This week we’re going to be talking about the Jamison Family. Buckle up for this one guys, because it’s a wild ride from start to finish. We’re going to be going over theories that include paranoia, mental illness, cults and the occult. I know those topics are a little out there and can get people worked up, so in talking about them I want us to remember that these were real people who lost their lives waaay before their time.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about who the Jamisons were. The family was made up of dad- Bobby Dale Jamison who was 44, mom-Sherrilynn Leighann Jamison who was 40, and six year old Madyson Stormy Jamison. They were from Eufaula, Oklahoma where little Madyson was attending Kindergarten. From what I understand, Bobby and Sherilynn were both out of work due to disability.
Around the eighth of October 2009, The Jamisons left their home in Eufaula and headed southeast towards Red Oak, Oklahoma, which is about 30 miles away. They were going to look at two plots of land in very, very rural and secluded Oklahoma. They were hoping to find and purchase some land with the plan to move a large storage container they owned onto the property and live in it. They were last seen heading up into the Sans Bois Mountains by a local resident. They never made it back down.
On October 17, 2009 a resident in the area called police to report that Bobby Jamison’s truck had been parked in the same spot for over a week without being moved. He had noticed the truck while out hunting and remembered seeing it parked in the same spot earlier that month. In the truck, investigators found the keys in the ignition, Bobby’s cell phone, Sherrilynn’s purse, assorted clothing items, maps and one of those old gps units, like the ones you had to stick to the windshield with a suction cup. Do you guys remember those? They also found the family dog, Maizy, who was severely dehydrated and had survived by eating her own feces. The most interesting thing, though, was $32,ooo in cash stuffed under one of the seats.
(Sidenote: From everything I can find, Maizy made a full recovery and ended up living with Bobby Jamison’s mother.)
Now, all of these things signaled to law enforcement that the Jamisons had every intention of coming back to this truck. A large search party was convened consisting of 100+ searchers on the ground, 16 dog teams, people on horseback and 4-wheelers. There were two helicopters and an unmanned drone as well. Unfortunately, a recent heavy rainfall had washed away evidence, making tracking the family’s movements just about impossible. The search teams had to resort to scouring the area and hoping they’d stumble upon a clue. The mud from the rainfall and thick, rugged foliage made it slow going. The air teams also had a hard time searching through the triple canopy of the woods in the area.
Complicating the search even more, the beginning of black-powder deer hunting season was scheduled to start at the end of the month. For the unfamiliar, like me before googling it, what this means is hunting with a gun that has to be loaded with powder and ammunition and is one shot at a time. On October 30, 2009 the sheriff’s department decided to slow down the search for the Jamisons. This was probably a wise decision, as a hunter was mistaken for a deer and killed that same week. A ten square mile radius from the truck had been searched at this point and turned up nothing. The case would remain cold for the next four years.
In late November of 2013, hunters stumbled across the skeletal remains of two adults and a child while hunting in the Sans Bois Mountains. It took until July of 2014 to positively identify the remains as belonging to the Jamison Family. No cause of death was able to be determined. The kicker here is that the bodies were found three miles from where Bobby had left his truck. So, searchers had been right on top of the Jamisons and never suspected a thing.
So, up to this point, all of that is pretty straight forward, right? A typical missing person unfortunately turned into a possible homicide case. Well, here’s where things are about to take a sharp left turn. You see, investigators had plenty of leads as to what may have happened. They had a literal ton of clues just from the truck, they had interviews with friends and family who provided some inside information and their ideas about what was likely to have happened. The trouble is that all of these leads led in different directions and were completely disjointed. Like wrangling feral cats. Here’s where we’re going to get into some of the theories put forth over the years. I’m going to start with the least wild theory and work my way to the more out there ones.
As the investigation into what happened to the Jamison family progressed, the lead investigator on the case, Sheriff Israel Beauchamp, discovered that Bobby and Sherrilynn may have made their living in untoward ways. He concluded that they were “scammers” who relied on lawsuits. The idea here is that perhaps they angered the wrong people in some kind of dealings and were murdered as revenge.
Bobby was on disability after being involved in a wreck in 2005. According to Bobby’s mother, Starlet Jamison, he was awarded a $64,000 settlement from the crash and split it with Sherilynn. This could explain where the $32,000 found in the truck came from. Also at the time of their disappearance, Bobby and Sherrilynn were supposedly the plaintiffs in at least two other lawsuits. A friend of theirs had reported that they had plans to sue the Eufaula school district for an unknown reason as well. One of the lawsuits on the docket for the Jamisons was against Bobby’s father.
Bobby Dale vs. Bobby Dean
On May 11th, 2009, Bobby Dale filed a lawsuit against his father, Bobby Dean. In the lawsuit, Bobby Dale alleges that his father convinced him to work for free at a gas station that Bobby Dean owned with the promise that Bobby Dale would eventually own half of the station and property. From here, Bobby Dale basically alleges that he never saw anything that he was promised and that Bobby Dean had defrauded him. The lawsuit was for more than $10,000. This did end up being dismissed, although not until December of 2009, after Bobby Dale had gone missing and Bobby Dean had passed away.
The same month Bobby Dale also filed for a protective order against his father. Here he alleged that his father had tried to run him over with a car and had threatened the lives and physical well being of Bobby Dale, Sherrilynn, and Madyson. Bobby Dale also claimed his father was addicted to meth and entertained prostitutes. The protective order was dismissed on May 18th. And, for what it’s worth, Bobby Dean’s will left everything to Madyson. He had cut both his son and estranged wife out. Just to be clear, Bobby Dean was never considered a suspect in the Jamison family’s disappearances. He passed away about two months after they went missing.
Another theory briefly floated by Sheriff Beauchamp was that Bobby and Sherrilynn may have suffered from substance abuse. There is no solid, hard proof that they were using or selling drugs, but there is a bit of circumstantial evidence that something was going on that was messing with the Jamison’s mental health.
Weight Loss and Financial Trouble
Apparently both Bobby and Sherrilynn lost a substantial amount of weight in the months leading up to their disappearance. Now, Connie Kokotan, Sherrilynn’s mother, offers a very reasonable explanation for Sherrilynn’s weight loss. She said in an interview with a reporter from The Daily Oklahoman that Sherrilynn had been suffering from depression after the loss of her younger sister a couple of years earlier. Sherrilynn never truly worked through her grief.
Connie lived with the Jamisons from March to June of 2009 and in that time she says she never saw anything relating to drug use or selling, but there was at least one conversation that struck her as odd. Apparently the Jamisons were struggling financially at one point and, according to Connie, Bobby told Sherrilynn that ‘I know where I can get the money, but I won’t involve you.” On the surface that certainly sounds suspicious. And maybe I’m a little naive, but couldn’t it also just mean that he was going to borrow it and was embarrassed and didn’t want her to be embarrassed too?
Paranoia and Strange Behavior
They also reportedly became very paranoid. A family friend told investigators that he had stayed with the Jamisons for a while but was asked to leave at gunpoint. Connie Kokotan told reporters that her daughter had become illogical, using a time that the two were driving in Oklahoma City as an example. Connie says that Sherrilynn randomly pulled over to the side of the road and told her mother to “Get…out of my car.” Connie did and was left stranded on the side of the road.
There was also security footage from cameras installed at the Jamison’s Eufaula home that pointed to strange behavior. In the footage, Bobby and Sherrilynn are seen moving their belongings from their house to a car. Their movements are described by Sheriff Beauchamp as “trance-like.” They move slowly, almost like they’re trying to move through molasses. They also stop midwalk and just stare into space for minutes at a time. Just extremely eerie footage.
Moving on to the next theory, this is the shortest and probably the least likely scenario. While searching the Jamison’s home for clues, investigators came across an 11-page letter Sherrilynn had written to Bobby. The letter was described as a “hate letter” in which her biggest problem with Bobby was that he was a hermit. There was another letter found that mused about death and spirituality.
A .22 caliber pistol was registered to Sherrilynn. Connie claims to have witnessed her purchase it “informally” from a private seller. This gun was not found during any part of the investigation. The combination of the Jamison’s obsession with death, Sherrilynn’s descent into illogical behavior, and her missing gun had investigators considering this theory for a hot second. Ultimately, there isn’t anything to really substantiate this one, though.
This one isn’t so much a theory as it is supporting evidence for the previous theories surrounding paranoia and mental health and to set up the last theory a little better.
Sometime before they went missing, Bobby went to the pastor of their church for counsel about what to do with the spirits he believed were residing on the roof of their house. He asked the pastor if there were any kind of special bullets that could be used on ghosts. He had also supposedly been reading the Satanic Bible to look for a solution in it.
As for Sherrilynn, she told their pastor that she believed there were 3-4 spirits inside their home and that both she and Madyson could see them. In fact, Madyson could actually talk to one of the spirits. This spirit was the sister of one of the child ghosts Sherrilynn reportedly saw and she was said to have had a set of wings. This wasn’t much of a concern for Sherrilynn though, because she believed that both she and her daughter had the ability to expel demons.
There was some concerning graffiti found on their storage container as well. Spray painted on one side was the phrase, “3 cats killed to date buy people in this area…Witches don’t like there black cat killed.” Who was the witch? And how deep did their mistrust of the neighborhood go?
Cult Hit List
This one is the big mama, here. Specifically, this is the theory that was put forth by Sherrilynn’s mama. So, growing up in Oklahoma you definitely hear about sketchy things going on out in the boonies. Especially in the far eastern parts of the state, where the Jamison’s were last seen. It’s not unheard of to be told that someone stumbled onto the wrong property and was shot at. Or even more dramatically never heard from again. Is it possible that these are all urban legends? Certainly. Is truth stranger than fiction in this case? I’ll let you be the judge.
An episode of the Investigation Discovery show “Disappeared” covered the Jamison’s case. After it aired, a friend of the Jamison’s who had been very vocal about finding out what happened to them received a strange call. A woman contacted the friend asking if she was the one searching for the Jamison family. When she replied that she was, the woman launched into a story about how she had once been a member of a white supremacist cult in Oklahoma. She claimed that the cult kept a book with names written in it of people that had upset the members. The woman went on to say that she would try to memorize the names she saw in the book during meetings so she could go home and search them on the internet.
This is what she said led her to the Jamisons. She found their names in the book. She went home and Googled them only to find the news reports of their disappearance. She then saw their episode of “Disappeared” and found the name of their friend and made her call. The woman also claimed that she had overheard a couple of cult members bragging about how they had “taken care of” the Jamison family. Of course the friend was skeptical of this lady’s story, but the woman was able to give herself a bit of credibility. She knew about an insignia that Bobby had engraved on his wedding ring. Something very few people knew about.
I completely understand if you’re shaking your head and thinking that I’ve drunk the Kool Aid at this point. But reserve your judgement because we aren’t done with this one yet. Told you this one was wild.
Are There Cults in Oklahoma?
So, I did a little research, and I’ll be damned if there isn’t a supposed (I’m not gettin’ sued today) white suprmacist cult out there in the middle of bumbfuck southeastern Oklahoma. I’m not going to say the name of it here because these are actually some dangerous people and I don’t want anyone getting in over their heads trying to investigate.
The cult has built its own little town/community and will apparently meet you with armed guards if you wander too far into their property. I will say that you can find them pretty easily on Google Maps if you know their name. They don’t pop up as a regular town, but it will pinpoint them. In saying that, the location of the cult’s town is roughly two hours away from where the Jamison Family lived. I don’t know how Bobby and Sherrilynn could or would have come into contact with them, but it does give this theory a little more credibility to know one actually exists.
Ok, I’m not going to do a “Wild Speculation” section on this one because it’s already wild enough. I will say that after reading everything I read, I do find a lot of credibility with the cult hit list theory. The only thing that bothers me is what did they do to end up in that book? How was this cult that was located two hours away even aware of the Jamison’s existence? Let’s talk theories on that in the comments!
Thank you guys so much for reading! If you know anything about what may have happened to the Jamison family, please please contact the Latimer County Sheriff’s office at 918-465-4012. Be safe out there, you guys, and don’t let each other go missing.