The Trail Went Cold – Episode 1 – Aeileen Conway

April 29, 1986. Lawton Oklahoma. A fifty-year-old housewife is killed in a flaming car crash, which is initially ruled to be accident. However, her husband uncovers strange evidence, suggesting that her death might be something far more sinister. After that, the trail went cold…

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.

8 thoughts on “The Trail Went Cold – Episode 1 – Aeileen Conway

  • Was her windshield broken? No theory here, but if she flew through the windshield at impact with the guardrail she could have brought the flier through with her. She still would have to be put back in and set on fire… but it would have explained the flier.
    Other than that, a stroke sounds spot on for everything but car ignition, which is super hard to do by accident.

  • Actually, you know what? Here’s my theory. She has a stroke, tries to get help during lucid periods. Realizes calling is fraught with difficulty. No 911 yet, maybe she can’t remember the Drs number, maybe she can’t speak… tries to drive for help, gets lost, hits the guardrail, and is thrown through the windshield. The flier comes with. But she is still mobile. Maybe she escaped physical harm, maybe she just is protected from the pain by the stroke. She stumbles back to the road, where someone else slams in the brakes but can’t stop in time. She is killed on impact. The other driver, in a panic, tries to hide the evidence. There was already an accident- he stuffs her body back in her car. But it doesn’t look right, the broken windshield, the body damage… so he siphons her gas and sets the car on fire, which would melt the glass anyway. It would hide any paint flecks, any flesh wounds. And any bone damage could be explained away by the initial accident and the fire. Then he gets the hell out of there and keeps his teeth together.

    • Hey there, that’s a pretty interesting theory, one I had never heard before. I had never thought about the windshield. I’m really not sure if it was broken or not, as it wasn’t specified during the Unsolved Mysteries segment. I’m also not sure which direction away from the crash the flier was found. The impression I got from the segment is that the flier was found in a spot to indicate it had fallen out of the car before the crash. I still think the flier might be a red herring and wasn’t the same flier inside Aeileen’s car.

  • No incredible full-fledged theory here, but an addendum to the mental illness one – coming from someone with bipolar disorder, Aeileen’s extreme multitasking and mystery trip sounds like something a very manic person might do.
    Also sounds like psychosis, of course, and I think that’d be the more likely option, because of the sheer amount of weird stuff found at the house and the likely use of accelerant to ignite the car.
    Mental illness actually gives a possible line of investigation – her children and surviving family, since it’s often genetic – that said I don’t know how much information there is on them out there, and it doesn’t seem like an avenue most people would appreciate (hey, your mom died because she went nuts. oh yeah, you’re nuts too)

    I also found myself wondering if the body in the car was ever confirmed to be Aeileen’s, since you mentioned it was burned beyond recognition and only analyzed through the car. Getting into conspiracy theory territory here, but a staged death seems plausible, if complex and silly.

    It’s surreal that there’s no other information on this… it’s like an equation with too many variables to solve. weird shit.

    • I’ve had a few people suggest the possibility that the car in the body wasn’t Aeileen’s. They didn’t have DNA testing back then and I’m really not sure if they ever did any sort of testing to confirm it was her, or just automatically assumed it was Aeileen because it was her car. Since the body was burned so badly, it could have been someone else without anyone knowing.

  • Good point re this maybe not being her body. I was also thinking maybe someone had her at gun point and they were able to get out of the car before being burned himsef/herself.

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