Books I checked out of the library today

In an effort to make myself think of something else, I checked out several books from the library today. I’ve already read two now and will probably go and get more tomorrow before I go home from my boyfriend’s. (I use his town’s library because it’s bigger and better and awesomer than libraries where I live. I used his address to get a card. This is probably not, technically, allowed, but the library police have yet to come and arrest me.)

And here are Meaghan’s distract-herself-from-stress books:

Final Journey by Gudrun Pausewang, a children’s novel about a twelve-year-old girl and her grandfather in a cattle car on their way to Auschwitz and the gas chambers.
Fool by Christopher Moore, a retelling of King Lear from the points of view of two minor characters in the original play. I’ve read most of Moore’s other books and he’s one of my favorite authors of all time. I’ve practically suffocated laughing at his stories.
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth, a novel about a twelve-year-old girl in mid-twentieth century India whose husband (whom she married at nine and didn’t live with yet) dies, leaving her in the terrible position of being a Hindu widow without having ever really been a wife.
New Boy by Julian Houston, a novel about a black teenager from a wealthy family in the South in the 1950s. His family wants him to get a real education outside the segregated schools, so he becomes the first black student enrolled in a fancy boarding school in Connecticut.
The Paranoid’s Pocket Guide to Mental Disorders You Can Just Feel Coming On by Dennis DiClaudio, a collection of truly weird mental disorders I’d never heard of before, told in a humorous format.
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia by Orlando Figes, a scholarly tome over 700 pages long, which got excellent reviews. I’m reading it now and I can tell you the first 64 pages are great.
Farewell, Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad by Naim Kattan, a memoir about the author growing up as a Jew in Iraq, then having to leave in the 1940s due to antisemitism.
Allah is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma, a novel about a child soldier in the Ivory Coast.
Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost, a travel memoir about the author’s experiences in Fiji and Vanatu.
A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term by Bronislaw Malinowski, extracts from the notes and diaries of an anthropologist in Papua New Guinea.

Trying to stay away from my usual complement of Depressing Literature. The last four are for my Around the World Challenge, where I’m trying to read at least one book set in every country in the world.

Missing person case from 1992 solved

According to this article, the cops have identified the person responsible for a woman’s 1992 disappearance, and he lead them to the body. The article doesn’t identify the woman, but says: The officer’s interest in the case began when he logged onto an Internet “missing persons” site, typed in “Williamsport” and the missing woman’s name and description appeared.

So I went to Charley’s frontpage and typed “Williamsport” into the Google search box and only one case popped up: Dawn Miller, missing from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania since 1992. She lived in Williamsport.

If the missing woman they’re talking about isn’t her, I’ll be very surprised. I wonder if the site they’re talking about was Charley? Dawn is also on the Doe Network.

I’ve got 38 new cases to write and 59 updates waiting to be posted…

…and that doesn’t count new runaways, new family abduction cases, and updates I still need to write up. And every day I don’t update I fall further behind. I look at this mound of stuff I’ve got to do and I get discouraged and some days don’t even bother to start.

Sometimes I try to remind myself that Charley is not a job but a hobby, and I don’t HAVE to update every day or whatever, and if I chose, I would be within my rights to resign altogether and close the website. (Not planning on doing that.) But people expect stuff of me, and I don’t want to disappoint them. And I like working on my website. I like helping people. So I continue this never-ending task.

My mental state has deteriorated alarmingly this past week. Yesterday I called my psychiatrist’s office and requested an earlier appointment with him. I wasn’t supposed to see him until August, but I can’t wait that long, I told the secretary. I desperately need an increase of crazymeds. She transferred me to their on-call crisis worker, who asked me what was going on.

“Ten days ago I was raped and beaten,” I said flatly.

There was a bit of an awkward pause and then she was like, “….Oh,” And: “Have you been to the police?”

“Yes.” And I added silently: and they haven’t caught this monster, and they haven’t called me in a week, and whenever I call them I get voice mail, curse it all.

They gave me two o’clock on either July 1 or July 2, I forget, and on Monday I’m going to have to call and find out which is which. I think it’s July 2, but I seem to have written down July 1. I’m a little afraid he might lock me up when he sees me. Of course the Commonwealth of Virginia would probably pay for it, but it’s an inconvenience I’d rather avoid.

I’m concerned that the bus driver tipped the Beast off that he was wanted. And that perhaps the Beast has packed up his cardboard box — assuming he really is that homeless guy they’re looking at — and hitchhiked to Tuscaloosa or somewhere and they’ll never find him and he’s free to rape other girls and perhaps kill them. Nothing I can do about that, however. Nothing I can do at all. Sigh. I sit and wait. I update my website. I must find a way to live.

Sanchez children’s identity confirmed

Authorities have confirmed the identities of the three children’s bodies found in Richard Robert Sanchez’s car, which I mentioned in this post. Of course it’s his three sons. Richard Robert’s identification is still pending. We will probably never know if this was an accident or a murder/suicide, but due to the circumstances I’m guessing the latter.

Some of the comments on the aforementioned article are just dreadful. Some people are accusing Sanchez’s wife of murdering him and the boys and also framing him for the rape against her sister. Other people saying Richard Robert was a “great guy” who was driven to do all the things he did because of his wife’s infidelity. (One commenter actually said, I quote, “This had to happen.” I’m really hoping this person was being sarcastic.) Because of course, when a woman is unfaithful, a guy has to go out and rape her sister, and then kill himself and his kids, he can’t help himself.

I don’t know the personal situation of the Sanchez family. Perhaps the mother really did go out and sleep with every guy in town. But no matter what she did, she did not deserve this, and there was absolutely no justification for the father to go out and do what he did.

Article about Blake Pursley missing 15 years now

Blake Pursley has been missing 15 years, longer than he’d been alive before his disappearance. He is presumed dead — even if he didn’t meet with foul play, his medical conditions would have killed him without treatment. There’s an article about this in the San Bernardino Sun.

The article doesn’t directly cite the Charley Project, but I’m reasonably sure Charley was used as a source. I don’t know where else they would have gotten the info about the two other boys missing from the same school.

I’m not accusing anyone at the Cedu School of anything, of course, and one of the boys definitely did run away. But I think it’s very usual to have THREE long-term disappearances from one small school. Any school for troubled teens is going to have runaways, but two of these “runaways” have been missing more than 15 years, and even Daniel Yuen‘s been missing for five. I wonder if anyone has investigated this.

Guess who’s not in jail yet?

A few days ago I finished Babi Yar: a Document in the Form of a Novel by Anatoly Kuznetzov. It’s a memoir about the author’s experiences growing up in the city of Kiev, Ukraine during the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1943. Babi Yar was a ravine just outside the city. The Nazis shot and killed over 100,000 civilians there during the war, undesirables of all kinds, notably over 33,000 Jews over the course of two days, on September 29 and 30, 1941. This was the single largest mass murder they ever committed. Nobody even knows just how many people were murdered at Babi Yar, since none of this was documented, and before the Germans left the city they dug up all the bodies and did their best to destroy them by burning etc., to cover up their crimes. The ravine has now been filled in. In a macabre endnote, a mudslide there killed hundreds of people, perhaps even two thousand, in 1961.

Anyway, there’s a quote from the book that perfectly suits my black mood over the last few days:

That there is in this world neither brains, nor goodness, nor good sense, but only brute force. Bloodshed. Starvation. Death. That there was not the slightest hope, not even a glimmer of hope, of justice being done. It would never happen. No one would ever do it. The world was just one big Babi Yar. And there two great forces had come up against each other and were striking against each other like hammer and anvil, and the wretched people were in between, with no way out; each individual wanted only to live and not be maltreated, to have something to eat, and yet they howled and screamed and in their fear they were grabbing at each other’s throats, while I, little blob of watery jelly, was sitting in the midst of this dark world. Why? What for? Who had done it all? There was nothing, after all, to hope for! Winter. Night.

Sometimes I wonder why I live.

Tracey Gardner-Tetso’s husband makes bail

Dennis Tetso, who’s accused of murdering his missing wife Tracey Gardner Tetso, has made bail and been released from jail pending his trial, which is scheduled for November 17. (They’ll probably postpone it, though. They usually do.) He’ll be wearing some kind of tracking device and he’ll be allowed to work.

The bail was only $50,000. For first-degree murder! Usually bail for that is like five or ten times that amount. Dennis has no criminal record, and he stuck around in the area for over four years after Tracey disappeared. But the low bail makes me wonder just how strong a case the prosecutors have. A weak case is one reason for a judge to grant a lower-than-usual bail: if a defendant feels he’s likely to be acquitted, he’ll probably stick around for the trial. In another article, Dennis’s defense attorney says the prosecution has “no witnesses, no confession, and no evidence.” Of course, defense lawyers often say such things, but even the prosecutor admits the case is circumstantial.

I don’t know whether Dennis Tetso is guilty, of course. But if he is, and they’ve charged him prematurely on insufficient evidence and he gets off as a result, well, that will be terrible. I hope the prosecutor knows what they’re doing.

Other articles:

Maryland Daily Record
WTOP 103.5
WBAL Baltimore (includes picture of Dennis)

Michael Francis possibly found

The cops think partial skeletal remains they found last year may be the body of 21-year-old Michael Jay Francis, who was abducted from Baltimore in 2007. It was apparently drug-related. Witnesses saw a suspect shoot Francis with an assault rifle and force him into the trunk — alive or dead, who knows. They found the car later, with Francis’s clothes and a lot of blood.

The suspect was charged with murder, but after two trials there’s still no verdict. In the first case the judge declared a mistrial midway through; in the second, the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. It doesn’t make sense to me. This seems like an open-and-shut case — certainly much more so than most murders without a body.

Remains could be Colorado man missing 8 years

Several news outlets say the police have found skeletal remains that they think could be the body of a man reported missing from Aurora, Colorado in August 2001. ID was found at the scene. The cops aren’t releasing the person’s name, though, cause they haven’t contacted his family yet.

I checked and I don’t think he’s on Charley. I have no matching reports.

9 News
Vail Daily News
CBS 4 Denver

The Beast is still out there…

…and I am extremely frustrated. The cops didn’t even call me yesterday. They spoke to me every day before that, but they’ve been very uncommunicative as far as telling me what they’ve been doing. The other day they showed me a photo of a young woman and asked if I’d ever spoken to her. I had no idea who she was. I asked if she was a girl who had offered me some pizza and they said she was not. If it’s not the pizza girl I have no clue who she is. They also showed me a photo array of guys and asked if the Beast was in there, but the photos were black and white and not that great quality and I was unsure.

I thought they’d arrest him right after it happened. Then I thought they’d arrest him on Thursday after some more evidence came in. And yet, as far as I know, he’s still walking around loose, and it’s been almost a week.

The Beast has basically been identified now anyway, from what I understand, and I’m not really sure why he remains free. My best guess is that they are trying to build a strong case, maybe waiting for lab results or something, while keeping an eye on him. He’s not going anywhere. That would explain why they haven’t issued any kind of press release about the unsolved crime with a description of the suspect. If they already know who he is, and they’ve got him under surveillance, there’s no need to warn people about him and possibly let him know he’s wanted. But that’s just a guess. I really have no clue what the holdup is. I’m afraid to ask. I don’t want to make my detective angry with me, and he probably wouldn’t tell me anyway. I looked at the Washington Post and their sections for crime incidents in the metro area. They didn’t really have much of anything for Reston. But it looks like they only report arrests, not reported-but-not-solved-yet crimes. All their crime blurbs were “So and so was arrested and charged with such and such crime…”

I don’t really have much of a choice but to hope and trust that the police are doing their jobs. I have no reason to believe that they aren’t. But it’s just so frustrating to have to sit and wait. I don’t want to go home with this unfinished.

In the meantime, at least I got out yesterday. My friend drove me to Washington DC and we visited, appropriately enough, the Museum of Crime and Punishment. We spent like five hours there. It was really cool and I learned a lot, more than I thought I would. In the time-honored tourist tradition, I spent more than I can afford on overpriced junk at the gift shop. I got a book and a t-shirt for myself, and I bought a shot glass because I have a coworker who collects them and she said she’d pay me for it if I got her one in DC.

Today we are going to the zoo or maybe another museum or both. We were actually going to the zoo yesterday, but it rained all morning so we decided to stay indoors. And of course right after we made up our minds to go to the Museum of Crime and Punishment, it cleared up and became blazingly sunny and really nice.