Paparazzi-2

Charlottesville is in hot water again. This beautiful town that I work in is included in just about every top-ten list imaginable; Happiest town, best college town, most exciting place in Virginia. However, it’s also become notorious for one other thing…missing women.

I’m sure most of you have heard about our newest missing co-ed, Hannah Graham. Notice how I used the word “newest.” When the story broke the first thing I thought was “Oh God, not again.” ‘Cause my area has a real panache for women coming up missing.

Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington, Dashad Smith, Alexis Taylor, and Samantha Clarke – all young women who have disappeared from our area in the past 5 years or so. Janet Field and Bonnie Santiago – two middle aged women who have also vanished, but because they are older don’t get grouped in with the other girls. But I’m grouping them in – you know why?

Because out of all the missing women only one body has been found – Morgan Harrington’s. Something rather screwed up is going on around here.

They have a suspect now, and it’s beginning to look like he might have a lot to do with the slew of missing women in our area. DNA evidence could possibly link him to several other crimes, including the death of Morgan Harrington. We shall see what transpires over the next few months as Charlottesville is once again in the midst of a media frenzy.

A few years back UVA senior Yeardley Love was killed by her one-time boyfriend George Huguely, and the trial that followed created a gridlock of news vans and reporters camped out on the street across from the courthouse (and a block from my office) for weeks on end.

mediaI have a feeling this one is going to be much, much worse. While taking my lunchtime walks last week I would see throngs of vans with their satellite dishes lining the streets leading up to the Downtown Mall, the last place Hannah was seen alive. The photo here taken on my walk only shows a small portion of the vans lining one street. There were four or five on this block alone. There were at least 5 more by the police station.

And that’s not counting the reporters. They were camped all up and down the Mall, filming stock footage or doing live broadcasts. Stations from DC and Baltimore – not just our local guys.

And poor Hannah hasn’t even been found. I am sick to my stomach over the thought of what this poor girl might have gone through, and what her parents are going through. It took three months for Morgan Harrington to be found in the corner of a remote field; the property owner was checking his fences for needed repairs when he found her.

I’m sick about it and I’m mad too. I’m beginning to lose faith in humanity. Why are there so many predators out there? How is it that so many mentally unbalanced people can live among us and we are absolutely clueless – until the next girl or child comes up missing, or raped, or beaten. And why is it mostly men?

Sorry if I offend any of my dude readers out there, but answer me…why is it almost always men??? My husband is always telling our two girls that boys are bad – I’m inclined to start believing him. Because out of all the news stories I see involving violent crime, I’d wager that 90% of the culprits are men. Why? Too much testosterone? Mental health issues? Not enough love from mom? Who knows.

Pessimistic as it may sound, I know they won’t find Hannah alive. Every day it rains, or it’s hot, or cold I think, “that poor girl’s body, out in this.” There are some that speculate the only hope of finding Hannah alive is if she were sold into the human trafficking industry. What a crappy alternative to have to hope for.

 The suspect in the case is due in court Thursday, but via satellite hook-up. That should keep the media from making too big a scene outside the courthouse. But in the weeks to come, if the case goes to trial here in Charlottesville, it’s going to be a madhouse out there.

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