Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stephen Furst & Adam West

Stephen Leaves
by Michael H. Hanson

The day after you left we cried,
fanboy you were our sweetest geek,
Doc Axelrod just went elsewhere
and Gonzer has gone up the creek

A kind and gentle thespian,
father to two beloved sons,
a talented chameleon,
immortal in movie reruns.

Never to be called the unseen,
a standout in so many parts,
Delta House pledge both large and green,
a fun sidekick among the stars.

Vir Cotto and Booster now wait
to fly your soul unto the shoal
of eternity’s blessed gate.

RIP Stephen Furst 1954 – 2017

Dual Identity
by Michael H. Hanson

None are happy in Hollywood,
Petticoat Junction cries for you,
Tammy and Mara understood
the gentleness that you imbue.

One last Mars landing has failed you,
Geronimo guides your spirit,
Lady Chatterley bids adieu
as you wave to Bret Maverick.

Egghead, Penguin, and Mister Freeze,
Joker, Riddler, and Two-Face too,
pallbearers who will never tease
you for your silly ballyhoo.

Perry defends your last dispute,
the Rifleman swiftly lets go
a twenty-one quick fire salute
and laughs at El Kini Popo.

Quahog mayor,
sandbeast slayer,
You sit on God’s hero panel,
same bat time and same bat channel.


RIP Adam West (1928 – 2017)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions
June 2017 Father’s Day Thoughts

Billie Sue Mosiman

The Real Father

He didn't make me.
Yet he made sure I could see
Truth, honor, empathy.
I was two and his little girl.
I was the child in his world.
He didn't have to stay.
He could have run so far away.
Yet through thick and thin
He told me by example how to win.
I didn't appreciate him enough
But as he lay dying with a hiss and a huff,
I leaned over my daddy and said,
"You were mine and I was yours by choice, Dad."
Now I told him to let go. 
I said there was so much more.
He sighed and groaned. I was his girl all grown.
He had made me after all and I'd be ready when he called.
He lives in me, my daddy.
I keep his memory ready.
He was there when I needed him while many were not.
I love him for that, I swear to God.
Sleep on softly and be sure 
I don't forget how in a world of chaos, 
You were my cure.

Rick Mohl

A Father's Love

Are you ready to go?
“I believe so,” you said.
I want you to know,
It's a new life ahead.

You grew up so fast!
“Not true,” you smiled.
Seems just days past,
I held you as a child.

Will you be alright?
“Just fine,” you replied.
You're such a delight,
You fill me with with pride.

Will you call everyday?
“Yes I will,” you confide.
Anytime will be okay,
Whenever you decide.

Will you always miss me?
“Do you doubt?” You asked.
It's plain for all to see,
My love for you will last.

“Will this break your heart?”
Only for a little while, I said.
No matter the distance apart,
I will keep your love instead.

Ricky L. Mohl Sr.
March 30, 2014

Friday, June 16, 2017

Part 14

A Bird in the Hand

Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante

Above the McClure Tunnel Runs Ocean Avenue
In the Background the Santa Monica Pier, 
Where Famed Route 66 Ends


When I first started the Norinko Hanasaki investigation, I found subject matter in the origins of the United States railroad lines as well as the folklore of missing children to the arrival of the Chinese Triad in Asian communities. I heard stories of a haunted freeway tunnel and discovered that the homeless people living in the tunnel may in fact be the reason for the strange voices and screams coming from the freeway underpass.

Instead of finding answers to my questions, my research has only served to raise more questions. As the one year mark of Norinko's disappearance approached, I accepted an invitation to the Buddhist services for the missing middle-schooler where I could meet with the people who have been feeding me information and background on Norinko. I attended the services to show my respects, and, to my surprise, I found more answers than I had questions. 

Here is a summary of my three days in Santa Monica. Keep an open mind. Please re-read the cases in Parts 1-13 to gain a bird's perspective of my findings.

June 11, 2017

The Services for Norinko Hanasaki were festive, not morose. There was no talk or implications that Norinko will not be coming home soon. The opposite was true—there was much talk of preparing for Norinko’s return. The Priest opened the podium to friends and family to talk about Norinko.

My mind filled with morbid thoughts. I thought that no one wants to discuss the fact that Norinko may be dead, that her body could be found any day soon. But the fact that one year has nearly gone by and there has been no bad news for them was the good news. The time for something bad to have happened has passed. All that remains is for Norinko to come home.

After service, food was provided. I met Bridget, her parents, the Segawas, Suzie and her parents, the Namuris, and I couldn’t help but notice that Torinko Hanasaki and his wife, Amico, waited till after I met with the others, including Priest Horaguchi, before they introduced themselves. And just as quickly as they introduced themselves, they excused themselves to direct me to the buffet table. There would be no discussions today. That I understood right off. 

Note: Bridget did, however, talk to me, under the glares of both her parents and the attendees of the service. She told me that the attendees were speaking in Japanese about me being here to find Norinko. She got a laugh out of that—that they were so naïve that they believed I was there in some capacity beyond just being a blogger. They bowed to me and most of them deliberately avoided formal introductions, leaving that only for the parents of Norinko, Bridget and Suzie, the three close girlfriends. It made me feel guilty and a bit shamed about my being there. They brought me food and drink the whole time I was there, even though I already had a plate in hand. Bridget pointed out that they expected me to try their own homemade dish. It was a courtesy. There was no way I could live up to their expectations without overeating. I thought I’d be invisible at the event, but I seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Not my words. The Priest’s.

June 12, 2017

Interview with Priest Horaguchi

As I learned right off, I was there to listen, not to ask questions. I was not allowed to tape the interview, so I took notes. The Priest insisted I use the pen and paper he provided. My backpack with my laptop, notebooks, pens and pencils, clothes, food and coffee, was taken by another priest dressed in a blue outfit similar to Horaguchi's red outfit. I didn't ask about this hierarchy. As I said, questions were not allowed or answered when I did manage to sneak one in. 

Priest Horaguchi

The Buddhist problem, he began, concerns itself with life. If we do not live a "sinless" life, to borrow from the Catholics and Christians, we are condemned to repeat our life again after serving penance in Diyu, as you so wisely discussed on your blog. You are a very insightful man. But you touch on many things without seeing the whole. Are you familiar with the tale of the blind men and the elephant?
I nodded yes, but before I could say anything, he continued. (Torinko sat to Horaguchi's right, just behind him, also nodding affirmatively).

Each blind man touches a different part of the elephant, one claiming that the elephant is like a snake, for he had touched the tail, another swearing it was like a tree trunk, for he had felt the great leg of the elephant, and each in turn describing his part, but none the whole. That is your blog. The elephant is there. But in dissarray. Let me help. Please write and tell me if I am speaking too fast.

I nodded yes.

And with a deep breath, Priest Horaguchi raised his right hand and made a fist. And then he offered his left hand with its palm up, as if asking for change. He said, The open hand is life, and the fist, the closed hand, is death. When does it stop being a hand? It does not. It opens and closes, just as does life. You follow, Mr. Servante?

I nodded yes.

He resumed, life opens and closes, but it does not end. And no, it does not go to Heaven. Not is our beliefs. It goes to Diyu after death, where the Great Judge, Chang Gui, or Wuchang Gui, as he is often called, decides how this closed life will be reopened. Chang Gui decides if the life before him requires tempering, as does unforged steel for a sword, or if the life requires modification by ice, as does good meat before cooking. Forgive my comparisons. I know they are crude, but in Diyu, as you well know, the life must be re-conditioned for reincarnation by either fire or ice. Chang Gui decides on reincarnation after fire or ice, how long the treatment will last, and the degree of the treatment. If the person lived a life of "sin", he'd be a closed fist entering Diyu as a closed fist, thus requiring much treatment. If the person lived the life of good, he'd be an open hand entering Diyu as a sinless person requiring no treatment. He'd pretty much be on the waiting list for a body to be reincarnated into--a human body; we don't hold to being reincarnated into insect or animal. That's not our way.

But then there's the In-Between. Neither a closed or opened hand. It wasn't your time to go to Diyu. But there you are. I know you wrote of this. The comatosed patient is neither dead nor alive. Yet, in our belief, they are in Diyu, in a waiting room. No ice or fire. It is not true death. Even when accident victims are in the In-Between, they often speak of seeing a light that beacons them. It is the door to Diyu being opened for the new person requiring treatment for reincarnation.

Now imagine hundreds of such people dying. Chinese railroad workers carrying nitroglycerin into the caves to create an explosion strong enough to weaken rock and stone, to build a tunnel for the trains to pass. Now imagine the nitroglycerin blowing up because the person handling it trips. The ensuing explosion would kill him and everyone in the cave. Not "would"--"did" kill a lot of Chinese and Japanese workers. Blown to pieces beyond recognition. How do you bury the substance of the man when all you have are bits and pieces of many men splattered on the walls, soaking into the ground loosened by the blast? We believe that a dead person can enter Diyu for treatment only if he is buried properly.

If the corporeal substance of these men is not buried properly, their essence, what you call the "soul", wanders the place of death, half here, half in Diyu. This gives Chang Gui nothing to work with, nothing to treat for reincarnation. So, the Great One ignores the Wanderers. Yet the door to Diyu opens for these victims of the nitroglycerin but because they were never buried properly, the door remains open for much longer than it should. And the Angry One, Yuan Gui, seeks justice for the Wanderers. And Yuan Gui now has a revolving door to our world in such tunnels where injustice and betrayal made victims of our countrymen.

Let me tell you about our work with the homeless. Another subject you covered quite accurately in your blog. So I know I am not straying too far from what you've already researched for yourself. The tunnel is not haunted. For us, haunted means wandering souls awaiting proper burial in Diyu, Earth, or the Skies, what you call the Heavens. We have spirits of air, fire, water, and pure evil. Goodness is reincarnation. Evil is not being reincarnated--to simplify things. Yuan Gui is the demon of grievance for the wandering souls. It flies through the open door to and from Diyu to collect these wanderers, for there are many, especially in the tunnels, especially in the McClure Tunnel.

When we took food and medicine to the homeless people living in what they called the Hole in the Wall--a room once used by the railroad managers for business, we found many documents and articles of railway communications that indicated that the tunnel and offices would be abandoned and sold to the City of Los Angeles for the new Interstate 10 freeway. We also found that the Tongs were paid to look the other way.

When we first helped the Hole in the Wall people, there were close to twenty. The number varies because many of them moved on, transients always on the lookout for better, safer home, even if just a cardboard box or a shopping cart converted to a place to sleep. Often, these transients move on because they wake up beaten and bruised, with cut lips and bloody noses, and they don't remembered the brutality they suffered deep in dream. It is a common occurrence. Thus they move on to safer shanties. But there was also the north wall behind the old file cabinets. One day they found the cabinets had been pushed aside, and noticed that the number of their group had diminished by a few members. But, as I said, transients move on, so no one gave it much thought. Until their numbers decreased to a handful. Then they left the Hole in the Wall.

Something was taking them. Sure some were transients, as the police claimed when we told them of the disappearances. But I know and recognize the work of Yuan Gui. Are not transients also wanderers? What a trifle for the Angry One to take both into the doorway to Diyu. One would think, no?

A reasonable person would thus ask: Then where is this Yuan Gui? Can't we trap it in the Hole in the Wall by sealing it? No. Not if the Angry One has a connection to this world somehow. And that connection, I'm afraid, is Norinko. She is descended from the victims of the McClure Tunnel explosions. It's the only answer I have, of course. The Angry One recognized something she had. Because only on the 13th of June 2016 did it act to spirit her away. What did she have that day that she did not have any other day?

The notebook. The notebook with the writings about an angry bird called Buzzkill. What do dogs do when they see themselves in a mirror for the first time? They bark at the other dog. In the notebook, Torinko informed me, was drawing of Buzzkill. Even he recognized the Angry One in that child's drawing. That is the one thing that was different that day from all the other days that Norinko was driven through the tunnel.

And the solution is simple, Mr. Servante. You must find the notebook of Norinko Hanasaki.

[Priest Horaguchi pressed on his knees and stood. He bowed to me and said he'd fetch tea. He motioned to Norinko's father as he left the room.]

Torinko Hanasaki

[Again, I was told to listen. My back was starting to tighten up, but I remained seated. And did as I was told.]

I love my stepdaughter very much. No, she is not of my blood. I am descended from Triad ancestors. It was my Tong bloodline that bore the responsibility to care for the workers in our charge as Triad Master ranks. It was my great great grandfather, Kenta Han, who was commissioned in 1885 with the establishment of a Tong presence in the railroad camps for the Asian workers.

At first my great grandfather passed the responsibility of caring for the Hanasaki family to my father and he to me. Little did I know that I would fall in love with Amico, Norinko's mother. Her husband divorced her to marry an American woman. How easily corrupted we are by the American Way. I, too, fell victim to this tradition of betrayal to our culture. I came to be known as Torrance when my true name is Torinko, named for my forefathers in the Triad. Today, the organization is mostly legitimate business, but there are a few criminal elements in the lower ranks. We try to deal with it by suffocating their business dealings. Beyond that, it's up to my superiors in Hong Kong to make such decisions. I am still only in charge of carrying out my orders, and of honoring our oaths. Yet, for me, I've been handed down the task of regaining the honor that Kenta Han dismissed by accepting bribes from the railroad barons. Is it no wonder that Diyu is at our doorstep?

Now our paths have joined. the Triad and the Victim have become one. Just as the Yuan gui and Wuchang gui have joined forces capture the living souls of those who have touched the notebook of Norinko. We have traced the missing people beyond the homeless in the tunnel; there is a bus driver, two deputies, a detective, and a reporter. They are missing too. What they have in common is the link to Norinko. The homeless have been taken through the open doorway that the Yuan Gui used to take Norinko, a descendatn of the first Hanasakis. You were right in your assessment of the Hanasaki name: It is a combination of Chinese and Japanese. Norinko's line begins with the Sakis, and mine with the Hans. Through our years of trying to honor our oaths and make up for the dishonor of my great great grandfather, the names Han and Saki have become one.

Beyond Norinko's disappearance, the others, too, were taken after they handled the journal of Norinko. Once you touch the journal, the Yuan Gui passes your essence to Wuchang Gui for judgment. Without your essence, you go mad; you are half in Diyu and half here on Earth. You have 14 days until your essence is completely in Diyu. It is in the journal where Yuan Gui hides. The Wuchang Gui is on the other side of the doorway in the Hole in the Wall inside the tunnel wall. There is only one way to break the cycle of injustice and judgment, arrest and trial, Earth and Diyu. We must read the journal and receive the messages from Diyu that Norinko has been sending.

Norinko can communicate through the journal, as can the others who are not dead but who are trapped in Diyu for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The birds in your blog. That’s Norinko trying to reach me. Only she’s reached you first through her friends, Beniko Segawa and Segui Namuri, or as you know them, Bridget and Suzie. So easy to become Americanized. It is now your responsibility. Priest Bobue Horaguchi and I can help, but it is up to you to find the journal. Juan Gui and Wuchang Gui are like birds in the earthly plane, demons in the Diyu plane. If we cannot break the cycle, the demon will enter the earthly realm and cause corporeal death to steal away more spirits to Diyu. It will no longer need to take the essence of the people without killing them. With a body of flesh and feather, it will be capable of spilling blood, of taking vengeance for the injustice of the victims of the tunnels, for the dishonor of the easily corruptible Tongs who have betrayed their oaths for American trinkets.

[Torinko grew silent as Priest Bobue, as he asked to be addressed, entered with the tea. As we drank our cups of Japanese tea with lemon and honey in silence, the sheer magnitude of what I just heard never occurred to me. I played along, promised to contact them as soon as I found a trail leading to the notebook, and then I left. They did not add anything more to what they had already told me. I was tasked with something beyond simple blogging. I left without any intention of looking back. The Norinko Investigation had just come to an end.]

June 13th, 2017

The shrine of Norinko Hanasaki was dismantled when I arrived on the Ocean Avenue Overpass above the McClure Tunnel to the Interstate Ten. There was one lone girl there. I asked her if she knew Norinko. She shrugged and said she saw me at the service on Sunday. Then she asked, "Did you know her?"  I shrugged  back, and that made her smile. She went on, "The cops came and picked up all the glass candle jars. There were some people here, but they left when the cops started taking down the signs and photos. One of the cops was mad. Even when everyone was leaving he yelled at them that 'where were the photos and candles for Mitchell and Baker. And where's the flowers for Wu?!' Who are they anyway!" She wiped away a tear, but smiled again.

She then told me, "But they didn't take this. Here. You can have it. I don't know who you are or why you're even here, but everyone at the service was calling you an angel. Don't get all happy. In my culture, it's not a good word, not always. It means like demon. There are good and bad. Demons. They're not sure which you are, but it doesn't matter. It takes a demon to beat a demon. You'll just have to do. I took this before the cops took everything. I know you know what it is. I hope you know what to do with it." And with that she handed me a drawing of a Plumage Pvnk and walked away.

I considered calling  the Sheriff's office to ask them why they took down the shrine but thought better of it. Jake, it's Chinatown. It was time to go home to the safety of my blog and add the new pieces to the puzzle and see if the picture becomes any clearer. I think I just may have a few answers, but at what expense? Did all this really happen? A bird in the hand, as they say.

Note: The  bird is Torrance, Norinko's stepfather. The eye on its chest--it's a Triad symbol. Norinko knew. She knew about her father's background. Or maybe I'm reaching. It's also a Buddhist symbol. But there's something here to consider. New members of the Tongs begin with one tattoo, and with each deed or accomplishment, they earn another tattoo. The most decorated members are held in high esteem and move up the ranks. One tattoo would be a beginner or an insult, as if it were left there as a reminder of the betrayal of the 1885 Tongs who turned their backs on the Asian railroad workers who died in the nitro explosions under the watch of the Tongs corrupted by the railroad barons. If Norinko did figure out her stepfather's past, it had to be recent knowledge. She had to have drawn the bird after her disappearance. That means that she's still alive. Or am I talking to ghosts? Trouble is, are the ghosts in my head or in the world outside my skin?


Final Thoughts:

I've been procrastinating putting up Part 14 on the blog because I think we've crossed the line from nonfiction to fiction. I considered saying goodbye to Norinko at her shrine after that meeting with the priest and the stepdad. Was I being punked? After a good night's sleep, with the ocean waves lapping nosily during the night in that soothing way I so love, I decided this whole thing just wasn't worth the risk of being pulled into an elaborate joke or a superstitious maze. But that little girl at the empty shrine spot seemed to know me, seemed to be waiting for me--the me inside this skin, the hermit who runs a blog for fun in his retirement. I could just walk away. But somehow I did end up posting Part 14. And I want to find out who this girl was who gave me the drawing. And I want to find the journal of Norinko Hanasaki. And I want to find Norinko. Was that Norinko who gave me the drawing? I guess that means the investigation is still on. 

Thank you for your patience, dear readers. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The 2017 Paint-The-Poem Art Contest 
has Started Accepting Submissions

Paint-The-Poem 2017 Art Contest 

The Moonrise Trail 
by Michael H. Hanson

I’m treading on the moonrise trail 
long after dusk when all stars smile 
and paint a mystic glowing braille 
across parchment dark and fertile. 
I barely see the city lights 
far from the sins of my brethren 
far from my culture’s claws and bites 
I dance with all of night’s children. 
My path is curving and narrow 
and leads me on a merry romp 
farther than the flight of arrow, 
further than I have ever walked. 
Away from civilized tumult 
I grin and silently exult. 

**Paint-The-Poem 2017 is now OPEN to Submissions** 

The challenge is for artists to create a painting, based on and/or reflecting the above poem, "The Moonrise Trail" by Michael H. Hanson. Please access the FILES section at the Upper Left of this page to View the Poem and to Read the Official RULES of this 2017 Contest and to access the Official Entry Form which you must fill out and submit "Before" you submit a work of art. There are NO entry fees, and original works of art will NOT have to be shipped anywhere (high-resolution digital photos will suffice). Please be aware that there is NO monetary prize. Do NOT post works of art directly on this page!!! If you attempt to do so, they will be summarily Deleted!!

This is an official Art Contest page and NOT a random art appreciation website. Submit your artwork (high resolution photograph) via e-mail or FB Messaging, after filling out the application, and then your artwork will be publicly displayed in a Facebook photo album accessible on this website.

The Submission Deadline is November 17, 2017. The Winners (First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and 3 Honorable Mentions) will be announced the night of Saturday, December 2, 2017, beginning at 8:00 pm EST USA on the World Wide Web, right here, on this public Facebook Event Page. All are welcome to take part in the festivities.

Paint-The-Poem is an art contest that was created in 2015 by poet Michael H. Hanson in his ongoing endeavors to promote the arts. [DO NOT post your artwork on this page. This is an Art Contest, NOT an art appreciation page]. Michael is a Poet that utilizes multimedia to convey his words, often finding inspiration in his admiration of painted art; he creates poetry that echoes this inspiration. This dual use of word and picture combines to create a third form, the Written Painting.

Michael wished to reverse the inspiration process by seeking artists who would draw inspiration from “his” poetic vision, and thus was born Paint-The-Poem.

The purpose of this Non-Profit Art Contest is purely to Support The Arts, and showcase the work of an eclectic cross-section of artists from around the World.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Part 13

An Invitation Accepted
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Dharma Wheel: A Stabilized Mind
Neither Begins nor Ends

For me, it is Saturday June 10th, 2017, early afternoon. It is cloudy today and feels like rain is coming.  Tomorrow begins my three-day visit to the city of Santa Monica. Twenty or so years ago,  I would be looking forward to the beach, the Pier, and the video game arcade. If I were lucky, I'd grab a spot at one of the tables in the chess area and wait for an opponent to challenge me to a game. But my visit is neither pleasure nor business. It's a calling of sorts. Something that has to be done. A question in search of an answer.

On Sunday, I will attend the service for Norinko Hanasaki at the Temple in a private ceremony with family, friends, and invited guests. I don't fit the "invited guest" picture as my only connection to this attendance stems from my blog's writings and research on the Norinko disappearance. I will not be taking pictures to post on the blog, nor will I stay very long. I will meet the people who have contacted me on the blog and try to find a polite place to leave. If possible. As with any religious service; getting in is easy, getting out requires prayer. On Monday, I will meet with the temple priest and Norinko's father, Torinko Hanasaki. They both have answers for me, they say. How they know my questions before I ask, I can only guess. On Tuesday, I will gather pictures of Norinko's shrine on the Santa Monica Freeway bridge and leave flowers and a Tokidoki figure. That is the plan.

And I must have a plan because I have not been getting much sleep, arguing with my editors, weaving stray thoughts into each new part of the investigation on my blog. Sometimes a thought will strike me on the train, and sometimes it will wake me from a strange dream. The more wrapped up I get in this investigation, the more alone I feel, as if my world is separating from the rest of the world that everyone else takes for granted.

That poem that I wrote the other day.

I live with myself in my head
You or you don't enter the equation
Me, myself, and I alive or dead
Outside my skin you don't exist
Except as sky, earth, and zed

The words were just my passing the time on the crowded train. But now they carry some portent. It could be the lack of sleep or the frustration of writing so many stories for anthologies that I've become just one more story stuck between all the other stories, those written, read, seen on TV, overheard on the train. But where these stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, mine is like the Dharma Wheel, except without the comfort of the stabilized mind. Perhaps the temple priest will address this dilemma for me.

I get into arguments more easily over which story is more credible, or, if in fact,  there is a story at stake.

I watch the hockey games and wonder what the story is behind each player. I find that that team was meant to win because they were due a happy ending. Then it becomes dangerous to think of the losing team. Are they the tragic hero or the lowly villain? And what does that say about me? About my story?

The answers are either all in my head, as it says in my poem, or there are answers to be found in Santa Monica and with my investigation and research. I will either find Norinko or I will lose myself completely. But I will know which by June 13th. And I will leave it to you, dear readers, to decide who or what has returned from the site of Norinko Hanasaki's disappearance when I post my next transmission.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Part 12 

Triads, Tongs & Hatchet Men:
Oaths Beyond the Grave
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Hatchet Men circa 1880s

In Part 11, the W. Chris Dubois (aka Tom Thumb) notes, I found another connection to Norinko. Dubois had not only been researching the railroad's connection to the McClure Tunnel and Norinko, he was also following a link between the Hanasaki family to Little Tokyo and Chinatown in Los Angeles. I received an email from the father of Norinko telling me to look into the connection between the Triads and the Hanasaki family. He wouldn’t elaborate but informed me that he would be attending my meeting with the temple priest on June 12th in two weeks. His email to me is below.

Because the Dubois notes are confusing and it's difficult to separate Marie Mayatowski's influence and plagiarism from the original writings, to speak nothing of what the rambling nature his emails to Marie evolved into, I have decided to redo the tenements of the research and reach my own conclusions, be they wary or warped. The truth must speak for itself. Do not kill the messenger--namely, me.

Email from Torinko “Torrance” Hanasaki, father of Norinko Hanasaki
Dated May 25th, 2017.

Honorable Dr. Servante,
I looked into your past and found you are a professor, a doctor of literature. I had to know who it was that has been following the case of my daughter Norinko’s disappearance. Your blog does not cover half of the information that surrounds Norinko. I hear an invitation has been sent to you for the services at the Temple. I also know you will be meeting with our Priest on June 12th. I plan to attend that meeting, if only to share with you what your articles have been missing, the crucial element to helping my daughter. But I can only dispense this information with the priest by our side. In the meantime, you should look into the arrival of the Triad to the railway camp for the Chinese workers 1885, prior to the building of the infamous McClure Tunnel.

I look forward to meeting you,
Your Humble Servant,

Torinko Hanasaki

Triads, Tongs, and Hatchet Men

On September 2, 1885, the Rock Springs Massacre in Wyoming involved dozens of angry White workers who attacked Chinese workers and killed 28, injuring many more. The practice of the railroad barons of paying the Chinese less money led to the hiring of more Asians over the more highly paid White laborers, who retaliated by setting the attacks in motion that September day in mining camps and railroad camps alike. The Chinese towns around the camps were burnt down.

Word reached Hong Kong of the killings and the Triads, the crime organization who in the 1880s acted as both police and businessmen, responded by sending a branch of the organization, called a Tong, to protect the Chinese workers along the railway as it grew from Wyoming to California. The Tongs employed paid assassins who carried hatchets and revolvers to guard the Chinese camps and helped to rebuild the towns now under Triad protection and rule. In addition to tailor shops, laundries, restaurants, grocery stores, and medicinal shops, the Tongs also brought opium dens, brothels, and saloons.

Because of the fierce loyalty of the Triads (the Masters) to their clients and rank-and-file members, no matter if they were Tong emissaries or Hatchet Men or Saloon Keepers, the Chinese communities burgeoning around the expanding string of towns along the railway felt pride and safety under the leadership of this honorable organization.

Part of this honor system stems from the "Oaths" each member takes before joining a Triad. These are but a few of the 36 Oaths that all leaders, followers, and entrepreneurs must memorize:
  • I must treat the parents and relatives of my sworn brothers as my own kin. I shall suffer death by five thunderbolts if I do not keep this oath.
  • I shall assist my sworn brothers to bury their parents and brothers by offering financial or physical assistance. I shall be killed by five thunderbolts if I pretend to have no knowledge of their troubles.
  • I will take good care of the wives or children of sworn brothers entrusted to my keeping. If I do not I will be killed by five thunderbolts.
  • If any of my sworn brothers are killed, or arrested, or have departed to some other place, I will assist their wives and children who may be in need. If I pretend to have no knowledge of their difficulties I will be killed by five thunderbolts.
  • I must never reveal Hung secrets or signs when speaking to outsiders. If I do so I will be killed by myriads of swords.

It would appear obvious at this point, to me anyway, that the Oaths of the Triads included the proper burial, care, and treatment of the Chinese workers and their family should the laborers die under the wing of the protective Triads. With the high number of Chinese who fell victim in the building of tunnels (as we have seen in earlier parts), especially when Nitro was introduced by the Railroad Barons to speed up the process of the railway expansion, there must have been many children and families orphaned or widowed in these tunnel accidents under the watch of the Triads, Tongs, and Hatchet Men.

Question: Were the Hanasakis one of these families forever under the care of the Triads and their Oaths? Something to consider when I meet with Mr. Hanasaki on June 12th at the temple. Maybe this is the path he put me on with his email. ??

A Footnote regarding the Chinese and Japanese feud in early Los Angeles:

Chinese Quarter, ca. 1885, [The Original Chinatown]
by Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria

Little Tokyo, Today

Chinatown and Little Tokyo, the Los Angeles Connection

When the railroad reached the Pacific Coast, the rail work continued northward to San Francisco. However, many of the Chinese elected to stay in Los Angeles and built the Chinese Quarter, a town not unlike the communities springing up with the help of the Triads. By the 1910s, the citizens of Los Angeles did not like the presence of the opium dens and brothels and undertook legislation to forbid such activities. With the help from lawyers hired by the Tongs, the Chinese fought back in the courts, citing the Chinese Opera House, Temples, and legitimate businesses in the hundreds along Alameda Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. The Central Pacific Railroad, however, rendered the legal proceedings moot as they purchased all the land that the Chinese Quarter sat on and razed the town to build the Union Station rail terminal connecting the ending of the westerly path of the rails to the new northerly direction. 

Union Station Grand Opening

When the Chinese moved their legal businesses to the north end of Alameda, Broadway, and Hill Street, they abandoned the illegal businesses of the Tongs, who were drawing too much attention from the Los Angeles Police Department. The Japanese rail workers who settled the land north on Alameda were forced out by the Tongs and, ironically, it was the Japanese who took in the Triad members into their new location on First Street after their ouster by their Chinese "brothers". In the 1940s, when the Japanese were incarcerated during World War II, Little Tokyo was virtually emptied and the Tongs returned to Hong Kong to defend the Mother Land from the Japanese imperialists of the Axis Powers. 

The Tongs passed into legend as Hollywood villains during the Thirties, Forties, Fifties, and early Sixties when Hatchet Men became synonymous with Chinese Gangsters. But the Triads still exist to this day, mostly in legitimate business. And it is said that they still keep their Oaths to the victims of the railroad by caring for their families, whether Chinese or Japanese, from generation to generation, long after the graves of the original Tong members were filled and new members now fulfill the promises of the old Oaths.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Part 11

Tom Thumb Notes (2)
 Surprising New Findings
A Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 


I meant for Part 11 to go live two weeks ago, but because of the nature of the “notes” that my friend found of the Tom Thumb flashdrive, I had to make sure she wasn’t punking me. Still not sure she isn’t. But one thing I am sure of. She’s not laughing at the findings. She asked not to be named in the article because it’s an “ologist magnet for squares, cinder dicks, and possible chop suey”. She wears her handle (Beat Bitch) well. She said that there's a lot of two-faced bullshit going here. So she called the Santa Monica Local Newspaper and asked for the editor. After three tries over as many days, the editor returned her call. She explained the files she was working on from the files I had received from a Marie Mayakowski. The editor informed my friend that Tom Thumb’s real name is W. Chris Dubois, and that he went missing last July 2016. Marie was fired the same month. 

And our little friend Marie Mayakowski was fired when she submitted the Dubois article on Norinko Hanasaki as her own writing in July 2016. The article never saw print, and the flashdrive belonging to Dubois was confiscated by the editor under threat of a lawsuit. This means that W. Chris Dubois did not send the Mussel Slough Massacre article to you. Whoever Tom Thumb is, it’s not Dubois. It may be a certain cat named Marie. That’s my guess. I got the real flashdrive from the editor and this is what I found on it with fresh eyes from the Java Bean. This is too fucken unreal. I’m sending you the flashdrive. You can stick it up your ass. You fucking with me, the prank’s punk bitch? Tell you what, don’t call me for a while. Just a while. I’ll cool off. But then, I’ve got this funny feeling that when I cool off, I’m going to be really scared. 
Adi, Migo.

The Tom Thumb Notes?

To: Marie Mayakowski
From W. Chris Dubois
Date: July 8, 2016
Re: Flash Drive Back-Up

I have the notebook of Norinko Hanasaki. I met with detective Jian Wu. I pinched it from his files while he was talking to the principal. I hid it in the custodian's closet, behind a locker. It won't be long before Wu figures out I have it. I have to meet with Miriam Hernandez, the school bus driver, and make my way back to the notebook before Wu notices it's missing. Lots of plates in the air, Marie. I'm saving all my notes for you on the flash drive you gave me. If for any reason Wu finds out it was me who took the notebook, I want to have a backup of all my files. Just between you and me, Marie, that notebook gives me the creeps. I want to take pictures of it on my phone and email them to you so you can add them to the drive. This whole assignment is taking a lot of left turns. It doesn't feel right. I hope it's all worth it when I snag me a job with the Times. I'll make sure they include you in the package. You're going to make a good journalist one of these days. Use my notes if you need them. I mean, in the event something happens to me. Walking off with evidence. Shit. What the hell was I thinking?! Take care. Bail me out if I'm caught. 

To: Marie Mayatowski
From W. Chris Dubois
Date: June 13, 2016
Re: The Notebook of Norinko

It seems that there’s a notebook that was left on the bus by the missing girl, Norinko, according to her friend, Sumiko. I asked the bus driver and deputies but they know of no such notebook. I tend to believe the girl. Maybe the bus driver, Miriam Hernandez, is hiding something. Will follow her for a few days. See what pops up.
Speak of the devil. It’s Monday night. I’m parked in front of the Hernandez apartment complex. She just got home with a notebook in her hand. It’s green and pink. Small. Remind me to invest in binoculars. I’m going to see if I can interview her right now. Nope. Lights just went out in her apartment. I’ll check back tomorrow.

To: Marie Mayatowski
From: W. Chris Dubois
Date: June 14, 2016
Re: Search for Missing Child

The search for Norinko Hanasaki, 14 year old middle school girl, who disappeared from a moving bus on June 13, 2016, continues into the early morning hours on the Santa Monica Freeway between Lincoln Boulevard and Sunset on the Pacific Coast Highway. Highway Partrol officers joined with Sheriff’s deputies, and local police divisions from Los Angeles, Venice, Long Beach, and Malibu. I'm going to crash in my car for a few hours. The Cable TV staffers promised to wake me if they find anything. 

To: Marie Mayatowski
From: W. Chris Dubois
Date: July 15, 2016
Re: Meeting with Miriam Hernandez

It’s been a mother tracking down this woman. And when I finally do find her, she’s bonkers. She was busted for writing “verses” on the bus windows and now I see the same thing in her apartment. I don’t know what to make of it…. [missing section here]

I am outside the apartment of Miriam Hernandez. Her apartment walls are covered in what looks like to be lines of poetry. She was arrested July 6, 2016, about ten days ago. Today is July 15. The words looked familiar. Will check them against the notebook poems I took pictures of yesterday.

To: Marie Mayatowski
From: W. Chris Dubois
Date: July 22, 2016
Re: Cowboys and Demons

Something is scratching at the window. I sealed my apartment. I had to write the words on the windows and doors to keep them out. Birds with human faces. Deputy Demon and Deputy Dog. Detective Demon Wu. They told them where I am. It was the notebook. It was in the notebook. The words. The Wanderer. The Two-Gun Demon. Let them in or keep them out? July 8th. That’s when it started. The bus driver was not bonkers. I was. Something is coming in. I don’t want to look. Marie? What’s behind me????????????????

Drawing found with the memo July 22, 2016

Other Drawings found on the Tom Thumb flashdrive. 

The Lost Article

Frantic Search Brings Community Together 
Missing girl, 14, Disappears While Riding the Bus 
By Marie Mayakowski

On the 13th of June 2016, community leaders, activists, teachers, and good samaritans join police from 4 local precincts, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Venice, Malibu, the California Highway, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department, Santa Monica branch. 

Last seen riding on the First Catholic School between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m., 14 year old middle-schooler Norinko Hanasaki disappeared, according to a Sheriff's spokesperson. 

Norinko was on the bus with several other female students from the all-girls' First Catholic School bus when the bus entered the McClure Tunnel, which connects the Interstate 10 to the Pacific Coast Highway. When the bus emerged from the tunnel, Norinko appeared not to be on the bus. 

The bus driver was notified of the missing student immediately. The driver called her dispatch office, who in turn, called the LA Sheriff's department office in Santa Monica. 

After the deputies met the driver and students at the corner of Sunset and Pacific Coast, the California Highway Patrol was called in to close down the McClure Tunnel so that patrol officers could conduct a search of the tunnel. After four hours, the Highway Patrol sought local police help and televised on local television a request for volunteers to expand the search. The response was overwhelming.

Norinko is described as Asian, about 5', 3' tall, approximately 125 pounds with green eyes, brunette hair, and wearing thick black-framed glasses. 

She was wearing a plaid Catholic school uniform with the letters FCS on the back of the jacket over a white blouse. She also wore white tennis shoes with short white socks. 

Her mother and father Amico and Torrance Hanasaki told the local cable news: "She is a quiet and studious girl. She writes poetry and draws birds. Please call the cable news channel or the Sheriff's department if you have any information that you think will help.

"It is good to see so many people working together to help find her. We should also be checking the hamburger places and the coffee cafes."

Numerous phone calls to Norinko's cell phone went straight to voice mail. 

Neighbors and family friends, the Segawas, said that it's too early to be concerned. A lot of good church people are involved in the search, but we should also be praying for Norinko's safe return. In early morning the 14th of June, the search continues.  

According to my computer friend, Marie tried to pass this article off as her own. It was written by W. Chris Dubois, the editor determined based on a call that he had received from a fellow editor at the Los Angeles Times, who told him that Dubois tried to shop the article there in exchange for part-time work. 

I received the flashdrive in the mail a few days ago. I've spent the last 48 hours comparing the written notes I had received in Part Nine from "Tom Thumb" to the flashdrive's notes. Everything seemed to match, so I decided to go live with what I believed to be accurate, but very disconcerting. In a note from my friend, she wrote, “Stay away from ghost stories. Even if they’re not true, it doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous.” 

Nonetheless, our investigation continues.

Thank you, readers, for your patience.

Anthony Servante

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Norinko Hanasaki Cases 1-10
A Synopsis


In January 2017 I heard about a middle-school girl who disappeared from a moving bus that was passing through the Santa Monica Freeway tunnel that bridges the Interstate 10 to the Pacific Coast Highway. I searched for more information on the case but found only empty trails that led nowhere. I decided to take a different approach. I would study the history of the tunnel itself, and ask readers of my blog if they had information or new leads I could follow. By February 2017, the Norinko Hanasaki Investigative Cases began. To date, the Servante of Darkness Blog has posted Ten cases related to the Hanasaki disappearance, directly or indirectly. I figure as long as I continue to dig into any information that comes my way, a kernel of truth may emerge, and from that kernel, we may perhaps reach more people who can shed some more light on the information we’ve gathered.

I’m happy to say that this approach has proved fruitful. We now have contacts with friends and family of young Norinko, have discovered names involved in the original investigation by law enforcement, and found the newspaper man who has been sitting on the original article that was never published (more on that in Part 11). Because the project has grown so much since January, I have added an editor in Coralie Rowe, and an assistant editor in DS Scott. Rowe and Scott are covering the historical and conjecture cases, basically separating conspiracy theories from facts that can be traced, while I have been tracking the more recent cases and maintaining contacts.

Before closing out May and entering June 2017 with further research and emails, I summarized Parts 1-10 for new readers and confused old readers. I hope this helps to clarify the haphazard order of the cases to date.

Thank you,
Anthony Servante

We begin with:

Part One: The Strange Legacy of Leland Stanford

The origins of the McClure Tunnel (aka the Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel) begin with the construction of the railroads in the 1800s. We learn that the Hanasaki name has ties to Leland Stanford, for Stanford worked with the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company (OOSC), where he secured Chinese workers (Han Province) and Japanese laborers (Saki, a derogatory nickname they were given by German railroad workers). The correlation here is that Hanasaki is a name comprised of the two types of worker that Stanford hired: Han and Saki. Alone, it is but one coincidence, but it is not the only correlation, as we shall see.

Part Two: Betrayals and Massacres
The greedy railroad barons hired gunmen to throw settlers off the ranches that stood in the way of the railways. There were many violent confrontations between these hired killers and the ranchers, but the one incident that the Press covered to show the cruelty of the railroad barons was the Mussel Slough Massacre, where 7 settlers were killed by the hired assassin and outlaw Walter Crow. Newspaper reporter Tom Thumb (pseudonym) contacted the blog to allege that there have been reports of strange sounds, voices, and screams heard in the McClure Tunnel by motorists. He further implies that there is a curse on the tunnel associated with the misdeeds of the gunman Walter Crow.

Part 3 Contact with Witnesses
We first meet Bridget, one of Norinko's friends who was on the bus with her the day she disappeared. Her email to the Anthony Servante blog offers some insight into the events unfolding in our cases. She also mentions “Suzie” in the email, another friend of Norinko’s. It seems this trio was a close unit at the school.

Part 4 The Folklore of Missing Children
The Folklore of Missing Children addresses the possibilities of finding truths in myths  from different countries. We learn that there many explanations for children going missing, from kidnapping to running away, and that Norinko’s disappearance may be tied to the hidden truths in these tales as much as the myths themselves.

Part 5 An Email from Suzie
Suzie emails her complaint to me about my writing about the folklore in connection to Norinko’s disappearance. I apologized for seeming disrespectful, but explained that even these research cases highlight some truths about the case that need to be considered.

Part 6 Bridget’s Email: A Ride Through the Tunnel
Bridget emails her own apology for Suzie’s overreaction and mentions the Buddhist beliefs of Norinko and Suzie’s families before summarizing the chronology of the events on the school bus leading to Norinko’s disappearance. This is our first glimpse into the bus that day, June 13, 2016.

Part 7 An Email from Suzie: The Tokidoki Connection
Suzie emails the blog some information about the Tokidoki Cactus Friends, Norinko’s favorite characters. At once, both cute and creepy, these friends and pets wear cactus costumes to ward off Evil and Death. We also learn that Norinko purchased a Cactus Friends notebook to use as a journal for her own characters, the Plumage Pvnks. Suzie also shares a poem that Norinko wrote.

Part 8 Homeless in the Tunnel
When police were notified by a motorist that he saw people coming out of a false opening in the tunnel wall, the police investigated and found a group of homeless people living in the cavern behind the wall. This recent development casts doubt on Tom Thumb’s assertions about the ghostly presence of Walter Crow in the tunnel. Most likely, it was the voices, shouts, and arguments of the homeless group resounding acoustic echoes through the tunnel. However, it was also reported that the local activist group of churches and temples were supplying the homeless in the McClure Tunnel with food and medical supplies. It was just one more coincidence that the temple where the Hanasaki family attended services was one of the groups who were helping the homeless.

Part 9 The Files of Tom Thumb
After learning of the possible explanation for the strange noises in the tunnel, I tried to contact Tom Thumb at the Santa Monica Local Newspaper where he used to work. I spoke with Marie Mayatowski, a co-worker of Tom Thumb’s. At first she didn’t even know who I was talking about before realizing I was talking about W. Chris Dubois (Tom Thumb’s real name), the reporter who covered the Norinko Hanasaki disappearance. She shared with me Chris’s flashdrive files from the Hanasaki investigation. Together with the Bridget account, we have a clearer picture of what happened that day June 13, 2016.

Part 10 A Suzie Email: The Plumage Pvnks Universe
Suzie emails an explanation of the Plumage Pvnks, and although she and I disagreed once again, we get a look into the world that Norinko was creating with these bird characters. Suzie also includes three drawings by Norinko, each depicting Norinko herself, Bridget, and Suzie in Plumage Pvnk costumes. We also get an explanation for what “Buzzkill” means, as this word has come up in the poetry that Dubois shared in Part 9. Then, most briefly, Suzie recounts the events at her school when the detective in charge of the case, Detective Wu, and the “fat” reporter Dubois (not mentioned by name—my assumption) were visiting the school asking questions and then they suddenly stopped.

Part 11 More Files from Tom Thumb’s Flashdrive expected to go live by May 31st, 2017.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Journal of Norinko Hanasaki
Investigative & Research Cases

Part One

The Strange Legacy of Leland Stanford
A Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

An early depiction of the Santa Monica Tunnel


To date, we have followed the case of Norinko Hanasaki, fourteen year old middle-school student, whose disappearance from a moving bus passing through the Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel has gone virtually unnoticed by the media. I've been trying to unweave this puzzling mystery and my research has led me back to the place where Norinko disappeared--the Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel. What follows is a summary of the salient discoveries about the tunnel, its history, its builders, and the betrayals that have followed the construction of the tunnel since the 1800s. What is remarkable about this research is how it connects to Hanasaki. It is more than coincidence. The student's disappearance, in fact, seems to follow a pattern. But I've been working hard on this piece for over a month, so perhaps I am imagining these connections. I will leave any further correlations to you, dear readers, to judge for yourselves.

Research Findings on Leland Stanford 

You probably recognize the name of Stanford for the university he had built in honor of his deceased son, Leland Stanford, Jr., Leland Stanford Junior University (now known as Stanford University) at a cost of 40 million dollars. The industrialist acquired his wealth mainly from the Central Pacific Railroad (CPR). He was part of "The Big Four", investors who brought the railroad and all its business to California. After an unsuccessful bid for the California governorship, Leland moved his family from Sacramento to San Francisco (circa 1854). There he became president of the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company (OOSC), dealing with Japan and China in furtherance of The Central Pacific Railroad expansion. It was through the OOSC that Stanford hired laborers for the building of the railroad track.

In his second bid for the California governorship in 1861, Leland was elected to the top executive post of the state. In 1862, Stanford betrayed his Chinese and Japanese railroad workers by supporting and lobbying for "anti-Chinese" mandates in the Legislature, where Chinese immigration was blamed for the labor problems in the Gold Rush cities from Sacramento to San Francisco. Although the new governor was hailed as a leader of the "white" people of California, Stanford's political opponents revealed to the Press that it was Leland himself who brought the majority of "Asians" into the state via his dealings with the railroad and the OOSC.
This betrayal seems to have begun a series of bad omens for the CPR.

Note: The Chinese workers hired by Stanford were of the Han Province in China. The Japanese workers introduced "sake" (a fermented rice liquor) to the immigrant railroad laborers and Leland Stanford began to import the drink to sell to his own workers. “Sake” meant “criminal” to the German immigrants who worked alongside the Japanese on the railroad or did business with them in the small towns that sprung up along the railway route. Although the Japanese meaning is clearly “liquor”, the immigrant Germans thought the Japanese merchants were saying “sache” (legal), which, in turn, the Germans used to mean an illegal thing or person. In this case, the Japanese were selling liquor behind Stanford's back to the other railroad workers; the Germans considered this a betrayal of their boss.

Note: Is it a coincidence that "Han" and "sake" combined spell Norinko's last name: "Han(a)saki"?

The Big Four, powerful industrialists invested in the building the railway, hired Theodore Judah as the Chief Engineer, who constructed the route of the railroad, including bridges and tunnels. After falling out of favor with the industrialist investors, Judah sought out new investors so that he could finish the final stages of the railway line to the Pacific Coast. He died of Yellow Fever while on route to meet with the new investors in New York. It was Judah who built the tunnel where Norinko Hanasaki disappeared. It was the last project he oversaw.

Visit here for more background on the train tunnel before it was converted to a freeway tunnel. 

Visit here to view the earliest footage of the tunnel.

Theodore Judah was a known "Freemason" (as were Stanford and the other "Big Four"), who as an engineer and builder, had strong connections to Freemasonry and was a "Master Mason" who was taught to be loyal to one's employers or suffer certain death. The story of "Hiram Abiff" comes from their religion's beliefs. Hiram was the architect of King Solomon's Temple; he was murdered by three thieves who attempted to extract the secret passwords of a Master Mason. Hiram died keeping the secrets and maintaining his loyalty to the Freemasons. In contrast, Judah betrayed his employers by seeking new investors behind the backs of "The Associates", the name "The Big Four" used among themselves when addressing the railroad business.

Note: Theodore Judah was portrayed heroically on the TV show, Hell on Wheels. On the show, we see a parallel conflict with the Mormons with the curse of Hiram Abiff (a curse that portends the death of any Master Builder who betrays the interests of Freemasonry).

Furthermore, Stanford and Judah had the Chinese workers dig the tunnels using nitroglycerin. Many died in the tunnels but many more died because the Chinese were forced to camp by the work sites, whereas white workers were provided shelter away from the dangerous construction. These camps were buried in landslides caused by the unpredictability of nitro. Neither Leland or Theodore considered the loss of Asian lives above the progress of the tracks and tunnels.

Which brings us back to the Santa Monica Tunnel where Norinko Hanasaki disappeared. The school bus entered the tunnel with Norinko sitting at her seat. The moment the bus exited the dark tunnel, Norinko was no longer at her seat, according to her classmates and the bus driver.

If you know of any further news on Hanasaki's disappearance, please contact me at

I am in the process of organizing my notes and emails into a cohesive "series" so the reader can more easily follow the progress of my investigation. Thank you for your patience.


Part Two

Betrayals & Massacres
Surrounding the McClure Tunnel
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante

The McClure Tunnel

[Start of Email]

To Anthony Servante
From Tom Thumb [Pseudonym]
Re The article I wrote for the Herald Examiner in 1967 was turned down for publication because I was told that it opened old wounds and spoke ill of the owner's [William Randolph Hearst] close friends. I put this together after reading about the Norinko Hanasaki disappearance. You may be interested to know that the Santa Monica Tunnel, AKA The McClure Tunnel, has a history of dirty secrets beyond the Stanford connection you researched. Here are my notes from the article as the Herald never returned the original copy of my story, and in those days, we used carbon paper to make copies, and I was too cheap to buy some carbon sheets. Please do not share my email address with anyone. I've been feeling uneasy since I read your other research on the disappearance of the Hanasaki girl. I think we're both opening wounds. But the public needs to know.

Santa Monica McClure Tunnel: A California History of Ghosts and Greed
[Photos included by A. Servante for visual accuracy. Corrections are welcome].

Wasp Newspaper Editorial Cartoon 
Depicting the Tyrannical Expansion of the Southern Pacific Railroad

Originally constructed as a train tunnel by Southern Pacific Railroad (SPR), the structure promised the train passengers a surprising view of the Pacific Ocean as the train exited the western end of the tunnel. Five years before the building of the tunnel, the railroad company was buying and selling land along the route passing through Fresno County (as it was known then). The settlers of the Fresno land known as the Mussel Slough (MS) territory felt the railroad was trying to cheat them when the prices for land were raised arbitrarily by the SPR. Since the government had awarded the settlers with the MS land, they wished only to buy more land from the SPR to expand their ranches and farms, especially in light of the new train route expansion bringing more commercial potential for the landowners. Instead, the SPR began to purchase as much land as possible from the settlers who would sell to gain a stronghold on the property and force the settlers out. The railroad men turned to drastic measures to get what they wanted from the land owners. 

On May 11, 1880, four railroad men were serving notices of eviction to settlers who had lost their settlements due to some corrupt court actions, the settlers claimed. When word got out to the neighboring settlers that their friends were being thrown out of their homes, 20 Mussel Slough residents confronted the railroad men, a U.S. Marshall, a railroad land surveyor, and two "deputies". Upon seeing the mass of homesteaders heading their way, Deputy Walter J. Crow opened fire and wounded several of the men and killed five. As he fled the scene, one of the settlers shot Crow in the back, killing him. The other deputy was killed as well as gunfire exploded from both sides. The Marshall and the surveyor escaped harm by calming the angry homesteaders. But the damage was done. The event became known as the Mussel Slough Tragedy.

The Mussel Slough Five

"The Retribution Comet" — Editorial cartoon published in The Wasp, July 8, 1881, depicting a comet with a skull about to strike railroad tycoons Leland Stanford and Collis Potter Huntington, shown robbing the graves of the Mussel Slough victims.

The newspapers were split in their description of the tragedy. The Wasp, July 8, 1881, depicted a satiric editorial cartoon mocking the greed of the railroad tycoons [see above]. On the other hand, other newspapers, including noted writer Ambrose Bierce, depicted the settlers as squatters who attacked a U.S. Marshall and his deputies. Later, however, Bierce wrote a scalding satire against "The Big Four" railroad men in a poetry book titled "Black Beetles in Amber" and railed against political corruption in his book "Fantastic Fables". It was later learned that the deputies were never sworn in and that they were merely paid settlers who acted as bodyguards for the railroad surveyor. Five of the settlers involved in the gunfire were charged in federal court and imprisoned. With anti-railroad sentiment running high, the Mussel Slough Massacre victims were hailed as heroes. 

The SPR (circa 1898) build a tunnel that connected the Fresno County railway line to the Santa Monica connection by Long Wharf in an effort to rebuild confidence in the new railway route that connected King County [as Fresno was later named] and Los Angeles County. During construction, however, mysterious sounds were heard in the tunnel by the workers. Security guards reported hearing gunfire and shouting inside the tunnel at night. Sporadic screams echoed through the tunnel as workers laid track. Two weeks after the unnamed tunnel was completed, the SPR demolished the construction and rerouted the train route along the coastline through what today is known as Venice

Tunnel Dedication 1936

In 1936 The Olympic Tunnel was built as a motor vehicle freeway connecting to the Pacific coastline highway. The builders of the new tunnel also reported strange noises, including voices, and witnessing the weeping spirits of the victims of Walter J. Crow. As cars drove through the tunnel, the drivers complained to the Santa Monica city planner that the lights in the tunnel turned off as they entered the pathway toward the beach and that even their own car lights dimmed to a barely visible light. It was surprising that no accidents were reported as drivers were passing through the tunnel virtually blinded. Robert E. McClure, a respected newspaper man for the Santa Monica Outlook, wanted to honor the fallen settlers of Mussel Slough in the hopes that the weird occurrences in the tunnel would cease if the name of the tunnel was changed (The Olympic had connotations of being paid for by the railroad) and allowed his name to replace The Olympic in 1966. Today it is known as the McClure Tunnel. Despite the name change, the supernatural sightings continued. And to this day still continue.
[End of the Unpublished Article]

[Writer adds a footnote that ends abruptly]. 

Some of the strange events that were printed in the local newspapers between 1936 and 1966 include drivers bursting into tears upon entering the tunnel. One woman claimed that her dog started barking and suddenly stopped; when she emerged from the tunnel the dog was no longer in the car and was never found. Police searched the tunnel, but what they found were the bodies of four railroad workers who were identified by their clothes as laborers of the Long Wharf tunnel built and demolished over fifty years before. Their corpses looked weeks old, according to the coroner.

Since the bus driver in the Hanasaki girl disappearance has not been found, I believe that there is something in that tunnel connected to the curse of Walter J. Crow. Somehow people going through the tunnel are paying for the murders of the innocent settlers and are condemned to 
[End of Email].

This email arrived at my address ( on January 2nd, 2017. I tried to contact the writer by email two times and received no reply. If you have further information on the real name of Tom Thumb, or the editor of the Herald Examiner in 1967, please forward this information to me to update this article. I have been scouring the local newspapers in the beach areas of Santa Monica, Venice, and Long Beach for any further information on Norinko Hanasaki. Calls and emails to investigators have been largely ignored. The one call I did receive was from an anonymous woman supposedly from the California Highway Patrol who wanted to let me know that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office in Downtown Los Angeles were handling the case now. I dispatched an email to the LA Sheriff's Office yesterday [January 5, 2017] and will update my readers as soon as I have any new information. 

Update: I heard from the office last month and plan to go live with the information as soon as I organize it and correlate it to other research and sources I've developed since the Tom Thumb email. Please be patient. To date, I am merely re-editing and re-posting the articles that I had published earlier this year to reflect the latest information that my research has ascertained. 

Thank you again for your patience, readers,

Anthony Servante


Part Three

Contact with Witnesses
Disappearance in the Tunnel
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel

View from Pacific Coast Highway

School bus returning from drop-offs

This is Part Three to the Norinko Hanasaki investigation initiated by the Servante of Darkness Blog earlier this year. Hanasaki, a fourteen year old (now fifteen), disappeared from the school bus while it drove through the infamous McClure Tunnel last June 2016. I have received emails regarding this subject, but they have proven to be jokes or attempts at fiction. 

I received this email last week. It took me about that time to confirm it was not a prank. After speaking with the students' parents, I decided to post it today. Deletions are at the parents' request. Norinko Hanasaki was the name provided by the local newspaper when this story first broke. There have been several deaths and accidents that have occurred in the McClure Tunnel (aka, the Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel) over the years, in addition to disappearances and missing people, but local news media has shifted its focus to current events (sadly) away from the Hanasaki investigation. 

Emails with more information are most welcome and will be published here upon a cursory investigation into their authenticity. Thank you. 

Follow these links to view the history of violence in the tunnel.  With apologies to the friends and family of any of the victims. 


[Start of email]

Dear Mr. Servante,

My name is Bridget (last name deleted by me). I go to the (school name deleted by me) Catholic Middle School in (my deletion). I read ur articles on Norinko Hanasaki and the Santa Monica Tunnel and I wanted to see if u have any more news about Norinko. It’s almost ten months and we don’t know anything about what’s going on. The teachers don’t talk about it. The parents don’t talk. Nobody talks. Even the students stopped asking about it. But my friend Suzie (not her real name) and me, we still want to know what happened. Can u tell us if u heard anymore information? If we can help u, let me know.

[End of email]

Note: I contacted Bridget (not her real name) and asked if I could post her email on the blog. She said yes, and I edited the email because she is in middle school and under 18 years of age, as I was reminded by her parents and the parents of "Suzie". I asked Bridget questions about her friendship with Norinko, what she remembers about the day Norinko disappeared, and any information about the police investigation at the school. She said that she would send me this information as soon as she could. I await her reply and will post it (after edits) once I confirm the information. More to come.


Part Four

The Folklore of Missing Children
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

From "The Stolen Child"
By William Butler Yeats.

The disappearance of children throughout history around the world has been depicted in folklore as magically manipulated events. Whether parents use these tales of lost children to scare their own sons and daughters to stay close to home or to manufacture accounts to explain the mysterious disappearance of a child in the community, the folk stories have come to capture both a child's and a parent's basic fear: Leaving familiar surroundings and entering unfamiliar places. For the parent who wakes to find their child missing, it's a fear of loss and helplessness, a lack of control over the child; for the youngster, it's a fear of waking in a strange land with no means to return home, no mother and father to care for them. In either case, there are forces at work that religious folk can only explain with supernatural culpability. It wasn't a kidnapper who took my child; it was fairy or troll. 

Let’s consider a few folklore legends as examples. We’ll begin with Yeats. 

In Irish tradition, the Changeling is blamed for missing children and problem kids as well. The typical version has the Twileth Teg replace an infant in the crib with a fairy in baby form. When the child cries day and night and eats incessantly, the husband suspects the creature in the crib behaves like a fairy; however, the wife still believes the child to be her own and continues to feed it. When the pantry begins to dwindle to nothing, the wife seeks counsel from the wise old woman of the village, who teaches her to trick the fairy into revealing itself. The deception works and the infant speaks like a grisly old man. The wife tosses the child into the fireplace, and the changeling turns to smoke and flies out the chimney. The real child returns to the crib. Though, during the years, the story has changed with the child never being returned, even after the changeling is discovered and expelled.

The infant transforms into the Changling

The two ways we can discern the evolution of the tale is that originally parents who provide discipline to a troublesome child will be rewarded with a obedient youngster. This disciplinary method would reward parents who follow the rule of "spare the rod, spoil the child". It wasn't so much a changeling in the crib, but a spoiled child who needed "tough love". In this sense, the "devil" was beaten out of the child, leaving only his "good" side. The second way concerns events that were closer to fact. When parents lost a child to kidnappers, to plague, or to the labyrinths of the forest, in most cases the youngster was murdered, died, or was never heard from again. The evolution of the tale stretched from religious hope to the cruel reality of the era.

In a variation of the Irish Changeling, fairies do not switch babies for one of their own; instead, they wait at the edge of a forest for passing or wandering children and tempt them to accompany them into the woods. It is unclear what the fairies want with the youngsters, but there are a few possibilities. For one, they may seek to adopt the kids and raise them as their own. On the other hand, they may seek to wreak worry on irresponsible parents. In extreme cases, the children may be eaten. It was easy to blame "the forest" and its inhabitants on the disappearance of the youngsters since many people did not venture into the woods  for fear of getting lost or falling prey to predatory creatures that found smaller visitors, such as kids, easy to kill. Rather than admit that they were not taking care of their children, negligent mothers and fathers were quick to blame "fairies", bears, or child abductors.

Merrow take the children to sea.

“'In 'The Vanishing People', author and fairy expert Katharine Briggs said God cast these angels from heaven. Those that landed on Earth became woodland fairies; those that landed in the water became mermaids and other sea creatures. These fairies remained trapped between heaven and Earth until Judgment Day.” The existence of the fairy creatures represented the notion of a religious Purgatory, a waiting room between Heaven and Hell. It was the job of the fairies and Merrows to select their victims for Hades, or allow the victims to escape or to return the children to their parents for their form of heaven.

Note: We often think of supernatural creatures like demons ("The Exorcist", for one, namely Pazuzu) to come from Hell. The priest acts an a conduit between the powers of God and the magnetic pull of Satan's power. In this sense, the "Church" is Purgatory; neither heaven or hell. But just as the fairy's role is like a pagan guide between heaven and hell, according to Briggs, so, too, is the role of the religion a pagan choice between good and evil. And not just demons. Consider the vampire as a metaphor for eternal Purgatory, where one is neither in heaven or hell.

Typical headline for its time.

In England, the child abductors were the "gypsies". “Generations of British parents have warned their kids about Gypsy bogeymen lurking in the shadows, waiting to snatch incautious children. The idea even crept into lullabies:”

‘Hush nae, hush nae, dinna fret ye
The black Tinkler (Gypsy) winna get ye.’

Still, gypsies were convenient villains to blame by mothers and fathers with poor parenting skills. As fairies became less believable in the new age, the dark bohemians made for good suspects as kidnappers, child molesters, and ransomers. One only has to think of Laurel & Hardy's film, "Bohemian Girl", where gypsies kidnap the daughter of the king. The two old bachelors raise the girl until one day she comes to the castle where she grew up to find her true father. From the king's point of view, however, the story is not so Romantic. He lost his child, who disappeared from the castle grounds and was thought dead. The happy ending is just a band-aid for the loss of his daughter; he missed her childhood years. She returns to him as a young lady. What thoughts crossed the king's mind all those years?! Gypsy kidnappers? Fairies? Someone or something must be blamed.

Yama-Uba taking a baby.

In Japanese folklore, the Yama-Uba tells the story of the "Mountain Nurse." "Legend says she catches little children and nurses them for awhile, and then devours them. The Yama-Uba did not clutch at us, because her hands were occupied with a nice little boy, whom she was just going to eat. The child had been made wonderfully pretty to heighten the effect. The spectre, hovering in the air above a tomb at some distance ... had no eyes; its long hair hung loose; its white robe floated light as smoke. I thought of a statement in a composition by one of my pupils about ghosts: "'Their greatest peculiarity is that they have no feet.'" Then I jumped again, for the thing, quite soundlessly, but very swiftly, made through the air at me."
Source: Steve Berman's short story, “A Troll on a Mountain with a Girl”.

The Yama-Uba represents the cruel side of life for the family. As we saw with the Changeling, the fairy represented a problem child or unmasked the shortcomings of bad parents. Here the Japanese spinster is the abomination of motherhood. She nurses the young that she abducts and fattens them for consumption in three days. This interpretation, however, comes from the Western influence of witches in the forest who consume children. Traditionally, the Yama-Uba is a mountain witch who the Japanese believe brings wealth to the homes she haunts. She is protective of the places she inhabits. In Berman's description (Westernized version), the witch's ghostly features are exaggerated (no eyes, no feet); in Japanese Noh Drama, "Yamauba is the fairy of the mountains, which have been under her care since the world began. She decks them with snow in winter, with blossoms in spring ... She has grown very old. Wild white hair hangs down her shoulders; her face is very thin" (Yamauba, Dame of the Mountain, Konparu Zenchiku). She exemplifies the Winter, its harsh climate, but also its beauty of Nature. The Westerners turned her into a figure with which to scare children from disobeying their parents. 

In German folklore, the Pied Piper of Hamlin tale is perhaps its most well known. It not only contains the elements of a traditional folk story, but also the remnants of historical events throughout the generations of its telling. The story most familiar to Western readers concerns the town of Hamlin that is overrun by rats. The Mayor and the townsfolk agree to hire the "Pied Piper" to rid the streets of the vermin for a fee. The Piper lures the rats from the town with the alluring music from his pipe. Hamlin is free of the beady-eyed creatures. But then the Mayor reneges on his promise to pay the piper. The musical exterminator thus uses the charms of his pipe to lure the children out of the town while the citizens are in church. Three children, deaf, blind, and disabled, cannot keep up with the rest of the children following the Pied Piper out of town and tell the church-goers about the piper's misdeed. The children are never found and never heard from again. A later version has the children being returned once his payment is received. The former telling coincides with the Westernized version used to warn kids away from strangers. But there are other versions that researchers say may be closer to the truth behind the fantastic event.

Pied Piper by Jiri Barta

"William Manchester's 'A World Lit Only by Fire' places the events in 1484, 100 years after the written mention in the town chronicles that 'It is 100 years since our children left', and further proposes that the Pied Piper was a psychopathic pedophile" (1992 Printing). The American historian surmises that that a child molester murderer was killing children and that over time the number of kids killed was embellished as modern influences added to the story. One such influence was the outbreak of plague that killed mostly children. In this case, the Pied Piper plays the role of the "angel of death", the guide in Purgatory who decides who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell. "In her essay 'Pied Piper Revisited', Sheila Harty states that surnames from the region settled are similar to those from Hamlin and that selling off illegitimate children, orphans or other children the town could not support is the more likely explanation: (Wiki). Both Manchester and Harty fail to account for the sheer number of children who disappear in the story. If the Piper tale were a condensed version of decades of history, perhaps the historical views would bear a ring of truth, but our folktale here is presented over a few days and the disappearance of 134 youngsters would not stand up to closer scrutiny. It is more likely that our Pied Piper simply evolved into another bogeyman to scare the kids into being obedient little children.

Alaskan folklore has the "Qalupalik, a creature of Inuit legend described as being human-like and having green skin with long hair and very long fingernails. She lives in the sea, hums to entice children to come closer to the water and wears an amautik; she takes the children and raises them as her own under the sea" (Wiki). In Irish folklore, the Merrow lurked along the coastline to lure youngsters into the sea to raise as their own; fairies of the woods waited on the edge of the forest to trick the kids into following them into the deep darkness of the trees. This creature follows the tradition of Westernized thinking: Obedient children do not disappear into the unknown (whether forest, ocean, mountain, or big city). It is not difficult to imagine parents warning children not to play by the seaside for fear the Qalupalik would take them into the water.

The Qalupalik

In Carribean folklore, the Douen are creatures with large blue circles around their eyes, razor sharp talons for feet, that are backwards, and hands with sharp nails, and needle-like fangs; they appear and re-appear in different locations like a will-o-the-wisp that flickers in one spot, goes off, and lights up in another. They are believed to be the spirits of children who were victims of previous Douen. They lure children from their homes with a siren-like call that is both song and laughter; the kids venture into the forest or jungle, abandoning their real families. "Douen are masters of deception and can steal away 'even the most protected child.' They are particularly good at misleading search parties and their victims are never found" (Wiki).

Douen enchanting a child from home.

Douen spirits (note the backward feet).

Note the commonalities of the Douen, Qalupalik (and to some extent, the Pied Piper), and woodland fairy, who live in areas usually forbidden to children ("don't go too deep in the ocean water", "don't wander too far into the forest", and "don't go into the jungle"). While some folktales revolve around the activities of the folk creature, others depend on the habitat of the mythical beast or sprite. Some creatures steal the kids outright, but the enchanters lure the young victims to their lair for various reasons (to raise them as their own, to kill them, or to eat them). For the parents, this allows them to use the legend to scare the child not only to be obedient (or the monster will take you) or not to wander too far from home (or the monster will take you away forever). Although some folktales tell of the child being returned, the Westernization versions always have the children becoming victims or captives or food.

In Mexico, La Llorona (aka The Weeping Woman or literally, The Weeper) also steals children who wander too far from home. She is a spirit caught between Heaven and Hell, doomed to wander the Purgatory of Earth for her crime of prolicide, the killing of one's own children; she drowns her kids to punish her unfaithful husband, then wanders the streets at night weeping and searching for her children. As the tale goes, Maria, a beautiful woman of pride and self-confidence, marries a handsome man; they have three children. Her husband turns out to be a womanizer and a drunk, a side that materializes as Maria takes on the role of mother and housewife. When she discovers that her husband is cheating on her with a younger woman, her proud and confident spirit is broken. She falls into a deep depression and devises a means of vengeance. The only weakness she can find to attack her unfaithful spouse is his love for the children. Maria takes the three kids to the river and drowns them. When she realizes what evil jealousy has driven her to, she drowns herself as well. She is neither welcome in Heaven or Hell and wanders the Earth seeking her children, who, in her madness, yet live. Whenever she comes upon any youngsters playing on their own far from home, she mistakes them for her own children and steals them away to the nearby hills. Only after she realizes that these are not her children does she leave them to starvation or for the coyotes to feed on and returns to her search for her own kids.

La Llorona (as envisioned for Halloween Nights)

All the elements of our Westernization of the modern telling of folktales are evident here: La Llorona will take you if you stay out late at night or wander too far from home. Even your humble author here grew up with this warning night after night and spent many a late night looking over his shoulder. The new element that I wasn't aware of till my research on The Weeper was this rejection by Heaven AND Hell, and her exile to wander Earth. Perhaps her stealing and killing of children was beneficial to the Devil, so they refused her entrance, but why would Heaven refuse her without any means of redemption? In the version I grew up with, La Llorona didn't kill herself; she went mad when she saw her drowned kids flowing down the river. She tried to follow them, but the current was too fast, and she soon lost sight of their little bodies. From then on, she wanders up and down the river and searches towns by rivers, looking for her children. Even for the pathetic concrete riverbed that the Los Angeles River makes, it was still the stuff for parents to use to scare their kids to stay close to home.

In Scandinavia, the Trolls were much like Changelings but also used enchantment to lure children into the mountains to hold captive for years or for food (as evidenced in the pre-Westernization of the troll tales). As such, these folktale creatures parallel the creatures we've described earlier. But there is a darker side to these tales I want to cover. The Scandinavian folktales are perhaps the most cruel in their history. Children were sacrificed to thwart off famine, plague, and bad luck. The Scandinavians also believed in Trolls (Changelings). If they believed that a such a creature had been exchanged for their baby, they had no problem with killing the Changeling by putting it in the oven and burning it to death for the return of their child. Often, though, it was their child that they were killing simply because the child would not stop crying or because the child was very sick, but these were the signs, they believed, of Troll behavior. They also practiced the torture of the Changeling until their child was returned to them. In extreme cases, the child was buried alive in order to prolong its death, giving the Trolls more than enough time to bring back the real baby.

Troll Changeling

But these are the extremes of the oldest form of the tales, when fact and fiction were seamless. To the modern world, especially the Western world, we see a primitive community killing its own children. In reality, however, for its time and place, these parents were wisely dealing with trickster trolls who had stolen their child and left behind a Changeling disguised as a baby. Still, it is difficult not to feel some aversion to the entire practice of child sacrifice, no matter the age or time.

Lastly, we look at the folklore of the Chinese. When we discuss the disappearance of children, one must be aware of the likely place the child will be taken to, and not just the child, but all humans, both dead and alive. This place is called Diyu. It would be naive to call it Hell, for it is more than that; it is more a waiting room, a Purgatory between life and death, death and reincarnation, not Heaven and Hell. Let's look at the three main reasons for Diyu. One, it serves as a place to decide the length of time a person will serve there before being reincarnated; the length of time is important because that is the amount of time it will require to wash away the sins of this person. Two, it serves as a place of torture; the degree of torture will depend of the nature of the sinner (was he a murderer, a thief, etc). Three, it serves as a place for the two types of person who do not fit One or Two: For instance, there is a place for "innocents" called Huhuva, where sinless spirits still must wait for reincarnation, but live in relative comfort during their stay; and there is a place called Avici, where the sins of the person are so great that he can never leave and will be subject to torture forever.

Diyu: the level of torture by fire.

Diyu: the level of torture by dismemberment.

Diyu has eighteen levels of torture. Each level unique to the length and degree of the punishment to be inflicted in the name of cleansing for a proper return to Earth via reincarnation. Each level is called a Naraka, which consists of Ice or Fire (except in the case of Avici, which utilizes all forms of torture for eternity, and Huhuva, where the Innocents await return to Earth).

Note: There are two types of person in Huhuva: One, the Innocent who died sinless; he will be held till there is an opening (the birth of a newborn baby) who fits his profile; and two, the Innocent who yet lives (on an operating table, buried alive, etc) and must await return to Earth either in their own body once it is repaired on Earth or reincarnated in a new body to begin life anew. This last position is tricky because if the person goes into a coma on Earth, he is basically trapped in Diyu, snacking on grape leaves and hummus till he awakes; he cannot be sent back as a baby because he is not dead. Should he wake from the coma, he is returned to his body with a healing spirit that will help his injured body heal all the more quickly. However, the memory of Diyu remains until the body is completely healed and returns to normal. Keep in mind, even in Huhuva, the Innocents can still see the other levels of torture. In a strange way, I guess, it's their reality TV.

One of the Narakas

Each Naraka is overseen by one of the Ten Yama Kings of the Ten Courts, each court responsible for the length and degree of torture. These kings supervise the Demons of Diyu. Each demon has a specialty of torture. Note in the drawings of Diyu above the demons appear as blue figures, some with spears, others with instruments of their craft in hand. When "wandering spirits" enter Diyu, they are not placed in any one Naraka and allowed to roam between Narakas for eternity. They are even allowed in Avici and Huhuva. A wandering spirit is one who did not receive a proper burial (a Chinese fear that we have discussed in the previous parts of the Norinko Research cases). With a proper burial, the spirits qualify for reincarnation and a room with a view in Huhuva.

For our purposes here in this article, I'd like to end with the folklore of missing children connection. For the Chinese, there is no bogeyman, there is no threat by strange creatures who will steal you away; they believe that missing children are in Diyu, looked after for their innocence. It is a rare child who is sinful. Even curiosity is not a sin. Should one of the Yama Kings appear to collect a spirit for the Narakas, sometimes the doorway to Diyu opens for a second. And sometimes a child may wander in to see what all the fire and ice is about, to find the source of the cries and screams. Then it is the Yama King's duty to place the child in Huhuva and perhaps to scold the child politely as a Shaolin Priest would scold a student. Only in the Chinese Diyu can such extremes exist together: Heaven and Hell, redemption and torture.

In each of the countries we have visited, we have found their folklore of missing children both familiar and strange. There were many commonalities among them, especially the plight of parenting and the mischief of children (and its consequences). We found that each country has developed sinister creatures and monsters to stand as representatives for the fears of both parent and child, but also the common fear of the community when dealing with threats such as plague or hardships such as crop failure and drought. Except for the Chinese folklore, I found very little hope in the tales. In olden times, the folktales told of the return of the child, but as Westernization influenced the stories and perhaps the Puritanical elements crept into the folklore, the children in the tales were doomed never to return, condemned to be eaten for wandering too far from home or being disobedient to their mothers and fathers. So I end the article with a little hope that lost children may find their way to Huhuva and avoid the trolls, the douen, the fairies, and La Llorona. 

Part Five

An Email from Suzie
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Suzie Email 4-25-17
Thank you for writing about my friend Norinko. I think you should write more about her and not about fairy stories. I think you're being unrespectful. You need to talk to the policeman that came to our school last summer. Here's his name and phone number [deleted]. He gave a card to all the students and teachers he talked to. I hope you'll keep writing about Norinko. But more about her. Not about fairies.
Suzie [last name deleted].

My response: 4-25-17
Hey, Suzie,
I'd like to apologize for being disrespectful to your friend. It wasn't my intention. But I have to write about everything about the case, not just what the police are doing. Police information is not so easy to get so I write about subjects that will keep the name of Norinko Hanasaki of interest to my readers. As you can see, I have written three articles about Norinko and a lot of people are reading them. And your schoolmate Bridget also appeared on my blog and offered to help. But I do promise I will call the number you sent me. And I promise I'll write about it. But you can help me too. Can you tell me about Norinko? It would also help if you reminded Bridget to send me that information I asked her for. Again I apologize for seeming insensitive, but that's far from the truth. I do care. That's why I'll keep writing until we learn more about what happened. Please extend my apologies to Norinko's family as well.
Anthony Servante

Part Six

Bridget's Email: 4-25-17 
The Bus Ride Through the Tunnel
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

The McClure Tunnel Closed Once Again


I held up this email for obvious reasons. I mean, I just came from seeing "Phoenix Forgotten", which is basically "Blair Witch" with UFOs. Surprised to see it was produced by Ridley Scott, whose latest version of Alien meets Prometheus looked pretty generic in the new trailer (especially after that awesome extended "trailer" with actors Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace--can adults still say 'awesome'; it was our word first). 

I decided to blog this email as is, unedited (except for the name of the sender whose name has been changed because of her age). All I can say is I confirmed it is from the Catholic school in question, but the subject matter is anything if not interesting. Just for comparison, we've got articles on the Tongs of the Wild West, the true story of the corpse that wouldn't lie still, and other strange subjects that relate to the focus of our attention--the McClure Tunnel and all its mysteries since the mid-1800s. Even today there are still new odd phenomena and tragic accidents occurring inside the tunnel. Closures have become commonplace.

Still, there's always the more topical side that relates to a blog called the Servante of Darkness. So here is Bridget's email, I hope the first of many.

The Email:

Dear Mr. Servante,
I’m sorry for Suzie. She was kind of mad about ur folklore blog. She’s more religious than me. For the last ten months since Norie went missing, our parents have been meeting a lot and going to Temple. Suzie goes with them a lot. She prays and lights candles and incense for Bodhisattva at the Prajnaparamita. There are so many things, I don’t know what to tell u. I guess I should tell u first about the bus ride that day.

Suzie always sits by the window with Norie. I sit behind them. I like to look over Norie’s shoulder to see what she’s drawing in her notebook. She has a Tokidoki notebook. She loves that stuff, but Suzie can tell you about that. Norie likes to write poems too, some with the drawings, some just for the poems. It was Monday, June 13 last year. She was drawing a bird with a girl’s face or like a girl wearing a bird costume. I couldn’t tell.

The bus driver already let off most the students at their stops so there were only around six or seven of us still on the bus when it got on the freeway. It’s the same route all the time. First the kids on the north side of the tunnel then the kids on the south side of the tunnel. It’s the Catholic school rules that we ride the bus. We could catch the regular Big Blue bus home or the south side kids most of them can walk home but we have to ride the school bus.

And I don’t get why we have to go to Catholic school if our parents are Buddha heads. It’s like kind of the school’s fault, I think. The Nuns don’t even seem to care. I tell them our parents are Buddhas and they say, “Buddhists”. Like it matters. Buddha heads. Christian heads.

But it was that bird, the one Norie called “Buzzkill” and then she wrote two poems about Buzzkill right there on the bus. I guess it was a buzzard. Like a vulture, I guess. Norie turned around at looked at me. I was leaning against the back of her seat looking over her shoulder. “Don’t be a Buzzkill,” she told me.

Someone must have opened a window cuz Norie’s notebook closed shut like a slap. That’s when the bus went in the tunnel. The lights in the tunnel are always on. Always. This time they weren’t. No lights in the bus either. No lights from our cellphones. The bus driver turned on the speaker. I thought she was making an announcement, but she started crying. And some of the girls started screaming.

I was holding on to the back of Norie’s seat. Suzie was hiding her face in her palms. She was saying Bodhisattva over and over. Someone was laughing. I remember that. But it was too dark to see who it was. My eyes were already used to the dark, like at the movies, but I couldn’t see through the middle of the darkness.

Someone was saying “Stop the bus.” It was me. “Don’t be a Buzzkill.” It wasn’t Norie. I thought we were going to crash. Then we left the tunnel. The sunlight lit up the inside of the bus. We were all turning our heads looking at each other. Wondering who was laughing, who was screaming, who was crying. I saw Suzie look up. “Where’s Norie?” she asked me. No Norie in her seat. But her notebook was there.

That wind blew again and it blew the cover open. I saw the two Buzzkill poems. I reached over to pick up the notebook, but Suzie yelled at me not to. She scared me. She left her seat and walked down the aisle looking at every seat on both sides to the back of the bus, then she walked to the front of the bus and did the same thing. When she got to the front, she looked back at me and shook her head.

I saw her talk to the bus driver. Then she came back and sat next to me. She told me that the bus driver said ‘ang-hell’. She said that Miriam, our driver, pointed to the speaker system to show Suzie it was turned off. “Ang-hell” she kept saying. Suzie said that 'ang-hell' means 'angel' in Spanish. Then she told me that the driver is going to stop at the next gas station.

I’m going to stop here. Can you tell me if you’re going to put this on your blog, please? Thank you. If you use it, next time I’ll tell you what happened at the gas station.

Your friend, Bridget
April 25, 2017


Part Seven

An Email from Suzie
The Tokidoki Connection
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

The Journal of Norinko Hanasaki
Featuring SANDy, Bastardino and Friends


As promised, our correspondent and contact, Suzie, friend of Norinko, has provided some information about the journal of her classmate. The company that made the notebook is called Tokidoki; it makes figurines, clothing, and school backpacks with characters from the Cactus Friends & Pets series. Earlier this year, I visited the "PUFF MONKEY", a store that carries the product in addition to "Hello Kitty", Marvel and DC characters, and the new Ju Ju line, to learn more about the characters. What I learned I've added to Suzie's email as photos of the various Tokidoki products.

Ciao Ciao & Adios (note no Cactus outfits, 
as they are always after the Cactus Friends)

However, it would be remiss of me to ignore the darker side of these figures. For instance, one character is Death, called "Adios" and another is Death's girlfriend, "Ciao Ciao". But I get ahead of myself. The Cactus Friends & Pets are children and their pets who wear cactus suits to protect themselves from the evils of the world and prevent Death from touching them. The characters are in constant bliss and joy in their perfect world. But the artist behind the Tokidoki figures, Simone Legno, an Italian artist, always blends a creepy side to the blissful surroundings. The logo for the line is itself a contradiction of opposites: A "heart and crossbones", a mix of a Valentine's symbol and a pirate's symbol. It is this contradiction that seemed to appeal to Norinko, and I must say, even to your host as well. I have become the avid collector of Tokidoki characters in plush dolls and ceramic figurines. It is not an inexpensive hobby. But enough about me. Let's get to the email. 

(Anthony Servante). 

The Heart & Crossbones (Life and Death together)

The Email:

From Suzie (2-8-17: reedited to include my photos).

Dear Mr. Servante,
I wanted to send you this email about Norie's love for her Tokidoki Friends. But first I wanted to share this poem that she wrote the last time we were shopping for Cactus Pets, the day she disappeared.

What will follow
Come tomorrow
Are the ashes
Of yesterday's lashes.

Norinko wrote this poem when we went shopping for Cactus Friends. She loved to buy Blind Boxes. Those are boxes that are completely sealed so you can't see what figurine you're getting till you open it. Inside the box is an aluminum packet, and inside the packet is your figurine. They cost around $15.00. And there are dozens and dozens of characters. While all the girls at the school were buying clothes or shoes, Norie was buying Cactus Friends and other Tokidoki stuff. She always paid with a prepaid card. Her allowance card. Her parents put in money in the card for her every week, usually on Monday. So, Monday, after school, we'd go straight to the shop at Santa Monica Place for more stuff. But we had to hurry so we wouldn't miss the bus.

A Tokidoki Blind Box

Cactus Pet "Notte" 
(Naughty? Notte, Italian for "Night"?)

The last time I saw her, I asked her if she wrote anymore poems. Strange but she said she didn't write poems. Other people did. She only copied what they said. Then she looked around as if she were looking for someone. I remember she shrugged and said no one was around to copy from. She bought a Bastardino figure that day. He's a little dog wearing a cactus suit that protects him from evil and death.

Bastardino Takes a Bite Out of Death

She said she liked that Bastardino wasn't afraid of Death with a capital "D". He chewed on Death's bones. Then she giggled and said, "I can't write that." The other girls in the shop giggled and pointed at Norie who was clutching Bastardino and staring at the door. The bell above the door sounded but no one came in or left. I pulled Nories sleeve and told her we can't miss the bus.

Norie disappeared June 13th, 2016, a Monday. We had just finished shopping for the Bastardino figurine. She didn't know she was going to buy that. That was just what came out of the Blind Box. She thought it was a sign of good luck and put the box in her backpack. But in my religion, they teach us that "luck" is not good or bad. It is both at the same time. You pray to avoid luck, because you take the good and the bad together when you're lucky. I said a prayer for Norie when we got on the bus. I didn't know that that would be the last time I would see her.

The Cactus Friends Notebook (front)

The Cactus Friends Notebook (inside)

I think I should tell you about Norinko's notebook. She came to school that day with a new copy of a Tokidoki Notebook. It came in the mail, she said. It was for her poetry and drawings of her version of the Cactus Friends. She called her characters the Plumage Pvnks. Yes, Pvnks with a "v", not a "u". They were kids and adults too that wore bird outfits that let them fly from danger. The Cactus Friends are kids and pets who fear the cold and scary world. They believe Evil with a capital "E" is everywhere and looking for innocent children and puppies and kittens. Death with a captial "D" looks for everyone young and old, guilty or innocent. Once Death touches you, it's adios and ciao.

To protect themselves, SANDy, the leader, wears a suit of cactus. Its sharp needles keep Death and Evil away. All SANDy's friends and her and her friends' pets also wear cactus suits. SANDy represents water and life, strong and weak. She knows that without the cactus suit, she will be killed, but as long as she wears it, she can protect the water that gives life to kids and plants. The Plumage Pvnks are kind of the same thing, but they can fly away from Evil and Death with a capital "E" and a capital "D".

Next time I'll send you some drawings that Norie gave me of the Pvnks. So stay in touch with me. Me and Bridget are the only ones who are talking about this.

The other kids on the bus that day don't want to talk about it, but if they change their minds I will tell them to email you. I told them about your blog. I know they look at it. They just won't talk about it.

Next month is one year since Norie disappeared. Her parents and mine and Bridget's are getting together at our Temple in Santa Monica. I know in my heart that Norie will come back to us by then, I pray for it everyday, but with luck, you accept the good with the bad, the hope with the despair, so I want to invite you to the Temple, June 11, 2017. Send me your home address and I'll send you a paper invitation that you'll need to get in. Thank you again for keeping the memory of Norie alive.

Please please stay in touch.
Your friend, Suzie


Part Eight

Mystery of the Tunnel Solved?
 Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

A Common Problem for the City
Homeless in the Tunnels


The mystery of the tunnel may have been solved. Perhaps the disappearance of Norinko Hanasaki has something to do with the recent discovery of a hidden entrance in the Santa Monica Freeway tunnel itself. But there were no answers or solutions found in this forgotten cavern. If anything, it served as a reminder of the surprises this tunnel continues to serve up. A small Shanty Town of a few dozen homeless people were found living in the entrance. They have since been removed and tossed back into the streets of Santa Monica, Venice, and neighboring Los Angeles, as quickly forgotten as they were found.

However, there were a few questions raised that may in fact deepen the mystery rather than solve it. Consider this a slight detour from the mystery of the tunnel for a moment to consider the plight of the homeless. Although this story may seem unrelated, there are those questions that remain.

Last week, a small shanty town was found behind the walls that had once been a doorway to a control room for the train rails in the McClure Tunnel. When the tracks were converted to asphalt for the freeway in 1936, the room was sealed up and the tunnel built around it. Often, these gaps in the walls are used by graffiti artists to ply their craft, much to the chagrin of city police departments who must arrest these youth for trespassing.

Before the Freeway


On the last closure to the McClure Tunnel (also known as the Santa Monica Freeway Tunnel), Caltrans workers, who were repairing the wall damaged in a fatal vehicle collision earlier this year, found an entrance to a homeless shanty town behind a false wall. Over a dozen transients, consisting of families, veterans, addicts, and mentally ill men and women who were apparently off their medication, according to unidentified authorities, were living in makeshift homes built of cardboard boxes, shopping carts, and plastic tarp.

When People Choose the Tunnels...

The Community Faith Alliance (CFA) activists from neighboring churches and temples said that they had often provided groceries and medical assistance and knew of their hiding place. There are many places throughout the city, they said. They did not disclose the presence of the "trolls", as they are often referred at city council town meetings, because the common civic practice is to remove the transients rather than help them. So, in good conscience, the CFA do not report these shanty towns; instead, they help them as much as possible before police discover their presence.

A Shanty Town in the Shadow of Downtown LA

In this case, it was a motorist who saw the transients emerging from the opening in the wall and walking in the traffic to reach the Pacific Coast Freeway, where there are stores and shops where they can panhandle for money to buy food for the evening. This Good Samaritan reported the jaywalkers to local Sheriff's deputies for the good of the community, one city council member was reported saying. After all, they could have caused an accident in an already troubled tunnel passage or they could have been victims of a hit and run themselves. The tunnel is part of the Interstate 10, which has a speed limit of 70 miles per hour. The vehicle would hardly have time to stop if it struck someone jaywalking to reach the south end of the freeway, where there's a sidewalk; the north end is all hillsides and freeway metal barriers. This exit from the tunnel is also a concern during rainy weather when mudslides threaten to cover entire automobiles.

The CFA, however, disputes the goals of the city; the activists say the council members are more concerned with the destruction of city property than with the welfare of the transients. In the past, these homeless men and women have been driven by local law enforcement back and forth between Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, each department tossing their homeless problems to their sister cities. Such practices are believed to have stopped, but these transients must end up somewhere.

A Few Questions:

How does the discovery of the shanty town bode for the Norinko Hanasaki case?
Has anyone questioned the transients about seeing the 14 year old girl since last June 2016?

A Consideration:

Next month will be the one-year mark of Norinko's disappearance, and I have been invited to attend a prayer service at the temple where the Hanasaki family are members. I have researched a bit regarding this homeless issue and found that the temple is a member of the CFA. They just may be the people to speak with. The temple priest has agreed to meet with me the day after the service to discuss my questions. I promised to share my blog cases with him as well.

This meeting is set for June 12th, 2017. The service is set for Sunday, June 11th. Norinko Hanasaki disappeared June 13th, 2016. Let's not forget that amid all these cases that I've been posting. I had planned to post more notes on the Norinko case when I found out about this homeless shanty. Therefore, Part Nine will now focus on the Santa Monica Newspaper notes left behind by its former reporter working on the case (see Part Two for more information).

I have been accused of being all over the place with this case investigation, but I post them as they happen or as the relevant information presents itself. No excuses. I'd like to say I will now remain focused on the main case, but that damn tunnel keeps on churning out new oddities for me to cover. All I can promise to my readers is that I will not lose sight of the main goal: To find out what happened to Norinko Hanasaki. Everything else is just peripheral phenomenon. And it all will be covered here.

Thank you for your patience,
Anthony Servante


Part Nine

The Files of Tom Thumb
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

Before the SM Local Newspaper


On May 8th, 2017, I contacted the Santa Monica Local Newspaper regarding “Tom Thumb” (alias given to the Servante of Darkness Blog), who had written the article on “Mussel Slough”, which comprised Part Two of the Hanasaki cases. I spoke with a friend of his at the newspaper who asked not to be identified. She told me that he had quit. I asked if she knew where he may have found a new job. She said he was “no call, no show”. I told her that I was working on the Norinko Hanasaki case. She said she still had all his work on a flashdrive and could send me a copy. I received the files by email the next day. Rather than organize and select certain files, I decided to post what I was sent. Forgive the order. I made notes (in italics) to connect relevant information in the files to my Norinko Hanasaki cases. The rest must speak for itself.

The Files of Tom Thumb
(Circa July 2016)

Deputy Evelyn Mitchell Transcript:

Reporter: Can you tell me what’s been happening since you arrived, Deputy Mitchell?
Mitchell: Here are my notes. Nothing major. Missing girl. 14 years of age. Was on the bus. And then she wasn’t on the bus. The missing girl, whose name we can’t release until the notification of her parents, has not been found. We have deputies searching the McClure Tunnel. The 10 Freeway traffic has been detoured off at Lincoln Avenue. Detective Jian Wu—he prefers “Joe” Wu is on the way. He’s been assigned to look into this matter. Here’s some basic notes of information I got from the bus driver and kids. Nothing special, but Detective Wu will be asking his own questions. My partner and I just tried to see if the girl got off somewhere along the line. Can’t be sure at this point. Anyway, here’s what I got:
3:15 School let out.
3:30 Miriam Hernandez, bus driver, checks off all students from her roster as the kids board the bus. 12 kids got on.
3:35 Bus departs school for drop offs. Makes 6 drop-offs.
3:45 Bus enters McClure tunnel when inside bus lights start to flicker and go out at the same time the tunnel lights go out. 6 kids still on bus start screaming. Bus driver slows down to navigate toward the light at the end of the tunnel. The bus exits the tunnel.
3:50 Suzie, the missing girl’s friend, notices she has gone, informs driver. Suzie, at the behest of the driver, walks up and down the aisle of the bus, looking for her friend. Nothing. Only five kids on board, plus the driver. 3:55 Bus driver reports missing passenger to dispatch / dispatch reports to Santa Monica Division, and we are dispatched to the scene.
4:00 Bus stops at the Union 76 Gas Station. Bus driver double-checks the empty seats up and down the aisle, she told us. The five students are instructed to remain on bus till the Sheriff’s arrives.
4:15 Deputy Steve Baker and I arrive on the scene, find the girls milling around outside of the bus. The driver said she couldn’t keep them on board. Some called their parents on their cell phones and were told to wait outside the bus.
4:18 We check off the roster of the bus driver to see who was dropped off and who was left on the bus. The name left that remains unaccounted for belongs to our missing girl.
I copy down the names and numbers of the remaining girls from the roster after asking the gas station attendant if they had a copy machine. They didn’t. Meanwhile, Deputy Baker gets the driver’s information.
4:30 We wait for Wu as parents begin to arrive. Tell them that Detective Joe Wu must clear it for them to leave.
4:45 Detective Wu arrives. Suzie and her parents approach Wu and ask him if they’ll find the missing girl. He informs them that at that moment, deputies are looking for her, following the trail of the bus from the school to the gas station. I give my notes to Wu after taking pictures of them with my phone and emailing them to my desk computer at the division station.

Detective Jian “Joe” Wu Transcript

Reporter: Do you have any leads on the missing girl?
Detective: The Division will be making a statement to the press sometime this evening in front of the Santa Monica Station. Bring your questions there. And maybe you ought to choose your words a bit more carefully at this early stage. “Leads” is a bit loaded. It’s a missing persons case unofficially for now. Once we notify the parents of the girl, we’ll consider whether we’re looking for “leads” or a missing girl. Thank you. Deputies, could you escort our star reporter from…
Reporter: Santa Monica Local Newspaper.
Detective: the Santa Monica Local Newspaper behind the tape.
Deputy Baker: What tape?
Detective: The one you should have put up already—around the bus, the kids, and the parents. Leave an opening for the parents to drive in and out to pick up their kids. Make sure you get their contact information before they leave.
Deputy Mitchell: Got it already.
Detective: Tape! Deputies!

Miriam Hernandez Transcript

Reporter: I am with Miriam Hernandez, bus driver in the famous case of missing student, Norinko Hanasaki. Thank you for allowing me into your apartment here in Long Beach.
Miriam: Are you recording this?
Reporter: Yes. Would you tell us about your arrest, please?
Miriam: I don’t like being recorded.
Reporter: Then perhaps you can tell me why you’ve marked up your walls with poetry? Is this the same poetry that you wrote on the bus windows the day of your arrest?
Miriam: Please turn that off or I will shut up.
Reporter: Just a few more moments, please. What are you doing?
Miriam: I am not talking to you. Please leave.
Reporter: What are you doing with that marker, Miss Hernandez? What are you writing? Three corners wide The brink of darkness hovers Angels hear my tears. What does that mean?
Miriam: Ang-hell hears my tears. The bus is coming back. Get out of my house.
Reporter: I’m leaving. Please put that down. No need for that. I’m going. Look, I’m turning off the recorder.

Reporter: I am outside the apartment of Miriam Hernandez. Her apartment walls are covered in what looks like to be lines of poetry. She was arrested July 6, 2016, about ten days ago. Today is July 15. The words looked familiar. Will check them against the notebook poems I took pictures of yesterday.

(JPEGs too blurred to post; blank pages also. My copies of the poetry lines [below] that I could discern from the five photos; the breaks are mine):

Buzzkill liked to sleep
He slept in class
He slept in deep
He slept in the tunnel pass.

Buzzkill liked to party
She joined the hunger fast
Always first to arrive
Always leaving last.

Three corners wide
The brink of darkness hovers
Angels hear my tears.

Adrift, I walk within a space
Destined to stay in this place
Here, I will defy what they say
Never to defer to their ways
I will fight with every breath in me
I will never bow to their ascendancy

I wish I could see
Where it is that I am
But I feel if I did
I'd be deaf and damned.

I found a friend in common
With life and death
Here in the marrow
Of my final breath.


There is no going home
My badge, my gun, my files
Swallowed by the creature
In the tunnel’s last miles

Note: I’ve chosen only to post what I found related to the Hanasaki cases. I have an old XP laptop. I gave the flashdrive files to a friend with a newer computer to look over the files I could not open and see if she could make out anything else from the photos. She sent me this message: “There’s nothing in these files worth your time. Nothing hidden or mysterious. Sorry. You’ll have to let your readers down easy. You’ve just found the Vault of Al Capone. Remember the old Geraldo Rivera show? I’m carbon-dating myself, aren’t I? But you seem to have overlooked a poem. Here it is. If you need anymore help on your quixotic quest, let me know".

Under the veil of night
I hear whispered words in my mind
They speak of utter annihilation

A Final Word:
As with the “homeless” case, more questions than answers. And I continue to be humbled with your patience. Perhaps it is in the journey we find the end of the tunnel.
Anthony Servante

Part 10

The Plumage Pvnks Universe 
A Suzie Email Update
Norinko Hanasaki Research Case

by Anthony Servante 

The Buzzard


Since the beginning of time, Evil has targeted the weak and the innocent. In the animal kingdom, creatures big and small have developed defensive tricks to protect themselves from harm. The lowly chameleon adapted a camouflage ability to change skin color to hide in its environment. The little sparrow learned to fly with unpredictable maneuvers to avoid being eaten by hawks. Even the mighty elephants found protection in herds to ward off hungry lions. Human children scream at the top of their lungs to scare off predators. But what of the fearless monsters intent on feeding on the plump goodness of a juicy little toddler who has strayed from the protective arms of mommy and daddy? Evil in forms both natural and supernatural have also adapted its instincts for preying on these lost ones.

In Part Four of the Norinko cases, we discussed folklore around the world that focused on lost and missing children. It comes as no surprise to learn that, according to Suzie (our contact for updates about the Hanasaki investigation), her friend Norinko had created a whole universe based on how Evil and Death can be avoided by children.

I'll let Suzie explain the creation from here.

The Email 05-17-17

To the Readers of the Servante of Darkness Blog and the Readers of the Norinko Hanasaki Investigative Cases:

The first thing I want you to do is forget about what Mr. Servante wrote in the introduction. He showed me that introduction, and I didn’t really agree with it, but he explained that it keeps the readers happy. Maybe he’s right about the Evil thing, but when I agreed to write to Mr. Servante about my friend Norinko “Norie” Hanasaki, it was to talk about Norie, not about Evil. My friend Norie liked Tokidoki Cactus Friends. She liked the way they were part scary and part happy. She wanted to make her make-believe friends like that, in the Tokidoki way. That’s when she came up with the PLUMAGE PVNKS, kids who dress in bird costumes to fly away from bad things, to fly way high above all the badness of the world. When you wear your costume, you can’t be touched by Death, Evil, Sadness, Sorrow, or even Regret. She always promised me and Bridget that when she went to college, she would learn designing to make the costumes. I told her that we wouldn’t be kids anymore by then. But Norie didn’t care. She always practiced her drawings, using me and Bridget as models for her costumes. Everyday her drawings improved. She said that she had to hurry or all the bad things would catch up to us while we were children, that that was when we were weak little creatures of God.

For us Buddhists, God was when Goodness and Evil are balanced in the world. Sometimes Goodness tips the scales, like the Temple Priest says on Sundays at service, and sometimes Evil or Badness tips the scales the other way. Children share in the great joy of life when Goodness is heavy, and children share in the great sadness of life when Evil is heavier. With our bird costumes, we could fly when Evil gets heavier than Goodness, and stay high in the air till Goodness tips the scales back the other way. In our religion, the Scale is God, and Goodness and Evil are parts of the scale.

And so Norie drew the costumes, and then she drew me, and Bridget, and herself as three PLUMAGE PVNKS. Here are the drawings that my friend Norinko Hanasaki drew for us. You can see how early on she could barely hold the pencil, but later she developed into a better artist. On the day she disappeared she drew the last of the three costumes on the bus, the one for herself, the Buzzard who does not kill; it survives on what Evil animals kill. So, for Norie, Buzzkill meant the bird that did not kill. She knew it also meant someone who doesn’t like to have a good time, like at a party. In a way that was kind of like Norie; she didn’t like parties, but she always came to my birthday parties and to Bridget’s birthday parties, even though there were a lot of friends there that she didn’t know. She was shy. She liked to read, especially the books from the Temple that the Priest lent her after service. In those books somewhere she got the idea for the PLUMAGE PVNKS. I know she will return to us someday. I know this blog will help to reach her wherever she is.




The day she disappeared, she left her journal on the bus. It was a Cactus Friends notebook. I’m sure the bus driver found it first. Bridget and me, we saw her looking at something where Norie was sitting, but she didn’t give anything to the police when they arrived. Then we heard that the notebook was brought to school by a detective named Wu. The Principal told our English teacher, Miss Johns, that the two police officers at the 76 Gas Station where the bus stopped when Norie went missing took the notebook from the bus driver, Miss Hernandez. Miss Johns said that Miss Hernandez was writing stuff all over the school bus windows when the police arrested her. She had the notebook. The police took it from her and gave it to Detective Wu. While the Detective was talking to the Principal, someone took the notebook from his briefcase. This all happened right after Norie disappeared.

And a few weeks later, the Detective stopped coming to the school to ask questions. And the two police officers stopped working in Santa Monica. And Miss Hernandez stopped driving the school bus even though she didn’t go to jail after being arrested. There was a reporter, this fat guy with bad breath who was hanging around the school and talking to students and teachers about the notebook. Someone told him that Miss Hernandez had it. And I don’t know what happened to him. He stopped working for the newspaper, Miss Johns told us. Her and the Principal say that the notebook must be important because everyone is looking for it. But all it has is some poetry and some PLUMAGE PVNK drawings, that’s all. I think Norie is more important than that the stupid journal that she bought for her poems and drawings. I saw the Buzzkill poems in Part 8. Those are Norie’s poems. I don’t recognize the other ones. Those aren’t Norie’s.

I just want to say one more thing. Me and Bridget and Norie have been friends since elementary school. At first, Bridget just hung around with me and Norie because Norie and me were a little bit fat, and Bridget was skinny and pretty. We know how people say that she only hangs around with me and Norie because the pretty girl always stands out with fat friends. And maybe that was true when she first hung out with us. But not anymore. It’s like almost 6 years that we’ve been friends, and it’s not about being more popular or more pretty. She probably cares more about Norie being missing than me or her parents or my parents. Maybe not Norie’s parents, but she cares. She just shows it in her own way. She’s the one who convinced me to write to the Servante of Darkness Blog.

I can’t wait to meet you, Mr. Servante, at the service. I promise to keep writing to you. I don’t agree with you all the time, but you’re doing more than anyone else right now for Norie. I promise for Bridget and me that we’ll keep helping you. I promise for Norinko, my friend always.