20 Mysterious Disappearances That Puzzle Experts

The couple at 3000 Piedmont Drive

William and Margaret Patterson disappearance

William and Margaret Patterson randomly left their house in El Paso Texas, on 5 March 1957, and never returned. Abandoning all their possessions and their cat Tommy. There were few clues as to where they had gone, though William’s friend Cecil Ward said he’d helped William work on the Patterson’s sailboat a few nights before.

The Patterson’s ran a photo business and Cecil Ward said that on March 6, a man called Doyle Kirkland who ran a competing business had oddly driven up to his store in the Patterson’s Cadillac. When he came in, Cecil Ward asked him why he was in possession of his friend’s car and Kirkland just suspiciously claimed the Patterson’s had gone “on a little vacation.” Ward called the police, who questioned Patterson’s mistress, Estefana. She told them William had said he’d have to disappear “soon and quickly”, though she later retracted her statement.

On March 15, the Patterson’s accountant Herbert Roth, received a telegram, telling him to become business manager for the Patterson’s store, and hire the competitor Doyle Kirkland as general manager. The telegram was signed W.H Patterson, but William’s initials were in fact W.D. Roth still hired Kirkland, but by 1960 Kirkland left El Paso, and was never seen again.

There were sightings in Mexico City – hotel workers in Valle del Bravo claimed the Patterson’s stayed for several months in 1957. 20 years later, a former caretaker for the Patterson’s told a detective he’d discovered blood in their garage, and a piece of human scalp on the propeller of their boat. As he’d been undocumented, he’d not come forward. Two years later, he died in a car accident.

Some felt the pair must have been spies as they vanished so quickly and people linked to their disappearance abruptly died or disappeared, and the El Paso county Sheriff said he’d seen William photographing military shipments on trains. This might be what happened, but as William had a Mistress, could he have gotten rid of his wife, then fled? Or did Kirkland try and take out his business rivals?


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