Amy Billig was born to Susan and Nathaniel Billig on January 9, 1957. While Nathaniel worked at their art gallery, Susan designed rooms and sold art. Amy had a deep spiritual life and was a strict vegetarian. In her free time, she read, wrote poetry, played the flute and guitar, and read. She wanted to be an actress.
Amy got home from school around noon on March 5, 1974. Her dad gave her money for lunch, so she changed clothes and went to his art gallery. Amy planned to hitch a ride along Main Highway in Coconut Grove, Florida, as she did most of the time.
Only a few construction workers saw the 17-year-old walking toward the highway. No one ever heard from her again.
Amy may not have gone missing on her own, according to the police. The exit for Wildwood on the Florida Turnpike was where her camera was found. The photos didn’t show where she was because most of them were too bright.
A few days after Amy went missing, Kevin and Charles Glasser, who are 16 years old, said they had taken her hostage and demanded a $30,000 ransom.
The claim was looked into by the authorities, who found that it was a trick. The Miami Beach twins were charged with extortion even though they had nothing to do with the disappearance.
A lot of people gave the Billig family tips. Susan spent most of the rest of her life looking into the idea that Amy had been taken by a biker ga*ng, most likely the Outlaws.
When Amy went missing, it was Bike Week in Daytona Beach. One of the well-known “Big Four” criminal motorcycle clubs had gone through Coconut Grove on its way north to the event.
A family friend who had worked as a lawyer for the Outlaws set up a meeting between Susan and two g*ang members. The members told Amy that bikers sometimes kidnap and sell women, even though they hadn’t seen Amy. People often called these women “old ladies,” and they were bought or sold for cash, credit cards, bikes, or leather chaps.
The bikers told Susan that they would look into the idea that one of their members might have taken Amy, but they couldn’t give Susan any information.
For the next three months, Susan tried to find the chapter that had been in Coconut Grove. She got a tip that they were in Orlando, so she went there in case someone knew Amy or had seen her.
The manager of a convenience store thinks Amy was there with some bikers with him. The girl bought a vegetable soup that wasn’t meat.
It had been almost two years and there were still no good leads. Finally, in January 1976, an Outlaws biker called Susan after seeing a picture of Amy in the newspaper.
A man named Paul Branch said that the Outlaws had taken her and that he used to own Amy. Branch knew the girl from different pictures and also knew that Amy had a two-inch scar on her stomach from having an appendectomy. Susan had not shown the scar to the public. He said that she was a very quiet girl.
Susan and Branch went all over the country after getting different leads about where Amy was. Susan got to see for herself how dangerous outlaw motorcycle clubs can be on these trips.
While they were looking into it, Branch was taken hostage, had his kneecaps broken, and was shot twice in the abdomen. Branch lived even though he was thought to be dead. Sue and Branch never saw each other again, but he did give her one last piece of information: a person he knew said Amy was in Seattle.
Susan had a heart attack in early 1977. Still, she was in Seattle a few months later looking for her daughter. She went to biker bars, tattoo shops, and motorcycle shops. Susan showed pictures of Amy to a lot of people, and many of them recognized her. They all said she was a quiet girl.
After another year and a half, someone called from a different number and said Amy was at a truck stop in Reno, Nevada. There was a biker ga*ng that went through the area, but Amy may not have been with them.
In December 1997, Paul Branch died. His wife says that he changed his story about Amy being held captive by the Outlaws.
People say that Amy went to a party put on by Outlaws the night she disappeared. While she was there, a biker tried to have se*x with her, and when she said no, several people in the ga*ng rap*d her. The new statement from Brach says that Amy took too many drugs and died. The body of her was thrown into the Everglades in Florida.
At first, both the police and Susan believed the widow. The police had always thought that Branch knew what happened to Amy and might even have been the one who did it. But as time went on, both Susan and the authorities bega*n to doubt its truth. They thought the widow might have made it up to get attention.
Along with having to live without their beloved Amy, the grieving family had to deal with awful phone calls. Someone calling himself Hal Johnson teased and harmed the family for more than twenty years.
Johnson told them that Amy was being held by a s*ex ring. He would talk about explicit s*exual things he was said to have done to Amy and sometimes asked Susan to join them.
The police tried to find Johnson because he always used a payphone. Susan tried to set up meetings with the man, but he never showed up. The police watched the payphones they thought Johnson used, but they were never able to catch him.
Johnson called his family on a cell phone in 1995, which is how the police were finally able to find him. Hal Johnson’s real name was Henry Johnson Blair. He was married and had two children. He was 47 years old. Blair had been a decorated US Customs Service agent for 24 years. At the time, he was in charge of stopping drug trafficking at the Port of Miami and on the Miami River.
Blair said that he was bothering the family because of his alcoholism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He also says he has never met Amy. He got two years in prison for harassing people.
He is still being looked at by police as a possible suspect in Amy’s disappearance. In one of Amy’s pictures, there is an interesting white van in the background. Blair owned a white van in 1974 that was the exact same color and model.
Aside from that, Amy wrote in her journal that she was thinking about running away with Hank to South America. Blair also went by the name Hank, and at the same time she wrote about it, Blair was going to Argentina for work.
Amy has never been found, which is sad. Some people think she wasn’t alive for long after she went missing. One idea is that she was k*illed by a serial k*iller. Some people, like Susan, think it’s more likely that a motorcycle g*ang took Amy.
Since Amy was last seen, Nathaniel and Susan had to close their art gallery. In 1992, both of them were told they had lung cancer. Nathaniel passed away the next year at the age of 69. He told his wife, “I want to see Amy before I die.” That was his last word.
Sue had three heart attacks in 2005 and had to stop looking for her daughter. She died soon after, when she was 80 years old.
She wrote a book about the case with Greg Aunapu called Without a Trace: The Disappearance of Amy Billig — A Mother’s Search for Justice in 2001. The book talks about the risks Susan took while she was looking for Amy in the motorcycle community.