John Burgess sentenced to five years in prison

The Los Angeles Times reports that John Steven Burgess got a piddling five years for his role in the death of Donna Jou. If it was just the fact that he gave her drugs and she died, five years would be enough. Maybe more than enough. Donna knew what she was getting into. But the whole dumped-her-body-and-let-her-family-agonize-over-her-fate-for-almost-two-years thing ought to triple that sentence. Pity they can’t give him more time.

I love this part: “I couldn’t keep going on with it being on my conscience,” he said. “I wanted her family to know the truth.” Funny, then, that he didn’t ‘fess up until the cops confronted him with all the evidence and filed charges.

“Libeling” the missing

Anyone who reads my site, or this blog, ought to know that I try to be as inclusive as possible in terms of info on missing persons cases. If it’s out there, I’ll post it, because I feel that the more a reader knows about an individual case, the more likely they are to care.

Once in awhile I get emails from people, usually family members of the missing, who are upset about the info I posted on their loved ones. I’ve been accused of libel more than once. I usually try to work with them and often remove the parts of the casefile that upset them, though it often makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes I think the relatives are overreacting, but I don’t tell them so, because what good would that do?

I can think of some examples. One missing man was suspected of car theft, though never charged. One of his relatives asked me to remove that particular piece of information. I did so, but I didn’t like it, because the man’s alleged criminal activity could have played a role in his disappearance and I thought it was important information. But I didn’t want to cause even more pain for the family. Another woman I wrote about was separated from her husband and seeing other men. Her sister wrote me, very angry, accusing me of trying to make her look like a “loose woman.” I was a bit taken aback. I certainly wasn’t trying to imply anything of the kind, and most folks would agree that it’s okay to see other people when you’re legally separated from your spouse. That’s kind of the point of being separated, after all, to explore other options. But again, I removed the info.

Most recently, a man disappeared and I posted the only two photos I could find of him, one of which was obviously a police mug shot. His grandson wrote to me with concerns about the mug shot, saying he didn’t want people to think ill of his grandfather and he’d only been arrested for driving without a license. I convinced him to let me keep the photo on Charley, though, because it showed that the man was almost completely bald. In the other photo he was wearing a hat and had fairly bushy sideburns, and so it looked like he had a lot more hair than he actually did. I said (and the grandson agreed) that the mug shot pic was vital for identification purposes.

Of course my motives are good. When I write about these people I am not intending to imply anything at all about their character, I’m just trying to get as much info out there as I can. An MP is an MP, and they need to be found even if they had a criminal history or a substance abuse problem or a mental illness or whatever. If anything, you should be more concerned about those types, because they’re more likely to be in trouble than the average MP. I can’t help but pity most of those people. Like a woman whose case I updated recently, a very intelligent woman, mother, talented dancer, Dean’s List college student, but rather violently unstable and flaky with a drug addiction and severe mental illness. I put it all in her casefile. I am not judging her. I am shaking my head in sorrow at what she might have become if it weren’t for her troubles and her bad luck.

And those types of issues can be vital to solving the case. I recall one case where two girls were murdered. My memory is kind of dim, I don’t remember their names, but one part of it stands out. The media at the time portrayed them as little angels, innocents slain by an evil stranger. And of course, the children WERE innocent — they were both under ten years old, they certainly didn’t deserve to be killed — but the investigation turned up evidence of severe behavior problems in one of the victims, including fire-setting, which is suggestive of sexual abuse. Working from there, the police eventually found out an acquaintance had been molesting that child for years, and it turned out he’d killed her and killed the other girl who happened to be there at the time. It all started by looking the less-than-angelic aspects of the victims. Yet I can imagine the dead girls’ parents being like, “Our daughters were MURDERED and all you’re interested in is maligning their characters!”

And so I do the best I can: write down everything I can find, and if someone is offended, I’ll deal with it when it happens.

Okay, I have the After Etan book

The library ordered two copies. One for me, and one they’ve got on display in their “New Books” section.

It looks good, but it will have to wait. I’m afraid Pride and Prejudice and Zombies must come first, because other people have it on hold so I have to finish it and return it ASAP.

In the meantime, on May 13th the Charley Project had 12,229 visitors, when the average is between 2,000 and 3,000. Most of them were Etan-related. There’ve been 9,659 “entry visits” to Etan’s casefile (meaning his page was the first page on Charley viewed by a particular visitor). That’s 17.96% of all entry visits. Even Charley’s frontpage hasn’t gotten more than that this month.

El Monte PD profiles Angelica Longoria

Per the Unsolved in the News blog, I have found a more recent photo of Angelica Longoria on the El Monte Police Department’s website. It’s of her at age fifteen; apparently in the NCMEC poster’s photo, she was only nine or ten! Why they would use such an old picture when a more recent one was available is a mystery to me.

The El Monte PD site also profiles the unsolved 1958 murder of Geneva Ellroy, who is the mother of famous author James Ellroy. He was ten or so when she died, I think. He was visiting his dad at the time. I have never read any of James Ellroy’s books, but I saw the movie of L.A. Confidential and it was excellent. Somehow I don’t think they’re going to be able to solve Geneva’s murder. Her killer is probably dead now, or vegging in a nursing home.

Missing children I’d really like to know more about

LaMoine Jordan Allen and his cousin Kreneice Marie Jones: You’d think I’d find SOMETHING about a pair of apparently kidnapped toddlers, but nope.

Marc James-Warren Allen. Everyone remembers Johnny Gosch and some people remember Eugene Martin, but there was a third boy who disappeared from Des Moines in the 1980s and no one seems to care.

Steven Anderson and David Williams: Two mentally retarded boys vanish off from the face of the earth and nobody seems to know a thing. From what little I know, I’d be looking hard at that school. It’s still in existence, but now called the New Lisbon Developmental Center.

Jeanine Camille Barnwell: “Last seen by her mother.” And what on earth does THAT mean?

Robert James Bowling: a three-month-old who disappeared with his eighteen-month-old sister, but she was found later. Alive? Well? Injured? Dead? I don’t know. Were the parents involved? I have no idea.

Andrew Lee Brown: There may actually be information available about his disappearance, but his name works against him here. Googling “Andrew Lee Brown missing” turns up 170,000 results; on Newslibrary I get 7,734 articles, none of which appear to be about the right Andrew.

Jennifer Anne Douglas: I once had an NCMEC contact (she has since vanished) and I actually asked her about this case, but she said the NCMEC doesn’t really know any more than what’s on her poster.

Jose Henriquez-Diaz: What’s going on here? I have nothing. I thought at first it might be one of those “disappeared during an illegal border crossing and probably died of exposure in the desert” cases, but Sells is actually quite a distance from the Mexican border.

Maria De Los Angeles Martinez: This case looks solvable. Were they able to identify the man Maria went away with? Why is there no AP of her?

Kevin Lamont McClam: There’s actually a decent amount of info in this case, but the whole “walking down the street in broad daylight in his underwear like he did it every day” thing is just bizarre.

Lydia Ann Perkins: There must be SOME reason why she’s listed on the FBI kidnappings page, but I have minimal info on her disappearance. She’s one of quite a few teen girls who aren’t listed as runaways, but where there’s apparently little evidence one way or another in their cases.

Francillon Pierre: Got nada. Was he Haitian, I wonder? His name sounds like he was.

Donnis Marie Redman: One of the oldest cases profiled by the NCMEC, she’s been missing more than half a century. She’d be sixty-six years old next month.

Justin Richardson: This looks like it might be a lost/injured missing case — I mean, it is in the Grand Canyon after all, a place famous for luring unsuspecting tourists to their deaths — but those are rarely profiled on the NCMEC. In any case, my searches have turned up zilch in the way of additional info.

Amanda Rivera: Much like Lydia Perkins, this teen girl apparently vanished without a trace. Since missing teens are pretty much automatically classified as runaways, I think there must be some evidence that Amanda didn’t run away. But if there is, I haven’t found it.

Annette Deanne Sagers: This has the makings of a great mystery novel or even paranormal. A mother disappears. Her young child disappears from the exact same spot almost a year later, leaving a note saying mommy to get her. It looks like the police are about as WTF as I am about this.

Eric Sernando Salguero Franco: I’m guess this was a border-crossing case, since Nogales is right on the border, but I don’t know for sure and would like to. He’ll be missing for a year tomorrow.

Jaquilla Evonne Scales: Little girl vanishes from bed in the middle of the night — but the police seem to be focusing on the family rather than an abductor. Why this didn’t get more press I don’t know. Perhaps because she is black. Perhaps because this disappearance was just a week before 9-11.

Fannie Fawn Stuart and Jessie Flo Stuart: I wrote about these girls last month, when I first posted their cases on Charley. I’m still curious about the circumstances of their disappearance.

Sophia Summer Tennis: One-year-old baby, possibly with “two adult men and two adult women.” Relatives? Kidnappers? Was the child sold? I have no idea.

Mary Anne Wesolowski: This girl — thirteen but looking younger — has been missing an awfully long time, and I can’t find anything on her. I did once see some postings written by someone who claimed to be her brother, but he didn’t provide any more information on her disappearance.

Fred Wright: Another “vanished from the house in the middle of the night but there was zip about it in the news” kid.

I do not doubt that I will eventually find info for at least some of these cases. After all, only a year ago I knew frustratingly little about the Uden family, and now I know a decent amount. Patience, patience. Something will crop up.


With me and Charley stuff, if it doesn’t get taken care of right away, it often doesn’t get taken care of for yonks, or even at all. Several people have emailed me with corrections, weeks ago, and I haven’t acted on them yet. Grr. I am such a bad website maintainer. *smacks self* In addition, I’ve always got a backlog of cases to add and lately it’s gotten a wee bit too big for its britches.

However, today I hope to take care of those corrections and make a dent in the backlog. I’ve decided to make a list of all the cases I need to post, and add them on a first-come, first-serve basis.

One of my more bizarre emails

I just got an email from someone who signed themselves “Bitch” and spoke of a young woman on Charley, a white woman, and a black man was convicted in her presumed death. In capital letters and with many exclamation marks, this individual demanded I “tell the whole truth” about what the murderer did. Except she (?) referred to him with the f-word tacked on to a certain revolting racial slur which I’m sure you all know.

I am seriously taken aback.

Needless to say, I am not going to reply to this message.

First in a series about Curtis Huntzinger

This is the first in a three-part series of articles about the disappearance and murder of fourteen-year-old Curtis Anthony Huntzinger. He disappeared in 1990. A friend of his family, Steven Daniel Hash, had been molesting him for over a year, shot him to death and buried him. Hash pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and lead the cops to Curtis’s grave in December 2008. He only faced twelve years in prison. I don’t believe they charged him in connection with the molestations. Statute of limitations, I guess, as well as lack of evidence. It’s a shame, because twelve years clearly isn’t enough.

Curiously, the NCMEC had Curtis listed as a runaway long after it became obvious he’d met with foul play, and even after Hash’s guilty plea!