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How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases

Mary Roach meets C.S.I. in this “lively study that’s part whodunit, part sociological study…The result is eminently entertaining and will be devoured by armchair detectives” (Publishers Weekly).

Currently, upwards of forty thousand people in America are dead and unaccounted for. These murder, suicide, and accident victims, separated from their names, are being adopted by the bizarre online world of amateur sleuths. It’s DIY CSI, solving cold cases from the comfort of your living room…

In an “absorbing look at a very odd corner of our world” (The Seattle Times), The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases provides an entree into the gritty and tumultuous world of Sherlock Holmes–wannabes who race to beat out law enforcement—and one another—at matching missing persons with unidentified remains. These web sleuths pore over facial reconstructions (a sort of Facebook for the dead) and other online clues as they vie to solve cold cases and tally up personal scorecards of dead bodies.

There is “no better guide for navigating this multifaceted world than Deborah Halber’s book” (Psychology Today), and The Skeleton Crew probes the macabre underside of the Internet and how even the most ordinary citizen with a laptop and a knack for puzzles can reinvent herself as a web sleuth. “Engaging and artful” (Los Angeles Times Review of Books), this witty and insightful look at the fleeting nature of identity is “brilliant” (The Wall Street Journal).

Pocatello man searching for teenage son who has been missing since October

This story was originally published by the Idaho State Journal on Dec. 19, 2017. On Jan. 17, 2018, the Standard Journal received a fax from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Adam program that said Gary Lung was believed to be in our area.

Read more at: https://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com/news/local/pocatello-man-searching-for-teenage-son-who-has-been-missing/article_809924f5-2824-512d-bf10-5ff6b75be4e3.html

UPDATED: Police, school officials seeking vandals of iconic llama artwork

Fairfax County police are asking the public to help them identify those who destroyed a concrete statue of three llamas at the Potomac School in McLean between dusk on Dec. 21 and 5 a.m. on Dec. 22 last year.

 Vandals broke off the heads of all three llamas, left two of the heads on the school grounds and stole the third, school officials said.

The statue, donated by artist Una Rawnsley Hanbury, depicts three llamas standing in a circle. The artwork has been on the private school’s grounds since 1970, first as a climbing structure on a playground and then as a landscaping feature on the front of the campus following the school’s major renovations in the early 2000s, school leaders said.

The statue “really is a beloved icon for our community – something that generations of Potomac students remember,” Marjorie Brennan, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, said in a Jan.

Read more at: http://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/updated-police-school-officials-seeking-vandals-of-iconic-llama-artwork/article_b721bad0-fc42-11e7-92ce-1b36aeaf296e.html

Two Suspects Arrested In Times Square Mercedes Burnout Incident That Injured Cop

Photos credit NYPD/Video Screencap

It turns out that if you’re going to do something extraordinarily stupid in a car that results in a cop being injured, one of the busiest and most surveilled places in America isn’t the best place to try it. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with Sunday evening’s Times Square burnout and hit-and-run of a New York City police officer, an incident that garnered widespread attention in the car community and in the national media.

The New York Post reports that Arfhy Santos, 20, and William Lopez, 24, were arrested Wednesday evening after police identified them as the duo in the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG that did a burnout in Times Square and then ran over a police

Read more at: https://jalopnik.com/two-suspects-arrested-in-times-square-mercedes-burnout-1822188305

15-year-old missing from Saint Mary’s County

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15-year-old missing from Saint Mary’s County
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15-year-old missing from Saint Mary’s County

The Saint Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is looking for 15-year-old Gabriel Randolph Saint Clair who they say was last seen Wednesday morning on Cherry Hill Lane in California, Maryland.

Deputies have classified the teen as an at risk juvenile.

Gabriel was wearing blue jeans, a blue t-shirt and a blue, puffy coat, with gray Converse shoes when last seen.

Read more at: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/15-year-old-missing-from-saint-marys-county

Sculptors use 3D printed skulls to reconstruct faces of unidentified US-Mexico border victims

Jan 18, 2018 | By Benedict

Students at the New York Academy of Art have attempted to reconstruct the faces of eight unidentified men found dead on the US-Mexico border. The artists hope their reconstructions, made with clay using 3D printed replicas of the victims’ skulls, will help identify the victims.

Many of those who attempt to cross the desert border between Mexico and the United States never make it to the other side—not because they get caught, but because they die of dehydration, heat stroke, or hypothermia. Since the year 2000, 1,004 people have been found dead in Pima County, Arizona, almost 200 of whom have never been identified.

Eight of those unidentified bodies could soon have a better chance of being named and returned to their families, because students at the New York Academy of Art have used 3D printing and clay sculpting to put human faces on the unrecognizable skulls. It marks

Read more at: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20180118-sculptors-use-3d-printed-skulls-to-reconstruct-faces-of-unidentified-us-mexico-border-victims.html

Thanks to personal loan, Virgnarajah leads Mosby, Bates in money race for Baltimore State’s Attorney

Thanks to a $250,000 personal loan, former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah has the most cash on hand in the race for Baltimore State’s Attorney.

Vignarajah’s $412,000 on hand — which included $175,000 in contributions and the loan he gave his campaign — outpaces incumbent State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby and fellow challenger Ivan Bates in the first campaign finance filing of 2018.

With five months to go before the June primary election in Baltimore, Mosby reported about $285,000 on hand after raising about $330,000 over the past year. Bates has $184,000 to campaign on after raising $250,000.

Virgnarajah filed his report just before the midnight deadline. Earlier Wednesday, he announced who he would not be taking money from: the bail bonds industry and its lobbyists, the private prison industry and employees of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Does ‘Three Billboards’ Say Anything About America? Well …

The Martian is actually Martin McDonagh, a playwright from the U.K. “Three Billboards” is his third movie (“In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths” precede this one), and the second set in the United States. He’s a dramatist and a linguist who can be glorious about the ordinariness and misery of duty and work. His plays — like “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” or “The Cripple of Inishmaan” — tether behavior to state of mind. You believe what people do because they appear to be making the choices — ugly ones — as opposed to an author you can picture yanking the strings.

But his movies are all strings. Often they feel as if other filmmakers are doing the pulling. “In Bruges” featured two hit men on a chatty stroll in Belgium, and certain people’s passion for it is fit for Valentine’s Day. But it was Tupperware Tarantino

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/movies/three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri.html

Investigator in Alstory Simon investigation files suit

A second lawsuit has been filed after investigations into a high-profile murder case led to two exonerations, the repeal of the death penalty in Illinois and the fall of one of Northwestern’s most distinguished professors.

Paul Ciolino, a private investigator who obtained a video confession of Alstory Simon for a 1982 double homicide, is defending his reputation — and that of Northwestern and former Medill Prof. David Protess — in a defamation lawsuit filed earlier this month. The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges nine defendants engaged in a “conspiracy” to discredit the work of Ciolino, Protess and the then-Medill Innocence Project, since renamed the Medill Justice Project.

The suit, filed Jan. 2, claims Simon’s lawyers and the two investigators they hired made false claims in an effort to defame and discredit Ciolino’s investigation, despite continued confessions of murder by their

Read more at: https://dailynorthwestern.com/2018/01/17/campus/investigator-alstory-simon-investigation-files-suit/

2 children last seen at Allen basketball court found safe

Updated at 9:30 p.m.: The two children were found with a friend and are safe, police said. 

Original item: Allen police are asking for the public’s help finding two children last seen Wednesday at an apartment complex basketball court. 

Brianna Grandison, 5, and Malachi Drake, 12, were seen about 8:15 p.m. at the Auberry at Twin Creeks in the 700 block of Bray Central Drive, police said. 

Brianna was described as a black female wearing Minnie Mouse pajamas. Malachi was described as a black male. No clothing description was available for him. 

No further information was provided about the children’s disappearance. 

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Allen police at 214-509-4321.

Read more at: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/missing-person/2018/01/17/allen-police-looking-2-children-last-seen-apartment-basketball-court

Photo released of one of two missing infant twins – recordnet.com

STOCKTON — The Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have released a photograph of Setina Weddles, one of two 20-month-old twins whose disappearances came to the attention of officers on Jan. 4.

The National Center said a picture of Ren Weddles, Setina’s brother, is not available. Anyone with information about the children is asked to call (800) 843-5678 (800-THE LOST) or the Stockton police at (209) 937-7911.

The missing twins are of black and Cambodian descent. According to a flyer released by the national organization, the family was known to frequent several locations in the Central Valley and foothills around Stockton.

The parents, Aaron Weddles and Princess Canez-Walker, are in custody with bail set at $1.2 million each. They face eight counts of felony child endangerment. Their children range in age from 20 months to 14 years old. Aside from the missing twins,

Read more at: http://www.recordnet.com/news/20180117/photo-released-of-one-of-two-missing-infant-twins