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Tag: mark bowden

Missing

Here’s more true crime in Vanity Fair from Mark Bowden:

Greg Fleniken traveled light and lived tidy. After so many years on the road, he would leave his rolling suitcase open on the floor of his hotel room and use it as a drawer. Dirty clothes went on the closet floor. Shirts he wanted to keep unwrinkled hung above. Toiletries were in the pockets of a cloth folding case that hooked onto a towel rack in the bathroom. At the end of the day he would slide off his worn brown leather boots and line them up by the suitcase, drop his faded jeans to the floor, and put on lightweight cotton pajama bottoms.

Most evenings he never left the room. He would crank up the air conditioner—he liked a cool room at night—and sit on the bed, leaning back on two pillows propped against the headboard. Considerately, to avoid soiling the bedspread, he would lay out a clean white hand towel, on which he placed his ashtray, cigarette pack, lighter, BlackBerry, the TV remote, and a candy bar. He smoked and broke off candy bits while watching TV. This is where Greg was on the evening of Wednesday, September 15, 2010, in Room 348 of the MCM Eleganté Hotel, in Beaumont, Texas—lounging, smoking, snacking on a Reese’s Crispy Crunchy bar, sipping root beer, and watching Iron Man 2.

He missed the ending.

The Lady Vanishes

Here’s a disturbing 2010 Vanity Fair story by Mark Bowden–”The Case of the Vanishing Blonde”:

From the start, it was a bad case.

A battered 21-year-old woman with long blond curls was discovered facedown in the weeds, naked, at the western edge of Miami, where the neat grid of outer suburbia butts up against the high grass and black mud of the Everglades. It was early on a winter morning in 2005. A local power-company worker was driving by the empty lots of an unbuilt cul-de-sac when he saw her.

And much to his surprise, she was alive. She was still unconscious when the police airlifted her to Jackson Memorial Hospital. When she woke up in its trauma center, she could remember little about what had happened to her, but her body told an ugly tale. She had been raped, badly beaten, and left for dead. There was severe head trauma; she had suffered brain-rattling blows. Semen was recovered from inside her. The bones around her right eye were shattered. She was terrified and confused. She bent English to her native Ukrainian grammar and syntax, dropping pronouns and inverting standard sentence structure, which made her hard to understand. And one of the first things she asked for on waking was her lawyer. That was unusual.

[Photo Credit: Amanda Friedman]

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