John Kelly Gentry, Jr., isn’t half the man he used to be. In fact, he may not even be recognized as a man at all. Investigators say the fugitive, who is wanted for two murders in Michigan, may be disguised as a woman and living in Los Angeles. According to Reuters, the 63-year-old was last seen many years ago in 1983. At the time of his disappearance, authorities believe he was linked to the deaths of both a man and a woman Gentry had been in a relationship with.
This new information stems from an investigative partnership between the United States Marshals Service and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan, who just released an age-progressed drawing of Gentry in hopes of tracking him down.
“The U.S. Marshals Service received information in the last five years that Gentry was possibly living in California as a woman,” Detective Jeff Smith told Reuters.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it’s possible Gentry is using his middle name, “Kelly.” (It‘s not clear whether Gentry may be dressing as a woman only to conceal his identity or whether he may be transgender. Since he is unavailable to dictate which pronouns he prefers, we’ll adhere to the male pronouns he was using before his disappearance.)
In April 1983, 25-year-old Barbara Gerber was found sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her home. According to the Los Angeles Times, the gas was left on and a candle was burning, and investigators believe Gentry, then 30, wanted her place to blow up. After the murder, authorities believe the suspect stole her car and dumped it in Ohio. That’s where, less than a week after heading to the state to hunt for Gentry, authorities found another body.
Reuters reports William Veith was found bludgeoned to death by the heel of an ax in the basement of his rare coin shop in Toledo. Veith’s car was also taken and later found in Indiana. As for a possible motive, authorities say Gentry was in a relationship with Veith at the same time as he was seeing Gerber, and believe it’s possible his lovers found out about one another.
Only 30 days after the killings, Gentry sent postcards to his dad and a friend, postmarked from California. While they’re continuing to search for Gentry on the West Coast, the Marshals are working other angles, including whether Gentry could be dead.
Gentry is described as five feet, seven inches tall and weighs just over 150 pounds. His sister is believed to be his only surviving immediate relative, and she claims to have not had contact with him in years. If you know anything about this case, please contact the U.S. Marshals directly.
Take a look at all of the photos related to this case here.
Photo: Monroe County Sheriff