A birthday celebration spelled disaster for a family after Laura Mason went missing in 1993. Stories that center around women who vanish while enjoying a night out are typically shared by parents to their children in an effort to encourage them to be safer when they are out and about. For decades, Laura’s loved ones have waited for an answer regarding what happened to her on March 24 when she visited a jazz club to celebrate her 45th birthday.
It was on that date when Laura’s relative reportedly gave her a ride to the El Capitan Louge in Kansas City, Missouri near 18th Street and Vine. The last time anyone saw Laura Mason was when she was with Richard Stallings, the owner of the club. Stallings was also Laura’s former brother-in-law, and according to reports, he has given inconsistent statements regarding her disappearance over the years.
Initially, he is reported as telling authorities that he dropped her off nearby at 18th Street and Highland Avenue because she had planned on visiting the Mutual Musicians Foundation. The nursing assistant has never been seen or heard from again.
Meanwhile, two years after Laura’s disappearance, Stallings was facing a serious set of charges. In 1995, he was reportedly put on trial for the death of his girlfriend, Donna Meredith, after authorities claimed that he killed her. Stallings was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He has refuted any claims that he was involved in her death and explained in a lengthy statement shared to Justice Denied that he only knew of Donna’s tragedy after seeing it on the news. The Victims of the State website, which chronicles cases that it believes are of wrongfully convicted felons, co-signs his sentiment.
An excerpt of the court documents from the Donna Meredith case reads as follow:
“Donna Meredith began a romantic relationship with Mr. Stallings in 1992. The evidence indicates that Mr. Stallings was jealous and possessive of Ms. Meredith. Huey (James) Love was acquainted with both Ms. Meredith and Mr. Stallings. In 1993, after he had been released from prison, Mr. Love started seeing Ms. Meredith but stopped seeing her because Mr. Stallings warned Mr. Love that ‘he felt like I was coming between him and his woman and he thought he was going to have to do something to me.’ Mr. Stallings also threatened Willie Wells, a friend of Ms. Meredith, leaving a message on Mr. Wells’ answering machine telling Mr. Wells to stay away from Ms. Meredith. The message continued that Mr. Wells ‘was a lucky man because if it had been yesterday, I [Wells] would have been dead and I would have never known why I was being killed.’ When Mr. Wells next encountered Mr. Stallings, during a dart tournament at the My Way Restaurant and Lounge, Mr. Stallings told Mr. Wells to stay away from Ms. Meredith. Mr. Stallings then attacked Mr. Wells by hitting him with a chair. At some point during the ensuing altercation, Mr. Wells left the restaurant and drove off in his car. Mr. Stallings pursued Mr. Wells, but ultimately wrecked his own car before the police arrived. Ms. Meredith’s sister testified that in December 1994, Mr. Stallings threatened to kill a male friend who complimented Ms. Meredith.
“Ms. Meredith broke up with Mr. Stallings in late 1994. She confided to her daughter, Zena Miles, and her best friend, Brenda Abdekhalig, her fears concerning Mr. Stallings. Ms. Abdekhalig testified that Ms. Meredith had told her that Mr. Stallings had continued to call even after the break up. On one occasion, Ms. Abdekhalig went over to Ms. Meredith’s home and saw Mr. Stallings, who gave her an angry look. When Ms. Meredith later telephoned Ms. Abdekhalig, Ms. Meredith was crying. She told Ms. Abdekhalig that Mr. Stallings had beaten her up, thrown her on the bed, stuck a pistol in her mouth, and told her that he would kill her. Ms. Miles testified that she had observed a change in the relationship between Mr. Stallings and her mother. She recounted that on one occasion in late December 1994 or early January 1995, Ms. Meredith told her, ‘If I come up dead, Richard did it.'”
In 2015, Missouri authorities received a lead that the remains of Laura Mason may have been buried in the backyard of a home. The residence once belonged to Stallings, but after tearing through the yard, they did not find any evidence to help with this case.
“I’ve been to that house. I spent holidays at that house. So just the thought of thinking, if they find my mother in that backyard, oh my God, like, I don’t know how I’m going to feel about this,” said Safiyyah Mills, Laura’s daughter, in 2015. “I appreciate them following up on the tip, and even being willing to go out and dig, but at the same time, it`s just again, emotionally speaking, it`s like I’m starting over again.”
The family established the Laura E. Mason Foundation to continue her legacy through community outreach, philanthropic work, and building arts and education efforts for underserved youth.
“You want to protect yourself. You want to protect your heart,” said Safiyyah. “This is probably me at my most vulnerable state. It`s my mother, you know? It’s my mother. I don`t know where she’s at. So just going through it again, it just makes me emotional… To me, she lived life to the fullest. In my heart, I have to find closure. So, the foundation, that`s where I`m putting all my energy into. Every act of service that we do, that we`re going to do, that we’ve done, that is really her living legacy.”
At the time of her disappearance, Laura Mason stood 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 140 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair (curly) and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a green and black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black coat, black shoes, and an Ann Klein watch. She used the alias “Nadiyyah Muhammed” and was known to use the last names “Marks” or “Brannock.” She also spelled her name “Larura,” her middle name begins with an “E,” and she would be 73-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Kansas City Police Department at (816) 234-5136 or their local authorities. The agency case number is 93-044857.
Please share this story about Laura Mason to reignite the investigation into her case. She is our sister and her life matters.
Orleans Parish Jane Doe: Remains Recovered Under A House In 1998
Circumstances surrounding the discovery are difficult to pinpoint.
This is a strange case that continues to plague Louisiana investigators and it is unfortunate that no one has come forward about this woman in all of these years. On August 24, 1998, the remains of a Black woman, referred to in documents as Orleans Parish Jane Doe, were reportedly found under a house at 2308 A P Tureaud Avenue in New Orleans, Lousiana. (more…)
Orleans Parish Jane Doe: Remains Recovered Under A House In 1998
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