This is just so sad

I mean, all murder cases are sad, but I just wrote up the story of Racine Lamour Taliaferro‘s disappearance and murder and boy am I depressed right now.

I mean, here’s a nice-looking young woman who obviously cared a lot about her appearance, with the makeup and jewelry and hair and everything, as evidenced by her Facebook page. And she winds up dating this dirt bag, a member of a whole CLUB of dirt bags with official dirt bag rules like “our girlfriends are our property,” and this was her whole downfall.

I’m sure that dirt bag had abused her many times before he murdered her; there must have been a lot of pain hiding behind that smile. I wonder if he gave her that scar on her arm.

Racine deserved so much better than to be that dirt bag’s, or anyone’s “property.” She deserved better than to die choking and coughing up blood before she was even out of her twenties.

At the very least she deserves a grave where the people who really loved her can visit. And she doesn’t even have that.

Pride Month: Andrew Compton

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Andrew Blaine Compton, an 18-year-old gay man who disappeared from Louisville, Kentucky on October 28, 2010. He was a student at Sullivan University.

As with several other cases featured this month, Andrew’s is a murder-without-a-body case. He met one Gregory O’Bryan on a dating website and they met in person for the first time on the day Andrew disappeared.

The truth about what happened will only ever be known to O’Bryan, since Andrew’s body was never found and is presumed to be in a landfill. He said Andrew “died during sex” and, rather than call for help, O’Bryan kept his corpse around for a few days doing awful things to it before he disposed of it.

He’s currently serving twenty-five years and will be eligible for parole after half that time. It doesn’t seem to be enough.

Pride Month: Evon Young

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Evon Young, a transgender man who disappeared from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on New Years’ Day, 2013, at the age of 22. Born female, Evon changed his birth name of Ebony to Evon when he transitioned.

Evon was the victim of a brutal homicide; they never found the body, hence his listing on Charley. Transgender people, particularly transgender people of color, are at high risk to become victims of violent crime, but it turns out none of Evon’s five killers were aware of his status. It was a gang-related killing.

His body is thought to be in a landfill, probably unrecoverable at this point.

Pride Month: Hartanto Santoso

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Hartanto Teguh Santoso, a bisexual man who disappeared from Kirkland, Washington on February 19, 2001, at the age of 31.

Santoso was an immigrant from Indonesia who worked as a nursing assistant to help support a large family back in his native country. What’s happened to him isn’t a mystery: he was abducted from his apartment and murdered by his former friend, Kim Heichel Mason. Mason is serving life without parole for the murder.

Pride Month: Naum Mendez

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Naum Rafael Mendez, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Boca Raton, Florida on February 1, 2008.

Naum was, I think, bisexual — the casefile notes he had a wife and kids in Mexico but had a job dancing at a nightclub in drag and had a relationship with at least one man, Juan Carlos Atenco Camacho.

Atenco Camacho pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Naum’s case in 2012. His body was never found.

Thinking aloud with May 14 updates

Yeah, I was up all night working on these. Go me.

  • Suzen Cooper: The cops have GOT to know who this unidentified third party is. After all, Rachael took a plea deal and one of the conditions of the plea was to be honest with the authorities about what happened (though she claims she doesn’t know where Suzen’s body is). So where is this Mystery Man and why hasn’t he been charged?
  • Tamara Lynn Elbertson: Does anyone know what sort of medical conditions can cause that droopy eye? Maybe a stroke? My mom’s first husband (before she met my dad) has something similar and I was told he was dropped on his head when he was a baby, but I’m not sure that was meant entirely seriously.
  • Kito Royal Felton: Not mentioned in the casefile, but Kito may be one of those people where the line between “missing” and “on the run” is pretty thin. Right around the time he disappeared, a woman and her teenage son, Susan and Laurier Myrick, were shot to death in north Tampa and the articles said Kito was sought for questioning. I don’t think the murder has been solved.
    However, he’s listed as missing both on NamUs and FDLE, he doesn’t have any active warrants that I’m aware of, and he was simply wanted for questioning in the murders, not named as a suspect, so…I dunno.
  • Jared Baptista Germano: I studied his Facebook page pretty carefully. I don’t know what happened to him, but I hope he is missing because he wants to be. Jared had a troubled past and an extensive arrest record in Florida and North Carolina.
    His Facebook is public and is pretty open about his background; it says he studied criminal justice in the educational institution called “prison”. Per Jared’s posts, he had a meth problem, which would explain the arrests. But his Facebook says he had gone through rehab, got clean, was working and was generally trying to make a decent go of it.
    Wherever he is, he’s managed to avoid getting arrested again, which is a significant departure from his prior lifestyle. That could mean he’s leading a law-abiding life somewhere or it could mean he’s dead.
    Incidentally, Jared has a brother who looks JUST LIKE him. The brother also has an arrest record and I thought one of his mug shots was of Jared till I realized one person had neck tattoos and the other didn’t. Then I saw a photo on Jared’s Facebook of him and his brother side my by side and was like, “Ah, okay, here’s your double.”
  • Teresa Gossage and Alfred Hoffman Marshal: I’m very proud of getting these two up because their case is notorious in local history and they’re not listed on ANY database. They’re not even on the Missouri Highway Patrol’s list of missing persons, perhaps because they vanished on federal land. I found their names by accident while looking for something else.
    Fort Leonard Wood, by the way, is some 61,000 thousand acres spread over the Missouri Ozarks. My bet is TC and Al are still somewhere on the base. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Thornton is responsible. It would be a very strange coincidence if he wasn’t.
  • Sarah Necaise: She appears to have an active Facebook page — at least, there’s a page under that name, with a young woman who lives in Mississippi and resembles the missing girl. Hmm. An active page doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been found.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Jackie Koja

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Bongak “Jackie” Koja, who disappeared from Oahu, Hawaii on June 9, 1997, her 59th birthday. She was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. in 1962, thirty-five years before her disappearance.

It’s no mystery what happened to Jackie: she was the victim of a horrific crime, the stuff of nightmares.

She went on her usual early morning walk at 3:00 a.m., probably looking forward to spending her birthday with her husband and their four dogs. She never returned from the walk, and people heard screams in the area around four.

Later, a janitor at the local high school found blood all over the sidewalk. He thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t a joke. Jackie had been brutally beaten to death in a completely random attack by a career criminal who was under the influence of cocaine and crystal meth.

Who knows whether anyone would have ever figured out what happened if the murderer, Frank Janto, hadn’t gone to the police himself a few days later. He confessed to everything and there was evidence to support his statement — the blood for one thing — but Jackie’s body was gone. He’d thrown it in a dumpster after he killed her, and it had already been hauled away.

Janto was sentenced to 75 years in prison for Jackie’s murder, and he was later convicted of the 1987 murder of another woman who was killed under similar circumstances as Jackie.