Oliver Wendell Munson

Munson, circa 1984

  • Missing Since 02/13/1984
  • Missing From Catonsville, Maryland
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race Black
  • Age 39 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'10, 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Munson was last seen in Catonsville, Maryland on February 13, 1984. A neighbor saw him departing his residence at 7:50 a.m., presumably en route to Howard County, Maryland, where Munson was employed as an industrial arts teacher at Ellicot City Middle School. He never arrived at the school and has never been heard from again. His family reported him missing on February 14.

On February 16, Munson's 1980 Ford Pinto was found parked on Braeside Road in Catonsville, two blocks from his home. The right front tire was flat. Munson's touring cap, school notebook and lunchbag were inside the vehicle. There was no sign of him at the scene.

On February 27, two weeks after Munson's disappearance, two video store receipts bearing his name, traces of human blood, and a spent small-caliber shell casing were located in a blue 1973 Datsun 240Z vehicle parked at the edge of Leakin Park in West Baltimore, Maryland. The vehicle had been reported stolen the same day Munson vanished.

The blood in the car was typed as O-positive, but no one knows Munson's blood type and DNA technology wasn't available in 1984, and now the sample is too deteriorated to be tested, so it hasn't been confirmed that it was his blood.

Authorities believe Munson may have been murdered in retaliation for giving evidence against an automobile theft ring. He had unknowingly purchased a stolen vehicle from one of the thieves, Dennis L. Watson, the year before he disappeared. This was the same car that was found at Leakin Park. Munson was scheduled to testify against Watson on February 16, three days after he vanished.

Watson pleaded guilty to auto theft and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was paroled in 1989. In 1973, a man who was scheduled to testify against Watson in an armed robbery case was killed. Watson was charged with first-degree murder, but he was never brought to trial because one of the witnesses in the murder case died. Watson's current whereabouts are unknown. He was interviewed about Munson's disappearance, but maintained his innocence.

Munson graduated from the University of Maryland at East Shore. He was well-liked at Ellicot City Middle School and took his students bowling twice a week. He is one of six children and has a reclusive nature. He enjoyed working on old cars which he kept in his yard, and he frequently left town on the weekends to visit his mother and siblings on the eastern shore. He was declared legally dead in 1985; the judge ruled he was the victim of a presumptive homicide. No one has been charged in his disappearance; it remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Baltimore County Police Department 410-887-3943

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 20, 2013; height and weight added.