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Friday, June 7, 2013

SMILEY RAGES ON: The Jeffrey Woodruff Killing

Missing Found Drowned: Jeffrey Woodruff
JEFFREY WOODRUFF: Was his drowning just another "tragic accident" or a coldblooded murder?
Sometime around midnight of April 27th 2013, police in Saugatuck Michigan responded to a report of an unidentified male passed out in a lot near Wally's Bar and Grill.

When officers arrived to investigate the incident, however, the man "was gone," they claim. 

The following day the family of Jeffrey Woodruff, 25, realized he'd inexplicably gone missing overnight from the exact same town, so they began organizing a posse straightaway in order to effectively hunt for him.

They also called the local police department, of course, urging them to join in the search effort, but, to their puzzlement and dismay, the cops declined that invitation.

Officials also refused to list the uncharacteristically absent Woodruff as a missing person, despite learning his abandoned cellphone was recovered in a spot close to where the reportedly unconscious man had been sighted, the same night that Woodruff disappeared.

About Jeffrey Woodruff

The athletic Michigan native had only recently relocated to the riverside community of Saugatuck and was last seen on the night of April 27th socializing at Wally's popular pub.

Although new to the area, Woodruff was at ease going to a boisterous place like Wally's by himself because the bar owner is great pals with his boss over at the antique shop just down the road.

Amsterdam Antiques is in fact slightly more than a mile from Wally's watering hole, but the evening was fairly mild so, after closing up shop for his vacationing employer, Woodruff walked to the bar alone.
A number of other patrons who recalled chatting with him during the night found the newcomer friendly and outgoing, they said, adding that, while they'd observed him down a few beers, he was by no means slurring his speech or staggering.

Yet the nimble Woodruff still ended up dead in the Kalamazoo River hours later -- to be retrieved from those chilly waters by divers on April 30th, the supposed casualty of too much alcohol and an "accidental drowning."

Exactly how he went so quickly from a barstool to the bottom of a river, we may never know, since Wally's owner claims to have had a bit of a slip up too: He says he mistakenly erased all the film from his surveillance cameras.

The dead man was sporting a fresh gash across his knuckles, and an injured ear.

The Case of the Drowning Men

"They drink, they fall down, they drown," police and medical examiners always simplistically explain.

Not just a few though, not just a dozen, but hundreds and hundreds of young males between 17 and 30 -- from all walks of life, every race, every creed, every religion -- are drowning fully clothed in cold weather, for the past 16 years.
Smiley Face Serial Killers, or something more nefarious?But before they all die in that bizarre manner, these victims first mysteriously disappear.

Sometimes they're gone for days, like Woodruff in Michigan. Sometimes for weeks, like Ward in Indiana. Sometimes for months, like Wilcox in Wisconsin. Sometimes for a decade, like Jansson in Illinois.

And sometimes, like Gillis in New York, they're never seen again...

Killing Killers will be featuring an exclusive interview with Becky Woodruff, in hopes of unraveling the tangled story of her own son's similar disappearance and untimely death in late April 2013.  Look for it soon in the VOICES FOR THE DEAD section. And read more about this case on CRIME MAGAZINE today.


  1. So many strange cases. Each stirs up a bad
    feeling in me.

    1. Agreed, and thank you for stopping by today and commenting.

      If you're a a male between 17 and 30, or know one, then click on my name in this comment and it will take you to my blog tips on how to reduce the chances of becoming another "drowning" man.

      That's all that can be done for the moment; raising the public's awareness that this is going on, and showing support for the victims' families so, hopefully, someday soon, one or more of them will have the courage to press charges against the most likely murderer/s.


    2. Thank you Mr. Epomymous Rox.

  2. Woodruff goes to Wallys, Ward in the White River. Guy goes to a Buffalo Bills game. I could say a lot more but you may have to wait for the book to come out . I think people should be pooling their resources on these drowning cases.

  3. Two fishermen called police on March 7 to say they'd read about Runningen's disappearance in the media. They said they found a hole in the ice covering the Black River, which runs just behind Nutbush, .

    maybe two for a reason.. This is in laCrosse where someone says they heard a splash to report a possible person in the water the same day someone went missing at splashes nightclub.

    It was also lacrosse when someone called claiming to be Adam Smith when reporting possible suspicious activity the night Anthony Skifton disappeared.

    It was also Lacrosse where they found Skifton with his shrts down and they got the call from someone claiming to be a truck driver for Strohs brewery.

    It does look like a possible game.

    Adam smith-anthony skifton.

    shorts down-this is why they say he was relieving himself- Strohs-just re arrange the letters


    someone was turned in for using the same initials as young men that disappeared in this way.

    so I have to ask.
    the fishermen found the hole in the ice-also laCrosse. In Lacrosse Brothers were chased into the water. were the two fishermen maybe named James and Richard-the same as the brothers chased into the water? Notice it is two and not one. Runningen was where the hole was and the brothers ran into the water. Runningen was seen heading back toward LaCrosse but somehow ended back behind the bar in the water

  4. Rest peacefully Jeffrey....we will forever miss you and the love you brought to this crazy life.,this world is such a mess..so tangled and evil. We know your still here...your spirit lives in all of us. I can't stand being in saugatuck because I know you never got to leave and it's not fair. all the people out there and no one saw anything..it's truly breaks my heart. But know we won't give up...and we will never let you go. Fly high bud. ...until we meet again. <3

    1. Thank you Amber I appreciate your kindness more than you know! With love, Becky Woodruff (Jeffrey's Mom)

  5. So the Saugatuck/Douglas police dept. declined to help? They have one of the hugest budgets in Mi and there is nearly NO crime in the town. I know, I use to live there. They could have pryed their fat asses out of their squad cars for a few hours.

  6. I am so sorry to hear this and I hope his family finds peace and they are in my thoughts and prayers. I have been following these mysterious drownings (smilely face murders) for a few years now and it just strikes me as odd that they just do not make the connection but others like yourself do and wonder what is going on. Until they start looking at them like they could be murders and not accidents though nothing will ever be done, I fear. I have lost track of some of the recent ones and not done a lot of recent lately but now that I have ran across your article here I think I will starting following this more closely again