Header Image Source: Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash
1. Anthonette Cayedito
2. National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
"Someone knocked on the Cayedito’s apartment door in the middle of the night.
Nine-year-old Anthonette Cayedito went to answer it. Who the visitor was is unclear, but authorities believe the visitor took Anthonette that night.
And more than 31 years later, Anthonette remains missing.
“It just broke my whole family up,” Wendy Montoya, one of Anthonette’s younger sisters, told the Albuquerque Journal last year. “It was a very dark and dysfunctional time.”
It started the night of April 6, 1986. Penny Cayedito, Anthonette’s mother, arrived home around midnight. Her three daughters had been at the family’s apartment off Route 66 in Gallup, New Mexico with a babysitter. They were asleep when their mother got home. Penny went to sleep herself sometime before 3:00 a.m., according to local newspaper reports from the time.
Not long after, came that strange knock at the door. Penny, who was raising the girls on her own, didn’t hear it. But Anthonette did. Her younger sisters remember her going to answer it, but she never came back to bed.
The next morning at about 7:00 a.m., Penny got up to take her children to Bible school and discovered Anthonette was not there. She immediately reported her missing.
An intense search was launched, but no one could find any traces of Anthonette.
One of Anthonette’s younger sisters told authorities she thought the mysterious person at the door was one of their uncles, so police quickly questioned him. He was ruled out. Their first lead was a dead end.
About a year later, Gallup Police got a disturbing phone call. It was the voice of a young girl, who told them she was Anthonette and was in Albuquerque being held against her will. Before the call could be traced, police heard a gruff male voice saying, “Who said you could use the phone?” The line went dead.
It remains unclear if the call was simply a cruel prank or if the caller was really Anthonette.
Another strange lead emerged a few years later. A waitress in Carson City, Nevada told authorities she thought she saw Anthonette, who, by then, would have been a teenager. The girl she saw was sitting with an “unkempt” couple and looked to be in distress. After the group left, the waitress found a note under the girl’s plate that read, “Help me! Call police.”
Whether the story is true, and if the girl seen was Anthonette, also remains a mystery.
Anthonette’s case remains open, the files kept in a box at the Gallup Police Department. A spokesperson for the department told Dateline there have not been very many tips in recent years. But every time a new detective joins the team, the case gets a fresh set of eyes to look at it.
Anthonette’s mother Penny passed away in 1999, without any answers to what may have happened to her oldest daughter.
Anyone with information regarding Anthonette’s case is urged to call the Gallup Police Department at (505) 863-9365."
Source: “31 Years Ago, Anthonette Cayedito Disappeared” by Rachael Trost (NBC News Cold Case Spotlight)
1. Phineas Gage (Alamy)
"On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.
Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials or pseudonyms. Not Gage: His is the most famous name in neuroscience. How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of what we think we know, especially about his life unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk.
The Rutland and Burlington Railroad had hired Gage’s crew that fall to clear away some tough black rock near Cavendish, Vermont, and it considered Gage the best foreman around. Among other tasks, a foreman sprinkled gunpowder into blasting holes, and then tamped the powder down, gently, with an iron rod. This completed, an assistant poured in sand or clay, which got tamped down hard to confine the bang to a tiny space. Gage had specially commissioned his tamping iron from a blacksmith. Sleek like a javelin, it weighed 13¼ pounds and stretched 3 feet 7 inches long. (Gage stood 5-foot-6.) At its widest, the rod had a diameter of 1¼ inches, although the last foot—the part Gage held near his head when tamping—tapered to a point.
Gage’s crew members were loading some busted rock onto a cart, and they apparently distracted him. Accounts differ about what happened after Gage turned his head. One says Gage tried to tamp the gunpowder down with his head still turned, and scraped his iron against the side of the hole, creating a spark. Another says Gage’s assistant (perhaps also distracted) failed to pour the sand in, and when Gage turned back, he smashed the rod down hard, thinking he was packing inert material. Regardless, a spark shot out somewhere in the dark cavity, igniting the gunpowder, and the tamping iron rocketed upward.
The iron entered Gage’s head point-first, striking below the left cheekbone. It destroyed an upper molar, passed behind his left eye, and tore into the underbelly of his brain’s left frontal lobe. It then plowed through the top of his skull, exiting near the midline, just behind where his hairline started. After parabola-ing upward—one report claimed it whistled as it flew—the rod landed 25 yards away and stuck upright in the dirt, mumblety-peg-style. Witnesses described it as streaked with red and greasy to the touch, from fatty brain tissue.
The rod’s momentum threw Gage backward, and he landed hard. Amazingly, he claimed he never lost consciousness. He merely twitched a few times on the ground, and was talking and walking again within minutes. He felt steady enough to climb into an oxcart, and, after someone grabbed the reins and giddy-upped, he sat upright for the entire mile-long trip into Cavendish. At the hotel where he was lodging, he settled into a chair on the porch and chatted with passersby. The first doctor to arrive could see, even from his carriage, a volcano of upturned bone jutting out of Gage’s scalp. Gage greeted the doctor by angling his head and deadpanning, “Here’s business enough for you.” He had no idea how prophetic those words would be. The messy business of Gage continues to this day, 166 years later..."
Source: “Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient” by Sam Kean (Slate Magazine) 2014