tpillsbury.jpgIt’s almost 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7, and no one has seen 13-year-old Tyler Pillsbury (or Washburn — reports conflict on his last name, for some reason) since 4:30 Monday afternoon. Police believe that this home-schooled teen’s disappearance is suspicious. Tyler has short, brown hair, hazel eyes and is 5’5″. He weighs around 90lbs. Tyler was last seen riding his black mountain bike in Jericho, Vermont. He was wearing an orange hoodie, jeans, white shoes, and a bike helmet. Call the Vermont State Police at 802-878-7111 if you have information regarding the boy’s disappearance.
** UPDATE **
The Burlington Free Press reports that Tyler has been found alive and okay. From the paper:

Police don’t know where he was, whether he was with anyone, or whether he went of his own free will. Troopers are working to retrace the boy’s steps.

Here’s hoping the reason(s) for Tyler’s disappearance were relatively innocuous. Many thanks to the constant Nurse B. for the tip.
[The Burlington Free Press and The Dreamin’ Demon.]

mackrayedwards.jpgMack Ray Edwards was a monster. He was the boogeyman, the creature with a human form that your parents tried to warn you about.
When he was arrested by the LAPD in 1970, Edwards confessed to six murders. All the victims were children. All were molested prior to death.
Police recovered 3 bodies. Edwards pleaded guilty to killing Stella Nolan, Gary Rochet and Donald Todd and headed off to death row.
I guess the s.o.b. lost his patience with the system, though. Edwards killed himself on the day before Halloween in 1971.
Three of Edwards’s victims were never found, and though it’s been nearly 40 years, police in California today began the process of trying to recover one of them.
LA Weekly‘s “LA Daily” blog reports that “dozens of law enforcement and forensic experts” began digging today to try and find whatever may be left of Roger Dale Madison. Investigators believe that Mack Ray Edwards killed the 16-year-old and then buried the teen’s body near the 23 Freeway in Moorpark, CA. They’re focusing on an area where “four corpse sniffing dogs” have alerted to what may be buried human remains. The assembled techs and cops are also using ground-penetrating radar to try and zero in on anomalies that might indicate a given body’s location.
The dig in Moorpark may last as long as 10 days, and as Christine Pelisek writes in her post, titled “Body Dig Underway for Boy Who Disappeared 40 Years Ago,” the area “will look like a makeshift archaeological dig replete with tents, trailers and dozens of police vehicles.”
Christine also linked the LAPD’s live video feed of the dig — you can check it out here. LA Weekly had photographer Ted Soqui on the scene when the dig began, and you can see a slideshow of Ted’s shots from this morning by either clicking the image above and on the right, or by clicking here.

I fear that there may be more variations on this theme to come. A jobless financial advisor described as “despondent” killed himself and his family this weekend in the upscale, gated Porter Ranch community in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. No names yet, but the man killed his wife, age 39, and his three sons who range in age from 19 to 7. He also killed his 70-year-old mother-in-law. The gunman left some explanatory letters behind. A police spokesman said the man’s letters “attested to some financial difficulties.” [LAT]

hannahupp2.jpgThe last time I wrote about Hannah Emily Upp, the New York City school teacher who vanished early in September, I said that I wouldn’t update the case any more because Hannah was found alive and there didn’t appear to be any crime involved in her disappearance.
At the request of Hannah’s brother, Dan Upp, I decided to print a message Hannah sent to the Facebook group established to help find her. This the message in full:

Dear Friends (including those I have yet to meet!)
First of all, I send my most heartfelt thanks to all of you for your concern, support, and love during this past month. I understand that many of you have unanswered questions about the time that I was missing and I appreciate your patience while I have been under medical care.
I want to share with you that the time I was missing has been diagnosed as an episode of dissociative fugue. As is typical of a case of dissociative fugue, I was not aware of my own identity and I emerged from the episode with essentially no memory of what happened during the time I was missing. While this is a rare occurrence, information about the condition exists in medical literature and I would encourage anyone with more questions to consult those sources.
I wish I could thank each one of you individually, but since you number in the thousands, I will have to start with this message and hope that you understand how grateful I am to all of you for believing in me and welcoming me back.
All my love, Hannah

Dan followed up a little for me. Responding to this article in the New York Daily News, he said, “What this article doesn’t say is that this was not just a personal claim, but rather a medical diagnosis made by the team of psychiatric professionals who have been working with Hannah since she was found. The psychiatrist that is quoted here has not been involved in any evaluation of Hannah and is making his comments based on incomplete information. I ask you all to please keep an open mind before leaping to conclusions and judgment based on the slant of an article.”
I echo Dan Upp’s sentiments. Having had a family member with grave mental health issues, I can tell you that certain states of mind can never be properly understood based only on secondhand case studies.
Here’s hoping Hannah’s recovery keeps going well.

The Sheriff’s Office in Harris County, TX reports that they’ve arrested Mark Andrew Boyd, age 37. Boyd was wanted for the murder of 47-year-old Wilbur Lee Ake Jr. Boyd allegedly bragged about the crime to others. He also reportedly left graffiti on the walls of Ake’s apartment and the apartment next door, where he used to live with his brother. The graffiti read, “Give your soul away, what is the difference.” [Chron.com]

The Sheriff’s Office in Harris County, TX reports that they’ve arrested Mark Andrew Boyd, age 37. Boyd was wanted for the murder of 47-year-old Wilbur Lee Ake Jr. Boyd allegedly bragged about the crime to others. He also reportedly left graffiti on the walls of Ake’s apartment and the apartment next door, where he used to live with his brother. The graffiti read, “Give your soul away, what is the difference.” [Chron.com]

Today’s “what the HELL?” crime comes from Austria.
A 48-year-old man apparently murdered his elderly parents with a home-made, propane-fueled flamethrower. The senior citizens, both 84, were burned alive. The killer then tried to off himself with a knife.
crimesceneoe.jpgThe State Criminal Police Agency (Landeskriminalamt or LKA) was alerted to the crime just before midnight. They arrived to find an horrific scene. According to Anton Kiesl, a spokesperson from the LKA, “The two were absolutely torched.”
The perpetrator had left a propane bottle sitting out and a gas spigot was still alight.
It only gets worse. The elderly woman was diabetic and bedridden; her legs had been amputated due to complications from the illness. She never had a chance. Her husband, however, tried to run. Police found him dead in a garden by the house.
The police couldn’t find the killer at first. Searchers found him hours later wandering near the residence. He had attempted suicide. He was taken to a medical facility. After an operation, physicians decided to put him into an artificial coma. He could still die from his self-inflicted wounds.
No one knows why this happened. There could have been ongoing family conflict, or the killer could have snapped from the stress of the demanding nature of elder care.
Court psychiatrist Reinhard Haller stated that method of murder was “highly abnormal” and said that the killer should be examined for signs of psychosis. Haller seemed to believe that the crime rose well above the typical domestic murder/attempted suicide.
This crime was gruesome and stunningly cruel, but it was also damned inventive. To me, the creation of a homemade flamethrower smacks of someone who has been thinking of committing the crime for quite some time. One doesn’t conceive of such a thing all at once and then do it before the impulse passes.
Something about this crime smacks of some kind of long simmering need for vengeance. Psychotic vengeance, perhaps, but still — flamethrowing your bedridden, elderly mom and dad isn’t exactly the most gentle form of euthanasia.
[kurier.at and oe24.at.]

Today’s “what the HELL?” crime comes from Austria.
A 48-year-old man apparently murdered his elderly parents with a home-made, propane-fueled flamethrower. The senior citizens, both 84, were burned alive. The killer then tried to off himself with a knife.
crimesceneoe.jpgThe State Criminal Police Agency (Landeskriminalamt or LKA) was alerted to the crime just before midnight. They arrived to find an horrific scene. According to Anton Kiesl, a spokesperson from the LKA, “The two were absolutely torched.”
The perpetrator had left a propane bottle sitting out and a gas spigot was still alight.
It only gets worse. The elderly woman was diabetic and bedridden; her legs had been amputated due to complications from the illness. She never had a chance. Her husband, however, tried to run. Police found him dead in a garden by the house.
The police couldn’t find the killer at first. Searchers found him hours later wandering near the residence. He had attempted suicide. He was taken to a medical facility. After an operation, physicians decided to put him into an artificial coma. He could still die from his self-inflicted wounds.
No one knows why this happened. There could have been ongoing family conflict, or the killer could have snapped from the stress of the demanding nature of elder care.
Court psychiatrist Reinhard Haller stated that method of murder was “highly abnormal” and said that the killer should be examined for signs of psychosis. Haller seemed to believe that the crime rose well above the typical domestic murder/attempted suicide.
This crime was gruesome and stunningly cruel, but it was also damned inventive. To me, the creation of a homemade flamethrower smacks of someone who has been thinking of committing the crime for quite some time. One doesn’t conceive of such a thing all at once and then do it before the impulse passes.
Something about this crime smacks of some kind of long simmering need for vengeance. Psychotic vengeance, perhaps, but still — flamethrowing your bedridden, elderly mom and dad isn’t exactly the most gentle form of euthanasia.
[kurier.at and oe24.at.]