The Unsolved Disappearance Of Brian Shaffer (2006) - Shreya Sachdev
DISCLAIMER: No disrespect is intended towards anyone that I talk about on this blog post. This blog post is for educational purposes and is being posted on this website in order to raise awareness about this case and to truly hope that the grieving families and friends of these victims find closure and finally find out what happened to their loved one(s). I have gathered all this information on the internet, but unfortunately I do not know how accurate or inaccurate it is. If I have made a mistake somewhere, then I apologize. It is not my intention to spread false information.
Brian Shaffer disappeared on the 1st of April in 2006 from Columbus, Ohio. At the time of his disappearance, Brian was a second year medical student at Ohio State University. Brian's mother had passed away from cancer three weeks prior to his disappearance and on Monday the 3rd of April, two days after his disappearance, he had plans to go on a trip with his girlfriend, Alexis, to Miami which many of his friends and family thought was where he was going to propose to her.
On Friday the 31st of March, Brian and his father, Randy, went out for dinner to celebrate and then at 9:00pm Brian went to the Ugly Tuna Saloon which is a seafood restaurant/bar with his friend William Clint Florence. They were both going to celebrate the start of spring break and go bar hopping together. They went to a couple of bars that night and according to William, at each bar that they went to, they did a shot of liquor and were quite drunk by the end of the night. In the early morning hours of April the 1st, William's friend, Meredith, picked them up from whichever bar they were at and then dropped them back at the Ugly Tuna Saloon. After Meredith dropped them off, Meredith decided to join them at the bar and sat with Brian and William at the Ugly Tuna Saloon. Later on, William and Meredith ended up losing track of Brian and had no idea where he was. They tried calling his cellphone multiple times but they received no answer back from him.
At 2:00am, the bar ended up closing and so William and Meredith were forced to exit the bar. They still hadn't found Brian but assumed that he had gone back to his apartment and hadn't told them for some reason. In the late morning hours of April the 1st, Randy and Alexis became extremely worried about where Brian was and called his cellphone many times but received no answer. On April 2nd, when Brian and Alexis were meant to fly to Miami together, Brian didn't show up and this was when Alexis called Columbus Police.
When police investigated the case, they began to look into the security cameras of the Ugly Tuna Saloon. The place they were at had a high crime rate and so there were many security cameras in the area. When police looked through the footage, they saw that at 1:15am, Brian, Meredith, and William all entered the bar and then at 1:55am, Brian was seen talking to two girls outside the bar but then entered the bar. William and Meredith are seen exiting the bar but Brian is not seen exiting the bar at all. Police say that it is possible that Brian left on his own and put a hat and a jacket on so that nobody would see him leaving the bar. Police also theorize that it is possible that one of the security cameras missed him since they panned it. Investigators also looked through other security footage around the area from every single bar that they went to but did not see any footage of Brian.
1. The first theory is that Brian chose to leave on his own will. It is possible that he got cold feet since he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend in Miami or he was just extremely sad about his mother's death. Again, it's possible that he dressed himself up so that the security footage didn't see him and then left on his own or went out the back. However, if he did leave, there is no security footage of him in the area.
2. The second theory is that Brian is still alive and that his friend William knows where he is or is somehow involved in Brian's disappearance. William was an extremely sketchy guy in the first place: He was the only person who didn't agree to do a polygraph test despite being asked multiple times. Meredith, Randy, and Alexis all did a polygraph and passed but William continuously refused to do the test. Brian's brother, Derek, also believes that William is somehow involved in Brian's disappearance and Alexis believes the same. Other than that, there is no real evidence to suggest that William is involved in Brian's disappearance aside from the fact that he kept on refusing to do a polygraph.
3. The third theory is that Brian was actually a victim to the "Smiley Face Murderer." This theory was developed because there were 45 incidents in midwestern states of college aged men all drowning from the late 1990s to the late 2000s. In each incident, all drownings took place after a man had left a bar or a pub and were intoxicated. All of the drownings were ruled accidental but the theory that was developed was that there was always a smiley face graffitied near all of the locations where the men drowned as well as consistencies to the damage of the bodies.
4. The fourth theory is that Brian is still inside the bar. There is no evidence to suggest this theory aside from the fact that Brian was never seen exiting the bar. Some people believe that Brian was killed inside the bar and whoever murdered him was able to dispose of the body inside the bar or they managed to get his body out through the garbage disposal.
Which theory do I believe?
This is a really complicated case due to the fact that there isn't a lot of evidence. I used to think that Brian left on his own will because he needed time to grieve for his mother's death and just get away for a little while. However, looking at the timings of the case I now believe that William was involved in Brian's disappearance. If Brian entered the bar at 1:55am and the bar closed at 2:00am, then how did William and Meredith not see him? I also don't understand how two people can lose track of the third person when they're all sitting at a bar together. Thus, I believe that William must've taken Brian outside the back door of the bar (since William and Brian aren't shown exiting the bar) and blackmailed him into disappearing or murdering him. However, this theory again is unlikely due to the fact that there was an intensive search for Brian's body and so I would think that Brian's body would have been found. I'm not 100% sure but I would definitely be leaning towards the theory that William was involved in Brian's disappearance.
Bibliography & Credit: Fiori, Bella, director. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BRIAN SHAFFER. YouTube, YouTube, 14 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cexcz0Ua6c.