October 31, 1993. It was Halloween night and William “Bill” Dudley had spent a fair deal of it drinking with his ‘friends’, Roger Benner Jr, and Glen Kerns.
The trio lived relatively close to one another, down a small road called Jeff’s Way off of US Route 11 & Martinsburg Pike in Clear Brook, Va; also living on the same stretch of road was Bill’s girlfriend Cindy Benner, Cindy’s grandmother, and Cindy and Bill’s daughter who was 3 at the time. I just want to note here that Bill had previously been married, and had 3 children with his wife, before the divorce.
(The area is now the location of Pine Knoll Construction.)
According to what Cindy told law enforcement, at around 9:30 PM Bill called her and asked if he could walk up. Cindy actually lived with her grandmother in a cabin on the property, Bill had a small camper parked near the end of the road, while Roger and Glen shared a trailer. Cindy advised Bill that it wasn’t a good idea for him to come since he’d been drinking and he allegedly had a temper when he was drunk. He ignored her request and a little while later showed up at the door.
After Cindy opened the door, Bill became enraged and attacked her, fracturing her nose, which naturally woke up her grandmother, Cindy and Bill’s daughter, and drew the attention of Roger Benner Jr (who happened to be Cindy’s half-nephew) and Glen Kerns.
Roger and Glen arrived and broke up the altercation between Cindy and Bill. This led to a fight between the men, where Glen struck Bill with a baseball bat across the shoulders and back of his head. The blow caused Bill to begin calming down, at which point the other two men left.
After Roger and Glen departed, Bill apologized to Cindy and attempted to wipe the blood from her face. Cindy’s mother drove up to the residence shortly after, whereupon Bill left and was last seen stumbling up the road to his camper.
That was the last time he was ever seen…
It wasn’t uncommon for Bill to leave for a couple of days at a time. Cindy went to his camper a few days after the Halloween incident and discovered his wallet, keys, as well as several other of his belongings, still on a table. At this point, she grew concerned and called Bill’s mother. This would have been sometime in early November.
Bill’s mother advised that he probably just needed a few days to himself to calm down after the apparent altercation. She believed he would return soon. However, once two weeks had passed without any word from her son, she knew that something was desperately wrong. She and Cindy visited several bars along North US Rte 11 from the Virginia line to Martinsburg, WV, seeking Bill and placing missing flyers along the way.
On December 5, 1993, Bill’s mother contacted law enforcement and reported him missing.
Now, let me backtrack if I may, I want to go back over some of the details presented by Cindy. You see the night that all of this happened, Bill’s 14-year-old daughter was actually staying with Cindy’s mother. She lived right across the road from Clearbrook Park off of Rte 11/Martinsburg Pike. It was around a 4-minute drive, as you can see on Google Maps.
On the night of the altercation, Bill’s daughter, Crystal, remembers Roger showing up at Cindy’s mother’s home. He had a bloody nose, which we can more than likely assume came from the fight with Bill. Cindy’s mother told Crystal to go upstairs, but she happened to overhear Roger mention calling his father to bring him a gun because the only way to get rid of Dudley, was to kill him. Shortly thereafter, Cindy’s mom left Crystal at the home with a cousin so she could make the short drive to her daughters’ location.
Crystal also can’t recall ever seeing Cindy with a broken nose and never heard any of her other family members mention it. It wasn’t a secret to any of his family that Bill struggled with an alcohol problem, but I can’t find any mention of there being any prior domestic issues between him and any of his past partners or Cindy. It was a long time ago, so records may not exist from that time, but you would think had there been priors, it would have been at the very least mentioned in one of the articles concerning his case.
I just find the whole story about him flying into a rage because of a door being opened a bit hard to swallow. I know alcohol can make ordinary people do completely out-of-character things, but I don’t know. Let me state right now, that I am not taking up for someone who is an abuser. I have found no evidence or corroborating reports to back up the claim that he hit women when he drank. I survived an abusive relationship, so I am well aware of the effects alcohol can have on people.
I also want to note that once LE was made aware of the alleged altercation, they spoke with Cindy, Roger, and Glen. They also spoke with Crystal, and she told them exactly what she’d overheard. Roger and Glen deny having anything to do with Bill’s disappearance. Their story of the night matched Cindy’s (let’s not forget they had almost 2 months to get them straight) but they also declined to take a polygraph, and then both moved from the area shortly afterward.
Bill couldn’t have disappeared into thin air. His car, keys, and wallet were all left at his camper, so how exactly would he have left? If he was in the condition that they all claimed he was in, ie: stumbling up the road to his camper, how on earth could he have made it very far at all if went on foot? It seems far more likely that if he were that intoxicated he would have gone to his camper and passed out.
After Bill’s disappearance, Crystal continued to visit with Cindy and her half-sister; that is until Crystal started asking questions about what happened on the night that her father vanished. That’s when the visits were discontinued, and if that’s not bad enough she wouldn’t even allow Crystal to have any of her father’s possessions, telling her that they had “burned in a fire.”
That Halloween night in 1993 was the last time anyone saw him alive, and I believe they know exactly what happened to him. I honestly can’t think of any other scenario that makes sense. I know that LE has suspects in this case (I guarantee I know who those suspects are) but without enough evidence, they can’t act. That means people have to step up and say something. Do something. There’s an anonymous tip line you can call at 540-665-TIPS or contact the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 540-662-6168.
3/6/2022 – no updates