Well, this is terrible

As everybody has probably heard already, the rape conviction against Bill Cosby was overturned and he’s been released from prison. Since it was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I don’t think the prosecution can appeal this ruling — there’s no higher court to go to — and I don’t think they can charge him again either, at least not in that particular case. Cosby is very old, blind and in poor health anyway, and he’s not likely to live through another trial even if more charges against him.

Now, I think I understand why the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled as it did. Basically it boils down to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which grants people the right to avoid self-incrimination.

As simply as I can explain it: Cosby confessed to crimes in civil court, under an agreement by a previous prosecutor that this confession would not be used against him in criminal court. That prosecutor is gone now, and it was another who prosecuted Cosby and used his civil court statement against him. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that this violated Cosby’s Fifth Amendment rights and should not have happened. The Fifth Amendment, like all Constitution rights, applies to terrible humans as well as good ones.

In other words, this was a legit legal error, and they had to give it to him because that’s how the law is supposed to be. This is not a vindication of Cosby; it does not mean he is factually innocent. But he is now LEGALLY innocent despite like 60-some women having accused him. I understand the law but I am angry and sick at heart.

I met one of Cosby’s victims at CrimeCon. She was there to give a talk, like me. We ran into each other in the speakers’ lounge and spoke as one rape victim to another. I’m sure she’s a mess right now, poor lady. I’m sure a lot of rape victims, and not just Cosby’s, are a mess today.

In other news, the elderly mother of a friend of mine from college has been missing for almost a month. I feel super bad for my friend (she’s the one who did the interview in the article). Of course she’s beside herself with worry. She asked for my help, and I provided her with referrals to some resources, but I felt a bit at loose ends myself since I don’t work with cases this “new”. (Mind you, the case is already in a rare category for having gone as long as it has; about 90% of missing persons cases are resolved within a week.)

I really hope my friend’s mom is found soon and I don’t have to put her on the Charley Project in eleven months and three days.

20 thoughts on “Well, this is terrible

  1. . July 1, 2021 / 1:47 am

    Here’s to hope for Ms Emily Lu’s safe return.

  2. beckey July 1, 2021 / 12:59 pm

    I’m hoping for the best for poor Ms Lu. I think I may have posted on here before about my theory of how roommates tend to go missing around the 1st of the month due to tensions over the rent being due but I hope that’s not related to her case.

  3. KT Stanko July 1, 2021 / 2:37 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s mom. Unfortunately due to an aging Baby Boomer population, you are going to have a huge wave of older adults on Charley throughout the next two decades.

    I can already predict the types of disappearances:

    1. Cognizant older adult who is taken advantage of or harmed by strangers
    2. OA with dementia/Alzheimer’s wanders off
    3. OA not being reported missing or dead for years in order to collect SS benefits

    #1 seems to happen when family is not around locally to regularly check in on them. #2 can happen at anytime, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds in terms of tracking devices to help locate disoriented older adults. #3, unfortunately, will be a result of Millenials getting shafted our entire lives, especially economically. Multi-generational homes are becoming more common, and I can see many people needing the extra income to just survive.

    TL;DR– you can really divide the two types of elderly disappearances into “financial” and “neurocognitive related.”

    Also, as a complete side note, I seem to remember there being a link on the old website before the redesign for “Random Case” and was wondering if it could be added back? Thanks Meaghan.

    • KT Stanko July 1, 2021 / 2:41 pm

      Also (and I really hope I don’t sound like a demanding a-hole here!) is there a way to have the links under Chronological Cases and Geographical Cases turn dark after you’ve viewed them, like on the Updates page? When I’m going through the decades I always lose my place and it would be so helpful to clearly see where I left off. Thanks again, Meaghan.

      • missingmysteries July 2, 2021 / 11:04 pm

        I agree with the request to have the links change color after clicking! I often search Charley to compare against Doe Network entries, and sometimes the advanced search turns up over a hundred possible matches..and it would be super helpful if, after clicking on any CP entry link, it changes color. Great suggestion!

    • Meaghan July 1, 2021 / 2:41 pm

      It looks like foul play was involved in Emily Lu’s case, though I don’t know any more than what has been reported. I think the police are focusing on the other current and former residents of her home; she took in tenants.

      There aren’t any current plans to bring the Random Case thing back, though I guess I could talk to Preston about it.

      • Janny July 2, 2021 / 9:32 pm

        I’d love to second the motion for both the random case search being put back into action, and the links turning dark after being viewed. These are 2 great ideas that I have also missing having. Thank you Meaghan! You are doing an absolutely wonderful job.

  4. Cris July 2, 2021 / 5:59 am

    Makes me sad and worried as someone with an older Taiwanese mother.

    • missingmysteries July 2, 2021 / 11:10 pm

      Oh no! Your mother is missing? Do you have a flyer to share here about her? We can all share it.

      • Meaghan July 2, 2021 / 11:12 pm

        I think they were just saying their mom, like my friend’s missing mom, is old and Taiwanese.

  5. missingmysteries July 2, 2021 / 10:58 pm

    My thoughts on Bill Cosby’s alleged crimes are thus: if he did drug the dozens of women who came forward about it, they cannot possibly be the only victims (a small percentage of rape victims actually report the rape, as we all know).

    Just a guess, but there might be five to ten actual victims for every single one that has come forward. And his use of drugs (to render the victim unconscious or at least unable to fight him off) makes me consider something that I’m not sure has been addressed yet: the possibility that any of his victims did not survive the non-consensual drugging.

    Yes, I mean that there’s a possibility that at some point he drugged a woman either with too much, or she had a bad reaction to the drug, and died. I think, based on the possibility that he drugged dozens if not thousands of women during his heyday, that at least one woman didn’t survive his drugging and that he “cleaned up” the “situation” or had someone do it for him. You just can’t be a super-prolific drugging sexual predator for decades and not have at least one death attributed to you.

    • Meaghan July 2, 2021 / 11:11 pm

      I… hadn’t thought of that. Wow.

  6. marsyao July 6, 2021 / 7:55 pm

    So where were two brothers, one was William Frederick Muller, the other’s name was Frederick William Muller, it was borderline to negligent for their parents

    • Meaghan July 6, 2021 / 7:56 pm

      His parents were German immigrants. Perhaps they went for names that were normal and easy to pronounce in both German and English.

      • marsyao July 6, 2021 / 8:00 pm

        There are nothing wrong with German names, but their parent named one of them William Frederick and the other Frederick William, I am sure there are many other German names out there

      • Meaghan July 6, 2021 / 8:01 pm

        I have a friend who named her son Frederick despite their surname being Friedrich.

      • Mischa July 7, 2021 / 1:46 pm

        I bet one grantpa was named Wilhelm and the other Friedrich.

  7. marsyao July 6, 2021 / 8:10 pm

    LOL, Meaghan, this is a good one, I am laughing hard

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