Maude Crawford has been missing from Camden, Arkansas since March 2, 1957.
Maude was the first female attorney in Camden and was regarded as the top title and abstract attorney in Ouachita County.
Maud was last seen at her residence on Northwest Clifton Street during the evening hours of March 2. As her husband, Clyde Crawford, left to go to the local movie theater and a liquor store, Maude sat on her sofa shelling beans.
It is reported that at 8:30pm, Maud’s cousin called and spoke to her briefly.
This was the last time anyone has ever heard from Maud Crawford.
When Clyde returned home at approximately 11:30pm, he found the lights were on inside the house and on both porches. The television was turned on and the beans Maud had been shelling were sitting on the table. Maud’s purse was left behind — with over $100 inside her wallet. None of Maud’s clothing was missing.
All of the doors were locked and Maud’s vehicle was parked in the driveway with the keys still in the ignition. The Crawford’s dog was resting peacefully on the floor.
There were no signs of foul play. It was if Maud Crawford had simply vanished into thin air.
Maud’s disappearance rocked the town of Camden. She was considered a pillar of the community and community members believe she had no reason to leave town without warning.
Maud’s disappearance remained a mystery until a reporter by the name of Beth Brickell took a look at the case in 1986. Brickell was surprised to learn that Maud’s disappearance had never been properly investigated.
Brickell wrote a series of articles that exposed some of the mystery that surrounded Maud’s case. As Brickell researched the story, she discovered that many of the people involved were still very frightened about the circumstances of her disappearance over 30 years after she disappeared.
Brickell even began receiving death threats as she pursued the case.
Among the information Brickell uncovered was a rumor that alleged Maud’s disappearance was payback by the Mafia in retaliation for the widely publicized attacks and hearings on organized crime led by her former law partner, Sen. John L. McClellan.
No evidence ever surfaced to support this theory.
Through her continued research, Brickell later alleged that a prominent Camden businessman, Henry M. Berg, arranged for Crawford’s disappearance over a dispute of the will of his aunt, Rose Berg, who intended to leave her oil and timber fortune to three nieces instead.
Crawford, who drew up the original will, was Rose Berg’s attorney and court-appointed guardian.
Henry M. Berg died in 1975 and any witnesses to any of his activities in 1957 have also died. However, no one was ever charged or convicted, and the case is still considered open.
To this day, Maud Crawford’s disappearance remains a mystery.