Sum it Up #29

A mixed week in this Sum it Up. Mixed because I did a lot and also, nothing at all. Caught some typos on the blog posts, rewrote the FAQ homepage, but did not add much blogging. Why? Good questions! I had no clue until I opened the file with bookmarks. Then it was clear what had been on my mind this week.

First, read the story about “Charlene” and how “Charlene” was discovered. Charlene’s teeth were examined and although she did not have a lot of dental work done, what was done was expensive for the 1980s. Also, she was wearing a designer pair of jeans of the brand “Jordache.” Inside a pocket, they found a safety pin with a number on it. It is similar to pins you get in a swimming pool locker room. If you recognize Charlene, please contact Newton County, Ind., Coroner Scott McCord at 1-219-285-2515 or email him at

A lot has been said and written about the riots in the UK but there is one article that deserves extra attention. It was written by Inspector Winter and gives you an idea who police felt and what they feared: “But while the week may have brought some rather black comedy to the front line, I’ve also been completely terrified. My biggest fear on the streets of Tottenham last weekend was that one of the officers under my command would be injured. When the shout did go up of “Man down”, I was torn. Did I rush to help him as instinct dictated or, more pragmatically, stay back, as the one in charge, to direct operations as fellow officers brought him back to safety?”

Via my Aussie friend, Michael Jeremy, I got an article about another case where foul play is suspected to have killed. This time: UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. Even though there is no hard evidence what troubles me is what eyewitnesses said: “The residents on the western outskirts of the town of Ndola described Hammarskjöld’s DC6 being shot down by a second, smaller aircraft. They say the crash site was sealed off by Northern Rhodesian security forces the next morning, hours before the wreckage was officially declared found, and they were ordered to leave the area.” A great article to read. Thanks, Michael!

UK MP Tom Watson wants authorities to look again into the unsolved killing of Daniel Morgan in 1987. You can listen to the report here.

Tomorrow is an unexpected big day for the West Memphis Three: “Judge David Laser holds a hearing Friday morning — just announced today — on the West Memphis Three case. Families of defendants and victims are expected to be in court, suggesting far more than routine procedural matters are at hand.” The fact that this is big is confirmed here: “UPDATE: An Arkansas Correction Department spokesman confirms that the three defendants left the prison’s Super Max unit today in the custody of Craighead County officers. The spokesman says the inmates took all their possessions with them. She said inmates leaving with all possessions was “unusual,” but not unprecedented. She said it was the first time all three of the defendants had left the prison together since their incarceration.” This could turn out to be the end in the case! A lot of DNA material points away from the three men. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Sources say “all three will admit guilt to the crime and two will be released with time served. Steve Branch, the father of one of the victims, tells us Damien Echols will be one of the men released.” This is confusing: they have been denying guilt and have some DNA on their side. So to get the deal and freedom they have to admit guilt?

UPDATE: they have to plead guilty to lesser charges. But if they do, they cannot be proven innocent in court anymore. If they accept, it ends here. No matter that DNA from another person was found, they will never have their convictions overturned in court, their records will never be cleared. I hope that their lawyers have hammered this message home! To be continued!

DNA also plays a role in this murder case under scrutiny again: “New DNA test results in a 25-year-old murder case show that another man, not Michael Morton, likely killed Christine Morton, who was found dead in her Williamson County home on Aug. 13, 1986, Morton’s attorneys say.” It is a case worth following as it combined forensics, withheld evidence, a known perpetrator, and a man who always maintained that he did not kill his wife.

Steve Mariotti has a series of articles in the Huffington Post entitled “How and why I teach in prisons.” The first article starts with his own nightmare attack when jogging in FDR Park below Houston Street near the East River, NY. You have to check back regularly with the Huff to catch installments two through four.

False confessions, as discussed before, they do happen. An excellent article here with reference to one of the best books regarding the “Psychology of Interrogations and Confessions” by forensic psychologist Gisli Gudjonsson. A must read if you wish to understand why the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six confessed.

Stay tuned for #cclivechat on September 16 with Detective Ken Lang!


P.S.: thanks to all for the kind remarks re my logo. Very glad you like it.