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Thread: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987

  1. #1

    butterfli Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987

    Has been missing since 1987 from Catoosa, Georgia.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nancy Debra (Debbie) Winegar Barr Willis.jpg  
    Last edited by Starless; 10-14-2010 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Nancy Debra Willis

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
    October 20, 2002

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Section: Metro News
    Page: E1

    Grisly findings spin odd tale
    Death of Georgia newlyweds could be linked to other crimes

    Author: NORMAN AREY; Staff

    Article Text:
    Johnson City, Tenn. -- A tale of gruesome murders is unfolding in North Georgia and East Tennessee. Two towns are in shock, and authorities are worried that the body count might grow as they investigate a case where family appears to be the common thread.

    Howard Hawk Willis' stepfather is dead. His ex-wife is missing. A young woman police think was carrying his baby is killed.
    And Willis' elderly mother and aunt are charged as accessories.
    It started nine days ago, when a severed head was found floating in Boone Lake, near Johnson City, Tenn. A pair of hands were found the following day, and four days later, more body parts were discovered in a self-storage unit in downtown Johnson City.
    About 230 miles to the southwest, Georgia authorities discovered a headless body missing its lower arms on a Walker County golf course development.
    Authorities are all but certain the crimes are related.
    They also think there might be more.
    The suspect in all the slayings is Willis, a 51-year-old truck driver from Walker County, currently in custody, although not on murder charges. He was arrested last week on federal drug charges, accused of transporting 2,600 pounds of cocaine and violating his bail arrangement.
    "The scary part is I don't know where it's going to end," said Washington County, Tenn., Sheriff Fred Phillips. "We have reason to believe there may be more to come. He was a long haul truck driver."
    At a special grand jury called for Wednesday in Washington County, Phillips said the panel will consider a murder charge against Willis.
    The body of Walker County teen Samantha Lemming, 16, and the torso of her husband, Adam Christmer, 17, were found Thursday, stuffed in plastic boxes in a storage bin in Johnson City, home to East Tennessee State University and 54,000 residents. Christmer's head and hands had been found in Boone Lake a week earlier.
    The pair had been married in August and were temporarily living in Johnson City with Willis' mother, Emma Elizabeth Hawk, 70.
    Willis had gotten to know the couple earlier, likely though illegal drug deals, police said. Just how involved the teens were with Willis isn't clear. But there's enough to know that the relationship was strange. "We discovered some pornographic pictures at his mother's house of the young couple," he said.
    Hawk has been charged with two counts of abuse of a corpse, accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and attempting to tamper with evidence. Authorities believe the teens were killed at her home, then hidden in the storage bin. Fibers police obtained from a rug in the house and in the storage bin matched fibers found on the pair's clothing.
    "The mother is a terror," Phillips said. "She's got her whole neighborhood scared. She's always been cantankerous, it seems."
    Willis' aunt, Marie Hawk Holmes, 74, was charged with attempting to tamper with evidence. Police believe she and Hawk rented the storage bins for the sole purpose of hiding the bodies.
    The motive for the killing, police think, could have been that Lemming was pregnant with Willis' baby and that perhaps the teens had witnessed him kill his stepfather in Walker County.
    "There is a strong possibility that Willis got her pregnant and then made the young man marry her. We haven't got the autopsy report back yet, but supposedly she was pregnant."
    Phillips said their information was based on taped phone conversations Willis had.
    "We think that he killed the boy first, and then the girl went nuts seeing it," said Phillips. "We think he might have kept her around for another day . . .."
    The last anyone heard from or saw Christmer was Oct. 6, when he spoke with his mother. Phillips thinks he was killed soon thereafter.
    "What we're looking at," said Phillips, "is a very grisly murder. I think he chopped off the head and hands with an ax because it wasn't clean cut. And the skull, I think he beat with a hammer."
    Meanwhile, in Walker County, the headless body of Willis' former stepfather, Samuel Thomas, was found Thursday on the golf course development, the same day the teens' bodies were found.
    Despite the arrests, the case is far from wrapped up. After learning of these crimes, authorities in Georgia began looking into the disappearance of Willis' first wife, Nancy Debra Willis, who was last seen in 1987 in Catoosa County, Ga....
    Sandwiched in the easternmost corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia, the citizenry here can't believe what has happened. The last big crime involved a cruelty to animals case where scores of cats and dogs were found starving in a house two winters ago.
    "This whole thing is unbelievable," said Jeff Byrd, president of Bristol Raceway.
    Eric Garland, a motel clerk in Johnson City, added, "I've lived here all my life, and this is the biggest thing that's ever happened. It's weird, especially the ages of the two old women."

    Photo: Truck driver Howard Hawk Willis, 51, is a suspect in at least two slayings.

    Map: Map shows Chickamauga, in Walker County. Inset map shows Area of detail as it relates to Atlanta. / VERNON CARNE / Staff

    Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents remove body parts found in a Johnson City, Tenn., storage unit Thursday. / RON CAMPBELL / Associated Press

    Photo: Adam Christmer, 17, and wife Samantha Lemming, 16, were found slain last week.

    Photo: Samantha Lemming

    More here:
    Last edited by Starless; 05-15-2010 at 07:16 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis

    I can't believe I never heard of this guy:

    Howard Hawk Willis

    Date 17 April 2008

    An accused double murderer will represent himself at trial.

    Howard Hawk Willis...charged with killing and dismembering a young couple...has had nine attorneys appointed to him so far.
    Judge Lynn Brown granted his motion to defend himself...and call witnesses to testify on his behalf.
    Willis will not be permitted to be transferred to the "Riverbend State Prison" in Nashville.
    He claims the Washington County, Tennessee jail does not have an adequate law library for preparing his defense.
    Friday the judge will appoint an advisory counselor to assist Willis in the trial and the public defenders office will help in gathering materials.
    The trial is now scheduled for July.
    Last edited by Starless; 09-24-2008 at 12:27 AM.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987 and Linda Lark Willis

    I could find neither of this women in the social security death index.

    Howard Willis is in prison in Tennessee and it seems he has some sort of a trial upcoming in July 2008.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis

    Quote Originally Posted by Starless View Post
    Who is Linda Lark Willis, the second woman they mention as missing in the article. Whew boy !!

    I cannot figure out where the killer of these people is incarcerated, he may be dead by now, but obviously was very much alive in 2002.
    Wasn't there just recently added to doe network another Jane Doe in this area ??

  7. #7

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987 and Linda Lark Willis

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
    November 10, 2002
    Edition: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Section: Metro News
    Page: E14

    Suspect in killings back in N.Y.
    Georgia man charged with teens' deaths

    Author: KEVIN DUFFY; Staff

    Article Text:
    While free on bond in a New York drug case, Howard Hawk Willis killed two Walker County newlyweds and dismembered the teenage husband, according to prosecutors.

    Willis on Friday was back in the same Brooklyn federal court that freed him last year. But this time his $200,000 bond was revoked after prosecutors said he was a suspect in the grisly killings of the two Georgia teens.
    A short, hunched man with thinning gray hair, Willis, 51, had been transferred from Tennessee to New York, where he will be sentenced Dec. 13 in the cocaine-smuggling case.
    The Chickamauga man had agreed to be a government witness against the drug supplier and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, hoping for a lesser sentence.
    After being sentenced in New York, Willis will be returned to Tennessee, where a grand jury last month indicted him on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abusing a corpse.
    The bodies of Adam Ray Chrismer, 17, and Samantha Foster Leming, 16, were found stuffed in plastic boxes in a storage bin in Johnson City, Tenn., 200 miles from Walker County. Chrismer's head and hands were found in a Tennessee lake.
    Willis also is suspected of killing his 73-year-old stepfather, whose headless body was found on a golf course development in Walker County.
    Police additionally are investigating whether Willis killed his first wife 15 years ago.
    Willis was arrested Oct. 11 when federal agents learned he was using his missing stepfather's credit cards. At the time, he was free on bail and under government supervision, awaiting sentencing in the drug case.
    Chrismer and Leming were married in August and were living temporarily in Johnson City with Willis' mother, Emma Elizabeth Hawk. Willis became acquainted with the couple possibly through illegal drug deals, police say.
    Authorities believe the young couple were killed at Hawk's home. Fibers from a rug in the house and in the storage bin matched fibers found on the pair's clothing. The teens had been missing since Sept. 11.
    The motive for the killing, according to police, could be that Leming was pregnant with Willis' child and that the teens saw him kill his stepfather.
    Search warrants state that Willis told his ex-wife, Wilda Willis, that he killed Chrismer and Leming. The comments were made in a taped jail conversation last month, according to investigation records.
    The search warrants also state that on the day the dead teens were found, Willis' aunt, Marie Hawk Holmes, was heard on a tape recording saying, "They've found the bodies." Holmes made the comment while watching a television news report and was recorded by an unidentified person.
    Holmes, 74, and Hawk, 71, have been charged with solicitation to tamper with evidence. They are accused of telling Wilda Willis to destroy the tape of her conversation with her ex-husband at the jail.
    Two years ago, Willis, a long-haul truck driver, was caught in the Bronx with 2,600 pounds of cocaine in his tractor-trailer. He agreed to testify against the accused supplier, Kenneth Adams, with the hope of avoiding a life sentence.
    Before Adams' trial, one of his attorneys tried to discredit Willis as a witness, arguing that the jury should hear about the disappearance of Willis' wife, who was pregnant.
    But prosecutors countered that the allegation was irrelevant, apparently after Willis convinced them he was innocent.

    Photo: Howard Hawk Willis, a truck driver from Georgia, is suspected in at least three slayings.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987 and Linda Lark Willis

    Augusta Chronicle, The (GA)
    November 27, 2002
    Edition: ALL
    Section: METRO
    Page: B06

    Author: Associated Press

    Dateline: JOHNSON CITY, TENN.

    Article Text:
    A man charged in the grisly slayings of two Georgia teenagers told two sheriff's investigators his elderly mother did it, one of the officers testified in court.
    Howard Hawk Willis, 51, of Chickamauga, Ga., said ``he didn't kill either one of them, that it must have been Betty,'' said Kenneth Phillips, a sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.
    Sgt. Phillips testified Monday at a preliminary hearing for the mother, Emma Elizabeth Hawk, 71, of Johnson City, also known as Betty Willis. She faces two counts of abuse of a corpse, accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and solicitation to tamper with evidence.
    The son is charged with killing Adam Chrismer, 17, and his wife of two months, Samantha Foster Leming, 16. The teens were last seen traveling with Mr. Willis. Mr. Chrismer's head and hands were found in a lake at Johnson City. His other remains and those of his wife were recovered in a storage warehouse.
    Sgt. Phillips said he and investigator Todd Hull spoke to Mr. Willis at the defendant's request a few days before his Oct. 23 indictment. Mr. Willis, who awaits sentencing in New York on a federal drug charge, said he helped Ms. Hawk move two plastic containers to a rented storage unit but did not know the containers held the teen's bodies, Sgt. Phillips testified.
    ``The next day, he got suspicious because Adam and Samantha weren't around, so he went back to the building, opened (the containers) up and found their bodies,'' Sgt. Phillips said. ``So it was his assumption that his mother, Betty Willis, had killed both of them.''
    When asked by a prosecutor what he thought about Mr. Willis' story, Sgt. Phillips said, ``In my opinion, he was lying.''
    Mr. Willis' story does not match what he said in a taped conversation with his ex-wife, Wilda. Mr. Willis told her he fatally shot Mr. Chrismer and Ms. Leming and threw Mr. Chrismer's head and hands in Boone Lake, according to search warrants filed in the case.
    Wilda Willis also made a recorded call to Ms. Hawk's house at the direction of investigators. Ms. Hawk and her sister, Marie Hawk Holmes, 74, told her to destroy the tape of her conversation with Mr. Willis, according to records.
    Ms. Holmes faces a solicitation to tamper with evidence charge.
    Ms. Hawk and Ms. Holmes were bound over to a Washington County grand jury after Monday's hearing.
    District Attorney Joe Crumley told the judge ``we're not ruling out that (Hawk) is going to be charged with more serious crimes.''

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987 and Linda Lark Willis

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
    April 4, 2003
    Edition: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Section: Metro News
    Page: C8

    Index Terms:


    Author: Staff

    Article Text:
    Georgian's death is confirmed
    Forensic tests determined a severed head found near a Johnson City, Tenn., park belongs to a man whose stepson is charged in the slayings of two Georgia newlyweds.

    Dental records were used to identify the remains of Sam Thomas, 73, found March 17 in Wing Deer Park, authorities said Wednesday. His headless, handless torso was found in October near a vacant trailer on Lookout Mountain, 190 miles south of Johnson City.
    Thomas was the stepfather of Howard Hawk Willis, 51, of Chickamauga, who is charged in the dismemberment slayings of a teenage couple from northwest Georgia.
    Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson has said investigators believe Thomas was killed at his home about the same time Adam Chrismer, 17, and Samantha Leming, 16, of Walker County were killed.
    Willis has not been charged with his stepfather's death.

    FAYETTE COUNTY: Woman admits helping hide bodies
    The wife of killer Carl Patton Jr. was sentenced to 12 months' probation and fined $1,000 Thursday after admitting she helped him hide bodies 25 years ago. Norma Patton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, concealing the death of another, and was sentenced by Fayette Superior Court Judge Johnnie Caldwell. She was given immunity from murder charges in exchange for testimony against her husband. She agreed to help prosecutors after her husband's arrest. Carl Patton, 53, pleaded guilty to four 1977 murders and was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences.

    ATLANTA: Florida man held in bank robbery
    A Jacksonville man was being held on federal bank robbery charges in Atlanta on Thursday after allegedly robbing a Union City bank while brandishing a shotgun. David Michael Schott, 28, was arrested by Union City police moments after the First Community Bank was robbed around noon Wednesday. A man fled with money and was arrested in nearby woods. Police recovered the money, the FBI said. Before that robbery, the FBI wanted Schott in five Florida robberies. Police found evidence from one of the robberies in a Stockbridge motel room -- along with the body of his girlfriend, Marsha Ann Lanford, 29, of Jacksonville. Investigators say Lanford died of a drug overdose about 24 hours before she was found. The FBI said Schott had fled the motel room, leaving evidence of one Florida robbery behind.

    GEORGIA: Plane broke up before fatal crash
    A twin-engine plane that crashed in South Georgia last week killing two Tennessee pilots had an in-flight breakup, federal investigators say. The March 27 crash killed Curtis Selle, 39, of Columbia and Richard Fernett, 60, of Waverly. An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said both sections of the aircraft's wings and its tail section separated during the accident. The plane's emergency location transmitter did not activate. An activated transmitter would have sent out a signal to aid rescuers in their search for the wreckage.

    Man pleads guilty to firearms charges
    An Elberton man accused of stockpiling hundreds of grenades pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges Wednesday. FBI agents raided the home of Greg Giannoni, 45, in July and found more than 600 grenade hulls, black powder and enough fuse components to assemble 805 grenades, authorities said. Giannoni's lawyer said he had hoped to sell survival kits containing the grenades to the military.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nancy Debra Willis, missing 1987 and Linda Lark Willis

    Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA)
    October 24, 2002
    Section: LOCAL
    Page: C10


    Author: From wire reports

    Article Text:
    Grand jury indicts man in three grisly murders
    CHICKAMAUGA --- Investigators searched for a severed head and arms at a house formerly owned by the suspected victim's stepson, who Wednesday was indicted by a Tennessee grand jury.
    Howard Hawk Willis, 51, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse. The charges stem from the deaths of Georgia newlyweds Adam Chrismer, 17, and Samantha Foster Leming, 16.
    Washington County Sheriff Fred Phillips has said Willis was involved in a cocaine-for-sex relationship with the couple. Investigators in Walker County, Ga., 200 miles from Johnson City, Tenn., believe the couple met Willis sometime after they married in August.
    The teens, missing since Sept. 11, were last seen traveling with Willis from north Georgia to Tennessee.
    Chrismer's head and hands were found in a lake at Johnson City. His other remains and those of his wife were recovered in a storage warehouse.
    Investigators searching for a motive suspect the teens knew something about the murder of Willis' 73-year-old stepfather, Samuel Thomas of Bradley County, Tenn.

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