Let’s talk about it: Four patients in the same medical practice

Between 1996 and 1997 four people, all of them in roughly the same age group, disappeared from the Los Angeles area: Robert Vincent Black, 64, on March 12, 1996; Patricia Laxer, 63, on August 11, 1997; Goldie A. Swanger, 75, on August 29, 1997; Richard Dean Davison, 70, on October 29, 1997. Mysteriously, not only were all four of these individuals patients of the same doctor (I never found out anything about him), but they all supposedly disappeared while going either to or from appointments with him.

The first answer that strikes me is “serial killer connected with the medical practice,” but what little I knew about the cases didn’t seem to indicate foul play; in fact the police not only suggested they were alive, but that each “may be a patient in a hospital or nursing home.”

In 2004, I found out Goldie Swanger’s case had been resolved, but I did not learn her fate at the time, whether she’d been found dead, or what. I blogged about this in 2011, and in 2014 a commenter, claiming to be Swanger’s biological son, left a comment on that blog entry. I quote from it below. He, his daughter Andria and another of Goldie’s granddaughters traveled to Los Angeles in 2000 or 2001 and

did a little investigation, got medical records from a doctor that Goldie was seeing before she became missing. That doctor told me that she saw him about once a month and then just never showed up and that he wondered what became of her! We found out where she was last at, alive, during her being “missing”. I believe it was a nursing home or something to that effect. I believe the government department that we today call the SRS had something to hide as they threw roadblocks in our search of Goldie.

I’m not sure what he means by SRS. Google turned up “special retirement supplement” which doesn’t make a lot of sense, and “supported residential services” which does, but supported residential services isn’t an American government department, only a service provided by the state government in Victoria, AUSTRALIA. My guess is he meant something similar to supported residential services that the U.S. or California government provide, but got the acronym wrong. Anyway, on with what Goldie Swanger’s son said:

It seems strange that as soon as my wife and I determined that her last name was Swanger and informed the SRS we knew her last name, the “SRS” had one hissy fit, and we determined that Goldie was still alive! But when we got to California she had passed away! Now that is strange! We found out where she lived previous to this facility and saw the place (apartment) and met and talked with a person who knew Goldie (an apartment neighbor). The administrator of the facility she was last at clammed up when we started to question the circumstance as to why Goldie was at this facility. Andria talked with a person who worked in that facility and knew Goldie as a patient(?). Andria has the info on this place. Goldie’s biological family believe that what we discovered may possibly be something to do with medicare fraud. The other missing persons in that area may just have been admitted to that same facility. We don’t know. We couldn’t find out.

The plot thickens indeed. This is most peculiar. I’d love to learn more about this case — some questions that come to mind are who was this doctor, what was his speciality, is he still practicing, what the MPs were seeing him for, and what were their general states of physical/mental health at the time they went missing? The facility administrator may have “clammed up” because there was something sketchy going on, but it could have been for confidentiality reasons (HIPAA).

I suppose it’s possible the other three could be still alive, particularly if they’re in a reasonably good care facility. (Key words being “possible” and “reasonably good”.) By now Black would be 85, Davis would be 89, and Laxer would be 83. But I wonder if anyone is even looking for them by now. If I was looking to imprison some people in a care facility against their will for the purposes of committing medical assistance fraud, I’d be targeting people with no living relatives, or at least no close relatives, and few ties to their community — people who would be easily missed.

So what happened to these people? Let’s talk about it.

Make-a-List Monday: Cross necklaces

A list of people who were wearing a cross necklace when they disappeared. This is quite a common jewelry item, for men as well as women, as you can see — perhaps the most common jewelry there is in the Christian world. Fun fact: although all crucifixes are cross necklaces, not all cross necklaces are crucifixes. A crucifix has to have Jesus on the cross pendant. I know because I just looked it up.

  1. Peter Achermann
  2. Rosio Monica Beltran
  3. Nancy Leah Brannon*
  4. Alex James Buonassisi
  5. Michelle Lee Burchell
  6. Kimberly Shawn Cheatham
  7. Cody Robert Christle
  8. Matthew Jonathan Curtis*
  9. Peggy Ilene Humber
  10. Jesse Gabriel Florez
  11. Dean Leslie French
  12. Omar Jabree Gibson
  13. Scott Kevin Jared
  14. Janice Yvonne Johnson
  15. El Shawndrae Devon Jones
  16. Kathleen Kelly
  17. Robert Keck
  18. Yul Demetrius Kennedy
  19. Patricia Ann Krieger
  20. Ruth Ann Leamon
  21. Nieko Anthony Lisi
  22. Tommie Lee Lowery
  23. Larry Don Madden
  24. Tammy Mahoney
  25. Lubov Marchenko
  26. Carmen Magdalena Mares
  27. Wilbert Martin
  28. Ashley Nicole Martin Mauldin
  29. Gloria White Moore McDonald
  30. Shane Lawrence McKinney*
  31. Lori Ann Murchison-Dunbar
  32. Kenny Manuel Naidas Jr.
  33. Nguyet Minh Nguyen
  34. Georgia Darlene Nolan
  35. Michelle Loree Parker
  36. Bernadine Paul
  37. Kara Denora Rigdon
  38. William Larry Roland
  39. Michelle Lee Rust
  40. Jason Joseph Ryan*
  41. Jairo Javier Sanchez
  42. Lisa Ann Schmidt
  43. Miguel Sonny Scott
  44. Yvonne Renee Scott
  45. Bethany Anne Sinclair
  46. Sharon Rose Sons
  47. Walter Shannon Stevenson
  48. William Paul Smolinski Jr.
  49. Lisa Alaria Szasz-Lazzaro
  50. Angel Antonio Torres
  51. Vikki L.Vukelich
  52. Donald Beams Wallace
  53. Jacob Wallace
  54. Grongie Ward
  55. Rasheeyda Robinson Wilson
  56. Dawn Marie Young
  57. Violet Nancy Zarb

*maybe

Let’s talk about it: Felicia “Lisa” Weaver

This week’s “let’s talk about it” case is a recent one, Felicia Ann “Lisa” Weaver, who disappeared just a little over two years ago. At the relatively young age of 52 she was in the end stages of COPD, a progressive and incurable breathing condition; she was no longer able to care for herself and her family was considering hospice care. She was living with her ex-husband and three kids at the time of her disappearance, and they were taking care of her.

On the day of Lisa’s disappearance, the house caught fire and burned to the ground, killing the family’s three dogs, but there was no sign of Lisa in the ashes. Last I knew the cause of the fire remained unknown, though I’m sure Lisa’s bottled oxygen was a contributing factor. The police and fire officials don’t think she was at home at the time, but her family said she simply wasn’t physically capable of leaving on her own.

The family’s Facebook page about the case states:

We had every reason to believe that…Lisa Weaver was inside the home at the time of the fire. We still have no reason to believe she left on her own free will. After numerous searches by dozens of firefighters, the State Fire Marshall, as well as cadaver dogs and helicopter it was determined that Lisa was not in the home.

This is quite a peculiar case and I’m not sure a crime occurred, but certainly her family deserves to learn her fate, get her back and bury her decently.

Make-a-List Monday: Mentally disabled adults

This list is for adults with varying degrees of intellectual disability of any cause. (Except Alzheimer’s and other dementias; not counting that.) Obviously this makes a person very vulnerable. Mentally disabled people, even the higher-functioning ones, tend to be very trusting and easy to take advantage of, and they may not know how to get home or when and from whom to ask for help.

Sometimes a mentally disabled person is able to lead a more or less normal life. They might be able to graduate high school, hold down a job, live on their own and even raise a family — though they would probably need support to succeed at all those things. On the other end of the spectrum you get people who cannot manage even the most basic of self-care, need constant supervision and are usually institutionalized for life. Fortunately the former kind of mentally disabled people are more common than the latter kind.

  1. Carla Beth Anderson
  2. Matthew Glen Anderson
  3. Michael Dean Andrews
  4. Andrew James Armstrong Jr.
  5. Stacey Lynn Balas
  6. Vonnie Lynn Bales
  7. Stanislaw Balinski
  8. Jessie Barnes
  9. Charles Edward Bertram
  10. Heather Bloom
  11. Jeffrey David Borthwick
  12. Kalvin Alfred Lamar Boyd
  13. Diamond Bynum
  14. Frances Lorraine Byrne
  15. Willie Charles Carswell
  16. Krystal Nicole Cashew
  17. Apolino Contreras
  18. Brian Cook
  19. Frances D. Crownover*
  20. Byron Lee Davis
  21. Robert Earl Davis
  22. Le Tung Dinh
  23. Gary Dale Finck
  24. Christine Muriel Flahive
  25. Daniel Fogg
  26. Ricky Lee Franks
  27. Michael Franz
  28. Henry Gafforio
  29. Stephanie C. Gibson
  30. Irvin Goff
  31. Donald Ray Goodman
  32. John Franklin Gregory
  33. James Woodford Guinn
  34. Stephen Douglas Hamshire
  35. Flora Vesta Smith Helmick
  36. Glenn Richard Hustin Jr.
  37. Kent Jacobs
  38. Sabrina Mae Kahler
  39. Clint C. Kimble
  40. Christina D. M. Kleckner
  41. Donald Kluge
  42. Paul Joseph Knockel
  43. Rene Layja
  44. Lilly Lopez
  45. Brian Keith Lowery
  46. Wilbert Martin
  47. Ricardo Martinez
  48. Gary Dale Mathias
  49. David Matthews
  50. Cynthia Renea Milstead
  51. Robert Wayne McCullar
  52. Stacey Jane Morrison
  53. Raymond S. Mutchler
  54. Kristi Lynn Nikle
  55. Rex Richard Ocain
  56. Jeffrey Lynn O’Carroll
  57. Rene Olivera
  58. Johnnie O’Neal Jr.
  59. Timothy Scott Parry
  60. Shanna Genelle Peoples
  61. Brett Burton Perry
  62. Rudolph David Rangel
  63. Louis Hernando Reyes
  64. Tristan Markey Rivera
  65. Guillermo Rodriguez
  66. Christina Lynn Roof
  67. Kenneth Arthur Schweighart
  68. Dudley Truett Scott
  69. Clifford D. Sharp
  70. Keith Gerald Spelhaug
  71. Charles N. Strohm
  72. Mouy Tieng Tang
  73. Rodney Texera
  74. Lowen Dean Thomas
  75. Nehemiah J. Thomas Jr.
  76. Alfonso Miranda Torres
  77. Khoi Dang Vu
  78. Theresa Ann Wallace
  79. Vincent Warren
  80. Marc Charles Welzant

*maybe

MP of the week: Heather Higgins

This week’s featured missing person is Heather Lynn Higgins, a 39-year-old woman last seen in Spokane, Washington on September 20, 2010.

She was dealing with some personal problems at the time of her disappearance: she had bipolar disorder and while she was in the psychiatric ward, someone broke into her home and stole money she’d been saving, and plus she was on probation for DUI and wasn’t allowed to drive.

Bipolar disorder can really work a number on a person — especially if, like Heather, you don’t take your medicine consistently. An article I found said Heather was hospitalized for fifteen days, which is a long time for a psychiatric hospitalization. I wonder just how stable she was when she was released.

She’s got a Facebook page set up to find her, but it doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2015. I can’t find any articles about her case since 2014.

It’s hard to tell, from here, what happened. I hope she’s still alive.

“Illiterate”

Occasionally I have MPs on my site, adults, where it’s noted that they’re illiterate. I always note this information when I find it. If the person is mentally disabled (and they usually are), I note it in the “medical conditions” like this: “John Doe is mentally disabled; he is illiterate and has the capabilities of a ten-year-old” or suchlike.

Sometimes — as in a case I’m writing up now — it’s just noted that the person is illiterate and doesn’t say why. Usually, even if it isn’t said, the person is mentally disabled. (I’m pretty sure that’s the case here. It’s noted that he “may be in need of medical attention” and takes medication, and more tellingly, although this guy is in his 50s, his NamUs page says the “youth and family crimes unit” should be contacted about his case.) But you can’t assume that. Perhaps — especially with elderly people who were born in like the 1920s — they never went to school. Perhaps they have normal intelligence but a severe learning disability such as dyslexia.

In cases where the MP is said to be illiterate but there’s nothing about a mental disability or any medical thing that would cause their illiteracy, I put it in the “details of disappearance.” I wonder if “distinguishing characteristics” might be more appropriate though. Thoughts?

I highly doubt this guy weighs 509 pounds

The Cleveland PD didn’t have a photo for Kalvin Alfred Lamar Boyd in their listing for him on their site, as you can see:

kalvinboyd

But I found a photo here. And you know what? It seems really unlikely that he actually weighs 509 pounds. In fact, he appears to be on the skinny side; I wonder if they really meant to write 109 pounds. If he was 5’6 and weighed over 500 pounds, he’d look like a sumo wrestler.

Since I can’t find his weight listed anywhere else, I’m just going to leave that bit blank on his Charley Project page.