And as for news…there isn’t any.

I last called Detective Austin on Sunday, June 28, at 4:31 a.m. I didn’t expect him to actually answer, of course, I just left a message asking what was new. I dialed the last number he’d called me from, figuring he’d get the message when he went to work on Monday. It turned out I’d called his personal cell phone. Whoops. He texted me five or six hours later saying there was nothing new and don’t call his personal cell phone at 4:31 a.m. on a Sunday.

I called him again half an hour ago, at his work number. And again, there is nothing. Less than nothing, even. He told me they hadn’t got any fingerprints off the condom wrapper the Beast left behind. Damn and blast it. This animal has all the luck and I’ve got none at all. I expressed the fear that the Beast had decamped for parts unknown and Austin said he didn’t think so. He said he was waiting for people to call him back about some “technical things” and it might be months. (I’m not sure if he meant months till they call him back, or months before I can expect any resolution. I expect the latter, but I’ve heard it can take months to get crime lab results too. Anyway, I hope neither of those things are true.) Austin did seem reasonably confident still, but I don’t know if that’s an act he’s putting on for my benefit or what. I’m left feeling thoroughly nauseated.

I ought to get hold of the Victim’s Advocacy lady again and find out what she can do for me. I suppose she can help me apply to the crime victim’s compensation fund. The rest home was free but I haven’t been able to work in over a week, and the papers said “lost wages” was something I could get compensated for. Certainly I need the money. Got bills I got to pay. But it hardly seems to matter at the moment. In any case I left all her information and papers and stuff behind at the clinic and may not be able to get them back for over a week. Along with my private diary! I really wish I had my diary. I’m sure no one’s going to read it, I just want it back so I can write in it and say a lot of nasty words I can’t write on this blog.

And soon I need to go to the doctor and get tested for every disease known to man. *bangs head against the wall*

It’s only been three weeks. I can’t believe it — it feels like forever.

Okay, file this in the WTF category

The police in Stamford, Connecticut reported that someone stole a toddler’s body from its grave. The dead child, a two-year-old girl, was later found in the Passaic River in New Jersey, wrapped in a plastic bag. (Both of those headlines are wrong, btw. The toddler was a girl, not a boy. And it was a CT cemetery and a NJ river, not the other way around.) Nobody seems to know who did this or why they did it. If this is someone’s idea of a joke, it is Seriously Not Funny.

I know that in Italy, at least at one time in fairly recent history, once in awhile people would steal a dead body for ransom, i.e. “If you want your Papa back in time for the funeral, give us fourteen million lira!” (Which isn’t as much as it sounds — about $10,000 in American money. It’s a good thing the Italians have replaced the lira with the euro, otherwise they would need wheelbarrows to cart around their spare change.) I wonder if the Connecticut thing was similar. How did the police know the body wasn’t there? The article says the parents had no idea. Did someone report that the grave looked disturbed?

Bizarro. It’s a sick world sometimes.

Amber Swartz-Garcia case now considered closed

Seven-year-old Amber Swartz-Garcia disappeared from Pinole, California in 1988. Her disappearance was the second major tragedy to befall her family: her father, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty before Amber was born. Amber was severely hearing-impaired from birth, which I suppose is a tragedy also. Anyway, her family was one of those lottery families I wrote about earlier.

Amber’s case got a lot of attention, as there were several other little girls who disappeared from the same area during the same time period. Timothy Bindner, a thoroughly creepy local eccentric, inserted himself into the case and quickly became the prime suspect, but the cops were never able to pin anything on him. He seemed to treat it all as a joke: “Nyah nyah nyah nyah, you can’t indict me!”

Well, Bindner must be laughing his fool head off now, because now the cops think he had nothing to do with Amber’s disappearance. Curtis Dean Anderson confessed to Amber’s abduction and murder before he died in prison in 2007. If what he said is true, her abduction was of the rarest and most terrifying type: she just happened to be standing in her front yard when a monster drove by randomly and snatched her on a whim. The police have announced they’ve accepted Anderson’s statement and will close the case. Amber’s body has never been found.

Anderson himself was even creepier than Bindner. He was a confirmed child kidnapper, molester and murderer. He abducted and killed Xiana Fairchild in 1999. (It was another very high-profile case, one I remember well. I was thirteen at the time and just getting into my missing person obsession. They say he kept her alive for a month or so after her kidnapping.) He abducted and molested an eight-year-old girl in 2000, keeping her for several days before she was able to escape from him. He’s suspected in several other disappearances as well and I fully believe he was a serial killer. We may never know just how many girls he murdered.

In spite of Anderson’s reputation and the cops’ belief in his guilt, I’m a bit uneasy about closing Amber’s case. I mean, this is the word of one man. Amber’s abduction wasn’t witnessed and, as I said, her body was never found. The police spent eighteen months investigating what he said and found “no evidence to refute it.” But unless there’s something they aren’t saying, there is also no evidence to corroborate Anderson’s statement. And can we trust an admitted murderer doing life without parole? He had nothing to lose by confessing to Amber’s death. I am reminded of Henry Lee Lucas and the billion or so murders he confessed to that he didn’t commit. I’m just sayin’. And from the articles I list below, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Unless Amber, or her body, turns up, we will never really know what happened to her. I’m quite sure she’s dead.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Bindner is still a suspect in other missing girls from the Bay area, or whether they’re looking at Anderson for those too.

Articles:

San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle 2
San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News 2
The Associated Press
Vallejo Times-Herald
Vallejo Times-Herald 2
Vallejo Times-Herald 3

State of Ohio to show film about missing kids to prisoners

According to this article, my own home state of Ohio has put together a short film about six unsolved missing children cases and will show it in thirty-two state prisons, to hopefully get some tips out of the inmates. The article doesn’t say whether these will be only Ohio missing kids in the film, but I assume so.

Either way, I think this is an excellent idea! It’s sort of like the unsolved cases on prison playing cards, and I understand those have yielded valuable information. I hope other states adopt this idea as well.

I’m baaaaack!

Hi all,

I have been away since Thursday. I kind of went a bit berserk at my therapist’s office and one thing led to another so I spent a few days at a rest home. I didn’t even know they still had those. Rest I did: slept sixteen hours a day, and lounged around reading and playing Sims 3 on my laptop for the other eight. (No internet access.) There was absolutely nothing else to do. Most of the people there were loads worse off than I was — some of them actually lived there, having come from the state hospital. It wasn’t a locked facility or anything. I wasn’t really allowed to leave, but there was nothing physically stopping me if I chose to.

Anyway, after several days I started feeling better and became quite bored. So my doctor let me go home today. I feel much better — calmer.

I have 67 emails in my inbox and other things. I will try to catch up in a timely manner.