Tania Murrell’s brother has died

Per this article: Tania Marie Murrell‘s brother, John, has passed away. The 37-year-old, it says, “had battled drug addictions through most of his adult life.” He was living in a halfway house when he took an overdose of methadone and was taken to the hospital. He convinced a friend to sneak him out so he could make it back to the halfway house by curfew time. They found him dead in his bed the next morning.

Obviously it’s very sad. Drug and alcohol addiction is caused by a lot of complex factors, both genetic and environmental, but I’m sure the disappearance of his sister when he was a child was a great trauma. It may not have caused his later problems but it certainly didn’t help. He was the one who was supposed to have walked home from school with Tania that day. She went the other way instead, and never came back.

I happened to speak once to a psychologist who, I think as part of his PhD, studied one particular family who had lost a boy when he was a child — literally lost, the boy was kidnapped and is listed on Charley. (I’m not going to identify the psychologist or the boy because I don’t want to upset anyone or get anyone in trouble. I’m not sure it was appropriate for the person to have confided this knowledge to me.) Anyway, the psychologist told me the boy came from a very large family and, in spite of having had a good upbringing with loving working-class parents, the kids were all pretty troubled and several of them became addicted to drugs and alcohol later in life.

John and Tania’s sister has her brother’s ashes and hopes to scatter them at Niagara Falls. If only she knew where Tania was.

Select It Sunday: Claude Shelton

Selected by Sarah. Like this week’s Flashback Friday, this is actually a double selection because Claude disappeared with his wife, Martha “Sue” Shelton. On May 21, 1971, they tucked their three kids into bed in their Corbin, Kentucky home, drove away in the family car (which I have pics of) and were never heard from again.

I wonder if this wasn’t an accident of some kind. I tend to suspect that when a person or persons vanish with their car and neither car nor human(s) are ever found, and there’s no evidence of foul play but no evidence that they left on their own either. I checked out pictures of the local area on Google’s image search and there are some mountains and rivers that might be able to hide a car and occupants. It looks like a kind of pretty place, actually.

For the Shelton family, it’s been nearly 44 years. As we have learned from the cases of Dana Null/Harry Atchison and others, it’s possible for such accidental deaths to be resolved even many decades after the fact.