Investigative Prospects for the Harmony Montgomery Case

AUTHOR’S NOTE: As I write this, the search effort at the last know location of the missing girl has been concluded and no further information has been provided to the public. The implication is that nothing remarkable has been found or they would be crowing about their success; however, the FBI is involved and they may be more reticent about being too forthcoming.

I applied my “Gumshoe’s Punch List” Case Spread (see below) to examine the effectiveness of the intelligence being used to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Harmony Montgomery in Manchester, NH. The method yielded two “assisting” cards and two “obstructing” cards.

In the “Obstructing or Complicating” column, the Ace of Disks suggests that dry, cold winter conditions (especially frozen ground) are hampering the search. The Sun indicates that the effort is receiving a tremendous amount of attention and the investigators can’t make a move without being observed (some media outlets even have drones hovering over the search site); the phrase “media circus” comes to mind, and one local resident even described it that way. (This is the classic “good-card-in-a-bad-position” scenario, and shows the negative side of “too much Sun.”)

The two Sixes in the “Assisting or Clarifying” column show that encouraging “small victories” may have been achieved so far in the case, which will keep it moving in the same direction.

Temperance as the “quintessence” card offers an inconclusive outcome at this point since it suggests “walking a fine line” between two extremes with no verdict in sight. It also implies that forensic experts are weighing and sifting what has been gathered so far. It is a deliberative card that won’t tip its hand too soon. My conclusion is that the investigation will most likely move farther afield and begin to explore other possibilities while the data is being processed.

The “Gumshoe’s Punch List” Case Spread

This spread is suitable for use in any kind of investigation, from a problem-solving or “root-cause” analysis in business, to detective legwork in a criminal case, to fact-finding in a Congressional inquiry. It is a mixed-media spread that requires a single die and a deck of tarot cards. Intelligence-gathering is a part of any investigation, and this spread is intended to examine the usefulness of the information supplied. It only includes four inputs, so a larger mass of data would require doing the spread more than once depending on the number of factors encountered.

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