The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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UPDATE: The Albany Connection – or lack of one

Posted by thedarwinexception on December 11, 2007

Small update on zombie lady….

I called the police department this morning – and by the way – we have a really great police department. I’ve been in contact with two of the officers now and both of them were caring, eager to get information and follow up and very concerned. Anyway, the desk officer I talked to this morning said that yes, ZL purchased a ticket and got on the bus – but she only got as far as Albany. That’s all the ticket or money she had. Albany is the connecting station to NYC, and she got off the bus there.

Which confuses me.

ZL had said that she HAD a ticket to to the city. She said it cost $55.00. I was under the impression that she already HAD the ticket in her hand. The way the officer said it was that the ticket agent told the officer she only had money to get as far as Albany, implying that she bought the ticket that morning. I don’t get it. And this is where I dropped the ball – Before she left my house that morning I should have said “ZL – Let me see your ticket” and made SURE that she either already had the ticket ALL THE WAY TO NYC or that she had enough money so that she could buy a ticket all the way to NYC. My fault and I feel so guilty for not checking this out before she left. Now I feel like I am the one who threw her out into the wind.

But the police know she got on a bus to Albany – they lose her there.

Which is good – at least I’m not the last person to see her alive anymore.

But it’s bad because now she’s wandering around fucking Albany with no money and no resources. Paul said maybe she’s walking to NYC, but I can’t believe anyone could do that. Or that maybe her bank has a branch in Albany, which could very well be, but why would she say she was going to NYC because her bank is THERE? Why didn’t she just intend all along to go to Albany? The police officer said that there are more homeless shelters and traveler resources there than there would be here – and she’s probably staying in one of their free facilities, because in Albany things like hostels would be free.

The police officer also said that at this point she’s not *Officially* a missing person, because her son didn’t want to go that far – the son told the police officer he and his mother have very, very little contact. I asked if I could declare her a missing person, and the police officer said yes, if there were no developments in a couple of days that I could do that.

I really like our police department. He made me feel better, like he cared and was interested  and he understood my concern.

So there’s one good thing about Malone – we have a great police department.


86 Responses to “UPDATE: The Albany Connection – or lack of one”

  1. Kim (Canaada) said

    Oh Kim –
    You are so wrong to feel guilty or responsible for this ZL disappearance…You have done more than most ever would have, and you have continued to support, as well assist in ZL’s on-going issues…. God bless you!
    She has gone to the city before this, and she told you that she had her ticket!
    I am glad to hear the Malone Police were so understanding and willing to assist you with disclosing whatever information that they did disclose to you –
    What’s up with her fucking son?
    How long before she’s considered actually MISSING? What on earth could he have been waiting for in the first place…
    And how did she and he communicate her arrival to visit with him anyways?
    So many questions – So little answers!
    How far is Albany from where you are?
    Any chance you and Val could road trip out there and visit some of the shelters?
    Again, seems to put more on you again, but we need to do something….
    Major ass storm here hitting since last night, or I’d be on my way…

  2. Leslie said

    What can I do, Kim? Shall I start calling homeless shelters in Albany or call the bus station? Just tell me, I’ll do it-

  3. HT said

    This is good news. Better she be in Albany than NYC. And that’s very good news about the Malone Police Dept. and the fact you can declare her officially MISSING. I don’t know anything about Albany but there has to be some sort of directory/First Call for Help that identifies all the shelters. Her picture could be forwarded to them. There’s also an online missing website for New York State Police. They also have pictures because I looked at them yesterday.

    Kim, I’d certainly be willing to help. I’m retired. I have time. I have free minutes but I don’t want to be “Ms. Buttinski”. It’s your call. I sent you a check. Use it for gas to go to Albany if you wish or for whatever. I don’t care. And for the love of Milo, do not blame yourself no matter what happens. You are the only person who took the time and energy to care for her. ’nuff said.


  4. Veronique said

    She needs to be declared a missing person NOW. She was expected HOME days ago; she never made it to her destination, so WTF are the police waiting for? Take Leslie up on her offer to call homeless shelters and hospitals, and someone needs to get those photos of her copied, printed up on Missing posters, and in every bus station between Malone and New York City that can be done. So much time has been lost…she has been missing for over a week, since she disappeared from the Albany bus station.

    And Kim, I know exactly whereof you guilt. So many times, if only I had done the one little thing that would have ensured ENTIRELY UNFORESEEABLE consequences had not happened…do not beat yourself up, you are doing MASSIVE amounts more for her than anyone has for much of her life.

    And I’ll get a check off in the mail today to you, to help cover costs of phone calls and poster printing.


  5. Kim (Canada) said

    I know Sue and I sent some fundage for the ZL electricity fund yesterday, but Kim, if you require more to assist in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask…

    Where there IS a will – there IS a way!
    And Sue and I are definately WILLING to assist in any way possible…


    Weather permitting, we’d definately be up to the road trip to assist in a physical “search and rescue” –
    I understand that this storm we’re having here, is also affecting you guys, so I have no doubt that that is making things that much more difficult not only for us, but for regular services, emergency services, and ZL more importantly….
    Hopefully she’s inside and warm somewhere…
    Obviously, we ALL want ZL back home, safe and sound – With heat, with no heat, lights, no lights, clean place, filthy – whatever….We’ll work that stuff out later, we just want her home!
    Next door to you….Protected!
    Seems to be the safest place for us to have her…

    Wonder if she’d think us “silly fools” for worrying about her so…

    Keep us posted k!

  6. damsel44 said

    Kim, I’m so proud of you and happy that she has a friend like you who cares. I’m watching here for any new developments. It’s so sad when someone is more or less a little left of reality and needs help and no family who seems to care more than once in awhile. You may have just saved her life if they find her and it sounds like Albany is much better to stop off in than New York if you’re needing help. Hang in there! And please keep us posted.

  7. luvgabe said

    Kim, if ZL is found safely, it will be entirely due to your care & concern. So, please do not feel guilty: it’s pointless & unwarranted guilt that serves no good purpose.

    Please let us know what you decide to do next (post flyers; launch a search party?), and what you need from us, whether it is $ and/or labor.

    In the meantime, perhaps you or Sprocket can contact Dominick Dunne about this. Hopefully, he can stir up big media interest in ZL & garner some publicity for her. Just think, when she’s found, it will make such a great Christmas story!

  8. HT said

    Kim, forgive me but after I cleared off the 8 inches of snow from driveway, etc. I was bursting with energy so I grabbed the cell phone and started calling homeless shelters in Albany. And I learned something I can hardly believe. Because of the Hippo(is that the right word) laws, they won’t tell you if a person is there or not. OK, that’s understandable but here’s the shocker. I asked if the Albany police came looking for her, would they say whether or not she’s there and the asshole said no. Capital and Mercy shelters were the two I called, Mercy being the one that said the big NO. Well, I guess I’m not much of a detective. I did think of getting into a fight with the woman that answered at Mercy but no sense getting my own tubes in an uproar. OK, I’m done for now.


  9. lost indie said

    Bless you Kim…sometimes we have to get involved. It’s hard to draw the line between being caring and being overbearing. You made sure she had a good plan and a good meal before she left. Asking to see her ticket or money would have been overbearing. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re here with you.

    I had to call Adult Protective Services on my neighbor last winter. He’d go out in a blizzard to shovel wearing nothing more than a filled diaper. I hated like heck to make that call. Soon after I called, there was unusual traffic at his place and he started wearing proper shoveling clothes. I couldn’t live with the worry that he’d end up a popsicle on my shirt. So yeah…I know how you feel.

    Let us know…..

  10. Shiobhan said

    Hi Kim and everyone else –

    Just to repeat what others have posted, let me know how I can help. Im in Chicago, so I dont think I can roadtrip, but any other way I can help….please, let me know.

    As for the electricity account, use the money I sent you for whatever your immed needs are in locating Natasha.

    Another suggestion, but Im sure you have already done this. Can the Malone Police contact the Albany Police, fax them her picture, and have the Albany Police go look at shelters for her?

    My prayers to you all.

    Kim, you have not reason at all to feel guilty. I know that is easier said than done, but truly, you have done everything and beyond what a neighbor/friend should do.

  11. Val Dalton said


    So are the police sending her picture to albany or are they even looking for her? I can’t believe her son wont declare her a missing person. He obviously doesn’t care about her at all. What should be do? Fax the picture ourselves?

  12. BayBee said

    I’m wondering if she had any ID on her. Did she carry a handbag? What kind of luggage did she leave with? I’m afraid she’d be too afraid of the police to ask for help if she needed it.

  13. Buckeye Belle said

    So now we know Natasha made it as far as Albany. Nothing the Malone police can do except send information on to the Albany police. If they are anything like the local police here in southern Ohio, they will probably not be actively searching for her unless they just happen to come in contact with her. So what needs to be done is get their attention and we can do it by e-mailing them with her photo and a plea for help finding her. If even 25 of us send e-mails that would get someone’s attention. Their address is

    Is this OK with you, Kim?

  14. Moe said

    I would be happy to contact the media in Albany, maybe we could get this story out. There really is not much hard news around here, I’m sure we could manage to pull this off. What do you think Kim?
    The Greyhound bus terminal in Albany is right around the corner from a park that the homeless frequent. Most likely the police have been checking on those folks with the bad weather and all. Oh the poor lady, I hope she’s okay.

  15. Shiobhan said

    I also wondering if we shouldnt contact some kind of Mental Health advocacy group tell them the story, and see what they can in helping.

    Im racking my brain trying to think of anyone on tv that has strong positions on the mental ill, someone that would helop with this cause.

    I understand about the HIPPA laws, but come on now that is just crazy. But that doesnt stop another person living there from saying something like “yeah, I saw here etc, etc.”

  16. luvgabe said

    Thank you, Buckeye Belle, for the Albany police e-address ! I just composed & sent an e-mail to them, with Natasha ZL’s picture attached, asking for their help.

    To anyone who does not know how to e-mail ZL’s photo, go to her pic on Kim’s blog, point your cursor on the pic, left click, then instruct your computer to “save” the pic into your harddrive.

  17. Caroline said

    You are on the right track, girl. Don’t even think that you are responsible in any way for this situation. No one else was going to do anything to help her out. Coming from Russia she appreciates that we Americans value freedom and autonomy, especially if you “march to the beat of a different drummer”.. so to speak.

    It is a relief to have the police involved, but I don’t see why they cannot put out a missing persons bulletin now. She has been gone for AT LEAST 24 hours and as far as that son goes: “the son told the police officer he and his mother have very, very little contact” we now know he is a completely uncompassionate hosebag.

    I agree with Luvgabe, contacting Dominick Dunne is a great idea, all he can say is “no” and this actually sounds like it is right up his alley.

    I admire you for getting involved in this fiasco. It says a lot about a persons’s character plunging into this and doing it in such a way that Natasha is allowed to keep her dignity. Keep us posted.

  18. luvgabe said

    Sorry, I meant “right click” on ZL’s pic, then save to your computer’s hard drive.

  19. skweekie said

    Have her declared missing now. She is missing.

  20. I would be happy to contact the media in Albany, maybe we could get this story out.

    Well, the problem is, I don’t want to scare her off. She’ll never come back if she sees a bunch of publicity and police focusing on her.

    If I just wait the day or so that the Malone police suggested and then file a missing person report myself, I’ll be in a better position to contact the Albany police and see what I can do. If I have to go to Albany, I will. But until I am “sanctioned” as the person who filed the missing person report, there’s not a lot I can do.

    Thanks everyone for your help and ideas and concern.


  21. Frankie Bones said

    Dear Kim,
    This is such a sad story. Especially so close to the holidays. I hope we hear some good news soon.

    Dear Noorbe,
    You really are a compassionate person. Thanks for joining in our hopes of finding the Zombie Lady alive.


  22. HT said

    OK, Kim.

    I popped the eggnog with “spirits”. Things are looking better.


  23. Buckeye Belle said

    Below is what I e-mailed to the Albany police. While she has not officially been declared a missing person, giving them a heads up is sure not going to hurt anything, especially if they receive enough mail to get their attention.

    “Attached please find a photo of Natasha. She is a 57 year old woman and speaks with a heavy Russian accent. She left Malone, NY on December 4, 2007, on a bus to go to New York City. According to the Malone Police Department, she only had enough money to purchase a ticket to Albany. She did board the bus and has not been seen nor heard from since. It is also known that she did not have any money for food or shelter.

    Natasha does have a home in Malone and neighbors who are very worried about her.

    Please search for this woman and contact the Malone Police Department when she is located.

    Thank you.”

  24. Kim (Canada) said

    Good stuff Buckeye!
    Sounds good and certainly has potential to help…
    So, do we leave that at THAT for now and follow what Kim has suggested above, or is this an evening when the Albany Police Detachment will be overcome and over-run by repeated emails concerning a little, lost Malone-residing individual, by the name of Natasha?
    I’m with whatever works, but more inportantly, I’m with whatever works without jeopardizing or frightening the shit out of ZL!
    We want her back – In one piece, and not frightened further into further confusion…

    Quietly and compassionately!

    The Police/ETF, media and ALOT of people gathered around doesn’t usually leave ANYONE feeling secure or safe in their own space, especially where they ARE the reason or cause, and all eyes are on them…

    I’m thinking a quiet drive back from Albany with Kim and ‘Assistant’ would be the best case scenario…

    I’m hoping for some resolve to all of this soon…

    And so for now – We should all…?

  25. luvgabe said

    Kim, here’s a website giving useful instructions on finding missing persons:

  26. Veronique said

    So let’s do a little reality check. ZL is non-compost-mentos as far as The Authorities will be concerned. She didn’t have enough cash for her destination, got on a bus in the dead of winter to go as far as $55 would take her, got off the bus, and hasn’t been heard from since. She left her house, which is filthy and in disrepair, and has a history of paranoia and schizophrenic thinking. I have no idea what internal resources she has: will she find a homeless shelter, or is she hiding out in the underwear department at K-Mart and sleeping in the sweater bin? With her history of fear of persecution, will she have found any shelter at all? And finally, the entire point of the exercise is to GET HER NOTICED BY PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP HER. So contacting the papers, the police, the shelters, the hospitals, even if the “scare” her, will be more effective in getting her actual medical help and support than hoping she’s living off Walmart’s holiday candy cane giveaway.

    Perhaps she’s been fooling everyone and told Kim and her son she was heading to New York to mislead the electricity people who’ve been intent on stealing her idea for solar power. But I don’t think so. I guess it’s 8 PM there on the East Coast and too late this evening, but tomorrow, a missing person’s report needs to be filed and action needs to be taken.

    What’s the worst that happens? You find her at the Ritz with her boyfriend Donald Trump, and he gets a little extra publicity out of it, right? Or she’s afraid that Kim “betrayed” her and is finally able to get some mental help, food, heat, and support?

  27. Amy said

    Do I need to call the SWAT team? Because I have a history of getting them to show up, guns blazin. Just say the word, and I’ll be on the phone…

    Seriously, I hope this turns out to be another story we laugh about later, because right now it’s pretty scary.

    I’m headed to your Paypal account right now…


  28. Sandy said

    Please do not feel guilty for what has happened. You were doing wonderful things for ZL. The fact that she let you into her life shows how much you have done. Your taking steps softly allowed her to gain the confidence to share. Without you no one would have had enough information to get this far.

    And, the son. He doesn’t want to fill out a missing persons report? What an idiot. Any other child would have immediately called the person last to see their parent, as well as putting together a search you are taking on. Gratefully there are “Kims” in this world.

    I did read that HIPPA requires a formal letter head from the the search organization regarding a missing person in acquiring information from hospitals, etc. That you will be the one reporting her missing will allow you to do this. Make sure you have documents from the police dept. at hand if going to Albany or for faxing information. The information I read also stated that if the searching organization just sends the info it can take weeks for response. ZL is right, the gov. is messed up.

    I’m very far away, but would be willing to write to any organization, newspaper, radio station (they can use public announcements). If there is any other help your long distance readers can be of value, let us know. We have had many older or disabled adults found in my area through TV and newspaper reports. This can be a worthwhile endeavor.

    As for frightening ZL with all. I’d rather do this than lose her. If you go to Albany, take a change of clothes for her (if some can find some easily). We don’t know what she carried along for the trip. You’ve probably already thought of this…am thinking outloud.

    I feel as helpless as the rest of you and wish there were more personally that could be of help.

    Who would have thought that Kim’s blog could be a Christmas present to each of us through a woman called ZL. I’m believing in a miracle present with ZL being found by our KIM.

  29. Tommy said

    You need to invest in a word/punucation checker!!!

  30. luvgabe said

    How are you managing in the bad weather, Kim? I hope you & Paul are all right.

  31. Katprint said

    The uncompassionate son reminds me of a legal term I learned ‘way back in law school: “Laughing Heir.” Generally it is used to describe an heir so distant from the decedent, for example second cousin three times removed, whose reaction to being told about the inheritance is happiness about receiving money from essentially a stranger instead of the normal sorrow at losing a loved one.

    One interpretation of the son asking the police to check his mother’s house, is that he was hoping they would find her dead body so that he could finally receive his inheritance (his father’s money that would have gone to him but instead went to her due to the uncompleted divorce.) The police don’t find ZL’s body there, so he tells them she’s not REALLY missing so don’t bother looking for her. In the meantime maybe she will die in the snow and her body will turn up in the spring, and he will get his inheritance then.

    I bet you a nickel the problem with ZL’s bank is that the son had power of attorney over her money, and has moved it somewhere else. OTOH as a defense attorney I have seen everything and ascribe the worst of motives to everyone LOL.

  32. Carolyn Powers said

    Please give us an update on ZL. You probably feel like she has taken over your life by now; but, as you know, many of us are worried about her and would like to know is happening.

  33. Kim (Canada) said

    Hope I get the punucation “correct” in my reply –

    Hi All – Was hoping for some new news upon my return from work… :~(
    Maybe that’s a good thing – No news, good news?

    Katprint – Think I totally get your take on things…I’ve known a few individuals over the years that seem to be waiting for those kinds of losses in order to reap rewards, and financial gains. So sad really….
    And even more unfortunate!

    I just wonder about one thing, and that is that he would have had to have ZL declared “mentally incapacitated” in order to become any sort of “power” to her, no? Unless of course, she already named him her power… Just wondering how that would have played intself out, given what we DO know about ZL…?

    Anything, Kim? Update? Did you file a “missing persons” report with Malone Police? How you doing with everything?
    Talk to us please…

    Fonzie :~)

  34. HT said

    Hey Kim, do you have any idea what a “punucation” checker is? Does it mean if I say something like “no pun intended”, it checks it? These people that post with criticisms aren’t worth a diddly.


  35. Kathy said

    Hey Tommy.. You need to learn how to spell punctuation, asshole.

  36. Katprint said

    Kim in Canada – You may be thinking of a conservatorship, where a conservator is appointed by the court for a person who is legally determined to be “incompetent” (mentally incapacitated.) A power of attorney is simply a legal document, and does not require any incompetence. For example, members of the US military who are being deployed overseas are encouraged to give trusted family members a power of attorney, so that their financial affairs like mortgage and car payments, utilities, etc. can be taken care of in their absence. The military even has standard forms that it provides to its personnel for this purpose (along with documents for preparing wills and naming insurance beneficiaries.)

    Someone as confused and disturbed as ZL, whose mastery of English also appears questionable, could easily have been tricked or persuaded to sign a power of attorney in favor of her son.

  37. abbi_normal said

    Tommy & William need to start their own blog. One can weed out the cussing and the other can correct the “punucation”.

    Take your fucking criticism somewhere else or start your own damn blog. As my Mother always said …. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

    Kim, please give us an update. It seems we are all waiting very impatiently for any kind of news. Thank you!

    BTW, Merry Christmas Tommy & William. I hope santa brings you lubricant so you can whack off somewhere else.

  38. luvgabe said

    Please give us an update, Kim, even if you don’t have any new news to report. I’ve been checking and rechecking your blog all day.

  39. Kim (Canada) said

    Thanks for the info Katprint,

    So she would have been coerced or “talked into” signing that power over to him…

    I have signed Power of Attorneys – For financial in the event of my incapacitation (perm & temp), as well as POA’s for Personal care in the event of – In my younger days, that power went to my mom, today it is my partner, but I am of sound mind and did that of my own volition…

    Judging by what we know of ZL, and in this particular case, hypothetically if he had “conservatorship” over her, would he not also now be responsible for her on-going financial/health care also…

    Just curious…

  40. Lorraine said

    There is a Russian Community Center in Albany which is close to the airport. I know she didn’t fly but sometimes the bus stations are close to the airports or at the airports. They have a pretty large Russian population there and I’m hoping that if she got into some kind of trouble someone who speaks the language might have helped her to a shelter or church. Very large Russian Orthodox church there. Also did you know that the Russian Orthodox Christmas is actually January 7th? I have some other ideas, which are probably better, on how to follow up on things. Let me know if I can help.


  41. Debi said

    Hey Kim – any updates? Did the missing person report get filed? Just a comment here would be fine – we don’t necessarily need a whole blog entry.

    As far as Tommy and William are concerned…the title of the blog says it all.

  42. Kim (Canada) said

    Come on, Kim!
    Let us know something, please.
    Like Debi above said – Just a comment here is fine….Anything at this point would be fine…
    At least let us know how you’re doing and where you’re at with it all…

  43. Leslie said

    I think if there were some news to report, Kim would update us. Perhaps there’s nothing to report and she’s waiting. I also think that you have to be a relative in order to file a missing person’s report.
    Just a thought-

  44. Kim (Canada) said

    Hi Leslie – Hi All

    No, the police already told Kim she could file a report after a couple more days…
    She’s putting comments and replies through….
    I’m wondering if she’s been ASKED to NOT continue reporting on this matter until some questions have been answered…

    Just a thought, I’m having…

  45. Kim (Canada) said

    Those are sure going thru “moderation” rather quickly…

    Hope all is ok –

    Will continue to wait patiently…

    We’re hanging in there with you, woman!

  46. luvgabe said

    Kim, your silence is unnerving. PLEASE write SOMETHING, even if it’s that you are asked not to blog about ZL. Your silence is worrying all of us.

  47. Kim, your silence is unnerving. PLEASE write SOMETHING, even if it’s that you are asked not to blog about ZL. Your silence is worrying all of us.

    Well, you all didn’t have to worry or anything, I just haven’t been around all day. Had to take a kind of special trip to PLattsburgh to the doctor’s. I think this ZL thing has me over stressed – I woke up about 9 with more pain than usual, enough so that evena double dose of the regular vicodin didn’t do it. I have some oxycontion that I take in emrgency situations, but I didn’t wnat to take those ont op of 2 vicodin, so I called the doctor and he said (of course) to come in.

    So, we did.

    Nothing surprising at the doctors – my MM is still there, my other issues are still there, my feeding tube is still doing well, and my blood pressure is still high (that’s because of the pain, though, so high is actually normal for me.)

    He gave me a couple of narcotics via injection, I started to feel better (but that was probably because I wasn’t home worrying) and I came home – to promptly pass out on the couch. And I NEVER sleep during the day – ask my friend Lesmond.

    SO the update on ZL is: there is no update. I called the police again, but they pretty much say “Huh – that’s interesting” and can do nothing. Despite what the first officer told me, I can’t file a missing persons report unless I am a relative, or she is deemed to be a danger to herself and others, and despite the fact that I DO think that living with a grill in your living room is a danger to yourself or others, the police don’t think so.

    The son won’t file a missing persons report because he is of the opinion that “she does this all the time” – as a matter of fact, HE thinks that moving to Malone was just an extended version of her “wandering off”. So he is not as concerned as we all are. Of course, he probably doesn’t realize that THIS time she has no money or resources – as far as he knows she still has access to her money.

    I told the police today that although they couldn’t give me the son’s number – that I would appreciate it if they would give the son MY number – and if he would call me. The officer said “Well, if the son calls again or if we have to call him about anything, I’ll see that he gets your number”.

    So there’s that. Hopefully her son calls me.

    But for now, the police aren’t actively looking for her because the son is not alarmed. This is something that he is used to – his mother just taking off. I’m sure that before it’s always been with a pocket full of credit cards and/or cash, and that he probably doesn’t realize the extent of her declining mental status or her restricted access to resources and cash, since they DON’T keep in touch, and the only contact the son has with her is when he calls the authorities to do safety checks on her, but unless and until I talk to him or write him, I doubt his concern is going to rise to the point of filing an official report on her.

    And that’s all I know.

    I will, though, call the police again tomorrow – I plan on calling every day util she returns. Even if it’s just to say “She still isn’t back.”


  48. Those are sure going thru “moderation” rather quickly…

    That’s because I changed the settings and put some of you in the “always approve” list. Frees up my inbox of some of the “moderate these please” messages.

    I mean, the “regular” posters I don’t think I should have to monitor – unless you get into some weird MLM thing where you start sending “Add Inches to Your Penis” emails.

    Then your off the list.


  49. mbmb said

    I was worried about “YOU” personally. I know about your feeding tube, because of your blog. I also know how stress bothers you. I just hope you will be all right. I do hope you got to watch your whole season of “Lost”. I’m rewatching the whole “Six Feet Under” Series. What a hoot & cry the whole thing is. Also, I’m crocheting an afghan as I rewatch the whole thing. I’m sort of crazy that way. I switch from knitting to crocheting. Not that I recommend it. But, what I do recommend is doing your crafts, and trying to stop thinking of next the door neighbor. Fuck your blog, take care of yourself. Take deep breaths. I does seem to help me…some what!

    Love and Best Wishes,

    Mary Beth

  50. luvgabe said

    Kim, thanks for writing. Mary Beth is so right: de-stress & take care of yourself, please. I did a deep-google of you a couple of days ago & found your old home-remodeling blogs & had my suspicion confirmed. I had thought it odd for such an evidently bright & gifted woman to be a stay-at-home. You are in my prayers, dear Kim. May God keep & cherish you, always.

  51. Kim (Canada) said

    Thank-you so much for checking in with us….
    Unlike Luvgabe, I haven’t figured everything out…
    What I do know is that I’ve grown quite attached to you, to Darwin Exception, your people, and to the goings-on around here…
    I just had a little cry (So much for the ‘tough guy’)and think I sort of realized just HOW MUCH I really care!

    Please take care of yourself – You deserve to do that for yourself –

    I hope that ZL is doing the same, and I hope even harder, that we’ll have some news, or her return soon, in order to alleviate some of the stress I believe everyone has been feeling…

    Again, please take care, and know my thoughts and prayers are with YOU this evening?

    Oh! And Thanks for putting ME in the “approved” category – Makes me feel kinda ‘special’!
    I will keep my comments in check, and I assure you there will be NO talk of penises from me…. LOL!

    Take care, KIM!

  52. mary c said

    Kim, I don’t know if I qualify for nonmoderation—have only posted a couple of times, but have been a loyal and deeply appreciative reader for awhile. I hope you can get some rest, and stop worrying and blaming yourself. This is what happens in life when we dare step outside our comfort zone to care for others. They become such a deep part of us–along with all their troubles. You have given all your readers so much laughter with your wonderful way with words. My favorite is the Thanksgiving disaster with the fire and the cheapass pan from the Dollar Store. My husband actually quit watching Law and Order to listen to that one. Please take good, good care of yourself and Paul. Have a good holiday and write again when you feel better.

    Fellow readers what is your favorite Kim blog?

  53. HT said

    Kim, so sorry you are having exacerbation. I didn’t know anything about your illnesses until yesterday I was reading old entries. I sent you an email, I felt so badly. Many of us have grown fond of you to the point we’re worrying as much about you as ZL. ZL is resilient. I bet she found that Russian group in Albany and is being helped. Quit worrying or I’ll come up there and kick your ass.


  54. Kim (Canada) said

    My favourite, and interesting enough, the way that I came to find Kim and The Darwin Exception…

    I googled “Punkin Pie” –

    Need I say more….

    Anyways, I never laughed so hard in my life, never had someone describe something taking the words right out of my mouth, and well, I landed here and continued to return…

    And so … I’m still here!

  55. Leslie said

    My favorite is definitely the Redneck Games Blog, which is how I got to know Kim in a roundabout way! I love reading all of Kim’s blogs because 1.) I live in Malone and can totally relate and 2) Because she’s so freakin funny!

  56. Bahamamama said

    I started reading Kim’s blog about six months ago. Had to go all the way back to the beginning to get a “feel” for Kim and her Malone. Actually, I’m familiar with the area, having lived in Champlain, NY for 12 years. (Have since moved to a much warmer climate). Absolutely the Thanksgiving disaster is the best! I was crying I was laughing so hard.

    Do take care of yourself, Kim. You bring laughter to more people than you know. Sounds like you could use a little healing power of your own. I used to also work in Plattsburgh as a nurse. Hope you’re being well taken care of by the MDs there. There are a lot of good ones. Take care…..

  57. skweekie said

    Kim, take care of yourself first. Like in the airline announcement before takeoff. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. You cannot help ZL if your are not at your best. I found out about your situation a long time ago and marvelled at your continued ability to make a difference in this world. Other people would not have.

    Stress is a diabolical thing. You need to unwind and care for yourself for a few days.

  58. Greg Smith said

    Hey Kim: Reading your archives ’cause I didn’t find you until Spector. Loved the old photos left by the aunt. Not know who Edmund Lowe was? Don’t we all remember him as Sgt. Quirt in “What Price Glory,” (1926). Thankfully, it’s before my time too.

  59. A.D.A. said

    How did Zombie Lady transmute from a crazy woman who was on the verge of blowing up her house with propane into this fantasy figure who wants a clean house, electricity, a generator, a woodstove, and – what, curtains?
    She went to a city with a Russian community, right? That’s HER garbage in HER house, and SHE painted those walls (I will not look at them because she has a right to privacy.)

    Y’all just keep making up these backstories and pinning them on her and her son; it astounds me. There are lots of people like ZL around each of you. Help those ones who want help. They are EVERYWHERE. Get off your asses, stop staring at your computers, and go do something for another human being, please.

    I’ve worked with APS when they’ve started cases on a homeless man three times, and then dismissed them, because he wanted to live as he lived. That – believe it or not -is the right of an American citizen. Until he soaked his brain with so much alcohol that he couldn’t live that life, and couldn’t remember, and wanted to be taken care of, they had the sense to respect his dignity and let him go.
    Some of you people are quite frightening, with your whitebread tastes and determined imposition of your own lifestyle (superior as I’m sure they are.)(*snort*)

    Kim, you know I’m a big fan. You did more than enough. Call the police each day and report on the blog. Don’t take money you’ll have to return. Try to imagine how much you would like actually living with her…maybe the DiL has a point.

    Let these people go out into their own communities and each find their own ZL. (THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.) If the son isn’t worried, maybe he knows her better than y’all. Just possibly. If he’s the head of some big social service, he might know exactly the score. Y’all pretend he stole her money, etc., etc, etc. Y’all have not one bit of evidence there, not a bit. Jurors from HELL.

    Take a break, dear Kim. You DO deserve our tender care.

    Thanks for letting me have my say.

  60. A.D.A. said

    P.S, The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. DO something, as Kim did. Just a shared meal. Just a kind word, or a visit, or a favor. Whatever they want – not what you want them to want.
    ZL was smart enough to leave when it got cold. I’m hopeful she’s chattering in Russian and eating borscht in Albany. Y’all have no standing to interfere with her, so – eat it. You are free to help others, and have good hearts, so take that into your own real neighborhoods.

  61. Carol in Wilmington, NC said

    Kim, I can’t express any better than the others how you have entered my life by sharing yours. Didn’t know about your illness until yesterday and have now started reading your older blogs… Can’t wait to read about the Thanksgiving fire…

    You’re a cracker-jack (as my mother would have said) and I wish you all the good things you deserve. Please take good care of yourself and know how much you’re loved and appreciated.

    Merry Christmas to you and Paul.

  62. luvgabe said


    Why so much hostility? Why the pompous self-righteous indignation?

    Your scold is founded on a fundamentally mistaken premise–which is that caring about ZL and helping the needy close-at-hand are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE undertakings.

    How do YOU know those of us here who are concerned about ZL do not do charity works in our own hometurfs? What are YOU doing, pray tell? You are just like those self-righteous pricks who write outraged letters to the editor whenever somebody does a good deed for an animal, as if caring about animals & about humans are mutually exclusive.

    Get off your moral high horse & do some critical self-introspection and -examination.

  63. HT said

    Thanks, Luvgabe.

    A.D.A., I was taken aback not so much by what you said but how you said it. Yes, there’s a lot we don’t know about ZL and her son; perhaps, some of us over-reacted a bit. It’s an emotional time of the year and frankly I cannot understand why the son would not declare her missing. The pictures Kim posted of ZL were haunting. Sure, there’s plenty of people that need help but don’t criticize those of us who were touched by her story and plight. Afterall, we still don’t know if she’s even alive. I’m not so sure the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Who said that anyway? From what I can tell from the postings a lot of people put their money where their mouth was. That’s more than good intentions.

    Please rethink before you “flame” those of us who are trying to be supportive. From what I can glean, the caring was honest. And yes, we care just as much for Kim; otherwise, there would have been silence.

    By the way, I don’t eat whitebread. I prefer whole wheat. That came off as a thinly disguised racist remark. I hope you didn’t mean it that way.


  64. Greg Smith said

    Can’t we just all get along? (That’s a stupid question but I treasure it as one of the wise sayings of Rodney King).

    Be concerned about folks, help them as you will. But A.D.A. makes a good point. ZL likes coffee mugs and plastic flowers in her front yard. I’d prefer dirt, rocks, and native plants. My neighbor wants pristine grass and trimmed juniper. It’s all good.

    I try to avoid “the authorities” notice at all costs. ZL is on their radar screen to whatever extent they premit. “Safe and sound in Malone” may not be much of an improvement over her current situation.

  65. A.D.A. said

    Greg Smith, thanks for the smile.

    “whitebread” – being, typical of, or having qualities (as blandness) associated with the white middle class.

    “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is generally attributed to Samuel Johnson.

  66. luvgabe said

    I get it, A.D.A.

    Ooops, I meant son-of-Natasha.

  67. BayBee said

    I’m a mediator and I agree that we do all need to get along. A.D.A. is making a good point and I think KIm gets it. We tend to beleive that if we throw enough $ at a problem we can fix it-and the hard fact is there are problems no amount of money (or even kindness) can solve. For all we know ZL has a million bucks stashed upstairs and she CHOOSES to live the way she does. I had a similar neighbor (RIP) who would NOT be helped and I DID have cooperation from the APS people. She died in her filth. I could write a book about how I tried to help her but it’s too depressing. I had to help the rescue squad literally shovel a path to her. I was left with her 48 cats and a crippled dog (and her “loving family” got the good stuff… ) But I have a clear conscience and they don’t. It took me a long time to accept that she had the right to live as she chose and it was disrepectful of me to try to change her. Also when I nagged her she shut me out. I’m sad that it turned out as it did but I’m at peace that she knew help was here if she wanted it.
    Certainly someone needs to report ZL missing. Do I understand that those who have no family can’t be reported missing? I worry that if she were to find out that the “authorities” are after her she may be scared even more and really disappear.
    When she comes back (and I hope she will) OFFER her a woodstove, wood, kerosene heater, help with the cleaning etc. and I’ll throw some money at it myself but it will have to be done in a way that gives her the feeling of control over her domain and not as A.D.A. has pointed out should we force her to do it OUR way.

  68. Leslie said

    Some of us who read Kim’s blog live in Malone also, therefore we’re more able to help if it’s needed. I resent being criticized because I give a hoot. Kim has shared Natasha’s story with us and her situation has touched us; I see nothing wrong with that. Yes, she should be able to live the way she wants, if no heat and lights is truly what she wants, but we can care what happens to her.

  69. luvgabe said

    At the risk of sounding off-putting by being didactic, it was the great Scottish philosopher David Hume (who died 231 years ago) who pointed out the importance of SENTIMENTS, not just reason, in morals. It is our sentiments that actually motivate us to do what is right & what is good. Reason helps us to select the best means to do good, but reason alone will not actually get us to do good.

    In ZL’s case, it was entirely because of Kim’s skillful and heartfelt narratives about ZL that caused us to care about her. There is nothing wrong with our caring about ZL’s wellbeing. We just want to know she’s alive & ok. None of us, certainly not Kim, is advocating “imposing our white-bread way of life” on ZL. Good grief.

    I’ll accept A.D.A.’s ideas as to HOW we can best help ZL (reason), but I will not take his pompous rebuke of our caring about ZL (sentiments).

  70. mommybear said

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with Kim showing compassion, empathy, and caring toward her neighbor. These qualities should be an integral part of being a human and is obviously not in all people. So instead of harsh criticism of Kim’s deeds, she should be commended for going beyond her reach for another human being.
    If this blog bothers some readers, then they should just move on and read something else that deals with more superficial and shallow topics.

  71. Lorraine said

    Okay kids–no more fighting !! Santa is watching and updating his Naughty and Nice list until the last minute. Lumps of coal anyone?


  72. Sue said

    I have something to admit. I have become a closet blogger. My girlfriend Kim…aka Fonzi (apparently) has now got me hooked on your blog. I have never written before, and I have one question, does this make me Pinky. I mean she was cool and everything, but I’m not into nicknames so much.
    Now the ZL issue…yes, I think we may have gotten carried away, some more than others, but as HT said it is an emotional time of year. You peaople all have to admit, having a crazy paranoid Russian women living next door in the way she does, and yes she is free to do so, is a little surreal. The circumstances around her leaving, and then missing have also been very bizarre.
    A.D.A. your comments came across as cold and well kind of insulting really. I live with my crazy 83 yr old “catlady” aunt, let her do as she wishes as long as it is of no harm to herself and Kim took care of an elderly old drunk man that everyone else lost patience with a long time ago. So, you really don’t know the people you are so free to knock.
    Hey, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion though, right ?
    Kim, I hope you are feeling better. I absolutely love your stories and rantings. You make me laugh, which I truly treasure. It is not such a common thing these days, as I am usually just shaking my head. Hope to hear more about you and Paul, the folks of Malone, and just shit in general.

  73. Sue said

    Oh…and the story about Paul with the Big Mac concussion had to be one of my very favourites. I had to laugh out loud reading that one.

  74. Caroline said

    Dear Kim,

    I am so sorry to belatedly hear of your recent bout, I have also grown very fond of you and your cast of characters up in Malone. Please, please use some of your famous TLC on yourself and get better!

    I started reading your blog during the Spector trial and now I am HOOKED! I have read most of the archeived blogs, I really enjoyed the pregant thief saga and the Cabba-gale episode. I look forward to the future updates since I almost certain she hasn’t stopped pro-creating yet.

    Best wishes to you and Paul for a Merry and Healthy holiday!

  75. Pj Champagne said

    Wow. I grew up in Malone and found this website after reading someone elses blog about Malone. I have spent many nights laughing, almost knowing the whole cast of characters in your blog.
    The Zl lady saga was funny until the recent turn of events. I too have a strange elderly neighbor whom I have tried to get help for, but she just seems to fall through the cracks. So our neighbor hood as begun to protect her, instead of laugh at her. Granted it is rough and hard at times, but I just hope if it was my loved one someone would be there if I could not be.
    I too look forward to more on the pregnant thief, and her spawing abilities.

    Please keep up the blog and info on Zl lady. Also where do I find info to donate to the fund for this poor soul? Is there a link for the inside photos of her house?

    As for the Malone PD, yes they are a small department, most likely under staffed and underfunded too. I think they do a fine job with what they have.

  76. Sandy said


    Your health comes first and know you carry the wisdom to take good care of yourself. Perhaps a good time to wrap up in a blanket, have a roaring fire and watch “Lost”. We never did hear if you got through the set. And don’t write to tell us anything until you are settled back into your norm.

    If I could personally spend just one of my days with your take on life, it would be a great ride. But I have you, so selfishly there is no need to get all adventurous in this old age of mine.

    This is a good time to say thank you for sharing your view of the world, insights many easily miss (or dismiss), and giving us days of humor between the good and the bad.

    Wishing the best to you and Paul.

  77. luvgabe said

    Well said, Sandy. Thank you for articulating sentiments shared by me and Kim’s many admirers. When you are able, PLEASE send a few words our way on how you are doing. In the meantime, you are in prayers & thoughts & good wishes.

  78. Mindy said

    So sorry to hear that you have been ill and that the stress of everything is adding to it. Until I looked at all the comments I did not know. I was just checking in for any updates and when I saw there was 77 comments, I knew I better read them and see what was up, cause at this point I was thinking ZL came and took you. Now that I know you are at least at home and resting I do feel better. Remember your health is what is important and I hope you feel better real soon.

    Try not to stress over ZL to much, you cannot help someone who does not want help.

  79. Khrist said

    Kim –

    I grew up in Malone and I congratulate you on caring enough for a neighbor to reach out the way you did. It is difficult when there are so many casts of characters in Malone that are in similar situations, it is sometimes easier to just look the other direction. I am glad for Natasha that you didn’t.

    I live just outside of Albany and work in Albany. If there is anyway I can help please let me know…..

  80. Caroline said

    Hello Kim,

    Here is hoping a new day is finding you stronger, this is a great time of year to zone out so you have a perfect excuse!

    I thought of my favorite blog from Darwin Exception this morning: Your tale of meeting Paul and your marriage, personal differences and why you love him. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I left thinking that you are one of the luckiest people in the world. To have a great love and commitment, and to KNOW it.

    You have a great gift with your writing abilities, I am so glad you choose to share them with us. Best wishes for a soothing and relaxing day!

  81. MyrnaTurner said

    OMG! Prayers for everyone involved in this situation.

    You’re a good guy, Kim.


  82. mary c said

    Kim, just wanted to let you and Paul know you are both in my thoughts and prayers today. Hope you are feeling stronger soon.

  83. Lynda said


    I’ve been reading you since Spector. I live in a suburb of Albany; if there’s anything we can do from down here, let us know. Maybe Donna DeMaria from the Homeless Action Committee would be of some help. She’s a tireless advocate for the homeless in the Albany area.

    I hope you’re feeling better. I imagine the weather in Malone is not a big help.

  84. Glenda said

    Well as part of the cast of thousands who “discovered” the wonders of Kim’s world during that awful nightmare of Spector and became hooked, addicted, fascinated and thrilled by her words and her humor, I too say, please take care of yourself (BTW the graphic on the feeding tube from the archives was just too great) and know that there are hundreds upon hundreds of faceless people who think of you daily.

    I hope ZL finds her way back home because obviously she has a friend and a guardian angel in you–no matter how much you complain about her f’ing nutty behavior.

    Take care, stay warm and well, enjoy the holidays and let us know how things turn out.

  85. Glenda said

    re the whole “act locally” discussion.
    I am part of a group that takes a lunch to a Homeless Alliance location every other Saturday. We take coats, blankets, underwear, socks, toiletries, etc and a wonderful home cooked meal and feed about 130-150 each time. We’ve been doing this for 10 years now. It is an amazing opportunity and I feel lucky to be a part of it.
    But I do know that some of our clients would have the ability to just wander off thinking that they were taking care of business and then not know how to navigate getting back home again. Emotional/physical/psychological factors all play into that.
    So, I can take care of my backyard and still be concerned for another lonely soul who is out there. Though we don’t know if she is lost or intentionally gone, it is still nice that some people who have never laid eyes on her care about her well being. Some of the guys I see every week should be so lucky!

  86. kizzzy said

    Hi Kim,
    I have never posted on your blog before but have been reading it faithfully for about 6 months,
    The reason I am posting now is because I am concerned about you and wanted you to realize that you have people caring about you that you didn’t know exist.
    I hope your ok and I want to wish you the best over the holidays.
    Thankyou for all you do.

    Charmaine in Ontario

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