Apr 15, 2015

My thoughts on Anjelica Hadsell's chaotic family experience

No updates yet in Anjelica Hadsell's case -- no cause of death, no arrests and no official suspects declared (yet) by authorities with the Norfolk Police Dept. However, the past several weeks have revealed a motley crew of characters that once surrounded this young woman -- in particular, three men who have all been in her life as father figures.

Mel Langer
This is AJ's biological father. He was essentially in her life the shortest amount of time out of the three men that have come out so far. He wasn't involved in her live much and has no involvement with her disappearance -- or rather, he has really no reason or motive to be involved.

Zach Hoffer
This is stepdad number one, and the man who spent the most time in Anjelica's life as a father figure. He reportedly raised her from late infancy to her early teens.

Wesley Hadsell
This is Anjelica's latest stepfather, who also legally adopted her. He, as everyone knows, is currently in jail on charges of obstruction of justice and unlawful possession of ammunition. Currently, the general opinion among the public is that he is suspicious regarding AJ's case. Many people believe that he had something to do with her disappearance and death.

I've had a lot of contact with Wesley, personally, and I've already said everything that can be said about him at this point. I understand that people think he is responsible,and I recognize why people feel this way. However, and  I can't believe I have to say this so much, I need to see evidence against someone before I go full bore on them.

I do, however, feel the need to point out that everyone appears to have tunnel vision with this case. While everyone is fixated on Wesley Hadsell -- who may or may not be guilty of involvement with AJ's death -- everyone appears to be ignoring other suspicious elements (and people) involved in her life. I'll get into that later in this post.

Anjelica's chaotic upbringing
This child is not only a product of a broken home, but she is the product of multiple broken homes. She was taken from her father (or abandoned by him, depending on whose story you believe) and then, for some reason, she chose to distance herself from Zach Hoffer -- the man who actually took the biggest role in raising her. To me, this is questionable. Why would a young teenage girl willingly separate herself from the person she knew as her father, unless she had a reason?

Teenage girls seldom get along with their mothers to the point of willingly alienating their fathers. Statistically speaking most children of divorced parents live with their mom. However, it's common knowledge that little girls tend to prefer their fathers at the age when AJ was seemingly closer to her mother.

I've had very little contact with Zach Hoffer, and he's never agreed to an interview, but he did make some statements. Unfortunately, his statements left me feeling a little troubled. He said that Anjelica chose her mother because she apparently offered her a life of fewer rules and restrictions. It seemed to me that Zach was insinuating that Anjelica wanted to live a wild or unruly lifestyle, but in reality AJ's character seemed to be the exact opposite of that. She was a bright college student and had been deeply involved in extracurricular activities, such as various sports. Every picture in existence of this young woman shows a happy and well adjusted person who enjoyed an actively rewarding life that did not involve drugs or alcohol or partying that is typical of girls in her age group.


Since around 2010 Zach has publicly posted his sentiments about the separation from AJ's mom Jennifer, but mostly his separation from Anjelica. For the most part, his posts (in my opinion) have come across absolutely obsessive and odd.

What I find troubling is how many people are choosing to ignore these posts, and the overall sentiment he has expressed toward Anjelica over the years. I can't help but think that if it had been Wesley Hadsell blogging these things, public opinion would shift right into thinking that these sentiments are unhealthy and unnatural. His writings come across as though he is a lover scorned, not a father who has been shunned by his daughter during a rough divorce or separation.

Also troubling to me is Zach's eager willingness to involve himself in not only the search for AJ, but the investigation. He has tried talking to police as her parent. He has tried to coordinate searches. He has participated in online discussion on Websleuths and other true crime fanatic arenas where he has soaked in the sympathetic limelight as a grieving father who has been denied access to his child. But this is a 19-year-old woman who reportedly chose not to be in his life, and he is not her father, but merely a former stepfather. Furthermore, he has two biological daughters with Jennifer Hadsell, and in none of his online rantings does he express even half the passion that he exhausts while talking about Anjelica. Everything has been about, and remains to be about Anjelica to the point that he has made himself look obsessed with her in a way that does not seem fatherly in the slightest.

I must also point out that from the beginning of Anjelica's disappearance, both Jennifer and Wesley -- along with other members of their family -- have stated that Zach was someone who was interfering with their search for her. They stated this publicly on the Bring AJ Home Facebook page back in March. Jennifer Hadsell (and family) have made it abundantly clear that Zach Hoffer is not AJ's father, and is not affiliated with the family's efforts. These are apparently Jennifer's wishes, and regardless of any suspicion held against Wesley, she is still the biological and custodial mother of the slain teen -- and Hoffer is just an ex who didn't even father her.

The man who should have been involved from the beginning of this disappearance is Mel Langer, AJ's biological father. He was completely nonexistent during the 38 days that she was missing. He did not come forward at all during the search for her. He did not involve himself in any way. It wasn't until Anjelica was found murdered that he and his family came forward with the halfhearted statement, "I wish I'd been around more for her."  Now his wife and her family members are on the Case to Case fan page smearing Jennifer, and attacking anyone who questions his absence from AJ's life, but none of them have anything to say when asked why none of them came forward during the search, instead of watching two other men publicly take the role as father during this horrible situation.

Meanwhile, the only person involved in this case that isn't flinging insults about family members and former lovers is Jennifer Hadsell, who is being so quiet that some people are suspicious of her. I still don't know what to think about her, personally, but I think she had a reason to separate from both Mel Langer and Zach Hoffer. I think all of these people taking sides -- Team Hoffer, Team Langer, Team Hadsell -- just need to chill and wait for this case to produce some actual evidence. Because, to be honest I think every person in this case has reason to be considered suspicious by everyone -- and that is why there appears to be such polarizing points of view expressed by people regarding who they support and who they trust.
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