Summer Shipp disappeared in December of 2004 while doing door-to-door marketing in Independence, MO. Despite tireless search efforts by family, scores of friends and Independence police, she was not found until 2007. Fishermen found her remains on the banks of the Little Blue River.
High-profile missing persons cases
Summer is just one of many Kansas City high-profile missing persons cases. Her name and image appeared on billboards and in multiple news reports while she went missing. Her family and friends sympathized deeply with the loved ones of other local missing person cases. Remember Sam and Lindsey Porter, Precious Doe, Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions?
I met Summer’s daughter, Brandy, in 2015 while her husband was doing energy conservation work in my basement. That meeting led to a challenging collaboration. Brandy and I began gathering news reports, documents and photos of the case and interviewing Summer’s many friends. Our goal? Capture and preserve the wonderful essence of a beautiful woman. Summer Shipp’s life story represents so much more than the archived news reports of a murder victim.
It was not an easy task, but Summer’s friends and family made the process a journey of joyful discovery. With Brandy’s help, I dug into court transcripts and sat through the trial of Summer’s alleged killer. Brandy furnished family photos and progress letters that she had written to supporters. After two years, we began putting it all together. Today… after beta-reads, proofing and multiple edits…Summer’s story will soon appear on the bookshelves and coffee tables of her friends. Fifteen years after Summer Shipp disappeared, her memory can be etched permanently in the minds of her loved ones.
Naively trusting, kind Summer
The book reveals the vibrant, quirky, but naively trusting personality of a woman who reinvented herself in Kansas City after a poverty-stricken childhood in Granite City, Illinois. Summer adopted stray animals and the elderly as quickly as she inserted herself into the Kansas City art scene. She made many friends while she owned the Bijou Theater in Westport. Those friends warned her about going door-to-door by herself, but she laughed away their concerns, grabbed her perpetual mug of Starbucks and went to work. Until the day she disappeared.
Summer Shipp was last seen walking toward the house of a man who would later stand trial for her murder. Summer’s story includes details of that trial. It also contains transcripts of an earlier murder trial that landed her alleged killer in prison for life, without parole.
“Searching for Summer: A Solved but Unresolved Missing Persons Case,” became available for sale, appropriately, on the first day of summer, June 21, 2019. Look for it on Amazon and request it at local bookstores, or purchase one on this website.