This week’s Flashback Friday case is Mary Elizabeth Lozano, a child who vanished mysteriously from her family’s Venice, California apartment on February 13, 1969. She was four years old. I don’t have much on her, other than that the police believe she was abducted by a non-family member.
Archive for the ‘children’ Category
This story actually ran on July 2, but I didn’t find out about it till now: “Paul Fronczak” has been identified. In a nutshell, for people who aren’t familiar with this case: a newborn named Paul Fronczak was abducted from a Chicago hospital in 1964. In 1965, a toddler who was about the age Paul would have been was found abandoned in New Jersey. The Fronczak family thought he was their missing son, but the identification could not be conclusively established due to unavailability of DNA testing, etc., at that time, so they had to go through adoption procedures. There the matter rested until 2012, when “Paul” had himself tested and found out he was not related to his presumed parents. This made national news and the baby Paul Fronczak was re-listed as missing at the time.
Well, according to the article I linked to above, not-Paul Fronczak has been identified by a “genetic genealogist” as a child named Jack, one of five kids in his family. His parents and one of his siblings are dead now; two are still alive. Jack has a twin sister named Jill (groan) and she’s missing. The twins disappeared shortly before their second birthdays, but their parents never told anyone; both sides of their family thought the children were living with the other side. The family’s last name has not been released as of yet, but relatives told not-Paul “dark tales” about the parents.
In other words, this seems like a Michelle Pulsifer type case. You gotta wonder how many times this sort of thing used to happen back in the days before computerized public records and what have you.
I wonder if Jill was also abandoned somewhere and is still out there, not knowing who she really is. It seems a lot more likely, though, that she died about fifty years ago.
Meanwhile, the real Paul Fronczak remains among the missing. What a bizarre case.
The last post in my themed set is Charlotte Bryant, who poisoned her husband with arsenic back in 1935. The police had a great deal of fun investigating her late husband’s body etc. with what was the very latest in forensic science. By modern standards, the forensic evidence against her was questionable, but I myself am pretty sure she was guilty.
This Executed Today post is from yesterday. Yesterday I couldn’t post anything because I was visiting my mom at my parents’ island summer home (they’ve shared custody of it since the divorce, alternating weeks) and I couldn’t even use the internet on my tablet because the power was out for most of the day on account of a storm which had pulled a tree out by its roots and dropped it on a line. (All the trees on the island have very shallow roots.) Mom had to make twelve trips back and forth between the island and the shore to transport power people, tree cutters, etc. I was able to check my email and Facebook on my cell phone but that was about it. On the plus side, I met my parents’ new neighbor on the island, and it in our getting-to-know-you talk I learned he been a prosecutor for twenty-five years and a defense attorney for five. I told him about the Charley Project and gave him a business card. Mom was glad I’d come to visit her. If I hadn’t, she’d have spent her birthday without any friends or relatives there at all.
And yes, I am well aware of the murder-without-a-body arrest in the Sheila and Katherine Lyon case. About 20 people, without exaggeration, have emailed me about it. They were such beautiful little girls. I will update the case when I can. Right now I’m visiting my dad at the university before my doctor’s appointment (which is in an hour and fifteen minutes). I hope the orthopedist gives me clearance to take the stupid sling off and resume normal activities, but somehow I doubt he will.
I checked my user stats and saw this:
It is my understanding that “visits” represent the number of unique visits/visitors to charleyproject.org. And it’s up a bit for some reason. The average is currently 10,134 visitors a day. (Actually it’s 10,133.6; I rounded up. /pedantry) As opposed to last month when the average was 8,339. In May it was 8,171 and in April it was 8,070. Not much of a change there. Every day this month, though, save July 1, the number of visitors has been above the average 8,000-ish range.
Judging by the casefiles my visitors are looking at most often: Caleigh Harrison, Aliayah Lunsford and “Baby Kate” Phillips, I’d say the spike in visits has something to do with that unidentified little girl they found off the case of Massachusetts. I know there’s been speculation that one of the three missing girls could be her. Kristine Hamilton is also being looked at a lot though, and she DEFINITELY isn’t the Massachusetts Baby Doe and I can’t find any recent news about her. Shrug.
Inspectors from the Department of Investigation were similarly dismayed after surveying 25 cluster site and city shelters last year. Conditions were “bluntly Dickensian,” declared DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters when the report came out in March. They found infestations of rats, mice and roaches. Among other delights investigators observed, “a dead rat in a cluster apartment where four children lived, the decaying smell of which permeated the hallways.”
In addition to varied species of vermin, investigators discovered locked exits and blocked passageways that could obstruct escape in emergencies. In one city-run shelter, a rusted-out staircase was unusable, giving 140 residents only one way out of the building; when DOI called on the FDNY to inspect the site, they deemed the situation so dangerous they wanted to evacuate the building. Instead they made do with posting fire guards to regulate traffic in case of a fire.
They also found exposed electrical wiring and nonworking fire alarms, water damage and mold. One woman told investigators her electricity was often shut off for days at a time.
Although infractions were also found in non-profit shelters, the worst offenders were cluster site shelters (though city run shelters also had dangerous and unsanitary conditions). For the public service of taking in homeless families with vermin-infested apartments, the city paid landlords an average of $2,451 per month, according to the report (some are paid over $3,000). The market rate for regular apartments in these neighborhoods range from $528 to $1,200 a month.
(Let me emphasize here that these are NYC shelters. But Relisha’s shelter in Washington DC was very much the same. I read about one couple there that was interviewed by the Washington Post, who stayed up all night working in shifts, to keep the roaches off their sleeping baby son. That detail has stuck in my head ever since.) If a family was living in their own home with vermin everywhere and exposed wires like as described in the article, chances their kids would get taken into foster care because of “unsafe living conditions.”
Getting back to Relisha: How many other little Relishas are running around out there? God only knows what that Mr. Tatum was doing to her when no one was watching. But her took her out of that horrible environment and to a place that was quiet and clean and not overcrowded. He bought her things, made her feel special, when quite possibly no one had ever made her feel special in her entire life. That’s often how it starts, sexual abuse I mean. Relisha might have been willing to do literally anything, just to maintain that sense that she was his special little girl. (Assuming he did abuse her, a theory of which I admit is without proof at this point, but is, let’s face it, more likely than not.)
I actually talked about this with friends. Now, Relisha’s mom was, at minimum, an idiot, who had a previous history with child protective services for neglecting her kids. She was, at least, partially responsible for whatever it was that happened to her daughter. But let’s take me instead. Suppose my children and I were living in conditions like the ones in Relisha’s shelter (which I describe in her casefile as “filthy, chaotic, crime-ridden, infested with vermin and had no playground” and frankly all of that doesn’t even begin to portray how awful it was there) and there was no way of getting out any time soon. My choices are:
- Keep Relisha in the shelter with me, even though the environment is terrible and bugs are everywhere etc. and the staff bribe and/or coerce sexual services out of the residents and I do not have the ability to provide a safe haven for her.
- Let the janitor guy take Relisha to his nice clean quiet house to stay over for awhile, where at least she won’t have to deal with rats or chaos and what have you, and might be able to play outside and do stuff children are supposed to be able to do. Take into account the fact that I know the janitor is creepy and odds are he’s a pedophile.
Either option is bad. Neither is good for Relisha; both leave her open to being mistreated by other adults. And no mother should have to choose between the creepy janitor and the fourth-world conditions under which they were living.
Look…I don’t know where I’m going there…it’s just that this kind of thing really makes me sad and angry. The more so because, there but for the grace of God go I. I’ve said it before: you guys don’t know me, not really. Online I sound a lot higher functioning than I really am. In real life I am significantly impacted by my autism and mental illness and need help on a regular basis. If I didn’t have a boyfriend and a family, one that was willing and able to support me, I could end up homeless too.
Capitalist, socialist, conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, whatever your beliefs social, economic and political, no one should want this happening to any family. Certainly not in the richest country in the world.
Gotcher vids, hot and fresh: eleven of them to be exact, covering sixteen MPs. In chronological order:
Ruben David Felix, 1997
Yim Yeung Tsui, 1998
Sonya Lynn Bradley, 2002
Joey Lynn Offutt, 2007
Marizela C. Perez, 2011
This week’s Flashback Friday case is actually two people who disappeared together: Alan Westerfield, seven, and his brother Terry, eleven, last seen at a movie theater in Fayetteville, North Carolina on September 12, 1964. That’s over fifty years ago.
The prime suspect in the brothers’ disappearances appears to be their stepfather, Carl Bock, but I’m not sure he’s even still alive anymore. If he is he’d be in his nineties. I tried Googling “Carl Bock Wisconsin” (the last state I know he was living in) and didn’t find any obituaries, but that doesn’t mean much. Alan and Terry’s biological father committed suicide in 1978, according to this article, in part because of his depression over his sons’ disappearances.
Sad story all around. But they all are.
Having completed my Charley updates today, and not having much else to do, I found myself making more YouTube videos. Even though I promised to do only two a week, I wound up doing six more:
Charles Howard Bolter
This week’s YouTube videos are for Rose Mary Mallen, missing from California since 2002, and Dontray Miquel Hunter, missing from Wisconsin since in 1977. I have very little on either of them, especially Dontray.
I don’t know why I can’t get Dontray’s actual photograph to show up in the YouTube thumbnail image. It will only let me show his AP for some reason.
This list is of MPs (all girls and women of course) who were wearing spaghetti-strap tops or dresses when they disappeared.