Lauria Bible’s mom is in bad shape but still hoping they’ll find her daughter’s body

It was published today that Lorene Bible has liver failure. She’s at stage four, which Dr. Google says is end-stage; less than half of people with stage four liver failure survive a year after diagnosis. She’s on the transplant list, but if she doesn’t get a new liver she’s going to die, and probably soon.

To briefly summarize, Lorene’s daughter Lauria Bible disappeared in 1999 with her friend Ashley Freeman, after Ashley’s parents were murdered and their house was torched while Lauria was spending the night over there. We know what happened to the girls and it’s horrific, but they’ve never actually been found. I’ve written about the case numerous times before.

It’s likely Lorene will die without her daughter’s body being located, though she and her husband Jay are trying their best to ensure that doesn’t happen. I cannot imagine the mental torture those two have endured over the past twenty years. You let your kid spend the night with her best friend and it turns out to be the worst decision you ever made in your life.

As for me, I am feeling a bit better. I was able to do a small update today and I might add more as the evening progresses, depending on the time situation. Michael’s home from work now and I have to go and cook dinner in a bit. I’m trying to learn to cook all sorts of healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes for him now and to that end have ordered a bunch of cookbooks. Tonight it’s kasha, cooked in reduced-sodium chicken stock.

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.

This is going to throw a wrench in things

Happened to catch this breaking news about a new Supreme Court ruling. Headline: “Supreme Court rules swath of Oklahoma remains tribal reservation.” As the article explains:

The court’s 5-4 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa, the second-largest city.

The court’s ruling casts doubt on hundreds of convictions won by local prosecutors. The case, argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic, revolved around an appeal by an American Indian who claimed state courts had no authority to try him for a crime committed on reservation land that belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

If I am reading this right, this ruling may mean that Oklahoma state prosecutors cannot prosecute crimes that occur within that area, and such cases will have to be handled by either tribal authorities or federal authorities. Me being me, I wondered what effect this is going to have on the missing persons cases in that area. Tulsa alone has quite a few missing persons listed on Charley.

We’ll have to see what happens, I guess. Another uncertainty in what has become a year full of uncertainties.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Meredith Medina

(I had pre-written cases for September 30 and October 1, using the app on my phone. I didn’t realize until very late on October 1 that neither of them went up, and in fact they seem to have vanished. I need to stop using that app to try to write entries; it never seems to work well. I am trying to reconstruct the entries from memory.)

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Meredith Ann Medina, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Midwest City, Oklahoma on February 14, 1989. She may go by the nickname Mere or her middle name, Ann.

She’s classified as a runaway, and I don’t know anything else about her disappearance. However, it’s worth noting that Meredith’s stepmother, Nancy Jean Medina, also disappeared without a trace in the 1980s, four and a half years before Meredith did.

It could be just a coincidence that there are two women missing from the same family. Certainly I’ve seen numerous cases of multiple people in a family disappearing in completely unrelated instances. It is odd, though.

If still alive, Meredith is now 46 years old, 47 late this month.

Black History Month: Terrence Haney

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 Terrence Lee Haney, age 36, who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 2, 2001.

I don’t have very many details, just that he apparently disappeared somewhere in the two-block distance between his sister’s home and his own. Foul play is suspected.

Terrence Haney is related by marriage to another missing black man, Edward Larnell Martin, who disappeared from Tulsa in 1999. No apparent connection, though. Just a lot of bad luck there.

Native American Heritage Month: Kimberly Mullens

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Kimberly Doreen Mullens, a 33-year-old woman who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1, 1998. I don’t know her tribe.

The circumstances of her disappearance are suspicious, as she was in an abusive marriage. Her husband said she simply left him after an argument, but that’s the kind of story we hear a lot.

MP of the week: Timur Mardeyev

This week’s featured missing person is Timur Mardeyev, a 27-year-old man who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 29, 2011.

Mardeyev was born and raised in Kazakhstan, which is in central Asia, but it looks like he’s ethnically Russian; Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union. Mardeyev was a recent immigrant; he moved to the U.S. the same year he disappeared and lived with relatives. He had a fiancee in Russia and they planned to settle in Tulsa after the marriage.

It looks like something terrible happened to him. From his GPS we know he didn’t drive his usual route. The GPS has the car visiting two casinos, and when it found abandoned in a parking lot:

Mardeyev’s keys were in the ignition and his GPS system and expensive sunglasses were inside the car, along with a bottle of Coke and an open bottle of whiskey. His Bible and some paperwork he was filling out for his visa were missing.

There was gravel in the front and back seats of the car, which is uncharacteristic of Mardeyev; he kept his vehicle very clean. The car’s money change compartment had been cleaned out and the radio was tuned to a rap station; Mardeyev listened only to CDs or a Russian-language station. In addition, the driver’s seat was pulled too far forward for a person of Mardeyev’s height.

Furthermore, although he was carrying a lot of cash, perhaps as much as $5,000, his family said he was frugal and not the kind of person who would have gone to a casino. The casino had no surveillance cameras (seems odd to me that they didn’t) so no one knows whether Mardeyev actually went there and left his car there.

Native American Heritage Month: Dawn Nakedhead

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Dawn Michelle Nakedhead, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma on October 18, 1991. (I had her middle name misspelled as “Mechelle.” It’s corrected now.) I do not know her tribe.

Dawn has a very large family and lived with her aunt, Joyce Green, at the time of her disappearance. It’s pretty common for Native American children to live with extended family members. She was last seen using the phone at a convenience store. She was going to stay the night with a friend in nearby Muskogee, but I guess she never arrived at her friend’s house.

Mystery U did a piece on Dawn in September; it includes an age-progression they made. The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear. Sadly, her mother, Lorene, died in 2017 without ever learning what happened to her, and at least one of her brothers is also deceased.

A long-ago disappearance and a repressed memory

I wrote up the case of Maxine Beatrice Green last night. The details, if true, are pretty horrifying. According to Maxine’s daughter Norma, her ex-husband, Hobart, raped Maxine and beat and strangled her to death and buried her body in a river bottom.

The problem with Norma’s story is that she says she repressed the memory and it only came back to her 25 years after the fact, and she has exactly zero hard evidence to support it.

That Norma herself believes the murder happened is evident in the fact that, after the police wouldn’t listen to her, she used her own money to have the alleged burial site excavated. That Hobart murdered his wife I can also well believe; he was a demonstrably violent man who later beat his baby son to death and buried the body on his farm.

But nothing turned up at Norma’s excavation site except a few buttons and some animal bones. They should have found at least Maxine’s purse, or part of it, or some of the contents of it, as Norma remembers the purse being buried with her mother.

It’s possible, I suppose, that every part of Norma’s story is correct EXCEPT the burial site. But I have some other questions:

  1. What about Norma’s sister, who was also alleged to be present at the murder and burial? What is she saying? How old was she at the time; was she old enough to remember any of this?
  2. What about Hobart’s girlfriend, who was also said to have been there? She is unnamed in the news articles. Does Norma know her identity, and was she ever interviewed?
  3. Maxine and Hobart had four other children. Where were they on the night in question, and do they remember anything?

I think Hobart must be dead by now. I can find no record of his death, but he’d be nearly 90 today and I can’t find him listed as an inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections database.

Given how old the case is, and how Hobart was already in prison for life, I can understand that the police were reluctant to invest a lot of resources in this. But six children grew up with their mother, and it would be nice to know why, and where she is now.

Reader discretion advised

So here’s a copy of the court filing in the Ashley Freeman/Lauria Bible case. It is horrific. I haven’t even read it yet myself and I know it’s going to be horrific.

I did glance at the first few pages and it looks like the sole living suspect, Ronnie Busick, was the lookout and two men who are beyond earthly justice actually killed Danny and Kathy Freeman. And of course, if Busick and his lawyer have any brains at all they’re going to dump as much blame as possible on the dead guys and paint him as an innocent bystander or something.

I had bad dreams last night about the girls being held captive by those men. Some real Silence of the Lambs type stuff.

Not gonna update today. I’ve been out all day and now I’ve got some things to do. I’ve got to deal with an email sent in with about a zillion corrections on one of my cases. And possibly take Michael to the hospital when he gets home, depending on how awful he feels. He’s been sick for awhile.