‘CounterClock’ is a podcast hosted by investigative journalist Delia D’Ambra and season 3 of the series explores the murders of Robert Pelley and his family. While Robert’s son Jeff was convicted of the killings in 2006, his guilty verdict hinged heavily on circumstantial evidence. The podcast delves into the history of the case and looks into Robert’s life before he moved to Lakeville, Indiana, where the murders happened.
Robert used to live in Fort Myers, Florida, where he used to work for a bank that was later revealed to have been involved with money laundering and drug trafficking. The bank was also where Eric Dawson carried out a majority of his business. Furthermore, Robert’s friends were connected to Eric as well. Eric was murdered in 1988 and his case has since gone unsolved. Curious to know what happened to him? We’ve got you covered.
How Did Eric Dawson Die?
Eric Dawson was 43 years old and was married to Susan. Together, they had three children – two sons and a daughter. Eric was a real estate developer in Lee County, Florida. At the time, Lee County was a developing locality and Eric was heavily involved in multiple real estate projects. He was last seen on September 9, 1988. On that day, he was out to meet a potential investor and later check on a property he owned. But he would not come home from his meeting that day. Susan reported him missing a few days later.
Eric’s car was found parked at a local airport but there was no trace of him. About two months after he went missing, a hog hunter found his body on the very property Eric went to visit on September 9. He was buried in a shallow grave and it appeared that premixed concrete was poured over him and left to solidify. He had a gunshot wound caused by a .22 caliber bullet to the back of his head, suggesting an execution-style killing. But the murder weapon was never found and there were no credible leads to follow or witnesses to question.
Who Killed Eric Dawson?
At the time, it was revealed that a multitude of lawsuits had been filed against him alleging that he owed money to people and a few banks. This meant that he had no shortage of enemies. The police considered his business partner as a potential suspect because, in the days leading up to Eric’s disappearance, his partner Phillip Hawley had taken over Eric’s assets. Not just that, he had also forged Eric’s signature in order to steal his property.
While Phillip and his sons were convicted of forgery and fraud later, there was nothing linking any of them to Eric’s murder. But Phillip alleged that Eric was connected to the Detroit mob where he was originally from. The way Eric was killed and buried did seem to line up with a mob hit because they were generally carried out with the intent of the body never being found. But investigators could never find any concrete links between Eric and the mob. With no new information after that, the case went cold.
Since then, his son, Jason, has been fighting and hoping for answers that would lead to solving his father’s murder. Phillip also alleged that Eric probably used the mob’s money and didn’t pay them back, leading to his untimely death. A former detective from Lee County’s Sheriff’s Office hoped that continued attention to the case might lead to someone coming forward with new information.
Read More: Where is Jeff Pelley’s Wife Now?