Friday, July 8, 2016

Missing or Murdered? The Jerry Lee Armstrong Story

PLEASE NOTE: This site does not condone violence of any kind, and Johnnie Armstrong wants to see the killers of his brother in a court of law and wants his brother's body returned to the family for a proper burial. This is Jerry's story as told to me by his brother Johnnie.

Click here to see Jerry's photo's and other information.  http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/a/armstrong_jerry.html


On December 23, 1977 around 7 PM Jerry Lee Armstrong rushed home from his job at a service station in Coldwater Mississippi where he worked pumping gas and fixing tires.

Tonight was the night of the Christmas Dance, and he was bursting with excitement when he got home. He took a shower, put on a green suit with a yellow shirt, and sat down to eat with his family.

He had been dating 18 year old Angela Cole for roughly 2 years, and the dance at the National Guard Armory in Hernando Mississippi would make for a night to remember.

"Can I borrow your car?" Jerry ask my brother James, who was a year older, as we sat around the table."

 "It was a white 1973 Pontiac LeMans, 2 door with red and black stripes on each side, and James had only owned the car about 3 or 4 months."

"Jerry was about 3 years older than me, says his brother Johnnie Armstrong. He was a really good guy; He was an honor student, a football star, and all he did besides that was work, go to Vo-Tech, and go to see his girlfriend, Angela.  He never started trouble and got along with everybody, both white and black. He was a quarter back in high school football, and some of the white guys didn’t like it, but he got along with them so it wasn't a problem.
Never the type to argue with anyone, Jerry would just walk away if someone got smart with him. Even though he was still in school, he took care of mama and daddy, and worked to help them pay the bills. So when he ask to borrow James's car, there was no hesitation on James's part, because he knew Jerry would be responsible with it."

"According to people who saw him at the dance, Jerry and Angela made it to the dance together and left together. It looked like they had a good time and there were no fights between them or anyone else."
"After they left the dance, Jerry and Angela stopped in Hernando and ask to borrow a gun from Tony Miller. Jerry had an older brother named McKinley, and Tony Miller was his girlfriend's brother. Jerry said some white people had been following him and trying to kill him with his girlfriend in the car."

"Tony Miller, tried to give Jerry a gun, twice, but Jerry changed his mind and would not take it. Tony told him, "I’m going to follow you to a dark corner and make sure you are OK." Jerry said, "No, I'm fine", and headed North to East Hernando (almost to Olive Branch) to Angela's house."

After he took her home, he was never seen or heard from again. The white 1973 Pontiac LeMans, 2 door with red and black stripes, license number; DAY 458, has also never been recovered.

There are varying stories as to whether Angela was with him or not, but according to Johnnie, Jerry's brother, she seems afraid to talk about it. Maybe with good reason.

"When we tried to report him missing, the sheriff at the time said we had to wait 72 hours, but after the 72 hours was up they still would not investigate."

"The reason they would not investigate might be because they were the ones that did it", says Johnnie.

Anthony Hillard, one of Jerry's friends, told Johnnie 3 or 4 patrol cars had pulled Jerry over to the side of the road where it was dark, got him out of the car, and put him in the sheriff's Deputy's car.  

"It was all planned ahead of time, but the problem was they got the wrong guy. Their real target was Jerry's best friend, Johnny Cross."


 "Johnny Cross drove a white 2 door LTD, and with the cars being similar they thought they had Johnny. Johnny had been dating a white girl named Bonnie Scott. After Jerry was killed, Johnny left town and it was 7 or 8 years before he returned because they told him they would get him next. He still don’t want to talk about it."
According to Johnnie Armstrong, Jerry's brother, when the FBI, and Allen Thompson, with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation,reopened the case in 2000 and 2007 they told him it was a hate crime and the whole murder was planned out.

"Many of my brother's case files are missing, but the FBI says the sheriff's deputies killed him and took his body and his car and buried it in a gravel pit at the corner of College Road, and Bethel Road in Olive Branch."
"The MBI searched the pit, there is still machinery there, but houses are built on top of the pit now so they probably were not able to do a full search", says Johnnie.

"Some of those people are kin to the former sheriff, so I don’t go talk to them, he will have you killed. They say he is the one who dug the grave, but nobody in this county will talk on him. The FBI tried to get him for drugs, said he is the most dangerous guy in DeSota county, but everyone is afraid of him.  
"Everyone gonna talk on him when he die."  

"I heard they dug the car up and took it to Martin Brothers in Sardis and had it junked."

"My mom lived 10 years after Jerry's death, but died in June of 1987. She lost so much weight worrying, the worry just took her down. Dad is still living and he is 83, and the ones who killed Jerry will have to answer to God one day, but it would bring our family much peace, If we could find his body and give him a decent burial."

"I really believe the sheriff deputies killed him, because in 1982 mamma had sent me to town , and I was young and going to get me a drink. When I started down 51 highway, Warren Looney tried to pull me over and I out run him and he shot at me. He told my dad, “We just killed one of your sons and you almost had another one dead."
"I tried to get them to do something, but back then black folks were kind of scared, I was told I could not come to town, he said, “You come to town n*****I’m gonna kill you.  I heard he died of a heart attack."

"We were getting all kinds of threatening phone calls. One time a white man called my dad and said, "Meet me at the corner of Glade and Ranch road, I’m gonna kill you tonight n****r." My dad drove there but the man never showed up."
"I can look at Angela and tell she knows what happened, but she won’t tell, maybe out of fear or maybe she is protecting someone.  

You can tell she is holding something in her heart.  One 4th July I went out there to talk to her and her mom and dad told me to leave.  As I was leaving, I met two county deputies; they pulled me over and told me", "You don't want the same thing to happen to you that happened to your brother so don’t’ come out here no more."

Johnnie believes his brother James was also killed by police, but it was ruled a suicide.

If you have any information on this case please contact; Johnnie Armstrong at: 901-826-7162

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations at 662-934-3029

The Desoto County Sheriff's Department at 662-429-1470

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shondra May Blue Lighted 3 days Before Disappearance!

For David Spivey it was a night like any other night.  Lying on the sofa watching TV, vehicle lights coming up the South driveway shone across the curtains and into the living room.  I knew it was Shondra because I knew her rate of speed so I told my dad, "Shondra is home, there goes her car headed up the hill."

Not long after I saw the car lights our phone rang.  It was aunt Nell, Shondra's mother.  She said, "Is Shondra at your house?"  She said Shondra had called and said she was headed home but had not arrived yet. We told her no.

Aunt Nell got into her car coming to our house, and as she was pulling down the hill her car lights hit Shondra's car, pulled over to the left, door open, but she didn't see Shondra.

When I got to the car, the door was open and unlocked with the window cracked about an inch.  The radio was on with the volume turned down, like you would if you were talking to someone, and the passenger seat was pulled back.  Her billfold was in an open position, but her drivers license was missing.

It was misting rain and three tiny muddy footprints led toward the back of the car and disappeared.  The driveway was shaped like a triangle with the Hypotenuse (the longer part of the triangle) facing Highway 35, and the legs of the triangle (being the South and North driveway) meeting at 90 degrees at the tip of the triangle and going straight out from the angle to Richard May Road that went past Shondra's house and remained a dirt road (now paved) that when followed dead ended into Pea Ridge Road. Taking a left on Pea Ridge Road would head you back toward Forest, and a right would take you toward Lena, Mississippi.

It is my feeling that whoever took Shondra came down Richard May road and blocked her car from entering. As she came up the South driveway her tracks went straight across the longest part of the triangle, like she may have been blocked, and then her car swung around to the left and parked on the edge of the North driveway. (Theoretically someone could have followed her as far as the first Pea Ridge Road turn off and went past her house the back way and blocked her entrance.)

I think Shondra felt she was being pulled over by an officer of the law, or someone she knew, because if she felt she was in trouble she would have honked her horn.  We also had three dogs and not a one of them so much as made a whimper, and they would bark at their own tail.

We called the Sheriff's department and they said she was a runaway, and would be back.

I didn't believe that, but a secret Shondra had shared with me begin to weigh on my mind.  Three days before she disappeared she told me someone in a Dark colored truck stopped at Calvary Baptist Church on HWY 35 had blue lighted her on her way home.   At first she thought it was her boyfriend Tony's truck, but when the person stepped out of the truck she realized it was not Tony or his truck so she took off.  (It is rumored that both McLain and Willie McCurdy owned a dark truck during this time period.)

"I like making my own money and buying my own clothes, Shondra pleaded, Please don't tell mom and dad because they will make me stop working, and I don't want them to worry!"  "I didn't tell cause I promised Shondra I wouldn't", says David through his tears.

The night before she disappeared my aunt and great-grandmother saw a dark complected man about 6'3" wearing a blue windbreaker going through the trash and burn barrel at Shondra's house.  The police were called, but he was gone when they got there.

Shondra had left a note on the door for her boyfriend Tony telling him she was at her grandmothers house because her grandad was in the hospital.  Tony never got the note.  The note was found several days after Shondra disappeared, down the embankment not far from where her car was found.  It was given to Sheriff Glenn Warren and he just threw it in the trash can.

Shondra had a lot of admirers.  One day someone went through the drive through at McDonalds and handed a flower to the girl at the window, (this version varies from the one I was told by someone else) The girl said, "I don't want it" and they told her, "It isn't for you, it's for Shondra."  They waited at the drive through until Shondra got the flower, then left.  Only one person was in the car, and as soon as they left Shondra threw it in the trash because it was dead.

Kenneth McLain was another one of her admirers.  He worked out at the Karate place next door to McDonalds, and was always trying to get her to go with him, but she wouldn't because she was head over hills in love with her boyfriend, Tony Adams.

One Sunday afternoon after church we all went to Roosevelet State park in Morton, Mississippi.  Kenneth McLain was there and Shondra said, "This dude wants me to ride around the lake with him in his black Pontiac Trans Am.  I won't get in the car with him, we will just ride on the hood."  Shondra and my sister Elizabeth rode around the park on the hood of his car, and then came back.

After that McLain came into McDonalds and told her he wanted to take her water skiing, but she said the place he wanted to take her skiing was not big enough for a boat.

McLain destroyed and burned his Trans-Am right after Shondra was killed.

One night I went to the casino and McLain was there dancing.  When I saw him I said, I got to go, I think that SOB killed my cousin.  I took the backroads through Laurel Hill and he followed me in my Grand Prix GT.  If I sped up he would speed up, if I slowed down he would slow down, but never pass me.

Not long before Shondra May disappeared another young girl, Robin Lewis, was headed home through a swampy area between Harpersville and Hillsboro.  She drove a car similar to Shondra's and it is belived she was blue-lighted.  She was thrown out the sunroof of her car and landed in the water of the creek and drown. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Former Shondra May Co-worker Speaks Out!

The following was written by one of Shondra's former coworkers.  They wish to remain anonymous.  

Growing up in Forest, Mississippi was very boring. There was not much for young people to do. Most of the time kids hung out in the parking lots talking, drinking beer and listening to music. Kids would pile up in one car and circle back and forth from Sonic to McDonalds, to TG&Y and Cat's Cave. The boys all had blue lights they stole from the airport and would hook them up to a battery to make a strobe light.
           
My parents were very strict on me and I was not allowed to hang out with the fun kids back then. I was only allowed to attend the Baptist church, go to school at Scott Central and to my job at McDonalds in Forest.
           
 My first day at McDonalds I had to fill out a bunch of papers. Shondra May was in the break-room eating lunch and asked me if I needed help. She was so pretty. She had short black hair, green eyes, dark complected . I wished I looked like her. I was so flat chested I looked like a boy. She was just the opposite.
           
 Right away I noticed that all the guys were attracted to her. She would Hug the boss, a skinny guy with glasses named Tony.  I thought to myself," I know good and well she don't like him". He'd yell at us to get to work. He'd say "If you got time to lean, you got time to clean".

 A cop came every day through the drive-through. I can't remember now if his name was Willie McCurdy or Jamie Veezy. I honestly don't remember. He was chubby and dark headed and wore glasses. When he came he would not give me his order, rather he insisted on seeing Shondra. I told him one day that Shondra was busy. He said I'll wait and would not leave or pull up so the people behind him could get their food. She always knew what he wanted before he came to the window, a medium Dr. Pepper. She would lean out the window, give him his drink, flirt and act like she liked him, then roll her eyes when he drove off.

I always got the job of mopping the lobby and the bathrooms. There was an old guy that sat in the lobby for several hours everyday smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and staring at the girls. He had no shame about it. He would look you up and down, and down and up. He had shoulder length grey hair and a Sam Elliot mustache that twisted on each end. He was freaky looking (but all the older men looked freaky to me.). I think he drove a white Monte Carlo.  

One day one of the boys that worked the drive-through window said," Someone left this for you Shondra." He then handed her a dried up, long stem rose. It had thorns, not store bought. It was withered and white. She asked, "Who was it? " He said it was just some guys, he didn't know them. Everybody started picking at her saying,"ooooweee, Shondra's got a boyfriend, Shondra's got a boyfriend". She threw the rose on the counter and said, "I don't want it! " I thought she was being a snob, because if I got a rose I would be happy and grateful. I was too young to know that a dead rose is not flattering.

I would go to TG&Y after school several days a week. I enjoyed looking at makeup, magazines and tapes. There was always these three boys riding through the parking lot trying to pick up girls. They would yell at me and call me sexy and hot stuff. The driver was fat and red headed with a crew cut. The front passenger had kinky, red , bushy hair, a cap, and tattoos on his fingers. The boy in the back was kind of cute. He had black hair and real blue eyes. He looked a lot younger than them. They drove an old, loud, red car, a Firebird, I think.

 At first I was polite, but my daddy said not to talk to them at all so I began to ignored them.   One day the red headed passenger jumped out and tried to pull me up close to him. He was trying to pull me into the car. I pushed away and ran in the store.

When Shondra disappeared my daddy wouldn't allow me to work anymore. I was not allowed to go anywhere alone, not even TG&Y.  If I went shopping, I had to take a friend.  I never saw the boys that so frequently circled the parking lot in the red Firebird again.   However, I heard through friends that the driver became a Pentecostal preacher within months of her death, the red headed passenger went to prison for robbery and murder, and the cute black headed boy, who seemed the nicest of the bunch, killed himself or was killed, not sure which.

All us kids from McDonalds were interviewed by FBI . I told them I thought the cop did it. The investigator said that's highly unlikely because he never missed a day of work. The cop told me she was raped by more than one man, then he said something that sent chills over me," At least one of her killers was red headed."
           
I remembered the three boys in the red Firebird. I told him what happened to me, and how other girls were harassed by those three. From then on and to this day, I have always thought it was them.
          
 I haven't been back to Ms in 20 years. My mother passed and my father moved to Denver to be near me and my husband. I stay in touch with dear friends from there and enjoy seeing pictures on Facebook of classmates from Scott Central. I have no desire to ever return to Scott County.
          
 Last Sunday I sat near the window of our small church and watched the snow pile deeper and deeper around the glass. My mind was on Shondra. I could not forget her sweet smile, gentle voice and green eyes. I felt guilty for my childish jealousy.
          
When the preacher said," Remember the dead who have gone ahead of us", he caught my attention. He went on to read a passage in the Living Bible that talked about the first murder. Cain killed his own brother, Able, in cold blood and then tried to hide it from the Lord. Then God asked him, "Where is your brother?" Cain Said, "How should I know? Am I my brothers keeper?" The Lord then said,"What have you done? Listen! Your brothers blood is calling to me from the ground!"

We have a responsibility to solve this murder. Someone out there knows the truth. Someone has got to come forward. Shondra's blood is crying out from the ground!  LISTEN!


ANY SMALL DETAIL COULD HELP THE POLICE SOLVE THIS MURDER, IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, PLEASE TELL IT.  SHONDRA COULD HAVE BEEN,YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE. HELP GIVE THE FAMILY PEACE.  STOP CARRYING THE GUILT AROUND WITH YOU.