It is possible, if you live in the western suburbs of Chicago, that you have seen the billboard. On that billboard is the photo of a man named John Spira, who has now been missing, seemingly vanished without a trace, three years. There are some, including a former federal prosecutor, who think the case should now be officially considered a murder case. His family, meanwhile, would just like some answers and to figure out what happened the the popular and talented musician.
One of the theories that has been going around since Spira disappeared February 23, 2007, is that he might have killed himself. However, not only does his family feel that such a thing is not possible, but it would make the absence of a body even more puzzling. As one investigator has put it, you cannot bury or burn yourself once you have committed suicide. No trace of Spira’s body has ever been found.
On that fateful day, Spira made a phone call to a friend he had plans to meet for dinner that night. The call was placed at 7:09 PM. The plan was for him to meet his friend for dinner in Oak Brook at 8:30. He never arrived for the dinner, which was not characteristic of him. The last person to report seeing Spira alive was his friend and business partner of 20 years, David Stubben.
Stubben would tell investigators that he had seen and spoken to Spira in the parking lot of the office building where their business (Universal Cable Construction) was headquartered. However, Spira’s car never left the parking lot. Stubben and Spira were having serious financial difficulties at the time of Spira’s disappearance. Given the time frames given for this meeting between Spira and Stubben and the time when his friends became worried about his lack of response to phone calls, the time when something might have happened to Spira was between 7:10 and 7:45 PM.
Spira and his wife were also in the middle of a contentious divorce. They had just agreed on final details of their divorce that very morning. The divorce had been dragging on for more than two years. His ex-wife now denies that they had reached agreement on terms that morning. She also was hesitant to initially file a missing person’s report. Stubben, meanwhile, has refused to take a lie detector test.
As the case has continued, more strange things have happened. For example, friends and family erected a large billboard with Spira’s face and information on it directly across the street from Universal Cable Construction offices. Shortly after the billboard was erected a fire leveled the offices of UCC. The billboard was also burned to the ground and has gone missing.
As of 2010, investigators were still calling the case a missing person’s case. His family and friends want to label the case a murder case. They are hoping to find Spira’s body and obtain justice against his alleged killers.
When Spira went missing he was wearing blue jeans, a black turtleneck sweater, black shoes and an olive green aviator jacket. In addition to running his business, he was a popular blues musician and even had the nickname of “Chicago Johnny.” When he went missing he was 45-years-old and five-foot-eight-inches tall. He had brown hair and blue eyes and was 165 pounds.