Now reading Clueless In New England

I am on page 106 of Clueless in New England, a book I mentioned before which covers the disappearances of Paula Welden from Vermont in 1946 and Connie Smith from Connecticut in 1952, as well as other cases. It’s very good so far, and has a new picture of Connie and better quality photos of Paula, all of which I plan to scan and post on Charley.

The book mentions the disappearance of eight-year-old Paul Jepson from Vermont in 1950. I found several articles about it on NewspaperArchive, but unfortunately no pictures. If anyone knows where I can find a picture of the little boy, tell me so I can add him to Charley too.

Mary Moroney

For today one of the new cases I posted was the 81-year-old disappearance of Mary Agnes Moroney, who was kidnapped from her family by a “social worker” in 1930. She was two years old at the time.

I found articles about how the case was “solved” in the 1950s when a young woman from California claimed to be Mary. She had a strong resemblance to Mary’s siblings. An anthropologist claimed he could prove the woman was a Moroney by casts from her teeth, which resembled the other Moroney children’s teeth. I’m pretty sure that’s not possible. Back in 1954, I don’t think there would have been any way to prove whether or not that woman was really Mary Moroney, but these days, with DNA, it shouldn’t be hard at all. I wonder if anyone has considered it.

Mary Moroney’s mother married at 13 and was only 17 when Mary disappeared. I suppose it’s possible, though only just, that she could still be alive. It looks like at least some of her siblings are still alive.

Cops in Australia think they’ve found man missing 50 years

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the police think the bones they found out in the bush in the Hornsby area are those of Aubrey John Joseph Neilson, who was reported missing in September 1961. He was 51 years old at the time. In addition to bones and bits of clothing, they also found a rifle at the scene and some coins dating between the 1940s and 1960s. The area where the bones were found has been built up, but it was an isolated place back when Neilson disappeared.

I wonder if he has any family left to bury him.

Another psych eval for Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson, mother of missing baby Gabriel, has been ordered to undergo yet another psychiatric evaluation to determine her competency to stand trial. She was previously declared incompetent last summer, treated for three months and then found to be competent. I haven’t heard anything about an official diagnosis, although her grandfather said he thought she was bipolar. Her behavior sounds very borderline personality to me, but I leave that up to professionals.

Who knows when she’ll go to trial. I think it was scheduled for August, but if she’s found incompetent again it might be years.

Number of international family abductions rising

According to the Associated Press and CNN, State Department officials say the number of American kids kidnapped abroad is still rising. And will likely continue this way, given this age of globalization and international travel and international marriage.

In US fiscal year 2006, 642 children were abducted from the United States by one of their parents, a report released two years ago by the State Department found.

That rose to 794 children for the same 12 months in 2007 and to 1,082 in 2008, according to the report.

In 2008, 484 children were abducted to the United States, and only 361 children who were illegally taken out of the United States by a parent were returned, the report said.

The rise in international child abductions by parents was “a disturbing trend,” [Susan] Jacobs said.

Children who are kidnapped and taken out of their country of usual residence are “at risk of serious emotional and psychological problems,” while left-behind parents have to deal with numerous obstacles as they battle to get their children back or even just for the right to see them again, she said.

“They confront unfamiliar legal, cultural and linguistic barriers, suffer emotional trauma and face significant and long-term financial costs,” said Jacobs, who was appointed last year to head the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues (OCI).

The OCI is the central authority in the United States for the 1980 Hague Convention, an international agreement that requires kidnapped children to be returned promptly to their country of habitual residence.

It is also one of the fastest-growing offices in the State Department, “which sadly reflects the growth of international child abduction,” Jacobs said.

I hate headlines like this

23-year-old mystery of missing Central Falls girl still haunts relatives, police

So, of course, I eagerly click on the link, hoping to read about an old MP case I have or even discover a new-old one. And after reloading it like three times (cause my internet has gone all wonky lately), I found out the girl isn’t missing and, in fact, hasn’t been since her body turned up a couple of days after her disappearance.

What’s wrong with saying “23-year-old mystery of MURDERED Central Falls girl haunts relatives, police”? It’s just as good a headline and much more accurate.

Brian Mitchell gets life in prison

The two life sentences come as a surprise to exactly nobody. The judge pretty much had no choice. Anything else would have been political suicide (except the death penalty, which was not an option).

Elizabeth Smart spoke out at the sentencing and to the media later, saying she was glad it was over, etc., and telling Mitchell she was having a wonderful life, no thanks to him. Mitchell did what he usually does, which is sit and sing hymns. I reckon Elizabeth didn’t much care what he had to say in any case.

The Examiner
The Guardian
The Salt Lake Tribune
The Los Angeles Times

Found article about Sherry Marler

I found this article about Sherry Marler, a 12-year-old who disappeared from Alabama in 1984. It’s almost a year old, but it provides interesting info about her being sighted after her disappearance, three times, in different states, each time with the same man.

From the details, her case reminds me a lot of Bethany Markowski‘s case. Bethany, an eleven-year-old who disappeared in 2001, was also sighted after her disappearance, with some woman who actually tried to enroll her in school. I’m not saying the cases are connected, but I wonder if both girls weren’t kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

Sherry will be 40 years old in August, if she is still alive.