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Jamison family was threatened by relative before vanishing, records show

Less than six months before they vanished in southeastern Oklahoma, the Jamison family was threatened with violence by one of their closest relatives, McIntosh County court records show.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: November 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm •  Published: November 27, 2013

Less than six months before they vanished, the Jamison family was threatened with violence by one of their closest relatives, a petition for a protective order filed by Bobby Jamison reveals.

In the petition, Bobby Jamison claimed his own father threatened “to kill” him and his family on at least two occasions, in November 2008 and in late April 2009.

Bobby Jamison, his wife, Sherilyn, and daughter, Madyson, went missing in October 2009, roughly six months after the petition was filed in McIntosh County.

The missing man described his father, whose name was Bob Dean Jamison, as a “very dangerous man (who) thinks he is above the law.” He claimed that his father — who was 67 at the time — was involved with “prostitutes, gangs and meth.”

The remains of three human beings — described by law enforcement officials as being a child and two adults — were found Nov. 16 in northeast Latimer County, about three miles from where the Jamisons' pickup was found abandoned eight days after they were last seen alive.

Since the discovery, many have speculated the remains are those of the missing family.

Bobby Jamison does not say in the petition how his father threatened to kill him and his family, but he did write that his father “hit me with his vehicle” on Nov. 1, 2008.”

“My entire family is severely scared for their lives,” Bobby Jamison wrote in the petition. “I am in fear at all times.”

The protective order was dismissed May 18, 2009, after a judge heard testimony from those involved.

Bob Dean Jamison died in December 2009, about two months after the Jamison family went missing near Kinta.

Jack Jamison, the father's brother, said he doesn't believe Bob Dean Jamison was involved in the disappearance of the Jamison family.

“He was either in a hospital or in a rest home,” Jack Jamison said. “I just don't think he was involved. He was disturbed at the time, but I'm pretty sure he was not capable of being involved in that.”

Like many others, Jack Jamison said the disappearance of his nephew and his family remains a mystery to him.

“It has me plumb puzzled,” he said. “Nothing about it makes any sense.”

Attempts to reach Bob Dean Jamison's wife of 40-plus years, Starlet Jamison, were not successful. The couple divorced in the months before Bob Dean Jamison's death.

Lawsuits filed

In addition to filing the petition for protective order, Bobby Jamison was suing his parents at the time of his disappearance, claiming he was owed property for himself and two vehicles for his daughter.

He claimed in the lawsuit he worked for free at one of his parents' businesses.

“Bobby Dean Jamison enticed (Bobby Jamison) to work for free at a gas station in Oklahoma City for numerous years without any compensation, but with (the) understanding that the station would be half his when he was older,” attorneys for Bobby Jamison wrote in a petition.

The lawsuit remains pending in Oklahoma County District Court.

In the months following the Jamison family's disappearance, former Latimer County Sheriff Israel Beauchamp said the investigation into Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison led him to believe the couple may have been “scammers.”

The couple were receiving disability checks before going missing, the former sheriff said in early 2010. They also sued three people in Oklahoma County over a car accident in 2005.

Beauchamp, who is no longer sheriff in Latimer County, said the Jamisons appeared to be dealing with numerous issues before their disappearance. He said both Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison had lost weight before they went missing and a former pastor revealed the couple said they were seeing ghosts at their Eufaula lake house.

“Normally, you can go through an investigation, and one by one, start to eliminate certain scenarios,” Beauchamp said.

“We haven't been able to do that in this case. With this family, everything seems possible.”

Theories, allegations abound

Since the Jamisons disappeared, speculation about their fate has run wild on the Internet. Many believe they faked their own deaths or were in some kind of witness protection program.

Others believed they were killed or committed group suicide.

The couple had been in Latimer County in search of land to buy the day they went missing. Investigators learned after the family's disappearance that Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison were planning to buy land and live inside a large storage container, which was on their property in Eufaula.

Investigators found the couple's abandoned pickup eight days after they were last seen. What was found inside the truck would only deepen the mystery surrounding the family's disappearance.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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