Series from the Oklahoman on the Logan Tucker case

I wanted to call the reader’s attention to this excellent (and very sad) special series called Looking for Logan Tucker, about the disappearance and presumed murder of six-year-old Logan Lynn Tucker eighteen years ago at the hands of his sorry excuse for a mother, Katherine Rutan.

Most homicides of children by their parents are unintentional, a situation where the parent is frustrated and unable to cope with child care, loses control and kills the child in a rage. Although there are no witnesses to Logan’s murder and Katherine isn’t talking, his death doesn’t appear to have been one of those kinds of homicides. She thought Logan was a burden to her life, and decided to get rid of him, so she killed him. Period.

She sounds like a stone cold psychopath. There was evidence of disorder in her life long before Logan’s death — she was married four times by her mid-twenties, for example — and she had repeatedly told people that she considered her two sons a burden to her and wanted to get rid of them.

In the final days of Logan’s life, Katherine made increasingly frantic attempts to offload Logan, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services did plan to take him within the next several days, but Katherine didn’t want to wait that long, I guess.

She is in prison and will probably die there, but continues to maintain her innocence.

Anyway, it’s a great piece of journalism, that series, and I wanted to recommend it to y’all.

Some pretty messed up cases added today

I added eight cases today and two of them are pretty messed up, for lack of a better description.

The Roberta “Bobby” Snider disappearance / murder (which I had never heard of until today) is baffling. The husband’s behavior is so strange and I wonder if he’s got a touch of dementia. He’s in his seventies after all. If it’s not dementia I wonder what it was that made him kill his wife in cold blood in her sleep like that, especially as she was supposed to be dying of cancer anyway. Perhaps he was her primary caregiver during her illness and was tired of doing it.

I can refer interested readers to this very detailed article about the case if you want to know more about it.

The cops don’t even plan to look for her body, as they think it’s in a landfill. I wonder just how sure they are about that, though, given that the landfill thing is only one of many stories Phillip told.

The Setina and Ren Weddles case is just incredibly sad. There are shades here of the Fowler kids — Ivon and Inisha are even twins as well. I don’t hold out much hope that either of the Weddles twins is still alive, though I guess it’s remotely possible that Setina is.

All the children clearly should have been removed from their parents sooner than they were. I don’t understand why the nurse’s recommendation after they were born was not acted on.

I definitely don’t advocate removing kids from the home just because of poverty/homelessness, but Aaron and Princess were both drug addicts and Princess has serious mental health issues (she’s been locked up in Napa State Hospital since last summer as they try to make her competent to stand trial), and the family was living in absolute squalor in a van.

I wonder if the twins had some health problems, perhaps because of Princess’s drug use during the pregnancy, and if one or both of them didn’t just die from health issues and/or neglect during the many months the family was living in that van.

And we may never know.

Native American Heritage Month: George Pooler

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is George Wayne Pooler, a 37-year-old Colville man who disappeared from Omak, Washington on November 18, 1988.

Foul play is suspected in George’s disappearance; among other indications, his vehicle was later found abandoned and burned.

George’s older brother Edwin Oliver Pooler disappeared from Keller, Washington in 1991. Edwin’s is a murder without a body case; a man later pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his death and was sentenced to six years in prison. Edwin’s murder is not thought to be related to George’s disappearance.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Gebar Byrd Jr.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Gebar Byrd Jr., a biracial Hispanic and African-American toddler who was last seen in University City, Missouri on March 22, 2010, a few weeks before his second birthday.

Gebar’s father, Gebar Byrd Sr., confessed to the murder of both little Gebar and his mother, Yasmin Rodriguez. He said he intentionally shoved her into the Mississippi River while she was holding the boy in her arms. Yasmin’s body was found in the river on April 9; Gebar Jr.’s never turned up. Gebar Sr. was convicted of second-degree murder in the mother’s death and involuntary manslaughter in the child’s, and sentenced to life in prison.

In spite of the confession and the convictions, there’s some hope among some of Gebar Jr.’s family members that he’s still alive, because his birth certificate and other papers disappeared. Me, I’m pretty skeptical of that theory.

I think I might have set a record for “smallest part of a person recovered”

I found out the other day that they discovered an itty bitty piece of Richard William Moss‘s body: a single vertebra (one of the sections of your spine) not far from where his car turned up a little over a year ago.

I think this is the smallest partial remains recovered where I resolved a case. I have a case up where they found a woman’s finger, but you can easily live without that.

Frankly I’m surprised they found even that much of Moss. He accidentally ran his car off a cliff in coastal California known as the Devil’s Slide in May 2017, but the accident wasn’t witnessed and no one realized what had happened until July. The rest of him has presumably been claimed by the ocean.

Moss isn’t the only person on Charley who met his end at the Devil’s Slide. In 1945, a 14-year-old girl named Thora Chamberlain was murdered and thrown off there. They never found her body, only her socks, wedged in the cliff face. Her murderer was identified, confessed and was executed.

Sigh, this is just so sad and so common

Earlier this month, Anthony Tyrone “Burt” Woodson‘s uncle was charged with his murder. The five-year-old has been missing since 1981, and it’s likely that he will never be found.

Some good articles about the case:

I knew almost nothing about Anthony’s case before, and it turns out that the official story had been a lie. Anthony’s uncle Terry said they went to a 7-11 in the middle of the night and Anthony disappeared from the car at some point. Well, Terry DID go to the 7-11, but only after his nephew was already dead.

The police were suspicious of the 7-11 abduction story but couldn’t disprove it, until 2017 when his uncle cracked and admitted Anthony was dead. He’s changed his story a bit since then, but the gist has always been the same: Anthony’s aunt and uncle beat the crap out of him with an electric cord, he died, and they dumped the body and concocted the 7-11 story.

Two childhood friends of Anthony reported that he was beaten badly and often enough that they’d come to recognize the sound of the electric cord and the screaming and crying and would know when a beating was taking place. Even by “Texas in the early 1980s” standards, this level of “discipline” seems excessive to me. But apparently nobody bothered to call CPS.

Justice has come too late for Della Woodson, Anthony’s aunt. She’s dead. And from the sounds of it, Terry might not live to see his trial. His sister, Merlene, says he’s in very poor health with severe diabetes and kidney problems, and that he’s on dialysis.

And it looks like there’s probably nothing left to bury, according to one of the articles:

Authorities have searched for any remains of the boy but have so far found none.

Experts, including anthropologists from the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, have told police the remains would have been dragged off and scattered by animals and likely may never be recovered.

Too little, too late.

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.