Because you know you really wanted to find out more about the Russian cannibal satanists, I went the extra mile for you, the reader, and with the aid of Google’s translation service, my dusty old Russian/English dictionary and some other odd little tools acquired through my other career (as an opera singer — had to have at least a nodding acquaintance with a number of languages), I put together this post with a few more details about the horrific crimes carried out in late June this year in the historic Russian Federation city of Yaroslavl.
I never write about crime in graphic, gruesome detail and am not about to change that, but I still recommend anyone with a low tolerance for this kind of thing think twice before continuing. You’ve been warned.
The investigation into the murders of 4 Russian teens continues in Yaroslavl. As many English language publications have noted in recent days, the teens were goth kids. Their killers were self-avowed satanists.
A few odd facts about this case have been misreported by English-speaking media. Hopefully I can fix that without adding too many goofs of my own.
The teen victims — all aged between 15 and 17 — vanished late last June, sparking a minor frenzy in local press at the time. No surprise there; American media would go bonkers — even in this political season — if 5 nice-looking teens just dropped off the face of the earth in the space of a few weeks, in the same general area.
The missing kids, Olga Pukhova, Andrei Sorokin, Varya (or possibly Varvara) Kuzmin and Anna Gorokhova, may have said that they were attending the “Invasion” Music Festival in Tver. If so, that was a lie — the festival wouldn’t take place until early July.
Their bodies were found in a remote, wooded area on August 12. The teens had been cut into pieces; their heads, arms, legs were removed. Hearts were cut from some of the victims’ chests, scalps were removed, genitals excised. The remains were burned and some of the pieces eaten.
Near the burn site criminalists found a dead cat nailed to an inverted cross. In the ashes, they found curly, red, human hair from the head of one of the 3 female victims.
According to Russian press sources, 8 suspects were arrested that very day: seven teen males and one girl. All were said to be between 17 and 19 years old. They also reportedly came from ‘very affluent families.’
Because the victims and alleged killers were so close in age, investigators in Yaroslavl believe they were all acquainted prior to the murders.
Some English-language outlets have reported that the remains of the victims were found 250 kilometers — about 155 miles — from the home of the alleged ringleader of the group of killers. Actually, the burn pit was 250 meters — just over 800 feet — from the home of Nikolai Ogologbyak, aka “Graf.”
The same English sources have also stated that Ogolobyak said that Satan would help him ‘evade responsibility’ for the crimes, because the alleged cannibal had ‘brought him […] many victims.’
Russian press reports actually attribute this statement to one of Ogolobyak’s followers, Anton Makovkin (spelled “Makovin” in some articles). Makovkin was known to his friends as “Dr. Got.”
Another, unnamed member of the Graf’s and Dr. Got’s gang of fun-time cannibals tried to explain why he turned to Satan. He said he’d ‘tried to turn to God,’ but that didn’t bring him money. After praying to Satan, the teen said, his situation improved.
The gang had been at their work for a while. Alexander Voronov (aka Raven, Hitler and Ethiopia), told of a drunken ramble through a cemetery in 2006 with Ogolobyak, Makovkin and two others, Konstantin Baranov (aka Klyk) and Alexei Chistyakov, the appropriately nicknamed “Dead.” That night the boys decided to poke around in a freshly-dug grave. They ended up disinterring a young woman. Voronov then described a grisly foreshadowing of the murders of Pukhova, Sorokin, Kuzmin and Gorokhova. He said they cut the corpse into pieces and that he ate a portion of the heart before the teens left the graveyard. The body was found by the authorities and a report was written. Until Voronov’s confession, police thought they had an unidentified murder victim.
Police may have missed an opportunity to stall the alleged cannibals. In May this year, (May 1, specifically — Walpurgis Night) they began doing things like crucifying cats. At one point, they were even detained by police — only to be released a short time later.
They probably thought their dark prayers were being answered.
A religious expert based in Yaroslavl, Eugene Mukhtarov, said he did not believe that the killers in this case were true satanists. One example of his contention that the group led by Nikolai “Graf” Ogolobyak were simply ‘home-brewed’ or wannabe satanists was the size of the group. “Satanists [form in groups of]thirteen people, not eight,” Mukhtarov said, “[The] thirteenth – [is the]Master, the one who creates the organization.”
In the first entry about this crime, at least one comment noted that the terms “goth” and “emo” were being used interchangeably in this story, even though there are distinct differences in the two teen subcultures. That may be true here in the U.S. and perhaps in the U.K., but research proved to me that the Russians tend to lump them all together into one group of kids with a strong attraction towards the morbid.
Similar crimes have happened here in the U.S. — the Manson murders come to mind — but they don’t always have the stunning, straight-out-of-a-horror novel aspects to them like we’re reading about here. It is easy to think they will not happen again. At least not any time soon. But I suppose I’m a terrible pessimist, sometimes, and don’t feel so sure about that.
If something similar happens in the U.S. again, though, I feel compelled to point out that the killers won’t be real satanists, real goths or real emos here, either. Such criminal acts are always much more about one charismatic, powerful psychopath who finds a way to assemble a group of weaker-minded lackeys around him — think Rod Ferrell and his Vampire Clan. It sounds as if Nikoai Ogolobyak fit that bill here. If I translated one of the articles I read correctly, it stated that Ogolobyak was clever enough to masquerade as a fairly upstanding teen in public — even to the point of singing in his church choir. The other teens arrested along with him were described by their teachers as “weak-minded,” and that comes as no surprise.
Such a demonic dynamic is always out there, waiting to resurface. It may only be a matter of time.
[newsru.com and tula.kp.ru.]
Hanna Emily Upp, the 23-year-old teacher who vanished in New York City on August 29, has been found alive. Hannah was reportedly rescued by deck hands on a Staten Island ferry boat.
The boat pilot saw Hannah in the water as he approached the Staten Island Terminal. A small rescue boat was launched from the ferry and Hannah was taken aboard. She was near drowning and reportedly “non-responsive.”
Hannah was sent to Staten Island’s Richmond University Medical Center. She is said to be in stable condition.
Hannah’s brother, Dan “Wally” Upp, sent the following message to members of the Facebook group devoted to finding Hannah:
At long last, we are able to confirm that Hannah has been found and is safe! She is being cared for and has been positively identified. Hallelujah!
The media has already heard and some have immediately taken the most sensationalist route possible, but please don’t put much credit in what they are saying/guessing/making up. The accurate details will all come out in time.
Thank you all so much for everything that you have done to help in this effort. It has been a long two weeks for all of us since she was declared missing, and we are overjoyed that she has been found.
with great rejoicing,
Hannah’s family and friends
I am glad to say that since it does not appear — at the moment — that Hannah’s disappearance was related to anything criminal, it will no longer be covered in this blog. It’s just really nice to be able to say that about someone who has been found alive, someone who will be able to go home to her family. For anyone who covers crime stories, that’s all too rare a privilege.
NOTE: More detailed post here: “A Little More About the Russian Cannibal Satanists.”
Yes, in this blog I tend to just cover crimes happening in the U.S.A., but some stories reach right the hell across the oceans and grab my attention and just demand I take note.
The case of the missing Russian goth kids is just such a story. It reads like a suspense novel plot that was rejected for being too gruesome and improbable. Sadly, way too many English media outlets are now reporting the story as fact, so let me tell you what I’ve learned so far.
In late June this year, four kids were lured to the edge of the forest surrounding Yaroslavl, an ancient city located about 155 miles to the northeast of Moscow. They were enticed with the usual coin of the teenage realm, socially-speaking, the promise of a party — in particular, partying with alcohol.
On June 28, several teens approached Olga Pukhova and Anna Gorokhova. The girls went for their night of partying and never returned home again.
Then the alleged killers invited Andrei Sorokin and his girlfriend Varya Kuzmina along for some fun.
According to Russian authorities, all the victims styled themselves as goth kids. Goth in Russia isn’t all that different from goth in the United States, save that the Russian public has responded differently to the subculture — with a great deal of judgment, even violence towards kids identified as goth or emo. The Russian State Duma — roughly analogous to the American House of Representatives — has even held hearings on possibly regulating websites that might be of interest to emo kids and legislating a goth kid’s ability to go to school.
The folks giving these parties seemed to be cut from the same cloth as their victims.
The four victims gave their families similar stories. They said they were headed to a music festival. But each pair actually got in touch with the alleged leader of the Satanic killers, Nikolai Ogolobyak.
At least one of the kids almost got the word out that something bad was afoot. Varya Kuzmina called a friend from Ogolobyak’s place and she said that she didn’t like it there. “Something’s not right,” said the teen, “I’ll tell you about it later.”
Later didn’t come, for Varya Kuzmina. Nikolai Ogolobyak’s followers were a dark and bloody universe away from your everyday goth kid or emo cutter.
Russian authorities say Olga Pukhova, Anna Gorokhova, Varya Kuzmina and Andrei Sorokin were stabbed 666 times. The teens — all of them 16 or 17 — were then dismembered.
Then the Satanists built a bonfire. They threw the body parts of the victims into the flames. Later they ate some of the roasted pieces.
Britain’s Sun, not necessarily the best news source for anyone (unrepentantly tabloid, sometimes in the same fashion as the old Weekly World News), reported that after police found the hideous crime scene, they were able to extract some of the victims’ hair from the ashes of the charnel fire.
The killers marked a place in the woods where some of the victims’ bones were discarded with an upside-down cross.
Eventually, Russian authorities arrested Ogolobyak and accomplices Ksenia Kuznetsova, Alexander Voronov and Anton Makovin.
Nikolai Ogolobyak wasn’t concerned about his arrest. He allegedly told police that Satan would help him “avoid responsibility” because Ogolobyak had “made lots of sacrifices to him.”
[Telegraph.co.uk and TheSun.co.uk.]
Dan “Wally” Upp, brother to missing NYC schoolteacher Hannah Upp, has been keeping track of various online discussions about his missing sister, and he got in touch with me to get some assistance in clarifying what the Upp family knows about this missing persons case.
What’s become clear to me as I’ve communicated with Dan is how worried he is and how skewed some of the info about Hannah’s disappearance really seems to be.
Referring in particular to the discussion taking place at Websleuths.com about Hannah’s disappearance, Dan said he wasn’t offended by anything be said there, but he did try to remind himself “that the posters do not know Hannah and some of the things they are proposing are ludicrous to those of us who do.” Dan also said that he had to “do the same for just about any site that is covering Hannah’s story.”
Dan said he really wanted to clear up some things reported by mainstream media outlets covering Hannah’s disappearance. The following is from an e-mail Dan sent earlier today:
To the best of my understanding, Hannah had no plans to specifically go to Pennsylvania to see our mother on Labor Day weekend. She had mentioned the possibility of going “somewhere” to her roommates, but my mother confirmed that they hadn’t discussed specific plans for the weekend, (i.e. she was not expecting Hannah to come for a visit, and therefore didn’t call her when she didn’t come).
Dan also clarified Hannah’s use of her debit card prior to her disappearance on August 29. According to him, Hannah withdrew money “on Thursday (Aug 28th), not Friday as some are reporting.”
Addressing the issue of Hannah possibly having gone to ground, or run away, Dan Upp was clear:
The reason that I and others have stated that this is not a “runaway” case is because that implies that a person has left of their own accord and purely from a desire to get away, with no other underlying causes. Hannah is probably the most considerate and compassionate person that I have ever known, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister. Being who she is and knowing how many people love and care about her, there is no way that she would ever just take off of her own volition if she was in her right frame of mind.
Generally, Dan told me, the possibilities as to what may have happened to Hannah are: “an abduction or crime of some sort (which hasn’t been completely ruled out), or something that severely affected Hannah (mental/emotional overload, breakdown, sudden onset of mental disorder, full or partial amnesia, fugue state, or whatever else the pseudo-psychologists are discussing now) that caused her to act in a way that she would not normally act by taking off and not telling anyone.”
He felt compelled to address the sighting of Hannah. She was spotted checking her e-mail in a Manhattan Apple store. To Hannah’s family, “some kind of psychological breakdown” seems like the most logical explanation for the young woman’s disappearance.
In his e-mail, Dan expanded on this:
The act of seeking out a computer may indicate that she was coming out of whatever condition she was temporarily in, or it may be her just trying to find out who she is. The point is that we don’t know what caused her to behave this way, but that something is definitely wrong. We don’t know if she has control over whether or not she comes back, but if she does, we want her to know that we are waiting to welcome her back no matter what, and she doesn’t have to worry about us being angry or upset because of anything that has happened. No questions asked, we just want her to be safe, and she can tell us about whatever happened when she’s ready.
I addressed the fact that Hannah Upp was a freegan in my first post about her disappearance, and I ultimately decided I wasn’t sure that this had much significance. Dan Upp addressed the issue:
As far as the freegan aspect goes, I thoroughly concur with all those who have said that its role in this situation has almost certainly been drastically overplayed. We’ve already cleared up the fact that Hannah didn’t believe in it as a hardcore lifestyle, it was just a way to get some perfectly good food for free that would have otherwise gone to waste. And people frequently get the wrong mental image from the tongue-in-cheek phrase “dumpster diving”. Instead of digging through piles of broken glass and medical waste for a half-eaten chicken wing, what it really generally entails is picking up sealed plastic bags of bagels or fruit or whole sandwich trays from where they have been carefully placed next to the dumpster. This is all food that is perfectly good and was on sale for general consumption five minutes ago, but because of when it was made or put on the shelves, it’s against store policy to sell it again the next day, so whenever they close they have to throw it away.
Finally, Dan wanted to clarify an allegation that Hannah Upp had occasionally slipped “under the radar” while attending Bryn Mawr. “[There] were times when things got very busy and stressful” for Hannah while she was a student, Dan told me. When this happened, he said, “Hannah didn’t go to her classes for a day or two and kind of ‘holed up’ in her room or a friend’s room.” Hannah didn’t just vanish, Dan said, “there were still friends that knew where she was and that she was okay.” To him, that was “clearly a completely different situation than what we’re looking at here.”
Hannah Emily Upp is still among the missing. She is 5’5″, weighs between 120 and 130, has dark hair and hazel-green eyes. If you have some information about her disappearance, call 800-577-TIPS or call the 30th precinct at (212) 690-8842 or (212) 690-8843.
[Facebook: We’re Not Giving Upp (on Hannah).]
Damnedest thing — I recorded a podcast last night with those crazy kids over at the anarchic crime blog, Dreamin’ Demon, and we discussed the case of missing toddler Caylee Anthony for most of the session. Morbid and Imp, the main ringmasters for DD, agree with me that the Anthony case isn’t worth covering unless there’s a major development. And we’re all pretty puzzled in some respects by the hoopla around the case — the crazy assholes protesting the Anthony home, the crazy asshole behavior from the Anthony family… just the crazy, asshole-y nature of it all.
People want to know what happened to a little girl. I get that. I want to know, too. They believe — and this is my opinion, as well — that Casey Anthony, Caylee’s shark-eyed mama, is a psychopath who most likely killed her daughter and disposed of the body then used the next 30 days to get her party on and try and erase as much evidence about what happened to her little girl as she could get a hold of. While everyone understands a familys’ need to defend a loved one under siege, no one really understands the nutty nature of Cindy Anthony’s defense of her daughter to the media. This is a woman who called the police to tell them her daughter’s car smelled like someone had died inside, only to reverse herself after Casey’s arrest and say she figured the odor came from old food. Later still, Cindy suggested that another body — not Caylee’s — had been in the car, but was removed prior to the vehicle being towed to the police impoundment lot. Sure, Cindy. Whatever.
It’s just kinda funny, maybe a little ironic, that me and the DD crew got our podcast on about that particular subject only to have a development worth noting in the Anthony case pop up in the news half a day later.
Casey Anthony turned herself in to police today. This time she went to the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. for charges related to crimes involving petty theft and stolen checks. According to Fox News, Casey will be in custody until a court appearance Tuesday morning.
Her bail for these charges is expected to be pretty low, and she will likely be able to post bond and go back to home confinement.
So there’s your Anthony case update for the day. Check out my friends at DreaminDemon.com and listen to our nutty podcast.
I interviewed an acquaintance of the Morris family about the September 3, 2008 disappearance of Kelly Currin Morris from her rural home in Stem, North Carolina. This friend wishes to remain anonymous, but she was willing to tell a little more about how friends and neighbors viewed Scott and Kelly and events since Kelly vanished, supposedly while out searching for her dog. For narrative ease, I’ll refer to anonymous as BB.
“I’ve know Scott and Kelly for about 3 years,” BB told me, “Their youngest daughter, Hailey, went to the same pre-school as my child. Linda Wilkins runs that pre-school, Hearts and Minds. It’s the one across the street from [the Morris]home.”
Asked to clarify the question of whether or not Scott has helped in the search for his wife, BB said that “Scott has not helped with Kelly’s search whatsoever.” She added, “He refuses to speak to the press as well.”
I asked her to tell me about Scott’s reputation among locals, what he was like in person. BB said, “Scott seems like a very quiet, keep to himself kind of person.”
She continued: “I’ve heard from numerous locals that he somehow got away with murder back in 2000. Not really sure of any details on that story.”
She repeated a story already referenced in a post made to the True Crime Report earlier today. BB said that Scott has allegedly “made comments to Kelly like, ‘I could throw your body in a well around here and no one would ever find you.'”
Otherwise, she said, she usually sees Scott “at the Elementary school in the mornings” when taking her own child to school. “He looks like his normal self,” she said.
When I asked BB if the police were on the right track in the investigation into Kelly’s disappearance, she said, “Honestly, it wouldn’t suprise me if Scott knew the truth. So, yes…I do think the police are on the right track.”
I also wanted to know if BB thought that Kelly Morris might be somewhere nearby. BB said, “Oh wow…of course! This town may be small but it’s mostly wooded area. Plus we have hundreds of ponds and 2 large lakes around here and there’s just way too much ground to cover.”
In answer to the question, “What do you think happened?” BB said, “You know…I think about this everyday and I’m just not too sure what I think happened to Kelly. It’s just frustrating that Scott says that Kelly took the kids to school the morning of the fire and that’s the last time he saw her…then changes his story to she went looking for the dog the night before and never came home.”
BB continued, “You would think he would have been worried and started calling around or even went to look for her. I just wonder if there were any missed calls from Scott to Kelly that night before the fire when she was supposedly searching for the dog.
“Honestly Steve,” BB said, “this is such a small town and everyone knows everyone and it is very unlikely for someone to want to harm Kelly for any reason. It just seems to point in the direction of her marriage with Scott.”
Finally, I asked BB to tell me more about Kelly as a person. What kind of mother was she?
“Kelly was an AWESOME mother!” BB said. “She attended all the school functions and would have helped out in any way she possibly could. But for some reason, for the last month, when I would see Kelly she just looked like an unhappy person. Like something was bothering her on the inside. But there is no way in this world that she would have left those children. She cared too much about them!”
BB promised to keep me updated on new developments in the investigation. Everyone in Stem, BB said, is “extremely interested in finding Kelly and we’re all willing to help in any way possible. We just want her back home and safe.”
An Amber Alert has been issued for Warren, Michigan toddler Frank Deitsch, age 1.
The little boy was wearing only a diaper and a sleeveless, blue Detroit Pistons tee when he was last seen earlier today in the company of his father, 56-year-old Frank Deitsch Jr.
According Warren police, the elder Deitsch had been fighting with the little boy’s mother. He physically assaulted her and then he took the boy away. Deitsch pere then called his wife from a payphone and said, “You are never going to see your child again.”
The older Deitsch was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and black athletic shoes. He was driving a 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass, license tag #BLW6780. The tags have expired. Police believe he may be driving south. He has family in Ohio and Kentucky.
The child has very little hair and blue eyes. He may have some kind of rash, and not be secured in a carseat.
His father, Frank C. Deitsch Jr., is 5’11”, weighs 125 and has brown hair and hazel eyes.
If you have any information that might help bring this little guy safely home again, call 911 or the Warren Police Department at 586-574-4877.
[Freep.com and WXYZ.com. See also DreaminDemon.com.]
Author and moviemaker Tucker Max is a pretty brilliant guy. Some time ago, Max took aim at a particular audience on the Web, and with an admirable single-mindedness, he gave them what they wanted. Stories about stupidity, sex, alcohol, more sex, poop, vomiting, liquor (see what I did there?) and did I mention the sex?
Tucker Max became hugely popular with the college crowd. Particularly college-age white boys with a yen for the things Tucker wrote about (often with a great deal of wit) — you know, the stuff I’ve already listed above. (I did mention the sex, didn’t I?)
I mean hell, here’s how Tucker introduces himself: “My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole […] I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.”
What’s not to like about that?
And Max is laughing all the way to the bank. His book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, is a best-seller. It’s been made into a movie.
That led to Tucker Max being pilloried by the likes of Gawker, one of the most popular media/gossip/celebrity blogs in existence. They got their clever little hands on a script for Max’s movie (same title as his book), and, well — they really, really hated it.
Tucker Max responded to all the crap Gawker threw at his movie in particular with a note to Radar Magazine. Max wrote, in part, “It seems like the height of comedy to me when failed writers cast aspersions on successful writing. I guess I would be pissed off too if I tried so hard for so long with nothing to show for it, and then some big, dumb ‘rapey fratty’ came out of nowhere to spend three years on the best seller list and got a movie made…”
Yeah. About that “rapey-fratty” bit. Folks who don’t like Max or his legions of followers like to make jokes in that vein — that his male fans are just date-rapists in waiting/training and his female fans are, perhaps, drunken sorostitutes with zero self-esteem.
Of course it’s all pissing in the wind. The truth is that Max is a savvy author and businessman who developed a product — his stories — then found the perfect audience for that product. He can’t help who ends up in the mix. It isn’t his fault if guys like Frank P. Cirillo call him a “HERO.”
(Yeah — that’s where this was going. If you thought the True Crime Report was heading off the rails into non-crime, well, why’d you think that?)
See, Frank P. Cirillo is the 21-year-old jut-jawed fellow on the right. On his MySpace page, Frank wrote the following in answer to the question about who he’d “like to meet”: “TUCKER MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY HERO www.tuckermax.com[.]”
Awesome. Great endorsement. Tucker Max probably gets a few thousand of those a day. But police say Cirillo, a student at the University of Connecticut, took the “rapey” part of “rapey-fratty” way too far.
Cirillo was arrested on Saturday for allegedly forcing his way into a sleeping woman’s apartment and raping her. It was the second sexual assault on a UConn student in the space of one week. That said, cops don’t think the assaults are related.
Cirillo allegedly fled the scene on Saturday when the young woman awoke and began fighting back. Cops say they found him half-dressed and trying to hide in a nearby apartment.
According to the Hartford Courant, Cirillo has been charged “with first-degree sexual assault, home invasion, first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, sixth-degree larceny and second-degree breach of peace.”
He was able to make bail ($500,000 — family must have money) and will be back in court soon for an arraignment.
While Cirillo allegedly took the “rapey” part of Tucker Max’s shtick too seriously, he didn’t forget about the “fratty” — his MySpace stated that he was in the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. On his profile, Cirillo also had a link to this page:
There you could find numerous photos of Cirillo in undoubtedly happier times, including a cruise he took at some point. If you’re a young female at UConn Storrs or living in Woodbridge, CT, you might want to take a good look at Cirillo’s photos and remember that face. You know, just for kicks.
To Tucker Max’s credit, his number 1 fan turned accused home invader and rapist was apparently too timid to actually try and interact with Max or other fans of Max’s work. Though “cheechfpc” — Cirillo’s Internet nom de plume — had a profile on the TuckerMax.com message board, he’d never made a post or begun a thread there since signing up in 2005.
Of course it isn’t Tucker Max’s fault that Frank Cirillo (who has only been accused of these crimes, not convicted) likes Max’s work. I didn’t have to link the two at all, no matter what Cirillo’s profile says. The fact is, if Cirillo really is a rapist, he would have tried something sooner or later even if he’d never heard of Tucker Max. Truly sexually predatory men don’t even need a penis to assault someone — there are stories of predators who were given real or chemical castration after release from prison but still used foreign objects to molest or rape their victims.
This is the part where I could probably go on about how Tucker Max’s stories objectify women in a particularly bold and unapologetic way (the cover of Max’s book is a great visual example of that objectification — the chick doesn’t need a face, to Tucker Max — just as long as he’s got a babe on his arm, all’s good) and paint the kind of odious portrait of male behavior that would only be appealing to guys who like the idea of sex by force or coercion, but you’ve begun filling in those blanks already, haven’t you? Oh well, if so, you can’t blame me. I only wrote this blog post. It isn’t my fault if in your mind my words somehow justify you thinking — or doing — what you would have thought or done anyway.
[Courant.com and WTNH.com.]
To no one’s surprise, Scott Morris has been named a “person of interest” in the September 4, 2008 disappearance of his wife, 28-year-old Kelly Currin Morris.
Kelly vanished on September 3. The following day, emergency services were called to the Morris residence on Tump Wilkins Rd. in Stem, NC to find the Morris home in flames. That was when police learned that Kelly was missing. Scott said she’d gone to find the family dog the day before and never come back home.
Searchers found Kelly’s Honda Accord that same day, her purse, cell, and keys inside.
Yesterday, the Granville County (NC) Sheriff declared for the first time since Kelly’s disappearance that her husband was a person of interest in the case.
There was definitely strife in the marriage. Yesterday, someone signing off only as “beachbunny” left an interesting comment on the first True Crime Report blog entry about Kelly’s disappearance.
The commenter said she lived just a few houses down from the couple and their kids attended preschool together. She wrote that “local talk” had it that “Scott got off with murder” 8 years ago. “beachbunny” also stated that Scott may have made comments to the effect that “he could drop [Kelly] in a well and no one would ever find her body.”
“Beachbunny” continued: “I just don’t understand why Scott wouldn’t help with the search. It’s not making any sense. If she went looking for the dog the night before the fire and didn’t come home that night, why didn’t he start to worry?”
“Kelly is a great mom,” the commenter wrote, “[…] and to think the worse right now… it breaks my heart.”
A second comment came from someone who signed off as “oxfordmom.” She wrote that “beachbunny’s” comment was “the second time” she’d heard of Scott Morris “getting away with murder on a previous occasion.”
For now, WTVD out of Raleigh-Durham NC says that Granville County authorities have ceased the official search for Kelly.
Her friends and family are still looking for the mother of two.
An exclusive TCR interview with an acquaintance and neighbor of the Morrises will be published in a blog entry here later today or tomorrow.
The last time anyone saw 28-year-old Kelly Currin Morris was Wednesday, September 3. “A family member” gave NBC 17 in Chapel Hill, NC an interesting statement about Kelly’s disappearance. According to said “family member,” Kelly’s husband Scott said that his wife went to look for the family dog and simply never came home again. On September 3, 2008.
On September 4, 2008, there was a fire at the Morris residence on 3220 Tump Wilkins Rd. in rural Granville County, NC.
The authorities were actually alerted to the young woman’s disappearance because they’d been called to put out the fire. The search for Kelly began on the 4th.
They found her 3-year-old Honda Accord that day. It was a mile from the house. The car was locked. Kelly’s purse, cell phone, and keys were inside.
More people joined the search for the mother of two. Five days after the fire, at least 50 volunteers were wending their way through the woods near the Morris homestead. Speaking to NBC 17, one volunteer said, “Everybody is praying non-stop saying all the prayers they can say…”
The same volunteer — a long-time acquaintance of the missing woman’s — stated that leaving on a whim was just something the “family oriented” Kelly would never do.
On September 10, Granville County Sheriff David Smith made a public statement about the search. “We’ve gone back [and]double-searched [and]triple-searched,” he said. While everyone still held onto “a dim light” of hope that Kelly might be okay, Smith admitted that the idea that something bad happened to Kelly “would be in the back of your mind.”
Wanda Hollis, Kelly’s mom, eventually made her own statements to the press. And Wanda’s “gut feeling” was that her daughter was dead. According to Hollis, her daughter would have contacted her if she was still alive.
Hollis was asked about seeing her daughter’s burned home. She said, “It was hard at first, but it’s been hard to cope with things for the last year, too.”
Wanda Hollis didn’t elaborate on that statement.
Eight days after the search for Kelly began, nine days after she allegedly began her search for the missing dog, investigators announced that the fire at the Morris residence was an act of arson.
So… on September 3, a young woman supposedly goes to look for her dog. On September 4, her house burns. Her car is found a mile away, most of her necessary personal effects inside.
Her mother refers to a difficult year of coping with something, but will not go into detail. Police, when asked if husband Scott Morris is a suspect in connection with his wife’s disappearance, simply say that everyone is a suspect.
Searchers, number more than 100 by September 12, wonder why Scott Morris hasn’t been a part of the effort. One of them speaks to reporters with WTVD in Raleigh Durham and says that Scott is “probably the only one that knows anything.”
Based on statistics about these sorts of things, I’d imagine that is true. But Scott Morris hasn’t been called a suspect, or anything. So for now, we’ll just act as if he isn’t.
It is worth it to note, however, that there’s a weird pattern to the disappearances of many women. The ones who are married, sometimes in difficult marriages, often disappear while “jogging,” or doing some other kind of outdoor activity.
Laci Peterson did. She supposedly went for a walk. Her purse, keys, and cell phone were left behind.
Lori Hacking vanished while jogging. She never came home, never went to work.
Kelly Currin Morris went to find a dog. She left her keys, cell, purse behind. Never came back, never returned to work. And then her house burned. Fire deliberately set.
We can’t write the rest of Kelly’s story yet, because we don’t really know what’s happened to her. But don’t you get the feeling the script has been written, and that the next acts will be horribly predictable? I know I do. One person may think this story isn’t predictable. But just as time passed and the fire was proven to be arson, a few more days will go by and we’ll hear the police making less neutral-sounding statements. They know this script, too. They’re just building a strong-enough case to bring it to its proper denouement.
If you have any tips about this case for the True Crime Report, my e-mail address is embedded in my name on the right side of the page.
[NBC17.com, NewsObserver.com, HendersonDispatch.com, WTVD, ABC in Raleigh-Durham, NC.]