Barbara Zakon dialogue

There’s a guy I know who wrote this great biography of a man who survived the worst Holocaust experience that I know of (and I’ve known a lot of them), only to kill himself decades later. We were talking online and I told him about Barbara Zakon who is, as far as I know, the only Holocaust survivor presently featured on the Charley Project.

My friend: Strange this missing persons business. I mean strange that people can disappear like that. Looking at Barbara Zakon’s medical condition, I see she is/was diabetic, which means she would not have survived more than a few months (assuming she is/was Type 1 diabetic) witout insulin shots. If she was Type 2, the likelihood is that a heart attack would have got her. But still strange that she could disappear like that, unless foul play comes into the equation. All missing persons are tragic, at least most, but this one, after what she went through, seems particularly tragic. I was quite moved when I read your link.

My reply: As for Barbara Zakon, what seems saddest of all to me is that she is so forgotten. The NYPD missing persons site is pathetic and rarely updated. It no longer profiles old cases like hers and, as you can see, there was little enough to begin with. Online, Barbara exists only on a few private sites like mine. Someone cared enough about her to report her missing, but it’s likely that whoever that was is dead. It’s just as likely that her actual casefile within the police department is either entirely missing or contains little more information than what I have on the Charley Project site. (You’d be surprised to find out how many of those old missing persons reports were simply lost or thrown away without being solved.) And, as you say, all for a woman who went through so much. Last night I found myself looking through Yad Vashem’s database of Shoah Victims’ Names at people named Zakon, wondering if any of them were Barbara’s relatives.

I’d love to find out I’m wrong and that someone who knew and loved Barbara is still out there looking for her. A husband, perhaps. More likely a child. I wish I had more info for her. Not even a DOB, though from her picture I’d guess she was in her fifties or early sixties when she disappeared. She’d have to have been at least that old to have survived a concentration camp.

Doug and Valerie Herrman plead not guilty to fraud

Doug and Valerie Herrman, the sorry excuses for parents of Adam Herrman (you know, the boy who supposedly ran away back in 1999 when he was 11, and his parents never reported him missing and it didn’t come out until late 2008, yeah, remember him?), have pleaded not guilty to fraud. Doug and Valerie had adopted Adam out of foster care when he was little. They collected over $50,000 in benefits such as adoption subsidies, etc., for Adam after he was no longer living in their home. Their attorney calls it a “technical violation.” Uh-huh, right. The trial is set for June.

Of course, Doug and Valerie are suspected of being guilty of far graver crimes than that. But right now, the Butler County District Attorney’s Office will take what it can get. The investigation into Adam’s disappearance has been quiet for awhile, but remains open and active.

I hope they dream about him every night.

Ahem, a brief announcement

I will no longer make updates to my casefiles that are solely height and weight alternatives provided by NamUs, unless these are substantial differences (i.e. 160 – 200 pounds, not 160 – 170 pounds). The reason being that there are so many of those alternatives in one-inch and ten-pound increments, and I suspect that whoever posts them is just trying to provide a greater range for John/Jane Doe matching purposes. Which is fine and dandy, but I’m swamped in case updates as it is.