This week’s featured missing person is Anita Mary Luchessa, an 18-year-old college student who disappeared from Berkeley, California on May 7, 1972.
What happened to her is not a mystery: she was a victim of the serial killer Ed Kemper. Anita and a friend, Mary Anne Pesce, were hitchhiking when he picked them up. He later said he strangled and stabbed both of them to death, dismembered their bodies and dumped them near Loma Prieta Mountain. Mary Anne’s skull was found on the mountain in August 1972, but Anita has never been located.
Sometimes people ask me why I have cases on the Charley Project of people who are obviously deceased. Two reasons:
- To help identify them, if their remains are found.
- In memory of them.
If Anita Luchessa had not been murdered fifty years ago, she would be 68 today.
Paul Flores was charged with the murder of Kristin Smart back in April. Last week a judge unsealed court documents about the case and the information contained therein is pretty horrifying.
It looks like Paul may have been a serial rapist since as far back as the late 90s. (Kristin disappeared in 1996.) TWENTY-NINE women have accused him of “sexual misconduct” and general creepy behavior. Four of those women have said he drugged and raped them. One of them said she told Paul he was hurting her, but he wouldn’t stop and forced a ball gag into her mouth. When the police searched his home they found rape-themed pornography and homemade videos of Paul having sex with different women who appeared to be drifting in and out of consciousness.
Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, is believed to have buried Kristin’s remains under his deck, then later moved them. Police found a patch of disturbed soil there with traces of blood, though they couldn’t get DNA. A man who rented a room from Ruben said Ruben had spoken about the case and referred to Kristin as a “dirty slut.” I guess we know where Paul gets his attitude from.
Yeah, the circumstances are all starting to add up.
And I keep thinking that if the police hadn’t dropped the ball in 1996, perhaps all those women would not have been victimized by Paul Flores in his later years.
Yeah, for the uninitiated, Facebook is mainly where I share missing persons related news. But as I addressed in my previous entry, that’s not an option right now. So I’m sharing them here:
From Joliet, Illinois: 17 Missing In Will County: One Joliet Case Dates To 1957. Includes a photo of Sarah Elizabeth Avon which I hadn’t previously seen; I have added it.
From Rice County, Kansas: Five years after she disappeared, the search for Megan continues. The Megan here is Megan Renee Foglesong.
From Tarboro, North Carolina: Cold case investigators offer $15K reward in case of missing Edgecombe County man. The missing man, Stephen Frederick MacGray, has been missing for nearly a year — not quite long enough to be eligible for listing on the Charley Project.
From San Luis Obispo, California: This coach last saw his mother in Woodland in 1979; his DNA helped find her body. About the Dolores Wulff case; she disappeared in 1979 and was identified recently.
From Texas: Congressmen introduce bipartisan missing persons bill.
From Valdosta, Georgia: Valdosta police still seek missing mother, son. This is the disappearance of three-year-old Brandon Lee Wade and his mom, Paula, eighteen years ago.
From Mobile, Alabama: Cold Case Mystery: Mobile mother missing for 20 years. That’s Lisa Ann Pierce, who went missing in 2000.
From Battle Creek, Michigan: Amber Griffin remains missing after months of failed searches around Battle Creek. She’s been missing since June.
From Montana: Officials discuss missing persons cases in Montana national parks.
From San Luis Obispo, California: Can new info help solve the case of missing college student Kristin Smart? Also: Was the beeping in a backyard coming from Kristin Smart’s watch? Kristin disappeared in 1996; it’s one of those cases where it’s pretty obvious what must have happened but the cops are having a hard time proving it.
From the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana: BIA, FBI Seeking Missing Child Mildred Old Crow. I added her the other day.
From Sonora, Mexico: Sonora mayor’s gift to mothers of missing persons: shovels and buckets.
This week’s featured missing person is Alice Mae Sullivan (I’ve also seen it as Alicia), a twenty-year-old African-American woman who disappeared from Nashville, Tennessee on August 28, 1986. She was a sophomore business major at Tennessee State University and lived with her boyfriend and three-year-old son. She was last seen at a friend’s dorm room on the TSU campus.
Alice’s boyfriend is a person of interest in her case; I don’t know if it’s just by virtue of him being her boyfriend, or if there were some other indications. Another person of interest is the maintenance man at their apartment complex, who had a friendly relationship with Alice and was later convicted of rape and murder.
In the unlikely event she’s still alive, Alice would be 53 years old today.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Troy Le, a 19-year-old student at San Diego Mesa College who disappeared on March 20, 2010 and is presumed dead.
Troy and his girlfriend were at the beach and after she ran into some trouble in the water, he tried to save her but wound up in trouble himself. The girlfriend was rescued, but Troy disappeared and he’s presumed drowned and pulled out to sea by the riptide.
In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Debra Kay Stewart, a 19-year-old UT-Austin communications major who disappeared on May 21, 1976. She felt sick and left work early to go to a doctor’s appointment, but never arrived.
Her car turned up abandoned with the keys locked inside. Witnesses saw a black man getting out of the car.
There’s some speculation that Debra’s case is related to the disappearances of Jennifer Barton and Brenda Moore. They’re all young black women who disappeared from the same city in the same time period and were never found.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is William Gu, a 22-year-old City University of New York student who disappeared from Brooklyn on March 7, 2013. I’m not sure of his ancestry but Wikipedia says his surname is either Chinese or Korean.
William was supposed to meet a friend on Staten Island, but never showed up, and his car was found wrecked and abandoned in Somerset, New Jersey. His disappearance is especially worrying because William had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which causes “depression, paranoia, minor hallucinations and psychotic behaviors.”
William’s disappearance reminds me a lot of the disappearance of Sean Sidi, another young Asian man with a TBI who disappeared just two and a half months later, albeit on the opposite coast.
In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Marcus J. Daniel, a University of Missouri student who disappeared from Columbia on December 6, 2002. I don’t know what he was studying or whether he was last seen on campus or what. He was 25 years old and would be 40 today.
Marcus apparently left of his own accord; he wrote a goodbye note to his dad, and a few days after his disappearance he sent his mom a letter postmarked Chicago. Perhaps as a result, he wasn’t reported missing until 2005.
He may believe he has good reasons for staying under the radar these past 15 years. In which case I recommend he contact the police and verify his identity and well-being. That way they can close his case and his family will know he is safe, but whatever new life he’s carved out for himself does not have to be disrupted.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is David Robert Sampson, a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington who disappeared from Seattle on March 1, 1977. I don’t know his major, but he was interested in “botany, hiking and environmental issues,” so perhaps it was something like biology.
Indications are Sampson left of his own accord; he took several possessions, including survival gear, a Bible and other religious materials, but no ID or cash. He may have joined some kind of cult; his case reminds me a bit of Robert Spurlock‘s. (I ought to do a Make-a-List Monday of cases where the MP is thought to have joined a cult.) It’s worth noting that Sampson disappeared at the tail end of the hippie era, and it sounds like he might have found that lifestyle agreeable.
But if he did join a cult, where has he been since 1977? Canada maybe? But if he left the country, how’d he cross the border without any identification?
I was able to get Sampson’s date of birth today from the Washington State Missing Person Search database. The anonymous author of the excellent Whereabouts Still Unknown blog has an entry for him as well. I couldn’t find anything about his disappearance in the newspaper archives, though, which isn’t surprising giving it was 1977 and he was a college student and a man at that. That profile of missing person is rarely covered in the news even today.
If he is still alive, and he may very well be, David Sampson would be 62 today. There’s a good chance his parents would be dead by now, but perhaps he has siblings or cousins who are still hoping for resolution in his case.
I’ve added a couple of pictures of MPs: