An Oklahoma dairy farmer disappears with a mysterious stranger.

Lenny Dirickson

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 7/25/58
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Gray
Defining Characteristics: Handlebar mustache at the time of his disappearance
Remarks: Last seen 3/14/98

CASE DETAILS

March 14, 1998, began as a typical morning at Leonard Dirickson’s dairy farm near Cheyenne, Oklahoma.   Leonard and his 19 year old son, Jared, sat down to eat breakfast before a long day of chores.

Lenny left with a stranger

Then, at 9 AM, a visitor arrived unannounced in a white pickup truck. Leonard spent several minutes talking to the driver of the truck.   They did not appear to know each other, but their conversation seemed friendly.

When Leonard returned, he told Jared that the man wanted to look at one of his stud horses. According to Jared, his father found nothing unusual about the stranger:

“So he told me that he was gonna go with him.   He said to stay here and… get some feed and go feed the cows, and he’d be back that afternoon.”  

Suspect wanted for questioning

Jared Dirickson is still waiting for his father to come home.   Nobody has any idea what happened to him.   Police have found no signs of a struggle, no evidence of foul play, and no body. Their only clue is the mysterious man who came to Leonard’s house.

Apparently, Leonard did not simply vanish immediately after leaving his home.   Two hours later, a waitress claimed to have seen Leonard eating breakfast with another man at a local coffee shop.

Clif Gann was an Inspector for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation:

“They were sitting there in the restaurant. And the unknown man that we’re trying to identify was doing most of the talking, and Leonard was just drinking coffee and listening to the… man talk.”   

Did the man know where Lenny lived?

The man at the diner matched the description of the man who picked Leonard up at his home. According to the waitress, there was nothing suspicious about the man’s behavior.

Police checked the barn where Leonard kept his stud horse.   But Leonard never went there that day.   An exhaustive investigation that followed turned up no information on Leonard’s whereabouts.

Then six months after he vanished, a man phoned police saying that Leonard Dirickson was in a bar in Amarillo, Texas. The man described Leonard in detail but told police he couldn’t reveal his name.

By the time local police arrived at the bar, both the caller and the man he claimed was Leonard Dirickson were gone.

The following day, the Roger Mills County Sheriff’s Department interviewed the bartender.   She remembered the caller being at the bar and corroborated his story.

Joe Hay was the Sheriff of Roger Mills County:

“We had no reason to disbelieve it.   It would almost stretch the imagination that a guy would dance around in a bar screaming and hollering, ‘It’s Leonard, it’s Leonard,’ and it not be Leonard.   I believe he was in the bar in Amarillo.”

Lenny was spotted at a bar

Before his disappearance, Leonard had gone through a painful divorce and was having financial difficulties. Could he have just decided to walk away from it all? Jared Dirickson doesn’t think so:

“Me and my dad, we was together every day.   Every morning, we’d go work, do the chores, and I’d go to school.   I don’t think he would’ve ever left me and not ever come back to see me or nothing, ’cause…we was close, and I don’t think he’d have ever done that to me.”

If Leonard would not have left his son behind, the focus then switches back to the mysterious man.  How did the stranger know where Leonard lived? And why was he asking about a horse that Leonard had not advertised for sale?    Without a motive, the search for Leonard Dirickson will continue to be hampered.


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

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17 Comments

  1. Shurlock

  2. bed

    why would you get into a person’s car and you really don’t know them??? That sound funny to me, I mean you don’t know if they got a gun or what? You just met the dude and your getting in his car??????? I’ll be like I’m getting in my own car follow me.

  3. Anonymous

    This story really broke me, I really hope that the son has some sort of justice. Several years later and he’s almost the age his dad was when he went missing. Hope the son is staying happy and healthy and living a somewhat normal life. Hope we have answers soon!

  4. Chanita

    I’m Worried …… How Did That Man Know Where Know Lenny And His Son Was? It’s A Possibility That Lenny Might Have Been Murdered And I Am Starting To Suspect That The Man Was Someone That Knew Where To Look! What Did That Man Say To Lenny?! And Why Did Lenny Leave His Son?! And Finally Why Was Lenny At The Bar?!

  5. Anonymous

    This is a very sad story and it hit my heart also.. I find myself praying for him to be found especially for his son.

  6. Beccaboo

    I felt so bad for his son. This one has always stuck with me. Lenny seemed to be a hard worker and a genuine guy. Could the son provide anymore information? I must watch the segment again but did the son get the number plate?

  7. Relative

    Our family has no clue what happened to Leonard. My dad used to receive letters from someone stating that would see him all the time in Oregon, but nothing was ever found. Leonard never seemed like the one to walk away. The episode didn’t mention a suspect in Texas that Leonard had ties to. Don’t believe the man ever let the authorities gain access to his properties.

  8. Jason

    Did the police ever investigate the ex-wife of Leonard, since he apparently owed several thousand dollars in debt and was about to have his farm sold? (This is public record now.) If Lenny had gone “missing”, wouldn’t that give the ex wife (who was divorcing him at the time) legal control of the farm land and therefore be the one to receive any payouts from its sale? His children wouldn’t be able to get it as they would have both been minors at the time. This case has haunted me from the first time I saw it, and I have a strong suspicion the ex-wife is behind all of this. I have no explanation for the mysterious sighting of him at the club, though; perhaps it was a red herring by the killer himself to throw them off his trail?

  9. LUIS FREEH

    HE LOOKS JUST LIKE THE LAST GUY WHO DISAPEARED WHEN HIS BOAT CAP-SIZED IN MEXICO! EXACTLY LIKE HIM!

  10. Me

    Does anyone know how to obtain the earlier episodes of Unsolved Mysteries? I loved that show and the only way I know how to watch it would be to buy the series on eBay for almost $400 bucks. No thanks. Anyone know of any way to buy the entire series any cheaper?? Again, I’m only interested in the Robert Stack Unsolved Mysteries.

  11. Trevor

    Has their been any update in this case?

  12. Anonymous

    How do I watch this one