A bad photo is better than none at all (and other thoughts on recent updates)

Just added Amanda Elise Southern to Charley. The 28-year-old woman disappeared from a nightclub in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana 26 years ago. Unfortunately the only photo I could find of her is absolutely terrible, but what can you do?

Reading the articles about how her ex tried to SELL THEIR KIDS (albeit to their grandparents) after her disappearance, I was struck by how much confidentiality and privacy norms have changed in the past few decades.

I can understand publicizing the kids’ information because for awhile they were missing. (When Amanda’s parents refused to pay for custody of the children, the dad took off with them and was on the lam for over a month.) But then when in the articles talking about how they were found, there was all sorts of information about the children and what they had been through, including the fact that they were believed to have been sexually abused. That kind of thing would not be published in the newspaper today.

I hope the kids are all right. I think Amanda’s parents got custody of them after they were found with their father. It seems super unlikely that she would have just walked away, what with one of the kids having disabilities, her parents living out of state and the children’s father overseas.

Some other random thinking-out-loud stuff:

  • I am not sure that Courtney Corrinna Holden is really white. She is pretty dark-skinned and looks more likely to be Hispanic or maybe Native American. Certainly I’ve seen mistakes in this area before. She is adopted, but one article mentions that she was in touch with her biological brother, so it seems like this is something the police should know for sure. Shrug.
    In any case, her story is incredibly sad. Especially the details about her family nickname “Cinderella” and her son calling his grandmother “mom” and his uncle “dad.” The articles I read said her son even did this before Courtney went missing. I cannot imagine how sad and scared and trapped Courtney must have felt, and I doubt she’s alive today.
  • The guy Melissa Ann Jordon was last seen with is SERIOUSLY bad news. Judges see a lot of crazy stuff and I was stuck by that judge saying Mr. Nesbitt was one of the most violent and dangerous criminals she’d ever encountered in her career. The “felon in possession of a firearm” thing was something he pled down to, by the way; the original incident involved him breaking into his ex-wife’s house and holding her at gunpoint.
    Given how long his sentence is, I wonder if the authorities have ever tried to sit down with him since he was imprisoned, pointed out he doesn’t have much to lose, and asked him to tell what happened to Melissa. I’m sure he knows.
    (Melissa’s NamUs photo, btw, is a high school yearbook photo and almost ten years out of date. That’s why I didn’t use it, as I found a more current pic in Newspapers.)
  • I dunno what I would do without Facebook as a source for recent cases. Okay, I do know what I’d do, I’d put up the cases, but there would be a lot less info. The case of Melissa Rose Ann Garrett is a great example; her daughter posted a bunch of photos of her and more info about her disappearance. Sad story. The daughter seems to suspect Melissa’s boyfriend may have been involved. Anne Marie Hubbert is another case where most of the pictures and some of the other info came from Facebook; Anne’s page and her daughter’s.
  • Shakeeta Young disappeared just a few months after her nineteen-year-old son died. I found a few “RIP” posts on Facebook from some of the young man’s friends but no mention of a cause of death. I wonder if Shakeeta’s disappearance is in some way related. It’s very sad for their family, just bad luck all around there.

Another issue with tattoos and why photos are so important

So today I was looking into updating a missing persons case and found some conflicting info on his tattoos. The tattoo in question was on the MP’s arm. One source said it said “RIP PUSHER T”. Then I found another source that claimed it was actually “RIP PASHA”.

I looked further and eventually found an old Instagram account whom the MP had apparently abandoned a few years prior to his disappearance. One of the photos showed him asleep on a sofa with his arm outstretched, and you could see part of the disputed tattoo. I could make out “RIP PUSH CHEA” but the curve of the arm obscured the rest.

I thought the tattoo probably spelled “RIP PUSHER CHEATER”, but I wasn’t sure, so I kept looking. Towards the bottom of the Instagram page there was a photo of the whole tattoo: “RIP PUSHA CHEAA”.

I think what may have happened is that whoever put the information down, in both of the conflicting sources I saw, was just hearing the tattoo described, and not having it spelled out for them. I can see “Pusha Cheaa” being misheard as “Pusher T”, and maybe the second person misheard “Pusher” as “Pasha” and didn’t catch the “Cheaa” part at all. Not sure.

In any case, this is another example that goes to show why photos of tattoos are vitally important to show if at all possible.

I just wanted to say thanks

As Christmas approaches, I wanted to say thank you to all the people who have donated to the Charley Project since I asked for voluntary subscription fees back in May.

I’ve been running this database since I was a teenager. Now fifteen years’ running, it takes a lot of my time and I’m very proud of its value as a resource to the true crime community, law enforcement, missing persons’ families, and others. The Charley Project has always been a labor of love, but I am really happy that I’ve found myself a way to make a small living off of it, thanks to you guys. I really appreciate being appreciated.

I’ve been working on a long term project involving the Charley Project. This project has been almost two years in the making and I hope it will be completed in the coming year. I can’t divulge any more details about it at this time but you guys are going to be delighted by it.

Lost at sea

So yesterday I added a case of six commercial fishermen who disappeared off the coast of Alaska when the fishing vessel Destination sank in 2017 with the loss of all hands on board. I think this was the largest “lost at sea” group of disappearances, and possibly the largest group of “lost/injured missing” people I’ve put up: Kai Jamal Hamik, Jeffrey Hathaway, Charles “Glenn” Jones, Lawrence Vincent “Larry” O’Grady, Darrik Monroe Seibold and Raymond Jay Vincler.

I also added Eric Lawrence Eder, an Alaska fisherman who fell off a fishing trawler off the coast of Alaska, and Angela Chingliak, whose body was never found after her boat sank in Goodnews Bay off the coast of Alaska.

I’m sure you’re sensing a pattern here. I got all those names off this list of missing persons in Alaska, which has 1,231 entries as of this writing. It’s just names and dates of disappearance, nothing else. The list of active missing persons bulletins, which has fliers with photos and the standard info, is much shorter. It has I think 117 people, unless I lost count.

Alaska DOES have a pretty high crime rate, but a lot of the missing persons on its list are only “missing” in a technical sense: their fates are known, and in many instances so are their approximate whereabouts. They’re just on the lists in case their bodies turn up and need to be identified.

I’m not sure how far I’m willing to go with groups of lost/injured missing people. I mean, six is one thing, but I know there’s one ship that sunk in the Bering Sea and with like 45 people on board, almost all of whom perished, and they never found the bodies. I wouldn’t want to put up THAT group, and those 40-some people may very well be on that list of Alaska missings.

I guess it’s just a judgment call.

Technical difficulties the last few days

Yeah, so on Tuesday the internet pooped out right in the middle of an update. The combined efforts of me, Michael and my service provider’s tech support could accomplish nothing; we were all baffled. And so there was no internet for more than two days, which was rather awful. I could surf the web on my phone using data, but I could not update Charley, so no missing person of the week this week.

Late last night, with a service technician scheduled to come out today, Michael had a bright idea. He tried it, and poof! The internet works again!

I’m glad to be able to carry on again. Working on updates for today.

MP of the week: Kristi Krebs

This week’s featured missing person is Kristi Suzanne Krebs, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Fort Bragg, California on August 9, 1993. She had had one nervous breakdown before and may have suffered another that precipitated her disappearance.

Her car was found stuck in a creek in a state park, with no sign of her. Among the items left inside were her wallet and ID, as well as her undergarments — but not her other clothes. There’s been no sign of her since.

In other news, I’m feeling much better, nausea gone etc. And I’ve renewed my subscription to Ancestry till February so I can get photos from there; it’s an excellent resource for that. For example, I’ve found a photo of Howard Woolwine that I’ve replaced his previous photo with. Not only was the previous pic (supplied by the Virginia State Police missing persons listing) of very poor quality, but I’ve never been sure it was him; it appears to show a young black or Hispanic man, and Woolwine was an elderly white man.

The Ancestry subscription is expensive, $80 for just three months’ use, so I’m not sure how long I can continue to use it, but it’s mine till February.

I’ve been busy all day but hope I can get a proper update in tomorrow evening.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Saw doctor, got meds

So yesterday I saw the doctor and was given some medicine and they also did a blood draw to see if anything sketchy pops up in my lab work. I hope to be feeling better soon. Maybe I’ll actually get something done today.

In other news, I wanted to tell y’all about an app called Remini. It enhances old poor quality photos. I learned about it last night and tried it with an old family photo. So this was the original:

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and this was the result:

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And here’s a closeup of the face, before and after:

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I am very impressed and thought I should tell you guys because this could be a great tool for the missing persons world. You can do up to three photos a day for free; after that you must pay.