Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ayla Reynolds Among Unsolved Cases of 2012

BANGOR, Maine — With Saturday’s fatal stabbing in the Queen City, there are two unsolved homicides on the books for Maine in 2012 that can be added to the two open homicide cases from 2011 still being investigated.
“Those are still working investigations,” Assistant Attorney General William Stokes, head of the criminal division in the Maine attorney general’s office, said Monday.
Maine had 24 homicides in 2012, down four from the 28 in 2011, according to data compiled by Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, and the Bangor Daily News. There are 27 people charged with murder or manslaughter awaiting trials in Maine in connection with killings that date back to 1976.
In addition to the four unsolved homicides in the last two years, there are approximately 130 other homicide, suspicious death and missing person cases — including the investigation of missing Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds — that remain unresolved through the decades, according to Assistant Attorney General Lara Nomani, who is tasked with reviewing the state’s unsolved homicides.
“I have close to 100 unsolved and close to another 30 that would fall into the missing person/suspicious death category,” she said, adding, “Those are my categories.
Cases do not arrive on her desk before they are at least approximately 2 years old, Nomani said.
Jeffrey LeBlanc, 34, was stabbed in the abdomen on Elm Street in Bangor early Saturday and later died at Eastern Maine Medical Center in what his pregnant wife said was a crime related to the drug bath salts.
Bangor police detectives continue to investigate but are releasing few details about what they think happened during the stabbing, which left a long trail of blood in the snow outside the two-unit apartment building.
Matthew Blanchard, 24, was shot to death along India Street in Portland on July 11 while out with three other men, two of whom also were wounded by gunfire. Portland police still are looking for witnesses or others with information about the killing to come forward.
Another shooting in the state’s largest city, on Aug. 1, 2011, is considered an unsolved homicide.
Portland resident Allen MacLean, 41, apparently went to a party on outer Congress Street and was shot in the chest about 4:30 a.m. and died on a sidewalk in front of a gas station across the street.
Police scoured the city looking for a suspect and witnesses in the predawn shooting death, but have released few details in the following 16 months.
“They are all open investigations,” Portland police Sgt. Dean Goodale said Monday of the unsolved homicides, explaining why he could not release any information.
The body of Samantha Folsom, 26, originally from Greene, was found by her parents in a closet inside her Lewiston apartment on Nov. 19, 2011, and is the fourth unresolved homicide in the last two years. Few details about her death have ever been released, including how she died.
Local police indicated last year that they were searching for at least one person of interest. A sergeant with Lewiston Police Department said Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of any movement on the case, and referred all questions to his lieutenant.
China resident James Dodge, 38, who was mortally stabbed in the chest on July 13, 2012 at his home originally was on the list of unsolved homicides, but that case has been resolved, Stokes said.
We’ve declined prosecution on the grounds of evidence of self defense,” he said.
Three other people were in the house at the time of the stabbing, officials have said.
Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds, who went missing from her father’s home on Dec. 17, 2011, falls into the missing person/suspicious death category, Nomani said.
Police said in May that it is  highly unlikely  the 20-month-old will be found alive.
The attorney general’s office years ago hired Nomain, a former drug prosecutor, to review and analyze the state’s cold cases, under the direction of Stokes.
“There is about 12 that we’ve been about to successfully bring [to prosecution] in the last dozen or so years,” he said.
The October arrest of Gary Sanford Raub, 63, who was going by the name Gary Robert Wilson in 1976, is one cold case that today’s technology led to an arrest in 2012.
Raub was caught in Seattle and charged with murdering Blanche M. Kimball, whose body was found stabbed repeatedly in her Augusta home on or around June 12, 1976. Police matched his DNA to the homicide scene because he took part in an undercover “chewing gum survey” that police staged in July.
The DNA is getting even more sensitive as we speak,” Stokes said.
It was much different 30 years ago, he said.
Both Stokes and Nomain said working cold cases is not as easy as it looks on the television show that bears the same name. Whenever a new cold case is reopened, it’s like starting all over again with compiling the evidence — often some is missing or in several different locations — and rounding up witnesses, which gets harder as time goes by and people move or die.
It’s incredibly painstaking,” Nomain said. “You have to keep your eye on the ball long-term.
The work may be arduous, but the payoff — being able to tell family members of the dead that their case is solved — is well worth the effort, Stokes said.
“We owe it to the families of the victims,” he said. “We’re not going to let these close out — they never close.”


John Mc Gowan said...


Is anyone having problems with there bookmark on their PC,for some reason mine is not showing new cases for quite a while but is showing up on I Phone. ?

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...


You Are What You Say
What your pronouns and prepositions say about you.
Published on January 1, 2013 by Juliana Breines, Ph.D. in In Love and War
Outside of high school English classes, most people don't give much thought to pronouns, prepositions, articles, auxiliary verbs, and other "function words" (e.g., I, to, of, am, the). They seem to be no more than fillers for the more important content words–the who, what, where, and why of language. But it turns out that our usage of these invisible words has psychological significance. In his book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, psychologist James Pennebaker describes findings from his research on the relationship between natural language use, personality, and social life. Much of this research is conducted using a computerized linguistic analysis program that calculates the percentage of words in a given text that fall into a range of grammatical, emotional, and topical categories.
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On the book's website, Pennebaker features six linguistic exercises that have the potential to reveal aspects of your personality and your compatibility with others. I tried out a few of them.

1. The Water Bottle Test (you can take it here). The way people describe a simple object–in this case, a water bottle–can reveal something about how they see the world and how they think. Without giving too much away, I will say that my results were mostly in the average ranges, meaning that they couldn't tell me much about how I'm different from other people. But one piece of feedback in particular was right on: "I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think engineering is a good profession for you." I can't argue with that.

The linguistic tool used for analyzing these descriptions is called "meaning extraction." The researchers first had hundreds of people describe the water bottle, then determined the most commonly used words, and finally factor analyzed the words to find clusters of words that tended to be found together. These clusters provide the basis for each of the personality dimensions that are assessed. Though the connection to personality (and career aptitude) is based partially on research evidence, it does involve some extrapolation, hence the warning to take the results with a grain of salt.

2. The "I" Exam (you can take it here). Spoiler Alert: Don't read this section yet if you want to take the quiz yourself first. In this quiz I was asked to guess who uses the word "I" more often–men or women, Bush or Obama, truth tellers or liars, etc. Many of the answers will surprise you (I'm familiar with this research and I still got a few of these wrong). For example, you might expect powerful people in leadership roles to say "I" more often than others, since "I" seems to be a word that signifies agency and control. It turns out, however, that the use of "I" is associated with a lower power role. If this seems strange, look back to emails you've exchanged with a higher power person, such as a professor or supervisor, compared to someone you instructed or supervised. Who used more first person pronouns (this includes me, my, and mine)? Pennbaker gives the following example:

Dear Dr. Pennebaker:

I was part of your Introductory Psychology class last semester. I have enjoyed your lectures and I've learned so much. I received an email from you about doing some research with you. Would there be a time for me to come by and talk about this?



Dear Pam -

This would be great. This week isn't good because of a trip. How about next Tuesday between 9 and 10:30? It will be good to see you.

Jamie Pennebaker

John Mc Gowan said...


In addition to signifying low power, first-person pronouns are associated with self-consciousness (they suggest that attention is focused on the self), insecurity, and depression. An analysis of poetry, for example, showed that well-known poets who went on to commit suicide tended to use more first-person pronouns in their poems.

To illustrate, here is the first stanza of Mad Girl's Lovesong, a poem by Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide at age 31:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

And here is the first stanza of The Ache of Marriage, a poem by Denise Levertov, who did not commit suicide:

The ache of marriage:

thigh and tongue, beloved,

are heavy with it,

it throbs in the teeth.

Most people do not do very well on the "I" quiz because in everyday life we pay little attention to people's use of first-person pronouns. But they are clearly far from meaningless, and it's possible that they still influence our social judgments without our explicit awareness.

3. The 'N SYNC Assessment (you can take it here). This test allows you to compare two people's IMs, emails, or other writing samples to determine compatibility. Pennebaker's research suggests that similar language styles can predict romantic success. In a speed dating context, the extent to which potential pairs used pronouns, prepositions, and other seemingly trivial words in similar ways predicted the likelihood that the pair would decide to go out on a date. This match also predicted the likehood that an early-stage dating couple would still be dating three months later. These results are presumably due to engagement and interest, not just general similarity. Language patterns (like nonverbal behaviors) tend to shift to align with the speech patterns of our conversation partners, especially if we like them. Keep in mind that this test is still in an experimental stage, so don't be disheartened if you and your loved one are given a lower than average compatibility score.

If you take any of these tests yourself, let me know what you think in the comments section! Did the results seem accurate?

This post previously appeared in Psych Your Mind.

Anonymous said...

Poor Ayla. This is the first time seeing this picture of her that I can see that her eyes are actually open.
I had always thought that this was a dress-up picture, like with little Barbie shoes and her dress and eye shadow and lipstick. This picture has always made me sad.
But I guess it looked different when it was sized smaller, and Ayla’s bangs are long and covering her eyes. It is so different this way.

Anonymous said...

I wish they would add some more new people on the case (someone with crazy methods or ideas) and start the investigation from scratch. They should go back to the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Well, I mean crazy - in a good way, fresh, new methods.

Anonymous said...

This precious photo of sweet Ayla in her pretty blue dress and wearing her pretty little eye
make up and lipstick, with a big smile on her face touches me so. Awww.. I just want to reach in, pick her up and hold her close, rock her to sleep in my arms.

I don't think it would much matter if LE added more people to this case, they've already had plenty of evidence without Ayla's body to arrest Justin, Courtney and Alisha and didn't. They had all the evidence they needed a long time ago. I think the Cheese in Denmark stinks.

Maybe mother-hubbard Phoebe has bigger friends hanging out at the court house (works there) or in the sheriff's office than we know about? Maybe the father of her brood works in LE? We don't know, now do we? She certainly had influence with the DHHS, right! Not to mention, has gotten away with her OWN lies and deception.

Speaking of the DHHS, or whatever they call themselves in that area; it is perfectly reasonable that niether Elisha's or Courtney's children have been removed from their care. These agencies do not remove children from a home based on something they read about in the newspaper that involves another child and not their own, nor do they do drive bys on speculation because somebody said they should.

They only investigate and remove children from parents who have had an abuse claim filed against them pertaining to a specific child, IF/when such abuse investigation merits the childs' removal.

Tania Cadogan said...

In the picture i too thought she was wearing eye make up, she isn't.

Her eyes are a 'double exposure'.

You can see this clearly if you change your view.
Click on view/zoom and select 200%.
The doubles the image size and you can see clearly it is her eyes open overlapping her eyes closed (i wonder if the shutter speed was slow and she was caught blinking resulting in the strange image)

I find this a useful trick when looking at photos which have been allegedly 'altered' or have claims made about the image such as bruising etc.

Remember to reset your view back to 100% otherwise every page you view will be doubles ( annoying unless you have really bad eyesight)

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi John, Happy new year to you and your family.

If it takes you to a particular case when you click on your bookmark it could be that you set yout bookmark for the case and not the blog in general so everytime you click the bookmark it takes you back to the case and not the current blog.

I have mine set to ( since i am a brit) for everyone else it will end in .com

I hope this helps.

John Mc Gowan said...

Thanks hobs.

Happy new year to you and your family too..

John Mc Gowan said...



I found this and wondered what your opinion is.

Miller’s Law

Miller’s Law states: “In order to understand what a person is telling you, you must first accept that what the person has said is the complete truth, and then ask yourself: What is it true of?” This concept is counterintuitive. Most people assume that others will lie when accused. This is not always the case. People want to tell the truth and will take extraordinary measures to do so. Miller’s Law allows liars to tell the truth, but the truth about what?

The following vignette illustrates Miller’s Law. As punishment for some misdeed, a young boy was sent to his room after dinner without desert. Later that evening, his father heard noises coming from the kitchen. He went to investigate and discovered his son sitting on the floor with cookie crumbs on his hands and face, but did not actually see him eat a cookie.

FATHER: Did you take a cookie?

SON: No, I didn’t take a cookie.

FATHER: Don’t lie, son, cookie crumbs are on your hands and face.

SON: I didn’t take a cookie Dad.

(After several minutes of questioning, the young boy admitted his guilt. The father then questioned his son as to why he lied.)

FATHER: Why did you lie to me, Son?

SON: I didn’t lie to you, Dad. You asked me if I took a cookie. I didn’t take a cookie, I took two cookies.

According to Miller’s Law, the young boy did not lie to his father. The young boy told the truth, but the truth about what? The young boy instinctively used Miller’s Law to restrict the definition of two cookies to exclude the existence of the lesser included first cookie.

dadgum said...

OT link to Jodi Arias trial live video

Also her 'innocence' website, which seems to be run by her attorneys..

twitter feed, printed by HLN

Amaleen6 said...

So that's where the "I only had two beers, Officer" comes from!

John Mc Gowan said...


Jim Davidson Denies Sex Claims After Arrest
The star's solicitor says allegations dating back 25 years were made by two women. They are not being linked to Jimmy Savile.

Jim Davidson, who was arrested by police investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, "vigorously denies" the claims against him, the comedian's solicitor has said.

Allegations dating back 25 years have been made by two women, according to lawyer Henri Brandman.

Davidson, 59, was one of two men arrested on suspicion of sexual offences as part of Operation Yewtree.

Both individuals fall under the strand of the investigation termed 'others' and the Metropolitan Police said the allegations are not linked to Savile.

Officers said a 53-year-old was held in Hampshire at around 8am and a 59-year-old in west London at around midday.

Both men were later released on bail until March pending further inquiries.

Davidson had reportedly been detained at Heathrow Airport as he returned to the UK to be a contestant on Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother.

Six men and a woman were seen leaving Davidson's house in Stockbridge, Hampshire, carrying boxes.

In a statement, Mr Brandman said: "Two women have made allegations in respect of Jim that date back approximately 25 years.

"The complainants were then in their mid 20s. Jim VIGOROUSLY denies the allegations.

"He answered police questions as FULLY as he was ABLE after this passage of time.

"He has not been charged with any offence. Neither he nor I will be making any further comment."

Scotland Yard is leading a national investigation into allegations against disgraced television presenter Savile and a number of other high-profile figures.

They have separated the inquiry into three strands: claims against Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.

Officers have questioned a number of people including former pop star Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr and PR guru Max Clifford.

Last month, police said a total of 31 allegations of rape had been made against former Top Of The Pops presenter Savile.

Some 589 people have come forward with information relating to the scandal, with a total of 450 complaints against the BBC presenter and DJ, mainly alleging sexual abuse.

Detectives have recorded 199 crimes in 17 force areas in which Savile is a suspect.

Anonymous said...

This picture of Ayla's had always freaked me out a little. Thank you Hobs and John.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hobnob, I stand corrected. I was unable to increase my zoom but with my bifocal lense I can almost see the double exposure of Ayla's eyes anyway, now that you've pointed it out. I do however, think I still see the little darling wearing a little eyebrow pencil and smudged lipstick, right?

Anonymous said...

John, your post in re Miller's Law: I have to disagree with Miller. This child is well on his way to becoming a pathological liar. For a child to so cleverly twist the truth at that young age is manipulating and lies instinctively.

Further, I disagreee in that a liar WANTS to tell the truth and will take extraordinary measures to do so. Not so, not in every case. What a liar actually does is instinctively seek more lies to convince you of his/her original lies.

I know personally, a pathological liar who is incapable of telling the truth, does not care, looks for ways to lie, will argue with her last breath that what she says is true; cleverly lying right in your face and you know she is lying, and she KNOWS you know she is lying. STILL she holds onto her lies until you give up and walk away, letting her think she has won.

Her stronget desire is not to tell the truth but is to convince herself (and you) that she is "smarter" than you are by convincing you she is telling the truth when she is actually lying and you both know she is lying.

I don't know of much that comes out of her convincing mouth that isn't partly a lie, so you learn to ignore everything she says and just consider there are lies tangled up in the story somewhere. Apparently Miller has never known one of these.

Lis said...

Maybe these guys will get somewhere with Ayla's case. I hope.

Lis said...

Anon at 7:49, statement analysis is based on the fact that people rarely lie directly, they tell the truth but in a deceptive way. It is when we analyze the statements that we realize exactly what they are saying and not saying. It seems to me that the Miller's Law the John shared is looking at it from the same or a similar perspective- people rarely lie outright, they deceive by making it seem they are saying something they are not really saying.

I think the Miller's Law is interesting because overall, it is true. You have to listen hard to someone to find out if they are really telling you the truth or not. The boy who said he didn't take a cookie was, of course, being deceptive, no one disagrees with that. It is the method by which he deceived that is of interest- by learning about it, we can avoid being deceived in future.

Lis said...

Also, if you have a person in your life who is a pathological liar, you may find that you can see a lot of the statement analysis principles illustrated in action and learn from it. Not a happy lesson, I concede. But interesting.

I believe that pathological lying has to do with control. When a person tells a lie, they feel like they are in control, because they control the narrative. People who are extreme control freaks do not want to give up their control to reality, they are in a lifelong fight against it. Futile.