A security guard disappears after his car is torched in an arson fire.

Curtis Pishon

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 7/11/59
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 165 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Graying brown
Remarks: Last seen 7/5/00

CASE DETAILS

For 10 years, Curtis Pishon cherished his career as a police officer.   Then he was stricken with multiple sclerosis, a painful muscular disorder that severely limited his mobility.   The disease progressed to the point where Curtis could no longer fire his gun accurately.   He had no choice but to turn in his badge.   His brother, Mark Pishon, believed this devastated Curtis:

“His personality changed. He became sort of quieter. And I don’t think even up to the time of his disappearance he really knew what he was gonna do the rest of his life.”

Curtis

According to his family, Curtis became depressed and withdrawn.   But when he got a job as a factory security guard in Seabrook, New Hampshire, his self-esteem slowly returned.

On the night of July 5, 2000, everything seemed normal.   Curtis was already well into his shift when at 1:42 AM, he called Seabrook firefighters complaining that his car was on fire.   Jeff Brown, a Deputy Chief at the Seabrook Fire Department, was on call that night:

“He pretty much said that he saw a bunch of smoke… went to find a fire extinguisher and… put the fire out. One fire extinguisher is not going to have much effect. We did notice that he did try to put out the fire. But I don’t have any idea, or gut feeling–how the fire started or–or why the case ended up the way it did.”

Curtis’ car went up in flames

After interviewing Curtis, Deputy Chief Brown found him to be very accepting that his car had been torched.   This was puzzling to his brother Mark because Curtis had the odd habit of using his car to store what he treasured most:

“I would think that if he had seen his car on fire with his belongings in it that he would have been very upset. I would think he would have been almost in tears and in shame and I can’t believe he was quiet, timid.”

After the fire was extinguished, the factory’s security supervisor checked on Curtis. He appeared to be alright.   Then 20 minutes later, at 3:45 AM, a factory worker noticed that Curtis was missing. An exhaustive search of the factory and the surrounding area turned up nothing.   Curtis’ brother, Nicolas Pishon Jr., immediately suspected the worst:

“Our very first thought about what happened to Curt was that he could have taken his own life Suicide was a possibility with somebody in Curtis’ condition, with MS. He had lost a job that he wanted all his life…”

Perhaps Curtis just walked away

Curtis had recently purchased a 9-millimeter gun from his father, so suicide seemed like a likely theory.   However, police found no trace of the gun in his car or apartment.

Investigators next focused on the possibility that Curtis had a mental breakdown.   They believed Curtis accidentally started the fire, and then became so despondent over losing his prize possessions, that he simply walked away.   Nicholas Pishon disagreed with that theory:

“There is absolutely no way that Curtis would have, or even could have, wandered off by himself under these circumstances. Curtis was a smoker. Smokers don’t leave cigarettes. You don’t… go anywhere without your cigarettes. It doesn’t happen. So he didn’t just walk off.”

Did Curtis encounter trouble on his shift?

It was also possible that Curtis called for a taxi or hitched a ride on a truck leaving the factory.   But investigators discovered that no cabs or company trucks left the plant during his shift.   That left a disturbing possibility for investigators–Curtis Pishon was abducted or even worse, murdered.   While exploring the possibility of foul play, investigators found that a door and two vending machines inside the factory where Curtis worked were damaged during his shift.   But no one knows who caused the damage.   For Nicholas Pishon, any possibility that his brother is alive has faded:

“My best guess is that somebody abducted him and did him in and disposed of the body in such a way that it hasn’t shown up yet… I think if he was alive he would have reached out already, and he never would have put us through this… I miss my brother. I miss Curtis. I was his best friend. And I miss him. I miss him very much.”

The case remains unsolved but Curtis’ family and friends hope he will someday be found.


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

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20 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I Get THE Taxi, and the Taxi driver, led to his demise, sorry, I see the driver took him to a remote place, sort of end of a road, and bet him, the drive was a old foe, from 9yrs and 3 days, 12 days, 17, days, and it goes on, many run in with him. if it is the same case I see him at the end of the road and a protection to stop any car to go over the cliff, and he the victim was flung off the cliff.

    Reply

  2. Main mystery

    The damage to the vending machine may seem like an innocuous crime but it could be more important to the story than one might expect. The mafia often has a large stake in the vending and juke box business especially back then. Hoods will often rob and vandalize rival machines not only for a quick buck but more so to intimidate and muscle in on their routes. It is at least a possibility Curt witnessed something like this and they torched his car to intimidate him. Then he either saw these guys mean business and beat feet out of town or the suspects decided to leave no loose ends and snatched him up. The thing is I don’t know how prevalent the mafia is in seabrook, NH haha.

    Reply

  3. n/a

    What is on South Main Street??

    Reply

  4. Harriet

    Has anyone from your team looked into the Albany, NY sighting? If so, why hasn’t it been posted or updated? It’s been a couple of months

    Reply

    • unsolved

      Hi Harriet – we passed the tip on to the authorities handling the case. We have not heard any new information from them unfortunately.

      Reply

  5. Harriet

    There are people in prison doing time for crimes they didn’t commit. The person of interest in this case was reported to the Seabrook Police for admitting that he killed Curtis and wasn’t afraid to do it again. Fearful of the consequences, the reporter recanted. Everyone who knows this person of interest knows that he’s mentally unstable and they’re afraid to come forward

    Reply

  6. Tj

    I saw someone that looks like him last night. He is around age 55 with severe scoliosis. Working as a manager at The Outback on Wolf Road Albany NY. I think it would be worth checking out…

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    Investigators next focused on the possibility that Curtis had a mental breakdown, Becuse of using drugs, cocaine, and he was to be a mule.

    Reply

  8. South Main sounds correct

    Occam’s razor. Simplest explanation is always correct. Let’s do some more digging…literally.

    Reply

  9. Taylor

    I hope they find him if he’s still out there somewhere, but the reality of the case looks as if he was unfortunately murdered.

    Reply

  10. A

    The answer is still on South Main Street.

    Reply

  11. Meh

    Was he blackmailed? Do they know if he was in trouble with someone? Maybe he got the gun to protect himself from someone and he was happy that he could live another day. Then that night, he didn’t bring his gun because he felt safe. Maybe the blackmailer threatened to first burn his car then kidnap him. (Something along those lines maybe) Maybe when he saw his car on fire and his possessions inside of it, he thought that his time was up and he knew he would die, so he just let them have him. Maybe the broken vending machine and all that were a sign that we’re here.

    Reply

  12. absurd

    If you are so smart and know who did it solve it. …The police are pointing fingers in this individuals face because they don’t want anyone to know that the allowed the real suspects to drive right of the property….There was a car with a bunch of people seen recklessly driving off the property that evening that was never pursued. …why not….

    Reply

  13. RyeGuy

    The notion Curt simply walked off is, at this point, pretty absurd. Curt was murdered plain and simple. The sad thing is, if you’ve followed the story for the past 14 years, it seems pretty clear the Pishon family and the Seabrook police department know exactly who did it but have no direct evidence and no one brave enough to come forward with a statement. It’s a shame but hopefully someday there will be resolution.

    Reply