Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
saoirse

S31.E33: Missing Marsha

Recommended Posts

Quote

When a woman vanishes and misses a hair appointment, her hairdresser becomes the driving force to find out -- did she leave her husband or is she dead? "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant investigates.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Watched this and was surprised the case was dropped again. Also surprised no one has started this thread.

I think he is guilty and had the luck of no one looking into this case for a month.  Just sad no one really noticed her gone. Sad on so many levels.

The daughter was a bitch.

Edited by applecrisp
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post

He is so strange.  I also was sad that nobody noticed her missing and it was her hairdresser that called police.  Can you imagine nobody noticing you gone for over a month or more.

Lots of thoughts racing through my head after watching that program.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Donnie reminded me of Cal Harris.  He was somehow able to get rid of Marsha's body.  I think he did it, but I don't think the state can prove it.

The prosecutor seemed very wise.  I hope sharing the evidence pays off.  He only gets one shot at Donnie, and it's brilliant that he used 48 Hours as a way to publicize the case and hopefully get some tips.

I loved the hairdresser.  Donnie's deposition bugged me.  The Fifth Amendment is about self-incrimination.  Hearing him tke the Fifth over and over again was like him using a giant megaphone to say, "I did it. Come get me."  Weasel.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

This episode was so infuriating!! There have certainly been people convicted of murder with less circumstantial evidence! Just off the top of my head:

Marsha supposedly left but took absolutely nothing with her. No clothes. No personal effects. Not even her friggin' car! 

Marsha did not take her three dogs, her furbabies. 

Marsha supposedly willingly left the home that her beloved parents, her closest family, had built for her. It would have a lot of sentimental value. If Marsha wanted to clear her head, why would she not kick her freeloading husband out of HER home? 

Donnie kept changing his story of where Marsha went when she left.

Donnie said that Marsha took her cell phone (odd, since she didn't take anything else) but he still had it. 

The things he bought right around her "disappearance" which would help get rid of a body.

The card to the ex girlfriend saying his life just got a lot better. 

Donnie failed a lie detector test. 

Donnie either said he didn't remember, or took the 5th on it seems pretty much every question asked him in his 2013 deposition. At times it seemed like he was pausing to decide which of the two answers he was going to give. 

I am sure there are things I am forgetting. I am not sure how much of the circumstantial evidence might not be admissible in court, but geez. 

Those on Donnie's side kept pointing towards suicide, but where is the body? She couldn't have gone far without a car, and one would think if she called a taxi, or whatever there would be records of it.

I assume her bank accounts have been checked and have shown that she has not used her accounts since she disappeared? If she left of her own accord, what is she living on? 

I really hope that the fact that the trial was cancelled only a couple of days before it was to begin means the prosecutor just needs a couple of more pieces of evidence to take it to trial. I would love to wipe that smug grin off Donnie's daughter's face.

Oh, and if I were the cops I would also be looking into the deaths of Marsha's parents so soon after she and Donnie married. I know they said her mother had been sick for years, but it still sounded sudden. And her father died a month after her mother? Since Marsha got a big inheritance which Donnie seemed to help himself to via a failed business attempt, I'd be taking a closer look at his inlaws' deaths. 

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, UsernameFatigue said:

I assume her bank accounts have been checked and have shown that she has not used her accounts since she disappeared? If she left of her own accord, what is she living on? 

They mentioned that a large sum of money had been taken out before she left.  Now, I don't believe she took that money, but that's part of the defense.

 

8 hours ago, UsernameFatigue said:

Oh, and if I were the cops I would also be looking into the deaths of Marsha's parents so soon after she and Donnie married. I know they said her mother had been sick for years, but it still sounded sudden. And her father died a month after her mother? Since Marsha got a big inheritance which Donnie seemed to help himself to via a failed business attempt, I'd be taking a closer look at his inlaws' deaths. 

I thought the same thing!  Very convenient for him, but it might just be a coincidence. 

How did this guy support himself and his (then-teen) daughter before he got his hooks into Marsha?

The defense attorney pointing to Marsha's entry in NamUs as proof she's not dead is absurd.  There are people who are believed to be dead in boat accidents and plane crashes who are listed.  People from years ago who must be dead by now.  But if there is no body, you are a missing person.  Otherwise, how will they be able to connect a name to unidentified remains? 

And what's up with that disgraced pharmacist?

It's scary to know that if you've ever admitted to being depressed, people are more than willing to believe that you just wandered off to die or start a new life.

Edited by Josette
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Heh, sounds like I'm squarely in the minority on this one, but I really didn't see what solid evidence there was against the husband.  Or at the very least, I didn't see much evidence against him that would have held up for a jury to convict him.  I was glad they decided to drop the charges and not go forward with the case.

Marsha isn't exactly socially connected.  It takes 6 weeks for anybody to even seem all that concerned that she's missing, and even then it's just because she hadn't made a hair appointment.  So it's not like it's out of the realm of possibility that she might have decided to leave on her own.  And the best evidence they have in the case file against her husband is some receipts for a drop cloth and some gorilla tape?  For somebody who had a home repair business and probably saved that receipt for those 6 weeks so he could expense it?  

I'm not saying it's impossible that he did something horrible to Marsha, but aside from the one documented lie about the cell phone, there's not too much there really.  So it's one of those frustrating cases where "I think there's a good chance you did it" isn't enough for the law to actually impose punishment.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

This one made me so angry - that piece of shit weasel has gotten away with murder, and the sad thing is that this is more common than you'd think.  Over a period of about 30 years, I've had more than one conversation with police investigators (social contacts) where they've said that in many officially "unsolved" cases, they know who did it but don't have enough evidence to bring the person to trial.  In cases where there is no body, it's even more difficult.    It's just really sad that the woman in this case seemed to be so socially isolated that nobody really paid attention to her being missing until the hairdresser thought about her.  

You have to really hope that if there is no justice in this plane of existence, there will be in the next...

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
52 minutes ago, 12catcrazy said:

This one made me so angry - that piece of shit weasel has gotten away with murder, and the sad thing is that this is more common than you'd think.  Over a period of about 30 years, I've had more than one conversation with police investigators (social contacts) where they've said that in many officially "unsolved" cases, they know who did it but don't have enough evidence to bring the person to trial.  In cases where there is no body, it's even more difficult.    It's just really sad that the woman in this case seemed to be so socially isolated that nobody really paid attention to her being missing until the hairdresser thought about her.  

You have to really hope that if there is no justice in this plane of existence, there will be in the next...

I agree. Also, he mentioned the attic money so it'd look like she had means to take off on her own without touching her accounts, that presumably he cant get into or he'd already have. LYing about her cell phone is a huge flag. Well, you guys said it above in the posts. All the "taking the fifth" well... it was infuriating. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Ditto what everyone said above (about the oily, nerdy weasel being guilty) but I noticed that his Barbizon Model Daughter sure didn't display the nonverbals of someone who honestly believes her father is completely innocent.

Looking at her I suspect she knows a hell of a lot more than what she said on camera.

If I was LE, I'd go after her.   She might at sometime realize the truth will set her free.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

There is a very interesting Facebook site started by Marsha's family called "MISSING - Marsha Rader Brantley". The cousin interviewed on the show was one of her cousins who started it years ago, and I looked back as far as 2012 at posts. Many of the links no longer work unfortunately, but her family has certainly been pursuing justice for Marsha for years. 

The family refutes Donnie's claim of the money Marsha had supposedly been hiding in the attic. Of course there is only Donnie's word for this. Her cousin doesn't believe Marsha had any money put away, but if she did she had a perfectly good safe in her bedroom so why hide it in the attic. And of course (my thoughts) if she had planned that well to leave why would she not take anything with her including clothes, dogs, car, etc. 

Donnie told the FBI that Marsha didn't have any family. (I guess as an answer to the question of why he didn't tell them she was missing/left). But she had lots of family, just not living right in the same town/area. 

The family brought a civil suit against Donnie in 2015 for wrongful death. They wanted to make sure he could not get his hands on any of her assets. Rather than testify at the trial, at the first of it Donnie relinquished her assets and the judge declared Marsha dead. 

There was several references to a trailer but the links did not work. But it appears that Donnie and Marsha went on a camping trip at the end of May which is the last time she was seen or heard from (by anyone other than Donnie of course). Then the trailer disappeared. (I think Donnie in one of his stories alluded to Marsha taking the trailer when she left?). In any case Donnie was brought up on charges of hindering a secured creditor with regards to the missing camper. (Not sure if this was related to his having declared bankruptcy apparently a month before Marsha went missing). In any case the trailer was later found hidden on his mother's property. 

With regards to the sales receipt for the things Donnie bought that could have been used to bury Marsha - his business had already failed by this time. And if it was a business expense it should have been in the company's name, not his. Hopefully the police checked to see if he even had any handyman jobs at this time. His lawyer said that the tarp was light in colour so would not have been used for Marsha (?) but it had to be pointed out to them that when a body is buried it doesn't matter what colour the tarp is. 

One other thing - Donnie was able to post $25,000 in bail money the second time he was arrested, but he wanted to taxpayers to pay for his defense lawyer. What a chump. In addition to being a murderer. 

Edited by UsernameFatigue
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Oh man, this case drives me nuts, I was so mad. And, that daughter! My Lord it looks like she spent every bit of the dead woman's money on botox and lip filler for her "close ups". Yeah, I wanted to slap that ugly smile off her face as well.  If anybody every killed their wife, it was this jerk. Somebody do something and soon to help that poor wife's family. I hated this episode.
 


 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, atlantaloves said:

Oh man, this case drives me nuts, I was so mad. And, that daughter! My Lord it looks like she spent every bit of the dead woman's money on botox and lip filler for her "close ups". Yeah, I wanted to slap that ugly smile off her face as well.  If anybody every killed their wife, it was this jerk. Somebody do something and soon to help that poor wife's family. I hated this episode.
 


 

In the Facebook page there were a few mentions of Donnie's daughter. Apparently she was always hitting Marsha up for money, and Marsha finally got sick of it and cut her off. No doubt one of the reasons she appeared to have no love for her step mother.  And like others, I think she absolutely knows her father killed Marsha. 

Edited by UsernameFatigue
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, 12catcrazy said:

This one made me so angry - that piece of shit weasel has gotten away with murder, and the sad thing is that this is more common than you'd think.  Over a period of about 30 years, I've had more than one conversation with police investigators (social contacts) where they've said that in many officially "unsolved" cases, they know who did it but don't have enough evidence to bring the person to trial.  In cases where there is no body, it's even more difficult.    It's just really sad that the woman in this case seemed to be so socially isolated that nobody really paid attention to her being missing until the hairdresser thought about her.  

You have to really hope that if there is no justice in this plane of existence, there will be in the next...

So true. Just glad that there are a lot of people who loved her and are sticking by her. Makes me feel much better.

I think Peter van Zandt was surprised by the DA's decision to stop the trial. I liked that he drove over to tell the hairdresser. It was a very human thing to do. Nice to see.

Also impressed the neighbor confronted Donnie and shared her suspicions with her.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I see this so much.

Successful, talented women who feel their lives aren't complete unless they have some man attached to their arm.

Marsha appeared to be (and I say appeared because I've never met her) severely depressed even before she was diagnosed as severely depressed.  Making huge life decisions (marrying the skunk, forking over a large wad of cash for his "handyman" business) and probably not fully experiencing her grief over the death of her parents helped with the downward spiral.  She needed to get through the grief and have a life plan that would have helped her much more than marrying the idiot.

I'm sorry there wasn't someone to help her.  Her family and friends (probably not wanting to pry into her personal life) could have perhaps made a  difference.  I don't blame them at all - I know they love her.  I just hope they get the answers they need and deserve.

And speaking of deserving....oily boy....I hope you get what you deserve.  Several times over.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not defending Donnie, but he is an excellent example of how to avoid prosecution/conviction by hiring an attorney and keeping your mouth closed. How many times have we seen both the innocent and the guilty wind up in jail because they talked to LE without an attorney? LE can't poke holes in your story if you don't give them one. Donnie's biggest mistake was to lie about the cell phone.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, UsernameFatigue said:

I really hope that the fact that the trial was cancelled only a couple of days before it was to begin means the prosecutor just needs a couple of more pieces of evidence to take it to trial. I would love to wipe that smug grin off Donnie's daughter's face.

I have a lot of respect for the prosecutor.  It was probably extraordinarily difficult for him to drop the charges, but he's playing the long game here.  I hope it works, but I think he's very on the ball to realize how to use 48 Hours to his advantage knowing that they would be reporting about anything that occurred.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the prosecutor waited to drop the charges and did it when 48 Hours showed up.  I hope his office gets tips because I sooo don't want Donnie to get away with murder like I believe Cal Harris did.

5 hours ago, PsychoKlown said:

Ditto what everyone said above (about the oily, nerdy weasel being guilty) but I noticed that his Barbizon Model Daughter sure didn't display the nonverbals of someone who honestly believes her father is completely innocent.

Looking at her I suspect she knows a hell of a lot more than what she said on camera.

If I was LE, I'd go after her.   She might at sometime realize the truth will set her free.

Yeah, something's "off" about the daughter.  Could she have helped her father make Marsha's body disappear?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Another thing pointing to his guilt was that card he gave to his mistress the day after Marsha disappeared that said something like his problems were better now.

Edited by partofme
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, partofme said:

Another thing pointing to his guilt was that card he gave to his mistress the day after Marsha disappeared that said something like his problems were better now.

Do you think she knows anything?? Would like to see her interviewed by police.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
21 hours ago, UsernameFatigue said:

There is a very interesting Facebook site started by Marsha's family called "MISSING - Marsha Rader Brantley". The cousin interviewed on the show was one of her cousins who started it years ago, and I looked back as far as 2012 at posts. Many of the links no longer work unfortunately, but her family has certainly been pursuing justice for Marsha for years. 

The family refutes Donnie's claim of the money Marsha had supposedly been hiding in the attic. Of course there is only Donnie's word for this. Her cousin doesn't believe Marsha had any money put away, but if she did she had a perfectly good safe in her bedroom so why hide it in the attic. And of course (my thoughts) if she had planned that well to leave why would she not take anything with her including clothes, dogs, car, etc. 

Donnie told the FBI that Marsha didn't have any family. (I guess as an answer to the question of why he didn't tell them she was missing/left). But she had lots of family, just not living right in the same town/area. 

The family brought a civil suit against Donnie in 2015 for wrongful death. They wanted to make sure he could not get his hands on any of her assets. Rather than testify at the trial, at the first of it Donnie relinquished her assets and the judge declared Marsha dead. 

There was several references to a trailer but the links did not work. But it appears that Donnie and Marsha went on a camping trip at the end of May which is the last time she was seen or heard from (by anyone other than Donnie of course). Then the trailer disappeared. (I think Donnie in one of his stories alluded to Marsha taking the trailer when she left?). In any case Donnie was brought up on charges of hindering a secured creditor with regards to the missing camper. (Not sure if this was related to his having declared bankruptcy apparently a month before Marsha went missing). In any case the trailer was later found hidden on his mother's property. 

With regards to the sales receipt for the things Donnie bought that could have been used to bury Marsha - his business had already failed by this time. And if it was a business expense it should have been in the company's name, not his. Hopefully the police checked to see if he even had any handyman jobs at this time. His lawyer said that the tarp was light in colour so would not have been used for Marsha (?) but it had to be pointed out to them that when a body is buried it doesn't matter what colour the tarp is. 

One other thing - Donnie was able to post $25,000 in bail money the second time he was arrested, but he wanted to taxpayers to pay for his defense lawyer. What a chump. In addition to being a murderer. 

Yes what a frustrating case. 

To your last point and I may have missed this on the show. I am from Chattanooga 20 miles from Cleveland) and his attorney is pretty much a bad ass criminal defense attorney ($$) . So did he want us to pay those fees or were you referencing a public defender?  Piece of shit either way. 

Ever wonder if people like the daughter watch these shows and go “oh my, that’s how I came off?” Or did she just high five internally saying her hair was on point. Because wow- it would be hard to come off so unlikeable if you tried!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The daughter seemed smug and smirky; and I think she knows he's guilty, but probably wants some of dad's um.... marsha's money and property. If he's guilty, he wont get it, will he?

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, KnoxForPres said:

Yes what a frustrating case. 

To your last point and I may have missed this on the show. I am from Chattanooga 20 miles from Cleveland) and his attorney is pretty much a bad ass criminal defense attorney ($$) . So did he want us to pay those fees or were you referencing a public defender?  Piece of shit either way. 

Ever wonder if people like the daughter watch these shows and go “oh my, that’s how I came off?” Or did she just high five internally saying her hair was on point. Because wow- it would be hard to come off so unlikeable if you tried!

I am assuming he wanted taxpayers to pay for a public defender because he couldn't pick a lawyer and expect taxpayers to pay, could he? (Though he does seem arrogant enough that he might try). I wonder how he came up with the money to pay the bad ass defense attorney? He seems like a loser - how is he even supporting himself now I wonder? 

The daughter appears to be as delusional and self absorbed as her father. I am sure she thought she came off well. I wonder what she looks like without the makeup gun set to clown? It certainly did her no favours. Well that, and her personality. 

6 minutes ago, ari333 said:

The daughter seemed smug and smirky; and I think she knows he's guilty, but probably wants some of dad's um.... marsha's money and property. If he's guilty, he wont get it, will he?

Marsha's family sued Donnie in civil court for wrongful death, in order to keep Marsha's assets out of his hands. Rather than testifying, on the first day of the trial he gave up rights to her assets and the judge declared her dead. This happened in 2015. I assume when they filed the suit possibly at that time he had to vacate her house until the it was settled, as it was a couple of years before the suit was settled that it showed her cousins going into Marsha's home, and seeing the state Donnie and the daughter left the home in. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/8/2018 at 9:29 PM, UsernameFatigue said:

Oh, and if I were the cops I would also be looking into the deaths of Marsha's parents so soon after she and Donnie married. I know they said her mother had been sick for years, but it still sounded sudden.

Well, it turns out both parents died of cancer within weeks of each other, so it looks like Donne was just "lucky" with that.

Article

Extra clip from 48 Hrs

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/10/2018 at 2:20 PM, UsernameFatigue said:

I wonder how he came up with the money to pay the bad ass defense attorney?

I'm going with the cash that Marsha kept in the house that she supposedly took with her.  I bet it "disappeared" all right....to pay the high-priced attorney.

Quote

Well, it turns out both parents died of cancer within weeks of each other, so it looks like Donne was just "lucky" with that.

I just watched the video clip that you posted where the prosecutor talked about the planner.  From what I remember, Marsha disappeared in early June.  There were notations in her planner through June and into July.  If I were on a jury, that would get my attention.

Edited by Ohmo

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×