The mid-July temperatures hovered around 99 degrees when, in 1981, 15-year-old Lora Werder picked up the family telephone in Montague, CA and accepted a collect call. On the other end of the line was her older brother Stacey. He was calling from the town of Malta, MT where he had been arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct. Just a few hours later he was found deceased, apparently a result of suicide, in his jail cell.


"Now I kind of just wish someone would have taken the time to talk to me when I was fourteen."

Lora Werder Facey


In episode 5 of "A Better Search for Barbara" two sisters talk about their older brother Stacey Werder and Lora reveals the details of that last phone call home. Lora has never before been interviewed about this conversation and has never been contacted by law enforcement in regards to Barbara Cotton's disappearance.

Lora Werder Facey was the last person to speak with her brother Stacey Werder before his suicide.  In episode 5 of A Better Search for Barbara, Lora speaks out for the first time ever about her brother's last phone call home.  She has never been contacted by investigators about Barbara Cotton's disappearance.
Lora Werder Facey was the last person to speak with her brother Stacey Werder before his suicide. In episode 5 of A Better Search for Barbara, Lora speaks out for the first time ever about her brother's last phone call home. She has never been contacted by investigators about Barbara Cotton's disappearance.



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Listen to Episode 5



Listen to Previous Episodes:

  • Episode 1: "Five Blocks from Home" explores the night Barbara went missing from the perspective of her childhood friend Sandee Evanson. Read more about this unsolved mystery and listen to Episode 1: Five blocks from home.
  • Episode 2: "Tributaries of the Truth" we attempt to untangle the confusion surrounding Barbara's last known whereabouts. We also look closer at the question: Could Barbara Cotton have simply run away? Listen to Episode 2: Tributaries of the Truth

  • Episode 3: We look closer look at the initial police investigation. We also ask the question: might Barbara's kindness and big heart have led to her demise? Listen to Episode 5: She was gentle and kind

  • Episode 4: Dakota Spotlight teams up with a private investigator. Listen to Episode 4

  • See Also: Videos and Photos: A Better Search for Barbara Cotton

The podcast, "A Better Search for Barbara" is a deep dive into the 1981 disappearance of Barbara Louise Cotton and will be released over five days starting March 1, 2021. Listen here or anywhere podcasts are found (Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, Stitcher etc.)

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True Crime podcasts BY JAMES WOLNER

RELATED Podcast homepage | Newsletter | Season 3 videos | Season 2: 1976 Zick murders | jwolner@forumcomm.com