Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, December 20, 2004

This was so disturbing

Listening to: 'Dreamline' by Rush
Feeling: Sickened

Kansas City Star | 12/18/2004 | Abducted baby found; woman charged with kidnapping

What that headline neglects to indicate, of course, is that the woman charged with kidnapping also apparently arranged a meeting with the mother, a dog breeder, about supposedly buying a puppy and then strangled her and cut her unborn child from the womb, leaving her in a puddle of blood to be found less than an hour later by her own mother. She then went back to her home across state lines and tried to pass the child off as her own.

I've heard of similar cases, of course, thankfully rare. But one thing about the last year or two, people are finally learning just how much pregnant women are in danger of being murdered, although it's usually domestic violence where the husband or boyfriend kills the woman in an escalation brought out by the stresses of pregnancy.

I used to know a woman who was just unhinged enough and obsessed with having a child who I could see doing this; it would not surprise me anyway to hear it; but on the other hand, it's one of those things you 'theoretically' talk about when something like this happens.

I had to do some digging to find a picture of the murdered woman, since I wasn't getting the news when it first broke before they found the baby and her kidnapper. Why is it we tend to focus on the criminal and not the victim in the media? Laci Petersen, with her huge smile and child-like face, somehow captivated people enough that she was always the focus of that case, but ten years from now, we'll be talking about Scott Petersen's crime. I mean, really, can you name Jack the Ripper's victims? Jeffrey Dahmer's? Ted Bundy's? It's sort of sad, isn't it? I've thought about doing a database of famous 'true crime' stories with the victims highlighted.

PS One bit of crime history made with this case...it was the first time an AMBER alert was issued for a foetus whose mother had been killed and whose own status was unknown. I'm just glad they found the little girl and that she's with her family, but, gee, what a thing to grow up in your family history. Think of the guilt kids feel when mothers die in childbirth. And the grandmother, who found her own daughter less than an hour after she'd had her child cut from her belly. It really makes you think of the 'what-ifs' of life. What if she'd come to check on her awhile before she did? That's got to haunt, you know?

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