Eight cold cases that still haunt the NYPD

This is a bit late, but I thought I’d throw out this New York Magazine article from October about eight cold cases in New York City. It includes the disappearances of Patrick Kennedy Alford as well as Michael Sullivan and Camden Sylvia, and the kidnap and murder of adorable Chinese immigrant girl Quin Rong Wu.

Will you please make up your minds, Miami-Dade DA’s office?

Seven months ago they said they’d decided to re-try Rilya Wilson‘s alleged killer for murder after the jury deadlocked on that charge, even though Geralyn Graham still got 55 years in prison for kidnapping and child abuse. Initially the prosecution said they would not re-try her, but they changed their minds.

Well, they changed their minds again: no new trial. I hope it is official. Geralyn Graham’s never getting out of prison in any case; to re-try her for murder, particularly for such a complicated and high-profile case as this one, would be a waste of money.

Witness in Rilya Wilson case released from prison

Robin Lunceford, the star witness against Geralyn Graham at the trial for the presumed murder of her foster daughter Rilya Wilson, has been released from prison. She got a sweetheart deal in return for her testimony: convicted of armed robbery under Florida’s habitual offender laws, she was supposed to get LWOPped. Instead she got ten years, with time for good behavior. She was actually supposed to be released last December but it didn’t happen till now on account of some of her less-than-good behavior in prison.

I don’t know if she was telling the truth in her testimony at the trial, but she hardly strikes me as a trustworthy person. Robin Lunceford is a career criminal who uses over 20 alias names. Check out her criminal record in the state of Florida — and it looks like she’s done crimes in Nevada and Illinois too. This woman has no respect for the law.

Nevertheless, if one of them has to be free, I would rather it be Robin Lunceford than Geralyn Graham.

Sean Munger does Garnell Moore

Sean Munger, at my request, has written about one of my most compelling cases, Garnell Moore. His case is always one I bring up when telling a new person about the Charley Project. The little kid who was missing for years before anyone noticed. As Sean points out, one can’t truly say Garnell slipped through the cracks in the system. He didn’t fall out of the safety net; he missed the net entirely.

And it’s like he never existed: “A little boy who no one seemed to pay attention to when he was around seems, sadly, to inspire the same sort of indifference now that he is not.”

I think he must be dead. I suppose there’s a remote chance he’s alive and being cared for by someone, perhaps a kind stranger who picked him up — in which case he’s probably better off.

Someone’s got to know something.

MPs with their own Wikipedia entry

Some few missing persons are famous enough to get on Wikipedia. (I probably didn’t get them all.)

Dorothy Harriet Camille Arnold [wiki]
Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. [wiki] and Nicholas Joseph Begich [wiki]
Helen Marie Voorhees Brach [wiki]
Melissa Lee Brannen [wiki]
Tara Leigh Calico [wiki]
Curtis Eugene Chillingworth and Marjorie Croude McKinley Chillingworth [wiki]
Maud Crawford [wiki]
Kiplyn Davis [wiki]
Robert Clarence Dunbar [wiki]
Andrew Cardoza Fluegelman [wiki]
Michaela Joy Garecht [wiki]
John David Gosch [wiki]
Ann Gotlib [wiki]
Robin Anne Graham [wiki]
Ray Frank Gricar [wiki]
Tara Faye Grinstead [wiki]
Kyron Richard Horman [wiki]
Michael Anthony Hughes [wiki]
Jodi Sue Huisentruit [wiki]
Bessie Louise Haley Hyde and Glen Rollin Hyde [wiki]
Lisa Irwin [wiki]
Jennifer Joyce Kesse [wiki]
John Eric Lake [wiki]
Sherrill Elizabeth Levitt, Stacy Kathleen McCall and Suzanne E. Streeter [wiki]
Katherine Mary Lyon and Sheila Mary Lyon [wiki]
Amalia Monserrat Marquez [wiki]
Mary Agnes Moroney [wiki]
Morgan Chauntel Nick [wiki]
Etan Kalil Patz [wiki]
Joseph David Wolfgang Pichler [wiki]
Sneha Anne Philip [wiki]
Susan Marie Powell [wiki]
Juliet Stuart Poyntz [wiki]
Angelo Gene Puglisi [wiki]
Kristin Denise Smart [wiki]
Jean Elizabeth Spangler [wiki]
Lisa Stebic [wiki]
Diane Yayoe Suzuki [wiki]
Darwin Kenneth Vest [wiki]
Anna Christian Waters [wiki]
Jacob Erwin Wetterling [wiki]
Andrew Carnegie Whitfield [wiki]
Rilya Shenise Wilson [wiki]

Executed Today in 1883: Emeline Meaker

Another blog post by me: Emeline Meaker, the first woman (of two) hanged in Vermont. I like to point to cases like this when people try to say child abuse is a sign of the depravity of modern life. Alice Meaker’s murder was every bit as horrific as any child abuse homicide you’d find splashed across the headlines today. Also note the complicity of the neighbors, another factor in many such modern murders.

Child abuse murders

Today’s updates (not posted yet, I haven’t finished writing them) will include yet another sad case of a child who was murdered by her own mother. This happened, they think, at New Years in 2004/2005, but it wasn’t noticed for months. Typical. The body hasn’t been found, obviously, and probably never will be. Mom pleaded guilty and got 23 years. The child, Kyeimah Spann, will be #305 on my Corpus Delicti “convictions” list. I hadn’t even heard of this case until I stumbled across it on NamUs yesterday. Her NamUs profile has no photograph, but I found three from other sources. She was a beautiful little girl.

So I thought I’d do a list of Charley Project cases where the MP was a child presumed murdered by their own caregivers, be it parents, other family members, foster parents, stepparents, whatever. I do include cases where the kid was killed by a non-custodial parent who hadn’t really been a part of their lives before. (For example, Jay-Quan Mosley.) For cases where the parent’s significant other was the killer, I judge on a case-by-case basis.

I’m only including cases where there is a strong presumption (either the police say so or it’s my own personal opinion) or, preferably, charges filed. But gosh, this is a depressingly long list.

Kynande Bennett, age 4
Acacia Bishop, age 1
Abby Blagg, age 6
Logan Bowman, age 6
Barry, Brandon and Sheketah Brown, ages 6, 2 and 10 respectively
Nicole Bryner, age 3
Gebar Byrd, age 1
Shakeima Cabbagestalk, age 10
Rosa Camacho, age 4
Hasanni Campbell, age 5
Marlena Childress, age 4
Haleigh Culwell, age 11
Haleigh Cummings, age 5
Lauryn Dickens, age 9 months
Crystal Dittmeyer, age 12
Trenton Duckett, age 2
Christian Ferguson, age 9
Thomas Dean Gibson, age 2
Andrea Gonzalez, age 5
Brendan Gonzalez, age 4
Wallace Guidroz, age 2
Katie Gray, age 10 months
Kelly Harris, age 13
Richard “Cody” Haynes, age 11
Adam Herrman, age 11
James Higham III, age 16
Kyron Horman, age 7
Elisabeth Huster, age 9
Kendrick Jackson, age 3
Angelique James, age 4
A’Shia Jenkins, age 2 months
Ashley Jones, age 4
Bianca Jones, age 2
Peter Kema, age 6
Barry “Bucky” Kephart II, age 11
James Lewis Jr., age 4
Emmanuel Limas and Fernando Limas, ages 2 months and 1 year respectively
Ta’Niyah Leonard, age 11 months
Tiana Martin, age 10
Jozlynn Martinez, age 2
Ivy Matory, Violet Matory and Yolanda Williams, ages 12, 9 and 7 respectively
Curtis McCoy, age 2
DeAngelo McNeil, age 2
Justina Morales, age 8
Jay-Quan Mosley, age 9 months
John and Kristina Nguyen, ages 3 and 4 respectively
Alexander Olive, age 4
Isabella Pastrana, age 1
Tyler Payne, age 4
Princess Perez, age 2
Nicholas Plaza, age 5
Megan Pratt, age 3
Michelle Pulsifer, age 3
Alexia Reale, age 5
Grace Reapp, age 5
Christina Richart, age 14
Katelyn Rivera-Helton, age 1
Tiffany Roberts, age 3
Pilar Rodriguez, age 3
Rene Romero, age 4
Luis Sanchez, age 3
Bonita Sanders, age 1
Daniel and Noel Santiago, ages 7 and 11 respectively
Marlon Santos, age 5 months
Jahessye Shockley, age 5
Alexander, Andrew and Tanner Skelton, ages 9, 7 and 5 respectively
Alexandria Suleski, age 5
Aarone Thompson, age 6
Logan Tucker, age 6
Jahi Turner, age 2
Alicia Versluis, age 3
Daisja Weaver, age 9 months
Shawn White, age 1 month
Rilya Wilson, age 5
Johnna Wrisinger, age 16

You’ll note that the majority of these kids are under school age and few of them are over the age of 10. I’m thinking that’s because as kids get older they are both more likely to be missed and better able to defend themselves.

They changed their minds

The prosecution has decided that, on second thought, they’d like to try Geralyn Graham a second time for the murder of Rilya Wilson. As I noted previously, last month Geralyn was convicted of kidnapping and child abuse in Rilya’s case, but the jury deadlocked 11 to 1 for a murder conviction.

I’m not sure why the prosecution is doing this, frankly. Geralyn Graham is in her sixties and she got sentenced to 55 years in prison as is, so it’s not like there’s any real danger of seeing her walk free in this lifetime. Maybe they’re trying to get her to say where the body is? Dunno.

Geralyn Graham gets 55 years

Geralyn Graham, foster mother of missing child Rilya Wilson, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for kidnapping and abusing Rilya. (She was also charged with murder, but the jury hung on that count.) As Graham is 67 years old, the sentence virtually guarantees she will never see the light of day again. And she’ll be surrounded by female inmates who have children they love and miss, and I reckon she’s not going to be terribly popular.

The judge said Graham committed “senseless, cruel and inhumane acts” against Rilya and added, “One can only be inherently evil to inflict that type of pain and torment on an innocent child.” You can see the judge’s statement on video here; she also condemns the many people that could have stopped what was going on and didn’t.

Graham continues to deny responsibility in Rilya’s death, saying “Rilya is a very sweet child to me and I would never knowingly hurt her in any way. I miss her and I love her.” Riiiight. I was hoping she’d cave and tell us where the body is in exchange for a shorter sentence. Oh, well. At least she’s going to pay for what she did to that little girl. And it’s been a long time coming.

Justice for Rilya?

As all of you probably know by now, Geralyn Graham was convicted of child abuse and kidnapping in the disappearance of Rilya Wilson, but the jury deadlocked on the murder charge. Eleven to one. I’m assuming it was eleven to one in favor of conviction, but they won’t say. I was afraid she would be acquitted outright. The case against her was so weak, even though we all know she did it.

It looks like the prosecutor won’t retry on the murder charge. It kind of makes more sense not to: the case has dragged on for so long and cost so much taxpayer money. A murder conviction means a life sentence, but the charges Graham has already been convicted of, according to the article I linked to, could mean 30 years or more in jail, and I see no reason why the judge would go easy on her. Geralyn Graham is now 67 years old, so that would basically be a life sentence anyway.

Poor Rilya. As I pointed out before, her name may have been an acronym for “Remember I Love You Always” but I don’t think anyone loved her while she was alive.