Sean Munger does Garnell Moore

Sean Munger, at my request, has written about one of my most compelling cases, Garnell Moore. His case is always one I bring up when telling a new person about the Charley Project. The little kid who was missing for years before anyone noticed. As Sean points out, one can’t truly say Garnell slipped through the cracks in the system. He didn’t fall out of the safety net; he missed the net entirely.

And it’s like he never existed: “A little boy who no one seemed to pay attention to when he was around seems, sadly, to inspire the same sort of indifference now that he is not.”

I think he must be dead. I suppose there’s a remote chance he’s alive and being cared for by someone, perhaps a kind stranger who picked him up — in which case he’s probably better off.

Someone’s got to know something.

The car is dead, long live the car

So Dad and I went car shopping yesterday. Alas, I could not get a Volkswagen. There were none in my price range, in fact no little cars at all. Because of gas prices everyone wants small cars, so the cheaper ones tend to be SUVs and monster pickup trucks and stuff.

I picked out a Buick LeSabre instead, which is not a little car. As one of my Facebook friends put it, “Nice land yacht.”


But is not a huge car either. It’s actually much nicer than my previous car and for the first time in my life I have one of those key fob unlocker doohickeys. Yay.

RIP car

So, the day before yesterday I was trying to get out of a gas station parking lot and wound up in an enormous pothole. As I made a hard right out onto the road, the car made a weird noise like a can opener. I’d never heard a car make that noise before. Driving along, I noticed my alignment had suddenly gone wonky and I was having to turn the wheel 15 degrees to the left to go straight. Arriving home, making a hard right into the driveway, it made that noise again.

So yesterday, I went to the library and checked out some books and spent $3 copying pages out of books for future Executed Today entries. And though I was very tired and inclined to just go home and nap, I decided to take the car to the shop. I had a shop in mind which I HAD to go to, even though it was across town: the mechanic, Chip, had fixed my hood for free. I wanted to repay him by giving him paying work.

Alas, it turned out I had no work for him to do. Chip listened to my description of the problem and said, “Uh, I think your car might be done.” He went out, took one look at it and pronounced the patient dead. It turns out the whatchamacallit got torn off or something and the right front wheel could just plain fall off at any time. Such as when I’m driving 65 mph down the interstate, for example.

“Is it safe to drive it back to my boyfriend’s?” I asked.
“Where does he live?”
“Across town.”

So I called Dad — voicemail — and Michael — voicemail — and then Michael’s father, who picked up, and agreed to come and rescue me and take me to his house. I had an appointment the next day that I could just walk to from where Michael’s parents live. Then I called Mom and told her about the car. She kind of freaked that I drove on it for a day with the wheel in danger of falling off like that. I myself am very glad I chose to take it to the shop on Thursday and not wait till Friday or, God forbid, Monday. I might have got myself killed.

I called Dad again. This time he answered. The car is in his name and I wanted to know how he wished to take care of it. Dad said, “I don’t want to tow it. See if the mechanic will take it off our hands.”
“You can have the car,” I told Chip. “Just take it off our hands, you’ll be doing us a favor.”
“Let me find out how much I can scrap it for. I’ll pay you.”
“You don’t understand. You can have the car FOR FREE.”
“No, I can’t do that.” Chip called some guy who ran the scrapyard, then said to me, “They say I can scrap it and get $200 for it. So I’ll buy it from you for that.”
As near as I can understand, Chip is still not profiting from the transaction. He buys the car from us for $200, then takes to the scrapyard and gets…$200.
As we both observed, the numerous books scattered inside the car, as well as some clothes I keep forgetting to donate to Goodwill/have dry cleaned, may be worth more than the car itself. But Chip’s letting me clean it out.

None of us are surprised that the car is dead, though we’re surprised how it happened. We’d been expecting the motor to go out any day now. The car was not unusually old (it’s a 2000 model) but it had been through a lot.

So tomorrow I’ll have to go car shopping. Maybe I’ll get a Volkswagen. I like Volkswagens. They’re cute.

Cross-blogging: Sean Munger does Theresa Bier

Another Sean Munger post, this one on the very odd 1987 disappearance of Theresa Bier. I actually suggested he write about her. Because of the bizarre circumstances, Theresa is a case I always bring up when telling a stranger about my site.

I wish I knew more about her case. If anyone who reads this blog knew Theresa or her family, or remembers her disappearance or something like that, I’d love it if you contacted me with whatever you could contribute to her casefile.

Today in 1944: Jakob Edelstein

Executed today in 1944: Jakob Edelstein, a Czech Zionist and head of the Judenrat in Theresienstadt, a Jewish, erm, forced settlement in Czechoslovakia. (It was really neither a ghetto nor a concentration camp.) Edelstein is one of the lesser-known tragic heroes of the Holocaust. His wife Miriam, their twelve-year-old son Arieh, and Miriam’s mother, Yenta Olliner, died with him.

Although they were not included in the ET entry, you can see a photo of Miriam here and a photo of Arieh here. I couldn’t find any pictures of Mrs. Olliner.

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…