Discussion in 'Identified!' started by Richard, Oct 28, 2004.
Have you seen this? A great site!
I've been thinking of a new approach to identifying this and other UID's. Try to bear with me as this might be a very long explanation but I'd like thoughts on what other people think. Skip down to the last paragraph if you're getting bored or lost.
Everyday my New England Unsolved blog gets about a 100 unique visitors. When I started the blog I assumed most of the traffic would be coming from links but as it turns out 95% of my traffic comes directly from Google. 100s of people a day are either searching for the names of missing or murdered people or they're searching by details they know from UID/ missing/ unsolved cases. For example my blog is found by people doing searches for things like:
-Blonde hair girl missing from CT 1972
-unidentified woman blue eyes Massachusetts
-Missing in 1971
People literally from around the world are searching for terms like that. For terms like Maura Murray or Lisa Ziegert (the two most searched for "names" driving traffic to NEU) my blog is in the 1-3 position on Google and easy to find, but for terms like "missing in 1971", you wouldn't believe what you have to sift through to get there. Why? Because my blog is low on the Internet totem pole. Even sites like Doe Network or Charley Project don't have a great "page rank" for most search terms. And even when those sites do pop up, the info is often kind of short since there are so many cases listed. What if I were able to put information on a more "authoritative" site in Google's eyes and include a lot of information about the UID or missing person? What if someone typed in something like "brown hair pregnant woman missing 1976" and up popped a well known site featuring the story of Beth Doe including photos, her description, video, and a phone number to the PSP? Let's say this site was also authoritative enough that people would feel comfortable citing it in places like Wikipedia and millions of people regularly browsed around this site just looking for information?
In addition to my blog I also have a sort of part time job as an internet marketer. I recently came across Squidoo which is a site that ranks very high in Google's eyes and allows people to post their own "lenses" or mini websites about almost any topic. I use it in marketing to get traffic but a few organizations use it to list missing children in their state and some parents of missing children (like the mom of Lindsey Baum) have used it as a sort of an online "missing child" poster. The cool thing is that it's far more dynamic than a poster because you can use videos, as many photos as you please, extensive descriptions, etc. Not only are these pages getting huge amounts of traffic from people just browsing around Squidoo but they are also search engine optimized meaning that Squidoo pages usually pop right up in the 1-3 spot on Google (that's where you really want to be, 90% of people don't read past those first three results).
So here's my very simple idea: I want to put up a Squidoo page for Beth Doe and optimize it so that people looking for terms like "pregnant girl missing 1976" or "brown hair woman missing 1976" come up. Some people might search for the term "Pennsylvania Beth Doe" and get tons of results but the fact of the matter is that people specifically looking for "Pennsylvania Beth Doe" already know something about her and want to know more. They're people like us. I want to reach the people who don't know what they're looking for, the people who know there's a missing person with specific features but do not know the UID they're looking for. Does that make sense? And do you think this is worthwhile effort? I should also mention that Squidoo has partnered with the Polly Klaas foundation so we would be raising money for them while also getting the word about Beth Doe. I think this is a good idea but before I spend days just before the holidays obsessing over a project like this I want to make sure other people think it's an okay idea and makes sense. If people do think this is a good idea, I want to know which phrases you think someone looking for this young lady might type into Google. Thanks for your input!
It sounds like a great idea! Go for it!
I'm with Spurser--a brilliant idea! I say go for it!
Also, if you all haven't looked at the Lady of the Dunes thread, please do as there is some good stuff happening with her case now & I'm thinking it would be awesome if the same could be done for UIDs like Beth and Jane & Jock Doe:
Yes, I am involved with the LoD discussion both here in Cold Cases and on the Unidentified board. I also thought she'd be a great candidate. Jock and Jane Doe is another good one, although that case is so involved I never had time to read through all of it. I was also considering Princess Doe, Cali Doe, and Buckskin Girl.
There's a couple of reasons I think those cases and this one might work well:
-Lots of pictures
-We know enough details potentially about them to put together a mix of descriptions people might be looking for.
-For some reason people are constantly seeking out information or looking for people who disappeared in the 1970s. I don't why this is... the only thing I can think of is that many people who were young during that time period are now thinking about people who they know disappeared. Maybe back then they were too young to know what happened or they thought they had just run away (many teenagers were written off simply as run aways when they disappeared). I think potential friends, classmates, etc. are a great resource to be targeting.
It would be great if people could help me come up with phrases they might look for if they were trying to find Beth Doe and they only knew her as a missing person. Any suggestions?
What is this? Squidoo page
It's basically a Web 2.0 site where users generate information to share under a variety of categories. Pulled from the Squidoo site:
Squidoo is the popular publishing platform and community that makes it easy for you to create "lenses" online. Lenses are pages, kind of like flyers or signposts or overview articles, that gather everything you know about your topic of interest--and snap it all into focus.
It is one of the top 100 most popular websites on the Internet.
Here's a Squidoo page about Leanna Warner, a missing 5 year old as an example: http://www.squidoo.com/LeannaSusanMarieWarner
As somebody who grew up in the 70s -- it was so common to have people just take off and disappear in those days and have it not be anything related to crime, kidnapping, death, or even drugs. People would just get tired of the life they were living and they'd just take off to live on a beach in Malibu or Provincetown for a while. Parents and kids would have a blowup fight about the Establishment and the war and Free Love, and the kid would wind up hitchhiking to San Francisco or Chicago or Woodstock. Or they'd throw her out because she was pregnant. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit would realize his life of Valiumed-out wife, 2.5 kids, and station wagon in the suburbs was suffocating him, and he'd head out to Malibu too, quite possibly picking up the kid who had just been thrown out or refusing to cut his hair and the girl seeking to reform the world for free love on the way. And then they all drove out to Woodstock, picking up a hippie chick with a good supply of weed and somebody's mom who had just finished coming out and was looking for a girlfriend, so when the mom and the reform girl didn't show up to drive home, nobody thought anything of it, and they probably picked up a couple of suburban kids hitching back to Shaker Heights for school to take their place, or a hippie couple spending their summer bumming around the country, "traveling and living off the land" as the song said.
Most of them turned up later -- suburban mom went to law school and became an advocate for women in abusive situations, the girlfriend went into politics, the hippie chick is a suburban soccer mom, the dad had his fling and went home, and the kid who wouldn't cut his hair made a fortune with a computer startup firm. That kind of thing. If the pregnant girl turned to prostitution, went missing, and wound up in a suitcase by the river, or LoD left to camp on the Cape with her boyfriend, who killed her and later told their friends she left him for a motorcycle bum, the absence might not be noticed for a long time. The people who would most care about her might not have had any reason to think she was murdered and thrown aside. Now with Facebook and all, they're trying to reconnect with old friends, classmates, cousins, and finding holes.
So I think you're very much correct that orienting a "lens" toward people searching for missing friends, classmates, relatives might generate results.
p.s. Sorry I haven't been around. We had a death in the family.
Sorry, just catching up after being out for a while...
Why would you have to touch the zippers to paint them? Wouldn't you just be holding the brush, or possibly the spray can?
I just had the most horrid mental image of a row of suitcases, and somebody painting the zippers black, red, blue to color-code them to make sure the right bodies went to the right places......I doubt very much if that's what happened, probably just overactive imagination....
First I'm sorry to hear about the death in your family. My condolences go out to you.
I agree with what you're saying 100% here. I think we discussed in the context of LoD too. Now it's easy to say, how could someone not be looking for this person but back then it was way more common for people to just pick up and leave without much thought. Sadly I think that's what has stalled a lot of these cases-- police believed the person left voluntarily when they did not. It still happens today sometimes but as a society we're more inclined to worry. I think I will have to stress that it's possible someone might think CCJD left her home voluntarily or with her family, etc.
I just feel like there's someone out there who must be going, "Hey what ever happened to so-and-so?" and be talking about CCJD. Even if she was Romany or lived in some other closed community at some point she must have gone to school or worked a job or interacted with her community in some way.
Some interesting similarities in these two:
* both cut up to fit in suitcases
* both dumped in/near water
* both nonwhite and maybe not American
* both on cheap bedspreads
* both with other material in the suitcase -- newspapers, the quilt, garbage bags, etc.
* both could be "from" Philadelphia
Which makes me wonder -- are these the women's own suitcases? Meaning they had just arrived from somewhere? Maybe the writing on Beth's hand is notes for where to find a hotel room?
Here is a dismembered victim found in a suitcase. Like Beth, she is believed to be foreign. She was found three years before Beth. Probably not connected, but interesting. Unfortunately, this type of thing happens more than we want to believe.
Thanks, I appreciate the kind thought. MIL was 92 and suffered from advanced Parkinson's, so it wasn't a total shock, but the end came very quickly. And it's never easy.
Yes, I think there's definitely a big "What ever happened to so-and-so?" factor going on these days that we can take advantage of. In addition to disappearances that appeared voluntary but weren't, there would be the cases where somebody left home voluntarily but then got in trouble -- traveling with a boyfriend who turned abusive, picking up the wrong guy, running away and falling into prostitution or drugs, etc.
Also might want to mention the possibility that she was reported missing but the report was never passed on or looked at again -- as one of the articles says, gathering dust in a file cabinet somewhere -- so people shouldn't assum that just because they reported a loved one missing years ago, that report is still active.
If you want a second pair of eyes to look things over before you post, I'd be glad to do that. I'm an editor/writer by profession.
Hm, she looks quite a lot like the other two women, doesn't she? Very interesting -- and looks like almost no information to go on.
There's also this thread:
Beth & Baby Doe-Pregnant UID WF, Carbon Co. PA 1976 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
I agree. I wonder if LE ever compared the two cases.
I have been wondering is a killer maybe targeting illegle aliens in the USA?
* Women here illegally
* Woman here for arrainged marraiges
* Illegal garment workers
* Women involved in Human Trafficing
This is an interesting idea - no one would be looking for them if they were illegal. Also, in a closed community, probably no one would report a disappearance...
* Human Trafficaning
My question is - why is no one looking for these people?
Side point -- not all Muslim communities are closed. Probably the majority aren't.
We've had a small-scale serial killer in our area recently. Half a dozen victims over ten years or so (and scary to think that that's small scale...) who were all Hispanic immigrants with drug issues. One of the cops working the case said that there are dozens of criminals, both serial and opportunistic, preying on that kind of woman. They're afraid to go to the police, of course, because they don't want to be deported, and women who sometimes trade sex for drugs don't have any confidence in LE anyway.
So not at all an implausible scenario that even in the 70's there were similar predators.
As for why nobody is looking:
* people are looking, but don't recognize her in the description of Beth Doe ("She wasn't pregnant so it can't be her," maybe)
* people are looking in different places or a different part of the country -- if she disappeared in California, for instance, they might not think to look in rural PA
* the person who killed her lied about her whereabouts, throwing the people who might look for her off track (I think this is most likely)
* they looked and looked and have given up
* an argument or other disruption cut her off from the people who cared -- thrown out for being pregnant, eloped with the baby's father who turned out to be a bad egg, etc.
Those are just a few things that come to mind. I think the question isn't why they aren't looking, but how we can get the word out to the places where they might be looking, in ways that they'll recognize their daughter, cousin, sister, classmate -- whoever she might be.
I'm brand new here, so I hope no one puts a dunce cap on me but...What about the baby? Could they be able to do a DNA extraction, and if so, would a DNA profile give clues about the father?
First off, I am very sorry to learn of your loss--my condolences to you & yours. I know what you mean about the lack shock, but still the profound sadness that still accompanies such a loss, even though you know it's coming sooner or later (mother had Alzheimer's)...it's just not a nice thing...expecting it still doesn't quite prepare you.
as for the zippers...well, they wouldn't necessarily have to touch them. Was just pondering out loud, so to speak. But there is always a chance that they might have been touched, for whatever reason.
Ahhhhh overactive imagination, indeed! If you've ever considered a writing career (assuming you're not already pursuing one), that would make a great bit of characterization. At any rate, your imagination has lead to some very plausible scenarios for Beth's case. Who the devil knows why the zippers were painted--that idea is as good as any, imo!