This week’s Flashback Friday case is Mary Elizabeth Lozano, a child who vanished mysteriously from her family’s Venice, California apartment on February 13, 1969. She was four years old. I don’t have much on her, other than that the police believe she was abducted by a non-family member.
Charles Wall was executed on July 30, 1830 for the murder of his fiancee’s daughter. He supposedly pushed her down a 240-foot-deep limestone pit. Me, I’m not convinced this was a murder at all. Certainly, in my mind, there’s room for reasonable doubt: the pit was unfenced, the child had been seen playing near it alone, and Wall had no discernable motive for killing her.
July 30, incidentally, was the five-year anniversary of the day I first started posting on Executed Today. My entry for the First Defenestration of Prague ran on July 30, 2010. (Does anyone else think “The Defenestration of Prague” would make a great name for a band?) I also had Thomas Alva Edison’s Newfoundland electrocution run on July 30, 2013.
This story actually ran on July 2, but I didn’t find out about it till now: “Paul Fronczak” has been identified. In a nutshell, for people who aren’t familiar with this case: a newborn named Paul Fronczak was abducted from a Chicago hospital in 1964. In 1965, a toddler who was about the age Paul would have been was found abandoned in New Jersey. The Fronczak family thought he was their missing son, but the identification could not be conclusively established due to unavailability of DNA testing, etc., at that time, so they had to go through adoption procedures. There the matter rested until 2012, when “Paul” had himself tested and found out he was not related to his presumed parents. This made national news and the baby Paul Fronczak was re-listed as missing at the time.
Well, according to the article I linked to above, not-Paul Fronczak has been identified by a “genetic genealogist” as a child named Jack, one of five kids in his family. His parents and one of his siblings are dead now; two are still alive. Jack has a twin sister named Jill (groan) and she’s missing. The twins disappeared shortly before their second birthdays, but their parents never told anyone; both sides of their family thought the children were living with the other side. The family’s last name has not been released as of yet, but relatives told not-Paul “dark tales” about the parents.
In other words, this seems like a Michelle Pulsifer type case. You gotta wonder how many times this sort of thing used to happen back in the days before computerized public records and what have you.
I wonder if Jill was also abandoned somewhere and is still out there, not knowing who she really is. It seems a lot more likely, though, that she died about fifty years ago.
Meanwhile, the real Paul Fronczak remains among the missing. What a bizarre case.
This week’s featured missing person, Kelley Zanon, is one of my dreaded “few details are available” cases. I only have the street she was last seen on and the spider tattoo on her shoulder for details. I added this case six and a half years ago and have never updated it since.
David Paulides, author of the Missing 411 series of books (which I really liked and used as a Charley Project source), asked me to post this: they’re trying to raise $100k to make a film about the missing persons featured in his books. KickStarter works like this: if they don’t raise all $100,000, they get nothing at all. The fundraising campaign has raised $82,000 and change so far and has 18 days left to go.
A Charley reader sent this article in to me: Yaroslav Iventyev, whom I recently made a video about, has almost certainly been located. While looking for a missing toddler, they found Iventyev’s car in a pond with an adult male body inside.
That’s the second time this month that someone who had a video on the Charley Project YouTube channel was found dead, the presumed victim of a car accident. And also the second time this month also that a missing person in Florida was found inside their car in a body of water: Rita Sue Zul was found several days ago. I haven’t resolved her case yet but will soon.
This time it’s a Hassidic rabbi named Ben Zion Halberstam, who together with several family members and others was shot by a Nazi death squad in a forest in what is now Ukraine.
I just found this link which isn’t in the ET entry (yet; I sent it to the Headsman) which has an actual video clip of what they claim is the Rebbe shortly before his execution. The quality is very poor, as might be expected, but it does show people beating the crap out of SOME Jewish guy, anyway.
I’ve spent some time going over Rogelio Cerda‘s sister’s blog about her missing brother, which has a lot of information about him and pictures that I plan to add to his casefile. She believes he didn’t drown the day he disappeared in 1975 and he might have run away and might still be alive. I’m torn between thinking she’s being a tad overoptimistic and thinking there just might be something to her theory. There were a lot of reported sightings of Rogelio in the local area after his disappearance — sightings by people who knew him — and a lot of strange phone calls to the family. At least, I’m going to change his category from “Lost/Injured Missing” to “Endangered Missing.”
According to his sister, his birth name is actually Jesus Rogelio Realme Cerda, though apparently nobody called him Jesus at all: it was either Rogelio or Roger or Junior (since their father was also called Rogelio). He attended Catholic high schools in San Antonio and was an about-to-be sophomore when he disappeared.
Whether Rogelio left intentionally or not, his disappearance had a devastating effect on the family. His father took his own life less than two years later, and I’m sure the disappearance and/or death of his only son contributed to that.
Constance Ann Streif is at present one of my “few details are available” case. However, some blog commenter sent me a link to this legal decision issued by a New York court (a decision which, incidentally, mentions the Charley Project in passing) that provides a little bit more: she was adopted, and she was in Texas visiting her sister from out of state when she disappeared.
In summary, as the court decision explains, Constance’s father died of asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2011. His will specifically disinherited Constance because she hadn’t been in touch in almost 30 years and he believed she was dead. There was a settlement for wrongful death, though, which in theory was supposed to be divided among his three children; that is, Constance and her two sisters. The sisters petitioned the court to change that because Constance was dead. They wanted the settlement to be divided by two, not three, and they wanted Constance declared legally dead. The judge ruled that Constance could not be declared legally dead, but that she shouldn’t benefit from the settlement anyway because she hadn’t been in touch with her father for so long before he vanished and so his wrongful death was no loss to her in any case.
What interests me, though, is this 2014 law journal article I found about the case. (The article is on page 16.) It says, “The decedent’s daughter, Constance Ann Streif, whose last whereabouts were in Texas, had not been heard from since 1992; she had not had contact with the decedent since 1981.”
From what they and that court judgment are saying, it sounds as if Constance last had contact with her father in 1981, visited her sister in Texas in 1982, dropped out of sight and then contacted someone in 1992 before dropping out of sight again — which would mean she was still alive for at least about a decade after her disappearance was reported in 1982. However, it seems equally likely to me that the 1992 date in that article is a misprint for 1982 and therefore no one has seen OR heard from Constance since that visit to her sister.
I wish I knew for sure. I would welcome feedback (in the form of a comment on this entry, or an email) from anyone who knew Constance or is part of her family.
This list is for MPs who got full scholarships to college before they disappeared — whether they accepted said scholarships or not. I got a partial scholarship to attend Hendrix College. I forget how much it was, something like $4,500 a semester I think. Nothing terribly impressive; I was a pretty average applicant and I think just about everyone who attended got some kind of scholarship.
(For my non-American readers, a crash course in American colleges/universities’ financial aid system: a scholarship is financial aid a student is given based on merit, usually either academically or in sports or sometimes for some special talent in another area, such as music. Some are granted by the colleges/universities themselves, and others by private foundations and charities. The scholarship is often renewable each year and is usually conditional; that is, to keep getting it renewed a student must attend the college/university full time and keep up a certain GPA, or keep playing on the sports team, or whatever, depending on the nature of the scholarship. Some scholarships are only for students with certain majors, and if they change majors they lose their scholarship.
There are other forms of financial aid, called “grants” and “student loans”, that are given based on financial need. These are not conditional; you can keep getting them renewed as long as you are not flunking out of school. Student loans are much more common than grants and most students graduate tens of thousands of dollars in debt. This has been a growing problem in the United States and everyone is arguing over what to do about it. I have some ideas but they are neither here nor there.)
Anyway, the list of superior scholars:
- Stevie Danielle Bates for the University of Arizona (she didn’t take it, preferring to enroll at Hunter College instead)
- Michelle D. Crawford for Cameron University
- Ian Hunter Burnet for Virginia Commonwealth University
- LaQuanta Nichelle Riley for an unspecified school
- Jennifer Marie Wilmer for St. John’s University
- Amber Lynn Wilde for the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay
This list may be incomplete. I’ve got several other MPs where it was mentioned they were in college on a scholarship but I don’t know whether they got a full ride (that is, everything paid for) or just a partial scholarship like me.