So I got this email today

[For the past several days I’ve been house- and dog-sitting for my mom. She’s coming back tomorrow sometime and I can go home. I will resume website work including this week’s featured MP upon my return. To be honest I’ve been glad of the break.]

Hi Meaghan,

I am casting a new investigative TV docuseries on missing African American mothers.

I am the Manager of Development at Machete Productions, a female-owned and operated production house based in Los Angeles. We are working on a new series that will tell the stories of missing women who are unjustly left in the shadows of the Missing White Woman Syndrome that plagues American media. We specifically want to look at cases of mothers, as told from the POV of their children whom they are survived by.

The stories and messages here are potent; we simultaneously aim to bring awareness to the disparity in media coverage and investigative thoroughness of black missing persons cases (versus white cases), we want to address the impact of losing a mother on an individual level and social level (entire communities are plagued by these cases that go unresolved), and, most importantly, we want to bring in a new investigative team to try to find justice and closure.

I found The Charley Project while searching for details on Doretha Williams who went missing in Nov 2007. Due to the lack of public information available on these cases, it is very difficult to get in touch with surviving children. Teaming up with The Charley Project would be a vital resource during this casting process if you have access to surviving family members. I am curious if there is a way to blast out my casting call to surviving offspring of missing moms cases in your database?

Happy to hop on a call to discuss further.

Thank you!

Missing persons of color? I need your help!

I got a message on Charley’s Facebook page today:

I’m writing you from Karga 7 Pictures in Los Angeles, with serious admiration and awe for the work you do. I’m a producer, researching missing persons for a potential upcoming TV show, and looking for cases that we might highlight for further investigation and inquiry. The irony is, of course, that in order to justify including them in our development at this point, they need to have a certain amount of information already gathered. So often, the kinds of cases I find that have a lot of information and media attention are of middle class White folks, as I’m sure you know. So, to be blunt, I’m looking for cases of missing people of color to highlight, and wondering whether you might be able to point me in the direction of an interesting case with a bit of meat to it? 9,000+ cases is a lot to wade through and unfortunately we never have enough time to be as thorough as we’d like….

So this nice lady would like some suggestions. I have a few in mind, but I’m sure you guys can come up with a few more.

Can you name some black, Asian, Hispanic or Native American MPs who ought to be “hightlight[ed] for further investigation and inquiry”?

It’s out! It’s out it’s out!

The long-awaited Longreads article has finally been published! View it here: The Encyclopedia of the Missing. I think it’s great.

And now no more for lack of time. I’m going to have a celebratory lunch with a friend and then I will resume sanding down the edges of this new upgraded website. All the cases between “Johnson” and “Juarez” mysteriously vanished in the file transfer, but I’ll have them back up.

Two TV producers in two days

Yesterday a TV producer contacted me by email, saying he was looking to start a show about homicide victims’ loved ones “chasing after justice,” and asked if I could refer him to any loved ones. Today another TV producer emailed me asking if he could call, and so I gave him my number, and he called, and told me he wanted to start a show about recent-ish (within the past 10-15 years) unsolved disappearance/murder cases. It would be a form of reality television where the show would bring in an experienced PI to solve them.

These two shows may be one and the same. I’m not sure. In both cases I referred the producers elsewhere.

Anyway, when I was speaking to the producer on the phone today and he was making his pitch he said something like, “We aren’t talking about victims who were involved with drugs or prostitution or anything like that, we’re not doing those people.”

I bit back an inclination to snap at him. He is, after all, just the messenger.

But still…sigh.

Article still stuck in editorial limbo, sigh

I emailed Jeremy, the Longreads reporter, to ask where my article was as I thought it would have been out by now. He had thought so too. This is what he said:

Hey Meaghan, good to hear from you! I’m still waiting for the editor to finish her first pass. (I’ve learned that if an editor says she’ll get back to me next week, she actually means in two to three weeks.) I still anticipate an August publication date though. I’m excited to see the piece go up—and nervous, of course, since I hope you’ll like it.

I’ll keep you posted once I know more. In fact, I’ll probably check in with the editor on Monday just to see how things are going on her end.

*muttergrumbles, champs bit*