My latest Executed Today entries

I’ve had a few entries run recently on Executed Today that I hadn’t mentioned on this blog yet, so here goes:

  1. January 14, 1792: John Phillips hanged for robbery in Dublin, Ireland. Little is known about the case, but he would probably been reprieved but for a little snafu with the paperwork.
  2. January 18, 1884: Maggie and Maggie Cuddigan lynched in Ouray, Colorado. They had adopted a little girl from an orphanage and proceeded to starve, neglect, maltreat and abuse her for months until she finally died.
    The outrage must have been tremendous even by lynch mob symptoms — how often do you hear of white women, particularly visibly pregnant ones, getting lynched? The dead man’s own brothers did nothing to help him, though they might have been able to stop the lynching, and afterwards, the local priest refused to perform the funeral service and none of the local cemeteries would accept their bodies.
  3. February 20, 1948: Thomas Henry McGonigle gassed in California for the 1945 murder of fourteen-year-old Thora Chamberlain.
    This was a murder-without-a-body case, one of the first in the state. (Though, after I’d already written the entry, Tad DiBiase told me it wasn’t actually THE first.) Thora is featured on Charley.
    I’m really glad they took the risk of prosecuting this. They had a very strong case, but many prosecutors wouldn’t have wanted to touch the case without Thora’s body. McGonigle was clearly a very dangerous man and sounds like a serial killer in the making if he wasn’t one already.
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Black History Month: Laronda Bronson

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 Laronda Marie Bronson, an eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Portland, Oregon on November 19, 1982.

I know very little about this case, but Laronda was a prostitute, she disappeared while the Green River Killer was active, and the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington is investigating her case, which suggests she may have been one of Gary Leon Ridgway‘s victims. If she was, he hasn’t admitted to it.

I hope that Laronda is still alive out there somewhere and perhaps she just decided to move elsewhere and put her past behind her. I would love to hear from anyone who knew her. She may use the alias name Michelle Marie Hall, or the date of birth July 29, 1964. (She was actually born on September 9.) If still alive, Laronda would be 53 today.

Black History Month: Irene Kouame

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 Irene Kouame, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Pasadena, California on August 23, 2001. She’s from the sub-Saharan African nation of Cote d’Ivoire aka the Ivory Coast, and was in the U.S. on an exchange program.

Irene is classified as a runaway. Perhaps she simply didn’t want to return to her home county, a third-world nation that saw a coup in 1999 and, after her disappearance, two civil wars inside of a decade.

Irene would be 33 years old today.

Black History Month: Laroya Nate Bray

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 Laroya Nate Bray, who, like yesterday’s case, disappeared from Los Angeles. Laroya was 15 when she was last seen on March 26, 2003.

Laroya’s case has been classified as a runaway since the onset of the investigation, and I don’t have any information to indicate otherwise, but next month it’ll be fifteen years since she was last seen. That’s a long time for a runaway to stay out of sight.

MP of the week: Kianna Galvin

This week’s featured missing person is Kianna Galvin. (I had to ask Preston how to change the MP of the week.) Kianna is a 16-year-old girl who disappeared from South Elgin, Illinois on May 6, 2016. She has some distinctive tattoos; I have a photo of one.

The police don’t think she ran away, though some sites list her as a runaway. Given her age, one inevitably wonders about human trafficking.

Erica Parsons autopsy results released

The authorities have released the results of Erica Parsons’s autopsy. There are several articles available about this, but this link actually includes the autopsy report itself.

In a nutshell: because they were working with skeletal remains and several bones were missing, they were unable to determine the precise cause of death, but this was obviously a homicide and indications are that Erica suffered horribly before dying.

To go into more detail: Erica had one tooth that had been knocked out, and another was cracked. She had fractures to her nasal bones, nine rib fractures, one arm fracture and a finger fracture. The fractures were mostly in various stages of healing, but there were four unhealed fractures to her spine and one unhealed rib fracture. This is suggestive of “multiple blunt force injuries over a prolonged period.”

There was also “low bone mineral density” and “growth deficit” suggestive of malnutrition.

The autopsy report notes that, “In the week prior to her 2011 disappearance, siblings described her as looking gray with sunken eyes, smelling bad with open, oozing cuts, very weak and complaining of not being able to breathe.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Erica, like Peter Kema, died after her poor battered body got an infection she wasn’t able to fight. And of course her so-called family didn’t bother to ever take her to the doctor.

This kid was tortured. And we all know who did it, but no one has been charged in her death.

Flashback Friday: Belinda VanLith

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Belinda VanLith, a 17-year-old girl who disappeared from the Little Eagle Lake area of Wright County, Minnesota on June 15, 1974. (I wrote an Executed Today entry set in Wright County.) She disappeared from a neighbor’s residence where she was house-sitting.

I looked up the name of the suspect, Timothy Joseph Crosby, in Newspapers.com and found several articles that mentioned him. He was very young when Belinda disappeared, only seventeen or eighteen, but according to court documents he’d already started abducting and sexually assaulting young women. This article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press talks about Belinda’s disappearance. As of 2013, anyway, Crosby was off the streets as a civilly committed “violent sexual recidivist.”