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Anybody think that girl in Utah is still alive?(19 posts)

Anybody think that girl in Utah is still alive?Wayne
Jun 21, 2002 12:00 PM
Just happened to be reading a book on profiling that a patient of mine turned me on to when this whole abduction thing hijacked the news. The media are a bunch of tools, they report any rumour, and now are criticizing the police because earlier information (never verified by the police) about the abductor is wrong. And no way is the Edmunds guy involved, he doesn't fit the crime at all which the police have said repeatedly and the media still won't let it go! That girl has been dead most likely from the beginning, people who do this either
a) kidnap with intentions to kill or
b) kidnap and then realize they're in deep and kill the person to keep them quiet.
re: Anybody think that girl in Utah is still alive?bikedodger
Jun 21, 2002 12:20 PM
Unfortunately I also believe she is dead. It's just too hard to keep someone captive for very long and not have something go wrong.
Let me put it this way--AllisonHayes
Jun 21, 2002 12:36 PM
it would be a miracle if she were still alive. Tragic.

And will they be able to find out who did it? Or is this another Jean Binet Ramsey case?
I bet they don't catch him this time...Wayne
Jun 22, 2002 12:46 PM
according to the books these guys crimes almost always escalate, and once they get a taste they need more. So you'd expect him to do it again. But in this case based on the limited info. I've heard it appears to have been a sophisticated crime by a first-timer and maybe by a relatively well-to-do person, the extreme attention may just have scared the guys so bad that he never does it again which I would think makes it less likely they'll catch him.
I don't think they'll figure it out.Leisure
Jun 23, 2002 4:14 AM
It would be difficult to solve for anyone, and as a resident of Salt Lake let me say I don't have a lot of faith in the competence of our justice/government/political system. Unless the person that committed the crime turns himself in, I doubt they'll ever find her, regardless of whether she's alive or dead. Truth be told, I'm rather suspicious of the family. Whoever did it knew the layout of the house. Who kidnaps a kid from a home at gunpoint at only one in the morning while a second child is in the room? And the way the family has conducted themselves, both after it happened and in response to media hype has been too polished, too premeditated, while having a remarkable absense of emotion. In contrast, they have gone to great effort hanging lost child posters on every door of every building saying "Nonfamily Abduction" on them. If the person who abducted the child isn't in the family he's obviously out of the state. The overabundance of those signs doesn't seem to serve any purpose unless it is to diffuse away any suspicion of family involvement from the locals. I don't like the feel of it. Sure, I might be reading too far into it. I don't see any motive. On the other hand, I work in psychiatry and see plenty of disfunctional families. Plenty of them are rich. And I tend to think myself good at picking these things out. No conclusions, just observations.
Ruling out someone in the family...Wayne
Jun 24, 2002 3:02 AM
offhand doesn't seem like the most sound strategy but you kind of expect the family itself to do that esp. since they seem like a religious family which probably means they think most people in the family are "good". But I'm sure the cops have looked at everyone closely, most people have alibi's for the middle of the night, so it's pretty easy to rule people out.
Not a difficult conclusion to make offhand, but...Leisure
Jun 24, 2002 2:22 PM
I'm not thinking the entire family is involved, but I feel the possibility that somone inside might be involved should be left open. As I said, I work in mental health and have seen plenty of disfunctional families. They are usually the MOST religious, no offense to anyone who happens to be religious themselves. And at the risk of possibly creating spite from some readers, I suspect the fact that they are high-status members of the dominant religion in the area has more to do with how closely they will be scrutinized than whether or not they have alibis.
Oops, I misread you just a bit.Leisure
Jun 24, 2002 11:59 PM
I was thinking you meant the police had likely ruled the family out because they're "religious", as opposed to the family ruling themselves out. You're absolutely right about that. I however am not so sure about whether or not the police have looked at everyone closely. I just don't have that much faith in them, even among those that mean well. Kind of like I alluded to above, they're going to look at this "good", "religious" family and accept any story they're given. They probably are being more closely scrutinized by bigwigs upstairs (likely with connections to the family) that are influencing them to go nail any guy they can, and they're worried that they'll get a lot of heat if they scrutinize the family too much without an incredibly definitive lead. That in and of itself doesn't mean someone in the family necessarily did it, but I imagine these sorts of politics are probably happening anyway. In the event a family member was directly involved it would impede the case. It's the sort of thing that makes ruling out family members TOO easy.
How come only cute little white girls get the press?Sintesi
Jun 24, 2002 12:57 PM
Aren't there any boys or missing black or hispanic kids? I think it's reprehensible that the press so openly works itself into a lather over the misfortunes of middle class white kids and merely mention (if at all) the kids that aren't photogenic or demographically viable. This is commercial exploitation pure and simple. Makes me sick.
Give me an Amen brother! nmMB1
Jun 24, 2002 1:47 PM
Over simplified - If the only tool you have is a hammer...jose_Tex_mex
Jun 24, 2002 7:43 PM
With all due respect, I think you oversimplify the problem grossly. What's that expression, "If the only tool you have is a hammer every problem will be a nail."

Have you seen the house the Smart child lived in? If that's middle class than I must qualify as destitute.

Thousands of children going missing very year - mostly taken by family members. How many do we hear about? Maybe 1 or 2 a year will actually get national press. The two I know of were Smart and Ramsey, both of well to do and influencial parents. The circumstances surrounding both cases are what is driving the feeding frenzy - which although morally reprehensible, just may help.

BTW - I was watching the news tonight and there was an interview with a family from Irvington NJ whose 2 year old child went missing Sunday. Let's just say the kid wasn't lilly white.
You're right, but I think Sintesi is too.Leisure
Jun 24, 2002 11:32 PM
You're right to note it's not middleclass kids getting the press. It's generally high-class kids, with some sort of regional clout, as it were. Smart and Ramsey both fit the bill. But Sintesi the Hammer is doing what he does best hitting the nail on the head. (I'm glad he said it before me, I look at these things and wonder if I'm just a resentful embittered half-minority.) Let's face it, you'll NEVER see this kind of publicity given to any kid that isn't cute, rich, white, and female all at the same time. It's not that people are trying to be racist or sexist or egalitarian, I think most people really are trying to be more neutral in this day and age. But despite all the progress we've made as a society, there's still a sort of "discrimination by inattentive exclusion" that happens without most of us realizing. "It's not that we hate you or want to hurt you, we just don't really care about you as much." I didn't happen to see the story you did about the non-white kid getting abducted, but I also doubt I ever will. Assuming you are currently living in Texas and therefore saw this on national news, I suspect the story mostly made it riding on the coattails of the Elizabeth Smart abduction, and we won't be seeing any more of it. Or of the hundreds of other milkcarton kids that get abducted this year.
the media is a for profit businessDougSloan
Jun 25, 2002 8:08 AM
Despite their claims to the contrary, the media here is not the "protector of the First Amendment," the "forth branch of government," or anything like that. Sure, likely there are numerous media members who believe they are, but make no mistake about it, they are a for profit business essentially the same as General Motors -- they have products to sell and want to make money doing it.

That being the case, is it any wonder they run stories that are calculated to obtain viewers and therefore ad revenue? No. You can despise them for it and disagree with the decision (as it could backfire to some extent), but it is completely understandable from their persective why they run stories like this one or any other "interesting" and inflammatory story. Heck, they might even piss people off on purpose to get more audience.

I fully expect some will come to the media's defense and point out all the wonderful things they have done for us. Sure, some good likely is incidental from the exposure of events people find interesting. Heck, Ford Pinto's may have saved some lives taking people to hospitals.

can of worms...colker
Jun 26, 2002 5:32 AM
since what we call truth is carried by the press, or science, both can't be guided profit...only. it's same with the law. in third world countries, poice is an "entrepeneurial" (that line comes form traffic). shocking? yes. but... why not? press, science... the law. corrupt judges, cops, da's. and there goes the neighbourhood.
Remember Bill Cosby's Kid?jose_Tex_mex
Jun 25, 2002 8:10 AM
True we are pretty much in agreement. Do you remember when Bill Cosby's son was killed? Was there any lack of coverage there? To look at the problem and say "oh it's a white thing" takes things to such a simplistic extreme any real analysis will just go by the wayside. Most people will not want to take the time to look into the socio - economic -political - status implications because it's much easier to pull the race card.
I am not saying that problems due to race do not still continue. Indeed they do, but when your reaction to every event in life is "That's Racism" then you better do some reflecting.
Those who play the race card and lump all white people together are segregating themselves from would be allies. Life is not black and white and neither is discrimination. Look a little closer at racists and you will find they discriminate on more than just skin color.
BTW - our media sucks and is totally biased.
Taking your thought further......Starliner
Jun 25, 2002 10:01 AM
The same rule applies with child abuse/molestation. In too many ways society is more protective of our girls than our boys. This whole Catholic priest scandal is an example - that top officials like Law looked the other way is shocking and personally hurtful, being myself a victim of molestation when I was five, with nobody gaving a sh!t for me either. The public cry for Law's head is so paltry, it makes me boil, for if seven-year-old girls were the victims instead of seven-year-old boys, I fear it would be a different story.

This social inequality can be traced directly to our legal system, which was conceived and remains stuck back in the days of gallantry when men took it upon themselves to protect and care for women, when women were not then given equal standing under the law. But in the last century, and especially at the end, things changed for women.

Despite women getting the vote, and gaining equality in education and the workplace (women now hold close to 50% of total jobs), old ways remain. In family law, even with workplace equality, men still are expected to pay the lion's share of alimony and child support, and are granted far less custodial rights - go figure. The penal system incarcerates men at a rate 10 times that of women - go figure. The draft - see previous discussion. Socially, there are still too many women out there who think the man should drive the car and pay the tab.

Will change occur? Don't count on male lawyers and politicians to move on it - they don't suffer enough. Lawyers in the high-powered firms have the means to be gallant to women, to care for them, to pay the tab - their problem is they are unwitting victims of the traditional male source of power which is wealth, or at the least, the ability to attract a woman through monetary means. So, the payoff in changing the system is not clear to them, because they can afford to keep things as they are.

Politicians, many of who are lawyers, are a similar lot. How can people in their position have empathy (see previous thread) for the guy you see on the wanted poster in the post office - the guy who owes on child support but has run off because he's been laid off and lacks an education and worst of all, lacks faith in a system which seems out to get him anyway. So he runs, but to where...
I think you missed two of the key features..Wayne
Jun 25, 2002 7:32 AM
that account for the attention this case got. This ain't no middle class family. This is a rich and politically influental family with connections, that is why this case has garnered so much attention. Being a cute white girl certainly helps but I think the former two reasons are what got the national media involved initially. One of the those TV news magazines did a story on this because in Utah relatively recently a WHITE, MIDDLE to LOWER class girl went missing, and it got zero national attention so blaming it on race may actually miss the heart of the matter.
three, actuallymr_spin
Jun 25, 2002 7:46 AM
This was a home invasion kidnapping, which is rare. Kids are normally taken from public places, such as off the street or from parks and playgrounds. They just disappear, and no one is really sure where or when.

Home invasion is a really scary thought, so there is no way the media won't jump on it and pump it for all it's worth. Scary stuff brings in viewers and holds them for a while.
I don't discount these explanations at all.Sintesi
Jun 25, 2002 10:15 AM
But then again I dunno, seems like other children go missing and there is at least local reportage but the national media near round-the-clock coverage for this particular little girl and the Ramsey child in Boulder borders on an exploitation orgy. I'm sure that the real reason is the appeal of a fresh faced white kid to a national audience is powerfully influential. Race is a sure component and the other factors you both describe, which I accept as true factors, are not so nearly as salient a quality as being photogenic and white and female. This is appealing to all those sentimental, "treasured notions" of what is precious and pure in this society. This kid is symbolic and resonant to those expectations and therefore exploited. If you were a marketer creating this scenario to raise ratings, you would cast your abducted child to look like these kids. I think the media is that shallow. They are exploiting this situation for ratings and will milk it until it runs absolutely dry. They're taking advantage of a situation like a surfer takes advantage of a really great wave and this is what makes me so nauseous because the process is so callously trivial it doesn't even ponder what it exploits.

Here's a kid that was taken from her home. Home invasion.

Maybe if Grandma was a millionaire, or a congressman this would have gotten plenty of media coverage. Does this make it right? Can you truly believe that our media would respond exactly the same if the family did meet the same qualifications as the Smart family except say they were second generation latino and their daughter was overweight?
It's all open to debate but I smell rat.