Real Name: Joann Hedvie Albanese
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: September 19, 1996
Details: In 1995, Joann Albanese, a thirty-nine-year-old divorced mother of two teenaged children, was introduced to fitness instructor John Edwards. At first Joann and John seemed very happy together. However, cracks soon emerged in their relationship. John paid for nothing and lived off of Joann's earnings. Joann and her friends noticed that John had a hair-trigger temper. He was also controlling and abusive.
On August 19, 1995, Joann left her job at 4:30PM. Later that day, she vanished from her home in Las Vegas with John Edwards. Her daughters discovered that she was missing when they returned home from a visit with their father. At first, authorities thought that the two had left on an unannounced vacation. However, they soon learned that Joanne was planning to end her relationship with Edwards the same day that she vanished. Four days later, her car was found abandoned in a canyon near Prescott, Arizona, but no other trace of her was found. Authorities suspected foul play.
Police discovered that a truck outside of Joann's home belonged to Edwards. Strangely, there was no record of the license plate. When they searched his home, they found a wallet that was duct-taped shut. In this wallet, they found Alaska identification for a man named John Addis. They discovered that this was his true identity. They suspected that he had been angered because Joann was breaking up with him, so he killed her and then disposed of her body and car.
Authorities discovered that Addis was a detective for the Alaska State Police in the 1970s. At the time, he was married to his first wife Jodi, who later divorced him because of domestic abuse. The couple lived in a cabin in the remote woods that didn't have running water or heat. Addis enjoyed hunting caribou in the Alaskan wilderness, but he was also a talented young detective with a mind for forensic science. He was so gifted that he instructed law enforcement from all over Alaska in crime scene analysis.
At the time, no one knew that he was also physically abusive and controlling towards Jodi. One day, Addis got into an argument with her. She said she wanted to leave him and jumped out of their car. He chased her down and threw her back into the truck. However, she was able to escape and was granted a divorce.
After the divorce, Addis quickly remarried, and his personality turned from bad to worse. He abandoned his wilderness lifestyle, became a middle class homemaker, and soon quit his job at the state patrol. He was extremely abusive towards his third wife. Then he abducted his four children from his first marriage and fled to Michigan, where he was involved in several robberies. He was eventually arrested and served one year in prison for parental child abduction.
Over the next decade, he jumped parole in Alaska and went throughout the United States posing as a fitness instructor, screen writer, and novelist. He was a master at changing his identity, which helped him keep above the law. Then, he met Joann, who authorities now believed was his first victim to die. This was confirmed on October 9, 1998, over three years after she disappeared, when Joann's remains were discovered one mile from the location of her abandoned car. Addis has been charged with Joann's murder, but he remains at large.
Suspects: John Addis has been charged with Joann's murder.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 19, 1996 episode as a special alert; it received a full segment in the July 30, 2001 episode. Addis was profiled on America’s Most Wanted and the case was featured on FBI: Criminal Pursuit.
The book "Ghost: The True Story of One Man's Descent Into Madness and Murder" was written about the case.
Results: Solved. John Addis managed to elude authorities for eleven years, until the FBI received a tip that he was living in Chiapas, Mexico with Laura Liliana Padilla and their two children. Laura had vanished with Addis in 1997 and her family had feared that he had killed her.
In October of 2006, police arrived at their home, only to find Laura and her two children dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. A few days later, Addis' body was discovered in a hotel room in Guatemala City, Guatemala as a suspected suicide, possibly to avoid prosecution. However, a local coroner ruled that he had died of a heart attack. Joann's case is now closed.
- Remains identified as those of LV woman
- Fugitive trooper sought in second disappearance
- Joann Albanese, Las Vegas woman’s death and disapperance
- Ghost: The True Story of One Man's Descent Into Madness and Murder
- Joann Albanese at Find a Grave