So, about Crime Junkie

Crime Junkie is a true crime podcast. I’ve never listened to it and have no intention of doing so, but they are very popular and they’ve been praised by Rolling Stone as “the best true crime podcast” out of the many in existence, and there’s talk that they may create a TV show.

Unfortunately, however, it turns out Crime Junkie has been plagiarizing other people’s hard work: other podcasters, journalists, bloggers, Wikipedia… and me too, as an informant pointed out on Twitter.

In response to being called out, including by people whose work was plagiarized, Crime Junkie went back and deleted some of the episodes. When asked about this, they refused to admit to anything at all, saying they’d only deleted the episodes because the original citations were no longer available.

The accusations broke out on Buzzfeed a week ago. The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis being the residence of one of the Crime Junkie hosts, Ashley Flowers) did an article about it yesterday. The Reluctant Habits blog has also done a good, if speculative, entry about it as well. And so on.

The response from Crime Junkie? Some kind of bull about how their research was “thorough, rigid and exhaustive” with “clear references to other sources.”

Then why are they reading other people’s work WORD FOR WORD, and not mentioning it’s an exact quote, or mentioning the other source AT ALL?

The Charley Project gets plagiarized all the time and it always upsets me because it’s wrong, it’s stealing, it’s lying, but I’m pretty used to it by now and recognize there’s no way to really stop it.

But it REALLY upsets me in cases like this because Crime Junkie is, they say, enormously popular and is making tens of thousands of dollars per episode. At one episode a week, those two women would be making a killing (no pun intended). And all of that from other people’s work. Journalists and other podcasters, and me, trying to make an honest living and contribute to society, having their hard work stolen by grifters.

Now, I talked to a friend and he thinks probably Crime Junkie isn’t nearly as popular or making as much money as Ashley Flowers and Brit Pawat claim. The Reluctant Habits blog raises the same issue, suggesting they fudged the numbers. And if Ashley and Brit really were making $50k a week, why did Ashley not quit her day job till early this year?

Regardless, they are making more than me, more than many of the people whose work they’re stealing.

Now, I don’t know if what Crime Junkie is doing is LEGALLY wrong, since you can’t copyright facts, and the Charley Project is very much “just the facts, ma’am.” But it’s definitely MORALLY wrong.

My terms of use, for Charley Project material, are very generous. Use what you like; all you have to do is cite me. It would have taken SECONDS to just say “courtesy of the Charley Project” or “we found this info in an exclusive series of Randomtown Newspaper articles by So-And-So.” To be using other people’s work, word for word, and not even mention it–that’s both lying and stealing.

Crime Junkie owes an apology to the people whose content they used without citations, and to their listeners. But they won’t even do that.

So, the NCMEC is not responsible for its own posters now?

So I called the NCMEC yet again to ask about kids they have listed as missing that don’t appear to be missing, a problem I have experienced repeatedly, and the lady I spoke to said the NCMEC is not, in fact, in charge of their poster database and says law enforcement can add posters at their leisure and that law enforcement has to tell the NCMEC to remove them.

I am somewhat unsure about this because none of the other people I complained to in the past has said this, but perhaps it’s a new policy or something.

She says if I want a kid taken off the NCMEC because they’re not missing anymore I should contact LE myself. This is something I am not willing to do, because it seems to me that the NCMEC ought to take responsibility for the posters that are on their website and have their logo on them, but what do I know?

I wonder if anyone at NamUs would fix this

I can’t do it, but it would be really great, and make NamUs more user-friendly, if people would round up all the cases from each city (say, San Francisco, California) and make sure they’re listed under the city of San Francisco, California and nowhere else.

I decided, on a whim, to do San Francisco cases today. And this is what happens when I try to type “San Francisco” into the appropriate slot in the form:

sanfranc

I’m having to check all those misspelled ones and the ones in all capital letters or no capital letters see if there’s anyone listed under there. Sometimes there is, but sometimes there isn’t.

They really all ought to be listed under just “San Francisco” and nowhere else. I’m just sayin’. And other cities have the same problem. Here’s two other examples:

tampa

phoenix

Black History Month: Nicole Cearo

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Nicole Sherese Cearo, a 20-year-old pregnant woman who disappeared from Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2009.

Nicole’s disappearance was the subject of excellent, in-depth coverage by the podcast Under the Redline, and various people close to the case were interviewed. Unfortunately, as far as I can determine, the Under the Redline podcast is no longer extant. (Which is a shame; it was really good.) But I was able to get most of their information onto Nicole’s page.

This is one of those cases where it is manifestly obvious what happened, and well-known in the community, it’s just that the police don’t think they have enough evidence to prosecute the suspect. I am sorry for it; Nicole deserves justice.

Boy, I am tired of doing other people’s jobs

It’s got to the point where, when I start looking at the people on NamUs who went missing just over a year ago and can now be added to Charley, or at the runaways listed on the NCMEC (most of which are missing two years before I add them to Charley), I am initially unsure whether these people are REALLY missing or not. I would estimate 10% of the time or sometimes more, those people were found long ago and have just not been removed from the databases. A simple Google search will reveal that these people are not missing.

Given how well-funded and famous both NamUs and the NCMEC are, this is really inexcusable. I should not have to be checking on this; they should be at least reliable enough that the people they say as missing are, in fact, missing. I have written before about the real-life consequences this could lead to for the no-longer-missing person.

Honestly I don’t think it’s appropriate for NamUs to have people added that only disappeared a couple of days ago. It’s very unlikely that the NamUs database can assist in cases as recent as that, and very likely that the person will turn up one way or another, and often when that happens, for whatever reason they don’t get taken off NamUs and a year or more later they’re still on there.

I don’t know why it happens, whether it’s lack of money, lack of staff, some kind of bureaucratic tangle, just plain laziness, or what. I don’t know that much about the inner workings of NamUs or the NCMEC. I just know that this is completely unacceptable and a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

There’s nothing I can do about it, I suppose, and NamUs and the NCMEC definitely don’t listen to me, seeing as how I’ve been complaining about this issue for months. Just wanted to vent. Again.

Go home winter, you’re drunk

With the polar vortex turning the entire Midwest colder than Antarctica, I worry about the many missing people out there who may be wandering around the country homeless.

I know homeless people tend to be pretty self-reliant and lot of major cities have taken all sorts of initiatives to protect their homeless communities, but it is never going to be entirely enough. I mean, where I’m at, the wind chill is like -30 or so and I’m afraid to even take Kinsey out to pee, never mind try to spend the night outside.

I’ve already read of one case of a missing man apparently dying of hypothermia.

I wanted to mention a really good Facebook group, Missing and Homeless, which is specialized for missing and vulnerable people who are believed to possibly be somewhere among the homeless community.

Stay warm tonight, everybody.

General update on things

So the day before yesterday I discovered Dark Matters on YouTube. You can thank Caleigh Elise for most of the updates I did yesterday. Her video summaries of unsolved murders and missing persons cases and unidentified remains are in depth, well-researched and professionally done. From her research I discovered some factual errors on a few of my cases and corrected them.

Preston Winfrey, my designer, has fixed the drop-down search results on the general search (bad plugin update apparently) so the bar no longer goes blank and stops working if you scroll down. He has also improved the advanced search, fixing a bug that wouldn’t let you search multiple phrases.

Yesterday I got a shocking response from a woman whose sister was on my site. She sent me messages through email and Facebook and we spoke over Facebook messenger. She said I had no right to post about the MP, I had no permission from my family, and everything I had posted was “such baloney.”

I explained who I was and what the Charley Project is and asked what corrections needed to be made. She said the MP was reported missing by her husband; I had had it as her brother. Okay, I said, I will fix that (and did so), what else?

Well, I asked several times but she never said there was any other incorrect information, just kept yelling at me, saying their mom was very upset by seeing the casefile and it was against the law for me to write about missing persons without permission from the family. I told her this was not true.

I do not know what was bothering her, because besides that quite minor error there was absolutely nothing objectionable in the MP’s casefile, nothing that could be construed as remotely critical or judgmental or intrusive. I don’t think the woman’s anger or her mother’s distress had anything to do with me really.

I know I have written and spoken about this kind of reaction several times but it doesn’t happen often at all; most relatives who reach out to me are polite and respectful and appreciate my efforts. I got a really nice email from Morgan Nick‘s mom last month. It’s just that whenever I do get family members who claim I did something wrong or hurtful it’s upsetting to me. But some people just react differently and they are in a bad situation so I try not to take it personally.

Shrug.

I’m doing pretty well right now and everyone’s fine where I’m at: Michael, cats, dogs. Kinsey’s fifteenth birthday was earlier this week and we had her wear a party hat and gave her an Arby’s roast beef sandwich as we sang the birthday song.

Even more Facebook

Although this isn’t Monday (and I’ve kind of discontinued my Make-a-List Mondays cause I just don’t want to do them anymore) I thought you guys would appreciate another list of Facebook pages out there created for specific missing persons cases.

These are the ones I know about which weren’t on my previous two lists of this. The first two lists are here and here. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; it’s just cases on the Charley Project where they have currently existing Facebook pages that I know about. Some people have more than one page for them.

I would also like to state that social media’s a great resource to publicize missing persons cases, and you don’t need to be a relative or anything to make a Facebook page or group for a missing person; you can just be an interested party.

  1. Joseph Mario Abrams (Charley/Facebook)
  2. Brent Marshall Acomb (Charley/Facebook)
  3. Joshua Scott Adams (Charley/Facebook)
  4. Mark Daniel Aguilar (Charley/Facebook)
  5. Katelin Michelle Akens (Charley/Facebook)
  6. Raymond Paul Akins (Charley/Facebook)
  7. Mohammed Abdulmohsen Alghannam (Charley/Facebook)
  8. Bobby Dale Allen (Charley/Facebook)
  9. Debra Ann Allen (Charley/Facebook)
  10. Gabriel James Almiron and Emily Amada Quijano (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  11. Rebecca Jane Alsup (Charley/Facebook)
  12. Dennis Lee Anderson (Charley/Facebook)
  13. Leo Anicua (Charley/Facebook)
  14. David Phillip Askew (Charley/Facebook)
  15. Lucely Aramburo (Charley/Facebook)
  16. Jonathan Arash Barmaki (Charley/Facebook)
  17. Christina Lynn Bastian (Charley/Facebook)
  18. DonaMae Bourgeois Bayerl (Charley/Facebook)
  19. Keely Christabel Beaudry-Culver (Charley/Facebook)
  20. Ralph Belvedere and William Dewey Bragg III (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  21. Tarasha Benjamin (Charley/Facebook)
  22. Joshua Charles Berry (Charley/Facebook/Facebook)
  23. Dustin Lynn Bird (Charley/Facebook)
  24. Nancy Susan Bjork (Charley/Facebook)
  25. Marina Pearl Boelter (Charley/Facebook/Facebook)
  26. Christine Lee Boggio (Charley/Facebook)
  27. Shannah Marie Boiteau (Charley/Facebook)
  28. Darace Xavier Bolton (Charley/Facebook)
  29. Aliyah Boomer (Charley/Facebook)
  30. Karen Rae Bosta (Charley/Facebook)
  31. Jayme Malynn Bowen (Charley/Facebook)
  32. Krista Bowman (Charley/Facebook)
  33. Damon Lee Boyd (Charley/Facebook)
  34. David Allen Boyle (Charley/Facebook)
  35. Benjamin W. Brewer (Charley/Facebook)
  36. DeAnna Kay Brooks (Charley/Facebook)
  37. Edwin X. Brown (Charley/Facebook)
  38. Tamborah Brown (Charley/Facebook)
  39. George Stanley Burdynski Jr. (Charley/Facebook)
  40. Kristian Michael Burnstad (Charley/Facebook)
  41. Jacob Cabinaw (Charley/Facebook)
  42. Jennifer Cahill-Shadle (Charley/Facebook)
  43. Michael James Calvert (Charley/Facebook)
  44. Heather Leann Cameron (Charley/Facebook)
  45. Stacy Lynn Carson (Charley/Facebook)
  46. Natasha Alexandra Augusta Carter (Charley/Facebook)
  47. Amber Lynn Caton (Charley/Facebook)
  48. Autumn Starr Cerenil-Lee (Charley/Facebook)
  49. Alejandro Landa Cervantes (Charley/Facebook)
  50. Tyler Joel Christensen (Charley/Facebook)
  51. Cody Robert Christle (Charley/Facebook)
  52. Joanna Antoinette Clark and (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  53. Chelsea Michelle Cobo (Charley/Facebook)
  54. Christopher George Cochron (Charley/Facebook)
  55. Lawrence Scott Colton (Charley/Facebook)
  56. Donald E. Cook (Charley/Facebook)
  57. David Allen Crabtree (Charley/Facebook)
  58. Michelle Deanne Crawford (Charley/Facebook)
  59. Holly Paige Crider (Charley/Facebook)
  60. Camille Dorothy Dardanes (Charley/Facebook)
  61. Theresa Ann Davidson-Murphy (Charley/Facebook)
  62. Julie Gwenn Davis (Charley/Facebook)
  63. Kyle Richard Dinneen (Charley/Facebook)
  64. Annette Campbell Dodd (Charley/Facebook)
  65. Jennifer Marie Donais (Charley/Facebook)
  66. Patricia Marie Dudek (Charley/Facebook)
  67. Brenda Louise Dunham (Charley/Facebook)
  68. Akia Shawnta Eggleston (Charley/Facebook)
  69. William James Elgen (Charley/Facebook)
  70. Leanne Cleo Eller (Charley/Facebook)
  71. Beatriz Noemi Espinoza (Charley/Facebook)
  72. Lelia Faulkner (Charley/Facebook)
  73. Keith Allan Fetter (Charley/Facebook)
  74. Sylviane Finck-Lozada (Charley/Facebook)
  75. Robin Kristine Ford (Charley/Facebook)
  76. Daniel Joseph Frank Foster (Charley/Facebook)
  77. Kristopher Michael Fowler (Charley/Facebook)
  78. Amanda Lee Fravel (Charley/Facebook)
  79. Natasha Louise Fugate Jones (Charley/Facebook)
  80. Sylvia June Galvan (Charley/Facebook)
  81. Kianna Galvin (Charley/Facebook)
  82. Angel Garcia (Charley/Facebook)
  83. Rebecca Pauline Gary (Charley/Facebook)
  84. Melvin P. George (Charley/Facebook)
  85. Ember Skye Graham (Charley/Facebook)
  86. Jacob Randall Gray (Charley/Facebook/Facebook)
  87. Lisa Marie Green (Charley/Facebook)
  88. Maxine Eve Green (Charley/Facebook)
  89. Janice Marie Hannigan (Charley/Facebook)
  90. La’Ron Harris (Charley/Facebook)
  91. Shaniece Rose Harris (Charley/Facebook)
  92. Robert Gene Harrison (Charley/Facebook)
  93. Stephanie Dianne Hartwell (Charley/Facebook)
  94. Amy Lyn Haueter (Charley/Facebook)
  95. Larry Brian Haynes (Charley/Facebook)
  96. Roger Her (Charley/Facebook)
  97. Emily Lynn Hieber (Charley/Facebook)
  98. Ashley Standish Higgins (Charley/Facebook)
  99. Angelia Spaulding Hilbert (Charley/Facebook)
  100. Darren Bruce Hillis (Charley/Facebook)
  101. Heather Dialian Hodges (Charley/Facebook)
  102. Courtney Esther Danielle Holt and Samantha Jean Hopper (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  103. Angela Whalen Hudson (Charley/Facebook)
  104. William James Hummelsund (Charley/Facebook)
  105. Erica Nicole Hunt (Charley/Facebook)
  106. Charles Edward Jackson Jr. (Charley/Facebook)
  107. Keeshae Eunique Jacobs (Charley/Facebook)
  108. Julianne Cecilia Jaillet (Charley/Facebook)
  109. Brenda Ann Johnson (Charley/Facebook)
  110. Chloe Johnson and Keir Shante Johnson (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  111. Ronald Lee Johnson (Charley/Facebook)
  112. Typhenie Kae Johnson (Charley/Facebook)
  113. Donna Mae Jokumsen (Charley/Facebook)
  114. Kerry Grace Jones (Charley/Facebook)
  115. Juliah Karwitha (Charley/Facebook)
  116. Sebastian Henderson Kelley (Charley/Facebook)
  117. Amanda A. King (Charley/Facebook)
  118. Candyce Laverne Knox (Charley/Facebook)
  119. Asha Kreimer (Charley/Facebook)
  120. Patricia Ann Krieger (Charley/Facebook)
  121. DeOrr Jay Kunz Jr. (Charley/Facebook)
  122. Chase Allen Lackey (Charley/Facebook)
  123. Jacquelyn Landry (Charley/Facebook)
  124. Jesse J. Leopold (Charley/Facebook)
  125. Arturo Lepe (Charley/Facebook)
  126. Dewayne Lewis Jr. (Charley/Facebook)
  127. Maria Jesus Llamas (Charley/Facebook)
  128. Larissa Lone Hill (Charley/Facebook)
  129. Ashley Mariah Loring (Charley/Facebook)
  130. Jessica Michelle Lowery (Charley/Facebook)
  131. Jacob Irvine Lyon (Charley/Facebook)
  132. Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska (Charley/Facebook)
  133. Mackenzie Rae Marken (Charley/Facebook)
  134. Allen Christopher Martin (Charley/Facebook)
  135. Donnie Ray Martin III (Charley/Facebook)
  136. Thomas Edward Mascaro (Charley/Facebook)
  137. Jessica Lynne Masker (Charley/Facebook)
  138. Todd Bradley Jay Mathis (Charley/Facebook)
  139. David A. McAllister (Charley/Facebook)
  140. Karena S. McClerkin (Charley/Facebook)
  141. Patty Lisa McDaniel and Peggy Leslie McDaniel (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  142. Peggy Anne McGuire (Charley/Facebook)
  143. Carol Joan McHugh (Charley/Facebook)
  144. Alyssa Angelique McLemore (Charley/Facebook)
  145. Christopher Joseph McNeill (Charley/Facebook)
  146. Rachel Marie Mellon (Charley/Facebook)
  147. Eric Israel Mercado (Charley/Facebook)
  148. Cole Younger Middleton (Charley/Facebook)
  149. Kenneth Earl Mohler (Charley/Facebook)
  150. Moreira Elena Monsalve (Charley/Facebook)
  151. Elijah Hassan Moore and Enrique Martin Rios (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  152. Audrey Louise Moran and Jonathan David Reynoso (Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  153. Hoover Jerome Morris (Charley/Facebook)
  154. Crystal Dawn Morrison (Charley/Facebook)
  155. Richard William Moss (Charley/Facebook)
  156. Christine Abdellah Mustafa (Charley/Facebook)
  157. Dustin Kane Nations (Charley/Facebook)
  158. Norvel Robert Nelson III (Charley/Facebook)
  159. Dan Anh Nguyen, Johnson Nguyen, Anesia Sauta and Tony Sysavanh (Charley/Charley/Charley/Charley/Facebook)
  160. Daniel Michael O’Leary (Charley/Facebook)
  161. Billy H. Oliveira (Charley/Facebook)
  162. James Randolph Olsen (Charley/Facebook)
  163. David Jacquez Ortiz Jr. (Charley/Facebook)
  164. Elaine Park (Charley/Facebook)
  165. Rayman Anthony Patram (Charley/Facebook)
  166. Danyel Lynn Pauley (Charley/Facebook)
  167. Nancy Paulikas (Charley/Facebook)
  168. Lance Eugene Perkins (Charley/Facebook)
  169. Dona Marie Perry (Charley/Facebook)
  170. Samuel Richard Pharis (Charley/Facebook)
  171. Jennifer Lee Poole (Charley/Facebook)
  172. Zachary Bashir Porter (Charley/Facebook)
  173. Beverly Rose Potts (Charley/Facebook)
  174. Debra Elizabeth Puente (Charley/Facebook)
  175. Eric Wayne Pyles (Charley/Facebook)
  176. Beau Rasmussen (Charley/Facebook)
  177. Destry Richard Rhinehart (Charley/Facebook)
  178. Chaz Alfred Richardson (Charley/Facebook)
  179. Robert Rietzel (Charley/Facebook)
  180. LaTonya Dionne Roberts (Charley/Facebook)
  181. Jessie Grace Rubio-Montejano (Charley/Facebook)
  182. Michelle June Russ (Charley/Facebook)
  183. Maria Angelica Salas (Charley/Facebook)
  184. Lucero Sarabia (Charley/Facebook)
  185. Kenneth Albert Saunders (Charley/Facebook)
  186. Logan Drew Schiendelman (Charley/Facebook)
  187. Daniel Leon Scott (Charley/Facebook)
  188. Olga Vyacheslav Segal (Charley/Facebook)
  189. Brian Randall Shaffer (Charley/Facebook)
  190. Prentiss Dant’e Simpson (Charley/Facebook)
  191. Troy Irama Sirat (Charley/Facebook)
  192. Bruce Scott Smith (Charley/Facebook)
  193. Phillip Alan Smith (Charley/Facebook)
  194. Victoria Lynn Smith (Charley/Facebook)
  195. Vickie Annette Smock (Charley/Facebook)
  196. Jason Matthew Spraggins (Charley/Facebook)
  197. Ciara Simone Stacho (Charley/Facebook)
  198. Tina May Stadig (Charley/Facebook)
  199. Natoya Stephens (Charley/Facebook)
  200. Sarah L. Stern (Charley/Facebook)
  201. Tyler Andrew Stice (Charley/Facebook)
  202. Michael Alan Sutherland (Charley/Facebook)
  203. Krista Marie Sypher (Charley/Facebook)
  204. Derrick James Tenorio (Charley/Facebook)
  205. Robert Austin Tharp (Charley/Facebook)
  206. Duane Ryan Thomas (Charley/Facebook/Facebook)
  207. Kristy A. Thomas (Charley/Facebook)
  208. Marla Jean Thomas (Charley/Facebook)
  209. Rose Timperley (Charley/Facebook)
  210. Charles Lee Toliver (Charley/Facebook)
  211. Danielle Tolliver (Charley/Facebook)
  212. Teresa Lynn Towne-Woolard (Charley/Facebook)
  213. William Campbell Underhill (Charley/Facebook)
  214. Seth Allen Uptain (Charley/Facebook)
  215. Alejandro Vasquez (Charley/Facebook)
  216. Brianna Jayde Vibert (Charley/Facebook)
  217. Christopher William Vigil (Charley/Facebook)
  218. Edward William Viola (Charley/Facebook)
  219. Delecia Annette Waddy (Charley/Facebook)
  220. John Clinton Walker (Charley/Facebook)
  221. Wesley A. Wamsganz (Charley/Facebook)
  222. Joseph Weber IV (Charley/Facebook)
  223. Tyler Alan Welling (Charley/Facebook)
  224. Charles Phillip Wheat (Charley/Facebook)
  225. Holly Alcott White (Charley/Facebook)
  226. John Thomas White (Charley/Facebook)
  227. Brandon Steve Williams (Charley/Facebook)
  228. Kenneth Dewayne Williams (Charley/Facebook)
  229. Christopher James Winkler (Charley/Facebook)
  230. Michael Anthony Womack (Charley/Facebook)
  231. Gregory Young (Charley/Facebook)
  232. Joseph Leo Zak (Charley/Facebook)
  233. Carie Melissa Zapletal (Charley/Facebook)