According to the Charley Project’s visitor stats, Thursday, Friday and Saturday all saw over 10,000 visits, with over 15,000 on Friday. This is in contrast to the usual eight to nine thousand visits. Besides my frontpage, the most popular page on the site was Nicholas Patrick Barclay‘s casefile.
I think he might have been featured on CNN recently; my friend KC said he saw a program about “an impostor who passed himself off to family as missing son” and said one of their graphics was credited to the Charley Project. KC couldn’t remember the names in the CNN story, but if it wasn’t about Nicholas I don’t know who they could be referring to.
There’s an article about Marlena Childress, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from Tennessee 25 years ago today. As far as I know her mother, Pamela Bailey, remains the prime suspect in her case. Bailey actually confessed to killing Marlena accidentally and was charged with murder, but the charge was dropped for lack of evidence. In 2002, she stabbed her twelve-year-old son. He survived and she was convicted of attempted murder. (According to this article, she’s out of prison now.) The article doesn’t really have much information, and nothing new, but the NCMEC just put out a new AP for Marlena.
At 4:30 today in Dallas, Texas, they’ll be screening a documentary called The Imposter, about the guy who passed himself off as Nicholas Barclay, a missing boy from Texas, for five months. (There’s also a film that tells a fictionalized account of the story, called The Chameleon.) The fact that Nicholas’s family believed this person is an indication of the power of wishful thinking: he was 23, had dark brown hair and brown eyes, and a French accent, and he refused to voluntarily give his fingerprints. The real Nicholas would have been 17 at the time, and had light brown hair and blue eyes. The FBI finally got a court order to take the individual’s fingerprints, which established his true identity: he was actually a French citizen named Frédéric Pierre Bourdin. He has a history of using aliases and pretending to be other people; in fact, Nicholas is one of three missing boys whose identity Bourdin assumed. Perhaps he’s mentally ill or just a person with a pathological need for attention. In any case, he presumably caused terrible anguish for the Barclay family. Nicholas is still missing after almost eighteen years. He would be 31 today.
There have been several articles lately about Elizabeth Ann Gill, most recently this one from yesterday. Missing from her Missouri home since 1965, when she was only two, she’s one of the Charley Project’s oldest cases. The theory they’re working on now is that she was abducted by “gypsies” who were in the area at the time, and possibly given or sold to someone who wanted to raise a child. There’s a good chance that she’s alive today, and given her age at the time, it’s highly unlikely she would remember anything of her former life.