Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Song

And in one night, in one hour, in one moment of time, the lips of the spirit parted and spoke the sacred word, "Life"; and it became flesh in an infant lying asleep in the lap of a virgin, in a stable where shepherds guarded their flocks against the assault of wild beasts of the night, and looked with wonder upon that humble infant, asleep in the manger.
-- Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RIP Zahra Baker

Sorry folks.
Those who have been reading this blog know that I often include something about the holidays as they arrive. Now I have let Halloween and Thanksgiving go by without adding anything new. Instead, I have been trying to keep up with the case of Zahra Baker, a child who went missing from Hickory, NC in October.

This story kept getting sadder the more I learned about it.
This is the saddest story I have ever tried to blog about yet.
I have decided to let YouTube tell the story to you instead.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Question of Sanity

Once there ruled in the distant city of Wirani a king who was both mighty and wise. And he was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom.

Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was clear and crystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the king and his courtiers; for there was no other well.

One night when all were asleep, a witch entered the city, and poured seven drops of strange liquid into the well, and said, "From this hour he who drinks this water shall become mad."

Next morning all the inhabitants, save for the king and his lord chamberlain, drank from the well and became mad, even as the witch had foretold.

And during the day the people in the narrow streets and the market places did naught but whisper to one another, "The king is mad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason. Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him."

That evening the king ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave it to his lord chamberlain to drink.

And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani, because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason.

-- Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Birthday Balloons

Recently, when we last got together to honor the memory of Debbie Key, we had a balloon release. Now her birthday is coming up, on Sept. 21. In deciding how to commemorate this occasion, I thought some more balloons might be in order.

For those of us who do not speak German;
The German word for "balloon" is "Luftballoon," which means "air balloon," but it is one word. The word "red" was added when translated into English so as to give it the same number of syllables. In the original German recording, there is no reference to the color of the balloons.

Debbie's taste in music was widely varied. She liked rock, country, folk, and classical. I'm sure she would approve. Happy Birthday, Debbie, wherever you are...

Sunday, August 22, 2010



On Thursday, Aug 19, I've had the honor of meeting Monica Caison and Lisa Valentino, as well as Lisa's two children, and other members of the CUE staff who were too busy taking pictures for introductions.

The weather had co-operated beautifully. It had been drizzling that morning, but it stopped long enough before the gathering that we were able to do everything outside in the parking lot, including setting up a table with pictures, flowers, and candles, and the CUE Center's big sign. I was joined by my friends Joy, Steve, and Laurel. There was a great bunch of balloons (bio-degradable, I am told) which were released at the end of our gathering.

Monica's team arrived in a big white van, emblazoned on the sides with color pictures of about a hundred missing persons, arranged in the shape of a map of the United States. The same image is on the sign.

Reporter Katelyn Ferral with the News and Observer (Chapel Hill News) was on the scene. She promised to notify me when her story is printed.

Monica called for some group shots of us with our balloons by the big sign they had set up. Cameras were still ready when Monica asked if we wanted a moment of silence before releasing the balloons.
"We're not very good at being silent." Joy said.
"Except whenever we go by this parking lot."
I can certainly say the same for myself.

It was fun watching the colorful display of balloons going up, up, and away.
Lots of photos were taken, which I am looking forward to seeing and sharing.

I came home with some nice souvenirs, including a t-shirt, booklet, and DVD.
It makes me happy to know that Debbie is being remembered by new friends, as well as her old ones.
Looks like N&O did a good job for us! What do you think?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

CUE Coming to Carrboro

The CUE Center for Missing Persons, as part of their annual 'On the Road to Remember Tour,' will be making a stopover to remember Debbie Key at the Jade Palace Restaurant in Carrboro, NC, on Thursday, August 19, at 11:30 AM.

For those who came late, The Cue Center became involved in Debbie's case after skeletons were found in Wilmington, NC, more than 10 years after Debbie's suspected killer stated in his confession that he dumped the body in Wilmington. The remains were later identified as those of Allison Jackson-Foy and Angela Rothen. NC Wanted has made an episode about Allison Jackson-Foy as well as one about Debbie Key. Jim Ware of Star News in Wilmington had written an article comparing the two cases.

Links to the websites of Allison Jackson-Foy and CUE Center for Missing Persons are on the Links List. Special thanks to CUE Center.
UPDATE - Aug 15
News report of this event by News 14 Carolina

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Take Me to the River

Sometime this morning, I decided to turn off my computer and put on my hiking boots. I strapped on my water bottle and binoculars, and headed out on foot down to the Haw River, which runs clear across Chatham County. I'm glad part of it runs within hiking distance from my house.

The first time I came to this river I saw a great blue heron. He hopped off of a rock, beat his wings a few times, then spread them out like a kite, gliding across the trail as I made my approach. I took this as a good sign. It was a sign that said, "Welcome."

I pass a horse farm on the way. A pretty pinto sees me walking down the road and comes to the fence to greet me as I walk by. I stop to pat her. I can see she is very friendly and likes to be patted. I see the sign that says "Horse for Sale."

"Wish I could!" I say to the horse, then give her one more rub on the head before going on my way. I turned around at some point to see her still looking at me from behind the fence. I wave and say, "Bye bye." It sure would be more fun to do this trip on horseback than on foot.

Around one more bend and down a hill and I come to the river. This is a great place for bird watching. Mallard ducks and egrets are common to see, also tanagers and vireos. During the spring, the tree frogs sing all night long. In summer, the river is full of turtles and frogs. This place is magical. I used to come here and write about "plants and birds and rocks and things" before I ever wrote about crime.

I found a nice rock to sit on while meditating on the sound of water spilling over rocks. The sound is soothing. I let it carry me away.

The memory of another hiking trip floods over me. I was with a group of friends looking for a body. I ask myself why it was easier for me to write about myself as the third person when I wrote about that venture. I'm still not sure why.

Every day since that day, I have thought about when the remains of Debbie Key will be found. I keep believing it will happen some day. I hope I will be alive when that day comes.

Pearl is a lady I often see. We get along well as friends, but never got past the friendship stage. She always tried to encourage me to get back to writing about nature, and laments that Debbie has taken so much of my attention since 2005. I tried to take her advice, and what happens? I can no longer hike down this trail without thinking about looking for bones.

All along the roads out here it is common to see dead deer, that have been road-killed, in various stages of decay. State wildlife authorities have reported that there are more white-tailed deer in Chatham County than there are humans. We definitely share habitat, but unfortunately many get killed by our cars. I often see herds of them crossing my yard. Yet, no matter how many times I see their skeletal remains on the roadside, I have to stop and look. Except for the skull. pelvis, and feet, they look quite human.

I am trying to prepare myself for what I hope to find someday.

John Allore traveled from Quebec, Canada to North Carolina to get away from Theresa, but found that he couldn't get away. Now I find that a nice visit to the river can no longer take me away from Debbie. It comes as no surprise.

Coming back home, I think about the last time I walked alone through Carrboro, I was approached by a man who recognized me as the one doing the website about Debbie Key. He was on a tirade about how he wants to hang Dalzell from the old oak tree, and hold a torch under his butt while he hangs there. He wants me to encourage people to hunt down his nasty ass so we can do this. Then I'll really have something to write about. I told him, "Love is a whole lot stronger than hate, and it feels better. You should try it sometime." Then I walked away.

I didn't spend much time in Carrboro after that. I felt more comfortable being out here where my neighbors know me only as the nice old hippie who lives down the road, who grows flowers and smiles at everyone. Then one day, my neighbors were watching NC Wanted and saw me in it. They soon learned about the website I am doing, and the story I've been telling. It hasn't seemed to affect the way they relate to me at all. They all kinda say, "Go for it!"

But it reminds me that I cannot walk away from Debbie Key. She's gonna follow me wherever I go. However, I no longer see this as a bad thing.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Poop on Van der Sloot

Since I began recording anniversary dates on missing and murdered persons, I have always found interesting parallels in them. But this is the most interesting of all.

May 30, 2005 - Natalee Holloway went missing in Aruba.
May 30, 2010 - Stephany Flores was murdered in Peru.

Was this done on purpose? Or was it coincidence?

Same "suspect" in both cases, that being Joran Van der Sloot, who has managed to BS his way out of being charged (with help from his father, of course) with what has become the most widely publicized missing persons case of this decade. He has given inconsistent confessions to the police, as if it were a game to him, and still managed to walk free.

Is this story starting to sound familiar yet?

It wasn't until June 2 that the body of Flores was found stabbed to death in Van der Sloot's hotel room in Lima, Peru, prompting one of the questions I've been hearing most.

Why didn't he try to hide the body this time?

But there's an even bigger question than that.
Here we have a man who has literally gotten away with murder, in a case that has made news around the world, so why wasn't he doing his very best to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life, instead of pressing his luck?

Some suggest that the man was convinced he could get away with anything, and decided he could afford to get cocky. Of course, he should have taken into consideration the fact that his father, who was a diplomat in Aruba with political pull, is no longer alive to bail him out.

Oh, and another thing. He was no longer in Aruba, but in South America.

It wasn't until June 3 that Van der Sloot was captured, a long long way from Lima, Peru, in Santiago, Chile. It would have been a shorter trip to head back to Venezuela, where he could take a boat back to Aruba. Was he enjoying the thrill of the chase?

Now here is an interesting 'reverse parallel' if you will.
The father of Van der Sloot (now deceased) was a person of considerable influence in Aruba.
The father of Stephany Flores is a person of considerable influence in Peru, which, unfortunately for Van der Sloot, is where he is now.

Ricardo Flores is well known as a former race car driver with the Peruvian Auto Club and a respectable business man. Not surprisingly, this man has shown a great deal of interest in punishing the man who killed his daughter. He offers us these words.

"Joran was able to laugh at the crime he committed in Aruba, but in Peru he won't be able to laugh."

After the arrest. the mother of Natalee Holloway tells us Joran had the audacity to come to Alabama attempting to collect extortion money for revealing where he really hid the body. A warrant was issued for his arrest in the US on Thursday.

So why was he being so cocky? Did he really think he could get away with everything he did? Is this all just a big game to him that he enjoyed? I have another theory.

I'm no expert, so take this for what it's worth. I believe that Joran is the kind of killer that can't stop killing. People like this do not stop until they are stopped, either by being locked up, or by being killed themselves. (Excuse me while I get on my soapbox)

Preaching the Gospel to a killer like Joran does not work. There is no explaining to him that killing people is wrong and we mustn't do that. This kind of problem cannot be cured by counseling and parole. Once we have a person like this behind bars, PLEASE! For God's Sake! For the Good of All Concerned! DON"T EVER TURN HIM LOOSE AGAIN!

Okay, I'm finished.
UPDATE - Monday, June 7
Today I've found this interesting post in WICI. It seems Pat Brown disagrees with my serial killer theory. For a second opinion, although a good one, I must admit, check out

I have found conflicting reports on how Stephany Flores was killed. Not all say she was stabbed to death.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Now We Are Three

This is me and my friends during a gathering in beautiful downtown Carrboro. We may look a little older now, but you should still be able to recognize some of us.

Friends of Debbie Key appeared on the Internet for the first time on June 1, 2007. It was preceded by "Debbie Key: Murder Victim" which appeared December of 2005.

So far this year has been very encouraging, with three times as many website visits, and more comments than ever before.

In January there was an interview with News 14 Carolina with me, Chris, and Joy, and they decided to keep Chris and Joy. I keep telling myself this is okay, because our story is about Debbie, not me. I'll get my Andy Warhol moment someday.

This year my friends finally succeeded in convincing me to sign up for Facebook, and it wasn't easy for them. Eventually I was assured I wouldn't be attracting the creepy kind of visitors we've all been warned about. Indeed, I was much surprised to find how many people I know are already there. I am fond of the saying, "The friends of my friends are my friends." In Facebbook, this saying has taken on new meaning.

Perhaps the most exciting day for us this year was on March 29, with the news of the sentencing of Mr. Dalzell, and our favorite news reporters wanting to talk to us about it. I don't think we will be forgetting that anytime soon!

Another exciting event happened just a week ago, when Joy and I got to see our friend, John Allore, performing in "Eurydice," a play at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. YAY! That was fun!

This summer I'm looking forward to meeting with the CUE Center for Missing Persons when they have their "On the Road to Remember Tour."

I sure hope we keep those comments coming in, and not the kind I have to delete. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Monday, May 24, 2010

National Missing Children's Day

The following is from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC.
National Missing Children's Day - May 25

Between 1979 and 1981 a series of high-profile missing-children cases became national headlines. Three such cases contributed to the shock of the nation’s consciousness bringing attention to the seriousness of child victimization and forever changing the response by law-enforcement agencies to reports of missing children.

On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz disappeared from a New York City street on his way to school. Even before cases of missing children routinely garnered national media attention, Etan’s case quickly received a lot of coverage. His father, a professional photographer, disseminated black-and-white photographs of Etan in an effort to find him. The massive search and media attention that followed focused the nation’s attention on the problem of child abduction and lack of plans to address it.

For almost three years national media attention was focused on Atlanta, Georgia, where the bodies of young boys and girls were discovered in lakes, marshes, and ponds along roadside trails. By the time a suspect was arrested and identified in 1981, 29 bodies were recovered. The suspect was apprehended, convicted, and now serves a life sentence in prison.

On July 27, 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from a Florida shopping mall. His parents, John and Revé Walsh, immediately turned to law-enforcement agencies to help find their son. To their disappointment, there was no coordinated effort among law enforcement to search for Adam on a state or national level, and no organization to help them in their desperation.

The tragedies of these children and others exposed a fundamental flaw. There was no coordinated effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement; no national response system in place; and no central resource to help searching families. When it came to handling missing-children cases, the United States was a nation of 50 states often acting like 50 separate countries.

The momentum that began with the disappearance of Etan, Adam, and the 29 missing and murdered children of Atlanta led to photographs of missing children on milk cartons and, ultimately, a nationwide movement. In 1983 President Ronald Regan proclaimed May 25 National Missing Children’s Day. Each administration since has honored this annual reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families and make child protection a national priority. National Missing Children’s Day is a reminder to all parents and guardians of the need for high-quality photographs of their children for use in case of an emergency, and for the need for everyone to pay close attention to the posters and photographs of missing children.

Special thanks to Giorgio Ryan, Monica Caison, and John Walsh.
UPDATE - May 26

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brandy Hanna: 5 Years Missing

Another popular vacation spot in South Carolina, besides Myrtle Beach, is Charleston. It was here that Brandy Hanna went missing on May 20, 2005.

Brandy worked with her mother, who is the manager, at Alex's Restaurant in Charleston. (Not to be confused with Alice's Restaurant.) Brandy was quite popular there, and got along well with everyone. She didn't have any enemies. One day Brandy came home from work, called her mom and texted some friends, and no one has heard from her since.

Here is her story in America's Most Wanted,

the Charley Project,

Project Jason,

and in her own website.

Brandy Hanna has literally disappeared without a trace. Her mother, Donna Parent, has never given up, and her posters are still on display in Charleston, SC.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Madeleine McCann Anniversary

Madeleine McCann has been missing since May 3, 2007.
Her birthday is May 12, 2003. She was almost 4 years old when she went missing, and will soon be 7 if still alive.

Also known as Maddie, she went missing from Proia Da Luz, Portugal, while on vacation with her family, from the apartment where they were staying.

Here is the McCann's official family website
and blog.

Here is a very nice tribute page made to Madeleine in Facebook.!/pages/Madeleine-McCann/29095946153?ref=search&sid=1847184243.418146390..1

Todd Matthews is 40 years old today. Mr. Matthews has done more for missing persons, I believe, than any other living individual I know. Happy Birthday, Todd! Keep up the good work!

The trial of Demario Atwater continues today here in NC for the murder of Eve Carson.

On Wednesday May 5, it will be 2 years since the murder of Ira Yarmolenko. There is a tribute page to her in Facebook as well.!/group.php?gid=13079847854&ref=search&sid=1847184243.3600478404..1

And tonight, Bill Tomsick goes on the radio to talk about getting NASA to help find missing persons. Get access here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Atwater Pleads Guilty

Demario Atwater pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. This may be the smartest move he has ever made. This works for us as well, for it will make the rest of the trial go a whole lot smoother. No more endless appeals. (Thank God!)

Life without parole - This is the best we can hope for.
Of course, I would rather see him at the end of a rope, but we know that will never happen. We may never see a punishment that will truly fit the crime. Still, if Eve's parents are pleased with the plea bargain, then I am happy for them.

I've read a lot of news articles about the results of the trial so far, and I've decided WRAL tells it best. Besides, they have some good videos too. Check it out.

BTW - Here's something I found in Topix.
I wonder who this "Mr Bill" character is. Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brittanee Drexel Anniversary, Vigil

Brittanee Drexel went missing April 25, 2009. This weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC, starting on the evening of April 24, 2010, there will be a candlelight vigil in her memory.

Police in Myrtle Beach have announced they have a few persons of interest, but have declined to give much more information, other than to say they don't believe she is alive, but they do believe they will find who killed her, if they haven't already.

Search efforts have been conducted by CUE Center for Missing Persons, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Laura Recovery Center, Southeastern Mounted Search and Rescue, Cold Case Group, and Adam Walsh Foundation.
I apologize if I left anyone out.

For more information check out

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Jamie Fraley Anniversary

Jamie Michelle Fraley went missing April 8, 2008, from Gastonia, NC. It has now been two years. Jamie was born March 5, 1986, and was 22 years old when she disappeared. She is one of two missing persons cases that occurred near the same time and place as the murder of Ira Yarmolenko. Search efforts have brought us more questions than answers, and her story is as bizarre as it is sad.

Jamie Fraley's story in America's Most Wanted,

The Charley Project,

Help Find The Missing,

News 14 Carolina, (with video)

North American Missing Persons Network,

and Project Jason

A month after Fraley went missing, on May 4, 2008, Jennifer Rivkin of Kings Mountain, NC went missing. Her borrowed car, unlocked with purse inside, was found in the parking lot of the Winner's Circle Bar & Grill in Gastonia, NC.
On May 5, 2008, the body and car of Ira Yarmolenko were found on the bank of the Catawba River in Mt. Holly, NC, which is near Gastonia, also in Gaston County.

Texas EquuSearch had planned a search for Jamie Fraley and Jennifer Rivkin in Gaston County on October of 2008, but they didn't follow through with that plan. Andrew Dalzell has been living in Stanley, NC in Gaston County since he left the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, and later moved to Gastonia before his arrest last year. A South Carolina serial killer, Patrick Burns, ended up in Gastonia last summer, where he was gunned down by police on July 6, 2009. Gaston County sounds very much like an area Stephen King might write a story about. I have been there myself and can tell you first-hand there is something spooky about that area. I don't want to go back.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Can NASA Help Find Missing Persons?

Yesterday, being a holiday, was a busy day on Facebook. There was more traffic in there than there was on any road anywhere near my neighborhood. It seems every one of my Facebook friends had been there sometime during the day, and had something to add. The most interesting addition I've found was posted by my friend, Yvonne Prior.

A man named Bill Tomsick has come up with what I think is a very good idea. If NASA can watch over the entire surface of the planet as well as they say they can, why not use this technology to fight crime? The question begs to be answered. They may not be able to find a skeleton buried in the woods, but they should be able to find someone grabbing a child and dragging him into a car, especially if they know where to look, and what time. I gave this idea a lot of thought before responding, and Mr. Tomsick and I ended up becoming Facebook friends.

When I checked in with Facebbok today I happened to catch Mr. Tomsick in the Chat. We discussed this idea, and how to get the word out to people. It seems this man has been trying very hard to get just a little bit of air-time with various TV and radio stations, and never got any response from them. I agreed to try to help by telling my readers about it. A good idea should never be wasted.

I would advise not to read the page of the above link in a hurry, but carefully. It makes perfect sense to me. But I've learned that just because an idea makes sense doesn't always mean people will go for it. Consider there was a time when people thought the telephone was just a passing fad, that will die out as soon as the novelty wears off.

Perhaps we are not comfortable with the thought of an intimate encounter we may enjoy in a backyard swimming pool being observed from the sky. Perhaps we are concerned this sounds a bit too much like George Orwell's novel, "1984." If it's privacy we're worried about, consider how little privacy a missing person has, or the families.

Now I'm asking my readers to please read this carefully, and please give it some thought. Then I want you to get back to me with your feedback. Can you do that?
Here it is again.
Thank you!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

"No one will recognize me in this disguise. I'll just blend in with the crowd here, see, and no one will ever suspect that I'm really an undercover kitty!"

In loving memory of friends who are no longer here.
In loving gratitude for friends who are living today.
Have a Hippity Hoppity Happy Easter Day!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dalzell Sentenced

From Asheville Citizen Times
Man gets 27 years in Buncombe Internet child sex sting
This time, they got their man.

A suspect cleared in the disappearance of a woman 12 years ago was sentenced Friday to nearly 27 years in federal prison for using the Internet to entice someone he thought was a Buncombe County girl to meet him for sex.

Andrew Douglas Dalzell, 33, pleaded guilty to the crime in U.S. District Court in Asheville.

Judge Martin Reidinger ruled he had to take Dalzell's confession to the 1997 slaying of Deborah Key into account in the sentencing even though a murder charge was thrown out when a state court judge ruled the confession was inadmissible.

Buncombe County sheriff's deputies charged Dalzell in February 2007 with solicitation of a child by computer after he initiated explicit chats with an undercover officer posing as an 11-year-old girl. Dalzell was arrested after he drove from Gastonia to the Asheville area to meet the girl.

Reidinger said he hoped the stiff sentence would serve as a deterrent to other potential child sex offenders.

“That's the sort of behavior that this society cannot tolerate,” he said.

Dalzell sobbed as he apologized for this crime.

“I made an extraordinarily bad judgment,” he said. “I am not a bad person. I love my mother, I love my wife, I love my baby. Being away from them hurts.”

A judge in Orange County threw out a 2004 murder charge against Dalzell after finding police fabricated an arrest warrant to pressure him into a confession.

Police said Dalzell was last seen with Key at a Carrboro pool hall just before her disappearance. Investigators in Carrboro never found a body or other physical evidence linking Dalzell to Key's disappearance, but in 2004 they saw a chance at a confession, Carrboro police Lt. John Lau said.

The opportunity arose after Dalzell asked officers for protection as he moved out of his Carrboro residence because he was afraid of being attacked by a local drug dealer, Lau said.

Officers spotted stolen property during the move, and detectives had also obtained what they said was evidence of him trying to solicit a minor girl to come live with him and his girlfriend, Lau said.

When Dalzell was arrested on larceny and solicitation charges, he was shown a fake arrest warrant charging him with murder, which prompted a confession.

“One and a half minutes into interview, he gave it up and admitted he strangled her,” Lau said.

In 2005, Orange County Superior Court Judge Wade Barber threw out the murder charge. Barber said officers “fabricated official court documents,” used deception and should have immediately informed Dalzell why he was being arrested.
Joy and I have been interviewed today by Beth Velliquette with the Chapel Hill Herald about this, who has written several news articles before about Debbie Key.
CORRECTION - It was February 2009 (not 2007) when Dalzell was arrested in Buncombe County.
UPDATE - March 30
UPDATE - April 3
This story in 'Who Killed Theresa?'

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jessie Foster Anniversary

The 4-year anniversary of Jessica Edith Louise Foster, better known as Jessie, will be observed on March 29. Some sources say she went missing on March 28, 2006. Her family website claims she went missing between March 28 and April 3, 2006.

Jessie Foster was born in Calgary and moved to North Las Vegas, NV, 4 months before she disappeared. It is suspected she had become a victim of human trafficking. She was 21 years old at her disappearance, and her birthday is May 27, 1984.

Jessie is being remembered by the CUE Center for Missing Persons,

The Charley Project,

Chris's Crime Forum,

Help Find the Missing,

and on FaceBook.!/event.php?eid=330536888730&ref=ss

Jessie Foster's Family Website is

Sharing an anniversary date is Sharron Prior, who went missing on March 29, 1975, and found murdered shortly afterward. Sharron's sister, Doreen Prior, is a very good friend of mine. Sharron was painting Easter eggs on her last day at home. I regret that Easter has not been a happy holiday since then for the Prior family.
Sharron Prior Website is

Unlike Sharron, Jessie Foster is still missing. Her mother, Glendene Grant, has never given up hope.
UPDATE - Saturday March 27
This morning I got a message from 'Anon,' a loyal reader and friend, with a couple of more links to include. Here we have, in two parts, where Glendene Grant is being interviewed with my hero, Todd Matthews, in Missing Pieces. I have only a small handful of the many stories on the 'Net about Jessie, and cannot include all of them, but I have to agree this is worth including also.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Back by popular demand.

Sorry about the play button covering the mouth of this pretty lass, but at least we can see her smiling eyes.

Once again may I present Gaelic Storm performing our favorite song for St. Patrick's Day. Let us always remember the old songs and old stories that define who we are, the enchantment of the Emerald Isle, the wisdom of the ancients, and the love that will always be.
Raise your glasses and sing!

This song is lovingly dedicated to 'Anon,' a true friend to us all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chelsea King and Amber Dubois

Chelsea King went missing on Thursday February 25, 2010. Her remains were found on Tuesday March 2. She had been missing a total of 5 days. Many of us did not even know she was missing until after she was found. A suspect in her murder had already been arrested on February 28, before the body was found

Here is the first thing that went wrong.
The suspect arrested in connection with Chelsea's murder was arrested before in 2000 for sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, and was given a light sentence, against the advice of a psychiatrist. John Albert Gardner was also identified by a jogger he assaulted in the same park on December 27. It seems they were under the delusion that violent offenders have rights, as many are today, and gave him the lightest possible sentence they could get away with.
Here is the tragic result of this poor decision.

On Saturday March 6, four days after the discovery of Chelsea's remains, the remains of another teenage girl, Amber Dubois, were discovered about 10 miles from where Chelsea was last seen. Amber went missing on February 13 of last year.

There has got to be a connection between these two cases. For the remains of two teenage girls who went missing a year apart to be found in the same week and the same general area is not something I can accept as coincidence. There are those who say that both girls were killed by the same man, and those who debate this. I have to ask why did they continue to search for a body after they had already found the one they were looking for. Police say Gardner was not co-operating with them, but the information had to have come from somewhere.

As long as we continue to cling to the delusion that violent offenders have rights, and that these rights are somehow more important than the lives of our children, we will continue to experience tragedies such as these, which can never be fully healed. Let us hope that we may someday evolve into a society intelligent enough to understand why we should not allow dangerous people like this to run loose.

And let us hope it is soon.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In the Garden of Eve

March 5, 2008, is a date that has been embedded in my brain. It has now been two years. Her killers have still not been to trial yet.

Writing about Eve Carson has always been difficult for me, whenever I try to be objective about it. Having been a Chapel Hill person for a long time, I tend to think of her as one of us. I may not have known her personally, but I knew who she was. She was the student body president of UNC. It was hard to pick up a copy of the Daily Tar Heel without being reminded of that.

But it wasn't until two years ago that I realized how much she was loved by just about everyone around here. I was walking across the UNC campus and saw so many faces in tears. I noticed everyone was moving towards The Pit. That was when the impact of what has happened really hit me for the first time, and I haven't completely recovered from it yet.

To this day I can not look at a picture of her smiling face without thinking about what has been taken from us, how much we have lost. I can still feel moisture forming in the corners of my eyes whenever I read about her. When I tried to write about her before I'd get too angry, or too bummed out to continue.

I got upset when I read some statement someone made about how it is always the pretty white female blonde victims that get all the media attention, and how unfair that is. People get murdered in Durham and Raleigh all the time, who don't get nearly as much attention. I say, hold on there, you're comparing a person who was well known and loved with people we never heard of before. It's not just looks we're talking about.

I don't think anyone would dare argue with me when I claim that Eve didn't get elected student body president on her looks. She may have turned quite a few heads, but what really made her popular was that she cared about people, and it showed. She didn't just give lip service to how much she cared, but demonstrated it in action. Her work speaks for itself.

Eve was the kind of person who would have forgiven the people who killed her a lot quicker than I ever will.

I was very surprised to read that the parents of Eve Carson are against the death penalty, considering what happened to their daughter. There was at least one survey that I know of that claimed more people in NC are in favor of the death penalty since her murder, and that people who used to be against it have changed their minds. I personally would gladly volunteer to assist in the executions if I were asked.

But when you think about the loving heart that Eve was well known for, it hardly seems fitting that we should honor her memory with such feelings of hatred.

There is now a memorial garden on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, which was dedicated in Eve's memory today with a very nice turnout.

This does my heart good to know she will be remembered for a long time to come.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Johnny Depp speaks for WM3

Johnny Depp will be speaking tonight on 48 Hours Mystery about the West Memphis Three.

The CBS station was expecting this actor to be promoting his new movie, "Alice in Wonderland," which has just been released. Instead, much to everyone's surprise, he wants to tell us about three teenagers who have been wrongly accused of murder, in hopes of having this case re-opened. There are other actors, including Winona Ryder, who are also supporting this effort, as well as some musicians.

In a miscarriage of justice that compares to the Salem Witch Trials, a small town in Arkansas just across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee, responds to a gruesome murder of three 8-year-old boys. But 20th century forensic science plays no apparent role in the investigation, and they find no physical evidence to convict the three teenagers, yet they managed to do it anyway. A superstitious community in "Satanic Panic" desperately clings to the belief that teenagers who wear black clothes and listen to heavy metal music must be worshipping the devil, who requires innocent human sacrifice. All evidence which suggest otherwise is completely ignored.

For a 14-page detailed account of the West Memphis Three case, go here.

For a good one page account of this case, go here.

To see how the good folks at Facebook are responding to all of this, go here.!/search/?flt=1&q=west%20memphis%203&gl=1&lo=en_US&sid=1847184243.1482459098..1

I usually watch AMW on Saturday nights, but this time I am looking forward to hearing what Johnny Depp has to say on 48 Hours. It would surely please me a great deal if my readers would watch this show and comment on it here.
UPDATE March 1st
If you want to know how people have responded to this episode, and to this case, you will find some good examples in here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Do we have Somer's killer?

Somer Thompson went missing just a few months ago, on October 19, 2009, from Orange Park, Florida. Her body was found 2 days later in a landfill in Folkston, Georgia, just north of the state line, about 50 miles from home. Somer was 7 years old, and was walking home from school when she went missing.

Just the other day, on Thursday February 11, 2010, Jarred Mitchell Harrell was arrested in Meridian, Mississippi, for 29 counts of possession of child pornography. It must be understood that this man was not arrested in connection with Somer's murder, but he has been named a 'person of interest' by Clay County Sheriff Rick Breseler, who has declined to give further details pending the investigation.

What we do know about Jarred Harrell is that until recently he was living in Orange Park, somewhere between where Somer lived and where she went to school. A child who Somer often walked with said she sometimes stopped at a house to pat a friendly dog. Is this the same house where Mr. Harrel lived? We don't know, at least not yet.

It seems Mr. Harrell got into a bit of trouble with the people he was living with, and they asked him to leave. Harrell left a computer behind, which was found to contain child pornography, and was turned over to the police.

Some say he did it, some say he didn't, and some want to send him to hell right away. It seems the whole town of Orange Park loved Somer Thompson, who was described as a sweet kid who had a hug for everyone she meets, including the school crossing guards. Somer made the mile long walk to and from school every day with her siblings and friends, where all the parents thought it was a safe neighborhood for kids to walk. Until last October, no one had any reason to be afraid. Nearly everyone in town attended Somer's candlelight vigil and her funeral.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thank You News 14

Today is the day I've been waiting for.

News 14 Carolina has interviewed me and my friends, Joy and Chris, on the story of our missing friend Debbie Key.

For those of us who do not get this cable channel, you can see it here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Groundhog Day

While folks in Pennsylvania have their Punxsutawney Phil, we in North Carolina have our Sir Walter Wally. Every year on this day, Wally makes his appearance at the NC Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, NC, our state capitol.

40 days after Christmas, the second day of February marks the halfway point between the first day of winter (Solstice) and the first day of spring. (Equinox) Tradition holds that if this day is cloudy, spring will soon be here, and if this day is sunny, winter will prevail for another 6 weeks.

Some consider Groundhog Day an American holiday, but it didn't start here. In the Old World it is the European hedgehog who comes out of hibernation on this day to check on the weather. Being a small animal with his head close to the ground, he can't look up to see the sky, so he looks for his shadow on the ground to see if it's sunny or cloudy. German immigrants in Pennsylvania , finding there are no hedgehogs here, decided the American groundhog would make a suitable substitute.

February 2nd is observed as Candlemas in other parts of the world, and before Christian times it was called Imbolc. It is a time of celebration for the lengthening of days, and the new plants that appear when the snow is gone, a sign of new life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RIP Morgan Harrington

Yesterday morning skeletal remains were found believed to be those of Morgan Harrington, who went missing from Charlottesville, VA last October. Today the ID was confirmed.

This is one of the cases that the CUE Center has been working especially hard on during the past two months. The Laura Recovery Center was also involved, along with other missing persons groups, and hundreds of additional volunteers. They have been searching (collectively) about 3 months. The band 'Metallica' gave a substantial donation to the reward fund, one of the highest I have ever seen, for info leading to the capture of whodunnit.

This is a case that has been well covered. There are endless links to this case, so I will offer only one. In Chris's Crime Forum, which I fondly refer to as my Internet family, (along with WKT?) is where I have been blogging this sad story. (not as much as others) You will find more links in there.

Special thanks to the many people who gave time, money, and labor to help find Morgan Harrington. Deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
Jan 30 -- I just had to add another link. This is from the CUE Center. It's worth checking out.

Monday, January 18, 2010


In my lifetime, I believe no other individual has had as profound an influence on humanity as that of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Growing up in the 1960s in Washington, DC, I have experienced the impact this man has had on our society.

There is just no way I can let this day go by without paying my respects. May the life and vision of Dr. King continue to inspire us.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Top Stories of 2009

I thought this would be a good way to start for January 2010.

May I present NC Wanted's Top 9 stories of 2009.

You know, it really makes me feel good that the arrest of Andrew Dalzell is included in this list, along with the news stories of Kelly Morris, Shaniya Davis, and Jason Young.

I'd like to take this opportunity now to say that of all the news teams I've had the pleasure of contacting, NC Wanted has been the most supportive. Thanks again, you guys!

This year, I look forward to (finally!) blogging the murder trial of Eve Carson, which has been delayed so many times it's outrageous.
I keep thinking about how the killer of Anne Pressly of Little Rock, Arkansas, was tried and convicted less than a year (but close to it) after he was arrested. Perhaps NC should follow Arkansas's example. They don't mess around when it comes to murder. The trial lasted two weeks.

I have recently been contacted by News 14 Carolina, in Wilmington, NC, about Debbie Key. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Special thanks to Monica Caison with the CUE Center for Missing Persons.

Here's hoping for a better year to come!