Monday, April 14, 2008

The missing yacht

Here's more info on the missing yacht. I can't find any articles indicating that they were ever found, so I guess they may be lost at sea. I know we can't exactly go to the spot where they disappeared, but it might be really interesting to do stuff on the ocean, on Molly Finn, the 20 year old Rhody native girlfriend who disappeared with them. (and ps, my friend Molly FLYNN has expressed interest in helping us with something we might do). Also,there's info on debris found where they sent their distress call, but it hasn't been definitely linked to the yacht.
Anyone interested?

The News of the World (England)

June 18, 2006 Sunday

Missing sailor is 'Britain's worst lawyer'

LENGTH: 126 words

MISSING yachtsman Jacek Bielecki fled the UK after being called "Britain's Worst Lawyer".

Mr Bielecki, 56, an international shipping lawyer, was suspended from practising in 2001 for spending clients' money and lying under oath.

The dad of three, who lived a millionaire's lifestyle with a Bentley and mansion in Orford, Suffolk, was declared bankrupt the same year. Last night the search went on for Mr Bielecki, his son Jack, 19, Jack's American girlfriend Molly Finn, also 19, and Brit Richard White, 34.

They were sailing from Jacek's new home in Rhode Island, US, to Europe.

US coastguards said the 41ft yacht Free Spirit was battered by 115mph winds and 30ft waves on Thurday. An ex-neighbour in Orford said yesterday: "Jacek liked to live life on the edge."

See also:
Polly Bialecka's information site in memory of the missing people:
(I found the picture of Molly Finn and others, including the ship there too)

Another article:

From the ProJo, with an emphasis on Molly Finn, a local kid, and info about debris found in the area where the yacht disappeared, and her house's street number:

Searchers find debris near site where Newport crew called for help

En route from Newport to the Azores, the 41-foot sloop Free Spirit and its crew of four encountered 30-foot seas and winds of 50 to 90 knots off Nova Scotia.

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, June 17, 2006

Journal Staff Writer

A sailboat that disappeared off Nova Scotia on Thursday in the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto carried four passengers, including a 19-year-old woman with deep roots in Newport and a lawyer renowned in England for his extravagant lifestyle and legal and financial woes.

U.S. and Canadian authorities searched for the 41-foot Free Spirit into the night last night after finding a debris field in the area where the vessel made its only call for help, 200 nautical miles south of Halifax. None of the debris, however, could be confirmed as coming from Free Spirit, which ran into 30-foot seas and winds of 50 to 90 knots on its way from Newport to the Azores, the Coast Guard said.

As the search continued, relatives of 19-year-old Molly Finn gathered at her family's Eastnor Road home in Newport's close-knit Fifth Ward, where Irish traditions run strong. Kathleen "Kiki" Finn, president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, took calls from the Coast Guard updating her on the search for her daughter, a 2004 graduate of St. Andrew's School in Barrington.

"Molly had developed an interest in boating the last couple of years," said Stephen Martin, her uncle. Jumping on a transatlantic crossing, he said, "That was Molly."

"She's a vibrant, adventurous, interesting kid," agreed Ann Finn, sister of Molly's father, Thomas, a carpenter who died a year ago after an illness.

During the past year, Molly Finn befriended British lawyer Jacek Bielecki and his 19-year-old son, Jack. Bielecki had been looking to buy a boat for a grand voyage and had moved to Aquidneck Island on a part-time basis after finding one at New England Boatworks, in Portsmouth, according to real-estate agent Jose Aguon, who helped him find a rental apartment on Powell Street. The Bieleckis, he said, later leased a house near him on Extension Street.

"He ended up becoming my neighbor up the street," said Aguon. "He would go back and forth to England. He had his son with him."

Aguon called him a "great guy" with a tremendous sense of humor who made a delicious veal piccatta and enjoyed expensive champagnes.

Jacek Bielecki, 56, made the headlines of English newspapers, including The Mirror and Lloyd's List, in 2001 for living lavishly while experiencing bankruptcy problems and being temporarily barred from practicing law for lying under oath. Bielecki denied lying and said the cash-flow problems were routine for a legal firm such as his, Hughes Hooker & Co., specialists in shipping.

Josie Allen, who rented the Powell Street apartment to Bielecki, said she recalled his children and grandchildren visiting him. She recently saw him at a bank and he invited her to a going-away party he was going to plan. But she never heard that one was held.

Bielecki bought a 41-foot sloop that was stored at New England Boatworks, according to co-owner Tom Rich. The cruiser-racer was made by Tartan, probably in the early 1970s, Rich said.

"This boat was pretty old," he said.

The boat yard fixed a radar tower and spinnaker pole, said Rich, but Bielecki oversaw the rest of its preparations. The boat was put in the water on May 4 and stayed at the boat yard until May 17.

THE COAST GUARD could not say yesterday what day Free Spirit left Newport, only that it was bound for the Azores and that it was carrying the Bieleckis, Finn and a 34-year-old British national, Richard White.

At 11:55 a.m. Wednesday, Jacek Bielecki used his satellite telephone to call his stepdaughter, who lives outside of New York City. He said the boat needed to be rescued immediately and gave its coordinates, according to the Coast Guard.

Canadian vessels and U.S. aircraft began searching the 51-degree waters within an hour, in difficult conditions. But it wasn't until the winds and seas subsided and visibility improved that the debris was found, around 5 a.m. yesterday. The searchers found a wooden door from a boat, a nautical hatch cover, a bleach bottle, a milk carton with a line tied to it and a gasoline can. Yesterday evening, the search continued.

"It will go through the night," said a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston.

Finn attended Newport public schools through her freshman year at Rogers High School. She transferred to St. Andrew's, a private school in Barrington, where she played on the lacrosse team. She had shown an interest in marine trades and looked into taking courses at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, her relatives said. reporter Kate Bramson contributed to this report. / (401) 277-7467

How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found

Here's the website about this book
A small tangent, but maybe worth thinking about the decision to be an absence instead of a presence?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In the case of the woman in this article, we might be able to do something with the purse and the butterfly tattoo.

Also, in response to Tara's post about the reconstructions, I just finished reading a mystery novel that's part of a series in which the detective is a woman who does reconstructions based on skulls of unidentified corpses. And I agree, it's very disturbing and creepy. -- Judy

The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)

September 27, 2007 Thursday
All Editions

Police: Missing Woonsocket woman did not pick up pay

BYLINE: Tatiana Pina, Journal Staff Writer


LENGTH: 566 words

The police say they "believe something has happened" to Vicky L. Connolly.

WOONSOCKET - It has been three weeks since family or friends saw Vicky L. Connolly and her family fears the worst.

Police Detective John Donlon said four detectives are working on the case but they have no new leads.

Connolly, 33, who was reportedly last seen on Sept. 6, worked at the Price Rite supermarket on Diamond Hill Road in Woonsocket. Connolly, of 45 Libbeus St., has not picked up her last paycheck, Donlon says, "which leads us to believe something has happened to her."

Donlon said the police have tried to retrace Connolly's last steps, who she was with and where she went. They know who she was with last, he said. But he declined to identify that person or persons and said only that they are interviewing people of interest.

A woman told the police she saw Connolly on Sept. 6 at 2:30 p.m. on Earl Street in Woonsocket, Donlon said. The police go out every day and look for her, he said. They have searched the riverbanks, the railroad tracks, the parks. "When you are walking the railroad track and river banks, the foliage has not fallen so it's difficult to find anything," he said.

James Tomasso Jr., Connolly's brother said her family fears that she had died. His mother goes out every day to look for her. He, his fiancée, his stepbrother and sister-in-law have been searching for her. It's not like her to be out of touch with the family, he said. What worries him most is that a woman turned in a purse that belonged to his sister. Tomasso said his mother and stepbrother saw the purse and his brother believed there are spots of blood on it. Donlon did not comment on the purse.

"I think something bad happened to her, something really bad. She wouldn't have vanished without calling someone," Tomasso said.

Tomasso said his sister had recently gone through a divorce after nine years of marriage and her husband had custody of their child and it hurt her terribly. She had been drinking and was abusing drugs, he said. She had been arrested on a charge of soliciting for sex, he said. But, she was trying to change her life around, he said.

"She wasn't one to disappear . . . She was going to counseling. She was trying to get away from the bad stuff. She wanted to make a better life for herself, find the right person," he said.
Connolly's absence torments the family, he said. "It has been awful to search by the riverbanks.

We searched behind the Elk club, Social Pond, the big field where they light fireworks, along there by the river, still we can't find nothing. No leads," he said.

Connolly's mother reported her missing Sept. 8. She works second shift and goes out in the morning to look for her and after work, Donlon said.

Tomasso said a person at the Hess Station on Social Street told his family he saw his sister with a man between 1:30 and 5:30 the morning of Sept. 6. He said the family tried to get a video from the station of that night but it was not available.

He says he has a dream that he sees her. "I see her at the Hess station and she says, 'Hi. How are you doing.' Maybe that is because that is what I want to happen."

Connolly is described as 5 feet tall with hazel eyes and strawberry blond hair. She weighs about 160. She has a butterfly tattoo on her right wrist.

Anyone with information is asked to call Woonsocket detectives at (401) 766-1212. / (401) 277-7394

LOAD-DATE: September 28, 2007



Copyright 2007 Providence Publications, LLC
I thought the detail about the white sneakers that were left behind was particularly interesting in this one:

The Boston Globe

June 22, 2006 Thursday




LENGTH: 799 words

Maria and Joaquim Lima's youngest child, John, was first reported missing from his Middleton home nearly eight months ago. His family suspects foul play, but police haven't been able to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the 26-year-old's disappearance.

His parents have hired a private investigator, but after four months, the family is not any closer to finding answers. Distraught, the Limas are offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads them to their son.

"The hardest part is the not knowing," said Maria Lima, 53. "It's so frustrating because there are so many people he knew, and no one has any idea what happened. I mean, how does someone just disappear? No one had any motive to hurt him."

Middleton and State police investigators have questioned numerous people about Lima's disappearance, and have combed the area around his River Street home by helicopter, on all-terrain vehicles, and with search dogs, but have not come up with any concrete leads.

"We will continue to keep this case on the front burner," said Middleton police officer Gayle Haley. "We're hoping the reward will generate some interest in the case, but at this point it has generated very few calls."

According to his family, John was a high school dropout who had had trouble with drugs in the past, but wasn't using them at the time of his disappearance. The last time they saw John, he was playing with his niece and nephew, chasing the youngsters around the two-story home he shares with his parents. John and the children were giggling. It was a Friday afternoon, Oct. 28. John was home from his construction job. At the time of his disappearance, he was working for his father's company, Lima Construction.

"His demeanor was fine," said Elizabeth White, 34, John's sister, who had stopped by that afternoon to pick up her children. "If something was bothering him, it didn't show. And honestly, I think we would have known. We're a very close family."

About 2 the following morning, Maria heard a car pull into the driveway. She assumed it was John, returning from his girl friend's place in Chelsea, and went back to sleep.

When his father went downstairs a few hours later, at about 7 a.m., John's bed looked as though it had not been slept in. John's keys, wallet, jacket, and cigarettes were in his room, but there was no sign of him or his cellphone. His car was parked in the driveway. His parents assumed a friend had come to pick him up, knowing he had plans to go to Salem with his girlfriend that weekend to celebrate Halloween.

But his mother was worried. She tried to reach John on his cellphone, but it went right to voice mail. She left messages, but he never called back. She began to make note of odd details: John's white sneakers were on the doormat, just inside the garage. And then there was the matter of the small front window in the living room of John's basement apartment. His father had found it wide open that chilly Saturday morning, the screen pushed out from the inside. It looked as though he had left through the window, even though there were three doors he could have used. All of the doors lead to the backyard.

"There's motion sensors out back, so the lights would have come on," said White. "Maybe he didn't want to disturb my parents, but then why go outside without shoes? It was cold. Either he was going outside to meet someone a meeting he thought would take just a minute or he was scared by someone and left quickly through the window. Maybe he saw somebody at the back door and tried to escape through the window, but was grabbed in the front yard. We just don't know."

What they do know is this: John's cellphone went dead shortly after his mother heard the car in the driveway. The battery didn't simply run out of juice. White said investigators told her they believe the phone was either damaged or destroyed, because its Global Positioning System signal disappeared at about that same time.

"We think it might have been smashed in a struggle," said White, speaking on behalf of her family. "We feel definitely that foul play was involved, but we're not able to get any answers. We're hoping the reward might convince someone, out of desperation, to come forward.
"None of us have had any peace since John disappeared," she added. "One day you're thinking, `Maybe he's OK,' then the next day, you think `No, he's gone' and you sink to the lowest level of depression. Even if something bad happened to him, at least having answers would bring us some kind of closure."

Lima is described as white, 5 feet 10 inches, about 170 pounds, with brown hair and tattoos on both his arms and his back. Anyone with information is asked to contact Middleton Police at 978-774-4424 or State Police at 978-745-8908.
Brenda J. Buote may be reached at

LOAD-DATE: June 28, 2006





Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company
Also, it has occurred to me that we might incorporate some shadow puppets since shadows are all that remains of many of these missing people.

The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)

October 10, 2006 Tuesday
All Editions

Camper missing in R.I. - Search to resume today for Mass. woman

BYLINE: BENJAMIN N. GEDAN, Journal Staff Writer


LENGTH: 953 words

SOUTH KINGSTOWN - Hiking through dense woodlands and boating across the sprawling Worden Pond, firefighters and police officers conducted a massive search yesterday for a woman who left her family's campsite Sunday morning and didn't return.

The police say Bonnie Fernandes, 36, of Ludlow, Mass., had bickered with her husband, Lee, before strolling off around 10:30 a.m., leaving behind her four children.

As of last night, Fernandes had not been found, said South Kingstown Police Sgt. Joel Ewing-Chow.

"We've had no new information. She hasn't been seen, spotted or heard from," Ewing-Chow said. He said police are seeking the public's help.

The search, called off at nightfall yesterday, was to resume this morning, Ewing-Chow said.
Fernandes was last seen walking briskly along nearby Ministerial Road (Route 110) around noon on Sunday, the police said. She has not been seen since.

"It's totally out of her character to just disappear," said Fernandes' mother, Roseanne Henry, 52, who drove from Holyoke, Mass., late Sunday to search for her daughter.

The police learned of the disappearance at 5:30 p.m., when Lee Fernandes flagged down a patrolman near the Worden Pond Family Campground, where the Fernandes family had leased a campsite across from the pond, according to Police Capt. Jeffrey Allen.

"She had been gone a considerable amount of time," Allen said yesterday. "She had a good leg up on us."

Fernandes had packed a cooler and her children's clothing in the family trailer before leaving for a walk, Henry said. Her husband spent the day packing up the family's trailer and watching the couple's four children, identified by Henry as Brandon, 1, Melissa, 4, Nicholas, 6, and Justin, 15.

Bonnie Fernandes walked off without money, credit cards or a cellular phone, Allen said. She had no friends or relatives in the area or access to any vehicle, he said. She is descrbed as 5 feet, 2 inches tall, 150 punds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a brown sweatshirt and blue jeans, according to a police statement.

Sunday evening, the police joined 12 members of the campground staff and searched the 212-acre grounds, riding golf carts and all-terrain vehicles. The search party scoured the 200 campsites, as well as the walking trails and bicycle paths, said Christa Crossman, the campground manager.

The search expanded dramatically yesterday morning. As the police visited local beaches and patrolled Ministerial Road, volunteer firefighters boarded motor boats and circled Worden Pond.
The police activated phone alerts through "A Child Is Missing," a system similar to an Amber Alert that helps search for missing children or adults, according to Ewing-Chow, of South Kingstown police.

That system "rings every phone in the immediate area" and provides recorded information on the missing person, Ewing-Chow said.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency set up a mobile command center at the Tuckertown fire station on Ministerial Road, 11?2 miles north of where Fernandes was last seen.
At the station, state police troopers and South Kingstown police coordinated the search, as a helicopter from the Rhode Island Airport Corporation roared overhead.

"We've been searching the roads, the fields, the woods," said Bob Perry, chief of the Union Fire District.

By late afternoon, more than 80 firefighters from the town's nine stations had joined the effort, many forming so-called "bump lines" as they marched through the woods, shoulder to shoulder.
Firefighters also visited more than 200 homes in the area, said Kevin Quinn, deputy chief of the Union Fire District.

"It was pretty tough," said firefighter Nathan Street, 23, taking a spoonful of hot stew at the command headquarters. "It was very thick, dense foliage."

The campground is bordered by major roads dotted with houses. Cynthia Tucker, a part-owner of the campground, said no camper has gone missing in the 50 years she has operated the facility.

But the 40 acres of campsites, leased from May 1 to Oct. 15, are surrounded by deep woods crisscrossed by unmarked paths designed for horses, snowmobiles and ATVs.
Even in the day, Tucker said, it is easy to get lost amid the trees, swamps and impenetrable patches of brier. "A lot of people panic when they feel they're lost," she said. "They don't turn and come back where they came from."

This is the first season the Fernandes family has leased a campsite, according to Crossman, the campground manager.

In a photo the police made available to the media, Fernandes is seen standing with two of her children, smiling in a room with floral wallpaper.

Henry, her mother, said Fernandes and her husband have a strong relationship. She said it was unlikely that her daughter had vanished purposefully. (Lee Fernandes was secluded in the campground with his children yesterday. He asked campground staff not to admit visitors.)
"They have a good, stable marriage," Henry said yesterday. "[Sunday] night we were driving around, just yelling for her."

The South Kingstown police are asking anyone with information about Fernandes to call the department at (401) 783-3321.

Staff writer Karen Lee Ziner contributed to this report. / (401) 277-8072
Keith Maine, a volunteer with the South Kingstown Forest Fire Department, and others, search the woods along Route 110 yesterday for Bonnie Fernandes, of Ludlow, Mass., who left the Worden Pond Family Campground Sunday morning.

South Kingstown police Capt. Jeff Allen holds a photo of Bonnie Fernandes yesterday. The search for the Ludlow, Mass., woman expanded dramatically yesterday with the addition of volunteer firefighters on motorboats and the activation of a phone alert system.

LOAD-DATE: October 12, 2006



Copyright 2006 Providence Publications, LLC
I am posting several articles from the Providence Journal and Boston Globe. One is about concerts performed to raise awareness and funds for missing persons. The others had interesting details about clothing, etc. I'll post each separately.

The Boston Globe

November 1, 2007 Thursday

Music for the missing

BYLINE: Emily Sweeney Globe Staff


LENGTH: 453 words

Two local singer-songwriters - Jodi Griffith of Weymouth and Grace Morrison of Wareham - will perform tonight at the Beachcomber in Quincy as part of the Squeaky Wheel Tour, a national concert series that raises awareness about missing people.

During the show, they will ask attendees to post fliers in their communities to help find three New Englanders.

One is from Quincy: a 14-year-old girl named Soomaiiah Quraiishi. She was last seen on April 13, 2001. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities believe she was abducted by a family member and taken overseas, perhaps to Lebanon, Syria, or Pakistan.

The Squeaky Wheel Tour is an annual event that was founded in 2001 by Jannel Rap, a singer-songwriter from southern California. The concert series and website ( were established in honor of her sister, Gina Bos, who vanished on Oct. 17, 2000.

Griffith got involved in the Squeaky Wheel Tour about a month ago, after she received an e-mail from Rap.

"I jumped at the opportunity because this is one of my goals in life, to help people with my music," said Griffith.

The other two missing people who will be highlighted at tonight's concert are William Paul Smolinski Jr. and Mary Edna Badaracco - both from Connecticut.

Smolinski was 31 when he disappeared on Aug. 24, 2004. He was last seen at his home on Holly Street in Waterbury, Conn., and his personal belongings were left behind at his home. He was never seen again.

Badaracco was 38 when she disappeared on Aug. 20, 1984. She would now be 61. She was last seen at her home in Sherman, Conn., and her husband reported her missing when he returned home from work. Her car was still at the house, its windshield smashed. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Badaracco's disappearance.

Griffith has been posting fliers about the coming show and missing person posters at businesses and schools in Quincy and Weymouth. "When I was handing out fliers, there were a lot of people concerned about the people who are missing," she said.

She's hoping tonight's show will generate more buzz around these three missing people, and uncover information that can help investigators locate them. "I've gotten a lot of feedback," she said. "I think it will generate some response."

The show is free and starts 9 p.m. The Beachcomber is at 797 Quincy Shore Drive, in Quincy. For more information, visit

Anyone with information about Quraiishi should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or the Quincy Police Department at 617-479-1212.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at

LOAD-DATE: November 2, 2007


GRAPHIC: Ken Burg Jodi Griffith will perform tonight at the Beachcomber in Quincy.


Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company
All Rights Reserved

Unidentified Person

Unidentified Persons

I guess this is the opposite of missing persons, found people with missing identities. Maybe not what we are doing but really interesting.

These pictures and recreations of who people were, based on corpses, is really, really disturbing.

This man was found in Old Saybrook, CT and there is a picture of an object found on him.