Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a running theory about what happened to Ronald Tammen?

Yes, I do.

What do you think happened to Ronald Tammen?

Actually, I think I’d like to keep that to myself at this point. I’m still in research mode, which means that things can change significantly with each new finding. But my main reason for starting this website is to keep people who are interested in the Tammen story informed. When the time is right, I will definitely keep you in the loop.

What if you never have 100 percent proof of what happened to Tammen?

So far, I have enough evidence to support my theory, even though there are some gray areas. What I’m currently going for is the slam dunk, but if I don’t get there, I still have enough new evidence that I can present that, I believe, will alter the conversation significantly.

When is your book coming out?

Oh, you just had to go there, didn’t you? Another purpose of this website is to show a prospective agent that a lot of people still have an interest in what happened to Ronald Tammen, even though he disappeared more than 60 years ago. Chapters are being written as we speak, even though I’m still not sure how the book is going to end. But there will be a book, so help me God, there will be a book.

Are you on social media?

Great news! We now have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/agmihtf, on which I’ll be posting the latest updates. Feel free to like, follow, and share away! You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jwwenger, although I have been known to tweet about a number of topics in addition to Ron Tammen.

Did you really quit your full-time job to write this book?

I know. I can’t believe it either. But sometimes a person reaches that fork in the road called life where you need to do something that you are truly passionate about. I’ll say it loud and proud: I love talking and writing about Ronald Tammen. Do I clip coupons? Occasionally. Do I shop retail anymore? Hardly ever. But I’m happy, and that’s what matters.

You should have started writing this book about 25 years ago, when many of the major players were still alive.

I’ll give you a pass on this one since you didn’t phrase it as a question, but yeah, this nags at me every so often. It would have been amazing to interview Richard Tammen, Ken McDiffett, Carl Knox, H.H. Stephenson, and countless others. But, 25 years ago, I don’t think I would have been ready to conduct my search in the way I’m capable of going about it now. I lacked the maturity and the stamina. (I still lack the maturity, but the stamina I have in spades.) Plus, there wasn’t an internet back then and phone calls are so much cheaper these days. It’s all good, in my view.

How often do you plan to post updates?

Great question! I’m not sure. I don’t plan to spam you with meaningless teases that tell you nothing just so I can keep the site active. When something really interesting happens, or even something really annoying, I plan to tell you about it. The best way to keep up is to follow the site, and you’ll receive an email when I’ve posted something new. Until then, I encourage you to go about your daily business—and turn off your cellphone sometimes. And get a breath of fresh air every once in a while!

Why do you use aliases for some of your sources but the real names for others?

In conducting my research, I’ve located people who offer new insights into the Ronald Tammen story. They may have been friends, neighbors, or classmates of Ronald Tammen. They might have even met with investigators about the case way back when. But they’d never spoken with a reporter before on this topic, so they’ve never been publicly named. Finding these people has taken a lot of time and effort. What I’m not prepared to do just yet is to provide their names so that someone else with an interest in writing about the Tammen story–another blogger, author, or reporter perhaps–can simply look up a source on my website and give that person a call. Unless someone requests anonymity, these sources will be named in my book. However, on this website, here’s my rule of thumb:

  • If a source has already been named publicly regarding the Tammen case, I will continue to use that person’s actual name.
  • If a person has not yet been named publicly in relation to the Tammen story, that person will be referred to with a pseudonym.
  • If a person who has not yet been named publicly has already passed away, that person will be referred to by his or her actual name.
  • If a person is speaking in a professional capacity as a subject expert and/or a spokesperson, I will customarily name that person.

If you have additional questions about this website, feel free to include a comment on this page or contact me through the Web form. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Random thoughts on the above:

    I am fine with the moderation. First off, it’d be easy for someone to spill the beans on your working theory when you weren’t ready for it. With all the work you’ve done, I think it’s fair for you to hold on to that a little while. I think I have a good idea what that theory is, but I have no intention of mentioning it or citing the clues along the way. And I could always be 100% wrong-there’s a few clues pointing in opposite directions after all-which would make me look like an idiot! This being the internet, many people don’t always act with the discretion and sense of nuance you’d hope for.

    Secondly, for such a scholarly and still fun project, it’d only take one troll to really mess things up. It’d be a terrible shame if someone defaced the page with the typical graffiti/trash in Cyberworld.

    I can’t believe you quit a full time job. Whew. I hope the labor of love is worth it.

    I wish you’d started long ago, but people can forget that the internet didn’t always exist, and how easy information has become to search out. You’re still obviously facing challenges in that regard, but the immediate availibility of information is easy to take for granted these days. It wasn’t that long ago you’d call the library and ask them to look up stuff, and hope they got back to you within an hour.

    The aliases are fine by me, so long as you intend to roll out the book some day. I think you’re just protecting your investment into the investigation.

    I sort of can’t stop posting here, as after almost 40 years, there’s something new to look at in this case. I signed up for updates, of course, and can’t wait for the next one. I am sure I’m not alone in the Miami community in having thoughts along the way that I’d like to take a shot at the Tammen case. Kudos to you for going for it. And I promise to buy the book!

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    1. Great thoughts—thanks! Re: the moderation of comments, that was definitely my thinking. So far, all comments have been posted. If someone hazards a theory, I’ll post it, even if it meshes with my own. I just would probably hold back a comment from someone who inadvertently made reference to information that I told them that I’m not ready to make public because I’m still gathering supporting evidence. Plus, yeah, right you are — no trolls allowed. 🙂

      Re: quitting the full-time job, this is definitely worth it.

      Re: the internet, it has been a godsend for this project, especially for looking up general historical info plus contact info for possible sources. Libraries are still helpful though and librarians are some of my favorite people in the world. And of course FOIA…that’s been important too.

      I definitely plan to provide people’s names in the book unless they’d agreed to be interviewed “on background” in order that they could speak freely about sensitive matters. In those cases, the info will be presented and a general reference will be given to the source’s identity (e.g., a friend of so-and-so, etc.), but they won’t be named. Only a couple of people have made that request so far. Everyone else has agreed to speak on the record.

      Post all you want! Also, feel free to share this site with any and all people who you think might be interested. Part of my reason for starting the blog was to show potential editors and publishers how interested people continue to be in Ronald Tammen’s story. It’s readers like you who make this project so worthwhile!

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  2. How about hot links to the last comments as well as the last blogs? I know normally, they’ll be one and the same, but not always, as this particular blog entry typifies.

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  3. How about the ability to search out posts we’ve made, by username? I have a bunch of notes to myself to comment on this and that thread. I don’t intend to forget to post any of them, but it’d be nice to go to one place and see if I’d done so.

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    1. Hmmmm…you’re right. I tried typing in commenters’ names into the search box and nothing turned up. Unfortunately, I’m limited by WordPress and my chosen template in this area, so I don’t think I can do anything about it. Of course, you can hit “control-f” (PC) or “command-f” (Mac) on a specific page, but that doesn’t help much. Sorry about that.

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