This week’s featured missing person is Allen Briscoe, a Bartram High School student who disappeared from Philadelphia on December 13, 1985. (I was two months and eight days old at the time.) I don’t have a whole lot on Allen, other than it doesn’t look like he was a runaway. And a curious thing: Christine Green, another Bartram student, also disappeared earlier in 1985 and she was never located. I don’t know that there’s any hard evidence that these cases are related, but it does seem very odd that two students in the same high school would vanish without a trace in the same year.
I can’t find anything recent online about either of them.
My dear friend Annie Keller shared an article on Facebook today about another family abduction case, where a mom made off with her two boys even though the father had custody. They’ve been missing for months.
Most of the Facebook commenters were supportive of the father and said they hoped the boys would be found soon and the mother punished for her crime. But typically, there were people who automatically assumed the father must be an Evil Abusive Parent ™ and the mother was right to kidnap the children. A comment on the Facebook link:
There could be a reason as to why the mother left with her boys. This is just his side of the story. I know a woman who ran with her daughter to keep her safe from the father who was molesting the girl. The father played like he had done nothing wrong and ask for help in finding them. Long story short……u never know what truly is going on and if someone does know where this mother and her 2 sons are and tells they could be putting them in danger. So before falling all for the dad’s sad story get all the facts first. And if someone does know where the boys are before telling maybe find out from the mother as to why she ran.
God, that kind of thing disgusts me. It seems like parental abduction is the only crime you can commit where loads of complete strangers automatically support you and even call you a hero.
I replied to that comment with one of my own:
If you heard about someone who robbed a bank would you say “he could have had a good reason, maybe his house was about to be foreclosed and he had to keep his kids from being homeless”? Why is it when a parent abducts their child, especially a mother, so many people automatically give them the benefit of doubt? Parental abduction is child abuse. Most kids in that situation wind up with their educations interrupted, little or no access to health care, having to move all the time and use different names, being told horrible lies about the left behind parent, not to mention losing access to half their family. I know a lot more than most people do on this subject. Most of the time the abductor isn’t trying to give the child a better life, they are trying to spite their ex. It causes immense psychological harm to the child. And people like you automatically support them. You should be ashamed.
Are there instances where the abducted child is being taken from an abusive situation? Undoubtedly. Once in awhile. Just like there are situations where, say, a person is forced to kill another person in self defense or be killed themselves. But what really upsets me is when so many people ASSUME the abductor is justified. Every. Single. Time.
Loads of people are putting MP material on Facebook now. There are pages for individual missing persons (often put up by their families) and for missing persons from a particular city or state.
This is a great resource, but I have an idea of how to make it better: label the photographs with the MP’s name. If there are multiple people in the photo, point out which one is the MP, like “Joseph Smith with his brother. Joseph is on the right.” There have been several instances where I come across a good photograph of an MP, but there are others in the photo, and I can’t always tell which one is my MP and I don’t want to risk posting a picture of someone else, so I just don’t post it at all.
I was just looking at a Facebook page for missing people in a particular state. It had a trove of photographs, but as far as I could tell they weren’t labeled. I have no idea who some of those people were. Without their names, I don’t even have any place to start to begin my research and I certainly can’t post them on Charley.
[Edit: Whoops, dangit, this is Thursday. Oh well, enjoy your FB Friday a day early.]
I’ve been slacking a bit. I’ve had some super-important things going on in my life at the moment, but now my part is over and it’s a matter of “hurry up and wait.”
A request: in you guys’s Sunday selections, it seems like it’s always kids. I know missing children tend to tug at the heartstrings, but would it be possible for some more nominations of adults?
Anyway, Flashback Friday. It’s Ronald Eugene Westwick, an Ames, Iowa man who disappeared in 1979. Westwick was 34 but still lived at home with his parents. That may be because he had epilepsy, which was bad enough that he was classified as a disabled missing person.
Nobody seems to know what happened to Westwick, not even the folks at Iowa Cold Cases, which provides a wealth of information about missing persons. But there’s a gravestone for him at the Rose Grove Cemetery in Williams, Iowa. The only other thing I could find was this article from 1964, when Westwick was 19. He got his driver’s license suspended for a month because he was a “habitual violator.”
A list of possibly gang-related disappearances. The MP doesn’t necessarily have to have been in a gang themselves, but perhaps the MP associated with gang members, or had nothing to do with gangs at all but the police think a gang victimized that person and caused them to disappear. Etc.
- Sharon Rose Apgar
- Mary Edna Badaracco
- Paget Renee Barr
- Amy Billig
- Michael James Borges
- William Walter Brooks Jr.
- Eric Lawrence Brown
- Nicholas O. Brown
- Tyrone Lydell Bryant
- Travis Wendell Burley
- David Antonio Cambray
- Susan Marie DeQuina
- Jimmy Wayne Edwards
- Kevin Andre Gardner
- Gabriela Leticia Gonzalez
- Trevell Lamar Henley
- Deniese Shalize Hiraman
- Gus Henry Hoffman Jr.
- Cheryl Ann Moser Iacovone
- Ron Walter Knutson
- Gabriel Martinez
- Diana Lynn Miller
- Justin Weldon O’Brien
- Paresh Patel
- Erin Kay Pospisil
- Tammy Dawn Risenhoover
- Joseph Thomas Rodziewicz Jr.
- Warner James Rose
- Victor Trejo
- Shannon Rayanne Turner
- Eric Vidal
- Virginia Alice Welch
- Rhonda Lynn Yocom
- Evon Young
It’s so sad to see how young many of these people were. Victor Trejo, for example, was only fourteen, and Deniese Hiraman was thirteen. It reminds me of Todd Strasser’s novel If I Grow Up, which is about a young boy who’s trying as hard as he can to stay away from the violence and despair of the housing project where he lives, but winds up sucked into gang life anyway.
I’ve been slacking with my Flashback Fridays and Select It Sundays lately. Trying to get back in gear. For this week it’s Ina M. Irnall, a middle-aged woman who disappeared from Poteau, Oklahoma on May 28, 1981. The cops think she left on purpose and might have traveled to Nevada or California.
If Mrs. Irnall is still alive she would be 80 years old today. I doubt she’s going to turn up at this late date in any case, but she might. For example, Lee Jan Marie Kratzer walked out of her life in 1982, died of natural causes in 2008, and had her true identity discovered in 2015.
Another ET by me: Asbury Respus, a serial killer active in North Carolina in the first third of the 20th century. He’s kind of atypical: his eight victims were both black and white, male and female, ranged in age from 9 years old to 80, and were killed in a variety of different ways.
Many people, including myself, have noted that I often enclose information in my casefiles that isn’t terribly relevant. Like where an MP went to high school or something.
I was thinking about that today while I was adding a bit of info to James McNeely‘s casefile. As to his disappearance there isn’t a whole lot to say: he drowned and was never found. But, when someone told me that in 2014 they had a memorial service for him and named a highway after him (or a section of a highway anyhow) I looked into the case again and found some more information. Mainly that there was another person in the boat at the time, and he was found drowned. I even found out where that other person was located — and the river had taken him well over 100 miles.
I think that’s super helpful. If the other man’s body was found all the way over near Tell City, Indiana, it stands to reason that McNeely’s might have traveled as far as that, or more. This would possibly encourage people to start looking at unidentified remains in Indiana and along the Ohio River instead of just focusing on the Kentucky River where McNeely went missing.
I doubt that McNeely will be found at this late date, close to 46 years later; it’s possible there’s nothing left of him to find. But it’s still a shot, even if it’s a shot in the dark.