Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mysterious Disappearance of Madalyn Murray O'Hair

A Suspect is Uncovered

After MacCormack's television appearance, he received an interesting phone call. It was a man, Bob Fry, who was looking for his brother Danny, 41, who had gone missing shortly after the O'Hair family. Danny had traveled to Texas to do a job with David Waters, whom he had met when both were in prison.

Lured by the appeal of making a quick buck, Danny probably had a hunch that the job wasn't completely legal if Waters was involved. He told his brother in a letter that should he disappear Waters was involved. When Danny didn't come home, Bob called Waters and told him about the letter, demanding information about his brother.

Gary Karr
Gary Karr

Waters responded by showing up at Bob's Florida home the next day with another man, Gary Karr, 47. They threatened him with a pistol, but said they didn't know anything about Danny's whereabouts. MacCormack checked Karr's background and found that he was also an ex-con with eight prior felonies including armed robbery and kidnapping.

Danny's daughter, recalled that Waters had called her father incessantly asking for help with a deal that could make him a lot of money. Danny told her he would only be gone a few weeks. After arriving in Austin, Danny called her collect every day from either a motel in San Antonio or Waters' apartment in Austin. His final call was Sept. 30.

MacCormack was now on the story of his career, unraveling the disappearance of a famed public figure. Suddenly the years of investigation were paying off as he now had the makings of not one, but two possible murder cases — complete with suspect, motive and opportunity.


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