unsolved: the jamison family deaths

On October 8, 2009, the Jamison family, consisting of Bobby Dale Jamison (aged 43), his wife Sherilynn Leighann (aged 40) and their daughter Madyson Stormy Star (aged 6) left their home in Eufaula, Oklahoma and were never seen alive again.

That day, the family left their home in order to purchase a forty-acre plot of land near Red Oak, Oklahoma around thirty miles away from their home. CCTV footage from the day before shows Bobby and Sherilynn loading the car in preparation for their trip. When no family or friends heard from the Jamison's, and they never returned to their home, the police were informed and an investigation began. A few days after their disappearance, the family truck was found in Latimer County, Oklahoma. The Jamison family were nowhere to be seen, however, the beloved family dog was still in the car, at this point very close to death. The police did discover the Jamison's IDs, wallets, mobile phones, a GPS system and around $32,000 in cash. A photo of Madyson was found on Bobby's phone, taken in the mountains the day before they were reported missing.

On November 16, 2013, two hikers discovered the skeletal remains of two adults and a child in a remote spot less than three miles from where the family truck had been discovered. Anthropological and forensic pathological tests confirmed, on July 3, 2014, that the remains found were that of the Jamison family. Due to the heavily decomposed state of the bodies, officials could not determine a cause of death for any of the family members.

There have been many theories about what happened to the Jamison family. The first suggests that Bobby and Sherilynn were crystal meth users, an idea that is majorly contributed to by the CCTV footage from the day before their departure which shows them walking around in a trance-like state. Bobby especially was experiencing paranoia in the months leading to their deaths and believed he had seen spirits in his house. The family even turned to the satanic bible to get rid of the evil spirits and asked a pastor if he could obtain special bullets to get rid of them. However, police found no evidence of drugs in their home and none of their family had ever suspected any drug use, apparently, they were raising Madyson just find. They may have, however, been dealing drugs as crystal meth use was well known in the rural areas around where they lived which may have lead to their deaths. Although the family were known to carry large amounts of money with them, and recently got money through a settlement, sources report they were having financial troubles not long before their disappearance, so how they truly got that amount of money is unknown. They may have stopped there to pick up drugs, however, when they left the money in the car and requested to see the drugs first they were killed. Other theories state they were on a hike and stumbled across a drug deal and were killed in the moment, but this does not explain why they left their GPS in the car.

It is possible that they owed someone money, that person discovered they were on their way to buy a house and followed them to retrieve it. In an attempt to get the person away from the truck, the Jamison's walked into the mountains and were eventually shot. Instead, they may have simply stumbled across the wrong person and ended up dead (there was a witness who claims to have seen the Jamison's driving up the road near where their truck was found however he has never been officially questioned).

Another theory is that Madyson simply run into the mountains whilst they were taking a break and got lost after finding her. This explains why all their belongings were left in the car as they would have been in a rush to catch her. However, unless they carried Madyson, walking nearly three miles is a long way for a little girl and it seems odd that all the bodies were found in a line next to one another face-down. As well as this, there is a theory that perhaps Madyson was kidnapped somehow (perhaps by drug dealers or the wrong person) and the Jamison's went out looking for her, ending up dead. This theory stems from the picture of Madyson found on Bobby's phone. Although she is smiling, relatives have stated that her real smile was not similar to the one in the picture, leading them to believe someone else had taken the photo. Yet, it seems strange that the person would have returned the phone to the car without taking the money.

The photo also ties into the theory that Bobby's mother believes. She has publicly stated that she thinks her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild were killed by the cult. The isolation of the mountains is known to be exploited by a range of cults, something that the Jamison's may have stumbled upon. Instead, the family may have been involved in some kind of witchcraft. This is fuelled by the claims made by their pastor about the family seeing ghosts and asking to obtain special bullets. A witch's bible was found in their house after their disappearance, and strange messages were found on the container they were planning to move into. An anonymous caller stated that she had been involved with a White Supremacist group, and Bobby and Sherlynn were on their hit-list. It is possible they were followed into the mountains, forced to walk for miles and then shot so they would not be discovered. This seems to account for why they were all lined up face-down, and many people believe their cause of deaths were a gunshot wound (Bobby had a large fragment of missing skull, however, this may have just been because of decomposition and scavengers).

Finally, this may have been a murder-suicide. Either both Bobby and Sherilynn decided they no longer wanted to live with their depression and killed themselves and their daughter. Or Sherilynn, who had bipolar, did not always take her medicine and wrote an 11-page letter to her husband about how much she hated him (which was found in the car) took them both into the woods and killed her family and then herself. Her gun was also missing from the car. However, no gun was found near the bodies which seems to disprove this theory (unless someone simply stole it) and family members have stated that Bobby and Sherilynn would never have let something happen to Madyson without doing everything in their power to stop it.

The case still remains unsolved, and with no new leads arriving, no more evidence seems to be found and no apparent cause of death it seems unlikely that this case will ever be closed. Where the family involved in drugs, or witchcraft? Was it a murder-suicide or a hike went wrong? The chance that we will ever know is slim to none.

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