MP of the week: April Wiss

This week’s featured missing person is April Susanne Wiss, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Wichita, Kansas on January 11, 2000. Her case was initially classified as a runaway, but the police have since said the circumstances of her disappearance are “unclear.”

She was going through a rebellious phase at the time of her disappearance and living away from home, but she left all her clothes and money behind, which is not characteristic of a runaway. I have to wonder if the felony statutory rape trial she was a witness in had something to do with it. Was she just a witness, or was she the victim in the case? It’s not clear.

If still alive she’d be 37 now.

MP of the week: Jeremy Ashley

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine wasn’t the best; I’m anxious about the political situation and the pandemic situation and my coming wedding. At this point, planning this ceremony is basically trying to make the best of a bad situation: we can’t have the party we want because we don’t want to kill anybody, and it’s a matter of trying to salvage what we can. Which is awful, but there’s nothing to be done.

This week’s featured missing person is Jeremy Dewayne Ashley, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from the seaside town of Trinidad in Humboldt County, California on November 11, 2017. He was hiking with a friend when he slipped and fell into the ocean, and got pulled out to sea.

Ashley’s case isn’t exactly a mystery, but his body has never been found, and if it washes up somewhere it would be nice if it could be identified.

Ronnie Busick sentenced in Freeman/Bible case

So, last night I did a big update to the casefiles of Ashley Renae Freeman and Lauria Jaylene Bible, slipping them in under the bar just before midnight. I explain about what happened to them, and the witness statements from the court docs and so on.

I’d been putting this off for a long time but I just couldn’t anymore, now that Ronnie Busick, the only surviving suspect in the case, has been sentenced. I had been putting off the update because the details are just so horrible.

I may have said it before but I will say it again. I will never say that Danny and Kathy Freeman deserved to be murdered, because they didn’t. But I can’t help but think they bear some responsibility for what happened to the girls, even though by that point they were dead already.

When you get involved with using/selling illegal drugs and the kind of people who are deeply involved in that world, you are taking great personal risk. Danny and Kathy presumably knew this. They gambled anyway, and lost. Which is sad. However, Ashley and Lauria were just bystanders, children, innocent. They were NOT involved in the drug world, did NOT accept that personal risk, and wound up paying a far heavier price than the Freeman parents did.

I’m not sure which makes me angrier, that or the fact that Phil Welch and David Pennington died before they could face justice. (Though it’s said that Welch died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a horrible way to go, and if you ask me it couldn’t have happened to a better man.)

Or, maybe what makes me angriest is the fact that if the police hadn’t initially bungled the case so badly, it could have been solved in 2000, well before Welch and Pennington died. Who knows, perhaps the girls could have even been rescued. But instead two innocent young women died after being held captive and brutalized, and two vile men got away with murder. Four murders.

And Ronnie Busick will only serve ten years for his role in what happened, so he practically got away with it as well. But he is 68, and doesn’t appear to be healthy, and given what I know of his history (drug use throughout most of his life, and he got shot in the head and was left with brain damage) and what I know about prison health care, I wonder if he be alive ten years from now.

MP of the week: Aneshia Harris

This week’s featured missing person is Aneshia Chevon Harris, a nineteen-year-old black woman who went missing from Detroit, Michigan on April 3, 1993. She skipped school that day–whether high school or college I do not know–and decided to go to her stepbrother’s girlfriend’s place. I think she did arrive there, but that was the last time anyone saw her.

Unfortunately, that’s all I have on Aneshia’s disappearance. If still alive she’d be in her mid-forties.

Thought I’d recommend these articles I found yesterday

There should be a trigger warning, I suppose, for child sexual abuse. The headline of the first I found is “7 things I learned about being a man, from talking to child abusers: How we can fix the boom in downloading of child abuse material.” By “child abuse material” they mean sexual abuse.

Though all the downloaders the journalist identified and interviewed were Norwegian (as is the reporter), I would assume that his conclusions, if correct, would apply to men from other countries as well. The reporter spent five years researching and writing about child abuse, and the article links to two much longer articles with accompanying documentaries.

And I have to say, those two longer articles are just… horrifying. So I’m warning you again: prepare to feel pretty sick.

One is Breaking the Dark Net: Why police share abuse pics to save children and the other is The Downloaders: Norwegian men pay to download videos showing children being subjected to extreme sexual abuse. They are the end users in an industry that uses children as sexual commodities. They think they are invisible. But we found them.

Yeah, it’s pretty awful. But I think people need to know this stuff.

MP of the week: Miller Harlow

This week’s featured missing person (which I forgot to add yesterday, sorry) is Miller Smith Harlow, a 62-year-old man who disappeared from Gordonsville, Virginia on August 28, 1991. He was last seen standing in front of a funeral home in town, possibly on his way to a local restaurant where his cousin was supposed to pick him up.

He was retired, lived alone, had never driven a car and would get around on foot, on his bike or by getting rides from people. He had very regular habits and because of this the police thinks something bad happened to him.

If still alive he’d now be in his nineties.

Thought I’d give a shout-out to this article

The other day Vox came out with a fascinating article called “The Man Without a Name“, subheading reading: “Robert Ivan Nichols simply disappeared from his average, 1960s Midwestern life — until, using DNA, sleuths uncovered the truth. But were they digging where they shouldn’t have been?”

It is quite fascinating, and I think you guys would enjoy it. Though contrary to what the URL would have you believe, Robert Ivan Nichols was not the Zodiac Killer.

Just helped find a missing person alive

So I need to be vague about the details to protect the guy’s privacy, but the Charley Project helped find a live missing person the other day. It’s the first time that I know of that this has happened. The website has been used before to match missing persons to unidentified ones, who were returned to their families, but all those people were deceased.

A flight attendant wrote to me to say there had been a passenger on her plane who (she didn’t say why but I assume he was acting strangely) caused the entire crew to be worried about him. They took care of him as best they could during the flight and, when the plane landed, delivered him to the custody of an airline employee who promised to look after him.

Once the cabin crew and the passenger parted ways, the crew was still concerned about him and decided to Google him and see if they could find out more about him. And when they did, his name and face popped up on the Charley Project: he’s been missing for years.

They chased down the airline employee they’d left him with. The employee was still with him, so the crew explained the situation and the airline employee and the man agreed to go to the local police department and get the situation sorted. He’s over a thousand miles from home but presumably that police department will make contact with the ones in his hometown.

The situation the man left sounds awful and he may be better off now, but he also clearly needs help. I’m hoping the authorities can reunite him with his family and get him the services he needs.

Alissa Turney’s stepdad has been arrested

Michael Turney is honestly one of the creepiest missing persons suspects I’ve ever written about. He was extremely possessive of his stepdaughter Alissa: he regularly searched her belongings, monitored her phone conversations, sat outside her job while she worked, set up surveillance cameras in the family home “for security reasons”, and forced Alissa to sign weird “contracts.”

Now, if Alissa was a problem child who was involved with drugs and the wrong crowd, I could see a parent taking these kind of measures. But Alissa wasn’t a problem child. She was a good kid mostly, did well in school and had no history of running away.

Alissa allegedly told several people that Michael–who was, incidentally, her only parent since her mom died of cancer when she was little–had sexually abused her. This information never made it to the ears of Child Protective Services, but in 2000 Michael himself called CPS to pre-emptively declare his innocence, just in case Alissa should ever claim he was abusing her.

A year later, in the spring of 2001, Alissa disappeared at the age of seventeen. Michael said she ran away, but if she did it seems really weird that she left behind all her belongings including $1,800 in the bank, and never contacted her siblings, friends or boyfriend ever again.

In 2008, the police executed a search warrant on Michael’s home looking for evidence in Alissa’s case. I don’t know if they found any, but they did find 26 homemade bombs and a van filled with gasoline cans. It turned out Michael had been planning to blow up a local International Brotherhood of Electrical Works union hall and take his own life in the process.

He was sentenced to ten years, served seven, and was out by 2017. This afternoon he was arrested and charged with Alissa’s murder.

I don’t know anything about what in the way of evidence they have against him, as this is breaking news, only minutes old. But I’m thrilled to death.

MP of the week: Angel Rose Avery

This week’s featured missing person is Angel Rose Avery, a 35-year-old woman who disappeared from Kennett, Missouri on September 1, 2018. Hers is a “few details are available” case; I know nothing else about the case. I was able to snag a few additional photos of her from social media.

If still alive, Angel would be 37 today.