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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Serial Killer???

Since October or so, I have noticed reports of missing women and bodies found in and around Birmingham, Alabama. A couple of the missing women have been found alive. Women who decided to start over or were running from the law (such as the case of the Alabama woman who disappeared after being charged with child neglect or the Alabama preacher's wife who disappeared and then surfaced in New York living under an assumed name). But there are many who have not been found alive and well. There are also bodies that have been found but not identified.

When I decided to write this post, I tried to find reports of these bodies and missing women, but could only come up with a few. Most of the time, I find the Internet highly over rated when it comes to research. Or at least FREE research. Honestly I think it's more of a "users" issue.

So below is the list I have been able to compile. I will update this list as necessary. Hopefully I can become more adept at "keywords" because apparently I kinda suck at it right now.

I have only gone back as far as 2006. However, when I have more time available, I intend to take a closer look at the years 1995 - 1999 because most of the missing women I have found were from that time period but right now, let's concentrate on more current dates. Fodder for my next post I suppose.

Sherry Milton. Age 26 - from Tuscaloosa. Disappeared 08/2006 while visiting in Birmingham. Her car was found the next day in the Ensley area (near the same spot that a more recent missing woman's - Nadia Kersh - car was found abandoned). Sherry was slender and had collar length light brown or dark blond hair (this is the most common thread among all of these women).

Lori Ann Slesinski. Age 24 - from Auburn. Disappeared 06/2006. They found her brand new car on fire 5 days after she went missing. Again, slender with shoulder length blond hair.

Britney Jenae Wright. Age 19 - from Vernon. Disappeared 07/2007. She was last seen at her residence. All of her personal items were still there when the police investigated. She has not been seen or heard from since that date. She again fit the general description of the other women.

Lisa Green. Age 44 - from Brookwood. Disappeared 07/2008. Now Lisa is well over the "normal" age bracket if these are all connected. However, Lisa is a slender blond who easily could be mistaken for someone years younger in that she dressed & wore her hair in a style much younger than her age and her facial features belie her age well. Lisa was last seen at a grocery store in Brookwood.

Jennifer Lee Hampton. Age 21 - from Florence. Disappeared 9/2008. Jennifer was last seen at a hotel where she was attending a conference for work. Same general physical description as the others.

Shannon Ellis. Age 31 - from Birmingham. Disappeared 9/2008. Had darker hair but otherwise is the same general physical description as the other ladies.

Nadia Kersh. Age 23 - from Homewood. Disappeared 10/2008. Her abandoned car was found blocks from where Sherry Milton's car was found. Same description. Slender, blond or light brown hair above the collar length.

Brianna Parish. Age 21 - from Daphne. Disappeared 11/2008. Body located. Last seen at a local bar. Killer unknown.

Emily Phillips Milling. Age 23 - from Leeds. Disappeared 11/2008. Body located. Suspect has been arrested but no conviction or confession at this time. Same description.

In January a body of a young female was discovered just off Rocky Ridge Road. She was nude and her clothes were near her body. She has not as of yet been identified. Police have stated that she was not at her location for very long after her death.

That's 10 total that I have been able to find. How many more are out there that I have not been able to find out anything about? My rule of thumb has always been if I can find 1 then there are probably 2 more out there.

None of the above may be related or they may all be related. Also, there are other missing women and found bodies, that I have run across during my informal searches that I neglected to bookmark and now cannot find them.

Alabama doesn't have the history of making serial killers that some other states "enjoy". We had a few home grown serial killers. Daniel Siebert (killed 13 total - 5 of which were actually in Alabama), Donald Wayne Darling (I can't find a total on his victims) and Jack Trawick (6 known kills). We had the 18 year old girl (from Alabama) and her much older husband who traveled around Alabama and the surrounding states killing people and then in the early 1900's we had the infamous "Axe killing" serial killers. These were a small group of black men who roamed Birmingham, Alabama killing folks with an axe. I guess I should include Rhonda Belle Martin in this list. I hesitate only because she killed only family members. She poisoned 6 and attempted to poison another 9 before she was caught and eventually executed in 1957.

Am I excited about the possibility of an Alabama serial killer on the loose? Lord no! However, I am curious about it. As I said before, I will research the '90's timeline and see what else I can come up with. Maybe the northwest and states with cold/wet climates are not the only places that breed serial killers? We shall see.

Be on the lookout for updates on this subject. Gruesome as it may sound, this subject matter intrigues me greatly. I mostly hang with the ultra liberal crowds and our hottest debates have always been about environment causing predatory behavior.

You see I believe that predatory behavior and the ability to act upon that behavior, is born - not caused in 99% of these cases. I believe that people are just more evolved animals who, for the most part, have learned how to restrain their basal animal instincts.

However, from time to time there comes along the human who for whatever reason either cannot or will not restrain that urge. When that occurs ultimately a serial killer is born into our society.

I never understood people who were shocked at this occurrence. After all it is animal nature to prey on the weaker animals. Only in the animal kingdom it is done for food or survival. Somehow once it crosses over into the human arena, it becomes more for sport than survival. It's more a case of "I do it because I can" scenario.

That is the part that intrigues me. The total and complete lack of empathy for their victims. The part of them that actually enjoys the pain and fear that they are inflicting upon their victims. The complete and utter control they have over their victim(s). The part of them that doesn't even attempt to explain their behavior. the "it is what it is" kind of attitude.

Many of these killers mouth excuses "my parents beat me" or "I felt I had no control in my life and this gave it back to me" but I have always felt they were simply mouthing what they had read or what shrinks had told them as a last ditch effort to either make themselves appear less of a monster or as an attempt to influence their possible future endeavors to either get out of prison or at a minimum off death row.

We can study these killers from here to eternity and we will never know how to actually spot them early on and prevent them from allowing their killer instincts to run rampant. We simply must admit and accept the fact that there are people born into this world with this need and drive to kill. The best that we can hope for is that we will be more vigilant in protecting ourselves from them and in our ability to catch them early.

But that's just me.


Anonymous said...

Unless there are two Donald Wayne Darlings, he is not a serial killer. He was initially convicted of killing a drug dealer during a home invasion type robbery.

Due to prosecutorial misconduct, his guilty verdict was overturned in Lauderdale County.

ernie said...

Thank you for the comment. I have gone back to try to find the source on the net that prompted me to include his name in my list. I cannot locate it so you have my complete acquiescence on this. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

In the early 1990's I had a guy come up behind me, put his hand over my mouth, my arm behind my back, and dragged me around the side of a building in Southside. At the time, I had shoulder length blonde hair. I was questioned by police. What's interesting is I recall two notices posted on my apartment building's bulletin board stating that two girls had been abducted walking from the parking lot into their apartments. This was not on the news in Birmingham, nor was my attempted abduction. I'm curious to learn if you know more about the 1990's abductions. BTW, I managed to see his face.

Anonymous said...

Sherry Milton went missing in 2005 and she did not have blonde hair she had medium to dark brown hair.

Ernie said...

Gosh there are a lot of "Anonymous" folks out there! I'll number them in this reply. A1 mentioned being assaulted in Southside in the early 1990's.I haven't heard of these random attacks & can't find anything in my research about them. That's not at all surprising to me because I believe Birmingham, AL (& its suburbs)covers up as much negative press as they can about any area of town that has a decent price tag & southside has a very decent price tag. I live in an "up & coming" neighborhood & I see things every day that should be reported - but aren't. I'm really sorry to hear about your attack.
A2: I got my info on Sherry Milton from the State Police website. Also, I said she had "dark blonde" to light brown hair which is how she was described on that site. It sounds as if you might have known Sherry Milton. If so, I'd love for you to tell me more about her disappearance. Thanks for the comments everyone!

Anonymous said...

I was very interested to read your post. A few years ago the Anniston paper used to run a set of pictures once a week of missing persons from the general area. I noticed that a large number were 20-30 yr old females with light brown/blond hair. I mentioned to my husband that it looked to me just from the pictures, that they could be related. Since that time, maybe 2-3 years ago, they stopped printing the pictures. You may want to check the Anniston newspaper archives from around 2009 to 2012 or so. I THINK they included these in the Monday edition but I could be wrong about that.

Ernie said...

Thanks for the tip. I will definately see if I can find those and then update this post.