Yeah, so this has been in the news:
- They’re going to try to identify two bodies, victims of a terrible fire at a Connecticut circus in 1944. 168 people were killed and of those, five are still unidentified. Per the article: “State Chief Medical Examiner James Gill wants to compare the unknown victims’ DNA to that of Sandra Sumrow, the granddaughter of 47-year-old Grace Fifield, a Newport, Vermont woman who was at the circus the day of the fire but was never seen again.”
- Hazel Rose Hess‘s daughter has gone on the news asking for information that could solve her mother’s 25-year-old disappearance. There isn’t much in the way of anything new in the article, however. I just found a few new pictures.
- There’s been some news about the 1985 disappearances of Janet Shuglie and her ten-year-old daughter Marisa. It turns out someone found her class ring. They found it over 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that they realized the ring belonged to a missing person and turned it over to the police.
The police seem to think the find is significant, and they have not disclosed where the ring was found. There were several articles about this: here, here, here and here. There is a picture of the ring (is it just me or is the stone missing?) but alas, no photos of Marisa. I don’t have a photo of her either, so only Janet has a casefile on Charley.
- They’ve found the bodies of Danielle Marie Steiner and her five-year-old son, Aubrey Hall, who disappeared from Lansing, Michigan a year ago. The bodies were discovered by a clean-up crew in a vacant house in the 800 block of Loa Street. The article notes that “At various times, Steiner and Aubrey had lived in the 700 and 800 block of Loa Street.”
No other details have been released, except that the deaths are being treated as homicides. I’m sure their families are devastated.
- This month is the 13th anniversary of the disappearance of Melanie Metheny from Belle, West Virginia. She went missing on July 19, 2006. There’s this article about it.
- Doreen Jane Vincent‘s 1988 disappearance has been covered in the second season of the podcast “Faded Out.” I grabbed a bunch of photos off this article, and the podcast sounds absolutely fascinating, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to listen to it. There’s 21 episodes in the season so far, ranging in length from 27 minutes to an hour and 17 minutes, during which time I’d have to be paying very close attention, stopping the play to take notes, etc. All for one case. I wish I had the time for this kind of thing; it would benefit the Charley Project greatly. But I just don’t.
- A suspect, Bryan Lee O’Daniels, has been charged with murder in the 1995 disappearance of Timothy Jason Smart. Apparently there were many witnesses who knew the truth, but none of them spoke up out of fear of O’Daniels. The case broke after the police got an anonymous tip last year that led to a motherlode of information.
Just so happens that yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the circus tent fire.
As a commemoration of sorts-although it happened way before even I was born and I’ve never even been to Connecticut-I browsed both the Hartford Courant’s rather extensive online section on the fire and the memorial site set up at http://www.circusfire1944.com.
Reading the survivors’ accounts related decades later to the Courant’s reporters was both fascinating and chilling, especially when you remember that any of them still alive now were at most in their teens-and if male likely facing the real prospect of going to war soon-at that time. The recollections of the really young kids who lost parents, siblings or other loved ones, or faced long and painful recoveries from horrific injuries, were particularly poignant.
As for those still missing, the memorial site has a lot of details on all the victims, as well as descriptions of the five bodies that were never identified. Just in case you’re thinking about adding the missing to Charley, I’ve saved you the trouble of going though all the names:
Mrs. Edith Budrick (38) (her young daugher, who shared her name, WAS identified)
Raymond Erickson (6) (this is the boy who survived and then disappeard that I told you about in a previous post)
Judy Norris (6)
Grace Fifield (47)
Lucille Woodward (60)
Somthing I found curious that might be of concern is that at least as I read them, none of the unidentified body descriptions seemed to match any of these people. One, in fact, was described as an adult maie, while another was said to be an African-American woman. Frankly if it were up to me I’d exhume them all and see what modern forensics can do for them.
Glad Orville has regained his health. While I know you haven’t had much luck with laptops-just as an aside, neither did I until I stopped treating them like hockey pucks-have you given any thought to picking up a cheap one just to use as a backup? You know, pull it out maybe once a month to keep the operating system patched and antivirus up to date, then put it back away for when Orville starts feeling blue again.
I love the fact that someone found Janet Shuglie’s class ring, over 20 years ago, and never turned it over to law enforcement. I would hope that if anyone finds some property possibly belonging to someone else that they would turn it over to law enforcement. In this situation the location of where the ring was found hopefully will provide some investigative leads. Which would have been helpful if they had notified the police in 1999.
Meaghan, I looked at Hazel Rose Hess page. I was reading the details section, and noticed that you mention her upstairs neighbor Larry Adams. However, you mention that in 1996, Hayes shot and wounded a police officer. Who the heck is Hayes?, Should it have been that Adams shot the police officer.
Thank you for posting that piece about the Hartford Circus Fire, I lost a relative (Marion Levasseur) to it, her son survived but with serious injuries. Jerry is a very accomplished man, including athlete.
So I am hoping these unidentified victims are ID’d very soon.
I came here today to see if you’d heard anything about something in my area and updated a profile.. There’s been some big happenings in a couple of high profile Kentucky missing persons cases. They’ve found and identified Savannah Spurlock’s remains. She was a young mother that went missing after going to a bar in Lexington around New Years. So she’s basically too fresh of a disappearance to have been on Charley.
The other is Melanie Flynn. She’s famous because she was the pretty young daughter of a senator who went missing while kind of tied up with a drug syndicate and crooked cops back in the late 1970’s. Someone wanted to “get something off their chest” and told authorities to search an underground tank (gas tank, septic tank?) at a campground in Mercer County near the Kentucky River. News stories called the place Murphy’s Landing but I can’t find it on any maps. I think it’s near Shakertown (a park/museum dedicated to the long-gone religious group that lived there). There’s a Munday’s Landing near there, but all of the news places say Murphy,