she remained anonymous. I assume it's the same lady. This still remains my favorite UM case.

betterdayz2k12
07-01-2013, 08:06 PM
"Apparently, Don had been planning on staying at a retreat in Jackson (which is south of Yellowstone - he
would have then had to travel on one of the highways to head north to Jackson)."


How do you know about him planningon staying at a retreat in Jackson? I dreamt about this case last night... Wow.

Victoria81
09-29-2013, 02:09 PM
I never once thought he was murdered....To me it was obvious he had a break down. Who kidnapped him? Did they carry him?? Because there was ONE set of foot prints in the snow. What did they steal??? An address book???? Mom's always want to believe the best in us and the worst in others. So of course she will think he was kidnapped.

What the hell was he suppose to find out on Lincoln that was so shocking?? That his murder was planned by a government? WTH?

40 miles away form the nearest town....did a kidnapper drive him there....was already there and decided to kill him and again, carry him into the wilderness.....he walked away and had a breakdown...do I have proof, of course not, but nothing points to people out to get him...esp over Lincoln!!! lmao a century plus cold case!

MegtheEgg86
09-30-2013, 01:03 PM
I never once thought he was murdered....To me it was obvious he had a break down. Who kidnapped him? Did they carry him?? Because there was ONE set of foot prints in the snow. What did they steal??? An address book???? Mom's always want to believe the best in us and the worst in others. So of course she will think he was kidnapped.

What the hell was he suppose to find out on Lincoln that was so shocking?? That his murder was planned by a government? WTH?

40 miles away form the nearest town....did a kidnapper drive him there....was already there and decided to kill him and again, carry him into the wilderness.....he walked away and had a breakdown...do I have proof, of course not, but nothing points to people out to get him...esp over Lincoln!!! lmao a century plus cold case!

There was never any implication that his research on the Lincoln assassination was ruffling anyone's feathers or that anyone was out to get him over it. I've never heard that before.

I do agree though that the footprints are important--especially the fact that he apparently walked back in to them in order to not leave a fresh set while the search for him was under way.

ETA: I'm so sorry, Victoria, I just re-read that post whose author claimed to be Kemp's sister. I'd totally forgotten about it. And now I remember why--it's totally ridiculous.

Victoria81
09-30-2013, 01:18 PM
There was never any implication that his research on the Lincoln assassination was ruffling anyone's feathers or that anyone was out to get him over it. I've never heard that before.

I do agree though that the footprints are important--especially the fact that he apparently walked back in to them in order to not leave a fresh set while the search for him was under way.

ETA: I'm so sorry, Victoria, I just re-read that post whose author claimed to be Kemp's sister. I'd totally forgotten about it. And now I remember why--it's totally ridiculous.


No worries lol. I just don't know if we have proof that was his sister saying that, ya know?

Also, with the footprints, did it snow the whole time?? Because maybe there was 2, but the snow covered it...I still thing he was not all there and something happened to him like exposure.

JGpiper
03-22-2014, 03:13 AM
Hello, I am Don's sister. I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding my brother. I flew out to Wyoming to try to find his body, and handled all the phone calls and correspondence during this horrible period, so I believe I have all the facts of the case. Don was not a "closet case", the man in the trailer, I feel, never met my brother. I believe he came across Don's remains while Don was laying in the prairie.Don's address book was missing from his body, in this book, he had the unlisted phone numbers. These are the phone numbers that were called a month or so after he went missing. I don't agree with my mother on this. I don't believe Don was ever in that trailer in Casper. My mother believes he was held captive there, but I think these men in that trailer somehow came across Don's private papers.
I had my brother's remains Smithsonian Insititute at their request. A Dr. Angel, head of the anthropoloy department called me in Chicago and asked if I could send Don's remains to him at the Smithsonian he said he had heard about the case and was interested in examining Don's remains, he mentioned he may be able to tell me what happened to Don.

The report from Dr. Angel was shocking on many levels. He stated Don was not out in the prairie for three years, but less then 2 maybe one. His body was in perfect condition. No animals had approached his remains. Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of now instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

This story is so much more bizarre then I told at the time. There were UFO groups that contacted us before we found Don's remains and told us they had been camping out in this area due to cattle mutilations, and my brother had been taken. Of course I wrote this off to the crazy file, but after we found Don and Dr. Angel gave me his report, I didn't know what to think, nor did Dr. Angel. I also wondered,years later, how Dr. Angel "heard", about Don's case, it hadn't been on the TV yet.

I was paranoid for years because Don's things were broken into and stolen 3 times, and everyone I sent things of Don's to died. My mother and I sent a package to a Frank Carrington, who had offered to help us get some answers. A couple weeks after receiving our package his house burned down and Mr. Carrington died. The man who owned a Civil War shop who I gave all Don's civil war artifacts and remaining papers to ( the papers that hadn't been stolen), died in a motor cycle accident, Dr. Angel has passed away, but I think this was a natural death. Don's van was broken into while it was driven back from Wyoming, then it was broken into again at Salisbury Airport parking lot and papers were stolen out the back, then my mothers storage area was broken into and Don's things were scattered about and things were missing. I really don't know what the heck was going on, but all of this seemed to be a little more than coincidence.

Well, it's very late, and I'll leave this for now. There is so much more, and it gets even more and more bizarre. I don't know ifDon knew something or someone thought he knew something, and all of this was just a whole bunch of coincidences. This all started because of a seance at the Surrat house in Clinton Maryland and everything just went crazy from there. I still don't like to think about that night. So many years have gone by now, but I still wish I knew the truth.

crystaldawn
03-22-2014, 12:33 PM
Hello, I am Don's sister. I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding my brother. I flew out to Wyoming to try to find his body, and handled all the phone calls and correspondence during this horrible period, so I believe I have all the facts of the case. Don was not a "closet case", the man in the trailer, I feel, never met my brother. I believe he came across Don's remains while Don was laying in the prairie.Don's address book was missing from his body, in this book, he had the unlisted phone numbers. These are the phone numbers that were called a month or so after he went missing. I don't agree with my mother on this. I don't believe Don was ever in that trailer in Casper. My mother believes he was held captive there, but I think these men in that trailer somehow came across Don's private papers.
I had my brother's remains Smithsonian Insititute at their request. A Dr. Angel, head of the anthropoloy department called me in Chicago and asked if I could send Don's remains to him at the Smithsonian he said he had heard about the case and was interested in examining Don's remains, he mentioned he may be able to tell me what happened to Don.

The report from Dr. Angel was shocking on many levels. He stated Don was not out in the prairie for three years, but less then 2 maybe one. His body was in perfect condition. No animals had approached his remains. Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of now instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

This story is so much more bizarre then I told at the time. There were UFO groups that contacted us before we found Don's remains and told us they had been camping out in this area due to cattle mutilations, and my brother had been taken. Of course I wrote this off to the crazy file, but after we found Don and Dr. Angel gave me his report, I didn't know what to think, nor did Dr. Angel. I also wondered,years later, how Dr. Angel "heard", about Don's case, it hadn't been on the TV yet.

I was paranoid for years because Don's things were broken into and stolen 3 times, and everyone I sent things of Don's to died. My mother and I sent a package to a Frank Carrington, who had offered to help us get some answers. A couple weeks after receiving our package his house burned down and Mr. Carrington died. The man who owned a Civil War shop who I gave all Don's civil war artifacts and remaining papers to ( the papers that hadn't been stolen), died in a motor cycle accident, Dr. Angel has passed away, but I think this was a natural death. Don's van was broken into while it was driven back from Wyoming, then it was broken into again at Salisbury Airport parking lot and papers were stolen out the back, then my mothers storage area was broken into and Don's things were scattered about and things were missing. I really don't know what the heck was going on, but all of this seemed to be a little more than coincidence.

Well, it's very late, and I'll leave this for now. There is so much more, and it gets even more and more bizarre. I don't know ifDon knew something or someone thought he knew something, and all of this was just a whole bunch of coincidences. This all started because of a seance at the Surrat house in Clinton Maryland and everything just went crazy from there. I still don't like to think about that night. So many years have gone by now, but I still wish I knew the truth.

Thank you so much for posting JGpiper! This is one of the most bizarre segments ever featured on UM. I do think your theory about the man in the trailer obtaining the address book makes perfect sense and I never really thought Don was held captive there. It does sound like there are a lot of strange circumstances around his death. We had heard quite a while back that someone was working on a book about Don's death. Have you heard the same and would you happen to know if/when it will be published. Anything else you'd like to tell us feel free. A lot of people on this board have an interest in this case.

5353
03-22-2014, 12:37 PM
Can you provide any info in regards to the traffic accident that he experienced?

Shakou
03-26-2014, 02:24 PM
JGPiper, thank you so much for responding. Don's case has always been one that's fascinated me, just because it's so bizarre.

I was never sure what to really think about the phone calls from the trailer, but what you explain makes a lot of sense.

The small hole they found on him, could it be possible it was made from some kind of bug?

LooksLikeCRicci
03-27-2014, 04:20 PM
Thanks for posting JGpiper...

Even with all the UFO abduction talk and the hole found in his head, the part I cannot wrap my brain around is the condition of his body. It doesn't make sense. Anyone from Wyoming or Montana or another "prairie state" will tell you that prairie country is rough. While it's super cold (which could preserve a body) in winter, summer is another story. Blistering heat and lots of sun with no way to shade yourself. The type of conditions that would wreak havoc on a body. It's hard to think a body left in the prairie for 3 years would be so well-preserved...

I would obviously love to hear more, JGpiper. Again, I am sorry for your loss. By the personal accounts here, Don sounded like a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing your story.

TracyLynnS
03-27-2014, 06:07 PM
When I read JGpiper's post a few days ago, some of that info seemed very unlikely to be accurate. There's got to be something wrong with the way the details have been relayed to the family or to us.

The doctor says Don was not out in the prairie for three years, but less then 2 maybe one. His body was in perfect condition.

I'm definitely nothing more than an armchair "expert" but, imo, this is almost impossible. A body that's been outside for one to two years is not going to be in perfect condition. Most likely, it's going to at least be skeletonized. The only times I've heard of it being otherwise is when bodies are in an environment that causes them to become mummified or partially mummified or kept in freezing temperatures. I would not describe a body found in any of those conditions as being "perfect".

Maybe the doctor meant "perfect" as in no trauma such as stabbing or gunshot wounds? No broken bones? Nothing obvious to explain the death? But not "perfect condition" like we would think of if the person had been discovered within a few hours of death.

No animals had approached his remains.

This combined with the comment that the body was in perfect condition.... the only thing I can think of is that the body was stored in a protective environment, which is even more bizarre. There must have been proof at the scene that the body had been there for some time and not been disposed of there years after death.

Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of no instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

I can think of a few things that might cause this but they would most likely be accompanied by other obvious trauma.

Here's some info on Dr. Angel:

In 1943 he accepted a post in the anatomy department of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he taught and conducted research until his appointment in 1962 as Curator of Physical (Biological) Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

During his career at the Smithsonian he broadened his research emphasis to include forensic anthropology. He was a consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but also assisted many regional police units in identifying human remains from forensic cases. Angel had a major influence on research in biological anthropology in emphasizing the importance of combining cultural and biological data in interpreting human skeletal samples from past human groups. He worked closely with archaeologists in his effort to reconstruct what he called the social biology of archaeological human populations. Although Greece remained the focus of much of his research throughout his life he extended this focus to include archaeological human remains from Turkey. His research on human skeletal paleopathology laid the groundwork for much of the research being conducted in that field of research today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel

It seems his specialty was with the skeletal structure of the body more than what a regular medical examiner would deal with. I think when he says the body was in perfect condition he means the skeletal remains were found intact, with no sign of obvious trauma, and not scattered by animal activity.

Arnold_OldSchool
08-16-2014, 02:59 PM
Wow, this thread certainly put a whole new spin on this case!

EverythingNthensome
08-17-2014, 11:08 PM
When I read JGpiper's post a few days ago, some of that info seemed very unlikely to be accurate. There's got to be something wrong with the way the details have been relayed to the family or to us.

The doctor says Don was not out in the prairie for three years, but less then 2 maybe one. His body was in perfect condition.

I'm definitely nothing more than an armchair "expert" but, imo, this is almost impossible. A body that's been outside for one to two years is not going to be in perfect condition. Most likely, it's going to at least be skeletonized. The only times I've heard of it being otherwise is when bodies are in an environment that causes them to become mummified or partially mummified or kept in freezing temperatures. I would not describe a body found in any of those conditions as being "perfect".

Maybe the doctor meant "perfect" as in no trauma such as stabbing or gunshot wounds? No broken bones? Nothing obvious to explain the death? But not "perfect condition" like we would think of if the person had been discovered within a few hours of death.

No animals had approached his remains.

This combined with the comment that the body was in perfect condition.... the only thing I can think of is that the body was stored in a protective environment, which is even more bizarre. There must have been proof at the scene that the body had been there for some time and not been disposed of there years after death.

Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of no instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

I can think of a few things that might cause this but they would most likely be accompanied by other obvious trauma.

Here's some info on Dr. Angel:

In 1943 he accepted a post in the anatomy department of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he taught and conducted research until his appointment in 1962 as Curator of Physical (Biological) Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

During his career at the Smithsonian he broadened his research emphasis to include forensic anthropology. He was a consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but also assisted many regional police units in identifying human remains from forensic cases. Angel had a major influence on research in biological anthropology in emphasizing the importance of combining cultural and biological data in interpreting human skeletal samples from past human groups. He worked closely with archaeologists in his effort to reconstruct what he called the social biology of archaeological human populations. Although Greece remained the focus of much of his research throughout his life he extended this focus to include archaeological human remains from Turkey. His research on human skeletal paleopathology laid the groundwork for much of the research being conducted in that field of research today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel

It seems his specialty was with the skeletal structure of the body more than what a regular medical examiner would deal with. I think when he says the body was in perfect condition he means the skeletal remains were found intact, with no sign of obvious trauma, and not scattered by animal activity.
Everybody's body is different. I don't believe she's lying I feel as if people should realize that not everything can be explained. I feel bad because this isn't the first case I've herd like this.

lilmissd
08-23-2014, 11:10 PM
Well, Something definitely doesn't add up in the whole "phone call" situation. IMO, it's either that the man in the trailer never knew Donald Kemp but somehow called the acquaintance of his and left messages asking to call back, but never specifically said that it was Don. Or the friend of Don's thought it was Don but it was someone who just sounded like him. It's an odd twist of events either way. One thing that bothers me though, if trailer man didn't know Donald Kemp and never heard of the guy why when questioned by police would he "lawyer up" and refuse to cooperate further than move away? That isn't something that an innocent person with nothing to hide does.

thinwhiteduke74
08-24-2014, 02:19 PM
Well, Something definitely doesn't add up in the whole "phone call" situation. IMO, it's either that the man in the trailer never knew Donald Kemp but somehow called the acquaintance of his and left messages asking to call back, but never specifically said that it was Don. Or the friend of Don's thought it was Don but it was someone who just sounded like him. It's an odd twist of events either way. One thing that bothers me though, if trailer man didn't know Donald Kemp and never heard of the guy why when questioned by police would he "lawyer up" and refuse to cooperate further than move away? That isn't something that an innocent person with nothing to hide does.

Nah, this sounds like a guy playing a cruel joke on the family. No other connection to Kemp.

Arnold_OldSchool
10-02-2014, 10:34 AM
I became enthralled with this case recently and had to write up a report based on the new info provided in these forums (I even gave us a shout out!)

http://culturecrossfire.com/etc/unsolved-mysteries-and-scary-stuff-donald-kemps-strange-death/#.VC1GJhaGcg8

My latest true crime offering features the story of Don Kemp - his mysterious death includes elements of kidnapping, government conspiracy, ghosts, psychics, robbery and even UFOs- depending on what version of the story you choose to believe. The truth is muddled somewhere in between it all.

Arnold_OldSchool
10-21-2014, 08:26 AM
http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?260053-The-Strange-Death-of-Donald-Kemp-Assassination-of-President-Lincoln

I turned to websleuths to see if they can dig anything up.

soilentgreen
10-22-2014, 05:29 PM
I became enthralled with this case recently and had to write up a report based on the new info provided in these forums (I even gave us a shout out!)

http://culturecrossfire.com/etc/unsolved-mysteries-and-scary-stuff-donald-kemps-strange-death/#.VC1GJhaGcg8

My latest true crime offering features the story of Don Kemp - his mysterious death includes elements of kidnapping, government conspiracy, ghosts, psychics, robbery and even UFOs- depending on what version of the story you choose to believe. The truth is muddled somewhere in between it all.

Nice article! I wonder if Don was in direct contact with Richard Mudd, Mudd's grandson, since he passed away in 2002. Richard Mudd was determined for decades to clear his grandfather's name (although Mudd was guilty, he deservedly was credited for helping during a yellow fever outbreak while serving his sentence). A good book on Mudd and his connection to and assistance of Booth and Herold is His Name is Still Mudd. I don't buy into the whole conspiracy angle in Don's death, other than the fact that someone at the trailer did make those phone calls and lied about it, but he seemed like an interesting person.

JGpiper
11-09-2014, 09:42 PM
I was signing in at our local Historical Society to do family research. The lady checking me in saw my name and asked if I happen to know a Don Kemp or his family. I told her I was his sister. She said that the Dr. Mudd group from Washington was looking for Don's papers, as they heard he had done a lot of research for a book which included info on Dr. Mudd. I told her I had given everything, all papers to a Store on Main St. in Bel Air and told the owner to donate Don's papers to the Tudor Manor ( Booth Family home in Bel Air). They said they had already checked the Manor but all Don's papers were missing. The man who owned the Civil War Store in Bel Air had died in a motorcycle accident in Florida, shortly after we had given him everything, so I didn't know what happened to Don's work.

JGpiper
11-10-2014, 01:22 AM
You are right about some of this as there are elements of possible government conspiracy, ghosts, psychics, robbery, UFO's, seances, unexplained deaths of anyone we gave Don's things to,and many other things. Stonewalling, refusals of government officials to search and cooperate with my mother or I, and missing records, the list goes on and on. We were 25 years ahead of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures etc., I always hesitated, or just never told anyone about a lot of this, but with proof now of "something" being there as seen on these programs ( whatever the heck it is I have no idea), I guess all of this won't sound as crazy as it would had 30 years ago, who would believe what I saw and experienced. This wasn't a large part at all, because Don had done years of research before we ever had the seance, planning his book on the Lincoln assassination and really the seance was mostly my fault, I thought it would be a kick just to see what would happen. It was also my fault that we ever went to the Surratt house in Clinton Maryland. I'm sorry I ever suggested it. The UFO thing was only suggested by a UFO group who were camped out the night my brother went missing very close to his vehicle, they were researching some cattle mutilations. They called me a couple years later telling me things, I dismissed them as a little off the wall and forgot about it until Dr. Angel told me his findings. Also a little weird, not too long before Don left on his trip, he gave me a book on the universe, he turned to a page that said The Pleiades, and said, "I don't know why, but I feel this may be of some importance, or interest". I put the book on my book shelf and forgot about it. The UFO group said they felt whatever the heck they were looking for came from a place called "The Pleiades". I'm just telling the story exactly it it happened, just the facts that really happened. People can believe of disbelieve what I say, it's of no importance to me. I never mentioned the Pleiades thing before, it was just too weird, and I don't know what all of this means. I never said UFO stuff, it was a group that were staying out there at the time who contacted me. It's hard enough to swallow paranormal stuff, but then they threw this in and it was all too much. It's an unbelievable story, and may all have been a vast coincidence from beginning to end, but I know what I lived through and experienced, and it's all the truth.

WishfulDreamer
11-23-2014, 12:58 AM
It sounds to me like Don Kemp was going through a very difficult time in his life. He wanted a change. I think the attache being left in the museum is a big indicator of his distraction, considering they even had his driving glasses and he drove away without them, only to remember later that he must have left his case behind. I wish we knew how far away he was and where he called from, considering it could not have been from a cell phone. I think this was a tragic case of him wandering away. Perhaps he was overcome with emotion and walked out into the prairie. It seems he tried to stay alive by starting the fire (or attempting to), but was in a strange state of mind by attempting to cover his footprints. I think he was probably killed in the snowstorm that occurred three days later.

However, the guy in the trailer side of the story is really weird. I don't think it was a prank because he wasn't missing at the time that the calls were made as far as anyone knew. Also, how would the guy have known Don's friend's phone number? I think it is likely a red herring though. Don may have made an error with the phone number in the message he left and when the friend called the guy he made an excuse that the man she was looking for was out for whatever reason. People are strange. He could have been drunk or whatnot upon answering the call. There really isn't compelling evidence that he harmed Don.

SmartestOne
11-30-2014, 05:14 PM
<snipped>

Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of no instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

I can think of a few things that might cause this but they would most likely be accompanied by other obvious trauma.




What kinds of "things" are you referring to?

Are you a trained forensic anthropologist? Have you examined the hole in Mr. Kemp's skull?

SmartestOne
11-30-2014, 05:20 PM
Well, Something definitely doesn't add up in the whole "phone call" situation. IMO, it's either that the man in the trailer never knew Donald Kemp but somehow called the acquaintance of his and left messages asking to call back, but never specifically said that it was Don. Or the friend of Don's thought it was Don but it was someone who just sounded like him. It's an odd twist of events either way. One thing that bothers me though, if trailer man didn't know Donald Kemp and never heard of the guy why when questioned by police would he "lawyer up" and refuse to cooperate further than move away? That isn't something that an innocent person with nothing to hide does.



I disagree. Nothing should be read into someone retaining legal counsel. They are merely protecting themselves and asserting their rights.

SmartestOne
11-30-2014, 05:37 PM
You are right about some of this as there are elements of possible government conspiracy, ghosts, psychics, robbery, UFO's, seances, unexplained deaths of anyone we gave Don's things to,and many other things. Stonewalling, refusals of government officials to search and cooperate with my mother or I, and missing records, the list goes on and on. We were 25 years ahead of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures etc., I always hesitated, or just never told anyone about a lot of this, but with proof now of "something" being there as seen on these programs ( whatever the heck it is I have no idea), I guess all of this won't sound as crazy as it would had 30 years ago, who would believe what I saw and experienced. This wasn't a large part at all, because Don had done years of research before we ever had the seance, planning his book on the Lincoln assassination and really the seance was mostly my fault, I thought it would be a kick just to see what would happen. It was also my fault that we ever went to the Surratt house in Clinton Maryland. I'm sorry I ever suggested it. The UFO thing was only suggested by a UFO group who were camped out the night my brother went missing very close to his vehicle, they were researching some cattle mutilations. They called me a couple years later telling me things, I dismissed them as a little off the wall and forgot about it until Dr. Angel told me his findings. Also a little weird, not too long before Don left on his trip, he gave me a book on the universe, he turned to a page that said The Pleiades, and said, "I don't know why, but I feel this may be of some importance, or interest". I put the book on my book shelf and forgot about it. The UFO group said they felt whatever the heck they were looking for came from a place called "The Pleiades". I'm just telling the story exactly it it happened, just the facts that really happened. People can believe of disbelieve what I say, it's of no importance to me. I never mentioned the Pleiades thing before, it was just too weird, and I don't know what all of this means. I never said UFO stuff, it was a group that were staying out there at the time who contacted me. It's hard enough to swallow paranormal stuff, but then they threw this in and it was all too much. It's an unbelievable story, and may all have been a vast coincidence from beginning to end, but I know what I lived through and experienced, and it's all the truth.


Dear Ms. "Piper,"

I am very sorry for your loss. It must be incredibly difficult for your family on many fronts. The not knowing is probably the worst.

Are you in possession of your brother's autopsy report and photos? If so, have you considered having them independently (re)evaluated? That may be a good way to get some answers.

Gleaning info from Mr. Dennis is probably a lost cause. Many times there are clues in the autopsy that can tell the story. Forensic anthropology and related fields (toxicology, DNA analysis, etc.) have advanced by leaps and bounds since your brother's death. It may be worth a shot!!

Sincerely,

SO

TracyLynnS
11-30-2014, 08:03 PM
What kinds of "things" are you referring to?

Are you a trained forensic anthropologist? Have you examined the hole in Mr. Kemp's skull?

One of the first things I said in my post (that you snipped out when you quoted it): I'm definitely nothing more than an armchair "expert". Obviously, I have not examined the remains personally.

SmartestOne
11-30-2014, 09:45 PM
One of the first things I said in my post (that you snipped out when you quoted it): I'm definitely nothing more than an armchair "expert". Obviously, I have not examined the remains personally.


OK, so it's just rank speculation. Thanks.

Again, what "things" were you referring to?

JGpiper
12-03-2014, 12:09 AM
One of the first things I said in my post (that you snipped out when you quoted it): I'm definitely nothing more than an armchair "expert". Obviously, I have not examined the remains personally.
The information I received from Dr. Angel of the Smithsonian in Washington was at first given to me via telephone while I was living in Chicago. He called me and asked if Don rode motorcycles, I asked "Why?", and he said Don's calf muscles were so well developed. I told Dr. Angel Don and I owned and rode horses for years, and Don's calves were so well developed, he had to have his riding boots made for him. He then told me Don had broken a collar bone, and that was correct, Don had been playing in Reistertown, Maryland where we lived when Don was about 8 years old, with a much older boy, who threw Don in the air, he landed on his shoulder, thus breaking the collar bone. All of this, I think was to verify to me by Dr. Angel this was really Don. He then told me there was no way Don had been in the prairie for three years, no way, he emphasized, and asked if I could have been mistaken. When Dr. Angel said Don was in perfect condition, of course he didn't mean he looked like he passed away peacefully in his sleep 2 hours before. I believe Don was mummified, but Dr. Angel said, given the area where Don had lain for 3 years, there is no way his remains should or could have been unmolested by the various animals, ( there are many, including wolves, bears, and many others), but that is evidently what happened.

Dr. Angel did send all his papers, findings and pictures of Don. I refused to look at them, and put them in the care of an Aunt. I didn't want my mother to see them. I didn't question his findings, as he was a world renown Dr. and Head at the Smithsonian Institute. I believe he was one of the people who was sent to South America to verify the identification of Mengele .

Dr. Angel was most excited about the tiny hole in Don's head. He said he used everything he had, but couldn't duplicate it, and had no idea what caused it. He said it was perfectly round, very small, no animal could have done this, and he couldn't create such a perfect smooth hole. He said he had never seen anything like this, ( and I thought, considering Dr. Angel's career, and experience ), was quite a statement. I'm just repeating what was said to me by Dr. Angel. It was very difficult, because Dr. Angel was speaking of my brother, and everything he said was an arrow to my heart, but he was very clinical, and I tried to remain calm, and act as clinical as he, I'm sure he didn't want an hysterical sister crying, so I listened, and answered all his questions as if I was speaking about someone I didn't love and know. I wanted to be as helpful as possible to try to find out what happened to Don. It's hard to hear someone say they are "excited" about a hole in your brother's head, but Dr. Angel was a scientist, and I think was speaking to me as he would have a colleague trying to solve a puzzle.

Over the three years, I had received calls describing different bodies that were found in different areas, trying to descern if they were Don, it was truly a nightmare.

About the phone calls. The calls were placed 3 months after Don's disappearance. There were several, with messages left on an answering machine in New York. The calls were placed to a well known artist, who was a very good friend of my brothers. She was in Europe for an extended stay. Her phone number was unlisted and unplublished, ( she was well known), and very few people had her number. Don had, on his person, his small phone book, and her number was in this phone book. She didn't know about Don until she returned to New York, then, when she heard the messages, she told me she was sure it was Don's voice, and it was very cryptic, just "Call me", and gave her the number. She told me she called the number and asked for Don, the person who answered first said "Yes, then NO, and hung up. I think it is possible this person who placed the calls to New York maybe came across my brother's body, took the phone book, and maybe placed the calls for some kind of fun or something. He may have been afraid to admit it, thinking he may be blamed for Don's death. I really have no idea, but I quess this is as possible as anything else. The only really strange thing about the person, as I have mentioned before, I was given the year book page with a picture of this person from his high school, and he looked exactly like my brother, really strange. Don's friend could have been mistaken about Don's voice, maybe it was a crank call from this trailer I found in Casper Wyoming.

In conclusion, Dr. Angel was mystified about everyting to do with Don. He said nothing made any sense, and what he was seeing wasn't possible. I was hoping for answers, but I was no closer to finding out what happened to Don. I so appreciated Dr. Angel's help, I couldn't believe that a world renown scientist would contact me in Chicago, pay to have Don sent to him in Washington, and then do all this work. I couldn't figure out why, he helped or how he heard about Don, or heck, how he even knew to contact me in Chicago, ( I had moved twice since his disappearance), but I was so grateful for any help, as so few people had been helpful in our search, everyone seemed to block us at every turn.

I hope this clarifies some things for people. As far as the pictures and Dr. Angel's report, I'm not sure my Aunt still has it, I hope she didn't throw it out, but I never asked for it, I had heard quite enough on the phone.

Pardon any incorrect spelling, I can't figure out how to make spell check work, and I'm a terrible speller.

TheCars1986
12-05-2014, 04:29 PM
This makes perfect sense, if indeed Don's friend in NY was famous and well known, that this is the reason that trailer guy was calling her. It was just a stupid prank, IMO.

WishfulDreamer
12-05-2014, 05:17 PM
This makes perfect sense, if indeed Don's friend in NY was famous and well known, that this is the reason that trailer guy was calling her. It was just a stupid prank, IMO.
Yep, this is far less of a wild coincidence. Especially because the guy never said, "This is Don." It just sounded like him to her.

TracyLynnS
12-06-2014, 11:00 PM
JGpiper, thanks for sharing that extra information. I know it must be hard to bring up these memories.

The whole situation is even more bizarre than I thought. So many things don't make sense and are inexplicable.

thinwhiteduke74
05-12-2015, 07:18 PM
Rewatching the episode, I'm struck by Kemp's mom zealotry. I can understand a grieving mother, but her accusations were wild and silly. Were I the young man she bothered, I'd have called the cops.

TheCars1986
05-12-2015, 09:09 PM
I'm fairly certain this has been brought up before, but why did they re-do certain pre-Stack specials like this segment with Stack re-recording the narration and re-editing it for Lifetime, but leave off equally "mysterious" pre-Stack segments like Kyra Cook or Wanda Jean Mays?

justins5256
05-12-2015, 09:33 PM
I'm fairly certain this has been brought up before, but why did they re-do certain pre-Stack specials like this segment with Stack re-recording the narration and re-editing it for Lifetime, but leave off equally "mysterious" pre-Stack segments like Kyra Cook or Wanda Jean Mays?

If you're talking about in the pre-Farina/Spike series days, none of the Raymond Burr and Karl Malden episodes ever materialized on Lifetime in any form.

Lifetime did show edited versions of the remainder of the 7 pre-series specials. starting with 4 (the first one Stack hosted). They were heavily edited though. For example, on Lifetime's version of special 5 the Jerry Strickland and Missy Munday story was replaced with the story about Doreen Picard and Susan Laferte (originally from special 7); Lifetime special 6 replaced the Steve Hadley segment with the Joe Shepherd segment. Special 7 was never shown in its entirety, but two of the segments (Carlucci and Beale's Treasure, IIRC) were transplanted into other episodes, as was the Steve Hadley story. Strickland and Munday (special 5) and Jon Yount and Diane Brodbeck (special 7) were never syndicated on Lifetime with Stack as the host.

Strangely, a lot of these early non-syndicated stories were shown in the Farina series. Go figure. Of course, the Burr and Malden segments materialized on the Farina episodes as well, but they were re-narrated by Farina, so the fact that Stack didn't narrate them originally was moot.

TheCars1986
05-12-2015, 10:29 PM
If you're talking about in the pre-Farina/Spike series days, none of the Raymond Burr and Karl Malden episodes ever materialized on Lifetime in any form.

Lifetime did show edited versions of the remainder of the 7 pre-series specials. starting with 4 (the first one Stack hosted). They were heavily edited though. For example, on Lifetime's version of special 5 the Jerry Strickland and Missy Munday story was replaced with the story about Doreen Picard and Susan Laferte (originally from special 7); Lifetime special 6 replaced the Steve Hadley segment with the Joe Shepherd segment. Special 7 was never shown in its entirety, but two of the segments (Carlucci and Beale's Treasure, IIRC) were transplanted into other episodes, as was the Steve Hadley story. Strickland and Munday (special 5) and Jon Yount and Diane Brodbeck (special 7) were never syndicated on Lifetime with Stack as the host.

Strangely, a lot of these early non-syndicated stories were shown in the Farina series. Go figure. Of course, the Burr and Malden segments materialized on the Farina episodes as well, but they were re-narrated by Farina, so the fact that Stack didn't narrate them originally was moot.

Are you sure Stack didn't do a re-edit on the Kemp segment? I know for certain they showed this on the Farina revamped series, but I am fairly certain I saw this on Lifetime with Stack as the host at least once.

The reason I am fairly certain of this is because I was too young to remember the pre-Stack specials, and I remember watching the Farina version realizing they had more information (Don's attache case being missing, missing interview clips from Don's mother and friend) in the Farina episode than I remembered.

justins5256
05-13-2015, 08:23 AM
Are you sure Stack didn't do a re-edit on the Kemp segment? I know for certain they showed this on the Farina revamped series, but I am fairly certain I saw this on Lifetime with Stack as the host at least once.

The reason I am fairly certain of this is because I was too young to remember the pre-Stack specials, and I remember watching the Farina version realizing they had more information (Don's attache case being missing, missing interview clips from Don's mother and friend) in the Farina episode than I remembered.

Interesting. I can tell you that most (all?) of the pre-Stack segments were repackaged and re-narrated by Farina for the reboot. The original versions of all of the segments were also on the forbidden site for a long time, even before the Farina reboot began. Maybe you saw them there?

I mean, I can't prove a negative (i.e., that Lifetime did not show the Kemp story) but I've been watching the series on NBC and Lifetime for many years and I never saw any of those early pre-Stack specials or segments from them on Lifetime in any form until I got VHS copies of the original NBC broadcasts in late 2004. Other posters who have watched the series for just as long, if not longer, have said similar things on the board over the years about those early specials not being available in any form. In fact, the unedited pre-Stack specials were actually kind of rare in the days before the forbidden site, torrents, and the like.

TheCars1986
05-13-2015, 09:55 AM
Interesting. I can tell you that most (all?) of the pre-Stack segments were repackaged and re-narrated by Farina for the reboot. The original versions of all of the segments were also on the forbidden site for a long time, even before the Farina reboot began. Maybe you saw them there?


I had never seen the Burr hosted segment until seeing it on the forbidden site, but that was after seeing the Farina version.

I'm probably confusing the two, but I could've sworn I had seen this one prior to Farina with Stack as the narrator.

baloony
06-24-2015, 12:45 PM
The information I received from Dr. Angel of the Smithsonian in Washington was at first given to me via telephone while I was living in Chicago. He called me and asked if Don rode motorcycles, I asked "Why?", and he said Don's calf muscles were so well developed. I told Dr. Angel Don and I owned and rode horses for years, and Don's calves were so well developed, he had to have his riding boots made for him. He then told me Don had broken a collar bone, and that was correct, Don had been playing in Reistertown, Maryland where we lived when Don was about 8 years old, with a much older boy, who threw Don in the air, he landed on his shoulder, thus breaking the collar bone. All of this, I think was to verify to me by Dr. Angel this was really Don. He then told me there was no way Don had been in the prairie for three years, no way, he emphasized, and asked if I could have been mistaken. When Dr. Angel said Don was in perfect condition, of course he didn't mean he looked like he passed away peacefully in his sleep 2 hours before. I believe Don was mummified, but Dr. Angel said, given the area where Don had lain for 3 years, there is no way his remains should or could have been unmolested by the various animals, ( there are many, including wolves, bears, and many others), but that is evidently what happened.

Dr. Angel did send all his papers, findings and pictures of Don. I refused to look at them, and put them in the care of an Aunt. I didn't want my mother to see them. I didn't question his findings, as he was a world renown Dr. and Head at the Smithsonian Institute. I believe he was one of the people who was sent to South America to verify the identification of Mengele .

Dr. Angel was most excited about the tiny hole in Don's head. He said he used everything he had, but couldn't duplicate it, and had no idea what caused it. He said it was perfectly round, very small, no animal could have done this, and he couldn't create such a perfect smooth hole. He said he had never seen anything like this, ( and I thought, considering Dr. Angel's career, and experience ), was quite a statement. I'm just repeating what was said to me by Dr. Angel. It was very difficult, because Dr. Angel was speaking of my brother, and everything he said was an arrow to my heart, but he was very clinical, and I tried to remain calm, and act as clinical as he, I'm sure he didn't want an hysterical sister crying, so I listened, and answered all his questions as if I was speaking about someone I didn't love and know. I wanted to be as helpful as possible to try to find out what happened to Don. It's hard to hear someone say they are "excited" about a hole in your brother's head, but Dr. Angel was a scientist, and I think was speaking to me as he would have a colleague trying to solve a puzzle.

Over the three years, I had received calls describing different bodies that were found in different areas, trying to descern if they were Don, it was truly a nightmare.

About the phone calls. The calls were placed 3 months after Don's disappearance. There were several, with messages left on an answering machine in New York. The calls were placed to a well known artist, who was a very good friend of my brothers. She was in Europe for an extended stay. Her phone number was unlisted and unplublished, ( she was well known), and very few people had her number. Don had, on his person, his small phone book, and her number was in this phone book. She didn't know about Don until she returned to New York, then, when she heard the messages, she told me she was sure it was Don's voice, and it was very cryptic, just "Call me", and gave her the number. She told me she called the number and asked for Don, the person who answered first said "Yes, then NO, and hung up. I think it is possible this person who placed the calls to New York maybe came across my brother's body, took the phone book, and maybe placed the calls for some kind of fun or something. He may have been afraid to admit it, thinking he may be blamed for Don's death. I really have no idea, but I quess this is as possible as anything else. The only really strange thing about the person, as I have mentioned before, I was given the year book page with a picture of this person from his high school, and he looked exactly like my brother, really strange. Don's friend could have been mistaken about Don's voice, maybe it was a crank call from this trailer I found in Casper Wyoming.

In conclusion, Dr. Angel was mystified about everyting to do with Don. He said nothing made any sense, and what he was seeing wasn't possible. I was hoping for answers, but I was no closer to finding out what happened to Don. I so appreciated Dr. Angel's help, I couldn't believe that a world renown scientist would contact me in Chicago, pay to have Don sent to him in Washington, and then do all this work. I couldn't figure out why, he helped or how he heard about Don, or heck, how he even knew to contact me in Chicago, ( I had moved twice since his disappearance), but I was so grateful for any help, as so few people had been helpful in our search, everyone seemed to block us at every turn.

I hope this clarifies some things for people. As far as the pictures and Dr. Angel's report, I'm not sure my Aunt still has it, I hope she didn't throw it out, but I never asked for it, I had heard quite enough on the phone.

Pardon any incorrect spelling, I can't figure out how to make spell check work, and I'm a terrible speller.

Very interesting.

TheJman1977
09-19-2015, 10:48 PM
My wife and I watched this story tonight. Someone had previously mentioned Occam's razor and that fits here. Why would someone abduct Don, walk his bag somewhere, and create a fire spot and leave three of Don's socks there? That just seems like an awful lot of work, especially in the middle of nowhere.

As far as the calls go, maybe the guy was calling a wrong number. When the friend called back, he realized he screwed up and just said Don's not here. Or the guy found the number and for kicks calls this friend. And why would someone abduct Don, take him to Casper, allow him to live for five months and make phone calls, then kill him and leave him three miles from where his car was found? Highly unlikely.

As for the sightings, I've heard it said that eyewitnesses are the least credible evidence. How many stories have we seen on UM where someone swears they've seen the person and then we find out they've been dead the whole time?

My theory (again Occam's razor) is that Don probably had a mental breakdown, tossed his stuff out, and wandered into the prairie. From there, he died in the blizzard. As my wife and father-in-law would say "If you hear hoofs, don't assume it's a zebra."

sdb4884
10-05-2015, 02:07 AM
My wife and I watched this story tonight. Someone had previously mentioned Occam's razor and that fits here. Why would someone abduct Don, walk his bag somewhere, and create a fire spot and leave three of Don's socks there? That just seems like an awful lot of work, especially in the middle of nowhere.

As far as the calls go, maybe the guy was calling a wrong number. When the friend called back, he realized he screwed up and just said Don's not here. Or the guy found the number and for kicks calls this friend. And why would someone abduct Don, take him to Casper, allow him to live for five months and make phone calls, then kill him and leave him three miles from where his car was found? Highly unlikely.

As for the sightings, I've heard it said that eyewitnesses are the least credible evidence. How many stories have we seen on UM where someone swears they've seen the person and then we find out they've been dead the whole time?

My theory (again Occam's razor) is that Don probably had a mental breakdown, tossed his stuff out, and wandered into the prairie. From there, he died in the blizzard. As my wife and father-in-law would say "If you hear hoofs, don't assume it's a zebra."

Yes this is the most likely outcome. I don't believe any of the things that Don's Mum suggested actually happened.

crystaldawn
10-07-2015, 05:20 PM
They did mention that Don Kemp had a serious car accident years earlier. I wonder if he had PTSD and something that day triggered an episode where he left his vehicle abruptly and went into hiding, perhaps thinking someone was after him.

I agree, I don't think he met with foul play either.

wiseguy182
12-20-2015, 02:02 PM
This is another case I'm in the minority on, because everything screamed foul play to me.

-The items strewn about on the road seem to suggest robbery. The segment stated that Kemp's vehicle was full of stuff, so it would have been more of a target that most vehicles.

-The attaché case, which Kemp told the employee he was coming back for. If Kemp had planned on suicide, why even bother with this?

-I don't normally put a lot of stock into eyewitness sightings, but one of them was at an Abraham Lincoln exhibit, something Kemp no doubt would have been interested in.

-The guy in the trailer was quite obviously lying, and I apologize, but I'm surprised so many people gloss over this. He said he just "paid the bill, but didn't look at it." That is complete and utter b.s. Considering he was living in a trailer, he is obviously not wealthy. Any calls to New York from Wyoming would have been long distance calls, and especially with the volume of calls, would have ran up the guy's phone bill. Perhaps he didn't examine every call and charge on the bill, but those NY calls would have stood out and he would have disputed them with the phone company.

-One of the most popular theories was that Kemp had suffered some sort of mental illness and had a breakdown or whatever at the intersection. There is no evidence Kemp had paranoia or any mental illness. It said he suffered a disability in a car accident, but it is left wide open what that could have been.

-I found the statement that Kemp was backtracking in his footprints to be absurd. How could the investigators even tell this? The sheriff came off as a stubborn ass.

-The 3 socks being found sounds like a plant. Assuming Kemp was wearing two at the time, what possible reason would he have for even having three extra socks on him, much less taking them with him and leaving so much else behind. I think it was a plant to attempt and put Kemp at the scene to make the other angles in this case seem more plausible.

LooksLikeCRicci
12-21-2015, 01:50 PM
http://assets.diylol.com/hfs/853/098/358/resized/ancient-aliens-invisible-something-meme-generator-im-not-saying-it-was-aliens-but-it-was-aliens-a0f6bd.jpg

In all seriousness, I wish JGPiper would post some more. I'm always interested in the perspective of family and it seems like there are experts who were very interested in how Don stayed so well preserved if he had been in the prairie for years.

wiseguy182
12-21-2015, 02:24 PM
In all seriousness, I wish JGPiper would post some more. I'm always interested in the perspective of family and it seems like there are experts who were very interested in how Don stayed so well preserved if he had been in the prairie for years.

Right. I did read the posts from the several people close to this case earlier in the thread, and I think it's telling they had a lot more info that would point to foul play, along with what I mentioned.

wiseguy182
12-22-2015, 06:12 AM
Rewatching the episode, I'm struck by Kemp's mom zealotry. I can understand a grieving mother, but her accusations were wild and silly. Were I the young man she bothered, I'd have called the cops.

I actually found myself in agreement with everything she had to say. Considering the guy in the trailer was obviously lying, I don't blame her one bit for calling him out on it. Nobody, not even the sheriff, could explain those calls.

I think her stalking and harassment of the guy in the trailer was just her taking matters into her own hands after the sheriff did a half-ass job (at best) in investigating the case.

If something happened to me, I would want a Mary Kemp on my side.

thinwhiteduke74
12-22-2015, 04:07 PM
I'm willing to accept he might've been robbed and left for dead or wandered away and died, but the clip doesn't suggest the man in the shack had anything to do with the case; it's a part of what UM did well (often), which is to create imaginary enigmas.

wiseguy182
12-22-2015, 05:26 PM
I'm willing to accept he might've been robbed and left for dead or wandered away and died, but the clip doesn't suggest the man in the shack had anything to do with the case; it's a part of what UM did well (often), which is to create imaginary enigmas.

I think it's left for the viewer to suggest.

In any event, calls originated from the guy's trailer that were to an unlisted phone number of a friend of Don's that very few people had access to, with said trailer residing in the same far-away state (in relation to where the calls were placed to) as where Don disappeared from. The friend identified Don's voice on the calls and suggested the calls seemed to indicate he was in some sort of trouble. That's too much for me to overlook.

All things considered (the phone calls, the sightings, the state his body was found in) I have reason to believe he was alive for quite some time after his disappearance. What he was doing and who he was with I have no idea, but I surely don't believe he died shortly after disappearing.

Another thing that's odd is that his body was found 3 miles away from where he disappeared. Okay, that isn't exactly a far distance away, but it's not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away either. If Don was severely disabled from this traffic accident as some have suggested, how in the world did he walk 3 miles in deep snow to get there?

Hops3098
12-23-2015, 11:37 AM
Not to be insensitive to those close to Don, but this case really is UM Gold.


-The guy in the trailer was quite obviously lying, and I apologize, but I'm surprised so many people gloss over this. He said he just "paid the bill, but didn't look at it." That is complete and utter b.s. Considering he was living in a trailer, he is obviously not wealthy. Any calls to New York from Wyoming would have been long distance calls, and especially with the volume of calls, would have ran up the guy's phone bill. Perhaps he didn't examine every call and charge on the bill, but those NY calls would have stood out and he would have disputed them with the phone company.

According to the segment, the phone bill also showed several calls to "sex lines" which clearly set the mother down the agonizing mental avenue of thinking her son was the victim of some kind of deviant behavior in that trailer. Now, we don't know what variety of sex lines they were, but I feel like their presence on the bill reasonably explains two points about the young man that lived in the trailer.

1. The phone bill. If this guy had been calling a bunch of sex lines, those would have also been on the phone bill. Remember this is 1982 and credit cards are not nearly as common as they are today, so many hotlines (of all kinds) charged a certain number of cents per minute directly onto your phone bill. I remember numbers for kids- scary stories, jokes, etc and they had more "normal" ones for adults too, like sports hotlines in the pre-ESPN days. They all basically used the phone company as their billing service.

So not only would his bill would have most likely been fairly high, but also riddled with several numbers to various locations. Its not like he was calling a phone sex line based in his home town, right? He just saw ads in the back of magazines and dialed the numbers, having no idea (or concern) where the hotline was located. I think the calls to New York could have easily gotten lost in the clutter, so yeah, I do think he just paid the bill and didn't really look at it.

2. The man stopped cooperating. I think he was embarrassed, plain and simple. Here's a young guy being questioned by law enforcement and an older lady he doesn't know about a missing persons case... Then comes the "Well if you didn't make that call to New York, what's with all of these 1-900 number calls on your bill?" line of questioning. Its clear Don's mother thought calling sex lines was disgusting behavior. Regardless of the specific variety of sex lines that he was calling, I can see him being quite embarrassed, lawyer-ing up, and yes, even moving away. It's not like he had roots in the area. If I remember right he worked in the oil fields and was simply renting the trailer. Not exactly a homestead.


-The 3 socks being found sounds like a plant. Assuming Kemp was wearing two at the time, what possible reason would he have for even having three extra socks on him, much less taking them with him and leaving so much else behind. I think it was a plant to attempt and put Kemp at the scene to make the other angles in this case seem more plausible.

A lot of posters seem fixated on the socks... being an odd number or what have you. Not to go all Occum's Razor, but I always just thought he was planning to use them to get a fire going. Anyone who has tried to light a fire in wintery conditions knows that it isn't the easiest thing to do. Finding dry wood in the snow is tough to begin with. Plus its often even more difficult to find the smaller bits (kindling) needed to get the larger branches & logs burning. I think that's what he had the socks out for.

None of this explains why Don Kemp left his truck that day, leaving behind camping gear and walking out into the wilderness. The sheriff might have been rough around the edges, but I think he was probably right about what happened.

wiseguy182
12-24-2015, 03:13 AM
According to the segment, the phone bill also showed several calls to "sex lines" which clearly set the mother down the agonizing mental avenue of thinking her son was the victim of some kind of deviant behavior in that trailer. Now, we don't know what variety of sex lines they were, but I feel like their presence on the bill reasonably explains two points about the young man that lived in the trailer.

1. The phone bill. If this guy had been calling a bunch of sex lines, those would have also been on the phone bill. Remember this is 1982 and credit cards are not nearly as common as they are today, so many hotlines (of all kinds) charged a certain number of cents per minute directly onto your phone bill. I remember numbers for kids- scary stories, jokes, etc and they had more "normal" ones for adults too, like sports hotlines in the pre-ESPN days. They all basically used the phone company as their billing service.

So not only would his bill would have most likely been fairly high, but also riddled with several numbers to various locations. Its not like he was calling a phone sex line based in his home town, right? He just saw ads in the back of magazines and dialed the numbers, having no idea (or concern) where the hotline was located. I think the calls to New York could have easily gotten lost in the clutter, so yeah, I do think he just paid the bill and didn't really look at it.

But would a guy who lives in a trailer be able to afford such a wildly high phone bill? Seems unlikely.

The article soilentgreen posted several pages back is very informative. When the friend attempted to return Don's calls, she asked to speak to Don and the man (whose name is Mark Dennis, btw) said "Yeah" and then "no." When she asked to leave a message, the guy said "yeah" and then hung up. This is clearly not normal behavior and I think this Mark Dennis guy was caught off guard and didn't plan on what he would say when she returned the calls.

2. The man stopped cooperating. I think he was embarrassed, plain and simple. Here's a young guy being questioned by law enforcement and an older lady he doesn't know about a missing persons case... Then comes the "Well if you didn't make that call to New York, what's with all of these 1-900 number calls on your bill?" line of questioning. Its clear Don's mother thought calling sex lines was disgusting behavior. Regardless of the specific variety of sex lines that he was calling, I can see him being quite embarrassed, lawyer-ing up, and yes, even moving away. It's not like he had roots in the area. If I remember right he worked in the oil fields and was simply renting the trailer. Not exactly a homestead.

He agreed to take a polygraphed, then reneged. The article stated he was initially cooperative in the investigation, but then stopped. Everything suggests to me he was involved in some capacity and when he felt authorities were catching on, he bolted.

One theory I have is that, based on the comments from someone very close to Don early on in this thread (may have been his sister) that Mark Dennis very closely resembled Don, is that Dennis may have done a very early version of "identity theft". He may have even pretended to be Don in the phone calls. He may have taken Don's address book and other belongings. I think this theory ties up a few of the loose ends in the case.

Perhaps Dennis didn't kill Don and is guilty of nothing more than happening upon Don's abandoned vehicle and taking a few things. Perhaps he bolted because he knew if they tied him to Don's address book that went missing out of his vehicle, then that places him at the scene of a potential crime. Whatever the case is though, I absolutely don't believe he has zero knowledge of it as he claims.

None of this explains why Don Kemp left his truck that day, leaving behind camping gear and walking out into the wilderness. The sheriff might have been rough around the edges, but I think he was probably right about what happened.

If that's the case, how come his body didn't deteriorate after 4 years in the brutal prairie? It was stated his body was in relatively good condition when found.

cdr369
01-15-2016, 09:40 PM
This is a case I think about too often.

(a) Is it possible that his cab accident in New York contributed to some form of psychosis (possibly even withdrawal from a medication), which could have influenced him to leave for Wyoming and quit his job?

(b) Did he have anyone in NYC (in advertising, an ex, etc.) that could have wanted him dead?

I think only those who knew him or are heavily familiar with the case could answer these questions. Aside from the circumstances of his death, the comments from the sheriff really bothers me. It is as if he knew something that Unsolved Mysteries chose not to air.

wiseguy182
01-16-2016, 12:38 AM
(b) Did he have anyone in NYC (in advertising, an ex, etc.) that could have wanted him dead?

Good point. Although the UM segment is vague, it does suggest Kemp disappeared not long after relocating, so I think that's a very real possibility. The segment suggested that he moved after becoming 'disaffected with wealth and material goods', but I have my doubts about that. I don't know of too many people who would give up that kind of money. That theory has also been put forth in such cases as Adam Hecht, and I've never been a huge fan of it.

I still say there's more to those phone calls. I think the answer to the story lies there.

soilentgreen
01-16-2016, 12:47 PM
At this point, there can be little doubt that Dennis/trailer guy had information that he chose to withhold. He lived around 180 miles from where Don disappeared, so it shouldn't be discounted that he had the opportunity to come across Don's possessions or even Don himself and he possibly heard the news reports about the search. Judy Aiello's number was not the number that was being provided on the posters, nor would directory assistance have typically provided an unlisted and unpublished number by request.

Another article (https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19840413&id=ZOYbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6562,3316813&hl=en) mentions that Don had kept in close touch with his loved ones, his last call was on November 15, the day before his disappearance. It's hard to discern what happened between that last phone call and when his Blazer was found. I'm still not convinced that anyone killed Don, but you can't just write off the trailer guy's actions as a harmless prank if he had found and took some of Don's possessions at some point. By not providing the information that he had (whether it was him or a third party using his phone to make those calls), Don's family and the investigators were led to believe that he possibly was still alive.

Looking to help
05-29-2016, 08:46 AM
Hello Everyone
This case has always fascinated me, even if the most likely scenario is possibly straight forward.

Like most of you the phone calls made to the well known artist after Don would of succombed to the blizzard are the most puzzling but my theory is that the guy in the trailor somehow came in possesion of Dons phone book recognized the name of the artist and thought it would be cool to contact her using the name of the owner of the phone directory.

When Mary Kemp and police began quizzing him he feared trouble and moved. The police never seriously thought he was involved in Dons death in my honsest opinion.

In researching this case over the internet I have learned Mary Kemp passed away on May 27th 2014 and interestingly Dons first name was Paul (dont know why it was changed for the show)

SALISBURY — Mary Elizabeth Kemp of Salisbury died at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. She was 86.

Born in Talbot County, she was the daughter of the late James Elmer and Mary Horney Davenport. Mrs. Kemp attended St. Michaels High School in Talbot County. After moving to Silver Spring, she worked as a manager with Quality Inn. Then she moved to Salisbury and worked as a manager of Avis rental car at the Salisbury Airport.

Mrs. Kemp is survived by her daughter, Kathryne L. Dobe and her husband Ray of Bel Air; two grandchildren, Raymond Dobe III and his wife Michele of York, Pa., and Kristen Dobe of Bel Air; three great-grandchildren, Chance, Kara and Cort; a devoted sister-in-law, Diane Davenport of Salisbury; and many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Kemp was preceded in death by a son, Paul Donald Kemp; three brothers;, Elmer, Phillip and Royce; and three sisters, Jeanette Gootee, Marie Albright and Margaret Bridges.

A graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Easton, on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at 11:30 a.m.

Arrangements are by the Ostrowski Funeral Home, St. Michaels.
209491

I havent been able to come accross much more which isnt strange considering the length of time since Dons death.


I have read these boards over many years but this is my first post.
Thanks for everyones contributions I really enjoy reading.

MegtheEgg86
05-30-2016, 06:35 AM
interestingly Dons first name was Paul (dont know why it was changed for the show)

I assume he went by his middle name rather than his first name.

RobinW
05-30-2016, 07:20 AM
FYI, I found out that the name of the "famous artist" in New York who received the strange phone calls is Judy Aiello:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19840413&id=ZOYbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6562,3316813&hl=en

I did some Googling on her and Judy Aiello does seem to be a fairly prominent figure on the New York art scene, but she didn't really get her career started until years after Don's disappearance. Even so, I don't think she would be famous enough that a guy living in Casper, Wyoming would recognize her name.

But if the guy in the trailer did find Don's address book, I have my own theory that Don kept his names sorted alphabetically and Judy Aiello might have simply been the first name listed. But I'll actually be discussing this theory in further detail on next week's podcast episode ;) .

Looking to help
05-30-2016, 09:15 AM
Great information. I agree with you the name is not that famous that anyone would pick on, especially at that time.
the strangest thing to me is how persistant the caller was. A simple prank is easy to explain as a once off but 6 times is excessive.
My other theroy would be considering the amount of sex calls allegedly made from the trailor that maybe the guy called all women he found in Dons phone book.
It at least explains the amount of calls made to the artist especially if the guy was acting on impulses.

RobinW
05-30-2016, 10:13 AM
Great information. I agree with you the name is not that famous that anyone would pick on, especially at that time.
the strangest thing to me is how persistant the caller was. A simple prank is easy to explain as a once off but 6 times is excessive.
My other theroy would be considering the amount of sex calls allegedly made from the trailor that maybe the guy called all women he found in Dons phone book.
It at least explains the amount of calls made to the artist especially if the guy was acting on impulses.

That would make sense. The problem is that we don't know the exact content of all the messages which were left, though that newspaper article did verify that the caller never actually stated he was Don. Judy Aiello just assumed it was Don because she thought it sounded like his voice. For all we know, this guy could have called some other people who just ignored him. The most bizarre part was that the caller actually left behind the phone number for the trailer in one of his messages, which is a pretty atypical thing for a prankster to do.

NYSleuth
05-30-2016, 01:26 PM
This is another case I'm in the minority on, because everything screamed foul play to me.

-The items strewn about on the road seem to suggest robbery. The segment stated that Kemp's vehicle was full of stuff, so it would have been more of a target that most vehicles.

-The attaché case, which Kemp told the employee he was coming back for. If Kemp had planned on suicide, why even bother with this?

-I don't normally put a lot of stock into eyewitness sightings, but one of them was at an Abraham Lincoln exhibit, something Kemp no doubt would have been interested in.

-The guy in the trailer was quite obviously lying, and I apologize, but I'm surprised so many people gloss over this. He said he just "paid the bill, but didn't look at it." That is complete and utter b.s. Considering he was living in a trailer, he is obviously not wealthy. Any calls to New York from Wyoming would have been long distance calls, and especially with the volume of calls, would have ran up the guy's phone bill. Perhaps he didn't examine every call and charge on the bill, but those NY calls would have stood out and he would have disputed them with the phone company.

-One of the most popular theories was that Kemp had suffered some sort of mental illness and had a breakdown or whatever at the intersection. There is no evidence Kemp had paranoia or any mental illness. It said he suffered a disability in a car accident, but it is left wide open what that could have been.

-I found the statement that Kemp was backtracking in his footprints to be absurd. How could the investigators even tell this? The sheriff came off as a stubborn ass.

-The 3 socks being found sounds like a plant. Assuming Kemp was wearing two at the time, what possible reason would he have for even having three extra socks on him, much less taking them with him and leaving so much else behind. I think it was a plant to attempt and put Kemp at the scene to make the other angles in this case seem more plausible.

I 100% agree with everything you posted.

NYSleuth
05-30-2016, 01:36 PM
Hello, I am Don's sister. I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding my brother. I flew out to Wyoming to try to find his body, and handled all the phone calls and correspondence during this horrible period, so I believe I have all the facts of the case. Don was not a "closet case", the man in the trailer, I feel, never met my brother. I believe he came across Don's remains while Don was laying in the prairie.Don's address book was missing from his body, in this book, he had the unlisted phone numbers. These are the phone numbers that were called a month or so after he went missing. I don't agree with my mother on this. I don't believe Don was ever in that trailer in Casper. My mother believes he was held captive there, but I think these men in that trailer somehow came across Don's private papers.
I had my brother's remains Smithsonian Insititute at their request. A Dr. Angel, head of the anthropoloy department called me in Chicago and asked if I could send Don's remains to him at the Smithsonian he said he had heard about the case and was interested in examining Don's remains, he mentioned he may be able to tell me what happened to Don.

The report from Dr. Angel was shocking on many levels. He stated Don was not out in the prairie for three years, but less then 2 maybe one. His body was in perfect condition. No animals had approached his remains. Dr. Angel was confused because the only evidence on Don's body was a tiny perfectly round hole seemingly to have been (drilled ?), put into his skull, Dr. Angel said he knew of now instruments that could cause such a hole, and he couldn't duplicate the effect.

This story is so much more bizarre then I told at the time. There were UFO groups that contacted us before we found Don's remains and told us they had been camping out in this area due to cattle mutilations, and my brother had been taken. Of course I wrote this off to the crazy file, but after we found Don and Dr. Angel gave me his report, I didn't know what to think, nor did Dr. Angel. I also wondered,years later, how Dr. Angel "heard", about Don's case, it hadn't been on the TV yet.

I was paranoid for years because Don's things were broken into and stolen 3 times, and everyone I sent things of Don's to died. My mother and I sent a package to a Frank Carrington, who had offered to help us get some answers. A couple weeks after receiving our package his house burned down and Mr. Carrington died. The man who owned a Civil War shop who I gave all Don's civil war artifacts and remaining papers to ( the papers that hadn't been stolen), died in a motor cycle accident, Dr. Angel has passed away, but I think this was a natural death. Don's van was broken into while it was driven back from Wyoming, then it was broken into again at Salisbury Airport parking lot and papers were stolen out the back, then my mothers storage area was broken into and Don's things were scattered about and things were missing. I really don't know what the heck was going on, but all of this seemed to be a little more than coincidence.

Well, it's very late, and I'll leave this for now. There is so much more, and it gets even more and more bizarre. I don't know ifDon knew something or someone thought he knew something, and all of this was just a whole bunch of coincidences. This all started because of a seance at the Surrat house in Clinton Maryland and everything just went crazy from there. I still don't like to think about that night. So many years have gone by now, but I still wish I knew the truth.

There is a LOT more to this case.

NYSleuth
05-30-2016, 01:45 PM
Hi - I just learned of this forum. I knew Donald Kemp personally and for a short time. I knew him when he was living with his mother, Mary, in Salisbury, Maryland before he headed West to Wyoming. I helped Donnie find the Chevy Blazer he wanted for this trip to Jackson Hole to write a book on Abe Lincoln. Donnie was a big Abe Lincoln enthusiast and president of the Lincoln club. We had lots of time to talk about life while I was getting his Blazer ready for the trip. He was big into spiritual awareness and I learned a lot from him. He headed off to Wyoming and we never saw him again.

Donnie was a fiercely intelligent man who was deep. He was intoxicating because he held your attention. He was a perfectionist. He was a good looking man. He was sincere.

I remember when we got the call from Mary indicating Donnie had vanished. She was very upset and learning what happened to him became her sole focus. I haven't talked to Mary in 25 years and don't know where she is. But, I've long wondered what she ultimately did about her son's disappearance. I presume it remains an unsolved mystery.

Mary flew me to Wyoming early in 1983 to get Donnie's Blazer and bring it home to Maryland. During the trip back - his Blazer was broken into at Urbana, Illinois and a lot of his belongings were taken. Donnie had a CB in his Blazer. It was stolen too. This was April of 1983.

Donnie had a theory about pennies. If you found one face up - good luck. Face down - bad luck. When I arrived home with his '79 Chevy Blazer, there were two pennies in my front yard. One face up - 1948 - his birth year. One face down - 1982 - the year he vanished. Through the years, I have continually found pennies in my travels from Maryland to Alaska - 1982 pennies. I cannot explain this. Not all of them 1982 pennies - but most of them. How can anyone explain that? If anyone would like to chat with me about this unsolved mystery, I invite your contact.

This is definitely no 'open and shut' case.

TheCars1986
05-31-2016, 07:13 AM
-Serious car accident that left him "severely disabled".
-After recovering, he sold "almost everything he owned" and went West.
-Wanted to get away from the NY city scene after becoming "disillusioned with materialism".
-Was seen at a museum the day prior to his disappearance, walking around, speaking to no one for two hours. Also left his attache case in the museum.
-The day after his museum trip, his car is found abandoned (was found at 10 in the morning) with his clothes strewn around the vehicle.
-Single set of footprints from the vehicle into the open prairie.
-6 miles away from the vehicle (also tracks in the snow led police there) was an abandoned barn with some of Don's socks and the pile of sticks arranged to attempt to make a fire.

Where exactly is foul play at in this case?

Had Don's remains been found shortly after his disappearance, would this case have even been featured on UM? The only reason this case is somewhat mysterious is that his remains were found 4 years after his disappearance. Tack on the sighting of Don at a tavern, after he was allegedly dead, and the phone calls, and you've got a recipe for a wildly speculative case, that really leads nowhere. The initial search for Don was called off due to a blizzard. Without the blizzard, the police would have found his remains, and the case would have been closed as a guy who wandered off and died from exposure. Even with the phone calls, I still think this case has absolutely nothing to do with foul play.

LooksLikeCRicci
05-31-2016, 12:19 PM
But how could his body remained in pristine condition? That's the part that gives me pause.

If you're familiar with prairies, you'll know that the weather hits extremes. The winter is COLD (which could help with preservation) but the summers are BLISTERING. No shade anywhere in sight. I can't imagine that a body would hold up under those conditions for long. I see no reason for JGPiper to exaggerate the condition of his body, which leaves me with the unanswered question of "how in the heck did he stay so preserved?"

I agree with others. This case DOES scream foul play, especially when looking at all the pieces. But for a random killer to kidnap Don, hold him captive, kill him, and then dump the body where his truck was originally found? I don't know. Seems a little far-fetched.

Is it Wednesday yet? Looking forward to a certain podcast... :)

TheCars1986
05-31-2016, 01:23 PM
But how could his body remained in pristine condition? That's the part that gives me pause.

But there is no mention of his remains being in a pristine condition at all during the segment. One would think that if this were the case, they would have highlighted this as further proof that Don died later than the police estimation. The segment wording is vague, but they simply state that hunters stumbled upon his "remains" and that the autopsy showed no signs of foul play.

I did see two very interesting comments over at the unsolved.com write up of Don's case.

This was posted roughly 6 months ago:

Randy Teeters [patrolman who found Don's vehicle] was my father. This case was bizarre at best. Don Kemp definitely was struggling with mental and physical issues based on things they found in his blazer... The apple didn't fall far from the tree. His mother, Mary Kemp, was crazy in her pursuit of answers and harrassed many people who had given her all of the information they had in some pretty mean ways...

And this was just a few days ago:

Don was a dear friend of mine when he lived in Manhattan, and gave me one of the books from his personal library before he left town. I also helped him sell his precious lock of Lincoln's hair. We were both members of the Lincoln Group of NY. I think he was even on its Board of Directors for a while. He sent me a couple of postcards from Springfield, Illinois while en route to Wyoming. There's more to him than I knew at the time he left NY. He told me he was going to Wyoming to write a book about Lincoln's assassination -- a subject we were both into -- and selected Jackson Hole where he could be isolated and would not be distracted. It sounded weird to me, but I figured that he'd eventually return. I thought he was unhappy with his job and the rat race in general. I knew he had been injured in a taxi accident. I don't know if he was hooked on any medication as depicted in Bob's book. I expected he would eventually return. A few short years after his body was found, I learned that all along he had been interested in trying to contact Lincoln's spirit and that he had held seances in his apartment. His girlfriend loaned me tapes of those seances, and they were so weird. I knew that Don had once participated in trying to contact Mrs. Surratt's spirit with a few friends through a Ouija board, but I thought it was just for fun. I am currently reading Bob's fictionalized account of his disappearance which makes no mention of his Lincoln seances. When his girlfriend finally told me about Don's obsession with communicating with Lincoln, she revealed that the Sheriff's men didn't just find papers in Don's van about the Lincoln assassination that he had compiled for the book he was writing. The papers had to do with contacting Lincoln's spirit. I think it was his girlfriend who expressed to me the theory that they led the Sheriff to conclude that Don was a nut job, and that he may have been on drugs. DId it dissuaded him from thinking he had met with foul play? The Sheriff did, however, interrogate the man in the Caspar, Wyoming trailer. I spoke to Don's recently-deceased mother on the phone a quite a few times before they found his body. I didn't think she was a nut job. Regardless of whether or not she was, however, if it was my son who had disappeared under such mysterious circumstances, I would have been just as frustrated and would have reacted and acted exactly as she had. She should be given credit for her zealousness. I believe, as she did, that he met with foul play. I don't know if author Bob Armstrong's scenario about the murdered girl and the man who Don accidentally killed while trying to find her murderer was a complete fabrication to heighten the mystery story or if has any basis in truth. If true, did he learn about it from Don's girlfriend? I still have a few chapters to read. I haven't spoken to that girlfriend since handing her back the tapes, and I did not make copies of any of them. Don was such a nice guy, and I still miss him. I am a little disappointed in Bob's book, though. It reads as though whole paragraphs are missing in a couple of instance, notably that a suspect actually followed Don to the spot where his van had just been found. I don't think he had an editor or a proofreader. Also, he misspelled the name Surratt throughout the book as something like "Sarrat." This makes me wonder how thorough his research and interviews were. I hate books that fictionalize history because you don't know which part of it is truth and which part isn't. I realize Bob was merely trying to write a good story, but rather than answer any questions, it only raises more of them for me! I wish Bob would have included a postscript revealing which elements of his story were made up. I'm glad I haven't finished reading Bob's book, as I'd be tempted to reveal how it ends, and I shouldn't spoil it for anyone who wants to read it. The title is "Footprints to Nowhere." I found it on Amazon.

TheCars1986
05-31-2016, 02:02 PM
Also to clarify the bit about the phone calls.

Here's a link for an old article discussing the calls in detail, prior to Don's remains being found. (https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2519&dat=19840412&id=E6ldAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U10NAAAAIBAJ&pg=1204,1824272&hl=en)

Don's vehicle was found abandoned on November 16th, 1982. Don was last seen alive at the museum on November 15th, 1982. Don's friend in NY received 2 voicemail messages on February 27th, 1983. Two more voicemail messages were left on April 5th, 1983, and one final one on April 10th, 1983. That's a fairly extended period for this to be just a prank, IMO. Although I do find it odd that it was only after the 5th voicemail that the friend tried calling the number back. On each message, the caller never identified himself as "Don", and only left the phone number and a message for the friend to call back. After the 5th call, the friend called and asked to speak to Don, and the man who answered initially said "Yes" and then abruptly said "No". Then the friend asked if he would pass the info along to Don and to have him call her back and the voice said "yes" and then hung up immediately.

I believe that for reasons unknown, this guy who lived in the trailer (or someone he knew) got ahold of Kemp's phone book, and began calling the first person listed (assuming they were listed alphabetically). When the cops came calling, he clammed up and denied everything when he found out the phone book in question belonged to a missing person. When reading the article above, I got the impression that Don's friend didn't return the calls until after the 5th and final call. She was receiving messages on her answering machine from someone who sounded like Don, but never identified himself as Don. It seems like the 5th and final call was the one placed with the phone number.

TheCars1986
06-03-2016, 10:01 AM
I was discussing this case with a poster over the past few days, and I had a somewhat off the wall theory with regards to the phone calls.

Don's mother hired a PI who gained access to the man's phone records, which indicated that he was calling phone sex lines. I wonder if the phone calls to Don's friend (assuming Don's phone book listed names alphabetically) were done in a weird Paul Ferrell-esque "phone sex thing" because at the time the guy couldn't afford the real thing? I also wonder if other females in Don's phone book ever got any phone calls from the man in the trailer.

RobinW
06-03-2016, 11:22 AM
I was discussing this case with a poster over the past few days, and I had a somewhat off the wall theory with regards to the phone calls.

Don's mother hired a PI who gained access to the man's phone records, which indicated that he was calling phone sex lines. I wonder if the phone calls to Don's friend (assuming Don's phone book listed names alphabetically) were done in a weird Paul Ferrell-esque "phone sex thing" because at the time the guy couldn't afford the real thing? I also wonder if other females in Don's phone book ever got any phone calls from the man in the trailer.

I can totally believe this. If the man from the trailer (Mark Dennis) got a hold of Don's address book, he may have called some of Don's other female acquaintances and spoke to them, but we never found out about this because those women just wrote the guy off as some pervert and never thought the calls had any connection to Don.

IIRC, the reason Judy Aiello (Don's friend in New York) received five messages on her machine because she was away on an extended vacation and did not even find out about any of these calls until after she returned home. I think Dennis probably went to the trouble of leaving five messages over an extended period time because he never got a hold of Aiello, which might explain his weird decision to leave a callback number on his last message.

The next episode of my podcast about Don Kemp is already in the can and will be released on Wednesday, but I do have a lot of the same thoughts as you regarding the phone calls. I have my own theory that maybe the sightings of Don in Casper are legitimate, but they took place BEFORE he disappeared. Don could have lost his address book in Casper and Dennis might have found it there. That seems more plausible than Dennis randomly coming across the book by Don's abandoned vehicle in the middle of nowhere, as Casper was 150 miles away from that location.

justins5256
06-03-2016, 12:37 PM
I've been thinking a lot about the mysterious phone calls. Another possibility could be that the guy was dialing a wrong number.

Say the guy is trying to get in touch with a relative or maybe a casual acquaintance or someone he doesn't call on a regular basis, or at all. Perhaps the number he had for this person was a digit off or something. He calls and gets the answer machine - thinking it's this person he knows, leaves a message without a callback number, perhaps thinking they will recognize his voice and call him because they should have his number (if you leave a message for a friend, do you give them your name and number if you think they should recognize your voice and have your number already?). He doesn't get a call back, so he tries a few times. Still no call back. He finally calls and leaves a message with a callback number, just in case.

Kemp's friend gets back in town some time later (she was in Europe IIRC) and returns the call. Perhaps the guy was confused as some time had elapsed between his mistaken phone calls and this callback from Kemp's friend, or perhaps he did legitimately know someone named "Don" who the call could have been for, but he is thrown off by some strange woman calling him weeks/months later looking for "Don" and he blows it off. Hell, maybe he didn't even make the original calls himself, but someone with access to his phone did. In any event, his response to her on the phone is dismissive. Finally, the Kemp family trace the calls to the guy. Now he has Mary Kemp showing up at his door saying she knows the guy had something to do with her son's disappearance. Afterall, the friend was CERTAIN it was Don's voice on the answer machine. The guy can't explain any of this, so he claims the phone company made a mistake (Burr said this on the special) hoping the family will leave him alone.

Another possibility could be that the person the guy was trying to reach in New York was a prostitute or drug dealer, or some other suspicious/unsavory character so he didn't want to be upfront about this. OR maybe he didn't put two and two together and realize this was the same woman he erroneously left messages for months earlier, OR maybe he figured blaming the phone company was the path of least resistance since the family was basically calling him a murderer and the excuse about it being a wrong number sounds like just that...an excuse.

He eventually gets tired of the harassment from Mary Kemp and the police and lawyers up, moves from the area, and the rest is history.

I just don't really see how any other scenario fits, honestly. First, I never got what Mary Kemp theorized happened. Was Don abducted, the disappearance evidence staged, and Don spirited to Caspar, kept alive and permitted to visit Lincoln museums and make a few phone calls for months, killed, and then returned to the exact area where he had been disappeared years before? I don't currently have the energy to untangle all the problems there, but I'm sure it is obvious just how implausible that all is. The only other possibility is that the guy somehow came across Kemp's book, either in his possessions in the Chevy Blazer (the contents were rifled through so it's possible), at the Lincoln museum where Don's briefcase was, or on Don's body. He takes the book and decides, for some unknown reason that no one has been able to adequately explain to call one solitary person in the book and "pretend" to be Don. Why? And if it was some kind of a prank or a joke, why leave a call back number that can be traced to him, as it obviously was? I don't think most pranksters do that.

And I'll just close by saying that UM was known to embellish, exaggerate, and distort facts to make things seems stranger than they were, so whose to say that wasn't done here too? I'm sorry, but even the "mysterious/sinister" explanations proffered on the show don't make even the slightest bit of sense to me here. I think it is possible the dude dialed a wrong number. I know some hoop jumping is required to swallow my theory, but I just don't see anything else being remotely plausible.

TheCars1986
06-03-2016, 01:08 PM
The next episode of my podcast about Don Kemp is already in the can and will be released on Wednesday, but I do have a lot of the same thoughts as you regarding the phone calls. I have my own theory that maybe the sightings of Don in Casper are legitimate, but they took place BEFORE he disappeared. Don could have lost his address book in Casper and Dennis might have found it there. That seems more plausible than Dennis randomly coming across the book by Don's abandoned vehicle in the middle of nowhere, as Casper was 150 miles away from that location.

I believe the same thing. Dennis almost certainly didn't stumble on Don's truck and rifle through his belongings to take a phone book. So I've always assumed that either the phone book was in the attache case left at the museum (and in an odd coincidence, Dennis was the one who found it), or the sightings of Don at the bar happened before his death, and he accidentally left it there where Dennis picked it up.

I've also read an article which states that when looking at the high school yearbook photo of Mark Dennis, he was a "dead ringer" for Don. Since he was living in Casper at the time, it wouldn't surprise me (if he really did resemble Don) that these sightings after the fact were of him, and not Don.

wiseguy182
06-03-2016, 02:19 PM
The vast majority of people with answering machines and voicemail usually identify themselves in the pre-recorded message, such as "Hello, you've reached..." so-and-so. Additionally, it would seem after several times that Dennis would realize he didn't recognize the lady's voice and stop calling.

I also think we need to remember this is an *unlisted* number, and not something somebody could have plucked out of thin air. Wyoming and New York are far apart, with Wyoming being the least populated state out of 50. Considering Kemp lived in Wyoming at the time, what are the odds somebody else in the state could have magically come up with the number?

TheCars1986
06-06-2016, 08:05 AM
I've been thinking a lot about the mysterious phone calls. Another possibility could be that the guy was dialing a wrong number.

I agree with every aspect of your wrong number theory, save one point. When Don's friend called the number back, thinking Don Kemp was the one leaving the messages, she asked to speak to Don, and Mark Dennis said "yes" at first. He also told her he would pass the information forward to Don and that he would have him call her back before hanging up immediately.

Now if this guy was in fact making several wrong calls, why would he be so abrupt with the friend over the phone when she finally called back? Why not simply say that she had the wrong number (considering, in the days prior to caller ID, he would have no way of knowing that this woman was calling from the number he was incorrectly dialing) when she mentioned Don? I think the fact that he acknowledged Don twice to her would indicate that he was more than likely in the possession of Don's phone book, but he did not necessarily know that he was a missing person up until after the returned phone call. Which is why he probably clammed up and hired a lawyer. Not because he was involved with his disappearance or death, just because he was either embarrassed or afraid of legal action for being in possession of a missing person's phone book.

In any event, the Sheriff interviewed never seemed to fully believe that Mark Dennis was a serious suspect, or even person of interest. It's just one of those "mystery within a mystery" that just seems like one huge red herring, that has no weight on the death or disappearance of Don.

justins5256
06-06-2016, 05:52 PM
I agree with every aspect of your wrong number theory, save one point. When Don's friend called the number back, thinking Don Kemp was the one leaving the messages, she asked to speak to Don, and Mark Dennis said "yes" at first. He also told her he would pass the information forward to Don and that he would have him call her back before hanging up immediately.

Now if this guy was in fact making several wrong calls, why would he be so abrupt with the friend over the phone when she finally called back? Why not simply say that she had the wrong number (considering, in the days prior to caller ID, he would have no way of knowing that this woman was calling from the number he was incorrectly dialing) when she mentioned Don? I think the fact that he acknowledged Don twice to her would indicate that he was more than likely in the possession of Don's phone book, but he did not necessarily know that he was a missing person up until after the returned phone call. Which is why he probably clammed up and hired a lawyer. Not because he was involved with his disappearance or death, just because he was either embarrassed or afraid of legal action for being in possession of a missing person's phone book.

My question would be at what point did Dennis find out about Kemp's status (i.e., that Kemp was a missing person)? I think the newspaper article as well as the segment implied that Kemp's friend merely returned the call, gave her callback information and that was that. Did she or Dennis know Kemp was missing at that time?

My larger point is Dennis may have been confused by the friend's return call. He may have known someone the call might have been for, or otherwise didn't put two and two together to realize that this was the same woman in New York he had been erroneously calling.

In any event, the Sheriff interviewed never seemed to fully believe that Mark Dennis was a serious suspect, or even person of interest. It's just one of those "mystery within a mystery" that just seems like one huge red herring, that has no weight on the death or disappearance of Don.

Yeah, even when I first saw the segment I got that impression as well. I recall the officer saying that he talked to Dennis (not named in the segment) on three occasions, that Dennis was cooperative, and had no explanation for the phone calls, nor could the officer explain them.

I guess the worst case scenario is, as you posited earlier, that Dennis came upon Kemp's book somehow and decided to prank call the numbers. On that note, if he was doing this as a "phone sex thing” ala Paul Ferrell, he could have hoped Judy was a girlfriend or someone he could coax into a sexual conversation. Of course, not knowing the ramifications of this given that Kemp was a missing person. If all this is true, it could explain his reluctance to cooperate and his rationale for lawyering up. I don’t know that what he did was illegal per say, but combined with the family harassment, LE involvement, and the situation is murky enough I could see his rationale for seeking an attorney.

TheCars1986
06-06-2016, 07:33 PM
My question would be at what point did Dennis find out about Kemp's status (i.e., that Kemp was a missing person)? I think the newspaper article as well as the segment implied that Kemp's friend merely returned the call, gave her callback information and that was that. Did she or Dennis know Kemp was missing at that time?

I thought the friend knew Don was missing when she returned the phone call, and it's implied in the article I linked that she knew he was missing, because she reported the exchange to Don's mother. If Dennis was in possession of Kemp's phone book, he may have put 2 and 2 together to realize that people are seeking this guy for a reason. Kemp's mother showing up unannounced was the icing on the cake.

My larger point is Dennis may have been confused by the friend's return call. He may have known someone the call might have been for, or otherwise didn't put two and two together to realize that this was the same woman in New York he had been erroneously calling.

Why not just tell the Sheriff that? I get the rationale behind telling the family that it was a billing error (path of least resistance, like you said), but if Dennis did have a friend named Don whom he thought they were calling, why not tell the authorities that? He told them that someone may have made the calls without his knowledge. I see this as two ways: complete bewilderment because he legitimately did not make the phone calls, or attempting to hide the real reason behind the calls. If he was dialing a number off by one or two, you would think he'd be wise enough to just tell the cops "oh I just dialed a wrong number, I was trying to reach a friend of mine in New York with a similar number".

I guess the worst case scenario is, as you posited earlier, that Dennis came upon Kemp's book somehow and decided to prank call the numbers. On that note, if he was doing this as a "phone sex thing” ala Paul Ferrell, he could have hoped Judy was a girlfriend or someone he could coax into a sexual conversation. Of course, not knowing the ramifications of this given that Kemp was a missing person. If all this is true, it could explain his reluctance to cooperate and his rationale for lawyering up. I don’t know that what he did was illegal per say, but combined with the family harassment, LE involvement, and the situation is murky enough I could see his rationale for seeking an attorney.

My belief is that he was up to something nefarious, totally unrelated to Kemp's disappearance and death. It just seems odd to me that this guy, if completely innocent of dialing a wrong number or billing errors, would go out of his way to not only hire an attorney (which is rational because of the harassment from Kemp's mother), but also move out of the area completely. The UM segment implies that Dennis told the friend that he would have Don return the phone call, but the article is different. I'm assuming the article is more accurate, since it was closer to the time of the disappearance, prior to his remains being found. Plus, by the time the UM segment was filmed, it seemed to the cops that Dennis was in no way, shape, or form involved in Don's death because they almost seemed dismissive of him during the segment. Rightfully so.

wiseguy182
06-07-2016, 01:06 AM
I don't believe a truly innocent person hires a lawyer, lies his ass off about the phone calls and abruptly moves out of the area. We cannot dismiss the phone calls that conveniently. Dennis wasn't investigated that heavily to begin with as the assorted law enforcement officials interviewed in the segment believed Don died of exposure with no foul play involved in the first place. You have the sheriff suggesting that Don was "mentally disturbed" with zero evidence to back that up.

Mary Kemp visited Dennis's house on *one* occasion and they spoke briefly. That does not constitute harassment. Harassment would have to be several encounters over a period of time, which didn't happen. If Dennis was so bothered by Mary Kemp's visit, he could have easily told her to get off his property and/or phoned the police to have her removed from the property, and perhaps get a restraining order or something of this nature. Instead, he goes to the trouble of moving away?

The state of the scene in which Don's truck was found appears somebody rifled through it. Dennis apparently gets a hold of his phone book. That seems to suggest Dennis stole it and did something to Don in the process. Did Dennis just randomly find Don's book lying on the side of the road and start calling numbers without realizing the possible implications of this?

People dial wrong numbers all the time. They don't call the same number 6 different times over a long period, and then lie and evade when the person returns their calls. That's not normal.

And I absolutely don't believe Dennis's absurd claim that he just paid the phone bill and didn't look at what calls were on there. A guy living in a trailer is almost certainly living on limited means. If 6 long-distance phone calls show up on his bill that he didn't make, he's going to dispute them. Not just pay them and forget about it.

Don was murdered. I know this.

NYSleuth
06-07-2016, 10:48 AM
I don't believe a truly innocent person hires a lawyer, lies his ass off about the phone calls and abruptly moves out of the area. We cannot dismiss the phone calls that conveniently. Dennis wasn't investigated that heavily to begin with as the assorted law enforcement officials interviewed in the segment believed Don died of exposure with no foul play involved in the first place. You have the sheriff suggesting that Don was "mentally disturbed" with zero evidence to back that up.

Mary Kemp visited Dennis's house on *one* occasion and they spoke briefly. That does not constitute harassment. Harassment would have to be several encounters over a period of time, which didn't happen. If Dennis was so bothered by Mary Kemp's visit, he could have easily told her to get off his property and/or phoned the police to have her removed from the property, and perhaps get a restraining order or something of this nature. Instead, he goes to the trouble of moving away?

The state of the scene in which Don's truck was found appears somebody rifled through it. Dennis apparently gets a hold of his phone book. That seems to suggest Dennis stole it and did something to Don in the process. Did Dennis just randomly find Don's book lying on the side of the road and start calling numbers without realizing the possible implications of this?

People dial wrong numbers all the time. They don't call the same number 6 different times over a long period, and then lie and evade when the person returns their calls. That's not normal.

And I absolutely don't believe Dennis's absurd claim that he just paid the phone bill and didn't look at what calls were on there. A guy living in a trailer is almost certainly living on limited means. If 6 long-distance phone calls show up on his bill that he didn't make, he's going to dispute them. Not just pay them and forget about it.

Don was murdered. I know this.

Again, I agree with you 100%. ;)

TheCars1986
06-08-2016, 12:31 PM
John Lawrence Angel died in 1986. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel) The UM segment aired in 1987. Angel allegedly looked at Don's body and filed a report sighting a perfectly cylindrical hole into his skull, that he could not duplicate with any known instrument. Hinting to something from "out of this world". Perfect fodder for an upstart mystery program. No mention of it at all.

Kemp was found in 1985. I found this article with regards to his death:



Body of Salisbury "prophet" missing since 82, recovered:

The body of a Salisbury, MD man who envisioned himself a prophet has been found, three years after he walked away from his running van into a snowstorm, Carbon County Sheriff C.W. Ogburn said Tuesday. Hunters found the skeletal remains of Paul Donald Kemp Jr. of Salisbury about four miles from where he left his van at an Interstate 80 rest area in southern Wyoming, the sheriff said. Kemp was 35 when he disappeared on Nov. 16th, 1982. Travelers found the van still running with its radio on, Ogburn said. "He walked away from it. As far as we know, he had some problems and he walked away from his van," the sheriff said. "Of course, that date it was pretty rough and he had a lot of snow then." A search was mounted after Kemp's van was found, but blowing snow made it impossible to follow the man's tracks, said Ogburn. Hunters found the remains late Friday near Willow Springs Dam, he said. An investigation at the time indicated that Kemp was traveling from New York, where he was an advertising executive, to Jackson, the sheriff said. "It seemed he was going to Jackson to write, and he had told friends of gathering the masses and starting a cult," Ogburn said. "He told one person that he was going to start a kind of cult, that he was a prophet and a leader of man." According to Kemp's mother, Kemp was deeply religious and may have taken a walk to meditate and then became lost in the snow. Sheriff's Deputy Ron Johnson said a diary found in Kemp's van contained religious references. Ogburn said no foul play is suspected in Kemp's death, which apparently was caused by exposure. Although Kemp's family was notified that his body Was found, the sheriff said he didn't know when the remains might be returned to Maryland.

Kemp was found October 4th, 1985. Dr. Angel died on November 3rd, 1986. (http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/05/obituaries/dr-j-lawrence-angel-dies-was-forensic-anthropologist.html) A little over a year. Angel was working on studying the remains of freed blacks buried in the 19th century behind a church in Philadelphia. I am highly skeptical of the claims that Angel ever even looked at Kemp's remains. After Kemp was found, his local newspaper published an article declaring his death to be from exposure. How in the world would Angel even know about Kemp's disappearance, and considering the possibility that he did, find it worthy of his examination? This guy worked for the Smithsonian studying ancient remains. He did help the FBI and law enforcement agencies with modern day murder victims, but that was only at their request, not his. There's absolutely no reason that I can come up with as to why Angel would go out of his way to request the remains of Don Kemp to be dug up and sent to him, when an autopsy was already performed and done with, and that law enforcement had already considered the case closed. Is that even legal/ethical?

ETA: Seems like Kemp was traveling along Lincoln Highway (I-80). The more I read about him, the more I think there was something mentally wrong with him at the time of his disappearance.

wiseguy182
06-08-2016, 12:48 PM
The friend from New York stated she spoke to Dennis, asked for Don, and was told "Don was out." Again, one has to ask themselves "if Dennis was completely innocent, why does he feel compelled to lie and state that a Don does live there, not knowing if the person asking for him is a law enforcement official or what?"

I don't normally put a lot of stock into eyewitness accounts and such, but there were *three* people who either saw or spoke to Don after his supposed death and all of the accounts sound credible to me.

1). Don was spotted at a traveling exhibit for Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. We know Don would have an interest in this since he was writing a book about Lincoln at the time of his death.

2). A bartender who is absolutely certain she saw Don.

3). Don's friend from New York, who would be familiar with and recognize his voice.

These are not your random, run-of-the-mill, complete stranger catching him out of the corner of their eye sightings.

I also want to point out that Don wasn't found all that near where his vehicle was found. He was found 3 miles away. Tack on the blizzard that affected the area near the time of his disappearance, it can seem like a long distance.

RobinW
06-08-2016, 01:02 PM
Excellent find!

Like you, I was reluctant to give credence to the claims posted here by Don's sister because I couldn't understand why any of those details about the remains wouldn't be mentioned on UM. Granted, UM was probably still experimenting with their format at this point and didn't yet know they'd be profiling paranormal and UFO stuff, but this was the very first case they ever profiled, so you'd think they'd want to hook viewers with as much mysterious and juicy details as possible, such as the strange hole in Don's skull.

Had no idea about the whole angle of Don telling people he wanted to start his own cult, which is further evidence of his mental instability at the time. Strange that Don's mother is pushing forward the theory in this article that he walked off and got lost when she was the one who was so certain he was abducted from his vehicle and murdered.

Small detail, but I'm glad this article clarified the exact date Don's remains were found. I wasn't sure if it was three or four years after he disappeared since I noticed the UM segment has trouble keeping the number straight.

TheCars1986
06-08-2016, 01:02 PM
Link showing the rest stop where Kemp's vehicle was abandoned in relation to where his body was ultimately found. (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Willow+Springs+Dam,+Elk+Mountain,+WY/Wagonhound+Rest+Area,+Wyoming/@41.6601433,-106.3270521,13137m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x8767ecb124e5e513:0xcfd119b0b6b1bc82!2m2!1d-106.2689048!2d41.691633!1m5!1m1!1s0x8767ec3a5ba89adb:0x1af3b5077505476a!2m2!1d-106.2855417!2d41.6308646)

That's quite the feat to drive 2 hours south, after holding Kemp "hostage" for months for unknown nefarious reasons, to then find nearly the exact spot where the "abduction" occurred (again, reason and motive or ability to get Kemp to stop his vehicle, or the sheer luck of being able to run into Kemp at the exact moment he was heading off of I-80, all unknown), to then drag and dump a dead human body over a 4 mile trek into wide open prairie.

wiseguy182
06-08-2016, 01:42 PM
There is no evidence whatsoever that Don had a mental illness at the time of his death. The segment stated he had been depressed over a traffic accident that left him "severely disabled", but said he had fully recovered at the time of his death.

The sheriff came off as a complete ass in the segment, not to mention he frequently mouthed off his wild speculation and didn't seem interested at all in investigating the case as a homicide, despite all the evidence suggesting such. Normally, the first thing LE does is investigate a missing person/undetermined death as homicide, then if that can be ruled out, they go down other paths.

If this case was so cut-and-dried, you have to wonder why UM would select it as its very first case ever, knowing that many people could have turned it off and never watched it again.

Hambone2421
06-08-2016, 02:33 PM
John Lawrence Angel died in 1986. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel) The UM segment aired in 1987. Angel allegedly looked at Don's body and filed a report sighting a perfectly cylindrical hole into his skull, that he could not duplicate with any known instrument. Hinting to something from "out of this world". Perfect fodder for an upstart mystery program. No mention of it at all.

Kemp was found in 1985. I found this article with regards to his death:



Kemp was found October 4th, 1985. Dr. Angel died on November 3rd, 1986. (http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/05/obituaries/dr-j-lawrence-angel-dies-was-forensic-anthropologist.html) A little over a year. Angel was working on studying the remains of freed blacks buried in the 19th century behind a church in Philadelphia. I am highly skeptical of the claims that Angel ever even looked at Kemp's remains. After Kemp was found, his local newspaper published an article declaring his death to be from exposure. How in the world would Angel even know about Kemp's disappearance, and considering the possibility that he did, find it worthy of his examination? This guy worked for the Smithsonian studying ancient remains. He did help the FBI and law enforcement agencies with modern day murder victims, but that was only at their request, not his. There's absolutely no reason that I can come up with as to why Angel would go out of his way to request the remains of Don Kemp to be dug up and sent to him, when an autopsy was already performed and done with, and that law enforcement had already considered the case closed. Is that even legal/ethical?

ETA: Seems like Kemp was traveling along Lincoln Highway (I-80). The more I read about him, the more I think there was something mentally wrong with him at the time of his disappearance.

I agree with you. Even if he did not have any type of mental imbalance, he may have suffered a stroke in the days/hours/minutes preceding his disappearance, which caused him to wander out into the weather.

bigsir58
06-08-2016, 02:57 PM
The friend from New York stated she spoke to Dennis, asked for Don, and was told "Don was out." Again, one has to ask themselves "if Dennis was completely innocent, why does he feel compelled to lie and state that a Don does live there, not knowing if the person asking for him is a law enforcement official or what?"

I don't normally put a lot of stock into eyewitness accounts and such, but there were *three* people who either saw or spoke to Don after his supposed death and all of the accounts sound credible to me.

1). Don was spotted at a traveling exhibit for Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. We know Don would have an interest in this since he was writing a book about Lincoln at the time of his death.

2). A bartender who is absolutely certain she saw Don.

3). Don's friend from New York, who would be familiar with and recognize his voice.

These are not your random, run-of-the-mill, complete stranger catching him out of the corner of their eye sightings.

I also want to point out that Don wasn't found all that near where his vehicle was found. He was found 3 miles away. Tack on the blizzard that affected the area near the time of his disappearance, it can seem like a long distance.

When Don's truck was found, the police followed tracks in the snow to a barn, where they found three socks and some wood to start a fire. Was there ever any more info about the "barn"? Was it abandoned, was it part of someones farm, etc? And then, Don supposedly retraced his steps in the snow because there wasn't any more footprints found exiting so called barn. Thats a lot of work to do in the snow. Wasn't the distance like 3 miles or something of footprints? There's definitely something real fishy about that.

TheCars1986
06-08-2016, 02:59 PM
When Don's truck was found, the police followed tracks in the snow to a barn, where they found three socks and some wood to start a fire. Was there ever any more info about the "barn"? Was it abandoned, was it part of someones farm, etc? And then, Don supposedly retraced his steps in the snow because there wasn't any more footprints found exiting so called barn. Thats a lot of work to do in the snow. Wasn't the distance like 3 miles or something of footprints? There's definitely something real fishy about that.

At the time of his remains being found, the location was wide open prairie, with several remnants from the West, including barns and other buildings. It was just an abandoned barn, that he probably sought shelter in in the middle of a blizzard. When he couldn't start a fire, he probably wandered off elsewhere, and the continuing blizzard covered his tracks.

I don't get why this case is any different from the David Stone case. Both had oddities to them, and mysterious "clues" so to speak, but both men's remains were found roughly around the areas where they were last seen, with no signs of foul play. Stone's case is universally accepted as a guy who perished to the elements. Don Kemp's is virtually the same, IMO.

wiseguy182
06-08-2016, 03:09 PM
And then, Don supposedly retraced his steps in the snow because there wasn't any more footprints found exiting so called barn. Thats a lot of work to do in the snow. Wasn't the distance like 3 miles or something of footprints? There's definitely something real fishy about that.

Agreed fully. I talked about this awhile back -- I don't know how they would determine Don had retraced his steps...or even why somebody would do such a thing.

It was probably the stupidest thing I've heard an LE official say in a UM segment.

TheCars1986
06-08-2016, 03:23 PM
Tony Ballesteros is to the David Stone case as Mark Dennis is to the Don Kemp case.

MegtheEgg86
06-08-2016, 04:08 PM
John Lawrence Angel died in 1986. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel) The UM segment aired in 1987. Angel allegedly looked at Don's body and filed a report sighting a perfectly cylindrical hole into his skull, that he could not duplicate with any known instrument. Hinting to something from "out of this world". Perfect fodder for an upstart mystery program. No mention of it at all.

Kemp was found in 1985. I found this article with regards to his death:



Kemp was found October 4th, 1985. Dr. Angel died on November 3rd, 1986. (http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/05/obituaries/dr-j-lawrence-angel-dies-was-forensic-anthropologist.html) A little over a year. Angel was working on studying the remains of freed blacks buried in the 19th century behind a church in Philadelphia. I am highly skeptical of the claims that Angel ever even looked at Kemp's remains. After Kemp was found, his local newspaper published an article declaring his death to be from exposure. How in the world would Angel even know about Kemp's disappearance, and considering the possibility that he did, find it worthy of his examination? This guy worked for the Smithsonian studying ancient remains. He did help the FBI and law enforcement agencies with modern day murder victims, but that was only at their request, not his. There's absolutely no reason that I can come up with as to why Angel would go out of his way to request the remains of Don Kemp to be dug up and sent to him, when an autopsy was already performed and done with, and that law enforcement had already considered the case closed. Is that even legal/ethical?

ETA: Seems like Kemp was traveling along Lincoln Highway (I-80). The more I read about him, the more I think there was something mentally wrong with him at the time of his disappearance.

Good find.

wiseguy182
06-09-2016, 06:41 AM
Yet another thing I can't get past are the claims that Don Kemp and Mark Dennis looked so much like each other that the resemblance was striking. I can't help but wonder if this was early version of identity theft, and a botched one at that. All things considered, there are too many weird aspects to this story for me to chalk them up as coincidences.

As for LE, I keep getting the notion they just wanted to close the books on this one and go home. For them, exposure was the simplest explanation, so they went with that. Anything else would have required more time and effort, and they weren't interested.

NYSleuth
06-09-2016, 06:43 AM
Yet another thing I can't get past are the claims that Don Kemp and Mark Dennis looked so much like each other that the resemblance was striking. I can't help but wonder if this was early version of identity theft, and a botched one at that. All things considered, there are too many weird aspects to this story for me to chalk them up as coincidences.

As for LE, I keep getting the notion they just wanted to close the books on this one and go home. For them, exposure was the simplest explanation, so they went with that. Anything else would have required more time and effort, and they weren't interested.

Bingo.

wiseguy182
06-09-2016, 08:20 AM
Bingo.

thank you.

you had LE on there stating Don was "disorientated", but they claim he had the wherewithal to backtrack in the snow for no apparent reason and withstand blizzard conditions for several days. They should be embarrassed for saying something like that, as well as their lack of concern and rank speculation that he was "mentally disturbed".

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 08:21 AM
The authorities called off the search for Kemp after 3 days due to worsening conditions. And they looked into Mark Dennis after Kemp's mother hired the PI to find the origin of the phone calls. I don't think they tried sweeping anything under the rug, as alluded to by Kemp's mother in one of the articles.

In addition to finding the diary in Kemp's vehicle, which detailed how he was going to gather people to try and contact the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, they also had tapes of Kemp performing seances trying to contact the spirit of Mary Surratt. According to one of Kemp's friends (who incorporated some of Kemp's story into a fictionalized book), Kemp would record himself holding seances trying to get in touch with the spirit of Mary Surratt, because Kemp believed he uncovered evidence that she was innocent in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln. This is posited by some as some "earth shattering development" that Kemp stumbled on, and he was murdered because of it. Which is hilarious, because Mary Surratt, even at the time of her trial, there was debate about how much she did or didn't know with regards to the assassination plot. Historians for years were saying she was innocent, and printing this theory in numerous books. As far as I know, none of them were "murdered" and dumped in a vast prairie for no apparent reason.

NYSleuth
06-09-2016, 08:35 AM
thank you.

you had LE on there stating Don was "disorientated", but they claim he had the wherewithal to backtrack in the snow for no apparent reason and withstand blizzard conditions for several days. They should be embarrassed for saying something like that, as well as their lack of concern and rank speculation that he was "mentally disturbed".

Exactly! That sheriff/deputy or whoever that made the comment of Don Kemp being "mentally disturbed" rubbed me the wrong way. No one else in the segment who knew him or met him shorty before his disappearance even alluded to that. The LE of the town he dissappered in seemed very dismissive of the entire case, imo. Lazy, even.

That said, there are way too many oddities in this case and I always believed Don was ambushed at the intersection where his jeep and possessions were strewn about. The phone calls: I don't know what to think, other than that man in the trailer absolutely did indeed have some sort of 'connection' to Don, perhaps innocent (helped him out after finding him 'disoriented' after Don was attacked/ambushed, maybe injured and disoriented)...or something more sinister.

I do not believe Don wandered aimlessly into the prairie after having a mental break, retraced his steps and died of exposure. That theory sounds ridiculous to me. I wish a few more PI's were hired to work on this case.

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 09:43 AM
Satellite image of approximate spot where Kemp's vehicle was abandoned. (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6346913,-106.2830068,3a,75y,263.15h,82.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMMa24oPfc8fn_QVvzAR8YA!2e0!7i3328!8i1664!6m1!1e1)

The shack/building to the right looks like a semi-recent structure, that is perhaps used for road work or highway administration.

ETA: Kemp more than likely took this exit to find the rest stop to retrieve his driving glasses, because it started snowing. If the building to the right was there during Kemp's disappearance, perhaps he was mistaken and thought that the little pull off area to the right which dead-ends was the location of the rest stop.

http://unsolved.com/sites/default/files2/une_don_kemp2.jpg

Image used in the UM segment with relation to where his car was found.

Approximate spot of location. (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6346913,-106.2830068,3a,60y,63.48h,72.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMMa24oPfc8fn_QVvzAR8YA!2e0!7i3328!8i1664) Seems to me like they used the exact location for the re-enactment.

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 12:32 PM
I went back and rewatched the Burr hosted segment, which was edited for the Farina reruns. Don's vehicle was reported to authorities at 7:30 a.m. The first patrolman on the scene arrived at 10:00 a.m. He described the condition of the vehicle:

The vehicle was left forty miles from any town, on an off ramp, running, stuff strung out of it, the doors open, a relatively new vehicle, not one that someone would just leave. We think he was alone because there was only room for one person in the vehicle. It was so full of camping gear and papers and briefcases and suitcases, I don't know how you could get another person in the vehicle.

Teeters saw a single set of footprints from Kemp's vehicle to the wide open prairie. Kemp's mother thinks he was abducted and taken from his car, solely because "this was so unlike my son". This is patently ridiculous, IMO. The same day that Kemp's vehicle was found, Carbon County deputy Rod Johnson flew over the prairie for two hours looking for any sign of Kemp. He saw nothing. A few hours after the air search, Johnson and two other deputies set out on the ground and followed the tracks. 1 mile from I-80, they found a duffle bag filled with clothes, soap, and a teapot, all of which belonged to Kemp. On the 2nd day, Johnson followed the tracks again and it led 6 miles away from I-80 which is where he found the abandoned barn with the pile of sticks and Kemp's socks. Kemp's mother says they were put there to make it look like Kemp wandered off.

So going off of Kemp's mother's theory, someone (it had to be at least 2 people), for reasons unknown, stumbled onto Kemp pulled over, 1 abducted him, the other grabbed some belongings of his and then trekked through the prairie for miles to simply make it appear like Kemp abandoned his car. This person remained in the area for at least one night, because the new tracks led to the abandoned barn the next day. Then this person eventually left the area, avoided detection, and somehow had someone pick them up and take them back to wherever Kemp was being held against his will.

So if foul play is to be believed, the theory above (or some slight variation) must be accepted. Or the police lied about finding these items or they themselves placed them there. Foul play does not make any sense with this case.

justins5256
06-09-2016, 04:51 PM
I thought the friend knew Don was missing when she returned the phone call, and it's implied in the article I linked that she knew he was missing, because she reported the exchange to Don's mother. If Dennis was in possession of Kemp's phone book, he may have put 2 and 2 together to realize that people are seeking this guy for a reason. Kemp's mother showing up unannounced was the icing on the cake.

I reread the article. I couldn't make heads our tails of what came first. Her calling Dennis back, or realizing Kemp was missing, calling Dennis, then calling Mary Kemp. My guess would be the former simply because, according to the article, she called Dennis' number, asked to speak with Don, the man said "yes" and then "no" and hung up. If Judy knew Kemp was missing at that point, I can only imagine she would have pressed the guy further, but it doesn't sound like she did.

Why not just tell the Sheriff that? I get the rationale behind telling the family that it was a billing error (path of least resistance, like you said), but if Dennis did have a friend named Don whom he thought they were calling, why not tell the authorities that? He told them that someone may have made the calls without his knowledge. I see this as two ways: complete bewilderment because he legitimately did not make the phone calls, or attempting to hide the real reason behind the calls. If he was dialing a number off by one or two, you would think he'd be wise enough to just tell the cops "oh I just dialed a wrong number, I was trying to reach a friend of mine in New York with a similar number".

Maybe, maybe not. He could have just told the family it was a billing error and wanted to "stick with the story" for the sake of consistency for the cops too, whether he realized that the calls were mistakes or what have you. Also, if the calls were wrong number dialings to someone in New York, it could have been a drug connection, a prostitute, a paramour, or something nefarious he didn't want to disclose.

My belief is that he was up to something nefarious, totally unrelated to Kemp's disappearance and death. It just seems odd to me that this guy, if completely innocent of dialing a wrong number or billing errors, would go out of his way to not only hire an attorney (which is rational because of the harassment from Kemp's mother), but also move out of the area completely.

According to the UM segment, he had been questioned three times by the police department. Also, who knows how many times Mary Kemp tried to reach him. I think seeking legal counsel is understandable. It kind of reminds me of the guy who was a potential witness to the murder of Jay Given who lawyers up, not because he had anything to hide, but because he was tired of telling his story to the cops. Also, who knows why Dennis moved? The segment and the article imply it had something to do with the cops, but do we really know? I mean, the guy lived in a trailer in Casper, Wyoming. Maybe his finances weren't that great. Maybe he moved around. Our first inclination is to think it was because the police and Kemp family harassment, but we just don't know for sure. Regardless, they mention it on the segment and in the press because it makes things sound mysterious.

The UM segment implies that Dennis told the friend that he would have Don return the phone call, but the article is different. I'm assuming the article is more accurate, since it was closer to the time of the disappearance, prior to his remains being found. Plus, by the time the UM segment was filmed, it seemed to the cops that Dennis was in no way, shape, or form involved in Don's death because they almost seemed dismissive of him during the segment. Rightfully so.

I picked up on that too. I've seen this many times before. UM says one thing, press says something else. It is always hard to discern.

Yeah, it seemed like Dennis was out of the picture by the time the UM segment was filmed. I just don't see what more could have been done really, especially if he wasn't cooperating.

justins5256
06-09-2016, 04:57 PM
Kemp was found in 1985. I found this article with regards to his death:


I couldn't quote it directly, but in the article Mary Kemp concedes it is possible Don Kemp wandered off meditating? And this is AFTER the drama with Mark Dennis, I presume? So why then was she so convinced it was murder? You can't have it both ways.

justins5256
06-09-2016, 05:06 PM
So going off of Kemp's mother's theory, someone (it had to be at least 2 people), for reasons unknown, stumbled onto Kemp pulled over, 1 abducted him, the other grabbed some belongings of his and then trekked through the prairie for miles to simply make it appear like Kemp abandoned his car. This person remained in the area for at least one night, because the new tracks led to the abandoned barn the next day. Then this person eventually left the area, avoided detection, and somehow had someone pick them up and take them back to wherever Kemp was being held against his will.

So if foul play is to be believed, the theory above (or some slight variation) must be accepted. Or the police lied about finding these items or they themselves placed them there. Foul play does not make any sense with this case.

Not to mention this was 40 miles away from any town, and this was in the midst of winter. I find it hard to believe some "highwaymen" were out there, at that spot laying in wait to ambush Kemp.

Add the phone call element to your scenario, and we would have to assume that these abductors kept Kemp alive for months and allowed him to place phone calls to a friend that would be easily traced back to the location from which they were placed, in fact, they were even courteous enough to leave an accurate callback number!

RobinW
06-09-2016, 05:53 PM
I couldn't quote it directly, but in the article Mary Kemp concedes it is possible Don Kemp wandered off meditating? And this is AFTER the drama with Mark Dennis, I presume? So why then was she so convinced it was murder? You can't have it both ways.

Don's remains were found in 1985. The drama with Mary Kemp and Mark Dennis would taken place sometime in mid-1983. So, yes, it is very strange that after flat-out accusing Dennis of being involved in her son's disappearance, Mary would acknowledge that Don could have wandered off and died, but then push the foul play theory again on UM.

In the 1984 Google News article, Captain Mark Benton of Natrona County Sheriff's Department seems frustrated that Dennis lawyered up and stopped talking to the police. Since Don was still a missing person at this point, Captain Benton wasn't discounting the possibility that Dennis could have been involved. Yet when Benton was interviewed on UM, he said that Dennis was nothing but cooperative and seemed certain that he had nothing to with Don's death. It's easy to see why Benton would just change his tune like that since Don's remains had been found on the prairie by that point, so it just did not fit with the evidence that Dennis could have been involved.

justins5256
06-09-2016, 06:30 PM
Don's remains were found in 1985. The drama with Mary Kemp and Mark Dennis would taken place sometime in mid-1983. So, yes, it is very strange that after flat-out accusing Dennis of being involved in her son's disappearance, Mary would acknowledge that Don could have wandered off and died, but then push the foul play theory again on UM.

In the 1984 Google News article, Captain Mark Benton of Natrona County Sheriff's Department seems frustrated that Dennis lawyered up and stopped talking to the police. Since Don was still a missing person at this point, Captain Benton wasn't discounting the possibility that Dennis could have been involved. Yet when Benton was interviewed on UM, he said that Dennis was nothing but cooperative and seemed certain that he had nothing to with Don's death. It's easy to see why Benton would just change his tune like that since Don's remains had been found on the prairie by that point, so it just did not fit with the evidence that Dennis could have been involved.

I was thinking about this a little more. There could be some interesting psychology at work here.

Don Kemp vanished under bizarre circumstances in November 1982. There were some strange clues which indicated that possibly Kemp may have been alive, such as the sightings in Casper and certainly the phone calls which were eventually traced back to Mark Dennis. However, none of these leads panned out by way of leading to Don's safe recovery and return to his family. Yet, Mary remained hopeful her son would return some day.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, three years later, Kemp's body is found in the prairie not all that far from where he vanished. At this point, Mary has to concede her search is over. Her son is not coming home.

In her initial anguish after the recovery of his body she concedes to what she thinks to be the most probable truth - that Don wandered off while meditating and succumbed to the elements. However, this is to be short lived. Perhaps in her subsequent pain she decided to return to a more comforting and "hopeful" role. A role that served her well for all the years her son was missing. She merely picked up where she left off and continued the same search, but now for her son's killers.

Suddenly, at this juncture, old issues that she had dealt with previously took on a new light. The issue with the phone calls was never satisfactorily resolved, so it becomes "evidence." The sightings of Kemp, which were likely cases of mistaken identity, take on new meaning and add credence to her murder theory. Things that were before fuzzy and maybe partially accepted at the time now become more sharp and absolute. Of course her son didn't put those socks there. There is NO WAY he would wander away from his vehicle. That is too unlike him.

In the end, I think this is a story about a grief stricken woman who has turned her understandable anguish over her son's death into a crusade. True, it isn't romantic or sexy or paranormal or thrilling. It is not reminiscent of the X-Files, National Treasure, or the Bourne Identity. However, it is what logical, sensible assessment of the totality of the circumstances reveals.

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 06:43 PM
Not to mention this was 40 miles away from any town, and this was in the midst of winter. I find it hard to believe some "highwaymen" were out there, at that spot laying in wait to ambush Kemp.

The only thing I should note is that there was a rest area less than a minutes drive to the left of where Kemp's vehicle was found. Granted, there's no way in hell anyone could see the exit ramp or Kemp's vehicle from the location, but I thought I should note it. What luck did these killers have, that after waiting around at a rest stop for a potential victim, they leave and drive right up on Kemp pulled over on the side of the road.

Add the phone call element to your scenario, and we would have to assume that these abductors kept Kemp alive for months and allowed him to place phone calls to a friend that would be easily traced back to the location from which they were placed, in fact, they were even courteous enough to leave an accurate callback number!

You're right, I forgot to mention that part. Courteous fellows.

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 06:47 PM
In the end, I think this is a story about a grief stricken woman who has turned her understandable anguish over her son's death into a crusade. True, it isn't romantic or sexy or paranormal or thrilling. It is not reminiscent of the X-Files, National Treasure, or the Bourne Identity. However, it is what logical, sensible assessment of the totality of the circumstances reveals.

Her evidence of foul play was phone calls, none of which identified themselves as Donald Kemp. They only sounded like him. Oh and the guy who owned the trailer where the calls originated from also called phone sex lines "all over the country". And then she proceeds to hint that based off of this, Kemp was kept against his will and tortured for months. What's funny is that virtually everyone on here looks back at the Satanic panic that UM featured from time to time and laughs at such a dated concept, but this woman's puritanical views that phone sex = torture gets a pass.

RobinW
06-09-2016, 07:32 PM
In the end, I think this is a story about a grief stricken woman who has turned her understandable anguish over her son's death into a crusade. True, it isn't romantic or sexy or paranormal or thrilling. It is not reminiscent of the X-Files, National Treasure, or the Bourne Identity. However, it is what logical, sensible assessment of the totality of the circumstances reveals.

I think this is a pretty interesting look into Mary Kemp's mindset. Maybe she did accept there was no foul play in her son's death for awhile, but just had to do something to deal with the grief. I'd really be interested to know the circumstances of how Don Kemp's came to be featured on UM since this was an unknown, brand-new show at the time. I'm curious if Mary aggressively pursued them, or if they came to her and possibly sent her back into generating murder theories about her son again.

TheCars1986
06-09-2016, 07:37 PM
I think this is a pretty interesting look into Mary Kemp's mindset. Maybe she did accept there was no foul play in her son's death for awhile, but just had to do something to deal with the grief. I'd really be interested to know the circumstances of how Don Kemp's came to be featured on UM since this was an unknown, brand-new show at the time. I'm curious if Mary aggressively pursued them, or if they came to her and possibly sent her back into generating murder theories about her son again.

I never thought about that, but that's an interesting thought. How did UM even hear about it?

My initial guess is that they saw the newspaper articles about the phone calls coming in after Kemp had already disappeared. That's really the only thing "mysterious" about the case, because by that point in time, Kemp was already found dead.

wiseguy182
06-10-2016, 12:13 AM
Who made the phone calls? That's the question.

It's pretty telling that the sheriff explicitly stated he could not explain the phone calls, nor could Mark Dennis. If you're building something from a kit and you have parts left over, you've done it wrong.

Not to mention that Mark Dennis lied, evaded and quickly got the heck out of dodge. It's suspicious.

I should also point out that literally minutes before this segment aired, Burr stated the details were recreated with "precise detail" and that's not the only time I've heard that about UM. The whole "re-enactment goofs" defense is one I've never personally cared for because it can be both argued for and argued against by the same person. If something on UM fits a person's theory, they're all for it. If it doesn't, then it could be a re-enactment goof". Blurred lines.

If Don Kemp was living in Mark's trailer for some time, I don't think we've ever discussed what he was doing there. It is possible Don was there voluntarily, at least initially, but something nefarious happened to him later on. I'm willing to bet this is the case since the various sightings and answering machine recordings after his disappearance suggest Kemp was in no apparent danger at the time. Did the two have a falling out?

The 'ambushed in his vehicle theory' definitely could have happened. It's almost certainly what happened to Oliver Munson. This was also near a rest stop, which are known for illegal activities.

James T
06-10-2016, 01:37 AM
Who made the phone calls? That's the question.

It's pretty telling that the sheriff explicitly stated he could not explain the phone calls, nor could Mark Dennis. If you're building something from a kit and you have parts left over, you've done it wrong.

Not to mention that Mark Dennis lied, evaded and quickly got the heck out of dodge. It's suspicious.

I should also point out that literally minutes before this segment aired, Burr stated the details were recreated with "precise detail" and that's not the only time I've heard that about UM. The whole "re-enactment goofs" defense is one I've never personally cared for because it can be both argued for and argued against by the same person. If something on UM fits a person's theory, they're all for it. If it doesn't, then it could be a re-enactment goof". Blurred lines.

If Don Kemp was living in Mark's trailer for some time, I don't think we've ever discussed what he was doing there. It is possible Don was there voluntarily, at least initially, but something nefarious happened to him later on. I'm willing to bet this is the case since the various sightings and answering machine recordings after his disappearance suggest Kemp was in no apparent danger at the time. Did the two have a falling out?

The 'ambushed in his vehicle theory' definitely could have happened. It's almost certainly what happened to Oliver Munson. This was also near a rest stop, which are known for illegal activities.

From what I read this Dennis character cooperated but couldn't explain the calls. Then the mother phoned him up calling him a torturer, murderer etc, he knew if he stayed there she would keep on harassing him & since the cops couldn't/didn't pursue it further he didn't really have any incentive to stay there.

wiseguy182
06-10-2016, 01:52 AM
From what I read this Dennis character cooperated but couldn't explain the calls. Then the mother phoned him up calling him a torturer, murderer etc, he knew if he stayed there she would keep on harassing him & since the cops couldn't/didn't pursue it further he didn't really have any incentive to stay there.

She never called him a torturer or a murderer. She stated she believed he had some knowledge as to what happened to Don, which he probably did. I would imagine he would have incentive to stay there as he either bought or rented the property and would have had to go to all the trouble of moving, finding a new place to stay, etc.

James T
06-10-2016, 02:40 AM
She never called him a torturer or a murderer. She stated she believed he had some knowledge as to what happened to Don, which he probably did. I would imagine he would have incentive to stay there as he either bought or rented the property and would have had to go to all the trouble of moving, finding a new place to stay, etc.

I thought I read somewhere she basically tore into the guy, anyway you can understand whether he had anything to do with this or not his reluctance to hang around with cops asking questions & the mother getting his phone number & no doubt would not have stopped at one call. It rather depends on what sort of lifestyle he led, if he was just a nomad who kept moving then he likely could care less.

wiseguy182
06-10-2016, 03:42 AM
I thought I read somewhere she basically tore into the guy, anyway you can understand whether he had anything to do with this or not his reluctance to hang around with cops asking questions & the mother getting his phone number & no doubt would not have stopped at one call. It rather depends on what sort of lifestyle he led, if he was just a nomad who kept moving then he likely could care less.

I admit I'm a little baffled as to how Mary Kemp got a hold of this guy's phone bill. That is odd. And she was making too big of a deal out of the phone sex thing.

But I don't believe she was harassing him. She did call him multiple times and visit his house, but only actually spoke with him once. I think she just wanted some answers like anyone in that situation would have wanted.

I'm almost hesitant to mention this because it seems to pop up in every thread, but what about a gay sex angle? Maybe Don had moved in with this guy voluntarily and Don didn't want to be out to his family? How many guys in Wyoming have an attaché case?

I won't pretend I know all the answers here.

James T
06-10-2016, 05:30 AM
I admit I'm a little baffled as to how Mary Kemp got a hold of this guy's phone bill. That is odd. And she was making too big of a deal out of the phone sex thing.

But I don't believe she was harassing him. She did call him multiple times and visit his house, but only actually spoke with him once. I think she just wanted some answers like anyone in that situation would have wanted.

I'm almost hesitant to mention this because it seems to pop up in every thread, but what about a gay sex angle? Maybe Don had moved in with this guy voluntarily and Don didn't want to be out to his family? How many guys in Wyoming have an attaché case?

I won't pretend I know all the answers here.

It sure is a weird case-at face value it looks straightforward, man sells pretty much everything he owns & heads off to Wyoming, suffers from mental health issues & shows strange behaviour in some museums the day he vanishes-including leaving behind his driving glasses & money & not going back for them, his car ends up abandoned & only one set of footprints are there, so it looks like a guy with issues took his own life.

But then this story emerges of phone calls coming from this guys trailer, he has no explanation for them & eventually vanishes never to be heard from again. The only other case I can recall where phone calls that coukld not be easily explained was the case where the daughter vanished from an apartment & when the mum checked her next phone bill there were calls from some pregnancy/abortion place a long way away.

wiseguy182
06-10-2016, 06:21 AM
It sure is a weird case-at face value it looks straightforward, man sells pretty much everything he owns & heads off to Wyoming, suffers from mental health issues & shows strange behaviour in some museums the day he vanishes-including leaving behind his driving glasses & money & not going back for them, his car ends up abandoned & only one set of footprints are there, so it looks like a guy with issues took his own life.

But then this story emerges of phone calls coming from this guys trailer, he has no explanation for them & eventually vanishes never to be heard from again. The only other case I can recall where phone calls that coukld not be easily explained was the case where the daughter vanished from an apartment & when the mum checked her next phone bill there were calls from some pregnancy/abortion place a long way away.

Don's sister said he called the museum and asked if his attaché was there. They confirmed it was and he stated he was going back to retrieve it. I believe he disappeared before he had a chance to go back for it.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 07:34 AM
I thought I read somewhere she basically tore into the guy, anyway you can understand whether he had anything to do with this or not his reluctance to hang around with cops asking questions & the mother getting his phone number & no doubt would not have stopped at one call. It rather depends on what sort of lifestyle he led, if he was just a nomad who kept moving then he likely could care less.

She repeatedly went to his trailer to speak to him. She did speak to him one time over the phone, where she basically told him that he knew what happened to Don, and then he hung up on her. Even if the guy was a nomad, if some woman kept showing up to my house and calling my phone accusing me of being involved with the disappearance of a person I've never met, I'd probably want to move too.

ETA: One of the articles state that Kemp would call his family and friends regularly on his trip. His last phone call to his family was on November 15th. Logic would dictate that if he was in no trouble, and did voluntarily run off with Mark Dennis (how I have no idea, since the evidence clearly shows that Kemp was traveling on Lincoln's Highway, which is nowhere near Casper), why make no effort to call his mother, sister, or any friend until February of next year? Especially after randomly abandoning his vehicle and belongings?

justins5256
06-10-2016, 07:56 AM
She repeatedly went to his trailer to speak to him. She did speak to him one time over the phone, where she basically told him that he knew what happened to Don, and then he hung up on her. Even if the guy was a nomad, if some woman kept showing up to my house and calling my phone accusing me of being involved with the disappearance of a person I've never met, I'd probably want to move too.

ETA: One of the articles state that Kemp would call his family and friends regularly on his trip. His last phone call to his family was on November 15th. Logic would dictate that if he was in no trouble, and did voluntarily run off with Mark Dennis (how I have no idea, since the evidence clearly shows that Kemp was traveling on Lincoln's Highway, which is nowhere near Casper), why make no effort to call his mother, sister, or any friend until February of next year? Especially after randomly abandoning his vehicle and belongings?

Random thought but do we have any idea of where the museum was that Don was last seen at? The place where he left his attache? If it was anywhere near Casper, I wonder if that could be the connection to Dennis. Dennis could have found the attache and taken the phone book.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 08:32 AM
Random thought but do we have any idea of where the museum was that Don was last seen at? The place where he left his attache? If it was anywhere near Casper, I wonder if that could be the connection to Dennis. Dennis could have found the attache and taken the phone book.

The museum was in Cheyenne, WY. Which was right off of I-80 (Lincoln's Highway).

Distance from the museum to where Kemp's vehicle was found abandoned. (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/4610+Carey+Ave,+Cheyenne,+WY+82001/Wagonhound+Rest+Area,+Carbon+County,+WY/@41.4233336,-106.1196741,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x876f3a7cab9fc091:0xa49f8636a178bd5c!2m2!1d-104.8339928!2d41.1579188!1m5!1m1!1s0x8767ec3a5ba89adb:0x1af3b5077505476a!2m2!1d-106.2855417!2d41.6308646)

Just a random thought, but there's a giant Abe Lincoln monument in Laramie, WY which is about half way between the museum and the rest stop. I definitely think Kemp would have stopped here prior to journeying further. His ultimate destination was Jackson Hole.

justins5256
06-10-2016, 09:17 AM
The museum was in Cheyenne, WY. Which was right off of I-80 (Lincoln's Highway).

Distance from the museum to where Kemp's vehicle was found abandoned. (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/4610+Carey+Ave,+Cheyenne,+WY+82001/Wagonhound+Rest+Area,+Carbon+County,+WY/@41.4233336,-106.1196741,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x876f3a7cab9fc091:0xa49f8636a178bd5c!2m2!1d-104.8339928!2d41.1579188!1m5!1m1!1s0x8767ec3a5ba89adb:0x1af3b5077505476a!2m2!1d-106.2855417!2d41.6308646)

Just a random thought, but there's a giant Abe Lincoln monument in Laramie, WY which is about half way between the museum and the rest stop. I definitely think Kemp would have stopped here prior to journeying further. His ultimate destination was Jackson Hole.

Wow. In the grand scheme of things, he didn't get very far from the museum before abandoning his vehicle. Whatever events transpired to cause Kemp's disappearance must have occurred not far (geographically) and not long after he left the museum.

I noticed recently that the segment mentioned the abandoned attache contained Kemp's driving glasses. Obviously, we have no way of knowing just how impaired his vision was. He must have been "alright" enough to drive. Or was he?

I wonder if Don had a very minor stroke at the Lincoln museum. It is possible he didn't know he had the stroke, but it could explain why he left his attache behind, as his memory was impaired. So he leaves and starts driving without his driving glasses. Realizes he's in trouble, makes it to a phone and calls the museum about his attache because he knows it contains his driving glasses. Perhaps he has another more severe stroke at some point on the road, and things snowball from there. He doesn't make it back to the museum. In a state of confusion induced by the series of stokes, he rifles through his vehicle, perhaps mistakenly looking for the glasses again, or maybe some aspirin or medication or something. He doesn't find it, he wanders off and perishes days later in the snow.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 09:31 AM
Wow. In the grand scheme of things, he didn't get very far from the museum before abandoning his vehicle. Whatever events transpired to cause Kemp's disappearance must have occurred not far and not long after he left the museum.

I wonder if he stopped after it got dark, and started to look for his driving glasses, before frantically searching the vehicle for them. He freaked, and then took off. Maybe Kemp had every intention of returning to the vehicle at day break (which is why he packed the duffel bag) and planned on camping out in the prairie for the night. He underestimated the weather, and may have become disoriented due to hypothermia after being unable to start the fire in the cabin.

justins5256
06-10-2016, 09:42 AM
I wonder if he stopped after it got dark, and started to look for his driving glasses, before frantically searching the vehicle for them. He freaked, and then took off. Maybe Kemp had every intention of returning to the vehicle at day break (which is why he packed the duffel bag) and planned on camping out in the prairie for the night. He underestimated the weather, and may have become disoriented due to hypothermia after being unable to start the fire in the cabin.

The only problem is that we know Kemp must have made it somewhere that had a phone because he called the museum. Perhaps a rest stop. If that is the case, why not just stay there? I mean, it is a safe police, and if he's worried about his vision and driving abilities, it would probably be safest to stay put.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 10:13 AM
The only problem is that we know Kemp must have made it somewhere that had a phone because he called the museum. Perhaps a rest stop. If that is the case, why not just stay there? I mean, it is a safe police, and if he's worried about his vision and driving abilities, it would probably be safest to stay put.

I wonder if he stopped off prior to reaching the rest area where his car was found (possibly in Laramie) and placed the call then.

wiseguy182
06-10-2016, 01:24 PM
The friend (Judy Aiello, is that her name?) is certain she Don left messages on her phone. She would recognize his voice. She called and Dennis told her Don was out, thus further verifying that Kemp had access to this phone in some capacity. This cannot be conveniently overlooked. It's also apparent that the phone bill shows time stamped calls that were placed after Kemp disappeared.

When you combine this with the credible eyewitness accounts, the appearance of a robbery at his vehicle, and the mysterious, suspicious, undetermined cause of death, it more than suggest something nefarious happened to Kemp.

Wyoming may be the least populated state out of 50, but it has its fair share of weird disappearances there. Think Bradyn Fuksa, the Uden family, David Lovely and Amy Bechtel.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 02:39 PM
The only problem is that we know Kemp must have made it somewhere that had a phone because he called the museum. Perhaps a rest stop. If that is the case, why not just stay there? I mean, it is a safe police, and if he's worried about his vision and driving abilities, it would probably be safest to stay put.

One more point: I don't think Kemp ever made it to the rest area. Because his vehicle was found on an off ramp from I-80 to get to the rest area. He pulled over prior to the road which leads to the rest area. I also forgot that the engine was still running when the patrolman found it. Which suggests that Kemp, in some sort of hurry, packed some clothes into his duffel bag, and took off into the prairie without bothering to cut the engine or close the driver's side door.

justins5256
06-10-2016, 03:35 PM
One more point: I don't think Kemp ever made it to the rest area. Because his vehicle was found on an off ramp from I-80 to get to the rest area. He pulled over prior to the road which leads to the rest area. I also forgot that the engine was still running when the patrolman found it. Which suggests that Kemp, in some sort of hurry, packed some clothes into his duffel bag, and took off into the prairie without bothering to cut the engine or close the driver's side door.

I find the direction of travel strange. If I'm looking at the map you provided correctly, it would seem that his direction of travel was still away from the museum. In other words, despite calling and telling them he was headed back to retrieve his attache, it doesn't seem like he even attempted to backtrack. It makes you wonder just where in the Hell he was going.

mozartpc27
06-10-2016, 09:48 PM
Never really "got" this case, although I admit I had no ready explanation for the phone calls. I guess I just figured it was something relatively mundane because it was obvious to me that Kemp never left that prairie once he wandered out on to it; I think RobinW hit the nail exactly on the head with his most recent podcast.

TheCars1986
06-10-2016, 09:54 PM
I find the direction of travel strange. If I'm looking at the map you provided correctly, it would seem that his direction of travel was still away from the museum. In other words, despite calling and telling them he was headed back to retrieve his attache, it doesn't seem like he even attempted to backtrack. It makes you wonder just where in the Hell he was going.

If it was nighttime, or approaching nighttime, he could have been driving westward trying to find lodging to stay for the night before backtracking the next morning. He takes the exit for the rest stop, assuming he still has his glasses, and when he can't find them, he freaks out and packs off for a night in the prairie.

Or maybe he planned on retrieving the attache at a later date after reaching his destination in Jackson Hole.

wiseguy182
06-11-2016, 04:35 AM
I absolutely don't believe he developed a sudden mental illness and left the relative warmth and safety of his car (where he could have been spotted and assisted) in order to camp out in the freezing prairie, out in the middle of nowhere, in an area he wasn't familiar with, miles from anyone.

He doesn't lock his vehicle (which is filled to the brim with his possessions), but takes a cooking pot and nothing to cook? No knife or gun to use for hunting?

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 09:04 AM
I absolutely don't believe he developed a sudden mental illness and left the relative warmth and safety of his car (where he could have been spotted and assisted) in order to camp out in the freezing prairie, out in the middle of nowhere, in an area he wasn't familiar with, miles from anyone.

He doesn't lock his vehicle (which is filled to the brim with his possessions), but takes a cooking pot and nothing to cook? No knife or gun to use for hunting?

Exactly. I'm not sure how this 'mental breakdown' theory came to be. Where is the proof?

Besides the ornery yokel sheriff (who had never even met Don), no one in the segment alluded to the fact that he was suffering from a mental illness, or even acting particularly strange right before he started his journey. It was stated that he wanted to change his lifestyle after recovering from a car accident that left him disabled. But again, how disabled and in what capacity? How 'disabled' could one be to be able to sell off your belongings, purchase a new vehicle, load it up with your belongings, DRIVE FROM NYC to WYOMING, start a research project, and seem to have some sort of plan as to starting a new life in a new state, all whilst keeping his friends and family 'in the loop'. (sorry for that run-on sentence, lol). This does not sound like someone on the verge of a mental breakdown, maybe more like a mid life crises, or even just someone transitioning.

Again, where is the proof Don had a mental/psychotic breakdown? I am completely confused at this theory.

That said, I wish we would have heard from people who actually spoke to and spent time with Don in the days before he went missing. I think they could provide the most valuable insight.

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 09:17 AM
Again, where is the proof Don had a mental/psychotic breakdown? I am completely confused at this theory.

They found various papers in his vehicle which explicitly stated that his "research" was an attempt to hold a seance to contact the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. He sold nearly everything he owned prior to leaving. He packed all of his remaining belongings in his vehicle. He left his attache case at the museum. These are fairly large items that can't easily be misplaced. He was not in his right frame of mind when he went on the trip. It's no different than the David Stone case.

That said, I wish we would have heard from people who actually spoke to and spent time with Don in the days before he went missing. I think they could provide the most valuable insight.

They have said he left to find Abe Lincoln's spirit. They also said he referred to himself as a prophet, who wanted to start a Lincoln spirit contacting cult. His own mother was quoted as saying Kemp was deeply religious and that he probably wandered off to meditate before getting lost. That's pretty telling.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 09:32 AM
Who made the phone calls? That's the question.

It's pretty telling that the sheriff explicitly stated he could not explain the phone calls, nor could Mark Dennis. If you're building something from a kit and you have parts left over, you've done it wrong.

Not to mention that Mark Dennis lied, evaded and quickly got the heck out of dodge. It's suspicious.

I should also point out that literally minutes before this segment aired, Burr stated the details were recreated with "precise detail" and that's not the only time I've heard that about UM. The whole "re-enactment goofs" defense is one I've never personally cared for because it can be both argued for and argued against by the same person. If something on UM fits a person's theory, they're all for it. If it doesn't, then it could be a re-enactment goof". Blurred lines.

If Don Kemp was living in Mark's trailer for some time, I don't think we've ever discussed what he was doing there. It is possible Don was there voluntarily, at least initially, but something nefarious happened to him later on. I'm willing to bet this is the case since the various sightings and answering machine recordings after his disappearance suggest Kemp was in no apparent danger at the time. Did the two have a falling out?

The 'ambushed in his vehicle theory' definitely could have happened. It's almost certainly what happened to Oliver Munson. This was also near a rest stop, which are known for illegal activities.

In my gut, I believe Don was ambushed at that intersection. Clothes strewn about a vehicle unlocked, keys still in the ignition, some belongings removed. To me it reads 'crime scene'. The footprints in the prairie. How do we know a) they were Don's, and b) perhaps he was running for his life, from attackers. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, there are crazies and criminals in Wyoming.

As far as the phone calls from the trailer, I do think it's possible Don was staying in the trailer with Dennis for a time after he was thought to have disappeared. Perhaps, after the 'ambush', he was disoriented, injured or what have you, and somehow met up with Dennis - maybe he was a passing motorist who offered help? Some have alluded to the fact that they may have been lovers. That is entirely possible. But what happened after Don left? Was Dennis involved in his death?

The fact that Don's body was found 3 miles from where his vehicle was found abandoned years before....raises red flags. But in my jaded NYC mentality, I can see Dennis dumping Don's body nearby the disappearance site to cover his own tracks. Who knows. To me, THIS is the real mystery of the case. If Don was alive for one or more years after, where was he during that time and how did he meet his demise?

I'd like to see the autopsy report.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 09:37 AM
Never really "got" this case, although I admit I had no ready explanation for the phone calls. I guess I just figured it was something relatively mundane because it was obvious to me that Kemp never left that prairie once he wandered out on to it; I think RobinW hit the nail exactly on the head with his most recent podcast.

I listened to the podcast and there were no new theories presented. It was as if he took all of the theories on the case directly from this thread.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 09:51 AM
They found various papers in his vehicle which explicitly stated that his "research" was an attempt to hold a seance to contact the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. He sold nearly everything he owned prior to leaving. He packed all of his remaining belongings in his vehicle. He left his attache case at the museum. These are fairly large items that can't easily be misplaced. He was not in his right frame of mind when he went on the trip. It's no different than the David Stone case.

The bolded is definitely strange - but any proof/links of who reported this? The rest, I do not find odd, or an indicator of an impending mental breakdown.

They have said he left to find Abe Lincoln's spirit. They also said he referred to himself as a prophet, who wanted to start a Lincoln spirit contacting cult. His own mother was quoted as saying Kemp was deeply religious and that he probably wandered off to meditate before getting lost. That's pretty telling.

Again, the bolded raises red flags. But I want proof of who reported this.

RobinW
06-11-2016, 11:20 AM
I listened to the podcast and there were no new theories presented. It was as if he took all of the theories on the case directly from this thread.

To be fair, the podcast was originally recorded several weeks ago and not released until this week. There has since been a lot of recent activity on this thread which has gone over most of the material I presented.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 11:23 AM
To be fair, the podcast was originally recorded several weeks ago and not released until this week. There has since been a lot of recent activity on this thread which has gone over most of the material I presented.

I suppose, but the podcast was still just a regurgitation of this thread.

justins5256
06-11-2016, 11:48 AM
In my gut, I believe Don was ambushed at that intersection.

By whom and for what purpose? This was the middle of nowhere, at least 40 miles from any town and in the winter. A blizzard came through three days after Don disappeared and they had to suspend/call off the search because it was too cold and dangerous. One of the articles about the case described this precise location as "no man's land."

Clothes strewn about a vehicle unlocked, keys still in the ignition, some belongings removed. To me it reads 'crime scene'.

But consider the context.

1. Desolate prairie. Miles from civilization.
2. It was winter.
3. The highway patrol officer was skeptical that anyone else could have been with Don because the vehicle was packed full.
4. There is a single set of footprints out in the snow leading away from the vehicle and into the prairie.
5. The footprints were followed as best they could in those conditions, and several items belonging to Kemp were found along the trail. Who else could have put them there?

The footprints in the prairie. How do we know a) they were Don's, and b) perhaps he was running for his life, from attackers. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, there are crazies and criminals in Wyoming.

Consider the context I sketched above, who else could have left the footprints? The vehicle belonged to and was registered to Kemp. The items in the vehicle were Kemp's. Kemp "vanished" and was never heard from again. Various items belonging to Kemp were found at various points along the footprint trail. The desolate location. Again, who else would be out there? It is only logical to conclude the footprints were Kemp's.

If he was running, it would have been evident by the stride between the tracks. No one eluded to this in the segment or the articles. The trooper who first arrived on the scenes suspected he walked out there alone.

If he was being chased where are the other person's footprints? Once again, all signs point to him taking off alone.

As far as the phone calls from the trailer, I do think it's possible Don was staying in the trailer with Dennis for a time after he was thought to have disappeared. Perhaps, after the 'ambush', he was disoriented, injured or what have you, and somehow met up with Dennis - maybe he was a passing motorist who offered help? Some have alluded to the fact that they may have been lovers. That is entirely possible. But what happened after Don left? Was Dennis involved in his death?

Is all this possible? Sure! Anything is possible.

I could also argue that Kemp was a government agent who uncovered some secret about the Lincoln assassination (he was researching it, right?) and that Dennis was Kemp's liaison and he was on his way to Casper to rendezvous with Dennis (they were in the same state after all) and give him the information, but he was intercepted by the KGB (the vehicle was found abandoned and in disarray) before he got there. Dennis then went out to save his buddy. He and Don returned to the trailer where Don made a few phone calls to Judy, another operative (her number was secret and unlisted) to tell her the mission was off, but he couldn't get through. One day, Don was taking a bath, but the water was too cold and he died of exposure (because that is what the autopsy says). Dennis, now desperate to rid his connection to Kemp and not expose the mission moved his body to the prairie (because that is where it was found).

Pretty ridiculous, right? Disprove any of it. I dare you.

We have to rely on evidence. There is no evidence of a connection between Dennis and Kemp aside from the phone calls. But, there are possible, mundane, explanations for them such as wrong number dialings or the possibility that Dennis did somehow come across Kemp's address book and decided to play games (go figure). Is it a perfect explanation with no holes? No. But it is the most logical given the whole picture. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

The fact that Don's body was found 3 miles from where his vehicle was found abandoned years before....raises red flags. But in my jaded NYC mentality, I can see Dennis dumping Don's body nearby the disappearance site to cover his own tracks. Who knows. To me, THIS is the real mystery of the case. If Don was alive for one or more years after, where was he during that time and how did he meet his demise?

The evidence suggests he was in the prairie. The abandoned vehicle, the footprints, the belongings strewn along the path, the evidence discovered during the search suggests he (or someone) was out there. A blizzard swept through three days after he disappeared and the search was called off. Survival was unlikely. His body was then found a few years later not all that far from where he disappeared We have no idea of direction/distance or at what point Don made it to that spot where he fell. Given the vastness of the location, it isn't surprising it wasn't found right away.

Another thing I'd just like to briefly mention and I'm not trying to pick on you, but a lot of people do this in formulating arguments - they insert their own characteristics and circumstances into the argument. This isn't a good strategy, to put it nicely.

The fact that you mentioned your jaded NYC mentality is a case in point. Sure, dumping a body may be something that occurs daily in NYC, but is that applicable everywhere? And I don't just mean in a physically possible sense - because it is possible, anything is. However, the more pertinent question you have to ask is "is it likely?" In other words, does the NYC mentality apply in rural Wyoming?

I'd like to see the autopsy report.

It would probably say he died of exposure. Beyond that, it would probably have a lot of medical jargon that would be over all of our heads. We aren't experts with the proper credentials to evaluate this is any meaningful way.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 12:19 PM
By whom and for what purpose? This was the middle of nowhere, at least 40 miles from any town and in the winter. A blizzard came through three days after Don disappeared and they had to suspend/call off the search because it was too cold and dangerous. One of the articles about the case described this precise location as "no man's land."



But consider the context.

1. Desolate prairie. Miles from civilization.
2. It was winter.
3. The highway patrol officer was skeptical that anyone else could have been with Don because the vehicle was packed full.
4. There is a single set of footprints out in the snow leading away from the vehicle and into the prairie.
5. The footprints were followed as best they could in those conditions, and several items belonging to Kemp were found along the trail. Who else could have put them there?



Consider the context I sketched above, who else could have left the footprints? The vehicle belonged to and was registered to Kemp. The items in the vehicle were Kemp's. Kemp "vanished" and was never heard from again. Various items belonging to Kemp were found at various points along the footprint trail. The desolate location. Again, who else would be out there? It is only logical to conclude the footprints were Kemp's.

If he was running, it would have been evident by the stride between the tracks. No one eluded to this in the segment or the articles. The trooper who first arrived on the scenes suspected he walked out there alone.

If he was being chased where are the other person's footprints? Once again, all signs point to him taking off alone.



Is all this possible? Sure! Anything is possible.

I could also argue that Kemp was a government agent who uncovered some secret about the Lincoln assassination (he was researching it, right?) and that Dennis was Kemp's liaison and he was on his way to Casper to rendezvous with Dennis (they were in the same state after all) and give him the information, but he was intercepted by the KGB (the vehicle was found abandoned and in disarray) before he got there. Dennis then went out to save his buddy. He and Don returned to the trailer where Don made a few phone calls to Judy, another operative (her number was secret and unlisted) to tell her the mission was off, but he couldn't get through. One day, Don was taking a bath, but the water was too cold and he died of exposure (because that is what the autopsy says). Dennis, now desperate to rid his connection to Kemp and not expose the mission moved his body to the prairie (because that is where it was found).

Pretty ridiculous, right? Disprove any of it. I dare you.

We have to rely on evidence. There is no evidence of a connection between Dennis and Kemp aside from the phone calls. But, there are possible, mundane, explanations for them such as wrong number dialings or the possibility that Dennis did somehow come across Kemp's address book and decided to play games (go figure). Is it a perfect explanation with no holes? No. But it is the most logical given the whole picture. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.



The evidence suggests he was in the prairie. The abandoned vehicle, the footprints, the belongings strewn along the path, the evidence discovered during the search suggests he (or someone) was out there. A blizzard swept through three days after he disappeared and the search was called off. Survival was unlikely. His body was then found a few years later not all that far from where he disappeared We have no idea of direction/distance or at what point Don made it to that spot where he fell. Given the vastness of the location, it isn't surprising it wasn't found right away.

Another thing I'd just like to briefly mention and I'm not trying to pick on you, but a lot of people do this in formulating arguments - they insert their own characteristics and circumstances into the argument. This isn't a good strategy, to put it nicely.

The fact that you mentioned your jaded NYC mentality is a case in point. Sure, dumping a body may be something that occurs daily in NYC, but is that applicable everywhere? And I don't just mean in a physically possible sense - because it is possible, anything is. However, the more pertinent question you have to ask is "is it likely?" In other words, does the NYC mentality apply in rural Wyoming?



It would probably say he died of exposure. Beyond that, it would probably have a lot of medical jargon that would be over all of our heads. We aren't experts with the proper credentials to evaluate this is any meaningful way.

So you've reviewed the autopsy? And the report by Dr. Angel regarding the state of Don Kemp's remains? Some of us on this forum actually do have the credentials and professional experience to properly assess both.

I applaud your ambitious enthusiasm to so quickly respond to my post, and at such length, but I disagree with all of your points.

justins5256
06-11-2016, 01:05 PM
So you've reviewed the autopsy? And the report by Dr. Angel regarding the state of Don Kemp's remains? Some of us on this forum actually do have the credentials and professional experience to properly assess both.

On the Unsolved Mysteries segment, it is stated that the autopsy revealed Kemp died of exposure. There is no evidence of an autopsy performed by Dr. Angel and TheCars cited some evidence which makes it seem unlikely Angel conducted an autopsy anyway.

A pathologist or someone with a MD or a degree along those lines would be the most qualified person to speak on the merits of any autopsy report. Granted, there may be someone like that on the forum. I'm unaware of if there is.

wiseguy182
06-11-2016, 01:24 PM
I listened to the podcast and there were no new theories presented. It was as if he took all of the theories on the case directly from this thread.

Thank you for saying what I was thinking but was afraid to mention. Truth be told, it could probably apply to the other UM related podcasts as well.

wiseguy182
06-11-2016, 01:59 PM
To recap some of the theories presented in this thread, we have Don Kemp (with no known history of mental illness) suddenly develops a mental illness while driving, leaves his vehicle in a state where it is a prime target for burglars or being hit by another vehicle or towed, leaves behind the relative warmth and safety of the vehicle in order to camp out in the freezing prairie, miles from help and a place he was unfamiliar with, takes items he has no possible use for, leaves behind items that could have helped him, and doesn't have the wherewithal to find his way back or start a fire or survive, but has the wherewithal to backtrack his steps for no known reason and evade the help of people trying to find him. And there's a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why Mark Dennis called a friend of Don's (whose phone number was unlisted) and then lied, evaded and abruptly moved away from the area a short time later.

Pardon me if I find that rather absurd.

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 02:28 PM
Again, the bolded raises red flags. But I want proof of who reported this.

"he had told friends of gathering the masses and starting a cult"

"He told one person that he was going to start a kind of cult, that he was a prophet and a leader of man."

"Deputy Ron Johnson said a diary found in Kemp's van contained religious references."

"According to Kemp's mother, Kemp was deeply religious."

All quotes taken from a local Salisbury, MD (Kemp's hometown) article written about the case. Link (http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showpost.php?p=5132824&postcount=139) to the article. I had to buy it, so I transcribed it.

A woman made a comment over at the UM site and said she was the daughter of the patrolman who found Kemp's vehicle. She said:

"Don Kemp definitely was struggling with mental and physical issues based on things they found in his blazer"

There's no way of knowing if this woman really is the patrolman's daughter, but considering there was no source in print, nor any mention in the UM segment of anything odd or off found in his vehicle outside of one internet article (which you have to pay to see) I have to figure she's telling the truth.

On the same site, a comment was written by one of Kemp's friends (who also knew the friend of Kemp's who used the backdrop his disappearance to write a fictionalized thriller) and he said this:

"I don't know if he was hooked on any medication as depicted in Bob's book. I expected he would eventually return. A few short years after his body was found, I learned that all along he had been interested in trying to contact Lincoln's spirit and that he had held seances in his apartment. His girlfriend loaned me tapes of those seances, and they were so weird. I knew that Don had once participated in trying to contact Mrs. Surratt's spirit with a few friends through a Ouija board, but I thought it was just for fun."

Kemp's friend's fictionalized account of Kemp's story includes multiple reference to the protagonist (Kemp) being hooked on multiple pills. Granted, it is a fiction, but he gets the basic story right of Kemp leaving NY to WY, the seances, the research into Lincoln, etc.

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 02:31 PM
I listened to the podcast and there were no new theories presented. It was as if he took all of the theories on the case directly from this thread.

Hmm...

Since you believe Kemp was abducted and murdered, shouldn't you be grateful that someone is giving this case exposure in an attempt to find the "killers"?

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 02:36 PM
On the Unsolved Mysteries segment, it is stated that the autopsy revealed Kemp died of exposure. There is no evidence of an autopsy performed by Dr. Angel and TheCars cited some evidence which makes it seem unlikely Angel conducted an autopsy anyway.

A pathologist or someone with a MD or a degree along those lines would be the most qualified person to speak on the merits of any autopsy report. Granted, there may be someone like that on the forum. I'm unaware of if there is.

The bolded is true, however an individual with an educational background in various medical sciences, forensic sciences, criminology or even professional experience reviewing legal cases involving the deceased are also qualified to make proper assessments of an autopsy. I am certain that one or more of these 'types' are members of this forum.

That said, I did not state that Dr. Angel did an autopsy on Don Kemp. Dr. Angel did a REPORT on Don Kemp's remains and found the time frame of the exposure theory to be highly questionable, even citing some type of hole in Don Kemp's skull. Dr. Angel by the way, was a world renowned biological anthropologist who worked at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel

Let's agree to disagree. At this point, the debate can go on for more than I care to endure. lol :)

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 02:47 PM
Thank you for saying what I was thinking but was afraid to mention. Truth be told, it could probably apply to the other UM related podcasts as well.

Absolutely, wiseguy. And yes, there is one other podcast that comes to mind which does the same, but at least at times comes up with a few different theories other than those posted on this forum and other similar forums. If you're going to do a podcast on an unsolved case, rather than merely regurgitate facts from tv shows and message boards, come up with at least two or more angles to weave in to your storyline to make it appear more authentic. ;)

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 02:49 PM
This was posted in the November 6th, 1985 edition of the newspaper.


Memorial services for Paul Donald Kemp Jr., 35, a former resident of Baltimore, will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Harrison E. Leonard Funeral Home, St. Michaels. The Rev. Dr. Kenneth R. Rose of St. Luke's United Methodist Church will officiate. Mr. Kemp was a 1965 graduate of Woodlawn . Sr. High School, Baltimore, where he had served as president of the sophomore, junior, and senior class. He was a 1969 graduate of Lehigh University, serving as president and secretary of Chi Phi Fraternity. Since 1969, Mr. Kemp had lived and worked as an advertising executive in New York. His lifelong interest in Abraham Lincoln led to a trip West to follow the Lincoln Trail to gather material for a planned book. Mr. Kemp was reported missing near Elk Mountain, Wyo., Nov. 16, 1982. Mr. Kemp is survived by his mother, Mary E. Kemp of Salisbury; his father, Paul D. Kemp Sr. of Baltimore; a sister, Kathy Kemp Dobe of Chicago, and his paternal grandmother, Margaret Hyer of Baltimore. Friends may call at the Harrison E. Leonard Funeral Home in St. Michaels on Saturday.

In a little over a month, Dr. Angel sure did become extremely intrigued about a case he had no knowledge of, got his remains sent to the Smithsonian (God knows why) after one phone call, examined them, disputed the recently completed autopsy report, made no note or report of his own to his superiors, colleagues, or law enforcement in Wyoming, handed the reports over to Kemp's "sister", who then refused to look at them and instead gave them to an aunt.

There has never been any mention of this in any of the articles I've uncovered mentioning Kemp's death. He was found in early October, and by early November, he was being buried in his hometown. This is not at all unusual, considering the distance from Wyoming to Maryland, and that the autopsy in Wyoming had to be completed. I don't see where Dr. Angel had the time to ever look at his remains. In other words, don't believe everything that you read on the internet.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 02:50 PM
To recap some of the theories presented in this thread, we have Don Kemp (with no known history of mental illness) suddenly develops a mental illness while driving, leaves his vehicle in a state where it is a prime target for burglars or being hit by another vehicle or towed, leaves behind the relative warmth and safety of the vehicle in order to camp out in the freezing prairie, miles from help and a place he was unfamiliar with, takes items he has no possible use for, leaves behind items that could have helped him, and doesn't have the wherewithal to find his way back or start a fire or survive, but has the wherewithal to backtrack his steps for no known reason and evade the help of people trying to find him. And there's a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why Mark Dennis called a friend of Don's (whose phone number was unlisted) and then lied, evaded and abruptly moved away from the area a short time later.

Pardon me if I find that rather absurd.

Thank you.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 02:55 PM
"he had told friends of gathering the masses and starting a cult"

"He told one person that he was going to start a kind of cult, that he was a prophet and a leader of man."

"Deputy Ron Johnson said a diary found in Kemp's van contained religious references."

"According to Kemp's mother, Kemp was deeply religious."

All quotes taken from a local Salisbury, MD (Kemp's hometown) article written about the case. Link (http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showpost.php?p=5132824&postcount=139) to the article. I had to buy it, so I transcribed it.

A woman made a comment over at the UM site and said she was the daughter of the patrolman who found Kemp's vehicle. She said:

"Don Kemp definitely was struggling with mental and physical issues based on things they found in his blazer"

There's no way of knowing if this woman really is the patrolman's daughter, but considering there was no source in print, nor any mention in the UM segment of anything odd or off found in his vehicle outside of one internet article (which you have to pay to see) I have to figure she's telling the truth.

On the same site, a comment was written by one of Kemp's friends (who also knew the friend of Kemp's who used the backdrop his disappearance to write a fictionalized thriller) and he said this:

"I don't know if he was hooked on any medication as depicted in Bob's book. I expected he would eventually return. A few short years after his body was found, I learned that all along he had been interested in trying to contact Lincoln's spirit and that he had held seances in his apartment. His girlfriend loaned me tapes of those seances, and they were so weird. I knew that Don had once participated in trying to contact Mrs. Surratt's spirit with a few friends through a Ouija board, but I thought it was just for fun."

Kemp's friend's fictionalized account of Kemp's story includes multiple reference to the protagonist (Kemp) being hooked on multiple pills. Granted, it is a fiction, but he gets the basic story right of Kemp leaving NY to WY, the seances, the research into Lincoln, etc.

Hmmm, I thought you just wrote 'Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.' ;)

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 02:56 PM
By whom and for what purpose? This was the middle of nowhere, at least 40 miles from any town and in the winter. A blizzard came through three days after Don disappeared and they had to suspend/call off the search because it was too cold and dangerous. One of the articles about the case described this precise location as "no man's land."

I've reviewed the google street view of the area, and "no mans land" is an accurate description. Outside of the "rest area" (you can even go inside the rest area on google street view, which is weird), which consists of 2 bathrooms and a telephone, there is nothing around for miles and miles.

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 02:59 PM
Hmmm, I thought you just wrote 'Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.' ;)

I take the comment sections on Youtube and UM with a grain of salt. However, when there are other sources of this information not typically known (such as a newspaper article from 1985 which you have to pay to view) which are mentioned, I tend to believe them. I've yet to see one mention of this "report" that Dr. Angel did that did not originate from this forum. None of the seance spirit contacting stuff was brought up on any article or website about this case, up until a few days ago in this thread...which were backed up by an article written in 1985.

I suspect Kemp's friend who wrote the book posted those theories as a way to drum up interest in his book.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 03:01 PM
I've reviewed the google street view of the area, and "no mans land" is an accurate description. Outside of the "rest area" (you can even go inside the rest area on google street view, which is weird), which consists of 2 bathrooms and a telephone, there is nothing around for miles and miles.

Perfect site for a car jacking.

TheCars1986
06-11-2016, 03:03 PM
Perfect site for a car jacking.

Some car jacker. He must have really wanted some socks, a tea pot, and soap.

justins5256
06-11-2016, 03:20 PM
The bolded is true, however an individual with an educational background in various medical sciences, forensic sciences, criminology or even professional experience reviewing legal cases involving the deceased are also qualified to make proper assessments of an autopsy. I am certain that one or more of these 'types' are members of this forum.

I successfully completed a home ec type course in high school. If you had a plumbing problem in your house, I could probably come check it out and make a recommendation about the best way to fix it. I'll bet you would still end up calling a plumber after I left.

That said, I did not state that Dr. Angel did an autopsy on Don Kemp. Dr. Angel did a REPORT on Don Kemp's remains and found the time frame of the exposure theory to be highly questionable, even citing some type of hole in Don Kemp's skull. Dr. Angel by the way, was a world renowned biological anthropologist who worked at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Angel

Since you posted this, TheCars has already hashed this out as to the reasons why these claims are highly questionable. I won't bother to restate his position. I might add though that the same post where this information about Dr. Angel originally came from also suggested, among other things, that Kemp's disappearance may have been related to UFOs, government coverups due to information Kemp uncovered about the Lincoln assassination, and the paranormal.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 03:23 PM
I take the comment sections on Youtube and UM with a grain of salt. However, when there are other sources of this information not typically known (such as a newspaper article from 1985 which you have to pay to view) which are mentioned, I tend to believe them. I've yet to see one mention of this "report" that Dr. Angel did that did not originate from this forum. None of the seance spirit contacting stuff was brought up on any article or website about this case, up until a few days ago in this thread...which were backed up by an article written in 1985.

I suspect Kemp's friend who wrote the book posted those theories as a way to drum up interest in his book.

I highly doubt that the family of a world renowned anthropologist and former Smithsonian employee would allow his legacy and reputation to be tainted by false claims of being attached to Don Kemp's case. A bit more digging into Dr. Angel's research before his death would provide clues. BTW, he was involved in cold cases before his death. Google (http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?11325-UID-Female-20-33-DE-1964-Skull-Likely-Bi-Racial)

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 03:27 PM
Some car jacker. He must have really wanted some socks, a tea pot, and soap.

...and maybe, possibly...money, jewelry or other valuables which people like Don Kemp, who had 'everything they possess' jammed into their vehicle. ;)

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 03:42 PM
I hate to revive an old thread but somethings are just not adding up to me. First off how can a body lie in a prairie unnoticed for such an extended period of time. I understand the vastness of it but someone owns those fields and in a 3 year span had to of gone over his/her property. I guess it is possible that land is not owned or owned by the government but the land would still be checked on in a 3 year span. Another thing that puzzles me is how the body was so preserved. I'm pretty sure we can agree that the body was unmarked (I'm not going to go off of the sister's post sense it doesn't have much credibility in my eyes.) and unscathed for sitting in a a prairie for 3 years. The body would of been altered by the elements. Honestly that is what puts most of the holes in the theory that he wandered off on his own. On the note of suicide, that does make a lot of sense. There were indicated markers that just seemed set up by him so that way it would get noticed. Now here is my theory. Donald Kemp was abducted. Now this may seem improbable but hear me out. Donald Kemp was driving down the road and saw a car with warning lights flashing on the side of the road. He pulls over to see the issue and to help the man. The man (in my opinion) was the guy from the trailer. In my mind I want to believe it was battery trouble since Kemp's car was left on. Also it would explain the clothes on the ground. Kemp would have to look for the jumper cables inside the car but due to his belongings in the way he would haphazardly throw them on the ground. This is when the Man (i will refer to the trailer guys as the Man from now on.) either held him at gun point or with some other weapon. The Man then forced Kemp to walk in the prairie with his dufflebag. I'm not sure how they lose the dufflebag but either in a slight altercation he loses the dufflebag before removing 4 socks. You may remember during the UM episode that in the barn there were 3 socks, i mention 4 for some credibility to my theory but i'll touch on that soon. Now you maybe wondering how two people walk through the snow in one set of tracks. The simple is they walked single file with the Man pointing a gun at Kemp's back. The Man was careful to put his shoe in to Kemp's track. This maybe improbable but its the only explanation i can think of of how they got there and it would explain the walking backwards out of the barn theory presented by the police officer during the episode. Once they reach the barn they both enter and the Man tells Kemp to sit down. He then takes out the socks he retrieved from the dufflebag. He forces one into Kemp's mouth in order to silence him and then lays the other 3 on the ground. This kind of explains the socks found in the barn. Honestly i do not believe Kemp as smart as he was would only grab 3 socks. Now you may ask yourself where the fourth sock is but i will touch on that in a minute. The man attempts to start a fire out of sticks and fails. This explains the stick pile since it was cold. Kemp eventually falls asleep and this is when the Man removes his wallet (I'm not sure it was a wallet he had on his person or not, or if it was left at the museum pure speculation on my part) and the address book. I'm going to touch on the address book in a minute as you can kind of see where this is going. During the course of the night Kemp wakes up to see the Man either sleeping or distracted with trying to start the fire. I want to say he was sleeping since him not noticing his hostage leaving while awake seems implausible. It's at this moment that Kemp tries to escape the barn. This is where Kemp removes the sock from his mouth and backs out the door slowly. Now I know i eluded to the footprints to being two pairs in the same track however if Kemp walked back through the tracks to cover his trail his new foot prints would override the Man's giving the illusion that Kemp was the only one to enter the barn. This is merely speculation on my part. This is when Kemp passes away due to the elements. No foul play. I want to emphasize that. The Man wakes up freaks when he see's that Kemp is gone and sets out to find him. He leaves in hurry so he leaves the 3 socks behind but see's the 4th sock on the ground. He picks it up and stuffs it into his pocket. Seems kind of illogical but in theory it does make sense. Now here is where my theory hits a slight rut. I cannot decide if the Man ends up finding Kemp's body or not. As I previously stated i doubt his body was left out there for 3 years without being noticed or untouched so I'm leaning to the Man finding Kemp's dead body some distance away from the barn. MY theory is that The man picks up Kemp's body and brings to his car and drives off. Local authorities cannot locate the body since the Man has moved it. Everything fits into to place nicely. At least in my head. After the "kidnapping" everything gets hazy for me. For the body to be that preserved the Man would of had to of taken care of the body. Which could be possible. The man could of been sick in the head or been planning. He could of been planning to dump the body back in the prairie at some point so he was preserving the body until he felt enough time had passed. Five months pass. The Man is feeling guilty for what he has done. In essence he has murdered Kemp. Out of guilt, he picks a number in the address book he stole from Kemp and calls the number portraying Kemp. The woman in NY not being there is unable to pick up the phone. This causes the Man to call back multiple times in hope that she does pick up. This is when the Man realizes what he has done (calling the number wise) and waits for the inevitable call. The woman calls back and the man says Kemp isnt back yet hoping to draw away suspicion. Not the greatest theory but its better than a prank call. Honestly, if you're going to prank call someone you don't leave 5 voice mail then deny everything once they call back. A prank call as some humor in it for the person that is doing the pranking. In my eyes the way the calls were placed no humor was seen. Just my opinion. The calls are the oddest part of this whole case and despite my theory I cannot fully explain it. At some point the mother finds the Man and begins to question him along with local police. The Man begins to worry and panics. He grabs the body and shortly after flees town. He dumps the body a few miles in the prairie and drives off never to be heard from again. Some time later the body is found and the police right it off as death due to cold or whatever the official diagnosis was. The briefcase that was left at the museum by accident and doesn't have anything to do with the case at hand. There are some obvious holes in my theory but it seems logical to me.

Another plausible theory.

NYSleuth
06-11-2016, 03:49 PM
I successfully completed a home ec type course in high school. If you had a plumbing problem in your house, I could probably come check it out and make a recommendation about the best way to fix it. I'll bet you would still end up calling a plumber after I left.

:confused: Not understanding...


Since you posted this, TheCars has already hashed this out as to the reasons why these claims are highly questionable. I won't bother to restate his position. I might add though that the same post where this information about Dr. Angel originally came from also suggested, among other things, that Kemp's disappearance may have been related to UFOs, government coverups due to information Kemp uncovered about the Lincoln assassination, and the paranormal.

Let's be clear, I do NOT believe in the paranormal/UFO, and government conspiracy theories being thrown around in this case. I DO believe, however that Dr. Angel DID do a review and report on Don Kemp's remains. If I have the time, I'll try and find more info on it and post it for you. If you & Cars are so inclined, be my guest, contact the Smithsonian, Dr. Angel's family, former colleagues and see if you can find out more about this report. ;)

wiseguy182
06-11-2016, 06:14 PM
There are a lot of possible motives for foul play.

One of my main problems with LE in this segment is that they don't offer a believable explanation as to what happened to Kemp, or for that matter, even coming close. You had the one guy state that he was absolutely certain Kemp would have heard the search helicopters and such, which hints that he thought Kemp was committing suicide and didn't want to be found. There are 2 inherent problems with this theory: 1) suicide by freeze/exposure is extremely uncommon. 2) that wouldn't explain the pile of sticks. If Kemp was committing suicide, why did he apparently try to start a fire?

And then you had the gruff sheriff stating that Kemp was "mentally disturbed", and suggests that Kemp had some sort of psychotic break that caused him to wander away from his vehicle and wander out into the prairie and eventually die of exposure. Of course, this is a completely different theory than the suicide angle and comes with its own set of problems and unlikelihoods.

LooksLikeCRicci
06-11-2016, 09:06 PM
To be fair, the podcast was originally recorded several weeks ago and not released until this week. There has since been a lot of recent activity on this thread which has gone over most of the material I presented.

I don't think it's Robin's job to present new theories on every case he profiles. That's kinda like saying you expect him to solve them.

Even if his theories are just "a regurgitation," I'm happy for the podcast and am grateful that Robin takes time to do these. I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment.

wiseguy182
06-12-2016, 06:14 AM
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19840413&id=ZOYbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6562,3316813&hl=en

My takeaways:

-The vehicle was left with its engine idling. This would have been incredibly foolish for Don to do since it would have eventually caused the car to run out of gas, and he was 40 miles from any town. Don doesn't have the presence of mind to turn it off, but has the presence of mind to take a cooking pot, with no utensils, food or water? Or gun and knife to hunt with? Huh? This also shoots down the sheriff's theory that Don attempted to get back to his vehicle after the first day and take off because what good would it do Don if the vehicle had no gas?

-This article also gives us a more detailed list of Mark Dennis's ever-changing story. Judy Aeillo says the messages on her machine were from Don speaking in an urgent and strained voice. When Judy Aeillo calls and asks if she can speak to Don, Mark says "yes" and then "no." When she asks to leave a message, Mark says "yes" and then abruptly hangs up. Mark then was asked to take a polygraph, which he agreed to, before reneging, lawyering up and moving away from the area abruptly, refusing to cooperate with authorities.

No, that's not suspicious at all. But as if all that wasn't enough, Dennis then implies someone else from the trailer made the calls. However, the problem with that is that there is supposedly nobody else living in that trailer? Is Dennis suggesting that someone broke into his trailer and made some long-distance calls to an unlisted number for no known reason? That is outrageous!

-It's interesting that the sheriff's deputy in this article believed Don was still alive as of that point, two years later. So LE has theories ranging from still alive in 1984, suicide and exposure. That's 3 different hypothesis. And at least one member of law enforcement believed he was still alive in 1984, which would mesh with Don's sister claim that the body was well preserved when it was found in 1985 or 1986.

TheCars1986
06-13-2016, 07:40 AM
I highly doubt that the family of a world renowned anthropologist and former Smithsonian employee would allow his legacy and reputation to be tainted by false claims of being attached to Don Kemp's case. A bit more digging into Dr. Angel's research before his death would provide clues. BTW, he was involved in cold cases before his death. Google (http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?11325-UID-Female-20-33-DE-1964-Skull-Likely-Bi-Racial)

This has been discussed previously in this thread. Angel would only work on cold cases (Kemp would not be considered a cold case after his body was found) when requested by law enforcement. His research before his death involved digging up mass graves of freed blacks behind an old church in Philadelphia.

TheCars1986
06-13-2016, 07:55 AM
So no one is going to acknowledge the large elephant in the room and wonder why Kemp's mother said that he "probably went off to meditate" before dying from exposure, prior to the filming of the UM segment?

This is another sign of his mental health at the time.

wiseguy182
06-13-2016, 04:24 PM
The attache case is an interesting piece of info. Burr states that Don "forgot" it there, and then we immediately cut to a scene of it laying on the ground, as if it had fallen out of his coat or something. Not that it really means anything. What I do think means something is that Don's sister said Don called the museum to ask if it was there, and then told them he would be in "right away" to collect it. In addition to his driving glasses, it also contained other effects, such as his diaries. His truck that was left behind contained, among other things, papers. I have to wonder if somebody felt Don was writing something that might expose someone and there's another possible motive for foul play.

The LE completely bungled this case. They didn't even attempt to get cast iron prints of the foot tracks or fingerprints off the vehicle. The sheriff believed right away there was no foul play involved, and as such, never investigated the case as a homicide or kidnapping or what have you. I would also like to know why they believe Don backtracked his footprints on the prairie, and for what reason they think he did this.

Judy Aeillo was afraid of her own safety to the point her face is not seen on the segment and her name is not mentioned. Considering the strong possibilty of foul play and that Mark Dennis had her phone number, I can understand why she was afraid.

LooksLikeCRicci
06-13-2016, 04:56 PM
no, it didn't. At no point in the segment does anyone say that.

The sheriff said he *thinks* Don died of exposure, but seemed to have great difficulty in deciding if he committed suicide (extremely highly unlikely) or wandered off due to being "mentally disturbed" (there is zero evidence Don had a mental illness at the time.) Another member of LE believes Kemp was alive as late as 1984.

But if he were alive as late as 1984, how in the heck did his body get back to the area where he disappeared? I'm not saying it couldn't have happened, but it just kinda seems out there...

TheCars1986
06-13-2016, 06:26 PM
I have my own theory as to why Kemp's mother changed her tune from the time his body was found to the time that the UM segment was filmed. She probably read the articles from the local papers portraying Kemp as a nutjob who thought himself a prophet, and the only way to combat that was to insist that he met with foul play and was murdered.

And a new thought regarding the phone calls:

What if Judy Aiello was wrong or mis-remembered some of the details? Let's say the man was trying to dial someone with a similar number, he calls and keeps leaving voice mails for this person. Then out of the blue, he gets a call from a strange woman asking if Don is there, and he's kind of taken aback (maybe he even had a friend named Don, it is a fairly common name) and that's why his response seems weird. Tack on the fact that he's calling the friend of a man who had just disappeared in the same state as he resided in, I think that would be enough for Dennis to hire a lawyer. If he told the police everything he knew, and they kept requestioning him (as well as the mother harassing him), what else was he supposed to do? In a similar vein to the Debbie Wolfe case, I think the phone message is a huge red herring that too much time is being spent over analyzing.

NYSleuth
06-13-2016, 07:45 PM
no, it didn't. At no point in the segment does anyone say that.

The sheriff said he *thinks* Don died of exposure, but seemed to have great difficulty in deciding if he committed suicide (extremely highly unlikely) or wandered off due to being "mentally disturbed" (there is zero evidence Don had a mental illness at the time.) Another member of LE believes Kemp was alive as late as 1984.

Thank you, wiseguy.

NYSleuth
06-13-2016, 08:03 PM
The attache case is an interesting piece of info. Burr states that Don "forgot" it there, and then we immediately cut to a scene of it laying on the ground, as if it had fallen out of his coat or something. Not that it really means anything. What I do think means something is that Don's sister said Don called the museum to ask if it was there, and then told them he would be in "right away" to collect it. In addition to his driving glasses, it also contained other effects, such as his diaries. His truck that was left behind contained, among other things, papers. I have to wonder if somebody felt Don was writing something that might expose someone and there's another possible motive for foul play.

I've always thought the same thing. That and the fact that world renowned biological anthropologist, Dr. J.L. Angel of the Smithsonian (allegedly) contacted Don's mother to ask to view his remains to report on the cause of death. Don wasn't just an average guy. He knew some important people and I do not believe this to be such an open and shut case.

The LE completely bungled this case. They didn't even attempt to get cast iron prints of the foot tracks or fingerprints off the vehicle. The sheriff believed right away there was no foul play involved, and as such, never investigated the case as a homicide or kidnapping or what have you. I would also like to know why they believe Don backtracked his footprints on the prairie, and for what reason they think he did this.


100% in agreement. The backtracking of the footsteps theory is pure horse poo. :rolleyes:

Judy Aeillo was afraid of her own safety to the point her face is not seen on the segment and her name is not mentioned. Considering the strong possibilty of foul play and that Mark Dennis had her phone number, I can understand why she was afraid.

Don't blame her one bit. Given the facts I'd be afraid, too.

NYSleuth
06-13-2016, 08:28 PM
I don't think it's Robin's job to present new theories on every case he profiles. That's kinda like saying you expect him to solve them.

Even if his theories are just "a regurgitation," I'm happy for the podcast and am grateful that Robin takes time to do these. I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment.

Apologies if I offended the podcast listeners or Robin. Not my intention at all. I don't expect him to solve any case, just present different angles than the ones that have already been on tv shows and all over the internet. If not, what is the point in listening if all you'll hear is the same information that can be found online and on tv; not to mention, theories presented by (and not credited to) other amateur sleuths on online forums. If you're going to do that, at least infuse some ironic humor or other quirky elements to add some entertainment. ;)

NYSleuth
06-13-2016, 08:34 PM
But if he were alive as late as 1984, how in the heck did his body get back to the area where he disappeared? I'm not saying it couldn't have happened, but it just kinda seems out there...

Given, I do believe that Dr. Angel viewed and reported that Don's body deceased 1 - 2 years after he disappeared, as I stated in a previous post, to me this is the greatest mystery of the case.

Edit: Don's body was found about 3 miles from where his jeep was discovered. Not quite the 'same area', but close enough.

wiseguy182
06-14-2016, 12:41 AM
But if he were alive as late as 1984, how in the heck did his body get back to the area where he disappeared? I'm not saying it couldn't have happened, but it just kinda seems out there...

My point being is that the various members of LE interviewed in the segment don't have a solid, unified theory as to what happened to Kemp. One believed he was alive two years after he disappeared and didn't want to be found. The sheriff suggested a combination of suicide/mental issues/exposure.

You also have one suggesting Kemp was hiding from people on the prairie, and the sheriff suggesting he tried to make it back to his vehicle.

They were really all over the place and that's why it becomes hard to believe anything that comes out of their mouth.

TheCars1986
06-14-2016, 07:13 AM
Edit: Don's body was found about 3 miles from where his jeep was discovered. Not quite the 'same area', but close enough.

Coincidentally in the same area where the barn, the tracks, and his various items of clothing and duffel bag were found.

NYSleuth
06-14-2016, 07:17 AM
Coincidentally in the same area where the barn, the tracks, and his various items of clothing and duffel bag were found.

Your point being what?

NYSleuth
06-14-2016, 07:20 AM
I find the direction of travel strange. If I'm looking at the map you provided correctly, it would seem that his direction of travel was still away from the museum. In other words, despite calling and telling them he was headed back to retrieve his attache, it doesn't seem like he even attempted to backtrack. It makes you wonder just where in the Hell he was going.

New to town, unfamiliar with the roads/routes, driving without his glasses. Gee, maybe he was....lost? :confused:

NYSleuth
06-14-2016, 07:37 AM
My point being is that the various members of LE interviewed in the segment don't have a solid, unified theory as to what happened to Kemp. One believed he was alive two years after he disappeared and didn't want to be found. The sheriff suggested a combination of suicide/mental issues/exposure.

You also have one suggesting Kemp was hiding from people on the prairie, and the sheriff suggesting he tried to make it back to his vehicle.

They were really all over the place and that's why it becomes hard to believe anything that comes out of their mouth.

Exactly. LE bungled the investigation from Day 1. Theories all over the place.

TheCars1986
06-14-2016, 07:56 AM
Your point being what?

We'll agree to disagree.

mozartpc27
06-14-2016, 02:10 PM
The idea that he was kidnapped or carjacked seems awfully far-fetched to me. How would this have worked?

In the middle of dead nowhere in Wyoming - which is big but sparsely populated to begin with, fewer people live in Wyoming than in Alaska for goodness' sake! - Don Kemp comes to an intersection where it is his bad luck to be waylaid by someone looking to carjack/kidnap somebody at this desolate spot 40 miles from the nearest town. How many people even come by this intersection to begin with? And to wait out there in November? What is wrong with whoever dreamed up this "plan?" If you are looking to profit by criminal enterprise, surely there is something one could do that would be more efficient and less likely to result in nothing to show for your effort?

And indeed if this Dennis person was the person who was out there waiting for some unsuspecting dupe to come by, what was his plan, really, and how did he accomplish what was found? He doesn't appear to have taken anything of value - including THE CAR - and only one set of footprints was left to be found. How the hell did me manage this? And to what purpose? But the one thing he evidently did take, in this scenario, is the address book, and then he proceeded to do the one thing that could lead to his getting caught, using it to call an acquaintance of Don's. Or I guess some think it was Don who called - so what, this guy kidnapped Don, held him captive for an undetermined amount of time for reasons that are unclear, only to dump his body back out on the prairie some time later?

And if the answer is, well, Don wasn't kidnapped, but he did hook up with Dennis for awhile, and was with him for some length of time after his initial disappearance, why would Don leave his car? If Don left his car voluntarily, there is very little room for explaining that without the phrase "because he had lost his mind" somehow being involved. I don't know how you do it. And, if Don did leave with Dennis voluntarily, how and why did he wind up dead three miles from where his car was left, back in the middle of nowhere?

The clearest and simplest explanation is that a guy who had experienced what everyone agrees was at the very least a distinctive break in his personality if not his mind, who went on an ill-considered trip with loosely defined objectives, and who started shedding belongings along his way, whose car was found abandoned and unharmed and with one and only one set of footprints leading away from it, and who could be tracked out on to a vast prairie where more of his belongings were located and where his remains were ultimately found, did all of this of his own volition, perhaps because he went crazy or perhaps because he felt he had a perfectly logical reasoning for abandoning and losing his life. Somewhere between where he was last seen and where he died, among the items he strew about was his address book. Some other fellow found it, the kind of guy who lives alone and calls sex numbers, and so that guy took a shot at calling the first woman's name he found in the book looking to get very lucky (a nutty thought process in itself). It didn't work out, but, unlucky for him, this wasn't just any address book, but one tied to a person who vanished under semi-mysterious circumstances.

It's a coincidence, sure, but coincidences happen all the time, and it's much more easily believed than some bizarre kidnapping of a perfectly rational Don Kemp from an absolutely deserted intersection in the middle of nowhere from his running vehicle, where the vehicle itself and most of his valuables were left behind and only one set of footprints leading off into the snow was ever found, and where his remains were ultimately found.

The thing with the phone book is a little weird, but to make this anything other than what it clearly is you have to build not just a castle but a whole city in the sky.

Hambone2421
06-14-2016, 03:59 PM
The idea that he was kidnapped or carjacked seems awfully far-fetched to me. How would this have worked?

In the middle of dead nowhere in Wyoming - which is big but sparsely populated to begin with, fewer people live in Wyoming than in Alaska for goodness' sake! - Don Kemp comes to an intersection where it is his bad luck to be waylaid by someone looking to carjack/kidnap somebody at this desolate spot 40 miles from the nearest town. How many people even come by this intersection to begin with? And to wait out there in November? What is wrong with whoever dreamed up this "plan?" If you are looking to profit by criminal enterprise, surely there is something one could do that would be more efficient and less likely to result in nothing to show for your effort?

And indeed if this Dennis person was the person who was out there waiting for some unsuspecting dupe to come by, what was his plan, really, and how did he accomplish what was found? He doesn't appear to have taken anything of value - including THE CAR - and only one set of footprints was left to be found. How the hell did me manage this? And to what purpose? But the one thing he evidently did take, in this scenario, is the address book, and then he proceeded to do the one thing that could lead to his getting caught, using it to call an acquaintance of Don's. Or I guess some think it was Don who called - so what, this guy kidnapped Don, held him captive for an undetermined amount of time for reasons that are unclear, only to dump his body back out on the prairie some time later?

And if the answer is, well, Don wasn't kidnapped, but he did hook up with Dennis for awhile, and was with him for some length of time after his initial disappearance, why would Don leave his car? If Don left his car voluntarily, there is very little room for explaining that without the phrase "because he had lost his mind" somehow being involved. I don't know how you do it. And, if Don did leave with Dennis voluntarily, how and why did he wind up dead three miles from where his car was left, back in the middle of nowhere?

The clearest and simplest explanation is that a guy who had experienced what everyone agrees was at the very least a distinctive break in his personality if not his mind, who went on an ill-considered trip with loosely defined objectives, and who started shedding belongings along his way, whose car was found abandoned and unharmed and with one and only one set of footprints leading away from it, and who could be tracked out on to a vast prairie where more of his belongings were located and where his remains were ultimately found, did all of this of his own volition, perhaps because he went crazy or perhaps because he felt he had a perfectly logical reasoning for abandoning and losing his life. Somewhere between where he was last seen and where he died, among the items he strew about was his address book. Some other fellow found it, the kind of guy who lives alone and calls sex numbers, and so that guy took a shot at calling the first woman's name he found in the book looking to get very lucky (a nutty thought process in itself). It didn't work out, but, unlucky for him, this wasn't just any address book, but one tied to a person who vanished under semi-mysterious circumstances.

It's a coincidence, sure, but coincidences happen all the time, and it's much more easily believed than some bizarre kidnapping of a perfectly rational Don Kemp from an absolutely deserted intersection in the middle of nowhere from his running vehicle, where the vehicle itself and most of his valuables were left behind and only one set of footprints leading off into the snow was ever found, and where his remains were ultimately found.

The thing with the phone book is a little weird, but to make this anything other than what it clearly is you have to build not just a castle but a whole city in the sky.

Exactly!!

wiseguy182
06-15-2016, 01:43 AM
The idea that he was kidnapped or carjacked seems awfully far-fetched to me. How would this have worked?

In the middle of dead nowhere in Wyoming - which is big but sparsely populated to begin with, fewer people live in Wyoming than in Alaska for goodness' sake! -

The odds of Maura Murray being kidnapped in an extremely short time frame, in a sparsely populated, low-crime area are extremely remote, yet a lot of people believe that. For goodness sake!

Don Kemp comes to an intersection where it is his bad luck to be waylaid by someone looking to carjack/kidnap somebody at this desolate spot 40 miles from the nearest town. How many people even come by this intersection to begin with? And to wait out there in November? What is wrong with whoever dreamed up this "plan?" If you are looking to profit by criminal enterprise, surely there is something one could do that would be more efficient and less likely to result in nothing to show for your effort?

Or maybe he was followed?

And indeed if this Dennis person was the person who was out there waiting for some unsuspecting dupe to come by, what was his plan, really, and how did he accomplish what was found?

I don't have all of the pieces to this puzzle. Neither did any member of law enforcement.

He doesn't appear to have taken anything of value - including THE CAR - and only one set of footprints was left to be found. How the hell did me manage this? And to what purpose?

one member of LE believed Kemp was backtracking in his footprints. I believe he was close - somebody else was walking in them.

But the one thing he evidently did take, in this scenario, is the address book, and then he proceeded to do the one thing that could lead to his getting caught, using it to call an acquaintance of Don's. Or I guess some think it was Don who called - so what, this guy kidnapped Don, held him captive for an undetermined amount of time for reasons that are unclear, only to dump his body back out on the prairie some time later?

I think it's safe to say he didn't plan on Mary Kemp getting a hold of his phone bill (which I'm still unsure how she managed).

And if the answer is, well, Don wasn't kidnapped, but he did hook up with Dennis for awhile, and was with him for some length of time after his initial disappearance, why would Don leave his car? If Don left his car voluntarily, there is very little room for explaining that without the phrase "because he had lost his mind" somehow being involved. I don't know how you do it. And, if Don did leave with Dennis voluntarily, how and why did he wind up dead three miles from where his car was left, back in the middle of nowhere?

The clearest and simplest explanation is that a guy who had experienced what everyone agrees was at the very least a distinctive break in his personality if not his mind, who went on an ill-considered trip with loosely defined objectives, and who started shedding belongings along his way, whose car was found abandoned and unharmed and with one and only one set of footprints leading away from it, and who could be tracked out on to a vast prairie where more of his belongings were located and where his remains were ultimately found, did all of this of his own volition, perhaps because he went crazy or perhaps because he felt he had a perfectly logical reasoning for abandoning and losing his life. Somewhere between where he was last seen and where he died, among the items he strew about was his address book. Some other fellow found it, the kind of guy who lives alone and calls sex numbers, and so that guy took a shot at calling the first woman's name he found in the book looking to get very lucky (a nutty thought process in itself). It didn't work out, but, unlucky for him, this wasn't just any address book, but one tied to a person who vanished under semi-mysterious circumstances.

It's a coincidence, sure, but coincidences happen all the time, and it's much more easily believed than some bizarre kidnapping of a perfectly rational Don Kemp from an absolutely deserted intersection in the middle of nowhere from his running vehicle, where the vehicle itself and most of his valuables were left behind and only one set of footprints leading off into the snow was ever found, and where his remains were ultimately found.

The thing with the phone book is a little weird, but to make this anything other than what it clearly is you have to build not just a castle but a whole city in the sky.

But certainly Mark Dennis (if he came about the scene) would know that the scene was suspicious (abandoned truck, nobody around, items strewn about, car door open, radio still on). He could have put two and two together and determined it was likely there was a missing person involved here. Instead of attempting to find or help this missing person or even call LE, he decides to steal his address book and prank or sex call Judy Aeillo?

The thing is, nobody, not even the sheriff, not Mark Dennis, nobody can explain those calls.

It's like I said, if you're building something from a kit and you have parts left over, you've done it wrong.

NYSleuth
06-15-2016, 01:53 AM
The odds of Maura Murray being kidnapped in an extremely short time frame, in a sparsely populated, low-crime area are extremely remote, yet a lot of people believe that. For goodness sake!



Or maybe he was followed?



I don't have all of the pieces to this puzzle. Neither did any member of law enforcement.



one member of LE believed Kemp was backtracking in his footprints. I believe he was close - somebody else was walking in them.



I think it's safe to say he didn't plan on Mary Kemp getting a hold of his phone bill (which I'm still unsure how she managed).



But certainly Mark Dennis (if he came about the scene) would know that the scene was suspicious (abandoned truck, nobody around, items strewn about, car door open, radio still on). He could have put two and two together and determined it was likely there was a missing person involved here. Instead of attempting to find or help this missing person or even call LE, he decides to steal his address book and prank or sex call Judy Aeillo?

The thing is, nobody, not even the sheriff, not Mark Dennis, nobody can explain those calls.

It's like I said, if you're building something from a kit and you have parts left over, you've done it wrong.

I definitely think he could have been followed/targeted. New to town, no friends or family in town, and it appears that he did have some money (he'd sold all of his belongings). Top that with the fact that he was meeting all sorts of people in his travels...who knows if he may have ran into the 'wrong person'. Seems plausible.

And don't get me started with the business of the phone calls. How anyone can disregard them as major evidence that this isn't an open and shut case....is beyond me. :confused:

NYSleuth
06-15-2016, 01:54 AM
We'll agree to disagree.

That's cool. ;)

wiseguy182
06-15-2016, 02:21 AM
I definitely think he could have been followed/targeted. New to town, no friends or family in town

Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. A Manhattan transplant with an attache case definitely would have stood out in Wyoming.

NYSleuth
06-15-2016, 02:25 AM
Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. A Manhattan transplant with an attache case definitely would have stood out in Wyoming.


For sure. Especially outside of Jackson Hole.

TheCars1986
06-15-2016, 08:19 AM
Long distance phone calls were ridiculously expensive until 1984 when the US government broke up the monopoly that ATT&T had over it. There was usually a rate per minute per long distance call, and I want to say that sometime in the 60's or 70's, long distance calls were no longer operator assisted.

With that being said, assuming Dennis called Judy Aiello and it went straight to her answering machine, (5 calls over a 4-5 month period), just how expensive would these calls have been? No one answered them, so it's not like this would be something that would stick out as a high charge on a phone bill. I don't find it that unusual that Dennis didn't notice them when he paid his phone bill.

mozartpc27
06-16-2016, 08:07 AM
The odds of Maura Murray being kidnapped in an extremely short time frame, in a sparsely populated, low-crime area are extremely remote, yet a lot of people believe that. For goodness sake!

I don't, for the reasons you just cited. Although I would argue it is... slightly... more likely that she was, for the simple reasons that (1) her remains have never been recovered, and (2) random crimes of this nature, where someone is kidnapped for non-financial motives, are, I imagine, more likely to happen to women than to men, if only because it is easier for most men to physically dominate women. If Maura's remains ARE ever recovered a mile or two from where her car was found, like Don's were, with no signs of trauma, like Don's were, then I would say, except for accounting for the small difference in likelihood based on the gender split, it is about as likely that she was kidnapped off the road as Don was, which is to say almost no possibility.

Or maybe he was followed.

Maybe he was, although in such a remote location I would think that would be pretty obvious to Don, and would therefore put him on high alert. But maybe it happened, and it didn't.

But I think you need to really consider what it would mean to stage the scene that was found in such a way that there would be apparently NO evidence that anyone else was there.

There was evidently enough snow on the ground to record foot prints.

Presumably this would mean tire tracks as well, at least in some places.

But if there were any evidence of another vehicle having been there, it was apparently wiped away.

And let's think logistically for a minute. Let's say Mark Dennis is following Don. He can't commandeer Don until Don stops. So, let's say there is a stop sign at this intersection (I don't recall, it wouldn't surprise me if there wasn't one in a location as remote as this seems to have been, but I nevertheless assume there was one). How long does someone stop on a lonely country road at a stop sign? Long enough for the car behind him to also stop, get out, get to his door, and force him out?

Maybe Don sees the guy in the rear view mirror and decides to wait to see what he has to say.

Or heck, if he had been getting followed, maybe Don himself gets out to confront Mark Dennis.

Either way, Mark Dennis would now have to have the relative genius to (1) intend to kidnap Don and hold him captive, but (2) the presence of mind to make sure that he (a) left no trace that he himself - or anyone - had ever been with Don, but also (b) that Don had of his own volition wandered off on to the prairie. So Dennis, at this point, either marches Don out on to the prairie, presumably under duress (gunpoint or something else), carefully making sure - for what seems to have been several miles - to make sure every one of his OWN footsteps lands in one of Don's, and all while also strategically leaving a trail of belongings for authorities to find... OR he somehow manages to render Don unconscious and secured long enough to go out on his own and create this elaborate and falsified trail. By the way, if he is leading Don around by the nose, rather than making the trail himself, he also apparently has to have not only Don BUT HIMSELF walking backwards through already established tracks TO the barn where tracks led, so no one would see how anyone ever left the barn.

That's just the beginning. There is then a whole other sequence of questions about where Don was for the next amount of time, etc.

Just thinking about how the initial scene could have been staged... how unlikely it is someone would have thought to do even something like this in the first place, and then, with the plan so conceived, commit to the deception so completely - this was not just a handful of steps into the snow from what the segment presents that then vanish, this was a mile-or-more long trail through cold terrain in the middle of nowhere - that I think it strains credulity to believe anything like it happened. Particularly when Kemp's remains were indeed found out to where he apparently vanished, and without any apparent signs of trauma.

The phone calls are a thing, to be sure. If there were a scenario in which Kemp survived initially and got off that plain, I could maybe buy that what happened was that Kemp did leave of his own volition, did, for his own reasons, attempt to hide or conceal his steps and where he'd gone, somehow got back out to the highway, and hitchhiked, and either at that moment or at some time later met up with Mark Dennis. Or maybe did just leave his address book some place and Dennis found it. Either way, at some later point, Kemp then returned to the general area where he left his car and belongings, as if to look for them, and wound up dying of exposure out there, but later than was initially thought.

Even that, though, relies on assuming more than I'd like. He was found near where he was last known to be. He left where he was last known to be, apparently, with no means of supporting himself in hostile conditions should they arise, which they did. He was known to have left at least one item of apparent importance in a public space, evidence at the site of his disappearance suggests he was also not being careful about keeping his belongings together and secure. It's not too much of a stretch, then, that a small thing like an address book could have been left somewhere by Kemp, and, rather than being found by someone responsible, was found by someone who saw an opportunity to have some fun. Dennis was the sort who called sex numbers - I don't mean to be judgey, but it's not hard for me to believe he would also be the sort to start dialing random numbers of women he found in someone else's phone book. He got caught, and got more than he bargained for when it turned out the address book he found belonged to a missing/dead man, and clammed up when things got hot.

Simple, accounts for everything, doesn't create the need to invent an elaborate kidnap-and-coverup plot executed for unknown reasons, apparently at random, in the middle of nowhere.

TheCars1986
06-16-2016, 08:19 AM
Simple, accounts for everything, doesn't create the need to invent an elaborate kidnap-and-coverup plot executed for unknown reasons, apparently at random, in the middle of nowhere.

Agreed.

If Kemp was being held against his will by Dennis (in Dennis's trailer), why would Dennis allow him to make phone calls that could be directly traced back to him? And if Kemp was using the phone without Dennis's knowledge, why would he leave short, brief messages to a friend's answering machine without indicating that he was in trouble? Why not call the police? And if Kemp wasn't being held against his will and in fact met up with Dennis at some point, why did he change his custom of phoning his family and friends every day (he was calling them as he traveled along I-80 every day up until the day he vanished) to 5 sporadic phone calls over a 5 month period? If Kemp did make it out of the prairie, and did hook up at some point with Dennis, and then for reasons unknown decided to not notify any of his family or friends of his whereabouts for 5 months, I'd say that makes him look more mentally unbalanced than if he just wandered off into the prairie and got caught in the blizzard. Occam's razor.

mozartpc27
06-16-2016, 11:36 AM
The one thing about this case that is a little odd, to be fair to the people who suspect Dennis of something more than prank phone calling, is that, in order to assume Dennis, and not Kemp, made the phone calls to that woman in his address book, one must also assume that of all the men she knew, she decided that the person leaving the messages must be Don Kemp, even though the caller left no name.

That is, at least on the surface, a hell of a coincidence. Without knowing the full content of each message, or the particulars of this woman's life at that time, we are apparently left to assume that, by blind luck, not only did Mark Dennis happen upon the address book of someone who had disappeared mysteriously, but that Mark Dennis either did in fact sound sufficiently like Don Kemp, or at least sounded enough like him in the opinion of the one person he apparently decided to call, that the person he called decided, without hearing a name at any point in any message, that of all the men she knew that could potentially be calling her, that she was being called by Don Kemp - the exact person whose address book had wound up in somebody else's hands.

If she doesn't step forward claiming the man who left the messages is Don Kemp, I'm not sure anyone ever hears of Mark Dennis or his connection to this case, and thus no one ever thinks that anything happened here OTHER than that Don Kemp, for reasons unknown, abandoned his vehicle and walked out on to a desolate prairie, only to die of exposure.

That makes Mark Dennis either one really unlucky dude, or there is some other explanation.

First, it must be said that we don't really know much about this woman - I know her name is out there, I forget what it is and don't have time to look it up - and her life at that time. Maybe there were only a few guys who would call her. Maybe what seems like a real shot-in-the-dark guess that turned out to be right was really only a 1-in-5 shot. Maybe she asked a couple of other people first when she saw them - "Hey , did you leave me a message the other day?" - and so by process of elimination whittled down a list of 20-25 names down to a more manageable number, before concluding (i.e., making an educated guess) that it was Don. I think at first blush this can seem like a, "WOW! Of all the people in the world, how'd she guess it was him?" thing, but when you think about it - and ladies, I am specifically asking you here - how many men in your life are calling you regularly after college, even when you are single? The "universe" is probably smaller than you realize. I rarely get messages from people that are not clearly work-related.

The Occam's Razor in me says, given that there is no evidence other than these phone calls, placed months after he would have died, to suggest Kemp ever made it off that plain alive, nor is there any evidence he was alive after the last of the phone calls was placed, or in between the first and last calls, that Dennis is responsible for the calls, and somehow, in one of the messages he left, said something that caused the woman to associate the voice with Don. Perhaps he mentioned he was in Wyoming, and she knew Don had travelled out west for example, and put two and two together in her head - perhaps without even realizing quite what she had done - and concluded that the voice was Don's, because it sounded [i]sort of like Don, and she knew Don was travelling.

I think people make silent or mostly silent suppositions like this all the time, that they then unwittingly use to draw larger conclusions - conclusions that are often right, but can be wrong.

TheCars1986
06-16-2016, 01:24 PM
The one thing about this case that is a little odd, to be fair to the people who suspect Dennis of something more than prank phone calling, is that, in order to assume Dennis, and not Kemp, made the phone calls to that woman in his address book, one must also assume that of all the men she knew, she decided that the person leaving the messages must be Don Kemp, even though the caller left no name.

According to the friend, the messages were very brief, like "hey, sorry I missed you, call me back" without any name or number. The last and final call was placed in April with the call back number. Assuming that the friend at some point learned that Kemp disappeared in late 1982 (possibly from his mother calling to see if she had heard from him) she assumed (incorrectly) that the messages left on her answering machine, in early 1983, had to be from Kemp, because the phone number was linked to Wyoming (where Kemp was traveling). I think all it took was any man's voice to be heard originating from Wyoming, and they would have clung to the fact that it was Kemp because they wanted to believe that he was still alive and that they could locate him.

wiseguy182
06-19-2016, 04:11 AM
Either way, Mark Dennis would now have to have the relative genius to (1) intend to kidnap Don and hold him captive, but (2) the presence of mind to make sure that he (a) left no trace that he himself - or anyone - had ever been with Don, but also (b) that Don had of his own volition wandered off on to the prairie. So Dennis, at this point, either marches Don out on to the prairie, presumably under duress (gunpoint or something else), carefully making sure - for what seems to have been several miles - to make sure every one of his OWN footsteps lands in one of Don's, and all while also strategically leaving a trail of belongings for authorities to find... OR he somehow manages to render Don unconscious and secured long enough to go out on his own and create this elaborate and falsified trail. By the way, if he is leading Don around by the nose, rather than making the trail himself, he also apparently has to have not only Don BUT HIMSELF walking backwards through already established tracks TO the barn where tracks led, so no one would see how anyone ever left the barn.

That's just the beginning. There is then a whole other sequence of questions about where Don was for the next amount of time, etc.

Just thinking about how the initial scene could have been staged... how unlikely it is someone would have thought to do even something like this in the first place, and then, with the plan so conceived, commit to the deception so completely - this was not just a handful of steps into the snow from what the segment presents that then vanish, this was a mile-or-more long trail through cold terrain in the middle of nowhere - that I think it strains credulity to believe anything like it happened. Particularly when Kemp's remains were indeed found out to where he apparently vanished, and without any apparent signs of trauma.

When most people hold someone by gunpoint and lead them somewhere, they are usually walking behind said person so the victim stands a lot less chance of breaking free, reversing the situation, etc. I think this could explain the appearance that there was only one set of footprints. What's never been adequately explained to me is what possible reason Donald Kemp would have for backtracking in his own footprints, or how he would have the presence of mind to do so.

I think we also need to come to the realization that LE never treated this, or even thought of this as a homicide. The general rule for investigators is, when you have a cause of death that is undetermined, you first investigate it as a homicide, then if that can be conclusively ruled out, you pursue other options. That never happened here. The local LE, using their limited brain power, determined Don was a whackadoo that was more or less responsible for his own demise. Had LE investigated this as a homicide from the beginning, there's no telling what they might have uncovered. Like any potential evidence of another vehicle being at the scene, it's probably gone forever.

But what's most troubling about LE's response (or lack thereof), is their uncertainty how he died. They're certain he wasn't murdered, but what killed him? Did he commit suicide? Did he die of exposure? Those theories are presented in the segment. If Don never made it off the prairie, then we could throw out thirst and starvation out there as well. Or other scenarios. By the time Don's body was discovered, years later, a sufficient amount of time had passed that things that might have pointed to foul play were long gone.

The one thing about this case that is a little odd, to be fair to the people who suspect Dennis of something more than prank phone calling, is that, in order to assume Dennis, and not Kemp, made the phone calls to that woman in his address book, one must also assume that of all the men she knew, she decided that the person leaving the messages must be Don Kemp, even though the caller left no name.

That is, at least on the surface, a hell of a coincidence. Without knowing the full content of each message, or the particulars of this woman's life at that time, we are apparently left to assume that, by blind luck, not only did Mark Dennis happen upon the address book of someone who had disappeared mysteriously, but that Mark Dennis either did in fact sound sufficiently like Don Kemp, or at least sounded enough like him in the opinion of the one person he apparently decided to call, that the person he called decided, without hearing a name at any point in any message, that of all the men she knew that could potentially be calling her, that she was being called by Don Kemp - the exact person whose address book had wound up in somebody else's hands.

If she doesn't step forward claiming the man who left the messages is Don Kemp, I'm not sure anyone ever hears of Mark Dennis or his connection to this case, and thus no one ever thinks that anything happened here OTHER than that Don Kemp, for reasons unknown, abandoned his vehicle and walked out on to a desolate prairie, only to die of exposure.

That makes Mark Dennis either one really unlucky dude, or there is some other explanation.

First, it must be said that we don't really know much about this woman - I know her name is out there, I forget what it is and don't have time to look it up - and her life at that time. Maybe there were only a few guys who would call her. Maybe what seems like a real shot-in-the-dark guess that turned out to be right was really only a 1-in-5 shot. Maybe she asked a couple of other people first when she saw them - "Hey [insert name here], did you leave me a message the other day?" - and so by process of elimination whittled down a list of 20-25 names down to a more manageable number, before concluding (i.e., making an educated guess) that it was Don. I think at first blush this can seem like a, "WOW! Of all the people in the world, how'd she guess it was him?" thing, but when you think about it - and ladies, I am specifically asking you here - how many men in your life are calling you regularly after college, even when you are single? The "universe" is probably smaller than you realize. I rarely get messages from people that are not clearly work-related.

The Occam's Razor in me says, given that there is no evidence other than these phone calls, placed months after he would have died, to suggest Kemp ever made it off that plain alive, nor is there any evidence he was alive after the last of the phone calls was placed, or in between the first and last calls, that Dennis is responsible for the calls, and somehow, in one of the messages he left, said something that caused the woman to associate the voice with Don. Perhaps he mentioned he was in Wyoming, and she knew Don had travelled out west for example, and put two and two together in her head - perhaps without even realizing quite what she had done - and concluded that the voice was Don's, because it sounded sort of like Don, and she knew Don was travelling.

I think people make silent or mostly silent suppositions like this all the time, that they then unwittingly use to draw larger conclusions - conclusions that are often right, but can be wrong.

It was stated Mark Dennis had an uncanny resemblance to Don Kemp, therefore I don't think it's a huge stretch to think their voices are similar.

There's also the eyewitness sightings of Kemp, after his disappearance, with one placing him at an Abraham Lincoln exhibit, which he would have had interest in.

I've read a lot of "what if's" and "maybes" about the phone calls. Yeah, maybe that stuff happened. Or maybe it didn't. What we know to be fact is that someone called Judy Aeillo at her unlisted number 6 times after Don's disappearance, The calls came from the same sparsely populated, far-away state that Don disappeared from. When Judy returned the message, she spoke to Dennis (for those who believe Kemp was already dead at this point, then it almost certainly would have to be Dennis). Dennis lies...repeatedly, abruptly hangs up the phone on her, avoids all but one of Mary Kemp's attempts to contact him, hires a lawyer, abruptly moves out of town (going through all of the trouble of packing up his belongings, finding a new place to live, etc) and evades people for the rest of his life.

Once again I'll state: That is not normal. If the calls were so innocent and benign, and considering that LE doesn't even believe Kemp was murdered in the first place, then how does that explain all of the lying and evading that Dennis does?

James T
06-19-2016, 09:29 AM
Is he evading people? I would imagine that Mark Dennis is a fairly common name so it just makes it harder to find him, he could have moved overseas or even died, not that LE have any reason to find him as they didn't even have a warrant to search his property at the time.

Avoiding Mary Kemp & indeed moving was probably a necessity, I have heard she not only phoned him but practically ended up stalking him by repeatedly going to his property-she obviously was going to keep harassing him so his only choice was a restraining order which she likely would have just ignored or hired a private detective, so moving was the most realistic option.

wiseguy182
06-19-2016, 10:15 AM
Is he evading people? I would imagine that Mark Dennis is a fairly common name so it just makes it harder to find him, he could have moved overseas or even died, not that LE have any reason to find him as they didn't even have a warrant to search his property at the time.

Avoiding Mary Kemp & indeed moving was probably a necessity, I have heard she not only phoned him but practically ended up stalking him by repeatedly going to his property-she obviously was going to keep harassing him so his only choice was a restraining order which she likely would have just ignored or hired a private detective, so moving was the most realistic option.

I guess what gets me about that is Dennis wasn't being charged with anything. Heck, LE wasn't even accusing him of anything. They asked him about the calls a few times and Mary Kemp talked to him once. I'm going to repeat that because it's important: Mary Kemp and Mark Dennis talked to each other once and only once.

Therefore, I do not understand why he lawyered up (again, he wasn't being charged with anything) and abruptly moved out of town, nor do I understand his lying and evading.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

But considering many people on here believe that Mark Dennis is a totally innocent man who was being stalked, harassed and pestered by Mary Kemp, it's interesting to point out that it was probably a better option than having the case go on national television and flat out being accused of knowing what happened to Kemp. Granted he wasn't mentioned by name, nor would he have any way of knowing the case would wind up on t.v., but the insinuation was still there.

James T
06-19-2016, 02:11 PM
I guess what gets me about that is Dennis wasn't being charged with anything. Heck, LE wasn't even accusing him of anything. They asked him about the calls a few times and Mary Kemp talked to him once. I'm going to repeat that because it's important: Mary Kemp and Mark Dennis talked to each other once and only once.

Therefore, I do not understand why he lawyered up (again, he wasn't being charged with anything) and abruptly moved out of town, nor do I understand his lying and evading.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

But considering many people on here believe that Mark Dennis is a totally innocent man who was being stalked, harassed and pestered by Mary Kemp, it's interesting to point out that it was probably a better option than having the case go on national television and flat out being accused of knowing what happened to Kemp. Granted he wasn't mentioned by name, nor would he have any way of knowing the case would wind up on t.v., but the insinuation was still there.

If it was just once then he might not have minded, but she was camping outside. No doubt he must have got hold of the number from somewhere-quite possibly he found the abandoned car & stole from it, then made some stupid prank calls to her, probably while drunk. Would be interesting to know if anybody else resided there with him during that time who could have made the calls.

TheCars1986
12-05-2016, 03:06 PM
I still contend that if that post by Kemp's "sister" was true, an upstart mystery show would've buried the fact that Kemp's remains were found in a pristine condition, with marks with an "out of this world" surgical precision. It's the perfect fodder for the show. Hinting at aliens, or some oddball conspiracy connected to the Lincoln assassination would've added heightened heirs of mystery to the segment.

I honestly think the "sister's" post was written by the guy who eventually wrote a fictionalized account of Kemp's travels and death to generate interest in the book.

cdr369
12-06-2016, 12:07 PM
I did buy the fictional version of his story. I do believe that was his sister, mostly because their writing styles are somewhat different (between the sister/ and Don's friend from High School). I do have to say that I couldn't finish the book. I am a huge fan of true crime, and because it was fiction (and written about one of my top fave UMs), it distorted a lot of things and made it difficult to decipher what was true, and what was not true.

There are two things that stand out to me in her posts: (a) Don's (and Kathy's) brush with the occult and seances, and (b) the Lincoln conspiracy. All of this seems to have been echoed by other friends of Don who have posted here, and elsewhere.

I also want to mention in the book he credits Kathy Dobe for her help in the research process. This makes me think (hopefully/ ethically ...) he wouldn't have posted as her on this board.

One thing that did bother me about her post was that she mentioned that the Dr who performed the autopsy did provide them with an autopsy report. She gave it to an Aunt, because she did not want that to be at her mom's house. Now, almost 30 years later, the location of the autopsy report is unknown. It seems to me that by now, if we could locate that report, we may be able to garner more answers.

TheCars1986
12-06-2016, 12:14 PM
One thing that did bother me about her post was that she mentioned that the Dr who performed the autopsy did provide them with an autopsy report. She gave it to an Aunt, because she did not want that to be at her mom's house. Now, almost 30 years later, the location of the autopsy report is unknown. It seems to me that by now, if we could locate that report, we may be able to garner more answers.

There is no report. The guy she claimed looked at Don's remains would help out on cold cases when asked by law enforcement. He didn't seek out cases that were solved (and in the eyes of law enforcement, Don died from exposure and there was no foul play involved) and personally request remains. Plus, Don's remains were found in Wyoming and buried in Maryland in less than a month. I doubt that within that time frame Dr. Angel would have even known about the case let alone have the time to examine remains and file a report within that time frame.