The Dark Side of Anchorage Alaska Part III (Final): Connections, Similarities, Suspects

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While not all cases covered in Parts I and II may be related, they have a few connections or similarities. Some of the women had ties to two suspects.

Connections and Similarities

Some of the information below is strictly the opinion of the author.

Sabine Duellman and Hiroko Nemato’s disappearances may not be connected to the others or even to one another. Both women disappeared in 1998, three months apart. They were foreigners in their 30s, who vanished soon after landing in Anchorage.

We only know a little about Sabine, not the time between when she landed in Anchorage and when she vanished. It’s possible someone targeted both women at the airport. Not to sound like I am ripping something from the movie, “Taken,” but traffickers do target women at airports.

I don’t believe either woman flew to Alaska to start new lives there, although we cannot rule it out. Because Hiroko had traveled to different places once in Alaska, she may have encountered the wrong person on her journey. 

How there is only so much information on Sabine is beyond me. What about her life in Germany or her family members? Did they not come forward when she disappeared? It is also strange that all the available information is her landing in Anchorage. Well, what time was that? Did she ever leave the airport? If so, where did she go? In 1998, police would have been able to track her reasonably well. 

Hiroko and Sandra Bennett had both traveled to Wasilla shortly before they disappeared, one to go sightseeing, the other to purchase drugs.

Sandra Bennett and Tracie Vicent were last seen in Mountain View, where Sophie Macar’s killer dumped her body.

Shawna and Sophie’s disposals were similar. Their killer and Teresa Stirling’s murderer severely beat the women before death. The beating resulted in the deaths of Shawna and Teresa.

Many of the women were in their 20s, had ties to Spenard Road, and were sex workers. Teresa Stirling was last seen in Spenard, but I do not know if she was a sex worker.

Several of the women disappeared or were killed during the spring and summer months, particularly in June, which makes sense. It’s probably harder to dispose of bodies in the wilderness during the winter as some roads are closed, and the ground would be frozen, ruling out burying them.

Don Arthur Webster, Jr.  

Michelle Rothe’s pimp was Don Arthur Webster Jr., aka Jerry Starr, a vile human being, the worst of the worst. He was sentenced in 2008 to 30 years in prison for the sex trafficking of adults and minors and drug trafficking offenses

“Evil takes many forms. Don Webster, a/k/a Jerry Starr, embodies several of them,” said U.S. Attorney Nelson P. Cohen. “He is a drug pusher-who used both cocaine and crack to enslave his victims. He is a disgusting bully who manipulated women and children. He is a physical abuser who forced his will upon weaker people with threats of burning them with boiling water; confining them to a closet; beating and raping them; and even choking a woman to the point of unconsciousness in the presence of two other women and a child. He is a thief who stole their dignity and hope. He is a violent predator who deserves the sentence imposed today. There are people in our world who need to be locked up and put away for a long time. Jerry Starr is one of them.”

In an interview with Terra of SexTraffickingAlaska.com, Michelle’s friend said she believes Starr killed Michelle, who went by the name “Ruby.” The friend said Starr had Michelle “strung out on just about everything.” He beat Michelle and the other girls, locking them in closets and dog kennels to break their will and teach them lessons. Starr would tell them: “You don’t want to end up like Ruby.” 

Despite the horrific treatment, Michelle’s friend says Michelle loved Starr and that Starr was the last person seen with her. Additionally, those associated with Starr knew he had killed Michelle. However, investigators had no evidence tying him to her or Desiree’s murder.

Michelle’s friend also stated that Starr was also Desiree’s pimp. 

Investigators said in 2009 that Desiree and Michelle’s murders could be connected to some of the missing women listed in this series. So, it’s possible that they suspect Starr in some of the other cases. It is reasonable to assume that if he killed Desiree and Michelle, he likely killed others. He did not go to prison until 2008, years after becoming involved in trafficking.

Starr’s Associate

As the spelling of his first name suggests, Josef Boehm originated from Germany and came to the U.S. in his younger years. It is unclear if he moved to Alaska upon arrival. However, he eventually “built a multi-million dollar business from a company that sold second-hand screws and rusty bolts,” according to the now-defunct blog Alaska Unsilenced.

Boehm’s criminal history dates back to 1965, when he and two other men sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl. He later became known as “Joe Millionaire.”

Boehm put his wealth into sex trafficking, with victims as young as 13, and became entangled with drug dealers Allen K. Bolling and Leslie J. Williams, Jr. On December 13, 2003, authorities raided the Anchorage Marriott and found 15 grams of crack cocaine. That sting resulted in a search of Boehm’s home and his December 22, 2003 arrest. 

Bambi Tyree

His 2004 trial revealed Boehm, then 60, Bolling, Williams, and sex worker Bambi Tyree (pictured left) lured women to Boehm’s Oceanview Drive home in return for cash and cocaine. 

Court documents show that Leonidas Jones (known as Redman) received “large sums of money from Boehm.” The payoffs seem to be part of a scheme to keep the girls from testifying. The court record goes on to state that Jones and Boehm’s friend Kirk Grandstaff was bringing girls over to Boehm’s condo to get them high and that one girl, in particular, had been given over to none other than Don Arthur Webster, Jr. himself to watch–Sierra Mullin Roberts, who vanished in 2008. 

Alaska Unsilenced

Although the reasons are unclear, the Charley Project took down Sierra’s entry on its site. It appears she is still missing. It could be that Sierra’s case is no longer active. NamUs lists Sierra’s missing date as March 4, 2008. However, Anchorage police arrested her for prostitution on June 12 and July 30, 2008, and ticketed her for a seatbelt violation on December 4, 2008. The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear. In 2003, police had charged her with felony drug possession, and her marriage ended in 2004.

Boehm lived at 300 Oceanview Drive. His backyard was practically the Turnagain Arm where Desiree and Michelle’s torsos washed ashore.

According to court documents, “Boehm pleaded guilty to the top charge in the indictment, conspiring to distribute over 50 grams of crack cocaine to persons under 21 years of age. Boehm also admitted to conspiring to commit the crime of sex trafficking of children. The agreement also requires that Boehm pay restitution in the amount of $1.2 million dollars into a trust fund for the benefit of the victims of his criminal conduct.”

Boehm was convicted in 2004 and served 11 years of a 13-year prison sentence. He died in 2014. 

More Connections

Sierra was once roommates with Michelle Rothe at 1706 Thunderbird Place, one of Starr’s trafficking houses. This home had a room known as “the box,” located in a cold crawlspace. As punishment for disobeying him, Starr would strip the women, tie them up, and then leave them without food and water for days. 

Grindstaff took care of Starr’s estate. He and Kelly Sue Dunn were connected through one of Grindstaff’s girlfriends; Kelly had once lived with the couple.

Boehm claimed to have information regarding the murders of Desiree and Michelle and alerted the FBI. Agents interviewed him, but there was no follow-up investigation. They never revealed what Boehm told them.

Anyone with information regarding the cases listed in this series can call the Alaska State Troopers Missing Persons Unit at (800) 478-9333, the Anchorage Police Department at (907) 786-8900, or Crime Stoppers at (907) 561-7867.

Primary Sources

Alaska Department of Public Safety, Alaska News Source, Anchorage Crime Stoppers, The Doe Network, The Charley Project

About Me

True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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