MP of the week: William Chapman

This week’s featured missing person is William Ray Chapman, who disappeared from Wichita, Kansas on December 8, 2008. He was 24 years old.

William would definitely stand out in the crowd: openly gay, he sometimes wore makeup and wigs and went by the name “Vanity Vuitton.” (I’m thinking he went out in drag, though that’s not entirely clear.) He enjoyed going to LGBT clubs, video blogging, and making music. Some of the photos of him show him with his hair dyed bright red.

There is little information on Chapman’s disappearance, though one inevitably wonders about a hate crime; Kansas isn’t the most gay-friendly place in the world. He would be about 35 today, if he’s still alive.

An unprecedented communication

So I heard from a lawyer today; they sent me an email regarding one of my cases. I am going to refer to the missing woman and her husband by the pseudonyms “Allison” and “Chad” because I don’t particularly want to hear from anyone else connected to the case, and don’t want this blog entry to turn up on a keyword search. However, this case should be pretty easy for viewers to find on Charley.

So Allison disappeared towards the end of a messy divorce from Chad. Her body has never been found. Chad was charged with her murder, and wound up being tried FOUR TIMES, which may be a Charley Project record. The result was this:

  • Trial #1: Conviction, overturned
  • Trial #2: Conviction, overturned
  • ┬áTrial #3: Hung jury
  • Trial #4: Acquittal

It was just a big mess. Chad is probably guilty, but “probably” does not equal “beyond a reasonable doubt.” And a person ought to get a fair trial the FIRST time, not the fourth.

So now he’s suing for wrongful prosecution or something-or-other. I wonder if it’ll go anywhere. He was a wealthy businessman, but his wealth has probably been drained considerably by four trials’ worth of legal expenses, and it would have been difficult for him to run his businesses from behind bars.

So back to the lawyer. They are representing the defense in Chad’s lawsuit, and wanted to know if Chad had ever donated to the Charley Project, and why was Allison listed on the site in the first place, and how long had she been up there. I replied that Allison is just one out of 13,000+ cases and there’s nothing special about her being on there, and that to my knowledge I have never either heard from Chad or received a donation from him, or from anyone else connected to the case for that matter.