Stumbled across some info on Telethia Good’s disappearance

So I was reading David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets aka “the book that inspired the TV show The Wire” and discovered Telethia Good is mentioned in it, although not by name.

David Simon shadowed the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide unit for a year, from January to December in 1988, and wrote about the cases they solved, and didn’t solve. One of the most prominent homicides was that of Latonya Kim Wallace, an eleven-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled.

The prime suspect is identified in the book only as “The Fish Man” (because he was a fishmonger). He knew Latonya Wallace and had a history of sexual assault and was just generally creepy, and there was some physical evidence that indicated he might have been involved. Obviously they didn’t have the kind of DNA testing thirty years ago that they have now, though.

The cops looked to see if they could connect the Fish Man to any other cases and at this point the book says that a nine-year-old girl who lived on Montpelier Street disappeared in 1979 and was never found, and she was “a dead ringer” for Latonya Wallace. The cops learn that the Fish Man’s business partner at that time lived on Montpelier Street and the Fish Man visited him there often. When they show the suspect a photo of the missing girl, he initially says he recognizes it, then backtracks and says he doesn’t.

In spite of the police’s best efforts, the Fish Man never confessed to Latonya’s murder, never mind Telethia’s case, and they couldn’t find enough evidence to prosecute him. According to the afterword in the book, he’s dead now.

I immediately checked on Charley to find a girl who matched the particulars of the missing child case in the book. Telethia disappeared in 1978, not 1979, and she was seven, not nine, but she did live on Montpelier Street and she does look quite a lot like Latonya Wallace.

I suppose I’ll add this info to her casefile. Shame I don’t know the Fish Man’s name. Now that he’s dead there’s no harm in releasing that info, I should think.

Flashback Friday: George Barksdale

This week’s Flashback Friday case is little George “Sputnik” Barksdale, who disappeared at the age of four, forty-four years ago. He was last seen playing outside his family’s church in Baltimore on April 21, 1969.

Other than the fact that he was apparently abducted, very little information is available about George. He was there, and then he wasn’t — just vanished. Nobody saw anything. There’s no evidence that he’s dead, but no evidence that he’s alive either. The only press I could find was from a local newspaper for Baltimore’s black community. George doesn’t even have a good quality photograph available.

He must have some family members out there still; I can well imagine that his disappearance left a permanent bruise in their lives.

Possibly some media outlet in Baltimore will take an interest in George Barksdale’s case and maybe run an article or something. Maybe next spring, on the forty-fifth anniversary of his disappearance. That happens sometimes. But I doubt it’s going to happen with this case.