The Springfield Three (True Crime)

Missing

Date:
June 7, 1992 (Sunday)

Location:
1717 E. Delmar Street
Springfield, MO

Situation:
Missing

Sherrill E. Levitt (47)

  • Mother of Suzie Streeter
  • 5’0″ at 110 pounds
  • Brown Eyes
  • Pierced ears, freckles on neck and chest, thin frame.

Suzanne “Suzie” E. Streeter (19)

  • Daughter of Levitt
  • 5’2″ at 102 pounds
  • Brown Eyes; Blonde Hair
  • 3.5″ Scar on upper right forearm.
  • Pierced ears (left pierced twice)

Stacy K. McCall (18)

  • Friend of Suzie’s
  • 5’3″ at 120 pounds
  • Light Blue Eyes
  • Dark Blonde Hair
  • Freckles
  • Requires Rx for migraine headaches

*Please note this article has is based largely on secondary sources (e.g. newspaper reports) and conflicting statements may exist. Such conflicts are noted where possible.

The Victims

Sherrill Levitt profile photo
Levitt (Aged Up c. 2012)
Suzanne Streeter age progression to 2017
Streeter (Aged Up c. 2017)
Stacy McCall age progression to 2017
McCall (Aged Up c. 2017)

Sherrill Elizabeth Levitt (nee Williams) (47) was a single mother to Bartt and Suzie Streeter. Levitt was twice unhappily divorced, moved to Seattle for a new start in 1980. She and Suzie were close, but the relationship with Bartt was volatile. Levitt was a hair dresser with approximately 250 customers and good reviews. She enjoyed fixing up homes and her last phone call centered on repainting some furniture. She had finally saved enough money to buy the small, but pleasant home and was enjoying the opportunity to decorate. She went home that day to wallpaper after the graduation ceremonies. Levitt would be 75 years old in 2020.

Suzanne (Suzie) Elizabeth Streeter (19) worked at a local theatre, but was off June 6 -7 for graduation activities. She was out-going, interested in becoming a hairdresser like her mother. She would be 47 as of 2020.

Stacy Kathleen McCall (18) was the daughter of Janice and Stu McCall. A lovely young woman, she worked at a local gym and modeled wedding dresses. She intended to join Southwest Missouri State University in the fall. She would be 46 in June 2020.

Stacy and Suzie were close friends, planning for their new lives and the adventures meant to await them. Sherrill too was enjoying her new financial and personal improvements, finally back on her feet since moving to Springfield.

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:
CrimeStoppers at +1 (417) 869-8477
Springfield Police Department at +1 (417) 864-1810

The Disappearance

Stacy and Suzie graduated together from Kickapoo High School on June 6, 1992. Graduation ceremonies were planned for the afternoon followed by an evening of local parties.

Stacy and Suzie then arranged to head to White Water Park in Branson, Missouri at some point with close friends (including Janelle Kirby and Nigel Holderby) on June 7. They never made it.

Sherrill:

  • ~ 4:00pm (June 6) – Last seen at graduation ceremonies. Plans to return home to work on the house and some refurbishing.
  • ~ 11:15pm – Speaks with a friend on the phone – Last time she’s heard from.

Stacy and Suzie:

The girls considered heading to Branson, MO that night (June 6) after the parties; however, they agreed to stay overnight at Kirby’s if things ran too late.

  • ~ 6:00pm (June 6)- Graduation ceremonies end. Girls go home to change and pack separately; regroup at Kirby’s in Battlefield, MO around 8:15pm-8:20pm.
  • ~ 8:30pm Attend party at Brian Joy’s home. They arrange to stay at his house as night falls. He eventually recants his offer.
  • ~ 10:30pm – Stacy calls her mom to say they’re staying at Kirby’s overnight. She promises to phone the next morning morning before they leave.
  • ~ Between 11:30pm and 1:00am* – Relocate to a second party in Springfield, MO. Stay for a while. *Accounts conflict as to the exact time of this shift to Springfield.
  • ~1:50am2:00am (June 7)- Return to Joy’s and walk to Kirby’s (now back in Battlefield).
  • ~ 2:00 – 2:15am – Kirby’s home is full. Stacy and Suzie again change plans, deciding to relocate to Suzie and Levitt’s home. They agree to call in the morning and reconvene.
  • ~ 2:15am – Stacy and Suzie leave Kirby’s home in separate vehicles and head to Levitt’s back in Springfield. The trip should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • ~ 2:30 – 3:00am – Stacy and Suzie arrive at Levitt’s. Their cars are parked in the driveway, purses and valuables neatly placed inside the home, and Stacy’s clothes folded on the floor by the bed.

Disappearance (June 7)

  • ~ 7:30am9:00am– Kirby and Nigel call separately to see if Stacy and Suzie are ready to head to Branson. No response.
  • ~ 8:00am – 9:00amKirby and boyfriend Mike Henson decide to stop by the home to check on the girls. The women are not there, but their possessions are all present (purses, cars, IDs, etc) and the family dog is anxious.
    • Find the lampshade of the front porch light is broken. They clean up the glass.
    • Front door unlocked.
    • They enter the home and see nothing out of the ordinary.
    • Kirby answers the phone twice. Both times are strange, sexually explicit calls from a masculine voice. She hangs up – the calls are not recorded.
  • ~ 10:30am – Janis McCall, worried she has not received Stacy’s call, phones the Kirby residence and learns the girls stayed at Levitt’s.
  • ~ Time Unknown – Janis McCall arrives at Levitt’s. The women are still absent, no sign of a struggle. *Estimated around 1pm – 6pm but articles are no more specific than “sometime later” or “that afternoon”.
    • Stacy’s items are present – the girls had made it home and apparently prepared for bed.
    • Janis calls police from the home telephone
    • A strange message with sexually explicit comments is on the answering machine. Accidentally erases it.
  • ~ 2:50am (June 8) – File police report for missing women. Investigation launches.

“There are actually two [fears]: We will find Stacy and her remains and that we won’t find Stacy and her remains”

Janis McCall,2008

Key Facts:

  • Server reported the three women visited at George’s Steakhouse (339 S. Glenstone Ave) between 2:20am – 3:00am. This is a couple minutes from Levitt’s home. Suzie was reportedly under the influence. Has not been substantiated by the police.
  • Tipster reported seeing a green van driven by a woman matching Suzie’s description at 6:30am – 7:00am. Also reported overhearing a male voice speaking threateningly to the driver. Has not been substantiated by the police.
  • ❗ At some point between 2:30am and 4:00am all three women were at Levitt’s home. It appears they were taken from there.
    • Stacy’s clothing was there except for a shirt and underwear she might sleep in. She likely vanished after undressing for bed.
  • Levitt seemingly went to bed at some point:
    • Bed was not made
    • Glasses and a book sat next to her bed.
  • The television was on – Suzie usually turned it on when sleeping.
  • The lights were on.
  • ❗ All three cars were in the driveway; however Suzie’s was not where she usually left it. It is possible another car was already in the driveway when she and Stacy arrived.
  • All personal affects were present and neatly placed around the home including purses, cigarettes (Levitt and Streeter smoked), Money, Keys, Medication (Stacy’s), Identification, Make-up, the Family Dog (Yorkshire Terrier named Cinnamon)
  • ❗ No signs of forced entry. Front door was unlocked.
    • Some rumors online suggest neighbors had seen a Terrier like Cinnamon outside around 3:00am(?). An officer postulated they may have used the dog as a ruse to gain access to the home. This is speculation and has not been substantiated.
  • ❗ No signs of theft or of a struggle except for the broken light shade. All money remained (including $900 deposit of Sherrill’s), the tv was still there, nothing was ransacked.
  • ❗Police later disregarded the first two obscene calls, but have asked for more information about the third call Mrs. McCall answered. They believe this call may have bearing on the case.
  • By the time police arrived 15-20 people had already been through the home cleaning and disturbing the scene.
  • One person noted the blinds were out of place suggesting someone looked out the window.

The Aftermath – Tips and Leads

Since the disappearance, Police have received more than 5,200 leads from 21 different states. The force and officers in charge of the case have change a few times, each time reigniting hope that a fresh pair of eyes will what others have missed.

Despite the thousands of tips that appeared in the years afterward and the hundreds more than continue to come in, police have never made a break in the case.

In 1997, Suzie and Levitt were legally declared dead. However, they and Stacy continue to be considered “missing” cold cases in police records (police website).

In 2001, the case was re-opened triggering a surge of new searches and tips in the following years.

Persons or Events of Interest (*Correction: It should be ‘Gerald Carnahan, not George)

Suspect List for the Springfield Three disappearances
CORRECTION: It should be GERALD CARNAHAN (not George)!!!

Sherrill:

  • Brentt Streeter ~ first ex-husband; father to Suzie and Bartt. Was not thrilled with the divorce (according to Levitt).
    • Divorced in the 1970s. Questionable he’d wait that long or rope Suzie (but not Bartt) into it. Much less Stacy.
  • Don Levitt ~ second ex-husband. Substantial debts his creditors pressured Sherrill to pay. Reason for relocation to Springfield
    • Divorced in 1989. Why wait so long? Motive? – None of the money in the home was missing.
  • Bartt Streeter (27) ~ son of Sherrill; brother of Suzie. Suzie stayed with him early 1992, but moved out after a small argument. The women were not on speaking terms with him. Bartt was arrested in 2019 on charges of “public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and attempted false imprisonment” but it seems unrelated. (Keegan, 2019). He had an alibi and passed a polygraph.
    • The closest relative, with a volatile relationship with his mother and sister. Someone who might enter the home without suspicion. If in an argument, what about Stacy? Why no signs of a struggle? Why arrive in the middle of the night at all? Why would they (including Stacy) leave with him willingly?

Suzie:

  • Dustin Recla (with Michael Clay and Joseph Riedel) ~ Ex-boyfriend. Questionable reputation; known drug user; had been recently arrested for grave robbing. Known connections with the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club, an infamous organization familiar with both violence and crime (Warren, 2015). In February 1992, Sherrill was asked to testify against Recla and his friends regarding the potential use of her car in the grave robbery. In December 1992, Reidel turned state’s witness against Clay and Recla in the case. All three got probation. Clay and Recla provided alibis and assisted police voluntarily with the investigation.
    • Unlikely young drug-users and thieves would not have stolen cash and valuables. The boys later claimed Sherrill’s car was not used in the robbery. The crime hardly warranted kidnapping and possibly murder as a cover up. It is however possible someone noticed Suzie while she ran with Dustin’s crowd and it resulted in human trafficking.
  • Steve Garrison ~ Acquaintance of Recla and member of the motorcycle gang. Garrison was arrested for the violent assault of a female student in 1993 (later received 40 years) and offered up “information” about the case in exchange for a plea deal. Garrison said he overheard someone at a party confessing to the murder and offered details not public knowledge. His testimony led police to two locations where he said they would find the bodies and green van.
    • On August 28, 1993, police searched a farm near Northview, MO and another location in Webster county.
    • One of the locations was owned by Francis Robb, Sr who was convicted in 1990 for two counts of murder
    • What police found is unknown and protected under a gag order.
  • Gerald Carnahan ~ Another acquaintance of Recla and Garrison through the gang. Convicted in 1985 for the killing of Jackie Johns (another young woman) in Greene County. He also had several other convictions for kidnapping, burglary, and violent assaults. He received life with no chance of parole. Was in the area in 1992.
  • Suzie could have met Garrison or Carnahan while running with Recla- someone who took a liking to the pretty girl. It’s possible Garrison himself was the killer or that he associated with the killer. The gag order makes the case seem questionable – why mute the findings if nothing relevant was found? If police have more details than they are sharing, it might explain why they ignored certain tips (e.g. Cox garage). But it doesn’t explain why they then invested time in the other tips in 2002.

Stacy:

  • Robert Cox ~ Previously worked at the same car lot as her father. Lived in Springfield at the time and claimed in 1997 that he knew what had happened and that the women were dead.
    • Became an army ranger in 1978 – soldier of the year.
    • Charged with or under suspicion of several robberies, kidnappings, and murder:
      • 1978 murder of Sharon Zellers (19) of Florida. Convicted, Judgement overturned by the FL Supreme Court for lack of evidence.
      • 1985 California assault and kidnappings (women escaped) – Convicted, served 9 years.
      • 1992 I-70 Killings (killed young, petite, brunette women in robbery, murder) – Suspected
      • 1993 Texas murders – Suspected
      • 1994-1995 Robbed a woman and child with a gun in Texas; attempted to enter the apartment of a young woman. Sentenced to Life in Prison (chance of parole in 2025)
    • Originally stated he was with family the night of the 6th and at church with his girlfriend on the morning of the 7th. His girlfriend supported his alibi, but later recanted. His whereabouts the morning of the disappearance are unknown.
    • He has never confessed to being involved in the crime, simply that he knew what had happened. Stated the women were dead and buried near Springfield. The killer had prior experience.
    • It isn’t clear what role Cox plays in the case – police are not sure whether he is a legitimate person of interest or an attention seeker. It is possible Cox learned from someone (e.g. Carnaham or Garrison) what occurred. However, his refusal to speak until his mother passes away suggests it is someone intimately related to the family or somehow involves him directly.

Unknown or Unrelated:

  • Stranger Danger ~ There are three immediate possibilities for this to be a crime of opportunity.
    1. Suzie was not always home of an evening; someone might have targeted Sherrill as a women usually home alone and vulnerable. Motive? If murder, why the kidnapping. Sherrill, while pretty, is older and not necessarily the kind of person one would suspect of being targeted for a sex-oriented crime. Even if so, why no mess in the bedroom or home. Why the kidnapping? If theft, why was nothing stolen?
    2. Someone targeted Suzie and was simply unaware that she planned to be gone that night. Why not take her when she was alone then? Why pick the time when you are up against three women instead of one?
    1. Someone identified Suzie and Stacy at the parties that night (or earlier in the day) and targeted them personally. If the goal was to get two girls in one kidnapping, taking a risk with Sherrill (an older woman) seems more likely. If it was an experienced group, it would explain many of the strange issues in the case. It would also explain the strange van suddenly stolen and disappearing that day (crime of opportunity requiring unexpectedly larger transport). Still raises the question of why not kill and leave Sherrill at the home – why not just kidnap the two girls? How did Garrison gain the details he did unless the gang was involved? How did Cox get information?
  • Suspicious Vans ~ two vans were reportedly in the area at the time of the disappearance and later went missing.
    • Brown Dodge with a rusted bottom and no side or rear windows was spotted around 4:30am. Similar van parked near a dentist office on June 3rd & 4th.
      • Police did locate parts of a green vehicle in Cassville, MO in April 2003 after two tipsters reported the women were buried in a van on the property.
    • Grey-green Dodge Van(1964-1970) was reportedly spotted a few blocks away between 6:30am – 7:00am. Tipster reported overhearing a male voice speaking threateningly (e.g. “Don’t make any silly moves”) to a female driver matching Suzie’s description. Similar sightings of such a van were reported elsewhere as well.
    • Police identify a stolen Dodge Ram in a campground 8 miles east of Versailles, Indiana in 1993 with suspicion it could have been involved. It had disappeared on June 7, 1992.
      • Blue van with camper top
      • No license plates
      • Delivered to campground by a couple with a pick-up.
    • The green-grey van seems the most suspicious. The color seemed to vary by accounts, but this isn’t surprising. It’s a little surprising they found a blue one at the campground. Strengthens suspicion it was trafficking or kidnapping of convenience
  • The Unknown Caller ~ On December 31, 1992 an unknown person called America’s Most Wanted (AMW) with key facts from the case. The caller disconnected when AMW attempted to connect them with the police. They never called back, but police believe they were important to the case.
  • Transient Man ~ A transient man was seen in the area multiple times between June 5 – June 7. White man, 34-38; 145 pounds, shoulder-length brown hair with a full beard.
    • It’s possible police have discounted this person at this time. The report was old (1992) and news did not follow up on him.
  • Two Missing Men ~ A woman in 1992 reported that two men had mysteriously vanished from a local concrete company shortly after the disappearance. Police followed up in 2002 and investigated the nearby Marshfield Slaughterhouse. Dogs identified two suspicious areas and dug up human remains that were too old to be the missing women’s.
    • Appears unrelated or at least the police have never brought it back up as significant.
  • Buried in Cox Hospital Garage ~ In 2007, crime reporter Kathee Baird investigated a tip from a psychic that the bodies were buried under the foundation of the south Parking Garage at Cox Hospital. Baird claimed ‘ground penetrating radar’ identified three anomalies of the correct size and shape for a burial site.
    • The validity of these claims has been scrutinized by sceptics. Some claim radars cannot detect in such an environment.
    • Police spokesperson Lisa Cox stated police could not substantiate the claims and argued lack of sufficient evidence – the garage did not being construction until September 1993.
    • Baird later claimed to know the outcome of the disappearance, but refused to disclose due to reported threats on her life.
    • Engineers are more qualified to answer whether this is possible. The psychic tipster and her later refusal to speak about what she supposedly knew are questionable. That said, I’m not above believing she might have learnt something important people wanted silenced.
    • (?) Is Lisa Cox and the Cox Hospital in any way related to Robert Cox? The name “Cox” pops up frequently in this case. . .

NEVER QUIT LOOKING CASE FILES

Resources

  • Bauer, L. (2002) “Webster Country Digging to Begin”, Springfield News Leader, 3 August
  • Bryan, B. (1993) “Van May Yield Clues in Case of Missing Women”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 31 October.
  • Clauser B. (1992) Springfield News Leader, 5 December.
  • Fruen, L. (2019) ‘Police Reveal New Leads in 1992 Case of the Springfield Three, Daily Mail, 23 October.
  • Goldman, K. (2017) ‘Crime Watch Daily Investigates the Mysterious Disappearance of the Springfield Three’, True Crime Daily, 17 October.
  • Gounley, T. (2017) “25 Years After Three Springfield Women Went Missing, The Tips Still Trickle In”, Springfield News Leader, 30 May
  • Investigation Discovery (2011) “The Springfield Three“, [Disappeared], Season 3: Episode 10. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004R146YE/ref=atv_feed_catalog?tag=imdb-amazonvideo-20
  • Joshua A. Tepfer, Laura H. Nirider & Lynda M. Tricarico, Arresting Development: Convictions of Innocent Youth, 62 RUTGERS L. REV. 887 (2010).
  • Keegan, H (2019) “Family Says Tennessee Charges Against Three Missing Women Relative Were ‘Exaggerated‘”, Springfield News Leader, 21 March.
  • Lemieux, J. (1992) “Search goes on for three women missing from Springfield, MO”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 9 August.
  • McCall, J. (N.D.) Surviving Parents Coalition. http://www.spcoalition.org/mccall.html
  • Nachtigal, J. (1993) “Graduation-Day Disappearance of 3 MO. Women Remains Unsolved a Year Later”, The Sun, 9 June
  • Nachtigal, J. (1993) “Anguish but No Answers a Year After 3 Women’s Disappearance Crime”, Los Angeles Times, 13 June.
  • No Author (1992) “Three Vanish; Police and Family Fear Foul Play”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 9 June
  • No Author (1992) “Mother, Daughter Vanish With Friend; Police Baffled”, Orlando Sentinel, 13 June.
  • No Author (1993) “Whereabouts of 3 Women Still a Mystery”, Orlando Sentinel, 13 June.
  • No Author (1993) “Police Search Farm, Won’t Give Reason”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 30 August
  • No Author (1995) “1,000 Days and No Sign of 3 Women”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 24 February.
  • No Author (2002) “Our View”, Springfield News Leader, 3 June.
  • No Author (2002) “Case of 3 Missing Women Baffles Authorities”, Los Angeles Times, 9 June.
  • No Author (2006) “I’m Not a Monster”, Springfield News Leader, 9 June
  • No Author (2006) “Missing-women Case May Break”, Springfield News Leader, 9 June
  • Pasqualini, K. (2019) “Springfield 3: best Friends and Mother Missing in Missouri”, Medium, 15 October.
  • Rollins, J. (2010) “Missing Poster Still Hangs 18 Years Later”, Springfield News Leader, 3 December.
  • Springfield Police (2015) “Three Missing Women”, https://www.springfieldmo.gov/2498/Three-Missing-Women.
  • Story of the Unsolved (2018) ‘The Disappearance of the Springfield Three”, 24 December. 
  • Strait, J. (2002) “Tip Proves Fruitless In Missing Women Case”, Springfield News Leader, 5 August
  • Streeter Family Blog, http://streeterfamilyblogg.blogspot.com/p/person-of-interest.html
  • Uhlenbrok, T. (1992) “Disappearance of 3 Women Baffles Police; No Clues: Abduction Suspected”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 14 June.
  • Warren, D. (2015) The Springfield Three, Lulu.com.
  • Wise County (1995), “Former Death Row Inmate Sentenced to Life in Prison – Cuts Write Before Punishment Phase of Trial”, Wise County, August 11, http://www.wisecounty.com/themuse/PressRelease2.htm

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Richard Wendt

    The list of suspicious individuals has a minor error. One of the primary suspects was Gerald Carnahan, not George Carnahan. Otherwise, excellent summary,

    1. suitcasedetective

      Thanks so much! Thanks for the heads up about the mis-type. We’ll work on fixing that picture. 🙂

      1. lynnrn1953

        I was so impressed with your very factual and organized summary of a case that has held my interest for about three or four years (not as long as many who know much more than I do ) It’s a great summary, I made a screenshot of it so I can refer to it now and then! Excellent work.

    2. lynnrn1953

      Yes, a great summary indeed! And Richard Wendt, you know just about more about this case than anyone!

  2. Megan Kelley

    I love this summary. I cool to add the link to my facebook page.

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