This is a bit late, but I thought I’d throw out this New York Magazine article from October about eight cold cases in New York City. It includes the disappearances of Patrick Kennedy Alford as well as Michael Sullivan and Camden Sylvia, and the kidnap and murder of adorable Chinese immigrant girl Quin Rong Wu.
Posts Tagged ‘1990s’
Selected by Justin: Luis Osvaldo Diego Garcia, missing since 1996 from Ontario, California.
Like with the Sharon Baldeagle case, it’s pretty obvious what happened here. In fact, this is a MWAB case, albeit an unusual once since the suspect, Luis’s boss Woravit “Kim” Mektrakarn, has never been apprehended to face trial. He’s probably in his native Thailand, which has an extradition treaty with the US; they’ve just got to find him first.
Basically what happened is this: Luis was an immigrant working in Mektrakarn’s sweatshop. When he found out he wasn’t being paid the overtime wages due him by law, he threatened report his boss to the Labor Commission unless Mektrakarn forked over the money. Now, I’m sympathetic with Luis here; Mektrakarn was clearly in the wrong. But when you blackmail a person, you’re poking death with a stick.
The physical evidence against Mektrakarn is very strong; if I were put on the jury I’d probably convict him right here. But until he gets located in Thailand — if that ever happens — there will be no justice. And chances are they’re never going to find Luis’s body.
This profile was selected by Michael (not my Michael, but a blog commenter): the very sad case of Everett Thompson, his wife Lydia, and their two young sons, Everett Jr. and Andrew. The Thompsons lived in Chicago — when they disappeared in the summer of 1996. Everett was a businessman.
It’s a lot like the McStay family disappearance: mom, dad and two boys gone without a trace. But unlike in the McStay case, it’s pretty obvious what happened. Although there’s some suggestion that the family simply pulled up stakes and moved away, the inconvenient facts are this: Lydia’s charming brother, Byron White, had a record for kidnapping and rape, he was living with the Thompsons at the time of their disappearances, and a few days before they were last seen Lydia called the cops because her brother had threatened her with an ax. Oh, and after the family vanished, White stole her van and forged her signature on a check.
Unfortunately, we may never know what exactly went down and, more importantly, where their bodies are. White committed suicide in jail (mail fraud) eighteen months after his sister and her husband and kids disappeared.
A very sad case. It must have been — and is — devastating for both sides of the family. The boys have such sweet, sunny smiles in their photos.
I belong to the book organizer/social networking site Librarything and participate in their Early Reviewers program, where they give you free books, often before they’re published for the masses, in exchange for posting a review. My latest free book (which comes out in a few days), was Bosnia’s Million Bones: Solving the World’s Greatest Forensic Puzzle by Christian Jennings.
For those interested in the forensic side of missing persons, I’d recommend this book. Tens of thousands of people vanished during the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in the mid-nineties, and turned up in mass graves. The book is mostly about a group set up to identify them, the International Commission on Missing Persons. It reminds me quite a lot of NamUs: they approached the relatives of the missing, collected DNA samples, collected DNA from the graves, and set about doing comparisons. The book also discusses why it was so important for the families and the country in general to identify these bodies, even though the people knew their missing relatives were dead — something that certainly rings true with Charley Project type cases. Here’s the relevant part of my review:
A sort of combination true crime and science book, this is the story of attempts to identify the thousands of people who disappeared in the genocide in the former Yugoslavia. Employing Bosnian scientists and using DNA testing that was groundbreaking at the time, the International Commission on Missing Persons was successful at identifying loads of people, in spite of the fact that many of the bodies had been dismembered and buried in separate mass graves. (The same techniques would be used at the sites of 9/11, the Indian tsunami, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and more.) The book also covers the activism on the part of survivors of the genocide, and the manhunt for those responsible.
…Valentin Kaloustov, a gentleman of apparent Russian origin judging by his name and his clothes, who disappeared from Ceres, California in 1999. One of those lovely “few details are available” cases.
Today’s update contained THREE murder-without-a-body cases: the aforementioned Starlette Vining, Kimberly Diane Greene Medina and Samuel Kairy. This might just be a new record for me — although only the Vining and Greene Medina murder convictions were recent. Samuel Kairy was one of the “Joe Cool Crew” missings who were murdered off the coast of Florida several years ago. I had cases up for the other three, but didn’t find a picture of Kairy till last night.
Starlette Vining disappeared from Presque Isle, Maine sometime in October 1998. In 2012, George Jaime Sr., her live-in boyfriend, was charged with her murder. He was convicted on Friday after only a few hours’ jury deliberation. The linked article provides lots of details about the case:
The trial began Tuesday with Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson telling jurors in his opening statements that Jaime killed Vining, his live-in girlfriend, in a drunken rage in October 1998. Vining was 38 years old when she was last seen alive.
The accused killer’s son, Ted Jaime, and his friend, James Campbell, both testified earlier this week that George Jaime told them he stabbed Vining to death, dismembered the body and incinerated it in a commercial furnace in the basement of the pawn shop and apartment complex he owned. Ted Jaime also testified that he saw Vining’s corpse in his father’s apartment, and both he and Campbell said they helped clean up the murder scene.
Ted Jaime’s ex-wife, Parise Voisine, said on the witness stand Wednesday that her former husband had told her about cleaning up the murder scene and about the dismemberment.
Ethel Jaime, Ted Jaime’s mother and the accused killer’s ex-wife, testified that her son had told her several times about George Jaime murdering a woman and about Ted Jaime’s participation in cleaning up the crime scene, although he never mentioned Vining’s name.
This one was selected by someone who sent me a Facebook message suggesting her for Flashback Friday. Since it’s too recent for a Flashback Friday case, I’m doing it today instead: Tracy Pickett.
For some reason Tracy isn’t on the NCMEC at all anymore, although they did an AP for her as recently as last year. She was last seen at a friend’s party in Webb City, Missouri on August 12, 1992, when she was fourteen and a half. A fellow guest offered to take her home so she could change clothes, and then drive her back to her friend’s apartment. She never made it back to the party and it’s unclear whether she arrived at her home either. Her driver, of course, claims she was just fine when he last saw her.
I can think of plenty of cases like hers, teenage girls who disappeared after getting a ride home. The authorities believe Tracy was murdered, and they went looking for her body eight years ago, but they didn’t find anything.
This list was actually created by frequent blog commenter Jose. It covers all Charley cases from 1980 onward where the person vanished on Friday the 13th.
Tiffany Jennifer Papesh
Robert Joseph Fritz
Shirley Ann McBride
Allen Briscoe Jr.
Amanda Lee Fravel
Peter Strother Madison
Cathleen Marie Martin
Carla Beth Anderson
Edwin Collins Smith
Sue Ellen Walker
Douglas Edward DeFoe
Carlos Amendos Herriford
Dean Toshio Tanaka
Steven Vincent Mylan
Lakiesha Trenail Buckner
Soomaiiah Jalaaluddeen Quariishi
Teresa Sanchez Alcaraz
Wade Michael Aughney
Nicole Shalonda Johnson
Stephanie Louise Banks
Patricia Denise Knight
Russell Sterling Wilson
Timothy James McKye
Tammie L. Walker
Brandon Edward Perdue
Gerald H. Bryant
Katherine Sarah Heck
Aaron Guy Lamson
DeNeka Dashay Walker
Emely Yolibeth Gamez-Lopez