1/9/15

Into Oblivion: Where Only A Silent Wind Blows, part 9

Anyone who believes, deep in their heart of hearts, that humans are getting better every day should explore sites such as "NameUs" or "DoeNetwork."   There, are stark and haunting reminders of just how twisted the human creature can be, and continues to be, through the wonderful social advances of this last century.  Page after page of people missing to never be seen again.  Page after page of bodies found and never identified dating back decades. Visit a state crime bureau or local police page on cold cases lingering around hoping for a solution.  So many cold cases go to the back of the mind of investigators for the simple brutal reality that they often have too many current cases to solve as the endless killing, raping, disappearances, and abducting continue unabated.
 
Those kill seem to find a style or method that works for them.  Like soulless machines, the worst of them seek both evil satisfaction and mindless efficiency.

The Woman on the  Ranch
One such case was in October 1953 in Washington County, Oklahoma.  On a ranch about  a mile from the small town of Vera a man riding pastureland looking for strays found a woman's body.  The young woman was about 5 ft. 2 in, weighed about 110 lbs. and was between the ages of 20-30.  She had light to medium brown hair.  She was thought to have been placed there toward the end of September. When she was found she was laying face down, nude, with no visible signs of violence.  Significantly, her body was left on this isolated ranch in an isolated corner of the county,  but then also about a half mile from the nearest road.

Despite her body being taken to the University of Oklahoma for autopsy, fingerprints being collected, and x-rays for dental records by 1959 the woman was still unidentified. After that she - and the crime - seem to disappear. Was she ever identified? Was a killer ever caught?  There were rumors of strange noises in the night. Whispers that she might have been the victim of a botched abortion. Nothing solid. Nothing certain.

An Affair to Remember
In November of 1956 a Baton Rouge woman apparently went to a remote Lover's Lane in St. John the Baptist Parish, LA. Her companion in the blue sedan was a married man.  What happened next is a subject for conjecture.  What is known is that hunter's came through later, saw the man sitting in the back seat at an odd angle and when they investigated saw he had been shot through the window at close range.  Scattered around on the ground were items such as might be found in a woman's purse.  Tracks led off and revealed the shoeless path of a woman running and being followed by a man in boots.  The tire tracks of a motorcycle were found and might be implicated. The woman, Audrey Alta Smith Moate (1925- 1956?)  was never seen alive again.  Several "witnesses" provide details that seem a bit contrived and a little too convenient.

New Mexico Gone
In December of 1956 a 32 year old Native American woman disappeared from Gallip, McKinley Co., New Mexico.  She was 5'6", black, should length and curly hair, 130 lbs. with brown eyes. She went by the name of Walcie Rae Downing, Rae, Walcie Rae Alston, Walcie Rae Pearce.  She left behind five children.  When last seen in Gallup she was wearing a white blouse and blue jeans with an engagement ring on her finger. She was driving a 1952 or 1954 Ford, cream and faded tan. Although listed as missing since 1956, she matches the same general range of victims. Hopefully, she was safe and well. For more information or to report information contact The Doe Network.

The Airman's Wife
Mrs. Billie Shaffer of Seminole, wife of an Air Force captain assigned to Greenland, went Christmas shopping in 1958 and never came home.  A last meal with friends and she left, gift purchases in her car, and headed back to Seminole from Oklahoma City.  Her car was found, minus woman, purse and gifts, abandoned along a road NE of Oklahoma City, far from where she would have been headed. Her body was finally found in early spring in the middle of an isolated farm, once again far into the field, and by a pond.  She was clad in only a slip.  There were no visible signs of violence or cause of death. 
 
Pima Canyon Woman
Just a mile north of the end of Campbell Road, in the desert countryside of  Pima canyon, Tucson, Arizona a woman's skeletal remains were found in October of 1965.  She was estimated to have been an adult probably between 20-30, white and about 63 inches in height.  There was not much to tell investigator's except a simple band.  How long she had been there is unknown but she may have been there from the early 1950's through the early 1960's.   DNA and Dental records are available and interested relatives and friends might contact the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.

So many women, left where only a wind blows, and so soon forgotten in the overload of other and ever more pressing crimes.  Can we help find answers to some of these mysteries?  Can we help find the closure and answers so long sought? 

So many local newspapers are not available via databases, so many local newspapers did not adequately cover many crimes for political or societal reasons.  Even on the impressive databases of several missing networks there are huge vacant spaces and people missing or found who are not listed. The better the basic data is the more plausible a chance of new patterns or connections being found that link things across a wider canvas.  Get involved and help solve some real mysteries.

---Marilyn A. Hudson, c2015
(Check back on this one - I will be updating as new information is uncovered.)

1/4/15

Into Oblivion: Were They Ever Found?, part 8

The following were women listed as missing during the 1950's.  Are they still missing?  Newspapers were bad at not following up on missing persons stories making it hard to learn if they were found or the missing resolved.  Many police agencies do not maintain older records and some do not allow any but another law officer to review them.  If you have information on any of these people, please post a comment or contact the author here.

  • Miss Nancy Durkins, 19 yrs., August 1951, Oklahoma City
  • Shirley Ann  Cuica, 15 yrs., April 1951, Oklahoma City
  • Charlene or Sharlene Wright, 15-16 yrs., April 1951, Oklahoma City
  • Tillie Mae Pennington, 20 yrs., July 1952, Oklahoma City
  • Dorothy Mae Moss, 19 yrs., July 1952, Oklahoma City
  • 2 Unidentified teenage girls from Hobart,OK September 1952
  • Andreas Lopez Phares, 20 yrs. 1955, Texas
  • Marcia Horam, 21, Chicago, 1957 (May have moved to NYC )
  • Mrs. Nancy Faun, 19, Chicago, 1957
  • Mrs. Virginia Moore, 19, El Paso, TX, 1959
  • Anna Carol Jackman, Oklahoma City, 1959 (Mother was Nola Foster)

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