There’s an article about Marlena Childress, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from Tennessee 25 years ago today. As far as I know her mother, Pamela Bailey, remains the prime suspect in her case. Bailey actually confessed to killing Marlena accidentally and was charged with murder, but the charge was dropped for lack of evidence. In 2002, she stabbed her twelve-year-old son. He survived and she was convicted of attempted murder. (According to this article, she’s out of prison now.) The article doesn’t really have much information, and nothing new, but the NCMEC just put out a new AP for Marlena.
At 4:30 today in Dallas, Texas, they’ll be screening a documentary called The Imposter, about the guy who passed himself off as Nicholas Barclay, a missing boy from Texas, for five months. (There’s also a film that tells a fictionalized account of the story, called The Chameleon.) The fact that Nicholas’s family believed this person is an indication of the power of wishful thinking: he was 23, had dark brown hair and brown eyes, and a French accent, and he refused to voluntarily give his fingerprints. The real Nicholas would have been 17 at the time, and had light brown hair and blue eyes. The FBI finally got a court order to take the individual’s fingerprints, which established his true identity: he was actually a French citizen named Frédéric Pierre Bourdin. He has a history of using aliases and pretending to be other people; in fact, Nicholas is one of three missing boys whose identity Bourdin assumed. Perhaps he’s mentally ill or just a person with a pathological need for attention. In any case, he presumably caused terrible anguish for the Barclay family. Nicholas is still missing after almost eighteen years. He would be 31 today.
There have been several articles lately about Elizabeth Ann Gill, most recently this one from yesterday. Missing from her Missouri home since 1965, when she was only two, she’s one of the Charley Project’s oldest cases. The theory they’re working on now is that she was abducted by “gypsies” who were in the area at the time, and possibly given or sold to someone who wanted to raise a child. There’s a good chance that she’s alive today, and given her age at the time, it’s highly unlikely she would remember anything of her former life.
The Gypsies got her? Oh come on. How stereotyped can they get? I know it was 1965 but jeez.
They are talking about some specific suspects who were in the area at the time. I put “Gypsies” in quotes because, as far as I know, real Gypsies don’t live in America.
There are definitely gypsies in the U.S. The Irish Travelers live in South Carolina and Georgia.
Maybe not like they are shown in the old movies, but there are Gypsies in the US. That isn’t the word to use now, they prefer Roma or Romani now.
Lookup the Tene-Bimbo family, they were a famous and not very nice Roma clan that operated in the US.
There are many “gypsy” type people now called Roma that live within in the U.S. I’ve seen some come into the store where my mom works.
Me and my family were eating art Cheesecake Factory in Chandler, AZ when a group of “Roma” women came in. I had absolutely no idea they were gypsies. My step-son’s girlfriend said they were. They were dressed to the nines and had CRAZY hair do’s. I have never seen these people before I honestly thought they were dressed up and going to a wild/bad hair party. It was strange.
This article suggests that Nicholas’s mother and brother may have known more about his disappearance that they were willing to let on, and that when Bourdin appeared, they played along in order to hide their own culpability in Nicholas’s disappearance.
Thanks for the article; I hadn’t seen it before. But I don’t think it’s suggesting anything. Bourdin accused Nicholas’s family, but you can’t trust anything he says.
He isn’t the only person that’s suspicious of the family. Parker and Fisher are too, and so is this Jack Stick.
There is something bad wrong here. I think the brother especially did know more than he was supposed to know, and his mother knew that he knew. And now he’s dead and I think he could of been a key there.
What a nice family they were. It was only a matter of time before something bad happened.
And this Bourdin, he is going to hurt somebody someday.
He’s already hurt people. A lot of people.
The article was written in 2008; I wonder if he’s still with his wife and kid.
Sorry, I posted before I was done.
The side note about Walter Collins is interesting, but the story is different. There is a book called The Road out of Hell or something like that, about a serial killer in California named Gordon Northcott who forced his nephew to help him rape and kill young boys. One of the victims was a kid named Walter Collins.
But he’s not the one who had a kid fake his identity. There was another little boy named Walter Collins who disappeared in Massachussets, around the same time, and another little boy claimed to be him for the fun of it. The real Walter Collins was found dead in the woods after the fake Walter’s story fell apart.
The two Walter Collinses get confused a lot. If you want to read the book it is very good but it is also very upsetting and graphic.
Upsetting and graphic doesn’t bother me. I just ordered an inter-library loan book with the subject being pictures of dead children. There is quite literally nothing else within the book’s covers: just the introduction, followed by dozens of photos of children’s corpses.