The disappearance of 53-year old Cheryl Lynn Hughes from her paradise-like home set off an investigation that led to the search for a serial killer in Panama in 2010. Cheryl had moved with her husband Keith to Bocas del Toro, Panama, to live out her dream on their own private island. But, after she and Keith separated, Cheryl was gone and an eccentric neighbor had taken over her property.
It turned out that Cheryl was not the only missing person in the area. Someone was killing Americans in Panama and taking possession of their property. When all was said and done, six Americans had been killed. When the killer’s home was searched, police found stolen checkbooks, ATM cards, jewelry, purses, gun ammunition, and gold dental fillings and crowns in a glass jar.
William Holbert, a North Carolina native known to his victims as Wild Bill Cortez, had become well known among the Boca ex-patriots. After an American family of three disappeared from the area, Bill and his wife had moved into their home and converted a boathouse into a private bar they called “The Jolly Roger Social Club.” The bar was decorated with a skull and crossbones flag and it was opened for partying every weekend.
But as disappearances piled up, neighbors decided that there was something wrong. The police came in and discovered bodies buried in shallow graves. But Wild Bill and his wife were already on the run. They fled through Costa Rica and were finally captured on the Nicaraguan border.
Join us at the quiet end for this stunning tale of theft, murder and real estate fraud. After being extradited to Panama, Wild Bill confessed to his crimes but showed little remorse for all of the pain he had caused. He would explain what he did and how he did it but the question of why will forever haunt the loved ones of his victims.