Make-a-List Monday: Bird tattoos

MPs who had tattoos of birds, obviously. I decided Tweety Bird counted.

  1. Randolph Alger
  2. James Edward Amabile
  3. Michael Avicolli
  4. Lynn Lene Baltzey
  5. Anthony Barela
  6. David Wayne Blizzard
  7. Roberta Rene Cable
  8. Susan Maria Ann Cerritelli
  9. Martin Miles Chance
  10. Christopher Lee Cook
  11. Steven Mark Dadasovich
  12. Stephen Joseph Davaris
  13. John Davis
  14. Piotr Drabik
  15. Tracey Leigh Gardner-Tetso
  16. Torrence George Farrington
  17. Molly Anne Franquemont
  18. Wojciech Fudali
  19. Brandy Lynn Hall
  20. Jackie Ellen Hawks
  21. Tracy Marie Evans Hill
  22. Shelley Corinne Hoke
  23. Dawn Michelle Holt
  24. Sharon Ivy Jones
  25. Sarah May Kilgore
  26. Mary T. Kushto
  27. John Cameron Lovering
  28. Francis Xavier McKenna
  29. Ronald Todd McNutt
  30. Kateri Marie Mishow
  31. Casey Gene Morgan
  32. Hammam A. Mosallam
  33. Liza Murphy
  34. Janel Irene Peters
  35. David Arthur Preston
  36. Danny Joe Riley
  37. Jonathan Schaff
  38. Sally Anne Stone
  39. Paul Aaron Triplett
  40. Tina Ann Velasco
  41. Sue Ellen Walker
  42. David Edward Wetzel
  43. Beatriz Adriana Wheeler
  44. Robert S. Willis IV

Well, this is sad

I was reading this very sad story that’s part of an award-winning Chicago Tribune investigative reporting piece on Illinois’s crappy group homes for troubled youth and thought the name “Mary Bohanon” rang a bell. I checked. And she’s missing. Again. For at least the third time. She has post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and a history of running away and prostitution activity. Her mother gave her up to the state, apparently in order for her to get help for her mental illness. Obviously she didn’t get it.

Flashback Friday: Audrey Nerenberg

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Audrey Lyn Nerenberg, who disappeared from New York City the day after Independence Day in 1977. She was eighteen, but she had schizophrenia and functioned more like a fourteen-year-old. Her case has more information on the internet than similar cases from that era. Audrey’s father actually wrote a book, called Give Me Back My Daughter, Audrey! I got it through inter-library loan, and there was NOTHING in it about Audrey or the search for her, other than a few photos. It was basically a history of the Nerenberg family.

My guess is that whatever happened to Audrey, she didn’t survive long after her disappearance. And I would also be willing to guess that her disappearance may have had nothing to do with her schizophrenia, and a lot more to do with her being a young and attractive teenager in a large city.

A judgment call

I was putting together Charley Project updates when I stopped to write this blog entry. I just had to make a judgment call again.

Now, quite a lot of the time I find my multiple sources of information contradicting each other. When this happens I just go with what I think must be true, and perhaps note that other people say something else. As a general rule, I think that law enforcement sources and family sources are most likely to be correct. When those two contradict each other, then I have a real problem.

I wrote up a case of a woman who disappeared in 2011. She had been staying at a hotel in the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas while trying to sell property in Eagle Pass’s sister city of Piedras Negras, Mexico. (I looked up Piedras Negras and it doesn’t look good for her.) Anyway, the woman was in a law enforcement database and her name was given as Patsy. I went with that and wrote up a basic casefile for her, then went to check other sources. I found her mother’s obituary. If a relative, particularly a parent, dies after the MP disappeared, I will usually note in the Charley Project casefile if the MP is listed as having survived or predeceased the parent.

Patsy’s mother’s obit said she was “presumed deceased.” I put that in the casefile. But the obituary also called her Patricia, not Patsy.

I was really uncertain about what to do with this one. It’s possible that the law enforcement database made a mistake and her legal name was Patricia. Perhaps she’s only listed in there as Patsy because no one ever called her Patricia. And it’s possible that her legal name was Patsy and they made a mistake with the obituary.

I am going with Patsy. I hate these kind of situations. I want everything to be correct and it makes me very uncomfortable to list a case when I’m not 100% sure I’ve gotten their name right. That’s kind of an important detail, don’t you think?

Anyway, blog entry over, back to the salt mines I go.

MP of the week: Cherice Ragins

This week’s case is Cherice Maria Ragins, a young woman of 24 who disappeared from Catonsville, Maryland on February 21, 2010. I pulled her file pretty much at random and noted it hadn’t been updated at all since I first posted the case four years ago. So here she is. Another one of those “few details are available” cases, although there are in this case a few details as opposed to none.

As for the rest of today’s updates, you’ve got your five, though none of them have much info attached. You could argue that it is those cases that have the most pressing need for coverage. Last night I mined the Texas database and found a lot of ones to put up. Vitia’s case concerns me. I normally don’t post runaways that are not on the NCMEC (basically, because they would be hard to keep track of; the NCMEC sends notices when they’re found but no one else does) but I made an exception for Vitia because, well, she was fracking TWELVE and with a man ten years older, and she’s been missing for over a decade. My guess is she’s somewhere in Mexico, probably with a couple of kids.

Make-a-List Monday: “Unspecified medical condition”

Sorry about last week. I had written, like, six lists in advance and they were running automatically and I just forgot when they ran out.

Anyway, on to today’s list topic. “Unspecified medical condition” is maddening to me. Are we dealing with someone who’s had an organ transplant and needs to take like 50 drugs a day or they’ll die, or someone with some minor, not life-threatening complaint? Is it a mental illness instead, and if so, what kind? There’s a world of difference between schizophrenia and depression. Inquiring minds wanna know. Here they are, people with some kind of medical problem but I’m not sure what:

  1. Caleb Jeffrey Allen
  2. Danielle Nicole Alexander
  3. John Howard Andrews
  4. Brenda Jeen Apalicio
  5. Marshall Francis Austin
  6. Zachary A. Aylsworth
  7. Christopher M. Bacsain
  8. Jose Barroso
  9. Steven Howard Bradley
  10. Pamela Marie Callahan
  11. Barbara Elizabeth Cantu
  12. Kimberly Ann Cardarella
  13. Eugene Caston
  14. Tina Mae Cawston
  15. Judith Ann Chartier
  16. Eric Isaac Cohen
  17. Michael E. Cosgrove
  18. Jennie Samantha Cummings
  19. Deborah Elaine Deans
  20. Nancy Zoe Dennis
  21. Neal Edward DeShazer
  22. Carlos Diaz
  23. David Adrian Downes
  24. Valerie Renee du Laney
  25. Paul Thaddeus Eckert
  26. Glenda Sue Eldred
  27. Kevin Daniel Elkins
  28. Jacqueline Ann Ellis
  29. Ande Fan
  30. Julia Marie Fraser
  31. Russell Matthew Gonzales
  32. Shelayah Renee Gonzalez
  33. Nancy Lynn Green
  34. Fabian Humberto Gutierrez
  35. Lynitta Bouvier Hargray
  36. Michael Daniel Harp
  37. Jeremy Adam Hayward
  38. Saeed Hedgepeth
  39. Jack R. Hemby
  40. Retha L. Hiers
  41. Douglas Gene Holway
  42. James Huff
  43. Michelle Lyn Hutchings
  44. Lisa Dianne Jameson
  45. Mark R. Johnson
  46. Qaisra Khan
  47. Helen Jean Kelly
  48. Howard Kimball
  49. Darlene Louise Lary
  50. Paul Allen LeBlanc
  51. Edd Dominic Lope
  52. Jeffrey Leland Lowrey
  53. Christine Marie Ludwig
  54. Larry Don Madden
  55. Anne Cornell Magnuson
  56. Asia Nicole Martin
  57. L.C. Matlock
  58. Jess Landon McEntire
  59. Timothy James McKye
  60. Lonny Airon McQuiston-Davis
  61. James Kelly Meeks
  62. Molly Ann Meyer
  63. Dawn Mohn
  64. Carlee Jade Morse
  65. Donna Geneve Mullen
  66. Francesca Anna-Marie O’Brien
  67. Michael L. Page
  68. Opal Marie Parsons
  69. Phouvong Phasavath
  70. Ansel Lamone Piper
  71. Joseph Thomas Polidoro
  72. Chassity Reed
  73. Timothy Rice
  74. James Dean Richert
  75. Judith Mae Riems
  76. Ellis Edward Robinson Jr.
  77. Phyllis Rodgers
  78. Karla Carolina Rodriguez
  79. Bettina Diane Scott
  80. Douglas Harlan Selby
  81. Scott Matthew Sells
  82. Donald David Smatlack
  83. William Ronnie Staggs
  84. Shonda Renee Stansbury
  85. Clyde Daniel Stewart
  86. Little John Sutton
  87. Brandee Jan Thomerson
  88. Wanda Lillian Thompson
  89. Andriene Patricia Walker
  90. Darlene Ann Wallace
  91. Timothy Dale White
  92. Willie George White
  93. Cynthia S. Wilkins
  94. Aletha Jo Williams
  95. Steven Lee York

Apologies for my silence

I haven’t updated any of the social media in over a week. To say nothing of adding updates to the Charley Project itself. Some stuff happened, and then I had to watch Mom’s wretched cat again. For nearly a week, while she’s off camping once more. She says this will be the last time, that she will ask the neighbors to do it the next time she goes camping. She had better. I am the most logical person she could ask to feed her cat while she’s away, but that doesn’t mean I have no life or obligations of my own.

She did leave the router this time, so there’s internet access. And she left a laptop, but I decided not to bother using it since I couldn’t do much on it, website-wise, anyway. I haven’t been altogether unhappy. I’ve been reading lots of books which I hadn’t had time for before.

Today I decided to come back to Michael’s house and surprise him. He was surprised. In fact, he had already made plans for the evening, plans he couldn’t change, plans that had no room for me. Now, before I arrived I had vowed I wasn’t even going to step inside my office if I could help it, that I was going to show Michael that this visit was for him and not for the Charley Project. But he’s gone and won’t be back for hours and here I am.

August was a complete wash. September is turning out to be that as well. I wish the whole stupid month was over with already.

I have read all 193 emails I had waiting for me. Most of them were posters sent automatically by the NCMEC — of which, exactly two had any use for me. I don’t have time to get a proper update done, because when Michael comes back later tonight we’re going to do something together. I think I’m going to use this time to do some behind-the-scenes work, purging and stuff like that.

Flashback Friday: Daniel Jess Goldman

This week’s Flashback Friday is Daniel Goldman, missing from Surfside, Florida since March 28, 1966, the night before his eighteenth birthday. His story is long and rather convoluted. Ostensibly it was a kidnapping for ransom; Daniel’s parents were wealthy. There was a lot of talk, though, that things weren’t as they appeared. It’s been close to fifty years since that March night and we will probably never know what really happened.

Lies and scaremongering and propaganda

I bring you exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen, from this “fact sheet”:

Every year an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 105,000 in California alone. This equates to more than 2,000 children each day.

Um, I think the 800,000 figure might actually mean the total number of all missing persons: that is, to say, children, teens and adults. According to this article from a year ago, there are 750,000 MP cases added to the NCIC in an average year, with 627,911 in 2013.

A large proportion of those are abducted by non-family members under suspicious or unknown circumstances.

That sentence is designed to sound as scary as possible and doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. How much is “a large proportion” exactly? Give some numbers here. If a child is missing under unknown circumstances, how can you say they were abducted by a non-family member?

I’ve been immersed in this for well over ten years and well I know that almost all missing child cases are resolved within hours and abductions by strangers are very rare. And the missing child cases that go longer than a day are usually either runaways, or kids taken by non-custodial family members. Most Amber Alerts are issued for children who were taken by a relative, usually a parent, and in most of those cases the child is recovered unharmed.

To say that 2,000+ kids a day go missing and “a large proportion” are taken by non-family members is untrue. No. Just…no. But that’s what the “fact sheet” says. There’s no room for interpretation here.

If kids were in fact getting snatched by strangers off the street left and right, why have so few of us encountered this in our day-to-day lives? Why aren’t there thousands of school classrooms with children missing from the class?

A number of high-profile missing children cases within the last decade have brought to light the need to bring California’s laws and processes for missing person response and recovery in the 21st century.

Yes, there have been a number of high-profile missing children cases within the last decade. And you know why? It’s not because there are more missing children than before. It’s because those children get a lot more news coverage, and that coverage is spread over a much wider area than it once had been. It used to be, if a child was snatched off the street in Wichita, no one living in Miami would read about the case or see it on TV. Now, some cute little girl vanishes off the streets in San Francisco and within a day people living everywhere from Maine to Mexico have heard all about it. There are entire TV shows — I’m not going to name them — who use missing and murdered children as their bread and butter.

The result is quite a lot of fear. My generation may have been the last in America who was allowed to play outside alone. There have been in recent years a few infamous incidents where people called the police simply because a child was outside alone, even if it’s in their own front yard. Sometimes Child Protection Services gets involved. Not always, not often, but enough to make a parent worry. If I had children, I would never let them play outside alone — not from the fear of him or her being kidnapped, but from the fear of a police or CPS report being filed by some well-meaning person.

It used to be that children would frequently form valuable relationships with adults outside the family, like coaches, neighbors, pastors, that sort of thing. I know I had a few neighbors I talked to. Now there’s the fear, coming from parents scared for their children, and also from adults who don’t want an accusation to ruin their lives. I knew a woman who told me she would never let her sons (who were like ten, eleven years old) spend the night away from home, even with people she knew well and trusted, even with their own relatives, because she was afraid they would be abused.

I am not saying that publicizing missing child cases is a bad thing. Far from it. I run a database intended to publicize cases and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think it would help. But there’s a line between publicity and propaganda.

I’m writing this because that “fact sheet” made me really angry. Think what you like.