Tragedy strikes again in Jeanine Sanchez Harms case

The family of Jeanine Sanchez Harms, who has been missing from California since 2001, has had to deal with yet another terrible event culminating from her disappearance. She was last seen in the company of Maurice Xavier Nasmeh, an architect who in December 2004 was charged with murdering her. Unfortunately, the crime lab bungled the investigation and screwed up some vital evidence testing. Nasmeh sat around in jail, in limbo, for two and a half years before the judge ruled his Constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated. They had to let him go. The prosecution swore they had the right guy and would re-file charges once they got all their ducks lined up properly. So Nasmeh, and Jeanine’s family, waited and waited and waited some more.

Well, Jeanine’s brother, Wayne Sanchez, got tired of waiting and went after Nasmeh himself on Saturday. He confronted him, first in a restaurant, then left to get a gun. He came back, and Nasmeh went into a coffee shop to get away from him, but Wayne came after him and shot him to death in the parking lot. He turned the gun on himself. It’s not clear whether this was a chance meeting or whether Wayne was stalking the guy or what.

So now two men are dead, two families are in terrible grief (again), a woman is still missing, and we are probably never going to know what really happened and whether Nasmeh was the killer or not. I don’t know anything about Nasmeh’s family, but Wayne left behind his parents, two daughters and a grandchild. His actions accomplished nothing and in fact made the situation infinitely worse.

What else is there to say?

Bay Area NBC
San Jose Mercury News (with a slideshow of thirty pics, including Wayne, Jeanine and Nasmeh)
San Jose Mercury News (editorial)
The San Francisco Chronicle


A person wrote to me about a 1993 MP on Charley whom I had noted, per law enforcement, was suicidal at the time of his disappearance. This individual claims she was with him on the day he vanished and he was upbeat and mentally healthy, and wants me to remove the info because it’s inaccurate and upsetting to his surviving family. I wrote back asking why, then, did the police think he was suicidal, and why did she believe they were wrong in thinking so?

This falls right in to a significant category of cases about my MPs where I record some facts about them that often their families do not want known. And I say, as I have said before: I’m not trying to sensationalize anything or make anyone look bad, I just want as much information out there as possible.

Sometimes the very persons closest to an individual know little about them. Five or six years ago, in the most awful throes of my depression, I was desperately suicidal and bordering on psychotic. I deeply longed to die. I actually believed that people driving past me on the street, strangers, hated me and were saying nasty things about me inside their cars, and for weeks at a time I avoided sidewalks as a result. And my nearest and dearest had no idea, none. Usually they didn’t even know I was in any kind of distress. That whole mask of sanity thing. If I were to disappear at any given time, I wouldn’t lay good odds on my family being able to accurately judge my mental state. My friends could do better, but not much. However, it would be a mistake to simply assume that a person must be suicidal because they have been in the past and now they’re missing. People change, they get better. I did.

There was another case on Charley where I wrote that a young man was suicidal when he disappeared, and his mom wrote, very upset, saying he most certainly was not. I removed the info without checking, only to find out later that he quite possibly was. He had prior attempts, he was taking medicine and he left a suggestive note. Methinks Mom’s in denial. So I compromised. I noted the attempts, the meds and the note in his file without actually using the S-word. He disappeared under such circumstances where, if he did take his own life, it’s entirely possible his body will never be found. I haven’t heard from the mother about it again.

Meanwhile, I await further clarification from my informant in the 1993 case.