Another Holocaust-related execution

July 28, 2015

This time it’s a Hassidic rabbi named Ben Zion Halberstam, who together with several family members and others was shot by a Nazi death squad in a forest in what is now Ukraine.

I just found this link which isn’t in the ET entry (yet; I sent it to the Headsman) which has an actual video clip of what they claim is the Rebbe shortly before his execution. The quality is very poor, as might be expected, but it does show people beating the crap out of SOME Jewish guy, anyway.

Reading Rogelio Cerda’s sister’s blog

July 27, 2015

I’ve spent some time going over Rogelio Cerda‘s sister’s blog about her missing brother, which has a lot of information about him and pictures that I plan to add to his casefile. She believes he didn’t drown the day he disappeared in 1975 and he might have run away and might still be alive. I’m torn between thinking she’s being a tad overoptimistic and thinking there just might be something to her theory. There were a lot of reported sightings of Rogelio in the local area after his disappearance — sightings by people who knew him — and a lot of strange phone calls to the family. At least, I’m going to change his category from “Lost/Injured Missing” to “Endangered Missing.”

According to his sister, his birth name is actually Jesus Rogelio Realme Cerda, though apparently nobody called him Jesus at all: it was either Rogelio or Roger or Junior (since their father was also called Rogelio). He attended Catholic high schools in San Antonio and was an about-to-be sophomore when he disappeared.

Whether Rogelio left intentionally or not, his disappearance had a devastating effect on the family. His father took his own life less than two years later, and I’m sure the disappearance and/or death of his only son contributed to that.

Hmm…I wonder…

July 27, 2015

Constance Ann Streif is at present one of my “few details are available” case. However, some blog commenter sent me a link to this legal decision issued by a New York court (a decision which, incidentally, mentions the Charley Project in passing) that provides a little bit more: she was adopted, and she was in Texas visiting her sister from out of state when she disappeared.

In summary, as the court decision explains, Constance’s father died of asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2011. His will specifically disinherited Constance because she hadn’t been in touch in almost 30 years and he believed she was dead. There was a settlement for wrongful death, though, which in theory was supposed to be divided among his three children; that is, Constance and her two sisters. The sisters petitioned the court to change that because Constance was dead. They wanted the settlement to be divided by two, not three, and they wanted Constance declared legally dead. The judge ruled that Constance could not be declared legally dead, but that she shouldn’t benefit from the settlement anyway because she hadn’t been in touch with her father for so long before he vanished and so his wrongful death was no loss to her in any case.

What interests me, though, is this 2014 law journal article I found about the case. (The article is on page 16.) It says, “The decedent’s daughter, Constance Ann Streif, whose last whereabouts were in Texas, had not been heard from since 1992; she had not had contact with the decedent since 1981.”

From what they and that court judgment are saying, it sounds as if Constance last had contact with her father in 1981, visited her sister in Texas in 1982, dropped out of sight and then contacted someone in 1992 before dropping out of sight again — which would mean she was still alive for at least about a decade after her disappearance was reported in 1982. However, it seems equally likely to me that the 1992 date in that article is a misprint for 1982 and therefore no one has seen OR heard from Constance since that visit to her sister.

I wish I knew for sure. I would welcome feedback (in the form of a comment on this entry, or an email, from anyone who knew Constance or is part of her family.

Make-a-List Monday: Full scholarships

July 27, 2015

This list is for MPs who got full scholarships to college before they disappeared — whether they accepted said scholarships or not. I got a partial scholarship to attend Hendrix College. I forget how much it was, something like $4,500 a semester I think. Nothing terribly impressive; I was a pretty average applicant and I think just about everyone who attended got some kind of scholarship.

(For my non-American readers, a crash course in American colleges/universities’ financial aid system: a scholarship is financial aid a student is given based on merit, usually either academically or in sports or sometimes for some special talent in another area, such as music. Some are granted by the colleges/universities themselves, and others by private foundations and charities. The scholarship is often renewable each year and is usually conditional; that is, to keep getting it renewed a student must attend the college/university full time and keep up a certain GPA, or keep playing on the sports team, or whatever, depending on the nature of the scholarship. Some scholarships are only for students with certain majors, and if they change majors they lose their scholarship.

There are other forms of financial aid, called “grants” and “student loans”, that are given based on financial need. These are not conditional; you can keep getting them renewed as long as you are not flunking out of school. Student loans are much more common than grants and most students graduate tens of thousands of dollars in debt. This has been a growing problem in the United States and everyone is arguing over what to do about it. I have some ideas but they are neither here nor there.)

Anyway, the list of superior scholars:

  1. Stevie Danielle Bates for the University of Arizona (she didn’t take it, preferring to enroll at Hunter College instead)
  2. Michelle D. Crawford for Cameron University
  3. Ian Hunter Burnet for Virginia Commonwealth University
  4. LaQuanta Nichelle Riley for an unspecified school
  5. Jennifer Marie Wilmer for St. John’s University
  6. Amber Lynn Wilde for the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay

This list may be incomplete. I’ve got several other MPs where it was mentioned they were in college on a scholarship but I don’t know whether they got a full ride (that is, everything paid for) or just a partial scholarship like me.

Select It Sunday: John and Shelly Markley

July 26, 2015

This Select It Sunday post was chosen by Sara back in December: John J. Markley Jr. and his wife Shelly Renee Markley. According to Sara, the couple disappeared on their youngest child’s eighth birthday. Whatever the case, they left five children essentially orphaned and it doesn’t appear they left on their own: they left all their stuff behind, and John missed his twin sister’s funeral.

It looks like whoever caused the Markleys to disappear meant to rob them. The day they vanished, John and Shelly were seen in John’s truck with another man at the bank and Shelly withdrew $1,000 from her account.

This December it will have been 20 years since John and Shelly vanished. This case seems solvable to me and I wouldn’t be surprised if the police have a suspect or suspects in mind.

Farmington Township, the place the couple disappeared from, is across the state from where I grew up.

Another funeral tomorrow …and YouTube enlightenment

July 26, 2015

I attended Michael’s grandfather’s funeral in May. Now tomorrow it will be Ellen’s. I’ve picked out a dress to wear that I think is appropriate for the occasion and the season. (I’m sure that one person would say it was tacky though.) I had to borrow some shoes from my mother. 29 years old and I don’t own a single pair of dress shoes. But on the other hand, why should I, when I hardly ever need any and when I do, I can always borrow some from Mom? For the most part I wear three pairs of shoes: the Brown Pair (loafers), the Black Pair (oxfords) and once in awhile the Pink Sneakers. Anyway, I’m mainly there to be supportive of Michael, since she was his friend. I suppose I’ll do what I did before, hug people and hand out tissues to the crying ones and say “I’m sorry for your loss” a lot.

I’ve made some more videos for this coming Saturday. I can’t leave it till the last minute. Believe it or not, those short little videos take a long time to make, often longer than writing a casefile would. First I have to find a person to do a video on (and I do have some criteria; sometimes finding someone suitable takes a bit of time) and then I have to put the images and pics together and all, and write the script, and then — this is what takes longest — I have to do the narration over and over and over and over again. There’s always something wrong: I stumble over a word, I’m talking too quickly or too slowly or too quietly, I accidentally blow into the microphone, etc. With Shanaz Zakia‘s video I wanted to say her car was found in an industrial area of town but I tried like fifteen times and couldn’t get “an industrial area” to sound right. I kept stumbling over the “an in” part. Finally I just removed that from the script altogether. Most of the time in my vids you’re actually listening to, like, Take 29.

YouTube Saturday: four videos

July 25, 2015

I have:

Phillip Koss:

Robyn Pettinato:

Charles Ulrich:

Shanaz Zakia:

I’m kind of guessing about Shanaz Zakia’s middle name: the fact that it can be misspelled “sahti” plus the rarity of the “th” sound in most languages makes me think it’s pronounced sah-tee and not sath-ee.

Flashback Friday (minutes before midnight): Jose Dominguez

July 24, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Jose Esauro Dominguez, a sixteen-year-old reported missing in Stockton, California since August 2, 1981. His is a MWAB case but I don’t know much about it. Two suspects, both of them close to Jose’s age, were charged, but neither of them were brought to trial.

I got a tip about his disappearance several years ago that provided some more details about the alleged murder and why it supposedly happened. Unfortunately, it was nothing I was able to work with.


July 24, 2015

Yeah, so yesterday and today I was getting my medical records from the ER visit regarding this episode. (It turns out my regular doctors didn’t have them; that’s part of the reason why I wanted them. Also curiosity because I couldn’t remember much about the visit. Only snapshots of it.) The records the hospital gave me yesterday didn’t seem complete; there was no psych eval, and I was pretty sure I must have had one. I mean, mentally ill person presenting with symptoms of mental illness, so… I called the hospital again and it turns out you need to fill out a separate form to request psych records. So I did and got those additional records today.

There wasn’t much, but what it did have to say was quite interesting: I told the doctor that I’d taken Tramadol because I’d had a terrible headache in the morning. Now, they’ve been prescribing me Tramadol off and on for years, at least since the beginning of the Great Headache Crisis. My drug screen showed “therapeutic levels” of aspirin and Tylenol, which would make sense: get terrible headache, take aspirin, take Tylenol, neither of them work, so take Tramadol. But on account of how I can’t remember much about those three days, this was the first I knew about taking Tramadol that day.

Even though I’d taken it loads of times before (and a few times since then) with no problem, I called up a pharmacist anyway and asked if it interacted with any of my four psych meds. He looked it up and said yes, it could potentially interact with two of them and cause loss of balance, altered mental state, delirium, confusion, and memory loss.

In other words, virtually every symptom I experienced.

I thanked the pharmacist, hung up and dialed my doctor’s office, and told them to never prescribe Tramadol for me again. Obviously it doesn’t interact with my other drugs every time I take it, but I can’t afford the risk of going on any more three-day-long “funny turns.”

Well, that just came out of nowhere

July 22, 2015

My ever-reliable source Jaime sent me this article about Elsie Roane. It turns out the suspect in her case is male, and still alive. He was about her own age at the time of her disappearance.

But more to the point, the police chief is quoted out of nowhere saying, “My focus right now is to find Elsie Mae and her child and give them a proper burial.”

Um…child? What child? No one previously said anything about a child.

I’m guessing she must have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance, then. I’ll have to make a note in her casefile. I wonder if the suspect is the baby’s father.


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