The disappearance of Mary Jimmie ‘Bobo’ Shinn in July 1978: It’s a case that has captivated South Arkansas for more than 32 years, and tomorrow, we will begin examining it in a way that no media outlet has ever done before. Tomorrow afternoon, we will begin posting photos of evidence and uploading witness statements to give our readers even more information about the case that they’ve never had the opportunity to see. Bottom line, you’re going to want to keep refreshing the Blog tomorrow – we will be uploading those exclusive items throughout the day. And for our Facebook friends, you’ll want to stay tuned to your feeds tomorrow as well – some items will also be posted on our Facebook page.
We also want our readers to know that this series of articles is not the usual re-hashing of the tragic case. This time, with the blessing of Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe (who, we might add, truly takes the case to heart), we’ve been granted access to law enforcement’s case file and evidence – information that has been accumulated by investigators over the last three decades.
We also took a Friday away from the office and drove to Mount Calm, Texas, (that’s near Waco, for those who are wondering), and visited with high profile private investigator William “Bill” Dear, who also granted us access to his case files. (Note: Neither Loe nor Dear has ever granted that access before, and we are deeply grateful to both for the opportunity.)
On top of that, we tracked down every investigator we could find who is still living and discussed the case at length with each of them – and we’re proud to say that those investigators provided several new perspectives on a case that they’ve never been able to forget. We also spent days poring over old newspapers – both our own and others – and hours talking about the case with various locals.
It took us nearly six months to chase down all the details we could find, and for the past month, we have been working to condense that information into a working timeline that tells the true story – no holds barred. That story is now complete.
And let us just say, you are going to be amazed at what you find out, and you might even by shocked to learn that what you thought you knew is incorrect.
We’d also like to add here that in writing the series of articles, we obviously spoke with Bobo’s family (whom we also deeply appreciate), and as you can imagine, they continue to hope for information about her disappearance. We hope for the same, and we ask that as you read the series of articles, you think hard, consider every fact, squeeze your mind for any memory, and if you come up with something (even if you think it might not be important at all), please contact Loe’s office right away. Believe us when we say that Loe and his investigators will check it out.
And so tomorrow, Part I, which examines closely the disappearance itself, will kick off the three-day series. Trust us – you’re going to want to read it.