In 1976 Rebecca Doisy was a student teacher in Columbia, Missouri who also worked part time as a waitress. She enjoyed being around people at the restaurant, even though she had to deal with difficult customers now and then.
One such customer was a man named Johnny Wright. He visited the restaurant where Rebecca worked, Ernie’s Steak House, several times to ask her out. Wright also called the steakhouse repeatedly because Rebecca refused to give him her personal phone number. Rebecca finally had enough; she agreed to go out with him for a drink to explain that she just wasn’t interested.
On August 5, the pair spent some time together at a local bar. No one knows what she said to Wright that night, but whatever it was must have upset him. It would be the last time anyone ever saw Rebecca Doisy alive.
Police began to investigate the disappearance of Rebecca Doisy, and they were pointed in the direction of Johnny Wright. Several witnesses admitted to seeing him hassle her at work, and others had seen them at the bar that night in August. Officers looked for Wright, but he stayed away from work for several days and could not be found. When he finally emerged, the suspect was brought in for questioning.
Johnny Wright took a polygraph test and the results indicated that he was lying, but the police did not have enough evidence so he was let go. Wright’s previous criminal history helped make him a person of great interest in the case, but over the next few years no new leads were found and the investigation went cold.
In 1985 investigators finally caught a big break. Johnny Wright’s former roommate, Harry Moore, told officers that he had seen Rebecca’s body in Johnny Wright’s car, and that Wright had admitted to killing her. Police were skeptical at first and Moore became a suspect, but the evidence they had matched his story and they set out to find Wright.
A nationwide manhunt began, and officers hoped to finally bring a case that started nearly a decade earlier to an end. They hoped to get Wright in custody quickly and finally learn what had happened to Rebecca, whose body had never been found. The FBI ran fingerprint searches and authorities in every state were on the lookout. After a long, intensive search the results were: nothing. Johnny Wright seemed to either be dead or out of the country.
As the years passed, Rebecca Doisy’s family tried to find peace, but the pain of her disappearance and not knowing what became of her always remained. In time they came to accept that the case would never be solved, and Wright would never be brought to justice.
In 2009 a 65-year-old man entered a police station in Atlanta, Georgia to order a criminal background check on himself. He needed the report for a potential job as a truck driver. The man showed his identification, made his request and was told to return the next day. Officers ran the background check, and immediately saw a red flag.
The man was Johnny Wright. His ID was less than a week old, and contained his real name. When Wright returned for his report he was placed under arrest for the murder of Rebecca Doisy.
Officers in Columbia were stunned to hear the news. Their investigation had begun more than 30 years ago, and they had no active leads. Now their suspect was in custody after visiting a police station. One officer noted with amazement that Wright had “paid $15 to get arrested”.
Doisy’s family was even more shocked, and relieved. At long last they would have answers about a crime that haunted them for so long.
Many crimes go unsolved, and you never know who might be living in your neighborhood. A criminal background check can help you find out if someone nearby was ever arrested and convicted, and give you the information you need to help keep your family safe. It’s an effective tool that is used by law enforcement agencies worldwide to find and track criminals before they can strike again.
Our hearts go out to the family of Rebecca Doisy; may they finally get the closure they need after their nightmarish ordeal. Be careful about whom you associate with, get the information you need to stay safe and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.
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