Real Name: Nancy Manni
Location: Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Date: August 30, 1993
Details: Thirty-three year old ship steward Nancy Manni of the Seafarer's Union sailed around the world to places including Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan, but was found dead, floating in the Chesapeake Bay on August 30, 1993. Although it could not be determined if she was murdered, committed suicide, or died accidentally, her family believed she met with foul play. Nancy's ex-boyfriend, Bill Mesmer, was questioned two days after her body was found, and he became a suspect because of dark, threatening poetry that he wrote shortly before her death and felt that he was obsessed with Nancy even after they stopped dating. Bill told police to look into the Seafarer's union and their union run training center, Harry Lundenberg School of Seamanship, because they may have been involved in her death. Another boyfriend in the Union also became a suspect, along with the Union itself because there was suspicions that some of the members were involved in international drug trafficking. Bill claimed that a few days before her death, she came to him to tell about how her boyfriend was going to make her job difficult if he didn't listen to her. Nancy claimed that she was threatened by her boyfriend and that she was going to tell a secret about him, which Bill believes was related to the boyfriend's alleged drug trafficking. After Nancy's death, her sister received calls from Nancy's friends that she was murdered and that her murder was related to the union. When her sister received Nancy's person effects, she found that pictures of her and her union boyfriend were missing, and that her camera was damaged. There were also suspicions about Nancy's last assignment, on the S.S. Maiaquez, that had several union members on it. In June, Nancy's friend received a letter from her saying that she was getting death threats from several of the people on board. Police even began to suspect that Elizabeth Greenburg, who was murdered in 1988, was killed by the same person who killed Nancy. The two women were not only similar in appearance but also had similar ties to the union. The authorities also believe that mysterious phone calls and threats made by unidentified perpetrator(s) may have had something to do with her death. Although investigators have no evidence that connects Nancy's death to the union or the school or drug trafficking, her case remains unsolved.
Suspects: Nancy's boyfriend Bill Mesmer and ex-boyfriend were considered possible suspects, along with the Union.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the February 2, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Nancy's case was also profiled on Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case.
Results: Solved. On February 12, 1997, John David O'Meara, a man who reportedly has no ties to the school that Nancy was attending or the Union, was arrested and charged with her murder while serving time in a Polk County, Florida jail for an unrelated crime. An informant told the Maryland National Resources Police that O'Meara told him that he had killed a girl, and when the informant asked who the girl was, O'Meara said "the one on Unsolved Mysteries." O'Meara told police met Nancy at a bar on the night she vanished. He claimed that he took her out on a boat and that she fell over accidentally and drowned. However, when he went on trial for Nancy's murder, a jury did not believe him, and he was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.