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Old 07-16-2007, 01:26 PM   #1
Corky Kneivel
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Default Ruminations on the disappearance of Martha Doe Roberts

If you are unfamiliar with this case, there are articles posted here (thanks CD!): http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...Martha+Roberts



After re-watching this case the other day, I was really struck by something that Allen Roberts said and kind of looked at it in a way I hadn't before. Mr. Roberts, who some suspect may be involved in the case, has always maintained he has no complicity in the matter and was very adamant about letting the kidnappers know he would pay for information leading to his wife's recovery. I am paraphrasing here as I am unsure of exactly what he said, but its along the lines of: (to the kidnappers) "I'll give you 50,000 to bring her back to me alive. If she's not alive, I'll give you $25,000 to tell me where her body is".


Originally that statement just seemed to me like a grieving husband saying he'd give a fortune to just have an answer as to his wife's status, alive or dead. It seemed a perfectly natural statement given the perfectly unnatural predicament he found himself in: being extorted financially for his wife's life. However, after this last viewing something occurred to me that hadn't before. Something that, if he was indeed involved in his wife's disappearance, would be very detrimental to the chances of ever finding Martha Doe alive again.


Could Allan Roberts have been very publicly telling the kidnappers that he will give them $25K just to kill her?


Think about it. If the kidnappers and Roberts had previously plotted the kidnapping and (probable) murder of Martha Doe they DEFINITELY couldn't be seen together anymore to further discuss any plans or any contingencies or any unforseen problems that they didn't work out, etc. Allen Roberts movements, who he met with, where his monet was spent, would be clocked 24/7 by the FBI** and jurisdictional authorities. This way he still appears to be the grieving husband yet he is actually giving the "green light" for the murder. Perhaps he is even upping the monetary reward they had previously worked out. Admittedly, this is just oddball speculation based on one statement and there are more questions than answers so I will readily rescind this theory if evidence comes to light disproving it straightaway, or a convincing argument is made against it.


Questions I see arising from this line of thinking:

Why would he ever plan on a kidnapping in the first place?
Could there have been contingencies that she would be returned unharmed if the heat got to much, or the police go too close to figuring it out?
What circumstances would prompt him to decide "enough is enough...we need to have her killed"?
How would he make a surreptitious payment of $25K to the men once they acted on his "go-ahead"? -OR- does he think he could get over on the kidnapper/murderers by giving the go-ahead, and then having them having them arrested during the scheduled payment drop for info. on where to find her body? Remember, in this "complicit" scenario he has no actual desire to know her whereabouts, only that the job is done.
Would he reason that, if the kidnapper/murderers were ever arrested, he could trust them to remain silent regarding his involvement?


Also, after reading the most recent article in the aforementioned thread that stated they know who was making the calls. Does anyone know of any further revelations in this case?


** - The FBI always gets involved in kidnapping cases right? Or is it just ones that cross state lines?
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Wasn't this case solved? And didn't the next door neighbor do it? He had her buried under his own driveway, if I recall correctly. This upate was not on crystaldawn's DVD volume 9, but I definitely recall seeing an update that said exactly that on Lifetime back in college. See this thread, specifically my questions and the responses they got.

Too bad, because I liked your theory.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
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Well I had heard it was solved but didn't really know anything concerning it to post. I can't find out anything about the update on the net so if someone comes across any articles concerning the neighbor who apparently killed her, please post them. I suppose the motive was money unless he just had some sort of hatred towards the couple.

I can understand your theory too Corky. The husband almost came across as suspicious because of his pauses in the second alert concerning the case but I think he was just so angered to have been implicated in the crime he was trying to keep his temper in check for the interview. I think the reason he even mentioned wanting to know where she was buried (if dead) wasn't exactly typical but maybe given her advanced age and the fact that she had bad asthma and needed daily medication made him assume the worst.

I'm curious if the neighbor was a suspect from the beginning. Another thing I'm curious about is how long Martha was kept alive. I would think given her medical condition and lack of medicine she didn't live long but in some of the calls the kidnapper made to her family and friends they would ask him specific questions and he would then find out the answer. I wonder if Martha was still alive then and answering them or he had just researched and knew the answers. Really sad case and a lot of similarities to the Annie Laurie Hearin one.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:15 PM   #4
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Ah well, looks like that was a whole lotta nothin.

I swear though, AS SOON as I heard him say "...and if she's not alive, I'll give ya $25,000 to tell me where her body is", I thought to myself, "WOW!! He just basically said he'd pay $25K for them to kill her!!".

I mean even though he's not involved, isn't that just basically telling the kidnapper that they'll receive a good amount money if he never sees her again alive?! I wonder if the neighbor asked Roberts for the money after he showed police where she was buried.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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Charles Lord was convicted of the murder of Doe Roberts. She was found in a compost heap on his property. Allen Roberts was a suspect until Charles Lord became too interested in the criminal investigation. He visited the local police department requesting information and providing suggestions. He volunteered to be an intermediary between Allen Roberts and the abductor to secure the release of Doe Roberts. The FBI installed cameras on Lord's property to survey his mail box. Lord claimed the abductor sent correspondences.

The FBI investigates an abduction when its probable an abductor will flee across state boundaries.

The FBI Files examined the murder of Doe Roberts in the episode with the title Fatal Friendship.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information on this one, did it come out what the motive was? was it purely a blackmail for money or was the neighbour of a similar age to them and had a sexual motive?
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:51 AM   #7
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Charles Lord abducted Doe Roberts for financial gain. He is an elderly man. He attempted to murder her on several occasions, but was unsuccessful. The FBI believed Doe Roberts was still alive when she was buried. Lord poured concrete and limestone over her in an attempt to hasten decomposition. However, the concrete and limestone preserved the corpse. When investigators found her corpse, they noticed one arm was extended in an attempt to remove the weight on her.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rieder
Charles Lord abducted Doe Roberts for financial gain. He is an elderly man. He attempted to murder her on several occasions, but was unsuccessful. The FBI believed Doe Roberts was still alive when she was buried. Lord poured concrete and limestone over her in an attempt to hasten decomposition. However, the concrete and limestone preserved the corpse. When investigators found her corpse, they noticed one arm was extended in an attempt to remove the weight on her.
Thanks for all that info Rieder! I believe I heard that she was also raped...do you remember that from the show?
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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The FBI Files program did not explicitly mention Doe Roberts was raped. Charles Lord kept her in his home for a few days. Law enforcement suggested Lord was motivated by a sexual desire. His modus operandi involved travelling to the Roberts residence and informing her Allen was injured in an imaginary accident and he would drive her to the accident scene. Meanwhile, Allen Roberts was at a property waiting for Sam Wagner, a fictitious developer created by Lord. It seems Lord perversely thought he may be a romantic hero when told her he would take her to the scene of Allen's 'accident'.

Charles Lord maintained a facade of respectability acting as the treasurer for the local church. In reality, he embezzled church funds and had a history of fraudulent behaviour. He thought abducting Doe Roberts for financial gain would reduce some of his debt. During the investigation he told investigators Allen and Doe experienced marital problems. It was another example of Lord's manipulative and deceptive behaviour.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rieder
The FBI Files program did not explicitly mention Doe Roberts was raped. Charles Lord kept her in his home for a few days. Law enforcement suggested Lord was motivated by a sexual desire. His modus operandi involved travelling to the Roberts residence and informing her Allen was injured in an imaginary accident and he would drive her to the accident scene. Meanwhile, Allen Roberts was at a property waiting for Sam Wagner, a fictitious developer created by Lord. It seems Lord perversely thought he may be a romantic hero when told her he would take her to the scene of Allen's 'accident'.

Charles Lord maintained a facade of respectability acting as the treasurer for the local church. In reality, he embezzled church funds and had a history of fraudulent behaviour. He thought abducting Doe Roberts for financial gain would reduce some of his debt. During the investigation he told investigators Allen and Doe experienced marital problems. It was another example of Lord's manipulative and deceptive behaviour.
This is truly a heartbreaking case! I can't imagine the horror that Doe Roberts was put through and how Allen Roberts must have felt eventually finding out his beloved wife was very nearby and alive the first few days she went missing. Then to find out she was possibly raped before being buried alive! If all that wasn't enough he goes out of his way to try and cast suspicion on the grieving husband. I truly hope Mr. Lord received the death penalty and is no longer with us.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:33 PM   #11
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I found the offender information for Charles Lord using the Tennessee Department of Corrections web site. The information can be found below:

LORD, CHARLES JACKSON JR Alias: LORD, CHARLES
TOMIS ID: 00226360
Birth Date: 01/10/1934
Race: W
Sex: M
Supervision Status: INCARCERATED
Location: TCIP
Sentence Begin: 08/26/1993
Parole Eligibility: 10/25/2028
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:30 AM   #12
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What a lovely chap, still he will not be eligible for parole until he is 95- as I remember this happened in the summer of 1992 so perhaps the programme resulted in the conviction.
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Old 04-12-2008, 03:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rieder
Charles Lord abducted Doe Roberts for financial gain. He is an elderly man. He attempted to murder her on several occasions, but was unsuccessful. The FBI believed Doe Roberts was still alive when she was buried. Lord poured concrete and limestone over her in an attempt to hasten decomposition. However, the concrete and limestone preserved the corpse. When investigators found her corpse, they noticed one arm was extended in an attempt to remove the weight on her.
Dear Lord its 2 am and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sleep now!!!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold_OldSchool
Dear Lord its 2 am and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sleep now!!!!
I wonder will UM ever update this case on Spike/Lifetime?
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rieder
The FBI Files program did not explicitly mention Doe Roberts was raped. Charles Lord kept her in his home for a few days. Law enforcement suggested Lord was motivated by a sexual desire. His modus operandi involved travelling to the Roberts residence and informing her Allen was injured in an imaginary accident and he would drive her to the accident scene. Meanwhile, Allen Roberts was at a property waiting for Sam Wagner, a fictitious developer created by Lord. It seems Lord perversely thought he may be a romantic hero when told her he would take her to the scene of Allen's 'accident'.
I just watched those two Doe Roberts 'Special Alerts' last night and that answers a lot of questions--RS mentioned a Sam Wagner being a person of interest in the case, but apparently, he wasn't even real. So Lord fabricated Wagner in an attempt to occupy Allen while he snatched up Doe? Ugh.

That does kind of show, however, that from the beginning police felt the Wagner thing was in fact a ploy. And the strange phone call to Doe's friend (in which she said she was allowed to ask three questions apparently Doe would know the answers to and received the correct answers) does fit with the scenario that Doe was held for some time before her death.


It seems Lord was a deeply, deeply disturbed man. He would've had to have planned this for months in advance in order to pull it off. Poor Allen.
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