Nov 24, 2009 – Nov 24, 2013; my fourth blogoversary!

Eugène François Vidocq

Eugène François Vidocq

Nov 24, 2009 – Nov 24, 2013; my fourth blogoversary! I remember it as if it was yesterday … how I was trying to figure out WordPress and blogging. A lot has changed since then.

In the beginning, I wanted to be sure that people were reading the cold case stories without being distracted by “the blogger” e.g. me. My intention from day one was to give ALL attention to the victims hence the pen name “Vidocq” that I used in the first three year.

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My Avatar

Using a pen name gave me the time to find my voice, my blogging style, and to get a core of readers dedicated to unsolved homicides irrespective of the blogger’s identity. Some people thought that the pen name was weird, eccentric, or mysterious. But, each and everyone dropped the identity issue as soon as I asked them. It became clear to them as well that I wanted your focus on the victims only and nothing else.

Change came when I had the opportunity to talk about unsolved cases. Not guest blogging, talking. That decision was not easy to make but the opportunities were too good not to consider breaking with my pen name. So I did … with a little help from Brian Inkster.

Brian Inkster did not know from the beginning that I was behind this blog but along the way, I told him as a 2011 New Year’s present. He was supportive to “Vidocq” remains so to this day, and I thank him for that. Where did I end up with Brian’s encouragement? At ReInvent Law in London and elsewhere!

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Some of you have asked whether I have any emotional attachments to certain cases. The answer is a resounding YES! Here are a few and why I am emotionally attached to them:

  • Crewe Murders: the compartmentalization of the killer’s mind is my fascination. Cruel enough to butcher Harvey and Jeannette but at the same time not willing to kill/starve Rochelle, why? Did he love the baby? Is that why he kept her alive? The only blood relative who did not disappoint him? Did he save her out of a sense of duty? Did his moral values stop him from killing a child?
  • Teresa Sue Hilt: I saw on crime scene pictures how she had struggled with her attacker, shaking her head, ending up with her hair in her mouth, swallowing it. Aside from that, I cannot shake her mother’s crying voice from my mind.
  • Richard Lapointe: I do not believe this man murdered Bernice Martin. He does not have the intelligence to plan a murder and/or a cover-up. What motive did he have? He does not have the physical strength to lift anything or anyone. He does not have the cunning to carry out a murder plan flawlessly. This is a mentally disabled man who got railroaded!
  • Brenda Martinez: When I first saw the photograph of Brenda with her baby Stephanie, I was just drawn to that baby’s face. Huge smile, bright eyes. That baby is now a mature woman and we chat almost every day on Twitter. Stephanie is still gorgeous with a huge smile. I told her honestly that finding anything about her mom’s case was not going to be easy. She understands and keeps me posted. Staying in touch with her keeps me tied to Brenda, an instant reminder that we have not solved her murder yet.
  • William Thomas Zeigler: Parts of me have been attached to this case since the 90s. After reading some reports, my first question was why police didn’t circle the furniture store before entering it and messing up the crime scene. I know that Office Blalock was in the back but she drove to the back. Nobody circled the store on foot to look for open doors, windows, etc. If they had, they would have bumped into a huge lever that was clearly in the “off” position.
    Lever

    Courtesy G.Hollenbeck for exclusive use by AdS

    If I remember correctly from my law school days police try to find out as much as possible before entering a structure when they know that an armed person is inside. For their own safety, they should have checked the lever, photograph it, dust it for prints, and lift! Especially when Zeigler came out of the front door, you knew you needed light in there.

Had they gone in with the lights on they would not have made the mistakes that altered the crime scene. And, if the true crime scene had been visible from day one, it would have told you who did what to whom.

No anniversary can go by without a word of thanks to my web master Jacques Soudan. Jacques built this blog and has been web master ever since. He has taken the blog from a simple, elegant theme to a professional, responsive theme with amazing archiving and search options. Thank you for all you do, Jacques.

My projects for 2014 include trying to organize the first NRV Bloggers Convention and launching my “Tours & Carnivals.” Because of these projects and the fact that I also started my business, posting may slow down. You may also start to see more posts on general blogging topics.

Last but not least, a thank you to referring bloggers who have been with me since the beginning: Popehat and Iowa Cold Cases (Jody Ewing).

Thank you for four awesome years. On to year five!

Cheers, Alice

Comments

  1. Congrats, Alice! It has been an interesting, amazing ride! When you first started DCC, I was a bit sceptic … too many blogs die a silent death after 3 months (I blogged about that here on DCC).

    Fortunately you proved me sooooo wrong – and you keep proving me wrong! Each and every time you add something new, exploring new avenues (CrimeChat comes to mind!) to get ‘your’ cases out in the open. And now turning it into a business-venture will certainly result in even more exposure.

    Reading your posts, I’m happy to contribute – the one case that stands out for me is Zeigler‘s. It truly is too much injustice in just one case – if only he gets out of jail, it will make my (tiny) contribution totally worth it – apart from any other case ‘we’ help(ed) solve.

    So yes, let’s continue and work towards your first lustrum – I look forward to a very exciting year!

  2. Happy 4th Alice. Kudos for keeping it going and sharing your knowledge with all of us out there in the blogosphere. No easy task.

    Best, Steve

  3. Hey Jacques,

    Zeigler’s case is indescribable but, we keep going. I just checked on SmashWords: my eBook “Zeigler through Vidster’s eyes” has been downloaded more than 360 times! More and more people read about his case. Zeigler’s case is also one of the reasons why I support innocence statutes. Despite procedural hurdles, we should still be able to access the courts when we have strong evidence that contradicts the verdict. In the case of the People of the State of New York v Fernando Bermudez, Judge Cataldo had the courage to pronounce these two words: “actual innocence.” By acknowledging that actual innocence was at the core of this case, Judge Cataldo opened the door to get actual innocence established as a legitimate ground for a new hearing after the trial in the first instance. More about how that works here.

    To end this comment on a happier note … part of the blogging fun is to keep you on your toes and to prove you wrong, hehehe!

    Cheers, Alice

  4. Thanks for commenting, Steve! It is quite a challenge but there are always cases popping up that need attention.

    My best, Alice

  5. Congratulations dear friend on your anniversary!Thank you so much for all your help and guidance on the Tess case. We’re still working and hoping someone will do the right thing by coming forward with that last piece of information we need to help bring justice for Tess. Some interesting things happening.

    With thanks,
    Michall Holmes

  6. Congratulations, Alice, on your fourth blogoversary! You’ve not only continued to provide an incredible (and much needed) service for crime victims and the respective families, but have made an indelible mark in the “cold case” community as a whole. Every single day, someone … somewhere … is reminded that these cases are not just going to go away or be forgotten.

    Your commitment to blogging about these cases has truly inspired others to get involved — to ring victims’ voices loud and clear — and the ripple effect continues to spread and grow throughout every social media platform. You, Ms. de Sturler, are making a remarkable difference in people’s lives. Keep up the wonderful work, and thank you so much for your perseverance and commitment to justice!

  7. Congratulations, V !!

    Having watched you and Jacques build DCC up over the years, has been a remarkable experience.

    We’ve had some good times in the past brainstorming and many happy memories both here and on Twitter to cherish. I thank you for those times, my dear friend.

    What you have done here and away from the website takes sheer determination and an awful lot of behind the scenes hard work.

    You truly are a star. Alice – Vidocq ;)
    Here’s to the next four years for you to shine in!
    I wish you all the best.

    Oh yep! And I hope my timing is correct to say Happy Thanksgiving! xx

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