Mapping

Got an email from a fan:

As a map geek of sorts, have you ever mapped out the last known locations of the missing persons on your list? I believe it could be a very valuable tool in linking victims, especially when cases involve towns near county, state, and country borders. If you don’t do this, do you know of any other website that provides this mapping sort of information?

That sounds like an excellent idea.

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5 Responses to “Mapping”

  1. M86 Says:

    Map geek here too… I think it’s a cool idea!

  2. seanmunger Says:

    I am a Google Earth junkie, and I keep a folder of .KMZ files on the last known whereabouts of missing persons. Usually when I do a “Geo Charley” on the CharleyProject Twitter feed I will save the location as a .KMZ file. (I don’t have all of them, as one time my Google Earth crashed before I saved a bunch of them). I’ve been thinking of compiling some sort of database of these in case anyone is interested, though I don’t have enough yet to really make it worthwhile and the selections are pretty random.

    But still, I think this person’s suggestion is a good one.

  3. Peter Henderson Says:

    Meaghan I regularly include locations and route information. I think this is especially helpful if the person was last seen at work, a business, restaurant or bar and were on there way home when they vanished.

    I look up the location last seen, note the street or route, then find the distance between the two and add the estimated time it should have taken to travel between the two locations. A geography geek also I frequently add something about the town, city, or county the person vanished from. Sometimes looking that up casts a questioning light on the available information.

    For instance most reports list Angela M. Meeker, 13, as a runaway. They note she had in the past and felt she may have done so on July 7, 1979. The Doe Network list the following scenario. “Meeker was last seen on July 7, 1979 in Tacoma, Washington. Angela Meeker, who had run away from home in the past, disappeared on her way to the Tacoma Mall to buy a birthday card for a friend.”

    Police were so sure she ran away that while her mother reported he missing the next day she was not formally listed as missing for two years and it was only when Gary Ridgway started killing young prostitutes and runaways in King County that they showed any real interest.

    The thing is I found Angela’s best friend and two of her sisters. I know where she lived. It was a hop skip and a jump from the Tacoma Mall and Angela used to walk there with her friend Lisa all the time. I know a lot more about that day but I have been asked to keep that information to myself as it is a open investigation and Angie’s family is hoping her case will be picked up by the Tacoma Police Department’s cold case unit.

    One thing I learned is that the reason there were not more and better pictures of Angie for so long was because her family had given them to the Tacoma PD and had never gotten them back.

  4. marycarney Says:

    Websleuths has a member (whose name escapes me right now) who makes maps of all the big cases.

  5. Peter Henderson Says:

    Hi Mary,

    I don’t recall the persons name either but your right those maps are helpful.

    Sometimes the information about a missing person is so sparse its difficult to determined what may have happened to them much less get any real feeling about them. When that’s the case I will on occasion write a blog type post for them instead the a standard profile, using the location to help tell the story.

    I did that a few years ago for Phyllis Berry who has been missing since 11/1/75 from Terlingua, Texas.

    If interested you can read it here – ‘What Happened to Phyllis Eleanor Berry ?’

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