It was TJ that came up with rather interesting phrase ‘The Dirty Half Dozen’, of course it is a reference to the top six suspects in this case, as seen through the eyes of the press. Our methods are not scientific, it is a list compiled through our observations, and by talking to people.

In fact this list varies from person to person that I talk to. My list is different to other peoples, but we are consistent on some of the players that we have pegged.

It does not matter what crime you are planning to commit, you need the three ‘M’s, Motive, Means, and Misdirection.

Motive is easy, a reason to commit the crime. Means, a way to perform the crime. That leaves Misdirection, simply put, you need a way to avoid detection.

There are three names that appear consistently on our Dirty Half Dozen, Misty Croslin, Ronald Cummings, and Crystal Shefield. lets take some time to see how they stack up in the three ‘M’ world.

I will start with Crystal Shefield because she is by far the easiest to analyze. She certainly had motive, a $12,000 child support bill that was growing faster than the national debt. 12,000 dollars may not sound much to some people, it is approximately the average amount owed by people on their credit cards. It is however a huge sum of money when you do not have it, and are unlikely to ever have it. So clearly Crystal meets the criteria for motive.

Lets move on to Means, this is where she starts to fall apart as a credible choice. I do not see her having the smarts to put together the plan, never mind execute it. I also believe that Crystal loves her daughter Haleigh, that can be seen by the efforts that she made following the abduction. She certainly tried much harder than the other family members to reach out for information. Sure I have some reservations about her choices of assistants, but at least she was proactive.

Misdirection, this lady can’t spell misdirection, never mind understand the concept. In my view, she is the most unlikely of the Dirty Half Dozen.

Next on the list is Misty Croslin-Cunmmings. I can possibly think of some motives, but few hold much credibility. She was the 17 year old babysitter/lover/housekeeper. Motive? This is a hard one. I have mulled it over for some considerable time. I could see her getting rid of both kids, it would make her life easier. But why do it? It has been widely reported that Misty had spent the previous three days on a sex and drugs binge. So looking after young children did not seem to be a focal point of her young life. And it certainly did not seem to represent a major road block to her having fun.

It could be that Haleigh saw, or did something, and to prevent the information becoming public Misty did something to the little girl. Quite frankly I have a hard time buying into this argument. There is a darker idea that floats around in my mind, intimidation. Was Misty coerced into something? The obvious thought would be a drug debt.

Means, absolutely she had the means! She was in the trailer, she could have opened the back door, she could have done anything! She could have put the dirty laundry in the washer and dryer to clear the path to the back door. Although, sources close to the investigation (in other words I ain’t telling) also point out that there were still some piles of laundry still in front of the back door.

Misdirection? She does not have the ability. As the old English saying goes, she could not organize a booze up in a brewery!

Oh, sure she knows more than is coming out of her mouth, and it is that aspect that puts her in the Dirty half Dozen.

Lets look at Ronald, Haleigh’s dad, and the bread winner for the family. At first glance Ronald Cummings has no motive. Anecdotal stories show him as a man that cares greatly for his children. Sure it is no patriarch of the Waltons, more like Archie Bunker in All In The Family, but he does seem to care, or at least pretend to. Motive is a somewhat difficult, but not impossible subject to come up with.

Anecdotal data shows that Ronald Cummings was desperate for money. If it was to feed either his, or Misty’s drug habit is an unknown. He was also likely pretty upset about Misty taking off for three days having fun. It is even possible that removing Haleigh from the mix might give him more leverage. ‘You lost my damn daughter because you were not here’, etc, etc.

Maybe it was even a way to obtain sympathy for his nasty existence.

Was Haleigh sold? Was Haleigh the price to be paid for previous indiscretions or debts that Ronald Cumming had?

Means, yes he had the means, lets face it, the time line is so sketchy it would be like carbon dating a dinosaur fossil and trying to determine if it was born on a Wednesday! Some people have floated the idea that the whole 911 events at 3am were not supposed to unfold the way that they did. Misty screwed up, her mission was to call before Ron got home.

Misdirection, well that is an easy one. He was at work! He could not have done it, he was unloading a barge.

But, and it is a huge BUT, we do not know when Haleigh Cummings went missing. In fact we do not even know who picked her up from the bus stop. Different people tell different stories.

Two weeks ago we all were floored with the news that Misty Croslin-Cummings had submitted to a polygraph. Tim Miller of TES made no bones about the results, she failed miserably! Of course a polygraph is not admissible in court, but I know enough folks in the FBI to know that they are a valuable tool. I for one would love to see Ronald Cummings take another one. I know that he claims that he ‘passed’ the one a while ago. But, the parameters have changed. I am sure that Ronald Cummings will read this article, why not take another? I am sure that Tim Miller can arrange it?

OK, I ended up with an article that was way longer than I had planned. I have only talked about three of the Dirty Half Dozen.

I want to ask you all a question. Actually two questions. Am I wrong with my top three? And secondly, who would you name to fill the other three spots, and why?

Update: I am going to keep a tally of who you think should be the other three. I will publish the results tomorrow – Simon 

Simon Barrett

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