Possible suspect in Asha Degree case?

Authorities are looking at Donald Ferguson to see if he has any connection to the 2000 disappearance of Asha Degree. Her case is kind of bizarre: the nine-year-old, who had no history of running away and didn’t live in a troubled home, apparently sneaked out of bed in the middle of the night, taking a backpack full of stuff with her, and was seen walking along the state highway in the wee hours. Then she vanished, just like that.

Earlier this week, Mr. Ferguson was charged with the 1990 murder of Shalonda S. Poole, who was seven. (The authorities initially arrested a mentally disabled man who worked at Shalonda’s school; he was eventually acquitted.) I’m assuming there must be DNA tying Ferguson to the crime scene, but the cops aren’t saying much.

It’s natural that they would look and see if he’s been involved in the disappearance of a black girl who was of similar age and lived in the area.

My first Executed Today entry of the year

This one is Chinese serial killer Zhang Yongming, who ate his victims’ flesh and turned his neighbors into unwitting cannibals by selling the meat at market, just like Fritz Haarmann did in Weimar Germany.

I’m assuming Zhang passed the meat off as ostrich meat because not many people have eaten ostrich and so they wouldn’t know the difference. (That was pretty clever of him actually.) You can buy ostrich meat online; I looked it up and learned that it’s red meat, more like beef, rather than like chicken.

Flashback Friday: Donna Lee Urban

I think this is the first time I’ve profiled a probable suicide for Flashback Friday. It’s pretty obvious what happened to Donna Urban: on February 7, 1983, she jumped off a bridge over the Delaware River, presumably to her death, at the age of 23. Over 30 years later, it’s unlikely her body will ever be found.

Another young life lost to depression. Wherever she is, I hope she’s finally at peace.