(Return of) Universal Horrors Challenge (Sorta)

So, my concentration has unfortunately been very much occupied by other things for the last several months (politics, my day job, and other things that likewise don’t really matter in the grand scheme), and because of this, the “challenge” portion of the Universal Horrors Challenge has fallen by the wayside.  That said, I’d like to get back on the wagon as it were and continue my survey of Universal’s horror film output from 1913 up to and including 1960.  I’m not sure how feasible it is to do that in a year’s time at this point, but I suppose the body of work if not the timetable is what’s truly important.

Going forward, I’m kicking around a few ideas concerning the challenge, this blog, and everything in between.

First, I’m not sure that the podcast format is necessarily working for me–or, at least, I’m not sure it’s working for me by itself.  I’ve noticed that other podcasts, vlogs, and the like simulcast in various forms of media–audio, video, and written in some cases.  I’m entertaining the idea, then, of transcribing my podcast work going forward (and working to transcribe those already released, possibly adding to them in “special editions” or “revisitations” of some sort).  This would allow those who either can’t download the podcast or don’t understand my Ohio accent to get the same amount of enjoyment and information from my posts as those who can.  It would also allow me the option of posting all of my research (including reviews), as opposed to me just awkwardly reading what is on my screen and my screen alone.

Second, I’m thinking of splitting this blog into three: One for entertainment media (movies, books, video games, etc.), one of politics, and one for missing persons and weird or unsolved mysteries.  Why would I do this?  Because in theory, this would be the online equivalent of a fidget-spinner for me, and would allow me to better regiment what I post, when, and how often–basically, to streamline my process.  It’s like folks who set their clocks five minutes ahead so they are never late; they know that their clocks are wrong, but somehow seeing the incorrect time pushes them to be on time more often.  Plus, it would allow me to unclutter my Facebook while scratching all my itches, and while appealing to all my friends and my diverse fan base.

Third, I…uh…well, there is no third.

What do you folks think?  Let me know in the comments section below, or on Facebook, or in a creepy letter mailed to my house and comprised of letters cut from old magazines.

The Delphi Murders – Update 05/19/2017

RSo, I’ve noticed that traffic has picked up on this blog a lot since I made a few posts about the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams in Delphi, IN.  That’s great–it’s good to see that many are still interested in the case, and I’m happy to be able to help keep awareness raised in my own small way.

Sadly, the term “update” as used in the title is a bit of a misnomer.  We are now over three months past the date of the murders and as of the posting of this article, the police are no closer to finding the suspect/killer (or suspects/killers–we still don’t know who did what when, or how many there were when that what was done) responsible.

Much surrounding the case has happened in these three months:

  • Fundraisers at a local Delphi tavern to help build a memorial softball park for the girls
  • A solidarity hike on the trail from which the girls disappeared to show that the residents of Delphi are not afraid
  • Nights during which orange porch lights are lit

But that’s precisely the problem.  Much surrounding the case has occurred, but nothing that advances the case has occurred (at least, nothing that’s been reported).

Due to this void of new developments/details, speculation is starting to run wild:

  • Internet sleuths are arguing about the path the killer (or killers, because again, we don’t know how many and apparently the police don’t, either) took to Ron Logan’s property.  Did he go through the woods?  Did he cross the creek?  At this point, both are feasible, both are possible, and whichever is correct doesn’t really matter unless the killer dropped his ID or a name tag or something on his way, because neither possibility brings us closer to closure on this case.
  • YouTube detectives are left to sort, resort, examine, and re-examine the same three second audio clip and the same two or three still images from a video clip that apparently exists but hasn’t been released to the public.  Does the suspect have a gait?  Is the suspect wearing a hood or sunglasses?  It’s impossible to tell from three grainy still frame images, and the suspect sounds like every other southern Indiana native (or southern Ohio native…or southern any-state native, for that matter).
  • Spiritualists, mediums, and paranormal scholars are attempting to rationalize motive or contact the girls through EVP sessions, Ouija boards, and seances.  Sadly, we’re about as likely to get anywhere with those as we are with re-examining the same paltry pieces of evidence we’ve been allowed to see thus far.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I applaud those who are putting in the time and effort to do any or all of the above, and more.  But I say that knowing that all of this is nothing more than a way to distract ourselves while we wait for…something to happen.

Anything to happen.

None of this speculation brings us closer to the ultimate goal of solving this case.

We want to help.  People want to help.  We want this monster (or these monsters) caught and brought to justice.  But as we get chronologically further from the crime, we are getting closer to cold case territory.  I don’t want that to happen.  Internet sleuths, YouTube personalities, occultists, the people of Delphi, and the families of the victims–they don’t want that to happen, either.  No one wants that to happen except for the killer(s), because that will mean he/they got away with it.

And so this is my point:

The police of Delphi, IN must release more information.  They are keeping the details of this case close to the vest, and that’s understandable–the last thing a police force investigating a double homicide of children needs is a phone line filled with nut jobs claiming to have heard the name of the killer from a jar of Skippy.  But the tip they say they so desperately need has a better chance of coming if we (“we” being the public, the people who want so desperately to find those responsible) know just a little bit more.

And when I say a little, I mean a little.  I don’t need to know how Libby and Abby died.  I can go the rest of my life not knowing those details and find myself better off because of it.

But I do need to know if the man in the still frame images has a gait or a limp.  I do need to know if he’s wearing a hood or sunglasses.  Do you know what might tell me that?  A few seconds of the clip itself.  Someone out there knows who this guy is, and might even think the man in the still frame images looks oddly familiar–but because they don’t see the body language, they aren’t making the connection.  Isn’t that how suspects in robbery cases are found and arrested, where the best images that exist are from grainy CCTV footage?  We need to see this guy move.

We also need to hear more of this guy’s speech patterns.  Perhaps there’s nothing peculiar or noteworthy about the way he speaks; perhaps he just sounds like a normal yokel from the south of any given state in the U.S.  But perhaps he doesn’t.  Perhaps he pronounces a single word in a distinctive matter–maybe he enunciates his Ts more than would be considered normal, or maybe he has a slight stutter, or maybe he pauses in strange places.  None of us can tell from three seconds of audio where he says, “G’down the hill.”  Again, I can imagine a scenario where perhaps someone recognizes the voice but doesn’t realize it yet–and any unique qualities present in the suspect’s speech might be the trigger needed to make this person put two and two together.

Now, it is possible that the reason we haven’t received more audio is because the audio that remains is either considered to be too muffled, or possibly too disturbing–containing, perhaps, the girls crying or pleading.  In the case of the former, I err on the side of releasing it anyway, as the right person may glean the right things from that otherwise muffled audio and help solve this crime.  In the case of the latter…well, as difficult as it might be, I say release it anyway.  This is a disturbing crime, and we don’t even have all of the details yet.  If someone has been willingly protecting this monster and hasn’t yet been convinced to turn him in with a quarter of a million dollar reward and the pleas of the surviving family members, maybe facing that disturbing audio will encourage them to finally do the right thing.

Of course, this is all mere speculation; I don’t know why we haven’t been given more audio by now.  Or video, for that matter.

In closing, there’s such a thing as keeping details too close to the vest.  People want to help solve this case, but we can’t do that without more (basic) information.  Show us a clip.  Let’s see the monster move.  Play more audio.  Let’s hear this animal bark.  I don’t think what I’ve suggested in this post is extraordinary.  I don’t think we need more details of the case as such.  We just need more details regarding the suspect.  That’s the only way the public can and will have the best chance of dropping the tip necessary to close this case in a timely fashion.  Libby German had enough presence of mind to film and record the suspect.  It would be an atrocity if that effort were in vain because a decision-maker arbitrarily decided against using that information to the fullest.