Happy belated Independence Day (and griping, and missing persons news)

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. Mine was kind of terrible. We had a tiny party, four guests (Michael’s parents and two of his coworkers), and I wound up spending a lot of time hiding in the bedroom because I was so stressed by it all. And I was feeling like a failure in general, and wondering how I was going to pull off an entire wedding in October if I was freaking out from anxiety over four guests in my own house.

Of course, who knows if there will even BE a proper wedding in October the way COVID-19 is blazing through this country. I might wind up having to have a Zoom wedding ceremony because of the stupid government not listening to experts and not doing its job to contain the pandemic, and stupid people refusing to wear masks in public because mah rights and mah freedum. We could have been on par with Europe right now as far as flattening the curve goes, but nooooo, people have to be idiots.

(Of course I realize that my wedding is a very small thing in the grand scheme of things, and there are a lot of people out there who are suffering more than me as a result of COVID-19. That doesn’t make me any less angry.)

So some news from the missing persons world:

  1. Later this year, once Americans are allowed to travel to the EU again (assuming that ever happens), a private investigator, a former FBI agent and Annie McCarrick‘s uncle are going to Ireland to make another stab at solving Annie’s 1993 disappearance. (She is on the Charley Project because she was an American, though she disappeared on Irish soil.) They have a new theory about what happened, and have a suspect in mind. I don’t think it’s the same suspect the gardai (Irish police) have had their eye on. Neither person has been publicly identified.
    The gardai think a former IRA member may have killed Annie. He sounds like a nasty character and allegedly raped a twelve-year-old girl, and possibly other victims, and the IRA sent him out of the country so he wouldn’t get prosecuted. He went to the US; I’m not sure where he is now.
    I have wondered before why on earth the IRA would have assisted this man. To begin with, the twelve-year-old he allegedly raped was the daughter of another IRA member. And, though I don’t know much about the IRA, I know they had broad support among the ordinary people of Ireland, and it seems like that wouldn’t be the case if they routinely did things like try to help their child-rapist members escape prosecution. If any of you guys can provide some enlightenment on this, I’d appreciate it if you posted in the comments.
  2. They’ve created a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico in memory of the twelve victims of the still-unsolved West Mesa murders. I’ll say their names again: Jamie Caterina Barela, age 15; her 25-year-old cousin Evelyn JesusMaria Salazar; Monica Diana Candelaria, 21; Victoria Ann Chavez, 24; Virginia Cloven, 22; Syllannia, Terene Edwards, 15; Cinnamon Elks, 31; Doreen Marquez, 27; Julie Nieto, 23; Veronica Romero, 28; Michelle Valdez, 22; and Michelle’s unborn baby. All of the women, except Veronica, were on the Charley Project.
    There are quite a few young women still missing from Albuquerque, and some of them fit the same profile as the women whose bodies were found on the Mesa. I’ve got Nina Brenda Herron, Vanessa Reed, Christine Julian, Leah Rachelle Peebles, Anna Love Vigil and Shawntell Monique Waites, and possibly others.
  3. According to a private investigator, the authorities have a suspect in the 2001 disappearances of of ten-year-old Tionda Z. Bradley and her three-year-old sister, Diamond Yvette Bradley. (The girls disappeared 19 years ago today.) The article says there’s a solid circumstantial case against the suspect (who hasn’t been publicly identified) but prosecutors want some physical evidence, preferably a body, to bolster their case before they file charges against the person.

Oh, and although this isn’t strictly missing persons related, I highly recommend y’all check out this article about the woman who invented the rape kit. Hers was a fascinating and tragic story.

10 thoughts on “Happy belated Independence Day (and griping, and missing persons news)

  1. Leslie Tollefson July 6, 2020 / 6:54 pm

    Great share on the rape kit, Meaghan. I had a feeling the ending wouldn’t make me happy – but the picture of her and her nephew helped. I’ll share the story with my peeps – Ms. Goddard’s name should be spoken.

    And just a little unsolicited advice (because it’s always easier said than done) – remember that the wedding is just an event. It’s a show and shows can be canceled. You and Michael love each other, and that won’t change if there’s a big blowout or you go to a justice of the peace. You guys do you – if I may be so bold to speak for them, you know your readers here will support you 110%!!

    • Meaghan July 9, 2020 / 2:57 pm

      If it were up to me, I’d elope in any case. A wedding ceremony is not a big deal to me. My parents wouldn’t mind either; they’ve got seven kids and have seen a lot of their kids marry. But Michael is an only child and his parents really want him to have a fancy send-off.

  2. Leslie Ewald July 6, 2020 / 6:59 pm

    The article about Martha “Marty” Goddard was fascinating. Thank you for the link.

  3. Ellen Tallabas-Johnson July 7, 2020 / 11:31 am

    Meaghan, you and Michael will have a beautiful wedding no matter how you choose to get it done. We all love and support you. I thank you for your tireless efforts to keep our hopes alive. With Sincere Gratitude and Love, Ellen Tallabas. Wife of Anthony Amadeo Johnson missing since August 2010. Never forget!

  4. Sara July 7, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    The new Unsolved Mysteries series on Netflix has an episode on Lena (whatever weird spelling her parents used) Chapin. It’s worth watching. I cannot believe her mom is still raising Lena’s son after being found (civilly) responsible for her husband’s death.

  5. Dawn Marie July 7, 2020 / 4:14 pm

    My understanding is the IRA is quite brutal towards members or former members who get out of line. Sex offenders, among others, are often punished by having their kneecaps shot off, or sometimes their knees and elbows both.

  6. Sonya July 7, 2020 / 10:34 pm

    Marty’s story made my heart hurt. What a sad end to someone who did so much. At the same time, that woman is a true inspiration with what she accomplished.

    When I had my wedding, it was a simple affair with just two witnesses and a justice of the peace at my Mom’s house, and I was freaking out internally the whole time because I’m super shy and socially anxious. We did the wedding that way because we are both so shy, plus we had lived together for years and didn’t want people to feel they needed to give us gifts, because we already had everything. Instead, almost everyone I knew got mad because they weren’t invited….go figure, sometimes you just can’t win. I still remember the anxious feeling, but I’m glad we did it.

    You know, no matter what kind of wedding it is, I think we all freak out, whether it’s on the inside or the outside….and if you freakout on the outside, I’m sure you won’t be the only bride that has done so. Hopefully, peeps will be understanding on your wedding day. And if they aren’t understanding, then they’re kind of buttholes, so who needs ’em? Ya’ll be just fine when the day comes, I bet. 🙂

  7. Andrea622 July 15, 2020 / 9:26 pm

    Wow so great to hear an update on the Bradley girls’ case. I thought it was forgotten. So sorry it’s a bad outcome

  8. Paul Crowley August 24, 2020 / 9:21 pm

    The IRA let members get away with things like this because they were afraid they would talk if they were prosecuted, getting a “sweetheart deal” to avoid prosecution for a rape in exchange for revealing the names of fellow IRA members. Sometimes they sent them away. Sometimes they “disappeared” them.

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