I can’t sleep tonight so I wound up checking my blog entries for June 29 on previous years. I began the blog in late 2008. There’s nothing from this day in 2009, 2010 or 2011, but on June 29, 2012 I (tongue in cheek) threatened to commit suicide after I counted my backlog and realized it was 987 cases. (The total is a lot higher now.)
On this date in 2013 I directed readers to Sean Munger’s coverage of Scott Hilbert‘s disappearance, and also noted that I was in the process of purging casefiles.
A year ago today was a Make-a-List Monday and a short commentary on a presumed-dead MP who basically died of stupidity. In the latter entry, questions were raised in the comments section about whether one of the photos I posted for Zulma Pabon was really her. (It turned out it wasn’t. Not my fault; the Virginia State Police posted the wrong pic. I think they might have pulled the picture from a driver’s license database and it was a different person with the same name.) I also griped about a case where the Alabama MP database made it look like James Aaron Toole disappeared 19 YEARS after he actually went missing.
You might recall a bit of commentroversy last summer when I added a photo to Zulma Pabon’s casefile that looked nothing like all the other pictures. I had gotten the photo from the Virginia State Police and I called them and they swore it was legit, but I decided to remove it.
Well, I don’t know if it was my inquiry that set things in motion or what, but if you go to the Virginia State Police MP listings now and scroll down, you’ll find the old photo of Zulma replaced by two ones that are definitely her.
I have had some consideration and thought about what the commenters on this blog have had to say, and decided to remove the disputed photograph of Zulma Lexandra Pabon, the one everyone thinks looks nothing like the others. Because, in spite of the Virginia State Police’s reassurances, I’m still not sure it’s her. The different hair and darker skin tone could conceivably be explained by makeup, hair dye/perm, lighting, etc. But it’s the chin that gets me: the woman in the first photo has an almost triangular face, with a very sharp chin. In the other photos Zulma’s face looks rounder, even square-ish, with a much less pronounced chin.
So the photo’s gone. It’s not like I don’t already have a bunch of others. And if it turns out, down the line, that I find out for sure that picture from the VA state police site really is of her, I can just put it back up.
Two people have asked, so I thought I would make a statement about the first photograph in Zulma Pabon‘s casefile. Yes, I know it doesn’t look like the other ones. But yes, I believe it’s really her, unless the Virginia State Police really screwed up, cause that’s where I got the picture from.
[EDIT: Okay, I just called up the Virginia State Police myself and brought it to their attention. They assured me that this really is her photograph, provided to them by the Chesterfield Police, and it’s a driver’s license picture. DMV photos never seem to look much like you anyway, and perhaps this is an older one or something. But it really is her.]