Missing people and schizophrenia

I seem to be in a list-making mood tonight, and thought I’d make up a list of MPs on Charley who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or were thought to have it but were not officially diagnosed. I believe it may be most common mental illness diagnosis among my cases, although depression and bipolar disorder are more prevalent in the general population.

For the uninitiated, schizophrenia is a terrible mental disorder that usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood, although it can strike later or earlier in life. People who have it may have delusions of various kinds, and/or hallucinations, hearing voices and so on. But it goes beyond that; their whole personality and thought process are shattered, and they have a very high rate of suicide.

Schizophrenia is a profoundly disabling condition. Although the person’s intelligence is unimpaired, many of its sufferers aren’t able to complete their education or live on their own successfully, and many of them wind up homeless or in jail. However, contrary to popular belief, they are usually NOT violent and are much more likely to become the victim of a violent crime than to commit a violent crime, because other people take advantage of them.

There are psychiatric drugs to control the symptoms, but they have mixed results as far as how well the work, many of them have bad side (even potentially life-threatening) effects, and it’s often a job to get the person to take the meds at all, since a common symptom of schizophrenia is not believing you are sick. And on top of everything else, you will see from my MPs that the illness is frequently co-morbid with other mental illnesses as well as alcoholism and drug addiction.

If you want to learn more about it, you can of course check out the many and various mental health websites, but there’s a lot of writings on personal experience out there. I’ve been following the blog of Michael Schofield, whose daughter January has severe childhood-onset schizophrenia, and am slowly reading my way through six years’ worth of posts on the blog Schizophrenia: A Carer’s Journal, written by a British man whose adult son has the disease and has been in and out of hospitals and other institutions.

I’ve also read The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, a memoir by Elyn Saks, who is a very high-functioning schizophrenic. The doctors basically wrote her off after her diagnosis, but she got degrees from Vanderbilt, Yale and Oxford, became a successful lawyer advocating for the mentally ill, and won a McArthur Genius Grant a few years ago.

Anyway, back to Charley’s schizophrenic MPs, in the order which Google spat them out at me. There are over a hundred of them:

Audrey Lyn Nerenberg
Rachel Louise Rice
Clifton Patrick Leonard
Adam Christopher Kellner
Steven James Needham
David Ristovski
Jennings Lee Hart
Merle LeRoy Ryan
Margaret Ann Unger
Richard Burks Hart
Penney Faye Cruser
Faith Marie Van Nortrick
Arlene Day Abbas
Jerald M. Gelb
Paulette Susan Jaster
Kevin Edward Lenting
Jeffrey Lynn O’Carroll
Joseph John Formica Jr.
Elizabeth Turvey Brown
Alvin P. Bradshaw
Stacey Jane Morrison
Dedrick Bernard Smith
Destiney Ann Hicks
Neal Louis Boware
Mouy Tieng Tang
Abril Marie Magdaleno
Faime Lynette Francis
Lucely Aramburo
Gerald William Carroll Sr.
Rita R. Rahn
Robert Albert Ahtonen
Julia Christine Aul
Ricky Laverne Bethea
Terry Lynn Hattaway
Robin Joy Heitger
Gabriel Ovando
Laura Lee Alber
Matthew Nolan
Aaron Michael Torres
Travis Bingham
Travis Jeremy Wilson
Elmer Coron
William Charles Jones
Jennifer Jean Gordon
Raul A. Martinez
Ricky Wayne Anderson
Ruth Sharon Hoffman
Edith Margaret Claver
Wendy M. Kimura
Elizabeth Ann Lande
Beverly Ida Harrington
John Chocha Jr.
Jennifer Marie Peters
Mark David Zeichner
Brenda Nell Dearing
ReJean Joseph Bowman
Barry Keith Douglas
Laura Ann Breding
John Clifton Butler
Pamela Pendley Biggers
William Ensley Hipp III
LaTonya M. Hill
Salvador Bonadona
Marilyn Lanier
Vickie Ramona Baliel
Gaudencio Cazarin Carbajal
George Alfred Davisworth III
Calvin Ray Deets
Cathy Dickson
Lisa Lee Chandler
Edward James Terrebonne IV
Bonita Landi
Maurice Tyrell Cammon
Louis Jefferson Wills
Steven William Branston
Kamau Jawara
Robert T. Hiney
Arturo Nunez
Donald Beams Wallace
Jack Eugene Waller
Alfredo Gonzalez
Elissa Rachel Martin
Mary Alice Cox
Yu Chin Chang Goodson
Wade Michael Aughney
Cris Tademy
Luke Robinson
Carl Joel Swinney
Thomas Patrick McLaughlin
Rossana Miliani
Robert Carl Rock
Dennis Lee Anderson
Sherline Johnson
Stephen Wayne O’Neall
Michael Allen Jarvi
Sherry Audrey Walker
Tracey A. Jessup
James Johnson Jr.

Most-viewed Charley Project Blog posts

Out of curiosity, just now I checked to see what the most-visited posts on this blog were. About half of them were list-type entries, but the others were surprisingly pretty random. I excluded “home” (487,146 views) and “about” (2,848 views). Besides those two, here are the top ten most visited posts of all time:

1. Interesting article on the Jamison family’s disappearance with 9,814 views
2. More details about Lula Cora Hood with 6,055 views
3. Arrest in Joseph Daggett case with 5,769 views and a great deal of discussion
4. Two family abduction cases: kids found, but are they ever going to come home? with 4,500 views and a lot of discussion
5. Missing black babies with 3,919 views
6. Raymond Lamar Green and other missing babies with 3,881 views
7. Missing children I’d really like to know more about with 3,216 views
8. Serial killer victims with 2,931 views
9. Missing teen girls with 2,848 views (the exact same number of views as my “about” page)
10. Joseph Helt with 2,420 views and a very long, ongoing discussion

Shannon Matthews’s mother apparently set for early release

Over two years ago I wrote about the tragic case of Shannon Matthews, an adorable nine-year-old girl from England who disappeared in February 2008. After an extensive, hugely publicized search which cost 3.2 million pounds, she was found almost a month after her abduction, alive if not well. She’d been drugged with sleeping pills, tied up and hidden under a bed in her mother’s boyfriend’s uncle’s house. It’s a lot like the Shannon Dedrick case, actually. They even have the same first name!

It turned out that Shannon’s mother, Karen Matthews, and Karen’s boyfriend’s uncle, Michael Donovan, had staged the kidnapping with the plan to “find” Shannon and collect the anticipated huge reward for her recovery! It doesn’t look like Karen’s live-in boyfriend, Craig Meehan, was in on the plot, but the investigation revealed he had child porn on his computer. What a lovely family! Rose Martin, a journalist, wrote a book about the case called Shannon: Betrayed from Birth, which I haven’t read yet but intend to.

Michael Donovan and Karen Matthews were both convicted of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. They both got sentenced to eight years in prison. Not nearly enough, but the UK mostly gives out lighter sentences than the US. I think in the US they might have gotten life, or at least a couple of decades.

Anyway, according to The Daily Express, The Scottish Daily Record, The Mirror and The Daily Mail, Karen is getting early release, having served less than half her sentence. She’s supposed to get out of prison in April, or maybe even before then.

The newspapers (all of the tabloids, so I’m not sure how much they can be trusted) claim she has a pen pal boyfriend from Cyprus and she wants to move there, where people will be less likely to recognize her and throw rocks at her. Of course, she’ll be on parole or whatever and won’t be allowed to move abroad right away, but it could happen eventually. If Cyprus (or any other country) accepts her. I don’t know if any country would be willing to accept an immigrant with Karen’s notoriety and criminal history. A lot of places won’t even let you in as a tourist if you have a serious criminal record.

Shannon is now twelve years old. I hope she is living with kind caregivers who love her. I hope she’s being provided with the long-term psychological/psychiatric help she must need as a result of this horrific experience. (I hope also that maybe, due to the sleeping pills, she doesn’t remember much of it.) Not just being kidnapped and kept under a bed for almost a month, but the betrayal, the ultimate betrayal — the fact that this was instigated by her mother.

I really don’t see why any attempt should be made to reconcile mother and daughter, although child protective services usually tries. Karen has seven children in all; four of them were living with her at the time of her arrest. No word on what happened to any of them, or if she’s lost her parental rights or what. She does not deserve to be called “mother” (I have read somewhere where women like her were referred to as “egg hatcheries”) and she does not deserve to be free in Cyprus or England or anywhere else — she ought to be behind bars for a lot longer than this.

Oh, and she ought to be sterilized.