Turning up the heat

Author of Citizen Jane discusses local unsolved murders—including that of Ivan “Bud” Foglesong

It’s amazing how news stories travel in the age of the Internet. By 8 a.m. Friday, the day after my story about the death of Ivan “Bud” Foglesong appeared in last week’s issue of the CN&R, I’d received an e-mail message from a man named James Dalessandro, who lives in San Rafael. (My guess is that Foglesong’s widow, Jan, sent him the story.)

Dalessandro is the author of the book Citizen Jane and of the screenplay of a movie of the same name premiering Sept. 12 from 9-11 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel.

Citizen Jane is the story of Jane Alexander, a Marin County woman who spent 13 years tracking down and putting away the man who murdered her 88-year-old aunt. In 1991, she co-founded the group Citizens Against Homicide with Jan Miller, whose 19-year-old daughter Victoria, a freshman at Chico State, was murdered in 1984. “The case is still unsolved, due in no small part to a poor investigation by the [Butte County] sheriff’s department,” Dalessandro writes in his e-mail message.

Eventually Miller got the investigation of her daughter’s case moved from the Sheriff’s Department to the state Department of Justice, but it still hasn’t been solved.

Citizens Against Homicide is a nonprofit that provides support for the families and friends of homicide victims in their effort to compel law-enforcement agencies to be more responsive. Jan Foglesong joined the group in 2008, and the story of her husband’s death was featured in the November 2008 issue of its newsletter.

Dalessandro directed me to the Hallmark Channel Web site (www.hallmarkchannel.com), where the Citizen Jane page contains information about Citizens Against Homocide and interviews with both Jan Miller and Jan Foglesong. I was moved watching Mrs. Foglesong talk about her husband.

“After Citizen Jane runs, I’m going to approach several national news organizations about doing a documentary on the other members of CAH, including both of these cases in your area,” Dalessandro writes. That should turn up the heat a notch on the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office.

Taking care of business: Readers may have noticed that Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff’s review of Spice Creek Café in our Aug. 20 issue generated several letters praising the restaurant and criticizing him. We’ve published three such letters, and I’ve put another, more recent one—less favorable toward the café—on our Web site.

Reviews are like that. Not everyone agrees. Some of us here at the CN&R didn’t agree with Emiliano either. That’s not to disparage him; he wrote it as he saw it. But, in the belief that criticism should lead to introspection and, if needed, change, we’ve been thinking about how we can improve our restaurant reviews and make their ratings more consistent. We’ve got some adjustments in mind. They should start showing up in a week or two. Let us know if you like them.