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William Dathan Holbert
aka William "Wild Bill" Adolfo Cortez
aka William Cortez Reese - claimed to be from Texas; a Dutch citizen
aka Donald Lee Bruckart
aka William Adolfo Cortez - claimed to be son of a rich Mexican.
aka Luke Gregory Kuhn
aka Maxwell Smith
aka Max Smith
aka Jose Eiser
aka Dr. Bill Reese
Holbert used the name "Josef Eiser" to purchase a vehicle. It can be presumed
that he has some identification and travel documents issued in this name.
Holbert used the alias "Dr. Bill Reese" and posed as a psychiatrist.
William Holbert is described as a 35-year-old white male with long blond hair,
gray/green eyes, full blond beard and mustache, 5' 9" tall, and weighing about
280 pounds. Holbert has white supremacist tattoos - and is a fan of Hitler and
anything to do with Hitler.
William Dathan Holbert
Holbert's girlfriend aka "wife"
Laura Michelle Reese
aka Jena Seana Cortez - claimed to be Dutch.
aka Jane Cortez
aka Laura Bruckart
aka Michelle Bruckart
aka Jane Cortez Reese
aka Laura Michelle Reese
aka Laura Michelle Ruiz
aka Anne Smith
Laura Reese is approximately 5" 5" tall, about 200 pounds, with red hair and
1979 - September 12 - William Holbert was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
(Hendersonville Times-News) Holbert graduated from North
1997- Hendersonville, N.C. - Holbert graduates from North Henderson High School.
2004 - William Holbert was married with three children, owned a lucrative landscaping
business and a beautiful mountain home.
2004 - May - Holbert leaves his wife and children, sells his business.
CHARLESTON, S.C. - William Holbert moves briefly to Charleston.
Holbert stops paying child support.
Holbert files for bankruptcy, listing hundreds of thousands of dollars
2005 - April - FOREST CITY, N.C.- Holbert opens a business called "Southern National
Patriots." He promotes white supremacist views,
sells Nazi flags, and bandanas with swastikas.
William D. Holbert
Holbert holds meetings in his store, trying to recruit young people. He lectures
them on his views on the destruction of Southern white culture. He wants to
end the "oppression of white Southerners."
Cleveland County - Holbert rented a secluded, hilltop home from a landlord.
4-5 months later - Holbert and his girlfriend moved out they left behind a pile of junk.
Crumpled up amid the junk is a letter to Holbert's wife Ryan.
"According to a letter written from Holbert to his wife, Ryan, he claimed was a leader
of a radical group called the Southern National Patriots."
Not long after their move, the landlord notices Holbert's name
in news reports and on most wanted lists not only for his
affiliation with white supremacists, but also for a multi-state
stealing and fraud campaign.
Donna Stevens - Photo Credit: Corey Friedman The Star
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Holbert helps manage a fitness club for about 10 weeks.
While working there he begins a "romantic" relationship
with Laura Michelle Reese, a co-worker.
Kevin Hoover (owner of fitness club) "If only he could have focused himself,
he had a brilliant mind."
Holbert forged Marie Hoover's signature on unauthorized checks.
Holbert spent $25,000 in company checks to buy TVs, washers,
and dryers and mattresses. Holbert is fired.
THE HOOVERS DO NOT PRESS CHARGES.
Kevin Hoover "I knew he had been on the run for a long time. But I never
thought he could be a killer, much less a serial killer."
Marie Hoover "You know that HBO show The Sopranos? He wanted to be
Tony Soprano for a while — he's got that mindset."
2005 - June - Judge orders William Holbert arrested for contempt of court,
failing to make child support payments ($12,000) and failing
to appear in court. A date is set for Holbert to serve his time
in jail. He is sentenced to 20 days in jail.
William Dathan Holbert fails to appear. He and his girlfriend
flee the area.
2005 - August - MISSOULA, MONTANA - A few weeks later, Holbert is using an
alias Luke Kuhn at work. He steals a car, changes the
VIN number, forges the vehicle's title, and sells it to a
purchaser in Conrad, Pondera County, Montana. (NE of
Undersheriff Jeff Pruttis "The guy was pretty intelligent for doing that kind
of fraudulant stuff."
2005 - September - Warrants for his arrest are issued for felony deceptive practices.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. - A property owner from Denver, N.C., also owns a
a home on Oak Island, a coastal community.
William Holbert uses an alias, Luke Gregory Kuhn, to obtain a N.C. driver’s license.
2005 - October 4 -
William Holbert "sells" the house, by forging the deed and title. He cashes
in for about $200,000 by seeling it to an investor. The fraud is discovered
when the owner came to her home and found it gutted. She reports it
to police. Oak Island Police Detective Kristy Cox investigated.
Jon David (New Hanover District Attorney) "Holbert is wanted in Brunswick County
for selling an Oak Island home he didn't own for $200,000.
He's not likely to be back in the U.S. anytime soon.
My office will wait until authorities in Panama finish
their murder investigations to take further steps."
Sgt. Tony Burke (Oak Island Police) "He is not suspected of committing any other
crimes in the Wilmington area."
2005 - October 31 - KENTUCKY - William Holbert & Laura Reese pay cash to purchase
a cabin. They begin looking into opening a 24 hour
William Holbert's alias - Donald Lee Bruckart and obtains a false Kentucky driver
Laura Michelle Reese's alias - Laura Bruckart.
Holbert uses the $200,000 to buy the cabin.
2005 - December - Holbert and Reese vacation in IRELAND, travel to
TEXAS, NEW MEXICO & ARIZONA before heading
back to Kentucky.
2006 - January - The couple plan to open a gym called Big Sandy Fitness.
2006 - January - WILMINGTON, N.C. Police Department swears out warrants for
William Holbert's arrest on felony charges of obtaining property by
false pretenses and forgery of deeds. The department calls in the
U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, which has offices
around the country, to help find and arrest Holbert.
Lucy Crockett (Spokeswoman, Wilmington Police Dept.) "I guess that warrant's
going to stay on file for a while because it's hard to believe he's going
to be back from Panama soon."
Cpl. Paul Verzaal (Investigator, Wilmington Police Dept.) "There is still an open
warrant for Holbert's arrest that calls for extradition."
Lawrence County Sheriff Garret Roberts runs the license tag to their van.
Finding it has no insurance he tells them of the issue.
Sheriff Garret Roberts "They began acting suspicious. Right after that is
when he hightailed and left the area."
2006 - Feb. 3 or 4 - LOUISA, KY - Holbert and Reese telling neighbors a
family member died and they will be gone
for an unknown amount of time.
HURRICANE, WEST VIRGINIA - A vehicle is reported stolen. It is a Jeep Cherokee.
2006 - February 5- SHERIDAN COUNTY, WYOMING - A Highway Patrolman pulls
Holbert over on I 90 for speeding. Holbert & Reese tell the officer
they’re heading to Seattle, Washington.
Holbert shows his Kentucky license in the name of Donald Lee Bruckart.
When the officer runs his alias in the system, it shows that he’s wanted
in North Carolina and Montana.
When he attempts to make an arrest on the pending charges, Holbert engages in
a high speed search and chase. Holbert (and his female companion) take the Jeep
off road, eventually crashing the vehicle in a field. Holbert & Reese flee the scene.
Jon David (New Hanover District Attorney) "He must have realized at that time,
‘Boy, they're serious about what happened in southeastern North Carolina.
I better get out of Dodge. Literally."
2006 - February 7 -
BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA - William Holbert & Laura Reese are suspected of
stealing a 14 foot U-Haul truck.
The company reports it stolen the next day.
2006 - March 6 -
NORTH PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - The next month the stolen and abandoned U-Haul
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED
2006 - Later that year, William Dathan Holbert appears on America's Most Wanted.
Holbert falls off the radar in the U.S. He has used aliases in at least 6 states and
likely will use more to escape justice.
MEXICO - BELIZE - COSTA RICA - PANAMA - NICARAGUA
2006 - 2007 - Authorities believe William Dathan Holbert & Laura Michelle Reese
made their way to Panama via Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica.
Authorities in those countries are now reviewing unsolved
murder cases and disappearances of citizens or expats
from other countries residing there.
SAIL AWAY - OVERSTAY VISIT
Don Winner "Holbert and Reese hopped on a cruise ship and sailed away
to Costa Rica. The area of Puerto Viejo is close to Limon, Costa Rica, a
popular cruise ship destination. Apparently Holbert and Reese disembarked
from the cruise ship in mid February 2006, and simply stayed in Costa Rica
when the ship sailed."
"All of Holbert's talk about having been in Mexico, Belize and the Cayman Islands?
There are several cruise ships that stop at these ports before arriving in Puerto
Limon, Costa Rica."
"One of the biggest problems in investigating this case is that most of the time,
William Dathan Holbert was lying to the people he was talking to.
One witness told me Holbert said he had spent a month in Belize. Several
witnesses have made references to him saying he was in the Cayman Islands
at some point. Dozens of people have told me how Holbert told them about the
years he spent living in Mexico.
Well, all of that was most likely just lies. I think the truth is Holbert
and Reese jumped on a cruise ship in order to escape from the United
States, and the ship stopped in Mexico, Belize, and the Cayman Islands
before reaching Limon, Costa Rica. I still don't know exactly what ship
they were on and it's itinerary, but eventually I will be able to dig that
out, no doubt."
Panamanian Authorities now state that the two entered Panama with false identities
and citizenship papers. Holbert posed as a Dutch citizen "William Cortez-Reese,
and Laura Reese posed as "Jane or Jeane Cortez."
2006 -2007- SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - William Holbert & Laura Reese are living in
San Jose. Holbert buys and sells used cars.
They are going by the names "Bill & Michelle."
Don Winner "There is a possibility Holbert might have killed someone in San Jose,
Costa Rica. He has a habit of killing people and then moving on quickly.
They rented a house in San Jose for a couple of weeks before they moved
into that rented bedroom near Punta Uva, so who knows if he had the time
or opportunity to kill someone while he was there. At this point it looks like
Kline might have been their first victim in Costa Rica."
PUERTO VIEJO, COSTA RICA - Stacie and Allen Duckworth, a couple from Texas
purchase the La Terrazza" Restaurant for $40,000. They fix it up, pour some
money into it and run the bar as their primary business.
When "Bill and Michelle" Cortez arrive, they promptly make friends with the Duckworths.
Holbert masquerading as "Bill Cortez" & Reese as "Michelle Cortez"
Don Winner "Some people knew Holbert as "Big Bill" or "Body Builder Bill."
"Before too long Holbert and Reese were at the bar all the time,
working behind the bar, fixing things up, "helping out" and acting
as if they were the owners (sound familiar?) So the story goes,
Holbert supposedly had $60,000 saved up, and the Duckworth's
were going to sell their bar and all four of them were going to move
to Bocas del Toro together."
UPDATE August 8, 2010 -
DON WINNER (Panama-Guide.com)- Well, that's a relief. I just spoke to
Allan Duckworth. He and Stacie are both alive and well. He was chilled
to hear about the later exploits of Holbert and Reese. I had the story right,
about the bar in Puerto Viejo and the general description of the story about
how things went down.
The Duckworth's actually went with Holbert and Reese to the Jaco area
of Costa Rica where they lived for two months. In fact the Duckworths
decided they needed to get away from Holbert and Reese because,
according to Duckworth, Holbert was apparently trying to change his
appearance to make himself look more like Allan. Their radars were
working, they got worried and suspicious, and they got the hell away
fom those two. That probably saved their lives. In any case, they are fine
THE BODY UNDER THE PATIO - JEFF KLINE
2006 - February - Joe and Sue Freconna, from Cleveland, Ohio, purchased the
beachfront property "Casa Siesta." The couple spend most of
the year in the U.S. and the property is rented out.
April - The previous owner, a German engineer moves out.
2006 - "Bill & Michelle" Reese (Holbert & Reese) rent "Casa Siesta," a vacation
home, while they are living in the Playa Negra area of Puerto Viejo, Costa
Rica. Behind the home is a nice area of shrubbery and bushes. They've
rented Casa Siesta through a property management company.
Don Winner "My source - who has asked to not be identified - met "Bill and Michelle"
at the Arrecife restaurant in the Punta Uva area - South of Puerto Viejo
and Playa Cocles. My source said "I instantly didn't like him and knew
he was dangerous."
Holbert supposedly said he was a writer and he spoke about money he
supposedly had in the Cayman Islands. Holbert had a draft of a book he
was writing which featured as its central character described as a "big,
charming, intimidating guy" obviously based on Holbert himself.
According to this source, Holbert immediately turned everyone off at the
bar because "he was always talking Nazi crap and how 'right' Hitler was."
As for the woman at his side, Laura Michelle Reese ("Michelle" in Costa
Rica) she would apparently "try to get Bill to bash anyone who disagreed
During their last few months in Costa Rica, Holbert and Reese spoke
frequently of their plans to move to Bocas del Toro in Panama."
Don Winner "Kline actually rented a room in the same house where Holbert
was living at the time, in late March and during the first week of April,
Jeffrey A. Kline
When Kline rented the bedroom in that house in Puerto Viejo, he had
more than $100,000 in cash physically with him. Apparently he was
afraid that if he left the money in the bank investigators might seize
it to pay the $70,000 dollars in child support payments he owed to
his family back home. Unfortunately for Kline, he ended up living under
the same roof as serial killer William Dathan Holbert - the man who kills
other citizens from the United States in order to steal their money and
belongings - loaded down with cash. Within a week, Kline was dead,
Holbert had the money, and Kline's body was buried under the house
owned by Joseph and Sue Freconna in Puerto Viejo."
"Jeff Kline just got unbelievably unlucky to run into a newly arrived serial
killer, two days after he fled the United States to "start over." Talk about
a combination of really bad luck, incredibly bad timing, being in the wrong
place at the wrong time, and one seriously massive dose of bad Karma."
2007 - February - Joe & Sue Freconna return to Puerto Viego and discover that
a concrete patio has been put down over the bushes and other
Sue Freconna "The discover of the makeshift patio immediately raised our
suspicions, leading us to contact a lawyer. The lawyer said
our imaginations were running wild with us. The incident was
2007 - November - The Freconna's are having a sunroom built at the rear of their
property. The concrete patio is being ripped up to make way
for the sunroom.
Workmen find a body wrapped in a plastic bag. Authorities
are notified and they respond to Casa Siesta.
The Judicial Investigating Organization reports that the man's
remains wears a gold chain necklace and a diamond ring. They
hope the jewelry will assist in solving the man's identity.
Don Winner - Confirmed Serial Killer "Big Bill" Holbert rented vacation house in
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
Supposedly Stacie and Allen Duckworth "sell" the bar for $75,000, intending to
move to Bocas del Toro with their good friends Bill & Michelle.
The Duckworths disappear.
Stacie and Allen Duckworth never arrive in Bocas del Toro. Their real estate agent in
Costa Rica notes that all of the Duckworths' email accounts suddenly are inactive.
William "Wild Bill" and Jena Cortez depart Puerto Viego and arrive in Bocas del
UPDATE - DUCKWORTHS ALIVE & WELL -
Don Winner - We was some lucky son of a bucks - escaped from serial killer.
"Allan started to get extremely nervous when one day Bill came home with a whole
box of hair dye and color. "He dyed his hair to match my hair color, cut his hair to
match my hair style, and he even trimmed his beard to make himself look just like
me," Allan said. They figured it out - apparently Bill was tying to make himself look
like Allan in order to be able to assume his identity, so they decided it was time to
leave, in a real big hurry."
BOCAS DEL TORO
William Adolfo Cortez and his wife Jena Seana Cortez are in Bocas del Toro,
Panama. Everyone considers "Wild Bill" Cortez to be a bit wild, crazy and loud.
Some find him obnoxious. They fit in with the party crowd who meet every
week for socializing and drinking.
MURDER OF A FAMILY FOR GAIN
2007 - The Brown family are missing. The Brown family consists of Michael
Watson Brown (61), his son, Watson Brown (18), and his Thai wife,
Manchittha "Nan" Nankratoke, (2nd wife)
Don Winner "Michael Watson Brown, a citizen of Holland, holder of passport number
NB0865469. Married, from the Dutch Antilles, resident of Street 4A,
Community of Aguacate, area of Tierra Oscura, province of Bocas del Toro.
Manchittha Nankratoke "Nan" Brown, a citizen of Holland, holder of passport
number M18119733, Michael's wife. Watson Brown, Michael's son."
"Mike Brown" - real name Michael Frances Salem
In reality, "Michael Watson Brown" is really Michael Frances Salem. He also
is hiding under an alias and has a criminal background to hide.
Donald Winner (Panama Guide) "I've learned through conversations with
detectives in the United States he was sure the true name
of Michael Watson Brown is actually Michael Francis Salem,
who has been wanted since 1981 by law enforcement officials
in Florida. Brown, according to Winner, kidnapped two policemen,
after which he fled to the Caribbean and then later went to Thailand
where he met the woman who became his wife."
2003 - The Browns had arrived In April of 2003 and Michael and "Nan" Brown
purchased a parcel of land of about 45 acres - located along the coast
on the mainland in the Cauchero area in the province of Bocas del Toro.
In May of 2003, the Browns start a company called "Latitude 9.10 Inc."
Their property is purchased using the company. April of 2005, the
Browns are issued certification as "agricultural producers."
The family keeps to themselves and aren't well known among the expat
community. They aren't present at the weekly parties thrown by various
members of the community.
2007 - The Brown family disappear. In an area where people come and go,
and few people know them, nobody thinks much of their disappearance
Michael, Nan and Watson have been murdered.
THEFT - NEW OWNERS
The identity of the "new owners" of the Brown home, property and company,
are William "Wild Bill" Adolfo Cortez Reese and his wife, Jena Seana Cortez.
Wild Bill Cortez tells everyone that the Browns have "sold" them their property.
They promptly rename it "Hacienda Cortez" and open up a bar named "Villa Cortez"
and advertise it with a sign bearing a skull and crossbones.
MURDER OF ANOTHER EX-PAT.
2009 - November - Bo Icelar tells several people that "Wild Bill" Cortez has
been expressing an interest in buying his property.
Bo Icelar aka Bo Yancy
Bo speaks with his best friend back in the U.S. on the phone and tells them
that he's hopeful he might be able to sell the house quickly so he could be
home in time for the Christmas holidays. He also says the person who's
interested in buying supposedly has a lot of cash.
Bo tells friends that Bill Cortez offered to buy his property for $180,000 dollars
and that he "immediately rejected the offer and was "offended" by the low
price. "I have no intention of selling to "Wild Bill" for that price."
Bo Icelar has a last conversation with his sister on the telephone
back in the U.S. on this date.
Bo Barry Icelar aka Bo "Yancy" disappears.
THEFT - CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
2009 - November 30 - Carlos, the groundskeeper has been contracted by Bo
to help paint his house, and duly arrives to go to work.
He is greeted by Wild Bill Cortez bellowing "Who the
hell are you and why are you here?"
Carlos explains he'd been contracted by Bo to paint
the house. Cortez informs him "Bo's gone. I bought this
house. It's mine now, so get the hell out!"
Carlos leaves the premises.
Wild Bill and Jena Cortez tell everyone that they had paid Bo Icelar cash
for his property. They say "he left and that they have no idea where he is."
Sandi Hodge "The Cortezes told me that Bo had left suddenly and sold them his
property at a reduced price, Hodge says people were surprised, but
mostly by the price. That struck me as very odd. It was the talk of
the town. I said, 'God, if I would've known he was going to give the
house away, we would've bought it."
Bo Icelar has previously spoken of leaving... but people did wonder.
Bo had injured his foot during a Kung Fu exhibition and required surgery
so he was using a cane to walk with. Hanging on a peg inside Bo's house
is his cane.
2009 - December 9 - Bill and Jena Cortez hire a lawyer and file documents
taking over Bo "Yancy" Icelar's properties and companies.
GREED & MURDERING THE WRONG PERSON
William and Jena Cortez throw parties on Isla Cauchero. Cheryl "Cher" Hughes
Werle and a group of American expatriates who socialize and gather weekly for
parties are attending one on this evening.
2010- March 20- Cheryl Hughes (53) is last seen by at the party's end.
Cheryl "Cher" Hughes (Werle)
"Witnesses tell Cheryl Hughes' relatives "When the party (in March) wound
down, Cortez sent the other guests away but coaxed Hughes to stay behind,
saying the two had business to discuss."
As Cheryl is getting into a boat with a friend to go home, Wild Bill Cortez
tells her he wants to speak with her. He is rude to the person in the boat
telling her that what he wants to speak with Cheryl about is "private business
and none of yours." That person left.
Don Winner "On the day Cher disappeared, she was last seen getting into
Bill's boat and riding away with him towards his property where
they were going to supposedly discuss the possibility of him
buying her property."
Sandi Hodge "Cortez told me that Cheryl had sold him all of her properties and
"just left" leaving her dog behind."
"That was what really made me wonder what was going on because
Cher took the little dog, Feldman, everywhere she went."
Sandi Hodge, Cher's friend, and Keith Werle, her husband, knew Cher wouldn't
abandon her dogs or her home. Cher loved both her animals and her home and
just wouldn't sell up and leave without a word to anyone.
As her family stop receiving Cher's phone calls and emails, they become worried.
Family & friends begin enquiring as to Cheryl's whereabouts.
THEFT - NEW OWNERSHIP
"Wild Bill" Cortez and his wife Jena Cortez, take over Cheryl Hughes' home,
property, and company. They fire the employees of Cheryl's hotel, replace
her "Casa del Sapo" signs and put up their new sign, naming the place "Casa
A KILLER'S MISSTEPS
William "Bill" aka "Wild Bill" Cortez and Jena Seana Cortez murder Cheryl
Hughes Werle and bury her body in a garbage pit on the property that
belonged to the Brown family in Cauchero, Bocas del Toro.
William Cortez knew Cher had a lot of family and friends and that they might ask
questions if they don't hear from her. Bill sends text messages to her friends and
family using her phone. Instead of reassuring family and friends, it alarms them
Mary Wittmeyer (Cheryl's aunt) calles the U.S. Embassy in Panama and
eventually speaks with the FBI and Panamanian law enforcement about
conversations she had with William Cortez.
Local freelance journalist Donald "Don" Winner is contacted by one of Cheryl's
friends and raises his suspicions. He begins digging and prodding local authorities
to take action. He also writes about the suspicions surrounding William Cortez and
Donald "Don" Winner - Panama-guide.com
Don Winner " Werle, Hodge and other concerned friends didn't believe it. They brought
their suspicions to the attention of the local authorities. Getting those
authorities to take action, however, was another story."
Keith Werle "It's Central America; a lot of people come here to be missing. They
[police] don't really look."
Donald Winner "The "coconut telegraph" rumor mill on Isla Colon and in the
entire area was buzzing with talk of the disappearance of Cher
Hughes and the suspected involvement of "Wild Bill" Cortez.
However, everyone was still reluctant to point fingers at "Wild Bill"
Cortez (Holbert.) He had created a rough and tumble personality for
himself, and the simple fact of the matter is that people were afraid
of him. No one stepped up because they were concerned about the
potential consequences of doing so. Their "instincts" told them
confronting Holbert and Reese might get them killed - and they were
WILD BILL'S THREATS
Keith Werle "I said, 'Bill, show me some papers. Show me you really bought this
because Cher would never sell it, certainly not without talking to me
about it first because it was our home,"
Don Winner "At one point in time Holbert even threatened that he was going
to "take care of" Cher's husband Keith, because Keith had been
saying in public that he suspected Holbert was in some way
responsible for Cher's disappearance. So, in the first two weeks
of June 2010, things were starting to heat up for Holbert and Reese
in Bocas del Toro."
Holbet & Reese
MISSING PERSONS REPORT
2010 - June 11 - A friend of Cher's files a missing persons report for Cheryl Lynn
Hughes at the office of the Department of Judicial Investigation (DIJ)
near the airport in Bocas del Toro.
Don Winner "As soon as Cher's friend filed the missing person's report with the
DIJ, they let a few people in Bocas know what had been done,
including telling Cher's closest friends and family members about
Relatives, friends, the Coconut telegraph, a determined journalist, the ex-pat community,
along with the locals, are making things more than a bit hot for the gruesome twosome.
Don Winner "Within a few days word got back to Holbert and Reese at their farm
out in Cauchero. Apparently, someone called them via cell phone and
alerted them to the fact that the report had been filed, and the DIJ was
asking questions. The DIJ wanted to talk to Holbert and Reese.
Throughout this entire investigation someone (and I don't know who yet)
has been helping Holbert and Reese by providing them information.
Police are now analyzing telephone, text message, and email traffic
to identify Holbert and Reese's accomplices. Someone was providing
them inside information, right up until the day they were caught. And,
these same people were probably the ones who alerted Holbert and
Reese to the filing of the DIJ missing persons report about Cher
Hughes. The clock started running with that phone call."
Holbert and Reese left behind plenty of incriminating evidence. Not just bodies, but
documents and personal items belonging to their victims, the Brown family, Bo Icelar,
and Cher Hughes. Police find those items and find Cheryl Hughes' passport, credit
cards and bank account information. Investigators have also found dozens of passports
and are currently seeking to find out if those persons are okay, or are missing too.
They also find an unregistered gun that belongs to William Holbert,
Don Winner "Holbert and Reese very quickly packed up what they felt they needed
most and fled the Bocas del Toro area, never to return. They packed
some clothes, cash, expensive gold and jewelry they had stolen from
their victims, weapons, as well as the paperwork and documents
pertaining to the companies and properties they had managed to steal
while in Panama. This was their combined accumulated treasure, things
they would need to continue to survive on the road as fugitives, and they
took it all with them when they fled from Bocas del Toro. The scene in
their bedroom was one of chaos. Apparently they were literally throwing
things around, dumping boxes of papers on the floor to find just the most
important things - things like deeds, titles, bearer shares in Panamanian
corporations they had stolen. However they thought they would never be
caught or identified."
HOLBERT & REESE FLEE BOCA DEL TORO
2010 - June - 15 - William & Laura flee the area. On a mountain in Cerro Punta,
they'd previously buit a "bunker" on land they'd obtained from
Don Winner " While hiding in Cerro Punta they asked a friend to drive their big red
Dodge Ram Dual Wheeled pickup truck over to them. Holbert and
Reese had gone out of their way to befriend many people, and at
this point before everyone knew exactly what was going on, there
were still people who were willing to help them."
"I spoke to this man who drove Holbert's truck to him in Cerro Punta
and he had been completely and totally duped - as had many others."
"They spent about two weeks hiding in Cerro Punta, planning their
eventual escape from Panama."
ON THE LAM IN COSTA RICA
PASO CANOAS - William Holbert arranged for a man from Costa Rica to drive to
the border area just across in Paso Canoas to sell them a grey
2010 - June 30 - 2010- July 20 -
LAKE ARENAL - Once they obtained the vehicle, they drove to the Lake Arenal area,
rented a house.
Don Winner "Meet Max and Anne Smith: Bill Cortez (or whatever is real name
will turn out to be) has shaved off his scraggly beard. He drove his
big Red Dodge Ram pickup to Costa Rica and used it to look at
properties when he rented a house in the area of Lake Arenal.
He's using the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org".
He's using the alias "Maxwell Smith" and his wife is using
"Anne Smith." He's been using mostly Craig's List to find
properties - maybe to "buy". Might have been using an email
address of "email@example.com". Please check your
email records and traffic, and if you come up with anything
that might be even remotely helpful to the investigation please
contact local law enforcement officials immediately.
Update - Additions: In Panama William Cortez and his wife Jane
were using cell phone numbers 6630-2464 and 6859-9116, and
another email address - firstname.lastname@example.org "
2010- July 20 - Tuesday - The Public Ministry and DIJ are executing a search
warrant at the property in Cauchero (formerly belonging
to the Brown family) that Holbert & Reese had been
A LOYAL DOG ASSISTS THE INVESTIGATORS
Cheryl Hughes Werle's dog, Jackie, a doberman pinscher who adored her, was there
to greet the searchers. Jackie insisted on the investigators following, and when they
did, Jackie led them straight to the burial site of Cheryl. After a second walk through
of the site, the investigators discovered more bodies, those of Bo Icelar, Nan Brown,
Watson Brown, Michael Brown aka Michael Francis Salem and two other as yet
Jackie - Cheryl's dog
Don Winner "If it wasn't for Jackie, who knows how long it would have taken them
to find the remains of Cher Hughes. In addition, the human remains
strongly suspected to be those of Bo Icelar were also discovered
William Holbert and Laura Reese have fled the scene and are hiding out, hoping
to outlast the investigation and then go back to their activities of murdering
Don Winner "I thought in my own mind that Holbert and Reese had most likely
fled from Panama already, and the only way they would get caught
was by getting their pictures and names on as many television and
computer screens as possible, and to create a huge media blast.
At 7:25 pm on Tuesday, 20 July 2010, I published Panama Guide
Flash - Wanted As Primary Suspects - Multiple Murders - William
"Wild Bill" Adolfo Cortez Reese and Wife. And then I called my
good friend Ivan Donoso, the evening news anchor for TVN Channel
2 in Panama City.
There's no doubt whatsoever that Holbert and Reese were actively
monitoring this website. (Panama-Guide.com) They knew from
their contacts back in Panama that I had been vigorously
investigating this case. By this time I had spent three solid weeks
gathering information and talking to as many people as possible,
finding out everything I could about "Wild Bill" and Jane Cortez.
When my first article appeared, the first article published anywhere
in the world about this case, I imagine their "pucker factor" multiplied
by a factor of ten."
2010 - July 21 - Wednesday - William Holbert & Laura Reese flee Lake Arenal.
TURRIALBA, COSTA RICA - Holbert & Reese hole up in a rented cabin in the
mountains. They contact a few home owners
who advertise on the Internet wanting to sell
2010 - July 23 - Friday - Costa Rican press post and print the news about the
fugitives and their crimes. The woman who rented the
cabin to them contacts the police and law enforcement.
Friday morning, after hearing or seeing the news, Holbert & Reese leave the cabin
intending to flee into Nicaragua. Holbert & Reese abandon the grey Nissan car.
When police arrived at the home they are long gone. Costa Rican authorities
believed they were heading north.
2010 - July 26 - Monday - Holbert & Reese steal a boat on the Costa Rican side
of the San Juan River, hoping to avoid the police check
Holbert & Reese surrender when faced with machine guns and other high calibre
weapons in the hands of the Nicaraguan Army which are pointed straight at them.
NICARAGUA NATIONAL POLICE NEWS RELEASE -
"A man going by the name of William Cortez Reese was arrested along with his
girlfriend, Jane Cortez, by the Nicaraguan Army earlier this week and charged
with killing an American in Panama."
Nicaraguan National Police Capture - Laura Michelle Reese & William Dathan Holbert
Holbert is arrested and on his person are:
A large amount of cash
A .22 Caliber pistol
Bullets for a .38 Caliber pistol
Jose Luis Cordales (Spokesman for the Panama National Police)
“Police have found about eight or nine people in the area where he
(Holbert) would take people to sign contracts and where he would kill
them. He would bury them there.”
Holbert is suspected in crimes in the United States, Costa Rica and
Central America, including Panama."
"Holbert has confessed to the murders of 5 American expats, but not
of murdering any Panamanians."
EXTRADITED TO PANAMA - CONFESSED SERIAL KILLER
WILLIAM DATHAN HOLBERT
EXTRADITED TO PANAMA - LAURA MICHELLE REESE
According to her family, Mercedes Ramona Brown Robinson was found dead
after she refused to sell some land she owned in Bocas del Toro to an American
with features similar to those of "Wild Bill" Cortez. Investigators will likely review
Mercedes Ramona Brown Robinson
DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE MISSING?
Panama's Deputy Attorney General Angel Calderon
"If anyone has any information which could potentially lead us to other
possible victims, I would ask those people to please come forward with
that information immediately."If you know of anyone who just went missing
one day, and the next day their property is all of a sudden "owned" by
"Wild Bill" and Jane Cortez, then please let the authorities know. There
are reportedly dozens of members of the community of English speaking
expatriates missing in Costa Rica who have never been found. That's why
"Wild Bill" and Jane Cortez could live as millionaires.
Panamanian officials are continuing to dig for victims. Authorities expect the number
of murder victims could to rise to as many as 20.
Holbert has only confessed to 5.
Angel Calderon "He (Holbert) has confessed to five homicides.
Homicide charges are also being filed against his partner,
Laura Michelle Reese.
"Not much is left (for authorities to do) for the case to go to trial."
Holbert being taken by law enforcement to hospital for evaluation.
Since authorities refuse to drop charges and set Laura Michelle Reese free, William
Holbert has stopped cooperating.