'She had a little bit of a temper' -- Interview with old friend reveals new details about missing N.D. woman

In the latest episode of the Dakota Spotlight podcast, host James Wolner tracks down and speaks with Tony Hulm about Michele 'Shelly' Julson, her life and her mysterious disappearance. Hulm provides details that illuminate further what Shelly was doing around the time she disappeared.

Black and White Senior class photo of Anthony (Tony) James Hulm.
Anthony "Tony" Hulm graduated from Timber Lake High School, Timber Lake South Dakota in 1975. In a 2022 interview with Dakota Spotlight Hulm discusses his relationship with Shelly Julson who disappeared in 1994.
Contributed / Timber Lake High School
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Tony Hulm was Shelly's on-again, off-again boyfriend at the time of her disappearance in 1994. But was he her close friend and confidant, or someone Shelly feared?

Listen to Episode No. 7 — An interview with Tony

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In August of 1994, Hulm worked as a bartender at the Burnt Creek Club where Shelly Julson occasionally worked as a blackjack dealer. Shelly's cold case file — obtained exclusively by the Dakota Spotlight podcast — paints a complex portrait of Hulm and his relationship with Shelly.

While some of Shelly's friends felt Hulm was her good friend and confidant, other's reported to police Shelly was afraid of Hulm. In the latest episode of Dakota Spotlight, host James Wolner speaks with Hulm about Shelly, her life and her mysterious disappearance. Hulm provides details that illuminate further what Shelly was doing around the time she disappeared.

About Dakota Spotlight, Season Seven: 'Call Me Shelly — The Mysterious Disappearance of Michele Julson'

In this season of Dakota Spotlight, creator, host and Regional Emmy Award-winner James Wolner looks into the cold case of 26-year-old Michele "Shelly" Julson, who vanished from Bismarck, North Dakota on Aug. 2, 1994. Granted exclusive, unprecedented access by police to the cold-case file, Wolner presents a play-by-play review of the initial investigation and further examines the strange events surrounding Shelly's life and her disappearance.


With the aid of new interviews with Shelly’s friends, family and retired police investigators, Wolner dives into the shadows of Shelly’s world at the time — Bismarck’s bar and gambling scene — and tracks the movements of several persons of interest. All in an attempt to answer the biggest questions of the case: What happened to Shelly? Where is she now?

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People in this episode

In alphabetical order)

  • Darrel Helbing: One of two railroad workers kicked out of The Comfort Inn swimming pool at 3 a.m. on Aug. 3, 1994. The men were in the company of two unidentified women and a third man in a cowboy hat.
  • Tony Hulm: Shelly's latest on-again/off-again boyfriend, and a bartender at Burnt Creek Club
  • Michele "Shelly" Julson: a 26-year-old blackjack dealer and mother of 3-year-old Jaden, who went missing on Aug. 2, 1994.
  • Mitch Maher: One of two railroad workers kicked out of The Comfort Inn swimming pool at 3 am on Aug. 3, 1994. The men were in the company of two unidentified women and a third man in a cowboy hat.
  • Don Schaffer: Bismarck police officer and patron at Burnt Creek Club. Shelly told friends Schaffer had been harassing her at work.

  • Rick Snell: Did not return to work at Great Lines after Aug. 2, 1994 
  • Dennis Walls: Bismarck Police Department sergeant who was the initial and main investigator on the Julson case
  • Jaden Woodworth: Shelly's son, 3 years old when she went missing
  • Kevin Woodworth: Shelly's former boyfriend and Jaden's father
  • Richard Woodworth: Jaden's paternal grandfather and the last person to acknowledge having seen her when she dropped Jaden at 104 American Ave.
  • Jenny Yantzer: Barmaid at Burnt Creek Club. Shelly speculated that Jenny was responsible for hangup phone calls and damage to her car.  Jenny has denied any involvement. 

People in previous episodes

  • Chris Aziz: Bartender at the Elbow Room. Witnessed Shelly with two men Sunday night.
  • James Becker: Shelly's friend
  • Kim Borner: Shelly's friend
  • Russ Bryant: Investigator for Burlington Northern Railroad
  • Officer Rob Carvell: Bismarck Police Department officer and patrolman, who responded to the Julson missing person report 
  • Bill Connor: Bismarck Police Department investigator
  • Walter Czerwinski: Retired Burlington Northern employee
  • John Drath: Wes Julson’s co-worker and acquaintance of Shelly
  • Clifford Emmert: Bismarck Police Department investigator
  • Jack Erhardt: Kevin Woodworth's foreman at Miller Insulation
  • Sheila Heil: Shelly’s boss and co-worker at Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation
  • Larry Helfenstein: Shelly's friend
  • Wes Julson: Shelly's father
  • Linda Julson: Shelly’s mother
  • Robin Mostad: Shelly’s co-worker at The Elbow Room
  • Bonnie Munsch: Shelly's friend and coworker, worked with Shelly at the Burnt Creek Club the night before Shelly vanished. Bonnie felt Shelly did not seem her usual self that night.
  • Holly Ness: Shelly’s friend
  • Tarileen Olson: Blackjack dealer at Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation
  • Mike Quinn: Agent at North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Amy Sansburn: Claimed she partied with Shelly at WE Fest.
  • Tammy Sumner: Shelly’s babysitter
  • Troy Schaner: Bismarck police officer who helped North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation's aerial search for Shelly's car
  • Nick Sevart: Bismarck Police officer
  • Carol Thomas: Assistant manager at The Fleck House hotel near The Elbow Room bar
  • Julie Thompson: investigator with the Bismarck Police Department.
More from Dakota Spotlight
'Clinker' found on the engine block of Michele 'Shelly' Julson's abandoned car in 1994 may be linked to an early sighting in rural Burleigh County, North Dakota, the Dakota Spotlight true crime podcast reports.

Jeremy Fugleberg is editor of The Vault, Forum Communications Co.'s home for Midwest history, mysteries, crime and culture. He is also a member of the company's Editorial Advisory Board.
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