The airplane in the corner

Given that it’s a huge missing person mystery in the news right now, I reckon some of you might be wondering why I haven’t written about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The answer is that I don’t want to. I guess it’s not my “kind” of missing persons case or something. I’ve only read headlines about it. I feel deeply sorry for the families of all those people on the flight — particularly the families of the pilot and crew members — but only in an abstract way.

I saw a good editorial on Salon today and posted it on Charley’s FB page: The Malaysia mystery isn’t an episode of “Lost”. This paragraph in particular struck me:

As the drama of the flight, which disappeared on March 8, has unfolded, what began as a strange story that would surely yield evidence in a few hours has taken on a different life of its own. Because of its virtually unprecedented nature, it’s hard to know how to talk about it. Here’s a start, though. Whether you’re a newscaster or a random person with a few thoughts you want to get off your chest on Facebook, just remember that these are human lives we’re talking about here — 239 of them.

And the final lines:

It’s not an epic episode of Nancy Grace, a missing persons story with a cast of hundreds. It’s just 239 men, women and children, lost somewhere over the water.

Well said!

As for me…I’ve got nothing to say.

Well, isn’t this just peachy!

Steve Powell, child pornographer, voyeur, all-around creep and the father-in-law of Susan Powell, is getting released from prison this weekend:

The Washington State Department of Corrections has approved Powell’s plan to live in a privately owned residence in Tacoma, where he will be supervised by a community corrections officer who is part of a specialized sex-crime unit.

Powell will be required to wear a GPS locator for at least the first 30 days of his community supervision, the department said in a news release issued Monday. He also will be required to attend a sex-offender treatment program. Other conditions of his release include checking in at least twice a month with his community corrections officer and getting permission before leaving Pierce County. A community corrections officer also will make multiple unannounced checks on Powell each month.

And from this article:

The girls he took pictures of were awarded $1.8 million in a civil judgment that Powell didn’t contest until after the court’s ruling was final. In December, a judge ordered the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office to sell Powell’s largest non-exempt asset, his house at 18615 94th Ave. Court East in Puyallup, to start paying off his debt.

Since then, Powell, acting as his own attorney, has made several attempts to prevent his house from being sold in a series of handwritten motions… The girls’ mother, along with attorney Anne Bremner, filed documents in court earlier this month saying that Powell doesn’t present any valid arguments and has no way to pay his mortgage. Powell also has stated he does not plan on living at that address once he is released, according to court documents.

Where’s Susan? Steve may be the last person left alive who knows.

MP of the week: Andrew Skelton (and, by extension, his brothers)

This week’s featured missing person is Andrew Ryan Skelton, age 9, who disappeared along with his brothers Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, from Morenci, Michigan the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. The boys are all adorable and remind me of my nephews when they were that age.

This case is an exceptionally sad one, even by Charley Project standards. The boys’ father made off with them and was later located alone. He made a half-hearted suicide attempt and was hospitalized, then charged with kidnapping in connection to his sons’ disappearances. John Skelton pleaded guilty to lesser charges of false imprisonment was sent to prison for a ten- to fifteen-year term. He claims the boys are safe but refuses to reveal their whereabouts — in my opinion, because he knows he’ll be facing a lot longer than ten to fifteen years if the three children are located. I’m pretty sure they’re dead.

As I’ve said before, this case remains me very much of the still-unsolved Campbell case from over 50 years ago. It also makes me think of the disappearances of Sarah and Philip Gehring, murdered by their father, whose remains were recovered in 2005. And the Porter case, another homicide by a parent; Sam and Lindsey Porter’s bodies were located in 2007, after they’d been missing more than three years. All of the aforementioned children are or were featured on Charley.

If you ask me, John Skelton should remain in prison until he discloses the boys’ location, one way or the other. (Alexander, Tanner and Andrew’s mother hopes they’re still alive.) But he’s been in jail since shortly after they disappeared, over three years, and seems to show no signs of cracking. He seems to be a man so full of hatred and despair that he doesn’t care what happens to him anymore.