The Mysterious Disappearance of Charles Southern - Unsolved Mysteries

Is a cult responsible for a respected English professor’s disappearance?

Charles Southern disappeared

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 7/25/48
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: He may have a full beard

CASE DETAILS

Terri Hoffman

In a haunting video message to his family, Don Hoffman revealed he had terminal cancer–a diagnosis he said was confirmed by three different doctors. Then, just hours after making the video, Don took his own life. An autopsy, however, found no trace of cancer. On the videotape, Don Hoffman said goodbye to five different family members. But there was no farewell to the heir to Hoffman’s estate–his second wife Terri, founder of a spiritual movement known as Conscious Development of Body, Mind, and Soul.

Terri Hoffman is at the center of what some might call a “circle of death.” The victims include Mary Levinson–drug overdose; David and Glenda Goodman–shot to death, probable double suicide; Jill Bounds–beaten to death; Sandy Cleaver–drove off a cliff in broad daylight; Sandy’s 14-year-old daughter Devereaux–drowned.

Eleven untimely deaths… eleven people with a direct or indirect link to Terri Hoffman. Now some believe a 12 th name should be added to this somber list–Charles Southern, Jr., a respected English professor. Southern mysteriously disappeared and his family now believes it may be no coincidence that he was a disciple of Terri Hoffman.

Some families took legal action

Peace, harmony, and enlightenment. Hoffman offered all this and more to Charles Southern and the others who joined her group, Conscious Development. Peter Muth was a former member who belonged to Hoffman’s sect for more than a decade:

“Part of the belief system Terri taught us was that death was really just another state of consciousness, and it wasn’t a bad thing. It wasn’t anything to fear. We also learned that the dark forces out in the universe had a name. They were the black lords, black overlords. They worked for Satan. The group we worked with was the White Brotherhood, who are good, benevolent characters. They’re on God’s side. The good guys.”

The Nigerian tribal symbol of death

In Chicago, Charles joined a local branch of Conscious Development. Charles was assistant chairman of the English department at a local junior college. Joining Hoffman’s group was his most recent foray in an ongoing search for spiritual truth, an odyssey that had taken him to India and Africa. Charles rose quickly in Hoffman’s organization. He was soon teaching classes and leading meditation sessions. Eventually, he was invited to Terri Hoffman’s home in Dallas. By then, Terri Hoffman had begun to portray herself as a target of attack by the so-called Black Lords. During special meditation sessions, Hoffman exhorted her trusted inner circle to erect “a psychic shield around her.” Peter Muth says he saw Charles at one of these meetings:

“Now, her inner core group for fighting the battles lives in a kind of constant state of fear, because we’re always under attack from black magicians who supposedly could kill us, who could drive us insane. And as the years went by, you saw people in your group actually start to show signs of the strain, show signs of mental and emotional problems”

According to his sister, Cheryle, Charles was one of those who apparently collapsed under the pressure:

“We found Charles wandering on the street carrying a newspaper, stating, ‘I lived for art.’ We got him in the car and took him to Michael Reese hospital for examination, stating that he might be suicidal, and he also seemed to be reciting something in a strange language over and over and over again.”

Southern’s last will and testament

After his release from the hospital, Charles stayed active in the group, but eventually became disillusioned with Hoffman. As Christmas neared, he made plans for a trip to India. In the days before he was supposed to leave, his mother, Ingerborg Southern, got a feeling that something was very wrong:

“I told him that I was disturbed and I felt that I should come to Chicago. And he said no, you don’t need to come to Chicago, because I’m perfectly all right, and I will be leaving for India in three days. So he assured me that everything was all right. And with that assurance, I didn’t go.”

That was the last time she spoke to her son. After two weeks and no word from their son, Charles’ father became worried:

“We, of course, wondered why we didn’t hear from him. But he had traveled so much and so often to so many parts of the world, I wasn’t overly concerned until he was overdue.”

Charles’ parents drove the 300 miles from Cincinnati. When they broke into their son’s house, a nagging concern for his well being turned to outright fear. Placed on a ceremonial stool from Africa were Charles’ winter dress hat and his coat, neatly folded inside out. Only later would his family learn that this was a Nigerian tribal symbol of death. Charles’ parents also discovered two barely legible notes–apparently his last will and testament. One said in part, “I came under a bad influence, and I was trying to fight it myself.” Terri Hoffman was mentioned twice and named executor of his estate. Over a 12-year period, two of Hoffman’s four husbands, her only son, six followers, and two people related to or employed by a follower came to an unnatural end. Causes of death: one murder, four fatal accidents, and six suicides.

In over half of these cases, Hoffman was named heir or beneficiary. She was designated to receive over a half a million dollars in cash, plus hundreds of thousands more in real estate, fine art, and jewelry. But authorities have not directly linked her to any of the deaths. Charles Southern is still missing. He is 6’2″ tall, weighs 180 pounds, and may have a full beard.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season nine with Robert Stack and in season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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15 Comments

  1. Nick

    The off hand comment about Terri worshiping Satan are absurd. Totally a product of the Satanic Panic that was going on at the time. I’ve written extensively on the subject at trouble.city do a search for Geraldo and you’ll find it.

    Reply

  2. Anonymous

    Here’s Terri’s website, if you want to have a look. Still up to her old tricks; personally, I wouldn’t send this woman a dime or any property.

    Reply

  3. Anonamous

    I saw a guy that looks just like this guys in CT he had long braids & beard but he looked way younger that the age it says in here. And he seemed lost & told me he was spiritual.

    Reply

  4. Teresa

    It appears that Terri Hoffman died in November, 2015, in Dallas, TX. We may never know her exact role in all of these deaths, but it would certainly appear that she did have a role.

    Reply

  5. Chris R.

    I wonder WHEN Charles Southern went missing, as I noticed the program didn’t mention a date or date range (even approximately if not exact) of when Mr. Southern disappeared. Hopefully, Mr. Southern is still alive and well, even though it seems unlikely due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    Every Person in the world need some Peace, Harmony & Enlightenment in their lives, as there really are “Black (meaning ‘Dark’) Lords” in the world that the Bible calls “Demons”, “Evil Spirits”, etc. However, Terri Hoffman doesn’t seem to be a legitimate religious woman, as she has been linked to the majority of the mysterious deaths mentioned in the program (her name on the “Beneficiary” of the will, for example). Also, Conscious Development doesn’t seem like a Christian or Faith-based program either, as about half of the people who had died had committed suicide. Almost seems like Conscious Development was/is a satanic cult disguised as a religious program.

    Reply

  7. Te

    Terri Hoffman is still up to her old tricks. A very good friend of mine’s mother in the last month tried to commit suicide, for the second time in the last several years. She’s been under Hoffman’s influence for decades, Terri has her convinced the dark lord’s are causing her unbearable pain, she lives up in the Northwest, and Hoffman still in Dallas, from that far away she still can get people to try to kill themselves. I hope she dies an excruciating, painful, suffering death, she is a despicable, no good, evil, selfish! She will get what’s coming to her in the end, as Karma will turn around and kill her dead!

    Reply

  8. Anonymous

    She definitely had something to do with it…. When she lays on her death bed she will SUFFER I hate people like her

    Reply

  9. Lisl

    Don’t look into her eyes!! She sounds like a conduit for evil.

    Reply

  10. loser

    Wow

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    How can you not look at that crazy lady Hoffman. She was a fraud; a kook. She had something to do with this guy’s disappearance. You got his money. Sounds like she is a sociopath. Her picture looks creepy… This creepy. She probably be killed the guy.

    Reply

    • Brenda Finnigan O'neill

      I totally agree with your comment I also think she had something to do with his disapearance but it’s what you can prove in court I hope if she is guilty that god finds a way to punish her but no body it’s all very weird

      Reply

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6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.