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John Spira


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« on: January 27, 2009, 12:10:59 am »

http://blogs.discovery.com/criminal_report/2009/01/the-missing---a-weekly-expos%C3%A9-of-lost-souls---issue-28.html

January 26, 2009
The Missing - A Weekly Exposé of Lost Souls - Issue #28

The Mysterious Disappearance of John "Chicago Johnny" Spira

In this week's edition of "The Missing," we revisit the mysterious disappearance of John "Chicago Johnny" Spira, a 45-year-old resident of Chicago, Illinois, who went missing in February 2007.

A popular Chicago musician and owner of a successful construction company, John had a lot of things going right in his life. He had money, a new girl, and plenty of fans who fawned over his musical talent. What John didn't have was a reason to walk away from his life, which makes the mystery of his disappearance all the more difficult to understand.

John was last seen at around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, leaving his business, Universal Cable Construction Inc., in West Chicago. He had a dinner date planned for later that evening, but for reasons unknown, he never arrived. The following morning John's girlfriend, Renata Biekskis, attempted to file a missing persons report with the St. Charles Police Department but was turned away because she was not his next of kin.

The following evening, John's band, The Rabble Rousers, was scheduled to play a gig at Jason's Steakhouse in Montgomery. However, for the first time in years, "Chicago Johnny" was a no-show. Determined to get the police involved, Renata persuaded John's estranged wife, Suzanne, to contact the police and file a missing persons report.

Police initially did little to locate John, suspecting that he had run off or went on a trip without notifying his friends. Investigators found no signs of foul play at his home or at his business, and both of his vehicles were accounted for.

Stephanie McNeil immediately knew something was wrong when she heard her brother was missing. It was out of character for him to leave without contacting anyone, and she felt there was no way he would take off when he had already purchased tickets to fly to Phoenix, Ariz., the following week to visit his mother, who had recently been hospitalized.

As the weeks turned into months, Stephanie found herself making dozens of trips to Chicago to try to determine what had happened to her brother. Stephanie helped erect billboards with John's picture and information, and she diligently distributed fliers and organized several searches, all to no avail.

In September 2007, on an early fall Saturday evening, there was more intrigue and mystery added to John's case when a fire truck was dispatched to a mysterious blaze at his construction company. Despite firefighters' best efforts, the business was a total loss. Despite the fact that the fire appeared to be suspicious, investigators have been reluctant to label it arson.

John In addition to the fire, across the street from the business, someone had destroyed a large banner with John’s picture and information on it. John's business partner, David Stubben, and younger brother, Tom Spira, both remain convinced that these incidents are connected to John's disappearance.

"It wasn't just a coincidence," Tom told Cbs2chicago.com. "There might be a motive because someone somewhere is going to get that money, so maybe that will prompt the police to take a look at somebody. They've never brought anyone in for formal questioning."

Trying to develop support for John's search has been difficult for his family and friends. They have regularly voiced their frustration over not getting media coverage comparable to that of other missing persons cases in the city, resulting in their having to take the bulk of the search responsibilities into their own hands.

John's family has organized several vigils as a way to keep his face in the newspapers and on television. Dozens of volunteers have also donated time to pass out leaflets and posters to keep his story from fading into the background. Family members of Stacy Peterson and Lisa Stebic, two women who also went missing in 2007, have admitted that it is unfortunate that young, attractive missing females seem to get more media attention than missing men, a fact that they would all like to see changed.

John Spira is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. A $10,000.00 reward is being offered for information leading to the discovery of his whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact the St. Charles Police Department at 630-377-4435 or the DuPage County Sheriff's Department at 630-407-2321.

For more information or to help, please visit: www.johnspira.com.

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of John Spira's family.

If you are a family member of a missing loved one and have a case you would like covered here, contact me via e-mail. If you are a reader who would like to help, please spread the word about this site so others can find us. The more people who see these stories, the better the chances that someone might come forward with information.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission from Discovery Communications. All quotes must include a link back.
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