Shannon Siders Murder: Where Are Paul and Matthew Jones Now?

Image Credit: A&E Network

Crime Junkie Podcast chronicles the gruesome murder of 18-year-old Shannon Siders in Newaygo, Michigan, in mid-July 1989. Her body was discovered three months later, and the case remained unsolved for over two decades. While the authorities brought the perpetrators to justice in 2015, the homicide case took another unexpected twist around 2021.

How Did Shannon Siders Die?

Shannon Marie Siders was born to Bob and Mary Christine Cadreau Siders in Michigan on March 31, 1971. Her father raised her after her parents divorced when she was very young. Shannon grew up in Newaygo, Michigan, and was described as charming, kind, and an honest person who never judged others. The episode showed Bob left for his graveyard shift at the local Pepsi-Cola plant around 10:30 PM on July 17, 1989. After her father left, the teen snuck out and joined others at a get-together — it was the last time she was ever seen alive.

Image Credit: Find A Grave

After Bob returned from work the following morning around 8:30 AM, he was distressed to discover his daughter absent. He called several of her friends and their guardians, inquiring about her whereabouts. Bob even checked with a neighbor whose house the teen frequented. But he could not find Shannon anywhere, and no one knew where she was. The concerned father immediately filed a missing person report with the authorities, distributed missing flyers, and called every police station in the state.

According to the episode, two individuals stumbled upon two ID cards of Shannon Siders while roaming in a wooded area known as the “hole in the woods” — a popular spot for local teenagers to gather for parties — during the 1989 Labor Day weekend. They informed the authorities, who found a pair of blue jeans at the scene. Eventually, a deer hunter in the Manistee National Forest discovered the 18-year-old’s body around three months after her disappearance on October 15, 1989, and reported it to the Newaygo police.

Bob was informed later that night and went to the police station to confirm the victim’s identity. Shannon’s body displayed various injuries, though blunt force trauma to the head was determined as the primary cause of death. The autopsy revealed she had suffered brutal beatings, resulting in a crushed skull. Moreover, the medical examiner disclosed her underwear was found around one ankle and her private parts suffered injuries, indicating she had been the victim of a sexual assault. On top of it, the body was reportedly discovered in a compromising position.

Who Killed Shannon Siders?

In the wake of the tragedy, Bob had a closed casket at Shannon’s funeral, with many of her friends placing letters inside. The Newaygo police sought help from the Michigan State Police behavior analysis team to develop a profile of the potential perpetrator. According to the analysts, Shannon was likely killed by someone within her age and peer group, indicating a sexually motivated crime involving multiple individuals, likely under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Consequently, the small town was rifled with rumors and speculations about the teen’s death.

Matthew and Paul Jones

The eight people who had interacted with Shannon on the night of her disappearance became suspects, triggering them to be comprehensively interviewed. The first suspect was Brandon, who had been in the victim’s company, and another boy, Levi. Witnesses indicated that Shannon wasn’t fond of Brandon due to his derogatory comments about women. Though he had left town shortly after her disappearance, his alibi proved concrete upon follow-up questioning.

The investigators shifted their focus toward two brothers — Paul Michael and Matthew “Matt” Wayne Jones — who claimed to have been with Shannon that night, watching movies and sharing alcohol. They stated they drove her home around midnight and provided several details about the residence upon further questioning. After a thorough investigation and polygraph tests, the Jones brothers were eventually cleared of suspicion. Even though Bob continued to urge the authorities, the case went cold for decades due to a lack of suspects.

Years later, in 2011, a Cold Case Task Force was established in Newaygo, reigniting efforts to solve Shannon’s murder. The Task Force started victimology profiling, interviewing family, friends, and acquaintances. The new investigators uncovered a critical detail — the victim’s class ring was missing. The police intentionally withheld the information from the public to potentially identify the killers. Aimee Bonner, a volunteer at the police station in 1989, created a Facebook page to gather tips and information.

Paul Michael Jones

The authorities unsuccessfully pursued several false leads, including rumors of the killers slipping in a confession letter inside Shannon’s casket and a girl incriminating her family. They also conducted over 400 interviews till one of the teenager’s friends, Julia, provided the alleged breakthrough. Her statement conflicted with the Jones brothers’ alibi, as she claimed she had been at Shannon’s house around 3:00 AM that night while the brothers had reported dropping her off earlier. The brothers had also reportedly exhibited suspicious behavior that night.

Another significant breakthrough occurred when Jenni Corrigan, an eyewitness, shared her account. She had been with Dean Robinson on the night of Shannon’s disappearance. They had allegedly encountered the Jones brothers in the woods, where they identified themselves and mentioned searching for a girl. Based on their statements, the detectives surmised Shannon had allegedly managed to escape her captors, but the Jones brothers recaptured, beat, and sexually assaulted her.

Paul and Matthew Jones Are Behind Bars

Jenni claimed seeing an unconscious Shannon on the ground and recounted how the Jones brothers assaulted Dean when he unsuccessfully attempted to intervene. The eyewitness account strengthened the circumstantial case against the duo as the potential perpetrators. The Jones siblings were charged and convicted in 2015, with Matt being convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Meanwhile, Paul was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30-75 years. The brothers repeatedly appealed against their convictions and exhausted all their appeals.

Matthew Wayne Jones

However, the case unexpectedly turned in December 2021 when Dean, the prosecution’s key witness, recanted his statement. In a May 2021 affidavit, he proclaimed, “I was lying under oath when I testified about any matter involving Matt or Paul Jones being involved in a homicide. My testimony during the trial of the above-captioned matter was given to me by law enforcement.” Dean also alleged he had never met the Jones brothers before until 2015. Hence, it remains unclear whether they would be eligible for new trials.

Broadcast journalist-turned-private-investigator Bill Proctor alleged Dean has a history of lying to authorities, something he maintains should have been taken into account during the 2015 trial. Nevertheless, he claimed that the Jones brothers’ defense would face an uphill battle having no appeals left. Paul, now 51, remains incarcerated at the Thumb Correctional Facility and will be eligible for parole in 2039. Matt, now 53, is serving his life sentence at the Kinross Correctional Facility.

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