A phone call from a friend set me on a path recently to investigate just how many people go missing in and around our national forests.
First, I was pointed in the direction of a video on social media about 40 citizens who have gone missing in Liberty and Montgomery Counties in and around the Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF).
Missing persons in Texas is nothing new and more often than not sinister forces are at work. In fact a very real possibility that must be examined is serial killers.
Serial killers such as Dean Corll, who abducted, tortured and killed at least 28 young boys between 1970 and 1973, operated in the Houston area. Corll had two accomplices, David Brooks and Elmer Henly. Other serial killers, such as Angel Resendiz (The Railway Killer) and William Suff (Riverside Prostitute Killer), have plied their sadistic trade in the Southeast Texas area. The list of serial killers who have made Texas their hunting grounds is astounding, to say the least, and of those, several have been in and around the counties that surround SHNF.
When you start peeling back the layers and reading report after report about missing persons in this area, it is hard not to wonder if a serial killer is at work. Articles of bodies being found and people walking out of their home to never be seen or heard from again come up in numerous cases—indicating possible foul play.
Since 1973, there have been only a couple of years in which someone hasn’t gone missing in the above mentioned counties. Could a serial killer or killers have been stalking the trails and roads there? Could the trails and secluded paths in the forested regions of those counties be the hide for someone with felonious intentions?
Local law enforcement agencies know that secluded areas are used for drug deals and all manner of illegal activities. Some have suggested many of these cases involve those kinds of activities. We believe it is important to cover all aspects of the great outdoors and not shy away from dark issues like this one. Whether a hunter, fisherman or hiker comes across a drug deal or a deranged killer, they are in serious danger and by shining a little light on these issues, it is our hope to make you more aware, not just of what is happening in these particular counties, but what could happen anywhere in secluded areas.
Some 760 missing persons cases are active in the Texas DPS database. That many in a state with nearly 30 million people may not seem high, but, of that 760, nearly 10 percent come from only four counties. Texas has 254 counties, and if you do the math that’s a little less than three missing persons, average, per county. By doing this math, you see that the counties in the area we are covering are over 20 times the state average on missing persons.
I want to be crystal clear that I have zero proof any serial killer is lurking in this mysterious zone. However, an unusually high number of missing persons are from a very small area of Texas, and that area just happens to be one of the hotspots for outdoors lovers.
Enjoy time afield but don’t get caught off guard and remember to report suspicious behavior and strange happenings.
Help keep the Texas outdoors safe for everyone.