March 6, 2010

Informational meeting to be rescheduled

Update: Due to the short notice of this event, we have learned it would be best for most people if we reschedule it at a later date in the Twin Cities. We will be working on the agenda and planning additional details. I'll get them to you as soon as more is known. We would welcome any suggestions/input. Thanks go out to all of you who responded so quickly and who were willing to make the trek; we look forward to rescheduling this soon!
Gary Peterson, medico-legal death investigator, and myself are exploring the possibility of holding an informational meeting for the public in Spring Valley, Minnesota on March 20. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the disappearances of young, male college students over the past several years, present any findings, and answer questions. Seating is limited, so if you are interested in attending, please e-mail me at footprints.blogmail@yahoo.com by Saturday, March 6. More details will follow once the event is confirmed. Due to the short notice of this event, if people are not able to attend, we may reschedule it for a later date, and/or possibly in the Twin Cities.

26 comments:

BoyintheMachine said...

Lisa,

Do you mind giving a brief synopsis of what will be discussed, especially if any new information will be given?

Lisa said...

BITM,

We are still in the very early stages of planning, and at this point and are mainly just looking to see who is willing to come to southern MN. But the game plan is to present some things we've noticed along the way (I'm sure some information will be new and some won't) and to have a discussion about the general state of things and what may or may not be happening with these cases. As we don't subscribe to a particular theory, I imagine much of it will be Q&A.

Some of the families have expressed interested into doing something like this to help raise awareness.

I'll keep you posted with more details as they are ironed out.

BoyintheMachine said...

Also, if I may suggest,

How about a blogpost on Gary Peterson. I remember you mentioning him in another post, but how about one with his information and history?

May I also suggest the subject of the growing problem of alcohol with young men and women and what the community can do to curb such?

If anything, people should take away that there is a problem with alcohol. Too many people focus only on theories involving murders and serial killers, while ignoring the obvious problem of the over-consumption of alcohol in youth in these areas.

I remember watching some clips on La Crosse with a native stating just that and how people are more willing to believe in a serial killer than admit that the town has a drinking problem.

Perhaps you should round up some experts in alcohol/drug abuse as well? Here's a link ot MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Driving)in Minnesota:
http://www.maddmn.org/

I'm not saying you shouldn't speak out on the possibility of any serial killers theiry, just present a well-rounded presentations. To focus only on such theory without addressing the growing proble of alcohol would be irresponsible in my opinion.


Good luck w/ the event and I hope it will come to fruition.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Lisa,

Sorry, When I posted the second comment I didn't know you had already replied.

So it will be primarily a "Q&A" type event?

Well, perhaps my suggestions may come in handy if they are feasible.

Once again, good luck and I would like to see this come about. Unfortunately I would not be able to attend but I think I could be a good thing for many people.

Lisa said...

BITM,

Great suggestion! I haven't really written anything in-depth on Gary, so I think that would be a great idea. I will talk to him about it.

I'm really aiming for this to be a "balanced" talk. I do think we need to talk about prevention and what the public can do as well in addition to what other oddities have been found. Thank you for your suggestions about how to go about this talk.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Lisa,

No prob. Also, if possible, try to film or recrod it and post it to your blog. That would be great for those unable to attend.

Monique777 said...

I might be interested in attending. It would also be good to raise awareness of all of these drownings and young men going missing, regardless of the reason, because something needs to be addressed here for their safety.

Mpls_Rain said...

When you say southern Minnesota, I assume you mean the Twin Cities? If not, where do you mean? Mankato?

Lisa said...

We are looking at holding the event in Spring Valley, MN, depending on the level of interest. Due to the short notice of the event, if we find that many people would like to attend but cannot, then we may schedule this further out or possibly hold it in the Twin Cities. At this point, we are trying to get a sense of how many people would be interested and if the location/date is okay, then we'll go from there.

Annika said...

Have you given any consideration to having the meeting via the web (using WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc.)? If that's not an option, I agree with BITM... it would be great if you could record / post the meeting here after the fact for those who can't attend.

One topic I'd like to see given more attention is the vast difference in news coverage given to missing males vs. females. I've seen a ton of publicity given the unfortunate female in San Diego who recently went missing and whose body was discovered... it's been given coverage on all the major news networks / websites. Yet, I live in Iowa, and it's hard to get ANY information on Jon Lacina. Is there gender bias toward these missing males? Or just a "boys will be boys" attitude?

Just my two cents worth...

Monique777 said...

Gannon was being accused of a sexual assault while he was here investigating Dan Zamlen going missing.

http://www.twincities.com/rosario

This is really negative publicity.

BoyintheMachine said...

'Smiley-face killer' theory gave drowning victims' families empty hope

http://tinyurl.com/ylyhwfc

Monique777 said...

For people who don't pull up the link it says "the investigation was closed late last summer after Ramsey County Prosecutors 'reviewed the case and declined charges citing insufficient evidence to pursue posecution' said St. Paul Police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Schnell.

It then goes on to say the case is closed but that won't stop them from re-opening the case. They claim they had difficulties getting in touch with Gannon.

Why publish this story and why publish it now? The case is closed because of insufficient evidence so why was Dan's death brought up again and why even print about a sexual assault case that is closed?

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Monique777

"Gannon was being accused of a sexual assault while he was here investigating Dan Zamlen going missing.

http://www.twincities.com/rosario

This is really negative publicity."

The Smiley Face Killer theory is officially dead.

The story at the link I provided indicates that family members are getting upset with Gannon and want him to "put up or shut up", with regard to his supposed evidence. Some family members outright reject the smiley face killer theory.

I'm not one of those people who believe everything they read, so I'm not going to automatically believe the report against Gannon. However, I imagine there is going to be considerable heat placed upon him in the near future.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Monique777

"Why publish this story and why publish it now? The case is closed because of insufficient evidence so why was Dan's death brought up again and why even print about a sexual assault case that is closed?"

Read the story at the link I provided. It explains why.

The case was closed partly because Gannon skipped town before he could be interviewed.

Also, at the link I provided another volunteer was not happy with Gannon and claimed he provided little help with the Zamlen case but rather "ate and chatted up the ladies" (paraphrased).

BoyintheMachine said...

What happened to Duarte? When this whole thing broke in the media back in 2008, it was both Gannon and Duarte, now it seems like Duarte has distanced himself from this entirely.

Monique777 said...

Well, I knew Kristi was changing her site name and removed the graffiti but now it does sound official-no more smiley face killer theory. I think it's a good thing to lose that name.

After reading your link it seems as though everyone is coming down on Gannon from Geraldo to Kristi to the victim's parents. This sure explains why Kristi has said several times that she is not associated with NWI.

Yes, I thought it was Gannon and Duarte. Did Duarte and Gilbertson jump on the band wagon too?

The timing of this publicity makes me wonder if another male student has gone missing in MN. I mean why now?

And I noticed the link said SFK attracted nut jobs. lol, I post there.

BoyintheMachine said...

Stereotypical serial killers don’t count as imagination

"The endless speculation about a serial killer lurking along the banks of the Mississippi River is the product of our lack of imagination.

Yes, our lack of imagination."

http://tinyurl.com/yjeufvl

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Monique777

"After reading your link it seems as though everyone is coming down on Gannon from Geraldo to Kristi to the victim's parents. This sure explains why Kristi has said several times that she is not associated with NWI."

It's because people don't like being taken for a ride or to have their chains yanked. You can only string something out long enough enough until somebody will reach their breaking point and demand that "all of this supposed secret evidence" be released. The phrase, "put up or shut up" is perfectly apt for this feeling.

"Yes, I thought it was Gannon and Duarte. Did Duarte and Gilbertson jump on the band wagon too?"

I just think it's strange how we don't hear from Duarte anymore. Is he even still connected to this stuff anymore?

"The timing of this publicity makes me wonder if another male student has gone missing in MN. I mean why now?"

Who knows. But eventually somebody will go missing again. Unfortunately that's just how the world operates. People go missing everyday. Horrible, but a known fact for a long time now.

Monique777 said...

I learned of the smiley face killer theory about 11 months ago, in mid-April of 2009. It took months to learn about it and even longer to learn about all the men that have gone missing and drowned. And then there is a lot that goes into keeping up with all the missing students and young men.

Even if this theory has been shot down, it doesn't change my opinion that there is a possibility some of these men met with foul play and that the police need to become better trained at dealing with drownings.
At least now when a male goes missing the police can start searching right away. That has changed in the last year and is a large step in the right direction. But I still think it is wrong to conclude it's an accidental drowning because a guy was drinking and doesn't have a bullet hole in him. All drownings need a better investigation such as what was done with Craig Meyers. They looked at video, found the footprints and used scent dogs. Then they had a 2nd ME test his BAC because his high alcohol level was inconsistent with what witnesses said and sure enough, the 2nd BAC was much lower. All men deserve the time police put into investigating Craig Meyers.

Monique777 said...

Okay, if Gannon claims to have this evidence, then where is it?

I thought he already showed his evidence to the FBI but now he claims he has more and has not released it? Am I understanding this correctly?

I know he was suppose to name who he thought was responsible but wasn't aware he claims to have even more evidence the FBI don't know about. If he does have evidence it needs to be turned over ASAP and I'm not talking 'evidence' like the BMI study because that was pure junk science.

Now I'll read the new link posted. I guess I'm feeling a little let-down about Gannon right now. Not because of the sexual assault claim because it's closed and there wasn't enough evidence, but if he claims to have evidence some men really were murdered and is holding onto it, how is that helping the families?

Mpls_Rain said...

The comments about educating drinking youth about consumption belies the question that another poster wrote at SFKs. Why hasn't there been even one drowning death at Winona State U which is located even closer to the river than LaCrosse is? The same amount of alcohol abuse is present, yet no deaths.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Monique777

"Okay, if Gannon claims to have this evidence, then where is it?

I thought he already showed his evidence to the FBI but now he claims he has more and has not released it? Am I understanding this correctly?"

The last I heard was that during a meeting with the detectives and the FBI, the FBI stated (paraphrased) "We need actual evidence and not more theories".

Monique, when Gannon didn't deliver with the release of who is doing it and why, it was a wake-up call for everyone. If you remember, Gannon stated back in October that in December or January there would be a major anouncement with persons of interest named. This didn't happen.

(Then again it didn't suprise me that Gannon didn't reveal that info because I commented back in October that to do so would open him up to lawsuits, especially if he releases the names of specific people.)

Yes, the "Smiley Face Killers" theory is officially dead.

I just paid a visit to sfkillers.ocm and you are right, Kristi is changing it and is actually going to create another site with a new address although she claims she will keep the sfkillers.com site around.

Just as I feared, some of the commenters there are claiming the sexual assault accusations to be part of the cover-up, but at least one commenter stated that "no" that he/she worked behind the scenes and that the families have had problems with Gannon for a while now.

So it's sad news, but that's how it is. We just got to accept it and move on, though a lot of these cases still deserve attention.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Monique777,

"I learned of the smiley face killer theory about 11 months ago, in mid-April of 2009. It took months to learn about it and even longer to learn about all the men that have gone missing and drowned. And then there is a lot that goes into keeping up with all the missing students and young men.

Even if this theory has been shot down, it doesn't change my opinion that there is a possibility some of these men met with foul play and that the police need to become better trained at dealing with drownings."

I first heard it on t.v. back in 2008, then the first aol news article hit and then -BOOM! The story broke big time. I remember my brother yelling at me talling me that some killer was drawing smiley faces. I was initially intruiged with the idea that some of the things that I had experienced might be related to these cases, so I started researching the subject. As I've stated before, I was a believer in the theory and did several blogs on it, that is until I started picking up on hints that this "group" or "network of killers" would turn out to be "Satanists". (and yes, my fear was that Gannon & Duarte believed this was the work of Satanists) -That's when reality hit me hard as I had previously researched the Satanic-Panic hysteria of the late 70's-90's. Such beliefs destroyed countless innocent people's lives. That's when I began to disbelieve in the "smiley face killer theory" and began to take a more critical look at the so-called "evidence", such as the grafitti and name-coincidences. I was outspoken in my belief that the grafitti, "sinsiniwa", and other coincidences had absolutely nothing to do with these deaths. Neither do "moonseed", "monks"
"necklaces" and "alchemy" either! LOL...

I bumped heads at people over at sfkillers.com and then decided that I should just stop posting there. Since then I have been pretty much a regular here on Lisa's blog. Lisa does a wonderful job and she has all of my appreciation for her work in updating and logging all these cases.

Now that the smiley face killers theory is dead, I may just pop on over to Kristi's site and post again, who knows?

But you are absolutley right, Monique. Some of these deaths might be murders, even if the murders AREN'T connected. If any of these cases are murders then the victim's deserve justice and the friends and family members deserve closure.

CyPhy said...

Lisa, if I can just say that I think Spring Valley is actually a better location than MSP for many people who may be interested in attending. Actually, an ideal location would be Rochester. My reasoning is that the meeting will probably attract people from LaCrosse and Wisconsin in general, who would probably drive over on I-90. For the Iowa people, Rochester might also be a superior location than MSP. For people in western Iowa, western MN, and the Dakotas, it would be a wash. Just my opinion.

Anna said...

I think Rochester is a great location choice for the meeting. I live in Spring Valley and I'm not really sure there would be a place to hold such a meeting? Rochester definitely has a lot more options and probably a little more convenient for people that plan to travel a longer distance. And, as CyPhy said, it would be an awesome "middle" point between a lot of these cities. I would like to see some of the Lacrosse population there and I think that the cities would be unappealing to those people... it's a good 3-4 hours.