On May 20, 1966, Anna Frances Leatherwood (she went by Frances) had left her abusive husband yet again. She was planning on spending the night with her cousin, that is until her husband, Berlin Leatherwood showed up and managed to talk her into coming home.
This wasn’t the first time he’d talked her into coming back, it seems that it was a pretty horrific pattern of behavior between them. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly why she’s missing as well.
When Frances and Berlin returned to their marital residence that night, she was limping on a swollen and badly bruised leg. Her children were home, and they saw how badly she was injured. Her husband promised he’d take her to the doctor the next day.
Conveniently the children left late that night, not knowing that this was the last time they would see their mother. I’m not sure who took the kids, can’t find anything about where they went that night or who they were with.
The next day, Berlin claims that he took her to the doctor. He said he parked the car and then went to the waiting room inside the doctors’ office, but surprise, Frances never checked in. She also left her purse behind that day, which is definitely an odd thing for a woman with a doctor’s appointment to do.
I wish I could find some information about what the police were able to find out about this supposed trip to the doctor. I wonder if they checked with the receptionist to see if the husband was there at all. I guess that’s all relative though, he could have killed Frances and went through the motions of ‘taking her’ to the doctor’s office just to give himself an alibi.
Within a week. A WEEK. He was selling her belongings. The things he couldn’t sell were set on fire. You know, because if your spouse goes missing the first thing you should do is worry about selling everything they owned. I mean it’s pretty apparent that he didn’t care about her at all. He put the house up for sale 6 months later and filed for divorce.
Once the 7-year waiting period was over he had Frances declared legally dead and collected on her life insurance.
I don’t have any access to filing for a Freedom of Information Act Request in this case since you have to be a Tennessee resident in order to receive information about Tennessee cases. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office works this probable homicide, so please if you think you could help, give them a call at 865-215-3705. If you think you have information and don’t feel comfortable going to the police, please send a message under the contact form and I’ll relay it to the authorities.