The Mitrice Richardson controversy continues

Some kind soul sent me this really excellent article about Mitrice Richardson’s disappearance and death. I’m not even done reading it myself but I can see already that it’s worth a mention on the Charley blog.

The whole Mitrice thing was a massive cluster-you-know-what. Trying to figure out who was responsible for it all is like trying to find the individual drop of rain that was responsible for the flood. I’ve been in situations — I think we all have — where several different people each individually made mistakes, perhaps quite small ones, but each mistake was compounding on all the others, with very bad consequences, and afterwards you wonder where did it start and who’s to blame and by how much. It seems like that’s what happened with Mitrice. Another problem with what happened there seems to have been everyone’s insistence on protocol and toeing the line and all that. No one was willing to take any responsibility and be a little flexible. Perhaps everyone was performing exactly within all the rules when they released Mitrice from jail alone that night, but that doesn’t mean they were performing their duties properly. If that makes sense at all.

In other news, I am still in a lot of pain and still not enrolled in I-Match and still at a loss as to what to do about any of it. I’m thinking of taking up studying languages, maybe learning to read Yiddish on my own since I can’t attend school at present. If I can find something to concentrate hard on, I can forget about the headache and life becomes bearable for awhile. Languages would be a good thing to concentrate on.

Wait…five books

I got curious and searched Google Books for the phrase “Charley Project” and found Missing or Murdered in Missouri: Unsolved and Solved Cases by Barbara Kemm Highton. This book I’d never even heard of but I’ll have to add it to my list. From the preview it looks like it profiles at least one case I don’t have. Unfortunately the author lists my site url as charleyproject.com instead of .org. 😦

I might write to the author with a correction for future printings. The book was self-published and just came out a month ago.

I also discovered Rod Englert’s Blood Secrets: Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist (a really good book by the way, if you can stand all the blood talk) used Charley as a source in their chapter on Rolf Neslund. Well, after I read Englert’s book I used IT as a source!

Charley mentioned in another book

I just happened upon this Google Books entry for a book called Cold Cases: An Evaluation Model With Follow-Up Strategies for Investigators by James M. Adcock and Sarah L. Stein. As you can see, Charley is mentioned and described as “a comprehensive website for missing persons cases that can be searched by any member of the public.”

That makes three books that I know of. There’s The Last Place You’d Look and also some political science (?) textbook a Brigham Young University professor is putting out either this year or next. The prof wrote to tell me about that one. I can’t remember the title of it, though.

Status update

I have been pretty inactive this last week or so. The evaluation didn’t go too well — the psychologist I spoke to wants my psychiatrist’s notes before he’ll make any decision as to whether I’m worthy to get into their precious I-Match Program or not. He says he thinks my mental illness — depression/bipolar — might be the cause of my headaches. I know that’s not true and I wonder if they just want some excuse not to let me in. I wonder how selective they are, if maybe they are very selective cause they want to keep their success rate up. But anyway it’s more waiting, more red tape. I asked my psychiatrist’s office to forward the records. HE does not think my headaches are psychosomatic. I just hope the Cleveland Clinic psychologist doesn’t take months to read everything through and I hope he doesn’t reject me. If I-Match doesn’t let me in I don’t know what I’ll do.

The whole thing put me in a very melancholy frame of mind. I felt so hopeless. I had really hoped the psych eval would be the last hoop I’d have to jump through to get into the program, and now I’m stuck in limbo again. I can’t live this way. I can’t work, I can’t go to school, I can’t hold up my end of my relationship with Michael. He has always had a great deal of tolerance and he understands the situation, but I know he’s bothered by how much I basically ignore him lately. These days, even when I’m with him, I’m not really with him.

And I’m in a great deal of pain. The Fentanyl patches were pretty much a washout and I stopped using them. I’ve had to go to the hospital twice in the last week, most recently last night, for injections. I told them I needed Demerol and it’s the only thing that really works, but they refused to give it to me and I got THREE injections in the butt of some drugs or other that, as I knew they would, only sort of reduced the pain. And this is the same hospital that regularly gives me Demerol shots, prescribed by family doctor, during the daytime. It makes no sense.

Everyone at the Cleveland Clinic keeps saying “Stop taking painkillers, they will make it worse in the long run.” Well, that’s easy for them to say. They’re not the ones who wake up every day in anticipation of grinding pain, who often feel like screaming out loud in frustration as much as anything, who sleep endlessly because it’s the only way to keep the headaches at bay. And they have provided NO alternatives for me. None of their stupid “headache prevention” meds have done anything for me.

I got a new power cable for my laptop, but I haven’t felt like updating Charley or really doing much of anything. Everything keeps piling up in my inbox, corrections that need to be made, people have been found, etc., but I just can’t bring myself to get going on them, although working on Charley would probably improve my mood. Forgive me, everyone. I feel like I’m letting you all down as much as I am my boyfriend.

I may have to live like this for the rest of my life. I read a book recently by a woman who has the same condition as me, and she’s had her headache since 1991. Mine’s been less than a year.

Christ, I want my life back. I want MYSELF back.

Cody Haynes and Jacquilla Scales

Richard “Cody” Haynes disappeared seven years ago tomorrow. I found this anniversary article about it. There hasn’t been anything in the news about him for a long time. He would be 18 years old today, if he is still alive, but I think he’s dead, and I think he was perhaps even before he was reported missing, and I think I know who did it to him.

Meanwhile, four-year-old Jaquilla Scales disappeared ten years ago on September 4. (I remember making note of her disappearance before I went away on vacation.) Whatever media attention she might have gotten was eclipsed by September 11. I found this feature about her here. It’s pretty good, with several attached PDFs.

Where was I on September 11?

On the tenth anniversary of a most tragic day in my nation’s history, like everyone else I feel obliged to share the story of where I was when I heard about what happened.

I was fifteen years old and on vacation with my mother at the time. We were in a tiny Maine town near the Canadian border, staying in lodgings which consisted of a couple of one-room converted sheds in the back of some woman’s backyard.

On the morning of the day in question Mom and I were doing laundry in preparation for a hiking trip planned for later that day. It was a lovely day if I remember, not too hot or too cold, and the sky was so blue you wanted to grab a handful from the sky and eat it.

As we were messing with our clothes in the laundromat, a man came to get his out of the dryer. They were stone cold. “I forgot all about them,” he explained to us as he tried to smooth out the wrinkles, “because of the bombings.”

“What bombings?” we asked.

“You didn’t hear?”

“Um, no.”

“The World Trade Center is gone,” he said. “The Pentagon is burning down. Some terrorist attack. There are, like, thousands of people dead.”

Mom and I rushed back to our converted shed. I was half convinced that the man had been playing some kind of joke on us, but all illusions were lost when we turned on the TV.

It seemed unpatriotic, sacreligious even, to have any fun that day. We spent the day inside, glued to the tube, periodically calling Dad for moral support. We had to fly home two days later. It was awful and I found myself looking suspiciously at every brown-skinned guy I saw. Yet there was a great sense of cameraderie among those few of us that were on that flight. A great pulling-together and all that.

Today is my brother Brendan’s birthday. Sucks to be him, that he has his birthday on a national day of mourning.

Lucinda Huels

I found this essay by Tinze Lucinda Huels‘s son about his mother’s disappearance. She was only 17 but was married and had two children, one of them an infant, when she disappeared in 1984. I’m having a hard time understanding the sequence of events, but it is in any case a very sad story.

From the son’s writing it appears that Amanda Dennis posed as Lucinda and lived with Lucinda’s family for several years before the truth came out. If true what an unspeakably horrible thing to do. That woman sounds nutty.

Well, I’ll be darned

Got this email:

My mother…has claimed that she is employed with the Charley project as a freelance writer. She mentioned as well that the Charley Project was run by [a state law enforcement agency], however your site does not appear to be affiliated with them and I called their headquarters and they had no idea what it was! I’m writing to you because I am very concerned about recent events and how they relate to your project… She has told people that she was able to…get private information with the help of her “supervisor with the Charley project.”

Of course I wasted no time in replying that everything was completely untrue. I’d never even heard of this woman’s mother before. I don’t know whether to be flattered or outraged that she’s trying to bolster her own credibility by associating herself with me.

In other news, my laptop’s power cord is broken. I will have to order another one…or, perhaps, a whole new laptop. My laptop is a bit old (two and a half years) and pretty battered after all, having been subject to numerous expensive repairs.

So I’m at home now

I had a good night’s sleep, my head only hurts a little and my internet connection doesn’t suck. Lovely.

I slept till two p.m. and then spent the early afternoon writing another entry for Executed Today. I really like it; it’s a shame it can’t run till next August. A guy in China was executed for murder, but the story is really about the class tensions in Inner Mongolia and how industry, particularly mining, is destroying the environment and the nomadic shepherds’ way of life. It really sucks for them. The life of a Mongolian herder was never that great to begin with, and now it’s even harder to survive.

Maybe I’ll update Charley later.