Dan Brasher

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Dan Brasher (disappeared March 3, 1956) was one of three men that disappeared from northern Jefferson County in March 1956. He and cousins Billy and Robert Dye were last seen in Billy's 1947 Ford. The three had been in a minor scuffle at a party at Brasher's mother's house in Sardis, and then were seen at another gathering at Dye's girlfriend's house at Robinwood Station, near Morris.

The trio were rumored to have stolen liquor from some local bootleggers before they disappeared.

Rumors of their fate continue to percolate. Some thought they may have been dumped down an old mine shaft. Others claim they were buried in their car under the road bed for Alabama Highway 79, then under construction near Pinson.

The initial investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office produced no firm leads. The efforts of Brasher's brother Curtis convinced Sheriff Holt McDowell to assign Deputy Tom Ellison to the case. Test bores were drilled into the highway where witnesses claimed to have seen a car buried, but nothing was found.

The case was inactive until Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Gloor resuscitated it on 1972. A Navy metal detector was used to find more places to drill, but again nothing was found. In interviews at the time, Ellison claimed that McDowell pulled him off the case prematurely, perhaps to protect those responsible for the crime.

In 1984 Louisiana prison convict T. J. Chamblee confessed being an accomplice in killing the three in a dispute over stolen moonshine, and in helping to dump the bodies in an abandoned mine near Trafford. His story became inconsistent after further questioning.

The mens' disappearance is currently the oldest case still active with the Sheriff's Department.

[edit] References

  • Jones, Pam (Fall 2006) "Brasher-Dye Disappearance." Alabama Heritage. No. 82, pp. 44-47
  • "Unsolved Mysteries!" (December 17, 1995) Birmingham News.
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