Yesterday I had multiple people ask me to post this, and their comment has 552 likes at the time of me writing this, so I have spent the last day and a half editing, and adding information so it's up to standard. Overall, it has taken me close to a week to make. It probably isn't perfect, but I will edit it if I notice any mistakes. I hope you enjoy ❤
I would like to start this off by saying that this is an incredibly long write-up. This case spans 54 years, and this write-up is over 8650 words long, and is in fact so long that it exceeded the character limit, forcing me to make 2 parts. u/that1guywiththehat
has already covered this case, and their write-up is much shorter. I will link it here, and you can check it out if you'd like. They did a fantastic job. 😊 https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/g3wqcc/after_18yearold_annette_craver_vail_vanishes/
Secondly, this write-up borrows EXTENSIVELY
from "Gone," a 35,500 word book about the life and crimes of Felix Vail. It contains information that you simply cannot find anywhere else, and I'd estimate that around 80% of this write-up uses it's information. While it's extremely long, being over 4 times the length of this write-up, it is well worth the read. I will also link it here so you can check it out if you'd like. https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/felixvailgone/2016/12/29/felix-vail-gone-one-wife-dead-two-other-missing-jerry-mitchell/95895894/
Now with that out of the way...
Born on the 16th of February 1940 to Floyd and Lillie Horton, Mary was popular, beautiful, and well liked. She became homecoming queen at Eunice High School and wrote for the school newspaper. After graduating she began attending McNeese State University where she was so popular that all 5 sororities invited her to join. She eventually chose Chi Omega. https://www.clarionledger.com/gcdn/-mm-/d313713be82928fb5c54a52348e9f0b6fbe9ca88/c=0-232-3288-4617/local/-/media/2016/12/27/JacksonMS/JacksonMS/636184665129485321-mary-horton-0001.jpg?width=300&height=401&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp (Mary Horton from 1957, as Eunice High School homecoming queen.) A FATEFUL ENCOUNTER
In 1960 she began dating William Felix Vail Sr, who goes by Felix. He was 6’, slender and in the words of another sorority girl “looked like he’d been touched by heaven.” In her diaries and messages to friends, Mary spoke of being happy and excited. However, not everything was sunshine and rainbows for the young couple.
On June 20th, 1960, Mary confided in a friend “I really do love Felix, but I don’t think that I like him anymore. He really is sweet, but we don’t see eye to eye on things.” She requested that a friend set her up on a date with another man in the hopes that Felix would leave her.
In response to this date, he came to Mary saying he suffered from a disease. She asked what disease he had. He meant Mary.
The 2 had a conversation that Mary described as ‘Felix doing all the talking, and her just listening.’ He told her that he had changed, and she said that she had too.
The 2 began dating again, but Mary continued to see other people. She attended a house party with Kelley McFarland, who afterwards heard that Vail was so angry he ‘wanted to kill him.’ McFarland tracked him down, eventually meeting him in dark woods. The 2 exchanged no blows, and they went their separate ways.
After this incident, Mary described herself as “miserable” and Felix as “jealous”, although she reiterated her love for him. There was reportedly an incident at a pool party where Felix “walked up to Mary and just slapped the heck out of her,” according to Mary’s high school boyfriend Leonard Matt.
Despite everything, Mary continued to defend him, calling him a “wonderful person.” THE MARRIAGE
On July 1, 1961, in Eunice, Louisiana, Mary Horton and Felix Vail got married. https://www.clarionledger.com/gcdn/-mm-/3a212b032aef874dfc60297c45f3a63946f5aeee/c=0-304-1765-2658/local/-/media/2016/12/28/JacksonMS/JacksonMS/636185193505145184-1022maryhorton003.JPG?width=300&height=401&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp (Mary Horton in her wedding dress, July 1st, 1961.)
In the fall of that year, Mary began her job as a second-grade teacher at Moss Bluff Elementary School. That December, she found out she was pregnant. Another teacher, Myrtis Quinilty said Felix didn’t want a child.
Her sister-in-law, Sue Jordan, told Mary the only reason Vail believed she wanted to get married was to have a baby, and not because of him. Mary blamed herself, saying “I can see, looking back, from many things I said how they could have been misunderstood.” Mary insisted that the couple were happy but did comment on how unattractive she felt while pregnant, a sentiment that Felix shared.
On their anniversary, Mary gave birth to William Felix Vail Jr, who they called Bill. https://www.clarionledger.com/gcdn/-mm-/c701d4cdc0e5ff127e79b575a1c137adfa57d585/c=0-0-180-240/local/-/media/2016/12/28/JacksonMS/JacksonMS/636185195986996911-TCLBrd-08-11-2016-ClarionLedger-1-A001-2016-08-10-IMG-636047953682196834-M-1-1-G0FAJ00I-L860703094-IMG-636047953682196834-M-1-1-G0FAJ00I.jpg?width=180&height=240&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp (Mary holding Bill in 1962)
Within a month, Mary suspected that she may be pregnant again. At this time, strange things began to happen in the couple’s apartment. One morning, the couple awoke to find their front door had been removed from its hinges. Another time, they found the front door of their apartment wide open. Nothing was stolen.
Mary began receiving threatening calls. The couple concluded that whoever was calling must be watching them because the caller only ever did it when Felix wasn’t home.
Mary spoke with her mother about divorcing Felix. Her mother, a devout Catholic, urged her daughter to stay and work things out. It would be a fatal mistake. MARY'S DEATH
On October 28th, 1962, at 7:30pm, Felix Vail drove up to Shell Beach saying that his wife had fallen in the water of the Calcasieu River while they were running trot lines. It took 2 days to find her body, close to where Vail had said she disappeared.
Her funeral was held on October 31st. Vail never paid a cent for it.
On November 4th deputies arrested Vail at work, hauling him to jail and questioning him. He refused to take a lie detector test. The coroner ruled Mary’s death an “accidental drowning,” a sentiment not shared by the officers who found her body, or the community at large. Days later, Vail was released without charge, as the D.A declined to prosecute.
Months later, he picked up his son, Bill, from the Louisiana home of his late wife’s aunt and headed for Mississippi. According to Bill years later, Vail told him that he and Mary were out fishing, that a boat had come by and caused a big wave and knocked her out of the boat. Mary didn’t know how to swim, had no life jacket (despite being afraid of water) and so immediately sank and drowned. He said he had almost died trying to rescue her. I will go further in depth into Mary’s death further down this write-up when I go through the investigation that followed, decades later. There are more details that I will cover there. ROBIN SINCLAIR: In this section I will cover his relationship with a girlfriend between the murders of Mary Horton and Sharon Hensley. Vail was a full-time scumbag and I want to illustrate that, as well as show some of the other lives he’s impacted, and other people he’s hurt. I will be covering multiple instances like this one. If you only want to read about the 3 murder victims, feel free to scroll down, I have them clearly marked for convenience.
AN 11 YEAR AGE GAP AND A DEAD-BEAT DAD
In 1967, Vail met a 17-year-old Robin Sinclair at a bus stop in San Diego. (Vail would have been 28 at this time. Large age gaps will be a theme in this write up.) She was spending the summer there with her sister, and the 2 began dating. When summer break ended, she left without him, returning home to San Francisco.
In October of 1968 while attending an Iron Butterflies concert, Vail appeared again. Sinclair took it as a sign that the 2 belonged together. He had his young son Bill, and the 3 bounced from place to place together. Sinclair would later describe how Bill was poorly looked after, neglected and that Vail would even give the young boy drugs. Bill would later recount his father giving him LSD as a child.
While watching over another couple’s home during the Christmas holidays, she learned she was pregnant and shared the news with Vail. He said, “Well, I don’t think you’re emotionally stable enough to handle the pregnancy.” The next morning, Vail and his young son had vanished. A friend told Sinclair that he went back to Mississippi, that it was time for his son to go to school and that he didn’t want to be with her.
Heartbroken, Sinclair would move in with her parents. In August of 1969 she gave birth to her daughter, who she named Simone. She wrote Vail an angry letter, and 2 months later he showed up on her doorstep. She told him to leave, and that she never wanted to see him again. She never did.
Sharon Hensley was born on December 20th, 1948. Growing up in the state capital of Bismarck, North Dakota, she dated football players and belonged to the high school’s 'Demonettes', an award-winning dance team founded by a former Rockette. https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT-drYY1YZjqadja6gpHI_j8-zHNTiww7XDLwZ3pq-m&s (A photo of Sharon Hensley.)
She graduated in 1966, and attended Bismarck Junior College, where she took classes in dance and acting, performing in a play with her older brother, Frank.
In 1967, aged 19, Sharon discovered she was pregnant. Wanting to escape her hometown, she followed her brother Frank and other classmates to San Francisco. After arriving, she stayed in a home for single mothers, where she gave birth to a girl she named “Cherry” after the popular Neil Diamond song. She told friends she wanted to keep the child but was unable to. Two years after leaving for California, Sharon was in jail and her mother, Peggy, headed there with a $5,000 cashier’s check to bail her out. When she returned, Sharon wasn’t with her.
“She said she had lost her daughter,” her younger brother Brian would later say. “She cried almost every night. She was never the same after that.” MEETING VAIL
While house-sitting in a high-rise apartment, Vail would meet his future girlfriend, Sharon. She was 20, and attractive, having even modeled in her teens. They became friends, and then started a relationship despite the 10-year age gap.
While hitchhiking across California, Vail would confess to Hensley that he had killed Mary, something his son Bill overheard. Because of this, Bill would later go to the police to report his own father for murder. The police at first didn’t believe Bill, but after camping out on the front steps, one detective listened. He told the detective that he was hungry, tired of using the drugs his father gave him, that he wanted to go back to school, live like other kids, and that he had overheard his father admit to killing his mother.
At a beach along the Merced River, police found his father and Hensley, carrying a bag of LSD capsules. Police charged the couple with LSD possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Vail received a six-month jail sentence, plus three years’ probation, after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of LSD possession.
California police shared their information with Louisiana authorities. Once again, the district attorney in Lake Charles once again passed on prosecuting Vail for murder. Another fatal mistake.
Bill returned to Mississippi to live with his grandparents, who then gained full custody. On January 23rd, 1971, Vail and Sharon showed up in the driveway. Bill thought Vail was there to kill him, and his grandmother had to reassure him that he was safe.
The father and son eventually sat down and had a talk. Vail told Bill that he didn’t blame him for the time he spent in prison, but instead blamed Sharon, which the young boy found strange because “she had nothing to do with it.”
The family wondered how the couple could even legally be in Mississippi if they were supposed to be on probation in California. They couldn’t. After a visit from the Sheriff, the 2 were smuggled out of town and given enough money to get back to the West Coast.
In the Summer of 1972, the couple appeared unannounced at Sharon’s childhood home in Bismarck. The more the family saw of the couple, the more horrified they became. Sharon wore a mini skirt with no panties and had armpit hair and leg hair "like a man." She had been losing weight and losing clumps of hair.
Her younger brother Brian said it felt like his sister had been brainwashed. If someone asked her a question, “either Felix would answer the question for her, or she would look at Felix while she was giving the answer.”
The couple left then North Dakota and traveled to Mississippi, where they stayed with Vail’s family. On the dairy farm the family owned, they helped paint the home. The couple also sunbathed in the nude, drawing the ire of neighbors.
Peggy Hensley received a telephone call from Sharon, who said she and Vail were heading to New Orleans and then to Miami to make pornographic films. She believed it was a cry for help as “what daughter tells her mother she’s going to do a porno?” Sharon’s parents wanted to travel down to get their daughter back but couldn’t. (The 2 did end up shooting pornographic scenes together, but I won’t get into any of that.)
In early 1973, Sharon called and talked of traveling to South America with Vail, where they would eat natural foods and write a book. It was the last conversation the family would ever have with her. Soon after, she would send her final letter. It contained a photo of her holding a pen, captioned “making travel notes.” It was the last picture ever taken of Sharon Hensley. https://www.clarionledger.com/gcdn/-mm-/94195697544ea2e63b0b95e33a6de88a8b4f1e2b/c=0-50-399-276/local/-/media/2016/12/28/JacksonMS/JacksonMS/636185487179588030-Sharon-Hensley.jpg?width=399&height=226&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp (The last photo ever taken of Sharon.) THE DISAPPEARANCE
In March of 1974, Peggy received a letter from Vail, claiming he was in West Florida. He wrote that he last saw Sharon about a year before in Key West, with an Australian couple that was traveling around the world. All he recalled was the first names of the couple (John and Vanessa), who were talking with Sharon about “island hopping around South America, the West Indies, --- Hawaii for a while, maybe a couple of years in the Philippines, then India, Egypt and the Mediterranean islands and coasts. I don’t know which of these (if any) they decided on or in what order.” Peggy didn't believe a word of it.
In the fall of 1975, Vail’s mother wrote to the Hensley family, saying that her son was surprised the family hadn’t heard from Sharon during that time. Interestingly, Vail told his mother the names of the couple that Sharon left with were Frank and Sally, different names than he had given a year earlier. Vail explained to his mother that before Sharon left, she had burned all her identification cards, got new IDs, and declared that she would become a completely different person.
Bill recalled his father mentioning Sharon. “He said she would never bother anyone ever again.” The words upset Bill, who believed his father had just confessed to another murder. “There was not a soul I could tell about it because I had had my experience in court when I was 8, no one would believe me. It would be my word against his, and no one would believe a 13-year-old.”
SHARON CAMPBELL: I want to talk about this relationship because of the egregious age difference. For reference, Campbell is only 4 years older than Vail’s son.
While riding a bus to north Mississippi in 1975, Vail sat next to 17-year-old Sharon Campbell. Despite being literally twice her age, he commented on how fit she looked, saying "he needed someone like her to keep him fit." In spite of this, she felt flattered and shared her telephone number with him. Not long after she got home, Vail appeared in a yellow Volkswagen bug.
Vail said he wanted Campbell to travel with him, and she told him the only way her parents would allow it was if they got married.
On July 24, 1975, they did, honeymooning in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
In court years later, she would tell prosecutors that they never consummated the marriage because “he was unable to obtain an erection.” (This isn’t relevant, I just wanted to include it out of spite because fuck this guy.)
Several weeks later, she went with Vail to visit his relatives in Louisiana. There, she said a niece told her, “You probably need to know that he killed his first wife --- they arrested him. We all believed that he did it, he drowned her out of a boat.”
Campbell didn't believe them, telling herself that he would be in prison if he was a murderer. But as the months passed by, she concluded that he “had no value in the female gender,” and that “he hated women.”
She later traveled with Vail to his parents’ home in Montpelier. While there, he was outdoors working on the Volkswagen and Campbell walked closer without him noticing. He opened a compartment, and she said she saw “sinister, surgical looking saws of all shapes and sizes in a neat formation.” To her, the sight screamed evil. “It scared me. I said, ‘I’m not going anywhere with you.’” She left, annulled the marriage, and never looked back. It was likely the best decision she ever made.
After the divorce he would marry a woman named Carolyn in 1977. The relationship would end after he cheated on her with a woman named Alexandra Christianson during a double date. When Carolyn called Vail’s mother and asked her if the behavior surprised her, she simply replied “no.”
After being served the divorce papers, Vail smashed his car into her MGB Sports Car. A month later he would call her saying “I love you.” She did not reciprocate. She would later describe Vail as “mentally deranged.”
Alexandra is the woman Vail cheated on Carolyn with. She eventually got married to him in Mexico after he officially divorced Carolyn. Not long after their marriage, she heard that Vail was cheating on her.
After a motorcycle accident, he came to rest up at her condo in Costa Mesa, where she confronted him about the cheating. He reportedly got agitated and said, “you know my first wife died.” When she replied saying he’d told her she drowned, Vail shot back “I could have saved her, but I chose not to.”
After telling him to leave, she went to have a shower. While in the shower, Vail attacked her, wrapping his hands around her neck. Hearing her screams, Alexandra’s young brother came in, grabbing Vail and forcing him to the ground. Vail then left.
Soon after this, she found out she was pregnant. The child was still-born, and Alexandra was heart-broken. She would later lead important investigators to witnesses that were used in Vail's eventual trial.
In part 2, I will cover Vail's final victim Annette Craver, and the lengths her mother went to to finally secure justice.
Here is Part 2: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/143riqi/felix_vail_the_pedophile_serial_killer_caught/ MY SOURCES: https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/8284?nav https://charleyproject.org/case/annette-michelle-craver-vail https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/felixvailgone/2016/12/29/felix-vail-gone-one-wife-dead-two-other-missing-jerry-mitchell/95895894/ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5796622/mary-elizabeth-vail https://charleyproject.org/case/sharon-hensley https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/20525?nav
I have a lot to say so I'm just throwing it in one post, it's pretty long so I separated it into labelled parts. Feel free to only read what interests you.
I started reading Nagatoro in late middle school (Definitely too young, but it was during my first big anime phase). I found the series through memes on Ifunny and when I first started reading there were only a couple of chapters. Even though I found the character of Nagatoro annoying at first I quickly grew attached to the series and while I've moved away from anime I still read the manga regularly.
In fact, Nagatoro is the only manga I've ever read just because there wasn't an anime at the time. I really enjoy the characters, the art style (even if it's not that advanced), and the writing a lot, it was enough to keep me coming back.
How I enjoy the series: I absolutely love the story, but I can't stand waiting so I read up to the latest chapter, then I forget about the series and wait until I remember it exists and I'll come back to read 5-10 at a time. (I haven't joined this sub until now because it reminds me too often.)
Reading it in separate parts works really well because I don't have to wait forever just to get a short 10-page chapter. I've def. seen a lot of fans starting to hate the series because it feels like it's dragging on forever, but personally, I really love to come back to the series for the sense of familiarity. If you find yourself annoyed by the pacing (especially since there is a new chapter today) consider taking a break from the series to come back to it.
Thoughts on the manga:
I don't really get the idea that the series is "being milked" rather it just seems this way because the story is covering such short time periods. It has only been a little over one year in the story after all. Most of the chapters are single days and it takes time for relationships to grow. (That being said they do move a little faster IRL). While I def. want the series to end eventually I don't mind it going on for quite a bit longer because I like it so much that I'm going to be bummed when it ends. (That being said I don't want it to go on forever and end up unfinished.)
I've been reading Nagatoro all online for the last few years, but once the series ends I want to buy all of the chapters. I'm not really fond of the use of fanservice throughout the manga but I can't really blame Nanashi with his industry background. When I first started reading I was peak puberty so it was mostly what I read the manga for but it has reached the point now that I just find it too NSFW. It feels kind of weird seeing high schoolers half naked in every chapter even though I was a high schooler the majority of the time I've been reading. I wish the series was more SFW so I could own it all without being judged, or share it with others, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
I haven't watched the anime yet because I know that it's going to be weird going back to the old character dynamics after having read these characters for years. I've slowly developed Naoto and Nagatoro's relationship for years and It's strange going back. I've reread the first few chapters and they blew me away how far the series has come. Once the anime is fully completed (if ever) I will probably watch it.
Also, I've heard from manga fans that it isn't the best but I'm not one to pre-judge things too harshly.
My own relationship:
This is just something that I noticed and have talked about with my girlfriend before that I thought I would add. When I started reading Nagatoro I never dated anyone before which lasted up until I was a junior in High school. I met my first girlfriend, who was a grade below me, and we've been dating ever since.
Now you might have already noticed the similarity to the series, here are all of them:
\We have the same grade gap as the manga, even the same starting grades.*
\She is shorter than me, tan skin, with long black hair.*
\I am taller than her, white skin, and when we first met each other I wore glasses and now I no longer do.*
\I was going to become a professional artist for years and only changed it my last year of high school for a better-paying career path, however, I still draw and paint regularly (I've drawn nude models a lot before too)*
\She is much more active than I am and is in swimming*
\We had/have the same problem of me graduating from HS and her staying there and us being separated.*
\She is much more social than I am while I'm more reserved*
\I say things often to embarrass her and to make myself look stupid which usually results in her hitting or teasing me, (Not abusive, just playfully, don't turn this into a therapy post).*
\She acts like the tough one but alone I know how to soften her up*
These are the main ones. There are many smaller similarities I could go into, but many of those are just from the nature of the manga depicting a decently accurate relationship, so similarities will arise. Many of you guys will probably be able to find the same similarities.
There are also many parts of us that are different, she isn't into judo, her skin is naturally tan, and we started dating after only a month, plus she wasn't like Nagatoro at the beginning of the manga at all. I didn't start dating her because I was looking for a girl like that either, at the time I hadn't read the manga for half a year and I didn't notice the similarities until we were dating for a few months. After I did find out though I did find it rather odd hence why I added this section.
I didn't really cover much of the content of the manga itself, but it goes without saying that I love it a lot. I really, really love this series and It makes me glad that it has gained such a following. This manga has grown along with me and I'm thankful I can return to it every few months. I am kind of sad that I am growing up faster than the manga is being produced. When I started reading the characters were my seniors, I grew into their equals with similar experiences and problems, and now I'm older and have already experienced what the manga is building up to. Hopefully, I can still find enjoyment in the manga when I get even older. Here's to hoping that it will have a great ending that everyone can enjoy.
Thank you Nanashi for creating my favorite series and something that you hopefully enjoy creating.
(P.S. I might post some fan art at some point if I ever took the time to practice the anime-style, I'm Western classically trained so it might be a bit. I've also considered making a fully sfw edited version of the series but that is also rather ambitious).
Read the "My own relationship" part, it was going to be a post by itself. or "Wrap up", idk have a good day, cheers. :)