ET: Margaret Savage

I’ve got an Executed Today entry for today about armed robber Margaret Savage, who was hanged in Dublin, Ireland on this day in 1787. She was one of the many victims of the UK’s Bloody Code, which levied the death penalty for all the manner of minor offenses that would have been punished with probation or a fine today. The idea seems to have been “the easier it is to commit a crime, the more harshly it should be punished.” It didn’t work.

(And before any of you tell me that Dublin isn’t in the UK, it was back then.)

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Flashback Friday: Natasha Shanes

This week’s FF case is Natasha Marie Shanes, a six-year-old girl who was apparently abducted from her mother’s Jackson, Michigan home on May 8, 1985.

Although they never identified the abductor or found any bloodstains or the like, I’m pretty confident Natasha died around the time she was taken, because of her medical problems. She had a seizure disorder and needed medication for that. She was also slightly intellectually disabled and she had scoliosis, though to what degree I don’t know.

In the very unlikely event that Natasha is alive, she’d be 38 today.

A cluster of resolves

Sometimes it seems like I don’t get a resolved case for a month and then suddenly get hit with a dozen at once. This next update will have five. So far. I’m linking to their casefiles but they won’t be up for much longer.

  • Runaway Sualee Jeseenia Gonzalez Castro has been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for two years and almost two months and is now 19 years old.
  • Runaway Alondra Hernandez-Trujillo has also been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for almost three years. She is now 18.
  • Convicted murderer Thomas Riffenburg has confessed to the killings of his girlfriend, Jennifer Anne Walsh, and their son, Alexander Mitchell Riffenburg, who had been missing from Palmdale, California since January 9, 2009. Jennifer was 23 and Alexander was only a year old. This article provides a lot of background info about their cases, more than I have on Charley. Thomas provided hand-drawn maps to where he’d buried their bodies, and the cops found remains and are awaiting DNA confirmation of their identities. I think I’ll resolve their cases now; it’s highly unlikely they’re anyone but Jennifer and Alexander.
  • A skull found in the woods 2001 has been identified as Ella Mae Williams, an 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who wandered from her Gainesville, Florida home on March 25, 1990. (The article incorrectly gives her age as 78.)

MP of the week: Patrice Smith

This week’s featured missing person is Patrice Lynae Smith, a 28-year-old missing from Little Rock, Arkansas since March 24, 2012. She was last seen in the company of Michael Curtis Robinson, her abusive boyfriend. She had an order of protection against him and he sounds like a general dirt bag.

Suspiciously, Michael Robinson disappeared at the same time Patrice Smith did, and later turned up without her. He was in prison last I knew though he might be out by now.

Does anyone recognize this woman?

[EDIT: Mystery solved! And I feel slightly annoyed with myself. See the comments section for deets.]

The other day WTVM did an article about missing people from Columbus, Georgia area. It talks about five people, but there’s an accompanying montage of photographs that shows SIX people. Five of them are the missing people mentioned in the article, but the sixth, a young black or biracial woman with a blonde afro, is not mentioned and I do not recognize her. I checked on NamUs and she doesn’t appear to be on there either; at least no one by that description is listed as missing from Columbus, Georgia.

In case the article goes away, I have the image shown below:

wtvm

It’s the woman in the top middle photo. I wrote to the reporter who wrote the article to ask who she is, but he didn’t get back to me. Does anyone know who she might be?

Facebook is so useful

I’ve lately found Facebook incredibly useful for missing persons related things lately. These days I’ll always check to see if the MP either had their own Facebook page, or has one set up for them to publicize their disappearance. Mostly it’s useful for finding photographs, but I often find other information too.

Tonight I was taking advantage of a burst of energy to write up cases for the next update. I had a bit of a conundrum with the first one I wrote up: NamUs said his middle name was “Donte” and the FDLE database said it was “Dante.” He’d been missing since 2002 so clearly he hadn’t been on Facebook, but I looked to see if his family had set up a page for him. Turns out they had. There’s not much on it, but I found out that NamUs and FDLE are both wrote and his middle name is “Dant’e.”

So there’s that, anyway. A middle name isn’t a whole lot, but I’d certainly not want to post incorrect info, and before I found the Facebook page it was basically a toss-up between “Dante” and “Donte.”