Ronnie Busick sentenced in Freeman/Bible case

So, last night I did a big update to the casefiles of Ashley Renae Freeman and Lauria Jaylene Bible, slipping them in under the bar just before midnight. I explain about what happened to them, and the witness statements from the court docs and so on.

I’d been putting this off for a long time but I just couldn’t anymore, now that Ronnie Busick, the only surviving suspect in the case, has been sentenced. I had been putting off the update because the details are just so horrible.

I may have said it before but I will say it again. I will never say that Danny and Kathy Freeman deserved to be murdered, because they didn’t. But I can’t help but think they bear some responsibility for what happened to the girls, even though by that point they were dead already.

When you get involved with using/selling illegal drugs and the kind of people who are deeply involved in that world, you are taking great personal risk. Danny and Kathy presumably knew this. They gambled anyway, and lost. Which is sad. However, Ashley and Lauria were just bystanders, children, innocent. They were NOT involved in the drug world, did NOT accept that personal risk, and wound up paying a far heavier price than the Freeman parents did.

I’m not sure which makes me angrier, that or the fact that Phil Welch and David Pennington died before they could face justice. (Though it’s said that Welch died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a horrible way to go, and if you ask me it couldn’t have happened to a better man.)

Or, maybe what makes me angriest is the fact that if the police hadn’t initially bungled the case so badly, it could have been solved in 2000, well before Welch and Pennington died. Who knows, perhaps the girls could have even been rescued. But instead two innocent young women died after being held captive and brutalized, and two vile men got away with murder. Four murders.

And Ronnie Busick will only serve ten years for his role in what happened, so he practically got away with it as well. But he is 68, and doesn’t appear to be healthy, and given what I know of his history (drug use throughout most of his life, and he got shot in the head and was left with brain damage) and what I know about prison health care, I wonder if he be alive ten years from now.

MP of the week: Aneshia Harris

This week’s featured missing person is Aneshia Chevon Harris, a nineteen-year-old black woman who went missing from Detroit, Michigan on April 3, 1993. She skipped school that day–whether high school or college I do not know–and decided to go to her stepbrother’s girlfriend’s place. I think she did arrive there, but that was the last time anyone saw her.

Unfortunately, that’s all I have on Aneshia’s disappearance. If still alive she’d be in her mid-forties.

MP of the week: Miller Harlow

This week’s featured missing person (which I forgot to add yesterday, sorry) is Miller Smith Harlow, a 62-year-old man who disappeared from Gordonsville, Virginia on August 28, 1991. He was last seen standing in front of a funeral home in town, possibly on his way to a local restaurant where his cousin was supposed to pick him up.

He was retired, lived alone, had never driven a car and would get around on foot, on his bike or by getting rides from people. He had very regular habits and because of this the police thinks something bad happened to him.

If still alive he’d now be in his nineties.

MP of the week: Terrence Diaz

This week’s featured missing person is Terrence Arthur Diaz, who disappeared from Palo Alto, California on either October 14 or November 14, 1999. (I’ve seen two different dates.) He was 45 at the time and would be 66 today.

There’s reason to believe he may be living on the streets, possibly making some money busking. It is strange, however, that after all this time he still hasn’t turned up. I mean, almost 21 years now.

MP of the week: Heather Zimmerman

This week’s featured missing person is Heather Dawn Mullins Zimmerman, a 19-year-old who disappeared on May 26, 1997. She was married, but living with her parents while her husband was stationed with the Marines in Japan. She apparently disappeared after leaving her parents’ Gifford, Illinois home to attend a party in nearby Rantoul. She may have been dropped off near her parents’ home at 3:00 a.m., but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Another woman, 20-year-old Jamie Harper, disappeared from Rantoul in 2007. Both Jamie and Heather are missing under suspicious circumstances, and the police stated they had the same person of interest in both cases.

MP of the week: Kevin Maclin

This week’s featured missing person is Kevin Lydell Maclin, a 32-year-old African-American man who disappeared from Unalaska, Alaska on November 19, 1997. A fisherman, he was last seen leaving the fishing vessel at the Unisea Docks at 9:30 in the evening, and may have gone to a local bar. The circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.

Unalaska is a small town of a little over 4,000 people on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. Given that the islands are not large, I’m surprised no trace has been found of Maclin. I can’t find any news articles on this case.

I’m sorry this is a day late. I’ve been feeling super depressed for over a week now and I’m not really sure why; in spite of what’s going on in the world, nothing terrible has happened to me. I’m thinking it might just be a bipolar downswing. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. If it is, that means I’ll swing back up eventually.

MP of the week: Francisco Sanchez

In case you’ve been living under a rock these last several days, I’ll have you know that protests and riots, sparked by one too many horrific incidents of police brutality, have lately broken out all over the country. So I thought I’d make this week’s featured missing person Francisco Javier Sanchez, a man who disappeared during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. (The Los Angeles Riots were also sparked by police brutality, in this case the beating of Rodney King, and the acquittal of the four police officers involved.)

Sanchez, a 38-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was last seen in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992, the second day of the riots. He had only recently arrived in the country and lived with relatives on Adams Boulevard. He vanished without a trace that afternoon, leaving his last paycheck uncollected, and was never seen again.

As to whether his disappearance is related to the riots, no one knows. But something happened to him and I don’t think it was anything good.

If still alive he’d be 66 today.

There are a lot of people to remember this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember the dead, officially the war dead but in practice for everyone. Certainly there are a lot of dead to remember this year: almost 100,000 have been lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. alone, and they can’t even have proper funerals due to the public health recommendations.

I don’t even know what to say about it. This is a war, albeit not against a traditional enemy. This virus has no pity for anyone.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of Teresa Lynn Lawyer Wisner, a 24-year-old woman from Anderson, Indiana, the mother of a toddler-age son. She was a responsible person who had just started a new job and had no history of instability, and foul play is suspected in her case.

Teresa had planned to seek a divorce from her husband, James, who didn’t want it. He is the prime suspect in her disappearance, but he has never been charged in her case and I don’t know if that is ever going to change.

MP of the week: Elaine Ford

This week’s featured missing person is Elaine Ford, a 29-year-old woman who was last seen in Cleveland, Ohio on May 21, 1990. I don’t have any details about her disappearance, unfortunately. She wore a Jheri curl wig at the time of her disappearance, as well as a black or brown skirt. She has a scar on her left hand and a knot on her neck.

If still alive, Elaine would be 58 today.

I hope everyone is okay. Someone at Michael’s workplace tested positive for the coronavirus. He remains in good health but I think it’s a not a matter of if he gets sick but when. Not necessarily because of that person at his work (they worked different shifts and in different areas of the facility), but just because this virus is extremely contagious and is likely to get basically everywhere before they can come up with a vaccine. It’s pretty scary.

All my family and my loved ones remain in good health, thank goodness. I did have an online friend who got infected, and she was hospitalized for a time but she is at home recovering.

MP of the week: Kara Vaughn

This week’s featured missing person is Kara Enid Vaughn, a 40-year-old woman missing from Natchitoches, Louisiana since November 3, 1993. Her car, a white 1978 Honda, is missing also.

She had previously threatened to drive into the river, but searches of the river turned up nothing. The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear. If still alive, Kara would be 66 today.