Being a layman, amateur sleuth, or whatever you want to call me takes the pressure off my career ego should I be wrong in the assertion that there is a Smiley Face Murder Club or a single serial killer murdering young men. If I end up being wrong, then that could be a good thing -- in terms of more lose of life and peace for many young men across the country.
Truthfully, my research and investigation is not even near complete. The vast mountain of data is overwhelming -- especially for someone who has to search dozens of resources in order to glean just a few bits of new data. I am not privy to police nor Nationwide Investigations internal documentation on the cases being examined. Yet, it took me only an hour or so of reading to see what I believe is a clear picture of serial killings.
Yes, I do believe in coincidence -- on a large and sometimes profound scale. I'm prepared to say many things could be a coincidence. For purposes of my lay investigation, I'll even concede that the smiley faces found at 12 sites *could* be NOTHING more than coincidence -- graffiti from locals. However, the order of magnitude of coincidence that would be demanded from documented similarities in the deaths of 40 or more young men is an idea I am not prepared to accept.
Without going into the information deeper than most have read in newspapers, blogs, etc., allow me provide the reader with data that individually could easily be written off as coincidence -- BUT, as a whole, is extremely hard to ignore.
1) ALL 40+ are male
2) ALL 40+ between the ages of 17 and 28
3) Vast majority are Caucasian
4) Almost all of the 40+ were college students
5) Almost all had been drinking
6) ALL of the 40+ dead were out on the town, for a social occasion
7) Almost all left friends/family and ventured out alone
8) Almost all went missing during the months when college classes were in session
9) ALL of the 40+ went missing during the late night hours
10) ALL, who have been found, were found in or very near bodies of water
11) None, who have been found, had major trauma to their bodies (GSWs, cuts, abrasions, bruises)
12) None were robbed of anything obvious
13) Most of the autopsy reports show cause of death as "drowning"
14) None showed evidence of struggle, which should be apparent, in a "normal" drowning accident
I'm sure there are more things that could be listed. I'm also sure that some pundits will take issue with the "almost all..." items. Fine... but let's not ignore the overall picture. If I were to write these facts out in a paragraph, it would make a compelling argument AGAINST coincidence and FOR the idea that the deaths of these young people are related. Let's see how such an argument might look -- complete with a few admitted generalizations:
Between 1997 and 2008, forty or more young, white, male college students have died (or gone missing) during the college calendar year. These young men had gone out for a social event -- most to party with friends. They left friends and/or family and struck out on their own during the late night or early morning hours -- but never made it home. Some have never been found. Of those who have, their lifeless bodies were pulled from Midwest rivers or lakes. The cause of death for each case is listed as "drowning" or "undetermined". Signs of obvious trauma were lacking and most of the dead had very little or no water in their lungs (as would be expected from drowning). Foul play is not obvious in ANY of the deaths. All of the young men were athletic and healthy. Are these deaths all just one big coincidence? Or, something else?I submit that as data is compiled, more similarities will be gleaned. Even if the Smiley Face Gang is nothing more than the imagination of media and bloggers, something is wrong with the idea that we're looking at a huge, unfortunate coincidence. Let's not forget that detectives Gannon and Duarte, along with Dr. Gilbertson and Adam Carlson have holdback evidence and other information linking the cases together. Smiley faces were one piece of that evidence. We now know others (informants, witnesses, possible nickname graffiti). Even without knowing the full scope of the holdback, it is my opinion that these investigators are onto the truth -- there is a serial killer or group of serial killers taking the lives of young men. They need to be stopped -- and brought to justice.
What are YOUR thoughts?