Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Lost Girls Revisited

Jimmy Lee Massey and Francisco Gomez currently are residing in the Oklahoma County jail. They are accused of, at the very least, abetting the grisly murder of Carina Saunders. According to Massey, he kidnapped an unnamed woman, took her to a "room" and forced her to watch Ms. Saunders get tortured, dismembered and then stuffed piece meal into a duffel bag. This was done, according to Mr. Massey to make a point. In other words, you do what we say, or the same thing happens to you. It would seem that prostitution isn't quite the victimless crime some would like to think it is. At least not this version of it.

Saunders was living on the edge of a lot of dark things. She had no fixed address and according to one acquaintance never changed clothes, or as near as she could tell bathe, or shower. She was, according to one report, last seen getting into a SUV near Interstate 40 and Rockwell Ave driven by "an older guy with gray hair". It doesn't take much to read between those lines. The Bethany police have speculated she was a "target of opportunity". That she was an innocent victim picked at random so that others would toe the line. The entire gruesome episode reeks of gang intimidation and leads us down the dark, dank, alley of drugs and forced prostitution.

 Kelsey Bransby was in the same Mustang High School class as Saunders. Depending on who you believe she either did, or didn't graduate from Mustang High, however it seems improbable that she didn't at least know who Carina Saunders was. She was murdered shortly after Saunders. She was living in a south side OKC apartment and the leads are so few and cold that even the offer of a reward hasn't drawn a huge amount of public attention. Her case has largely gone ignored for reasons known only to the local paper and perhaps the police. There is absolutely no indication in anything released by the police, or the press that she was into a lifestyle that could be described as dangerous, or criminal. However, from the outside, the coincidence seems too huge to ignore.

Alina Fitzpatrick was dropped off near an apartment complex near NW 23rd and Western a little while later. Her body was found a few days afterward dumped in a field in far eastern OKC. According to her parents she was taking classes from a Putnam City cyber school so that she could avoid bullying at Putnam City North in NW OKC. The Putnam City school district was quick to say they had no record of her being bullied. According to unconfirmed and conflicting reports she was found either shot in the face, nude and dismembered, or nude and severely beaten. There has been no official word from the police, or the slightest hint that they might be close to solving her murder. There is no indication that she knew either Saunders, or Bransby, or had any mutual acquaintances. The only connection here is age, gender, and an off center beginning of adulthood. And of course the queasy feeling that in three months, three young women who seem eerily familiar, have been brutally murdered.

Then along comes, Jaymie Adams. She doesn't fit the profile, but she did go missing and then was found quite dead. She was 25 and all ready had four children with a fifth on the way. She was out there. As in way out there. Her husband, either a man of tolerance beyond belief, or a stone cold sociopath who took a cut of the John's cash without blinking an eye, acknowledged she was pulling tricks. She advertised on Craiglist as a massage therapist, but that was a transparent ruse. He has admitted they were, among other things, swingers, who liked to find people of a similar philosophy so they could swap partners for sex. Ms. Adams was to meet a "friend", or actually a client late on December 10th. Her body was found near Lake Stanley Draper yesterday. The police are, of course, mum about the details.

It is, so far, a dry windy winter in Oklahoma City. Dead leaves still scuttle along the gutters of streets. The grass is brittle underfoot and dusty. There is, at this time, no telling what is going on. A single rogue serial killer is probably not the case. However, some sort of vicious gang enforcement unit might be possible. And, in the case of Adams, there is no telling what happened. Possibly it is a trick gone terribly bad, or a husband gone off his nut.

What we do know is that since October there have been four young women, girls really, brutally done in by person, or persons unknown. The edge has never seemed so deadly as it is now. The dark underbelly of this town has been exposed like never before.

Welcome to the big leagues, Oklahoma City. It is an ugly and deadly ballgame being played and we're all in it to the final whistle.


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