Monday, March 20, 2017

What really happened to Beth Bentley?

What happened on May 20, 2010?

Woodstock resident Beth Bentley, then 41, left Woodstock for the last time. Beth and her friend, Jen Wyatt, drove to Mt. Vernon, Ill. And she never returned.

Speculation continues on what happened to Beth. Somebody knows. More than "one" somebody quite likely know. Some of those "sombodies" might still be right in Woodstock or in McHenry County. The list could number 12 or more.

So far, nobody has cracked. But they will. One of these days...

A new investigative effort is occurring and can be following on Vanished in Illinois. Visit its website at

There are many articles on this blog about Beth Bentley. I wrote weekly about this case for an extended period of time. She should not be forgotten. It is just not okay for this case to linger in the cold-case files at the Woodstock Police Department.

Woodstock PD claimed leadership in this case after her missing person report was filed with it by family members on Monday, May 24, 2010. But it probably should not have the lead police agency , because Beth was reportedly (although not necessarily reliably) last seen in Centralia, Ill. The house that was the destination that Thursday night was in Jefferson County, Ill., outside the limits of Mt. Vernon. Since Woodstock is 300+ miles from Mt. Vernon, it would quickly become too time-consuming and too expensive for Woodstock to conduct a thorough investigation.

Why is this time, now, important in this case? Beth's disappearance will hit the seven-year mark this year, and this is often when a missing person can be presumed dead. There were rumors in 2010 of a large insurance policy insuring Beth. Once she is legally dead, then a claim can be made on that policy.

Whether an insurance company will pay to a beneficiary could be up in the air. If an insurance company believes that it should not, then it might, instead, pay the policy proceeds to the State of Illinois (to demonstrate its willingness to meet the terms of the policy) and then throw the responsibility onto the State of Illinois to determine whether the named beneficiary is entitled to the proceeds.

Such a contest might then become public record, whereas direct payment by an insurance is usually confidential. Public record would then reveal whether or not there was a large policy, who bought it, who sold it and, importantly, when it was issued.

All of this leads to more questions.


Big Daddy said...

If she lived in Woodstock and that is where the police report was made, Woodstock is and should be the lead agency unless kidnapping is alleged. They can travel to Mt.Vernon ior anywhere else they want to investigate it. Oh they can contact the Mt.Vernon Police or the County Sheriff in Mt Vernon for assistance but they remain the lead agency unless someone else finds the body. Right now it appears to be a Missing Persons report.

Gus said...

Big Daddy, as a police officer with years of experience, you know more about this than I do. Woodstock PD is still withholding information, relying on the FOIA exemption of an open case. I wonder when anyone last blew the dust off the file.
Where are they going to get "new information" that might help them solve this case? I say "solve" it, because I don't believe that Beth voluntarily took off and disappeared.
I believe those who partied with her know what happened. Did she OD at that house near Mt. Vernon? Did someone get angry and lash out? Did Woodstock PD attempt to get medical records from her local doctor(s), in order to learn of any conditions that might call for treatment?
I recall there were some, though, who thought she never left Woodstock that Thursday night. That's why I thought the Tollway cameras should have been checked, if/when the rental car passed through the I-Pass toll points. Were two women in the car? Who was driving? If I recall correctly, Jenn did not have a valid driver's license.

Big Daddy said...

I don't know anything about this case or if Woodsock is witholding info. They could be because the general public doesn't need to know everything and if the do suspect foul play there are things you need to keep out of the public eye for investigative purposes. And of course there is always the competency of the investigator. Not saying that he/she is incompetent but not everyone is as good as we would like them to be. I know policemen that I would beg,borrow or steal to get them on my case if I were ever a victim. I also know others that I would beg,borrow steal to keep them away from my case.

Gus said...

I believe the Mt. Vernon PD and the Jefferson County SO were involved in a limited way and that the Woodstock PD was hampered by the 300-mile distance and the expense of sending 1-2 detectives to Mt. Vernon and the house in Jefferson County for enough time to conduct a thorough missing-person report or determine whether a crime had been committed. There were plenty of red flags to attract attention. There are other factors that I'll refrain from posting publicly.

Big Daddy said...

Gus, a 300 mile journey to solve this case should not be dismissed. We send guys all over the country if need be to solve a case IF there is a good reason for it. But the key word is IF.

Gus said...

Big Daddy, if a PD is not actively working a missing-person case, how long after the last meaningful activity can it be de-classified as an active case? Is it really a "cold case" if they cannot declare that a crime was committed? Let's guess, for example, that drugs were in play that week-end in the Mt. Vernon area. Did police (here or there) attempt to run down users and dealers? Did they "shake the tree" to see what fruit would fall? Supposedly, Beth told Scott in a 2-minute phone call on Sunday that she was in Mt. Vernon, not in Wisconsin, and taking the train home Sunday night. Jenn's claim was that she dropped Beth near the Centralia Amtrak station on Sunday afternoon. That would have gotten Beth to Woodstock at 2:00AM Monday. How seriously did police consider the fact that there were so few telephone calls on that Monday afternoon, as Jenn returned from Mt. Vernon without Beth? Motive. Means. Opportunity. Considered?

Unanimous said...

I understand the initial need/requirement for Woodstock to lead this investigation... 7 years ago. Seeing that NOTHING has been done on their part I would say the best thing to do here is "shit or get off the pot" (if I may be so blunt). The husband doesn't care AT ALL what happened to her and ceased all activity of Beth's existence.. 2. Woodstock ceased working on the case (unless you want to consider retired lead investigator Kurt Rosenquist friends with JW on FB working), while no search, investigation, interviews, media, etc is being done by LE ANYWHERE by ANYONE at ANYTIME... then let's switch lead hands to where she was last seen out in Mt Vernon. Unless you want to continue listening to the several time proven champion of liars JW then you can have Centralia as the lead seing that she was the only one on this planet that ever saw Beth so carelessly be left in a town that she does not know with no transportation and just turned and left without watching her best friend (that she trashed and bent every which way she could since the day she drove back alone with Beth's rental car on the phone lawyering up) for the last time. Is that the investigation you were disgusing that requires keeping close to a vest?

Or we can always speak to her amazing husband again, the one that had a new girlfriend sleeping over within 30 days of Beth's disappearance. Or we can send lead investigation to Vegas where SB thinks she is since he took all of her donation money and had so much "investigating" done down there enough to believe she's "living it up in Vegas".

I can keep going here but I should probably "keep things close to the vest" in this non-ongoing investigation.


I think they said "serve the people"

Big Daddy said...

The case will remain open until there is some resolution to it. If she turns up alive it will be closed of course. If a body is found it will be reclassified to the appropriate classification. As far as "shaking the tree" of drug dealers that would be done if foul play was a consideration. Absent that, probably no. The problem as I see it sitting here in my home is that people take off the time and disappear on their own for whatever reason. It doesn't rise to the level of a crime having been committed. People on the edges of the investigation or the family are absolutely convinced that something bad happened to the missing person when in fact they just wanted to leave. Not saying that is what happened here but the Police are not going to treat every single missing person case as a homicide or even a crime unless something points in that direction. I've seen this many times before. Take suicides as an example. The deceased is very depressed and cannot handle it anymore and off's himself. The family doesn't know about the depression and is absolutely convinced that he was murdered and would never,ever commit suicide even when the facts indicate that is what it is. Once again, not in every single instance but much more than you think. Hope this helps.

Gus said...

Big Daddy, thanks. We could speculate until the cows come home, and it won't change anything regarding Beth's disappearance. Eventually, someone with knowledge may decide to "get right" before s/he dies and reveal what happened.

In the meantime, she will have been gone seven years (since May 22, 2010), and I foresee a legal action to have Beth declared dead. Then life insurance monies can be claimed. Payments to Beneficiaries are usually confidential, but then her Estate may have to be administered, especially if the life insurance company is reluctant to pay to a named beneficiary. Public record may then get involved, if the insurance company pays to the State of Illinois and tells the State to determine who the legal beneficiary is.

Fourever said...

I wrote this in 2012, but I don't think anyone read/seen it. : Hi, I am just hearing about this now, so I haven't been following the news for this whole time. First, let me say I am very sorry, and second, I hope that something is found out VERY soon! enough is enough! I do have a question about something that I read in one of the articles (been reading them for the last few hours). OK, so it was said that Jenn and Beth took a rental car to Mt. Vernon. If that is true, there would be records of it. It would HAVE to have been reserved using a drivers liscense and I think a credit card. Now I do believe, the milage is documented when the cars are released and when they are returned. I do believe that it is even if you have unlimited milage. So with that being said, you would be able to see if the milage added up with a round trip and other driving (like out to dinner/pub and the train station) from the time she picked up the car til she dropped it back off. Also, did I read correctly that just a few months after she has been missing, the husband threw away her stuff?? WHY? I can maybe understand putting some things away (although, I have a hard time with that too). There are families that keep things as they were for years, look at the true story about the girl that was taken from her family for (I think) 18 years. I have so many questions, why doesn't her close friend Jenn? and what about the 2 guys they spent the weekend with... why aren't they wondering where she is... nevermind her husband... OK, so he is hurt that she lied about going to Wisc., but she is gone?? why don't you move heaven and earth to find her? you have a child together!! What about that poor boy! he doesn't deserve answers? Sorry...didn't mean to get going on a rant. Like I said, I have many questions. And again, I apologize for not knowing about this sooner. Oh, and WHY would she be in California? Why would she leave EVERYTHING behind and never look back? AND, who is this guy she was taking the train to go see? why isn't there ANY info on him? she would have had to be talking to him one way or another, texting, facebook, emails... dating sites...I mean come on...we are in the technology can't get away with anything anymore. and her husband is a lawyer and has lawyer friends...they can certainly find out a lot of things their 'own' way. I know I am not the first person to come up with these questions, I would just like to know the answers to them. Are they out there? the answers? I don't know if you reply to these messages, but I hope you do.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.

Unanimous said...

The rental was purchased by Beth and I do beiieve PD has those records though they have not been released - Actually no information has been released and the FOIA was denied. I believe Wyatt didn't even have a valid Illinois license so not only would she not have been able to purchase the vehicle but she surely wouldn't be able to drive it. I'm not 100% positive she didn't have a DL at the time but that is my understanding.

The husband at the time has a girl practically move in to their home about 30 days or so after she vanished to my understanding, and he was definitely selling and giving away many of Beth's things.

While I do not believe he was a suspect (I don't view him as one myself) it doesn't change that he is an asshole. He at the time was convinced that Beth left on her own accord and wouldn't hear of any other possibilities. If that changed I'm not sure, but I guess when you rid your wife's things and start a new relationship that quickly your wife's disappearance may become less of a priority. However.. clearly when his person moved in he had no intention of Beth returning home.

Because I do not believe for one second that Beth left on her own accord for any reason I can not even entertain that she did or could have especially knowing how much she loves those children.

I think this "guy" she was going on the train with is a hoax just like the train was. What a waste of time and energy for everyone that was searching for Beth just to have her BFF lie like a rug.

I know that when I go to the bar with someone, or shopping, or on a trip, I come back with that person. I can't imagine coming back without them, taking their only form of transportation, not calling PD and reporting her missing, and lying to everyone is a BFF thing to do.

But all of this is my opinion. Always go back to those last seen with her. And those people are some seriously shady people. Every single one of them.

Gus said...

Jenn Wyatt possessed an expired California driver's license. She was stopped in June while driving the car that Beth has purchased and was allowing her to use. She presented the expired California license to a McHenry County Sheriff's deputy.

Shortly after, she acquired an Illinois driver's license. They was something hokey about the issue date. It appeared to me that the issue date of the Illinois license was back-dated. An Illinois D/L specialist told me that's impossible, but why or how could she have had it and still possessed her expired California license. In most cases, you must surrender your out-of-state driver's license when you apply for a new one.

Chrissy said...

You would have to surrender it but you could always say you lost it & Im not 100% but with technology they can verify it in a matter of minutes. I know I have lost my license qfter I moved & went to the new area tag agency & got a new one then found my old one later. I'm not saying that's what happened because I don't know the details I just saw the question on the last comment.
This case is very odd & I admit I don't know a lot about it but somewhere I read her friend Jenn returned in Monday afternoon-if so why leave Sunday night on a train when your friend is leaving basically a few hours later? Why not just wait & ride back together?

Gus said...

Chrissy, thanks for posting your comment. Of course, the separate return is very suspicious. I believe we'll be finding out that she changed her story and that the police withheld the information about the change, because it became part of the "ongoing investigation." The whole train story was a 'red herring'. Did Beth really talk to Scott about 4:00PM that Sunday? Why was the call on two minutes? Did Beth and Jenn have such a strong disagreement that Beth left without the rental car? Or did Beth meet someone in Centralia? Or was there really ever any trip to Centralia? Maybe that whole story is just made up, to cover up something else.

The Illinois Driver's License story was fishy. If I recall correctly, she presented a valid Illinois D/L with an issue date prior to the date that the McHenry County Sheriff's deputy issued the ticket to her for "No Valid Driver's License".

Fourever said...

Did any of you see the report saying found burned remains confirm they found her?

Fourever said...

Illinois State Police confirm that burned remains found in 2017 have been positively identified as Beth Bentley, the Woodstock mother of three who went missing in 2010.
Illinois State Police said on Tuesday that the badly burned remains found in rural Jefferson County on December 4, 2017 were confirmed to be that of Bentley.
Few details have been released about the case but Illinois State Police said that the results of the investigation, which was conducted in part with the Woodstock Police Department, have been forwarded to the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s office forIllinois State Police said that “no further information” would be available for release. review.