Police Believe Florida Man May Have Killed 3 Women He Once Dated

‘He is the devil,’ says the daughter of one of suspect Cleveland Hall Jr.’s possible victims.

Cleveland Hall Jr., pictured here, is suspected of being responsible for the mysterious disappearances of three women he was in relationships with over the course of 15 years.

A Florida man is suspected of being responsible for the mysterious disappearances of three women he was in relationships with over the course of 15 years.

Photo by: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Florida man is suspected of being responsible for the mysterious disappearances of three women he was in relationships with over the course of 15 years.

On April 4, 1989, Donyelle Chrishum Johnson failed to show up for classes at her junior college in St. Petersburg. Her vehicle, a two-year-old Nissan Pulsar, was later located abandoned behind a fast-food restaurant in Largo, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

After 21-year-old Johnson disappeared, her family received a letter purportedly written by her that stated she had moved to Orlando in order to straighten out her life after she got involved with drugs, according to the publication.

Investigators learned that before Johnson went missing, she was involved with a man named Cleveland Hill Jr. According to news accounts, Johnson warned her father just days before she vanished that Hill “could make people disappear.”

Hill denied he had anything to do with Johnson going missing. He also denied he had anything to do with the cases of two other women romantically linked to him who also disappeared: Margaret Dash and Retha Hiers.

In 1974, Dash, a 38-year-old married mother, was trying to get out of an affair with Hill after he threatened to kill her. On June 14 of that year, she vanished while out buying medicine for a sick relative. Her vehicle was later found abandoned in St. Petersburg. Dash’s husband claimed to police that Hill had threatened his wife’s life if she didn’t run away with him, WFTS reported.

Hiers, 43, went missing while she was out getting laundry soap just days after Christmas 1982. Her vehicle was found at an apartment complex in Clearwater the following March. The married mother of seven has never been seen or heard from since her shopping trip.

Before Hill was romantically involved with the three women, he was in a tumultuous marriage with Betty Jean Hillmon. In February 1968, Hillmon filed for divorce and went to live with her parents.

A short time later, the Tampa Bay Times reported, Hill shot his mother-in-law multiple times and then shot his estranged wife in the head and mouth. Both survived.

Though Hill was charged with two counts of attempted-murder, he was only convicted of assault and placed on probation. He served just one year behind bars for his crimes when he was found in violation of his parole terms.

He was released in 1971.

According to the Charley Project, Hill returned to prison in 1992 after he was found guilty of drug-trafficking charges. He was released in 2008.

Hill reportedly died of prostate cancer in 2018 at age 70. He always maintained he had nothing to do with any of his former lovers’ disappearances, and police have never charged him with any crimes in connection with the cases.

Clearwater police Detective Joseph Ruhlin, however, told the Tampa Bay Times in 2022: “We knew he did it.”

Hiers’ daughter, Dana, has also alleged Hill “killed and disposed” of the missing women, the Tampa Bay Times reported. She said, “He is the devil.”

The missing persons cases involving Hiers, Dash, and Johnson remain unsolved. The women’s bodies have never been found.

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