So I wrote a blog entry on the WordPress app on my phone last night about latest missing persons news. But then the entry refused to upload, no matter how many times I tried to get it to. It wasn’t online at all, only on my phone, so I couldn’t even use my computer to upload it. Grr. Lot of time wasted. Now I will try my best to recreate it.
Some cold case missing persons have been resolved:
- Edward “Ashton” Stubbs disappeared from Dickinson, North Dakota on June 17, 2013, a few days before his sixteenth birthday. He was from Texas and had gone up to North Dakota to stay with a cousin and work a summer job. He disappeared from his job site. Ashton’s skull was found on private property in Dickinson in December. It has just been identified. His death is under investigation.
- Sheila Sherrell Franks, age 37, disappeared from Eureka, California on February 2, 2014. A woman of similar appearance, Danielle Bertolini, had disappeared a few days earlier, and people thought their cases might be connected. In 2015, Danielle’s skull was found in the Eel River. Now Sheila’s remains have been identified; her femur, or part of it, turned up in June, near the mouth of the Eel River. Unlike Danielle’s death, Sheila’s death has not (yet) been labeled a homicide, but it is considered “suspicious.”
- Jo Anne Dolly Burmer has been identified, forty-six years after the 25-year-old disappeared in 1973. A fragment of her skull was found in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it was entered into the DNA database, and it wasn’t until now that there was a match. As nothing else has been found or is likely to be, probably we will never know what caused her death, but I wonder about exposure. This article is very detailed and talks about Jo Anne’s background and her son, who was put in foster care after her disappearance and later adopted by another family.
Some other news:
- The police have a new lead on the possible identity of “Beth Doe”, a young pregnant woman who was raped and brutally murdered in 1976. Her body was dismembered, stuffed in three suitcases and thrown off a bridge into the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. They think it’s possible that Beth Doe may be Madelyn “Maggie” Cruz, a sixteen-year-old foster child who ran away. They’re trying to find relatives of this Maggie Cruz to get DNA from them to test. I think it’s a long shot.
- Georgia “Nadine” Kirk‘s son Ted has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for stealing his mom’s Social Security benefits after her disappearance and presumed death. Nadine was 98 years old and in poor health in 2010, the last time anyone saw her. She was reported missing in 2015, and Ted was unable to explain her absence. It seems likely that she simply died of age-related natural causes and Ted, who hadn’t worked since 1980, disposed of her body and kept cashing her checks. Fifteen months in prison, and $30k restitution, seems light, given the circumstances, and the fact that $80k in total was taken from taxpayers. Nadine’s body has never been found.
- Bernard Brown, the ex-boyfriend of Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, has been charged with her murder. Moreira disappeared from Hawaii in 2014. Her body hasn’t been found and they haven’t said much about the case against Brown, but it seems likely it’ll be circumstantial and possibly include cell phone ping evidence. Murder-without-a-body cases aren’t that common in Hawaii (or anywhere) but other examples include Bongak “Jackie” Koja in 1997, Masumi Watanabe in 2007, and of course Peter Kema in 2017.
- Nancy Beaumont has died at age 92, 53 years after her children Jane, Arnna and Grant disappeared at the respective ages of nine, seven and four. The Beaumont children have never been found and their disappearance is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in Australia’s history. Their father, Grant “Jim” Beaumont, is alive, but is also in his nineties and I think it’s unlikely he will find answers on this side of the mortal plane.
- The police have released a new sketch of one of Christine Eastin‘s abductors, based off of a recent witness description. I think that’s a reeaaaallly long shot. It’s a rough drawing, this witness’s memory is by now almost fifty years old, and at the time they apparently didn’t realize the significance of what they saw and so they probably took little notice of it. Christine disappeared in 1971 at the age of 19.
Per the NamUs case for James Charles Stanford, “James had told family members before he went missing that he wanted to move to Texas or California to join a convent.”
But James is male. And not even a little child, a teenager. I’m pretty sure they don’t let teenage boys join convents. That has got to be frowned upon at the very least.
Do they mean a monastery maybe?
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Beatrice Susan Calderon, last seen in San Jose, California on August 17, 1971. She was 33 years old at the time of her disappearance and would be 79 today if she’s still alive.
Unfortunately, I know doodly squat about the circumstances of her case.
Mike C. sent in this Sunday selection: Wanda Medeiros Reine, who disappeared from East Falmouth, Massachusetts. (Mike C. also provided an exact date of disappearance for me, which I didn’t have before: March 12, 1971.) So I didn’t have the exact date and still don’t have anything much in the way of a physical description, but her disappearance is hardly lacking in sordid and scandalous details.
Boiled down, it looks like a case of domestic violence turned murder. The prime suspect, Wanda’s husband Melvin Reine Sr., died of Pick’s Disease in 2015.
There’s a book about the case, When Evil Rules: Vengeance and Murder on Cape Cod, about the Reine family’s many criminal misadventures including Wanda’s disappearance and the murder of Melvin’s second wife, Shirley. The library has it. I ought to check it out.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Dixie May Forrester, a 31-year-old mother last seen in Springfield, Missouri on July 11, 1971. If she were alive today she would be 76, but it seems pretty unlikely to me. The police actually arrested Dixie’s ex-husband for her murder, but had to let him go for lack of evidence.
I wonder if the case could have been, or maybe could still be, solved now with modern science and stuff. If Dixie’s ex did in fact commit the crime, he’s dead now and we can’t do anything to him anymore. But it might get some closure for her family.
I don’t have much on Dixie’s disappearance and no idea whether her ex-husband is still considered a suspect or not. I don’t even have a good photograph. Sigh.
This week’s Flashback Friday is for friends Mark Peal, 10, and Kevin Lee Conner, 13, who vanished from Port Angeles, Washington on August 26, 1971. The boys were on a camping trip when they went off exploring and never came back. An extensive search turned up nothing and they’re assumed to be dead.
Interesting to note how tall, and how skinny, Kevin is: at thirteen he was 5’10, about average height for a grown man, and weighed just 110 pounds.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Ingrid Angela Anderson, missing from Richmond, California since May 20, 1971. Her case is one of those three-sentence, “few details are available” ones and I have never once updated it in the ten years the Charley Project has been in existence. She was 27 years old and on the short side, with brown hair, blue eyes and pierced ears. Beyond that paltry physical description I know absolutely nothing about her.
If Ingrid Angela Anderson is alive today, she would be seventy years old.
Sorry I missed Flashback Friday for the last two weeks. I don’t remember why I did so; probably laziness. This week goes to Lewis Barrett “Lew” Welch Jr. The 44-year-old disappeared from Nevada City, California on May 23, 1971, taking a friend’s gun and leaving behind a note indicating suicide.
Lew Welch is a bit unusual in that he was sort of famous before he disappeared. He was a minor poet in the Beat Generation, which including Jack Kerouac, etc. Apparently he published only one major book in his lifetime, but the following works are for sale on Amazon:
How I Read Gertrude Stein
How I Work as a Poet
I, Leo: An Unfinished Novel
I Remain, Volume 1: Letters of Lew Welch & The Correspondence of His Friends 1949-1960
I Remain: Volume 2: Letters of Lew Welch & The Correspondence of His Friends 1960-1971
Ring of Bone: Collected Poems
Ring of Bone was actually published in 2012 and is still in print. You can also read a few of his poems here.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Janet Ann Kramer. She was thirteen and living in a group home for girls when she disappeared from Willmar, Minnesota. Presumed to have run away. The date of disappearance is given as January 1, 1971, but I wonder if that’s accurate. January 1 seems a strange date to run away on, especially in Minnesota, and that date is often used when the person disappeared at some unknown date in a particular year.
I Googled “Willmar Minnesota group home” and found a website for an organization that operates girls’ and boys’ group homes in the area, but their girls’ home isn’t old enough to be Janet’s. Presumably Janet’s group home has long since closed.
In any case, I have almost no information on her. A friend believes she looks a little like me. The resemblance is more obvious when you check out this photo of myself at Janet’s age.
Janet’s been missing for over forty years. If she is still alive — and I suppose there’s no evidence to indicate she’s not — she would be 56 years old today.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Elizabeth Lande, who’s been missing from Philadelphia since December 12, 1971. Her boyfriend, Bobby Nauss, was convicted of her murder in 1977. This MWAB case is a bit unusual because Nauss admitted from the outset that Elizabeth was dead. However, he claimed her death was a suicide (by hanging) and he only disposed of her body.
Although it’s worth noting that Elizabeth had psychiatric problems, doctors who testified at the trial don’t believe she was suicidal, and when your girlfriend hangs herself a normal person’s reaction would not be “gotta go dump her in the Pine Barrens.”