Gail Lorraine Joiner

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Above: Gail, circa 1972

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: September 22, 1972 from Thonotosassa, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: July 22, 1959
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'0, 100 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde/brown hair, brown eyes. Gail has a scar on her cheek. She has facial freckles.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: No shoes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Gail was last seen in her hometown of Thonotosassa, Florida on September 22, 1972. She came home from school, ate a sandwich, then left home to walk her pet raccoon, Bandit, on a leash. Witnesses saw Gail standing near a white car parked on the edge of a wooded area, but nobody saw her get in the vehicle. She has never been heard from again. Bandit never returned to the house either. Her parents thought they count identify the raccoon by a burn on his foot and a scrape on his nose; the police brought them 17 raccoon carcasses, but they didn't recognize any of them.

    Gail's parents stated they did not believe their daughter had left of her own free will, because she was close to her older brother and wasn't having trouble at home. They theorized she had been abducted, and stated someone could have gained her trust by taking an interest in Bandit, whom she enjoyed showing to people. Three people have confessed to Gail's murder but none of the accounts have been verified. The serial killer Gerald Stano was one of the those who claimed to have caused her death; he confessed to the murders of 41 women, including Susan Basile, whose body was never found. Stano was executed in 1998.

    Gail moved to Florida from Romulus, Michigan a few months before her disappearance, and enrolled in Greco Junior High School three weeks before she vanished. She has six siblings. Her case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    813-247-8000

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    Source Information
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    Porchlight International for the Missing and Unidentified
    The Philadelphia Inquirer
    The Crime Library
    Florida Today

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    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 9, 2016; details of disappearance updated.

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