A bunch of no-body homicide updates

So I re-posted all the Corpus Delicti lists last night and today (it’s been forever I know) and I took the chance to go through Not Concluded/Unknown Outcomes again to find out some of those outcomes.

The result is fifteen updated cases.

  • Cynthia Linda Alonzo: Eric Mora pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, got eleven years.
  • Abigail Estrada: Ruben Torres pleaded guilty to murder, got eighteen years but could be out in ten.
  • Cari Lea Farver: Shanna Golyer was found guilty, got life without parole plus 18 to 20 years for an unrelated arson.
  • Jarrod Devlin Green: Brandon Wheeler’s charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
  • Alice Kristina Wehr Hummel: Bruce Hummel was tried and convicted of the murder a second time, but an appeals court overturned his second conviction and he cannot be retried.
  • Charles Edward “Mississippi” Johnson: David Lint pleaded no contest to criminal homicide, got seven to fifteen years.
  • Zachary Matthew Malinowski: No conclusion yet, but suspect Javon Gibbs (allegedly) murdered someone else while out on bail in Malinowski’s murder.
  • Bernadine M. Montgomery: Tracie Naffziger pleaded no contest to being an accessory second-degree murder after the fact. She will testify against David Mariotti, whose trial is supposed to be early next month.
  • Sara Jo Mowrey: After alleged misconduct by the prosecution, Michael Baker pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and being an accessory after the fact to murder, and got three years instead of the life sentence he’d have gotten if convicted of the original charges.
  • Catherine E. Nelson and Charles Martin Russell: Brian Ferry’s trial was early this year. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict and there was a mistrial.
  • Heath Riley Reams: Amanda Sanders-Bolstad pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got 25 years, with 20 suspended, but the prosecution is trying to get her suspended sentence revoked because she moved without telling the police.
  • Bret R. Snow: More details have been released about the crime and two additional suspects have been charged. Alvaro Guajardo is charged with murder, and Cheryl Sutton with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and leading organized crime.
  • Aaron Lamar Turner: One suspect, Bryan Byrd pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and got 20 to 40 years. (Also found an article about how Bryan was an academic star in high school and seen as a really great kid who had risen above his poverty and single-parent childhood, then he ruined his life in one weekend.) The second suspect, LaQuanta Chapman, was convicted and sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned four years later and he got life instead. A third suspect has been identified, but has never faced charges. I think it’s because Chapman isn’t saying boo and they only have Byrd’s testimony to put the man at the scene. Also, not-very-fun fact: Chapman shot one of his dogs dead and dismembered the body in his attempt to cover up Aaron’s murder.
  • Rebecca Ann Ware: Timothy Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got nineteen years, with credit for three years’ time served.
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MP of the week: Heather Bloom

This week’s featured missing person is Heather Bloom, a 28-year-old woman with Down Syndrome who was last seen in Berkeley, California on October 1, 2005. She probably disappeared sometime after that though.

People with Down Syndrome have various levels of functionality, and it sounds like Heather was at the lower end: non-verbal, wheelchair-bound and requiring “constant care and supervision.”

She was being cared for by her sister, Shari. After Heather’s parents reported her missing, the police tried to check on her welfare, but Shari wouldn’t let them in the house and they never actually saw Heather. The neighbors also said they never saw Heather either. Last I knew, Shari had moved to Norway — without her sister, presumably.

I did find this 2017 article which has more info about the case and additional pictures of Heather. Though the police are saying there’s no evidence she’s dead or in danger, honestly, to me it doesn’t look good. I mean, a person with those medical conditions would presumably have had to see doctors regularly. She was probably on Medicaid and Social Security disability. They should be able to track her if she was still alive.

Song about Kay Kanaki

Per the person who runs the Missing in California Twitter account, a local singer/songwriter composed a song about Kay Kanaki (who, incidentally, is male), who disappeared in 1986 and is one of my “few details are available” cases.

You can listen to The Ballad of Kay Kanaki here, or buy the mp3 for 99 cents on Amazon here. The lyrics seem to imply foul play may have been involved. I wish I knew more.

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 have 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.

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.

Black History Month: William Weatherall

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 William “Buster” Weatherall, who disappeared from Los Angeles on June 6, 1991. He was 85 years old.

The circumstances are suspicious: Buster was expecting a call from a friend, but when his friend called his house, no one picked up. He left his dogs abandoned and unfed, and his front gate open. He lived alone at the time of his disappearance, and I couldn’t find anything saying he had dementia or anything like that.

Buster would be well over 100 years old if he was still alive, but I think he’s still 85.