Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Perry March

No Hairbrush, No Toothbrush, No Bras

Janet and Perry March had first met when they were undergraduates at the University of Michigan in 1982 and married five years later. Janet's parents felt that Perry was the perfect husband for their daughter and came to love him as a son. They paid his way through Vanderbilt University Law School, and when Perry left Bass, Berry & Sims, Lawrence Levine found him a position at the law firm where he was a partner, Levine Mattson Orr & Geracioti.

By all appearances Janet and Perry March were happy and prosperous. She maintained a successful career as a children's book illustrator while raising her two children. The family had just moved into the couple's dream house on four acres on Blackberry Road in the Forest Hills section of Nashville. Janet had designed and supervised the construction of their new home.

Perry described his wife to an Associated Press reporter as "lovely, headstrong, and impetuous." The 33-year-old petite brunette was "not street-smart," he said, and was also somewhat "oblivious to the world."

According to the Tennessean, people who knew Perry characterized him as "high-energy, hard-charging, aggressive, and tenacious." Others called him "greedy, manipulative, and deceptive." Born in Chicago, Perry earned his undergraduate degree in Asian Studies. He speaks fluent Chinese and holds a black belt in karate.

On the night that Janet supposedly walked out on Perry, he called her parents around midnight to tell them what had happened. They advised him to give her some time to cool down and asked him to call them when she came home.

But when Janet didn't return by the next morning, her parents started to worry. They called her friends, but none of them had seen her. They called local hotels, but she wasn't registered at any of them. Perry and the Levines drove to the airport and scoured the parking areas, looking for her car, but they couldn't find it. But as concerned as they were, they didn't call the police.

Perry later claimed that his in-laws didn't want to get the police involved because it might embarrass their daughter if her marital problems became public. But the Levines said that it was Perry who didn't want to go to the police. It wasn't until August 29two weeks after Janet's disappearancethat the police were finally notified.

Brixworth Apartments
Brixworth Apartments

Ten days later investigators found her car parked at the Brixworth Apartments on Harding Avenue in Nashville. Her purse and her packed bags were in the car, but there was no trace of her. Her passport was in her purse, and as reported in the Tennessean, a pair of her sandals appeared to have been neatly placed in front of the car. The police went through her luggage with her family. They found nothing out of the ordinary, but something struck Janet's mother as very odd. Certain essentials were missing, things that Carolyn Levine knew her daughter would certainly have packed if she were going away for 12 days. There was no hairbrush, no toothbrush, and no bras.

"It seemed like a bag that a man had packed," Carolyn Levine would testify ten years later.

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