MP of the week: Wilfred King

This week’s featured MP (had to skip last week due to webhost non-cooperation, sorry) is Wilfred F. King III, a 37-year-old man who disappeared from Essex, Vermont on October 24, 1980.

Wilfred was in the middle of a divorce at the time of his disappearance, and one of his sons, Joey, later sued his mother, Wilfred’s wife, for his wrongful death. However, no one was ever charged in Wilfred’s death, and Joey later reconciled with his mother.

Select It Sunday: Marble Arvidson

This was suggested by Liza E. way back in January: Marble Ace Arvidson, 17, missing from Brattleboro, Vermont on August 27, 2011.

Marble was classified as a special needs child, but I’m not exactly sure what his special needs were. He was in foster care, but it doesn’t seem to have been a “typical” foster home:  this article says, “Marble lived with a mentor — a legal guardian in his 20s — along with another teenager and that teen’s mentor.” He had some emotional problems and issues with aggression, but he was considered high-functioning and planned to attend college. One of the schools he was looking at was the University of Vermont, and I know you need to be a good student with above-average test scores to get in there.

His case is a strange one because he appears to have simply dropped off the face of the earth. There’s some suggestion that he might have drowned in Hurricane Irene, which was causing raging floods in the area at the time, and that would certainly explain things, but there’s no actual evidence to support this theory as far as I know.

My friend Sean Munger blogged about Marble’s case in 2013. There was an article about Marble published last month, mentioning that it’s now been five years since his disappearance.

Executed Today in 1883: Emeline Meaker

Another blog post by me: Emeline Meaker, the first woman (of two) hanged in Vermont. I like to point to cases like this when people try to say child abuse is a sign of the depravity of modern life. Alice Meaker’s murder was every bit as horrific as any child abuse homicide you’d find splashed across the headlines today. Also note the complicity of the neighbors, another factor in many such modern murders.

Family Research Council says gay parents shouldn’t be protected from parental kidnapping

A bunch of jerks conservative lobbying group called the Family Research Council has issued a statement saying that gay people don’t have the right to keep their kids from getting kidnapped by the non-custodial parent.

The case they’re talking about is that of Isabella Miller-Jenkins, whose two moms conceived her using a sperm donor and artificial insemination. Then the moms split up, the bio-mom getting primary custody and mom #2 getting visitation. But bio-mom found religion, renounced homosexuality, and decided she didn’t want Isabella to have anything to do with her other mother. She refused to abide by the visitation agreement, and after awhile the judge got fed up and awarded custody of Isabella to mom #2. At which point bio-mom took the child and vanished.

That was three years ago and no one seems to know where either of them are. From this New York Times article from last summer:

Isabella Miller-Jenkins has spent her last three birthdays on the run, “bouncing around the barrios of Nicaragua,” as one federal agent put it, a lively blond girl and her mother trying to blend in and elude the United States marshals who have traveled to the country in pursuit.

She can now chatter in Spanish, but her time in Nicaragua has often been lonely, those who have met her say, long on prayer but isolated. She has been told that she could be wrenched from her mother if they are caught. She has also been told that the other woman she once called “Mama,” Ms. Miller’s former partner from a civil union in Vermont that she has since renounced, cannot go to heaven because she lives in sin with women.

This makes me no more and no less angry than any other parental abduction case. Whatever you think about gay marriage, evangelical Christianity and so on, Lisa Miller broke the law, yanked Isabella out of her life and took her on the run, and deprived her of a relationship with a woman who had loved her from the day she was born. There’s nothing Christian about that and I’m pretty sure Jesus (who never said ANYTHING about gayness that we know of) would not approve. Lisa Miller said she believed Janet Jenkins should only be considered Isabella’s “friend” rather than her mother, but as Janet pointed out, people don’t pay child support for their friends.

The Family Research Council is saying that because the gay parent has no biological relation to the child, they should have no rights. But, as the article points out, quoting Queerty,

Queerty points out that parenthood has never been solely about biology, however.

“Millions of straight Americans adopt, foster, use surrogates and IV treatments, and otherwise parent kids that are not biologically related to them,” Queerty’s Dan Avery writes. “Including, we can only assume, members of the FRC.”

A commenter on the article has something interesting to say:

I wonder if these guys know how often they push otherwise un-involved people towards the side of marriage equality. I’ve always thought LGBT rights should be equal, but truth be told I never actively involved myself until I started hearing these folks’ statements about “biological” families and their superiority to all other families. I’m not LGBT, but I am adopted. It made me think, if my family as an adopted family, could be relegated to “lesser than” based on religion, out-dated studies, and personal opinions….then what must it be like to already be relegated to lesser than with fewer rights and protections for one’s family. As soon as that thought entered my mind, my activism level shot way up.

Well, I finally did it

After months of procrastinating, I have finally written up the abduction of Isabella Miller-Jenkins for posting later today. The case has raised national headlines and loads of mud-slinging and ire and what have you, because Isabella’s parents were lesbian lovers who conceived her with donor sperm. Then they split up and the bio-mom started talking about how the other wasn’t really Isabella’s mom, and then she renounced her homosexuality and joined Jerry Falwell’s church and everything kind of went to hell after that. This has been going on for years and of course the biggest loser is the child.

I know I’m probably going to get a nasty email or two over my casefile for Isabella, although I’ve tried very hard not to sound partisan.

Guilty plea in Mary Wilcox case

Jeanne Sevigny, the daughter of Mary Wilcox, has pleaded no contest to manslaughter in her mother’s death. She was sentenced to four to fifteen years in prison.

Mary was 78 when she disappeared in 2006 and she had Alzheimer’s Disease, and everyone thought she had just wandered away from home. No one was the wiser for years, until Jeanne’s son Gregory, who disposed of Mary’s body, told his girlfriend about it and she spilled the beans.

Jeanne claims what actually happened was that Mary tried to commit suicide and Jeanne accidentally shot her while they were wrestling over the gun. However, Gregory’s girlfriend said she doubted Mary was physically capable of the act, and the police and prosecutors believe Jeanne actually killed her mother to get rid of the burden of caring for her. So does the judge. As the prosecutor pointed out, “somebody does not go to these lengths [to cover it up] if someone died in a non criminal type of situation.”

But there isn’t enough evidence to prove murder — no body, no blood — so Jeanne took the manslaughter plea.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Burlington Free Press