Yesterday: not Isaac Desha

In my 100th guest-posted Executed Today entry: Isaac Desha, who was NOT executed yesterday in 1827. Although three juries had found him guilty of a vicious robbery-homicide and sentenced him to hang, he was pardoned by the governor. From the text of the pardon:

…whereas the whole of the evidence against the said Isaac B. Desha being circumstantial, and from much of it being irreconcileable, I have no doubt of his being innocent of the foul charge; therefore is an object worthy of executive clemency.

That the aforesaid governor happened to be Isaac Desha’s father was, I’m sure, a complete coincidence.

I like making up my own mind about things

I got an email a few days ago from someone asking about a discrepancy between what was on an MP’s Charley Project page and what was on all the other sources about the MP. I said she was missing from City A; every other source said she was missing from City B, whose law enforcement were investigating her case. The person said: I think you might have made a mistake here, please check on this for me.

I had a look and explained myself: it hadn’t been a mistake, but a judgment call. On the day of her disappearance, the MP left City A en route to City B. I never found any indication that she actually arrived there, however, so in spite of what everyone else said, in my mind she disappeared from City A because that was the last confirmed location.

Oh, said my correspondent, that makes sense.

Though, now that I think of it, I probably should do one of my “City B’s police are investigating this case” notes.

Cross-blogging: Sean Munger does Bradyn Fuksa

My friend/Charley Project tweeter Sean Munger has written about the MP Michael “Bradyn” Fuksa on his blog. Bradyn was 22 when he disappeared in 2009. He was last seen in the town of Wheatland in rural Wyoming. (Okay, what part of Wyoming ISN’T rural? But I digress.) Sean thinks there’s a good chance Bradyn’s alive. For his and his family’s sake, I hope so.

Looking for Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa, one of the most famous MPs in the United States, isn’t on the Charley Project. I suppose he ought to be. One of these days I’ll put him up. Well, they’re doing their ten millionth search for the presumed-dead Teamster’s remains and according to web responses, a lot of people think it’s a waste of taxpayer money. Because he was in organized crime. Because he’s been missing for so long. Because he’s an adult. Because they just like the mystery.

I think all of that is stupid. Hoffa’s been missing since 1975, not 1875. Charley has had many, many cases of people who disappeared before then and their bodies turned up and sometimes criminal charges even resulted. Although I think it’s unlikely that anyone would be charged in Hoffa’s case even if his body was found, the case is solvable. As to “he’s an adult” — well, guess what, the police are obligated to investigate cases of missing adults with suspected foul play. If those people who saying “don’t look for him, look for children instead” had their mother or somebody disappear, they’d change their tune really fast. Yes, Jimmy Hoffa was involved in organized crime — so what? The law is supposed to treat everyone equally. The murder of a drug dealer or mob enforcer is supposed to be investigated and prosecuted with the same zeal as the murder of a prom queen or soccer mom, though I admit in practice that doesn’t always happen.

By all means, look for Mr. Hoffa’s remains. And he’s on my “to add” list with Charley. Along with thousands of others…

Jamel Williams gets rare mention in the press

The Toledo Blade, when talking about the much more recent disappearance of a two-year-old girl, brings up several other local cases including the almost totally forgotten disappearance of Jamel Williams, who went missing nineteen years ago last month. He was three. Although biracial, of mixed white and black ancestry, he had blond hair and blue eyes.

Jamel’s mother has refused to cooperate with the police, even to the extent of refusing to hand over a DNA sample for comparison with unidentified remains. They can’t force her to give them her DNA, and I don’t understand why she won’t do it. The only reasons I can think of for that are bad ones. I should note that, although Jamel and his mom and her boyfriend moved into their apartment almost six weeks before the child’s disappearance, no one else who lived in the building remembers having ever seen the child.

He never got very much press attention. It’s hard to get press attention for a missing child unless their family is willing to advocate for them, or at least be interviewed, and it looks like that didn’t happen.

I hope he’s alive. If he is, he would be 23 in August.