Make-a-List Monday: Great Lakes

This list is of MP cases that have some connection to the Great Lakes. Probable drownings being the most obvious kind, of course.

I nearly drowned in Lake Michigan when I was five. It was a hot summer’s day and I was in four feet of water, surrounded by happy vacationers at the public beach, but when you’re only three and a half feet tall and can’t swim and your family is all at their own beach a quarter of a mile away, things can go bad very quickly. Fortunately I was fished out and dragged ashore just before I crossed the point of no return, and a police officer who was present pounded life back into me.

Lake Erie

  1. Khristine Renee Smith
  2. Mel L. Wiley

Lake Huron

  1. Mistie Nicole Murray
  2. Charles Rutherford Jr.

Lake Michigan

  1. Michael Steven Bickel
  2. Michael Black
  3. Patricia Blough
  4. Renee Bruhl
  5. James Robert Hysong Jr.
  6. Sofia Khan
  7. Ann Miller
  8. David Randall Warner

Lake Superior

  1. John Lipuma

Select It Sunday: Thomas James

Selected by Justin, this week’s SS case is Thomas James, a Universal Studios employee who disappeared from Los Angeles on June 18, 1998. I don’t have much about his disappearance but it doesn’t look like he left on his own. He left everything behind at his apartment, and his car turned up abandoned in Burbank, California.

If James is still alive he’d be 60 this year.

ET entry yesterday

Yesterday I had my last Executed Today entry for the month (there were supposed to be four but the Headsman forgot to publish the one I wrote for the 18th). It’s John Johnson, who, together with another man, beat and gut-shot a Chicago cop for no apparent reason and was hanged in 1905. The victim lingered for four months before dying, and this in an age before modern medicine. Johnson’s partner-in-crime only got fourteen years.

This is actually the second time I’ve written about the execution of someone named John Johnson; this is the first one.

Not sure this has ever happened before

For my updates today I just wrote up a case with FOUR given dates of disappearance from five different sources. I’ve got November 24, 2014 (NCMEC and news article), March 1, 2015 (state database), March 12, 2015 (another news article) and May 7, 2015 (NamUs).

*headdesk*

I’m going with the earliest date, to be on the safe side, and also because it’s the only date that was given more than once.

Ruth Egnoski ponderings

Ruth Egnoski is one of those cases where I have VERY little info, and now it seems what little I had is being thrown into doubt. NamUs’s profile for her, recently added, says she disappeared sometime in the fall of 1964. I’ve got the date as sometime in 1966.

I had a look at Newspapers.com and what I find there hasn’t helped at all. The archived issues of the Janesville Daily Gazette have ten mentions of a Ruth Egnoski between 1955 and 1964. Janesville, Wisconsin is just twenty miles from Delavan, Wisconsin, the town Ruth disappeared from; it’s quite likely this is the same Ruth. (Unless it’s her mother.)

The newspaper’s August 21, 1964 issue has her name on the list of hospital admittances and calls her “Mrs. Ruth Egnoski.” Ruth would have been sixteen at the time, but in the 1960s it was common for girls that age to be married. Per the newspaper, on August 28, Ruth was released from the hospital. This is the last time she was mentioned in that newspaper. At least, it’s the last time she was mentioned in Newspapers.com’s archived issues of that newspaper, which isn’t exactly the same thing, yeah?

I know the people who write NamUs profiles utilize the same resources I do, and I have to wonder if the Newspapers.com mentions are the reason they list Ruth’s date of disappearance as sometime in the autumn of 1964. Yet this 2002 article gives the date of disappearance as 1966, and that’s what I had until now.

It’s possible nobody really remembers when she disappeared. It didn’t really attract any notice at the time — it was reported but the police didn’t investigate. Records get lost. People die. Memories fade.

I’ll update her casefile to reflect the uncertainty regarding the year. And I’ll add her middle name — Muriel. That’s all I was able to get from NamUs.

Flashback Friday: Diane Dye

This week’s FF case is Diane Genice Dye, a thirteen-year-old girl who ran away from her San Jose, California home on July 30, 1979. One of her friends, it is said, saw her in a shopping mall fifty miles away in December 1981, a year and a half after her initial disappearance. Diane spoke to her friend and said she didn’t want to go home and didn’t want anyone to know where she was. This was the last sign of her.

There’s a good chance Diane is still alive and still, perhaps, doesn’t want anyone to know where she is. Perhaps she doesn’t even know she’s still listed as missing. She would be 51 years old now.