An Unsolved Mystery – Part I

It’s an unsolved mystery.  It possibly entails two murders.  And a reward is still offered after a more than two years.  Yet there isn’t any coverage on the internet or in the news.  Why?

Here are the details I found in an old magazine while on vacation in California this past week.  I was so intrigued, my friend and I did a little investigating while on our vacation.  The unsolved mystery appealed to us.  The $25,000 reward made the mystery doubly attractive.  And so our adventure to solve this disappearance, or murder, and collect a little cash began.  This is a brief summary of the story as we read it in the outdated magazine along with the small amount of information we have garnered through research.  Some things that we do know that are pertinent to the case have been left out.  Remember I did say there was a reward being offered.  My friend and I intend to collect it.  If you’d like to partner up with us, please contact me via email.

On November 29th, 2008 a reporter named Peter Knecht and videographer named Ivan Simms, were scheduled to interview a music group called Bella Czar.  The interview was for a small California paper that wanted to do a feature on the up and coming band.  Shortly after that interview with Bella Czar, Peter Knecht and Ivan Simms were never seen again.

The police, and consequently the public, learned about what transpired during the interview with the musical duo, Bella Czar after a digital recorder, belonging to Peter Knecht, and Ivan Simms’ video camera were found in the cart of an elderly homeless woman two weeks after Knecht and Simms’ disappearance.  The homeless woman entered a doughnut shop and tried to trade Peter Knecht’s engraved Breitling watch for a sandwich.  The elderly woman was brought to the attention of detectives after the doughnut shop clerk thought the Breitling, an expensive watch, was stolen and called the police.  The memory card was missing from Simms’ video camera but Knecht’s digital recorder had not been erased.  Police speculate that the digital recorder may not have been destroyed because it might not have been detected in Knecht’s jacket pocket.  A jacket, co-workers confirmed, Knecht wore on the day of his disappearance and consequently, that the elderly woman had on when she entered the doughnut shop a couple of weeks later.

Peter Knecht's Digital Recorder

Peter Knecht's Digital Recorder

Though the case is a few years old it is still considered an open case.  The police department would not give us any information other than what was already public knowledge.  We then went to the offices of the newspaper where Peter Knecht and Ivan Simms had worked.  There, after much discussion and proof that I was truly a journalist, (I left out freelance.) we were able to obtain a copy of the manuscript taken from Knecht’s digital recorder.

We have read the manuscript over and over and find a few things rather intriguing.  One item that stands out most is the interview with the musical pair of Bella Czar.  The two members of the duo Bella Lamora and Czar Dain seemed to be enjoying the interview.  There appeared to be a lot of laughter and joking with Peter Knecht as he asked his questions and the duo Bella Czar answered.  Or at least there had been until the videographer, Ivan Simms attempted to discretely, catch the reporter, Peter Knecht’s attention.  When that failed Simms called out to Knecht and requested that he come and see something odd he’d captured with his camera.   For some reason, after Simms’ discovery, the interview with Bella Czar abruptly ended.

Recording Artists Bella Czar

Recording Artist Bella Czar

Only one other person is reported to have seen Knecht and Simms following the interview with Bella Czar.  Brian Hill was the parking attendant that day at the lot where Knecht and Simms collected Simms’ car.  Brian Hill told police that the two men looked shaken and distracted.  When Hill requested the parking fee of $17.00, Simms nervously handed the parking attendant $40.00 and sped off.   Not only had Simms overpaid, but he did not even wait to collect his change.

The whole afternoon from the time the reporter and videographer, met with Bella Czar leads to a few unanswered questions.  What could the two men have seen on the camera to prompt their behavior?  Why did Bella Czar get upset and practically throw Knecht and Simms out?

Ivan Simms' Video Camera

Ivan Simms' Video Camera

Bella Lamora and Czar Dain had been questioned as people of interest, but soon the police moved on to other theories and speculations regarding the disappearance of Peter Knecht and Ivan Simms.  I’m sorry, but after reading the manuscript several times, I cannot dismiss the musicians of Bella Czar so easily.  We at least will be taking a closer look at them.

My friend and I don’t believe the two men are still alive.  Several articles of their clothing were found in the homeless woman’s cart as well as the wallets of both men.  The cash was missing from both wallets but we can rule out theft as a motive since the elderly woman admitted that she took the money from the wallets.  Also, if it had been a robbery you’d think the robber would not only have taken the wallets, but the Breitling watch, the video camera and Simms’ platinum wedding band, which had been stuffed in a pants pocket.  To this day, Simms’ car, a 2006 Toyota Camry, has never been found.  Also missing is the notebook, Peter Knecht had been writing in during the interview with Bella Czar.

According to the National Center for Missing Adults, 2300 people are reported missing a day in the United States.   Of that number, roughly half are adult men.

We’ll see where this takes us so stick around.

Are you into mysteries as must as I am?  Try reading some of these articles:


4 thoughts on “An Unsolved Mystery – Part I

  1. Whoa, this is why you want to speak to me? In your post you state that the police don’t think Bella Czar had anything to do with the disappearance of those two men. Who are you to read an old magazine and then take it upon yourself to implicate my friends. You really have some nerve!

    • You seem offended. If so, I do apologize, that was not my intention. I stated the facts which are:

      Fact: Bella Lamora and Czar Dain were the last to see those two men before they disappeared.

      Fact: Something happened during that interview that caused everyone to get upset.

      I take it this means that you are not going to help me meet Bella Czar? That’s okay, I’m a very resourceful guy. As for you, I’ve checked around and you’ll be the second person ever to do a live interview with Bella Czar. Let’s hope I’m not writing a post about you missing in a couple of weeks.

  2. very interesting ..Bella Lamora and Czar Dain of Bella Czar can only escape my grasp if I decide to let them! I think I need to do some homework on this. Modern day Sherlock Holmes at your service.

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