Strike that, reverse it

Remember my happy announcement that Linda Pagnano was identified with help from Carl Koppelman’s forensic art and Websleuther Ice190’s research? Well, erm, it turns out the announcement was a bit premature. Carl got the news from Linda’s family that dental records proved it was her, but it seems the medical examiner wants to wait for DNA results to make it official.

Sorry about that, y’all.

That said, I’d be VERY surprised if this body turned out to be someone other than Linda. See for yourself at the above link; all the stats match and she very closely resembles Carl’s drawing of the UID.

Linda Pagano identified

Per Carl Koppelman, Linda Marie Pagano has been identified. (That link’s not gonna work much longer; I intend to remove her today.) The seventeen-year-old had been missing from Akron, Ohio since September 1, 1974, but I think she wasn’t added to NamUs till last year, and I just added her case last month. She was beautiful, doe-eyed. Her body was found in Strongsville, Ohio, less than an hour from Akron, in February 1975, only a few months after Linda disappeared, but no one made the connection until now. In fact the UID wasn’t even listed on NamUs until June of last year. Carl says,

An online sleuth discovered this forgotten case while researching cemeteries for graves of John and Jane Doe’s. Websleuths member Ice190 [whom I know, she’s a Facebook friend] obtained the casefile via a FOIA request.

(Muttergrumble. Just how many more of these forgotten UIDs are out there?)

Just to show what an amazing, talented forensic artist Carl is, I’m going to show his drawing of the UID. He calls it a “rough reconstruction” because he had only the side view to work with, and no lower jaw. Yet it looks amazingly like Linda. Here’s Carl’s drawing on the left, and a photo of Linda on the right (I cropped Carl’s drawing and made it smaller because I don’t have a bigger picture of Linda).

lindapaganopagano_linda

Linda had been shot in the head, and her hands and feet were deliberately removed. Her mandible was missing also, though I’m not sure whether this was done by the killer or by nature.

Since the killer made a considerable effort to make sure Linda wouldn’t be identified, my guess is he or she was someone Linda knew. Given how long ago she died, there’s a good chance her killer is also deceased. But at least her family will get the opportunity to bury her decently.

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.

This case reminds me of another

Is anyone else seeing shades of Mitrice Richardson in the Ebonee Spears case I posted today? Obviously Mitrice’s disappearance and death is a much more egregious example of neglect, but Ebonee made me think of her.

Out of curiosity I Googled Mitrice, and I discovered her case was in the news as recently as this past November and is still under investigation. Sigh.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mental illness, the laws are such that unless the person agrees to get medical attention, the police and medical professionals usually can’t help. Almost two years ago I had a bad reaction to some medication and started hallucinating and having delusions and babbling nonsense and what have you. Michael took me to the hospital; they shrugged their shoulders and sent me home again. That night I kept trying to walk right through his glass deck door out into the winter cold, wearing only a turtleneck and underpants. Michael called the police and they came and assessed the situation, and they said there was nothing they could do. I wasn’t suicidal, and as long as I was indoors, I didn’t qualify as a danger to myself. They told him to just make sure I didn’t leave the house. Michael had to call his parents to come and stay up all night with me and physically prevent me from leaving. If it weren’t for the three of them, I almost certainly would have wandered off and frozen to death.

The situation totally sucks. How do you toe the line between respecting people’s civil rights, and making sure that they can get help when they really need it?

I really, really hope Ebonee doesn’t turn out to have shared Mitrice’s fate. But I’m not optimistic. It’s been a year.

Erica Parsons’s body found

A Charley Project Irregular who is also a Facebook friend messaged me within fifteen minutes of the news breaking: they’ve found the body of Erica Parsons. As of this writing, very little information has been made public, but we know that Sandy Parsons, Erica’s sorry excuse for an adoptive father, lead the police to her remains. Erica’s parents never reported her missing; her older brother did, twenty months after the last time he saw her.

I’ve blogged about Erica’s case several times, the last time in 2014. You can read the details of her dreadful home life and “morally bankrupt” parents on her Charley Project casefile. She was tiny: at thirteen years old she was less than four and a half feet tall. There’s reason to believe her growth was stunted due to malnutrition.

Both Sandy Parsons and Casey Parsons, Erica’s mother, are in prison right now for fraud, because they collected benefits from the government for Erica after she was no longer in their care.

When the cops identify whoever is responsible for Erica’s disappearance and death — and I think we all have a pretty good idea who did this — I can only hope they get the book thrown at them.

Jeffrey Walkenford maybe also found

Jeffrey Scott Walkenford, aged 41, disappeared from Juneau, Alaska on May 15, 2010. Per this Alaska Dispatch News article, they’ve probably found him. Or, at least, they found human remains with some of Walkenford’s things nearby, including his clothes and his cell phone with selfies of Walkenford in it.

However…

“The human remains have not been positively identified as being Walkenford. Positive identification is estimated to take approximately 6 months,” [Juneau Police Department] said in a Wednesday release.

The police department sent the remains to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for analysis, but identification requires DNA testing outside of Alaska.

I’m not sure whether to pull him yet or not, then. I probably should. I mean, what are the chances that some guy who was dressed like Walkenford would die next to a pile of Walkenford’s stuff and NOT be Walkenford?

Cynthia Day identified

I’ve still got her on Charley but not for much longer: Cynthia Louise Day, a 37-year-old mother of two who disappeared from National City, Illinois on August 10, 1990, has finally been identified.

Her remains were actually recovered in Pike County, Missouri (about an hour and a half away from National City), just sixteen days after she disappeared. Due to some error, an official missing persons report wasn’t filed for Cynthia for 14 years, which certainly didn’t help when it came to finding her.

All that was left of Cynthia was “a box of bones”, they were able to get one usable fingerprint and that was enough. It’s a good thing they were able to get that print, because lab technicians had BOILED the bones and that ruined chance of recovering DNA evidence. Apparently this boiling thing was common practice before DNA technology came onto the scene.

(Reading about that kind of thing reminds me of a historical TV medical drama I saw once, set in 1905, where the hospital was showing off their brand new X-ray machine, the latest thing in medical technology. The TV characters were like, “You have to hold your hand in front of the machine for about ninety seconds, and then you can see all the bones inside it. Isn’t it neat? Want to try it again?” And I was wincing and thinking “Nooooo! Don’t do it!” By the end of the show, the X-ray technician had died of radiation poisoning.)

Anyway… now begins the murder investigation. Cynthia was allegedly involved with prostitution and drugs, and she had a rocky relationship with her boyfriend, who disappeared shortly after she did and later ended up in prison. That’s a lot to be getting on with.

But at least Cynthia’s daughters can bury her.