Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beth Bentley - where is she?

Beth Bentley, Woodstock mother, wife, employee, friend of many, disappeared in May 2010 at age 41 during a trip from Woodstock to Mt. Vernon, Ill., which is 330 miles south of Woodstock.

Her disappearance has been hashed and re-hashed here. Previous articles can be found on this site by searching for "Bentley".

Just this week an out-of-state reader wrote to me and sent me a possible lead. I've been thinking of Beth over the past few months, as May 2017 came and went. The significance of May 2017 is that it is the seven-year anniversary of her disappearance.

In Illinois there is a Presumption of Death law, under which a petition can be filed in court to have a person declared dead. If such a petition were filed and granted, this would open the way to file for death benefits under any life insurance policies (individual or group) and Social Security benefits for any minor children. Seven years' worth of Social Security ought to be worth somewhere around $25,000.

There were rumors in 2010 of a large life insurance policy. Having been in the life insurance business, I knew there were companies that would issue unreasonably (in my opinion) large policies on wives and mothers. Such insurance was popularly called Wife Insurance. It wasn't unusual to see amounts of $50,-100,000, which would cover child care and household duties for a minor child, while a surviving husband worked. But some companies would routinely approve policies for $500,000-$1,000,000. The companies I was associated with (Penn Mutual, Connecticut General, Northwestern Mutual Life) would not have considered such face amounts for two seconds.

There are many suspicious factors surrounding Beth's disappearance. Among them are

1. Why was Beth's car parked in Jenn's garage when they left for Mt. Vernon?
2. Why did they rent a car for the week-end?
3. Did investigators ever check Illinois Tollway cameras to determine who was in the car, if and when it passed through toll plazas?
4. What time did they get to Mt. Vernon?
5. Did Beth really spend Saturday on a boat on Rend Lake?
6. Did Jenn really drive Beth to Centralia and leave her at the Amtrak station? Without learning from her "best friend" what Beth was up to?
7. What really happened to the Pogue's Pizza order that was reportedly ordered from Beth's phone at about the time she was to be dropped off in Centralia?
8. Why would Beth leave the rental car with Jenn, who did not have a valid driver's license?
9. What did Beth do earlier that month on Mother's Day? Was she really in St. Louis to meet a "mystery" man? Again, why wouldn't Beth share that information with her "best friend", Jenn?
10. Why wasn't the Woodstock Police Dept. notified earlier than 10:00PM on Monday?

What was the real coordination between Woodstock PD, Mt. Vernon PD and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept.? Did the Zone 7 detectives at the Illinois State Police ever really get involved, as the former chief of the Woodstock PD said they would be? (N.B., how interesting to search this morning for the ISP Investigations Division for Jefferson County (Ill.) and find that one county missing from the dropdown menu on the ISP homepage?)

Three-hundred thirty miles separate Woodstock and Mt. Vernon, which made it difficult location-wise and expensive for the Woodstock PD to pursue this case. The house that Beth and Jenn visited was in Jefferson County, not in the City of Mt. Vernon, but Beth and friends supposedly had dinner on Friday night at the Frosty Mug, which would have been the only reason for Mt. Vernon P.D. to be involved.

There was a fundraiser in Woodstock for search funds for Beth. Apparently, those funds were expended on a "search" in Las Vegas shortly after the fundraiser.

Many women in southern Illinois devoted considerable time to searching for Beth in 2010 and in 2011.

Do I have a guess as to what happened? And to who knows what happened? You bet.

On Friday I'm meeting with a retired detective in southern Illinois, and I'm hoping for some fresh ideas as to how to help an interested public bring closure to this case.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love those spam calls

Here's your chance at some free money.

Did you get any robocalls between 2009-2014 congratulating you on winning a free cruise?

Even if you don't remember, check your phone number (and don't forget my special, reduced agent's cut if you collect).

Read this article: www.thestate.com/latest-news/article167363227.html

To find the page for looking up your phone number, go to  www.rmgtcpasettlement.com/Landing.aspx

Go to the FAQs;
Click on 7;
Click on "here" in first line;
Tic the 3rd or 4th box and click Continue;
Enter your phone number and hit Continue.

Good luck!!!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Anthony Scaramucci - how dangerous is he?

Just how dangerous is Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump's new White House Communications Director?

In my book, he is damned dangerous.

Did Trump hire him as a hatchet man?

It'll be a good idea for Scaramucci to stay out of my face, because he doesn't scare me for a minute!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trump - out of control

What a sleaze Donald Trump is for converting a speech before the Boy Scout Jamboree into a political speech about Obamacare and Tom Price's need to get the votes (or get fired).

Trump is out of control.

And the more he protests the whole Russia thing, the more I think he is culpable and that his buddies, including family, are guilty of misdeeds. He instantly defends them with personal outrage and attempts to deflect national attention by still pointing the finger at Hillary.

Jared Kushner smells, because he has only slowly admitted his participation in meeting with Russians. The problem seems to be more that he didn't admit to these meetings and their content than his actually being in the meetings.

I've written before that I voted for Trump and that I wouldn't have voted for Hillary for any office, even dogcatcher.

But Donald J. Trump is an embarrassment to the U.S.A. (except in his own mind).

For Trump to malign and sandbag AG Jeff Sessions is wrong. If he doesn't want him in the position, call him in and dismiss him. That's what an honest, ethical boss would do. But those are two traits missing from this president's description.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get National Parks Senior Pass before 8/28/17

If you are 62 and don't yet have a U.S. National Parks lifetime pass, you'll want to get it before August 28, 2017. On that date the cost of a lifetime pass increases from $10.00 to $80.00.  Yes, you read that correctly. The new fee for a lifetime pass will be $80.00.

You can buy your lifetime pass for $10.00 in-person, by mail or online. There is a $10.00 surcharge for online orders.

For information, visit www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm and scroll down to Senior Pass.

If you have the Golden Age Passport, see information on the NPS website about its continued validity.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sheriff Speaks Out

How would you like to be represented by this sheriff?

Sheriff Jim Matthews of Kershaw County, South Carolina (northeast of Columbia) tore a new one for Circuit Judge Alison R. Lee (South Carolina 5th Judicial District, Columbia) this week, after she got played by a defense attorney representing a criminal in her court.

Sheriff Matthews labeled the judge as a "bleeding heart judge".

You can read the story here:
http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article161388708.html

The prosecution and defense attorneys had agreed to a deal of 4-8 years in prison for the defendant. But in court the defense attorney pulled out his violin and played a tune for the judge that made her cry, and she sentenced the defendant to three years' probation. The punk walked out of court. Read the story for a history of his crimes.

I wasn't in the courtroom, but it appears that the Assistant Prosecutor got sandbagged when the defense attorney flipflopped. The prosecutor should have done his homework on that attorney. I'll bet it's not the first time that defense attorney has done that.

What do you notice about the physical appearance of this sheriff? And if you saw a photo of the Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott, you'd notice that he too is professional appearing and slim. As is Milwaukee County's David Clarke.

Then recall McHenry County's good ol' boy former sheriff. I hear he is headed back to McHenry County. Guess the Florida heat did not agree with him. Will he stay retired? Or will his cronies ante up and find a job for him near Krispy Kreme? Or maybe Bill Prim will hire him for security at the courthouse?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Customer (Dis)service at Sears

NOTE (7/7/17): The cover of this book has been changed and the text has been re-formatted. What can I say? Lesson learned.

When I worked at the Sears, Roebuck and Co. headquarters in Hoffman Estates, one of my favorite jobs was handling complaints. Actually, I wasn't supposed to handle them personally; I was supposed to farm them out to one of the four call centers. But some of the senior executives found out that I liked handling complaints. If a complaint got through all the filters and was headed to B-6, I got it - with directions not to pass it on.

I was lucky. I didn't have a supervisor standing behind me with a clipboard and a stopwatch. When the complaint got to me, I called the customer right away.

Read about the woman who was sold a used wedding band. The store wouldn't take it back or exchange it.

Read about the man who was a customer for 48 years and whose drill bit broke the first time he used it. He got roughed up so badly that he custom-made a wooden casket for that broken drill bit and sent it back to the home office.

And then there was the customer who bought $6,000 worth of home appliances and had them shipped to his home in the Bahamas. He couldn't get them out of Customs, and the store in Miami wouldn't return his phone calls or fax him the right paperwork, because calls to him were international calls!

You'll find this book (Kindle version) on Amazon.com for $1.99. I hope you'll pick up a copy for yourself and also gift copies to anyone you know who worked at Sears or who has their own Sears customer service story.

After you read it, please leave reviews on www.Amazon.com and www.Goodreads.com

Thanks!!!

OK, I'm heading out to my mailbox now to wait for the royalties to roll in!