ANNOUNCER: This program is about unsolved mysteries. Whenever possible, the actual family members and police officials have participated in recreating the events. What you are about to see is not a news broadcast. ROBERT STACK: For over 100 years, the residents of a tiny Texas town have witnessed mysterious lights hovering in the distance. They call them ghost lights, and tonight for the first time we present evidence that these ghost lights are real. $250,000 of platinum vanished from a Pennsylvania factory, and so did security guard Dale Kerstetter. Video cameras recorded the robbery. Was Kerstetter abducted, or was he an accomplice? We’ll ask you to join the war on drugs with a profile of Salvatore Caruana, the head of a drug smuggling ring, who allegedly possesses information that could put major organized crime figures behind bars. On a previous broadcast, we told how, during the 1920s, hundreds of orphans from the streets of New York were put on trains and taken to the Midwest to begin new lives with new families. In many cases, brothers and sisters were separated. Tonight, thanks to our viewers, the heartwarming reunion two orphan train children who haven’t seen each other for 60 years. Join me. You may be able to help solve a mystery. Saturday, September 12, 1987 began as a typical work day for Dale Kerstetter, a 50 year old security guard and maintenance man who worked for 27 years in the Corning Glass Works plant in Bradford, Pennsylvania. At 11:00 PM, Kerstetter began his shift as a weekend security guard. That night, $250,000 worth of platinum pipe vanished from the plant, and Dale Kerstetter was never seen again. Pound for pound, platinum is one of the most precious commodities in the world. It is even more expensive than gold. In addition to its beauteous jewelry, platinum is widely used in manufacturing. After Dale Kerstetter and a fortune in platinum pipe disappeared from the Corning factory, authorities were mystified. Was Kerstetter the unwitting victim of a robbery, or had he engineered the heist himself? Dale Kerstetter grew up in Bradford, and except for his years in the Air Force, lived there all his life. Kerstetter had been divorced for 10 years, and his teenage son still lived with him. Four of his five daughters also lived in Pennsylvania. He was very compassionate, honest, liked to have fun, loved the outdoors. He was very faithful to everybody, and he hated to lie. He never believed in lying. He’s just a great father. I mean, there wasn’t a kid in the world that wouldn’t want to have him as their dad. C. DALE PARRY: Dale was a marginal employee. Yeah, he was a slow worker, and, yeah, we had some problems with him occasionally, but at the same time, we’re looking at an employee, who, at the risk of his own life, probably saved half a dozen lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars of property value. We had an incident several years ago where a forklift– that accidentally rolled underneath a stream of hot molten glass, and the glass was actually pouring down onto the propane tank in the back of the forklift. Dale immediately jumped onto the forklift and drove it out from underneath the hot stream of glass. So you can look at him one side and see where he might get involved in something like this. At the same time, maybe he wouldn’t. ROBERT STACK: Sunday morning, September 13. When security guard John Linquist arrived at 7:00 AM, he expected to find Dale Kerstetter waiting to be relieved. JOHN LINQUIST: He usually sat right inside the door, and he wasn’t there. So I walked to the cafeteria, and I see his lunch pail setting on the table. I happened to pick up the newspaper, and there the keys was. So then I looked in his lunch pail, and I see it was all– everything was there. He hadn’t ate. ROBERT STACK: Later Sunday morning, Kerstetter’s new pick-up truck was discovered in the parking lot, and the police were called to investigate. Yeah, the keys are still in it. ROBERT STACK: The truck yielded a number of clues that suggested Kerstetter had not disappeared voluntarily. His keys were in the ignition. He had left behind a full Carton of cigarettes, an empty holster from his .22 caliber pistol, and his daypack. [BARKING] On Sunday afternoon, the Sheriff’s canine unit was brought in to track Kerstetter in the 112,000 square foot factory. Police were concerned that Kerstetter might have suffered a heart attack, or fallen and injured himself somewhere in the vast building. [INAUDIBLE]. The dog led police to the second floor. [BARKING] This was the site of the plant’s glass kiln, also known as the tank. [BARKING] Although the tank contained valuable platinum pipe, it was not normally on Kerstetter’s security rounds. Kerstetter’s scent was found at the tank, but he was nowhere in the building. POLICE OFFICER: Something here? [BARKING] ROBERT STACK: The investigation next focused on the three security cameras that monitor the factory around the clock. Personnel manager Patrick Foley was surprised and disturbed by what the cameras had recorded. We have recreated the key sequences found on the tapes. PATRICK FOLEY: The first thing I saw was a masked man in the back of the plant in the one area. When I saw the masked man on the tape, I was very alarmed. At first, I thought, well obviously this person– there’s been some– some foul play. Dale was involved in foul play, and he– and he probably is missing. And then Dale Kerstetter came back and met this masked person in the back of the plant. I– I guess I would say I had a very empty feeling in my stomach. I said, what on earth? And then as I continued to review the tapes, and I saw the masked person come back out and go up to the tank area, then I was extremely anxious, because at that time, I realized that, not only did we have a missing employee, we also– there was a good possibility that we had missing platinum in the plant. Whoever removed the platinum from the tank was extremely familiar with the plant, everything in the plant. They knew exactly where to go. You have to remember that this transpired late at night. There were very few lights on in the plant, but yet this person knew exactly where to go, where to find bags that they needed, tools that they needed, how to go up to the tank and move back out of the tank area. ROBERT STACK: The most perplexing moment in the tapes is this interaction between the guard and the intruder. Is Kerstetter being coerced or simply pretending to be coerced? At one point, he looks directly into the camera. Was Kerstetter secretly signaling for help, or was he coolly flaunting his crime? PENNY A. BAPTISTE: If he was involved, why would he willingly walk in front of a camera knowing that it was there? He knew the camera was there. Why wouldn’t an attempt have been made to cover the camera? It just doesn’t make sense. I think the fact that he did everything in front of the cameras was, once again, just Dale Kerstetter to say to us, look, hey, here I am. I’m taking your platinum, and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. If he had planned on taking off anywhere, why would he bother packing a lunch. I mean, just little things like that, and a whole carton of cigarettes, and he smoked all the time. I mean, he would have taken his cigarettes. ROBERT STACK: Kerstetter’s daughters believe he was an innocent victim. According to their theory, Kerstetter heard or saw the masked intruder and went to investigate. The intruder, fearing discover and intent on his robbery, may have murdered Dale Kerstetter. One camera shows the intruder wheeling out a heavy bag on a manual forklift. MAX J. BIZZAK: There’s a very good possibility that bag could contain the platinum, or there’s a very good possibility that that bag could contain the body of Dale Kerstetter. Everybody says, oh, keep up hope, but if he was ever in on any of this, this thing that happened, he’s out of his mind. ROBERT STACK: A second theory places Kerstetter at the center of a bold and premeditated robbery. PATRICK FOLEY: Dale was happy as a trades worker. Unfortunately, prior to this incident, he had just been cut out of the trades job, which entailed about a– probably a $5,000 to $7,000 cut for him. He was not a happy person at the time of this theft. MAX J. BIZZAK: Through our investigation, we determined that Dale Kerstetter was approximately $30,000 to $40,000 in arrears on various payments– trailer payments, vehicle payments, and different bills which he had owed throughout the area. PENNY A. BAPTISTE: He had children that could take care of him. I was in a financial position to take care of him. He had stock in Corning. He had money invested. If it got to the point where he really needed money, there was too many ways he could have obtained the money legally. I think that Dale Kerstetter was a very intelligent man in a crafty sort of way. I think that, if he did not plan this thing by himself and do it with an accomplice, I think he was indirectly involved. ROBERT STACK: Dale Kerstetter’s family is anxious to know if he is alive. Whether he committed the crime or not, his family wants to know the truth. PENNY A. BAPTISTE: I don’t care whether he was involved. That’s not going to make me think any less of him or love him any less. What I want to know is what happened. Was he involved? Did he get away with it? Is he dead somewhere? Was he abducted? AL KERSTETTER: I don’t think he’d do it unless he planned on coming back someday. If he’s alive, which I think he is, he’s either in Canada or I’d say in Australia. And I figure in seven years, when the statute of limitations is up, he’ll come back scot-free, and they won’t be able to touch him. I can’t believe that. I can’t believe he was in on that at all. No way, shape, or form. Mm-mm. WENDY KERSTETTER: He had six kids, two grandkids. And to do something like that, and take off, and not call any of them– you know, just take off and never talk to your kids again? I just– No, I just can’t believe it. ROBERT STACK: In the months that followed the theft, Corning sold its Bradford operation, and the new owners have informed us that platinum is no longer used at the facility. Dale Kerstetter’s family continues to hope that he is safe. And if he is alive, Pennsylvania State Police want to question him about his involvement in the events of September 12, 1987. Last August, we featured a story about New York City orphans, who, between 1854 and 1929, were put on trains and taken to the South and Midwest in search of adoptive families. One of the orphan train riders profiled in our story was Sylvia Wemhoff. In 1921, at the age of three, Sylvia got off an orphan train in Columbus, Nebraska, where she was adopted by the John Mick family. SYLVIA WEMHOFF: When I was about 17, 18 years old, then I began to question my Mother Mick whether I had any brothers or sisters, and if so, I wonder if we could ever get together. ROBERT STACK: When Sylvia located her birth certificate, she learned that she was born Stephanie Wolk and that she had an older sibling. For the next 52 years, she searched for the brother or sister she never knew. The day after our broadcast, Sylvia’s search came to an end when she learned that her brother, 72 year old Joseph Wolk, was living in New York City. Wolk’s step daughter had seen our broadcast and recognized the names on Sylvia’s birth certificate. On September 25, Sylvia flew to New York and met her brother Joseph for the first time. Joseph, your sister Sylvia is here. How are you doing? I’m Sylvia. [INAUDIBLE]. Oh, Sylvia. I’m so glad. I’m so happy. I’m so happy, too, to see you. We hugged each other, and we were just really thrilled and happy that we finally, finally got together. I had heard I had a sister, and I was awfully pleased when I saw her and thankful– thankful to God. Yes, that’s me on there. ROBERT STACK: Most brothers and sisters grow up sharing their lives together, but for Sylvia and Joseph, the love and memories are just beginning. The next man we will meet is Francis Murphy. In 1928, when he was 11, he, too, rode the orphan train. His baby sister, Margaret, and his mother, who was too poor to take care of him, were both left behind. FRANCIS MURPHY: When I got on the train, I didn’t really feel that I was being wrenched away from somebody. I didn’t know that much about my mother, so that it wasn’t a matter of tearing me away from her, because I was away from her all the time anyway. It was a big adventure more than anything else. As a kid in New York, you have to remember that we didn’t know the west, and what we knew was from the picture shows we saw of cowboys, and Indians, and maybe engineers. And going that direction, well, that was the biggest thrill that a kid in my time could really expect. ROBERT STACK: Francis’s excitement soon turned to sadness. [INAUDIBLE]. Hello, I’m Camille Mitchell of the Children’s Aid Society. I brought your boys. ROBERT STACK: At stop after stop, potential adoptive parents would be waiting to pick their child from the crowd, but not all the children found new parents. Can I get your signature, please? Francis, who had boarded the train in New York with such high hopes, began to realize that none of the families along the train’s route wanted him. CAMILLE: This is your son, Luke. MAN: Hi, Luke. LUKE: Hello. MAN: Welcome to our family. Thank you. FRANCIS MURPHY: 14 or 15 children that were leaving, and you got off the train with their belongings, and they told me, Francis, you just stay on the train. CHRISTINE MURPHY: And he would say the crowd would get smaller and smaller, until finally he was the only child left on the train. Bye bye. Bye bye. Bye. All aboard. ROBERT STACK: Francis never was adopted. He went from family to family as a foster child. In spite of his early hardships, Francis’s life turned out well. He became a high school teacher, married, and had five children and six grandchildren. Francis Murphy, who rode the orphan train 60 years ago, developed heart disease in 1987. And sadly, he died soon after we filmed his interview in November. Francis’s wife and family have continued his search, and they ask that we present his story despite the fact that he is gone. They hope to unite the family who still loves Francis with the family he never knew and wanted so desperately to find. It was extremely important Francis to go ahead with this interview. He’d been looking forward to it for literally months, and just the hope that he would find somebody, particularly his sister, was important. He didn’t know much about love growing up, and he found out as he got older and had a family of his own. I think his finding Margaret would be an extension of that love. It’s still very important to us that we finish what he tried to do. ROBERT STACK: 1883, the plains of central Texas near the town of Marfa. 100 years ago, cattle by the thousands were herded by cowboys across this arid country. One evening, during a round up, cowhand named Robert Ellison– Hey, what’s that over there? ROBERT STACK: –noticed a strange glow off in the distance. MAN: I don’t know. Could be Apaches. MAN: Yeah, looks like Apache campfire. Let’s go on a ways. ROBERT STACK: He saw a ghostly light shimmering in the darkness. It appeared to be a few miles away, and it hovered just a few feet above the ground. JULIA PLUMBLEY: And they thought they were probably a camp fire Indians or other travelers, but they just kept seeing them the next night they were there, the next night, and the next week, and year. And I’m sure they began to wonder, what on earth were those lights? ROBERT STACK: In 1916, Hallie Stillwell was 18 years old when she witnessed the same phenomenon. HALLIE STILLWELL: We had decided to come to Marfa to tend to a little business. And we were just visiting and talking, and all of a sudden we saw lights over on the Chinati Mountains. Look, Hallie. HALLIE STILLWELL: It couldn’t be any kind of car lights, and we first thought probably it was a campfire of Indians, or Mexicans, or ranchers. But it didn’t act like a campfire at all. Do you think they’re campfires? It can’t be a fire. It’s moving. HALLIE STILLWELL: They were peculiar. I’ve never seen anything like them before. And of course, none of us knew anything about it. We were not scientists or anything like that. So we said, well, it couldn’t be anything but a ghost. It’s just ghost lights. And from then on, we mentioned them as ghost lights. ROBERT STACK: In 1943, the mysterious lights was seen again near Marfa’s Army air base. Yeah, he won’t be back for at least 30 minutes. FRITZ KAHL: When we saw the Marfa lights the first time, there was no vehicular traffic at night. Fuel was rationed. Lights were a phenomena in themselves in those days because there were no lights. It’s been a while. FRITZ KAHL: And when the moon is out, it’s beautiful. When the moon is not out, it’s so dark it’s awesome. What’s that? FRITZ KAHL: We saw something that was totally foreign to anything in and around the air base. When we did see the lights, we were very curious, and we inquired in the village of Marfa about this– these strange things. And yeah, sure, we’ve got little lights. So, what else? Over the years, explanations for these mysterious lights have ranged from ball lightning to St. Elmo’s Fire to jack rabbits with glow worms attached to their tails. Native superstition even has it that the lights are the ghost of an Apache chief, who refuses to give up his desert home. The lights have been continually seen near the small town of Marfa, but surprisingly, the witnesses aren’t frightened of these ghost flights. In fact, most seem to regard them with affection. I know they exist. I’ve seen them several times. Two of the four of us saw the lights. Two did not, and we were looking in exactly the same spot. Now, I can’t explain that. – I know they’re there. There’s no doubt about it. Some nights I see them better than other nights, though. When I was a child, of course, you have a lot of childlike curiosity, and my first thing was I want to find out what those are. I mean, this is my Loch Ness monster. I’m going to catch it and find out what it is. And so I just in that moment on decided I was going to try to solve the mystery. Looks like we need to head southeast toward the Chinatis. A few years ago, my brother and I got the idea that the reason no one had ever gotten close to lights was because they were using motor vehicles like airplanes, or Jeeps, for cars. So we thought, if we took out on foot across the desert, we could sneak up on them. So we got our gear together and a camera, and just took out walking across the desert, and tried for about four hours to walk up close to them. And we never could get real close to them. It was almost like a mirage. It just kept moving a little further and further away from you. This is almost like they knew what we were doing, and were just going to tease us, and stay a little bit ahead of us. But distance is so deceiving out here we couldn’t tell if we were looking at a light as big as a tire or if we were seeing a light as big as just a cantaloupe. And so we couldn’t get close enough to really get a good idea of how big they were. The point is there’s a [INAUDIBLE].. ROBERT STACK: In July of 1989, we asked three scientists from the local observatory and university to conduct a formal investigation into the lights. What happens is the [INAUDIBLE].. ROBERT STACK: One investigator was a professor of chemistry, another a geologist, and the third an astronomer. I– I wonder if we’re– if we’re not pushing just troughs of hot air– Yes, exactly. –up on either side of Chinati down here. And there’s [INAUDIBLE]. ROBERT STACK: With them were 11 other technicians and observers. Actually, you’re calling at 3:00. Is that correct? WOMAN (ON WALKIE): We had the one at the [INAUDIBLE] site. ROBERT STACK: The lights have been seen near the Chinati Mountain Range. A radio beacon is also visible in front of the peaks. A highway winds its way through these mountains, and in order to prevent the misidentification of headlights, two marker lights were placed at the borders of the road. If any lights are spotted outside these markers the scientists cannot explain their source, then investigators can be certain that they are observing the ghostly phenomena. MAN: Well, there was– there was a light right on the horizon. MAN (ON WALKIE): We have the two cars leaving position one. ROBERT STACK: The investigators are using special nighttime viewing equipment. MAN (ON WALKIE): They are approaching the beacon now. ROBERT STACK: In this instance, a camera films two headlights moving slowly from left to right past the radio beacon light. MAN: [INAUDIBLE] be off this. MAN: Roger. There’s no question they’re looking at this stuff which ones are the cars and where the lights are. ROBERT STACK: At 11:59 PM, an unknown light appears. Doctor, look up there on the hill to the right of marker three. I see it. It’s off to the right. It’s about the same distance. ROBERT STACK: A camera pans past the radio beacon. MAN: The red center is from three. MAN: Unit three, can you verify if you have any traffic lights off to the west or northwest. MAN (ON WALKIE): I do not see any lights. ROBERT STACK: It continues past the right marker light. MAN: Yes. ROBERT STACK: In the middle of an empty plain, a ghostly glow can be seen. A video camera also recorded the same light. MAN: Do you see it’s [INAUDIBLE].. MAN: [INAUDIBLE] verify the light we’re seeing of to the west. ROBERT STACK: Observers were certain that the light did not come from a man made source. MAN (ON WALKIE): [INAUDIBLE] looking– MAN: It’s beginning to fade, isn’t it? MAN: It’s going way down. It’s gone completely out now. It’s almost like it imploded. Yeah. MAN (ON WALKIE): Negative, we do not have any light. MAN: [INAUDIBLE] unit one, could you also verify that? MAN: Here it comes. MAN: Here it is. MAN: Here it comes. Can you see it? MAN: Yeah, it’s coming back just as bright as it was before. Same place. MAN: It’s beginning to fade out again. There it goes. MAN: It was extremely bright, though, when it was showing there. ROBERT STACK: What was it that the cameras recorded? We know the lights [INAUDIBLE] something of natural origin. It is not man made. Now, the next question is, how do you explain them? There is something in addition to car lights. People are seeing real activity in the atmosphere. ROBERT STACK: One scientist thought the lights might be refracted starlight and other luminous gases produced by small earthquakes, but they are not sure, and all they could say for certain is that it was natural phenomenon as yet unexplained by by science. – Hey, what’s that over there? – I don’t know. ROBERT STACK: Most of the people in Marfa who have grown up and lived with the lights don’t really need any explanation as to what they are. The fact they exist at all, bringing a touch of magic into their day to day lives, is all they need to know. It’s a phenomena that’s not explained, and so let’s play that game. All I know is they’re there. Let’s don’t find out what they are. Let’s just leave them a mystery. I’m not going to try to solve it. I’m going– I’m going to be content with ghosts and let the ghosts take care of them. Next, a story of an innocent young couple, whose romantic weekend was shattered by a sadistic and elusive killer. November 18, 1987– Jay Cook and his high school sweetheart, Tanya Van Cuylenborg, took the ferry from Victoria, Canada to Washington state. Jay was 20 years old. Tonya was 17, and they were in love. This was to be their first trip together, and they had planned on a romantic weekend. LEONA COOK: Jay and Tanya had been going out together for about six months, I think. He was either there, or she was here. I think she was quite special to him. They certainly seemed to be good for each other from everything that I could gather. I certainly had no apprehension about Tanya being with Jay. I felt very comfortable with that. Whoa. It’s getting windy. You cold? A little bit. ROBERT STACK: But sometime during the journey, Jay and Tanya’s peaceful vacation turned into a violent nightmare. The couple’s trip began in Victoria, Canada, where they took the 4:00 PM car ferry to Port Angeles Washington. Jay had borrowed his father’s van. After they disembarked from the ferry, they were seen twice heading south on Highway 101, once in the Washington town of Hoodsport at approximately 8:00 PM, and an hour later at Allyn. It is believed they were headed towards a second car ferry from Bremerton to Seattle. Jay and Tanya were expected home the following day, but when they hadn’t returned or called by the next evening, their families began to worry. WILLIAM VAN CUYLENBORG: If Tanya was late for anything, which was not unusual– but she would phone. She would always phone. So when Tanya did not phone the next evening when they were supposed to be returning, my wife became apprehensive. So I tried to downplay it for my wife’s sake and probably to reassure myself that everything would be OK. However, in the following day when she didn’t call, we knew there was something wrong. CHIEF DEPUTY RON PANZERO: Tanya’s body was found partially clothed. She had been raped and murdered. We found some wire ties that you would bundle wires together with laying alongside the road. We assumed that they were used to secure Tanya in the van. Well, we didn’t know what to think then, because they hadn’t found Jay. And for a while, it looked like Jay might even be a suspect. They told us to be prepared for that. ROBERT STACK: The next day, Jay’s van was found 90 miles away in the city of Bellingham. MAN: There we go. There’s one of the ties that was just like with Tanya down at the scene. Here’s another one. Uh-oh, we’ve got some blood over here it looks like. At the time, nobody was certain exactly what had happened, but our concern was heightened a couple more notches once the van was found. We’ve got something here, Fred. ROBERT STACK: Two blocks away from the van, under the porch of a tavern, police found more plastic ties, the keys to Jay’s van, Tanya’s driver’s license, and a half empty box of ammunition. Significantly, they also found a pair of plastic surgical gloves. He leaves those behind as a– as basically a sign to the police that you needn’t look for fingerprints because I wore these gloves, and he has confidence that there’s nothing that’s going to connect him with these crimes. Even after they found Tanya, we hoped against hope that maybe they were going to find Jay, I mean, alive. I guess you know it’s not very likely, but you have to keep hoping. SGT. ROBERT BART: Jay’s body was found on Thanksgiving Day, and he had been definitely murdered. It was very obvious. We found that Jay had died due to strangulation. He had been beaten. His hands had been bound with some electrical tie wraps, plastic ties wraps. We think the way that Jay died was indicative of things that we’ve seen before inside the prison walls, and the things we found on Jay certainly raised a suspicion that the person or people who did this have been in the prison system before. Without telling you anything else, that’s definitely a possibility. ROBERT STACK: Police believe it most likely that Jay and Tanya made their fatal rendezvous with the killer on the 10:20 PM ferry from Bremerton to Seattle. SGT. ROBERT BART: We don’t know the killer’s intentions when he first met these two. We feel that he was out to do some harm and certainly to assault both Jay and Tanya. And from what we have found, I think we can say that he had set his sights on Tanya, and Jay was in the way. [INAUDIBLE] lights. It’s getting late. MAN: How you doing? – Hi. Hey, what’s up? Not much. You guys going to Seattle? – Mm-hm. Yeah. How about you? SGT. ROBERT BART: They were friendly. They were young, on their first trip, and, I think, easily fooled. An easy mark. MAN: Say, I wonder if you could do me a favor. It’s pretty cold out there, and I only live a couple miles from the ferry deck. Can you give me a ride? DET. ROBERT GEBO: A person could make contact with them in the lounge on the– on the ferry boat, just asking for a ride across the Puget Sound. I think it’s safe to say that, by the time they exited the ferry in downtown Seattle, they probably were in the company of– of the man that killed them. It would seem to me that it’s logical that the person has committed crimes like this in the past and been successful at them. And having been successful, I would certainly say that it’s likely that they’ll continue to do them. He does not want to be caught. He uses gloves, for example, to not leave obvious forensic fingerprints. That makes him very dangerous in my view. But the killer might have made one mistake. He may have taken Jay’s black waist-length ski jacket with red piping on the sleeves and Tanya’s olive drab daypack. And there is a chance that someone may have noticed him with these incriminating items. Hi, Mrs. Cook. How’s the holidays? – Great, thanks. – Good. See you tomorrow. Yep, bye bye. ROBERT STACK: One final note on this sad story. Over the Christmas holidays, just four weeks after the murder of their children, Jay and Tanya’s families each received a morbid greeting card. These cards were filled with taunting descriptions of the murders, and their author claimed responsibility for the killings. To date, 19 of these greeting cards have been mailed over three different holidays. The writer remains a complete mystery. Postmarked from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, all of these cars were written by the same author. The handwriting in these letters and the cards is very distinctive, and there are some phrases that are very distinctive also. Hallelujah bloody Jesus is a favorite phrase of his. SGT. ROBERT BART: We have not found something as of yet in these greeting cards that would tell us absolutely for sure that the person who sent them– is sending them is the killer. We don’t know. He just continues to– to make life miserable for these parents who have lost their children. ROBERT STACK: Next, the search for Salvatore Michael Caruana, a career criminal who masterminded a multimillion dollar drug smuggling ring. OK, guys, let’s move in. ROBERT STACK: May 23, 1987, Groton, Connecticut– agents from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the US Marshals Service tracked a fugitive to a local motor inn. [BANGING] Federal agents with a warrant. ROBERT STACK: When they entered the room, the man they were looking for had vanished. Salvatore Michael Caruana is a suspected narcotics smuggler who allegedly has ties to organized crime. Since 1984, he’s been the object of one of the most intensive manhunts in the history of US law enforcement. Caruana is currently on the US Marshals top 15 fugitives list. They also believe he is being sought by the New England mob. When the federal agents found Caruana’s room at the motor inn empty, they had first suspected that he might have been the victim of a contract hit. However, the authorities also believe it is possible that Caruana staged his own disappearance to look like a contract killing so he could throw law enforcement off his trail. Caruana’s criminal history dates back to 1954 when he was charged with armed robbery and possession of firearms. By the late ’70s, he had moved into narcotics as a mob soldier for the Raymond Patriarca family in New England. Mr. Caruana was involved in the distribution of approximately $40 million worth of marijuana. We have testimony from just one distributor that, in one particular operation in 1979, he himself brought $4 million to Mr. Caruana. Hey, sparky, let me see what we got going here. SPEC. AGT. JOSEPH KEEFE: In these marijuana operations that Caruana was involved, he was a supervisor. Caruana would show up on the scene himself at the stash house before the marijuana was sent out and talk to his people, make sure it was weighed correctly, make sure the quality was good. He would then tell his distributor that I want X amount of dollars for each pound of marijuana that’s here. I think it’ll be good. What do you think, hm? $250 a pound? Right? Friday? Don’t keep me waiting. Be there. SPEC. AGT. JOSEPH KEEFE: He carried guns. He was big with guns. He was big with threats. He would threaten to kill you. There was no question. If you messed up, he threatened to kill you. ROBERT STACK: Caruana was finally arrested on November 27, 1983. The smuggling operation had begun to collapse with the arrest of several key associates whose testimony led to an 11 count secret grand jury indictment against him. MAN: Stand against the wall and face the camera. ROBERT STACK: Caruana was charged with drug trafficking under the Kingpin Statute, a federal law which could have meant life in prison. Straight ahead. Bail is set at $500,000. Caruana easily raised $50,000 to post bond and was released the same day. Caruana [INAUDIBLE]. Just in time. ROBERT STACK: On April 2, 1984, two days before his trial was to begin, Salvatore Michael Caruana disappeared. SPEC. AGT. JOSEPH KEEFE: Two of his close associates signed agreements with the government to cooperate and testify. I think he felt that our case was much stronger with these two witnesses coming into the case to testify against him, and I believe he just didn’t want to come in and face that, because I think he felt that he would face some serious time in jail. What do we have on this guy so far? ROBERT STACK: In 1985, a multi agency task force was established by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the FBI, and the US Marshals Service exclusively to investigate the Caruana case. They confirmed that smuggling drugs was only the facade for a vast criminal labyrinth. Caruana was laundering enormous amounts of money and was himself a multimillionaire. Checking on the medical update. ROBERT STACK: On February 6, 1987, federal agents and local police raided Caruana’s home in Peabody, Massachusetts. The house is like a fortress with elaborate security systems and several hidden vaults crammed full of weapons and financial papers. Agents found evidence that Caruana was using the alias of John Michael Hurley. Armed with this information, investigators were able within days to track Caruana to an east Hampton, Connecticut condominium. By the time they arrived, Caruana had cleaned the place out and vanished. For the next three months, he continued to elude the law. He’s a very smart guy. He’s probably of the most cunning and sly fugitives that we’ve come across in a very long time. He knows what he’s doing. He keeps himself up to date on all the new things that are coming out. He’s a very smart individual. Look at those numbers jump up. ROBERT STACK: Agents discovered that, while Caruana was in hiding, he used computer technology to launder money and communicate with his business associates and his wife. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: He used things like computer bulletin board systems that he knew it was very difficult for us to get into. He would talk to his wife up in Massachusetts from Connecticut, and they would go through these computer bulletin board systems. And she would take the message, decode it, and then it would be wiped off that bulletin board system. ROBERT STACK: Finally, in May of 1987, an anonymous tip led authorities to the motor inn in Groton, Connecticut. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: We had determined he was using the alias Vincent Spirito, and based upon the information we received from the manager and the fact that the alias name was registered there at that motor inn, we used that as probable cause to get a search warrant to enter the apartment. MAN (ON RADIO): Unit one to unit four. Four go. MAN (ON RADIO): Four, you’re in the best position. What do you think? What’s going on, Joe, anything? Still nothing. Nothing’s going on. MAN (ON RADIO): OK, we’ve given enough time. Let’s– let’s move in, guys. When we first got into the room, it appeared, jeez, he had just got up to get a newspaper, that he could be coming back any minute. OK, we’re secure, all right? – All secure. – OK. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: But once we started looking at specific items in the room, such as the newspaper and spoiled food, it looked like he hadn’t been there for a couple of weeks. MAN: Yeah, look at this newspaper. It’s dated May 9. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: We found clothes in the closet. We found the John Michael Hurley identification. We also found a sawed off shotgun with four shells up in the barrel, so it was ready to be what we call combat loaded. We also located a briefcase. MAN: Hey, guys, got a gun here. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: In the briefcase was a semiautomatic .22 and cash. From what we found at the motor in, you could assume that he had been killed by the organized crime people who thought that, if he was caught, he might talk, or he had all these records that could implicate them in different illegal transactions, but we don’t have the body. And if it was an organized crime hit, I would think that they would want to leave the body behind so that we wouldn’t keep poking our noses into his business, which eventually would lead back to them. Who’s got the paperwork? I’ve got it. ROBERT STACK: Caruana’s van was missing. So were the keys to the van, his wallet, and a camera case he was known to carry with him at all times. In the camera case, reportedly he carried an uzi submachine gun. A month later, Caruana’s van turned up at the police impoundment lot. It had been abandoned at a Connecticut truck stop. When marshals dusted for fingerprints, they found the van had been wiped clean. ARTHUR D. RODERICK JR: He could very well have been killed in May of ’87, but we really don’t have anything to point to that. We don’t have anybody coming forward and saying, yes, I saw him abducted from the truck stop. When you chase fugitives that are in this complex, one of the things they like to do is leak the word out to you that, hey, this guy’s dead, so that you don’t continue looking for him as hard as you were if you knew he was alive. It appears that he’s done the very smart thing. He hasn’t maintained contact with the people that he knew before we were chasing him. What we’re looking for is somebody to come forward and tell us that they have seen Salvatore Caruana alive after May of ’87. ROBERT STACK: Salvatore Michael Caruana is 51 years old, six feet tall, and 175 pounds. He has brown eyes and graying black hair, and has been treated for a hyperthyroid condition. He has used the aliases John Michael Hurley, Vincent Spirito, and Face. Caruana is a licensed airplane pilot and a computer and electronics expert. He should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Caruana allegedly holds damaging information about many highly placed organized crime figures, and the federal authorities hope they get to him before the mob does. Tonight, we have seen four stories without endings, four stories in which ordinary people have been thrust into the center of an unsolved mystery. Perhaps someone tonight can help them. Perhaps they were watching. Perhaps it’s you.