The Disappearance of Mary Louise Watkins

Pop Culture Crime
3 min readJul 19, 2019

Mary Louise Watkins is a missing woman from Modesto, California. Mary is reported as missing as of May 17, 1979. At the time of her disappearance, Mary was 5'2 and about 130 pounds. She is white with brown hair and hazel eyes. She had surgical scars on her lower torso.

Mary was born on April 20, 1925, making her 57 at the time she was reported missing. Today, she would be 94 years old. Before she disappeared, Mary was a nurse at Modesto City Hospital.

The Circumstances Around Mary Louise Watkins’s Disappearance

Mary is reported as seen by friends she lived with. She was packing her belongings into a vehicle, and had apparently told friends she was leaving town.

Apparently, Mary gave conflicting stories to her friends about where she was going. Some were under the impression she was moving to San Jose, about 90 miles way, and planned to invest money with a friend. She had sold her move and had $28,000 in cash as a result.

Apparently, her daughter had no plans for her mother to move in, and she was also seemingly unaware that Mary had sold the home.

Two days after Mary was last seen, her vehicle was discovered on the 600 block of Coffee Road, near what is now the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. Her belongings were not in her car.

A few days after the discover of Mary’s vehicle, Mary’s daughter received a letter seemingly written by Mary. The letter stated Mary intended marry. No additional news followed.

Similar Disappearances

Mary Louise Watkin’s disappearance is not dissimilar to several other cases in the area.

Hester Lee Chandler disappeared in 1974 from Modesto. She was 60 years old at the time, and on the September day she disappeared, she’d withdrawn $9,000 from the bank.

The disappearance of Jacqueline Cooper is also similar to that of Hester and Mary’s. Jacqueline disappeared on November 12, 1976, from Modesto. She was 27 at the time.

Patty Gay Hogue also disappeared in mysterious circumstances. She was 43 in August of 1978 when she was last seen. She is reported as attending a family reunion that June in South Dakota. There, she told her family that her husband of 27 years, James Toliver, had threatened her and members of her family if she attended the reunion. She wasn’t seen…

Pop Culture Crime

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