View Full Version: Lawson, Carrie S. September 11,1991

Porchlight International for the Missing & Unidentified > Missing Persons Cases 1991 > Lawson, Carrie S. September 11,1991

Title: Lawson, Carrie S. September 11,1991
Description: Alabama 25 YO

oldies4mari2004 - August 22, 2006 01:21 AM (GMT)

Missing Since: September 11, 1991 from Jasper, Alabama
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age: 25 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair.

During the early morning hours of September 11, 1991,Carrie received a telephone call from a woman claiming to be a nurse at a nearby hospital. The caller told Carrie that a relative was in the hospital seriously injured. While Carrie was responding to the call, a masked assailant armed with a gun broke into her home, tied up her husband, and abducted her. They drove away in Carrie's four-wheel drive 1991 Ford Explorer.
. The vehicle was found over a week later in the woods in Winston County, Alabama.
A $300,000 ransom was demanded for Carrie's safe return. Her loved ones dropped the money into a dark culvert as specified in the ransom demand. The money was picked up on September 13, two days after Lawson's abduction, but she was not released.

Walker County Sheriff Department

** Source Charley Project

monkalup - November 23, 2006 05:20 AM (GMT)

monkalup - April 11, 2007 12:50 AM (GMT)
Couple Seek Reopening Of Daughter's Kidnap Case (Huntsville (AL) Times )
David and Harriett Smith have asked the FBI to reopen its investigation into the kidnapping of their daughter Carrie Lawson. They're waiting for an answer.

I found this blurb in crimenews archives but the full article no longer seems to be available

monkalup - April 11, 2007 12:52 AM (GMT)
Kidnapped Woman Still Missing As Suspect Is an Apparent Suicide

Published: October 2, 1991
The perplexing case of the kidnapping of a 25-year-old woman took an abrupt and bloody turn early today when her suspected kidnapper, a local mining company executive, shot and killed himself, officials said.

The authorities also announced the arrest of an a woman they believe was his accomplice and the recovery of most of the $300,000 in ransom money paid for the release of the kidnapping victim, Carrie Lawson, the wife of a local lawyer.

But the most important element of the case remained a mystery: the whereabouts of Carrie Lawson herself.

Charles Baker, the Walker County District Attorney, said money found in the suspect's truck was part of the ransom, which had been recorded on a photocopier. The suspect, however, had insisted to intermediaries that money found in his truck was part of his payoff in a cocaine deal. Cash Found in Truck

The suspect, Jerry Bland, 49 years old, shot himself in his mustard-colored brick and frame house in an attractive neighborhood in Jasper, not far from where Mrs. Lawson was kidnapped almost three weeks ago, officials said.

On the basis of tips from the public and certain physical evidence, investigators positioned themselves around Mr. Bland's house on a quiet street about noon on Saturday.

According to accounts from Mr. Baker and other law-enforcement officials, a search of Mr. Bland's truck parked in the driveway uncovered 84 $100 dollar bills identified as part of the ransom money.

On Saturday evening, armed with a search warrant, investigators entered the house, videotaped the interior and removed evidence. But the conclusive link did not come until Sunday night, Mr. Baker said, when a tape recording was turned over to authorities.

"This tape," said Mr. Baker, "for lack of a better term, had a mysterious origin." The tape appeared to be a conversation about a plan to kidnap an unnamed Jasper businessman he said. One of the voices, investigators concluded, was that of Jerry Bland. The other, a woman's, investigators eventually identified as that of Karen McPherson, Mr. Baker said.

A search of Ms. McPherson's home uncovered $6,000 to $7,000, leading her to identify Mr. Bland as the kidnapper, Mr. Baker said. The District Attorney said Ms. McPherson had dropped Mr. Bland off at Mrs. Lawson's home on the morning of the abduction, Sept. 11, and had for a short time watched over Carrie Lawson after the abduction.

The last time she saw Mrs. Lawson alive was 24 to 48 hours after the kidnapping, Mr. Baker said. Mr. Bland told her that Mrs. Lawson had escaped in a remote wooded area, but investigators said they do not believe that.

Ms. McPherson is being held on charges of first-degree kidnapping.

The authorites said that in a note he wrote before he died, Mr. Bland said the money was in the attic, where investigators found $200,000 to $250,000 this morning.

The town of Jasper is pulling itself together for a massive search on Wednesday in Walker, Winston and North Tuscaloosa Counties.

"I'm floored. I'm absolutely floored," said Joe Stonecypher, a miner who built the house on Haston Street in the early 70's and sold it to the Blands almost exactly a year ago.

At one time, he had listed the house with Lawson Real Estate, the company owned until recently by Mrs. Lawson's mother. "He was a common old Joe," Mr. Stonecypher said. "He said he was going to open up some coal mines. . . . I didn't believe it. I thought he was blowing smoke."

monkalup - April 11, 2007 01:01 AM (GMT)
Loved ones lost
Other families know pain felt by Natalee Holloway's relatives
Beth Lowery and her common-law husband, Kevin Thompson, both 35, were watching television late one night. They were tuned in to the coverage of the Natalee Holloway case.
It is a story they follow regularly. Their daughter, Heaven LaShae Ross, disappeared on her way to school in August 2003.

On the screen Beth Holloway Twitty was in Aruba declaring she would not return home without her daughter.

Thompson turned to Lowery and said: "I wouldn't leave, either."

More than 40 days after Natalee Holloway, 18, disappeared during a trip to Aruba with classmates following her graduation from Mountain Brook High School, the case appears heartbreakingly stalled.

Two of the three young men implicated in her disappearance have been released. The island and the waters around Aruba have been scoured. But if any trace of Natalee Holloway has been found, the news has not been passed on to the public.

According to The Associated Press, members of a volunteer underwater search team from Florida State University left the island Tuesday. And Texas EquuSearch, an organization that has spent three weeks combing the island for Holloway, announced it would go home Sunday.

Nonetheless, those who have had highly publicized but so far unsuccessful searches for their missing children say Holloway Twitty and her family should stay in Aruba as long as they can push the investigation forward and as long as they can stand to be on the island.

"There is just so much going on with that case right there," said Lowery, of Northport. "I don't fault her. I don't."

David Smith, 71, whose daughter Carrie Lawson was kidnapped Sept. 11, 1991, in Jasper, agreed.

"I think they are doing the right thing, personally, and I think that keeps everybody's interest up," said Smith, of Cleveland, Tenn.

Search parties combed the area around Jasper for several weeks, but Lawson's body was never found. Jerry Bland, suspected of kidnapping Lawson from her Jasper home, killed himself Oct. 1, 1991. Karen McPherson of Cullman, a distant cousin of Bland, was later sentenced to life in prison for her role in the kidnapping.

Attempts to reach Holloway Twitty in Aruba on Tuesday were not successful.

Jerome Rosenberg, a professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, said if Holloway Twitty leaves Aruba without finding her daughter, it would be admitting to herself there will never be a conclusion to her daughter's disappearance.

"Right now I think she's postponing it," he said. "And I think she has every right to."

Amy Bradley of Chesterfield, Va., disappeared on the island of Curacao while on a cruise on March 24, 1998. She was 23 at the time. Her father, Ron Bradley, said he would have searched the Caribbean island, which is near Aruba, as long as the Twittys and Holloways have, if he had the money.

"Probably the hardest thing our family had to do was leave Curacao when that's where my daughter disappeared," said Bradley, a Virginia resident. "It's a very empty feeling coming back home because you couldn't get any help from anybody."

It was that or sit in a hotel room, he said.

"I wish them the best, but I certainly don't think that a whole lot is going to change," Bradley said about the family in Aruba.

And because the case appears, if not stalled, at least grinding along slowly, it raises the question: When does Natalee Holloway's family come home?

For one thing, returning to Alabama does not necessarily mean ending the search.

Bradley and his wife, Iva Bradley, have put up a Web site and brought their daughter's case to the attention of national TV shows and magazines over the years. Smith and his wife, Harriett Smith, have spent more than $1 million investigating Carrie Lawson's kidnapping.

"Harriett and I stayed in Jasper for three months," Smith said. "We left here one night in the middle of the night, and she (Harriett Smith) didn't come home at all. I had to come home a couple of times."

Smith said he didn't know and would not presume to tell Holloway's family when it was time for them to return to Alabama. But after searching in Jasper for months, they decided they should return to Tennessee.

"Finally, the authorities kind of gave up. Of course, we never gave up," he said. "I still have a private investigator working on it."

Smith too, is following the Holloway case.

"It looks like it's going to be another dead end," he said. "It's sort of like Jasper, Ala., was. There's just too many places to hide (a person on the island). ... I've been to Aruba before, and it's like being on the other side of the moon up on the north side. Big holes. The ocean's kind of treacherous."

Lowery, the mother of Heaven LaShae Ross, whom she calls "Shae," said Holloway's family will have to return home eventually.

"If Natalee is not found, and this is just my personal opinion, within the next few weeks, you are going to have to sit down and weigh your options and consider how long you are going to be able to stay there," she said. "You are not trying to go there and make that your home.

"You're going to have to come back to your home here. You are going to have to come back to your job. You are going to have to come back to your life."

When her daughter disappeared, Lowery missed two months of work at her job as a diet technician at the Partlow Developmental Center in nearby Tuscaloosa.

"I didn't leave the home for the first three weeks," she said. "I didn't leave my yard at all."

Once she was able to leave her home, she spent the next five weeks or so trying to find her 11-year-old daughter. Eventually the volunteer center closed.

There were no more searches. No more tips.

She went back to work, but spent much of her time there crying. She took a week off around the six-month anniversary of Shae's disappearance, and decided she could not return.

But she couldn't stay away from work forever.

"I've got to get back into life now, because I'm literally wasting myself away," she recalled thinking at the time.

Late last year, Lowery took a job counting merchandise in stores and truck stops. She makes more money, and it keeps her mind off her missing daughter while she is at work.

She has a lot of respect for Beth Holloway Twitty and wants to meet her when she returns to Alabama. She particularly admires the dignity and restraint she exhibited when she met Paul van der Sloot, the father of the suspect.

"If it would have been me and I would have knocked on the suspect's door to give them a prayer card, I would have got thrown in jail," she said. "I think she is a superbly strong woman. That took a lot of courage."

Lowery said she thinks Holloway Twitty may have a psychological breakdown, much like she did. For Lowery, the breakdown occurred when she realized that after six months, no one could tell her where her youngest daughter was.

"It was real bad," she said. "I thought that was going to put me back in the hospital."

If Holloway Twitty experiences such a breakdown, she needs to be at home, not on an island far away, Lowery said.

"She's going to break just like I broke," Lowery said. "She needs to be home when she breaks. A person's body and mind can only take so much of a traumatic event. ... You don't have any say in it. Your body just lets you know."

Joshua Klapow, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said whether Holloway Twitty has a breakdown depends on how one defines the word.

"It's not necessarily the case that she's going to have a single episode or event that's going to render her incapacitated," he said. "The more social support she has and the more she is able to maintain her physical health, the better she will fare in the long haul."

monkalup - April 11, 2007 01:15 AM (GMT)
V-Lawson Search+

monkalup - April 11, 2007 01:22 AM (GMT)

Ell - February 3, 2017 11:19 PM (GMT)
The woman convicted of kidnapping a Jasper lawyer 25 years ago who was never seen again was denied parole at a hearing Tuesday morning.

Karen McPherson, 54, was sentenced to life in prison 25 years ago for her role in the kidnapping of 25-year-old Carrie Smith Lawson in the early hours of Sept. 11, 1991.

McPherson’s cousin, Jerry Bland, was named the main suspect in the case but committed suicide as police surrounded his home.

Ransom was paid in Lawson’s disappearance after a demand was made, but her body was never found.

She was a recent graduate of the University of Alabama’s law school at the time of her abduction.

McPherson will be up for parole again in five years

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