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The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers


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A new true crime miniseries premiered last evening on Oxygen that I think you all might be interested in.  Crystal Rogers was a  35 year old divorced mom of five that lived near Bardstown, Kentucky.  On the evening of July 3, 2015, she vanished. Two evenings later, her maroon Chevy Impala was found abandoned along the Blue Grass Parkway with a flat tire.  Crystal had not been found alive neither have her remains been found.  Her purse, car keys, and cell phone were found in the car and the drvier's seat was not positioned how Crystal always had it.  Crystal's mother told private investigators and the journalist who is doing the show that the police had returned Crystal's car and that it had remained untouched since it was returned.  The car apparently had not been forensically examined with any thoroughness and there was still things inside the car which should have been collected as evidence.  The PI and the journalist brought in a forensics examination team to examine the car as well as a cadaver dog.  The dog alerted on the trunk of the car, even going so far as jumping in the trunk and the trunk lit up blue when sprayed with luminal/Blue Star indicating the presence of blood.

The series airs on Saturday evening at 7 and repeats are shown later on in the evening and is also available On Demand.

On the Case with Paula Zahn will also cover the case.

Here's a story on Bustle about the case:


Edited by PennySycamore
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That sounds really ominous and very bad for the girl. It sounds like the police really, really dropped the ball on this case.

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There’s also the fact that her father, who was investigating the case on his own, died in a “hunting accident” a year after she went missing. Plus several other unsolved murders in the same small town.

There was one thing that stood out to me and I wonder if it’s true- Someone said that due to budget constraints police can only submit 10 pieces of evidence to the state crime lab in murder cases and fewer than that for lesser crimes. If Kentucky is really that bad it explains how the Nog case has been handled.

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@Bethella,  that struck me as well about the police being constrained from submitting more than 10 pieces of evidence.  That is just plain crazy!  How can you expect the justice system to work with so little evidence being submitted if you want justice to really mean anything?  Sometimes police and the prosecution (not to mention the defense) don't know what is important in a case till much later on.  

It compounds the tragedy to Crystals' disappearance (and, let's be honest, murder) that her dad would have been murdered a year later.  The branches of the trees at the edge of the boundary of their property and the Blue Grass Parkway had been sawed off and the PIs found evidence that a rifle had been steadied on one of the tree trunks giving a clear shot at where the body of Crystal's dad was found.  

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On tonight's episode:


The lab tested the carpet for blood and found one small spot, but there was only fragmentary DNA so they were unable to match it.  That was a disappointment.  They also took the cadaver dogs out to a lake near the Houcks farm.  Gena, the cadaver dog that alerted on the trunk last week alerted to one spot in the lake, but divers found nothing.  Gena had alerted to the same spot in that lake before.  Maybe the body was in the lake before (In a barrel maybe) and was removed?

Nick Houck, the police officer brother of the prime suspect,  took and flunked a polygraph. He showed deception when he was asked about knowing what had happened and knowing where she was now.

At the end of the episode, they talked a bit about the police officer who was murdered in 2012.  He was on his way home from work one night and had taken a car that day where he could not take his K-9 partner.  He was pulling off on this one exit on the Blue Grass Parkway when he found the exit blocked with brush.  He had to stop and remove the brush before he could proceed up the exit and, while he was doing so, he was shot.  He had no chance to draw his weapon and the shooter possibly knew where the seam was in the bulletproof vest the officer was wearing.  He had been partnered with Nick Houck at one time.  There will be more about this case next week and there might be a new lead on Crystal Rogers' diappearance.

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OK, will set up DVR! 

Found this on a random google search:  Station WBKR in (I think) Kentucky



Rogers' boyfriend, Brooks Houck, has been under suspicion since the beginning mostly because he didn't report her missing for two days. Houck's brother Nick was a Bardstown Police officer who was fired after he was accused of interfering with the investigation.  

Soon other Houck family members were caught up in the investigation. Adding to the already incredible amount of heartbreak, Rogers' father, Tommy Ballard, was shot and killed in what has been called "a hunting accident" which is also to this day an unsolved murder.

Brooks Houck spoke to WRDB out of Louisville back in June. He has never been charged.

What The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers does is takes a hard look at other unsolved murders in the Bardstown area, including that of K-9 police officer Jason Ellis, who was ambushed and killed on his way home from work in 2013.



Edited by Howl
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  • 1 month later...

I missed part of the second episode and didn't update, but here's a summary of the case so far:

Jason Ellis, the cop that was killed, was working on drug trafficking and theft rings in the Bardstown area.  He sometimes worked with Nick Houck.  It is apparent from the crime scene where Officer Ellis was murdered that his ambush was an assassination.  He was no random victim.  Did Crystal know too much about Ellis' murder and/or the drug ring and this is why she disappeared and presumably murdered?   

An informant did come forward and said that he knew where a barn was burned down after Crystal disappeared.  He also said that there was no connection between Crystals's disappearance and the Ellis murder and the other unsolved murders in Bardtsown, but that Crystal's disappearance and Jason Ellis's murders were definitely connected.  I think the authorities are going to investigate the scene of the fire and see if there's anything there.

None of the sites they searched fro Crystal's remains turned up anything even though cadaver dogs did alert there. Maybe her remains had been there and were moved?

I do hope that they do another season of this show because it was fascinating.  



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  • 1 year later...

UPDATE:  Human remains were found in  June near Brooks Houck's farm.  They were sent to the FBI for analysis.  The FBI has taken over the case.  The cases of Tommy Ballard, Jason Ellis and the Netherland women are still open.  The authorities are not sure that the cases are related although Tommy's case has got to be connected to that of his daughter.  

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