15 days later

This is what the cut on my hand looks like now, fifteen days after I sustained the injury and eight days after I got the stitches out:

I would not have thought a cut half an inch long could bleed as much as this did. I think it’ll be another two weeks at least before it closes up. It doesn’t hurt anymore though. Unless I, like, poke it.

Good news: I finally got internet access again on my computer in Michael’s house. For some reason, for weeks now my computer had been refusing to connect at his place and I had to use his computer to get anything done. This was most inconvenient for me and for you. But no more.

Recent correspondence

A few days ago I had someone write me suggesting a possible UID match for one of my cases. I wrote back referring her to NamUs and the Doe Network. She wrote me again, and again I referred her. Then — I think she was genuinely bewildered — she replied, saying she didn’t understand why, if I had this humongous website, was I not interested in trying to solve the cases. After all, she’d sent me this possible match and I didn’t seem to care about it.

I do wish people would take the time to actually look at my FAQ — or even just the first few words of the text on Charley’s frontpage — before they contacted me. I really felt kind of bad. But the fact is, I have no interest in making matches and would be hopeless if I tried, seeing as how (as I’ve written here before) all people look alike to me. And even if I had concurred with her about the match, I’m a civilian and not the person to send tips too.

I think I’ll stick with what I’m good at: cataloging and publicizing these MPs so OTHER people have an easier time making matches.

Ann Rule writes about Joan Ellen Hansen

Per Jamie: the wonderful true crime author/goddess Ann Rule has written about Joan Ellen Hansen in her book Don’t Look Behind You, which comes out next week.

Joan disappeared in 1962. It’s kind of unusual because Ann Rule normally doesn’t write about unsolved cases, though she’s made exceptions to that rule in the past, writing about Julie Weflen for example. At least in Joan’s case there is a suspect — her husband, Robert, unfortunately deceased. With Julie Weflen, nobody seems to know anything.

I will have to read the book when it comes out. I’ve read almost all her books and I met her at a book sighting in early 2002, when I was sixteen. She complimented my hair.

Geralyn Graham to go to trial in March

It looks like Geralyn Graham is finally, finally, finally going to trial for the murder of Rilya Wilson, the child she was fostering, who disappeared in 2001. Rilya’s case was catastrophic bad press for Florida’s Department of Children and Families; she was missing for over a year before DCF caseworkers noticed.

The trial date is March 26.

Lee Evans acquitted of five murder charges

Lee Evans has been acquitted of murdering Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner back in 1978.

Frankly, I had a feeling this was going to happen. The prosecution’s evidence was very weak and the case a very old one. I thought that if was convicted it would be more likely because he basically provided no defense. I think the Evans trial had a lot in common with the Caylee Anthony case — we know he/she did it but we can’t prove it, and proof is required.

I feel very sorry for the families of those boys today.

Jury Acquits N.J. Man Who Defended Himself in Multiple Homicide Trial
Jury Acquits Man in 1978 Murder of 5 Newark Boys
NJ man acquitted of murdering 5 teenagers in ’78

Jennifer Marteliz’s mom writes a book

Kathy Longo, the mother of Jennifer Marteliz who disappeared from Florida in 1982 at the age of seven, has written and self-published a book about her daughter’s disappearance, titled Jennifer, Where Are You?

She also has a website about the book and Jennifer’s disappearance, containing several photos I hadn’t previously seen. The Tampa Tribune did a thorough series about Jennifer’s disappearance back in 1999, and it’s reprinted on the site as well.

I hope the book leads to some interest.

“Clinton Avenue Five” case nearing its conclusion

The jury is deliberating as to whether to convict Lee Evans of murdering Melvin Pittman, Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Alvin Turner and Ernest Taylor, five teenage boys who disappeared together from Newark, New Jersey back in 1978. Evans and two accomplices, Philander Hampton and Maurice Woody-Olds (they were cousins), allegedly trapped them in a house and set it on fire.

Woody-Olds, being dead, is beyond the reach of our justice. Hampton pleaded guilty and testified against Evans in exchange for a ten-year sentence AND the promise of $15k once he gets out!

Evans chose to represent himself, which is really a terrible idea — there’s an old adage that a person who represents himself at a trial has a fool for a client. But he did have an actual lawyer “assisting” his case. We shall see how this plays out.

Man Accused of Burning 5 Boys Alive: I’m Innocent
Jury weighing charges in 1978 deaths of 5 NJ teens
Closing arguments expected Friday in trial of NJ man accused of burning 5 teens alive in 1978
Jurors Weigh Five Deaths and One Unpredictable Defendant’s Fate
New Jersey Star-Ledger coverage of the whole trial

Convo with my chiropractor

HIM: So, have you ever tried illegal drugs?
ME: For my headaches? No.
HIM: Well, I mean, medical marijuana…
ME: I smoked pot a few times when I was, like, sixteen.
HIM: I mean, it’s illegal here, so obviously, as a medical professional, I could not suggest that you try it. But, well, they do have it in California, and they say it works very well for headache pain.
ME: Uh-huh.
HIM: I’m not advising you do commit any illegal acts. I’m just saying, some people have gotten relief from it.

Peggy Houser’s body identified

Peggy Sue Houser, an 18-year-old who disappeared from Tampa, Florida thirty years ago, has been identified. According to this article her body was found in Tampa in January 1981, but it was actually January 1982. (She wasn’t missing yet in January 1981. Didn’t disappear till June.)

Although Peggy was missing from Florida, she called her mom from Ohio after her disappearance, asking to come home. Her mom said okay. She never made it.

It was, of course, a homicide.

Jason Jolkowski’s mom gets recognized for her MP volunteerism

Kelly Jolkowski, mother of Jason who’s been missing since 2001, has won the Nebraska Governor’s Points of Light Award. Kelly founded Project Jason, a support group/awareness group for families of missing people. We have communicated but until I saw this article about her award, I don’t think I’d ever seen a picture of her before.

Kelly is an awesome individual and totally deserved that award. I really admire people who can take tragic things that happen to them and turn them into something good. I only wish she could get some answers as to what happened to her son. He just kind of vanished into thin air.