Texas man was not Elmer Crawford

Earlier I wrote about how they were looking to see if a man who died in Texas in 2005 might be Elmer Crawford, who vanished after he murdered his wife and three children in Australia in 1971. The Texas man looked a lot like Elmer, was the right age, and had false ID in several different names. Unfortunately, he’s not Elmer. They compared the Doe’s DNA with one of Elmer’s relatives and it didn’t match. So they are no closer to identifying the man or finding the mass murderer. Piss.

June Collard identified

Earlier I wrote that Thomas Collard, whose wife June had been missing from upstate New York since 1980, had been charged with her murder. A few weeks ago, Thomas lead the police to a body buried on his former property in New York. To no one’s surprise, DNA testing confirmed that the remains were June’s. Presumably a plea agreement will follow.

Another one bites the dust

Yonks ago I wrote about Eunice Lydia Burwell-Workman, a compulsive hoarder who was missing for years before she turned up buried under a pile of crap in her own house. Well, here’s another one. Billie Jean James was missing for four months. As the article says,

It wasn’t until this week that Bill James noticed his 67-year-old wife’s feet sticking out from under a pile that the search came to an end…”For our dogs to go through that house and not find something should be indicative of the tremendous environmental challenges they faced,” police spokesman Bill Cassell told The Associated Press.

The AP article provides more info on the James family home:

In the driveway sits two huge trash bins that require industrial-sized trucks to haul them away. The front patio is filled with knickknacks including old chairs, smaller trash bins and a 10-foot basketball hoop.

Inside, Cassell said James’ piles of clutter left just small pathways to walk and strong odors that hindered their search — generated by animals, decomposing garbage, food, clothes and other stuff.

“If there had been any indication that there was a remote possibility that somebody was back underneath that stuff we would have taken the appropriate action,” Cassell said.

Sari Connolly, who walked dogs with James and her husband daily at a nearby park with a group of friends, said the woman bought things at thrift stores each day and accumulated them in the house.

I have a compulsive hoarder in my own family and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she meets with a similar fate someday.

Grandma died today

After a protracted decline, my grandmother finally died this afternoon. She was 87 years old. She had been very sick and on hospice but this had happened several times before and she’d always pulled through — my way of putting it was “Grandma is dying again.” But since my aunt, her favorite daughter, died, Grandma just seemed to give up.

I was visiting my mother when the nursing home called. There was a man working on Mom’s kitchen cabinets. I was about to leave. I picked up the phone, handed it to her, went upstairs to get my stuff, came down and said, “I’m going.” And the cabinet man said, “You’d better stay.” And I noticed Mom was crying and then I knew. I wound up fetching the minister and then calling my siblings and my uncle and my cousins to let everyone know. Then I drove Mom to the nursing home and several of us — Mom, Dad, me, my brother and sister-in-law, my sister and brother-in-law, and my uncle — all sat around communing with Grandpa and the dead body. There was a shortage of chairs but only my sister was brave enough to sit on the bed where Grandma was lying.

Eventually the funeral home came and took Grandma away and I suppose the funeral will be Monday or Tuesday. Grandpa is rather devastated. They had been married for something like 55 years. (Not bad since he was her third husband. Though the second one barely counts. He left her in Texas during the honeymoon, packed his stuff and all their money and disappeared in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again. Grandma had to wire her parents for funds to get back to Ohio.)

Frankly, I’m glad it’s over. Grandma was in a lot of pain.