A minor puzzlement with an MP’s social media

Yeah, so if a missing persons case is reasonably recent (like within the last ten or twelve years or so) I check and see if they have accounts with Facebook or MySpace or whatever. Those accounts are a great source of MP photos, and sometimes I’ll get pics of their tattoos, scars, whatever as well.

Last night I had a missing persons case from a year ago. I looked for her on Facebook and found three accounts of varying age, the oldest one from back around ten years ago, and the newest going all the way up to her disappearance. (Her last Facebook post was made the very day she went missing, saying she was no longer with some guy and that he had thrown her out.)

In the oldest account, several photos of her showed the outline of a heart on her forearm. However, the MP’s NamUs page didn’t mention a heart and said she had a tattoo of a “small Chinese symbol” on her forearm.

I thought there were three possible explanations:

  1. NamUs was wrong about the tattoo information.
  2. At some time in the years after she got the heart tattoo, the woman got a coverup tattoo changing the heart into a Chinese symbol.
  3. She had both tattoos, a heart on one forearm and a Chinese symbol on the other forearm.

Not knowing for sure what was going on there, I said on her casefile that she had a Chinese symbol OR a heart tattoo on her forearm.

Jayme Closs and other things

So I’m on a downswing, in terms of my mood. I’m bipolar. This is my life and it will never change, though the five psychiatric medications I take daily mitigate the downswings.

It’s just been kind of hard to get anything done. I will decide to do some thing or other, then I’ll find myself just sitting there staring into space as I’m trying to get myself to move. Even something as simple as picking an object up off the floor.

The Jayme Closs thing has kind of gotten to me. Of course I’m delighted that she’s been found alive. That’s not what’s getting to me; that part’s great. What’s getting to me is what some people have been saying. It’s really hard not to take that personally because of what happened to me back in the day.

(If you haven’t read that far back in my blog, what happened to me is this: in 2009, while I was on a trip to Virginia, I got lost and a stranger offered to give me directions. Instead, he took me into the woods and beat the crap out of me and raped me multiple times. Then he gave me the directions he’d promised and let me go. In the aftermath of the attack, there were a bunch of people on the comments section of this blog, and in email, who accused me of making the whole thing up for who knows what reason. It was very hurtful, obviously. After almost a year the rapist, a serial offender, was identified through DNA and he’s since been deported.)

I was just writing on here about how people can make speculations online about cases, speculations with no evidence to support them, and how this isn’t helpful and can indeed be harmful, especially if the victim or their family sees it.

And some people are doing that about Jayme Closs now. They’re outright accusing her of the murder, or at least complicity to the murder, of her own parents. And the police have said they believe her abductor acted entirely alone, and that he did not know Jayme (who, I will point out, is thirteen years old), and that he had been stalking her, and that Jayme is a victim and not a suspect.

These people think they know better than the cops, I guess. Why? Because Jayme took a selfie after her reunion with her aunt and dog. Because she was clean and looked okay in the selfie. Because she was smiling.

OF COURSE SHE WAS SMILING. She’d just been reunited with her dog and what’s left of her family, after she thought she’d never see them again, and the monster who did this to her is locked up! Why shouldn’t she smile? Why wouldn’t she have gotten herself cleaned up, showered etc.?

At what point is a crime victim “allowed” to smile and act happy and still be considered a “legitimate” victim?

One of the so-called reasons people were calling me a liar about my rape was because I didn’t act “traumatized enough” to suit them, when in fact they didn’t know the first thing about it. They were only seeing words on a screen, on my blog.

And so some people, on the basis of a “feeling” or a “hunch”, and a photograph, are making dreadful accusations against a thirteen-year-old child who saw her parents get murdered and who spent the last three months, I’m assuming, as Jake Patterson’s sex slave, thinking every day would be her last.

Frankly it makes me sick. I hope Jayme’s aunt and other caregivers make sure she does not see those accusations. I’m not seeking them out myself, but when they get posted on the Charley Project’s Facebook page I kind of have to read them, though I delete them as quickly as I can.

When your source is Facebook

More and more often I find myself turning to Facebook for information about my cases. It’s amazing the kind of stuff you can find on there. Mostly, as I’ve said, I use it for photographs. But I can find other information about a missing person on Facebook. And my list of missing persons Facebook pages now stands at 650 links.

Sometimes, though, I’m not really sure how to cite my source when I do find something. For instance, the other day I found a photo of a missing guy on Facebook, and some additional information about him, such as the fact that he was an alcoholic and attended AA meetings. This was the only photo of him that I could find anywhere.

The person who put it on Facebook was, apparently, an acquaintance of the MP’s daughter, not someone close to the MP; in fact I’m not sure she even knew him at all. And she had made that post years ago. If I listed her Facebook page as a source she might not like that, her page being linked to an alcoholic missing person. She might not even remember her post from way back when.

So I wasn’t really sure what to do with that.

And here’s another question: if you are researching an MP and find she’s had a slew of arrests driving under the influence and public intoxication, several times a year for quite a few years up until her disappearance, should you list the MP as an alcoholic even though no one has outright said it?

Facebook finale

So yesterday I posted a third list of MP cases and their Facebook pages. But it occurred to me later that, as the previous two lists have link rot (being made prior to this year’s re-design of Charley), and as Facebook is such a valuable resource for missing persons awareness, maybe I should make this a more permanent thing.

So ta-da! If you look at the very top of this blog, it’ll say “Home” and “About” and, now, “Facebook Pages“. I’ve made a current list of exactly 600 MP cases from Charley and their respective Facebook pages. (Including open Facebook groups about the case, but excluding closed groups.)

I plan to keep this list current as cases are added and removed. Enjoy!