Friday, July 23, 2004

Don't blink--you may miss something

Back in the earliest AP feed I could find (link here), the following statement:

Mark Hacking works the night shift at inpatient psychiatry and usually is sleeping when Lori Hacking goes running. She normally returns home about 6:30 a.m. to shower and get ready for work. "Then I usually drive her to work," he said.
On Monday, he woke up later in the morning and called Wells Fargo and learned she had not arrived for work.

So here is the timeline:

5:30 a.m. (approximate): Lori heads out for a jog. Note that her long-time jogging partner stated that Lori had plans that evening, and that, she assumed, was the reason she went running early that morning, instead after sunset when the two of them usually ran.
6:30 a.m.: usual time for Lori to arrive back at home, shower, and dress for work (Mark states he usually drove her to work.
Mark awakes to see that Lori isn't there, her clothes are undisturbed, her lunch still in the fridge. He calls Wells Fargo, finds that Lori isn't at work.
9:45 a.m.: Mark enters a furniture store, mattress-shopping
10:00 a.m.: Mark calls friends and family to tell them he can't find Lori.
10:23 a.m.: Mark's still out shopping, buys a mattress.
10:49 a.m.: Mark calls police to notify them his wife is missing.
Late Night: Mark observed/picked up running around naked in a hotel parking lot, 1/2 mile from the couple's home. He was "acting strangely" and wearing nothing but a pair of sandals.

Be patient with me . . . I'm pulling this together in a minute
The facts are:
1. Quite a bit of time lapsed between Lori's "usual" time to return from jogging and Mark's call to friends.
2. Mark apparently called those friends from the furniture store where he was shopping for a mattress.
3. Quite a bit more time passes between Mark calling friends and Mark calling the police.
4. Mark experiences a "breakdown" later that night that leaves him clad in sandals and nothing else, and running around a nearby hotel.
5. Lori didn't normally jog in the mornings.
6. Lori's "jogging buddy" knew from their conversations, that Lori was pregnant, and that the pregnancy wasn't planned, even though Lori & Mark didn't do anything preventative.
7. Most friends and family feel that Lori didn't know that Mark indeed had never finished college, her father making a statement that he was a straight "A" student.
8. Police have found pieces of the couple's old mattress discarded.

I now call your attention to the opening paragraphs of this post--detailing that Mark works the night shift at "inpatient psychiatry". This fellow works each night with the mentally disturbed. He knows considerably more than a common layperson about the symptoms that accompany dementia.

We can make a safe assumption that Mark and Lori didn't sleep on a bare box-spring on the night of the 18th, so between the two waking, and Mark calling the police at 10:49, the mattress had been somewhat destroyed (police found pieces of it) and discarded, and another mattress purchased. This from a couple who were planning to move soon--why replace a mattress when it's just one more thing to pack?

There's also a mention of Mark finding Lori's car when he went looking for her. He made a statement that he had run through her usual path twice, and no sign of her. But what about the car? Were her keys in it? Was it locked? If it were locked, did she leave her License or other ID there? In all, was there anything in her car that she usually took with her running? She was seen by one witness at the park that morning, but this witness has made no other statement, and no other witnesses have come forward.  I'd think that there would at least be one or two other joggers in the park before work.

There are so many questions that need to be asked--and answered--regarding this case. My personal feelings: Mark has everything to do with Lori's disappearance. He got rid of the mattress trying to cover evidence. He laid a two-prong defense by pulling the "running-around-naked" stunt. He knows enough (or so he thinks) about insanity to make a defense out of it, even if the evidence catches up to him. I don't think Lori ever made it to the park, that the witness was simply trying to get 15 minutes of fame, and that searching the park and surrounding area is a fruitless endeavor.

UPDATE: In a twist of irony, seems Mark was employed at the same inpatient psychiatric unit where he's now a patient. Also, current reports state that the police didn't actually find parts of the mattress, but rather confiscated the box spring when they conducted a search of Mark and Lori's apartment. The location of the mattress is still unknown, but my guess is that the mattress is wrapped around Lori's body somewhere.

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