Details of Disappearance Waggoner last spoke to his family on October 9, 1971 from Pasadena, Texas. He has never been heard from again. He apparently took with him only his wallet and a .9 millimeter pistol. His car, with the key in the ignition, was found parked in front of his apartment on Lafferty Street in Pasadena, and some clothes, Waggoner's suitcase, and a small amount of money were left inside his home.
A hunter located Waggoner's red Honda 350 motorcycle in the woods off U. S. Highway 59 in Cold Springs, Texas, seventy miles north of Houston, Texas, approximately two weeks after his initial disappearance. His helmet was sitting on top of it. There has been no trace of Waggoner since that time.
Waggoner's family believes he may have been accosted by James C. "Humpy" Parker, then the sheriff of San Jacinto County, Texas. James and two of his deputies went to prison for detaining and torturing young men they met on U.S. Highway 59 during the 1970s and early 1980s. In particular, they liked to target "hippies," African-American men, motorcyclists, and men with bumper stickers advertising rock stations.
They were caught in 1983 and each received a ten-year prison sentence. James and his son Gary, a reserve deputy with the department, also faced federal charges for arresting motorists on trumped-up charges to extort bail money from them.
James's crimes became the subject of a book and movie, Terror on Highway 59 by Steve Sellers. He and his accomplices have not been linked to Waggoner's case, however. James died in federal prison in 1999. Gary was eventually released, but he was charged with burglary and aggravated kidnapping in 2008.
Waggoner served four years in the United States Marines. He was unemployed at the time of his disappearance; he quit his last job several weeks before he went missing because it bored him. He was close to his parents, who lived nearby, and his sister, and his loved ones do not believe he would have left without warning. They also stated he was not depressed or suicidal in 1971.
Waggoner's parents are now deceased, but his sister is still searching for him. Authorities believe he may have been taken against his will.
- Pasadena Police Department
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 5, 2015; picture added.