30 years later, a reporter continues to chronicle the disappearance of Springfield's 'Three Missing Women'
Thirty years ago, three Springfield women vanished. The mystery of what happened to Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter and Sherrill Levitt continues to haunt this community—including some people who weren't even born yet when the women disappeared. To learn more about this cold case, we reached out to longtime Ozarks journalist and writer Ron Davis, who recently covered this mystery in depth for the Springfield Daily Citizen.
Play the interview by clicking the “Listen” button above. Below is a lightly edited transcript.
KSMU: Your articles for the Springfield Daily Citizen were brilliantly written. Can you begin by refreshing our memories with a timeline of events pertinent to this case?
Davis: Sure. So it was June 6, 1992. Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall graduated from Kickapoo High School. They had parties with friends. They went back to Suzie Streeter’s mom's house at Delmar and Glenstone. That was early Sunday, June 7th, 1992—and that was the last anybody saw of any of the three women.
KSMU: What is your history related to this case as a reporter and as a member of the community?
Davis: I was working at the Springfield News-Leader at the time. The women vanished from 1717 East Delmar. I lived at 1525 East Delmar. I was one of their neighbors. I did not know them, but it was definitely a freaky thing. And walking into the newsroom on June 8th, that Monday, and having an editor say, ‘None of you will ever cover a story like this again, this will be the story of your life.’
KSMU: You report in your writing for the Springfield Daily Citizen that a whole new crop of amateur sleuths is following up on the case. Tell me more about that.
Davis: It included meeting a young man, and his name is Drew Stephens. He's 26. He wasn't even born when this occurred. And he heard a podcast and thought, ‘How is it that I don't know about three women who vanished from my hometown?’ Drew, who graduated from Kickapoo, said, ‘How is it that there is nothing at my high school that mentions Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall?’ And he thought, ‘That can't possibly be true. I have to do something.’
KSMU: So have these podcasters and researchers dug up anything helpful? Have they changed the conversation or at least kept it in the forefront?
Davis: It's really quite interesting. The number of people, especially on Facebook groups through a podcast, or other means of communication, they really want to solve it—not for the reward money, not for the fame. They just want to solve it because they believe that Springfield can't get past it and can't grow until it solves this crime, or until it figures out what happened to the three missing women.
KSMU: Based on your history with this case—in terms of writing about it and having been a neighbor—do you have any hope that it's going to be solved? Do you see any reason to hope that something new may come about this many years after the fact?
Davis: I can't believe it's been 30 years and we're actually discussing it. I figured a week, a couple of weeks, a year, five years, 10 years. And now at this point, I have to think, absent a confession from whoever did it, it's almost impossible to solve. And that's a heartbreaker.