I just counted all my cases to see if I’d topped 8,000 yet. Close, but no cigar: 7,928 cases profiled. In a week or two I should make it. Charley has nearly doubled in size since its inception, when it only had a little over 4,000 cases.
It sounds like a huge number. It’s close to the population of the nearest town to me. (Okay, there is a settlement of less than a hundred people a few miles from here, but it seems to me that a place ought to possess at least one traffic light to be labeled a “town.”) But 8,000 is only a tiny sliver — less than one percent, I think — of the total number of people listed as missing in America right this minute.
Many, many women listed on Charley are noted to be victims of domestic violence at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends, even if the aforementioned haven’t faced any charges in connection with the disappearance. In one particular case, I have little info, just that the woman (a girl, really, 21 years old) was going through a divorce and her family said her husband was abusive and had threatened her life.
Well, hubby has just emailed me, furious and demanding I remove that detail. He accuses me of “dragging his name through mud” and says it is my “last and final warning.” (I actually don’t refer to him by name in the casefile, and didn’t even know his name till he wrote me.) I did a bit more probing after I got the email and found the missing woman’s MySpace page, last accessed just before her disappearance. She writes a little bit on there about how she’s so glad she got away from her abusive husband and that their two small children are away from him and safe.
It seems my options are thus:
1. Comply with his demand — no way in hell. Even if he had nothing to do with her disappearance, I’m satisfied that he did abuse her and, it appears, the kids as well. Men who beat their wives and kids deserve to have their names dragged through mud.
2. Ignore him and block his email address.
3. Reply to him telling him to go to hell, then block his email address.
I think I’m leaning towards Option 2. I don’t want to provoke this guy any more than I already have. I mean, I guess it’s unlikely that he would drive all the way up from the Deep South to Ohio to track me down and beat me up or something, but stranger things have happened.