News on murder-without-a-body cases

The jury in the Aarone Thompson trial has still not reached a verdict, and it’s been over a week. They say the longer a jury is out, the more likely they are to acquit or to hang. But in this case they’re considering dozens of charges. I have confidence that they will do their duty.

A trial date has been set for Geralyn Graham, the accused murderer of Rilya Wilson. Rilya’s case gained national notoriety when it was discovered that she, a Florida foster child, had been missing for a year and a half without the Florida Department of Children and Families finding out. Geralyn was her foster mother. I’m a bit concerned about this case. Geralyn killed Rilya, I’m quite sure — but can they prove it? There’s very little evidence and a principal witness has backed out. Anyway, Geralyn is scheduled to be tried in March. She could face the death penalty if convicted.

Two suspects have finally been indicted in the presumed kidnapping and murder of Donald Dietz, a Michigan man who disappeared in September 2007. He was vulnerable — one account I read said he was autistic, though I’m not sure how they’d know — and he had a lot of money, and the police think these two guys killed him and stole his identity. Another article is here.

Weird computer glitch

For some reason, my computer is showing only 450 files in the “M” folder of my “Cases” folder. (This is on my computer itself, not on the internet.) I thought perhaps all the others had accidentally been deleted, and started to FTP all the missing ones off Charley into the folder, but FTP told me the files were already there. And I did a desktop search for a few of the missing files and they are, in fact, there…but my folder still shows only 450 files.

What gives? This has never happened before.

I use Windows Vista. Any ideas?

UPDATE: Okay, I checked out the properties of the folder and it said the files were “read-only.” I unchecked that box and reloaded the folder, and now there are 2,332 files again. Problem solved.

Jaycee Dugard to appear on Oprah

I found this article saying Jaycee is scheduled to be interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show in December. Maybe I could somehow find a way to watch it. I would have to borrow someone else’s TV. Anyway, it says she’s getting paid a million dollars for this.

I don’t think I would do it, if I were her — it seems like such a big famous TV appearance would mess up her life even more. But I’m not her.

Austin Childs

Project Jason has put up a poster for Austin Childs, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared after a boat accident in 2005. It reminds me of a story I thought I’d share:

Several years ago, a stranger contacted me on AOL Instant Messenger and said right away that she was Austin Childs’s mother. I assumed she must want to speak to me about his Charley Project page, though I wasn’t sure how she got my screenname. Anyway, she told me all about Austin’s disappearance — details I already knew. And showed me a bunch of websites and articles about it that I’d already seen. Then she showed me his Charley page, and I suddenly realized this woman had no idea who I was. She told me she had a habit of contacting random people to talk about her son, as a form of therapy, and she just happened to contact me. It was a big coincidence. Anyway, by then we’d been chatting for like half an hour and it seemed a bit late to tell her I was the administrator of the Charley Project, so I didn’t say anything and just kept listening to her go on about her son. Eventually she signed off and I never spoke to her again.

Brooke Wilberger found

As noted by one blog commenter, one person who emailed me, and Google News search, Brooke Wilberger’s body has been found. She was nineteen years old and between her freshman and sophomore year at Brigham Young University when she was abducted from an apartment complex parking lot in Corvallis, Oregon May 2004. The case got a lot of attention at the time, because of the sensational nature of the crime and because Brooke was the kind of victim the media loves: young, innocent, Christian, middle-class, blonde and very beautiful. Just like a slightly older Elizabeth Smart. They were both Mormons, even.

Joel Patrick Courtney was charged with Brooke’s murder in 2005. Well, this month he pleaded guilty and lead the police to her body. He will be in prison for the rest of his days. I’ve heard that Courtney is considered a possible serial killer and a suspect in the disappearance of Katheryn “Katie” Eggleston, but I don’t know if anything came of that lead.

Anyway…may Brooke rest in peace.

A new way to identify bodies?

From an article about Korean War soldiers missing in action:

Perry said scientists have discovered that the shape of a clavicle is unique, much like a fingerprint. Before U.S. soldiers were sent to Korea, they had their chests X-rayed to check for tuberculosis. Military officials are putting the chest X-rays of missing soldiers into a database.

Perry said scientists are working on a way to match those X-rays with the unidentified remains as an alternative to DNA analysis.

He said it is early in the process and scientists haven’t perfected the method.

That sounds wonderful and I hope this gets somewhere. DNA testing is expensive and time-consuming and, as the article notes, not always practicable. The more ways there are to identify human remains, the better.

Well, this is news to me!

I found this Utica Observer-Dispatch article about the 1990 disappearance of Mark William Seelman. It seems he went missing together with another teen, Douglas Goodwin, who has never been found either. I hadn’t had any information about Douglas. The Charley file says he may have gotten into a car driven by an eighteen-year-old black male. Douglas was eighteen in 1990, but from the picture he appears to be white.

I will have to update Mark’s file, and add Douglas’s.

I hate, hate, hate the month of September

Once again I am struck with my annual bout of severe hay fever. Claritin and Benadryl haven’t really helped and I haven’t been able to sleep due to the coughing, the runny/stuffy nose and the crap dripping down the back of my throat. Got the chills, too. I’ve now been up for about 30 hours. I wanted to miss work, I felt so terrible, but I’ve missed work so much this past summer due to all that went on that my boss had a little talk with me recently and told me I had to stop doing that or I would be fired. So I went to work in much misery.

Damn you, pollen! Damn you to hell! Damn you, overactive immune system, which can’t even tolerate anti-allergy cream.

There’s a 60% chance of rain today, which might clear the air…if it actually does rain.

Jaycee wants her pets back

According to the New York Daily News, Jaycee Dugard is demanding that the powers that be turn over all the pets she had living with Garrido: “five cats, two dogs, three cockatiels, a pigeon and a mouse.” I sure hope the Dugard family has room for them all! But I suppose if they don’t, there will be donations. I hope local veterinarians will help out too.

One comment from a reader: if she’s thinking about missing her pets, this chick has mental problems. I guarantee it. Someone that is truly grateful for their release wouldn’t give a rats *** about pet animals–things that gave pleasure in a bad situation. The pleasure derived from the pets during her captivity should now be zeroed out by the pleasure of her return to her family. If she’s longing her old pets, she’s not happy now. She obviously can’t say “I sure do want to go back to my old life,” so her mind goes to the closest thing . . . the pets. By asking for them, she knows she won’t appear to be a crazy like if she asked to go back.

I think this person must have never owned a pet of any kind. I think it’s perfectly all right for Jaycee to want her animals — both because they are comforting to her and because they are better off being cared for by their human than by strangers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaycee wasn’t entirely happy, though. This is such a huge change for her — again — and she has a whole bunch of new things to think/worry about.

Still no verdict from Thompson jury

The jurors in the Aarone Thompson case have been deliberating for three days without reaching a verdict, and now they’re taking the weekend off. This doesn’t surprise me. It was a long trial and a complicated one, and they have like 60 charges to consider. I’m glad they’re taking the time to think about it.


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