I am a fine person in my own right with talents, and skills and hope for the future!
I am a person of every, race, creed, color, age, gender and ethnicity or circumstance.
I may have veered off the most direct or safest path…or someone else may have taken control such that my future is not what I wanted it to be.
However, I know that I am valued and loved and deserve the dignity of a rich and full life without judgment passed by others.
I am a missing person from this our state, or one of the 49 other states.
I am someone’s child.
Donna R. Gore “LadyJustice”
I am happy to be embraced by the Cue Center for Missing Persons, for I know they will assist my family and law enforcement with every resource available.
Thank you for coming to hear my story.
There are many things that will be said about this year’s 2014 CUE Center for Missing Persons On the Road to Remember Tour. However, I tend to gravitate to special moments capturing humanity.
Why I was selected to be a potential tour stop, I do not know, I do remember the captivating description at the microphone offered by Monica about this tour and her heartache when particular locations have to be denied; among thousands of missing adults across this country, why families would have to clamor for attention is beyond all understanding.
Why media does not expand their definition of “breaking news” to include our ever-expanding list of “broken hearts for the missing” in Connecticut, even when there is no car crash, new murder, or other story of import to cover, I do not understand. (A New Haven Police photographer and a New Haven Register photographer were the exceptions- THANK YOU!)
Although the planning of this event began many months ago with many starts and stops along the way, this “perpetual plan ahead Coordinator” learned that an event could look like a choreographed ballet- complete with butterflies, ribbons, and balloons in a short time.
Life is about timing and in the end, the stately Connecticut State Police Museum and Education Center was the perfect venue and backdrop for our hosting. On May 29, 1903, Governor Abiram Chamberlain signed House Bill #247 which authorized the creation of the Connecticut State Police, the first of its kind in the country.
As I parked my car about 8:30 a.m. waiting for everyone else to arrive in the presence of the morning dew and brilliant sunshine, I wondered what this would turn out to be. Would the families come? Would law enforcement come? Would the media come? Would we be ready when Monica and her staff arrived? Not to worry! Not easy for a person who wants such things to be “near perfect.”
The detectives of the Connecticut State Police, particularly, Tonya Campagnone and her team, and Sergeant Elisa Tuozzoli and colleagues, Ann Mays and Jessica Agosto of the New Haven Cold Case Unit, soon arrived to assist in unpacking my cram-filled car. A stress fracture did not keep this Coordinator down in the least! In fact, I couldn’t recall feeling pain-maybe because I was focusing on other people’s pain. What a great healing method!
Where to put things? Better here, or over there? Do we have enough tables? Food and drink generously donated by New Haven restaurants and real bathroom facilities, were relative luxuries on this grueling journey.
NamUS posters told the story before the families arrived. Their photos haunted me. I wondered what was their back story of which few spoke.
Families represented at event:
- Evelyn Frisco- Missing since June 2004; New Haven, Contact New Haven Police- 203-946-6316- 5’2” Family present at event;
- Jose Ortiz, Missing since December 2005- New Haven; Contact New Haven Police 203-946-6316; Family present at event;
- Jerry Dolphin- 20 years old; Missing since October 1994- New Haven; Contact New Haven Police; Family present at event;
- William Paul Smolinski, Jr – Missing since August 2004-Waterbury; Contact New Haven CT FBI 203-777-6311, Case # 62D-NH-44785; NamUS MP # 43;
- Lisa Calvo- 40 years old; Missing since October 2005; Height-4’11” Contact New Haven Police; Family present at event;
- Bernadine Paul – 38 years old; Hispanic; Missing since June 2000; Contact Waterbury Police -203-574-6941; Case # 00-45074; NamUS MP # 392; ;
- Ande Fan- Asian Male 5’4” Missing since August 2004- New Haven; Contact New Haven Police;
- Marquita Jones – Missing since Summer of 2011- Hill area of New Haven; Contact New Haven Police; 5’ 2” Nicknames – “Keighia,” “Kecia,” “Luv.” Quita Luv
- Mary E. Badaracco- 53 years old, Missing since August 1984; Sherman, CT; Contact your local law enforcement Case # A84277483; NamUS MP # 303; Family came after event; $50,000 Reward for more information;
- Janice K. Pocket- 7 years old, Missing since July 1973- Tolland, CT ; Contact CT State Police 860-779-4940; Case # 000000014; NamUS # 2555;
- Debra Lee Speckler- Missing since July 1968-Vernon CT: Contact Vernon Police Department – 860-872-9126 ext. 289; Case # C-3710-68-J; NamUS MP # 5426;
- Lisa Joy White – Missing since November 1974-Vernon, CT; Contact Vernon Police Department – 860-872-9126 ext. 289; Case # 000000019; NamUS MP # 2559
- Alyssiah Wiley- 20 years old; Previously Missing—in Bridgeport Remains located in Trumbull, CT in May 2013; Mother Corrinna Martin attended event.
New families were especially forthcoming while speaking both publically and one on one. Corrinna spoke of “establishing an intimate relationship of cooperation with their law enforcement”; hopes to locate daughter Evelyn Frisco, long missing, before her mother, Janet dies.
Others spoke of the evils of drugs, how Jerry Dolphin was on the threshold of new ventures and how this event tearfully opened wounds; the quest to find Billy Smolinski and the importance of NamUS legislation.
Retired State Police officer Jerry Longo was visibly moved and couldn’t take his eyes off of former 7-year-old Janice Pocket’s poster- missing while looking for butterflies. He stated soberly to me, “I remember her. I worked this case.”
A wonderful give and take was noted between families, law enforcement and Cue Members. A make shift “Memory wall” was set up along the ancient 1920 brick edifice behind the Museum, consisting of quilted swatches of missing persons around the country as well as the vivid CUE Road Tour color collage with all of the faces of the missing emblazoned on the poster just waiting for Monica and hope to arrive at their stop!
The visuals were quite powerful; a custom-made multicolored ribbon and butterfly tree, yellow butterfly badges for families to wear and yellow balloons that went careering into the heavens to join others.
As a new Coordinator, I marveled at the way CUE Center Founder, Monica Caison, was able to instantly engage new families and provide comfort. I tried to keep my distance when I saw this happen. I too was able to do the same with guests and as a veteran homicide survivor. It made me feel so good!
My one regret was that I was unable to get a photo with Monica. There was no time to talk or bond with a new Coordinator, unfortunately. We did tour the Museum together for a few minutes in which she enthusiastically took photos and interacted with staff.
An honorable mention must be given for her dedicated staff of volunteers who helped navigate. They make it all come together with good humor considering their many duties, fatigue,“ and the road ahead.” Elisa, David and Janeanne were gracious, as was Harlan Chavis who parted by saying, “See ya’ at the Conference.”
No story would be complete without a postscript or two:
As I was just about to depart, Beth Profeta, daughter of missing Mary Badaracco, rolled down her car window and announced, “She was here for the event.” I identified myself, (as I had not seen her in a few years). She was frazzled, mad and disappointed that she had “gone off course and gotten lost.” We spent the next hour or so talking at the end of the Complex’s driveway, staged a few photos on her car hood and up against “a mighty oak tree” of dear mother, Mary Badaracco.
Cars were whizzing up the driveway to other buildings except for a distinguished looking gentleman approaching, proudly wearing a CT State Police cap and riding an adult three-wheeled tricycle. He introduced himself, struck up a conversation with us, said he lived up the hill and this was part of his “stomping grounds.” I can’t recall his name, but he did proudly share with us that he was 99 years old and rode his bike on the grounds daily!
AMEN! The perfect ending to a perfect day!
On the Road to Remember 2014 in Connecticut
“I took advantage of the opportunity (of a death.)”
A confession to an ex-wife about murdering his son, it appears he is talking in code of some sort.
“I didn’t push the truck, I said,” Karl Karlsen continued. His second wife, Cindy was wearing a wire and capturing his words during “Operation Abigail” in cooperation with law enforcement concerning the death of his son from a former marriage, Levi Karlsen. Cindy feared she would be his next victim, “the next insurance policy.”
“No, I said I had nothing to do with it, but I said I took advantage of the situation once it happened.”
Police listened to incriminating statements captured on Cindy’s audio recordings, and they brought Karlsen in for questioning. During a 9.5-hour interview, investigators said Karlsen denied killing his son, Levi, 75 times, and that he’s given several explanations for Levi’s death, including that he accidentally knocked the pickup truck off the jack and onto his son, crushing him to death.
Truth is, a new insurance policy for a son in his 20’s, just 17 days prior his death, seemed fishy.
While Karl Karlsen did admit he caused the truck to fall on Levi during the police interrogation, investigators said Karlsen maintained it was an accident, leaving for a funeral after he viewed his son under the truck and found him “four hours later.”
“He did admit that he caused the truck to fall on his son. He did admit that he left his son on the floor dying, but he never admitted that it was a planned, deliberate act,” said Seneca County Lt. Investigator John Cleere.
Levi’s death was initially ruled an accident in 2008. Police said Karlsen collected a $700,000 life insurance payout after the incident and that Levi had signed a handwritten will before his death, leaving everything to his father. But at the time, authorities said they didn’t know about the life insurance policy or the will.
Another Karl Karlsen money trail now leads to a new charge of murder by arson, New Year’s Day 1991. Karlsen was motivated by insurance money and 18 years separated two deaths. On the trail from California returning to upstate New York, a pattern of conduct was established. See video from ABC news
Karlsen was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years to life for Levi’s death. Twenty three years later, after his first wife died, California law enforcement decided to pay attention to “a track record of mishaps.”
When California investigators looked at the records, there was an August 1986 car fire, a November 2002 barn-horse fire, and then, they wondered, what happened to Karlsen’s first wife?
Christina, Levi’s mother, perished in a house fire on New Year’s Day 1991. The only possible escape was a boarded up broken window. As the house burned, Karlsen and his three unknowing young children stood outside and watched. A week after the fire he gathered the three children and left California, heading back to New York to be near his family.
As of August 31,2014, under California law, murder for financial gain qualifies Karlsen for the death penalty if convicted.
Someone who knows how to “work the system and make everything look like an accident” seems to be a common theme more often than not.
How do these monsters slip by virtually undetected? Is it lack of experience on the part of law enforcement? Is it charm or the cunning nature of the killer? Is it a family held hostage by fear and unanswered questions? I think all of the above!
When someone in the family “grows a conscience,” or decides they may be the next victim, the tables are turned.
Once the judicial process is on the horizon, only then can they breathe a bit easier.
During such a vulnerable time, going through a trial and forced to face the convicted, an experienced advocate with skill and a sense of perspective can help through the process by assisting in customizing a victim impact statement which is used during the sentencing phase of the trial.
Karl Karlsen deserves to be put away forever. May their victim impact statement assist them in doing so!
For those in need of a professional Victim Impact Statement, please feel free to contact me through this website. For more information see my informational page on Victim Impact Statement Assistance.
To date, NamUs, The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, lists approximately 164 registered missing from Connecticut. Other sources are claiming 300+. The true number may be somewhere in between.
ALL families in Connecticut that have a missing person or unsolved homicide are invited to attend. The event is FREE and open to the public.
Please bring pictures, posters, or any mementoes of your loved one to share with the public and the media.
Cue Center for Missing Persons registered cases from Connecticut include:
- Bernadine Paul, from Waterbury, age 38. Missing since year 2000. Circumstances – She went missing at a retail store after making a bank withdrawal.
- Evelyn Frisco, from New Haven, age 42. Missing since 2004. Circumstances – Following a court appearance she was never seen again. (The nature of the court appearance is unknown to this writer.)
- Mary Badarraco, from Sherman, age 53. Missing since 1984. Circumstances – Former husband, Dominic Badarraco, is a person of interest in this case and was also more recently charged with bribing a judge on unrelated charges.
- William P. Smolinski, Jr. from Waterbury, age 31. Missing since 2004. Circumstances – Last Seen at his home in the vicinity of the 100 block of Holly St. in Waterbury, CT. All of his personal belongings were left behind.
Amid the backdrop of tradition, respect, proud history of service, and numerous collectible keepsakes, we hold our On the Road to Remember event on the grounds of the Connecticut State Police Museum (The oldest State Police force in the country!)
Connecticut State Police Museum
294 Colony Street Meriden, CT – (Leo J. Mulcahy Complex)
Director: Jerry Longo
Event with the Cue Center Staff and Families begins at 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Museum Tours available beginning at 9:30 a.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m.
Museum Phone: Call 203.440.3858 for appointments and tour information.
Contact On-Line Form: http://www.cspmuseum.org/contact/onlineform.asp
Media has been invited to interview family members and bring more awareness to all missing person’s cases from our area.
Join us to remember ALL of Connecticut’s MISSING!
Actress Leslie Hendrix (a.k.a. Character Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers) had the best damn acting gig in the world for 19 years on Law and Order and its many spin offs! She was known as the longest running recurring character in “the franchise.” So, why did she never appear in the credits?
I should know, I think I’ve watched nearly all the episodes of Law and Order, and Criminal Intent, and Trial by Jury multiple times. I watch an occasional Special Victims Unit. However, I got bored with the SVU characters and story line. (How many ways can you portray sexual assault? Whereas, homicide is endless in my creative opinion!)
But, getting back to Elizabeth Rodgers, (I even had to look up her character’s first name, as everyone called her Rodgers – that’s it!) It’s akin to you working at your job in a big corporation for 20 years and no one putting your name on your office door! Law and Order was supposed to be cutting edge and groundbreaking for women. Who cares if she wasn’t in every scene? She was still important.
Why did they only give us a mere morsel of a character? Are medical examiners not interesting and supposed to be relegated to “the back room?” Not at all! She was pivotal to many shows in a cliffhanger sort of way. No we weren’t supposed to know too much about the characters personal lives in Law and Order, but over many years, you do come to know them.
Rodgers was a very smart, wise cracking medical examiner who let certain detectives “do their own examinations” and “take their best guess.” Romance? It was hinted that she had a thing with Detective Lenny Briscoe (played by the late Jerry Orbach). She supposedly wanted to be “a real surgeon,“ but couldn’t tolerate cutting real live people. She may have been somewhat bitchy, but who wouldn’t be under her working conditions? Rodgers enjoyed the banter with her colleagues and she was a consummate professional on the witness stand.
Perhaps they could have done a spin-off similar to “Quincy, M. E”. of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s – a cheesy, imitation by today’s standards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI3pd-dNN-0. There are a few shows currently featuring medical examiners currently, but they don’t possess as much pizzazz.
The real actress, Leslie Hendrix is originally from San Francisco, is passionate about live theater and has also appeared in a few movies. In May, she appeared at the Hartford Stage Company in the play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a Tony Award winning comedy.
Leslie Hendrix originally auditioned to be a lawyer and didn’t even know the profession of medical examiner.
Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers, her mystery is maintained. Even though she “was only part-time” and didn’t receive the credit for her talents, I hope she was paid well!
A medical examiner’s findings are very important to a homicide case by offering the jury physical evidence of what happened to the victim. Although sometimes hard to listen to, or to see, families have the right to know what happened to their loved one, it’s their right. Another crucial right for surviving victims is the opportunity to report to the court the impact their crime has had on their lives, and the lives of those connected with the victim.
In the courtroom the victim impact statement is often the only voice the deceased may have, and it must be created and presented professionally, difficult to do when experiencing the most vulnerable time in a surviving victim’s life.
My professional Victim Impact Statement Assistance Service is available to anyone looking for help from someone who has had the experience as a crime victim. You owe it to yourself and to your loved one.