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GONE: Mom rejects story about daughter’s disappearance

GONE: Mom rejects story about daughter’s disappearance

Felix Vail answered his doorway to see Detective Dennis Davis and another officer from a Tulsa Police Department. It was Jan. 22, 1985, and he had been awaiting them.

Weeks earlier, he had forsaken off a sketch of Annette during Davis’ request. Two weeks before that, Vail had filed for divorce, citing an inability to find her after a “diligent search.”

GONE: Read a full Felix Vail saga

Vail invited a officers in, and they chatted for some-more than dual hours — some-more about him than a blank woman.

Davis pronounced her mother, Mary Rose, mentioned her daughter had perceived some-more than $90,000 from her father’s estate.

Vail reliable that was true, observant a integrate had spent many of that income roving in unfamiliar countries. He pronounced they kept their income in income given they didn’t trust banks. In fact, he pronounced he had found about $10,000 in income when he returned home.

The subsequent day, Vail telephoned a lawyer, who betrothed to speak with a officers, revelation them to “leave me alone,” he wrote in his journal.

When Davis returned 5 days later, Vail had a minute alibi: The integrate left Tulsa between noon and 3 p.m. Sept. 13, 1984, and stayed a night in a hotel in Claremont, Oklahoma. After dual nights of camping on a river, Annette awoke and told Vail she had motionless to leave him. He took her to a Trailways Bus Station in St. Louis and left before she bought a ticket.

He told a officers she told him she was headed for Denver, where she designed to get a feign ID label and leave for Mexico.

They asked Vail if he would take a distortion detector test. He pronounced no.

After a officers left, Vail wrote in his journals about Annette’s mother: “Mary creation Davis dance, and he’s perplexing to make me dance.”

Vail claimed Annette had bought a gun. “I bewail some not vouchsafing Annette kill her when she wanted to Annette is giveaway of her (at smallest as prolonged as she stays incommunicado).”

He wondered what to do about Rose. “Now how do we get giveaway of her brief of giving her a property?” he asked in his journal. “One approach (that we don’t know how to do) is infer to Davis she is manipulative aged prostitute who’s [sic] proclivity is accusing me (of whatever) is mostly income and unequivocally tiny if any parental regard for Annette.”

He dismissed off a minute to Rose. He blamed her for a “bad things” in Annette, observant she had “stymied a adore between us to a indicate where we both motionless that she could get some-more … from diverse emotionally and intimately inspired group than she was removing from me.”

He wrote that after a integrate came behind from Costa Rica, Annette “began saying friends and kin … and doing what she called completing her relations with them for a purpose of removing prepared to dump everybody and start over.”

He wrote that she “disappeared herself from we given she confident that we substantially would never willingly stop reenergizing in her and superimposing on her a same value complement we live by that creates her see we and your mom (and herself partially) as 0 self picture whores for capitulation in a form of masculine courtesy as exigency to a periodic and proxy accede to feel good about yourselves.”

Vail explained that a dual left any other “with no skeleton to promulgate in a destiny … we have not a smallest suspicion where she competence have gotten to by now. we will tell we that we adore a suggestion partial and unequivocally many honour her right to leisure and so we also assure we that even if we did know, we would not tell you.”

To Rose, his response felt like a cold slap in a face. She could feel military seductiveness in her daughter’s disappearance flourishing cold, too. Perhaps they would be reduction doubtful if she talked to them in person.

She motionless to lapse to Tulsa in Apr 1985 and sent Vail a note that she would be in town.

“Dear Mary, we would like to see we to [sic],” he wrote back. “I consider it could be some-more than poetic to be with we some. we demeanour brazen to it. Love, Felix.”

When she arrived, she was incompetent to strech him and grew disturbed about her daughter.

She motionless to trip inside a let lodge she once owned, finding that all of Annette’s garments were gone. So were all though a few of her possessions, including a diary she kept.

Inside a Barbie suitcase, Rose found a sketch of her daughter and several of her marker cards. She also located things that Annette had written, including a Feb. 17, 1984, note that contradicted Vail’s explain that a integrate had spent many of her estate on their transport to Mexico and Central American countries.

Instead, a note minute how they used a income to buy a Fiat, compensate off all of Vail’s loans, and deposition $36,000 into Louisiana Savings. “As of today, we have $41,600 in cash.”

Rose common a information with police.

Detective Davis visited Vail again, “acting like Columbo with dual some-more questions,” he wrote in his journal.

Vail had told Davis before that he and Annette kept all their income in cash.

Now he concurred to Davis that they pennyless a income into smaller cashier’s checks.

After a while, a investigator left. Vail hoped a answers confident him.

Vail dreamed about Annette in bed “with this good large nauseous fat guy,” he wrote in his journal. “She was feeling reticent and absurd for carrying let him into her and being during a same time as high as she could be on carrying only fled a ego a appetite of his enterprise and courtesy and all a self validation that would be milked from it.”

Vail never listened again from Davis, who sealed a blank person’s case.

Unable to speak with Vail in person, Rose persisted in telephoning him. She attempted him during home in Tulsa. She attempted him during his parents’ home in Mississippi.

On Sept. 14, 1985, she finally reached him in Tulsa. When she asked about Annette’s blank clothes, he told her he had given all of them to charity.

Rose asked about Annette’s whereabouts, and Vail refused to contend where she was.

She mentioned that she was articulate to police. When she pulpy for some-more sum about what had happened to a scarcely $100,000 that Annette inherited, she pronounced Vail shot back, “That’s all we unequivocally caring about — her money.”

She hung up.


Each day in his journals, Vail remarkable his encounters with women. He hopped from bed to bed, infrequently in a same night. When a sex was good, he described it as “electric” and “mutually orgasmic.” When he was incompetent to have sex with a woman, he blamed it on her “fat.”





Shot in open 1984, this is a final home film of Annette Vail before she left that fall. Her husband, Felix Vail, stays a think in her disappearance.
Jerry Mitchell/The Clarion-Ledger

When problems arose in a relationships, he blamed their egos, never his own.

December came, and temperatures dipped subsequent freezing. Vail watched television, “vibrating on commercials.”

He suspicion about Annette. He had told Tulsa military she was schizophrenic and suicidal. Now he wrote that everybody he had met comparison than 2 years was “schizo.”

Less than dual weeks before Christmas, he stepped out into a sleet during 1 a.m. After examination a movie, The Hotel New Hampshire, he returned to a icy white, this time in his unclothed feet. “It’s entrance down in bigger flakes now around 2 inches, it is sorcery to travel merriment in it descending fallen, garments on garments off.”

Fed adult with a miss of swell in her daughter’s disappearance, Rose returned in 1987 to Tulsa, where she began operative during her aged pursuit as a manager for a Bakery on Cherry Street.

She spent thousands on private investigators. When they were incompetent to locate Vail, she motionless to demeanour for him herself.

Tipped off that he was during someone’s house, she went there with a crony and found him sitting.

“So where did Annette go?” she asked.


“Where in Mexico did she go?”

He told her that he and Annette had done a agreement they would strike any other after 5 years.

He never looked up, never stood adult and never looked her in a eye.

She shook her conduct in dishonesty and walked away. She didn’t trust a word.


Vail became quick friends with Tulsa local Scott Porter, an consultant in martial humanities who hold some-more than one black belt.





GONE: ONE WIFE DEAD, TWO OTHERS MISSINGGONE: Felix Vail, a male with one mom dead, dual others blank | 4:29

Meet Felix Vail, a final famous chairman to see 3 women alive: his mom in 1962, Mary; his common law mom in 1973, Sharon; and his mom in 1984, Annette, in Episode 1 of a USA TODAY special video series, Gone.
Steve Elfers, USA TODAY





GONE: ONE WIFE DEAD, TWO OTHERS MISSINGGONE: Did Mary Horton Vail unequivocally drown? | 7:31

In 1962, Felix Vail pronounced his mom had depressed overboard from their vessel and drowned. When her physique was pulled from a river, she had a headband in her mouth and no H2O in her lungs. The second partial in USA TODAY’s special video series, “Gone.”
Steve Elfers, USA TODAY





GONE: ONE WIFE DEAD, TWO OTHERS MISSINGGONE: Admission of murder precedes disappearance | 7:26

Felix Vail’s immature son, Bill, trafficked by California, as he and his common-law mom Sharon Hensley lived off a land and did drugs. Bill overhears Vail revelation he killed his initial mom and goes to police. See what happens subsequent in partial 3.
Steve Elfers, USA TODAY





GONE: ONE WIFE DEAD, TWO OTHERS MISSINGGONE: Felix Vail marries a teen, who vanishes | 5:21

In 1983, teen Annette Craver marries Felix Vail, some-more than 20 years her senior. She inherits scarcely $100,000 and deeds Vail dual homes. And afterwards many like Sharon Hensley before her, she disappears.






Three decades have upheld given Mary Rose’s daughter, Annette, disappeared. Her expostulate to find answers led to new justification that resulted in authorities impediment her former son-in-law for murder in a genocide of his initial wife, Mary Horton Vail.

Vail believed he was a martial humanities expert, too, after practicing drifting kicks into a mattress.

Each morning, he and Porter worked out, lifting weights together before attack a Chinese buffet.

Over lunch, Vail common that he had never felt firm by society’s rules, Porter recalled. “He forsaken his silverware and began eating with his hands like a caveman.”

Some nights, a span visited frame clubs in Tulsa, where Vail tucked dollar bills in a strippers’ panties. “Tulsa had some-more churches than gas stations,” Porter said, “but also some-more frame clubs than anywhere else I’ve lived.”

The span also played pool and drank reduced ethanol beer.

Back home, Vail listened as Porter spasmodic common songs he had written, still forgetful of a career in music.

The dual group reminisced about a women blank from their lives.

Those women related them. Vail, during 45, had been married to Annette, only 18, and Porter, during 28, had antiquated Rose, who was 36.

Porter had driven Rose to her new home in California and returned alone. “My heart was positively broken,” he recalled. “We had a lot of good times. She indispensable to pierce on, and we didn’t.”

Not prolonged after Annette vanished, Rose telephoned Porter and common her suspicions that Vail had something to do with her daughter’s disappearance.

Porter began examining any word his crony spoke.

While Porter discussed his hopes of reuniting with Rose, he beheld Vail never mentioned that luck with Annette.

One night, Vail seemed some-more open, he said. “He was great like a baby, indignant it didn’t work out differently.”

Vail explained that Annette “wanted to ‘recreate’ herself and that she didn’t wish any strike with any apportionment of her past life. She wanted to totally mangle with herself.”

While Vail talked of violation with a past, Porter was bustling acid for his.

He had been adopted and motionless to pierce to Minnesota to reconnect with his birth parents. While there, he met his destiny wife, Jennie.

Returning to Tulsa from Minnesota with a tiny son and another on a way, he renewed his loyalty with Vail, who was so kind he after watched a boys while a integrate went out on dates.

Once, during a contention of fidelity, Porter pronounced Vail common that he felt “nobody could ever be true to one person.”

Months later, Vail “starts attack on my wife,” Porter said.

Upset about this, he took Vail on a travel and confronted him.

Vail denied it all, Porter recalled. “He said, ‘No, no, she was attack on me.’ ”

As they crossed a Arkansas River Bridge, a suspicion ran by his conduct — a suspicion he didn’t act on. “I was wanting to chuck Felix off and wondering if I’d get divided with it.”

Vail began dating Beth Field. She was captivated to his intelligence, and a span grew close.

Then he began to call her a “whore,” and during a Dec 1987 argument, he became so aroused that he ruptured her eardrum, according to justice records.

She told Vail there was no justification for earthy violence, and she pronounced he replied, “If we quit working like a whore, I’ll quit attack you.”

She discussed a emanate with a therapist, she said. “I finally told this woman, ‘It’s all unequivocally nice, though one of us is going to be upheld before this works.’ ”

Field took a recommendation of a tighten crony and attended an complete 10-day imagining march in Aug 1988 on Colorado’s Western Slope. To her surprise, Vail came, too.

After a course, she perceived a write call from Rose, pity sum about a disappearance of her daughter, Annette.

After that conversation, Field pronounced she evaluated a situation. “Each time we was with Felix, it was with a full recognition of not only a possibility, though a luck that he had taken Annette’s life.”

When a theme of Annette’s disappearance arose, Vail pronounced he had been camping with her and that she motionless she wanted to get divided from her mom and that he had helped her set adult an event for her to change her name and pierce on, Field recalled.

Whenever she asked Vail about a disappearance, he denied involvement, she said. “Then one time he said, ‘What if we pronounced yes?’ ”

Four months after a imagining course, Vail entered her home unannounced. Already drunk, he indicted her of “imagined promiscuity,” according to a justice order.

He slapped her, strike her and threw her opposite a bedroom.

“Will we get out alive?” she asked.

“It depends on what we tell me,” Vail replied.

The decider gave her a protecting order, requiring Vail to keep his distance. Two weeks later, a policeman reported that Vail was nowhere to be found.

Field pronounced she felt held in a “sick, addictive relationship, and it took utterly some time to entirely uncover it.”

Over time, her lavish connection to him began to fade.

While Field was visiting a imagining core in Texas in 1990, Vail verbally accosted her, and she felt a same annoy and defensiveness rising adult as before, she said.

She walked divided to harmonise herself, and when she returned, she sat down subsequent to him. “I told him, ‘There is a partial of we that goes off, and it’s ill and it’s dangerous.’ ”

She pronounced he looked during her and asked, “Really?”

“Yes, really.”

This time, a summary seemed to soak in.

Vail left a march site a subsequent day, and with a singular difference about 5 years later, she did not see him again.

Contact Jerry Mitchell at or 601-961-7064. Follow him on Facebook

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