Morbidology the Podcast – 41: Phylicia Barnes

Podcast released on: 30th March 2020

When 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland, over the Christmas period of 2010, many referred to the case as Baltimore’s Natalee Holloway case but the stark difference in media coverage between the two was overwhelming. The difference was that Natalee was white and Phylicia was African American.


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It’s a sad fact that there is a clear pattern when it comes to the media. Too often, they more intensively cover the disappearances or abductions of young white women, even more so if they are in the upper middle class or of a higher social status. But crime does not discriminate. Anybody can become a victim, regardless of race, wealth or social status. When 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland, over the Christmas period of 2010, many referred to the case as Baltimore’s Natalee Holloway case but the stark difference in media coverage between the two was overwhelming. The difference was that Natalee was white and Phylicia was African American.


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SOURCES –

NBC – 36 WCNC, 30 December, 2010 – “Friends Pray for Safe Return of Missing Monroe Teen”

The Enquirer-Journal, 31 December, 2010 – “Union Academy Teen Missing”

The Charlotte Observer, 3 January, 2011 – “Baltimore Probe Intensifies for Missing Girl”

The Enquirer-Journal, 3 January, 2011 – “Police Fear Foul Play”

The Charlotte Observer, 4 January, 2011 – “FBI Unit Enters Search for Missing Monroe Teen”

The Enquirer-Journal, 4 January, 2011 – “Monroe Teen missing for More than a week”

The Sun, 4 January, 2011 – “Missing Teen Girl Concerns Police”

NBC – 36 WCNC, 5 January, 2011 – “Devastated Mom Talks about Missing Daughter”

The  Sun, 6 January, 2011 – “City Police Expand Search for Teen Missing”

The Sun, 7 January, 2011 – “No New Leads in Search for Teen”

Portland Examiner, 8 January, 2011 – “Missing Please Help Find”

News & Politics Examiner, 15 January, 2011 – “Mother Talks About Missing Daughter”

The Charlotte Observer, 17 January, 2011 – “Mother of Missing Teen Criticizes Initial Response”

The Associated Press, 19 January, 2011 – “Missing NC Honor Student Case Baffles MD Police”

The Associated Press, 28 January, 2011 – “Missing NC Teen’s School Offers $25,000 reward”

The Sun, 3 February, 2011 – “Missing and Invisible”

NBC – 36 WCNC, 7 February, 2011 – “Missing Teen’s Siblings Believe Phylicia Barnes is Alive”

The Sun, 8 April, 2011 – “City Police Plan Mass Search for Teenager”

Catonsville Times, 9 April, 2011 – “Police Search Patapsco Valley State Park”

Columbia Flier, 9 April, 2011 – “Police Search Patapsco Valley State Park For Missing Teen”

News & Politics Examiner, 9 April, 2011 – “Phylicia Barnes News”

Baltimore Examiner, 21 April, 2011 – “Phylicia Barnes Found Dead in Susquehanna River”

Rocky Mount Telegraph, 22 April, 2011 – “Investigation Enters New Phase After Missing Teen’s Body Found”

The Sun, 23 April, 2011 – “Barnes Case Now Poses New Set of Challenges”

NBC – 36 WCNC, 28 April, 2011 – “More than 700 Attend Memorial for Phylicia Barnes”

The Enquirer-Journal, 29 April, 2011 – “Gone to a Better Place”

The Sun, 8 May, 2011 – “Phylicia Barnes Remembered”

News & Politics Examiner, 9 September, 2011 – “Sister’s Ex-Boyfriend Denies Killing North Carolina Teen”

The Associated Press, 26 April, 2012 – “Md. Man Charged with Murder in NC Teen’s Death”

The Sun, 27 April, 2012 – “An Arrest and Questions”

News & Politics Examiner, 28 April, 2012 – “Details Emerge in Murder of Phylicia Barnes”

The Daily Record, 25 January, 2013 – “Prosecutors Say Witness Say Body in Johnson’s Home”

The Sun, 25 Janaury, 2013 – “In Barnes Trial, Detective’s Actions in Spotlight”

The Daily Record, 28 January, 2013 – “Jury in Baltimore City Circuit Court Sees Explicit Video”

The Daily Record, 30 January, 2013 – “Witness in Baltimore City Circuit Court Claims he Saw Johnson with Body”

Lodi News-Sentinel, 31 January, 2013 – “Jury Hears Teen’s Alleged Killer Talk of Fleeing Country”

AUDIO SOURCES –

“Michael Johnson Acquitted in 3rd Trial”

“Phylicia Barnes Update”

“Phylicia Barnes Death Ruled Homicide”

“Police Make Arrest in Phylicia Barnes Case”

“Police Plan to Search Wooded Area for Phylicia”

“Police Want More Attention on Barnes Case”

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