Mollie Chambers

The disappearance of the Jamison family is one that baffles me. Despite the copious amounts of evidence and theories surrounding their disappearances, all the puzzle pieces of this case have yet to fit together for me. This is because all the leads in this case all point in different directions.

The Jamison family consisted of parents Bobby and Sherilynn Jamison and their six-year-old daughter Madyson. The family was last seen on October 8, 2009 near Red Oak, Oklahoma visiting a forty-acre piece of land they were looking to purchase. 

On October 16, 2009 a hunter local to the area discovered the Jamison’s abandoned pickup truck. Strangely, the truck was still locked and possessed many of the Jamison’s person items. The most bizarre items left behind were Bobby’s wallet, Sherilyn’s purse, the family’s dog and an envelope containing $32,000.

The next day a group of 300 people, consisting of volunteers and the authorities, began searching for the family. However, their search came out cold and was called off. 

No major discoveries were made in the Jamison family case until several years later. On November 16, 2013 a pair of hunters were visiting Red Oak to find a good hunting spot. They instead however stumbled upon the partial skeletal remains of two adults and one child. 

These remains were later confirmed to be the Jamison family, thus causing their case to be opened once more. While this is seemingly a good thing, these findings caused a multitude of strange theories to arise surrounding the family’s disappearances.

While there are a significant number of theories regarding the Jamison family, I am going to outline the two that I believe to be the most plausible.

The Jamison’s were murder by Bobby Jamison’s father

Bobby and his father Bob Dean Jamison were said to have had an estranged relationship before the Jamison family was murdered. Bobby filed a protection order against his father claiming his father had threated him on several occasions. In the protection order, Bobby claimed that his father once hit him with his vehicle causing him and his entire family to grow fearful for their lives.

Bob Dean owned a gas station where him and Bobby worked together before his death. Allegedly, half of the gas station’s earnings were said to go to Bobby who claimed to never have been paid for his work. Bobby was in the process of suing his father at the time of his and his family’s disappearance. 

I believe Bobby’s relationship with his father raises red flags. The fact that they appeared to have such a complex relationship at the time of Bobby’s death is unsettling to me. However, Bob Jamison died two months before the Jamison’s disappeared and was never considered a suspect.

The Jamison family was involved in a drug deal gone wrong

There are two key pieces of evidence that lead me to believe that the Jamisons were murdered during a drug deal gone wrong. The first piece of evidence being security camera footage of the Jamisons outside their home the day they were murdered. In this footage, the Jamisons were described to be making several silent trips back and forth to their car in a trance like manner.

Between these trips, both Bobby and Sherilyann would stop what they were doing and stare off into space for seemingly no reason. This odd behavior leads me to believe that Bobby and Sherilyann would have been under the influence of drugs.

The second piece of evidence that leads me to this theory is the envelope containing $32,000 found in the Jamison’s truck. According to Sherilyann’s mother, both Bobby and Sheryilann were unemployed due to disabilities at the time of their disappearance, therefore there would be no reason for them to have that much money laying around. However, if the family were involved with drugs this explains why they would have this seemingly secret money laying around.

While there are elements of this theory that make sense to me I am not completely sure or sold on it yet. My biggest reason for hesitancy being that the Jamisons had their six year old daughter Madyson with them. I would hope that if they had gone to Red Oak for the purpose of a drug deal, they would have left their daughter out of it. 

Overall, the murder of the Jamison family is both interesting and confusing. The case’s overwhelming amount of evidence and lack of suspects causes me to draw a blank. These elements of the case make it hard for me to commit to a theory as to how I believe they were murdered. However, I hope one day this mystery is solved and the Jamison family will get the justice they deserve.

Mollie Chambers is a sophomore majoring in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at mollcham@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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