THE MAN WITH THE HAUNTED HOUSE
The Disappearance of the Jamison Family
By Troy Taylor
On the night of October 8, 2009, the Jamison family vanished into the woods of Oklahoma without a trace. They left behind a number of bewildering clues and a disappearance that remains unsolved to this day.
Prior to their vanishing, Bobby Dale Jamison, his wife, Sherilynn, and their six-year-old daughter, Madyson, lived what seemed to be a normal life in Eufaula, Oklahoma – and then they were simply gone. They mysterious walked out of their home, leaving behind nothing to suggest where they were going next.
After a few days of searching, the police found the family’s pickup truck, but that only raised more questions than answers. The truck was found in Latimer County, about an hour away from the Jamison home. The family had been in the area looking to buy 40 acres of land, where they planned to live inside of a storage shed they already owned.
Living in a storage shed seems a little weird, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Items found inside of the truck seemed to indicate that the couple had not planned to be away from the truck for long. Inside, investigators found their wallets, identifications, cell phones, Sherilynn’s purse, and the family dog, which was in bad shape, but still alive in the backseat.
They also found $32,000 in cash.
Both Bobby Dale and Sherilyn were on disability at the time of their disappearance and where they could have gotten that much cash – and what they intended to do with it – is a mystery. Detectives surmised that drugs may have been involved in their disappearance, and the large amount of cash was the result of them either buying or selling drugs.
But they had no explanation for why they would have brought their daughter with them, or where they had gone. It was impossible to tell from the condition of the truck if they had abandoned it voluntarily, or if they had been forced out of the car by someone else.
A search party was formed, and miles of surrounding woods were scoured for any trace of the Jamison family – they turned up nothing.
The case was cold until November 16, 2013, when hunters stumbled across the skeletal remains of two adults and a child just three miles from where the truck had been found four years earlier. Forensic testing proved that the remains were the Jamison family, but due to the state of decomposition, the cause of death could not be determined.
The case was re-opened and new clues soon emerged – like the bizarre security video that was taken outside the Jamison house on the night they left. In the video, the couple is seen going back and forth between the house and truck, packing up their belongings.
But that wasn’t the strangest thing discovered during the re-opened investigation. It seems that, shortly before the family vanished, Bobby Dale had gone to see his pastor and had told him that their house was haunted and that there were “two to four ghosts” on their roof. Could this have been the reason that the family fled their home?
Sherilynn’s mother, Connie Kokotan, believed that the family had somehow gotten entangled with a cult (she based this on the fact that Sherilyn had recently bought a copy of “The Satanic Bible, and nothing else) and were murdered by violent members. Others spread rumors about witchcraft, for the same reason, but there was nothing to support the theory.
The police had their own ideas about the disappearance. They pondered whether it had been a murder-suicide. They found an angry letter written from Sherilynn to Bobby that was 11 pages long. This led them to speculate that Bobby Dale had driven his whole family into the woods, murdered his wife and daughter, and then killed himself, but this theory couldn’t be proven.
There were also rumors that Bobby Dale’s father, Bob Dean Jamison, had been involved. Bobby Dale had filed a protective order against his father, claiming that he had threatened to kill him and his family and that they were afraid for their lives. The petition called Bob Dean a “very dangerous man who thinks he is above the law” and claimed he was involved with “prostitutes, gangs, and meth.”
However, Bob Dean died just two months after the family went missing. He was in poor health before that for a long time. His brother, Jack Jamison, claimed that he was “either in a hospital or rest home” at the time and, although he was a disturbed individual, he “was not capable of being involved” in the murders.
The many leads in the case soon dried up and investigators realized that the nothing conclusive could be found to solve the mystery. Israel Beauchamp, who had been the Latimer County sheriff at the time, stated that “a lot of investigators would love to have as many leads as we do. The problem is they point in so many different directions.”
And for just that reason, the Jamison family disappearance –and subsequent deaths – remain a mystery today.