Fay's county airport manager
Why did Bud lie to police for 1 year in
missing woman's case?
Married couples going through a bitter divorce sometimes play foolish cat and mouse
games with jointly owned vehicles -- i.e., hiding the vehicles from the other until one
spouse buys the other out or till divorce court rulings more civilly divide assets. Bud's
former boss and the former boss' wife were not the first to be at odds over marital
It's one thing to pretend not to know something, to mislead -- say, for instance -- a
woman, asking about her missing, jointly-owned vehicle, when it's her husband, your
boss or pal, who's trying to hide the jointly owned vehicle. Friends sometimes do
really stupid things to try to help their friends. John "Bud" Neckerauer wasn't the first
and won't be the last in that stupid friend category, but he took stupid to a whole new
level, though, by not talking honestly to police from the start. After a few initial weeks,
the missing person case had been reclassified as a murder investigation.
That said, one has to especially wonder why Bud continued to keep the police in the
dark about the RV as more and more months progressed and nobody heard from the
During that time, it became well known that the missing woman never received or
banked a $20,000 check she was to receive from her husband the day she vanished.
She didn't make it to visit her mother as scheduled. It was commonly known that
protection from abuse orders had been imposed in Pennsylvania and Maryland
against his former boss in the past with the missing woman. The whole matter was
much, much bigger than just a missing 12-year-old RV. That should have been very
obvious to Bud and it was not. Why not?
While years ago, it was known that Bud supposedly took and supposedly passed a
polygraph supporting his statement to police that he knew nothing about his boss'
wife's disappearance, one still has to wonder why on earth it took Bud almost 1 long
year to come clean with police on the RV before taking the polygraph.
Over 100 witnesses were interviewed by state troopers in the 7 months following the
woman's disappearance before Bud and his former live-in girlfriend were first
interviewed in person. Some of those 100 were quoted on television news and
newspaper articles. This was no hush-hush, behind the scenes investigation, by any
means, but one kept going in the media as well.
One has to wonder why a friend would take and continue over 7 months to hide a
vehicle for a friend and disrespect the fact that state troopers, traveling over 1,000
miles to Florida to ask the questions in person, had genuine concern that the missing
woman might have met foul play.
Not telling police, who traveled to Florida only to interview him 7 months after the
woman's disappearance, that he had the missing woman's missing RV was a horrible
mistake. Had he been asked by anyone but police shortly after he received the RV
and denied knowing its whereabouts, one could cut Bud some slack for wanting to
protect a friend and his assets.
It's not as though Bud and his former girlfriend had no family or friends in
Pennsylvania who never mentioned by long-distance calls or letters that his former
boss' wife was suddenly missing and many thought she was murdered. He spoke by
phone with police shortly after the woman disappeared, so he knew first-hand that
the police didn't necessarily share his enthusiasm that the missing woman left behind
a large sum of money, forgot about her children and mother and ran off to join an
It shouldn't have taken one year and sheer panic because police were about to learn
the whereabouts of the RV for Bud to have come to his senses and called police to
admit that he had the RV and had had it since 2 days before his former boss' wife
Why didn't Bud realize that the police and mostly everyone except the missing
woman's husband believed that the missing woman was harmed or killed? Friendship
is one thing and a 12-year-old RV another.
Why didn't Bud do the right thing from the start? He had to know that police would
not be searching for a jointly-owned 12-year-old vehicle in a bitter divorce unless
they had good reason to believe that the woman driving it was murdered and about
to never be heard from again. He had to sense that the missing woman's children,
mother and friends had to be devastated and that he crossed the line of right and
wrong by lying to police that he knew nothing about the missing RV.
One has to wonder how long it took, or if Bud ever did come to believe that his
former boss had murdered his wife and used Bud to hide the RV to cover her
disappearance and absence from the lives of her children and mother. One also has
to wonder if a one-year delay on Bud's part in turning the RV over to police stopped
police in any way from getting a confession from a killer. Not that police thought that
the woman was killed in the RV. Police believed the woman was killed in the family-
owned bus terminal.
Imagine the possible powerful edge, however, that any seasoned cop interrogating
the husband in his wife's mysterious disappearance could have had, to squeeze a
possible killer, only if the cop could have said, "Hey, cut the crap! Bud said you gave
him the RV to hide. The gig is up!"
The prosecution of Bud for interference and obstructing justice ended in March of
1993, when Fayette County Judge William Franks ruled that Fayette County
Common Pleas Court lacked jurisdiction in the case. Franks said that the RV was
taken from Westmoreland County and nothing in the case referred to Fayette.
Westmoreland had said the same thing earlier, however.
These days, Bud, in his recent media interviews, gives some anonymous bloggers
only a few more days to admit that they posted false statements about him and to
apologize to him for doing so. Otherwise, he told media that he will continue to
proceed to have computer/device Internet Protocol (IP) addresses pulled by
investigators for the anonymous bloggers to pay him civil damages.
Make no mistake by mistaking this piece for a confession or an apology, as none are
warranted here. Given that an anonymous blogger on that one specific site also gave
readers an advance tip off notice of a large FBI drug raid last year and nobody
seemed to care to find that insider to talk to him or her, in comparison, Bud's quest to
out the anonymous bloggers lying about him online seems quite trivial.
That Bud, in his recent media interviews announcing that he filed a lawsuit, offered
no regrets whatsoever for withholding the information from police about the RV's
whereabouts for one long year is remarkable, unfortunate and sad. One has to
wonder, too, why did Bud, months ago, not answer citizens who stated their names
and inquired in very public and documented meetings about his brush with the law, in
a still open case? Why did the media sit through it and not report that citizens had
such concerns in public meetings, but spared no ink printing the grandstanding
Integrity and honesty, after all, are key character qualities needed for decent human
beings and public-funded employees, right?
Nobody, not even a public employee who once hid a vehicle and the vehicle's
whereabouts from state troopers for 1 year, deserves to be lied about on social
media. Since he claims that he is not running drugs out of the airport and not the
social menace that some anonymous bloggers have labeled him to be, we wish him
well in his quest to unearth the truth.
draw attention to the tragically cold case of a woman missing and presumed dead 28
years ago by essentially everyone but 2 men who said that she ran off to join a cult.
"Bud Neckerauer was a bus driver for the Groomes Bus Company. He was
questioned by the State Police as to his knowledge of the whereabouts of the motor
home. According to the police he denied knowing anything concerning the location
of that vehicle. However, the truth was that Bud had been asked by Mr. Groomes to
hide the motor home so as to keep it away from Mrs. Groomes. Bud did this rather
successfully, first in Virginia and later in Florida.
Approximately a year later, the motor home was discovered in Tampa, Fla., and the
person discovering it implicated Bud in the transfer of the motor home to Florida.
When he became aware that the State Police were about to know of the location of
the motor home, Neckerauer immediately called them to say that he had been in
possession of the motor home and had been given it by Mr. Groomes two days
before the disappearance of Mrs. Groomes. He also told the police that he had
been aware of the location of the motor home since that time. Neckerauer was
immediately arrested on charges of volunteering false information to the police and
concealing evidence to impede an investigation.
When he contacted me to represent him, I insisted that he take a lie detector test by
an examiner of my choosing at his own expense. He complied with this request and
passed the lie detector test with flying colors. He absolutely knew nothing about the
disappearance or possible murder of Mrs. Groomes."
Judge Irving L. Bloom, as written in his 2003 publication, "Lying is legal," from
"Sidebar," a Westmoreland Bar Association newsletter