Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beth Bentley - Week 153

Where is Beth Bentley? Who knows where she is? Who in Woodstock knows where she is?

In the last week a reader who lives about 35 minutes from Mount Vernon, Ill. offered to help with a search. What kind of search could be mounted after almost three years? Would it just be luck to stumble across clothing remnants or other evidence?

Southern Illinois is dotted with mine shafts and wells. What if her accidental death occurred on the week-end of May 22-23, 2010, and someone with her panicked? What if, rather than seeking help or just 'fessing up at the time, those with knowledge of her death decided to cover it up?

The crime they now face is much greater. Is there a statute of limitations on concealment of a death?

I don't know anyone who thinks Beth is alive.

The Woodstock Police have refused a second FOIA request. If this case is really "only" a Missing Person case, why are they refusing to release information. If it's really more than a Missing Person case, why aren't they saying so? Can they really not have persons-of-interest in the three years since Beth vanished?

Isn't it a little suspicious that there really isn't any reward, other than those that were offered by the two local Crime Stoppers groups? And now that there is only one surviving Crime Stoppers group, is that reward down to "up to $1,000". The average reward paid out by Crime Stoppers is about $300, nowhere close to the $1,000 that many people think is offered.

In the case of Crime Stoppers of McHenry County, there is a "secret" group that makes decisions and doles out reward money. The McHenry County Sheriff's Department knows what is going on, because the Public Information Officer (deputy) of the MCSD works closely with the group, but MCSD refuses to release information in response to FOIA requests, even though it has information in its records.

So, write off any meaning to a reward from Crime Stoppers of McHenry County. No one is going to rat out a friend for $300, especially if there is some risk to family members (children?) or to self for doing so.

So it is police work that is going to find Beth. Or private citizens working with professional investigations who can access deep information and then put it to good use.

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