Saturday, April 02, 2016

B Is for Brianna Maitland

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Unsolved Mysteries. Today's letter is:

At 11:20 p.m. on March 19, 2004, Brianna Maitland left her job as a dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn and drove out of the parking lot. She was never seen again.

The next morning, this was where her car was found:

There was nothing unusual about Brianna's life. She was a hard-working teenager with friends and family who loved her. This was her the day before she disappeared:

Police gathered all evidence, but one photographer who saw the car before police discovered it reported seeing loose change, a water bottle, and some jewelry near the car. There were no signs of a struggle. Police have said that evidence taken from the car could lead to a suspect, but details of that evidence were never released.

Her disappearance is often linked with another missing girl I've written about, Maura Murray. Initially the FBI connected the two but after an investigation, they stated that the cases aren't linked. They both went missing in early 2004...both in the same area of the country...both leaving wrecked cars behind. Some have speculated the two may have fallen victim to an as-yet-undiscovered serial killer in the area at the time. Or perhaps the Connecticut River Valley Killer?

Brianna Maitland
Maura Murray
What do you think happened to Brianna Maitland?

⬅️ A Is for Amy Lynn Bradley 

Friday, April 01, 2016

A Is for Amy Lynn Bradley

It's officially A to Z Challenge time!!! All month, a ridiculously large group of us will be posting six days a week on a theme, starting at A and ending with Z. My theme for this year? 

Today's letter is:

Each year, there are dozens of deaths on cruise ships. Many fall overboard. A small number are murdered. Some die of natural causes. But the number of people who simply disappear without a trace while on a big cruise ship in the middle of the ocean?

Very, very low.

Amy Lynn Bradley was a 23-year-old woman from Chesterfield, Virginia. 

In 1998, when she was 23, she was invited on a seven-day Caribbean vacation with her parents. Surprisingly, despite the fact that she was a swim team coach and a strong swimmer, she was apprehensive about being in the middle of the ocean. She went anyway.

This is a family photo of the Bradleys on the ship:

On the night of the 23rd, Amy's parents went to bed early while Amy and her brother stayed up late at the ship's disco. Brad last saw his sister on the balcony around 4:30 a.m. He went to bed and she stayed up.

A Royal Caribbean balcony

Around 5:30 a.m., as the ship arrived at the Caribbean island of Curacao, Amy's father woke. He saw Amy relaxing on the balcony and left her there while he went back to sleep.

20 minutes later, he woke up, looked out on the balcony...and she was gone.

Over the years, there have been several Amy sightings. At this point, every single sign seems to point to human trafficking.

in 2005, an anonymous email was sent to the parents with pictures of an "escort" on an adult website based in the Caribbean:

A forensic expert said the facial structure, hairline, and ear piercings made the woman in the photo a perfect match for Amy. 

Alister "Yellow" Douglas, was a band member some say she was seen with around 5:45 a.m., heading back to the disco. Her brother confirmed he'd seen her dancing with him the night before.

There was never enough evidence to charge him with anything.

What do you think happened to Amy Lynn Bradley?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Gmail Feature That Just Might Save Your Life

People today communicate by texting, emailing, and social media updates. Instead of calling up a friend, we all type out a message and hit send, then wait for a response.

Unfortunately, humans haven't changed much. Despite our best efforts, we still discuss others when they aren't around. We're just doing our gossiping in writing, which is...

One person could easily show another the mean texts you sent. Since we're all (I assume) over the age of 20, that probably isn't an issue, though. The biggest issue once you grow up and start working is the runaway email.

You know what I'm talking about. You type a long rant about something one of your coworkers did and hit "send." Only to realize, too late, that you cc'd the person you were gossiping about on the email you just sent.

If you work in an office, you may be able to retract the email...if the person hasn't read it yet. People are fast on that "open" button.

Friendships, relationships, and careers can be destroyed with one email. At the very least, things will be very awkward with the person you were writing about for the rest of time. But for those who use Gmail, there is an option. It's called Undo Send.

Once enabled, it gives you up to 30 seconds to pull that email back. That means every email you send will be held for 30 seconds, giving you ample time to realize what you've done and undo it.

Have you ever sent an email or text you wanted to take back?

Monday, March 28, 2016

The IWSG: Bringing Me New Friends Since 2014

It can be tough to find readers in the general blogosphere. There's no list of categories that will take you directly to the blogs most likely to interest you. 

There's no guarantee that when you comment a blog, the person will comment back.

There is, however, a place you can go. A large community of bloggers where you can find your own clique. Like high school.

The day I found the IWSG was only the beginning. The members of IWSG support each other, cheer each other on, and celebrate each other's accomplishments. I'm talking all about it over on Christine Rains' blog. Head on over and check it out...