The Trail Went Cold – Minisode 10 – Pamela Butler

February 12, 2009. Washington, D.C.. 47-year old Pamela Butler phones her mother to say that she is planning to take her out on Valentine’s Day. Pam never shows up and after not hearing from her for several days, her family checks her house and discovers that she has vanished without explanation. Curiously, even though her home was covered with surveillance cameras, none of the footage shows Pam leaving during the time period she went missing, but her boyfriend can be seen entering and exiting the house on multiple occasions. In spite of this, there is no evidence of foul play or any trace of Pamela Butler. This week’s minisode of “The Trail Went Cold” chronicles a bizarre mystery about a woman who somehow managed to disappear from a locked home which had 24-hour surveillance.

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

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.

12 thoughts on “The Trail Went Cold – Minisode 10 – Pamela Butler

  • Great story! I remember reading your article on it on ListVerse, I think. What an incredibly weird story.

    I think it’s self-evident that the boyfriend did it.

    There’s one thing that sticks in my mind, though. This woman was very concerned about the safety of her home and installed a camera system all around her house, yet didn’t have cameras covering a window just a few feet from the street? That sounds extremely improbable. I think the attacker probably took down the camera covering that window or turned it in a different direction. The police should talk to the company that installed her security system.

    That being said, I’m tempted to wonder if there’s a tiny chance someone else is involved. Pam clearly was afraid of something, which is why she had so many cameras. Was she afraid of some threat from her work or somewhere else in her personal life, and was that who killed her? But since the boyfriend has told so many lies to the police, I would have to say that likelihood is extremely remote.

    I think he killed her in a way that wouldn’t leave any blood such as poison, strangulation or hitting her over the head, and snuck her body through the window on the street in the middle of the night.

    But I’m still curious why she had so much security around her house, and if there was some specific threat she was afraid of.

    • From what I read, a series of arsons took place in the area sometime before Pam’s disappearance, which put her on edge and compelled her to install a high-tech security system. She probably figured people would be less inclined to set fire to her house if they thought they were being watched by all those cameras.

      • Ah yes, thank you. I forgot that you mentioned that. But do you also find it strange that there were cameras pointing everywhere except a window right on the street, which is probably the most vulnerable part of the house?

        • I’ve seen photos of the house and there was a yard and sidewalk separating the windows from the street. If I had to guess, it looks like there was just no convenient place to hang a camera which would be able to cover that side of the house.

  • I can’t fathom how this case has been untouched for so long.

    The how may be confusing, but the what seems *extremely* obvious. This guy literally got away with murder.

    More seriously needs to be done about this one. He 100% did it, and I pretty much never say that.

      • Yes, this is a guarantee that Jose killed her. There are so many signs pointing to it, he was clearly using her keys, the sheets are missing which were most likely covered in blood, the note that makes no sense, and the craziest part for me…him walking out every time with bags. If I were going to get my stuff from an ex’s I would bring one big box/ bag and grab all my stuff in one fell swoop. Also the fact that he avoided the polygraph test seems pretty incriminating to me. It blows my mind that this guy is running free, when there are so many people in prison with much less evidence.

      • Well, if you are curious, I could get into why the police haven’t arrested him. I have family members who work in law enforcement, so I have some insight into our legal and justice system. Basically, there is no hard evidence that a crime definitely took place. There is no body, no blood found in her home to indicate a crime, nothing incriminating found in Jose’s car, and not even any neighbors reporting any screams or other loud noises to indicate a violent altercation occurred. It’s not a crime for an adult to “disappear”, as in leaving their residence and ceasing all contact with friends, family, and acquaintances. I would agree that she didn’t leave on her own free will, and he is responsible for her disappearance, but there isn’t enough evidence to prove it. He’s got a troubling past and his story doesn’t add up, but with no hard evidence that Pamela has been harmed there’s not much police or lawyers can do. The prosecution and defense would be relying on speculation and circumstantial evidence to try to prove their cases.

    • Oh yes, I’m planning to release a brief update minisode within the next weeks ago about the arrest and the unsolved disappearance of his ex-wife back in 1989.

  • And now, not only was he finally convicted of killing Pamela, like we all knew he did, he’s recently been arrested for the murder of his first wife too! Turns out over the same circumstances each time — Fights over money and his unemployment where he snapped and beat them to death. Maybe his PTSD was triggered each time, but regardless, that’s no excuse and I’m glad justice came for him in the end.

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