Mysteries: Tom Cat and the Colonel

She called him "Tom Cat," she explains coyly, because "he earned it." He called her "Colonel," she says, "because sometimes I get a little bossy. It was just a joke." More serious is the fact that "Tom Cat," or Thomas Riha, 40, associate professor of Russian history at the University of Colorado, has been missing since March. Only the "Colonel"—Mrs. Galya Tannenbaum, a prison alumna with a knack for forgery and a yen for mystery—claims to have seen him since.

When Riha vanished, he left a four-bedroom house full of furniture, a collection of religious statuary, a kitchen table set...

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