Georgia-based podcaster Kristi Bryant is getting closer to exposing the truth about the suspected murder of Carrie Lawson. Lawson was a law student and Cleveland native living in Jasper, …
Georgia-based podcaster Kristi Bryant is getting closer to exposing the truth about the suspected murder of Carrie Lawson.
Lawson was a law student and Cleveland native living in Jasper, Alabama. On Sept. 11, 1991, Lawson received a fake phone call about her father-in-law in the hospital, luring her and her husband out of the house, where they were met by a masked gunman. Lawson was kidnapped and held for a $300,000 ransom. Despite paying the ransom, her family never saw Lawson again.
The FBI suspected Jerry Bland and Karen McPherson were responsible for Lawson’s kidnapping. Bland’s home was searched and the ransom money was located, but he killed himself before he could be questioned by investigators or reveal Lawson’s whereabouts. McPherson pleaded guilty and is serving life in prison for kidnapping Lawson, but Bryant has a gut feeling there is more to the story.
Dedicating four episodes of her crime podcast, Southern Gone, to Lawson’s disappearance and presumed murder, Bryant is now in the early stages of creating a documentary with the release of a promo trailer on the case. She is shooting the documentary with the hope of uncovering more information and finally discovering exactly what happened to Carrie Lawson.
“I would say my ultimate goal would be for someone to come forward, whether that be with information on Carrie’s whereabouts or anyone else involved. I’ve always felt there was more to this case than just one person in jail,” she said. “If there are other people involved, I want to make it so someone with information can’t sleep at night until they come forward.”
After the Cleveland Daily Banner published its initial story on Bryant’s investigation into the Lawson case, Bryant said Southern Gone has generated more followers and “has an actual community now.” But efforts on the GoFundMe have not been as fruitful. The tally remains at just $185 of a total $20,000 fundraising goal.
Lawson is turning to film grants in order to get started with the production of the documentary, but encouraged people to give what they can and help make filming it a reality.
Bryant and her film crew plan to spend at least three days filming in Cleveland. She said she hopes to start shooting and conducting interviews for the 90-minute documentary as soon as 2020.
“It will depend on when we can come up with the money for pre-production, which I was told will cost about $10,000 alone,” she said.
She won’t sacrifice quality for cost, saying she plans to have a “Netflix ready” documentary one day; but how soon that happens depends on how quickly she can raise money.
“The Cleveland community especially has reached out and been very encouraging,” she said. “I’ve talked to people who went to school with Carrie, who knew her personally, or who are just happy that someone is talking about it again.”
To watch the promo trailer and read about Lawson’s case and Bryant’s efforts, visit GoFundMe.com/CarrieLawson.
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