Very good article about Elizabeth Smart and others

I found this excellent article called “Elizabeth’s choice: Take path to advocacy or fade into ‘normal’?” It talks about the possibility that Elizabeth will either become a crime victims’ advocate or just have a normal obscure life and marry and have kids or what. It also talks about two crime victims (one case was a shooting, the other a gang rape) that became victims’ advocates. One works as an attorney for crime victims and the other is a public speaker and on the Utah Domestic Violence Council.

Updates on resolved cases?

I was looking through my old resolved cases today. A lot of cases where people have been found deceased have “his/her death/murder is under investigation” thing. I know that in a lot of those cases, later on the cause of death was determined and it was not foul play, or a suspect was charged or convicted of murder. (As if I don’t have enough work to do) do you guys think it would be a good idea to add updates to my resolves? I think the only time I ever did this was in a family abduction case, where the boy’s mother abducted him a second time. Or do you think not enough people look at old resolves to make updates there worthwhile?

Golden Gate Bridge suicides

On the Charley Project I have many people who have probably jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and were never found. I found this article about Golden Gate Bridge suicides, which mentions Matthew Chase Whitmer, a young man with schizoaffective disorder who jumped off the bridge in 2007. His mother has a website about him and other Bridge suicides; she is lobbying for the authorities to put up an anti-suicide barrier.

The main arguments against the barrier which I have seen is that it would cost money, and it would be unsightly. This is absurd. A barrier probably save a dozen lives, at least, every year.

The argument that “they would just go kill themselves somewhere else” doesn’t really hold water. A lot of suicides are impulsive acts and if someone attempts, or is going to attempt, to kill themselves and gets prevented the first time, they often don’t try again anytime soon. In fact, Casey Joanna Brooks is known to have approached the bridge at night not long before her suicide, and was stopped because there was a pedestrian gate that was locked during the nighttime hours. Later (it was either days or weeks, I forget), she returned during the day and jumped.

Also, the Golden Gate Bridge is such a famous and beautiful place that it attracts suicides. There’s another bridge not too far away which would be just as lethal to jump from, but very few people do.

I suspect that the California Department of Justice MP database has more suspected Golden Gate Bridge suicides than I know of. I usually only find about about the probable suicide through reading a mention on the database, but the fact that the MP was probably a bridge jumper is not always mentioned in the file. Casey Brooks, for example, is listed as a “runaway juvenile” in spite of the fact that her jump was witnessed. (I found out the true cause of her disappearance from other sources.) I actually called the DOJ hotline number about that — I think Casey’s family would be really upset if they heard of her classification — but nothing was done.