John Doe found in 1967 identified as missing teen

An eighteen-year-old boy missing from Ontario, Canada since April 1967 has been identified as a John Doe located in December of that year. This is the second time this has happened in the same area in recent history; in December 2006, police identified another body they’d found in 1968. That victim was also a teen boy. Police think a serial killer was involved. It reminds me of Dean Corll, or John Wayne Gacy.

After over forty years, it’s unlikely that these young men’s killer(s) will be caught. They may very well be dead by now. But at least their families know what happened to them. A small, hollow consolation. The actions of the Ontario Provincial Police in these cases were commendable; the cases were not so much cold as frozen, but they persevered and now there’s a resolution, of sorts. I wish all the other police departments out there would be so tenacious.

Acquittal in Brewer/Travis murder case

The suspect in the murders of Tabitha Brewer, who disappeared from Shawnee, Kansas in April 1998 and was never found, and her boyfriend Nicholas Travis, who disappeared with her and was found deceased in August 1998, has been acquitted of both their murders. According to this article, the jury deliberated only four hours.

The defendant, Brandon Howell, will not be released, however. He’s still serving time for a number of crimes in connection with a 1999 home invasion robbery. His earliest possible release date is late next year, and I bet they won’t let him out then. Whether or not he killed Tabitha and Nicholas, he sounds like quite a nasty character.

Of course, Tabitha’s mom is pretty unhappy. She believes, probably correctly, that she’ll never find her daughter now.

Other articles:

WDAF Fox 4
Kansas City Star

I couldn’t find many. This case didn’t get a lot of press.

Bianca Piper missing four years

Today is the four-year anniversary of Bianca Piper‘s disappearance. The thirteen-year-old girl disappeared from Foley, Missouri. Bianca had a lot of emotional problems, including bipolar disorder, and the doctor had told her mom to drive her some distance away from home, drop her off and let her walk back whenever she threw a temper tantrum. The idea was to let Bianca walk off her anger so she’d be calm when she got home. Her mother did this on the evening of March 10, 2005. Bianca never made it home.

Many people criticized the mother for the drop-off thing. Some bloggers suggested Mom must have wanted Bianca to get kidnapped or run over, or even that Mom or her boyfriend deliberately killed her. It’s worth noting that Mom did get in trouble for hitting her older child, a seventeen-year-old girl, sometime after Bianca’s disappearance. However, the cops don’t seem to think anyone in the family was involved, and I don’t think the drop-off treatment was such a bad thing. I mean, obviously it was a bad idea in retrospect, but it makes a lot of sense—many people go on walks to cool off when they’re mad—and Bianca’s doctor did advise it. I don’t think people should be criticizing the mother for following the doctor’s orders. She probably feels quite bad enough as it is.

My theory: I think Bianca was abducted. Possibly by someone in the local area, or maybe by someone just passing through. If she had gotten lost and froze to death, or if she had gotten run over, I think they would have found her by now. It doesn’t look like she ran away either. Bianca herself didn’t know she’d be walking down the road that evening, so she couldn’t have arranged in advance for someone to pick her up. And hitchhiking seems pretty unlikely; she lived in a rural area with little traffic, and I think if a motorist had picked her up they would have seen Bianca on the news later and reported it.

Bianca was only thirteen and from the pictures she looks very much a child, but she was a big girl, as tall as I am and much heavier. From a distance, or in the fading light of a March evening, she would have looked like a grown woman. My guess is she was taken by a garden-variety sex predator.

I hope I’m wrong.