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The Dark side of the Amber Alert

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  • The Dark side of the Amber Alert

    Maybe I'm way off base with this, but is anyone else disturbed by the most recent Amber Alert here in Indiana?

    The reports show a photo of a deranged looking guy (and that's still the only photo that has been shown of him), an unflattering list of medications with wild speculation about his possible mental state, a list of items he's travelling with (insinuating all the worst possible scenarios - never has a knife sounded so sinister and dangerous), and the usual "presumed dangerous".

    When he was "caught", the Indianapolis Star (and I'm assuming others) reported that he was apprehended without a gunfight, even though it still hasn't been reported that he even had a gun. After three days, he still has not been charged with kidnapping (only resisting arrest and hitting an officer - I'm guessing they're related charges). Since the reports mentioned he was most likely to be heading to Tennessee from the very beginning, and the police were apparently there waiting for him, it doesn't appear that he was trying to trip anyone up with this.

    Now its entirely possible that this guy is a threat to society and no wrongs have been committed except by him and all is right with the system, but I have to wonder if this is just a guy who tooks his daughter and her step sister to a family lake cabin and had his whole life/reputation/future smeared in the worst possible way without doing anything evil. Since it was a kidnapping charge that started everything, yet no official kidnapping charges have been filed, I am beginning to think this was all just a huge misunderstanding that the media was able to broadcast to the widest possible audience without any responsibilty and no retraction/apology will ever happen.

    Even worse, the law enforcement agencies who have to work under the "innocent until proven guilty" presumption are feeding the "Guilty!!! Get this guy" message.

    Anyone else (especially those of you with vindictive ex-wives) a little disturbed by this, or am I being a dink?

  • #2
    It can't be a problem. It was thought up by our Texas Legislature.
    Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

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    • #3
      Was that before or after they kidnapped themselves Lucky?
      "I'm a Rodeo-de-oh-deo-deo-de-Cowboy borderin on the Insane"

      "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't lead a hortaculture"

      "When The Going Get's Wierd, The Wierd Turn Pro"

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      • #4
        Before. And actually it was "your" Senate who thought it up.
        Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

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        • #5
          Read This...

          Article then see how important it could be to some people for the possibilitie of a return of their children.

          Having personally had a loved one missing for three years (recently recovered skeletal remains) I only wish a system such as Amber Alert had been in place in May of 2000.
          Jim Naden Atlanta, Indiana

          Growing Old Is No Excuse For Growing Up.

          "When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination"
          Thomas Sowell

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          • #6
            Pretty convincing arguments there Maynard..........
            SENسR MODERATOR......

            "Better To Be Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six"
            " Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far....Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go "...T.S. Elliot....

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            • #7
              I think that woman is as dispicable as they come (although all the information I have on her is from the same media I'm currently railing against).

              However, could this hoax have been pulled off without the media's help? Again, the criteria for reporting seems to be nothing (and the local media hasn't trashed this woman nearly as much as the guy who apparently wasn't kidnapping his daughter).

              In Atlanta, the police seem to like to work this way. Get a suspect and "leak" info to the press so they can electronically (and in print) assault the suspect until they crack. This procedure worked very well in a case where a guy hired thugs to break into his house, rob him, and murder his wife. It also worked in a case where a guy killed his daughter and buried her in a shallow grave, but had claimed she was kidnapped. Unfortunately, it also lead to Wayne Williams being convicted without trial of killing a bunch of little kids due to his conviction of killing a couple of 20 somethings. And we all saw how well this worked out with Richard Jewell and the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing.

              If the police need help, I'm all in favor of using the media to give information ("if you see this car, call this number...", etc.). But this was a character assasination. There was no reason to show more than his photo and describe his vehicle. Nothing else helped resolve the situation, but did make a frenzied angry mob possible attacking what appears to be an innocent man. The additional information just made it a more sensational story, and I don't like the future that could lead to.

              I also really don't like the way the local media reported a missing girl was found when there wasn't any real evidence of it other than a slimebag just saying that she was her (among many other people she was claiming to be). Again, I'm disturbed by the irresponsible nature of this reporting.

              Maybe Matt could chime in here (or 'pidge, Steve Roggie or any of the other media related folks on these boards and set me straight), but this all seems like the more sensational the rumor, the more time and emphasis will be put on it - facts be dammed.
              Last edited by Grover; 07-31-2003, 07:39 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DedFlrs
                Was that before or after they kidnapped themselves Lucky?

                Heheh, I'm not one to make fun of my buddy Lucky.... but ol' Ded hit the bullseye on this one...

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                • #9
                  I think Flo is your Senator too!
                  Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Grover
                    this all seems like the more sensational the rumor, the more time and emphasis will be put on it - facts be dammed.
                    True enough there.

                    I have no doubt that the Amber Alert system could be used by the vindictive ex-wife-types. I would only hope that those filing false reports would be facing a stricter penalty than the sicko who called that family claiming to be their long lost daughter.

                    However, we do need to look at both sides. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I think they do.
                    "If TF members were given solid gold cars, some would complain about the color." - stnkypete

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rev-ed
                      However, we do need to look at both sides. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I think they do.
                      I certainly don't want to get rid of the Amber Alert system.

                      I'd just like to see them use it for information pertinent to the situation at hand. His having migraine headaches, taking medication for it, and not shooting a gun at the police were all bits of information that had nothing to do with anything but sensationalize the story.

                      I guess it should be noted that I am not shooting anyone while typing this and I will be having a press conference tomorrow to deal with the speculation that I may not be announcing that I'm not running for governor of California (sounds dumb, but watch the news tonight and see what is considered a newsworthy story).

                      The way the media reported that after 17 years they had found the girl is one of the saddest, cruelest stories I think I've ever heard. I know some media outlets were reporting that dental records and scars had been matched. To see the poor father on TV last night was heart breaking (why was he even there????), and I'm guessing that every media outlet in town is on to the next big story without an apology or even review of what they are doing.

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                      • #12
                        Don Henley, "Dirty Laundry".......
                        It really IS all good!

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                        • #13
                          Don't blame the Amber Alert system, blame the media.

                          The media, and in particular local news media, jump all over these stories without regard to how this practice affects people's thinking. The media have got people thinking that there's a nationwide crime spree going on, child abduction is an epidemic, and that we're on the verge of anarchy. The FACTS are that the crime rate for ALL violent crimes has been going DOWN consistently for the last ten years or so.

                          What speedwaygirl said. "It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry."

                          On a similar note, has anyone else noticed how you see corpses on TV MUCH more frequently the last few years than you ever did before? Man, I JUST DON'T WANNA SEE THAT!! Whatever happened to dignity for the deceased? :mad:
                          "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

                          RIP, Dan. You will always be one of my heroes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sf-indy-fan
                            Don't blame the Amber Alert system, blame the media.

                            The media, and in particular local news media, jump all over these stories without regard to how this practice affects people's thinking. The media have got people thinking that there's a nationwide crime spree going on, child abduction is an epidemic, and that we're on the verge of anarchy. The FACTS are that the crime rate for ALL violent crimes has been going DOWN consistently for the last ten years or so.

                            What speedwaygirl said. "It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry."

                            On a similar note, has anyone else noticed how you see corpses on TV MUCH more frequently the last few years than you ever did before? Man, I JUST DON'T WANNA SEE THAT!! Whatever happened to dignity for the deceased? :mad:
                            Valid points sf...but...consider the recovery timeline statistics for abductions in particular.


                            If found within 24 hours probably alive and relatively unharmed.
                            If found within 48 hours maybe alive.
                            If found after 72 hours most likely dead.
                            Jim Naden Atlanta, Indiana

                            Growing Old Is No Excuse For Growing Up.

                            "When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination"
                            Thomas Sowell

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh, don't get me wrong, Maynard, I'm not saying we should abandon the Amber Alert system because of irresponsible people in the media. That would be a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

                              I'm just upset that the media sensationalizes violent crime to the point that people think child abduction is a common thing. It isn't, and cases where it's some sicko who abducts a child for their own twisted reasons are actually very, very rare. When it does happen, it's almost always a case of a failing marriage and a parent who's bitter that he or she didn't get custody of the kids. Not that it's OK if this is the case, but at least pedophilia doesn't enter into it in this situation.
                              "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

                              RIP, Dan. You will always be one of my heroes.

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