It has been almost 2 years since I have posted. We were able to retire and moved to our Wisconsin cabin. I joined Sawyer County search and rescue in August and started to look for Dog to train. In November we went to a shelter and got a stray. He was hit by a Ford pickup and the guy stopped and opened the door and he jumped right in. He spent 3 months at the shelter because he was so high strung. Henry is a natural trailing dog, I have been working cadaver with him and it was a challenge to find the right reward for him. Right now after he find's I fall on my back give him a hotdog and have a make out session. He doesn't need any encouragement to find live people.
Jacob is found. Dave had been gone 10 years when Jacob was taken. Whenever there was an anniversary of his abduction in the news I would add 10 years to the number and it would be Dave’s. My latest feeling was that Jacob would never be found. Before I heard the news if you had asked me how I would feel I would have said great relief yet when his remains were found the only thing I felt was grief. Closure comes after pain.
I found a picture of Dave's dog Buck, He was hit by a car 1978 the same year our brother Mike died, Dave was very close to both.
My daughter's dog Weaver was hit and killed by an auto a few day ago. He was one of the smartest dogs that I have ever known. At one point we had 5 dogs in our house and I would go to the door to let them out and the other dogs would crowd the door to get out and he would take 5 steps back and time the opening of the door and jump over the others and be the first one out. In search and rescue he was amazingly fast at finding people. He was at a training seminar in Iowa where they had set up a scattered cadaver problem where the had put 10 scent articles in a 3 acre area and he was the only dog who found all of the items. Here is a video that I posted a year ago Video
Dave had been missing just over 10 years when Jacob was taken. Every time there was an anniversary or new information about Jacob I would think about Dave. Conversely when I would find out something about Dave I would wonder about Jacob. On the news they played a clip of Patty Wetterling just after the abduction and it was hard to watch her in so much pain. The passing years hopefully have reduced the sharpness of her pain but I fear that there will be a dull aching pain until this is solved.
Here is Dave's Go Fund Me site. The reward is now $5150.00 remember any donation over $50.00 comes with a money back guarantee!
Raise Reward Money
In November 1979 Gerald Burton of Roundup Montana was dying from cancer and told a family member that he and Russell Plum took a guy fishing on the Mussellshell River and killed him. In 2005 the family member finally told their son who was a South Dakota policeman about the death bed confession and he contacted the Montana Dept of Justice.
Our brother David Bird Thomson was last seen by us on July 4 1979 he then worked for a few days in Casper WY and was headed to Montana to collect money for a car a friend had sold. In 2005 my sisters had been seeing a psychic who described "seeing" Dave by water with 2 guys that he owed money to who then killed him. Some of the landmarks the psychic described sounded to my sister like Billings Mt, so she called the Billings Police Dept to ask about cold cases, and the clerk replied OMG we just received a deathbed confession describing the same thing. The police felt that the confession was legitimate but the investigation has since stalled.
The funds raised will be used to increase the reward of $5000.00 I have offered on findingdave.com for finding the identity or the body of the victim. The reward expires 1/1/2020 and if uncollected any donation of $50.00 or more will be returned (less fees) if requested. The rest will be donated to search and rescue. Please help identify the victim to see if it is my brother Dave.
I am going to try to increase the reward through crowd funding at Go Fund Me, and was thinking changing the wording to " For information leading to the finding of the victim of the Death Bed confession of Gerald Burton "
See current reward
There is a possibility Dave could have been the victim and at this point I would be happy to pay the $5000.00 I have offered to find the body of whoever was killed.
Any suggestions on funding raising titles would be greatly appreciated.
Montana Death Bed Confession Reward
Finding Dave Reward
Gerald Burton's relative ( the recipient of the death bed confession) sent a message to my sister. In it they said that they felt slandered and almost stalked by what I have written on this blog and swears they know nothing about Dave's case and surmised that Dave was an alcoholic, possibly gay and the wrong person picked him up. Dave might have had a drinking problem it seem strange that they would say that he was gay. Dave is someone that I assume that they had never met. I don't know if the murder that Gerald Burton witnessed was Dave or not.
I am sympathetic with their predicament but the victim was some mother and fathers son that was murdered and no one was told for 25 years. This virtually assures that Russel gets away with murder and the victim's family lives a life of never knowing where there family member is. If anyone knows who it was or knows that it wasn't Dave they should contact the Bruce McDermitt, Helena Division of Criminal Investigation 1-406-444-3874
10/28/14 I received an from Jerrie about a Georgia John doe
I have been in contact with Brad Parks of GBI and around Christmas time he requested dental Xrays and I sent them down to him express mail. Every month or so after that I would call him and leave messages. A lot of the times he was at training or meetings. Finally in July I was able to talk with him and he told me that the web page above had mistakenly listed that there were dental records for the John Doe. He did say that they had DNA profile on him and I sent him the family DNA profile that we have for comparison. He said that he would compare the two and mail back Dave's xray's. Haven't received them back yet.
I will probably start squeaking again.
The first time I contacted the they said they couldn't give me the names of Corporate officers of Maverick Construction with out Dave's written permission. I pointed out that the information that I requested wasn't Dave's tax information. It was public information that the state of Wyoming would have provided me if Maverick was properly registered. Here is the second letter they sent back.
Recently missing person Michelle Busha was identified through DNA testing. Michelle had been missing since 1980. She was hitchhiking in Minnesota and was picked up by a State Trooper. He raped and killed her and threw away anything that could identify her. Her family had submitted their DNA in 2007 in case a match could be found.
You can read more about the story here:
Kare 11 news
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension suggests contacting them if you have a missing family member. I have already submitted my DNA, in addition to Dave's medical and dental records in hopes there may be a match found one day.
With forensic technology available now there is a greater chance of previous John Doe's being able to be identified.
I was looking through doe network cases and thought this could be a possible match.
I know the sketch is bad and doesn't look like David, but the description is fairly similar. The thing that made me consider it is probably a stretch but the "Portland elk" made me think of the elk statue in Portland with the name David Thompson on it.
I wish you the best of luck in your search, and I hope this isn't him. I know how hard it can be to have a missing loved one.
I received the above Email From Lindsey,
The height is 2 inches short and too much balding in one year. This guy is thought to be a victim of serial-killer Randy Kraft. According to a book that Kraft kept, he called this man "Portland Elk"
I sent the coroner a photo of Dave's dental xrays
Here is my response back
Thank you for you quick response. My brother David Bird Thomson has been missing since 1979 and I am unable to get his written permission for the information. What I am asking for is the name and address for the corporate officers of Maverick Construction Inc. Fed Tax ID 830237963. This is not tax information about Dave but information that is public information in the states of Montana and Wyoming among others.
9245 Janview Lane
Waconia Mn 55368
I decided to make a final attempt with the IRS to get names of the Corporate Officers of Maverick Construction Inc. I got nothing from Senator Franken's office contacting them so I decided to try the Freedom of Info. Act. The Supreme court has yet to rule if Corporations are or are not people. I know that in Minnesota that the name of officers are part of the public record. When I Googled Freedom of Information one of the results was Legal Rocket and I used them to fill out this letter to them. We'll see what this gets me maybe audited.
What is FOIA? The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.
I received an email informing me that Lewmont had one oil rig "Star" that was in Casper WY back in 1979. When I looked at it on Google earth I saw that it was one mile from the address for Maverick Construction Inc. Listed on Dave's Social Security records. The city told me that address for Maverick was a bad address and actually in the city of Mills WY. I think I will try to call some people around that address and try to find someone who lived there in 1979
Dave was last seen hitchhiking west from Minnetonka MN. in 1979. Back then I remember driving out west and the shortest way was to head southwest on highways until you would hit Interstate 90. I received a post on this web site from a former employee of Lewmont. In the second half of 1979 most or all of Lewmont's rigs were in the Gillette WY area. It is now probable that Dave worked for Lewmont first for a day in Gillette after leaving and then worked for Maverick construction for a few days. Maverick was based in Casper WY but they could have been in the Gillette area at the time. If Dave got back on I90 west the next towns would be Sheridan YW. then Billings MT.
Here is the email I received answering some questions I had.
I know quite a bit about Lewmont from that era.
They were a oil well drilling contractor with eight rigs. In about 1980 they sold all of their rigs to Exeter Drilling Northern. Each rig would have a minimum of 21 employees and would operate 24/7. They definitely had at least six and maybe all eight crews out of Gillette. They might have also have had a crew out of Casper or Douglas. Their company yard was in Casper. They had an office in Denver that dealt with finance and marketing.
(1) $58 sounds a little low but it might have been for a single 8 hour shift. A roughneck might have made $7.25 per hour back then.
(2) As with all oil field work, the turnover was pretty high. It was not unheard of for somebody to work only a single day as the work was pretty hard and hiring was done pretty much no questions asked.
(3) In 1979 the oilfield was booming and there were a lot of jobs in nearby coal mines.
(4) I found your site from a Google search on "Lewmont Denver Casper"
(5) Payday was once a week so if somebody worked only one day they would get paid at the end of the week like everyone else.
(6) Sometimes employees would be recommended by others, sometimes not. The work was very hard and more dangerous than most people would be comfortable with.
The company was owned by a guy named Dick Bloss. I'm pretty this is his son. If any payroll records still exist, he might know where they are.
We completed the dental comparison and it is clearly not a match for your brother.
Thank you for following up on this and best wishes in your continuing search. Sorry we could not be of help.
Eric S. Bieber, F-ABMDI
Office of the Coroner
County of Lancaster, PA
This email contains PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION intended only for the use of the recipient named above. The information may be protected by state and federal laws, including, without limitation, the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which prohibit unauthorized disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use or dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify the sender by reply email at the address provided above and delete this message. Thank you.
Thank you for checking and good luck on finding out who that person is.
I call Gerald Burtons x-wife, he was the one who gave the Deathbed confession to his sister in 1979. My sister had talked with her but we had never spoken before. Gerald had told his sister Linda that Russell Plum had taken a guy fishing on the Musselshell who owed him money and when he didn’t have it he killed him. I always assumed that Gerald witnessed this killing although I can’t be sure. The police couldn’t tell us everything but is seems to me that if witnessed a murder rather than hearing about it you would be more likely to want to get that off your chest if you were dying. If you weren’t there you couldn’t do anything to stop it. I’m leaning towards Dave being the victim but the danger in that is you tend to try and make the facts fit the case. I asked Gerald‘s X-wife how sick he would have been in August and September 1979. She said he was pretty sick in and out of the hospital but he was of sound mind if that’s what I was getting at. She said she was remarried at the time but they were still friends and he would stay at her house ounce and a while in 1979. Gerald was very close with his sister Linda she said and if he told her about a murder then she thought it is true.
I was trying to find out from her if Gerald would have been too sick to be on the river fishing and I never thought about if he was in his right mind from being sick. Linda must have believed the story and it must have been eating at her for her to tell her son about it 25 years later. From what little I know about cancer four months from the end you can have good and bad days. I would think good enough to go fishing.
Unidentified Male Found November 1, 2012 in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County Vital Statistics State of Remains: Skeletal Race: unknown Estimated Age: 30 to 60 years old Estimated Height: 5'9" Estimated Weight: Cannot estimate Hair Color: unknown Eye Color: unknown Clothing: Hanes camo print t-shirt (size XL), Joe Boxer pajama type pants with drawstring (size XL), blue jeans, black sneakers. Estimated Time of Death: 4 or 5 months prior to being found. Medical: spine showed signs of a curve which may have caused him to walk hunched over. Dentals: Available - extensive dental work. DNA: Not Available
Thank you Bridget for sending me this link. The shape of the chin is the same as Dave's. It would be interesting to compare drawings made from skeletal remains to photos of people that were later identified. Dave did have scoliosis from a high school auto accident but he didn't walk hunched over when he was wearing the lift in his left shoe. I will contact Pennsylvania and have them check Dave's dental chart. Pete