Missing Persons

When the Music Stopped : John Spira

posted: 09/27/12
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Missing since February 23, 2007

It was going to be anything but a normal day for John Spira when he woke up on February 23, 2007. After eating the same breakfast he had for the past 20 years, at 9:00am Spira picked up the phone and was patched into a conference call with his lawyer, estranged wife and her lawyer to hammer out the final details of their divorce agreement. His marriage of 15 years had fallen apart after a slew of infidelities, and the mutual home they shared had now become a house divided. But it was no shock to family and friends the marriage had dissolved. The couple's relationship first started to show fracture signs almost 7 years earlier after Spira's stepdaughter was sent to prison for killing her boyfriend. Spira's marriage never recovered from the emotional strain.

After several hours of negotiations, Spira and his estranged wife had reached an agreement. Around 1:30pm Spira heads over to his business, a cable construction company, where he waits for the return of his Cadillac Escalade. He had been leasing the vehicle to an employee who defaulted on the payments. Around 4:00pm the vehicle was returned and Spira spent the rest of the afternoon with his business partner at their office. At 7:00pm Spira walked out the door while on his cell phone confirming plans for dinner at 8:30pm with a friend. That would be last time he was seen or heard from again.

After Spira is a no-show at dinner, his girlfriend becomes concerned and contacts police only to be told she cannot declare him missing. Only a family member or Spira's estranged wife could initiate a report. A missing persons report would not be filed until Sunday, a full 36 hours after he was last seen. Friends pressured Spira's wife to contact the authorities after he failed to show-up for a gig with his Blues band. Spira had been an avid guitarist, headlining concerts throughout Chicago. Missing a show was unheard of and a huge red flag to everyone in his life.

No matter how many directions family members pointed fingers detectives are unable to find clues to propel their investigation. There was barely any circumstantial, let alone concrete, evidence. In fact, the lack of evidence pointed detectives to look at an alternate theory. John Spira may have vanished on purpose.

After six months the John Spira case runs cold. No one has been charged with his disappearance or even named a person of interest. To revive interest in his case family members place a canvas banner across the street from Spira's business. Within 24 hours it is found destroyed, ripped to shreds. A replacement banner suffers the same fate. Within 24 hours of the second banner's destruction, Spira's business burns to the ground.

The investigation into the disappearance of John Spira remains an open case, although detectives are struggling for further clues. The investigation into the destructive blaze that destroyed Spira's business is also ongoing.

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