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Mary Shotwell Little: The Case of the Missing Bride

Mary Shotwell Little, 25, has been missing since Oct. 14, 1965 from Line Circle in Decatur, Georgia.  She was last seen by a friend at Lenox Square shopping mall in Bulkhead in Atlanta, Georgia, where they had dinner and then did some shopping.  They parted ways and Mary was never seen again.  She never showed up for work the next day at the Citizens and Southern (C&S) Bank on Mitchell Street.  She was reported missing on Oct. 15.

The case has been referred to as Atlanta’s Missing Bride as Mary had only been married 6 weeks before she went missing to a man named Roy Little that was a state bank examiner.  He was out-of-town during the time she went missing and returned the next day after being reached by the authorities.

Mary’s 1965 Mercury Comet was found in the mall parking lot by her boss that was frustrated that the police could not locate it, reports   Inside was a bag of perishable groceries, bloodstains and women’s undergarments.  The authorities stated that Mary’s signature was on a gasoline credit card receipts from purchases made in Charlotte on Oct. 15, reports the Charlotte Observer.  Several hours later the same card was used in Raleigh.  They theorized that Mary had been forced to drive elsewhere and then murdered.  Then the car was driven back to the same parking spot she original parked at.

A newspaper clipping from the High Point Enterprise, dated Nov. 21, 1965 reported a service station attendant in Charlotte remembered a car with a man and a woman who bought gasoline using the credit card. The employee stated that “the woman was lying on the front seat covered with a road map and appeared to have a head injury and blood on her clothing. She signed the invoice of the gasoline.”

Susan Carpenter Scott, an attorney has been researching the Little case as well as Diana Shields case.  Diana, 22, had been murdered and she had worked at the C&S Bank and lived with the some of the same roommates Little lived with before she went missing.  It was too much of a coincidence to ignore.

“In approximately 1997, my husband Charles (now deceased) told me about the case of Mary Shotwell Little who disappeared from Lennox Square Mall in the mid 60’s. He was much older than me, and he recalled that the disappearance caused much fear and panic among everyone during the time. Knowing that I am an investigator at heart, he thought it might be something to interest me. And indeed, he was correct,” said Scott.

Scott began digging into the story and was able to obtain some records about the case that she has posted online.  One in particular stood out.  It is from a Georgia inmate who has since died, who stated he was told by two men that they were given $5,000 to kidnap a woman named Mary.  After they did they took her to a green house in Mount Holly and killed her.

“My history investigating this case has had so many ups and downs. The case file had disappeared from the Atlanta Police Department. (I later found it in another city office, got a copy and sent it to the APD!) The evidence box was destroyed or misplaced. Law enforcement was usually hesitant to talk to me. I persisted at times and as life got busy. With the death of my previous husband, my activity in the case waned as I tried to spend more time on the living,” said Scott.

Scott made some great friends in law enforcement, and continued to investigate the case, but now at a slower pace, but recently she has been contacted by several journalists and retired law enforcement that have shown interest in the story.

“Over that time, I made some great friends in law enforcement. Recently, I was contacted by an investigative journalist who, after reviewing my years of work on the case, has taken up the mantle. He has gathered an elite group of retired and active detectives and others who are determined to solve this case once and for all. I am so pleased and honored to have been asked to participate with all of them in the investigation,” said Scott.

Scott has tireless pursued justice for Little for many years, as well as retired Atlanta police detective Ray Pate, 81, who was interviewed along with Scott by the Charlotte Observer.  Pate found Scott’s blog and contacted her.

Susan Carpenter Scott

Scott’s goal has alway been to get the Atlanta Police Department to fund a complete re-investigation of the case from the beginning.  Now it looks as she is much closer to that goal.

“The investigation continues…and we will not give up,” said Scott.

To read Scott’s blog about Little and Diana Shields, please click here. 

Mary at the time of her disappearance was 5’6” tall, 120 pounds with hazel-green eyes and light brown hair. She was wearing a long-sleeved olive-green, cotton-dacron print dress with small white figures. She was carrying a white London Fog raincoat and a brown burlap and leather John Romain brand purse.

Unaccounted fore was her purse, raincoat, shoes, platinum wedding band, solitaire engagement ring, class ring from The Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, a scarab bracelet and the ignition key to her car.



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