Friday, October 25, 2019

Cold Case: Diane Shields


Exclusive: A possible crack in the cold cases of Mary Shotwell Little and Diane Shields

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – After years of endless tips and dead ends CBS46's crime scene investigator Sheryl 'Mac' McCollum said she's one-step closer to finding Diane Shields killer. 
“It's potentially a break,” she said.

In 1967, the 22-year-old receptionist was found strangled and beaten beyond recognition, crammed inside the trunk of her car.
“Her fiancĂ© literally had to identify her by the engagement ring and the dress she was wearing,” said.

Mac has been investigating this case for 15 years with some of the city's most prolific cold case experts, including licensed private detective, John Fedack.

“You go through reports. You go on the internet. I've called people in California and Sea Island. And people in Canada,” said Fedack. “There was nothing in the files that just jumped out until our colleagues came up with some information.”

Shields’ death is woven into the fabric of Atlanta's dark folklore: a pretty, young blonde, engaged to be married, last seen leaving work in her Chevy Impala.

But she never made it home.

“All the men wanted her, and all the women wanted to be her,” Mac said.

Her murder happened just 18 months after Atlanta's most notorious missing person's case: Mary Shotwell Little.

In 1965, Little – a bank secretary – vanished into the night outside Lenox Square, which was then a small open-air shopping center not the high-end mega mall we know today.

Her last goodbye was to a friend following dinner and shopping. Little's car was later found with blood smears on the front seats.
“Mary Shotwell Little is literally the largest manhunt in Atlanta history,” said Mac. “Her case file was larger with the FBI than the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.” 

Although the women never met, they're connected by coincidence and immortalized in conspiracy theories revolving around sex scandals and hits by a lesbian mafia.

After Little disappeared, Shields took her secretary job at Citizens and Southern Bank – even sitting at Little's old desk and rooming with her former roommates.

Now 52 years later, Mac is convinced the alleged killer is hiding in plain sight – right here in metro Atlanta.

“I feel very confident he wants to tell it. I think he's been waiting to tell it. I think that's why he keeps contacting people,” she said.
Evidence from both cases has mysteriously disappeared. But CBS46 has exclusive access to hundreds of pages in Shields' case file including emails sent to a law enforcement source from the alleged killer.

“We knew we didn't have the fingerprint. We knew we didn't have the blood. We knew we didn't have the clothing, but what we did have was words,” said Mac. “And these words to me are very critical and I think they're the best evidence we have going forward.”

The emails were reviewed by renowned statement analyst Peter Hyatt with his team of more than 50 experts.

“They concluded that the person who wrote this had knowledge of who murdered Diane, how she was murdered and why she was murdered,” she said.

Fedack, who has been working on the case with Mac for years, said the analysis is validation their investigation is on the track to bring the Shields’ family closure. 

“To me that is startling, it is right on the money. It is everything we thought,” he said.

Fedack said Shields demeanor changed in the days leading up to her murder.

“She was becoming secretive. And mysterious. She told a couple of people she was helping police with the Mary Shotwell Little case,” he said.

They said the killer is an acquaintance of Shields, whose crush turned into a deadly infatuation after he was rejected.

“Diane Shields is beautiful, she's engaged, everybody likes her,” Mac said. “If you can be jilted to the point that you would murder someone, that doesn’t go away. Ever.”

Police found her car in East Point, at a Laundromat at Sylvan Road and Cleveland Avenue. A scarf and a piece of paper from a phone book were shoved down her throat.

“Who would do that level of violence and not sexually assault her? Not rob her?” said Mac. “That level of anger is from somebody that might have been jilted.”

Although Mac doesn’t believe the two cases are connected, she said finding Shields’ killer opens the pathway to solving Little’s disappearance.

“If we can solve Diane Shields then we're going to be closer to solving Mary Shotwell Little,” she said.

Mac plans to turn over a legal brief of findings to the GBI and East Point police before Thanksgiving. She said there could be a break in the case before Christmas.


To study Statement Analysis in your home, or to host a seminar, visit Hyatt Analysis Services 


Autumn said...

That's fantastic, Peter. I hope both families get closure. Interesting that Mac doesn't believe the cases are connected (other than by coincidences) but at the same time says finding Shield's killer opens the pathway to solving Little's disappearance. I wonder why/how.

Anonymous said...

The report says the police records on the case "mysteriously" disappeared.
They also say the victim thought she was helping law enforcement, so there is that possibility, that is was a member of LE.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

I think I'd be looking at an officer or someone in in record keeping within the department, maybe (if both the records and the evidence have somehow "disappeared"). Who was/has in charge of the evidence room? Who had access to that room/area and how was that access documented or was it? Who had access to both records/files and evidence? Did an officer live close to her? Were any officers customers of hers at the bank?

Anonymous said...

They both worked at the same place? Same desk? Same room mates? Shields said she's helping police with Little case? Just coinidence... all unrelated...Not!
Perp worked there too, Shields undercover as bait, but the scheme didnt go as planned????

Anonymous said...

What is your statement analysis of this? Looking down and to the right? fidgeting and labored breathing? Not answering the question?

frommindtomatter said...

Anonymous said...

"What is your statement analysis of this? Looking down and to the right? fidgeting and labored breathing? Not answering the question?"

My analysis:

“Well, I can [only] tell you what I know...what [I know] is [the transcript] of the president’s call with President Zelensky [shows] that there was [no] quid pro quo, he did [nothing] wrong.”

“I can [only] tell you what I know” as opposed to “I can tell you what I know”

He shows he is restricting information by using the word “only”. As “only” is a comparative word it means he is thinking of something else while making his statement. I could say “I [only] like strawberry ice cream” or “I like strawberry ice cream”. By adding “only” into my first statement it shows I am thinking of all the other flavours I don’t like. I am making a comparison, and to do so am holding another thought in my mind, the thought of the flavours I don’t like.

He is thinking about something else and it has caused him to introduce “only” into his statement. Also note adding “I know” into his statement weakens it. It allows for someone else to know different. He is saying he knows “the transcript” of the presidents call “shows” he did nothing wrong. This speaks only to the transcript of which only a few people will be able to verify its veracity.

Also note that “the transcript” will tell what there wasn’t as opposed to what there was.

“[no] quid pro quo, he did [nothing] wrong.”

It frames things in the negative where it would be better to say something like “that everything was done properly adhering to the rules/regulations”, unless saying that would be a lie or the subject does not have enough knowledge to make such a statement.


Anonymous said...

Oct 26 at 12:23

Your statement makes sense.

Charles Crisp said...

Of course, the writer means that THE BODY of Miss Shields was found in the trunk of her car, not Miss Shields herself.

Anonymous said...

Autumn said...

OT: VP Pence

Adrian and Anonymous, if suspect A is asked to respond to the accusation of murdering person B, what would be stronger:
1. "I treated B properly adhering to the rules and regulations"; OR
2. "I did not murder B"?
I think the latter and i.m.o. the same applies (mutatis mutandis) in the case of VP Pence who was confronted with the suggestion that there was a quid pro quo: "there was no quid pro quo" is stronger than an equivalent of phrase 1 because that would have left open the possibility (for instance) that there was a quid pro quo but it wasn't improper/against the rules according to Pence.

I think "only" ("I can only tell you what I know, what I know is the transcript...") can easily be explained by the fact that Pence wasn't present for the call and the call wasn't recorded. Therefore he couldn't tell the interviewer what was said based on first hand information (he didn't hear with his own ears what was said). He could merely ("only") tell what he knew based on the transcript.

frommindtomatter said...

OT VP Pence

Autumn this is my opinion based on the language.

““[Well], I can [only] tell you what [I know]”

A person can only tell us what they know they cannot tell us more. Also note he needs a pause to think before beginning his statement by using the word “well”.

Point one:

I expect someone to tell me what they know, but Pence doesn’t. He first tells us “I can only tell you what I know” which is to state the obvious. It is not necessary to say that so I question why he added in this extra information. The answer is that it is important to him to do so. It may not be important to us but to him it is. Here I see the extra words added as a need to convince, he wants to convince the listener there is a limit to what he knows which shows it is sensitive to him.

Point two:

“I can [only] tell you what I know”

The word “only” is introduced into his language which shows he is holding another thought/s while making his statement about “knowing”.

If you wanted to know how to get out of an office building and asked me directions I could do a number of things. I could give you directions to an exit which would be the most straightforward, but what If I included in my answer that it was the “only way out”? I would have included that information for a reason. The reason is not important to you as all you want to do is get out, but to me it means something and I have a thought connected to it. The question is what is the thought? It could be I have tried to find other ways out of the building and been unsuccessful, so my mind believes it is the only way out and has sent the word “only” to my mouth. It could be there is another exit but it is out of order so cannot be used etc… There can be various reasons but the point is that the word “only” came into my language because I was thinking about something else connected to the subject matter.

Why does Pence need to pause (“well”), then state the obvious (“I can [only] tell you what I know”). In these few words we also know he is thinking about something else connected to “knowing” and we question why?

Point 3:

He weakens his words with “I know”

We all know a lot of things and Pence “knows” what the transcript “shows”. The question is does he know other things that the transcript doesn’t show? He started his statement with a pause and then stating the obvious which was unexpected, and showed sensitivity to the subject. This in my opinion could point to him knowing more. Think about it-

“Well, I can [only] tell you what I know”

Why start his statement there. He chose where to start his statement and showed his priorities which were to state the obvious which is not expected. He has need to convince that he doesn’t know more than he knows which is dodgy in itself.

I don’t know what he knows, but he knows more than he is letting on and is sensitive to it.


MizzMarple said...

"The emails were reviewed by renowned statement analyst Peter Hyatt with his team of more than 50 experts.
“They concluded that the person who wrote this had knowledge of who murdered Diane, how she was murdered and why she was murdered,” she said."



This is fantastic!

I know it is an ongoing investigation, but is it possible that these e-mails will be published one day, in particular, IF the case is solved?

Ever since I read your post here about Dianne last week, I have been reading and researching both Dianne and Mary's interesting cold cases.

I am so curious to find out what really happened to these ladies, and even more curious about the e-mails.

Thank you so much for all your work.

Have a blessed day.


Autumn said...

Adrian, very interesting. I'm going to let it sink in. My initial thoughts are:

The interviewer asks Pence if the 4 witnesses (who testified under oath that a deal was offered by the president) are all lying. You say "I can only tell you what I know" could point to Pence knowing more. I think the opposite may be true. Maybe Pence doesn't know the answer to the interviewer's question. Of course he realizes that it wouldn't look so good if he said that. In doing so, he would admit that he's not "in the loop" and leave open the possibility that Trump offered a deal (and he knows Trump wouldn't be happy about that). Therefore, instead of telling the public what he doesn't know, he phrases it in a more positive way: "I can only tell you what I ([do]) know" (of course he doesn't say "do" because that would also be admitting he doesn't know). I think this (i.e. "not knowing if these witnesses are lying") may be the "something else" that is on Pence's mind when he says "only". It would also explains the seemingly unnecessary emphasis on "what I know": when he starts his answer Pence realizes he can't say what he doesn't know and thus emphasizes what he does know. This is just a possibility. I'm open to other interpretations.

frommindtomatter said...

OT VP Pence

I am in the UK and am not familiar with what is going on so I don’t have the context and bigger picture regarding this.

It could be Pence was caught off guard, although politicians usually are aware of and have set responses for topics they know they might encounter so that would be debatable. We would expect that if he could give a strong answer he would have done. It is his “what I know” which shows weakness as it allows for others to know different. The phrase is repeated x2 which heightens its sensitivity.

His answer is based around “the transcript” but he does not say he has read it, he does not say “I have seen the transcript”. He says “what I know is the transcript…., “shows”, which could indicate his knowledge is second hand coming from another member of staff for instance. In my opinion if he had read the transcript it would make for a strong committed answer like-

“I have read the transcript of the president’s call and I can assure you etc...”


Autumn said...

"We would expect that if he could give a strong answer he would have done."

I don't know about that Adrian. He may answer the question carefully on purpose because he doesn't want to get too involved (keep his distance) so he doesn't go down with Trump in case of impeachment (of which the chances i.m.o. are nil but that aside). The fact that he could have given a "stronger" answer doesn't necessarily mean he "knows more" (as in: has knowledge of quid pro quo).

The transcript is in the public domain and Pence surely read it.

I agree with the rest of your comment.

Anonymous said...

Is Schiff playing a role or is he truly a dangerous liar? Is there any history pre Pres Trump of Schiff and fraud? Did he just now become a habitual liar? Dud he not approvingly state during the Jussi Smolet assualt claim hysteria that he had witnessed Jussi Smolets SJW 'moral clarity'in action? Bad judgement on his part, ingratiating,or deceitful narrative building? Thats just one example but important. What is Schiffs history?

Anonymous said...


Statement Analysis Blog said...

See President Obama on Adam Schiff

Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic

A new HLN documentary has uncovered never before seen evidence in the decade-long search for a five-year-old girl who vanished from her Florida home in the middle of the night when her father's 17-year-old girlfriend was babysitting her.

Haleigh Cummings was last seen at her trailer home in Satsuma, south of Jacksonville, on February 9, 2009.

The little girl's father, Ronald Cummings, had left his 17-year-old girlfriend, Misty Croslin, in charge of caring for Haleigh and her four-year-old brother while he was working a night shift.

When he returned home at about 3am, Croslin told him that she had just woken up to find Haleigh missing from her bed and that a cinder block was propping open the back door.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office found no evidence of forced entry into the family's double-wide trailer.

No trace of Haleigh has ever been found despite a wide-spread search involving hundreds of volunteers and an investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

Investigators continue to believe Croslin is key in Haleigh's disappearance. They say her story has changed multiple times over the past decade but Croslin has never been charged in the case.

Haleigh's mystery disappearance is now the subject of a new HLN docuseries called Real Life Nightmare to air on Saturday night.

Among the evidence shown in the documentary is never-before-seen video of Cummings speaking to a tearful Croslin in a police interview room after they were both interviewed.

'You didn't wake up,' Cummings could be heard saying to Croslin after an investigator let him into the interview room when she was being questioned.

She sobbed as she said: 'I would never let nothing happen to her if I knew something. I wouldn't let someone just take her.'

'You didn't get out of bed,' Cummings said before asking Croslin: 'You sure you didn't unlock the door?'

Croslin responded: 'I didn't even hear anything.'

Other evidence included in the documentary is footage of Croslin walking through the crime scene just days after Haleigh vanished.

In the video, Croslin can be seen crying after finding the shirt that she said the little girl was wearing when she went to bed the night she vanished.

'When these indicators start popping up that her story to us, as far as the clothing is not adding up, that's when everything starts going from the outside and starts focusing right back on Misty again,' John Merchant, a former lead detective on the case, told HLN.

Detectives repeatedly described Croslin's statements about the night Haleigh disappeared as inconsistent.

'There was a lot of strange things with Misty. I mean, a lot of things in the investigation that kind of said, 'Hey, let's take a look at what's going on with Misty,'…She had taken a shower before we got there so that was kind of strange,' Putnam County Sheriff's Department Captain Dominic Piscitello said.

Tania Cadogan said...


The documentary also includes dozens of evidence photos showing Haleigh's home just moments after deputies arrived on the scene.

Captain Piscitello said that he hopes the release of never-before-seen evidence will lead to new tips that will help them solve the case.

Croslin refused to answer questions about the case for the documentary.

Both Croslin and Cummings are currently in prison on drug trafficking charges unrelated to Haleigh's disappearance.

They were both jailed in late 2010 after being caught with 330 tablets of oxycodone and hydrocodone in their car.

Croslin is currently serving 25 years in prison, while Cummings was sentenced to 15 years.

Anyone with information about Haleigh's disappearance should call Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS.

HLN's Real Life Nightmare premieres November 2 at 8pm ET on HLN.

T Bake said...

Hi Peter, this is OT, but I was reading an entry on Murderpedia and in the content, there is a very long first person account that this convicted killer on death row has made. It’s really interesting, I thought if you have time to check it out you might find it worth analyzing. The link is

His account is under the “Innocent Man on Death Row” heading. He was convicted of murdering his baby daughter during the commission of a sexual assault on her.

Clipping Path said...

Very nice post. Thanks for sharing with us.