Strike that, reverse it: murder-without-a-body cases

It has been brought to my attention that Walter Shannon Stevenson, whose case I resolved yesterday, has not been found after all. This article, from which I got the original information, has issued a retraction. A suspect, Jeffrey May, has been charged with his murder, but Walter’s case is currently a no-body homicide.

I hope the body turns up soon. In the meantime, I’ll remove the resolved notice and put up Walter’s casefile again with the next update (probably today).

And speaking of murder-without-a-body cases, it looks like the only indicted suspect in Katherine and Sheila Lyon‘s 1975 disappearances is about to plead guilty. Some articles:

This isn’t the end of the story — there’s another suspect who is also believed to have been involved — but it might be the beginning of the end.

As of this writing, the Corpus Delicti section of Charley — my three lists of murder-without-a-body cases currently on the website — has approximately 615 names. (I saw “approximately” because a few names are on more than one list due to multiple defendants and multiple outcomes. I wish I could find the outcomes for more of those cases on List Three, which surely must have been resolved by now.)

For more details about murder-without-a-body cases, I highly recommend you check out Tad DiBiase’s website (particularly this PDF) and book.

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Let’s talk about it: Juanita Oxenrider

Charley Project Irregular Katherine B. suggested I do a “let’s talk” feature where I post some of the most bizarre Charley Project cases there are to offer, and let people have free rein speculating about them in the comments. I don’t think I have enough super-bizarre cases to make a regular weekly go of this, but here’s the first one anyway:

Juanita Marie Oxenrider, a pregnant 29-year-old who disappeared after she, her husband Donald, and a friend, Thomas Maynard, took a ride out on the Oxenriders’ boat on the Patapsco River in central Maryland in 1976. The boat mysteriously exploded and sank in broad daylight in only fifteen feet of water, but no bodies were immediately recoverable.

Six months later, in the river about a mile downstream from where the boat sank, Donald Oxenrider’s body turned up. They were too severely decomposed to determine the cause of death. In an even more crazy detail of this case, the other passenger, Thomas Maynard, turned up a decade after that, alive and well — the guy was facing serious criminal charges at the time of his disappearance, and he’d jumped the country and had been in Canada all that time.

But what happened to Juanita? You decide. It’s worth noting that she has been declared legally dead. But if she’s still alive she’d be about 69 today, and her baby would be 41 39.

Let’s hear it from the comment crowd. All theories are welcomed.

Gosh darn it

I was working just now on adding/updating APs for cases. I know the NCMEC had released a new AP for Kathryn Quackenbush, which had previously had none at all, even though she’s been missing for 35 years. I had bookmarked the poster and I went back to it… and the AP is gone.

Muttergrumble. Why on earth would they go to all the trouble to make one and then remove it? Maybe it’s a mistake. I don’t know who to email about it but I might call the hotline.

I looked elsewhere online — on Kathryn’s NamUs profile, and in a Google Image search — but that AP is well and truly gone. I wish I had grabbed it right away.

Sometimes the NCMEC adds info to posters, only to remove the info about five minutes later. They added an extra photo of Stephen Beard to his poster and I snatched it up straightaway because I had a feeling it would be gone soon, and it was, within a day or two.

At least I just noticed something that IS still on Kathryn’s poster that I don’t currently have: her nickname is Kitty. I’ll put that up anyhow.

I wish I knew more about her case. Newspapers.com has several hits for both “Kathryn Quackenbush” and “Kitty Quackenbush” but they’re all for someone who clearly isn’t my missing teenager.

Flashback Friday: Judith O’Donnell

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Judith Erin O’Donnell. She disappeared from Baltimore, Maryland on November 30, 1980, but she actually lived in New York City. She’d been visiting Baltimore with her family for Thanksgiving and the last time they saw her was when they dropped her off to get a bus back home.

Given Judith’s lifestyle, I think it’s very unlikely that she’s still alive. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a Jane Doe somewhere. Common sense would indicate that wherever she is, it’s somewhere between Baltimore and New York.

MP of the week: Cherice Ragins

This week’s case is Cherice Maria Ragins, a young woman of 24 who disappeared from Catonsville, Maryland on February 21, 2010. I pulled her file pretty much at random and noted it hadn’t been updated at all since I first posted the case four years ago. So here she is. Another one of those “few details are available” cases, although there are in this case a few details as opposed to none.

As for the rest of today’s updates, you’ve got your five, though none of them have much info attached. You could argue that it is those cases that have the most pressing need for coverage. Last night I mined the Texas database and found a lot of ones to put up. Vitia’s case concerns me. I normally don’t post runaways that are not on the NCMEC (basically, because they would be hard to keep track of; the NCMEC sends notices when they’re found but no one else does) but I made an exception for Vitia because, well, she was fracking TWELVE and with a man ten years older, and she’s been missing for over a decade. My guess is she’s somewhere in Mexico, probably with a couple of kids.

ET Themed Set: Moi II, Last post. Also, MWAB case, etc.

The last post in my themed set is Charlotte Bryant, who poisoned her husband with arsenic back in 1935. The police had a great deal of fun investigating her late husband’s body etc. with what was the very latest in forensic science. By modern standards, the forensic evidence against her was questionable, but I myself am pretty sure she was guilty.

This Executed Today post is from yesterday. Yesterday I couldn’t post anything because I was visiting my mom at my parents’ island summer home (they’ve shared custody of it since the divorce, alternating weeks) and I couldn’t even use the internet on my tablet because the power was out for most of the day on account of a storm which had pulled a tree out by its roots and dropped it on a line. (All the trees on the island have very shallow roots.) Mom had to make twelve trips back and forth between the island and the shore to transport power people, tree cutters, etc. I was able to check my email and Facebook on my cell phone but that was about it. On the plus side, I met my parents’ new neighbor on the island, and it in our getting-to-know-you talk I learned he been a prosecutor for twenty-five years and a defense attorney for five. I told him about the Charley Project and gave him a business card. Mom was glad I’d come to visit her. If I hadn’t, she’d have spent her birthday without any friends or relatives there at all.

And yes, I am well aware of the murder-without-a-body arrest in the Sheila and Katherine Lyon case. About 20 people, without exaggeration, have emailed me about it. They were such beautiful little girls. I will update the case when I can. Right now I’m visiting my dad at the university before my doctor’s appointment (which is in an hour and fifteen minutes). I hope the orthopedist gives me clearance to take the stupid sling off and resume normal activities, but somehow I doubt he will.

Cracked features missing people again

In their recent photoplasty, 23 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries Nobody Can Explain, Cracked has talked about Charley Project MPs Garnell Moore, Amy Bradley, Zachary Ramsay, Tara Calico, and of course the Sodder children.