More tableting

As I said earlier, in preparation for the site getting re-vamped and modernized, I’m going through every case and purging outdated ones and correcting typos and updating as I go. I’m onto western cases now and have checked out everything except two states, except New Mexico and California. (California has over 2,000 cases to look at. Eep!) I run down the lists on my tablet, and any case that needs attention I add to the browser’s reading list. Then I take the tablet to Orville and begin work.

I’ve purged scores of cases, as Carl Koppelman can attest to.

And my checking all these cases for updates has yielded quite a bit of information, as my recent updates indicate. One of my “few details are available” cases got a huge injection of details yesterday, suggesting a self-proclaimed serial killer whom I’d never heard of before might have been involved.

(A kind of amusing detail about the DiCicco case: NamUs said he disappeared from Kalispell, Montana, but an article I found from a California newspaper said something about him working in Columbia Falls, Idaho. I went to Google Maps to see how far these two cities were apart, and discovered there was no such city as Columbia Falls, Idaho! There was, however, a Columbia Falls, Montana. I chalked the Idaho thing up to a mistake. Good thing I was curious enough to go to Google Maps or I’d have had Dwayne DiCicco working in a town that didn’t exist.)

In a case I will update today, I found out someone made a documentary about the case, and the movie’s website has some police notes about the disappearance.

But oh, how I am sick of doing this by now. I wish I was done already.

MP of the week: Elissa Martin

This week’s featured missing person is Elissa Rachel Martin, who left her dad’s Campbellton, Florida residence on May 15, 2004 to go for a walk and never came back. She was 34 years old. Aside from the fact that Elissa has schizophrenia and left her meds behind, I don’t have much on this case.

I wasn’t able to post this yesterday because I spent Christmas with Michael and his parents and didn’t return home till this morning. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was okay, minimal drama.

ET: Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty was executed in Dublin on this day in 1782 for robbing a guy and stealing stuff worth¬†¬£15, a small fortune in those days. What followed was a riot at the scaffold, a body-snatching and a police chase — as in, first the police were doing the chasing, then they were being chased themselves by the people they’d been chasing earlier. What fun!

In the entry I quoted from a book about executions in Dublin, noting, in part: Surgeons were regarded with suspicion as their dissections prevented families and friends of deceased felons from waking their bodies.

I realize that “waking” in this instance means “holding a wake with the bodies as per the Irish tradition” but I think the author’s choice of words was unfortunate. It sounds like they were trying to wake the dead person back up.

My mom, who’s a bit of of a Hibernophile, says the reason wakes were so popular in Ireland is cause the British curtailed freedom of assembly, and a wake was one of the few events where Irish people could gather without risk of arrest.

MP of the week: Kevin McClam

This week’s featured missing person is Kevin Lamont McClam, who disappeared from Goose Creek, South Carolina on March 30, 1997, just days before his fifteenth birthday.

The circumstances of his disappearance are a bit strange to say the least. His clothes were found scattered along the road near a construction site, and a witness reported seeing him walking nearby, wearing only sneakers and boxers, “alone and not under duress.”

As in the Wojciech Fudali case, I just don’t understand this. If I saw a man or a teenage boy walking down the street almost naked, I think I’d call the police or at least ask him if he was okay. But I haven’t found any evidence that the witness actually interacted with Kevin.

There are two suspects in Kevin’s disappearance, both of whom would have been in their teens at the time. The police are pretty sure Kevin was murdered, but no one has ever been charged in his case.

What about this headline?

Eight years ago I wrote a blog entry about potentially problematic headlines for articles about missing persons and crime victims. That is, headlines that point out info about the MP or suspect that might be seen as shaming them. I was reminded of this entry cause I just found another such headline:

Police seek missing cross-dresser from Jennings

I’m inclined to let this headline go. The fact that Eddie Johnson was a cross-dresser was news to me until I saw the article. And he was, apparently, wearing a woman’s kind of wig when he disappeared, though I can’t tell from the clothing description whether they were women’s clothes or not. The inevitable¬†possibility is that he was the victim of a hate crime and that’s why he’s missing.

That’s all.

So I’m “tableting” now

The last month or so I’ve been going through all the cases on Charley using my tablet. I have finished the eastern and midwestern cases and have done all but Texas on the southern cases page; the western cases, the biggest geographical category of all, has yet to be touched.

This is something I can do whenever, like if I’m watching TV with Michael or something. Prop up my tablet in my lap, go down the list, check out each casefile. And depending on what I see, I might add the case to my tablet browser’s “reading list” for future reference once I return to Orville.

So when I see typos leaping out at me (gah, “indicatted” for “indicted”, I winced), or some other obvious mistake, or if I think maybe I need to check and make sure this case is still active, or I think maybe there’s been an update and I need to check, the case goes on the “reading list.” Then eventually I take my tablet to Orville and start going down the reading list and taking appropriate actions.

Those resulted in yesterday’s updates for example. The reading list is in alphabetical order by the meta title of the page; that is, it goes in order by first name. That’s why everyone who got updated yesterday had a name beginning with A through D. (Except Luis Contreras. I was looking up updates on another case and found some additional info for him.) They were also all from the south, cause I’m doing the southern states at the moment.

I’m still in the D first names for the southern states, and I just found a really awesome update for a case today. It turns out the MP’s local paper did a whole six-part series on his disappearance, where they interviewed the cops and his relatives and all his friends, and I found a lot of information. It’s a strange case more by what isn’t there than what is — this guy seems to have just dropped off the face of the earth.