Happy Halloween, everybody

I hope it’s a good, safe, fun holiday for everyone. I’m not planning on doing anything for it. Might go visit Mom or something, I don’t know.

Re: the depression, I suppose I’m improved from this latest episode. It was pretty bad — I stopped eating entirely for about two weeks. My only nourishment was my two-liter-a-day Mountain Dew habit. AND I stopped reading books — horrific. Then I called my dad to apologize for being a horrible useless burden on him, for having failed at everything I’d ever tried to do in life, and he got so scared that he drove all the way to Michael’s to go get me.

I get tired of this happening, over and over again, no matter how hard I try to do everything right. When I saw my psychiatrist I suggested he just give up on me already. What difference does it really make to him, what I do? But of course he said it was out of the question and let’s try increasing my dose of Drug D and see him in a month. I don’t know if it’s helping or not. Sometimes I think it is. The last two days have been okay. The day before that, though, I hated myself and hated humanity in general and wanted the whole world to burn.

I tell myself: it could be worse. I’m blessed in many ways. I have a supportive family. I have Michael. I have my friends. I have a doctor and therapists who understand me. I am no longer in constant pain. My medicine works, sometimes, sort of, and I don’t have many side effects.

And I’ve got this blog, and the Charley Project in general, aka The Only Actual Accomplishment In My Entire Life.

Will you please make up your minds, Miami-Dade DA’s office?

Seven months ago they said they’d decided to re-try Rilya Wilson‘s alleged killer for murder after the jury deadlocked on that charge, even though Geralyn Graham still got 55 years in prison for kidnapping and child abuse. Initially the prosecution said they would not re-try her, but they changed their minds.

Well, they changed their minds again: no new trial. I hope it is official. Geralyn Graham’s never getting out of prison in any case; to re-try her for murder, particularly for such a complicated and high-profile case as this one, would be a waste of money.

About those APs….

I’m shooting to begin updating again on November 3. This would give me exactly one month off of updates. For several years working on Charley I took the month of December off each year. This year it’ll just be the month of October.

I’ve mentioned that I have a huge load of APs to post. Like, 40, 60, maybe even more, I’m not even sure how many. APs are very important updates, especially in family abduction cases and runaways and other such disappearances and where it’s likely the missing child (it’s usually a child) is still alive. However, they are — let’s face it — boring. The reader glances at them, they take a second to see the change, and then…nothing. Yawn.

With this in mind I’m thinking of just posting all the AP changes without putting a list on the updates page. This would give me the opportunity to get to larger/more interesting updates (like murder charges, of which there have been a few), and new cases, sooner. (I have a rule now to only post twenty updates/new cases, in any combination, each day. It’s to keep myself from getting in over my head.) But I’m not sure about this because, as I mentioned before, APs are important updates. And often they’re the only kind of updates certain cases get.

I could compromise and not mention the AP updates on the updates page, but post a list of them on this blog. But it’s still pretty iffy, because the vast majority of people who follow the Charley Project site do NOT read this blog. Right now, charleyproject.org gets about 7,000 visits a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. The blog gets only a little over 1,000 a day. And some of those — not sure how many — are personal friends of mine who aren’t interested in MPs and don’t follow charleyproject.org. So my point is, if I posted a list of APs here, not that many of my readers would see it.

So what to do? I am asking you. I might not do what the majority of you ask, but I will take it into account.

Sean Munger does MPs/pop culture

Sean has put up a blog entry analyzing the film The Blair Witch Project as if it was about a real missing persons case. He actually wrote to me beforehand to ask if I thought such a treatment would be offensive to anyone. I reckoned not. I mean, some people might get offended, but some people will get offended about anything. I’ve never seen the movie but this entry made me want to.

Uden murders — case closed. Also, Patrick Collins turns up in New York.

Gerald Uden has agreed to plead guilty to the murders of his adopted sons Richard and Reagan and ex-wife Virginia over 30 years ago. He will get a life sentence instead of the death penalty — not that the sentence much matters, since Gerald is in his seventies. But he’s promised to reveal everything he knows, including, hopefully, the location of the bodies.

Meanwhile, authorities have identified the body of Patrick Donald Collins, a graduate student in physiology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville who disappeared in 1986. The identification creates more questions than it answers: Patrick’s body was found several years after he was last seen, in Port Henry, New York. That’s SIX HUNDRED MILES from Charlottesville.

We will probably never know how this promising young man died, or how he ended up so far from home.

Sean Munger does Sheldon Boyd

My friend Sean Munger, who’s kept his own blog active while I’ve been slacking, wrote an entry profiling the disappearance of Sheldon Boyd. I haven’t updated Sheldon’s case since I added it in November 2007, nearly six years ago. A 5’6, 160-pound Native American, he was 27 when he disappearance from Chandler, Arizona in May 2007. He left behind all his stuff and there was no indication of problems in his life that might lead him to disappear.

A familiar story

Nearly three weeks ago, the Oceanside/Camp Pendleton, California Patch put out an appeal about the 1987 disappearance of eleven-year-old Elaina Rivera, last seen in Ramona, California. Very little information is available about her disappearance and the Patch article requested that anyone who had information about the disappearance, or about Elaina herself, contact them.

I think it’s great that they took the effort to do that. But, as far as I can tell, they’ve gotten no responses whatsoever. Just “few details are available in her case.” Which is the most depressing line to ever appear on Charley, and it appears all too frequently.

Elaina, you existed once and perhaps you do still. I know that face, and I want as many people as possible to know it as well. You deserve to be remembered. I only wish I knew something about your life, about the kind of girl you were before you walked into oblivion.

I suppose I ought to mention

During this recent episode, while I was incommunicado, a Spanish-language TV station wanted to interview me through an interpreter. They actually interviewed me once before (I think about the Cleveland girls case) but actually never used my interview. This time I declined. The subject of the requested interview was Baby Hope and her recent identification and the arrest of her presumed killer.

I was not in the mood to talk to anyone, the media least of all, and more importantly, I had nothing to say about Baby Hope. I have never been interested in unidentifieds and leave that work up to the many people who comb the Charley Project’s casefiles looking for matches. The only things I knew about Baby Hope came from articles I’d read after the case broke, and I’d only read a few of those. I just didn’t think I was the person to go to.

This is the first interview request I’ve ever declined, except for a few I wasn’t able to do because of time constraints.

A partial list of resolves

People I’ll be taking off Charley when I get a chance. I say “partial list” because I’ve probably forgotten a few. Most of these are not happy endings.

Christina Adkins, 18 and five months pregnant, missing from Cleveland, Ohio since January 10, 1995. Her skeletal remains were found earlier this month off of Interstate 90. Elias Acevedo has been charged with killing Christina and another woman, as well as raping two little girls. There are a whopping 293 counts in his indictment.
Terrance Beghin, 26, missing from Port Charlotte, Florida since November 1, 1986. His car turned up in a canal in Punta Gorda, Florida earlier this month, with his body inside.
Robert Brown, 49, missing from Fort Worth, Texas since November 1, 2007. Robert’s sister wrote me to say he was found deceased in June and identified by DNA this month. She didn’t provide any other details, but given the man’s health problems I would guess it was natural causes.
John Cotton Jr., 4, missing from Placentia, California since December 4, 2009. His mom had abducted him to Zambia, which has not signed the Hague Treaty, so there was no way to get him back. In a wild stroke of luck, John’s dad found out his son had gone to visit a relative in the Netherlands, which IS a Hague Treaty country. He was able to get him back — although it did take three months. They’ve returned home to California.
Chrystal Gallegos, 14, missing from Bowling Green, Florida since January 18, 2009. She was a runaway, and was found safe this month.
Pamella Jackson and Cheryl Miller, both 17, missing from Vermillion, South Dakota since May 29, 1971. David Lykken, a former classmate of theirs who was later convicted of kidnapping and raping another woman, was charged with Pamella and Cheryl’s murders in 2007. The charges had to be dropped, as it turned out the police informant who reported hearing Lykken’s confession had lied. It turns out that the girls almost certainly did not meet with foul play at all: last month, the authorities found their car lying belly-up in a local creek. There were skeletal remains inside. That’s good enough for me.
Leah Johnson, Thomas Rios and Jimmy Williams, aged 18, 18 and 16, missing from Sayre, Oklahoma since November 20, 1970. In mid-September, the police stumbled across their car, with human skeletal remains, in Foss Lake. Like the aforementioned Miller/Jackson disappearance, it looks like these kids just had an unfortunate accident. Although it may be years before they’re officially identified, the police think they know the truth now.
Erick, Jonnathan and Joshua Nassar, aged 7, 12 and 9, missing from Davie, Florida since July 8, 2003. A presumed family abduction. They were found this month.
Joseph Pike, 35, missing from Surry City, North Carolina since June 16, 2009. His partial skeletal remains were found in the woods in April and identified early this month. They don’t know how or when he died.
Teresa Reyes, 17, missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico since July 1, 1998. Her skull — with the lower jaw and all but one of the teeth missing — was found in a dry creek bed about 65 miles from Albuquerque in 2004, but wasn’t identified until last month. There was no trauma to the skull and no indication of how she died.
Angela Tiyetta Terry, 27, missing from Laurinburg, North Carolina since May 21, 2004. Her remains were found in the local area a few weeks ago and have been identified; a lot of people wrote me about it. The cause of death, etc., is still under investigation.
Doris Anne Wood, 42, missing from Newark, Delaware since July 28, 1997. Her husband died this spring in Alabama, and as a result the storage unit he held in Kentucky was put up for sale. The guy who bought it found Doris’s bones in a bag inside. Robert Wood got away with murder.