“Located” …kinda

Recently a runaway who’d been gone for quite a long time was listed by the NCMEC as found safe. I knew this teenager’s mother had set up a Facebook about the disappearance, so I went there for details. It seems the runaway was arrested for something or other in a city hundreds of miles from home, then released, and the mom only found out about this after the fact and still has no idea where her child is now. But the runaway was located, briefly, and identity verified before they vanished again. Since this person is now over 18, the police had no obligation to hold them any longer than necessary or notify the parents — in fact, doing so would probably be illegal. So, even though the runaway’s parents have no idea where their kid is, and the police don’t know either since the now-18-year-old was released from jail, they are no longer “missing.”

It seems quite unfair and I don’t blame the mom for being distressed. But I don’t see any other way to handle the situation.

Up all night

Today’s update took all night to write. I do mean all night: from approximately 11:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. I was researching and writing cases and doing very little else. (Mostly cause I felt guilty for not updating for ten days straight.) It wasn’t the number of cases — though I did add 15, up from my usual target of 10 — but the content: most of the cases were barely six months old, and several were highly publicized disappearances with a lot of articles etc. to read. Michelle Parker took forever. Ayla Reynolds took forever. But on the flip side we have Lisa Hearne, one of those “few details are available” cases that took a few minutes to write. So there you go.

I think cases like Michelle’s and Ayla’s showcase what Charley does best. I spent hours reading articles for those two, and condensed both cases down to six paragraphs (Michelle) and four (Ayla), so you can read for like ten minutes and get all the essential facts. Charley’s like the Wikipedia of American missing persons.

Confession in Lauryn Dickens case

Per several Charley Project readers: Shakara Dickens has finally admitted to murdering her nine-month-old baby Lauryn back in September 2010. A typical case of infanticide: she smothered the baby because she couldn’t stand the crying.

Shakara managed to come up with a few tears at the sentencing. She and her defense attorney claim she’s very sorry for what she did. But if this is the case I wonder why she didn’t ‘fess up to this sooner. Why she didn’t call 911 immediately and see if Lauryn could have been revived. Why she wasted so much time and money and resources from people searching, and the police investigation, and the trial.

In exchange for her admissions, she got a 19-year sentence, down from the 54 years she could have gotten. Lauryn’s body is probably unrecoverable. The most thorough article I could find is here.

My apologies

Sorry for being absent and not updating as of late. I’ve been doing other things — nothing in particular, but stuff like playing Sims 3 and Civilization. Just chilling out. I’ll update today, I promise.

In the meantime, yesterday I did update my missing person of the week. It’s Margaret Unger, a middle-aged woman from Missouri with late-onset schizophrenia who, in 2010, ran into the woods during a fit of paranoia and never came out.

And I had another Executed Today entry posted: Marianne Kurchner. I don’t know the date of her death, but she was condemned for sedition in Nazi Germany on June 26, 1943. She made a joke at Hitler’s expense, and that is quite literally all she did, but that was enough.

And the latest in missing persons news

Forgive my silence but I have just recently reconstituted myself from a sticky puddle. Michael’s air conditioner went out yesterday, on one of the hottest days of what has thus far been a very hot month. It seems they always pick the very worst possible time to break down. It was humid and the temperature indoors quickly climbed from the usual 73 degrees up to 93+ degrees. I was lying around gasping and Michael was in an even worse state. He called a repair place and they promised to send a guy over between four and six. We waited and he didn’t arrive. Michael called to find out what was up and the guy finally did arrive at around seven. Seems everyone else’s AC was breaking too and that’s why he was late. He fixed ours but it was quite late before the temperature dropped back down to 73 again.

And in recent news:

A woman from Rochester, NY has been identified as one of the victims of the Green River Killer. Sandra Major, age 20, disappeared from Rochester in 1982 and her body turned up in Auburn, Washington in 1985. They were the 16th set of victims’ remains found, one of three located at a cemetery. Sandra wasn’t on Charley; I’d never heard of her before.
Greta Timm, age 14, disappeared from Irvington, New Jersey in 2008. Listed as a runaway, she was lately reported to have been found. I thought she was found safe. Alas, not. Her body turned up inside a bag in Parsippany, NJ in April.
A leg bone was found in a drained reservoir in Callam County, Washington. The authorities think it might be Karen Tucker, who disappeared from Callam County in 1990. The article provides some more info on her disappearance: she was agoraphobic, on disability, and taking some medication. Her daughter thinks, if she did die in that reservoir, it was probably an accident rather than murder or suicide.
The police think they’ve found the body of Chasity Starr, but it hasn’t been identified yet. The body turned up in the backyard of James Lee Maxwell. He was convicted of attempted murder in 1988 and was recently charged with the rape of a nine-year-old girl.

Three years down the line now

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the attack. I was certainly aware of the significance of the date, but I have actually given very little thought to it these last several days. Which is a nice change from last year, where I could think of almost nothing else and my thoughts were playing on a continuous loop inside my skull.

Though obviously his hold on me has loosened considerably, I still think about him every day. Mostly with a kind of wonderment. Wondering what made him into what he was.

I still harbor revenge fantasies: cutting his face open with my box cutter, not to kill him but to mark him, so that every time he looked in the mirror he would see that scar and remember who gave it to him and why. I must not have forgiven him, then, although I don’t think of him with anger, or any particular feeling at all. I have no idea what I would do or say if I were face to face with him now. I have nothing to say to him, and reacting with violence would solve nothing.

Somehow I managed to get through all of it without developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Of course it affected me quite badly at first (once the shock wore off, and that took awhile), but almost all my symptoms were gone within a month. By the end of the summer I was more or less okay again. A few signs have remained. Most notably, since it happened, whenever I’m awakened by someone or even roused from a drowsy state, even if I was aware that someone was coming, more often than not I’ll scream. Oh, and I refuse to board buses. But since I have a car, that’s not really an issue.

I can think of a few good things that happened as a result of all this. For one thing, I found out who my real friends are. For another (long story), as a direct result of what happened, Michael broke off relations with a “friend” of his own who had always hated me and made no secret of it.

Very few events are so horrible that nothing good comes of them, I guess. But how I wish this had never happened.

Another ET entry

This time it’s George Junius Stinney Jr., the youngest person ever executed in the US in the 20th century. He was only fourteen and a half years old and was, in all probability, innocent of the crimes he was convicted of. But it was the 1940s, he was black and the victims were white. No one cared.