Arkansas Business' 25 Cases of Mystery & Mayhem (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

4. Aaron Jones
Another mystery from 2008 is the fire that gutted the Chenal Circle home of young attorney and real estate developer Aaron Jones and his family.

Jones once described the 5,757-SF mansion, for which he paid $1.6 million in 2005, as his "dream home." But it was on the market with an asking price that had been reduced from $2.2 million to $1.85 million when, in the wee hours of May 30, Jones hopped to his neighbor's door and told a shocking tale of home invasion and arson.

Jones, whose wife and children were at their second home in Florida, said he was awakened by a gunman who used duct tape to cover Jones' mouth and eyes and to bind his feet and wrists. He said he believed at least one other intruder was also in his heavily mortgaged house, which quickly filled with black smoke.

No arrests have been made in the crime, but it is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation.

5. John Glasgow
One of the most baffling cases of the past 25 years is the disappearance of John Glasgow, chief financial officer of CDI Contractors of Little Rock, on Jan. 28, 2008. At the time of his disappearance, Glasgow, 45, was embroiled in a heated accounting dispute with James Freeman, CFO of Dillard's Inc., which owned half of CDI and has since acquired the other half. Glasgow's SUV was found the next day in the parking lot of Mather Lodge at Petit Jean State Park, but no trace of Glasgow has ever been found.

6. Olmstead Funeral Home
No, it wasn't an episode of "Six Feet Under." Dwight Olmstead, president of Olmstead Funeral Home in Heber Springs, really did shoot his father, Tom Olmstead, at the funeral home on a Saturday morning in February 2007.

What's more, Tom Olmstead, 76 at the time, also shot his 55-year-old son.

The shootout was the nadir of a relationship that had started to sour seven years earlier, when Tom Olmstead was removed as president of the funeral home business the family had operated since 1896. Dwight then fired his father in March 2006, spawning a lawsuit in which Dwight said his father's "tendency when he drinks to go out and spend huge sums of money" was threatening to bankrupt the business.

Dwight Olmstead was eventually charged with attempted murder and second-degree battery and has been held without bond since October – even running unopposed for re-election as Cleburne County coroner from his jail cell. He was scheduled for trial in February.

7. Huckabee's Hard Drives
Shortly before his 10-year tenure as governor expired in January 2007, Mike Huckabee ordered his staff to wipe clean and then crush the hard drives of about 100 computers in the governor's office.

The action was unprecedented, and it cost taxpayers more than $300,000 to buy new computers and hard drives to replace those that were destroyed. But it was not illegal or unethical; the Arkansas Ethics Commission cleared Huckabee of any wrongdoing.

Still, one has to wonder what was on those state-owned computers that needed to be destroyed so utterly.



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