Saturday, 22 April 2017

What happened to Nan Dixon? Nevada, 1979


A user over at Tumblr asked me what I thought happened to missing woman Nan Dixon.
Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the case before, so I decided to check it out and write a post of my own.


73 year old Nan Celine Dixon went missing on the 21st of September in 1978 from Grass Valley, California. Dixon had set off from her grass valley home and was making her way to Seven Troughs, Nevada to drop in on her brother, a man named Harry Leighton. He owed her around $6000 and she was going to collect it.

According to her Doenetwork page the journey should have taken around three hours and her destination was around 180 miles away nearby a place called Lovelock.
She was to make the trip alone, riding in her 1976 Datsun B210. I’ve seen it described as “Lime green” or “Yellowish green” in color with California plates, registration 915RHV. 



Nan Dixon never met with her brother and his family and despite searches was never heard from again. Strangely, around three months later the missing woman’s husband noticed that $4.18 had been used on his charge card. It turned out that the cash had been spent on gas in Lovelock. The monthly statement revealed it was a Texaco gas station. Despite further searches no trace of Nan Dixon or her vehicle were found. The lime green Datsun was eventually discovered by hunters four years after Dixon had been reported missing.


Strangely it was found in a place that investigators had previously looked, (apparently the car was found on “Eagle Picher mining property.”/ 40.29482, -118.7821)


 This, coupled with tire marks that seemed to pull off the main highway and drive down into a valley and into a gorge, suggested that the car had been deliberately driven in that direction. Nan Dixon’s body was not in the car but the Charley project page states that there were a couple of pieces of duct tape, one of which had “possible human tissue” and a strand of hair. It doesn’t say whether or not the hair and tissue belonged to Dixon or someone else. If they did belong to Dixon it could suggest she was gagged at some point, although if she was using the tape it would have been quite easy to get a piece of her own skin and hair on it in general. The case report also states that there “appeared” to be blood on the rim of the car tire, the tire itself and in the trunk. I’m not sure why it is stated to only “appear” as blood, I mean is it or isn’t it? It’s not difficult to confirm. Also was it her blood or not? Does anyone else know?
 A commenter on the reddit unresolved page said it wasn’t proven to be blood.

In a Ventura county star article from 1982 Deputy Sheriff Bill Davis admitted that he suspected foul play due to evidence found in the car, but did not elaborate.

There were four empty cigarette packs in Dixon’s car too. She was described by her family as a “light smoker” and since the packs found in the Datsun weren’t her usual brand they don’t believe that they belonged to the missing woman. To be honest, I know light smokers who sometimes smoke more depending on what they’re doing or how they’re feeling and who would rather some a brand they didn’t like over nothing, so I’m not sure if the cigarettes indicate anything suspicious. I suppose (at a stretch) if they think someone else moved the car since it wasn’t there when they did the previous searches it could be a clue to who moved it, but it really isn’t much to go on.

 I should note that the gas tank was half full. Could this be the $4.18 of gas in Lovelock? A full tank of gas for that specific model of car in the late seventies / early eighties was around $8, so that could make sense.

Now another thing found in Datsun was what police believed to be a suicide note. Here’s a copy of it


(image source)



The general consensus is that it says:

"...keeps telling me to use my gun and end my nightmare, but this I'll never do for God gives life, only God can take life, committing suicide is the unpardonable sin and I will never be..."

What could this mean?

Some suggest that she might have got into a survival type situation and considered ending it with her gun, but couldn’t do it due to religious beliefs.
She was found in an area by hunters so it possible she could have went off the road and was taken by wild animals? The note seems desperate and scared, like she’s in a situation where she feels she had no way out and contemplates ending it with her gun. It’s possible she just wandered off and didn’t make it.
What happened to Nan? C. Dixon?
The case remains unsolved.

3 comments:

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  3. WOW thats really touching and its sad when a person goes missing. by now Nan Dixon would be 112 years old. she has been missing for 39 year and still not found. I hop one day some will find Nan Dixon and to say a proper good by.

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